HC Deb 17 June 1936 vol 313 cc1097-8

  1. (1) The stamp duty chargeable under Part II of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1885, shall not be charged in respect of the property of any trade union or trade protection association.
  2. (2) In this Section—
    1. (a) the expression "trade union" has the same meaning as in the Trade Union Act, 1913;
    2. (b) the expression "trade protection association" means any body of persons, Whether corporate or unincorporate, the principal object whereof is the protection or furtherance of the interests of a trade or industry, or of two or more trades or industries, whether generally or in a particular district.
  3. (3) If any question arises under this Section whether a combination, not being a trade union for the time being registered or certified as such under the Trade Union Acts, 1871 to 1927, is or is not a trade union. it shall be referred to the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies, and his decision shall be final.—[Miss Horsbrugh.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

8.20 p.m.


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

I think I can say, as other hon. Members have said in moving new Clauses, that if this Clause were accepted it would not be very costly to the Exchequer, and I think in the acceptance of it we should do away with an anomaly. In the minds of most hon. Members there is the idea that the funds of trade unions and trade protection associations come within the statutory exemption, but recently in a case before the courts it was found that they were not classed as bodies established for any trade or business, because it was not found that the word "for" could mean the furtherance of any trade. In this proposed new Clause we are asking the same exemption for trade unions and trade protection societies as exists for other bodies established for trade or business. In Sub-section (2) of the Clause, the expression "trade union" is stated to have the same meaning as in the Trade Union Act, 1913, and the meaning of the expression "trade protection association" is also given. I have been asked whether there could be any difficulty in deciding what is a trade union, and Sub-section (3) deals with that by stating that if there is any doubt reference may be made to than Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies. I hope very much that Members on all sides of the Committee will be in agreement with doing away with what I believe to be an anomaly, the abolition of which would not cost the Exchequer very much.


I think the hon. Lady has made out the case for this Clause, and I propose to accept it.


Would the Financial Secretary to the Treasury be good enough to say how long this anomaly has existed? Has it existed since 1885, or has it arisen as the result of the decision of the court to which the hon. Lady referred?


In one sense it has existed since 1885, and various bodies have been granted the exemption from time to time. At the present time it still exists with regard to the bodies referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee (Miss Horsbrugh). It is now proposed to remove it by accepting the Clause.

Clause added to the Bill.