asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what information he based his estimate of a receipt of £20,000,000 from the Coal Emergency Bill towards meeting the deficiency in the Coal Deficiency Vote?
The Coal Mines Deficiency for 1919/20 is estimated to amount to about £32,200,000, of which it is expected that £20,000,000 would be recovered under Clause 5 and Clause 7 (4) of the Coal Mines (Emergency) Bill. These estimates are based on information supplied to me by the Coal Controller. I understand that the hon. Member finds a difficulty in reconciling them with an answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Trade on Monday last. My hon. Friend spoke of the loss to the Exchequer if the Bill did not pass as being incapable of precise statement, but as likely to amount to £10,000,000 or over. The difference between this figure and my own is attributable to estimated additional receipts from Excess Profits Duty if the provisions of the Bill are not enforced. But, as my hon. Friend said, the estimate is very hypothetical, and I should not like to base myself upon it.