HC Deb 27 November 1945 vol 416 cc1090-1

Considered in Committee.

[Major MILNER in the Chair]

3.30 p.m.

Sir Waldron Smithers (Orpington)

I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

I take this action as the strongest protest I can make against the action of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his evasion, and his unwillingness to give the information required for an appropriate discussion, on the Committee stage of the Finance Bill. Since September, 1944, on three occasions I have raised the question of increasing expenditure in connection with the service of the war. I propose to read the terms of the Question which I have put, and the only reason I know for not answering it, is the argument that it is not in the public interest. I contend that my Question was in the public interest, though it may not have been in the interest of the Government. After repeated demands to have these figures I put down a Question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in these terms: if he will give in tabular form the cost of the social services or the services in connection with the progress of the war at the latest available date and an estimate of the cost of the new social insurance proposals—the pensions for this war, the long-term and short-term housing policy, health, education and analogous services."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Wednesday, 21st November, 1945; Vol. 416,c. 547.]

The Chairman (Major Milner)

I cannot accept the hon. Member's Motion. As I understand his complaint, he wants some particulars of expenditure actual or estimated. This, of course, is a matter that might be raised on the Budget Resolution, or on the Report stage, or on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill. In my view, the Committee is now met to discuss Clauses which relate not to expenditure but to taxation and revenue, and, therefore, I am quite unable to accept the Motion or to permit the matter to be further discussed.

Sir W. Smithers

How can we logically or seriously consider taxation, if we do not know what the expenditure already passed, or envisaged in the proposals of the Government is? It makes the Debate this afternoon complete nonsense.

The Chairman

That may or may not be so, but the hon. Member has other opportunities of raising this question and cannot expect to do so now.

  1. CLAUSE I.—(Cesser of charge of purchase tax in respect of certain cooking and heating appliances and refrigerators.) 12,920 words, 1 division
  2. cc1122-3
  3. CLAUSE 2. —(Amendment as to grading of certain of the rates of excise duty on mechanically propelled hackney and goods vehicles, etc.) 420 words
  4. cc1123-59
  5. CLAUSE 3.—(Charge of excise duty on certain mechanically propelled vehi cles by reference to cylinder capacity in lieu of horse-power.) 15,080 words
  6. cc1159-65
  7. CLAUSE 4.—(Amendment as to rate of excise duty on electrically propelled bicycles.) 2,002 words
  8. cc1165-70
  9. CLAUSE 6.—(Amendment as to duty on oils used in refineries.) 2,096 words
  10. cc1170-3
  11. CLAUSE 7.—(Power to substitute regula tions for certain provisions of the Spirits Act, 1880,relating to dis tillers.) 1,536 words
  12. cc1174-8
  13. CLAUSE' 8.—(Increased penalties for offences under the Spirits Act, 1880.) 1,783 words
  14. cc1178-9
  15. CLAUSE 9.—(Cessation of certain allow ances in respect of spirits.) 486 words
  16. cc1179-82
  17. CLAUSE II.—(Release of imported goods.) 1,025 words
  18. cc1182-225
  19. CLAUSE 13.—(Income Tax for 1946–47.) 17,754 words, 1 division