HC Deb 07 May 1929 vol 227 cc2033-4

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Circular entitled, "United Kingdom Income Tax. Visitors from the Dominions and foreign countries," is causing many prospective visitors to stay away from this country; and whether he will consider withdrawing it?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Arthur Michael Samuel)

The Circular was issued with the object of informing visitors of the legal position and of removing certain misapprehensions which have tended to deter intending visitors from coming to the country. I have no reason to suppose that it is having the effect suggested by my hon. Friend.


Is my hon. Friend not aware that there are fishings and shootings in Scotland which have been taken by Americans and are being cancelled because of this Circular, and does it not strike him as being rather a penny wise and pound foolish policy?


No. It so happens that I recently took occasion to read this Circular, because when I was at the Department of Overseas Trade I was, and still am, very interested in the "Come to Britain" movement. I read it very carefully, and I can assure the hon. Member that, in my opinion, it tended to allay fears and to do good and not any harm such as he fears.


I wonder if my hon. Friend would read the Circular again and ask some other people what they think about it, because I am rather led to believe that it is having exactly the opposite effect from that which he describes?


I do not know what my hon. Friend has been led to believe, but if he will allow me, I will send him a copy of the Circular, and I think he will see that it is more likely to do good than the harm which he fears.


Will the hon. Gentleman see that this Circular is given to the officials at the Ministry of Labour, so that they can hand them to the very high-priced band artists who come over here and never pay any Income Tax?


I shall be glad to see the Circular going anywhere where it will help to bring visitors to this country.


Does the hon. Gentleman accept the suggestion from one on his own side that a Minister of His Majesty's Government is unable to understand an official document?


As Scotland has been drawn in, is the hon. Gentleman not aware that there are more fishers in Scotland than are required to deal with the fish there?

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