HC Deb 20 July 1937 vol 326 cc1973-4
49. Viscountess Astor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the plight of the in-shore fishermen, due, among other things, to the rise in the price of their fuel oil, he will consider granting a further rebate of 1d. per gallon in the tax they pay on that oil?

Sir J. Simon

By Section 2 (8) of the Finance Act, 1928, relief from the whole of the duty is already allowable in respect of oil used by owners of registered fishing boats; my Noble Friend will, therefore, be glad to appreciate that no further rebate remains to be given in these cases.

Viscountess Astor

If that is so, could my right hon. Friend consider some other means of saving this very important section of the population, especially in these days, when we are going to need all the seamen possible? Could he provide some other way of helping them?

Sir J. Simon

That is another question.

Mr. Rathbone

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in many instances this rebate is not obtainable by the men because of the wording of the regulations as they stand at present; is he further aware that representations to this effect have been made both to the Treasury and to the Board of Trade; and will he see whether perhaps something could not be done to make this rebate, which is supposedly allowed to fishermen, actually available to them?

Sir J. Simon

The words of the Act of Parliament governing this arrangement are contained in Section 2, Subsection (8) of the Finance Act, 1928, and there is no doubt as to what they say. If the matter was to go farther, it would require new legislation.

Mr. Charles Williams

Will my right hon. Friend inquire into the matter, as there is a real grievance and see whether the Act is being administered fairly according to the Act itself?

Sir J. Simon

Yes, certainly.