HC Deb 10 December 1942 vol 385 cc1706-7
67. Mr. Astor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what grounds the Treasury takes half the fees of serving officers and men who broadcast?

Sir K. Wood

The arrangement to which my hon. Friend refers applies to cases in which the officer is invited to give his talk by reason of experience acquired in the course of his official duties. In such cases it is considered that the fee should be shared between the officer concerned and the Department in whose service he has gained the knowledge which gives value to his broadcast.

Mr. Astor

In view of the fact that no one connected with any other business or university has to give up half the share in the fees which he may receive for broadcasting, is it not a fact that this means that there is an unfair discrimination against employees of the Crown and the Services, and will my right hon. Friend remedy this at the earliest possible moment?

Sir K. Wood

No, Sir, that is not the case. For instance, a civil servant would be in the same category.

Sir H. Williams

Does the Chancellor then proceed to take another half of what is left?

Sir K. Wood

That goes in taxation.

Sir A. Knox

Would it not be better that the Treasury should deduct three-quarters of these people's fees in order to deter them from broadcasting?

Sir William Davison

Is not this action on the part of the Treasury very mean towards these men?

Mr. Astor

Will not my right hon. Friend take the obvious opinion of the House?

Sir K. Wood

I will gladly look at the matter again.