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New Clause—(Amendment Of 10 And 11 Geo V, C 18, Sch 2, Par 4)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1922

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Paragraph 4 of the. Second Schedule to the Finance Act, 1920, shall have effect with the substitution of the words "Tractors, agricultural tractors, and agricultural engines, other than such tractors or engines in respect of which a duty of five shillings is chargeable, used solely in connection with agriculture "for the words "Tractors, agricultural tractors, and agricultural engines, other than such tractors or engines in respect of which a. duty of five shillings is chargeable, used for haulage, solely in connection with agriculture."—[Lieut.-Colonel Sir J. Hope.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

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

It is directed to allowing the farmer to have his motors at the lower duty which the House of Commons intended they should get them. Paragraph (4) of Schedule 2 of the Act of 1920 reads:
"Locomotives, ploughing engines, tractors, agricultural tractors, and other agricultural engines not being engines or tractors used for hauling on roads any objects except their own necessary gear, threshing appliances, farming implements or supplies of fuel or water required for the purposes of the vehicle, or for agricultural purposes—5s."
I am leaving out the words "for haulage" in order that the £6 duty only may be charged as was intended by this House in regard to motors used by farmers in their business. It is a very interesting point, I admit, but I do not think the word "haulage" was put in by Parliament with any intention. As a matter of fact I imagined it was intended that the small motors used by farmers should be charged at the cheap rate of £6 instead of the £21 which the Minister of Transport now endeavours to charge. I should like to refer to a case recently fought out between a. farmer and the Ministry of Transport in which this point was raised. In the first place the justices gave a decision in favour of the farmer, but the Minister of Transport appealed and the case came before Mr. Justice Darling, who, in giving judgment, held that as the locomotive was not used for haulage only it was liable to a charge of £25. In the case of this vehicle it had two small hooks at the back which enabled it to be used for hauling, and Mr. Justice Darling had to decide whether these two hooks were so used. I should think this House, when it considered this matter, did not go into this very intricate point, but simply desired that the farmer using the motor for the purposes of tillage on the land and generally for the work of the farm should have the benefit of the reduced licence. I hope the Minister of Transport will accept my Amendment. It will give the farmers a concession which I believe Parliament. intended to be given to them. Farmers use the roads very little compared with the heavy rate they have to pay, and surely this is a very small concession to make to the agricultural interest, which is so badly hit by the heavy rates, and which, in these difficult times, has had very little help from Parliament, seeing that the only Act which was intended to give it real help has been repealed.

It being a Quarter-past Eight of the Clock, and there being Private Business set down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means under Standing Order So. 8, further Proceeding was postponed without Question put.