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New Clause—(Exemption From Entertainment Duty)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1922

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Where the entertainment is provided by a society which is established solely for the purpose of promoting the interests of agriculture, or some branch thereof, and which is not conducted for profit, the fact that a band is provided as an accompaniment to such show shall not disqualify the society from claiming a certificate of exemption from entertainment duty in respect of such entertainment.—[Mr. Turton.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This is a very small Amendment, and I am almost tempted to apologise for bringing it forward. As hon. Members are well aware, agricultural shows are very properly exempted from payment of the Entertainments Tax, but it seems that if the village band is brought on the scene at a small agricultural show, at once that extortionate person the Customs officer claims payment of the tax. The question was raised on the Budget last year, and although we got a very unsympathetic reply from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, we secured a very good Division. As on this occasion I hope for still more support, I propose to press this new Clause to a Division. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how he can reconcile it with his conscience that he is so entirely in favour of assisting us in the poor agricultural districts and when we get up for the purpose of advancing agriculture and for the good of the agricultural community a small show in a village, because the village band comes to play without any charge whatever, he swoops down and claims entertainment duty? That is an injustice which I hope the Committee will not fail to remedy, even to the extent of defeating the Government on an Amendment of such substance as this.

It goes both to my heart and conscience to refuse the request, but the truth is that if you once begin to make this kind of exception—

Everything will follow upon it although it stands by itself. It will extend to everything else, and it will be impossible to draw a line of demarcation between one form and another, between whether a band is to play and whether it is not, and in the case where the band is the chief feature and where many people desire to see some trade show. We have to exclude all these shows. If we begin with agricultural shows it will extend to everything else until the whole Entertainments Duty wilt be wrecked. I hope the hon. Member will take my assurance that I would not resist it but for the fact that though it seems a small thing it will become in the end one of great gravity. I cannot accept the proposal.

I hope the hon. Member will press this to a division. This is a subject which really affects not the entertainment of the people but largely the condition of agriculture.

If the right hon. Gentleman heard some of the bands in my part of the country he would not regard it as an entertainment. This is not a question of merriment but a real substance. The amount the Chancellor can possibly hope to receive from shows of this description is so small that it is not worth considering in comparison with the amount of benefit agriculture receives from competitive shows. Agriculture has no relation to any other form of show of this description. It is something quite separate and distinct and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not prevent these shows, many of them purely local, in villages where the funds are used exclusively for prizes in connection with shows and in addition they are largely supported by contributions from outside. I hope the right hon. Gentleman even now will see his way to make an exception in the case of agricultural shows.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a second time."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 49; Noes, 131.

Division No. 188.]


[12.20 a.m.

Banton, GeorgeHinds, JohnPerkins, Waiter Frank
Barker, Major Robert H.Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardRendall, Athelstan
Barton, Sir William (Oldham)Hopkins, John W. W.Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)Rose, Frank H.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.John, William (Rhondda, West)Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund
Bromfield, WilliamJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Swan, J. E.
Bruton, Sir JamesKenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)Kiley, James DanielThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Cope, Major WilliamLane-Fox, G. R.Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.Lawson, John JamesWatts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)Lort-Williams, J.Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough, E.)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Lyle-Samuel, AlexanderWills, Lt.-Col. Sir Gilbert Alan H.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)Windsor, Viscount
Entwistle, Major C. F.Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.Weimer, Viscount
Foot, IsaacMyers, Thomas
Gritten, W. G. HowardNewbould, Alfred Ernest


Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Pennefather, De FonblanqueMr. Tartan and Mr. Royce.
Hayday, Arthur


Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteGreen, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)Rae, Sir Henry N.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.,Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. N.
Armitage, RobertGreenwood, Rt. Hon. Sir HamarRemer, J. R.
Armstrong, Henry BruceGreenwood, William (Stockport)Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)
Baird, Sir John LawrenceGretton, Colonel JohnRoberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyGuest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick ERobinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)
Barlow, Sir MontagueHacking, Captain Douglas H.Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Barnston, Major HarryHannon, Patrick Joseph HenrySanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur
Bigland, AlfredHarmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)Sassoon, Sir Phillip Albert Gustave D.
Birchall, J. DearmanHenderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Borwick, Major G. O.Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)
Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-Holmes, J. StanleySeddon, J. A.
Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.Hood, Sir JosephSeely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John
Breese, Major Charles E.Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveInskip, Thomas Walker H.Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Broad, Thomas TuckerJohnstone, JosephSmith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Smith, Sir Harold (Warrington)
Burdon, Colonel RowlandKellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. GeorgeStanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.Kidd, JamesStanton, Charles Butt
Carr, W. TheodoreKing, Captain Henry DouglasSteel, Major S. Strang
Cecil. Rt. Hon, Sir Evelyn (Aston)Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)Sturrock, J. Leng
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)Lindsay, William ArthurSugden, W. H.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)Sutherland, Sir William
Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. SpenderMcLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Coats, Sir StuartManville, EdwardThomson, Sir W. Mitcheil- (Maryhill)
Colvin, Brig.-General Richard BealeMason, RobertTryon, Major George Clement
Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred MoritzWallace, J.
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor
Davies, David (Montgomery)Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. CWard, William Dudley (Soughampton)
Doyle, N. GrattanMorden, Col. W. GrantWard-Jackson, Major C. L.
Ednam, ViscountMoreing, Captain Algernon H.Waring, Major Walter
Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)Morrison, HughWatson, Captain John Bertrand
Edwards. Hugh (Glam., Neath)Munro, Rt. Hon. RobertWhite, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Evans, ErnestMurchison, C. K.Williams, C. (Tavistock)
Eyres-Monsell, Cont. Bolton M.Murray, Rt. Hon. C. D (Edinburgh)Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)
Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayMurray, John (Leeds, West)Wise, Frederick
Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.Nail, Major JosephWood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
FitzRoy, Captain Hon. Edward A.Neal, ArthurWood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Foxcroft, Captain Charles TalbotNewman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Wood, Major Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Fraser, Major Sir KeithNicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)
Ganzoni, Sir JohnParry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas HenryYounger, Sir George
George, Rt. Hon. David LloydPease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike
Gibbs. Colonel George AbrahamPercy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)


Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JohnPollock. Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest MurrayColonel Leslie Wilson and Mr. McCurdy.
Goff, Sir R. ParkPretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.