HC Deb 16 July 1947 vol 440 cc500-1
Mr. Glenvil Hall

I beg to move, in page 41, line 10, at the end, to insert: (5) Notwithstanding anything in the last foregoing Section, the duty chargeable on a conveyance or transfer on sale of any stock or marketable security, though first executed on or after the said first day of August, shall be the same as if this Act had not been passed, in any case where the Commissioners are satisfied either that—

  1. (a) the instrument gives effect to a sale made before the said first day of August and does not give effect to a sale made on or after that day; and
  2. (b) the instrument or the document of title to the stock or marketable security had to be sent to Great Britain from overseas;
or that the instrument, signed by or on behalf of the vendor or vendors, was lodged for certification before the said first day of August. For the purposes of this Subsection an instrument sent by post for certification shall be deemed to be lodged on the day on which it is posted. This Amendment modifies provisions of this Clause in so far as they relate to transfers of Stock Exchange securities. This Amendment was put down after consultation with the Council of the Stock Exchange to meet two points. The first is that transfers of stocks and marketable securities should be allowed to be stamped after 1st August at the old rate, if the Commissioners of Inland Revenue are satisfied in two particulars which are listed in this Amendment. The first is that the transfer gives effect to a sale made before 1st August, and does not give effect to a sale made after that date.

8.30 p.m.

Perhaps I might forestall a query by giving the reason why the last part of this Subsection is put in. It is put in to mee the case where a transfer may have been completed, so far as the vendor is concerned, but where the actual transferee, whose name appears on the transfer, was not the one to whom the vendor sold. Those familiar with the Stock Exchange know that these shares may change hands several times before settling day comes round, and it would clearly be wrong to let anyone who was not high enough on the list come within the ambit of what we think is fair, and what has, in fact, I understand, been agreed with the Stock Exchange Committee.

The second proviso deals with the transfer or the document of title which has to be sent here from overseas. It provides for the time lag of documents of title coming from, say, South Africa. Also embodied in this Amendment is the provision to see that, where certification has been held up, the transfer shall still go through at the old rate, if the delay has been caused by the company concerned and not by one of the parties to the transaction. I think that covers the two points we desire to see implemented in this Amendment.

Mr. Stanley

I have had occasion before, not to rebuke, but to warn the right hon. Gentleman and the Chancellor of the Exchequer against the, sometimes, undue influence which the Stock Exchange seems to wield in their affairs. There have been times when I have thought, and have said, that they seemed to shape the financial policy of the nation more for the benefit of the speculator on the Stock Exchange than for any other class. No doubt I shall have cause to make the same complaint in the future, but this is one instance where I think they have been right to listen to the Stock Exchange. I am always ready to give them praise where praise is due; I am also always equally ready to place blame where I think it is necessary, but, on this occasion, I should like to congratulate them on their concession.

Amendment agreed to.