§ Viscount WOLMER
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Navy, Army and Air Force institutes have received, and are receiving, many special privileges at the expense of the Government in the form of rent-free premises, exemption from Income Tax, exemption from Excess Profits Duty, exemption from Corporation Tax, use of Government lorries, franked postage, free advertisement, etc.; and whether, in view of these facts, he will request the Geddes Committee to investigate the working of the Navy, Army and Air Force institutes with a view to reducing the cost which now falls on the taxpayer?
The only premises occupied by the Navy, Army and Air Force institutes free of rent are regimental institute buildings in barracks and camps: similar facilities were granted to canteen contractors prior to 1917. For all other buildings such as warehouses, offices, etc., in the occupation of the organisation, the Navy, Army and Air Force institutes pay rent, rates, etc. As stated in my reply to the hon. Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Sir A. Shirley Benn) on the 13th instant, the question of the liability of the institutes to Income Tax is at present under consideration. The question of liability to Corporation Profits Tax must depend on the question of liability to Income Tax. The question of liability to Excess Profits Duty cannot arise, so far as the present corporation is concerned. That corporation was only registered on 9th December, 1920, and no liability to Excess Profits Duty arises in respect of its profits. The Navy, Army and Air1926W
differences between external and internal purchasing powers.
The following is the statement:
Force institutes have their own transport service and do not make use of Government lorries; and they have no special facilities or privileges as regards franked postage or free advertisements. In these circumstances I am unable to adopt the suggestion contained in the last part of the question.