§ Mr. MURRELL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that three Inland Revenue officials and the Treasury Solicitor appeared at the Alnwick Police Court on 2nd February, to claim the sum of ls. 5½d. from the Border Chiefs Village Football Club for unstamped entrance tickets for a match attended by 40 spectators with a total gate of 17s. 6d.; and whether, seeing that the cost of this prosecution to the Government was about 2041W £20, he will see that discretion shall be exercised before prosecutions of such a trivial nature are undertaken?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The hon. Member has been misinformed. The only entertainments duty proceedings at Alnwick Police Court on 2nd February were against the Alnwick Wednesday Football Club. These proceedings were not for recovery of 1s. 5½d. or any other amount of duty, but for recovery of the penalties incurred in respect of the admission of persons for payment to a football match on 12th December, 1923, either with tickets insufficiently stamped or without tickets at all. The defendants were fined £3. The proceedings cost less than £10. Penalty proceedings are only taken by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise where it appears, as in the present case, that there has been deliberate evasion of duty; and it will be appreciated that such action is neessary for the proper safeguarding of the Revenue.
§ Mr. HUGHES
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total number of theatres, music halls, cinemas, and other houses of amusement paying the entertainments duty under the system of certified returns; how many of these are covered by the security of bank receipts; how many by guaranteed policies with approved insurance societies; and what is the aggregate of the amount so secured in all these cases, respectively?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
There are approximately 1,600 places of indoor entertainment in respect of which entertainments duty is paid on the basis of periodical returns of the payments for admission. The other information asked for is not available, and as at present advised I do not think that it would be of such practical value as to justify the considerable labour involved in obtaining it.