I turn to a more gloomy item of revenue. It is a subject which has been surrounded with melancholy almost since its inception, namely, the Excess Profits Duty. It was estimated that there would be derived from Excess Profits Duty in the present year a sum of £120,000,000. During the first seven months of the year only £29,000,000 has been handed over to the Exchequer—I am talking in millions without the thousands; it is £29,714,000 to be exact.
Is that what remains after deduction of the amounts returned by the Exchequer from the amount paid to it?
It is the net amount, as my hon. Friend will see in a moment. If you take the first six months of the year as compared with last year, in 1921 we got £63,000,000 in the gross, against £117,000,000 in 1920; but our repayments during those first six months were £37,000,000, as against £6,000,000 for 1920. We only estimated the repayments for the whole year at £53,000,000. It is obvious, from what has happened in the first six months of the year with regard to re- payments, that that figure of £53,000,000 is going to be very greatly exceeded, and accordingly I am bound to say that, so far as Excess Profits Duty is concerned, one must anticipate a very large diminution upon the estimated figure of £120,000,000. What the precise figure ought to be it is impossible to say, but it certainly must be a very considerable one.
It may be in the region of £70,000,000 to £80,000,000. Looking at the whole matter, I have come to the conclusion that the estimated revenue will fail to realise almost any portion of the figure of £80,000,000 which I kept in a compartment by itself in my explanation. It will fail to realise almost any portion of that for the purpose of meeting the Sinking Fund obligations. I do not think that it will fail by more than £80,000,000; my expectation is that it will fail by rather less, but not by any appreciable sum less.