§ Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
§ Mr. Peter Hordern (Horsham)
This is a simple but helpful Clause, introduced as a result of years of requests from the Stock Exchange to allow stockbrokers to use franking machines instead of putting stamps on contract notes. I hope that the Financial Secretary will appreciate that stockbrokers, always well to the fore in the white heat of the technological revolution, are installing computers. Will he empower the Commissioners, who will be dealing with this problem, to consult the Stock Exchange authorities to see if it is possible to use franking machines in conjunction with the computer systems which have already been installed?
Finally, will he take the point that for many years the Stock Exchange has been pressing for the franking of transfer forms as well as contract notes. I therefore make the further plea in respect of transfer forms, and would impress upon the Government the view that they should 2214 allow the franking of these as well as of contract notes.
§ Mr. MacDermot
I am grateful to the hon. Member for his welcome for the Clause, which meets a request which has been made for some time by the Stock Exchange and which will render its handling of these matters more efficient.
The Inland Revenue authorities will be quite willing to consider any proposals put to them by the Stock Exchange. I do not know the type of matter he has in mind for the use of computer machines in conjunction with franking machines, so I am unable to give either a positive or negative response, other than to say that we shall be glad to consider such matters. Equally, as there is no Amendment on the question of transfers, I am not in a position to give any indication about them, but if the hon. Member cares to write to me I shall be glad to let him have the answer.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.