Clause 9. — (Advertising expenses.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1947.

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Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western 12:00 am, 3rd December 1947

I would have supported the Amendment in regard to such things as art exhibitions and entertainment, but I cannot see why there should be any hesitation about excluding from expenses advertising carried on by big business in this country. It is unbelievable from my point of view. The advertisements which are seen all over the place are simply a means of inducing people to set money chasing goods in short supply, and for bringing in profit to big business. I cannot see why that should not be subject to taxation.

However, I do not want to go into that in detail; I want to raise an important point in connection with this matter. What would have been the attitude on the part of hon. Members opposite if there had been some tax directed against the working class and the Chancellor had come to the House of Commons and said, "As a result of representations from the Trades Union Congress, I have decided to drop this tax"? There would have been accusations from the other side of outside interference, outside influence. Yet this gang of robbers, the Federation of British Industries—[Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh but I was in this movement 45 years ago and at street corner after street corner, at conference after conference, we demonstrated to the workers that they were robbed and exploited by the capitalists of this country. Then there came into existence this central body that represented all the worst and most vicious power of capitalism directed against the working class, the Federation of British Industries. Now we are confronted in the House of Commons with a statement that the Federation of British Industries, who represent the enemies of the working class of this country, have written a letter——