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Income Tax Act, 1952 (Section 468 Applications)

Volume 529: debated on Tuesday 29 June 1954

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43.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the general principles upon which 14 applications have been refused under Section 468 (1) of the Income Tax Act, 1952.

The general principle on which Treasury consent has been refused in these cases is that on a balance of considerations it would not have been in the national interest to grant consent. These considerations are, on the one hand, any new factors or circumstances which are represented to require the proposed transaction or other reasons for it based on the efficiency and development of the applicant's operations, and, on the other hand, the prospective loss of revenue or of foreign exchange to this country involved in the transaction.

This general principle is embodied in the terms of reference of the advisory panel to which applications are referred in cases of difficulty. The decision in all these cases to refuse consent has coincided with the advice of that panel.

While I do not think that the principle as stated by the Chancellor is absolutely crystal clear, may I draw the attention of the Chancellor to the strictures made on the Section when the Conservative Party was in Opposition and ask him whether, in view of the criticism then made, he has considered repealing it?

As a matter of fact, its operation has been so smooth that the strictures upon it have been very considerably reduced.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is at least one member of the Conservative Party who still maintains the strictures on that Section?