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Entertainments Duty

Volume 302: debated on Monday 27 May 1935

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, with a view to facilitating matters for amateur dramatic societies, he will have drawn up a list of plays and operas which have been held during the past five years by his Department to be wholly or partly educational, and on admission to performances of which accordingly Entertainments Duty has not been charged?

The law governing the grant of exemption from Entertainments Duty on partly educational grounds provides that the Commissioners of Customs and Excise must satisfy themselves that the entertainment is provided for partly educational purposes by a society, institution or committee not conducted or established for profit, and the Commissioners are advised that in considering claims to the exemption they must have regard, not merely to the particular work performed, but to the whole of the attendant circumstances. The compilation of a list such as my hon. Friend has in mind would thus not provide a list of works which are exempt per se, and would not, I fear, serve the purpose he has in view.