House of Commons debates

Tuesday, 7 April 1959

  • Preamble

    The House—after the Adjournment on 26th March, 1959, for the Easter Recess —met at half-past Two o'clock.

  • Prayers

    [Mr. SPEAKER in the Chair]

  • Private Business

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland

    • David MacBrayne Ltd. (Subsidy)

      6 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why, in the Estimates for his Department, the subsidy to David MacBrayne Ltd. for maintenance of transport services in the Western Islands and Highlands...

    • Assault Cases (Prosecution)

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to permit private prosecutions in Scotland for assault, as in England and Wales, without the concurrence of the Public Prosecutor;...


      8 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now make a further statement on the arrangements made by the Herring Industry Board for the new herring season.

      Advance Factories

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many new advance factories he plans to erect in and near the city of Aberdeen in the immediate future; where each will be located; when the work...

      Radioactive Waste

      10 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he is satisfied with the adequacy of the recommendations made to industrial firms for the handling and disposal of radioactive industrial waste;...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce

    • Consumer Protection (Committee)

      4 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade when he expects to be able to announce the terms of reference drawn up for the Committee appointed to consider the whole question of consumer protection.

    • Timber Trade (Report)

      4 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he proposes to take to terminate the arrangements substituted by the imported timber trade for the agreements and undertakings condemned by...

      Anglo-Soviet Trade

      14 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade on what dates he has made an approach to the Soviet Government for the purpose of discussing their requests for long-term trade credits; and when he...

      Children's Shoes (Standards)

      4 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is in a position to make a statement on the progress made during the discussions which have been taking place on standards for certain...

      Exports to United States

      10 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the place occupied today by the United States of America as an export market for the United Kingdom, compared with its position in relation to...


      4 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade to what causes he ascribes the rise in United Kingdom exports to Nigeria; and what steps the Government is taking to increase such exports further.

      New Factories, Portsmouth

      4 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade how many inquiries concerning new factory building have been referred by him since 30th September, 1958, to the area represented by the hon. Member for...


      4 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade what trading arrangements are in operation between the United Kingdom and China; and whether he is satisfied that no goods or materials are being...

      Hull and Goole

      4 speeches

      asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes to take, following the Parliamentary Secretary's visit to the Humber, to alleviate the unemployment situation in Hull and Goole.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance

    • Inter-Parliamentary Union (Grant)

      4 speeches

      asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the annual grant made to the United Kingdom Branch of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

    • Purchase Tax (Jewellery)

      4 speeches

      asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further consultations he has had with representatives of the jewellery trades regarding the imposition of Purchase Tax on secondhand jewellery; and what...

      Crown Pensioners

      6 speeches

      asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that many elderly recipients of Crown pensions are, on humanitarian grounds, equally entitled to an increase in pension recently accorded...

      Bankruptcy Cases (Deposited Funds)

      4 speeches

      asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in order to reduce the net cost of administration of bankruptcy and winding-up proceedings, he will consider making provision for the investment in...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Housing

    • Completions

      9 speeches

      asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how many houses were completed by public authorities and private enterprise for each of the five years preceding...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Uganda

    • W.H.O. Survey

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies which recommendations of the World Health Organisation Nutrition Survey in Uganda are being accepted by the Uganda Government; what measures are...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Nyasaland

    • Corporal Punishment

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies for what offences and at what ages male children and young persons may become liable to six and twelve strokes, respectively, under the Amending Bill...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Scientific and Industrialresearch

    • Scientific Attaché, Moscow

      4 speeches

      asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, whether he will make a statement on the appointment of a scientific attaché to...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Private Members' Time (Counts)

    4 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the time remaining for private Members in the business arrangements of the House may be lost to the Members interested by the calling of a count...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Strontium 90

    11 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister, in view of the fact that the rate of accumulation of strontium 90 is twice as rapid as was previously supposed, and that the residence half-life of radioactive material...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — United States (English Electric Contract)

    4 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister what particular representations he made during his recent visit to the United States of America about the awarding of the Greer's Ferry Dam English Electric Company's...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Nuclear Weapons and Rocket Bases

    4 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister if, as a gesture of good will and a token of Great Britain's determination to resolve international problems by negotiation rather than by force, he will order the...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign Ministers' Conference

    4 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister to what extent it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to make participation in a Summit Conference dependent on progress of the forthcoming Conference of Foreign Ministers.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Germany (Eastern Frontiers)

    12 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister what discussions he had with the President of France concerning the eastern frontiers of a reunified Germany.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — United Nations (China)

    6 speeches

    asked the Prime Minister to what extent his recent discussions with President Eisenhower included the admission of China to the United Nations.

  • Oral Answers to Questions — British Army

    • Personal Case

      4 speeches

      asked the Secretary of State for War why a soldier, whose name has been submitted to him, of 251 Company, Royal Pioneer Corps, Leamington Spa, was posted as an absentee when in fact he was sick...

  • Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence

    • Pensions

      4 speeches

      asked the Minister of Defence whether he will now announce a general increase in the pensions of widows of officers and other ranks.

  • New Member Sworn

    Albert Victor Hilton, esquire, for South-West Norfolk.

  • Orders of the Day — Ways and Means

    Considered in Committee.

  • Orders of the Day — Budget Proposals

    1 speech

    3.20 p.m.

    • Survey of 1958–59

    • Internal Situation

      I come now to the developments of the last twelve months. In last year's Budget Speech I forecast that in the coming months home demand would, on the whole, remain firm, but that there would be a...

      External Situation

      On the external side, we have had an exceptionally good year. The surplus on current account in the balance of payments in 1958 is estimated at £455 million, as hon. Members know. This is...

      Exchequer Out-Turn 1958–59

      I must explain now how the Exchequer has fared over the past year. The details will, of course, be shown in the White Paper later this afternoon and I will only summarise the figures now. Even...


      Revenue last year was £5,480 million, £137 million more than in the preceding year, and £41 million above the Estimate. Inland Revenue duties yielded £3,016 million—that...


      Expenditure above the line was £5,103 million, £28 million more than the original estimate. Defence expenditure exceeded the estimate of £1,418 million by £50 million. This...

      Below the Line

      Now I turn to below the line. Below the line receipts, at £326 million. were £3 million more than the estimate. Payments amounted in total to £885 million, £38 million less...

      Summary of Out-Turn

      The out-turn can, therefore, be summarised as follows. Above the line there was a surplus of £377 million. Below the line the deficit was £559 million. So the overall result, which...

      National Debt

      The need to finance this overall deficit was the main reason why the National Debt increased over the year by £143 million to a total of £27,375 million. This increase does not, of...

      National Savings

      The floating debt could not have been kept to this level but for the success of the National Savings Movement, which has enjoyed a golden year, if I may describe it like that. During the year net...

      Exchequer Prospectsfor 1959–60


      I come now to the Exchequer prospects for the year ahead. On the basis of existing taxation, Inland Revenue duties are expected to yield £3,050 million in the coming year, £34 million...


      Coming to expenditure, the Committee will not be surprised to hear that expenditure above the line will also increase. The Consolidated Fund Services are expected to require £728 million, a...

      Below the Line

      Payments below the line will show an increase. Before I give the figures it might be convenient if I mention the provision of capital for the nationalised industries. Since 1956, as the Committee...

      External Economic Prospects

      Turning now to my crystal ball, I must say something about the economic outlook for the coming year, because that is what must largely influence the kind of action I ought to take in this Budget....

      Home Economic Prospects, 1959–60

      So much for the external outlook. Our consideration of the economic prospects at home for the next twelve months starts from the position that we have at present some unused resources of capital...

      Budget Aims

      The Committee will agree that no economic expansion is secure unless it is founded on a strong and stable currency. That is an article of faith and a basis for policy which we in the United...

      Budget Proposals

      This conclusion raises two questions. How large an increase in demand can our economy safely absorb? And what action on my part will be necessary, allowing for direct and indirect effects, to...

      Pensions Increase

      Before I turn to my taxation proposals I should like to mention one matter which is not technically a budgetary issue, but is still highly relevant in human and economic terms to the way I use...

      Minor Proposals

      Dividend Stripping

      I come to certain minor proposals. Coming now to my proposals on taxation, and getting my priorities right, I will deal, first, with two provisions for the protection of the Revenue. I regret to...

      Bond Washing

      I propose, also, to deal with a new form of the device technically known to the initiated as "bond washing", under which certain dealers in securities and exempt institutions are making a quick...

      Vehicle Licence Duties

      First, road passenger transport. During the last few years, mainly as a result of the increase in the number of private cars and motor cycles, which, in turn, is a reflection of our higher...

      Hydrocarbon Oil Duty

      I propose, also, to make certain very minor changes in the scope of the duty on heavy oils used in road vehicles so that in future oil used in a subsidiary engine mounted on a vehicle will not be...

      Estate Duty on Life Policies

      I come now to four minor measures for relief from Inland Revenue taxes. The first concerns the treatment of life assurance policies for Estate Duty purposes. As my hon. and learned Friend the...

      Corporation Duty

      For my second relaxation I have been stimulated by the example of Mr. Khrushchev. I have read in the Press that he has announced the impending abolition of Income Tax. I felt that I must not be...

      Stamp Duty — Policies of Marine Insurance

      I have been impressed with the case made against the present system of stamp duties on sea insurance policies. These policies are subject to ad valorem duty, the rate depending on several...

      Profits Tax — Controlling Directors' Remuneration

      Fourthly, I can now announce another small relief which was urged upon me last year. For Profits Tax purposes there has always been a restriction on the amounts that might be deducted for the...

      Major Proposals

      I turn now to my major proposals. A Chancellor of the Exchequer with a larger prospective surplus than he needs can either try to do a little good in a greater number of places, or can...

      Purchase Tax

      I shall begin with the Purchase Tax. I should like to remind the Committee of the background. In my last Budget I simplified the structure of the tax, reducing the rates from seven to four. In...

      Beer Duty and Liquor Licence Duties

      These changes in Purchase Tax will make a small contribution towards reducing the cost of living. The total incidence of Purchase Tax on the cost of living, however, is not heavy—the whole...

      Rates of Income Tax

      The remissions in indirect taxation 1 have just described will give a valuable stimulus to the economy. But nothing has so great or widespread an effect as the levels of direct taxation. Our...

      Investment Allowances

      In my review of the economic outlook, I said that I was concerned about the prospective decline in private investment in the manufacturing sector. Our economic future, and especially the...

      Post-War Credits

      I think, however, that this year I can allow some further stimulus beyond that which will be given by the tax concessions I have described, with safety and indeed with benefit to the economy....

      Summary and General Conclusions

      To sum up, the tax changes I propose will cost £295 million this year and leave an estimated surplus above the line of £102 million. In addition, the proposals for additional repayment...

      Customs and Excise

      1. Beer (Excise and Customs)

      Purchase Tax

      9. Purchase Tax (Reliefs)

      Income Tax

      10. income Tax (Charge and Ratesfor 1959–60)


      77 speeches

      15. Estate Duty (Policies of Insurance)

  • Orders of the Day — Scotland (Crime Detection)

    10 speeches

    Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Whitelawl]

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.

April 1959
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