Orders of the Day — Clause 4. — (Annual Duties (Continuation).)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1952.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Michael Foot Mr Michael Foot , Plymouth, Devonport 12:00 am, 24th July 1952

I support the Amendment and, in so doing, would say that my hon. Friend has presented some very technical and general arguments for it. But, what I particularly desire to say is that I believe there is a great convenience offered to the House when it debates the Bill next year because of this proposal. The more we discuss this Bill, the more it would appear that the whole relationship between this country and the Isle of Man is most anomalous. Indeed, I would say that if one examined the relationships of different countries all over the world, one would hardly be likely to find parallel legislation going through two legislatures, each being able to offset the other without knowing the result if they did it.

That is not a very satisfactory state of things, and the Financial Secretary has accepted the fact that there are these anomalies, and that they form one of the purposes of the discussions going on at present. The result of this must not only involve a change in some of the financial relationships between the two countries, but also a change in the form of the Bill, with a clearer definition of the relationship between the two countries. It will be a great advantage if, next year, we do not have to stop half way along and say, "Well, we have to put the Bill through because it must pass before August." If we substitute November, or some later month which is perhaps more convenient, it would no doubt be acceptable; but if three or four months are allowed after we discuss the Bill next year, it would give opportunity for a fuller examination than otherwise would be possible.

When one looks down the list in this table which would be affected by the Amendment being moved, one will notice some of the questions kept open by such a postponement; and if one looks back to the debates on this Bill in previous years, one will see the kind of questions which are likely to arise. In 1932 on this subject, there was an extensive debate—