HC Deb 18 June 1952 vol 502 cc1448-9
The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, in page 68, line 34, at the end, to insert: the Board of Referees" means the Board of Referees appointed for the purposes of section two hundred and eighty-seven of the Income Tax Act, 1952. This Amendment is necessary in view of the Amendment made to Clause 52, where we referred to the Board of Referees, and we now have to relate it to Section 287 of the Income Tax Act, 1952.

Mr. E. Fletcher

I was hoping that the learned Solicitor-General would not merely move the Amendment, but would explain it. It is only a few moments ago that the hon. and learned Gentleman was accusing my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) of speaking disparagingly of the Board of Referees. In view of that, surely he will tell us something about this Board. I gather that it is a body which was set up to deal with the Excess Profits Tax years ago. Has it been functioning since that Act lapsed?

The Amendment says that in that Section "Board of Referees" means a Board of Referees appointed for the purpose of the Section by the Treasury. The effect of the definition is that the Board of Referees under the Bill means a Board of Referees appointed for the purposes of a Section of another Measure. Is there an existing Board of Referees? If so, who is the chairman? Or is it intended to appoint a new Board of Referees to deal with Clause 52? Is the Board of Referees an administrative tribunal or a court of law? Does it sit in public or in private? Is there an appeal from it as from the General or Special Commissioners on a point of law to the law courts? May we know something about the machinery with which the Board will function?

Amendment agreed to.

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, in page 69, line 25, to leave out from "1948," to "shall," in line 26, and to insert: and the amount of any premiums shown in the accounts of any other body corporate as having been received by it on the issue of any of its share capital. The Amendment is connected with the next three Amendments which it would be convenient to discuss at the same time.

The Clause as drafted did not cover statutory companies such as water companies or unregistered companies, and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ilford, North (Sir G. Hutchinson) drew attention to this during the Committee stage. The Clause also referred to Section 56 of the Companies Act.

The Amendments seek to extend the treatment given under the Clause to share premiums shown in accounts of companies not governed by the Companies Act, 1948, who therefore have no share premium account under Section 56 of the Act. It is achieved by defining "company" so as to cover only companies registered in Great Britain and omitting certain provisions in relation to other bodies corporate.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 69, line 28, after "company," insert "or other body corporate."

In line 31, leave out from beginning, to "shall," in line 32.

In line 34, at end, insert: In this subsection 'company' means a company within the meaning of section four hundred and fifty-five of the Companies Act, 1948."—[The solicitor-General]