§ 2.53 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD DILHORNE)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. It is a useful piece of consolidation and I am sure that it will be to the convenience of many to find in the Schedules to the Bill what articles are subject to tax and what articles are exempt. For instance, if one looks at the list on page 48 of vehicles exempt, one finds prison vans, bullion vans, pantechnicons, horse boxes and hearses—but not including hearsettes, which, as your Lordships will know, are a rather small and old-fashioned kind of hearse which are rarely seen nowadays and were adapted for carrying the mourners as well as the coffin. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a. —(The Lord Chancellor.)494
My Lords, before the Bill is put to the House, may I ask Her Majesty's Government whether, when they have any plan for changes to be made in purchase tax, they will give some advance notice so that retail traders may let their stocks run down in order that they may avoid loss, as the retail traders are the people who are most exposed to loss and it falls most heavily upon them.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I am sure your Lordships would not expect me to answer a question of that importance on the Second Reading of a consolidation measure. If the noble Lord requires an answer to that question, no doubt he will put it on the Order Paper.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and referred to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.