HC Deb 18 June 1951 vol 489 cc177-9

(1) For the purpose of giving advice and assistance to the Treasury in the exercise of their powers under section twenty-one of the Finance Act, 1948, there shall be constituted a committee to be called the Purchase Tax Advisory Committee consisting of a chairman and not less than ten or more than twenty other members to be appointed by the Treasury from persons who have industrial and commercial experience.

(2) Any body of persons representing any trade or industry or, at the discretion of the committee, any person may make application to the Purchase Tax Advisory Committee stating that the tax in respect of certain goods is having an injurious effect upon that industry or is against the national interest. The committee shall take the application into consideration and may make recommendations as they think fit, taking into account the effect of the tax on the industry making the application and on other industries that may be affected by any alteration and shall in particular consider the effect on the export trade.

(3) The members of the committee shall hold office for a period of three years and shall he eligible for reappointment from time to time on the expiration of their term of office. If a member becomes, in the opinion of the Treasury, unfit to continue in office or incapable of performing his duties under this Act, the Treasury shall forthwith declare his office to be vacant and shall notify the fact in such manner as they think fit, and thereupon the office shall become vacant. Any member may at any time by notice in writing to the Treasury resign his office.

(4) The committee may make rules:—

  1. (a) for regulating the proceedings, including the quorum, of the committee; and
  2. (b) for authorising the delegation of any of the functions of the committee to a subcommittee consisting of members of the committee.

(5) The committee shall have power to take evidence on oath, and for that purpose to administer oaths.—[Mr. Peaked]

Brought up, and read the First time.

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Gaitskell

I should like to put a suggestion before the Committee. It seems to me it would be appropriate that this Clause, which is the only one on the Order Paper which deals with Purchase Tax, and which is drawn fairly widely, should be considered immediately before our consideration of the Amendments to the Purchase Tax Schedule, as there will be a wide debate on it.

I therefore beg to move, "That consideration of the Clause be postponed till after the Fourth Schedule."

Mr. Lyttelton

This is a proposal we find difficult to resist and we do not propose to do so. There is something to be said for this whole question being discussed just before the Amendments to the Schedule, and we on this side have no objection.