HC Deb 04 February 1954 vol 523 cc557-8
50. Brigadier Clarke

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been drawn to the ill-effects of entertainment tax on the finances of the Portsmouth Football Clubs, and if he will reexamine this tax before the next Budget.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

My right hon. Friend has received no recent representations regarding the position of this particular club, but he has already undertaken to watch the incidence of the duty on football during the present season.

Brigadier Clarke

Does my right hon. Friend realise that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken £10,000 more out of Portsmouth Football Club on reduced "gates," and that if it goes on, however skilful Portsmouth may be, they are bound to be defeated? They cannot even get a draw.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I do not think that my right hon. Friend is responsible for the success or failure of the playing activities of the Portsmouth Club. On a general issue, he has undertaken to watch the position, and I do not think that I can add anything to that.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the right hon. Member ask the Chancellor to remember that there is a strong feeling against the tax on sport, and that the case for taking it off other games is just as strong as it was for taking it off cricket?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Those are just the sort of issues that fall for consideration at the appropriate time.

Mr. Peart

When considering this matter, will the right hon. Gentleman particularly bear in mind the small professional clubs in the Third Division, and the important Rugby League clubs in the north of England?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

My recollecton is that the position of those types of clubs were specifically mentioned during the debate on the Finance Bill last year, when an undertaking was given that their position would be specially watched.