HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 cc2822-3

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."

Mr. Stanley

This Resolution, of course, raises an important question, in fact one of the most important points in the Budget. It is in a form which both confers benefits, and increases charges. It is not, therefore, in a form against which we could divide because, in doing so, we should deprive a number of people of a benefit which this is giving to them, and of which we approve. But we shall seek on a more appropriate occasion to discuss at much greater length the effects of this Resolution. We do not propose to do so this evening, for the reason that we have a number of other important matters still to discuss, and I am anxious that, perhaps for the first time, this matter should be discussed by means of argument and not by means of prejudice. I notice that although hon. Members opposite are reluctant at any time to abandon prejudice for argument, they are even more reluctant to do so as the evening goes on. We have had the example of the hon. Member for South Cardiff (Mr. Callaghan)

Mr. Alpass

It was the right hon. Gentleman's leader who started it this afternoon.

Mr. Stanley

I do not know whether the hon. Member was here during the Debate to which I am referring, but he can read it in HANSARD tomorrow. We feel that the whole question of Death Duties raises important economic questions which, at some time or other, should be discussed as a serious business and not as a pleasurable game of soaking the rich. On the Committee stage of the Budget Resolutions we tried to raise points upon this matter but we got no answers to them. I want the right hon. Gentleman to understand that although at this stage, and this hour of the evening, we shall not divide the House on this Resolution, at later stages we shall raise the matter and hope for an explanation.