HC Deb 08 December 1953 vol 521 cc1801-2
52. Mrs. White

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what reply he has given to the representations of the eight manufacturers' associations who have submitted proposals for Purchase Tax rebates on certain classes of goods.

Mr. R. A. Butler

With permission, I will circulate in the Official Report the reply which I have sent to these associations.

Mrs. White

Does the reply of the right hon. Gentleman include any way of avoiding the dislocation of trade which now occurs from the drying up of orders prior to his Budget?

Mr. Butler

The Committee appointed to look into this difficulty could not easily find a solution, and I find it difficult to find a solution myself. But this is at least a constructive suggestion, and I have done my best in my reply to indicate the value I attach to it.

Following is the reply: In reply to your letter of 17th November enclosing a joint letter from your group of associations about a scheme of tax rebates for identifiable goods, the Chancellor of the Exchequer asks me to say that their proposals will be carefully considered. The Chancellor feels that he must leave it to you to decide whether or not you will publish the letter. But if you do decide to publish, it should be made clear that the responsibility for the statements of fact contained in it must not be attributed to him. He also suggests that you would be well advised seriously to consider whether publication of such a letter may not involve the risk of building up expectation amongst the public of Purchase Tax changes which might well have precisely that adverse effect on trade which you are anxious to avert.
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