HC Deb 21 July 1953 vol 518 cc189-90
25. Mr. H. Johnson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in order to give equal treatment to cinemas, hotels and restaurants, he will refund to cinemas the amount of entertainment tax paid in respect of admissions to cinemas to view the television projection of the Coronation ceremony.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir. Where it was provided by a cinema proprietor in the normal course of his business this exhibition was in law clearly a dutiable entertainment and I see no reason in equity why the duty paid by the public should be repaid to the cinema proprietors in question.

Mr. Johnson

Is my hon. Friend aware that this is most unfair discrimination against the hard-pressed and over-taxed cinema industry? If a hotel opens its doors to allow patrons to view the Coronation ceremony on television and they do not pay, and quite rightly do not pay, any Entertainments Duty, why should the cinema industry be burdened with Entertainments Duty on exactly the same screen as the Coronation television programme?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

This was a showing in the ordinary course of a cinema proprietor's business and in respect of which he made a charge which was clearly dutiable, and so far as my hon. Friend's general observations are concerned it is perhaps noteworthy that this is the only complaint we have received on this subject.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is there any reason why the cinema companies which produced this film and have already made very substantial profits out of it, thanks to the kind of agreement negotiated by the Government, should have their profits still further increased by tax remission?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The present Question relates to the showing and not to the making of this sort of film.