§ 57. Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he intends to initiate legislation to nationalise the Duchy for which he is responsible.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Does my right hon. Friend agree that the vast amount of income accruing tax-free to the owner of this estate would be far better employed in replenishing and reservicing the Health Service facilities in the north and northwest instead of its going we know not where but certainly not to be used in the public interest?
§ Mr. Lever
Knowing as I do my hon. Friend's ardent republican views, I can understand that he would think that any diversion of this money otherwise than to support the institution of royalty would be desirable. I do not share his view and he ought not, in my opinion, seek to give the impression that this income derives for the private benefit and advantage of the Sovereign. That is far from the truth.
§ Mr. Aitken
Since the right hon. Gentleman has been pressed on this matter by the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton), may I ask him whether he will consider nationalising that income derived from royalties on the hon. Member's books about the Royal Family?
§ Mr. Lever
Sometimes there is apt to be confusion in the interpretation of the word "nationalise". Some people mean by it to acquire for fair compensation and to take into public ownership thereby, and some people mean confiscation. I hope that the hon. Gentleman is not suggesting that I should confiscate my hon. Friend's royalties.