HC Deb 01 December 1953 vol 521 cc946-7
43. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now cause to be published for Wales, as is being done for Scotland, the net receipts from various taxes, an analysis of Schedule D assessments by industry, a classification of the number of estates liable to Estate Duty, Surtax assessments, Profits Tax and Excess Profits Tax assessments and post-war credits repaid.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No, Sir. Separate figures for Wales are not available and could not be prepared without an inordinate amount of labour and expense.

Mr. Davies

Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that for once a sympathetic gesture towards the people of Wales might be appreciated instead of this constant creation of resentment and anger at the completely unsympathetic attitude of the Government towards the people of that nation?

Mr. Butler

I should have thought that the people of Wales never had better consideration than under the care and attention of my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Welsh Affairs. In regard to the details of accounts, this is purely a physical difficulty. Many Parliamentary Questions have been answered illustrating the difficulty. If the difficulty could be overcome, I would be only too sympathetic.

Mr. Gower

Will my right hon. Friend take into consideration the fact that in recent years many Departments have started to produce separate statistics for Wales and that, by a small extension of this process, we could rapidly reach a state of affairs in which Wales would be placed in a similar position to that of Scotland?

Mr. Butler

I have had furnished for me all the answers I have given to my hon. Friend on the subject. I would simply ask him to refer to what I have said in previous replies, which I regret still presents difficulties almost impossible to overcome.

Mr. Davies

Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the House of the difficulty in respect of Wales which, in his mind, is insuperable, while this can be done for Scotland? Cannot Wales be treated in this respect on the same footing as Scotland? What is the difficulty which is peculiar to Wales and not to Scotland?

Mr. Butler

For one thing, the collection of taxes in Scotland is primarily under the control of the Controller of Stamps and Taxes in Scotland. Scotland also has its own Estate Duties Office. Apart from these reasons and others, it is easier to make this computation for Scotland than it would be for Wales.

Mr. Llewellyn

Is my right hon. Friend aware that most people in Wales entirely agree with the terms of his reply?

Hon. Members