HC Deb 15 June 1944 vol 400 cc2282-3

(1) Where—

  1. (a) an illegitimate child or the spouse or issue of an illegitimate child takes any interest in real or personal property under the intestacy of the mother of the child or under a disposition made by her;
  2. (b) the mother of an illegitimate child takes an interest in real or personal property under his intestacy or under a disposition made by him or his issue.
any succession or legacy duty which, after the passing of this Act, become leviable in respect of the taking of the interest shall be payable at the same rate as if the child had been born legitimate.

(2) In this section, the expression "disposition" means an assurance of any interest in property by any instrument inter vivos or by will or codicil, and the expression "illegitimate child" does not include a person legitimated whether by the Legitimacy Act, 1926, or otherwise.

(3) In the application of this section to Scotland the expression "disposition" means any deed or instrument, whether inter vivos or mortis causa, whereby any interest in property is conveyed or created, the expression "personal property" means moveable property, and the expression "real property" means heritable property.—[Mr. Erskine-Hill.]

Mr. Erskine-Hill (Edinburgh, North)

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

The main object of the new Clause is to ensure that when illegitimate children succeed to property on the death of their mother, Legacy and Succession Duties are levied at the rate which is applicable to lineal issue, that is I per cent., instead of the amount payable, which is 10 per cent., when they are strangers in blood. I ask the consideration of the Chancellor for this, because it is an anomaly. The illegitimate child has only one parent known to the law, namely, the mother. When that is so, it ought not to be prejudiced by quite another rule applying on the levying of the Legacy and Succession Duties. It is not too much to ask that when the Legitimacy Act of 1926 allows on the intestacy of the mother the illegitimate child to succeed when there are no legitimate children the same principle should apply in the levying of these duties.

Mr. Assheton

In order to save the time of the Committee, I would like to take the opportunity of saying that the Government are ready to accept this new Clause. My hon. and learned Friend has done a service by introducing it. I only wish that my hon. Friend the Member for South Bradford (Sir H. Holdsworth) were here, because he drew my attention to this matter a little time ago and took a great interest in it. The Committee will agree that this new Clause remedies a rather anomalous position.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.