10. Mr. H. Wilson
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in his forthcoming legislation regarding a tax on short-term speculative gains on property and share deals, he will include provisions making such a tax retrospective to the date of his original announcement.
But, quite seriously, in view of the precedents, some of them highly respectable, including the Prime Minister's retrospective activity in connection with the suspension of investment allowances back to the date of the announcement, will the Chancellor be wise and safeguard himself at this point, at any rate, by making it plain that when he introduces it he will make it retrospective to this date? Is he 1121 aware that when he does introduce this tax, which he is obviously taking a long time to work out, it will be much more difficult then to announce that it will be retrospective to the date of his original announcement?
§ Mr. Nabarro
If there were any element of retrospection, would it not be just and in accord with our fiscal statutes that losses should be taken into account retrospectively as well, especially in view of the sliding downwards of the equity market on the Stock Exchange at the present time?
Mr. J. T. Price
When the Chancellor is giving further consideration to this matter, will he also take into account the enormous amount of social damage which is being done by holding on to large blocks of land for speculative purposes round every large city? Will he try to make some assessment of the amount of land being held in anticipation of speculative gains and bring this within the terms of his fiscal remedy?