HC Deb 02 November 1939 vol 352 c2148W
Mr. Joel

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is proposed in this war to adopt the practice of remitting death duties on the estates of all Army, Navy and Air Force personnel who art killed on active service; and, if so, whether this concession will extend to any of the Civil Defence services as well as the fighting Forces?

Sir J. Simon

The estates of soldiers and airmen up to and including the rank of lance-sergeant and of soldiers up to and including the rank of chief petty officer, who are killed in action, are wholly exempted from Estate Duty. Where a member of the Forces of higher rank than any of these is killed in action and his estate passes to his widow, lineal descendants, lineal ancestors, brothers and sisters or descendants of brothers and sisters, the first £5,000 of the estate is exempt and there is a relief on the remainder, the amount of which is dependent upon the age of the deceased. In reply to the last part of my hon. Friend's question, I would refer him to the reply which was given to the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Foot) on the 9th October. I am sending him a copy of that reply.