HC Deb 22 February 1932 vol 262 cc159-60

I beg to move, in page 10, line 15, to leave out the words "for the purposes of this Act".

This Amendment and the next Amendment which stands in my name—in page 10, line 17, to leave out the words "and requiring that information for those purposes"—are designed to give the Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity of looking at these returns which come to the Board of Trade. As the Clause stands at present, no Government Department will be able to have access to this information except for the purposes of this Act. That means that, for the purposes of the Budget or anything of that sort, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not be entitled to have access to any of this information. I understand that the right hon. Gentleman now intends to deal with a part of this matter in the Finance Bill, owing to his inability to move certain Amendments which he had on the Paper the other day. If for that purpose any of this information is required, some Amendment will have to be made in this Clause, because otherwise, when the right hon. Gentleman comes, in the Finance Bill, to deal with the question of articles being taken out of the free list, neither the Committee nor a Government Department nor anyone else will be able to look at any of these returns which the Board of Trade have obtained under this Measure. I am sure in the circumstances the right hon. Gentleman will see that this is a useful Amendment, which will in fact serve his purpose very well.


I am obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman but I should like to look into the matter a little further. The Amendment as drafted would give power to the Inland Revenue Department to make use of the information that is extracted by the committee from firms, and I do not think that would conduce -to confidence and willingness to give the information that we desire. Therefore, I should not like to have it in these words, but I will look into it between now and Report.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.