HC Deb 05 May 1964 vol 694 c1099
19. Mr. Godman Irvine

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the practice of the Inland Revenue with regard to the taxation of the cast of Commonwealth theatre companies playing in this country in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The ordinary law will apply, but my hon. Friend may like to know that in the case of an employee of a non-resident employer there is no liability on the earnings in this country if the employee is neither resident nor domiciled here.

Mr. Godman Irvine

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Stratford Festival Company of Canada has recently visited this country for 28 days at a cost of £35,000 and that the visit was made possible by a grant from the Canadian Government of £8,300, a grant from the Canadian Council of £8,300 and a grant from the Chichester Festival Theatre of £8,000, the balance to be carried by the Stratford Festival Foundation of Canada? Is he aware that the takings in this country did not exceed £500 whereas at home the company was taking £1,500, and also that all the salaries are paid in Canada? Is he satisfied that the best way of expressing appreciation for a generous gesture of this sort from a Commonwealth country to mark the 400th birthday of a great Englishman is to issue every member of the cast with a buff form from his Department?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If my hon. Friend will study the answer which I gave—while I cannot refer, in accordance with ancient and proper custom, to the affairs of any individual taxpayer—he may well derive some considerable comfort from it. With regard to the other matters to which my hon. Friend referred, I should like to take the opportunity of welcoming the very appropriate visit to this country of this very fine company.