HC Deb 10 November 1964 vol 701 cc810-1
5. Mr. Marten

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to tax the income arising from those ancient toll bridges which at present pay no tax.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Niall MacDermot)

I regret that I cannot anticipate the Budget statement my right hon. Friend will make tomorrow nor the one he will make in the spring.

Mr. Marten

I rather expected a reply like that. Does the Minister realise that there is in my constituency a toll bridge the tolls of which were created in 1766 and that ever since then they have been tax-free, death duty-free and rate-free? Will the hon. and learned Gentleman give an assurance that between now and the next Budget, his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will look seriously at this matter?

Mr. MacDermot

This matter was aired considerably in the last Parliament, as the hon. Member will remember. I certainly give an assurance that we will look at the matter.

Mr. William Hamilton

Can my hon. and learned Friend give an assurance that if I put down a new Clause to the Finance Bill, which will be coming before the House in a short while, he and the Government will accept it?

Mr. MacDermot

My hon. Friend will understand that I cannot give him an assurance in the form in which he asks. He will, no doubt, recall the interest that was shown in the Amendment which he put down to the last Finance Bill.