HC Deb 28 April 1953 vol 514 cc1969-70
Mr. Gaitskell

(by Private Notice) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has completed his inquiries into a possible Budget leakage referred to in the Private Notice Question and answer of Friday, 17th April.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Yes, Sir. I made inquiries and am satisfied that the firm had no prior knowledge of the change in taxation. Further investigation has revealed that this advertisement, published as it was rather prematurely, was drafted to encourage sales in terms which would cover any or no change in taxation.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is the Chancellor aware that the outcome of the inquiry will give general satisfaction, not least to my constituent who raised the matter with me? Does he not feel that it would be advisable for those who decide to insert advertisements to appear on the afternoon of Budget day to be rather more careful in their phraseology in future?

Mr. Botler

I said that naturally I am glad that there has been no question at all of any Budget leakage, because the right hon. Gentleman will be aware of the intense care which the authorities who are concerned with these matters take on these occasions, I said that the advertisement was published prematurely. I think that people cannot be too careful, however noble their motives may be.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the advertisement was clever enough to take in an ex-Chancellor?