§ Mr. LYLE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, considering the depression in so many circles purveying public entertainment, he will consider the desirability of making a special study of the effect of the Entertainments Duty with the object of ascertaining whether a reduction is desirable in the coming financial year?
I can assure my hon. Friend that the effect of the Entertain-60W ments Duty, as of all other taxes, on the various industries concerned receives my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's constant attention, and will be fully considered in connection with the finances of the coming year.
§ Mr. BRIANT
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether local collectors of Customs and Excise are demanding from cricket, football, hockey, and other amateur clubs certain rates of duty under the Entertainments Duty Act on each senior member's subscription, 3d. for the entrance fee, first year 6d., on each senior lady playing member 2d., entrance fee, first year, 2d., on each junior boy's subscription 6d., first year's entrance fee 2d., on each junior girl's playing-member subscription 4d., on first year's entrance fee ½d., on non-playing men's subscription of £1 1s. the sum of Is., on ladies' subscription of 15s. 9d., and on affiliated honorary members paying 10s. 6d., 6d.; under what circumstances such assessment becomes payable, seeing that all such clubs upon which the demand has been made are run strictly for physical recreation of the members and that there is no entertainment; will he at once give instructions to the commissioners of the Entertainments Duty to cease such demands; and is he aware that if such taxes have to be paid by amateur sporting bodies who run their clubs purely for amateur sport and physical recreation of their members, it would mean the closing down of many small clubs throughout the country, and that no gate attendance is charged by any of these clubs, all of which are semi-private in character and already pay high taxation?
The charges to which the hon. Member refers arise under Section 1 (4) of the Finance (New Duties) Act, 1916, which provides that Entertainments Duty is chargeable on such part of the subscription or contribution to any club, association, or society as appears to the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to represent payment for the right of admission to entertainments in respect of which Entertainments Duty is payable. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is unable to say whether there is liability to duty under this provision in particular cases without a full knowledge of the facts; but if the hon. Member will furnish him with details of the cases he has in mind he will have inquiry made.