House of Commons debates

Tuesday, 23 July 1940

  • Preamble

    The House met at a Quarter before Three of the Clock, Mr. SPEAKER in the Chair.

  • Private Business.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — British Property, Germany and Italy.

    4 speeches

    asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has yet made any arrangements for the registration of British landed and industrial or other property situated in German and Italy territory...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Contractors' Profits.

    4 speeches

    asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that immediately after the outbreak of war certain scenic contractors and carters formed a ring with the result that prices have...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Government Departments.

    • Ministry of Economic Warfare.

      9 speeches

      asked the Minister of Economic Warfare what further reduction in the total number of staff has been effected as the result of the reorganisation of the work of his Ministry?

    • Staffing.

      3 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the appointment of a committee similar to the Geddes Committee, with full authority to investigate the staffing of all existing Ministries; the...

      Administrative Methods.

      2 speeches

      asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what steps have been and are being taken to introduce commercial methods of administration into the Departments of State which are now engaged, as a...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — British Army.

    • Paper Economy.

      5 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will issue instructions that the use of paper will be confined to a minimum in transmitting orders to, or demanding reports from, units of the...

    • Issue of Arms.

      3 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will consider issuing a suitable number of Mills bombs to every police barracks in the country for re-issue in emergency to duly accredited members...

      Local Defence Volunteers (the Home Guard).

      28 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the possibility of interference with normal communications in this country, he will consider authorising the issue of telephones, portable...

      Northern Ireland (Defence).

      3 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will give instructions to the military authorities for the utilisation of the unemployed men in Northern Ireland, so far as that is practicable,...

      Dependants' Allowances.

      14 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make arrangements for soldiers' dependants' allowances to be paid through the Post Office on Fridays instead of Mondays, in view of the...

      Foreign Volunteers.

      15 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the Prime Minister's appeal to all well wishers from all parts of the world who are not subjects of His Majesty to give us their utmost...

      Leave.

      7 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will give in- structions that whenever a soldier goes on leave he should be given an adequate ration allowance before leaving his unit?

      Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps.

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that considerable numbers of members of the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps are in camp with nothing to do, while in other parts of the...

      Industrial Midlands (Defence).

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is satisfied that adequate measures have been taken for the defence of the industrial Midlands against the possibility of any troops landing in...

      Commissions.

      2 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that British subjects until recently resident as civilians in France have been able to secure commissions in the British Army within a...

      Internees (Government Proposals).

      40 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in order to allay apprehensions, he will arrange for representatives of some independent responsible organisations to visit at regular intervals all...

      "arandora Star."

      16 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Karl Obritisch, youngest Member of Parliament of the Weimar Republic and a Czech anti-Nazi refugee, was on board the "Arandora Star";...

      Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes.

      9 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will request the representatives of the War Office on the board of management of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes to make inquiries into the...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence.

    • Evacuation (Scotland).

      6 speeches

      Mr. J. J. Davidson: asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of recent events, he intends to alter the definition of North-East of Scotland areas as neutral areas for...

    • Restrictive Regulations.

      7 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the policy of the formation of silent columns, of the regulation relating to the spreading of gloom and despondency, and the arbitrary arrest and...

      Regional Organisation.

      2 speeches

      asked the Home Secretary whether he will review the regional organisation in the light of experience gained, reconsider the appointments made by the regional commissioners, and place the...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry.

    • Local Stocks.

      12 speeches

      asked the Secretary for Mines whether the local authorities will be permitted to purchase extra tons of coal during the next four months, and sell to local people during the winter months?

    • Land (Dumping of Coal).

      2 speeches

      asked the Secretary for Mines what applications he has received from colliery owners to assist in securing land for dumping coal in order to keep their collieries going; and whether he will take...

      Export Trade.

      2 speeches

      asked the Secretary for Mines what steps are being taken to promote the expansion of our coal export trade in the South American countries; and whether it is proposed to provide special...

      Fuel and Lighting Order, 1939 (Breach).

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that, by reason of a delay in his Department, a breach of the Fuel and Lighting Order, 1939, by Messrs. Cutts and Son, of Peck-ham, was not...

      Economic and Social Diplomacy.

      5 speeches

      Mr. De la Bére: asked the Prime Minister whether, with a view to retaining and increasing the many friends and adherents of this country on the Continent, he will give an assurance that...

      Members of Parliament (Salary).

      2 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider introducing a scheme under which Members of Parliament only receive full pay if they attend regularly to Parliamentary business and are only...

      Suspicious Political Activities (Committee).

      5 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister whether the committee appointed by his predecessor, under the chairmanship of Lord Swinton, to report to him suspicious political activities, is still in existence; who...

      Air Raids (Reprisals).

      2 speeches

      asked the Prime Minister whether he will undertake that, in the event of hostile air raids on London, prompt reprisals will be made not only on Berlin but also on Rome?

  • Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance.

    • Income.

      2 speeches

      asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to state the national income for the financial year ending March, 1938, and his estimate for the year ending March, 1941?

    • Interest-Free Loans.

      6 speeches

      asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total amount of loans to the Government, free of interest, made up to date by trade unions and employers' organisations?

      State Pensions.

      3 speeches

      Mr. Davidson: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in order to equalise the financial burden of the war, His Majesty's Government intend to introduce legislation for the purpose of...

      Government Control.

      2 speeches

      asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken since the introduction of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Bill, on 22nd May, 1940, to take greater control of the finance of the...

      Civil Service Pensions.

      2 speeches

      asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of the acute financial circumstances prevailing among the many Post Office pensioners owing to the increased cost of living who are...

      Postage (Armed Forces).

      7 speeches

      asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will modify the previous decision in regard to free postage for troops, so as to allow the issue of a limited number of stamped field...

      Old Age Pensions.

      4 speeches

      asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will take steps to give effect to the resolution forwarded to him by the Leyton Local Pension Committee and other pension committees...

      Agricultural Credit Facilities (Banks).

      2 speeches

      Mr. De la Bére: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to state the approximate number of agricultural bor- rowers from the clearing banks at 30th June, 1940?

      National War Effort (Banks).

      7 speeches

      Mr. Davidson: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to publish a full statement of the financial contribution to the national war effort of the Bank of England...

      Home-Produced Fuels (Inter- Nal Combustion Engines).

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary for Mines whether the committee appointed to investigate the use of alternatives to petroleum for use in mechanically-propelled vehicles has reported; and, if so, what action...

      Children's Overseas Reception Scheme.

      11 speeches

      asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, for which Members of this House the Children's Overseas Reception Board have requested that exit permits should be granted, and for what...

      Detention of a Member.

      30 speeches

      asked the Home Secretary whether he is now in a position to make a report to the House on the case of the hon. and gallant Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Captain Ramsay)?

      Czechoslovakia (Provisional Government).

      6 speeches

      (by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether he can now make a statement with regard to the granting of official recognition to a Czechoslovak Government on the same lines as that granted...

      New Members Sworn.

      Sir Frederick Hugh Sykes for the Borough of Nottingham (Central Division).

  • Business of the House.

    Ordered, That the Proceedings on Government Business be exempted at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House).— [The Prime Minister.]

  • Message from the Lords.

    That they have agreed to—

  • Railways (Government Control).

    Copy presented,—of estimates of the pooled revenue receipts and expenses and resultant net revenue of the Controlled Undertaking for (a) the four months ended 31st December, 1939, and (b)...

  • Revised Financial Statement (1940–41).

    Copy ordered, "of Revised Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 1940–41."—[Captain Crookshank.]

  • Orders of the Day — Ways and Means.

    Considered in Committee.

  • Orders of the Day — Financial Statement.

    1 speech

    4.19 p.m.

  • Orders of the Day — War Expenditure.

    The figure of £2,000,000,000, assumed in April for war expenditure, represented an average of about £40,000,000 a week during the year. The rate of expenditure during recent weeks has...

  • Orders of the Day — Additional Taxation.

    It is clear that in the situation in which we now find ourselves considerably increased taxation is essential from both the financial and the economic standpoint. From the ordinary financial...

  • Orders of the Day — Income Tax.

    There are severe limits, at any rate, on certain means of obtaining new revenue. Income Tax, which is not an optional tax but an inescapable one, five years ago was at the standard rate of 4s....

  • Orders of the Day — Surtax.

    4 speeches

    I have now to say a word about the Surtax. The graduation of the Surtax was increased in the first war Budget so as to produce £8,000,000 in a full year. I propose now a further increase in...

  • Orders of the Day — Estate Duty.

    Then, there is the Estate Duty. In the case of Estate Duty, an increase of 10 per cent. in the scale was imposed by the first war Budget on all Estates exceeding £10,000 in value. I propose...

  • Orders of the Day — Life Insurance Policies (Income Tax).

    The first point relates to the incidence of the new standard rate of 8s. 6d. in the £ on that part of the interest income of life insurance companies which is put aside for the benefit of...

  • Orders of the Day — Method of Collection (Income Tax).

    3 speeches

    The other matter in connection with the increase in the Income Tax to which I must refer is the collection of the tax charged on salaries and wages. For the salary or wage earner whose income is...

  • Orders of the Day — Beer.

    In addition to the proposals for increased direct taxation, it is necessary to have further taxation on certain personal expenditure, which is what indirect taxation means. The duty on beer will...

  • Orders of the Day — Tobacco.

    2 speeches

    Then there is tobacco. The Tobacco Duty will also be increased as from tomorrow by a further 2s. per pound, representing an increase of 1½d. per ounce. I am glad to tell the Committee that...

  • Orders of the Day — Wines.

    Wines also must contribute. As from to-morrow the duty on light wines will be increased by 2s. per gallon, and on heavy wines by 4s., making the duty on light wines 8s. per gallon, and 16s. per...

  • Orders of the Day — Entertainments.

    The duty on entertainments will also be increased, and the present rates will be adjusted so as to aim at producing an estimated addition to the revenue of about £4,000,000 in a full year...

  • Orders of the Day — Purchase Tax.

    It is in these circumstances that I have again examined the Purchase Tax proposals. I have already stressed to the Committee the urgent and imperative need both to limit civilian consumption and...

  • Orders of the Day — Conclusion.

    8 speeches

    The present Budget will thus provide in a full year a further sum of £239,000,000, and, as I have already stated, I think this sum is all I can reasonably ask for by way of taxation at the...

  • Customs and Excise.

    • Beer (Excise).

      Resolved, That, on and after the twenty-fourth day of July, nineteen hundred and forty, the duty of excise charged in respect of beer under Section one of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1939, shall be...

    • Beer (Customs).

      Resolved, That, on and after the twenty-fourth day of July, nineteen hundred and forty, the duty of Customs charged in respect of beer under Section one of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1939, shall be...

      Wines (Customs).

      Resolved, That, on and after the twenty-fourth day of July, nineteen hundred and forty, the duties of Customs charged on wines under paragraph (a) and paragraph (c) of Subsection (1) of Section...

      Sweets (Excise).

      Resolved, That on and after the twenty-fourth day of July, nineteen hundred and forty, the rate of the duty of excise on sweets shall be increased from nine shillings and sixpence to eleven...

      Tobacco (Customs).

      Resolved, That, on and after the twenty-fourth day of July, nineteen hundred and forty, in lieu of the full duties of customs theretofore, chargeable on tobacco imported into the United Kingdom,...

      Tobacco (Excise).

      Resolved, That, on and after the twenty-fourth day of July, nineteen hundred and forty, in lieu of the duties of excise theretofore chargeable on tobacco grown in the United Kingdom, there shall...

      Tobacco (Drawback).

      Resolved, That, as respects tobacco on which there have been paid duties of customs or excise at the increased rates for which provision is made by any Resolution passed by the Committee of Ways...

      Entertainments (Excise).

      Resolved, That, as respects payments for admission to entertainments held on or after the sixth day of October, nineteen hundred and forty, entertainments duty shall be charged— (a) in the...

  • Income Tax.

    • Standard Rate of Income Tax for 1940–41.

      Resolved, That— (a) the standard rate of Income Tax for the year 1940–41 shall be increased from seven shillings and sixpence to eight shillings and six pence in the pound;(b) in...

    • Higher Rates of Income Tax for 1939–40.

      Resolved, That Income Tax for the year 1939–40 in respect of the excess of the total income of an individual over two thousand pounds shall, instead of being charged at the rates mentioned...

      Alteration of Certain Reliefs.

      Resolved, That— (a) the following enactments relating to reliefs from Income Tax shall be amended as Parliament may provide by any Act of the present Session relating to Income Tax,...

      Assessment and Collection of Income Tax Under Schedule E.

      Resolved, That— (a) the Commissioners of Inland Revenue shall be empowered to make regulations for the assessment and collection of Income Tax chargeable under Schedule E and in particular...

      Life Insurance.

      Resolved, That— (a) as respects the year 1940–41, and any subsequent year for which the standard rate of income tax exceeds seven shillings in the pound, the relief allowed under...

      Payments in Respect of War Risks Indemnification.

      Resolved, That— (a) in computing the amount of the profits or gains of any person for any purpose of the Income Tax Acts for the year 1940–41 or any subsequent year, no sum shall be...

  • Miscellaneous.

What is this?

Debates in the House of Commons are an opportunity for MPs from all parties to scrutinise government legislation and raise important local, national or topical issues.

And sometimes to shout at each other.

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