HC Deb 12 December 1929 vol 233 cc666-7
96. Mr. ALLEN

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the proposed substantial reduction in German income tax and tax on real property, he will state the total amount which the British taxpayers have foregone in favour of the German taxpayers as a result of the Dawes and Young plans?


I do not agree with the implications contained in the hon. Member's question. The two plans do no more than reduce the obligation upon Germany to an amount which according to competent judges it is within the capacity of Germany to discharge externally.


May I ask whether the German tax reductions do not indicate that they could afford to pay far more, to the consequent relief of the British taxpayer?


I have no information as to the accuracy of the statements made in regard to the tax reductions in Germany, but the experts on the Dawes and Young Committees took all relevant facts into consideration and fixed the amount at what they thought was within the capacity of Germany to pay externally.

Captain EDEN

Is not the amount announced very much less than that which the right hon. Gentleman described as the inadequate minimum under the Balfour Note? [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer!"]


I have no hesitation in answering the question. There is no connection between the fixing of the German annuities and the Balfour Note. They stand quite separately.


Will the right hon. Gentleman circulate a White Paper setting out in detail the gains and losses of the British taxpayer under the Hague Plan assuming it operates, which is perhaps unlikely, for more than five or 10 years?


The matter has not vet been finally settled. There will be a resumed conference I expect early next year, and after the matter has been definitely settled I see no objection to publishing the information for which the hon. Member asks.


Would it not be better that we should be informed of the facts before it is finally settled?


I think the facts settled in previous conferences are fairly well known, and the Protocol was published as a White Paper some months ago.