HC Deb 12 July 1956 vol 556 cc571-2
26. Dr. Broughton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer his estimate of the amount of Purchase Tax that has been paid on the wool cloth which is now in the hands of tailors.

Mr. H. Brooke

I have no means of making such an estimate.

Dr. Broughton

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, if he does not know the figure and will not venture to make an estimate, how he came to tell me last week that it is the problem of the small tailor which makes it necessary to retain the tax on wool cloth? Do the Government not wish to investigate this matter further? Have they no desire to remove Purchase Tax on wool cloth, or are they resolved to continue this unjust discrimination against wool textiles?

Mr. Brooke

This general question has been debated in the House recently. I cannot give the hon. Gentleman an answer to his Question today because I do not know how many times a year, on the average, tailors turn over their stocks.

Mr. Wade

Is the Minister aware that there is strong feeling in Yorkshire about the discrimination as between wool cloth and cotton textiles in respect of Purchase Tax? Will he give further consideration to the recommendations that have been made to him for the removal of this tax on wool cloth?

Mr. Brooke

This matter has been examined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer personally, and because of the special problem of the small tailors we do not see how it would be practicable to treat wool cloth in the same way as cotton textiles are treated.