HC Deb 06 June 1940 vol 361 c988
37. Mr. Cary

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will free from the payment of Death Duties the estate of any person killed in action, or who dies as a result of service in the field?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kingsley Wood)

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my predecessor to a similar Question on 2nd November last, of which I am sending him a copy. He will see that Estate Duty, in the case of an estate of a member of the Forces dying on active service, is not payable unless the value of the estate exceeds £5,000; in respect of the excess over £5,000 it is payable at a reduced rate. I would also remind him that these provisions are being extended by Clause 62 of the Finance Bill to mariners and fishermen.

Mr. Cary

Does my right hon. Friend possess discretionary power which can be used to make the law a little more flexible or generous than it is at the present time?

Sir K. Wood

No, Sir, I do not possess that power, but the point put by my hon. Friend is met, to some extent, as he will see, in the answer which I am sending him.

Commander Locker-Lampson

The whole duty ought to be remitted.