HC Deb 11 June 1947 vol 438 cc1223-4

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Dalton

I undertook to answer the hon. and gallant Member for East Grinstead (Colonel Clarke), who asked me a question on this Clause. This Clause proposes certain reductions. The last Clause proposed certain increases, and this Clause proposes certain reductions in the Legacy and Succession Duties. There are four such reductions, and two of them are relevant to the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member. First, the level of total exemptions from Legacy or Succession Duties is raised from £1,000 to £2,000, and, therefore, anything out of an estate of £2,000, to whomever it is left, is now clear of duty. Secondly, all bequests of £100 or less, no matter how many they may be or how large the estate, are similarly exempt. This touches the particular point the hon. and gallant Member made. A wealthy person can make a number of bequests to servants or others, and provided that none of them exceeds £100, they are all exempt. This does, I think, permit of the kind of operation which the hon. and gallant Member has in mind. These remarks are merely explanatory, but I hope I have answered the point which has been raised.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.