§ 41. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why, under his regulations, advertisements forming part of a campaign against public ownership have been allowed to firms as a trading expense to be set against taxable income.
§ Mr. Allaun
Does not the hon. and learned Gentleman think that it is stretching matters a bit to claim that expenditure on this highly political campaign is expenditure wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the company's trade? Secondly, will he consider requiring all public limited companies to state separately in their public accounts expenditure of a political nature?
§ Mr. Simon
In reply to the first part of the hon. Member's supplementary question, I would say that the accounts in question have not yet been carried in to the Inland Revenue; the point has not, therefore, yet arisen whether such expenses are deductible or not. As I told the hon. Member in reply to a Question earlier this year, it does not necessarily follow from the Tate and Lyle case that expenses would be deductible. As to the second part of his supplementary question, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will be good enough to put a Question on the Order Paper.
§ Mr. Strauss
If it is found on examination that these expenses for political purposes are deductible, and as this is obviously contrary to the general public 1102 interest, may we have an assurance that steps will be taken by the Government to ensure that such expenses shall not be deductible for tax purposes?
§ Mr. Marquand
May we have an assurance that Richard Thomas and Baldwins, and other firms which still remain in national ownership, are lot engaging in this campaign?
§ 42. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the large sums now being paid by steel companies out of what would otherwise be taxable profits, for a campaign against steel nationalisation, if he will subject such expenditure to tax.
§ Mr. Simon
There is a rigid rule against the disclosure of the details of the tax liabilities of individual concerns. In these circumstances, I can neither confirm nor deny the assumptions that underlie the hon. Member's Question. On the substance of the matter, I have nothing to add to my Answer to his previous Question.
§ Mr. Allaun
If these very large sums had been donated directly to the Conservative Party for a similar campaign against public ownership, would not they then have been subject to tax?