HL Deb 27 June 1940 vol 116 cc717-8

Order of the day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time and I wish to take the opportunity of making an observation with reference to two figures which I gave your Lordships' House on Second Reading. Those figures were referred to in the course of the debate by my noble friend Lord Gainford, and in the absence of further explanation they might cause some misapprehension, or at any rate fail to do full justice to the invariable and indeed meticulous precision of the Treasury. The figures themselves were quite correct in their context, but confusion might arise if it were not appreciated—your Lordships will forgive me for mentioning this—that not all revenue is derived from taxes and that Inland Revenue duties include other sources besides Income Tax and Surtax. Let me, for the sake of accuracy and record, repeat the statement I made in a form which cannot be misunderstood. The total revenue in a full year from Customs and Excise as now imposed will be £472,000,000. Customs and Excise, however, are not only imposed by Part I of the present Bill, but include also other duties which are not specially enacted this year because they continue to apply until they are altered. The other figure I mentioned, also quite correctly, was the produce of existing direct taxation in a full year, and that figure was estimated, as I said, to amount to £760,000,000. Here again, however, the direct taxation which produces this result is not limited to what is to be found in Part II of the present Bill. It includes direct taxation imposed by other Parts of the Bill, and some direct taxation, such as Stamp Duties, which go on from year to year unless they are altered and therefore are not reimposed annually because they do not require to come within this Finance Bill at all.

I have said that for clearness and completeness. I make these remarks merely to avoid the possibility that some wrong deduction might be drawn from the more summary statement I made the other day; and for the sake of completeness perhaps I might repeat that the total estimated revenue of the present year, which amounts to £1,234,000,000, is not entirely due to taxation because there are some additional items: Crown lands for example, and Post Office net receipts, which are not properly classed as taxation. I trust your Lordships will pardon me for adding these details, but the Treasury is always much concerned that its accounting should be most precisely stated in both Houses of Parliament. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed.