HC Deb 24 January 1967 vol 739 c1258
28. Mr. More

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the observations of the House of Lords in the case of Bates and the Commissioners of Inland Revenue on 8th December, 1966, what steps he will take to correct the apparent injustice of the present law.

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

The observations to which the hon. Member refers are being considered.

Mr. More

Does not the Chancellor think that this is something of a scandal? Fifteen years ago attention was drawn by the House of Lords to the unsatisfactory state of the law. In those 15 years, nothing has been done.

Mr. MacDermot

I am not prepared to accept the hon. Gentleman's strictures, but it is perhaps better that I reserve comment until our consideration of those observations is completed.

Mrs. Thatcher

While the Financial Secretary is considering this case, would he also consider whether he should publish the basis upon which the Inland Revenue has been invoking these Sections and the basis on which it has left them alone? He will recollect that it has not invoked Sections 408 and 411 on all occasions.

Mr. MacDermot

Again, I do not accept what the hon. Lady says. There are different interpretations of this Section which have been advocated by various people, and the Inland Revenue has never sought to interpret the Section in the way in which some people have suggested it can and should be and criticised the Section consequently.