HC Deb 16 June 1947 vol 438 cc1749-51
As respects payments for admission to entertainments held on or after the first day of August, nineteen hundred and forty-seven, the following rates of Entertainment Duty shall be substituted for those set out in Part II of the Fifth Schedule to the Finance Act, 1943.—
Amount of payment. Rate of duty.
Where the amount of payment excluding the amount of duty—
s. d. s. d. s. d.
Exceeds 0 3 and does not exceed 0 5 0
Exceeds 0 3 and does not exced 0 0
Exceeds 0 and does not exceed 0 7 0 1
Exceeds 0 7 and does not exceed 0 8 0 1
Exceeds 0 8 and does not exceed 0 9 0 1
Exceeds 0 9 and does not exceed 1 0 0
Exceeds 1 0 and does not exceed 1 0 0 2
Exceeds 1 3 and does not exceed 0 6 0 3
Exceeds 1 6 and does not exceed 1 9 0 6
—[Mr. N. Maclean.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

this year as a result of the floods and the crisis that came upon this country. But our view is that further help of this kind cannot be given because it would not help those who need it, and because this thing has to come to an end some time We think that that time is now.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Naturally we are disappointed with the right hon. Gentleman's reply; but as the Committee have had a long day, and as it is advisable, I think, that we should be in a position to start tomorrow on a more important matter, we do not intend to put the Committee to the trouble and time of a Division. But I would just say this. I think the right hon. Gentleman should have had some consultation with his right hon. colleague the Minister of Fuel and Power before he delivered his reply; because when we were in the fuel crisis the Minister was at great pains to impress upon us that it was entirely due to the war. We are now seeking to expend the concession that the Government told us was one of the consequences of the war. The right hon. Gentleman the Financial1 Secretary has discarded that, for the time being. We shall not be unmindful' of that when his colleague appears on one of his black Fridays at the Despatch Box. However, if I may use a phrase we so often hear from the Chancellor, we intend to look at this again, and hope to put something down on Report stage that may be more acceptable to the Government. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the new Clause.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. C. Williams

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

I do this as none of the hon. Members in whose name the new Clause stands is here. I should like to move it formally for one purpose: because it does represent a concession to the people with the lowest incomes. We may not have another chance to discuss this matter I do not associate myself necessarily with the figures in the last column. But I do feel that, if there is the least chance in the world of getting this concession on the Entertainment Duty, it would be a pity if no one in this Committee dared to move it. A large number of my constituents and a large number of the constituents of other hon. Members would like to see this effort of the three Scottish Members in whose names it stands materialise. I do not think the Chancellor should be denied the opportunity to give this concession, and for that reason I move this new Clause very shortly and in a spirit of helpfulness. The hon. Members whose names we see on the Order Paper are not here to use their eloquence; I have neither their eloquence nor their powers of persuasion, but I move the Clause in the hope that the Chancellor will see fit to grant our wishes.

Mr. Dalton

The hon. Member does not wish to delay matters, and to speed up the business I would say quite briefly that this Clause, if accepted, would cost between £30,000,000 and £40,000,000 a year. That is sufficient reason for me to say quite shortly that I cannot accept it.

Mr. Williams

I was ready to corn-promise, but in order that business may be speeded up, I will not proceed. I hope there will be no sudden uprising of hon. Members opposite supporting this new Clause. I think it is a good one but having performed a useful job in speaking for a very large number of poor people, I cannot do more. [Interruption.] I am sorry that hon. Member opposite only jeer at the poor people. I shall remember that. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

To report Progress; and ask leave to sit again.—[Mr. Michael Stewart.]

Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.