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Double Taxation

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 21 June 1949

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47.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in negotiations with the Belgian Government to end the system of double taxation which hinders freedom of trade between the two countries.

Progress has been temporarily interrupted while a revision of the taxation system is under consideration in Belgium. Discussions will be resumed as soon as possible.

Is the Chancellor aware that informed opinion in Belgium and British circles there believe it is the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Treasury that are preventing the removal of this great hampering of trade between the two countries, and will he give a better assurance than last year, when he said that good progress was being made?

Yes, Sir. It is not the Treasury nor the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I understand that the Belgians are considering a revision of their whole taxation system, and until they have done that it is impossible to continue to negotiate.

Is the Chancellor aware that he is wrong in that statement. The principle of getting rid of dual taxation does not depend on the incidence of taxation; that is clear from the differences there have been in American taxation where he has been able to make an agreement?

I do not think that anyone disagrees with the principle. The question is, working out the system.

48.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in negotiations with the French Government to end the system of double taxation between the two countries; and if he will give an assurance that His Majesty's Government are in favour of terminating this system.

As the same set of circumstances which the Chancellor has mentioned in the case of Belgium do not hold good in the case of France, will be not say that it is himself and the Treasury standing in the way, on some quite untenable grounds of balance of payments, and will he get on with it?

No, Sir. Those are not the circumstances. The circumstances are that discussions are now taking place with the French.