HC Deb 24 June 1931 vol 254 cc533-4

(1) Where any estate or interest in land—

  1. (a) is given, devised, or bequeathed by any person to, and so as to become indefeasibly vested in, the National Trust and is held by that Trust inalienably for the public benefit; or
  2. (b) is given, devised, or bequeathed by any person to, and so as to become indefeasibly vested in, the Commissioners of Works, or a local authority, and accepted by the Commissioners or authority under Section two of the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act, 1913;
the Treasury, may, if that person dies after the commencement of this Act, and the estate or interest was the whole estate or interest of that person in the land, remit any duties leviable on or with reference to the death of that person, and no property the duties in respect of which are remitted under this section shall be aggregated with any other property for the purpose of fixing the rate of any estate duty.

(2) In this section the expression "National Trust" means the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty incorporated by the National Trust Act, 1907.—[Mr. P. Snowden.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

I have put down this Clause in pursuance of a promise which I made last year to consider this matter. It provides that, where any property is left to the National Trust for the public benefit, or so as to be vested in the Commissioners of Works or a local authority under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments Act, Death Duties on that property shall be remitted.


I have put down a Clause on behalf of the National Trust to a similar effect. I need hardly say that I heartily welcome the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given exact effect to what we have been asking for, and, on behalf of the National Trust, I should like to thank the right hon. Gentleman very warmly indeed for having done so, especially at a time like this, when we know how hard it is to get concessions. I am quite satisfied with this concession, and I feel sure that the National Trust also will be satisfied with it.


As one whose name was down to a similar Clause last year, I should like to join my thanks to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for meeting us and to remind him that last year when I prophesied, in response to the reply that he then made, that I should be thanking him this year for doing it, we were met with some derisive comments from hon. Members opposite. I am glad to find that my right hon. Friend is still in his place and I am sure that next year we shall be able to look for-ward to seeing him there still benefiting the public.

Clause added to the Bill.