Oral Answers to Questions — Entertainments Duty.

– in the House of Commons on 10th May 1922.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert James Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert James , Bromley

104.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the collection of Entertainments Duty at two theatres within the London area, within the last 12 months, at the King's, Hammersmith and the Wimbledon Theatres, has involved the presentation by, and at the expense of, the management of these two places of entertainment of 1,500 separate documents to the collectors of taxes, and that these documents have involved no less I than 4,600 signatures and 125,000 separate clerical entries; and whether he is able to give the numbers and emoluments of the Government staffs employed in collecting and checking the data provided by these two theatres alone?

Mr. YOUNG:

Entertainments Duty at the two theatres in question is collected on the basis of a return of payments for admission to each performance, a method of payment adopted at the proprietor's request as an alternative to the use of Government stamps and tickets, to which it is open to him to revert. I may add that this system of payment on returns was instituted as the result of strong pressure by the trade when the duty was introduced. I am unable to check the accuracy of the figures mentioned, but I am informed that the average cost of examining returns furnished in respect of London houses is well under £10 a year per house.