§ Mr. SITCH
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if a number of public companies are delaying payment of dividends to their shareholders owing to alleged disagreement with his Department on questions of taxation; whether his attention has been drawn to any cases of this nature; and, if so, can he see his way to early settlement of such disagreements in order to enable companies to meet their obligations without undue delay?
I am not aware that, unless it be in isolated cases, the payment of dividends is being delayed for the reason suggested by the hon. Member. If he is referring to the settlement of claims for refund of Excess Profits Duty, I would remind him that repayment is made with the least possible delay, and that the Commissioners of Inland Revenue are prepared to consider applications for interim repayments on account pending a final settlement in cases where it is clear that a refund is due.