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Letter from W. Glenvil Hall to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Treasury Chambers.—Responds to Pethick-Lawrence’s remarks on estate duty (see 2/26), which he has discussed with the Chancellor (Cripps) and the Inland Revenue.

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Transcript

Treasury Chambers, | Great George Street, | S.W.1.
29 April, 1949.

My dear Pethick,

I promised to write you again on the Estate Duty points you raised in your letter to me, after I had consulted the Inland Revenue and the Chancellor on them.

As you point out, the Estate Duty scale has always been such that at a point where the rate increases there is a margin within which, whatever the value of the estate, the amount left after payment of duty is the same. At the new rates there will be a margin of £10,000 between £100,000 and £110,000. We have from time to time considered the possibility of changing, as you suggest, to a slice scale on the Sur-tax principle to avoid this particular difficulty, but the Inland Revenue tell me such a change would bring very considerable new difficulties of its own. It would for example add to the complexities of the administration of estates where property passed on a death under more than one title. Every time any adjustment were made in the value of the property passing under one of the titles the amount of duty payable on the property passing under each title would be affected.

The Chancellor proposes to increase the yield from death duties because, as he stated in his Budget statement, there is still a degree of inequality in the ownership of property which could be the subject of adjustment. The various changes in the death duties will not, of course, come into effect until the passing of the Finance Act. This will give testators some opportunity of altering their wills if they so wish. They will be able to see the detailed proposals in the Finance Bill—we have in mind, for example, the point you mention about the remainder-man—and they will be able to make their plans accordingly.

In the light of what I say above about the difficulties, you will gather that there seems little possibility of the suggestion you make about the slice system being adopted. Nevertheless you will like to know that the Chancellor is having the point looked at again, though, as I say, it appears that whatever system were adopted some anomalies are bound to occur.

With kind regards and all good wishes.

Yours sincerely,
W Glenvil Hall

The Rt. Hon. Lord Pethick-Lawrence of Peaslake,
11, Old Square,
Lincoln’s Inn,
W.C.2.

Letter from John Haynes Holmes to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

The Community Church, Park Avenue and Thirty-Fourth Street, New York City.—Congratulates him on his election victory over Winston Churchill.

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Transcript

The Community Church, Park Avenue and Thirty-Fourth Street, New York City
December 7th, 1923

Dear Mr. Pethick-Lawrence:

Hurrah! I am overjoyed at the great news this morning of your election to Parliament. And over Winston Churchill! What a smashing victory! That son of Marlborough must wish that he was back in the days of his great ancestor, when the laboring people had better manners.

Reports indicate that Baldwin and his cohorts got a defeat that they will not soon forget. I wonder what the future holds?

With congratulations and all best wishes, I remain

Very sincerely yours,
John Haynes Holmes

Mrs.† F. W. Pethick-Lawrence,
11 Old Square,
Lincoln’s Inn,
London, W.C.2, England

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† Sic.

Letter from John Haynes Holmes to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The Community Church, Study, 10 Park Avenue, New York 16, New York.—Is glad to receive news from him. He celebrated his eightieth birthday this year, but was injured by a fall. Has received a letter from Hankinson. Sends birthday greetings.

Letter from the Earl of Home to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Commonwealth Relations Office.—Asks him to deposit any Indian papers in his possession at the India Office Library, and sends a list of papers deposited or promised by others (2/68).

(Marked in pencil, ‘Send to Trinity’.)

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Transcript

COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS OFFICE,
DOWNING STREET.
26th June, 1958.

Dear Pethwick† Lawrence

I have been making great efforts in recent years to persuade former Secretaries of State, Viceroys of India, and Governors of the Indian Presidencies or Provinces, or their descendants, to let us have their Indian papers for deposit in the India Office Library on permanent loan. Such papers are of course of particular importance, in the case of the Secretary of State and the Viceroy, because so many political questions of the highest importance and delicacy were handled through the private channel, with the result that the correspondence is very often not on official record.

As you will see from the enclosed note showing the papers that have so far been deposited or promised, I have had a most gratifying and welcome response to the appeals which I have made, and I very much hope that you might feel able to let us have your own papers in the same way. The India Office Library has, in addition to these private Viceregal and similar a[r]chives, very large collections of Western and Oriental manuscripts and printed books bearing upon modern Indian history, and it is indeed in the Library’s Reading Room that most modern Indian historical research in the West is carried out.

The basis on which we have asked those whom I have so far approached to deposit their papers has been that they should be on permanent loan to the Secretary of State, and that they should never be removed from this country or pass out of the full and absolute control of the United Kingdom Government. The India Office Library undertakes to repair, bind, arrange, list, and catalogue the papers, as may be necessary. Access to them by the public would, of course, be governed by the fifty-year rule, so far as confidential or secret documents are concerned, and naturally in every way we should be most anxious to defer to any wishes that the owner of the papers might express in regard to their custody or the like.

If, as I very much hope, you do feel able to allow your papers to come here, we will readily arrange for their collection.

Yours sincerely
Home

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† Sic.

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