DISPOSAL OF FUNDS IN VOLUNTARY POOL VALIDITY OF PROPOSAL TO GIVE MINISTER DISCRETIONARY POWER TO DISPOSE OF MONEYS STANDING TO CREDIT OF ANY FUND OR POOL: ENTITLEMENT OF TRADER TO RETURN OF MONEYS VOLUNTARILY PAID INTO POOL: COMPULSORY PAYMENT OF FIXED MAXIMUM PRICE INTO POOL UNEXPENDED BALANCE IN WHICH MIGHT BE PAID BY DIRECTION OF MINISTER INTO REVENUE CONSTITUTES TAX
NATIONAL SECURITY (PRICES) REGULATIONS proposed reg 50A
I refer to your memorandum dated 15th October, 1942, forwarding instructions for the amendment of the National Security (Prices) Regulations and I forward herewith twenty copies (including the Reader’s copy) of draft Regulations to give effect thereto.
It will be noted that your proposed regulation 50A has not been included in the draft Regulations. Under that regulation it was proposed to give the Minister power to dispose of moneys standing to the credit of any fund or pool in such manner as he thinks fit, e.g., he might direct that such moneys be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The moneys paid by any individual trader into such pool belong to that trade and, if the circumstances which justified the establishment of the pool no longer exist, should be returned to the trader who paid the moneys into the pool.
In my view, the compulsory payment of a fixed maximum price into a pool, the unexpended balance in which might be paid by direction of the Minister into Revenue, would constitute a tax and could only be imposed validly by an Act of Parliament.
I understand that traders have co-operated in the creation of pools and have agreed to the disposal of the unexpended balances for purposes other than for which the pools were created. I think that, if any trader demanded the return of his share of the unexpended balance, his demand would have to be complied with, and that the only way in which his right to his share could be taken from him would be by an Act of Parliament.
[Vol. 34, p. 543]