HC Deb 22 June 1965 vol 714 cc1713-5
Mr. George Y. Mackie

I beg to move Amendment No. 678, in page 120, line 33, at the end to add: (6) No provision of this Act, however worded, which provides for any matter to be determined or decided at the discretion or to the satisfaction of an inspector or of the Board or otherwise as an inspector or the Board shall determine or think fit shall be construed as limiting or excluding any right of appeal. I shall not take long because I know how keen right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite are to get stuck into the 63 new Clauses, which I am sure are to follow this at once. We have had a great many points raised in the Bill. We have had a large number of Amendments moved by the Government and a large number of new principles established. From the number of Amendments which have been moved already I would imagine that the hon. and learned Gentleman must be very willing to accept this Amendment which provides for a right of appeal in very wide terms in case something else has gone wrong with the Bill apart from the many points which have already been put right by various Amendments. I am sure that at this hour of the night the hon. and learned Gentleman will want to accept the Amendment and add it to the Clause.

Mr. MacDermot

In brief, the Amendment proposes that where any provision of the Bill provides for a matter to be determined at the discretion or to the satisfaction of the inspector of taxes or the Board the taxpayer shall always have a right of appeal. I do not think that the case is made out. There are a number of discretionary matters here, some of which, as it appears to me on considering them, are not matters where there is any call for a right of appeal or where anything would be gained in practice by it. Others of them are matters where there is a de facto right of appeal as a result of the power of the taxpayer to appeal against the relevant assessment.

There are some matters in connection with the Corporation Tax in respect of which my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary has said that he will look further into the provisions, and in doing that he will consider the question of the right of appeal.

In view of that it would be premature for us to try to say now, in connection with the Corporation Tax provisions, that there should always be the right of appeal. It is a matter we can consider in connection with the review my right hon. Friend is making. As far as the provisions of the Capital Gains Tax are concerned, I am satisfied that there is no need for a provision of this kind. In these circumstances, I would advise the Committee not to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Barber

In view of what the Financial Secretary has said, I hope that the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. George Y. Mackie) will not lead his party into the Division Lobby on the Amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. James Callaghan)

I beg to move, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again. I think that this will come as a great shock of surprise to my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) who clearly is most anxious that we should continue. His sprightly vigour seems more youthful than ever since he became a Companion of Honour. What will happen when he becomes an O.M. I do not like to think. I hope that I shall have the benefit of enjoying his determination to outdo us all this evening when I have spent as many years in this House as he has.

This is an appropriate moment to report Progress. The Committee as a whole has made exceedingly good progress today, with co-operation from everyone. There may be one or two spots on the face but, broadly speaking, that is a true verdict on the work the Committee has done. It has got through a great deal and we should, therefore, leave the new Clauses until tomorrow. It will be rather attractive a proposition to come here without the Bill and consider the new Clauses and new topics.

Mr. Heath

I support the Motion and I agree that the Committee has made considerable progress. We have covered 11 Clauses, 8 Schedules and 35 pages of Amendments. The Chancellor will agree that the Committee has been greatly helped by two things: first, no hon. Member, as far as we can recall, has contributed from the benches opposite to our many hours of discussion; secondly, he himself, chastened after his lession, has quite rightly pursued a policy of constant capitulation and this has also greatly helped the process of the Bill.

For these reasons, we have made good progress and he is right to rise tonight at an early hour in view of the considerable amount of work we shall have tomorrow.

Question put and agreed to.

Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.