§ Mr. BUTLER
I beg to move, in page 256, line 8, to leave out Sub-section (2), and to insert:(2) Any property which immediately before the commencement of this Part of 1356 this Act was vested in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of India and either was then situate in Burma or, by virtue of any delegation from the Secretary of State in Council or otherwise, was then in the possession or under the control of, or held on account of, the Local Government of Burma, shall, as from the commencement of this Part of this Act, vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of Burma:Provided that this sub-section does not apply in relation to any military equipment, stores, money, bank balances or other property held in connection with His Majesty's Indian forces stationed in Burma (not being forces raised in Burma).(3)All credits and debits of the Local Government of Burma in account with the Governor-General of India in Council shall be deemed to be credits and debits of the government of Burma.(4)Arrears of any taxes outstanding in Burma immediately before the commencement of this Part of this Act shall be deemed to be due to and may be recovered by the government of Burma.
§ 5.32 p.m.
If the hon. Member will perhaps read what is on the Paper he will see that it is not a case of taking any particular Sub-section; it is all one Amendment.
I noticed that, but I thought that you put the Question "That Sub-section (2) stand part of the Bill." It is entirely my fault. I was confusing the position, but I wish to put my question on Sub-section (4). As far asArrears of any taxes outstanding in Burma immediately before the commencement of this Part of this Actare concerned, I should be glad if the Under-Secretary could say approximately the amount of the arrears at the present time. It is a relevant question, and I think that the Government must know the answer. We should be given some idea when we are transferring approximately what they are, and where they are. I do not press the Government if they are unable to give an answer, but it would seem to be a matter with which they should be able to deal. Also could my hon. Friend give some explanation of the credits and debits of the Government of Burma? I do not think that in any part of the Bill we have been given information of that kind.
§ Mr. BUTLER
I have no doubt that the Government of Burma will be able to 1357 give an assessment of the amount of arrears of taxes outstanding. My hon. Friend cannot expect me to give him an accurate account of the amount of arrears of taxes outstanding at this Box this very minute.
§ Mr. BUTLER
I do not doubt that if my hon. Friend were to make inquiries of the Government of Burma he could get a substantial answer from them. The need for Sub-section (4) follows upon a similar Sub-section inserted in the Indian portion of the Bill. It follows the principle of that Sub-section which allots uncollected arrears of taxation to the future taxing authority. If we did not insert it there would be a gap in. the Bill. I hope that the explanation satisfies my hon. Friend.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: In page 256, line 19, after "property," insert "does not include any land or buildings but."—[Sir S. Hoare.]