HC Deb 28 June 1934 vol 291 cc1295-6

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been drawn to the death of Sir James Knott, who amassed a fortune in the North of England and left £5,000,000, which sum in its entirety escapes Death Duties payable in the United Kingdom due to the fact that he had abandoned his English domicile and acquired a domicile in Jersey; can he say whether the beneficiaries under the will propose to voluntarily pay duty as though the English domicile had been retained; and whether it is the intention to take steps to prevent such evasions at the expense of the community in future?

29. Mr. RANKIN

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to another case of the evasion of Death Duties by a testator taking up residence in Jersey in the final years of his life; and whether he will consider introducing legislation to deal with cases of this nature?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

My attention has been drawn to the case to which my hon. Friends refer; but, as they will appreciate, I am not prepared to disclose information as to the position in regard to taxation in a particular case. They may, however, rest assured that the subject of avoidance, not merely of Death Duties, but of taxation generally, is not overlooked, and that, should the necessity arise, appropriate action in the matter will be taken.


Would my right hon. Friend consider introducing legislation to invalidate domicile abroad for a period of 10 years prior to death, and thus overcome this point?


Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the line by a former Poet Laureate: It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles.


Bad as this case is as regards the country generally, is it not especially bad in view of the area from which the fortune was taken?