§ 4 and 5. Mr. G. Jeger
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many cinemas have closed since April, 1956; and how much Entertainments Duty had been paid by them in the year prior to closure;
§ (2)how many theatres have closed since April, 1956; and how much Entertainments Duty had been paid by them in the year prior to closure.
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. J. Enoch Powell)
After allowing for reopenings and seasonal closures, about 200 cinemas were closed from April, 1956, to February, 1957, inclusive, and 13 theatres were closed or converted to other uses from April to December last.
I regret that the information requested in the second part of these Questions is not available.
§ Mr. Jeger
Why is not the information available? Each theatre and cinema is 550 charged Entertainments Duty and presumably some account is kept by the Treasury of the duty collected from each establishment. Why cannot those figures be added together for the 200 cinemas and 13 theatres, and the total given to the House?
§ Mr. Powell
It is not quite as simple as that. Entertainments Duty is collected partly by means of stamps which may be purchased at any post office, and it cannot be known which stamps are used in payment of the duty on any particular entertainment.