§ MR. J. G. HUBBARD
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether his attention has been directed to the report of a decision recently given in the Vice Chancellor's Court at Oxford, upon the complaint of an Inland Revenue officer, under which two undergraduates (not paying armorial duty) were fined £5 each for the offence of wearing rowing caps decorated with their college crest; and, whether, if the report prove true, such an administration of our fiscal law may not advantageously be restrained?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I believe that a fine was inflicted upon two gentlemen under these circumstances, and this fine, originally £5, was reduced to 30s., the tax being 21s. There is a great deal of difficulty in determining what is and what is not properly chargeable as armorial bearings, and it is held that the fact of their being placed upon the cap does not make them less liable to duty than if they were upon a ring or elsewhere. These matters, however, have in a great measure to be dealt with on discretion, and I am not at all sure that the wearing of College arms in the cap was contemplated when the tax was imposed.