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National Finance

Volume 414: debated on Thursday 25 October 1945

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Bank Of England (Weekly Return)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give an assurance that the weekly return of the Bank of England will continue to be published whatever scheme is adopted for the nationalisation of this undertaking.

Senior Government Scientists (Pay)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why, in Command Paper 6679, it was decided to pay Senior Government Scientists at a lower rate than Senior Administrative Civil Servants and Government Scientists working at Oxford, Cambridge and other provincial centres at a lower rate than those working in the London area.

I do not think my hon. Friend's suggestion is well founded. At some points in the scale scientists are paid more than administrators. The cost of living in London is notoriously higher than that in Oxford, Cambridge and other provincial centres.

War Damage Compensation


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the widespread apprehension regarding the inadequacy of value payments, he will give an assurance that when these payments are due to be made, the escalator Clause, Section 11 of the War Damage Act, 1943, will be applied.

Section 11 prescribes that a report by the Commission to the Treasury should precede any action under this Section, and that no such report should be made until value payments are authorised to begin.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many appeals or references have been made to the Reference Committee on War Damage; how many such appeals have been in whole or in part successful; and how many appeals still lie with the committee for decision.

There have been no appeals under the provisions of Section 32 of the War Damage Act, 1943, and only one reference to a referee.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amount has been collected by way of payments on house property and land, from which owners of war damaged properties are to receive compensation; what amount has been paid out; and what is the total 1939 valuation of the lost or damaged property which still remains to be indemnified.

I must ask the hon. Member to await the statement of receipts and payments due under the Act, to be laid before Parliament by the 30th November. Cost of Works payments cannot be accurately estimated as they are the cost of making the damage good and not 1939 values.

Royal Commission On Equal Pay (Letter)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been drawn to the letter from Sir Alan Barlow to the Royal Commission on Equal Pay on24th May, listing the duties of civil servants; and whether he approved the wording of Sir Alan Barlow's definition of the dutes of the higher civil servant.

The letter was written before the present Government took office, and the answer to the second part of the Question is, therefore, in the negative. But I would add that the letter is not altogether happily worded, and that if it had been submitted to me I should have amended it.

I should like to ask the Minister, in view of the fact that Sir Alan says that it is the duty of the higher official to guide the inexperienced or reluctant Minister, whether he will now change that position, and see that the Ministers rapidly are in a position to guide the civil servants?

Income Tax (Small Earned Incomes)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated cost per head of the collection of Income Tax from persons with small earned incomes; and whether, in view of the high ratio of expense in collecting Income Tax at the rate of 7s. 6d. per year from single persons with £125 per annum earned in come, he will consider the desirability of eliminating all Income Tax in the case of small wage earners where the collection becomes uneconomic on account of its expense.

Such estimates cannot be made with any accuracy, but, as the House knows, I have already taken a long step in the direction suggested by the hon. Member.

Has not the Chancellor any idea of the cost of collecting this money? Why is it considered worth while to collect small sums from little men all over the country?

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman was present when I made my Budget statement. The matter was referred to in passing.