HC Deb 19 May 1953 vol 515 cc1848-9
3. Mr. Gower

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total revenue derived by direct and indirect taxation from the Principality of Wales, including Monmouthshire, during 1950, 1951 and 1952, respectively.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Gower

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in Wales we are anxious to know much more about the economic position of the Principality? Is there really any valid reason why the Scots should have such information and yet it should be refused to us in Wales?

Mr. Butler

There are all sorts of difficulties at present. One is that the tax districts cover both sides of the Border. Another is that a company operating in Wales may be assessed elsewhere because its registered office is in London. To give exact statistics in answer to my hon. Friend would, in present circumstances, within the field of Inland Revenue alone, be very difficult, and I could give instances of similar difficulties in the field of Customs and Excise.

Mr. G. Roberts

Has the Chancellor given any consideration to the suggestion that a Welsh inquiry might be set on foot comparable to the Catto inquiry in Scotland?

Mr. Bntler

I should rather hesitate, because I have personally always taken a great interest in Wales and I think that its economic life and its interests are very much bound up with those of the United Kingdom. I will certainly examine anything which the hon. Member puts forward, but my inclination is the other way.