Orders of the Day — FINANCE (No. 2) BILL – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th June 1956.
I suggest that we should consider at the same time, the new Clause in the name of the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Pryde), "Exemption of Highland Games from Entertainments Duty"; the new Clause in the name of the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale), "Exemption of Association football matches from Entertainments Duty"; the new Clause in the name of the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Hobson), "Exemption of football matches (Rugby League) from Entertainments Duty"; the new Clause in the name of the right hon. and learned Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. A. Henderson), "Exemption of ice hockey matches from Entertainments Duty"; the new Clause in the name of the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Mikardo), "Reduction of Entertainments Duty on football and boxing receipts up to £2,000"; and the new Clause in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford (Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport), "Scale of Entertainments Duty in case of boxing entertainment".
I am informed that it is proposed that a Division should be taken on the first five of those new Clauses; I believe that some such arrangement has been made.
On a point of order. Any question of Divisions would be contingent on the Government not accepting all the new Clauses. We hope that they will accept them.
If I were asked to express my great desire at present it would be that the Chamber should be packed with hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, for our case is so unanswerable that if only we had an opportunity of reasoning with one another I am convinced that most reasonable hon. Members would be prepared to support it. Year after year we continue to receive increasing support, and if the logic of the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer is correct, it should mean that today the present Chancellor should accept these proposed new Clauses.
In the last General Election the party to which we belong stated in its Election manifesto that we should abolish the tax on sport played by men and women. We and the sporting community are very pleased to see that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition has stated since then that when we obtain power he will unhesitatingly implement the promise made at the last General Election.
In every other country in the world sport is being encouraged. In this country we discourage it, for the Entertainments Duty is a tax of discouragement. I will today content myself with stating the general case, leaving it to my hon. Friends to state the special cases, based on their special interests in accordance with their constituencies. We are reinforced in the debate on this occasion by the fact that one of my hon. Friends has been appointed a first-class referee. I am sure that we all congratulate him upon his appointment.
In sport, as in many other things, success begets success. Our success has also reflected itself financially. In Manchester, we have won the League Championship, the Central League, the Under-18 Shield, the Youth League and the English F.A. Cup, and now we are well on the way to winning the Cricket Championship. Through success I have learned magnanimity, although in life generally, quite apart from success, magnanimity pays in human relations.
On this occasion, in particular, I can afford to take a big view and to speak nationally. I should have thought that most hon. Members would support us on this occasion, because it is admitted that the tempo of life in Britain is quickening, particularly in the industrial areas. Those hon. Members who are familiar with the life and especially with the industry of industrial areas will agree that the tempo is quickening.
This requires that people should keep fit, and in every other country in the world young men and women and middle-aged men and women have been encouraged to keep fit. Fitness enables people to play their parts in life better. It enables them to recover from illness more quickly than they otherwise would, as I know from a personal experience. It enables people to go about their work in a better frame of mind, and, therefore, they work better. This is a business proposition which I am putting forward tonight. If we are to keep our people fit, I submit that the time has arrived when this tax should be abolished.
Many of my hon. Friends often say to me in the Division Lobby and in the Library that they cannot understand why the Chairman of Ways and Means always looks so fit. It has been my privilege to sit under many Chairmen of Ways and Means. One wore a monacle, and that used to provoke me, especially in the days before I mellowed to the extent that I have today. Another used to go to sleep. I remember that we used to have one another called by shouting out each other's names.
But Sir Charles always looks fit. He is always alert. Indeed, he is the most alert Chairman I have ever known, and he never rules an hon. Member out of order if the Member is not out of order. I only wish that more chairmen would remember that. The secret is that Sir Charles keeps himself fit as though he were a young man. He plays golf regularly. That is an example of how one can make a better contribution to life by keeping fit.
Most large employers—that is, those who make a wide approach to problems—have long since adopted this policy. They have welfare schemes of all kinds. They encourage sport. They go out of their way at annual meetings to congratulate the clubs and those who organise them. They realise that to get the best out of people in industry, a policy such as I am advocating must be adopted.
I am familiar with engineering and with the young men who are engaged in mining and research. They all have to keep fit. It was my privilege, a few months ago, to go down a modern pit for four hours. I was there told that when the men reached 45 years of age they could no longer tolerate the life because of the tempo in that pit and the fast methods of extracting coal. This life demands sport and relaxation, and we should encourage and cater for it. It is for that reason that we say there is an unanswerable case for this Clause.
In addition, the public spirit of our people is a quality that should be admired and encouraged. It is that and the voluntary energy that keeps our sports going. It was that spirit that built our friendly societies, trade unions and co-operative societies which are the admiration of the world. It is that spirit which enabled our young men in their Spitfires to reply to those who, in 1938 and 1939, charged us with being decadent. The "Strength through joy" merchants received their answer from our fit young men in 1940. Our young men of today should be receiv- ing more encouragement than they are. They should not be discouraged by this tax.
I should like the Chancellor or the Financial Secretary to tell us of any other country that puts a tax on sport played by men and women. May I repeat that, in order that the Financial Secretary may make a note of it? If the Financial Secretary is to reply to this debate, will he tell us one other country that taxes sport played by men and women?
I wish this Committee were packed with hon. Members. I do not want to make too much of it, but I have seen a great change in my time. I remember when, during the Committee stage of the Finance Bill, this Chamber used to be packed with Members. We used to reason with one another and, as a result, we were able to win Members over to our way of thinking. In the present circumstances, therefore, I suggest that this Committee should be on its guard.
If any hon. Member disagrees with the case that I am stating, I ask him to read the pages of any local newspaper. There, from the space that is devoted in local newspapers to local sporting activities, one will realise the value of catering for sport. Nowadays, because of the taxation on sport—I shall give the figures later—sport is being kept alive by many public-spirited men who pay out of their own pockets to keep the clubs going. This applies in Stoke-on-Trent at present. It applied to Manchester United, in 1930, when Mr. John Gibson put £50,000 into the club to enable it to carry on. The satisfaction that it gives to the teeming populations of that large industrial area proves that we ought to encourage the public spirit of men like Mr. John Gibson, who is no longer living.
Mr. John Gibson's life will live ever green in the memories of the toiling millions of that area. They realise what they owe to him. Very often when his sight was failing, Mr. Gibson would put his hand on my shoulder and say that it gave him great satisfaction to listen to the men and women enjoying themselves on a Saturday afternoon—50,000 and 60,000 of them from that large industrial area of Manchester.
I will give this credit to the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer. He used to listen to us for hours and hours. It was obvious that we often won his sympathy. In 1953, cricket was exempted from the scope of the tax with effect from 27th April. Pleasure was expressed on both sides of the Committee. But if it was right to exempt cricket three years ago, surely the time has now arrived when all sport played by men and women in this country should be exempted, too. What was granted to cricket three years ago should be granted to all other games.
One of the points that the Chancellor made, when speaking in favour of the proposed exemption in the Finance Bill debate three years ago, was that there was a danger of cricket clubs going out of existence. The same applies to other sporting activities. Therefore, if the Chancellor's logic was correct three years ago—and most reasonable Members will admit that it was—then surely the time has arrived when this new Clause should be accepted.
In 1954, football paid in tax £1,640,000; in 1955, it paid £1,360,000. Arsenal alone paid in tax approximately £42,000 in 1953; Blackpool paid £19,000; Bolton, £17,500; Manchester City, £21,000; and Stoke City paid £6,000 in 1952, and £16,000 in 1953. The average for all clubs in the First Division was £23,800, and in the Second Division £13,000. That is the tax on the people's sport. That is the tax on relaxation in the industrial areas.
I ask the Financial Secretary whether it is the case that the Government, in reply to the Football Association, stated that Association football is not played by human beings. I have the minutes of the F.A. Council meeting here—and the Financial Secretary or the Chancellor can check up on them. These minutes say:
It was indeed a shock when the Government decided that Association football is not played by human beings. A remarkable difference was made between this game and other forms of live performances.
I would rather like to meet some of these legal people who have given this advice to the Government. It has been my privilege to work with some of the greatest legal people in this country, many of whom have made contributions from the Front Bench, and I would hesitate to enter into legal matters with them. It is becoming the practice in political quarters nowadays that legal people should deal with legal matters and that we should rightly keep out because we
are not legally trained; but when it comes to dealing with industrial matters or technical education the people who know a little about those matters are not debarred from taking part.
Nevertheless, we have learned that when it comes to a legal matter it is best to leave it to the legal authorities. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] On this issue, I would have no hesitation in entering into debate or discussion with the best legal advisers that the Government can produce. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where is the Solicitor-General?"] For example, here is one question which the Financial Secretary might consider. We have playing cricket for Lancashire at present—and we look like becoming the champions—a young man named Dyson, who is a professional. I hope that no one thinks that there are not many amateurs in cricket, because I happen to know a few. This man happens to be a professional, and if he plays in a cricket match that match is exempted from Tax, but next August, and for the whole of the winter, he will be playing football for Manchester City and those matches will be taxed. Will the Chancellor explain an inconsistency of that kind?
I live in an area where there are more people living per square mile than in any part of the world. In that area, there are more sporting clubs than in any other part of the world. That is a tax on the people's sport. It is a tax on their relaxation, and we owe it to those men and women who are making such a mighty contribution to our export trade to encourage them in sport and relaxation. My hon. Friends will give evidence later of the financial worries that are caused by quoting some of them. The financial worries of the clubs in which men and women take part in sport are increasing. They should not have a tax imposed on their other difficulties.
My hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton) has written an ideal article in this month's Northern Voice on this problem, which I would recommend everyone to read. Almost every other country is encouraging its people with financial support in preparation for the Olympic Games. Our people are on their hands and knees begging for support. This is humiliating and ought not to be taking place.
We ought to modernise our outlook in accordance with the growing change in the world outlook and take off this tax today. In addition, we ought to be encouraging young men and women who are going to the Olympic Games, rather than forcing them into the humiliating position of having to beg on their hands and knees. Many clubs as a result of this tax are now nearly out of existence.
The tax was taken off cricket three years ago and we now ask the Chancellor to accept this new Clause in order that we can do justice to the whole of sport played by men and women. Three years ago we were encouraged, and today we want a little more encouragement. We ask the Chancellor to accept this new Clause.
It gives me great pleasure to propose a reduction in the scale of taxation for boxing in accordance with the new Clause in my name and the names of hon. Members on both sides of the Committee. The object of this Clause is to reduce the tax on boxing to the same scale as that of the living theatre.
I have already spoken twice today. You, Sir Austin, did not have the felicity of hearing me on the first occasion. I feel, therefore, that I have had more than my share and I shall therefore be very brief. There is an hon. Member opposite bursting with a mine of information on this subject—throbbing with the desire to speak—the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner). Around me I see the usual hardy annuals, all longing to spring to their feet to talk about their favourite sport and to try to get a reduction. I ask them to be as brief as I intend to be, and then we may all be able to get home earlier tonight.
Boxing was a very popular sport prior to 1952. Since the increase in taxation, the total number of tournaments has decreased since 1952 by more than half and commercial boxing has decreased by well over half, and the decline continues. The effect of that is that practically all the smaller promotions are closing down altogether. The serious thing about that, as we all know, is that the smaller tournaments are the nurseries of boxing and, indeed, the life-line of that sport. We can see the result of this general decline in our boxers today.
Our younger boxers have no opportunity of getting the necessary experience. There is an old rule familiar to all of us who take an interest in the game. It is that there is only one way to train for a fight and only one way to get experience, and that is by fighting. The trouble today is that the younger boxers are not getting the experience because they have not the opportunity. The result is that as we get further up the scale, where the standard is higher, to the larger tournaments, we find that we have to bring in alien or foreign boxers to draw the crowds, and I am afraid that we are getting to the position when we simply shall not have people good enough to meet them.
I give as an example of not increasing the tax on the sport the case of Northern Ireland. There has been no increase in taxation there, with the result that there has been no decrease in the number of tournaments. It is an old rule of taxation that the time to stop taxing is when the tax reaches the stage when the law of diminishing returns begins to operate. The British Boxing Board of Control visited the Financial Secretary last year and we warned him that if this taxation continued it must inevitably almost kill the sport. It will not kill it altogether, but our standard will be so appallingly low that we shall not be able to take part in international contests.
I like Association football, to which the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) has referred, but that is flourishing and there is plenty of money in it, whereas there simply is not the money in boxing. If this rate of taxation continues, the standard of boxing in this country will decline to such an extent that we shall have nobody good enough to start competing for international honours. I know that the Chancellor does not want to kill the sport, but if he does he will not have to wait until the right hon. Lady the Member for Warrington (Dr. Summerskill) gets busy, if she has the opportunity. All my right hon. Friend will have to do will be to continue the present level of taxation. Hon. Members on both sides of the Committee will agree that if it continues it will wipe out boxing altogether.
I want to add my plea to that of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith), not only in relation to football, but to all forms of sport. The action taken by the present Chancellor's predecessor in 1953 has had a most beneficial effect on many cricket organisations, but I should have thought that we have now reached the point where there is such a very thin line between some forms of amateurism and professionalism that our approach to the problem which we are now discussing should be in relation to the fact that a match or game is taking place and we should not be concerned primarily as to whether those who are playing are paid or not.
Let us consider the extraordinary position today at various national centres of sport. At present a Test match is being played between England and Australia at Lords, and I assume that during the four or five days of its duration between 120,000 and 150,000 people will have paid to see it. No Entertainments Duty is imposed upon the proceeds of the match. Today, the annual tennis tournament at Wimbledon has started and, presumably, during its two weeks' duration about 200,000 to 250,000 will pay to see the matches and no Entertainment Tax will be paid on the proceeds. At Twickenham, the national centre of Rugby Union football, 70,000 or 80,000 people may pay to watch an international match and no Entertainments Duty will be paid on the proceeds of that great event.
At Wembley, the national centre of Association Football, possibly 100,000 people will be present at the Amateur Cup Final and no Entertainments Duty will be paid on the proceeds. The following week at the professional Cup Final, about £15,000 Entertainments Duty will have to be paid, yet the financial obligations of the professional clubs engaged in it are far greater than those which have to be borne by the amateur clubs who will have played there the previous week.
Why is there this distinction? Like the Chancellor himself and other hon. Members, I have in my time been a keen amateur football player. We should like to see amateurism prospering and flourishing and as many amateur clubs as possible operating. But why should there be this difference in treatment between great, spectacular amateur events, such as are taking place at Lords and Wimbledon this week, and the great spectacle of the professional Cup Final at Wembley?
My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South has pointed out that many professional clubs are in serious financial difficulties. He has rightly stated that some of these clubs are kept in being only by the generosity of some individuals who are interested in them. I am told that between one-quarter and one-fifth of each gate at a professional football match—and I imagine the same applies to Rugby League matches—goes in Entertainments Duty and almost as much is paid in Entertainments Duty as is received by the clubs.
We know that many professional clubs have started a players' provident fund whereby it is intended that 10 per cent. of the pay received by the individual player is made available to him at the end of his professional life. I believe that that fund which is organised in the Football League is the only provident fund of its kind in the world of sport. This is an obligation which has been cheerfully undertaken by the professional clubs belonging to the Football Association, but the clubs must obviously rely to a great extent upon the receipts from their gates.
Professional Association Football matches, Rugby League matches, ice hockey matches and tennis tournaments are held at Wembley and, under the present arrangements, they are subject to Entertainments Duty, whilst amateur matches played at Wembley bear no tax. Yet Wembley Stadium has played a great part in sport. I understand that in 1948 the Wembley Stadium Co. paid out over £200,000 on the construction of an Olympic Way and on providing some of the finest dressing rooms that have ever been made available for those taking part in the Olympic Games. No assistance was given by the State. It was their contribution to the encouragement of the Olympic Games held in this country in 1948. All those facts converge on to what I asked the Chancellor to consider, a new concept of the treatment of sport in our country.
My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South has stressed the value of sport in our national life. I realise that the removal of Entertainments Duty will not treble or increase tenfold the number individuals who will play games and enjoy the resulting physical advantage. May I suggest, however, that there is one important aspect which might be encouraged if the clubs were given this remission of taxation?
I am told that in some countries the sports centres which have been started are infinitely superior to those here. I do not believe it necessarily follows that a remission of Entertainments Duty will mean a lowering of the prices of admission. I heard a broadcast the other day from Nottingham in which it was stated that fine training facilities had been provided by the Notts County Cricket Club as a result of the assistance received following the exclusion of professional cricket from Entertainments Duty.
In these days, when national prestige is playing such a part in world athletics and sport, I should have thought that anything we could do as a Parliament to make it easier for the sports authorities of our country to increase their training facilities and to ease their financial burden, would be a great encouragement to and a great strengthening of our national effort in the world of sport.
I hope, therefore, that the Chancellor will listen carefully to the arguments we are putting forward. They are not made in criticism because, as I said at the beginning of my remarks, I believe that the action of his predecessor has had a beneficial effect upon cricket. So I believe that if the right hon. Gentleman could see his way to sacrificing the £3½ million which he now receives by way of Entertainments Duty from the various sporting activities of the country, it would be an economy which would be well worth while.
Like my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. A. Henderson), I want to say how pleased I am that the previous Chancellor took the action he did in 1953, which has been a great benefit to large numbers of sports. However, I think that the position taken up then has proved to be an illogical one, and unless this remission is extended to all games played by human beings—of which I think football to be one, in spite of anything the Government may think to the contrary—sport will not get the encouragement it needs.
The main argument against extending the remission of Entertainments Duty to football is that it is said to be a profit-making and a professional game. What are its profits? Naturally, football organisations do not want to run at a loss. If, however, by profits are meant vast dividends paid out to shareholders, I might point out to the Committee that my own club, which is one of the more successful ones, and might be expected to make some profit, paid a total sum of £24 15s. in dividends. That is not a large and extensive profit going into the pockets of rich shareholders. Not only that, but the directors do not receive any pay. They receive no pay and the shareholders receive £24 15s. in dividends. It cannot, therefore, be said to be a profit-making organisation in the ordinary sense of the word.
That profit was made last year. It will be much more difficult this year because for West Bromwich, as for many other clubs, assessments on their grounds have gone up recently. That is an important point. For example, the assessment of West Bromwich has gone up from £1,400 to £4,000, which is quite a considerable sum and something to which the Chancellor might pay regard when he is considering whether now is a better time than three years ago for making this change.
I have spoken about large clubs, but it is really the small clubs about which we are most concerned. I shall not say a great deal about those because there are others who know more about them and will make their case eloquently. I ask the Chancellor, however, to remember that it is not only the large clubs which are causing us to be so worried about this tax, but the smaller clubs, many of which may go into bankruptcy if the Chancellor retains it.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton referred to the position of amateurs. We must face the fact that the difference between a professional and an amateur is not clear. I will give one example from another sport of which I am very fond, and which I would have great pleasure in watching today if I were not here, and that is lawn tennis. Recently, a man I know wanted to have a tournament in a certain foreign country and to get some good players. He made inquiries and found that there is definitely a rate for the job which has to be paid for players. For instance, in the case of Head he found that the price would be not far short of £1,000 for attending a tournament. The figure was reduced for certain other players and eventually he found players who would take a mere £200 or £300. Yet that is an amateur sport. It does not seem to be right that it should get a protection given to amateur sports whereas football does not get such a protection.
Let us consider the basis on which amateur sport is fixed. I should have thought that one of the criteria was that either everybody was paid or nobody was paid. In amateur sports, just as much as in so-called professional sports, the groundmen are paid, the officials are paid, large numbers of people are paid. The only difference is that some of the players are not paid in the case of amateur sports. What about the position of cricket? Even the previous Chancellor admitted that it was in an entirely different position. He said that:
… cricket occupies a special place among sports, not only as forming part of the English tradition but as a common interest helping to bind together the various countries of the Commonwealth."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th April, 1953; Vol. 514, c. 55.]
That is as it may be. I have no doubt that cricket is a fine sport, but after all football is a world sport played by almost every country, whereas cricket is played by only a small number of countries.
If we were to choose a national sport, judging by the interest shown in it, football undoubtedly interests more people than cricket. I know that there are many people watching the Test Match, but would all those people watch the Test Match if it were played in mid-February weather? Yet many people watch football matches then, and they sit hour after hour watching, in spite of the weather and in spite of the fact that they are not able to sit in sunshine. They sit there because they really enjoy watching the game. I think we should have regard to that fact, and the Chancellor should extend the beneficence of his predecessor into the realms of professional football.
If, as my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) said, we are to win matches abroad, we must see that our young men can play in those matches and that they can get trained for them. We cannot do so if we are going to tax the sports in which they play. It is becoming increasingly important nowadays for us to win these matches. Just as the export trade is becoming more difficult for us today, so is the winning of matches abroad. We meet competitors from all over the world. The Chancellor is drying up slowly, but not all that slowly either, the reservoir of young men and women upon whom we can draw for these sports. I hope he will think again and appreciate the need to encourage not certain sports but every sport, and, having thought again, will remove the tax.
I find myself in complete agreement with the speeches by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith), my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. A. Henderson) and my right hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale).
I want to draw the attention of the Chancellor to a statement made on 20th May, 1953, by the present Minister of Pensions and National Insurance, who was then Financial Secretary to the Treasury:
My right hon. Friend has made it clear from the action which he is taking in the proposals in this Bill that he keeps the position of this and other sports under review, and I can say on his behalf that he will carefully watch the position of the football clubs, and perhaps in particular the smaller or third division clubs to which particular reference has been made."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th May, 1953; Vol. 515, c. 2128.]
While that was not a promise, it was an appreciation of the fact that in the event of there being a reasonable surplus the taxation of sport would be reviewed.
It is common practice, when the Finance Bill is passing through Committee, for the Chancellor to have a few million pounds up his sleeve to enable him to make certain concessions. He has so far been rather miserly. The only concession has been one to overseas companies in respect of taxation.
I appeal to the Chancellor to consider in particular the smaller soccer clubs in the Third Division and the Rugby League clubs. Rugby League is played chiefly in the North of England. There are 30 professional and 305 amateur clubs. The amateur clubs get very small gates; the people who play the game do so because they enjoy it and attendances are of secondary consideration. These small amateur Rugby League clubs have to pay Entertainments Duty, which, in itself, is a serious anomaly which ought to be looked at.
To turn to the so-called "big fish", the 30 professional clubs, they belong chiefly to small towns such as Batley, Bramley, Castleford, Oldham, Rochdale, Keighley, Workington, Wakefield and Dewsbury. It may be said that Leeds and Bradford, which have Rugby League Clubs, are large cities. That is true, but they have also First Division and Second Division soccer clubs. I am concerned chiefly about the position of Rugby League clubs. I fail to see why Rugby Union, merely because it is classed as an amateur sport, should be completely relieved of Entertainments Duty, and why the same consideration should not be given to Rugby League.
The receipts from an international Rugby Union match at Twickenham are greater than Keighley's total receipts for one year, yet the Keighley club has to pay tax. It is absolutely unfair. I should like to know why the Chancellor puts Rugby League football in this special category. The position is even worse because of the peculiar rules and regulations about professionals and amateurs. Rugby League clubs using Rugby Union grounds cannot avoid paying tax, which seems to be entirely wrong.
Since 1930, the Treasury has taken £23,000 from the Keighley club, and during the same period the club has lost £5,800. This seems to be a most unfair situation. The deficiency is met as was stated by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South; public-spirited people meet it out of their own pockets.
Rugby League clubs are in a very serious financial position. They are unable to provide the necessary equipment. They attempt to balance their books by private subscription or by running whist drives, raffles and pools, and they will now have competition from the Chancellor's Premium Bonds. The Chancellor must get down to the facts about Rugby League football. The attendances are not large enough to make it pay, and I submit that the clubs are entitled to special consideration.
After all, cricket has been relieved of Entertainments Duty. Take the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, which is a very good one, and I am not sure that it will finish below Lancashire. It is certainly a profitable undertaking. Last year it had an income of £59,175; indeed, it had an income of £27,709 before a ball was bowled, which is a very satisfactory state of affairs.
The Chancellor found sufficient good reasons for relieving cricket clubs of Entertainments Duty. I suggest that precisely the same reasons apply to Rugby League football. During the debate on the exemption of cricket, reference was made to the fact that the British people have a special affection for cricket. So they have for Rugby League football, particularly in the North of England. With regard to the argument about Commonwealth ties, I would point out that Rugby League matches are played between Australia and New Zealand.
I believe that the Chancellor is in a position to make concessions this year, and he should choose the sports in which concessions can be made. The position of Third Division soccer clubs is also precarious. The clubs are likely to go out of existence if nothing is done, as is the case with Rugby League clubs. I do not think that anyone would complain if a concession were made, because it would not cost much. I appeal to the Chancellor to give serious consideration to the position of Rugby League clubs on the basis of the statement made in 1953.
In this general debate, which is covering the proposals made in a number of new Clauses, I should like to refer, in particular, to the point made in the last new Clause, in page 3736 of the Notice Paper in the names of myself and my hon. Friend the Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Monslow). This is much more limited in its scope than that put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith), because it does not seek total exemption from Entertainments Duty, or even an overall reduction of rates of duty. It seeks only to reduce the total amount payable in duty in respect of fixtures at which the receipts are less than £2,000 in any one case.
I need scarcely point out that this new Clause is not put forward in competition with that moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South, or with other new Clauses which are to be moved by others of my hon. Friends. It is, so to speak, a last line of defence. I share the view already expressed by my hon. Friends that there is now no basis for the somewhat artificial discrimination, which was made by the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler), when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, between amateur and professional sports. I share the view that the time has now come to relieve all sports, other than those which exist almost solely for the purpose of gambling, from duty.
It is only against the possibility that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might harden his heart against that appeal and be unwilling to forgo all the revenue which he gets in Entertainments Duty from sport at present, that my hon. Friend and I have put down the new Clause. If the Chancellor is seeking, as we hope, to make some concession in this respect in this Budget, it enables him to make a concession where it will do most good at the least cost to the Revenue.
It may be asked why the new Clause singles out three particular sports, namely, Association football, Rugby League football, and boxing. The answer is that in considering this matter, as I did a couple of years ago when I moved a rather similar new Clause, I put myself in the position—or tried to do so—of the Chancellor when he is considering his Budget. Successive Chancellors of the Exchequer have told us, no doubt with absolute truth, that, in the germinating period before the Budget is produced, whatever else they are short of they are never short of advice.
Doubtless they get many suggestions and doubtless one of the topics about which suggestions are made is the Entertainments Duty as applied to sport. I can well imagine the sort of conference which takes place among the right hon. Gentleman's officials at the Treasury when they are preparing little minutes for him as a basis of his consideration of what he should do in the Budget. I can well imagine these gentlemen being much more skilled in finance than in sport and knowing much more about taxation than about sport.
I can well imagine one of them saying, "My dear chap, I read in the paper the other day that there were 100,000 people at one match and the receipts were £55,000. Obviously, this is a hugely profitable business and, therefore, we ought to soak them good and proper." I can well imagine another one of the right hon. Gentleman's advisers saying, "I keep on reading fabulous stories about a certain fabulous boxing promoter who seems to have a very high standard of living. It is clear that there is plenty of money in the boxing game and no case for relieving the sport in which this gentleman is interested of any of the burdens which it carries at present."
These three sports—and this is why my hon. Friend and I have singled them out—are common in one important characteristic. They are all sports in which there is a certain number of clubs, companies or promoters—a small number—who do very well and make plenty of money and get along very well without extraneous assistance and in respect of whom one might reasonably make a case for their being able to bear all the burdens which they are called upon to bear at the present time, while, at the same time, in the same sport, there is a majority of promoters, companies or clubs which one could well describe as the poor relations of the sport and which are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
It is in respect of those sports, more than of any other, that it might be said that there is some case, if one is not to exempt the sport altogether, for seeking to find some mechanism which discriminates against the wealthy operator, the highly profitable operator in the sport and in favour of those who are finding it difficult to make ends meet. There is here no new principle and nothing which should shock the right hon. Gentleman, or the other gentlemen of the Treasury, because what is here being proposed is something which is roughly the equivalent of the initial allowances which the right hon. Gentleman gives to other Income Tax payers.
The right hon. Gentleman says of other Income Tax payers that he will start to levy not at nought, but at something above nought, although it is not very large. What my hon. Friend and I are proposing in respect of Entertainments Duty is that the levy should not start from nought so far as the takings of the club are concerned, but that there should be an initial allowance—a not very large initial allowance—which goes free of burden.
I appreciate that there is one procedural difficulty about the new Clause. It is that the man who pays the tax is the spectator and it might well be said that if there is to be any relief of tax, that relief of tax must go to the spectator and not to the organisation providing the entertainment, whereas the proposed new Clause gives relief to the club, or promoter and not the spectator.
The right hon. Gentleman might well argue that it would be difficult to administer the arrangement proposed in the new Clause, because once a club has been relieved of its £100 it could not seek out all its patrons who had subscribed the money and give them back 2d., 3d. or 4d. apiece. The fact of the matter, if we are facing the realities of the economics of running a sport in this country at the present time, is that the relations among the spectator, club and Chancellor have subtly, but markedly, changed over the last few years.
It is no longer true, in practice, that the club is an organisation which gathers tax from the spectators to pass it on to the Chancellor. The situation now is that the spectator is not conscious of what part of his admission fee is tax and what is not. He pays it as an admission fee and would be happy to see the club retain the whole of it, as in the case of cricket, Rugby Union football and other amateur sports which did not reduce their prices when the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden relieved them of tax. The spectator is quite happy that the club should retain the whole of his admission fee and, therefore, to the extent that the club does not retain the whole, it is the club itself which is paying the tax.
Therefore, there is nothing at all wrong with an arrangement which seeks to relieve the club of some part of the tax for its own retention. Measured against that criterion, one advantage of this proposed arrangement is that it is the easiest thing the right hon. Gentleman will have to administer. We know that, quite pardonably, Chancellors of the Exchequer do take into account, in considering any proposal which comes before them, whether it is administratively practicable, administratively difficult, or administratively easy.
Nothing would be easier than to operate this initial allowance upon the basis which is proposed. The right hon. Gentleman will doubtless be familiar with the methods by which football clubs, boxing promoters and the like return their figures for the purposes of paying Entertainments Duty. He will know that they use Customs and Excise Form E.D.31 or. with the permission of the authorities, a large duplicate book which is no more than an enlarged copy of Form E.D.31 upon which are returned particulars concerning the number of tickets and places sold, the rates of duty, and so on.
Column H shows the actual cash takings for admission at each price, and the total of that column therefore shows the total cash takings. The next column shows the total duty at each admission price, and that is totalled at the bottom to show the total duty payable for the fixture. To operate the Clause it would merely be necessary to add one figure to Form E.D. 31, namely, a deduction from column I in every case in which the total of column H did not exceed £2,000.
My right hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) referred to what he called the big chaps and the small chaps in football. He quoted the club in his own constituency—West Bromwich—as one of the big chaps, and there are many he could have quoted as representative of the small chaps. I wonder whether the Chancellor realises how much the running of Association football and Rugby League football—about which my hon. Friend the Member for Barrow-in-Furness knows much more than I—depends financially upon the density of population and, conversely, the distances which people have to travel to go to these places of entertainment on Saturday afternoons.
The Arsenal, for instance, is in the middle of a densely populated area of North London. Although some people travel a long way to see the Arsenal— I can never understand why—the over-whelming majority come from places which are so near that they have to pay only a few coppers in fares. The same remark applies in the case of West Bromwich, which includes among its adjacent areas Birmingham, Wednesbury and Smethwick, upon which it can draw. There again, a man may well pay 3s. to get into the ground at West Bromwich or Highbury, because his total expenditure is only 4s.—3s. entrance fee and 6d. each way for fares.
But many small Rugby League clubs and Association football clubs in the two Third Divisions draw their support not only from their own small areas, but from a considerable area all round them. The football club in my constituency has no professional club nearer than Aldershot to the south, Swindon to the west, London to the east and Birmingham to the north. People come a very long way to see it, although it is only a humble club. Many spectators pay 2s., 3s. or even 4s. in fares before they pay the entrance fee.
It is apparent that these supporters are much less likely than the supporters of the Arsenal or West Bromwich to pay a 3s. entrance fee. The smaller football clubs have been very hard hit because fares have risen. It was noticeable that the attendances of these small clubs dropped fastest not when the prices of admission were increased, but when the local fares were increased. That is the principal reason why clubs in the smaller towns who draw their clientele from a fairly wide area are so much more vulnerable from the larger clubs in the more densely populated areas. Many of the smaller clubs are living from hand to mouth and facing near-bankruptcy.
I end by expressing the hope the Chancellor will accept the Clause moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South, which is based upon an absolutely unanswerable case. If he should find that he does not want to remit the whole of Entertainments Duty on these sports at one go, in one year—perhaps he wants to agree to my hon. Friend's proposal next year—and is seeking to find a way of doing some good on the cheap, where that good will do most good, I commend to him the proposal contained in the Clause in my name.
I accepted the responsibility of putting down the proposed new Clause standing in my name and in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) with a considerable amount of diffidence. I pointed out the difficulties which we had encountered in previous years, but Mr. T. C. Young, the Secretary of the Scottish Games Association, said, "That is all right David; we now have a new Chancellor. He has a clansman's name and may be more susceptible to an understanding of the Scottish position than the other man." I said, "Perhaps he is a cricketer." Tom replied "No; they do not play cricket in Westminster, David." I had to consent.
Such a small sum is involved here that I am sure the Chancellor will consider the question again. I am told that only £80,000 is involved. The Chancellor will not get £80,000 this year because this iniquitous tax is driving the Highland games out of existence altogether.
The Clause contains a double-barrelled phrase. The second part clearly shows what we are aiming at. We ask the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to consult the Secretary of State for Scotland upon the definition of "amatuerism" and "professionalism", because previous debates have shown that there is a certain misconception and misunderstanding about the running of the Highland Games.
The Highland games have never been visualised as a commercial proposition. They are always promoted by the voluntary efforts of the people, and many of them go back for hundreds and hundreds of years. There was Ceres, which dated from 1314, and which came into being because of a wave of patriotism arising from the fact that the Scots had won their freedom at Bannockburn—although they lost it at Westminster later. The Highland games in the wild Highlands take place on one day in the year, when the clansmen gather together to test their skill, fleetness and stamina in various ways. They are not professionals at all, because the prizes for which they competed were indeed small and meagre.
For instance, we are told that the amateur is one who does not run for money. But up in the Highlands it would be impossible to carry the pieces of furniture, such as chairs, clocks, etc., to give as prizes to all the various Highland games winners. I know an amateur who played bowls and who furnished his house from prizes won on the bowling green. John MacIntosh of Newton Grange must have won sufficient furniture to furnish a row of miners houses, because John is a prince of champions and the name of MacIntosh is well respected in bowling circles.
Mr. Black, a paper maker of Polton, won some of the most valuable prizes imaginable, when we compare them with the prizes won by. Alexander Anthony Cameron of Spean Bridge who was a policeman. Unfortunately he has gone, but his caber remains to this day to allow the pygmies of today to see what a giant was like. Cameron could place his huge caber on two fingertips and step forward and toss it. There are no people today in line to follow on that tradition because this iniquitous tax is taxing the games out of existence and our people do not get any practice. There are no more George Clarks, Nicholsons, Kirkwoods and Camerons. They have disappeared.
I am not making a case for Highland games against other amateur promotions. In my constituency I have two Olympic hopes, Dr. Euan Douglas of Penicuik, who will, I am sure, bring home a gold medal, and there is another near my home at Eskbank, West Calder, the town we discussed in connection with oil shale, where we have an amateur promotion which has to depend on voluntary effort and where the prizes are more valuable than the prizes given at Highland gatherings. Year after year we get reports of yet another Highland gathering going out of existence. This year, from the Secretary of the Scottish Games Association, I have evidence here from the North of England where in Northumberland and Durham also the games are going. This year I took the trouble to arm myself with concrete evidence, because on the last occasion on which I took the opportunity to raise the position of Highland games I instanced the great men of athletics in the field. At all Highland gatherings foot racing is one of the basic items on the card. While in England we had the doggerel
When there was heard the sound of a coming foe,
There was sent round England a bended bow.
In Scotland it was the "fiery cross", and here in the volume which I hold in my hand I have photographs of the resuscitation of the marathon in Scotland. To paraphrase what Byron said:
The mountains look on Marathon
And Marathon looks on the sea,
And musing there an hour alone,
I dreamed our land might yet be free.
The Chancellor could do something at least to ameliorate the sufferings of our people who are being prohibited from enjoying the one day in the year when they look forward to the opportunity of celebrating. If it is a wet day, the sports are spoilt.
In the early 'seventies, the Scots resuscitated the greatest centre of foot racing in Scotland and possibly in the world. I have here a photograph of the three men who did so much to contribute towards the resuscitation of this particular form of sport in Scotland, Fred Lumley, W. M. Lapsley, and A. R. Wood. Here is a photograph of one of the founders of Powderhall. There were four brothers who founded Powderhall, the Bauchope brothers. One of the brothers proved successfully that foot racing was not peculiar to the athlete in Scotland. He won championships for putting the cannon ball and pole vaulting. Many of our athletes were runners and many runners were athletes. Here I have photographs of some of the men who ultimately made records in Scotland as foot racers. Here is a photograph of Tim Banner, who was an "Aussie", certainly, who came to Scotland to show his paces, which I think is a great credit to the sportsmanship of the Scots. I have also a picture of Hunter of Shettleston, the third of three brothers who ultimately finished in my home town. One was John Hay of Edinburgh, a Bailie of Edinburgh, and B. R. Day of Dublin, a great Irishman.
We have also the start of the attempt to prostitute the sport in Scotland and how the promoter of Powderhall so aptly dealt with that particular incident. It concerned an entrant called Craig of Inverness. Mr. Lapsley the owner of Powderhall said to a lad who was rather young looking, "You are Craig of Inverness?" The lad replied, "Yes, Sir." Mr. Lapsley asked, "How old are you?" He replied, "Twenty". Then the lad said, "Will it be all right?" And Mr. Lapsley replied, "No, it will not. You are not Craig of Inverness at all, my lad. I could institute police proceedings against you, but I am not going to do that. You are G. B. Tinkler of Dublin", who was the son of a Dublin solicitor. Tinkler held his head in shame, because he knew that he had been found out. Lapsley treated him as one sportsman to another, and said, "You will run one lap here, and then drop out." Tinkler did so and went on to a great career in foot racing. In the summer time these men made the Scottish Highland games. They are the men whose photographs I have and they include Bill Struth, the man who ultimately organised the Rangers; Tom Brandon of Edinburgh, and Jimmy Duckworth who trained the Hearts and many Edinburgh runners who made history.
The prizes they won were only half crowns and five shilling pieces but the men who won the Powderhall sprint might benefit to the extent of £75 or £100. The point is that these men did not live by professional foot-racing.
The question of amateurism or professionalism should be decided as it is decided in cricket, according to whether the particular runner or athlete lives wholly or mainly by his sport. If he does not live wholly or mainly by it, he ought not be to deemed a professional and the Government have no right to tax people for going to see the sport. So I would ask the Treasury to look at this matter again. We believe that Scotland has not had justice and that there is a danger that the Highland Games will disappear altogether.
I would like to address my remarks to the Clause which has been moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith), but first of all I would say a word about Association football. I do not know whether the Financial Secretary will reply, but he probably knows the background of what I am going to say. Just on the off-chance that he does not, I will mention it.
There are 31,000 clubs affiliated to the Football Association. Of that very large number, 213 are full members and 134 are associates. These 347 clubs are of higher status than all the others which make up the 31,000 and are in direct membership, taking part in senior competitions. These 347 are divided into two categories. The first category of club has no player employed as a profesisonal. The second category has and employs them under contract. The first category numbers 130 clubs. Every club in the second category obviously contains 217 clubs and each club has amateurs as well as professionals in it.
We have heard no mention tonight of the fact that when the question of Entertainments Duty was first mooted to the Football Association as long ago as 1916 the assurance was given that the tax was not to continue in perpetuity. I also agree with my hon. Friend in finding considerable difficulty in understanding how the Government decided that football was not played by living people. That is quite incredible, and I hope that that matter will be cleared up at once.
That brings me to the question of amateurs. I am very glad, and I sure that my hon. Friends are also glad, that amateur sports were exempted from Entertainments Duty, but the time has come to extend the exemption to all. I would very much like to go into the question of amateurism and professionalism, but that would take a long time and I do not intend to do it tonight. The Government should consider, though, that Association football is played out of doors in all weathers and that a great many of the professional clubs have not sufficient covered accommodation for spectators, especially in the cheaper parts of the grounds. They have not got it, because they have not enough money left to provide it.
Will the Financial Secretary explain to us—or admit that the situation is quite ridiculous—how it is that when our best professional teams play footfall in Northern Ireland no Entertainments Duty is levied, or on any other outdoor games there? A first-class team pays Entertainments Duty in this country, while exactly the same team goes to Northern Ireland and plays an outdoor game, and no duty is levied.
Every Saturday afternoon in this country hundreds of thousands of people watch professional and amateur sport. I firmly believe that if the Chancellor does not make some concession on Entertainments Duty we shall find that some of those spectator sports will become almost non-existent. Obviously I am not talking about world championship boxing, the Football Cup Final at Wembley, the Rugby League Final or World Speedway Championships. Those will still draw hundreds of thousands of people, and I am glad that they will. I mean something which is even more important—which we who care about sport and athletics agree is more important.
I believe that this Entertainments Duty is preventing the opening of all those avenues—the tracks, the fields or the nurseries—which lead to the first-class teams, and I think they are more important than the first-class teams themselves. They mean a great deal in the social life of our country. I would make the sweeping general statement that I think every country except our own recognises that fact—every single one.
In common with many hon. Members, and in particular with those on this side of the Committee tonight, I was brought up in a world of sport. I know full well the difficulties that some of the minor clubs have in paying their way. Small professional boxing tournaments held in local public baths in the winter have to make a real effort to make their way. Speedway teams are struggling to get on, and so are Rugby League clubs. Many of those nurseries give youngsters their chance, and I believe that that chance is being killed today by the imposition of the Entertainments Duty. Two years ago I was told that the Rugby League had 22 clubs which wanted to improve their facilities for spectators and players but 18 of them had to say that that was financially impossible. Clubs in those difficulties need help, not a tax which will put them out of business.
If my figures are correct, in the financial year ended April, 1955, the Chancellor took something like £32,720,000 out of sport. He took £21,500,000 out of football pools and £7,450,000 from tote betting tax and bookmakers' licences at greyhound tracks. What we are more immediately concerned about is that he took £3,730,000 in Entertainments Duty from football matches, horse and dog racing, speedway, boxing and other events. I wonder whether the Government Front Bench ever realise that if there were no professional football in this country, the Chancellor would not only lose its contribution towards Entertainments Duty but £21½ million from the pools as well. I believe that a perfectly fair point to make.
My complaint against the Chancellor is not only that he took £32,720,000 out of sport last year, but that he put nothing at all back into sport. That is my real complaint against him tonight. On every Saturday afternoon for every person taking an active part in some sport between 26,000 and 30,000 watch sport. That is a mighty big proportion—30,000 to 1. If the Financial Secretary is to reply, I wonder if he will tell us that he is aware of the figures which I am about to give. They are rather alarming. In the last survey made in this country concerning recreational facilities, it was found that we have one rugger pitch for every 75,000 of the population. There is one soccer pitch per 6,350 of the population, one cricket field per 12,000 of the population, one grass tennis court per 9,300 and one running track per 410,000 of the population.
I am quite sure that the latter figure must make the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor shudder, and I hope he will pass it on to the Chancellor when he sees him afterwards. What I think is worse is the fact that Sweden, with a population of 7 million, has 800 running tracks, while here we have 136, and many of these are private. I will admit that a large number of the running tracks in Sweden were made possible largely by the contributions of the football pools.
I should now like to make this general point. Last month, when the English soccer team went to Western Germany, they had an opportunity of training in something which we have never seen in this country yet. It is still a dream to us. The members of that team trained in a sports centre deserving of the name. At the moment, we are scratching around seeing if we can find the money for the L.C.C. training centre which they want to sponsor, and we have not got anywhere near it yet. This sports centre in Germany cost £500,000. It combines outdoor soccer pitches, an indoor pitch, an outdoor swimming pool, an indoor bowls
I think we could even win a war, with all due deference to my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede), and not apply Entertainments Duty to sport. I think we could have both.
What I said was that it was always far better to lose a war than to win it.
I know, but I was not letting my right hon. Friend get away with that, because I do not want the Government Front Bench to shelter behind it. I still think that we could have both today.
Our own football team which went to Germany said it was a perfect joy to do their training in such a centre, and to people like ourselves it is just a nostalgic dream. What would it mean to our youngsters if they had the opportunity of training in places like that? How many of our spectators on Saturday afternoons, quite honestly, would prefer to do something if they had ever had the chance as youngsters of being trained for it? But it is the Chancellor who prevents this coming about. This centre in Western Germany and the other seven similar centres were provided by money out of the pools.
Do not the Government think the time has come to put something back into sport? I know I would not be in order tonight in suggesting that the Chancellor should take some of the money from the pools and put it into sport, and so I just mention it and leave it at that. The amount raised by Entertainments Duty is more than £3 million, and if the Chancellor were to put £1 million back into sport, he would give the youngsters of this country an opportunity which is not only their right but equally an opportunity to have that which is available to them in other countries. I have great pleasure in supporting the new Clause moved by my hon. Friend, and I hope that this time the Government will give way.
I hope that the slender attendance on these benches will not be taken as indicating any lack of interest on this side of the Committee.
Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the attendance is now 700 per cent. more than it has been all evening, because only one back bencher has been present throughout the whole debate, though we welcome his presence?
I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will take this matter very seriously, and do something, even if it is not possible this year, within the next 12 months.
I think that football is very hard done by and that it suffers from a number of inequalities. We live in an age when inequality is disapproved of, in every quarter, in whatever context it may be found; and football is subject to many inequalities. I have to be careful to keep within the rules of order, but I spent the early part of the day watching the Canada Cup matches at Wentworth. I cannot give the latest scores from the course, but I can give some of the comments off the course by some of the local residents, such as postmen, who want to know why professional golfers can play for money on Sundays whereas professional footballers cannot.
Another question we might ask—and here I come back to the inequalities—is why cricket does not have to pay tax whereas football does? These inequalities seem to me to be unjustified at a time when sport is more important that it has ever been in the history of the world. I support the comments made by the hon. Lady the Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton). I believe that within the next two or three years the Government must pay a great deal more attention to promoting professional sport. Before long we may be back where we were a thousand years ago, when disputes were settled by a tournament or contest. What a good thing it would be if we could settle some of our international disputes by means of football matches. [An HON. MEMBER: "We should have no Empire."] That may be a pious hope, but it is better to toss a football about than to toss an atom bomb about.
The hon. Lady made a plea for sports centres and she suggested that as a first step towards them we should remove the tax from sport. Obviously, that is something which must be done. How much longer is sport to be subjected to this invidious system, which also applies to the theatre, although we are not allowed to discuss the theatre on this Finance Bill? Taxation is imposed not on the profits but on the price of the seats, whether profits are made or not.
I hope that the Chancellor will find it in his heart to look at this principle during the next 12 months. We have discussed this matter for several years, but we have to go on talking about it until, one day, a Government takes action upon it. The principle of taxing an organisation before any profits are made and irrespective of whether profits are made—to put a tax on every seat which is sold, which is done in the theatre and which has killed the theatre—makes life extremely difficult for football clubs.
I feel that we do not pay nearly enough attention to international sport, which is of great importance these days. The prestige of countries rises or falls according to whether their athletes make a good showing at the Olympic Games or other contests. Why should we not put up a good show?
The reason we do not do so at the moment is that we make life as difficult as possible for our athletes instead of as easy as possible. I do not think that we are asking for very much tonight. There are many other things for which we could ask for sport; we could ask for many millions of pounds to be spent on new stadia, and one day we may get round to it.
I support the plea that as a first step we should remove this tax, which at the moment is imposed irrespective of whether the organisation concerned makes a profit at the end of the year.
Mark Twain wrote in his book,
Brevity is the soul of wit".
I cannot be witty, but I intend to be brief. The hon. Member for Heston and Isle-worth (Mr. R. Harris) referred to inequalities. That is the first time while I have been a Member of the House that I have heard hon. Members opposite talk
about equality. Now we hear about inequality in sport.
If we were to pay tributes, those tributes ought to be profuse to the sporting element of this country for what they have accomplished despite the lack of facilities provided for them. No nation does less for its sporting element than does this country. I am a very modest chap, although I say it myself, and sometimes I am compelled to hang my head in shame when I think of what is done for sport on the Continent in comparison with what we do in Britain. It is about time that we stopped this crazy idea of supporting sport in such a niggardly and parsimonious way.
I want to reinforce the plea that has been made on behalf of the Rugby League football clubs. I live in the very heart of this sport. It is a miner's sport I am a soccer fan, but I live in the midst of the Rugby League football clubs. Wigan, Warrington, Widnes, Leigh, St. Helens and Swinton are all noted clubs in the Rugby League, and they play every Saturday afternoon. Whether there is frost, snow, rain or sunshine, the men congregate together to watch their favourite sport.
Yorkshire has been mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Hobson), and I should like to mention Lancashire. In Yorkshire and Lancashire there are 30 Rugby League football clubs, 22 of which have large bank overdrafts. Every club in that league has a large scheme afoot to improve the facilities for the team and for the spectators, but not one of those clubs is able to carry out its scheme. The financial position of the clubs is such that they cannot do so. At the moment, the amount of money being spent on these schemes totals £12,500. If that amount is divided by 30 it results in a very small sum per club. It is estimated that, to provide reasonable facilities, it would be necessary to spend £135,385. Yet the Chancellor insists on retaining this tax upon sport.
Here we have a sporting element doing all they can to provide relaxation and sport on Saturday afternoons, and yet the Treasury prevents them from doing the work that they want to do. I can scarcely bring my mind to think that the Treasury approaches this question from an equitable point of view. It is easy to sit in Downing Street and impose taxes on people, but it is a vastly different thing to go about the country and discover the effect of those taxes upon the people.
I therefore reinforce the plea put forward by hon. Members of this side of the Committee that the Chancellor should consider it this year. He is in a much better position to do it now than he will be in 1957, because if he starts to do something in 1957 we shall have 1958 and probably 1959 here before we see the results. It should be remembered that a promise was made in 1953. The then Financial Secretary, on 20th May, gave an undertaking that the Chancellor, during the course of the next 12 months, would keep his eye upon the sports side and try, if possible, to reduce Entertainments Duty in 1954. Now we are in 1956, and nothing has been done.
What he did was infinitesimal and the effect has been very small.
It is all very well for right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the Government side, whenever they have an opportunity, to pour forth profound exhortations to the industrial workers: "Increase your productivity. If we are to solve our economic problems, there must be increased production. Stave off any demand for an increase in wages." Increases in wages will follow increased production, so they say, yet, at the same time, the people who appeal to the workers to increase their production prevent the workers from enjoying their afternoon's sport. To me, it is sheer idiocy for hon. and right hon. Gentlemen to put forward these arguments and, at the same time, oppose the plea that we are putting forward on behalf of our sporting element.
As I have said before, we ought to be extremely proud of the sporting element of this country and our job—and I hope that we will face up to it this year—is to help those who are now helping themselves, amidst extreme difficulties, to intensify and extend sport. I want to put four points to the Financial Secretary. First, will he afford a parallel with cricket to the Rugby and Association football clubs? Secondly, will he examine the anomalies in sport relating to the Entertainments Duty created by the 1953 Finance Act, when this matter was discussed? Thirdly, will he examine the effect of the increased rates of Entertainments Duty on the attendances, receipts and net income of football clubs? Fourthly, will he consider the current precarious financial position of many Association and Rugby League football clubs? If he or the officials at the Treasury will consider these problems, if they are fair, and if they desire to wipe out the inequalities which have been mentioned from the Government benches, then I am sure that as a result of their training and outlook they will advise the Chancellor to abolish once and for all the Entertainments Duty, which is anti-social and anti-sportsmanlike. If they do that they will be doing a good job on behalf of the sporting element of the nation which is entitled to some consideration from the Government, for what they do in the realm of sport.
I should like to return to the new Clause in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Reading (Mr. Mikardo). While I entirely support the new Clause moved by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent (Mr. Ellis Smith), and while I recognise that the Clause to which I speak is discriminatory in character, we feel that if the Chancellor is not disposed to grant a total exemption in respect of Entertainments Duty he may be able at least to agree that there is need for some sympathetic consideration to be given to what may be described as a graduated tax.
I want to say something about this, because of the parlous plight of the Rugby League and some football clubs. I think it should be said to the Chancellor tonight that there is profound disappointment throughout the whole range of entertainment that there has been no relief of tax in this Budget at all. It might at least have been anticipated from the 1955 April Budget, which was described by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite as a sunshine Budget, that we would have been fortunate enough to have had some reduction in Entertainments Duty in the present Budget. I am not unmindful of the fact that the Budget of October, 1955, turned out to be what one might describe as a moonshine Budget. If nothing is done by way of easement of taxation this Budget may well be described as the most dismal Budget of the last decade.
I want to set out a few figures in connection with the new Clause to which I referred. My hon. Friend the Member for Reading set out its objects. He adduced them in a way which ought to commend them for dispassionate examination by the Chancellor who, I hope, will give serious consideration to them. My hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton) indicated the volume of money which was taken from the entertainment world. I should like to cite a figure which portrays quite clearly the precarious plight of the Rugby League and the Third Division Association football clubs.
Thirteen clubs, over a period when they suffered a total loss of £40,730, had paid no less a sum than £102,830 in Entertainments Duty. That I regard as a very serious anomaly. The suggestion embodied in my new Clause is that we should have a graduated tax, the first £500 of any single gate to be free of tax, the second £500 to be taxed at 4s. in the £, and the remaining gate money to be taxed at 5s. in the £. If such a method could be devised to yield the same total in Entertainments Duty as is paid at present, the net effect would be to ease the burden on the smaller clubs. My colleague and I are not pleading tonight for the wealthy clubs.
It should he remembered that a number of Rugby clubs and some of the poorer Soccer clubs have suffered an average yearly loss of £5,000, and it is rather surprising that the anomaly has been continued by which those clubs have to pay in duty approximately £8,000 a year. The matter should be given serious consideration with a view to some adjustment being made by the Treasury. I know that on every Committee stage of a Finance Bill the Chancellor disburses certain moneys. So far, he has done nothing at all in respect of the home situation but has simply given relief in respect of the overseas position. I appeal to him. If he has any money at all to disburse I ask him to give consideration to the parlous plight of the Rugby League, the poorer soccer clubs and boxing.
Something ought to be done, and done urgently. Some of these clubs will no doubt go out of existence if no change is made. About 1 million people attend football matches every Saturday in the season. What a treat it is to go to a football match. It gives us some stimulus, a fillip, especially when we have to suffer as we are suffering today as a result of the policy of the Government. It strengthens our morale to get away on a Saturday afternoon from the dismal atmosphere and the activities of the present Government.
I ask the Chancellor to help to strengthen our morale by accepting our proposals. If he does not do it now I am confident that a number of our clubs will go out of existence and that, as a result, he will not get the desired production which the nation requires.
It may be for the convenience of the Committee if I intervene at this point if only because we are discussing seven new Clauses and some rather wild estimates have been made of the cost of one or other of them and various points have been raised with which I should like to attempt to deal.
We started off with a mystery. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith), in his very pleasant speech, alleged that I or one of my predecessors had laid down that Association football was not played by human beings. Shortly before this Budget, I had the pleasure of receiving, on behalf of the Chancellor, an all-sports deputation on the very subject we are debating tonight. If any Treasury Minister had at any time made such an astonishing statement it strikes me as likely that some member of the deputation might have taxed me with it at that moment.
I can guarantee to the hon. Member and the Committee that I made no such extravagant statement in the course of receiving the deputation. Indeed, there were persons concerned with boxing who would have dealt with me faithfully as regards their sport if I had thrown about such an allegation. I can only suggest that somebody in the course of discovering that this particular rate of Entertainments Duty does not apply to the living theatre had drawn the false deduction that those who take part in sport are not alive.
I quoted from a memorandum which had been prepared by the Football Association on Entertainments Duty on Association football and this was an extract from a Treasury statement that had been made. It is true that it was made prior to the present Chancellor and the present Financial Secretary coming into office.
I can take no responsibility for what may have been said when hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite were in control of the country's affairs. All I can say with certainty is that none of the present denizens of the Treasury has committeed himself to any such unwise statement.
The hon. Lady the Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton) said that the Government were taking about £3¾ million out of sport. She was, of course, quoting a figure that related to the whole of this scale of duty, whereas, so far as I am aware, none of the new Clauses is concerned in any way with horse racing or dog racing. The actual amount of tax revenue that would be affected by the first and main new Clause is about £1¾ million.
That Clause would abolish the tax on sport except on horse racing and dog racing.
If the Committee wishes, I will give quickly the make-up of that sum in relation to the new Clauses. The new Clause relating to Highland games, on which the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Pryde) made an amusing speech, would not cost £80,000, as I understood him to say, but directly a little more than one-tenth of that figure, say about £10,000. But, as I shall seek to show, if we were to change the law so as to exclude Highland games we should certainly, in fairness, have to exclude some other things. So the final figure would not be £10,000 but a great deal more.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) asked me how much of this was concerned with football. The exemption of Association football would cost about £1¼ million, the exemption of Rugby League about £100,000, the exemption of ice hockey between £10,000 and £20,000. But there again, if there were to be an exemption for one sport singled out like that, clearly we could not stop there and it would extend a great deal further—
May I interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, because I do not quite follow his figures? I thought the Financial Secretary said that the cost of the first Clause, which includes all these other sports, would be £1¼ million—
The right hon. Gentleman has said that it would cost £100,000 to exempt Rugby League clubs. In view of their serious financial difficulties, which have been proved beyond a per-adventure and are known to the Chancellor, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that it is not only paltry but bordering on meanness not to make that concession?
The hon. Gentleman seems to be clear, before I make my speech, that I shall turn down his proposed Clause. What I was doing was not to seek to argue the matter one way or the other but to make available to hon. Members on both sides of the Committee the essential figures without which we cannot come to decisions.
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Monslow) is associated with the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Mikardo) in a proposed Clause that would give assistance to smaller occasions, if I may put in that way entertainments which would not bring in takings of more than £2,000. So far as we can calculate, that proposal would cause a loss of revenue of about £500,000, but that is bound to be a rather wide estimate. The proposed Clause of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford (Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport), who is concerned with boxing and would like that reduced from the second to the first scale, would cost about £50,000.
I come now to the comprehensive Clause which would exempt everything except horse races and dog races. The Committee may recollect that in days gone by there was heavy criticism of the old distinction that was drawn when athletic sports were put on to one scale of duty and the racing of animals or machines was put on another scale. That criticism came from hon. Gentlemen opposite as heavily as from anywhere. Indeed, I thought it originated in all that pre-1952 dissatisfaction, because the existing arrangement was said to discriminate against speedway racing and the like.
It was because of this that a review of the whole duty was undertaken and in 1952 the old structure, which was a two-tier one, was altered and the present three-tier structure was created with, I would have said, a good deal of satisfaction that one of the former anomalies had been removed. In this case I see that the Opposition wishes to restore that anomaly. It wishes to exempt car racing and motor cycle racing whilst leaving horse racing and dog racing subject to tax.
That was not, so far as I can ascertain, the kind of view that prevailed among hon. Members opposite in 1952 when the change was made. Indeed, no less a person than the present Leader of the Opposition said in the House in 1952:
I am inclined to the view that racing and mechanically-aided sports cannot be very easily distinguished from the other games and sports of which we have been speaking, and therefore I am rather inclined to share what evidently is the Government's view, that they must be treated together."—[OFFICIAL, REPORT, 6th May, 1952; Vol. 500, c. 269.]
I do not know whether those who have tabled the Clause have managed to bring their leader round to their point of view, but I am justified in pointing out to them that, unquestionably, it is in conflict with the view that he expressed and the view which generally prevailed and was accepted only four years ago.
That was four years ago. Since then there has been a General Election. We made a promise at the General Election that what is proposed in the Clause would be applied. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition has since made a speech saying that it would be implemented if we came to power.
I know that the Socialist Party made that promise in its 1955 General Election address. At the same time it proposed other measures which would cost many millions of pounds but gave no indication where it would get the money.
The yield of the Entertainments Duty was high in the years immediately after the war. As I explained last week, it is generally accepted now, certainly by all the delegations which come to see me, that that was in large part because there was a lack of things in the shops and other directions in which people could spend their money, but football matches and so on were available and that was where the money went, people above all wanting a change from the war.
It is not because of the Entertainments Duty that the attendances and the tax yield have fallen off since then. Between 1950 and 1954 the yield from the various forms of sport was down. Last year it appeared to be turning up again. When hon. Members claim that the Entertainments Duty is killing various kinds of sport, I must say that it is hard to maintain such an argument at a time when the yield of the duty is trending upwards rather than downwards.
That probably is a statement of fact, but is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while there has been some increase in the case of the bigger matches, such as cup tie games, there has been a general deterioration in attendances at ordinary league games?
What I said was a statement of fact; it was not a probable statement of fact. Let us base our arguments on what is actually happening. I was not seeking at that moment to prove that no small clubs were in difficulties. I know they are in difficulties. What I was seeking to show was that the sweeping allegations made by some hon. Members who have been carried away a little by their arguments have gone very far beyond the truth.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that only a few days ago the directors of Plymouth Argyle Football Club said that it was Entertainments Duty which was likely to cause the club to close?
It must surely be within the hon. Member's recollection that 30 seconds ago I said that I did not dispute that various small clubs were in difficulties. What I said was that various small clubs are in difficulties and a number of large clubs are doing well. Some large clubs are doing badly and some small clubs are doing well. Does that satisfy the hon. Member?
A number of hon. Members challenged the present basis of the duty altogether. They were not merely arguing that we ought not to tax sport. They were directing their arguments against the attitude, taken up by successive Governments, that there is a distinction between amateur and professional sport. If I am obliged to argue that point, it will be something which has been accepted by this Committee on Finance Bills for many years. There is this distinction, on which our tax system in the last few years has been based, that there is no taxation on amateur sport, though that, of course, is not, as some people imagine, a sweeping exemption of all games and matches in which the players happen to be amateurs. It applies only where not only are all the players amateurs, but where the promoting organisation is established and conducted on a not-for-profit basis.
The Committee has on previous occasions accepted that there is a distinction between amateur sport of that kind, on whose behalf a number of excellent sentiments were expressed by various hon. Members, and professional sport, which has a commercial meaning and interest both for the players and for the organisers. I grant at once that there are many football clubs which are not making a profit for anybody, that there are no directors drawing large fees and that sort of thing. Nevertheless, it is a commercial activity and there is a broad distinction between the amateur side on the one hand and the professional on the other.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether in fact he knows of any clubs which are paying large dividends and doing the sort of things which are normally done by companies making large profits?
I was not arguing that everybody was making a profit out of this. Of course certain people are making a profit out of certain forms of sport. Let the Committee be in no doubt about that. I am very well aware that there are many Football Association clubs and particularly the small clubs—if the hon. Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Mr. Hayman) will allow me in the general sense to use that phrase—which are facing difficulties.
Here we come up against the same problem which we had with cinemas the other day, that one cannot draw a line of demarcation anywhere and say that everything below that line is doing badly and everything above that line is doing well. In fact we are all perfectly well aware that a number of football clubs and promoters of various sports at the moment are not meeting with all success, if I may put it at its lowest. There are many people and organisations who are not about to go bankrupt if the tax is not removed from them.
I agree at once that on the whole things are more difficult for the small clubs and organisations than for the big ones. My information is that, taking the country as a whole, the takings for admission to Association Football matches, after deducting the duty payable, were no lower in the last year, 1955–56, than they were in the previous year and were probably somewhat higher. There again, it would be quite untrue to say that the tax was killing football.
The Financial Secretary will not have overlooked the fact that the costs of football clubs are rising astronomically. They spend a great deal upon wages, which have been increased, and a huge amount upon travel, the cost of which has risen very much indeed.
I hope I can convince the Committee that I have given some study to this subject.
The all-sports deputation was kind enough to say that it did not find me entirely ignorant upon the question.
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what he is going to do? That is what we want to know.
I thought that I might be charged with discourtesy if I did not deal at least briefly with each of the new Clauses which we have been discussing, but in order not to keep the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Peart) waiting, I will go forward as swiftly as I can.
I have also received a deputation on behalf of Rugby League clubs. That deputation put its position very clearly before me. Most Rugby League clubs—I must be careful not to use the phrase "smaller clubs"—are dependent upon smaller centres of population. There is no question that the tax treatment of professional Rugby League football must go along with the treatment of Association football; the two could hardly be distinguished.
Boxing has also been referred to. Here again, my information is that the gross takings in the last year or two have been higher than they were immediately before. If the proposed new Clause in the name of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford were to be accepted—
—it would cost about £50,000, two-thirds of which, I estimate, would go to promoters of the bigger tournaments, whereas I understood from my hon. and gallant Friend that it was the smaller promotions which were suffering most.
Reference was also made to speedway racing. This is a very interesting example of the truth that tax is by no means the only factor in the success or otherwise of some forms of sport. Attendances at speedway racing totalled about 6½ million immediately after the war. They rose to 12½ million in 1949, but have now swept right down to 3½ million, because speedway racing is less popular than it was, and people are more interested in stock car racing and such things.
Even though only £10,000 is directly involved, I must dwell for a few moments on the Highland games. Prizes, nowadays, are not of the order of 5s. or 2s. 6d. for which the stalwarts of the nineteenth century used to compete. With certain exceptions the Highland games of today are professional in character. I am informed that the participants are not recognised by the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association because of the substantial money prizes involved. Some games obtain exemption under the amateur sports provisions, or upon charitable grounds, but, in view of their professional character, it would be quite impossible to exempt all these Games unless we were going to make a far more sweeping concession.
The hon. Member for Reading put down an interesting Clause, which would make a tax distinction between events according to whether or not the total receipts fell short of £2,000. Here again I must advise the Committee that there is no clear-cut distinction between the profitability of one and the other. The hon. Gentleman was perfectly right in seeing the fiscal defect in his proposal, a defect which I had to point out the other day in the case of a similar proposal for cinemas. I have been criticised in the columns of The Times by my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor), who failed to appreciate the point. It is, of course, that if the public are charged the full amount of the tax and then the whole of that tax is not later paid over to the Revenue, one is getting a hidden subsidy.
I should like particularly to mention to the hon. Member for Reading that his new Clause would most markedly draw a line down the middle of professional football. On the whole, most Third Division clubs would be exempted by his Clause as would some Second Division clubs, but I do not think anyone in the top League would get off.
Our Clause was designed to assist the poorer clubs. We set up an agreed scale so that they would benefit.
The hon. Members are entitled to their own views, but when I received the all-sports deputation, one question I put was whether a change in the law of this character would be welcomed. I understood the representative of the Football League to reply definitely that the Football League did not stand for anything of this kind. I could hardly advise the House, for the benefit of Association football, to accept a scheme devised by two, if I may say so, astute hon. Members which was opposed by the Football League.
I listened with interest to what was said by the hon. Member for Coventry, South about the Chancellor taking money out of sport and not putting it back into the Olympics. But that is getting some distance from the main purpose of this Clause, which is to abolish the Entertainments Duty on attendance at various sports. If the tax were abolished, if the revenue disappeared, there would be no question of putting the money back into stadia and the like.
I can now help the hon. Member for Workington, who has been very patient. I have been asked for the view of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor on this subject. The view which he takes was expressed, with his authority, by me on 19th April. Though my right hon. Friend is in the course of reviewing the whole of the Entertainments Duty, he would not find it in keeping with his Budget to make any change. I said also last week, when dealing with the Entertainments Duty on the cinema, that anybody who read between the lines of my statement could see from it that my right hon. Friend was not satisfied with the general arrangements for the Entertainments Duty as it stands, and that he would give careful consideration to it so that he would be ready with some new plan when he thought the proper time had arrived.
May I put one question to the right hon. Gentleman? Is he aware that the spokesmen for the Football League, who put a certain point of view to him which he has been good enough to quote, are predominantly spokesmen for the richer classes? Of course they do not care for a scheme designed to help the poor classes.
We have heard a niggardly and ungenerous speech from the Financial Secretary, even for a denizen of the Treasury Bench. Many of my hon. Friends will still want to express their disappointment and their advocacy of the claims of particular sports.
I support the new Clause which was moved so well by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis-Smith), because I feel that it would be much better to take the tax clean off sport. If any concession could be made to any particular sport my hon. Friends would welcome it as being half a loaf, and they will still urge their points of view. I quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the tax is clearly not the only cause of the difficulties in which many sports find themselves but it is a very important cause, and one which can be remedied. The other causes are very much more difficult to remedy. One can isolate this cause and can remedy it at very little cost indeed.
The policy of the Government is harsh and anomalous. As even Government supporters have pointed out, this is an extraordinary tax because it falls upon a concern whether it makes a profit or a loss. Indeed, it very often eats up all the profit and turns a profit into a loss. This is particularly grave in certain sports. Not only is it harsh in this way but it has been made very anomalous since the late Chancellor of the Exchequer exempted cricket and amateur sport. We were grateful for those two exemptions on the basis that half a loaf is better than no loaf, but it has resulted in making the whole thing an unjust and unfair muddle.
The distinction between amateur and professional sport is an impossible criterion to go by especially now that cricket his been exempted. As my hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. T. Brown) said, one cannot distinguish between cricket and Rugby League football in this respect, because once cricket has been exempted the distinction between amateur and professional as a criterion for tax ceases to be applicable or sensible. When the Financial Secretary talks about the difficulty of drawing lines, I remind him that none of the lines which we have suggested he should draw is nearly as difficult as the line which he is drawing between cricket and professional sport.
The arguments used by the Lord Privy Seal when he was Chancellor to justify the exemption of cricket apply very much more widely, as my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South said. The previous Chancellor said that it was because cricket was hard up; there are lots of professional clubs, even important ones, that are extremely hard up. He said that the exemption would not cost very much, but as the right hon. Gentleman has just been showing us, some other exemptions, like that for the Highland games, would cost infinitely less than the exemption for cricket, which cost about £80,000 a year.
The Lord Privy Seal made a great deal of play about cricket being the traditional game for the country, but I think he meant that it was a gentlemanly game; that was the real distinction he was making. I am a great cricket fan and love watching cricket, but I would not dream of making the exemption on that basis. Cricket is not nearly so traditional a sport as some others. Football has a great claim to be both older and to be based on a longer tradition.
Perhaps the best measure of the Britons' love of a sport is the date at which Governments have tried to prohibit it. Football was prohibited in the Reign of Edward II. Cricket did not get prohibited until a great deal later, namely in the reign of Edward IV. Football is a more traditional as well as a more popular game. Governments in those days always tried to stop the popular things.
It is not possible to sustain the point about cricket being a bond of the Commonwealth against other games like Rugby League and Rugby Union, and, of course, Association football. Football Association teams go to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the West Indies, to just as many Commonwealth countries as our cricket teams. In the main, they go at a loss, and the loss has to be paid for by the profits on Cup ties and so forth. Of course, the tax—
Is it not a fact that Rugby Union football is exempt from tax whereas Rugby League is not?
I quite agree with my hon. Friend that the anomaly is quite indefensible. I think my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. A. Henderson) pointed out that Wimbledon tennis and the Test matches are tax-free, while the Cup Final has to pay over one-third of its takings. The two Rugby games are, of course, rivals. One is more profitable than the other. The less profitable one is taxed and the other is not. It is an extraordinary and anomalous position.
We have been told by the right hon. Gentleman that the cost of the major concession would be £1¾ million. That would be very little to the Treasury, but an enormous amount for sport. It would make an enormous difference to sport. It makes the Government look like a Government of kill-joys when, for the sake of £1¾ million, they deny this great boon at practically no sensible cost, no cost which could be measured in the terms of present-day Budgets, but which would be of immense value to sport. The concession would cost about as much as the concession the Chancellor is making to rich people—people earning £5,000 to £7,500 a year—in an Amendment to Clause 19. If the Chancellor had not made that concession he would be able to make this one to sport at no cost whatever.
This tax is on the sport and enjoyment of the people. It is not only stifling the great spectacles but the actual playing of these games in the smaller clubs which very often are sustained by organisations which make their money out of the big professional games. As my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton) pointed out, it is damaging the nurseries of sport, and that is a very grave thing to do. This has nothing to do with the commercial aspects of sport, but with sport itself. In all cases the organisations which run these games use the profits from the big spectacles to finance and encourage smaller clubs and the nurseries of sport.
That is why we said in our Election manifesto quite clearly and flatly that we shall abolish the tax on sport. We stand by that. Had Labour won the last Election this tax would be being abolished in this Budget. It will be abolished after the next Election when we are back in office and carry out our intentions.
I wish to say how disappointed I was with the reply of the Financial Secretary. We were concerned because we had the feeling that, in the end, he would offer nothing to the clubs affected by this taxation.
I say quite frankly that I am making a constituency speech, because Workington has a Third Division soccer side which did very well indeed last season and we have also built a fine Rugby League side, which has established a tradition. Workington is concerned with this matter and is affected by the taxation measures of the Government.
Also, in Cumberland, I am pleased to say, we have sympathy with the view which has been expressed by my Scottish colleagues about the Highland games. In Cumberland, we have professional games which are held in great esteem not only by Cumbrians but by people who travel from afar. I have a special constituency interest in this matter. I am sure that people who run Rugby League and Association football teams will be shocked and disappointed by the speech of the Financial Secretary.
No doubt the party opposite is saving up for the General Election and perhaps we may have a windfall then, but we on this side of the Committee feel that the Chancellor could do something about this question now. From the figures given by the Financial Secretary, if the major Clause were accepted the sum involved would be £1¾ million. If the Clause affecting only football were accepted the amount would be £1¼ million. If an Amendment were agreed to dealing only with Rugby League football, as my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Hobson) said so vigorously, the amount would be only £100,000. This is chicken feed compared with other amounts in our national economy.
Sport is not something that can be dismissed. [Laughter.] It is no use hon. Members opposite laughing about it. The benches opposite have been empty all through the debate, and, of course, hon. Gentlemen opposite do not attend Association football matches or Rugby League matches. They have probably been at Wimbledon watching tennis—
We on these benches are more concerned about sport affecting people in the great industrial areas, such as Rugby League football.
Yes, and in the rural areas. I know that my hon. Friend is a supporter of Norwich City, a Third Division Southern club, which would benefit if the proposals of the Labour Opposition were carried. So we say that the Chancellor and his party should do something about it.
I will not deal with the anomalies; we know they are there. We see our great sporting spectacles, like the Amateur Cup Final and the Wimbledon tennis, exempt from taxation. Fashionable clubs like Bishop Auckland, in my own native county of Durham, and southern amateur clubs, are exempt from taxation, while the minor professional clubs, not in the Third Division—and I know many of them in the north of England which act as feeders, in the main, of the professional clubs—small professional clubs which have been run in the mining towns and villages, are subject to severe taxation. Surely, there is an anomaly which has been pressed over and over again by many of my hon. Friends.
The matter should be looked at again, and I had hoped today that the Chancellor might have made a concession. I would have been prepared to accept the Government's decision if I knew that all this taxation went into the provision of sports facilities, playing fields and athletic running tracks. As my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton) has said, we need much more money for this purpose, especially if British sport is to play a leading part in world competition. If this revenue had been filtered away in that direction, I would have been prepared to accept the proposals of the Government, but we know that that is not the case.
Therefore, I say even now, at this late hour, that the Chancellor should look at this matter again. He does not need to have a review of taxation. After all, it was his Government which made one concession to Rugby Union and cricket, and his Government which made the taxation concession to amateur sport. Surely he could make a further concession now. Even if he accepts the moderate proposals put forward by my hon. Friends the Members for Reading (Mr. Mikardo) and Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Monslow), and does not accept the main case for exemption, it would benefit the football clubs and the Rugby League by £½ million. I am sure that the Chancellor could have done it tonight, and I wish he would look at this matter again, since there is deep feeling on the subject. I hope that my hon. Friends will go into the Lobby against this policy of the Government.
I wish to support my hon. Friends in the plea which they have made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I support the main items in the new Clause which has been moved, but I shall speak particularly to the new Clause which deals with Highland games, to which, so far, only my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Pryde) has spoken. I hope I may have the Chancellor's attention, because the Financial Secretary wearied us almost to tears with the time he took to say very little about the new Clauses. When he turned to the Highland games he said he wanted to deal with the subject for a moment, and he dealt with it in a most perfunctory way.
The right hon. Gentleman made no reference at all to one part of the Clause on highland games; he wiped the subject completely out of his mind by saying that most of these games were professional games. In the new Clause in the names of my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian, myself and other hon. Members we have asked that there should be consultation in order that decisions could be made from time to time which Highland games could be exempt from Entertainments Duty.
The Financial Secretary said that all the Chancellor gets from the taxation of Highland games is £10,000. What a miserable sum! Yet the Financial Secretary tells us that he cannot afford to do without it. In my constituency we have important games each year. They are non-profit-making in every sense. The men and the women in my constituency get no profits at all from these games. They give up much valuable time not simply for a week before the Highland games, but from one Highland games to the next; these men and women work to make them a success, not only for the big village in which they are held but for a very wide area of Scotland.
They have told me time and again that if this taxation continues they will be forced to give up these Highland games, and that applies not only to the Highland games held in Shotts, in Lanarkshire, but to those in many parts of Scotland.
It seems to me that these Highland games help to bring out the best in many of our people. If I have one criticism of the way of life in our country today it is that far too many of our adults and young people are spectators and far too few take part in doing and playing, which, I think, would be a much better way of spending their leisure time.
In the Highland games we have those who provide music from the pipe bands. Bands attend from many parts of Scotland and the young men, and sometimes the young women, give up much of their time throughout the year to learn how to play the pipes. They are doing something which not only brings satisfaction and pleasure to themselves but also gives satisfaction and pleasure to many others.
We also have young women, and sometimes young lads, who take part in what I might call the folk dancing of Scotland—our Highland dancing. That is not merely something performed at Highland games; it is performed throughout the year in our villages nad towns, attracts our young people and gives them a form of leisure entertainment in which they take an active part and are not simply spectators. It seems to me that it is a good thing for the Government to encourage that way in which to pass one's leisure.
We have many types of athletics at these Highland games, and, again, it seems to me to be important for us to give all the encouragement we can to our young people to take part in athletics throughout the year. The Highland games prove an incentive to all of those things about which I have been speaking. This tax that is imposed on Highland games has already stopped those games in some of our Scottish towns and villages, and I am informed that before very long there will be very few Highland games held anywhere in Scotland.
I am surprised that no Scottish Member on the other side of the Committee has spoken on behalf of this Clause. I am even more surprised that every Scottish Highland Member is not in his seat this evening, supporting us in our plea. The Financial Secretary made no case whatever this evening for turning down this modest claim that we are making for our Scottish Highland games. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to reply to what we might call the "second half" of the debate, I hope he will be able to tell us that this sum of £8,000 to £10,000 is to be given to our Scottish people to foster all of these things which I think are among the best in our Scottish life.
I have sat here for the whole of this debate. I have heard every speech that has been made, and I must say that all of the speeches from this side and the one speech from the other side of the Committee, excluding the Ministerial reply, have been excellent.
I support in their entirety the various points of view that have been put forward, including the speech by the hon. Member for Heston and Isleworth (Mr. R. Harris). My only regret is that that there were not more hon. Members opposite present during the early part of the debate. As my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) has said, one would have expected that some of the Scottish Members on the opposite benches would have supported the Clause relating to Highland games.
In the few remarks that I have to make I should like to introduce a new argument. I support all of the suggested Clauses, although, frankly, I do not think they go far enough. I suggest to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) that there is no reason or logic in his Clause for excluding
sports other than entertainments consisting wholly or mainly of horse-races or dog-races.
We have heard a lot this afternoon from hon. Members interested particularly in Rugby football and Association football about the desirability of enabling one's club to get to Wembley for either the Rugby League cup final or the F.A. cup final. My hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton) referred to the necessity for providing sport with financial assistance, but she might bear in mind that the Olympic Games were only held at Wembley because of the financial support that Wembley gets from greyhound racing.
I know that many hon. Members here probably do not like greyhound racing. Here I will declare an interest. I have a greyhound track in my division, although it is not the Wembley track. It is a fact that this great cup final, which every hon. Member hopes to attend—[Interruption.] If the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) had been here earlier, he would appreciate the point of this debate, namely, the desire of football and rugby supporters to get their teams to Wembley to take part in the cup final.
I want to point out that these matches could not otherwise have been held at Wembley. Does anyone really think that the huge Wembley Stadium could be left from year to year for the purpose of having the F.A. Cup final or perhaps one or two international games? Of course it could not. The returns which come in to pay for those games are from greyhound racing. It is similarly true concerning athletics.
I was pleased to hear my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South say that we should encourage our Olympic teams. I agree that we should. We should give our support to football, cricket, rugby and all sports, including athletics. She mentioned the lack of running practice and lack of facilities and assistance. She could have pointed out that the athletics which go on at the White City are not paid for by those who follow that sport. Again, they are paid for by those who go to greyhound racing.
Let me give an example. One company which goes in for greyhound racing paid £1,600,000 in tax to the Treasury and it paid to its shareholders dividends amounting to £60,000. The reason that it is possible to run these athletics—Pat Smythe with her horse jumping, the searchlight tattoo and S.S.A.F.A. show—is because each week there is, in fact, this greyhound racing which appears to be frowned upon by the Treasury.
The hon. Member for Heston and Isleworth, who is not in the Chamber now, mentioned the argument of inequality. It is not inequality that we have. It is discrimination against small Association football and Rugby football clubs and also discrimination against the working man who, rightly or wrongly, decides that his form of amusement is greyhound racing. What is the position? He is in the unfortunate position of having to pay 30 per cent. Entertainments Duty and also the special 10 per cent. tax, and he is, of course, in the position of having a deduction of 6 per cent.—
The hon. Gentleman is arguing about greyhound racing, but that is not included in the new Clause.
I was speaking, Sir Rhys, against the new Clause and I was pointing out that it excludes certain sports.
I was suggesting that this exclusion, if the new Clause were implemented, would carry on the other anomalies which the new Clause proposes to abolish. I was going on to explain that it is because of the excessive taxes which these types of sports are paying that there is now the position of a lower tax being charged on football and these other sports.
I therefore suggest to the Chancellor that if, as it appears, he cannot see his way to accept either the new Clause which deals mainly with football, or any of the other new Clauses, he should try to introduce a method of taxation of these sports on an entertainment basis and on a fair and equitable level.
The present position is that if a man wants to watch a football match he pays a certain percentage of Entertainments Duty, but if he chooses to see a private, amateur show, or if he goes to Wimbledon, he pays no tax at all. If he wants to watch ballet for his amusement, or if he goes to the opera at Covent Garden, he pays no tax but is subsidised from the Entertainments Duty paid by those who watch sports and other forms of entertainment.
I ask the Chancellor to level this out, to treat them all alike and to try to ensure that every type of entertainment is properly dealt with. The present system is farcical. Not only are there different rates of duty for different types of sport and entertainment, but some are excluded. We have the absolutely ludicrous anomaly that if a person watches professional football, at, say, the Arsenal, he pays a tax, but if he stays at home and watches the same match on television he pays no tax at all. It is true that he pays a licence fee, but he pays nothing in actual tax to the Treasury.
Perhaps the Chancellor will promise that he will not hold back a concession until just before the next General Election. Many of us believe that he would be willing to do it now if he could be, sure that an Election was coming. I ask him not to wait, but to do it now.
Hon. Members opposite have shown interest this year and last year in the taxation of Highland games and have accused Highland Members, of whom I am one, of taking no interest in the matter. That is wholly wrong. Long before any hon. Member opposite examined the problem of Highland games we took an acute interest in the matter when they themselves were in power. Our view was influenced solely by the fact that professional vaudeville artists, high- land dancers, heavyweight athletes, and a circus of professionals, who began probably in the Lowlands, in Dundee or somewhere else, and eventually moved up to the Highlands, take part. They are performers. They are paid either directly in salaries or in high prize money which they probably share.
As long as that state of affairs prevails, what possible excuse can there be for charging Entertainments Duty to the football attender in Glasgow, who goes once a week to follow his game, and not charging the man in Dornoch, Wick or any other place in the Highlands his share of tax for one day in the year?
The hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) said something that we all support. She likes boys to be trained in piping and girls in dancing, and they are. When entertainment of that kind is provided, where they are competing for small money prizes, small, modest prizes, my understanding is that the Chancellor would make no charge at all for Entertainments Duty in those circumstances. It is this professional element, which seems to be highly remunerative, which is wholly contrary to the real traditions of Highland games. I am quite certain that all of my colleagues who have the responsibility of representing the Highlands strongly support the Government on this issue.
There was a time, long ago, just before the Financial Secretary began his interminably tedious speech, when I thought that something would result from this debate, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer was sitting on the Front Bench opening and shutting a brown file which was marked in large letters, "Action". Unfortunately, the right hon. Gentleman eventually shut up the file and sent it back to the Box. I wish that he had kept the file and sent the Financial Secretary back to the Box, because the Financial Secretary made no serious attempt to deal with the debate and with the points that were put to him.
The right hon. Gentleman did not deal with the main point which was made from his own side of the Committee against the Entertainments Duty as a whole, namely that it is a bad tax because it is a tax on receipts and, being a tax on receipts, can drive concerns which we want to foster into losses or even into bankruptcy. If the Chancellor had listened to the whole debate, he would have heard from time to time examples of the great difficulties into which various sporting concerns were being driven in part by the Entertainments Duty, but the Financial Secretary did not deal with that point. He preferred just to mull over again the old discriminations which speeches from this side of the Committee have shown quite clearly to have really no validity at all.
There is the discrimination, for example, between amateur and professional sports. The right hon. Gentleman probably does not know that many of the so-called amateur clubs are far more prosperous than their professional brethren. I should hate to mention this in the presence of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton), but there is very little difference in some sports between the amateur player and the professional player. The only difference that I can see in some sports is that the professional player gets his payment directly above the counter. Then mention has been made of the discrimination against sports on which there is gambling, for example, racing. But when we get landed into that, we find ourselves trying to stop or penalise the Boat Race, a very amateur sport on which there is a considerable amount of gambling.
All these discriminations have simply created more and more anomalies, all in order to mitigate the effects of a tax instead of removing that tax altogether. If the Chancellor is seriously going to look at this subject, I think that he will find in the course of the next twelve months no argument whatever for continuing the tax as it has been continued for many years. If, having listened to part of the debate, the right hon. Gentleman could say, "It is not, after all, a very large sum of money. I can get rid of it," he would give a great deal of stimulus to a large number of entertainments and sport on which, to a considerable measure, our physical well-being and our pleasures depend.
In the course of listening to the debate, I wondered whether the eloquence that was being poured forth, mainly from this side of the Committee, would be like water on a duck's back. When I listened to the Financial Secretary's reply, I thought that he made extremely heavy weather of it. He was like a dying duck in a thunderstorm. He had really little to say. His long statement led us nowhere. We gained from it only the fact that the taxation which my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) wants to see repealed yields £1¾ million.
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that this would cost £1¾ million. What do we set against that? The interest of the great mass of our people in weekly sport. Not only is it a question of attendance at sport; there is the further encouragement of our young population to take part in and to be associated with sport. That in itself is a good thing to encourage, but if we are to tackle the problem of juvenile delinquency we must interest those young people in something worthwhile, and there is nothing better for them than exercise, recreation and sport. If, therefore, by a repeal of the Entertainments Duty on sport the large and the small clubs could use the money which now goes in tax on encouraging young people to take a greater interest in sport and to help to equip them for it, that would be of advantage to the nation.
It has been put to me that we have listened to the appeal of hon. Members from the big industrial areas. This applies to the rural districts just as much; in fact, the people who travel from our villages to see games on a Saturday have to pay far more in travelling expenses and lose more time than those living in the big industrial areas. Therefore, it is an advantage in a county like Norfolk to have Norwich City Football Club operating there. We know that the people associated with that club go out into the villages and help to develop the latent talent there, and then the big clubs from the cities come and buy them out—
With great respect, Sir Rhys, the point is that the professional football clubs now find themselves in the position that, if they were relieved of Entertainments Duty, they would be able to meet their obligations and could extend their activities for the benefit of the growing generation.
I was going to say that Norwich City is doing this for the villages of Norfolk and Suffolk. If I may give one instance to make my point, Sir Rhys, a schoolboy international who played for England this last year was greatly helped to develop by officials and others in the Norwich City Football Club. If now, as I want to show, the Norwich City Football Club is losing money, then the repeal of Entertainments Duty would not only assist that club but also many other Third Division clubs.
It is a question of doing this now, not in two or three years' time when these clubs have been milked of their reserves and are unable to continue. So it is an urgent matter, one about which we want to see our sporting clubs assisted from a national point of view. We want to see sport widely diffused amongst all our people so that the high standards of the professional clubs can be used to assist the bulk of our growing population.
I do not propose at this hour to enter into any further argument about the general points which have been made, except to say that I was disappointed at the peculiar type of reply given by the Financial Secretary. He wandered through a lot of points, kept the Committee waiting to hear what he was going to do about it, and eventually decided that he would tell it that he was going to do nothing, and he did not say that in as pleasant a way as he might have done.
There is one thing that I want to ask the Chancellor to reconsider. His predecessor rightly said that he would not allow a sport to disappear if the Treasury could help it, stating that he had to be satisfied first of all that the sport was unable to survive under the strain of the tax imposed. I have an instance of a sport which is definitely going to the wall, and, unless the Chancellor does something, will disappear in a very short time. I refer to boxing.
Hon. Friends of mine have commented upon the fact that few hon. Gentlemen opposite have taken much interest in the debate. The Chancellor has not even taken notice of his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford (Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport), who has at the moment disappeared from the scene. [HON. MEMBERS: "One hon. Gentleman opposite is asleep."] I have no desire to awaken the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Mackie), who has evidently decided to take no further interest in the proceedings; perhaps he will not vote either.
I could understand it if the Chancellor wanted the sport of boxing to disappear. My hon. Friend the Member for Warrington (Dr. Summerskill) has a certain attitude towards boxing, about which I think she is wrong, but, if she were in the Chancellor's place, I could understand her saying that she wanted to destroy the sport because she did not agree with it. However, that is not the Chancellor's position. Like some of my hon. Friends, the Chancellor and his predecessors have felt that boxing should not disappear.
I want to give one or two figures which may assist the Chancellor, even at this late hour, in coming to a different conclusion from that to which the Financial Secretary came a little while ago. I understand that a recent boxing tournament paid £11,000 in taxation and was run at a loss, the tax being much too heavy for an entertainment of that sort to bear. I am told that there are now only six regular promoters of boxing tournaments. The small promoters have practically gone out of existence. In 1952, under the old rate of tax, there were 708 tournaments, 648 being commercial and 60 charity tournaments In 1955, under the new rate of tax, there were only 341 tournaments, of which 293 were commercial and 48 charity tournaments.
It is obvious that if boxing continues to suffer the severe strain at present imposed upon it, it is ultimately bound to be forced out of existence. We were given an assurance that that would not be permitted. I should like the Chancellor to let us know whether he really intends to drive the sport out of existence and so deprive himself of a very substantial income, or whether he intends to reduce the tax to enable the sport to continue, with the consequent result that not only will he be able to give a considerable amount of enjoyment to those who participate in it, but also afford the Treasury some kind of revenue which he will ultimately lose if the sport disappears.
The hon. Member is suggesting that the tax on boxing will destroy boxing as a sport. Does he suggest that a tax on professional boxing will destroy amateur boxing?
I think that that is generally conceded, because in many cases the amateur proceeds to professional boxing. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] That is the position. If the small promoter is driven out, we will have neither amateur nor professional boxing in anything like a substantial way.
If the Chancellor believes in boxing, it is not worth while incurring that possibility from the point of view of boxing, or from that of the Treasury. If he cannot concede all that is being asked in these Clauses, I appeal to him at least to consider some kind of reduction which will enable this and other sports to continue and not to be driven into a position which will entirely destroy them.
The observations made by the hon. Member for Huddersfield, East (Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu) must not go unchallenged. He said that there was not much difference between amateur and professional football, other than a pay packet being handed over the counter to the professional footballer. That statement made in the House of Commons must be contradicted, because it is a slur on a great band of sportsmen whose only interest in the sport is enjoying or watching a game of football as amateurs.
In my constituency, there is the largest football stadium in Great Britain and perhaps one of the oldest football teams in Great Britain, Queens Park. I shudder, and I am sure that many friends of amateur football will feel ashamed to think, that any hon. Member should cast the slur that the only difference is a pay packet going over the counter, instead of below the counter. I want to take the opportunity of resenting that.
The hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Lewis) made a most eloquent plea on behalf of dog racing. I understand that the actual amount of time of dog racing is eight or ten minutes. Not much time is devoted to the sport, whereas an enormous amount of time is devoted to compiling the book.
The hon. Member has misunderstood my point, which is that if a person desires to spend his free time in that type of entertainment there is no reason why he should have to pay 50 per cent. tax, whereas another person who desires to go to the opera or ballet not only pays no tax, but is subsidised by the very man who goes to greyhound racing.
Nevertheless, I think it would be a fair statement to make that the hon. Member has more than a passing interest in dog racing because he mentioned that there is a dog racing stadium in his constituency. For the life of me, I cannot understand anyone who is kindly disposed to dog racing going into the Division Lobby against Premium Bonds. I cannot understand that.
The hon. Member is wrong. I did not go into the Division Lobby to vote against them.
I gladly withdraw. I apologise to the hon. Member. However, many of his hon. Friends did vote against them.
I do not want to detain the Committee. I wanted only to say what I have said about amateurs and professionals, and to protest against the inconsistency, evident in hon. Members opposite, of wishing tax relief for dog racing but voting against Premium Bonds.
I have no intention of keeping the Committee more than a few minutes, but I should not like it to be thought that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner) reflected the opinion of all of us. I find it difficult to understand how he can identify the sordid business of prize fighting with the other sports which have been mentioned. Of course, I support everything that has been said so far as real sports are concerned, but the business of prize fighting is an entirely different matter.
I am impressed by the temper of the Committee as I rise to speak on this subject tonight. About the same time of night, four years ago, when I rose to speak on this subject on a similar occasion, I was interrupted by noises of every kind. The hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford (Lieutenant-Colonel Bromley-Davenport) shouted. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"] Even my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) refused to allow me to speak. My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) weighed in against me. The noise was such that I found it difficult to make myself heard at all. I think the atmosphere tonight indicates that the temper of the Committee in this matter is changing, and I believe that the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West found little sympathy on either side of the Committee.
My hon. Friend pleaded for a business. Indeed, I was astonished that when the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. John Hall) opposite intervened, and asked my hon. Friend whether he was speaking about amateur boxing, my hon. Friend revealed that the business for which he was speaking regarded amateur boxers as its source of supply—
Do I understand that my right hon. Friend pleads for amateur boxing but does not agree with professional boxing? Is that what she is driving at? It would be interesting to know.
—those men who exploit young men, those men who, after years of exploiting these young boxers, find themselves financially better off, their health unimpaired, while the health of the young men they have exploited has definitely deteriorated. Furthermore, this sordid business is being brought right into the homes of the country on television. There is not one hon. Member, I believe, on either side of the Committee, who can be proud of the scenes as they are either portrayed on television or reported in our newspapers.
On a point of order. Seeing that my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) has just arrived, would it be in order for my right hon. Friend to repeat her last few sentences, because I did not hear them and, I am sure, other Members of the Committee did not hear them? To continue the debate properly, per- haps we could ask my right hon. Friend to repeat what she said.
I assure my hon. Friend that I have no desire to indulge even in verbal battle. All that I am anxious to put is a rational case.
I think I know the minds of hon. Members enough to realise that what I say today will be received in the manner in which I hope it will be received. I believe that our civilisation is evolving. I believe that the sordid displays which we are compelled to see should be condemned by the House of Commons, and I am convinced that in a few years' time the House will condemn them. I believe that it will be unnecessary to introduce legislation, but I also believe that one progressive Chancellor of the Exchequer after another will refuse to do as my hon. Friend suggests and reduce the tax on prize-fighting. In this way, prize-fighting in this country will die of its own accord.
Other people in the House, years ago, have appealed to the House to reject other brutal so-called sports. They have been rejected because the House of Commons has what is characteristic of the British people—common sense. People know that this is an undesirable business, undesirable from the point of view of the active participants and undesirable for those who view it. Therefore—
Can we have this said quite clearly? Is my right hon. Friend objecting to fighting for money, or is she objecting to A.B.A.—amateur—boxing and even boxing in schools and the A.T.C.?
On a point of order. Would it not save the time of the Committee if the party opposite settled its differences in private?
The hon. Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor) need not worry. He has interrupted me on many occasions in the past, always at this time of night. He always arrives at about a quarter to eleven. I am so confident that my point of view will finally prevail that I never lose my temper or get irritated by him.
All I have to say to my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) is that what he has asked is completely beside the point. We are discussing the tax on prize-fighting and not amateur boxing.
I have no desire to entertain the Committee—[Laughter.] Frankly, that is the right expression. Many hon. Members have heard me put this case on other occasions. An entirely different atmosphere prevails tonight, for which I am profoundly grateful. I am quite certain that in a very few years' time there will be no further necessity for me to intervene in a debate such as this.
I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Member for Warrington (Dr. Summerskill), with her strong views about boxing, must feel very happy at the thought that it is now open to her to see an entirely clean, gentle and manly sport, in which Widnes will beat Warrington at Rugby League football. There, at least, she will see no display of unnecessary violence. She will see a game fought to a fair conclusion, with due regard to the rules of the game and the courtesies of the contest.
Some of my hon. Friends with much more political wisdom than I have suggested that the Chancellor is completely convinced about the need to do something, but is postponing the operation until some time rather nearer the next General Election. If that be true, all I would say to him is that he will leave it too late because, by the time the Election comes along, many of the most famous Rugby League football clubs will have found it necessary to close down.
The right hon. Gentleman did me an honour—and I think that he assisted me—by coming to my constituency during the previous Election campaign. If he comes again into Widnes, having succeeded in killing a Rugby League football club which nearly died last season, and was prevented from doing so only by people rallying round to get it through to the end of the season, he will find a very warm reception waiting for him—a reception which will melt the heart even of my right hon. Friend the Member for Warrington towards him. He will become the victim of what may prove to be a violent display of opposition to him because of his lack of appreciation of the seriousness of the situation.
Whatever may be said about the arguments of the Financial Secretary upon the subject of other sports, it is relevant to point out that he made no attempt to make a case for the maintenance of the tax upon Rugby League football, or to suggest that such a tax was fair. All he could say was that we must treat this sport in the same way as we treat Association football. That is no argument for destroying a sport which is played and watched with very great enthusiasm and devotion by people in small towns, and followed essentially by people in small industrial towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
The Financial Secretary produced a quite astonishing argument. He mentioned that the yield from Entertainments Duty was rising. It is surely an extraordinary proposition, when the yield from a certain tax is increasing, to say that the financial situation is so acute that nothing can be done about it. Surely the rise in the yield is an argument for taking the opportunity of lessening the impact falling upon these small clubs, in whose case the tax is having a lethal effect and driving them out of existence.
If the proposed new Clause moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) cannot be accepted, I submit that the one suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Reading (Mr. Mikardo) points the way out of these difficulties. His proposal seems a practical one, which would certainly help the small clubs which cannot, in the nature of their situation among small populations, ever hope to get really big gates. So that they can get upon their legs and provide decent conditions for their players and have reasonably equipped establishments they should be given the concession to which may hon. Friend the Member for Reading has pointed the way.
The general argument of the speeches of my hon. Friends calls for an end to the anomalies in this tax. We have seen a complete rejection of this plea on the part of the Government. It is to the question of Highland games that I wish to address myself.
So far, we have had two or three comments in answer to the arguments advanced by my hon. Friends the Members for Midlothian (Mr. Pryde) and Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison). First, we had the outrageous argument of the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir D. Robertson), who might well be termed a Glasgow Highlander, as he was born in the same city as myself and represents a Highland constituency. The hon. Gentleman put forward the most pernicious argument I have heard for refusing this concession for the Highland games. He said that one reason for refusing it was because there are professional athletes who go round to the various games.
We have nine major games in Scotland which occupy a day or two days at the most, and there are smaller games in the counties where Highlanders have been drawn because of the industrial revolution of our time. There games offer the same facilities and no one could argue that it is possible for professional athletes to make a living by going round to the various games. I put it to the hon. Gentleman that he has done a great disservice to Scotland by advancing that argument.
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury said that it was not an £80,000 concession that Scotland was seeking, but an £8,000 concession. I may say that I am not making a constituency case, but a national case—the case for Scotland. After all, Scotland is an integral part of the United Kingdom and deserves this recognition of her national traditions, which are as honourable and ancient as those of any other part of these Islands. The point has been made that we are not seeking a concession of £80,000 but £8,000, and this has been used as an argument by the Financial Secretary for not accepting the fact as it is.
The second argument of the right hon. Gentleman was that were this concession given to the Highland games, we should have to cut out other things. What other things? The right hon. Gentleman did not tell us what were the other things in the same category as the Highland games. The appreciation of the Highland games by many hon. Members extends to their having seen the film "Geordie". That is their experience of the bardic and athletic pursuits of Scotland. It must be recognised that the Highland games are not a professional athletic meet. There are essentially the ground on which athletes, amateur as well as professional, compete, and at which people also compete in dancing and piping and various other cultural pursuits. The Highland games are misnamed for the appreciation of Englishmen. They should not be called games at all.
The Mods, like the Eisteddfod, are exempted, or ought to be exempted, though application has to be made for exemption from the various impositions of this tax. But in the case of the Highland games, because they are called games, they fall foul of this fantastic duty. With such a long tradition of culture behind these games, it seems unfair that a concession should not be given which, after all, would involve only £8,000.
There is the argument about anomalies, but this whole field of taxation is full of anomalies. An anomaly was created when the concession was made to cricket. That is the answer to the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland. The fact is that the position becomes quite indefensible now that the concession has been given to cricket.
I was interested to learn that the history of cricket can be traced back to the days of Edward IV and that of football to Edward II. But the origin of the Highland games can be traced back to the time when the Greeks played their Olympic games, and some of us like to think that their history goes even further back than that.
We have always insisted that these games have represented gatherings of many people in different parts of the country. Their names still ring loud and clear in Scotland. Those people are meeting, not for professional purposes to make money, but as an expression of their national culture which, I am sad to say, is not so vigorous, so staunch and so fine as we see among our Welsh friends because Scotsmen, among hon. Members opposite particularly, have neglected to defend the heritage of Scotland. It is left to us once again, as throughout the long years of Scotland's history, to speak up in defence of the people's heritage and ask the Chancellor to make this gesture of fairness.
One of the privileges of office is to distinguish between these things. One year it was cricket and, who knows, this year it might be Highland Games. A descendant of a Scottish peasant now sits in high office and, with the seals of office, is able to give us this £8,000 concession in a £5,000 million Budget. It is not very much. If there is an ounce of patriotism in his heart, as there must be, surely he will give this concession to Scotland who gave his ancestors to him and gave him to the British people, for their sorrows.
If I do not move the Government on grounds of national sentiment, if I do not move the Chancellor on grounds of personal sentiment, let me appeal to the Englishman's purse and say, "You can make a great deal of money by raising this tax from Highland Games". Making them free of tax by encouraging more games would attract more tourists to Scotland. That would add to our revenue and help our dollar position. There we have the motives, sentiment, national pride and money; surely I have satisfied hon. Members opposite in some way or other. I ask the Chancellor to be reasonable and to give Scotland the concession that she certainly wants.
The debate has now gone on for a very long time and ranged over rather a wide field. In the last lap or two it has taken some rather unexpected turns. It has been an agreeable and very interesting discussion in which a large number of hon. Members have given their views about different kinds of sports and I think that we can now feel that the subject has been fully discussed.
I intervene, therefore, only because I think it would be discourteous if I did not make a reply before suggesting that the Committee should now proceed to a decision. The views of the Government were stated—admirably stated as always, and very courteously stated—by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. The conclusion which I draw from this debate, coming new to it, is the danger of discrimination, because almost every hon. Member has wished to promote a particular fancy at the expense of that of someone else.
It is quite true that the whole story of this Entertainments Duty is a story of various discriminations. There was the one which my right hon. Friend and predecessor made in 1953, when he exempted cricket and made the distinction between amateur and professional. Both those were welcomed at the time, but both have led to a great deal of complaint that they were unfair or improper discriminations. In a very few months of holding this office I have learned how difficult it is to make a concession of any kind when, after the first reaction of pleasure from the persons receiving the concession, there are all the demands of other people to get something similar because they feel they have been badly treated.
This new Clause, so admirably moved by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith), is itself discriminatory. I am bound to say that I had a good deal of sympathy with the speech of the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Lewis); he pointed out that this new Clause was grossly unfair to the interests which he frankly said he represented. I understood him to say that a football match could not be played on the ground at all unless the ground had been supported by the admirable efforts of the dog racers and others.
Manchester United are now the richest football club in the country and there is no dog racing anywhere near them. We do not mind discrimination of the kind in our new Clause, because it would exempt from tax the men and women who take part in these sports.
Will the Chancellor bear in mind, in answering my hon. Friend, that Manchester United were anxious, as all football clubs are anxious, to get to Wembley for the Cup Final; and Wembley would not be there for the Cup Final were it not for the money received each week from greyhound racing?
That is the point I was trying to put as fairly as I could.
The general conclusion left upon my mind was that in the very difficult and complicated history of Entertainments Duty, of which this sports element is one part, there has been this difficulty of making differences between one sport and another and one rate of tax and another. Even the new Clause is discriminatory; and while it goes back to the position maintained by the Leader of the Opposition in 1952, it goes against the position which he adopted at the General Election of 1955. All this is quite confusing.
I think I had better keep out of the controversy on boxing altogether. It introduced a new element of that happy reconciliation between Knutsford and Leicester which was, I am afraid, rudely interrupted by the quarrel between Warrington and Leicester.
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Warrington (Dr. Summerskill) that boxing should finish, or does he intend to do something to prevent that from happening?
I was pointing out how all the various views pressed upon me during the seven hours of the debate were very divergent in their results.
The hon. Member for Greenock (Dr. Mabon) made a speech which naturally appealed to me, but even he pointed out the tragic situation arising from another form of discrimination by which the Highland games are subject to tax and the Eisteddfod is not. The reason—and I am not saying that it is a good reason, but merely saying that it is the reason—is because it falls under this arrangement which was made in the past, one being amateur and one professional. It seems incredible, of course, that anybody should pay to attend an Eisteddfod, and certainly incredible that anybody should pay to take part in it. The Highland games are much more fun.
I referred to the Eisteddfod and the Mods, which, after all, are festivals of Gaelic culture. These are nothing to do with the Highland games and only a small part is athletic. These are festivals of culture and nothing to do with athletic sports, and I believe they are exempt from Entertainments Duty if application is made to the Inland Revenue.
We have another Clause about that and we had better not anticipate it.
All these matters lead me to the general conclusion that the effort to work these different discriminatory methods has not been altogether satisfactory. I think the Committee has already reached the conclusion that the new Clause, and all the new Clauses separately, would merely add to the lack of logic in the present structure of the tax, if there is a lack of logic.
In the Budget of this year, as I have had to say on other new Clauses, I determined to increase the estimated surplus by a considerable addition both to direct and to indirect taxation. I did that for reasons which I thought right, and which, I believe, broadly had the support of the House. The only remissions of taxation which I have been able to recommend to the Committee are in a single field—the field of savings. I have not, therefore, felt it possible to accept any of these new Clauses, although many of them have admirable purposes which carry a lot of sympathy.
When we come to consider the structure of the Entertainments Duty, in which £40 million is at stake, and the sports part of which accounts for £3½ million—we have already dealt with some of the cinema proposals; we are now dealing with the sports proposals, and we shall be dealing with others tomorrow—considering the many things which I have had to reject, I can only say that my advice is that this year we shall retain the principle upon which this Budget is based and the theme of which is that because of the broad, general economic situation, there must be an increase in the surplus, an increase in taxation direct and indirect, and remissions only for the single purpose of encouraging saving.
I hope, therefore, that the Committee will feel that while I recognise the very strong arguments which have been put forward, as they have been on other matters connected with the Entertainments Duty, it would not be right for me to do anything except advise the Committee to maintain it for the present year.
|Division No. 232.]||AYES||[6.12 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Cronin, J. D.||Herbison, Miss M.|
|Albu, A. H.||Crossman, R. H. S.||Hewitson, Capt. M.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Hobson, C. R.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Holman, P.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Delargy, H. J.||Holmes, Horace|
|Anderson, Frank||Dodds, N. N.||Holt, A. F.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Donnelly, D. L.||Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwoh)||Hubbard, T. F.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Dye, S.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Benson, G.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)|
|Beswick, F.||Edelman, M.||Hunter, A. E.|
|Blackburn, F.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Irving, S. (Dartford)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Edwards. Robert (Bilston)||Janner, B.|
|Boardman, H.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pncs, S.)|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.)||Fienburgh, W.||Johnson, James (Rugby)|
|Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Finch, H. J.||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Forman, J. C.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creeoh (Wakefield)|
|Boyd, T. C.||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilon)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Gibson, C. W.||Kenyon, C.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Greenwood, Anthony||King, Dr. H. M.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Grey, C. F.||Lawson, G. M.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Lewis, Arthur|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Grimond, J.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Chapman, W. D.||Hale, Leslie||Logan, D. G.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Hamilton, W. W.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Clunie, J.||Hannan, W.||McGhee, H. G.|
|Coldrick, W.||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Mclnnes, J.|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Hastings, S.||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury)||Hayman, F. H.||McLeavy, Frank|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Healey, Denis||Mahon, Simon|
|Cove, W. G.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Mann, Mrs. Jean|
|Marquand, R. Hon. H. A.||Pryde, D. J.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Mason, Roy||Randall, H. E.||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Mayhew, C. P.||Rankin, John||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Messer, Sir F.||Reeves, J.||Thornton, E.|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Reid, William||Tomney, F.|
|Monslow, W.||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Moody, A. S.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Weitzman, D.|
|Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm, S.)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Moyle, A.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||West, D. G.|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Ross, William||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Oliver, G. H.||Royle, C.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Oram, A. E.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Orbach, M.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Oswald, T.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Palmer, A. M. F.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Parker, J.||Snow, J. W.||Willis, Eustace, (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Parkin, B. T.||Sorensen, R. W.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Paton, John||Sparks, J. A.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Pearson, A.||Stones, W. (Consett)||Woof, R. E.|
|Peart, T. F.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Probert, A. R.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Proctor, W. T.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mr. Short and Mr. Deer.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. MacA.||Hope, Lord John|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Doughty, C. J. A.||Hornby, R. P.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||du Cann, E. D. L.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Horobin, Sir Ian|
|Arbuthnot, John||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Duthie, W. S.||Howard, John (Test)|
|Ashton, H.||Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)|
|Atkins, H. E.||Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Hughes-Young, M. H. C.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Hulbert, Sir Norman|
|Balniel, Lord||Errington, Sir Eric||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)|
|Banks, Col. C.||Erroll, F. J.||Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.|
|Barter, John||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Fell, A.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Finlay, Graeme||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Fort, R.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Freeth, D. K.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Gammans, Sir David||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)|
|Bishop, F. P.||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Gr[...]en)|
|Black, C. W.||George, J. C. (Pollok)||Joseph, Sir Keith|
|Body, R. F.||Gibson-Watt, D.||Keegan, D.|
|Boothby, Sir Robert||Glover, D.||Kerby, Capt. H. B.|
|Bossom, Sir A. C.||Godber, J. B.||Kerr, H. W.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Gough, C. F. H.||Kershaw, J. A.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Gower, H. R.||Kimball, M|
|Braine, B. R.||Graham, Sir Fergus||Kirk, P. M.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Grant, W. (Woodside)||Lagden, G. W.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Green, A.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Gresham Cooke, R.||Langford-Holt, J. A.|
|Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Leather, E. H. C.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Leavey, J. A.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Gurden, Harold||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)|
|Campbell, Sir David||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Linstead, Sir H. N.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Channon, H.||Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W.|
|Cole, Norman||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)|
|Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||McAdden, S. J.|
|Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Crouch, R. F.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||McKibbin, A. J.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.|
|Cunningham, Knox||Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Maclay, Rt. Hon John|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||McLean, Neil (Inverness)|
|Dance, J. C. G.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Hirst, Geoffrey||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)|
|D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Maddan, Martin|
|Deedes, W. F.||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)|
|Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Powell, J. Enoch||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Marples, A. E.||Profumo, J. D.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Mathew, R.||Raikes, Sir Victor||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Maude, Angus||Ramsden, J. E.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.||Redmayne, M.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Mawby, R. L.||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Maydon, Lt.-Comdr, S. L. C.||Remnant, Hon. P.||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Medlicott, Sir Frank||Renton, D. L. M.||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Ridsdale, J. E.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Moore, Sir Thomas||Rippon, A. G. F.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Robertson, Sir David||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Nabarro, G. D. N.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|Nairn, D. L. S.||Roper, Sir Harold||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Neave, Airey||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'oh)||Sharples, R. C.||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Nield, Basil (Chester)||Shepherd, William||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Nugent, G. R. H.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Webbe, Sir H.|
|Oakshott, H. D.||Soames, Capt. C.||Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)|
|O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Spearman, Sir Alexander||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Speir, R. M.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Osborne, C.||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'g'tn, S.)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Page, R. G.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Stevens, Geoffrey||Woollam, John Victor|
|Peyton, J. W. W.||Steward, Harold, (Stockport, S.)|
|Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Pitt, Miss E. M.||Studholme, Sir Henry||Mr. Edward Wakefield and|
|Division No. 233.]||AYES||[11.1 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Albu, A. H.||Hamilton, W. W.||Oram, A. E.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Hannan, W.||Orbach, M.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Oswald, T.|
|Allen Scholefield (Crewe)||Hayman, F. H.||Owen, W. J.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Healey, Denis||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Baird, J.||Herbison, Miss M.||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Benson, G.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Parker, J.|
|Beswick, F.||Hobson, C. R.||Parkin, B. T.|
|Blackburn, F.||Holman, P.||Pearson, A.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Peart, T. F.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hubbard, T. F.||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Boardman, H.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Hunter, A. E.||Probert, A. R.|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Pryde, D. J.|
|Boyd, T. C.||Irving, S. (Dartford)||Randall, H. E.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Redhead, E. C.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Janner, B.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Jeger, George (Goole)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Ross, William|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Short, E. W.|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creeoh (Wakefield)||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Coldrick, W.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Kenyon, C.||Snow, J. W.|
|Cronin, J. D.||King, Dr. H. M.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Lawson, G. M.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Deer, G.||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Delargy, H. J.||Lewis, Arthur||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Logan, D. G.||Stross,Dr.Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent,C.)|
|Donnelly, D. L.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||MacColl, J. E.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||McGhee, H. G.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Edelman, M.||McInnes, J.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||McLeavy, Frank||Thornton, E.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Mahon, Simon||Tomney, F.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Fienburgh, W.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Finch, H. J.||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Viant, S. P.|
|Fletcher, Eric||Mason, Roy||Warbey, W. N.|
|Forman, J. C.||Mayhew, C. P.||Weitzman, D.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Mikardo, Ian||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Mitchison, G. R.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Monslow, W.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Moody, A. S.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Mort, D. L.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Grey, C. F.||Moyle, A.||Woof, R. E.|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Mulley, F. W.||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Hale, Leslie||O'Brien, Sir Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mr. Holmes and Mr. Wilkins.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Body, R. F.||Davidson, Viscountess|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Bossom, Sir A. C.||D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Deedes, W. F.|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Boyle, Sir Edward||Dodds-Parker, A. D.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Doughty, C. J. A.|
|Ashton, H.||Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||du Cann, E. D. L.|
|Atkins, H. E.||Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Burden, F. F. A.||Duthie, W. S.|
|Balniel, Lord||Butcher, Sir Herbert||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.|
|Barber, Anthony||Butler,Rt.Hn.R.A.(Saffron Walden)||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn|
|Barter, John||Carr, Robert||Errington, Sir Eric|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Channon, H.||Farey-Jones, F. W.|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Cole, Norman||Fell, A.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Cooper-Key, E. M.||Finlay, Graeme|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Fisher, Nigel|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.|
|Bidgood, J. C.||Crouch, R. F.||Fletcher-Cooke, C.|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Cunningham, Knox||Fort, R.|
|Bishop, F. P.||Currie, G. B. H.||Foster, John|
|Black, C. W.||Dance, J. C. G.||Freeth, D. K.|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Kerr, H. W.||Powell, J. Enoch|
|George, J. C. (Pollok)||Kershaw, J. A.||Prior-Palmer, Brig, O. L.|
|Gibson-Watt, D.||Kimball, M.||Profumo, J. D.|
|Glover, D.||Kirk, P. M.||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Gough, C. F. H.||Lagden, G. W.||Ramsden, J. E.|
|Gower, H. R.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Redmayne, M.|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Grant, W. (Woodside)||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Leather, E. H. C.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Green, A.||Leavey, J. A.||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Rippon, A. G. F.|
|Grimond, J.||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)||Robertson, Sir David|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Gurden, Harold||Longden, Gilbert||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Sharples, R. C.|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Shepherd, William|
|Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||McAdden, S. J.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||McKibbon, A. J||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)|
|Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Maddan, Martin||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Marples, A. E.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Mathew, R.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Maude, Angus||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Holland-Martin, C. J.||Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Holt, A. F.||Mawby, R. L.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Hope, Lord John||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Hornby, R. P.||Medlicott, Sir Frank||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Horobin, Sir Ian||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Moore, Sir Thomas||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Howard, John (Test)||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Vosper, D. F.|
|Hughes, Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Nairn, D. L. S.||Wade, D. W.|
|Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||Neave, Airey||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark(E'b'gh, W.)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.||Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|lremonger, T. L.||Nield, Basil (Chester)||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Nugent, G. R. H.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Oakshott, H. D.||Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)|
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Wiliams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Osborne, C.||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Page, R. G.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Joseph, Sir Keith||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Woollam, John Victor|
|Kaberry, D.||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Keegan, D.||Pitt, Miss E. M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mr. Legh and Mr. Godber.|
Is it proposed to move the new Clause, "Exemption of Highland games from entertainments duty"?
Mr. H. Wilson:
In view of the lateness of the hour, and the fact that the Clause has been fully covered in speeches and in the Vote we have just given, we do not propose to move it.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, capital expenditure incurred by any person after the fifth day of April, nineteen hundred and fifty-six, in connection with the working of a mine, oil well or other source of mineral deposits of a wasting nature, being expenditure on the acquisition of land which is to be used in connection with the working of the source, shall, notwithstanding anything in section three hundred and five of the Income Tax Act, 1952, be expenditure to which Chapter III of Part X of that Act applies, and Part X of that Act shall have effect accordingly.
(4) This section shall not apply—
I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.
The object of this new Clause is to give effect to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income that a depletion allowance should be made in future in respect of the cost of acquisition of mineral rights and lands. The Committee will be aware that a mining concern is allowed to deduct all expenditure of a revenue character incurred in the course of extracting minerals. There are special provisions for the amortisation of capital expenditure on finding and developing mineral sources and on plant, machinery and buildings acquired or built and necessary for such development.
An allowance is also given in respect of mineral-bearing land purchased overseas, although the concession is limited to the first United Kingdom purchaser, but no allowance whatever is given for amortisation of capital spent on purchase of mineral-bearing land in this country.
It is not surprising that the Royal Commission, having heard a great deal of evidence and having given careful consideration to the matter, should find that the present practice is one which does not take the true profits into account as the basis of taxation, and that it came to the conclusion that a change was necessary. It has long been the argument of those engaged in the mining and extractive industries of this country that the current tax practice is unfair, illogical and contrary to the national interest.
It is unfair because the inevitable reduction in the value of the land acquired for mining operations is just as much a cost of production as the raw materials used in any ordinary manufacturing process. Yet this cost is not recognised by the Inland Revenue when the producer's profits are assessed for tax purposes. It is true that in some cases there is a residual value in the land when all the minerals have been extracted. In others, there is little or no residual value.
I have a constituent who has been in business as a sand and gravel merchant over a long period of years. On the working out of a deposit he has to go further afield and acquire more land. Most of his land is what is known technically as "wet land". Material has to be extracted from wet pits. Water is always present. Therefore, when the extraction is completed it is extremely difficult to resell the land for any profitable purpose. It is true that trees are planted and the scars are hidden, but in terms of money the residual value of the land is nil and buyers are unlikely to be attracted. In any event, this new Clause would take into account any residual value that remained by means of a balancing charge when all the minerals have been extracted.
I said that the present tax practice was unfair, and it is particularly unfair in relation to the ballast and sand industry for three main reasons. First, in relation to the value of the minerals extracted, the land is more costly than in almost any other extractive industry. The seams are shallow. The whole of the surface of the land acquired is dis- turbed because there is no question of driving a shaft. The exhaustion of the more accessible and easily worked seams means that the cost of land in relation to the value of output is rising steadily.
The second reason why the present practice is unfair is that since sand and gravel are among the cheapest minerals produced in this country, the cost of the land from which they are obtained represents a greater proportion of the cost of the final, marketed product than in many other mineral industries.
Thirdly, the cost of the production includes not only the purchase of the land, the extraction, processing and sale of the minerals and the administration of the business, but must also include the final restoration of the land. Admittedly, such costs are allowed as a normal deductible expense for tax purposes, but if, as often happens, these costs fall in the last year of working a deposit, it may be that profits are insufficient to offset the allowances and a taxpayer is unable to obtain the full relief due to him.
I said that the present tax practice was illogical. In my view, it is so for two reasons. First, if a mineral area in this country is worked on a royalty basis, so that the right of working is acquired by annual payments, the royalties are recognised as a charge against taxable profits. If, on the other hand, the same area is acquired outright, and exactly the same processes take place and the same quantities of minerals are extracted, the whole of the profits are brought into account for the purposes of computing the tax, without any allowance for the acquisition of the land which, after all, is the operator's stock.
The second reason why the practice is illogical is the distinction made between operators in this country and overseas. It may be within the recollection of some hon. Members that in 1920 the Royal Commission on Income Tax, which sat under the distinguished chairmanship of Lord Colwyn, went into this question. That Commission was not in favour of granting a depletion allowance to companies operating in this country. It laid down that
the allowance must not be granted in respect of a right to any income derived from any asset.
That was fair enough, but the Commission went on to recommend that where a foreign mining venture was acquired by a United Kingdom operator an amortisation allowance should be granted to the first United Kingdom purchaser.
I will not bother the Committee with the arguments which led to this differentiation being made because the majority Report of the Royal Commission, which reported last year, dismissed those reasons as fallacious. In any event, the Colwyn Commission's recommendation that a depletion allowance should be allowed for companies operating overseas was not put into effect until, nearly 30 years later, the Finance Act, 1949. Even then the concession, for reasons which I have been unable to discover, was not extended to companies operating here.
I am sure that the Committee will see, as did the Tucker Committee and the Royal Commission, which reported last year, the unfairness and the illogicality of this discrimination. Whether a company is operating in this country extracting minerals, or overseas, the land it acquires in the first instance is clearly a wasting asset. The Royal Commission came to the very proper conclusion that there was no case for such discrimination.
I said that there was a third reason why a change should be made. It is a weighty reason; for in my view the present practice runs contrary to the national interest. It does so because the disallowance of the cost of the land exercises an inflationary influence upon prices. Let me illustrate that point. I will take the sand and ballast industry as an illustration because it is one that I know better than any other extraction industry and because it is more seriously affected by the present practice.
The sand and ballast industry has an output second only to that of the coal industries in the United Kingdom. With cement, it provides the raw material for our housing programme, our industrial expansion, our roads and defence works. The price of its product is bound to exercise a powerful influence upon the whole national economy. The Treasury knows full well that the greater portion of the nation's capital investment programme consists of construction. Break down any capital investment programme and we find that construction is the major factor. Thus, there is the closest possible connection between investment generally in this country and the extractive industries, particularly cement, gravel and sand.
The Committee may be interested to know that in 1938 the sand and gravel industry produced about 28·7 million tons of material. In 1953, its output was 50 million tons, and in 1955, 60 million tons. There is the closest connection between those figures and the growth of our capital investment programme. An oil refinery consumes half a million tons of sand and gravel and a power station anything between 100,000 and 150,000 tons. London Airport consumed enough sand and gravel, so I am told, to build a dual carriageway from London to Birmingham.
Even the ordinary house and its surroundings consumed about 55 tons. I may have gone a little bit wide of the mark, but here is good reason for bringing home to the Committee the simple fact that there is the closest possible connection between the value secured for the outlay on capital investment and the price of basic building materials.
Consider the question of price. The sand and gravel deposits near the great centres of population are being steadily worked out and operators are being forced to go further afield. This is already having a very serious effect upon the costs of the industry. I went into this matter in some detail and I was astonished to find that it is uneconomic to haul sand and gravel much more than 25 miles from the pit. A haul over 13 miles will double the cost of the material to the consumer. The price of mineral-bearing land is rising, for two reasons. One reason is that landowners are charging more for it.
Of course, that fact may well be used as an argument against making a depletion allowance, but, since a powerful case can be made out for the allowance, I do not think that administrative difficulty in collecting tax from others should be allowed to obstruct it.
The second reason is that mineral deposits are becoming more difficult to work and are more unrewarding. From this fact one unfortunate consequence flows; ever greater provision has to be made in profit margins for reserves for the replacement of the land.
Let me make it plain to the Committee that the Clause does not go beyond what the Royal Commission recommended. It provides that a depletion allowance should be given in respect of land acquired for mineral working and that it should apply only to transactions taking place after 5th April this year. It provides that the depletion allowance should apply to all companies operating mineral workings either in this country or overseas and, very properly, that the basis of the relief should be actual monetary cost of the land less its residual value when all the minerals have been extracted.
I believe that justice, common sense and the broad national interest all combine in this instance to argue the case for something being done along the line suggested in the proposed new Clause. It is in that spirit that I commend the Clause to the Committee.
I have been asked by a number of firms in my constituency which are engaged in extracting minerals to support the Clause. I have also been asked by a number of firms in the adjacent constituency of Eastleigh to do the same. Unfortunately, the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. D. Price) is unable to come to the Committee. Had he come, I am certain that he would have added his representations to those which have been made so ably by the hon. Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine).
The claim of the extractive mineral workers is equitable. Because of that, I am pleased to join with the hon. Gentleman in asking the Minister to give very sympathetic consideration to this Clause. Most firms are allowed to charge the cost of their raw materials before estimating the profits on which tax is paid. The annual wear and tear in most industries is far less than the annual seeping away of resources that takes place in an industry of this kind.
Firms which the Clause tries to help are steadily using up their capital asset, the mineral that is being worked. The profit to be taxed ought certainly to take into account the yearly loss of the capital asset. If such a firm bought its minerals year by year from somebody else, it would be entitled to set the cost of the minerals which it had to buy against its income before arriving at the profit on which Income Tax is levied. At the end of a number of years, such a firm is left with a worked-out piece of land.
Everybody would agree—these firms agree—that the value of the land at the end should not be counted as something to offset against the profits that have been made, as distinct from the minerals taken out. They can sell the worked-out land, but they claim that they ought to be able to offset against the cash they take from their businesses each year something to allow in time for a complete working out of the minerals in the land. If he took away the net cost of the land from what was paid for the land plus the minerals and divided that over the estimated number of years the land may be worked and allowed them to charge that annual sum as part of their annual expenses, I believe the Chancellor would be dealing with them fairly.
Two eminent Committees have recommended that. The Tucker Committee on the Taxation of Trading Profits in 1951 said:
the operating company's profits are not properly computed unless it receives an allowance based on the full amount it has expended on the acquisition of the minerals.
The Royal Commission in 1955 recommended:
in future a depletion allowance should be given in respect of the cost of acquisition of mineral rights or areas.
It went on to say:
The basis of relief should be the actual monetary cost less any residual value of the land at the close of working.
As the hon. Member pointed out, the principle which we seek to establish for extractive industries in our country was conceded in 1952 by the Government for extractive industries overseas, and on that the Royal Commission three years later said:
There is no material distinction between United Kingdom minerals and overseas minerals when the question at issue is the true computation of profit.
Expert opinion and the wisdom of the Royal Commission of Taxation of Profits and Income, to which all of us pay such high tribute, came down on the side of the extractive industries in their claim that the Chancellor should accept such a proposal as this new Clause embodies.
Yes, I think so. I would remind the Committee that when the matter was debated in this House three years ago on 18th June, 1952, my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher) said, in what seemed to me an admirable speech:
It seems to us quite immaterial whether the commodity is a metal or non-metal …
We were debating tax concessions for metals. My hon. Friend added:
The essential factor is that it comes out of the earth and there is a limited quantity in the earth, and therefore there should be some allowance for capital depreciation."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th June, 1952; Vol. 502, c. 1420.]
I believe that the hon. Member for Essex, South-East has done a service to equity by introducing this new Clause, and I hope the Chancellor will give it very sympathetic consideration.
I rise to support the new Clause which has been so ably moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine) and so well supported by the hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Dr. King).
Enough has been said about the objects of the Clause, and the basis of reasoning which lies behind the suggestion that it should be incorporated in the Finance Bill, to make the point abundantly clear. Therefore, I shall speak very briefly and emphasise only what has been said in part already, that the Clause is very much in line, not only with the former Finance Act which dealt with Income Tax allowances for overseas workings, but also with the recommendations of the Tucker Committee and the Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income.
It is a fair point to make, also, that the Clause is very much in line with two Clauses in this Finance Bill, Clauses 13 and 14, which deal with capital allowances for industrial buildings and for expenditure on dredging. Indeed, I think that I could put the matter as high as to say that probably the lack of taxation relief by way of depletion allowance for the extractive industries is out of line with current legislation.
My hon. Friend the Member for Essex, South-East has spoken about hardship and I shall not say more about that, but there is a further point which has not been mentioned and which deserves some study when dealing with this Clause. The Clause as drafted deals only with matters of future acquisitions. It does not deal with the working of any land which is currently in hand. I appreciate that the prudent operator may well have purchased land with an eye to the future.
Although to do something for that class of operator in the extractive industry would perhaps go beyond the exact recommendations of the Royal Commission—and this Clause precisely follows what the Royal Commission recommended—I think the point should be brought out when discussing this matter that in equity it is probably right that we should go a little further than the Royal Commission recommended. If we look at the Report of the Royal Commission we find, in paragraph 444, some justification for so doing.
One ought also to point out that depletion allowances of one kind and another are granted in most other countries, but not in the United Kingdom. It is an anachronism that we do not have those allowances here. It is very much to be hoped that my right hon. Friend will see fit to look at the matter again. Many hon. Members on both sides of the Committee hope it might be possible for him to come to a favourable conclusion on the suggestion which has been made.
After the admirable way in which the case has been put by two hon: Members opposite and by my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Dr. King), I am convinced that at this stage my greatest contribution in any effort I can make to persuade the Treasury to be sympathetic towards this new Clause is to be very brief. The case as put by interests in my constituency and throughout the district of north-west Kent is such that I think the interests behind the Clause are exceedingly reasonable in accepting its wording. There is no doubt that the date of 5th April, 1956, is by no means unanimously acceptable throughout the mineral interests; in fact, some are definitely of opinion that to be fair it would be wrong to put in that date; but those who have a claim for very much more than this are wise, in view of all the problems which are before the Treasury, to stand on very firm ground by following the recommendations of the Tucker Committee in 1951 and the Royal Commission in 1955.
I should like the Treasury to bear in mind the words of the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) when he said that there is an excellent case for holdings which are already there to be looked at through the actions of wise men of the industry. Nevertheless, the Clause asks for no more than that sympathetic treatment should be accorded to a proposal on lines laid down by the Royal Commission and the Tucker Committee. I can but hope that the representatives of the Treasury with all their problems and difficulties, in view of the support which the Clause has received from both sides of the Committee, will be able to say tonight that they accept it. If not, I hope they will say with some deep conviction that the matter will be looked at before the next Finance Bill comes before us.
I wish to support my hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) in the points he made. My hon. Friend the Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine), who moved the Clause, will, I feel sure, agree that he made the case for the cement and sand industries, but that so far not a word has been mentioned with regard to the china clay industry.
As most hon. Members are aware, the china clay industry at the present moment has the largest basic raw material exports from this country, and the whole of that industry is affected in a different way from the industries already mentioned. The industry needs very heavy capital equipment, and, from the size of that heavy capital equipment, before it is made ready, it is necessary to have substantial future reserves in hand in order, ultimately, to supply the necessary materials for the capital equipment provided.
Consequently, the entire industry is based in such a way that the inclusion of this Clause on the Royal Commission's recommendation would not, in fact, help the china clay industry at all. Therefore, I would suggest to the Minister that he should bear that fact very much in mind, and I hope that, in replying, he will at any rate agree with the principle that has been discussed, and should he suggest
that, at some future date, he will look into this matter. I hope he will also see how this Clause would apply to the china clay industry, and realise that, in fact, it would not help that industry unless we removed from it the following words in the second line:
the fifth day of April, nineteen hundred and fifty-six".
In those circumstances, I would fully support the Clause subject to that alteration.
There is one point which has not yet been explained by those who support the Clause, and that is when the depletion allowance is to be given. I gathered from what the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. D. Marshall) has just said that it would begin at once, but what then happens to the person who, or concern which, buys up the whole of the reserves of a particular mineral in order to keep other people from exploiting them? It seems to me that very careful note ought to be taken of that point.
Again, the hon. Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine) referred to landowners forcing up prices because there is a great demand for certain minerals. That may be the trend of a free economic market, but I suggest that, if we are to give tax relief in order to give greater prices to landowners, we ought to think again. I should like someone, on behalf of the mover of the Clause, to say something on that subject.
This is a Clause of considerable interest, and I am sure the Committee was obliged to my hon. Friend the Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine) for the extremely able way in which he moved it. It was ably supported by a number of very interesting speeches from both sides of the Committee, and I could not help being reminded during my hon. Friend's speech of the times when a former Parliamentarian of distinction, the late Sir Herbert Williams, used to address us on sand and ballast from exactly the same seat.
I would say straight away that the Royal Commission's recommendations on allowances for mineral rights and areas and for land and buildings used in connection with mines are still being considered by my right hon. Friend, and the Chancellor fully appreciates that this is a point of very considerable importance. If I cannot give my hon. Friends the answer they would like today, it is not because my right hon. Friend is not aware of what is at stake here. This subject of depletion allowances has frequently been discussed in this Committee. It is an important one, but I think it would be unwise for the Committee to hurry into deciding on what would be the best way of giving effect to the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
I think perhaps the Committee might like to be reminded of what the Royal Commission in fact recommended in its final Report in paragraphs 445 to 447. There were really two important points, or rather one important point and one subsidiary one. The important point in the Royal Commission's recommendation concerned the allowances for the acquisition of mineral rights, and these allowances, the Commission considered, ought to be widened as regards future acquisitions to include United Kingdom minerals.
They said that the allowance should be given by reference to the full cost of the mineral rights or areas, less any residual value at the close of working. That was the important recommendation, and the second and subsidiary one was for changes of a relatively minor character in the allowances made for land and buildings.
On the first recommendation, the case for an allowance for the expenditure on the acquisition of mineral rights and areas is that this expenditure is used up in producing the profits which are charged to tax, and that point was clearly brought out by my hon. Friends; that is to say, if no allowance is made, the concern is really paying tax on an unreal profit exceeding the true commercial profit. That is perfectly true, but the difficulty here is this. The question of an allowance to the purchaser of minerals at once raises the question whether we should levy a corresponding charge on the seller of the mineral rights, and there are a number of arguments here, with which I do not think I need trouble the Committee, which might lead us to give serious consideration to whether such a charge should be made.
I can tell the Committee that any legislation that would be required to give effect to the Royal Commission's recommendations would inevitably be long and complicated, and I am not in a position to announce any such legislation today. As a matter of fact, my hon. Friend's new Clause goes beyond the Royal Commission's proposal in quite a number of respects, with which I do not think I need trouble the Committee. I thought I should put the position before the Committee, explain what the Royal Commission recommended, and give the Committee an undertaking that we are considering the whole situation very carefully in the light of the Commission's recommendations and taking into account all the difficulties that arise.
For once, I am very glad that the Economic Secretary has been cautious. If he had been more rash, I should have felt it our duty to warn him, but I do not think there is any need.
I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Mr. Hayman) hit one nail on the head, and it was a nail which escaped the attention neither of the majority of the Royal Commission nor of the minority. It is only too easy with a Clause in this form for the landowner to form a company.
Let us take the case which the Commission itself took—the sale at a very high price to the company by the owner who pockets his capital gains and leaves the company to recoup itself to some considerable extent at the expense of the Exchequer. For that reason, both the majority and the minority of the Royal Commission insisted on safeguards in the Clause, and what is suggested by the majority was that the Revenue should be able to turn from the actual price paid in proper cases to the true market value of what was bought. The Clause contains no such safeguard, and, for that reason alone, I suggest, it would be a very dangerous one, and I was glad to hear the Economic Secretary agree, not necessarily on that point, but in general.
But there is a second point. The minority Report, which differed in many respects on this group of matters, did, I agree, presuppose to some extent a capital gains tax as part of this machinery, and I listened with interest to the point which the Economic Secretary made that in cases of this sort, the true system of taxation for the purchaser of mineral rights is very closely tied up with the treatment of the profits of the sale in the hands of the vendor.
I trust that when the Economic Secretary and his right hon. Friend are considering this matter they will not be so deluded by any doctrinaire objection to a capital gains tax as to shut that excellent conception out of their minds, for that was what the minority of the Royal Commission recommended in this respect. It is perfectly true to say that there is a sound general case for something of this sort being done. I am not speaking at the moment of the machinery or the form of taxation, but merely saying that there is some credence in the matter.
Nevertheless, the Economic Secretary will bear me out that there are close parallels with which the majority of the Royal Commission found itself unable to deal. If I may give one instance, the purchase of a lease at a premium was a matter with which the majority of the Royal Commission was unwilling to interfere, and successive Governments have long refused to allow any Income Tax concession on that premium. They have founded themselves on the distinction between Schedule A taxation and Schedule D taxation. That is taking us into the darker fields of Income Tax, and we need say no more than to point out that the anomaly exists.
Yet again, the concession which is made to foreign mines at present does not extend to every transaction. It simply extends to the first instance of a British purchase from a foreign vendor. That in itself, therefore, is not too logical. I will only say that I am glad that caution has been exercised.
There is one other matter I should like to point out to the Economic Secretary. If in any form whatever a concession of this sort is made to the owners and workers of mineral deposits, there is one very obvious owner and worker of mineral deposit who ought to have corresponding benefits. Goodness knows, the National Coal Board at present is being made to carry many strange imports, and a little relief in this respect would do no harm. When, with a liberal or, shall we say, a Conservative hand, the hon. Gentleman dispenses—if ever he does—any concessions by way of taxation or otherwise to other mineral workers, I hope that the Exchequer will by that time have reached a sufficiently sound condition to be able to afford a similar concession to the National Coal Board, even if that means that some right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite will have to alter their views a little about what pays and what does not pay in the matter of nationalised industries.
|Division No. 234.]||AYES||[11.12 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Oram, A. E.|
|Albu, A. H.||Hannan, W.||Orbach, M.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Oswald, T.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Hayman, F. H.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Healey, Denis||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Herbison, Miss M.||Parker, J.|
|Baird, J.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Parkin, B. T.|
|Benson, G.||Hobson, C. R.||Pearson, A.|
|Beswick, F.||Holman, P.||Peart, T. F.|
|Blackburn, F.||Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Hubbard, T. F.||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Probert, A. R.|
|Boardman, H.||Hunter, A. E.||Pryde, D. J.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Randall, H. E.|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.)||Irving, S. (Dartford)||Redhead, E. C.|
|Boyd, T. C.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Janner, B.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Jeger, George (Goole)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Ross, William|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Short, E. W.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creeoh (Wakefield)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Coldrick, W.||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Snow, J. W.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Kenyon, C.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||King, Dr. H. M.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Cronin, J. D.||Lawson, G. M.||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Deer, G.||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||Lewis, Arthur||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Delargy, H. J.||Logan, D. G.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Donnelly, D. L.||MacColl, J. E.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||McGhee, H. G.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||McInnes, J.||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Edelman, M.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Thornton, E.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Mahon, Simon||Tomney, F.|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Viant, S. P.|
|Fienburgh, W.||Mason, Roy||Warbey, W. N.|
|Finch, H. J.||Mayhew, C. P.||Weitzman, D.|
|Fletcher, Eric||Mikardo, Ian||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Forman, J. C.||Mitchison, G. R.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Monslow, W.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Moody, A. S.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Mort, D. L.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Gordon-Walker, Rt. Ron. P. C.||Moyle, A.||Woof, R. E.|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Mulley, F. W.||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Grey, C. F.||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||O'Brien, Sir Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Oliver, G. H.||Mr. Holmes and Mr. Wilkins|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Bossom, Sir A. C.||D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Deedee, W. F.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Boyle, Sir Edward||Dodds-Parker, A. D.|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Doughty, C. J. A.|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||du Cann, E. D. L.|
|Ashton, H.||Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)|
|Atkins, H. E.||Burden, F. F. A.||Duthie, W. S.|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Butcher, Sir Herbert||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.|
|Balniel, Lord||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn|
|Barter, John||Carr, Robert||Errington, Sir Eric|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Channon, H.||Farey-Jones, F. W.|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Cole, Norman||Fell, A.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Cooper-Key, E. M.||Finlay, Graeme|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Fisher, Nigel|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.|
|Bidgood, J. C.||Crouch, R. F.||Fletcher-Cooke, C.|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Cunningham, Knox||Fort, R.|
|Bishop, F. P.||Currie, G. B. H.||Foster, John|
|Black, C. W.||Dance, J. C. G.||Freeth, D. K.|
|Body, R. F.||Davidson, Viscountess||Garner-Evans, E. H.|
|George, J. C. (Pollok)||Kershaw, J. A.||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Gibson-Watt, D.||Kimball, M.||Prior, Brigadier O. L.|
|Glover, D.||Kirk, P. M.||Profumo, J. D.|
|Godber, J. B.||Lagden, G. W.||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Gough, C. F. H.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Ramsden, J. E.|
|Gower, H. R.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Redmayne, M.|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Grant, W. (Woodside)||Leather, E. H. C.||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Leavey, J. A.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Green, A.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Rippon, A. G. F.|
|Grimond, J.||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)||Robertson, Sir David|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Gurden, Harold||Longden, Gilbert||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Shepherd, William|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)||McAdden, S. J.||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||McKibbin, A. J.||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)|
|Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Henderson, John (Cathoart)||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold(Bromley)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Maddan, Martin||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Marples, A. E.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Mathew, R.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Holland-Martin, C. J.||Maude, Angus||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Holt, A. F.||Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Hope, Lord John||Mawby, R. L.||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Hornby, R. P.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Horobin, Sir Ian||Medlicott, Sir Frank||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|Howard, John (Test)||Moore, Sir Thomas||Vosper, D. F.|
|Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Wade, D. W.|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||Nairn, D. L. S.||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)||Neave, Airey||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th & Chr'ch)||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Nield, Basil (Chester)||Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)|
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Nugent, G. R. H.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Oakshott, H. D.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Wilson, G. (Truro)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Osborne, C.||Woollam, John Victor|
|Joseph, Sir Keith||Page, R. G.|
|Kaberry, D.||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Keegan, D.||Peyton, J. W. W.||Colonel J. H. Harrison and|
|Kerr, H. W.||Pitt, Miss E. M.||Mr. Barber.|