HC Deb 15 March 1938 vol 333 cc207-8
48. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether in view of the greatly increased industrial profits recorded last year, he will assure the House that the cost of air-raid precautions in factories, especially those on armaments contracts, will be borne by the companies concerned and not allowed to be deducted from income assessable for tax?

The Chancellor the Exchequer (Sir John Simon)

The hon. Member's proposal, as I understand it, is that legislation should be passed to deprive traders of such deduction in the computation of their profits for Income Tax purposes as the existing Income Tax law authorises in respect of expenditure on air-raid precautions. I do not agree with this suggestion.

Mr. Gallacher

In view of the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been so kind as to relieve the armament makers, who are getting big profits, of the main burden of the National Defence Contribution, will he not consider making them responsible for the air-raid precautions around their own factories?

Sir J. Simon

I was not aware that I had relieved them of the National Defence Contribution.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Chancellor not be prepared to take my word for it?

51. Mr. Simmonds

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that important shelter-construction work in connection with air-raid precautions is being held up pending the Government statement relative to Income Tax allowance; and when an announcement will be made?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the second part, I hope that it may be possible to give my hon. Friend the required information before the end of the week.

Mr. Simmonds

In the case of shelters at armament factories, as those factories would be virtually taken over by the Government on the outbreak of hostilities, would it not be eminently fair that Income Tax allowance should be granted?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

Perhaps my hon. Friend will wait till he sees the statement.