asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he is aware that an extensive business is being conducted at auction rooms and sales of precious stones, jewellery and other articles of value, which are paid for in notes, thus seriously interfering with legitimate business and evading taxation; and will he cause inquiries to be made among the auctioneers in London, in particular, and elsewhere, for a list of the names of these people who have habitually attended such auction sales and purchased quantities of valuable materials for which they have paid in notes;
(2) whether he is aware of the injustice which is being done among certain branches of business and industry due to the increasing volume of business whirl is being conducted on a cash basis with a view to evading taxation; and will he take all possible steps to prevent a continuance of this and, in particular, make it compulsory for all goods purchased for an amount exceeding, say, £50 to be paid for by cheque?
As regards the suggestion that payment by cheque should be made compulsory in the case of purchases exceeding a given amount, I do not think collusion would be avoided and it would be difficult to make such legislation effective.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that on the basis of the present rate of taxation, namely, Income Tax and Surtax, that in legitimate trade a profit of £150,000 would require to be made to be equivalent to a profit of £7,000 made in the black market, and in view of this will he not consider means whereby this insidious method can be completely stamped out, both in the interest of the taxpayer and the Treasury and fair trade?