Orders of the Day — Profits Tax Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th November 1949.

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Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham 12:00 am, 11th November 1949

There might be something in that argument if the tax was limited only to profits made in the dollar market, but this is a tax on all industry, and the point I am making is that the highest considerations of the national interest should prevail over the arguments which have been advanced from the other side of the House in favour of the tax and that they ought to be taken into account in an objective view of its merits.

I believe there are industries which find it easier to carry on their business and make bigger profits in the soft currency markets, and I fear that the effect of this tax on industrialists will be to make them say, "If we have to pay a bigger tax on our profits as a result of this Bill, we also have our obligations to our shareholders, and we shall therefore continue to do our business in the soft currency market instead of in the dollar markets." Therefore, I say that this Bill cannot possibly help the export trade, but may quite possibly hinder it, and, for that reason, I do not believe that it is really wise for the Government to have introduced it. We are told that the revenue to be raised is in the nature of £13 million, but, actually, the issues involved in the efforts to overcome the economic crisis, which efforts may be seriously endangered by this Bill, are far more important than a matter of £13 million.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Mitcham (Mr. Braddock) appealed for co-operation, but I must say that his speech was a strange way of trying to secure it. I wish that hon. Members opposite—