HC Deb 25 May 1954 vol 528 cc205-7
41. Mr. Jay

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury which of the questions in the inquiry by the Inland Revenue into directors' expenses, referred to in his recent letter to the President of the Institute of Directors, he deprecated as excessive.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter)

The information requested in Questions 1, 3, 4, part of 5, and 13, would have to be submitted in any event on the return form submitted by the company, and these questions, therefore, involved unnecessary duplication. Any or all of the remaining questions might well require to be asked in appropriate cases. But the form is, in my view, unnecessarily detailed for issue to companies generally as a first step in an inquiry, inasmuch as in many cases it may not be necessary to seek answers to some of the questions contained in it.

Mr. Jay

Do we understand from the Financial Secretary that that answer relates to all the questions on the list?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If the right hon. Gentleman will study my answer, which I admit was long and difficult to follow, he will see that I objected to the form on two grounds. The first was that the answers to five of the questions are obtainable in any event on another form, and that it may not be necessary in any particular case to ask any of the questions, although it may be if the facts so warrant.

Mr. Gaitskell

Would the Financial Secretary give us at least one illustration of some other question which he regards as unnecessary? I do not mean ones which are duplicated, but the others.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If the right hon. Gentleman follows my answer, I think he will appreciate that I have said that each and all of them are necessary if the facts of the particular case justify them; but it is really quite unnecessary to fire this enormous initial barrage, a great deal of which will miss its target.

42. Sir W. Darling

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury why expenses incurred in introducing a seller to a buyer of goods are generally allowable for tax purposes, while expenses incurred in providing employment for one who has failed to secure it through the Ministry of Labour are not allowed.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The question what expenses are allowable for tax purposes depends on the circumstances of the case. If my hon. Friend has in mind any particular case and will send me the facts, I will gladly look into the matter.