asked the Home Secretary whether a strike recently took place at the collieries of the Welsh Navigation Steam Coal Company owing to the arrest of two men for non-payment of Income Tax; whether as a consequence these men were released but subsequently rearrested; whether a meeting was then held at which it was decided that no Income Tax should be paid and to abstain from working if payment was enforced; whether, as a consequence of negotiations, the men in custody were released; how a man can be arrested for non-payment of Income Tax with his authority; and what 975W negotiations can be entered into to subsequently relieve him of payment of Income Tax legally due?
I understand my hon. and gallant Friend to be referring to an incident which occurred at the Coedely Colliery on the 6th of June. On that occasion, following upon the arrest of two persons under a magistrate's committal order in summary proceedings for the recovery of Income Tax arrears, there was a stoppage of work at the colliery for one shift. The police agreed to suspend the arrest of the two men in question in order that the miner's lodge might consider the position. The Revenue authorities were not, of course, concerned with this suspension. The miners considered the position and agreed among themselves that any arrears of taxes should be paid within a month. It is understood that the tax outstanding from one of the two men in question will be paid by the 5th July. In the other case the tax has already been paid.' In these circumstances there has not been any rearrest, As regards the latter part of the question, I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend that under Section 28 (4) of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, arrears of Income Tax charged by quarterly assessment are recoverable summarily as a civil debt. Arrest and imprisonment in any such case can only occur after failure to comply with the magistrate's order for payment and in pursuance of a committal order issued by the magistrate after proceedings under a judgment summons.