HC Deb 11 February 1977 vol 925 cc879-80W
Mr. Cormack

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will extend the three-year rule for the acceptance of probate valuations in respect of the contents of Mentmore Towers to allow sufficient time for steps to be taken to ensure the preservation of the house and contents for the nation.

Mr. Joel Barnett,

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 10th February 1977; Vol. 925], gave the following information:

I take it that the three-year rule to which the hon. Member refers is the rule in Section 39 of the Finance Act 1969 governing the basis on which estate duty is charged where property which has been exempted from estate duty on a death under the provisions of the section is sold or otherwise disposed of within three years of that death. The legislation contains no provision for variation of this three year rule. As I informed the hon. Member in my reply to his Question of 4th February 1977, an offer of a number of individual items from the collection at Mentmore in satisfaction of death duties is now being considered.