HL Deb 24 March 1938 vol 108 cc400-1

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

LORD TEMPLEMORE My Lords, the object of this Bill, which is a non-contentious matter, is to allow replenishment of the list of Land Tax Commissioners in districts where such replenishment is required. Bills of this nature have to be brought forward periodically, and the last Act dealing with this matter was passed just eleven years ago, in 1927. Your Lordships may be aware that Land Tax Commissioners have certain functions, which are comparatively trivial, as regards the Land Tax, but they also appoint and provide a source of recruitment for the local Commissioners of Income Tax, who perform important functions in the administration of the Income Tax law. It has lately been found—in fact it was found, I think, last autumn— that in certain districts there is a shortage of Land Tax Commissioners, and the method of supplying the deficiency is to pass a new Bill. The machinery is rather curious, and it is a very remarkable relic of Parliamentary patronage. It is the right of Members of Parliament for counties and county boroughs to prepare lists for proposed appointments and to deposit them in the Public Bills Office in another place before the Committee stage of the Bill, which in this case was taken on the 18th of this month. Then, when the Bill has passed both Houses the lists are published in the London Gazette, and under Clause 1 of the Bill the persons named therein will be Land Tax Commissioners under the law. All the necessary steps have been taken by members of the other House, and the necessary appointments will be effected as soon as the Bill has passed through your Lordships' House and has received the Royal Assent. I must add that the Bill does not apply to Scotland. I beg to move that the Bill be read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Templemore.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.