HC Deb 24 April 1871 vol 205 cc1585-676

, in rising to move an Amendment, said, he would do so in the shape of a Resolution, which was intended to mean what it said—that was to say, his Resolution did not raise the question of confidence or non-confidence in the Government. He wished to rightly interpret the feelings of his constituency, and express the views he entertained with reference to the course which the Government had of late pursued. He was performing the part of their best friend.—the candid friend—because he was sure that persistence in the course of extravagance which was now inaugurated, would alienate the best friends of the Government, and would certainly disgust a large majority of their truest and most earnest supporters. The Resolution which he submitted, and upon which he should take the sense of the House, was as follows:— That, in the opinion of the House, the additional taxation proposed by Her Majesty's Government will entail burdens upon the people which are not justified by existing circumstances. He had just referred to a Motion of a kindred nature which, in 1862, was made by his right hon. Friend the President of the Poor Law Board (Mr. Stansfeld), and he would frankly admit that that Resolution would now have been better than his own. It was— That, in the opinion of this House, the National Expenditure is capable of reduction without compromising the safety, the independence, or the legitimate influence of the country. That correctly expressed his own opinion of our present circumstances. In the year ending the 31st day of March, 1862, the expenditure was £71,297,656, or £1,000,000 less than was now demanded. The line of argument he intended to pursue was this—First, he would assume that the Chancellor of the Exchequer required an addition to his incoming Revenue of £2,713,000, and that the additional taxation which he asked them to impose would leave him his proposed surplus of £87,000. In the second place, he would inquire whether, by judicious economy, the present taxation ought not to more than suffice for the national requirements. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought in his Budget last year, his estimate of the Revenue for the year ending the 31st of March, 1871, was £2,311,220 less than the actual receipts; and, on that occasion, he ventured to say that the right hon. Gentleman had under-estimated his surplus by quite £2,000,000. The right hon. Gentleman now estimated that the following sources of Revenue would be less than in 1870–1:—Customs, by £91,000; Excise, by £368,000; Stamps, by £257,000; Income Tax, if at 4d., by £250,000; the Post Office, by £100,000; and the Crown Lands, by £10,000; making a total falling-off, as compared with last year, of £1,076,000. The total Revenue which the Chancellor of the Exchequer calculated on obtaining in the year 1871–2 was £69,595,000. A fortnight before the right hon. Gentleman brought forward his Budget, he (Mr. White) had made out his own, and he estimated the Revenue at £71,000,000 for the coming year. He might mention that he had passed a considerable portion of his life many thousand miles away from England, in a country where the question of the harvest in England being good or bad was of vital interest, and where it was necessary to consider all the circumstances which might either add to, or subtract from, the prosperity of the nation. Therefore, owing to his mercantile training, ever since he had the honour of a seat in that House, he had always deemed it his duty to estimate the total out-turn of each coming year's Revenue, and before the Chancellor of the Exchequer opened his Budget he was always ready with his own, in order to contrast it with that of the right hon. Gentleman. He took this opportunity of thanking the Chancellor of the Exchequer for having made this self-imposed task much easier than it was in times past, owing to the large amount of authentic fiscal information now given to the public through the medium of The London Gazette. To the correctness of the right hon. Gentleman's estimate, however, he demurred for the following reasons:—In the first place, the manufacturing districts in the North had not, during the last 10 years been in so prosperous a condition as at present. Again, cotton wool was 30 per cent lower than it was this time last year; and wool was likewise very low. Wheat was at a moderate price. The latest Poor Law Return for England and Wales showed that in February, 1870, the number of paupers was 1,093,811, while at the same date in the present year the number was 1,036,459 id est 57,352 less. The Railway Returns told a similar story, and the great increase, both in passenger and goods traffic, showed that the commercial and manufacturing prosperity of the country had at last recovered from the great panic of 1866. The right hon. Gentleman appeared also to have wholly ignored the normal increment of Revenue, which was an essential condition in the Estimate. The Prime Minister had stated that the normal increment of the Revenue was £875,000 per annum, during the four years ending in 1863; and it might now be fairly put at £1,000,000. Again, with regard to agricultural prosperity, he was assured by hon. Gentlemen, who were more competent to judge than himself, that there was every prospect of the coming harvest of all crops together being greater in aggregate value than that of last year. There were no statistics to show what amount of such augmented agricultural production would go into the Exchequer; but, in 1787, Mr. Pitt said three-fifths of the amount made for labour in the agricultural districts found its way into the Exchequer; and the right hon. Gentleman now at the head of the Government once asserted at Chester, that, somehow or other, one-eighth of every man's income, on the average, was paid to the State. Now it was obvious that the revival of commercial, manufacturing, and agricultural industry must increase considerably the amount of Revenue. Again, he found the right hon. Gentleman was very well off with regard to the Exchequer balances. Fourteen years ago Sir George C. Lewis thought £6,500,000 quite enough; but the present Chancellor of the Exchequer commenced the financial year with £7,023,425, and, on the last occasion, when making his Financial Statement, the right hon. Gentleman stated that the unfunded Debt had never been so low in the memory of man. He went into these details because he did not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer had approached this subject in a statesmanlike manner. The right hon. Gentleman addressed the Committee as though he were a merchant in straitened circumstances, who had a big bill coming due, and who had, consequently, to task his utmost efforts, because, if he could not pay the full amount of the bill, his credit would be irretrievably ruined. The subject was introduced as though the right hon. Gentleman had to meet a bill of £72,395,000, due on the 31st of March next, and destitute of any resources to provide for the smallest possible deficit. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had told the House that he based his Estimate on an average of several years. Now, according to the official statistics, the total surplus for the last 14 years reached nearly £17,000,000, whereas the total deficits owing to unexpected calamities—the New Zealand, Chinese, and Abyssinian Wars, and the bad harvest of 1860—amounted to only £3,500,638; thus leaving for the last 14 years an average annual excess of Revenue over Expenditure of nearly £1,000,000. According to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, Ministers of State were placed on such Olympian heights that they took a larger survey and a wider range than the humble Members who sat below the gangway; but, still, he (Mr. White) had a lurking suspicion that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, finding how convenient it was to under-estimate his Revenue last year, thought it would be a wise policy to do so again, especially as there might be certain Alabama claims looming in the distance. If this were the case, however, it would have been far better for the right hon. Gentleman to take the House into his confidence and tell it plainly what was likely to occur. He had now done with the first part of his argument, and would turn to the second. The right hon. Gentleman had informed the House that he should require for the coming year the sum of £72,395,000. Now, he protested against such a demand, as being inordinate. It was the largest amount that had ever been demanded from the House in time of peace. They had recently grown too much into the habit, he regretted to note, of talking vaguely and indefinitely of very large sums of money, forgetting what Government expenditure really meant. One of the best definitions he remembered was that of the present Prime Minister, who said— It must be borne in mind when we speak of Government expenditure, we speak of that which is taken in great measure out of the earnings of the people, and which forms in no small degree a deduction from a scanty store which is necessary to secure to them a sufficiency—I do not say of the comforts of life, but even of the prime necessaries of food, of clothing, of shelter, and of fuel. Hence, when the Government swelled the already enormous amount of taxation, the House had not only the right, but it was its duty to express its opinion as to the justice or propriety of the policy proposed for its adoption. At the last election the main issue placed before the people was economy. He would not refer to the memorable speeches made by the Prime Minister in Lancashire; but when the verdict of the country had been taken the right hon. Gentleman the First Minister of the Crown, addressing his constituents at Greenwich, on his re-election, in 1868, said— I am myself responsible, and I avow I did take the earliest opportunity in my power to direct the public mind to that subject—public economy—at the opening stage in the proceedings connected with the late elections, for I am quite certain that there may be times when the public mind may become comparatively relaxed in regard to the general principles of economy and thrift, and to the special duty of public men to watch the very beginning of such an evil. I rejoice to think that the attention of the country has been effectually directed, during the late elections, to the subject of retrenchment of public expenditure. I know no reason why £3,000,000 should be added in the short period of two and a-half years to the cost of our establishments. It is one thing, I am well aware, to put on £3,000,000, but it is another thing to take it off; for, when you put £3,000,000 on, you create a number of new relations, a number of new offices, a number of new claims, a number of new expectations. The right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Bright) again, on the occasion of his own re-election for Birmingham, after accepting office, said— Let me tell you this—I say it as a member of the Administration which is just formed—that no Government is deserving of the support of the people of the country which cannot carry on the administration of the country for a smaller sum than £70,000,000 a-year. In the face of this statement a Liberal and economical Government was now governing the country at a cost of £72,395,000 a-year. The late Mr. Cobden, on one occasion, told him that the only Prime Minister who had done his duty was Sir Robert Peel, because he always had maintained a constant supervision and control over all the subordinate offices of the State. When the right hon. Gentleman the present Prime Minister came into office, he (Mr. White) indulged the hope and belief that the country would see a period of peace, retrenchment, and reform. So far as the first was concerned, he must do Her Majesty's Government the justice to say that their policy had his unqualified approval. With regard to retrenchment, it seemed to have been wholly forgotten by the Government; and the country was fast reverting to the bad Palmerstonian times, when the head of each Department did just as he pleased, and when he got into a mess, simply cried—"Palmerston to the rescue;" and found a majority of the House ready to follow the example of its Leader in condoning the offences of every blundering official. It was not pleasant to make these remarks; but they were justified by the fact that the public expenditure was now greater than when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire described our armaments as swollen and bloated. He was the more astonished at such vast War Estimates being brought forward at a time when he had hoped the "meddling and muddling policy" had been for ever abandoned. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that, in taking the course he had, he was carrying out the wishes of the House, and it was true that a majority voted in favour of enlarged expenditure; but that did not justify the "Ways and Means" which had been proposed. He had voted against the increase in the Estimates, and he could not approve the practice, although sanctioned by modern usage, of asking the House to commit itself to increased Estimates before ascertaining the total sum that was really required, and the amount which would be produced by the existing taxation. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer had announced at the beginning of the Session that he intended to augment the taxation of the country, it would have done much to allay the panic and absurd feeling in favour of increased military expenditure. When, in 1848, there was a somewhat similar panic, Lord John Russell frankly told the House of Commons that if it were the wish of the country to incur a further outlay for defensive purposes, he was prepared to increase the income tax from 7d. to 1s. in the pound; and it was marvellous what a very soothing effect that statement had upon the public mind. The course then taken by Lord John Russell was praised by the late Sir Robert Peel, who—to his credit be it spoken—always endeavoured in periods of panic to scout the popular delusions and sinister interested suggestions of the Services and their friends which, as a rule, caused the panic feeling to arise. With regard to the present Navy and Army Estimates, he would simply remark that, in 1850, when the late Duke of Wellington was Commander-in-Chief, the whole Expenditure of both Army and Navy amounted to £15,700,000; but now, for the Army alone, the Estimate was £16,452,000, including £600,000 only as the current year's expenditure on account of the proposed abolition of purchase in the Army. There was no one more anxious than himself, and many other Members sitting below the gangway on that side of the House, that this country should have an Army thoroughly efficient in every respect; but efficiency was one thing and economy another, and he ventured to think that the plan of Army re-organization proposed by the Secretary of State for War was neither efficient nor economical. The truth of the matter was that the Government must strike higher than they had yet dared to do. Lord Northbrook's Report had pointed out that our war administration cost us relatively four or five times as much as that which belonged to the Armies of any of the great military Powers of Europe. As a specimen of the way in which the affairs of the Administrative Department at the Horse Guards were managed, he might instance the fact that there was a large increase this year in the charge for home transport of troops, recruits, military prisoners with escorts, &c, the sum required being £276,495. But would it be believed that the Horse Guards, owing probably to some antiquated arrangement made at the introduction of railways, paid for the carriage of troops fully 50 per cent more than was paid by private individuals? His hon. Friend the Member for Ashton (Mr. Mellor) would corroborate him in the statement that the charge for a number of recruits starting from Ashton was 10s.d. per man third-class, for a distance which, in the case of private individuals, cost only 7s. 2d. Ordinary third-class passengers were permitted to carry their luggage with them, but in the case of soldiers this was the subject of an extra charge. He would suggest to his hon. and gallant Friend on his left (Captain Vivian) that if he would apply to Mr. Cook, the excursionist, and permit that gentleman to contract for the transport of our troops, the country would probably be a gainer to the extent of something like £120,000 or £130,000 per annum, while the soldiers would find the change attended with a great increase of comfort. He only gave that as a specimen of the mode in which things were managed in the War Department. Now, for the Navy we required £9,756,000, and though his hon. Friend the Secretary for the Treasury had courageously reformed many of the abuses which existed in the system of naval contracts, supplies, &c., how did matters still stand in our Dockyards? He had carefully gone through the figures with his hon. Friend the Member for Ashton, and the result was they had found that in the home Dockyards for every £6 worth of work performed £1 was expended in control and supervision; while in our foreign Dockyards it was still worse, for there the cost of control and supervision amounted to quite as much as the value of the work done. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had taken great credit to the Government because his right hon. Friend the President of the Poor Law Board had, by re-organizing the London Custom House, been able to dispense with the services of 200 clerks in that Department without impairing its efficiency; and he had also, he was glad to say, promised to inquire into the state of the Customs' Department at the out-ports, and see whether in those quarters similar reductions could not also be accomplished. But, to his mind, that was merely paltering with the question. He had no hesitation in saying that of some 15,000 clerks in the Civil Service, receiving salaries amounting in the aggregate to £4,500,000 per annum, two-thirds could be dispensed with, and the remaining third should be more liberally treated. He felt convinced that if that were done the work would be much better performed. Most of the mechanical work now done by gentlemen should be placed in the hands of ordinary copyists, and he was glad to see that something was being done in that direction. He had mentioned to a high official—whose name he would furnish to his hon. Friend the Secretary for the Treasury if he desired it—that in a certain Government Department not one-twelfth of the clerks employed did one day's work in a week; and that gentleman replied—and no one was in a better condition to know the fact—that the same might be said of every Government Department. The truth was that the average Government employé appeared to act in accordance with the three cardinal principles—come as late as you can, go as soon as you can, and do as little as you can. Before sitting down he must say a word or two upon the subject of the proposed tax on matches, against which he had that day presented three Petitions from the metropolitan manufacturers and their work-people; and he could not help expressing his sincere regret that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer should have selected those articles for the purpose of taxation. In doing so the right hon. Gentleman had, in his belief, not shown that regard for the sanctity of private property which it was the duty of every statesman to inculcate at the present time. It appeared as if the right hon. Gentleman thought he was entitled to lay on any tax or duty he pleased, and had ignored the fact that the imposition of such a tax as this would have the effect of maiming a most important branch of industry, one that was of the most signal benefit to many thousands of the poorer classes of Her Majesty's subjects. If he were defeated on this Motion, as he suspected he might be, he should still respect the opinions of those who did not agree with, him, and he should believe them to be animated with as hearty a desire to promote the happiness and welfare of the people as he himself was; and if only a small number were to follow him into the Lobby, he should not say, as was once said by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that— It was the vis inertiœ of the blind, ignorant, besotted stupidity of the large majorities of the English Parliament that made the superior intelligence of a portion of no avail. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving the Amendment of which he had given Notice.


* In seconding the Resolution of my hon. Friend (Mr. White), I wish to disclaim any desire of expressing a want of confidence in the present Ministry. I say that, because my hon. Friend the junior Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) stated that he intended his Motion, which is next in order on the Paper, as a Vote of Want of Confidence, and I entirely and distinctly decline to join my hon. Friend in any such vote. I do so, because I fully recognize the great benefits which have accrued to this country from both the home and foreign policy of the Government. I therefore adopt my present course not as an opponent, but as an independent supporter of the Government; and I am bound to say that the proposals which have emanated from the Chancellor of the Exchequer have created great disappointment throughout the country, and in no place more than in the county which was honoured by having the Prime Minister as its candidate at the last General Election. I had the pleasure of listening to those eloquent speeches delivered by the right hon. Gentleman, which not only powerfully affected public opinion in Lancashire, but which were held throughout the kingdom, as embodying the "platform" upon which the Liberal party rested. That platform included justice to Ireland, and national economy. The right hon. Gentleman has nobly carried out the first part of his programme, in his great measures on the Irish Church and the Irish Land; but the expectations he held out of national economy only deepen the disappointment which is now felt, in consequence of the large Estimates proposed by the Government; and the measures of the Chancellor of the Exchequer have increased the public dissatisfaction. In dealing with these proposals, I venture to express the opinion that it would be contrary to public policy, if the House, in dealing with questions of taxation and expenditure, should be embarrassed by considerations of a party nature. I shall be disappointed if, before the close of the debate, the Prime Minister does not cordially recognize the public advantage of the greatest freedom being enjoyed by the House, in discussing the question now before us. But apart from these general considerations, there are precedents in previous Sessions when Budgets have been greatly altered or withdrawn, in consequence of opposition in the House, which have not been regarded as including the expression of want of confidence. My hon. Friend (Mr. White) has alluded to the Budget of 1848, and the circumstances under which that Budget was brought forward were almost identical with those of the present time. In making his Financial Statement, at the opening of the Session, Lord John Russell, the then Prime Minister, remarked that the previous year had been one which, excepting cases of foreign war or domestic insurrection, was without a parallel in the history of the country. There had not only been a period of commercial distress, but there had been an increasing expenditure occasioned by the panic of 1847, which was one of the most foolish on record, being occasioned by distrust of France under Louis Philippe, excited by the Duke of Wellington's alarming letter to Sir John Burgoyne on the probability of an invasion of this country. Lord John Russell proposed to re-organize the Militia, and for that purpose, as well as to meet the existing deficiency of the Revenue, he suggested an addition to the income tax of 5d. in the pound, raising it to 1s. in the pound. At the close of February, 1848, Louis Philippe abdicated, and with the decline of the panic, there arose great opposition in the House and in the country to the increased taxation. And then occurred the precedent to which I wish especially to direct the attention of the Prime Minister. The Budget was withdrawn, the Militia Bill dropped, and further than that, Lord Russell's Government referred the whole military and naval expenditure of the country to a searching inquiry by a Select Committee, and the result was that by the close of the Session, it was found there might be very considerable reductions made in the expenditure of the country. The Budget was re-introduced in August without any increase in taxation, the cost of the Navy having been reduced by £208,000, Army £150,000, Ordnance £123,000, Militia £150,000, and Miscellaneous Expenditure £235,000, making a total saving of nearly £1,000,000 sterling. All this was done without a whisper that any action taken by the House should be twisted into a Vote of Want of Confidence, and he saw no reason for treating adverse criticism on the present occasion more seriously. In the course of the discussions in 1848, Mr. Wakley recommended the Government to withdraw their Resolutions together. He said— That Budget was a bubble. It was burst—it was exploded—it was gone; and if there had been any substance in it, it was annihilated."—[3 Hansard, xcvi. 1422.] And I think I might almost use the same language now in reference to the present proposals. I will, however, strongly press upon the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer the propriety of following Lord Russell's example, as I am quite at a loss to understand how the Government, consistently with their previous principles, can justify this great expenditure. They have given us no sufficient reason for it, and the only attempt at justification occurred on Thursday in the Budget speech. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer argued that we should secure an immunity from invasion by means of this increased expenditure, and that in a financial point of view the operation would pay. This was altogether a peculiar argument, and I think deserves some little consideration from the House. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer said— I wish, however, to point out to the House one view of the case which, as it is peculiarly financial, may not be irrelevant for me to state. I will leave it to others to comment on the inconvenience of being invaded, and to the desirability of preventing invasion if possible. I cannot deny the soundness of the right hon. Gentleman's premises. We shall all admit that it would be very inconvenient to be invaded; and that it is desirable to prevent invasion if possible. But the right hon. Gentleman went on say—"I do not mean to enter into the question of the probability of an invasion;" but that is, in fact, the whole gist of the affair. The probability or otherwise of an invasion lies at the root of the right hon. Gentleman's argument, and in judging of it I think we may fairly consider that the fact that this country has never been invaded for centuries is a good reason for considering that an invasion is highly improbable. I suppose no hon. Gentleman would consider that a piratical inroad like that of Paul Jones, to which allusion was made the other evening by the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren), can be seriously regarded in the light of an invasion, nor would they consider as an invasion the landing on the shores of Pembrokeshire at the end of last century, of 1,400 badly equipped Frenchmen, who were dispersed by the country people armed with scythes and pitchforks. In fact, the only serious attempts of invasion ever contemplated have been frustrated by the natural and inevitable difficulty of carrying into effect any such designs against this country. But passing over the main consideration bearing upon his argument, the right hon. Gentleman proceeded to urge that it was in the power of this House and the country to take such measures, he would not say as would prevent England being invaded, but should satisfy all who could judge that she could not be invaded, and then, in glowing terms, he said— If that can be done, I can hardly imagine any sacrifice that it would not be worth while to make upon purely financial considerations, because if you can satisfy people that this is the one spot in the world that is safe, and that will, in all probability, be free from the ravages of war, think how our credit will rise, how the value of our property will increase, what a predominance it gives us over other nations. Well, Sir, that is a captivating prospect, and if the right hon. Gentleman can induce people to believe that there will be a great increase given to the value of their property by his measures, it will, no doubt, induce them to submit cheerfully to his taxes. But is he prepared seriously to maintain that, owing to the want of sufficient security at present, or owing to the idea prevalent in the world that we are likely to be invaded, the financial interests of this country have suffered, and the value of property has been depressed? He has simply assumed it without producing any fact in support of his assumption, and I ask him if he has consulted any banker or merchant to ascertain any facts justifying his idea as to the depression of prices? If prices of property are really not depressed by a feeling of insecurity, then all the visions of the right hon. Gentleman as to the probable financial advantages of his scheme are entirely baseless. But I further put it to the Government, whether or not they provided sufficient means for the protection of the country 12 months ago; because if the Estimates then proposed were not sufficient for our security a serious responsibility rested upon the Government; but if they were sufficient, as I fully believe, then I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to mention any existing circumstances which have in the interval rendered this country more liable to be invaded. In discussing our means of defence the right hon. Gentleman gave another instance of his ingenuity in putting his case, for he said he would not speak of our fleet, yet that was clearly the most important element in considering whether we could resist any possible attack. He admitted that our fleet is at present the mistress of the seas; but he said it might not always be so, and why? "Because it might be decoyed away as Nelson was before Trafalgar, when he went to the West Indies." In reply to this, I can only say that it appears to me in the highest degree improbable that such a contingency could occur, and if when we have provided a large and powerful fleet for the defence of our shores, any Minister allowed it to be carried away for the protection of some distant dependency in the Pacific or Atlantic, I say he would deserve impeachment. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman may be worthy of his great ingenuity, but it will scarcely impose upon the House or the country. I can only suppose that he throws the Navy out of calculation, because the Government ask for only a small addition to the Navy Estimates, and he wishes to exaggerate the importance of the Army in order to justify the enormous increase of expenditure in that Department. He then said that, relying upon the Army, we might create— A force sufficient—demonstrably sufficient, considering the conditions of the problem of landing a force in an enemy's country—to crush any enemy before he could possibly accumulate sufficient strength to invade us. Let the House consider this expression—"considering the conditions of the problem of landing a force in an enemy's country," and I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is prepared seriously to say that, considering those conditions, we are not already in possession of a force that would crush any enemy that might attempt to land upon our shores? All the discoveries of modern science went to help those who were attacked; telegraphs and railways would enable us to concentrate our forces on any point threatened with danger; and, in addition to having wisely brought home a number of soldiers formerly scattered over our distant possessions, where they were of no use, the Government have at their command the Militia and the Volunteers. It appears very singular that in all the discussions which had taken place on the Army, the Volunteer force was hardly alluded to. Was it not better to have high-spirited Englishmen actuated by a desire to defend their country, than to rely upon mere mercenaries? It is not complimentary to the Volunteers to ask the House to pass increased Estimates, on the assumption that the country does not already possess a sufficient force to prevent the landing of an enemy. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, who sometimes gives the country the great advantage of expressing his real opinions in a striking manner, when discussing the defences of the country in 1862 called them "bloated armaments," and in the course of his speech on that occasion made use of arguments which I think well worthy of the attention of the right hon. Gentleman at the present moment. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire said— It was a monstrous mistake to say that this country was not now adequately defended. Our foreign interests were also secure, and these depended not so much on our fleets and armies as on the knowledge that England was the only country, which, when it entered into a just quarrel, never ceased until it had accomplished its object, whilst there was not a State in Europe—the proudest and the most powerful, that could enter upon a third campaign. It was the financial reserve of England that prepared her for an indefinite struggle, whenever she had an adequate and worthy object. But if they allowed their resources to be sapped, weakened, and exhausted, they would deprive themselves of the principal source of their power—a sound state of finance."—[See 3 Hansard, clxvii. 336–7–8.] This is the true element of that national security upon which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer relies for the maintenance of the financial interests of this country. But we need not rely upon what may be called the theoretical opinions of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli). The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has unwisely taken the example of America in adopting a bad tax, but he might with great advantage study their means of national defence. I suppose that the right hon. Gentleman would not deny that America was "one spot in the world" with all the financial advantages of being free from the probability of invasion. No country was in less danger of invasion than the United States, and yet she had at present less than 30,000 men in arms, and her Navy was admitted on all hands to be in a very inefficient state. Yet, notwithstanding the policy of economy and disarmament, the Americans contrive, nevertheless, to command as much respect as if they were armed to the teeth. They, in fact, relied upon the resources belonging to a great nation of 40,000,000 of people, rich, industrious, and public spirited. Their resources had been tried in a remarkable manner. In 1860, before the Civil War, they had neither Army nor Navy, but in two years they raised hundreds of thousands of men, and a fleet of most formidable ships, brought together by a national spirit which had astonished the world. But I need not pursue this matter further. I have too great an opinion of the ability of the right hon. Gentleman to suppose that he seriously considers that there is any justification for the addition of £3,000,000 to our Army expenditure on the fanciful plea of immunity from invasion. The truth is, that these swollen Estimates date from the panic of last autumn, and are the fruit of the alarm created by the declaration of war by France against Prussia in August, when many hon. Gentlemen professed to believe that the Emperor would speedily conquer Prussia, and then, following the example of the great Napoleon, might overrun Europe. No doubt there were parties interested in the services who took advantage of the war to excite alarm in the public mind. My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester (Mr. Jacob Bright) said, a short time since, that panics were often originated by persons interested in an increase of expenditure, and his statement was objected to on the ground that panics are wide-spread amongst the population generally. But this is no answer to my hon. Friend. If a cry of "fire" is raised in a theatre by mischievous or designing men, everybody, no doubt, becomes panic-struck; but the panic is not the less caused by the men who raise the cry of alarm, and whose confederates stand at the doors to take advantage of the confusion by picking the pockets of the struggling crowd. The circumstances of the present time are not peculiar, having repeatedly occurred, and with like results. In 1870–1 the national income has exceeded the Chancellor of Exhequer's expectations by £2,311,000, and in the previous year by nearly £2,000,000. When this surplus over the estimated receipts occurred two or three years consecutively, there never failed to ensue a panic, by which the spending servants of the Government found means to take advantage of the surplus. On the occasion of one of these periodical panics in 1853, a right hon. Gentleman, formerly a distinguished member of this House, and whose absence from Parliament I very much regret, made a speech in which he pointed out very clearly the kind of proceeding which takes place under circumstances like the present. I allude to Mr. Milner Gibson, who said— I have observed that there is always a great deal of pressure for an increase of the Army and Navy, and a great complaint about the defencelessness of the country, whenever there is a surplus income over expenditure. Why, it is a tempting thing—a large heap of money on the table of the Exchequer, and the knowledge on the part of the "Services," that if John Bull can be sufficiently, frightened into the cry for increased defences, there is a very good chance of some of the money being divided among them and theirs. But I may appeal to a still higher authority upon this point. I had the pleasure of listening to an eloquent speech of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone), at Warrington, in which there was a passage in more guarded terms, but which fully supported Mr. Milner Gibson's opinion. The Prime Minister said— I will tell you this—that no Government, however well disposed, will at any time be able to keep the expenditure of the country within moderate bounds unless it is supported by the constant vigilance of public opinion. You will ask me, perhaps, why is this? I will tell you in a sentence. It is because individuals, and knots, and groups, and even classes of men, have a constant, quick, unsleeping interest in feeding themselves upon the produce of the public industry. The natural counterpoise of that perfectly natural tendency on the part of individuals and classes is in the vigilance of the public mind. But if the public go to sleep, the other power, gentlemen, never go to sleep. On the contrary, it watches its opportunity. There is not a single description of person interested in the produce of the taxes that is not very naturally awake to consider what opportunities he may have of improving his position, and unfortunately there is this unhappy circumstance, inherent in the condition of a public servant that, whereas the man who pursues other branches of industry when he improves his position—for instance in a matter of commerce or of manufacture—a man who increases the produce of the soil, a man who increases the produce of the town, in improving his own social position, improves the position of other people. But unhappily, when those who are interested in the produce of the taxes improve their own position—I do not well see how the consequence is to be avoided—they improve it rather at the expense than for the advantage of the people. It is only necessary to look back at the experience of the last 20 years to satisfy the House that the opportunity of a surplus in the Revenue is always taken advantage of for an increase of unnecessary expenditure. In the year ending March 1844, there was a surplus of actual over estimated receipts at the Exchequer of £2,500,000; in 1845, an excess of £3,000,000; in 1846, an excess £1,500,000; and in 1847, of £2,750,000, and then this plethora of public money was followed by the panic of 1847–8, to which I have already alluded, and which was excited by Louis Philippe—of all men in the world. In precisely the same way the panic of 1852–3 was preceded by an annual excess of £1,500,000 for two or three years, and was directed against Louis Napoleon, and caused a great increase of expenditure, until the panic was ended, by our joining as allies on the Russian question with the very man against whom we had been arming, and engaged with him in one of the most useless and wicked wars that ever took place. The Revenue recovered in 1857 from the pressure of the Crimean War, and the surplus of £1,500,000 in each of the years ending March 1858 and 1859 gave occasion for the customary increase of unnecessary and wasteful expenditure. To show that the Front Benches on each side of the House are equally guilty in this matter, it was the Government of Lord Derby, and more especially the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington) who got up the panic of 1859. Lord Derby placed in the mouth of the Queen a recommendation of "re-construction of the Navy," and the right hon. Baronet came down to the House with most alarming statements as to the great extent and efficiency of the French Navy, and as to the state of our own, which he declared was not in a "a proper and adequate state for the defence of our coasts, and the protection of our commerce." The result was an enormous expenditure in building ships, which everyone now admits were of a kind that were perfectly useless, and the present Government will justify me in saying that the millions thrown away at that time on the Navy were absolutely wasted. Lord Derby's Government went out, and were succeeded by Lord Palmerston, who, whenever there was a chance of spending the public money never wanted an excuse for the purpose. Again, the bugbear of France was held up before the House, and they were told that very probably the coasts of this country would be invaded. The noble Lord, in proposing to spend an enormous sum of money in building fortifications, expressly said he did so to be prepared against our nearest neighbour across the Channel, and that there was no use in disguising it. At that very time, my illustrious Friend the late Mr. Cobden was engaged in negociating the Commercial Treaty with France. So that, whilst France was preparing to increase her commercial intercourse and extend her friendly relationships with this country, England was providing in an undisguised manner for an expected raid upon its coasts by that very Power. In every case in fact, when a panic had occurred as an excuse for the expenditure of money, France was the bugbear. That being so, I ask the House to consider whether there is now, at all events, any possibility of France participating in an invasion; and if the reply is, as it must be, that there is not, I contend most emphatically that there is no justification for the excessive expenditure the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes. The right hon. Gentleman in introducing his Budget, said the money must be had; the dinner had been eaten, the wine had been drunk, and nothing remained but to pay the bill; and he knew of no other means by which it could be done with less disturbance of trade. I venture to dispute the statement. The dinner has not been eaten—the wine has not been drunk—the House is still in a position to countermand the expenditure; and the illustration is, to say the least of it, an unfortunate one, having regard to the present forlorn condition of some of the inhabitants of this country upon whom the additional taxation will entail fresh burdens. If there is any necessity for legislation in order to insure the protection of our shores, the burden should not fall upon labour, but upon the owners of land and of realized wealth, whose timidity calls for these unnecessary measures. If any reverse fell upon this country, or if through invasion, or expected invasion, our commercial prosperity and financial interests were destroyed, the possessors of labour might emigrate from our shores and carry their industry to America, to Canada, to Australia, or even to Germany; but you could not carry away an inch of your land. It would be the land, the railways, the mills, and the mines which would have to bear the burden of a successful invasion—were such a thing possible—and their value would run down as rapidly as a barometer in a storm. I warn the holders of realized property in this country, that if they continue to encourage this profligate expenditure, the time will soon come when the people of this country, to whom has been given household suffrage, and to whom the Education Bill, by conferring knowledge would give power, will make their influence felt by returning a House of Commons which will insist that the charges which are deemed necessary for the protection of property shall be rightly placed upon the holders of property.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "in the opinion of this House, the additional taxation proposed by Her Majesty's Government will entail burdens upon the people which are not justified by existing circumstances,"—(Mr. James White,) —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said, he wished to say a few words in explanation of the vote he intended to give, which was the more necessary after the speech they had just heard from the hon. Member for Warrington (Mr. Rylands). He intended to vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White); but he would do so, having regard to the words of the Motion itself, and without in any way sanctioning the "peace-at-any-price" doctrines laid down by the hon. Member for Warrington. He should vote for the Motion, because he thought the Budget was, as the Motion stated, "not justified by existing circumstances." The Government proposed to alter and increase the probate duty, to change the succession duty, to create a fresh scale, and a very complicated one, in order to raise the income tax; and they also proposed by a direct act to place the Chancellor of the Exchequer in direct competition with the little boys and poor people in the streets, in deriving a small profit from light. On the other hand, the proposition of the hon. Member for Brighton stated that this way of raising Revenue was not a proper one, and was distasteful to the House. The Bill, which had within the last few hours raised so much agitation in the country, might have been supposed to be acceptable to some hon. Members, as an attempt to equalize the balance between direct and indirect taxation; but the first thing to be considered in such a proposal was, that taxation should not press on the necessities of life of the poor; and those who were at all acquainted with the match trade must know that the proposed tax would destroy the livelihood of a large class of poor people. But, besides, he did not think it would produce the results contemplated by the right hon. Gentleman himself. The trade would be driven to foreign countries, and the tax would become a fruitful source of imposition and evasion. Much as he disliked that proposal, he disliked still more the attempt to alter the succession duty. He believed the succession duty already pressed most unjustly on children; many persons even doubted the propriety of the tax at all; and it was only because the tax was small that evasions were not more numerous. When a son came into possession of an estate he had large outgoings to meet, and the proposed addition would make his position one of increased difficulty. So oppressively had this duty weighed already, that it induced evasion of the law to a very great extent, and, if the tax was increased, he believed the Chancellor of the Exchequer would defeat his own object by the inducement to evasion being so much enhanced. He had no wish, by the vote he intended to give, to secure a party triumph, or in any way to attack the position of the Government, who, he hoped, would not force the House to divide against them, by insisting on carrying a proposition so eminently unsatisfactory. He appealed to the Government to adopt, at least, some of the suggestions that had been made to re-consider the Budget, and not force the House to vote against them. He wished it to be distinctly understood that he had no wish to hamper the Government in carrying out the proper efficiency of the military defences of the country; but he believed, that with proper economy that object might be secured without resorting to this mode of taxation. He thought the payments made in reduction of the National Debt should have been suspended and used for such a great national emergency as the defences of the country; but he could not consent to upset the whole system of the legacy and probate duties, and the adoption of a new tax, which would bear most oppressively on a large number of poor people; in short, his objections to the Budget were so strong, that he should fail in his duty if he did not do all in his power to oppose it.


said, he agreed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who, in stating the deficiency he had to provide for, enunciated two principles—first, that we ought to pay our way, and, secondly, that we ought to see that the Income was sufficient for the Expenditure. To these two propositions he gave his hearty consent. But he must, nevertheless, outer his most hearty protest against this Budget altogether; and the grounds on which he did so he would endeavour to place as clearly and succinctly before the House as possible. It appeared to him that, instead of being only the Budget for 1871–2, it was intended as the Budget for 1872–3, if not for more than that. With an increase of Revenue under all heads except that of the Telegraphs, it was rather curious that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should have come to the conclusion that there was to be such a falling off in the Revenue this year. It might be that, in some respects, last year was an unusual year; but were there to be no good things this year? The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that commerce was now on a solid foundation, and the right hon. Gentleman drew a glowing picture of the condition of commerce in the country. The right hon. Gentleman laid it down that if we followed a policy of apprehending danger, and if the danger did not come, the people were deprived of a benefit from the remission of taxation to which they were justly entitled; and yet, while thus expressing himself, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to apprehend a serious, but to my mind an unlikely, shortcoming in the Revenue. And this in a year when he calculated upon requiring £72,000,000, which was about £5,000,000 in excess of the Budget of last year. Admitting that there might be a falling off in the Revenue from stamps, he could not agree with the right hon. Gentleman in anticipating a reduction in Customs, Excise, taxes, and Post Office; and, considering that the Prime Minister when Chancellor of the Exchequer had estimated the elasticity of the Revenue at an increase of £1,780,000, he came to the conclusion that an addition of 1d. to the income tax would have obviated the necessity for this shuffling, which had given so much dissatisfaction to the country. The point of importance to his constituents was the proposed petty tax on matches, which, small as the tax appeared to be, he believed would produce far less even than the Chancellor of the Exchequer expected, and which involved a departure from the policy of the Liberal party. It was an article of their creed to interfere as little as possible with trade. The right hon. Gentleman pleaded that in this case a little regulation, without seriously impeding trade, would be a great advantage; but he would discover that what he proposed would inflict serious injury upon a great number of poor people, to whom this tax was of more importance than hon. Members would at first be inclined to believe, and to whom the proposal itself would be a great discouragement, even if it were only made to be withdrawn. There were sighs enough and sorrows enough in the country, without a measure which, in itself, was fraught with distress to so many poor people. The wholesale price of a gross of common matches was 2s. 6d., of which 1s. 3d. was spent in wages; and a calculation showed that the result of imposing the tax would be to take away £230,000 from the wages fund of the very poorest persons, including many girls and women who worked at home, and who belonged to the class which most of all stood in need of employment. The imposition of the tax would give rise to the devising of modes of evading it, and the right hon. Gentleman had not fully appreciated the quickness and brightness of London boys, who would completely beat him in all his devices for getting the tax. As a representative of a poor district of London, he knew very well that the proposed tax would have a very considerable effect on the poor rates, which are heavy enough at present without being increased by interrupting the competition from Sweden and Germany. If the tax were imposed, there would be no more halfpenny boxes of matches for the working man, and as to vesuvians, if there were to be 100 in a box, each box would be equivalent to eight of those sold now, and would involve an expenditure of 4½d. Matches were an article of prime necessity; they were the first thing used in the morning and the last thing used at night. The amount to be raised by the new tax, about £500,000, was nearly equivalent to the sum required in the year for the abolition of purchase, £600,000; the people would be sure to put this and that together; and the coincidence would of itself make the tax unpopular and diminish the influence of the Liberal party. As to the probate and succession duties, while approving of uniformity he did not share the anticipations of the right hon. Gentleman as to the amount that would be received by the advance from 1 per cent to 2 per cent. He stated that the tax yielded at present £732,000, and by his proposal he hoped to obtain £1,022,000 additional. That calculation, he (Mr. Holms) believed to be quite fallacious. The only opinion in favour of the change which he had heard, was expressed by a very young man, who was hard up, and whose father was likely to make some money over to him at once. There was no class in this country so well able to take care of themselves as the wealthy; they knew perfectly well how to evade this tax; and in this case they would do so, and falsify the expectations of the right hon. Gentleman. He need not have shrunk for a moment from putting 1½d. in the pound on the income tax, for a halfpenny was no novelty, the Prime Minister having proposed in 1859 that in one Schedule the income tax should be at the rate of 6½d. in the pound. There was, however, no necessity to increase the income tax by more than 1d. in the pound. Whatever came of the obnoxious match tax, the discussion the proposal had provoked would be fresh in the minds of hon. Members when they returned to the consideration of the Army Re-organization Bill, which was connected with the cause of our increased expenditure and of our enormous Budgets; and if that Bill were allowed to pass in its present form, we should find that our expenditure would go on increasing from year to year. But, apart from military outlay, our expenditure might have been reduced; and he felt that the administrative Departments of the Government were not so well managed as they might be. Having looked into the question of the Consular services, he was surprised that the Estimates remained unchanged, as he was able to prove that for Turkey alone £25,000 per annum might have been saved for the last two years; and the Government would have done better to have reduced them than to remit the matter again to a Committee upstairs. Although usually a supporter of the Government, he felt it to be his duty to speak out boldly as to the course they had pursued on this question—perhaps, he spoke too boldly; but on the present occasion, unless satisfactory explanations were given, he should unhesitatingly vote with his hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. White) against the proposition.


Nothing can be more reasonable than that when a large augmentation of the Expenditure of the country is proposed, hon. Gentlemen should discuss the matter and turn it over in every possible manner. It needs no excuse for any hon. Gentleman, who takes the course of speaking out plainly and clearly the opinion which he entertains, and I should be the last man in the House to complain of it; but I think that, although it is perfectly right the House should discuss the subject in all its bearings, the manner of discussing it which hon. Members are now adopting is one of the most inconvenient and unsatisfactory—looked upon as a matter of business, and not as a matter of party tactics—that it is possible to imagine; for, notwithstanding all which has been said by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White), the practice of this country is a reasonable practice. When a private person is considering what he can spend and what he cannot spend, he looks at his income. He knows that his income is limited, and if he be a prudent man he limits his expenditure to his income. But when a great country, with resources to draw upon, at least, commensurate with any reasonable demand that can be made upon it, has to balance its expenditure and its income, it has been, and it ought to be, the practice to think first of the requirements of the public service, to adjust them with all possible economy and care, and then to provide, at whatever cost to our own private feelings and public convenience, it may be, the money which is necessary to discharge those claims. To make this country subordinate to the notions of hon. Gentlemen who represent taxpayers—to make this country subordinate to a particular sum which they choose to fix upon as being the maximum amount of our expenditure, would be an abnegation of our duty to the country, and a postponement of the end to the means. Such a barefaced worship of Mammon would sink this country in its own opinion, and in the eyes of all the world. Now, let us go a little further, and see what the Motion is we are asked to vote. It is in these terms— That, in the opinion of this House, the additional taxation proposed by Her Majesty's Government will entail burdens upon the people which are not justified by existing circumstances. ["Hear!"] Well, just suppose that Motion were carried, what would be the effect of it? It would be clearly this—The House says to the Government—"We are dissatisfied with the scale of expenditure which you propose. You ask us for too much money. Take back your Estimates, and reduce the expenditure within the limits of the Estimates of last year, without any addition of taxation whatever." ["No, no!"] That is, in reality, the Motion of the hon. Gentleman. It is true the hon. Gentleman did not read it so; perhaps it would not be convenient for him to read it so. If the Motion is carried, that will be the effect of it, and that is meant to be the effect of it. Look, then, at the position in which we are placed. The position of the hon. Member for Brighton and of those who would vote with him is perfectly clear and distinct. The hon. Gentleman says—"I think you took quite enough money last year. You propose to take more this year, and I think you ought not to have it. Reduce your demands within the limits of last year." But now I take the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson); what does he say? I hope I do not misrepresent him; but I understand him to say he does not object to the scale of expenditure, but he objects to the manner in which Her Majesty's Government proposes to meet that expenditure. Well, but if that be the view of the hon. Baronet, look what he is doing. He, approving in the main an increased amount of expenditure, because he wishes to put the country in a proper state of defence, is going to vote for a Motion that our Expenditure ought not to be increased. ["No, no!"] If it be the opinion of the hon. Baronet that an increase of Expenditure is necessary to put the country in an efficient state of defence, and if this Motion will diminish the Expenditure, the hon. Baronet will vote against putting the country in a state of defence, and all those who vote with him will do the same. ["No, no!"] I say, yes. How can you argue it otherwise? Look at the words of the Motion again; can any man interpret it differently? You may say, indeed—"I object to this Expenditure because I am not satisfied with the way you are going to meet it;" but the effect is the same—namely, to negative doing anything more than was done last year for putting the country in a state of defence. Look at the inconsistency of such a course. It may, perhaps, suit a party object; but what other object can a man have who wants to have a large Expenditure, and yet votes distinctly against it? Go a little further, and see what we have done. The hon. Baronet opposite and other hon. Members who are prepared to follow him are going to vote that no more money ought to be spent this year than was spent last year. ["No, no!"] These are the words. Let the country judge between us. I ask them, what do they think of what the House has been doing this Session? They cannot have wholly forgotten that for four nights we debated the question whether our finances were or were not in a position to meet the expense of abolishing purchase in the Army, and the House refused to accede to a Motion declaring that it was inexpedient to abolish purchase. You have read a second time a Bill framed on the basis of a very largely increased expenditure on the Army—the Army Regulation Bill—and, more than that, you have actually voted in the Army Estimates an increase of the expenditure which you now say you do not wish to increase. You have voted every service in the Army—an increase of men, an increase of the Militia, the Volunteers, and Reserve forces. You have increased the Army Estimates by £1,000,000, and now, because an hon. Gentleman on this side of the House makes a Motion, and carries with him certain hon. Members on this side, you, the Conservative party, who feel for the honour of the country, are going to vote that the House must undo what it has done and retrace its steps; that the Motions we have carried, the Bills we have read a second time, the items granted in Committee are to be set aside; and that we are to revert to the expenditure of last year, and do nothing at all. That is the position you stand in on this question, and I must say I wish you joy of it. We have heard hon. Gentlemen profess great patriotism, and a great wish that England should stand well in the eyes of Europe. I believe we all wish that we should stand well, and not fall into contempt with foreign Powers, as being a country which does not know its own mind, and which cannot hold for the space of two months a consistent view of its own interests; but I fear that such a course as that now proposed, would, if adopted, lay us open to contempt for our inconsistency. There is no blame to be attached to hon. Gentlemen below the gangway. They are pressing merely that which they have always advocated; but many hon. Gentlemen opposite have been frantically urging the Government on to do something for the honour and defence of the country, and what will foreign nations think of us if, after a great party in the State have adopted that view, after the Government of the day have proposed measures for that end, after we have gone the length of debating and passing Resolutions all approving of and tending to increased expenditure, and after actually voting money, we pass a vote to undo everything we have done? Who in Europe could then say—"Surely this is a great nation, and a wise and understanding people?" I now wish to say a few words on the other question; because, although the present Vote relates not to Ways and Means, but to Expenditure, it is necessary that I should say something in vindication of the course pursued by the Government. First of all, I am accused of unnecessarily under-estimating the Revenue of the coming year. Now, so far from having any wish to under-estimate it, I should have been much better pleased if, in accordance with my duty, I could have put it very much higher, for it would have been very convenient for me if a considerable portion of the sum required could have been provided out of the increase of the Revenue. But, unfortunately, I could not. I merely did my duty, trusting to my own conscience, in submitting the Estimate according to the best information I could acquire. Hon. Gentlemen said we might expect the same increase as last year. The House must bear in mind one very important consideration. Hon. Gentlemen speak of the Estimates of last year, which were exceedingly large, and they ask me why I do not follow them; but last year we remitted upwards of £4,000,000 of taxation, which remission, circulated in the country, produced a great increase in those items of the Estimates which remained untouched. This year we propose to impose a considerable amount of increased taxation, to the amount of £2,800,000, and that will naturally have an effect in the contrary direction; and it would, therefore, be bad finance to look forward to the same amount of Revenue. All I can say is that these are matters of technical experience and knowledge. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Brighton, however, talks about faith; but he had better have spoken of hope, the most delusive of all things, when he asked me to found my Budget upon it. But nobody knows what contingencies may happen. Suppose we have a very bad harvest, where will my Estimates be; and what right have I to assume that there will be a good harvest? I am anxious to impress on the House that my Estimates are honestly made to the best of my judgment. Then, Sir, there is the question of taxation. Nothing is so delightful or easy as to argue against a tax; because it is one of those arguments in which, as generally conducted, the assailant is certain to obtain an easy victory. There never was a tax yet that, taken and argued out by itself, could be successfully defended in argument. You cannot take money out of one man's pocket and put it into another man's, or into the public purse, without interfering with his comforts, his business, trade, and industry, and doing all sorts of mischief in all directions. It is the nature of a tax to do this, and it would be impossible to take any tax by itself and make out a case for it. The peculiarity of the argument on taxation is, that if on any other question you can show a man that the step he is about to take is wrong, he does not take it; but, in regard to taxation, when you have gained your victory in argument, you can proceed no further unless you can propose a satisfactory alternative. When you have shown that taxation is wrong in principle, you have merely succeeded in proving a point which any candid man would have admitted before you commenced; and what you ought then to show is, that you have something which will produce the same financial results that would have been produced by the proposed tax without disturbing existing interests to the same extent. That, no hon. Gentleman who has yet spoken on the subject of the Budget has attempted to do. Her Majesty's Government has been asked to meet the difficulties of the case by suspending for a time the payment of the National Debt, a question which I cannot seriously entertain for a single moment under existing circumstances. We are told, next, that we should have proposed to increase the income tax; and, accompanying the suggestion, are statements contained in the City articles of the newspapers that the greatest dissatisfaction felt with regard to the Budget arises from the largeness of the sum of money proposed to be raised by means of the income tax. ["No, no!"] All I can say in reply to that is, that the statement was contained in the City articles of two or three of the principal newspapers. Hon. Gentlemen seem to think it is the easiest thing in the world to raise money by means of the income tax; but they mistake between the facility of imposing a tax and the capability of paying it. If those hon. Members had read all the correspondence that has been addressed to me on the subject, they would see that there is no tax borne with so much impatience as is the income tax, and it is with this view that I have struggled in preparing this Budget—in reference to the making of which all sorts of sinister motives have been imputed to me—to make the increase of the income tax as light as possible, because I know how bitterly it pinches the lower middle class, the small shopkeepers, and persons of that kind, who have to bear no inconsiderable burden of taxation. Therefore hon. Members will see that if this extra expenditure were thrown upon the income tax, so far from the difficulty being solved, another and a greater one would be exacted. It ought to be a rule in Parliamentary proceedings that hon. Members who impugn particular taxes—when it is admitted that taxation is necessary, and I do not know whether some hon. Gentlemen who have spoken do admit this—ought to be prepared with something better to put in its place. Nothing in the world is easier than to take off a tax; but the moment you impose a tax every single kind of impost is made into a separate battle-field, and there is always some class of persons concerned in the work of resistance. Nothing is easier than to make plausible objections. Take the succession duty, for instance. It is a tax that has been established some 18 years, and which was estimated to produce £2,000,000 annually, whereas it has only produced about £720,000. Parliament was willing to impose the tax when it was estimated to produce the larger of the sums I have mentioned; but a great outcry is raised at once when I now propose to make in it a very moderate increase indeed. [Dissent.] The increase I propose will not amount to more than £300,000 on the succession duty alone. [Dissent.] Before hon. Gentlemen offer these objections they should make themselves acquainted with the facts of the case. The tax, according to my proposal, would double in the first stage, and so produce £225,000; in the second, I propose to put on an increase of a sixth, which would raise a very small sum indeed, and in the other stages no alteration is proposed. The increase I propose would not weigh entirely on landed property, as succession duty has to be paid also upon settled personalty. A more reasonable and moderate proposal than this I can hardly imagine. Landed property enjoys great exemptions in consideration of the burdens that it bears; but in addition to these it receives exemptions to the amount of £1,300,000, which it was never intended it should receive; but instead of proposing to cancel these exemptions, I simply propose to levy an additional duty of less than £300,000, and am met with a tremendous outcry. Then comes the case of the matches. This question has already been discussed at quite sufficient length perhaps, and the House may wish not to near much more about them; but the simple and plain view of the case is, that matches are a commomodity produced at an expense which is almost nominal—the boxes and packing representing the greater part of the outlay—and the tax upon which would have the advantage that it would not be peculiar to any particular classes of the community as the succession duty is. Everybody would contribute a little under the proposition I have made, and I cannot but regard it as a great advantage that which some hon. Gentlemen think is a great evil. While proposing this small impost, I do not wish the less for the day when we shall have no privileged class in this country, but every member of the community will contribute according to his means. I think every man, above the actual pauper, should be called upon to contribute something towards the government of the country. Then, again, it is said, in regard to this tax, that it interferes with industry and deranges trade. Of course, it does. Will any hon. Gentleman tell me how a tax can be imposed without these things resulting? In all taxation debates these commonplaces are repeated as though they did not apply to every tax. Take the taxes on malt and on spirits, for instance. Have they no effect upon industry and trade? Of course they have, and very happy should we be if we could raise money for the public service without imposing any such taxes. This system of abusing taxes is now carried to an extent that, if persevered in—and hon. Gentlemen should persuade themselves to believe what they say—will render the conduct of financial business in this country almost impossible. Let us take a few instances. I have been told that we ought to put a duty on tea; but supposing I did, what would have been said? Simply that we were returning to the exploded doctrine of raising our money upon imports; that we were interfering with the comfort of the people by taxing the principal beverage enjoyed by the female part of the labouring population; and that by our detestable legislation, we were counteracting the good work of the apostles of temperance by driving the poorer classes into gin-shops and beerhouses. Let us take another instance. Here is this small and very moderate direct tax proposed to be added to the succession duty, a tax which if hon. Gentlemen knew their own interests they would not be so anxious to refuse; a tax in regard to which, it is objected that it will come out of capital instead of out of income; and that its effect will be to impoverish the people by taking money out of their pockets when they most want it; and a quantity more of the same kind of objection, which is perfectly true of every stamp duty that was ever levied. As we must have taxation, we think the small addition to the duty payable on succession to property is an equitable tax, to which no reasonable objection can be made. With regard to the proposed tax on matches, it is said that you cannot tax a commodity without enhancing its price, and you cannot enhance its price, and put it under Government protection, without curtailing the quantity of the commodity produced, and so interfering with labour. This is all very true; but so long as hon. Gentlemen confine themselves to simply objecting to the tax without being willing to suggest or agree to something else in its place, the task of finding money for the conduct of public affairs in this country will be absolutely impossible—unachievable. It is said, also, that the taxes ought to be distributed equally—that too much is levied on landed property, and too little on articles of consumption; and then, in the same breath, hon. Gentlemen insist that the taxes on consumption ought to be revised, and so they go on through the whole list. If an old tax is revived, it is said that the Government is taking down out of the dusty armoury of ancient oppression some weapon that ought never to have been used again; while on a new tax being proposed, it is said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is fanciful and ingenious in devising methods of torture for his fellow-subjects. There is nothing you can do in the way of taxation that is not liable to the most plausible and the truest possible objections; but when you have made all these objections, the necessity for taxation remains, and must be met. If you destroy the present Budget, you must impose taxes liable to the very objections you are urging against this particular one; and, that being the case, I submit that it is very unwise and improvident in hon. Members endeavouring to add to the difficulties which must always be inseparable from the finding out some new tax. The House has now got into such a position that we cannot tell what we are debating. It is difficult enough to debate what taxes are best to be imposed; but the difficulty is increased when the subject is complicated by a debate on the necessity for the expenditure to meet which the taxes are imposed. If I convince hon. Gentlemen below the gangway that the tax I propose is a good one, they turn round and say—"Yes, but your expenditure is not required at all." If I succeed in convincing you that the expenditure is required, then hon. Gentlemen opposite turn round and say—"That may be so, but the taxes you intend to impose are not the right ones." Hon. Gentlemen below the gangway and hon. Gentlemen opposite are going to vote in the same Lobby on exactly different grounds; and in order to do this, they put an ambiguous construction upon the Resolution. ["No, no!"] I say you are going to vote for the Resolution on grounds diametrically opposite to those entertained by hon. Gentlemen below the gangway. Hon. Gentlemen below the gangway interpret the Motion as a censure on the expenditure proposed by the Government, and hon. Gentlemen opposite interpret it as a censure not on the expenditure of the Government, but on the way in which they propose the money should be spent. The hon. Member for Brighton says there ought to be no increase of expenditure; the hon. Baronet opposite thinks there should be an increase of expenditure, but objects to the means by which it is to be made. The Motion is, that there should be no increase of expenditure, and the hon. Baronet proposes to vote for it. [Murmurs.] Then, I hope before going much further, some hon. Gentleman of authority will rise in the House and tell us what the Motion really is that induces hon. Gentlemen of such diverse opinions to go into the same Lobby. It is in the form of an Instruction to the Government, and you must not do like the Roman Emperor did, whose laws were written in small letters and placed on high pillars, so that the people could not read them. Let us know what the Motion really means. Does it mean to say—"Take back your Budget, and provide for the expenditure otherwise?" Or does it mean that you are prepared to object to an increase of expenditure, undertaken for the defence of the country? I think, in all fairness and reason, we should know what you really mean; because, if this Resolution is carried, it will be necessary for the Government to consider what they should do; and unless you state what it is you mean, the Government will be placed in considerable difficulty, and the House will find itself in a position which I think they will have no reason to consider satisfactory.


said, he proposed, purely from a financial point of view, and in order to show the House the additional expenditure that was involved, to refer to the military proposals of the Government, which had had, no doubt, a very great influence upon the Budget. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had declined to inform the House as to the cost of retirement under the new Army scheme, and had contented himself with stating £8,000,000 to be the cost of the abolition of purchase, though he (Sir Percy Herbert) believed, it would be more. That, he believed, to be manifestly insufficient if justice was to be done; but he would not refer to that further than to say that justice required the money to be returned at once, and that the House would do justice sooner or later. The right hon. Gentleman eluded altogether making any statement as to what the cost of retirement would be; but there was an interesting Report of a Committee, presided over by the hon. and gallant Officer the Member for Truro (Captain Vivian), which would probably furnish the information. Now, the War Office appeared to be able when it suited their plans to furnish calculations as to the probable cost of their schemes; but because, as he maintained, it would be dangerous to the success of the Government measure, no calculation was made with respect to the cost of the present scheme of retirement. In the Navy, where purchase did not exist, efficiency had been attained, but at what cost? For 5,600 officers in the purchase corps actually serving there were 1,860 on the retired list; while in the Navy, there were 2,060 officers on the retired list, for 1,239 actually serving. The cost in the Army amounted to £487,000, and in the Navy to £482,000. In the Army retirements were included all general officers, whether colonels of regiments or not; all retired full-pay and all half-pay derived from purchase corps. If it was urged that the active list of half-pay in the Navy was not to be counted, the same applied to a large portion of the Army half-pay list. Were there reasons for thinking that we should not be forced to give the same scale of retirement for the Army as for the Navy when purchase was abolished? What would the Army retirement cost at the same rate as that given in the case of the Navy? In the Navy 1,200 officers in employment required 2,060 in retirement, at a cost of £482,000; 5,600 Army officers at the same ratio would require 9,300 officers in retirement, and at the naval rate of retirement would cost annually £2,166,000, or an increase of £1,677,000. Now, in the Report of the Committee presided over by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Truro, the actuary calculated that of 6,000 officers serving, 1,000 would leave as lieutenants, 2,080 would sell as captains, and 1,520 would sell as majors or lieutenant-colonels. Captains obtained their rank in 8 years, majors in 17 years, and lieutenant-colonels in 23 years. He might be allowed to take as an average that 2,080 officers would have served 12 years without getting pensions, and 1,500 officers for 21 years without costing the country a farthing for pension. This left only 1,400 officers out of 6,000 serving, for whose retirement provision would have to be made, and this explained the marvellous disproportion between Army and Navy retirements, both in numbers and cost. As regarded widows' pensions, he found from a Return with which he had been favoured by the courtesy of the Secretary of War, that at present there were in receipt of pensions the widows of 137 general officers and 950 other officers, making a total of 1,087 widows' pensions, to keep efficient a list of 5,600 officers. The Navy, with a list of 1,200 officers, had 1,385 officers' widows on the pension list, 300 more than the Army. Taking the present number of encumbered officers in the Army, the number on the widows' pension list would be 7,087, if they were in proportion to those on the Navy List; or, in other words, they would be 7,087 to 6,000 officers, at an additional cost of £300,000. The case, therefore, stood thus—at present there were 5,600 officers serving in purchase corps, and 1,860 in retirement, with a widows' pension list of 1,087, at a proportionate cost. The future state of things, in proportion to the combatant officers serving in the Navy, at the naval rate of retirement, would be 9,000 officers in retirement, at an additional cost of £1,677,000, and a widows' pension list of 7,000, at an additional cost of £300,000, making a total additional cost of £1,977,000. In conclusion, he would say that all these advantages would be lost, and the increase of cost he had stated incurred, if the Government scheme were adopted by Parliament.


said, he thought that the hon. and gallant Officer's (Major General Sir Percy Herbert's) speech would have been more appropriately delivered upon the Retirement and Pensions Bill than upon the present occasion. He (Mr. Gilpin), as a party man, and consistent supporter of Liberal principles, had risen because he was anxious to answer the challenge of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to what they wanted. He looked upon himself as one of the most earnest and consistent supporters of the present Government, while they acted consistently with the principles on which they were elected and placed upon the Treasury Bench; but he claimed entire independence in expressing his views in reference to the questions before the House. In reply to the question of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he would say that he, and many who thought with him, were dissatisfied with the Budget which the right hon. Gentleman had put forward, and asked for its withdrawal. He had no hesitation in saying that it was the most melancholy exhibition of the failure of a Chancellor of the Exchequer to meet the wants of the country that he had ever seen since he had been a Member of that House, or that he had read of before he had the honour of a seat there. It was a step backward in the course of legislation; it was opposed to the views entertained by Mr. Cobden, and false to the character which the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had gained as sound financiers and masters of the true principles of political economy. From whatever quarter the Motion came he was prepared to vote, in the words of a right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade—that a Government that could not govern the country upon an expenditure of £70,000,000 a-year did not deserve the confidence of the House. What he wanted was that the Government should return to the principles upon which they became a Government; that they should maintain those views that the leading Members of the Government advocated on the platforms of the country from North to South. He asked that economy should be a reality, as well as a word, one of the principles of the present Government; in order to make it so, what was required in the present emergency of the country was the withdrawal of the Budget. It might be almost an impertinent thing for him to ask; but he recollected that a Budget was withdrawn when Earl Russell's Government was in power, and that, without it being considered a censure upon the Government. The Government could withdraw the Budget without doing more than an honest and candid man and an honest and candid Government ought to do; virtually to withdraw it would be no more than to say—"We were mistaken; we did the best in our power; it is wise to retrieve our mistake." The match tax, considered as a means of making up an exorbitant expenditure, he regarded as one of the worst proposals that a Chancellor of the Exchequer could have made, as it would produce the smallest revenue accompanied with the worst consequences. He had that afternoon a conversation with the chairman of one of the largest Unions in the East of London, who said there would be in his Union, if the Bill passed, hundreds of young women whose only refuge would be the streets. He (Mr. Gilpin) earnestly trusted that the Bill might not become law. What they wanted was that that proposal, at least, should be withdrawn. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that people were prepared to find objections to any tax, but could not find substitutes for what they objected to; but he (Mr. Gilpin) said that whatever substitute was found, it should not be one that would affect the labour of the very lowest class. Let them not do that, the immediate effect of which would be to throw upon the streets of London many miserable women and children who were now earning by industry a small pittance. It had been held out to hon. Members, and it had been held out to him privately, that they would in opposing this Bill have the support of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite; and that, therefore, in opposing the Bill they would be untrue to their party. That, however, had not the slightest terror for him. He had always been a party man; but there were some principles which were higher than party, and the present occasion involved such. He would rather see the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire upon the Treasury Bench, advocating sound political economy and commercial principles, than the present Government, acting in contradiction to those principles, as they would do if they persisted in forcing this Budget upon the House. What he asked for, he repeated, was the withdrawal of the present Budget and the reduction of our unnecessary expenditure; and, further, that there should be a Budget produced according with those principles which he had often delightedly heard from the head of the Government, and occasionally from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This Budget was in defiance of those principles.


complained that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had contrasted the Estimates of 1871–2 only with the Estimates of the previous year. The right hon. Gentleman assumed that the Revenue, under almost every head, would be less for the current than for the previous year; but he (Mr. Goldney) did not think this was justified by a review of the condition of the country for the last 14 years—our commerce and trade had been constantly increasing throughout that period, and when the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated his anticipated deficit for the ensuing year, he thought he should have taken into account the increase which had occurred in former years. He (Mr. Goldney) confessed that it seemed to him that, instead of the receipts for the ensuing year being less they were likely to be larger, enabling the Government to meet all the extraordinary expenditure the House was prepared to sanction. Were they to begin immediately to establish new taxes on the mere presumption that our Revenues would not come up this year to what they were in preceding years? Of late years there had been a continuous reduction of the National Debt. In 1868 it stood at £806,000,000, in 1869 at £805,500,000, in 1870 at £801,500,000, and now it was £796,000,000. That was a very satisfactory reduction in so short a time. Then came the question whether, if the Revenue was calculated not to reach the same high point as before, and in order to avoid the suspension, for a short period, of the continued reduction of the National Debt, they were to impose taxes violating principles which had been formally adopted, after full discussion, and taxes which bore grievously upon a large part of the population? In looking at the Estimates he found that the number of men in the Navy was identical with the number in 1870–1, and yet under the Navy expenditure there was an increase, put down of £450,000. This was comprised within two or three items of expenditure. For extra cordage there was put down £100,000; for clothing, £200,000, and, in addition, for new ships or engines, there was put down some £300,000. It might be very well to vote these sums if they had the money; but where was the pressing necessity? He thought that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had under-estimated receipts and over-estimated expenditure. He also thought the additional taxation with respect to the succession duties was not justified. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had gone to America for the tax on matches, and the First Lord of the Admiralty had taken America as his authority on the subject of local taxation; it therefore occurred to him to look into the American text-book, to see how the succession and legacy duty stood in America. The tax on succession and legacy duties, instead of being 1 per cent, as at present in this country, or, as it was proposed to be, 2 per cent on transmissions from father to son, and 3 per cent on transmissions from brother to brother, was in America only ¾ per cent. So that no justification could be derived from American finance of the proposed enormous increase in these duties, which, when they became too burdensome, suggested the easiest means of evading them altogether. Such an increase, in his opinion, was most unwise and inexpedient. As regarded the income tax, that might be another question altogether. He could understand the imposition of a three-halfpenny income tax, because it might be remitted next year; but why propose a permanent tax for a mere temporary deficit? Indirect taxation might be right or it might be wrong; but he must say that the course proposed to be pursued by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not worthy of so great a man. The proposition of the right hon. Gentleman would affect a large number of persons employed at very small wages. Without pledging himself as to what course he should take, he thought the Motion was large enough to enable the House to discuss whether the Estimates were not under-stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as compared with those of the previous year. For himself, he believed there would be the same kind of increase as had shown itself in former years. He did not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer was entitled to ask for increased taxation; but if there was to be increased expenditure, then it was for the right hon. Gentleman to see if he could not obtain what was necessary for the year by ceasing the remission upon the National Debt. So far, therefore, as regarded the proposed disturbance of the succession and legacy duties, and that altogether novel tax on matches, he entirely agreed that the right hon. Gentleman should re-consider his Budget.


said, he had not intended to take any part in this debate; but after the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for South Shropshire (Major General Sir Percy Herbert), who had brought to the notice of the House some very extraordinary calculations as to the effect of the scheme for the abolition of purchase in the Army, he should be sorry if those figures went forth to the public without notice. He therefore entered his strong protest against their accuracy. He was not fortunate enough to hear the beginning of his speech, and he did not know on what basis he had made his calculations; it appeared, however, that he came to the conclusion that one consequence of the abolition of purchase would be to increase the number of officers on the retired list to something like 9,000, and to increase the retirement by £1,700,000. He was at a loss to understand on what grounds the hon. and gallant Officer founded such a conclusion, except that after the abolition of purchase every single officer who entered the Army was to serve during the whole of his career in the Army, remaining till he arrived at the highest rank and then being retired. Now his right hon. Friend the Secretary for War had been found fault with, because he had not submitted to the House a scheme of retirement; but he invariably replied that it was quite impossible to submit any scheme of retirement, until the House and the country were able to judge what would be the effect of the abolition of purchase on retirement. His right hon. Friend had therefore, with perfect propriety, abstained from committing himself. If, after the abolition of purchase, officers should pass through the different ranks as rapidly as they did now, it might be the object would be secured without any retirement. It might be necessary, on the other hand, to assist that retirement by some small annual increase; but in no case was it possible to believe that there would be such an increase in pensions as that pointed out by the hon. and gallant Member for South Shropshire. Nay, more, while this was problematical, another part was not—namely, that part of the proposal of the Government which related to short service. According to the calculation of actuaries, the effect on the pension list of the Army by substituting short service, in round numbers would be in 20 years to make exactly the difference of £1,000,000. That was to say, going on upon the old system of enlistment, in 20 years the pension list would be over £2,000,000; whereas, if the proposal of the Government were adopted it would be reduced from £2,000,000 to £1,000,000. What would be necessary after retirement had not been calculated; but the retirement, however great, would not necessitate such a sum of money as he hoped to save by the short-service system. He did not wish the House to go into an Army debate then; but he had risen, because he did not wish the figures of his right hon. Friend to go forth without entering a protest against them.


said, he thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer was scarcely justified in the construction he had put upon the motives of those who might go into the Lobby with the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White), and in regarding this as a party Motion—an idea which he altogether repudiated. He would remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer that this was the third Financial Statement he had made; but this was the first occasion on which he had not received unusual felicitations from both sides of the House; and it was not fair, because hon. Members were under the necessity of taking exceptions to his Financial Statements this year, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should say they were influenced by party motives. By his own vote he did not mean to express any party feeling, and, if he were found in the same Lobby with the hon. Member for Brighton, his vote would simply mark his condemnation of the financial policy of the Government as developed by this Budget. It was scarcely necessary to discuss the objections with regard to the Financial Statement itself, because it was universally condemned in every circle both in London and in the Press, which faithfully reflected public opinion. He had not read one journal which did not condemn the statement of the right hon. Gentleman in the most unmeasured terms. He would pass over the succession duty introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer by simply remarking that the nature of the duty itself was one that might be fairly questioned, and that it would be a painful one in the mode of its collection. The income tax was a mode of taxation with which unfortunately they were all now very conversant. It was one of those fluctuating taxes which were frequently falling and rising in order to keep the finances and expenditure of the country upon an equal footing. The policy of this House and the country of recent years had been to exclude from our fiscal arrangements all those petty items which swelled the length of the tariff without adding much to the Revenue collected, and to concentrate the great bulk of our Revenue on a few leading articles of Customs and Excise. He had heard it over and over remarked—Why did not the Chancellor of the Exchequer boldly meet his difficulty by an addition to the income tax, rather than by fixing a burden upon an insignificant branch of manufacturing industry? And he, for one, would rather have seen this course adopted, objectionable as it was, to re-introducing a policy long since given up. He also objected to the mode in which the income tax was to be assessed. Why did the right hon. Gentleman make a change from a system of calculation of the utmost simplicity, which everyone could understand, to one involving some difficulty and inconvenience? By changing the poundage system to one of percentage in respect to the income tax the right hon. Gentleman perhaps was influenced by educational considerations, and by a view of inducing all persons who were engaged in transactions involving figures, to obtain instruction in the various modes of calculation. A penny in the pound was simple, and everybody understood it; but they did not understand the percentage, and it must not be forgotten that it was not only the gross amount returned which involved the calculation, but the hundreds of small amounts, often under £100, which made up the gross income, and in each of which income tax in one shape or other had to be deducted. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would withdraw at least that portion of his Financial Statement. With regard to the proposed new tax on industry in the manufacture of matches, he did not intend the vote he gave the other evening in favour of the Government on the first formal Division after the Financial Statement to be in any way regarded as an expression of opinion on the merits of the question; he only meant it as a protest against an unusual proceeding in dividing the House at that stage of the question. He was now prepared to say deliberately that this was a most unfortunate proposal. Very recently he and others had succeeded in convincing the Post Office authorities of the absurdity of seeking to discriminate between parcels and samples, and of employing an army of officials in seeking to detect breaches of the regulations; but this new tax would invoke a repetition of the same kind of error. In America, he never bought a box of matches without contrasting them unfavourably in quality and price with those sold in England; indeed, he was never able to buy a box there under 2d.; and he regretted exceedingly that we had taken this leaf out of the American book, and still more if this was the beginning of imitation, and the first step only in the sacrifice of that simplicity for which we had been distinguished in the raising of our Revenue. The persons engaged in the manufacture, particularly that of the boxes, belonged to the poorest class of the community, which in this country, less than any other, owing to the competition for employment, could bear interruption in their labour. In Ireland the Census papers required returns of the numbers of windows in the houses, and he had been asked during the Recess whether windows were to be taxed again; and when he (Mr. Graves) came now to consider how the means of light in the shape of match-boxes was to be taxed, it occurred to him that the right hon. Gentleman might really be considering how he could tax the light of heaven itself through the window tax. It was quite logical to pass from the one tax to the other. A window tax could be collected easily; but who would collect a match tax? He did not believe it could be collected, because it would be easily evaded. It would raise the price of matches and throw out of employment a large number of the poorest class; and, although he was in favour of indirect taxation to a certain extent, he could not go the length now proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He would now consider the policy involved in the right hon. Gentleman's Financial Statement. He did not agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the construction of the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton was in effect—"Take back your proposals and reduce them to a point which requires no taxation." That was not the interpretation which he (Mr. Graves) put upon the Motion of that hon. Member. He hoped the result of the discussion would be the withdrawal of the Financial Statement from the consideration of the House. If a Division was not thought desirable, Her Majesty's Government could avoid it by taking that course and withdrawing their scheme: but it was not fair to say to hon. Members who were sitting opposite to them—"Because you vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton, you are requiring us to undo our legislation, and reduce our proposals to a point which requires no taxation at all." The policy of a Government ought not to be a vacillating one. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced his Financial Statement last year he must have known that there was a great educational measure before the House, and that that measure would involve the payment of a very large sum of money. The Army Regulation Bill could not have cropped up within a few weeks. The Chancellor of the Exchequer must have known last year that the Government intended to introduce that measure, for it was impossible to suppose that the Government undertook the entire re-construction of the Army of this country, merely because in the Recess some hon. Members went down to large constituencies, and proposed to them the abolition of purchase in the Army, as the one thing necessary with regard to our defences. The scheme for the abolition of purchase in the Army, which would involve a total expenditure of about £12,000,000, had caused the insertion in the Estimates for this year of an item between £600,000 and £700,000. He considered the legislation of the Government was based on extravagance, and without a due regard to the British taxpayer. He did not know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer was aware that the Pilotage Abolition Bill would involve compensation at the least to the amount of £125,000 a-year for the next 10 years, according to the Government proposition. The Pilotage Abolition Bill had not been asked for by the country. One town, which would receive £500,000 out of that compensation, had protested by every means in its power against that measure. He considered the present was not an unfitting occasion for considering whether the policy of the Government was not an inexpedient and reckless one. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told the House that he took off £4,000,000 of taxes last year. Was that wise when he saw what was coming? The right hon. Gentleman ought not recklessly to have thrown away indirect duties which nobody felt. If they had been moderately reduced, the House would not now have to discharge the disagreeable duty of opposing the financial scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He thought the right hon. Gentleman had no right to ask the House to show him "a better mode of dealing" with the finances of the country. They were not Chancellors of the Exchequer, and the right hon. Gentleman entirely mistook his position when he asked others to discover for him a mode of avoiding this taxation. He would just suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that the withdrawal of the Army Regulation Bill would save him between £600,000 and £700,000. If only £1,000,000 a-year for a couple of years had been spent upon the defence of our shores, if light-draught boats with a powerful armament, manned by our maritime population, had been placed along our shores in connection with our Navy, then, our country would have been rendered invulnerable, and at a very small expense we should have succeeded in putting our country into a state of defence far greater than it could be by the passing of the Army Regulation Bill. Again, let the Government withdraw the Pilotage Bill, and save £125,000. The one would not add one atom to the defences of the country, and no one asked for the other. The right hon. Gentleman said that it was very easy to object to everything that was proposed. Now, the House had hitherto given a loyal support to his measures, and it was scarcely right for him, when the unanimous voice of the country was protesting against a particular measure, to say that hon. Members were objecting to everything. He appealed to the Government to withdraw the Budget, and instead of asking others to provide a substitute to produce one himself which would be more acceptable to the country.


observed, that the right hon. Gentleman, on Thursday night, made his Financial Statement with his usual ability and courage; but it would require more ability and courage than he possessed to remove the strong feeling of disapprobation which was felt at his whole proceeding. The House had never presented a more humiliating spectacle than it did on that occasion; so much so, that he never felt so depressed. What were the facts of the case? Here was a country with 30,000,000 of people paying £70,000,000 annually into the Exchequer. What was the condition of that people? There were a small number exceedingly wealthy, a large number less wealthy, a still larger number struggling to make both ends meet, and a very considerable number in absolute poverty. And yet, last Thursday, the House was crowded with hon. Gentlemen, whose duty it was not to fleece, but to protect their constituents, and they had to listen for nearly two hours whilst the right hon. Gentleman, one of the most ingenious men in the House, intimated that he had been carefully studying how to extract still further taxes from the general community. Discussions were taking place everywhere as to the manner in which new burdens could be best placed upon the people; but, however they were placed, they would be felt, to a great extent, by the very poorest of the poor. The stone at the top of a building did not more surely press on the foundation than fresh taxes placed on the nation would find their way to the very lowest in the social scale. He had voted against the proposed duty on matches. If instead of being one of the most objectionable of duties, it had been one of the least objectionable, he should still have voted against it. He was not sent up by his constituents to increase the taxation pressing on the people. He did not think it possible to carry the duty into effect. By his proposal the Chancellor of the Exchequer was making war upon women and children. There was no more melancholy thing in this country than the difficulty experienced by women in obtaining employment. The prostitution which existed was in a considerable degree attributable to that fact. The trade now under consideration was peculiarly favourable to the employment of women and children. He knew one large firm in Manchester which employed 600 hands; 120 of them being half-time children, every one of whom was sent to school at the expense of the firm, and the remainder women earning either 14s. a-week by making boxes, or 12s. by making lucifers. The whole of these persons were employed in making boxes and matches. He was told that, if that tax were imposed on matches, every Monday morning that firm would require £1,500 worth of Government stamps, or £18,000 worth in three months. Their returns did not come in till after three months, and therefore that one firm alone would require an additional capital of £18,000, to carry on their business if that tax were adopted. The little boy who sold matches in the street started in the morning with a capital of 3d., with which he purchased a dozen boxes; but if that tax passed, the little boy must have 1s. instead of 3d. to ply his calling with. The tax would, he believed, reduce the match trade by at least one-third, entirely taking away the employment of many women and children, and lessening the earnings of others. If, indeed, the country were ruled by a capricious despot, they could not have a trade pounced upon or ruined in a more summary manner than was proposed to be done in this case. If this were carried out, other trades would begin to fear what might happen to them. Such legislation ought to be checked in the bud, and if the wealthy classes were wise they would take warning in time. If they were careless in dealing with labour, and did not recognize its rights, there would soon be a great number of people who would not recognize the rights of property. He could himself suggest a Budget. If an expenditure of £70,000,000 were not enough, let them go to the men who possessed more than £20,000, and put a percentage on all the excess over that amount—there would then be no difficulty in raising the Revenue to £80,000,000, or £90,000,000 if they thought proper. Such a Budget would not beggar any man, or send any woman into the streets—the Budget before them would do both. The wealthier classes alone asked for this increased expenditure, and the wealthier classes should be asked to pay for it. He was not much concerned about the succession duty, for the class who would have to pay it knew very well how to evade it, and were very well able to take care of themselves. The increase of the probate and legacy duties would be a great hardship; the income tax already pressed heavily on one-half of those who were subjected to it, and the difficulty of paying it would be very much aggravated by the additional turn of the screw that was now to be applied to them. The position in which they found themselves was no doubt very gratifying to the party opposite, and for two reasons—first, because it was natural for them to spend the public money; and, secondly, because they of course always desired to damage the political reputation of their opponents. He repeated, it was natural for them to spend the public money. That party was never in power without spending every farthing they dared to spend, and when it was not in power, it tempted the Government in power to spend all it could. Every proposition for extravagant expenditure made on the Government side of the House received the support of those opposite. Not one of the votes that had taken place this Session condemning Government expenditure had received the support of the party opposite, and it might be satisfactory to them to know that the increase of the expenditure this year and the present Budget, had done more to damage the Administration and chill the sympathies of the people towards them than the party opposite could do with all its combined eloquence and reasoning powers for years to come. He had never been able to ascertain why this increased expenditure had taken place. There had never been a clear and logical statement from the Treasury Bench upon the subject, or anything said to reconcile the country to this extravagance. At every public meeting in the country this extravagant expenditure had been condemned, and when the Press got into a foolish state of excitement about the Russian Note, the people declined to follow them. The country was in a very strange position. It was at the present time more pacific than it had over been, and the Continent was less able to interfere with us or attack us than we had ever known. The Government had made louder protestations of economy than any that had ever preceded it, and it had done itself infinite credit by managing in a rational way the difficulties that had arisen during its tenure of office, and one would have thought that the result would have been greater ease to the people in diminished taxation, instead of their having to pray to be delivered from the tender mercies of an economical Government. He did not think the Government could say anything in justification of its course; but it might say a great deal to incriminate others. It might turn to hon. Members below the gangway on the Ministerial side of the House—those who were attacking, and criticizing, and voting against the Government—and ask them why they helped them to get into this mess, and where were they when the Vote of £2,000,000 on credit was taken last autumn, and giving additional guarantees to Belgium, and thereby continuing the policy which, in his opinion, was at the bottom of this additional expenditure. The hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne) very justly rebuked them in a former speech when, in accents of scorn, he said to hon. Members below the gangway—"You make a great fuss about economy; but you have effected very little." Never was a rebuke better deserved. There were not 20 men amongst them who had anything but fair weather principles on the subject. Whenever there was any excitement, or whenever the waters began to be troubled, they invariably voted in the wrong Lobby, or disappeared from the House, as they did last year when the hon. Member for Carlisle (Sir Wilfrid Lawson) moved his Resolution. And unless those who were in favour of economy were inclined to turn their backs on those innumerable guarantees which were recently exhibited to the country by the Marquess of Salisbury "in another place"—guarantees made generations ago and never sanctioned by the people—and turn their attention more to the requirements of the country, they would effect no real economy. If the Government had taken a different course, and had said they had abundance of money for the proper defence of the country, and that no further armaments were required, they would have commanded a large majority; but if they had found themselves in a minority, and had been thrown out of power for doing that which was right, a Government losing office under such circumstances was always sure of an honourable and speedy resurrection.


said, that as he had ventured to place on the Notice Paper a Motion which the forms of the House precluded him from moving, he claimed the indulgence of the House whilst he explained the course he intended to pursue with reference to the Motion before them. He had listened with great attention that night to the able speech of the hon. Gentleman the amateur Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in quoting from it he should be guided—first, by the terms of the Motion then under consideration; and, secondly, by the language in which it was conveyed to the House. He agreed with it that the Ways and Means provided by the Government to meet the expenditure of the year were burdens which the people ought not to be required to bear; and then, when he referred to the language used by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. White) in introducing the Motion, he found no difficulty whatever in supporting it. The hon. Gentleman said—"Everything requisite for efficiency in our Army—perfect equipment, good arms, and adequate Reserves—should be ungrudgingly voted." [Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!] [Mr. WHITE: Read on.] He had quoted what he considered to be sufficient for his purpose, and when the Motion was introduced by sentiments of that kind he found no difficulty whatever in supporting it. It had been said that this was a Vote of Want of Confidence, and that was always a convenient weapon for a Government to use; but he disclaimed any desire to vote Want of Confidence in the Government. He objected to the Budget—to the Ways and Means provided for the necessary expenditure of the country; and he joined with many hon. Friends on both sides of the House in saying that there was no desire to displace the Government, but that all that was required of them was to take back their Budget, and find other means better adapted to the circumstances of the country to provide the necessary expenditure. He entertained a strong objection to the expenditure of £600,000 for carrying into effect the provisions of the Army Regulation Bill. There had been a great deal of talk about that Bill, and the time had arrived when that Bill and the Budget ought to be taken in hand, and weighed the one against the other in order to ascertain on which side the balance inclined. He, and hundreds of his fellow-countrymen had done it, and they said, as he said, that the Bill was very dear at the money. They were called on to pay £600,000 this year, and they would have to pay £1,200,000 next year for the Bill. The expenditure the country was called on to meet had been caused by the reductions they had made in the Army services of the country, because experience showed them that reductions were, in fact, very expensive things, whether in the Army, the Navy, the dockyards, or in the workshops under Government control, by the injudicious mode adopted of discharging skilled men, who had cost time and labour to train, and having in times of emergency to replace them with raw materials, upon which time and labour must be spent to produce the things thrown away. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced his Budget last year in a remarkably comprehensive and statesmanlike speech, wherein he laid down, broad, firm, and sagacious axioms of finance, and one was with regard to direct taxation; and he said that, though it was more economical, it forced a man to pay at a time when payment might be his ruin. It was perfectly clear that the statement had reference to the succession and legacy duties, for they came upon a man when he was in the worst position in his life to pay them; and one would have thought that, haying laid down that axiom of finance, the right hon. Gentleman would have taken the first opportunity for removing that anomaly and hardship. Yet within a year of laying down the axiom, the right hon. Gentleman doubled every anomaly and inequality, and quadrupled in its incidence the grievance on direct descendants. The right hon. Gentleman laid down a second maxim that the principle of taxation should be equality of pressure, and illustrated it by the case of the molluscs at the bottom of the ocean, which were only able to exist by the equality of the pressure upon them. That maxim, however, did not accord with the right hon. Gentleman's practice, which brought him (Mr. Liddell) to the great objection he entertained to the Budget. The deficit in the present financial year was £2,800,000, roundly stated. The means by which the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to meet it was, by indirect taxation—£550,000 derived from matches; £300,000 from probate and succession duties—but at maturity they would raise £1,080,000—and from income tax £1,950,000. So that the result was four-fifths of the whole of the deficit of the year were derived from direct taxation. What became, then, of the maxim "that the principle of taxation should be equality of pressure?" It was said that the extra taxes were to meet military expenditure. Now, no doubt, every class was equally interested in the defence of the country; and, consequently, he maintained that it was by an unequal method the supplies were proposed to be obtained. Next year the deficit would be £1,250,000 by abandoning the house tax; £800,000 from miscellaneous receipts, which appeared in this year's Estimates as re-payment of advances on account of the Abyssinian War; and £1,200,000 as a provision for the Army Bill, making a total deficit of £3,250,000. Now, he wanted to know if four-fifths of that was to be met by direct taxation—because, according to the practice of the present Government, that was the rule of their finance, and entirely contrary to the maxims laid down 12 months ago. If that were so, it was time persons who represented property and land should raise their voices. Forewarned was forearmed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer took a curious course on Thursday night in speaking of the exemptions of certain property, and holding up to public obloquy the exemptions of the stock-in-trade of the farmer. He said the exemption of cart horses represented £900,000, and of agricultural carts nearly £1,000,000 more. The right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Poor Law Board and the Chancellor of the Exchequer were playing a curious game of see-saw. The former was playing for a high stake—nothing less than the representation of the counties. He had thrown down a bone of contention between owners and occupiers by attempting to divide the rates between them, but neither had picked it up. Giving the right hon. Gentleman the fullest credit for his thorough knowledge of this subject, the owners and occupiers knew quite as much of it as he did, and what the inevitable result of the division of the rate would be, and had not accepted the glittering bauble, nor appreciated it at the value set upon it by the right hon. Gentleman. And now came the Chancellor of the Exchequer carrying on the see-saw by holding up the exempted agricultural stock-in-trade to ridicule, with the view, perhaps, of raising some Revenue from it at some future time, a course utterly opposed to the principles on which the commercial policy of this country was based—namely, that of taxing produce and which would, at the same time, increase considerably the price of the food of the people. He (Mr. Liddell) had voted for the Resolution on Thursday night, but, like many who had done so, he repented it. He supported the Resolution not because he liked the tax on matches, for he hated it, but because it was the only indirect taxation that was to have a share in providing the Supplies. But they were assured that the course did not commit them as a whole to the Budget, and therefore he should have no scruple in opposing the scheme in its entirety, and especially because he thought the match tax a most cruel impost. On Thursday night they did not know to what extent it would affect the innumerable families in large towns, and those familiar with the condition of the east of London must be aware that they would depart from the highest duty, and the greatest privilege of the House —the paying attention to the interests of the poor—if they supported a tax like that. He should vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton, because it was the best mode of bringing a pressure to bear on the Government, not with the hope of making them leave their places, but of taking back their Budget to be modified in all its features, and to force the right hon. Gentleman to propose Ways and Means more consistent with the views and feelings of the House, and less injurious to the interests of the poor.


said, undoubtedly the key-note of the discussion had been struck by the remark that the House had helped to get the Government into this "mess," as it had been designated by the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Jacob Bright). The House had already sanctioned the extra expenditure, for which it must now provide the Ways and Means. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had explained in a very clear manner that all the Army Estimates which had created the large expenditure this year had already been voted, and it only remained now to meet it in the usual constitutional way. He should, with the permission of the House, make a few remarks on the general scope of the Budget, as the result of communications he had had with the persons whose interests he represented in the House. With regard to the match tax, he had called it unfortunate on Thursday, and he still remained of that opinion. The match trade was not unimportant; it involved a great deal of money, and gave employment to vast numbers of people, and it had this distinctive feature that the persons so employed resided in the east end of London, the lowest districts of the metropolis, where poverty and disease were most rife. It had been represented to him that, if the Budget passed, it must necessarily supersede the whole of the small manufacturers, and place the trade in the hands of large houses with large capital. A gross of matches cost wholesale from 2s. 3d. to 2s. 6d.; while the tax upon that number would be 6s., so that small makers who could not find a manufacturing capital to the extent of 8s. 6d. per gross—and very few of them could afford that—would be driven out of the trade. He regretted the proposition, also, because it was a retrograde step in our financial legislation. This new form of taxation was introduced simply because, as the right hon. Gentleman had said, matches were so exceedingly cheap and a fit subject of taxation; but were there not many articles of consumption of a similar character to which the same doctrine might be applied? Again, if they had an Excise duty, they must have an import duty and a drawback upon the matches exported, in which, as he was informed, there was a very large trade. As he understood his right hon. Friend there was to be no drawback. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER intimated that there would be a drawback.] Well, then, he would not further refer to that matter, and he should not have alluded to it all, but for the remarks that had fallen that evening from his right hon. Friend himself. It had been objected that nothing had been suggested in the nature of an alternative. He must say there were several alternatives, and one of them, though perhaps not an unpopular view, was that the expenditure of the year might have been considerably reduced. ["Hear, hear!"] He was afraid hon. Members below the gangway did not quite understand him. If they required the means of meeting increased expenditure, increased to abolish purchase in the Army, why could not the excess be spread over a number of years, as in the case of the provision for the fortifications? He had no hesitation in saying that, by arrangement, the purchaser of Terminable Annuities might be secured against the fluctuations of the income tax, and, if so, the Government might raise the money, as they would be justified in doing for an exceptional expenditure in that form, at a very low rate, whereas, at present, the purchase of such security was declined by insurance offices and corporations, because of the risk incurred by such fluctuations. He believed the public would have been content to pay an additional penny income tax. He was aware that the reverse had been stated in the City article of the leading journal; but the statement was but the individual opinion of one gentleman, and did not, he believed, represent the general feeling. He believed that the public would have been better pleased to submit to an additional income tax for one year, in the belief that the increasing improvement in the national finances would soon free them from the impost. Of that improvement he ventured, with due respect for his right hon. Friend, to contend too gloomy a view had been taken. He believed that his right hon. Friend, in forming his opinion on this matter, had overlooked several circumstances. Employment was more general at the present moment than it had been for some years; cotton, the great staple manufacture in Lancashire, had not for a long time been so cheap or so abundant as it was now; every week witnessed an increase in the receipts of the railways throughout the country; the weekly publication of the balances that passed through the Clearing House of London showed the magnitude of the transactions of the day; and finally there had been a considerable reduction of pauperism, more particularly in the metropolis. All these were hopeful signs. "But," said the right hon. Gentleman, "why not ask me to increase the tea duty?" And he might have added the sugar duty, for they both stood upon the same footing. The answer was, that they did not see the necessity for such a course. They believed that the general prosperity of the country would justify them in tiding over the difficulty, and even now he ventured to express a hope that an opportunity might be given to the House to consider the Ways and Means from a different point of view. But with regard to the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton, which said—"The additional taxation would entail burdens upon the people," the House had already decided that the expenditure should be incurred, and that being the case he could not give his support to his hon. Friend's proposal.


said, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had attempted to place hon. Members on that side of the House on the horns of a dilemma, on which they declined to be placed. He objected altogether to the Budget now before them. Such were the Budgets now-a-days that no trade or interest was safe in the hands of the right hon. Gentleman. Not long ago the right hon. Gentleman attacked a very large interest—namely, the savings banks—and the consequence was, that a panic was created from one end of the country to the other, and money was withdrawn from many of the banks. So strong, indeed, was the opposition, that the right hon. Gentleman had to withdraw his proposal. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER: No.] At any rate, it was not pressed forward. He objected to the Budget because he could not countenance the increased expenditure the Government assumed to be necessary. The greater portion of the increased expenditure depended upon whether the Army Regulation Bill passed; and, since the Government had not fairly placed before the House the cost of that Bill, in the future as well as in the present, the Budget, in a Parliamentary sense, was dishonest. The House had never yet fairly faced the Army Regulation scheme. The Government had confessed to £10,000,000 or £12,000,000; but this did not include the cost of retirement, which the Government had not yet detailed to the House. It was all very well for the Government to say they were going to provide £600,000 for it this year; but they could not flatter themselves, after providing that sum, that they were safe out of the mess, and therefore he contended that hon. Members on that side of the House had a right to object to the increased expenditure until the whole cost of the abolition of purchase had been placed before the country. He was not unacquainted with the programme put forward by the Prime Minister, at least in 1868. That programme, though it included measures affecting the Irish Church and the Irish Land, was not deemed sufficient for the purposes of the present Government; and an issue, based upon the whole subject of taxation, was raised for the decision of the country. Now, the whole expenditure of the country, for the year ending 1867, was about £68,500,000, and that sum was held up to the country as perfectly monstrous—[Mr. GLADSTONE: No!]—as a sum, at all events, which the country was invited narrowly to scrutinize, for one end only, and that was to secure its reduction. But the expenditure in 1868 was £72,981,000, which, allowing for the £3,500,000 for the Abyssinian Expedition, showed an increase on the year before. The expenditure of the year 1869 was £73,819,000, which, allowing for the £4,500,000 on account of Abyssinia, gave £69,300,000 as against the £68,500,000 of 1867. When these figures were placed before the country he believed they would feel dissatisfied with the difference between the promises and the performances of the Government. They knew what the Estimates for the current year were, and he would ask whether there was any promise of better things in the future. In regard to the fresh taxes now proposed, the first one was that upon matches. Now, he had thought that the financial doctrine universally accepted in these days was, that no tax ought, if possible, to be imposed on any trade or manufacture of the country, or upon any of the necessaries of life. He objected to the tax upon matches, because it was a tax upon a trade, a tax upon the occupation of the poor, and also a tax upon one of their necessaries of life. Moreover, it would involve an import or protective duty, because it was certain that immense quantities of foreign matches would seek our markets. They knew that large numbers of matches already reached us from Sweden, and we had hitherto been able to hold our ground in the trade, only because matches were untaxed, and because they could be manufactured so cheaply, as women and children took so large a part in the making of them. He did not know if any hon. Members had read the Bill; but they would find it full of the most oppressive regulations that could be conceived as to the sale of matches and the treatment of those who sold them. To the increased succession duty he objected, as most inappropriate for a war tax, which, properly speaking, should possess the following characteristics:—It should fall equally on the population, cause little or no disarrangement, and be easily removed as soon as it had fulfilled its object. The increased succession duty, however, would fall upon those only who happened to lose relatives during the time it was in force, and when once put on it would, with difficulty, be removed. In neither of these respects, therefore, could this tax be recommended as a war tax. For these reasons he opposed the Budget, and should support the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton; and not especially in regard to the want of confidence in the Government which it had been said to imply, though if he were asked whether he had confidence in the Administration, he should not be able to answer in the affirmative, nor could he say that their recent measures had tended to strengthen his feeling in their favour. He did not believe that the Licensing Bill would increase the number of their supporters in the House or in the country. He did not think that the Local Taxation Bill either was calculated to recruit the ranks of their supporters. But it was not on this account he voted for the Motion of the hon. Member. He voted for that Motion because he would say to the Government "Take back your Budget; bring us something we can accept, and then we will vote what money you want for a reduced expenditure with the greatest possible despatch."


presumed a few words from him would not be unacceptable, as many hon. Members had asked him his intention with regard to his own Motion. The hon. Member for Warrington (Mr. Rylands), indisposed to call a spade a spade, had preferred the Motion of his hon. Colleague (Mr. White), because he did not regard it as a Vote of Want of Confidence; but the hon. Member could not by such a declaration alter the effect and meaning of the Motion. He had not heard either from his hon. Colleague, or his Seconder, anything implying want of confidence in the general policy of the Government. On the contrary, they admired them for many things that they had done; but the interests of the country were best promoted by plain speaking, and he did most certainly desire to express his want of confidence, not in their general views, but in their financial proposals, and his condemnation of their extravagant expenditure. If it be admitted that the extra £2,800,000 was required, the way in which it was proposed to be raised was the most objectionable that could be conceived; but he was also prepared to maintain that the £2,800,000 would not be required—nay, that everything which the country required might be obtained without the increase of a single shilling, if the Administration had been a more economical one. The proposals contained in the Budget had been condemned in a vote of the House with almost unprecedented unanimity. The hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) was almost alone in the announced intention to support the Government on the question at issue. In regard to the tax upon matches, he could only say that, if time permitted, he believed he could show that, more than perhaps any other tax that could be conceived, it offended against every canon laid down by Adam Smith, of whom the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a professed disciple. It was disastrous and oppressive to the master, ruinous to the working man, difficult and expensive to collect, and would bring home to every humble cottage the fact that we had an extravagant Government. On the match-box was to be placed a Latin inscription, which few people understood; and some had even gone so far as to say that the perpetration of that classical joke was one of its great recommendations in the eyes of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Well, the humble people who would have to pay the tax would not understand the motto; but he would suggest that they might place side by side with it, a motto which everyone would understand—namely, that this tax was a proof that the professed economy of a Liberal Government was a sham and a snare. In regard to the succession duty, it had always been held as a reason that it realized so little, because it was easily evaded. If they doubled the duty, they would likewise double the inducements to evade it; and he was satisfied that the expectations that had been formed as to what it would realize would be falsified. Moreover, it was a tax upon capital, and a tax upon produce. As for the proposals in regard to the income tax, it was enough to say that they had been condemned by the strongest supporters of the Government. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer however had taunted them by saying that it was of no use to object to these taxes, without suggesting something in their stead. Now it would be presumptuous in a private Member of the House to undertake such a task; but since they had been so taunted, he would venture to make a suggestion. Why did they not suspend the financial hocus-pocus called paying off the National Debt by Terminable Annuities, which was simply a revival of Pitt's sinking fund in its worst form? When that scheme was first proposed, it was recommended to the House as a plan that could be suspended in unfavourable or exceptional years; and was not the present such a year? If these were, as the Government said, transition Estimates, why was not their pledge redeemed? Bad as the present position of affairs was, he could not look forward more hopefully to the immediate future, after hearing the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, showing that matches were to be taxed this year, agricultural horses next year, and other branches of industry, it might be presumed, in rapid succession. From that speech, he thought anyone would be justified in coming to the conclusion that we were only commencing a mischievous resolution. Of all the indefensible propositions ever made, the idea of taxing horses engaged in agriculture was, perhaps, the worst. If animals engaged in trade were to be taxed, why not also the inanimate machinery similarly engaged? Was the poor farmer to pay a tax on his horses, and the rich one to pay none on his far more useful agricultural machinery? The logical mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer could soon perceive the anomaly, and they might expect to find all trade inplements taxed down to the common wheelbarrow. He now came to the second part of his statement, that the money asked for by the Government was not necessary. In the first place, it might be said—"You have voted the money even if it were not necessary, and by so doing, you are precluded from objecting to the expenditure;" and, in the second, that the money was necessary in order to place the country in a state of proper defence. To both of those statements he gave the most emphatic denial. As to his proposition that the sum asked for was not necessary, the House having already voted the money, thereby preventing any objection being offered to the expenditure, this seemed to him to raise a vitally important question of Parliamentary procedure. If from the mere fact that Estimates had been introduced into the House, they were supposed by anticipation to have voted the whole of them, that took away one of the most important privileges of voting the Estimates in Committee of Supply, which would become a farce and a delusion. If that were so, and the Government pressed the objection, the course of Parliamentary procedure must be greatly deranged, and before these Estimates were introduced, and before a single Vote was taken upon them, the House ought to have the Financial Statement of the year. One important point was, that before the House voted a single Estimate, they must ascertain what extent of expenditure would be justifiable, without having recourse to the imposition of new taxes. He was accused the other night of going about the country "howling" for the abolition of the purchase system. He believed that he had never uttered six words on the subject, except to state that he intended to vote for the abolition of the system. But if he had to choose between the alternatives of voting for its abolition this year, and imposing a new, vexatious, and iniquitous tax, such as that on matches, he would wait one, two, or three years. This plea of one not being able to object to the expenditure came with peculiarly ill grace in the present year. Why was this large expenditure required? Because of the Army Regulation Bill. If that Bill did not pass—and who was confident enough to predict it would pass?—the whole of the Estimates would have to be revised, and therefore they had a clear and constitutional right, although certain Estimates had been laid on the Table, to say they had not voted the money until every Vote in Supply had been discussed and passed. Perhaps his greatest difficulty would be to substantiate the allegation that this expenditure was unnecessary. It might be said that he knew nothing about naval and military matters. He did not pretend to have the slightest knowledge of naval and military affairs; but statements had been made in the House which it did not require professional knowledge to understand. It was said that they who objected were wanting in patriotism, and were careless of the security of their country. That was an unjust insinuation. If naval and military authorities had come forward and pledged their professional reputation that the £27,000,000 which the House was asked to vote this year, would give security to our shores, he would have felt himself unworthy the name of an Englishman if he uttered one word of murmur or objection to the proposal. But he had not forgotten the unanswered speech of the noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho). He had not forgotten the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Stafford (Captain Talbot), nor the able speech of the hon. and gallant Member for South Durham (Captain Beaumont), who all spoke with great authority on military matters, and they said that this £27,000,000, which they were asked to vote, would not give security or safety; but that a great portion of the money would be wasted, and poured into the insatiable gulf of military extravagance and administrative incompetency—that they would not have their money's value for their money's worth. They were asked to vote more and more money every year, and each time military authorities laid greater stress on the prevailing incapacity, inefficiency, and waste. The same remark applied to the Navy. Recent disclosures showed that millions of money were wasted because civilians were placed at the head of the Admiralty for political reasons, and overruled the opinions of professional authorities upon professional questions. They had worried out of the service one of the ablest of our public men. [Cheers and laughter.] Wait till they had heard what he had to say. He referred to the late Chief Constructor of the Navy. And what did he say? That our naval defences were at the present moment in a most unsatisfactory condition. He did not say that this was because they had not voted sufficient money, but because they had built ships of heavy draught when they should have built ships of light draught; and he distinctly asserted that at the present moment thousands and millions were being wasted because there was no concert between the two great spending Departments. But let them view the question in a wider aspect. Was it not the duty of England, by her example, to discourage Europe from rushing on in that career of financial embarrassment in which she was now embarked? Up to 1850 there had been no increase, but rather a decrease of National Debt in Europe. But, for the last 20 years, leaving America out of consideration, the Debts of Europe, and one or two other countries, had increased to the extent of £1,500,000,000. Almost every country had each year a deficiency; and if England spent an increased sum of money, it induced other countries to do the same. It might be said against those who thus argued, that last year they supported a Vote of Credit in support of Belgium. They could easily justify the position. If they were to free themselves from treaty obligations let them do so in time of peace, and not in time of peril. It must be borne in mind that the House was now called on to vote a great deal more money than they were called on to vote last year. In addition to this the condition of Europe had changed. When they were called on in July last to vote £2,000,000, it was supposed that the country which most threatened England was then in the zenith of her power, and possessed of the most powerful Army in Europe; but France had been worsted in a war, her Army was destroyed, and she would not be able to threaten England again for years to come, during which time all her energies must be devoted to restore her finances and secure internal order. He ventured, in conclusion, to address a few words to the Government. He hoped that they would retrace their steps before it was too late. Let them withdraw their Budget and revise their Estimates. They obtained their majority because they pledged themselves on innumerable hustings to check expenditure, and if they persisted in their present course of prodigality, returning evil for good, from John o'Groat's to the Land's End, in every cottage, and workshop, and mart where men gathered together, it would be said that the Government had deluded and deceived them; that where the Government had promised economy they had given extravagance; and that the confidence once placed in them could, no longer, so far as financial affairs were concerned, constitutionally continue.


Whatever may be the difference of opinion upon the various points of controversy in this debate, there is one point upon which we must all agree—namely, that our financial condition at the present moment is not satisfactory. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Statement has made us formally and officially acquainted with the fact that we have to encounter this year a deficiency of, at least, £2,700,000. But the amount of our liability cannot be measured merely by these figures. That can only be clearly apprehended by a reference to two Bills now on our Table, and to which I will advert very shortly. The first is the Army Regulation Bill, which occasions this year an expenditure of £600,000, and which for the next year secures us a certain expenditure of £1,200,000, and an ambiguous and still indefinite item of expenditure, which has been estimated at a considerable amount by an hon. and gallant Friend of mine (Sir Percy Herbert) this evening, and which even the gallant Gentleman opposite (Captain Vivian) the Financial Secretary of the War Office acknowledged in his speech must certainly involve considerable expenditure. Now, we must recollect we already feel the inconvenience of the first £600,000 which it is proposed to spend in the Army Regulation Bill, because it is quite clear, from the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that it is in consequence of the necessity of providing for this item in the Estimates that he has proposed the new system of assessing the income tax—not, I believe, one of the least unpopular and the least injudicious portions of his financial scheme. Then we must not lose sight of another Bill when we are called upon to consider the Budget of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Ways and Means he proposes—the Bill with regard to local taxation. As the House will recollect, that Bill proposes to deal with a very important branch of the Imperial Revenue, relegating it to a local and provincial object. Now, I have always looked upon the house tax as one of the soundest portions of our financial system. It is admitted by everybody to be the most just tax which can be devised. It is the most equal in its incidence, as the highest authorities have always acknowledged; is founded on the justest principles of finance; and increases always with the progress and prosperity of the nation. Well, I have never been among those who wish to reduce the just portion of our direct taxation. It seems to me that it would be most short-sighted to counsel such a policy. But I have always looked upon the machinery of the house tax as a means by which an amount of direct taxation might at a proper period be raised, which would recommend itself to the feeling of justice of the country generally preferable to the income tax. I know it is a question with respect to which it is easy to excite prejudice, because I have myself, among others, been the victim of prejudice on the subject. That, however, does not prevent me from taking this opportunity of expressing my opinion of the excellence of the tax. I cannot conceal my dissatisfaction at the attempt which has been made by the Government to degrade this tax into a rate, and to divert from purposes of national necessity such a source of revenue in order to cut the Gordian knot of some local and provincial difficulty. But the House will recollect that our resources are to be diminished to the amount of £1,200,000 by the measure on the Table, should that policy be successful. In considering our deficiency, therefore, we must look upon our financial position when this year elapses; because I must protest against the habit which is growing up on both sides of the House of doubting the Estimates of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We must take these Essimates as factors in the sum which we have to calculate, and the policy of his scheme must depend on the conviction in our minds that these are Estimates given to us by a person who has the very best means of forming them. What is the use of a Financial Statement made by an officer so important as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if, when he gives us certain results on his official responsibility, with his own thought and upon the mature opinions of his Colleagues, we immediately say—"Such and such is not the case; your Estimates are wrong; they are either exaggerated or depreciated; and, in fact, the items you offer us, in order that we may form a judgment on the condition of the country, are not trustworthy." Such a course would, it appears to me, leave the House open to every financial freak which can occur to any hon. Member. I must, therefore, protest against that, and take the Estimates of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as grave communications made to Parliament with the due sense of the responsibility of a statesman. Now, according to the Statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a deficiency of about £2,700,000 will still exist at the end of this year, as he does not take a sanguine view of the progress of the different branches of the Revenue. In addition to that, we shall have to meet the requirements made by the two Bills on the Table, to the amount of £2,400,000 more, without calculating in the least that still dark and indefinite item for which the Army Regulation Bill, in consequence of the expenditure connected with retirements, demands our consideration. We have to bear in mind, therefore, that we are touching on a position in which we may have to encounter a deficit of £5,000,000. Our position is, under these circumstances, a grave one, and we must consider the nature of the Ways and Means which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has proposed for our acceptance. Now, Sir, as to these Ways and Means, there is not one of them, I am sorry to say, which I can approve. I heard with great regret—I was not present at the time—of the hurried vote at which the House arrived the other night with respect to the tax on matches. But I found on inquiry that the matter was explained by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and that the Division taken was merely a technical one, and that it does not debar the House from again expressing its opinion on the subject. Well, Sir, we have been reminded to-night of the great agitation that was created by the window tax when we were told that it was a tax on light: I little supposed that the time would so soon come when another tax on light would be proposed—a tax also upon warmth, one which in so many ways will affect the comfort of the great mass of the people. That this proposed tax is one which can be evaded no one will deny, and although I would never doubt the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Estimates, still we have, I think, a right to criticize statistics on a new tax. I must say that the statistics which he has given with regard to the number of match-boxes appear to me to be amazing. He states that the number of match-boxes manufactured in this country every year is 560,000,000. Now, here, in the United Kingdom, we have 7,000,000 houses, counting everything rateable, from the palace to the hovel, and this calculation would give, on an average, 80 boxes per annum to each house. That appears to me, I confess, to be a rate of consumption quite inconceivable. I am told there is a great export trade in these matches; but the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not tell us whether that was the case, although he did inform us that there was an export duty still in existence. That, however, was, I think he will find, abolished in 1860. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER: There is no export duty now.] Exactly so: this tax on matches is one which I regard as being very objectionable, inasmuch as it affects the manufacture of an article which gives a great deal of employment, to the humbler classes especially, in this metropolis, who have for some considerable time, as it is, been in want of sufficient employment. Indeed, it seems to me to be as injudicious a proposition of the kind as the right hon. Gentleman could have well fixed upon. Then comes the question—what are the other Ways and Means of the Chancellor of the Exchequer? Are they more popular or better adapted to the circumstances of the occasion? We have an increase of the succession and probate duties. Now, these are taxes essentially of a permanent character. If we agree to them we shall never get rid of them; all that can happen with regard to them is that they will be increased. Let us, therefore, look at the circumstances under which we are asked to increase the succession duty, and other analogous taxes. Here I must remark the loose manner in which Her Majesty's Government discuss the present financial crisis. Our Estimates are sometimes described as transition Estimates; as if the expenditure was only passing and temporary, and would in a short time be necessarily diminished. But if those views are just, how are they to be reconciled with the policy of Her Majesty's Government, in making propositions of this character, in order to meet such transient difficulties and deficiencies as those to which they refer? There are great objections to the succession duty in itself. The highest authorities have disapproved it. It is a tax on capital, vexatious, levied at a time when it is most inconvenient to pay it, and when its injustice is most felt. It would be very difficult to propose any tax likely more to excite the suspicion and disrelish of society, and which, at the same time, will do so little to meet the immediate object which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has in view. The right hon. Gentleman estimates that he will obtain eventually £1,000,000 per annum from the succession and probate duties; but he admits that he will receive only £300,000 this year. Now, when he has a deficit of nearly £3,000,000, and when he and his Colleagues lead us to believe that this deficiency will be only of a transitory character, it appears to me highly unsatisfactory that he should propose a tax which is not only of a permanent nature, but which would scarcely give him any usufruct for the year in which the deficiency really exists. Then I come to consider our old friend the income tax. I think it unfortunate that the income tax should be used as a matter of course upon slight occasions, and that whenever £1,000,000 or £1,500,000 is wanted, a disturbance should be caused throughout the country by an increase of the income tax. At the same time, I admit that it is not at all surprising that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his combined plan, should to some extent avail himself of the income tax. If the right hon. Gentleman had proposed a certain specific amount to be raised by the income tax, I would not have objected. But what I greatly object to is that he proposes to increase the income tax in a mode the result of which will be that no one in the country will ever know what he has to pay, thus increasing immensely the vexation of an impost already sufficiently odious. And observe, that it was perfectly unnecessary for the Government to have recourse to this new-fangled scheme of assessment, were it not to meet an item in the Estimates which we have not yet voted, and which no one pretends for a moment is of an urgent and pressing character. Now, I have never viewed with any prejudice the scheme of the Government for the re-organization of the Army. Part of it consists of a plan for the abolition of purchase. Were there a passionate conviction throughout the country that the system of promotion at present prevailing in the Army was one extremely injurious to the public interests, and we were in possession of an affluent and abounding Exchequer, the Government of this country would be perfectly justified, with due and complete regard to vested interests, to consider the propriety of terminating such a system. When I had an opportunity of making some observations on this subject to the House, a little while ago, I said then that it appeared to me that the propriety of the course which the Government were about to pursue with regard to the abolition of purchase mainly depended upon the state of our finances, and that it would be extremely desirable, before the House irrevocably committed itself to the policy of abolition—which fortunately it has not—that it should at least become acquainted with that state. At that time there was an unfortunate delusion in high quarters that the condition of our Revenue at the end of the year would be very different from what it turned out to be. Well, if I were asked my own individual opinion, after having given the subject the most anxious, and I am sure, impartial consideration, I would frankly say that I should be in favour of maintaining the present system of promotion in the Army, accompanied, as I believe its maintenance could be, with measures which would render the Army efficient and the education of our officers and the forces generally, more scientific. I believe these two things are perfectly consistent. Sir, it might, under any circumstances, be a question whether we should incur the responsibility of involving the nation in such an immense expenditure as the abolition of purchase would inevitably entail; but now, when a tax upon matches is proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to extricate us from the difficulties that surround us, and when London—plaintive London—assembles round the House to entreat us to spare the only industry on which they depend in the quarter in which they live, I cannot conceive that it is our duty to proceed with a scheme which certainly can keep, and which the country will have an opportunity of giving an opinion upon next year with a much more complete acquaintance with its merits. So far as my opinion is concerned, I must say that the three divisions of the Ways and Means to which I have referred are extremely objectionable. Then the question arises—What is the course we ought to take under such circumstances? I will express, without the least desire to conceal it, the course which I should have preferred to take. I should like to have taken a course myself which, while expressing the opinions entertained on this side of the House, would have permitted Her Majesty's Government to withdraw their proposal with dignity and with honour. I should myself have been prepared to propose a Resolution on the subject, as to the course it would have been proper to take, of which that would have been the purport and the object. And I should have hoped that had that course been taken, we might have disembarrassed ourselves of this scheme of Ways and Means, and by the agency of the Government itself proceeded to consider measures better adapted to the occasion. But it has not been in my power to take that step. I was present on the occasion of the Budget, and I listened to it with the attention it deserved. That was on Thursday last. The course which we had to take was one which could not be settled in a moment. It was a grave subject which required great consideration; which demanded on my part counsel with many others, and co-operation with a large party; and it was necessary that some little time should elapse before action could be taken under such circumstances. The result of our deliberations I was prepared to announce to-day, and I should have asked the opinion of the House upon the measures of the Government. But the ground was occupied. I do not in the least object to any hon. Member availing himself of his privilege. This is a complete Republic; we are all equal here; the Declaration of Paris unfortunately does not apply to Parliamentary privateering; and the Regular forces therefore are sometimes extremely inconvenienced and embarrassed. But when criticisms are sometimes freely made upon the course of those who are responsible, by their advice, for the general conduct of a large party in Parliament, I beg to state that the time has gone by when an Opposition could choose the exact occasion and the exact form in which they could ask the opinion of the House. I have, therefore, to consider the Amendment of which Notice has been given by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White) and it is the only opportunity, mind you, upon which a general opinion on this Budget can be given. There are no other means. The language of this Amendment has been criticized; but I confess myself, though I did not come down originally to support it, and would rather have proposed an Amendment of my own; still, when I read it I do not find that there is anything in its lan-language inconsistent with the general views and opinions expressed on this side of the House. It declares that— The additional taxation proposed by Her Majesty's Government will entail burdens upon the people which are not justified by existing circumstances. Well, it will entail burdens, and grievous burdens, upon the people, and I do not think they are justified by existing circumstances. I do not think that any existing circumstances could at all justify the increase of the succession duty. I do not think that any existing circumstances can justify the interference with the manufacture of matches. I think, therefore, that these measures will entail burdens upon the people which are not justified by existing circumstances. Well, I want to impress upon the House that there is no other opportunity of giving an opinion upon the financial proposals of the Government than this Amendment of the hon. Member for Brighton, and, therefore, those who do object to these three Ways and Means which are proposed must take this opportunity, or they will have no other. There is no probable opportunity of an Amendment afterwards while you, sir, are in the Chair, and in Committee Amendments will be limited to points of detail. Now, under these circumstances, I shall feel it my duty, if a Division is called for—entirely disapproving, as I do, the Ways and Means of the Government—to vote for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Brighton. But I want to know why a Division should be necessary. I have watched the debate this night, and must say that two-thirds of the speakers have been on the other side of the House, and, without any exception that I can recall, they are devoted supporters of the Government. In general they have all objected to these Ways and Means. Under these circumstances, we have not put ourselves in any hostile position to the Government. Why should not the right hon. Gentleman, without any regard to us, say that in consequence of the expression of opinion from such a variety of his warmest supporters, even of the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford), who sits behind the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and appears to me always to be his man-at-arms, ready to give him a new shield and a new spear when necessary, he will do that which probably he will ultimately have to do—re-consider the Budget? That would be acting in deference to them. We will not claim any portion of the deference for ourselves; we will not cheer or utter any expression of triumph; and we shall be perfectly glad if, without a Division, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer will take back his Budget for a moment, and re-consider it, and follow some of the many suggestions which have been made to him by his Friends, particularly by the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London, and bring it forward again in an amended form. I must say there is one point in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-night, to which I must offer my objection, and that is his argument, which he repeated several times during the course of his speech, that because we objected to his proposals we were bound to propose an alternative to the House. I thought there had been some quarter-of-a-century ago an immortal answer given to an argument of that kind. I remember that a Chancellor of the Exchequer—also a Whig Chancellor of the Exchequer—did most plaintively appeal to an eminent statesman then Leader of the Opposition, and he received an answer which I thought had become what we call a household word. But, probably, the right hon. Gentleman was then in a distant Colony, and it did not make that impression upon him which it did upon every hon. Member of the House of Commons at that time. All of us who were then Members of the House are perfectly familiar with it. Now, Sir, I do not think it is our duty to offer alternatives to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. All we can do is to give him respectful attention and consideration, and I can assure the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will, I will not say withdraw, but adjourn the discussion of his Budget for a short time, and give the House the result of his improved experience, and show the advantage which he has obtained from the criticism of his Friends—for I do not want him to be influenced in the least by what has been said on this side of the House—it would be most agreeable to our feelings, who have no wish whatever to place Her Majesty's Government in a minority. Now, we have heard something said this evening of Votes of Want of Confidence, and all from that side where the right hon. Gentleman sits; all, I may say, from his intimate and devoted Friends. Now, Sir, I have always heard that a defeat upon a financial question was no reason why a Minister should retire from the responsibility of his situation, so long as he felt that he possessed, for his general policy, the support and confidence of his Colleagues, and that has always been accepted as a Parliamentary rule. I may be taunted as having acted once differently. But when the Government of Lord Derby were defeated on a financial measure in 1852, we had no assurance of general support from the majority in this House upon our policy generally, and, therefore, it was expedient that we should retire. But that is not the position of the right hon. Gentleman, and, therefore, I think we may dismiss from our minds the idea that he will do anything so silly as to bring about a political crisis at this time of the year and tender a mock resignation, and by so doing waste the time of the House in the way in which some of his hon. Friends seem to contemplate. Therefore, we may dismiss all these considerations from our minds. This is a most serious question so far as we are concerned, and we cannot be silent or inactive. The principles of finance brought forward by the Chancellor of the Exchequer are highly disapproved by his party. We also look upon these propositions as injurious in their character—the propositions with regard to the increase of succession duty, and the manner in which the income tax is increased in order to carry out a policy which we highly disapprove of—namely, the abolition of purchase. We must record our opinion on the Budget, and such are our Parliamentary rules and our Parliamentary practice, that although we are prepared to ask the opinion of the House on our Motion, we are deprived of that opportunity. It cannot be supposed that we are to forego the only occasion we now have of defeating measures which will have so bad an influence on the interests of the country. I wish it to be clearly understood that if this Budget is to be defeated—this Budget which outrages some of the most important principles which we have always upheld—this is the only occasion which we shall have to record our disapprobation of it.


Mr. Speaker—Though the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire has been almost pathetic in his reference to the loss of the opportunity, which he thinks he has sustained, for raising upon purely Conservative principles the issue of the present Budget, I must be permitted to say that, with a great deal less than he possesses of knowledge and experience of the forms of the House, I think that if he had been desirous of finding such an opportunity he would have experienced very little difficulty indeed, for it is certainly the first time that I have learnt that a party objecting to a financial proposal was bound to take his objection upon the first stage. The right hon. Gentleman is perfectly aware that it is in his own choice, without the slightest reference to the embarrassment in which my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, by his superior agility, has placed him, to fix the time at which he may let loose all his patriotic zeal in opposition to the plan of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman has laid down a doctrine with respect to the Budget which I am not prepared to admit, and which I do not conceive to rest upon any recognized Parliamentary rule or precedent. He says it is a thing perfectly understood, that a Government may withdraw a Budget and subject it to any amount of change—in fact, give it a character entirely new—without loss of influence or credit, provided it has not reason to believe that it has lost on other matters the general confidence of Parliament. Well, Sir, my experience of Parliament has not been in conformity with that of the right hon. Gentleman. I know of no single example, and I challenge anyone to give me a single example, in which under the pressure of an adverse vote of the House of Commons—of a vote resisted by the Government, a Budget has been taken back and remodelled. There is no such case. [An hon. MEMBER: Sir Charles Wood took back a Budget.] No; Sir Charles Wood did no such, thing; Sir Charles Wood collected for himself the state of opinion upon certain proposals that he had made, and availed himself of the opportunity which he thought he possessed of reconsidering them; and for a long series of years that formed one of the most fertile topics to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, on which to assail him. Sir Charles Wood availed himself of the opportunity, which he thought he possessed, for gathering from the general comments of the Press and from the remarks of Members of this House the conclusion that it would be well for him to remodel or materially alter the proposals that he had made. The only case in which a Budget has been defeated in my recollection, is the case of the right hon. Gentleman himself, who retired from office in 1852 in consequence of the defeat of his Budget, though up to that time the confidence of the House had never been withdrawn from his party since 1839, when they entered upon office—yet, immediately, when the Budget was defeated, they treated that matter as one in which it was impossible for them to acquiesce. At the same time, do not let me be supposed to place this doctrine too high. The Budget is a measure of the Government, and such a measure is not so essentially fixed in all its parts, as that the Government that proposes it is precluded from profiting by experience and by the advice of Members of the House. The Budget, as a whole, cannot, so far as I know, compatibly with the credit of the Government, be withdrawn, and replaced by one essentially and radically different. The details of the Budget, in proportion to their importance, are naturally open to consideration and review; especially when that review does not involve a diminution or efficiency of the Supplies which the Government have proposed to meet the expenditure of the year. Now, Sir, I am not about to discuss the details of the Budget. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on a former night, in speaking of the duty upon matches, himself declared the difficulty that he had experienced in gathering adequate information upon the subject. Every day that elapses after the promulgation of such a proposition adds very materially to the information that both the House and he may possess; and, considering the impossibility of entering into full and free communication upon proposals of this kind before they are made to the House, no Government and no Minister can be ashamed under the circumstances of a novel case, in confessing that their information is susceptible of addition. It was never the intention of my right hon. Friend, or of the Government, to shut their eyes to the force of evidence, if it should appear that a proposition which does not lie at the root of his financial proposals, such as he has made with reference to a duty on matches, is likely to entail inconvenience or provoke irritation in the country out of proportion to the financial benefits in view. Sir, upon another item of the Government Budget the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire has commented, which unquestionably stands in the same category in one material respect. I mean the proposal in regard to the succession and legacy duties. Neither am I about to discuss that proposal upon its merits; but I will simply answer the objection which the right hon. Gentleman has taken. He says it has been represented on the part of the Government, that the augmentation of expenditure we have proposed in the Estimates and measures of the year is connected, in their view, with a period of transition, and, therefore, not of a permanent character; and he asks us—"Why, with reference to a state of expenditure which you can describe as happily wanting in permanency, do you charge a duty that is undoubtedly of a permanent character?" Sir, I admit that description of the present state of our expenditure to be true. I admit, likewise, that the probate, succession, and legacy duties are duties of a permanent character. The view of my right hon. Friend and of the Government is that the proposal he has made with regard to this moderate enlargement of these duties—["Oh!"] Moderate I mean, on the whole. ["No."] Call it what you like in your speeches; allow me to call it what I think it is in mine. Our view is that it is a moderate enlargement—that it is an improvement in those duties, and a change which may, with profit and advantage, be adopted in our financial system, without reference to the fact that the immediate exigency is one of a temporary nature. That is to say, there are other charges and other burdens on the people, which, in case we found ourselves able to do so, might more properly be remitted. And without attempting, Sir, to argue that matter at length, I would just remind the House of the observation of my right hon. Friend, what no one has attempted to deny, and that cannot for a moment be questioned—namely, that at the time when the Act for the succession duty was passed, it was passed under the belief of Parliament, on this side of the House, that we were imposing an annual tax of £2,000,000; and on that (the Opposition) side of the House, that you were imposing a tax which no one of you estimated at lower than £4,000,000, and many of you placed at still higher; and that the yield of it has been only one-third of what we on this side, and one-sixth of what you on that side supposed it would produce. Well, to that succession tax my right hon. Friend proposes an addition which in the coming year will bring £300,000 from landed property and settled personalty. In respect of the legacy duty there is a larger change; but I need not speak on that matter at present, because I do not take it to be a question on which a lively and sympathetic interest has been expressed to-night on the other side of the House. I observe, however, that in this debate, with regard to expenditure the most obvious and palpable difference of view has been stated on the two sides of the House. On this side, the objectors to the policy of the Government and the supporters of the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. White) have brought almost the entire weight of their opposition to bear upon the expenditure of the country. On the other side of the House, the objectors to our policy have brought almost the entire weight of their opposition to bear not upon the expenditure itself, but upon the Ways and Means by which that expenditure is to be met. There is one exception on each side. Having listened carefully to the sentiments of hon. Members who have spoken, I found that, on this side of the House, almost every speaker, if not quite every speaker, objected to the duty on matches, while on the other side almost everyone—perhaps, absolutely everyone—has objected to a particular item of expenditure connected with the Army Regulation Bill, and to be incurred in consequence of the decision of the House against the system of purchase. Well, Sir, I was in hopes, when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire rose, that he at least would have been precluded from taking this objection, because I bear in mind the refreshment and satisfaction with which I heard him, at the end of a long debate, give in his deliberate adhesion to the abolition of purchase. I set aside now what he may have said, that is not clearly in my recollection with regard to the point of time; but I did hope that at any rate we should have heard a renewed profession of belief from the right hon. Gentleman in the same sound sense as that with which he had formerly favoured us. Certainly, Sir, when we heard that profession on a former occasion we could not but feel some compassion for the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington), because he, on the other hand, had been a frank and out-spoken opponent of the abolition of purchase in the same debate. The example of concord that was thus exhibited was, perhaps, not altogether edifying; but if there was any sense of sympathy or of pity for the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich on that occasion, it must unquestionably be transferred to-night to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, who now explicitly describes, without any reference at all to the mere difficulty of time, the expenditure required by the abolition of purchase as an expenditure to be incurred "in the carrying out of a policy which we highly disapprove." [Sir JOHN PAKINGTON: Hear, hear!] The right hon. Baronet says, "Hear, hear!" and I am bound to congratulate him, after having on a former occasion seemed to be, as I thought, "thrown over"—he is familiar with the use of the phrase—I am bound to congratulate him on having now completely vindicated himself, and re-established his supremacy on the Bench opposite in respect to the question of purchase. Let us look, however, at the question of time. By getting rid of the Army Regulation Bill, you would relieve yourselves undoubtedly to the extent of £600,000, as nearly as we can judge, in respect to the finance of the present year. And it is argued—I am not sure whether by my hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford), for I have been listening so carefully to everyone that I am afraid I may have mixed up some of the suggestions made—but it was argued by the right hon. Gentleman opposite certainly that the question of purchase might be disposed of on account of this charge of £600,000. Now, I own that is not the opinion of the Government. The opinion of the Government is, that the abolition of purchase in the Army is indeed a most serious matter, not on account of those apprehensions—fantastic apprehensions as I think—held out to deter us from the prosecution of that work, under the idea that they are to be followed by some other great additional charge in consequence of the abolition of purchase, in order to secure a proper and perpetual supply of officers of high qualities for the Army; for, as I said before, looking at the material you can desire nothing better; and nobody has attempted to show how it is that by making the officers of the Army a present of £320,000 a-year you are to place yourselves under the necessity of likewise presenting them with some other and further large sum in order to secure a due supply and succession of those officers. But I own I do not think it would be becoming or desirable to postpone the Army Regulation Bill on account of this charge of £600,000. If there is to be Army Regulation, if there is to be a system of Army Organization, in any such regulation, or organization, our belief is that the officers of the Army are the brains of the Army; and, for my own part, I do not hesitate to say that if the abolition of purchase be the way to obtain the best and highest class of officers, not in material only, but in training and knowledge of their profession, then you had much better save your £600,000—if you want to save it—upon some merely material object, than by postponing a measure which goes to the very heart and root of the whole subject, and on which more than on anything else—if we are right in our view of the question of purchase—the future excellence and efficiency of the British Army depend. I hope the House will forgive me, after what has been said by the hon. Member for Brighton and by other speakers on both sides of the House, for referring for a moment to the remarks which had been made on the professions of the present Government in regard to the subject of economy. I have heard several quotations from speeches of my own delivered in Lancashire during 1868, and I exceedingly admire the arithmetic, the chronology, or be it what it may, of the hon. Gentleman the Member for South-west Lancashire (Mr. A. Cross), who thinks that my denunciations in 1868 were aimed at the policy of 1866 and 1867, which he treated as the subject to which they referred. I will not now say what I think of the expenditure of 1866; but this I will say—that the subject of my complaints was the great, the rapid, and, as I thought, the unnecessary augmentation of the military Estimates which had gone on up to 1866 and 1867, after the change of Government. I may have been right or I may have been wrong in my opinion as to that. There is nothing in them to which I do not fully and absolutely adhere. Those professions were not forgotten when we came into office. I know the allegation from the other side of the House is, that we sacrificed efficiency to econony: but our counter proposition is that we improved efficiency while we pursued economy. But I am now on the point of economy alone, and I am not ashamed to look my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton in the face, and to say we did act in the spirit of those pledges. In 1867 the military and naval Estimates were reduced by £2,000,000; and in 1868 they were reduced by £2,000,000 more. That was not done by Parliamentary pressure or through the influence of adverse Motions. In 1869 the net military expenditure, excluding the Abyssinian charge, was £13,429,000, and that was the lowest amount of military expenditure which had ever been known in this country since the period of the Crimean War. Therefore, Sir, I am not at all disposed to shrink from avowing the language I held in 1868, and, moreover, I think my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton himself must feel that these reductions of £4,000,000 entitle us to somewhat milder and more favourable treatment than we have had at his hands to-night. We have now got, I am sorry to say, large Estimates; and when in July last, in consequence of the events occurring abroad, we with sorrow abandoned for a time the course of reductions we had been pursuing, did we by the proposals we made show any disposition to rush into extravagance? When the Vote for £2,000,000 was laid before the House, was the general sentiment of the House of Commons disappointed by its greatness or by its smallness? It is said that the circumstances have changed since. Well, Sir, in some respects they have changed; but, recollecting what were the causes that led us specially into that augmentation of expenditure, he is a bold man who would say—bearing in mind that we were led into it not by apprehensions as to invasion, but by the desire to be in a condition to perform honourably our duties in regard to other Powers of Europe—he would be a bold man who would say that the Continent has now attained to such a state of settled security as altogether to put out of sight the necessity which the House of Commons was then so forward and free to meet. But that is not all. We invite the investigation of these Estimates, and, I must remind the House, that in almost all particulars, these augmentations of charge relate to changes recognized to be necessary in order to perfect our military system, and changes to be made once for all. With respect to that, for example, which entails a burden of more than a million of money, that is occasioned by an increase of 20,000 men and of a large number of horses for our Army, and the argument we urge in support of that proposal is that by obtaining that augmentation of force we shall be enabled to carry out with energy and rapidity the work which was received with favour by the House, and which we consider the vital and central point of good Army organization—namely, the rapid formation of an effective Army of Reserve. Still, after taking into consideration the great enlargement to be made in our military forces, the heavy charges coming into the Estimates in connection with the armament of the forts, and also the money we are about to spend for the abolition of purchase, our expenditure, with everything laid on its back, is somewhat smaller than that which was adopted for purely ordinary purposes in 1868 by the Government whom we have succeeded, and which was accepted by this House without any of the vigorous and vehement remonstrances that my hon. Friend is disposed to offer us now. The hon. Member for Manchester, in his short but able speech, said that from the present Government they expected a reduction of taxation, and they were threatened with an increase. Is that really a fair statement of the case? That is the case at the present moment certainly, because at this moment my right hon. Friend is proposing to impose additional taxation to the amount of £2,800,000. But is that the whole case of the Government? No, Sir; but it should be borne in mind that, after deducting from the £8,600,000 which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had in late years taken from the shoulders of the country, the £2,800,000 of taxation now proposed to be imposed, there would still remain a remission of £5,800,000 given in the way of relief to the country, and I think the memory of my hon. Friend requires refreshing on this point. I will not press too much the claims of my right hon. Friend or of hon. Members to be provided with substitutes for the taxes they object to. So long as I can recollect it has been the practice of Chancellors of the Exchequer to invite the very thing, and it is sufficiently well established to warrant my right hon. Friend in running in the same groove. On the other hand, it is quite true that it has been the practice of Gentlemen in Opposition, and independent of office, gratefully but decisively to decline that responsibility. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire was not quite accurate in his reference to Sir Robert Peel. It was on the Corn Laws that Sir Robert Peel was challenged to find a substitute. The Whig Government had proposed an 8s. fixed duty, and Sir Robert Peel, on objecting to it, was asked what he proposed. To that question Sir Robert Peel replied by saying—"Call me in as a regular physician, and then I will give you my prescription." Admitting that we are not entitled by any Parliamentary right to call on the objectors to the present Budget to state what their Budget is, still I would point out that no Member has indicated anything of a very satisfactory character in place of the Budget of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer; for, despite the great authority of the hon. Member for the City of London, it could not be maintained to be possible to obtain the required amount of money by an alteration of the duties on tea and sugar for a temporary purpose. Neither would it be proper to borrow the money, or entertain the idea of breaking down the machinery by which we have secured a great reduction of the National Debt. Or would it be possible to trust to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer having under-estimated the Revenue? I thank the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire for having pointed out that he cannot attempt seriously to question the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Estimates of ordinary revenue. All who have had the honour of serving the Crown as Minister of Finance know that it is upon the careful experienced advice of the permanent servants of the Crown that these Estimates are framed, I know I have often been under fire for over-estimating the Revenue; and in 1860 and 1861 it was almost a fixed article of faith on the other side of the House, and even among some hon. Members on this side, that I had deliberately over-estimated the Revenue in order to mitigate my deficiency. The truth is, that the vicissitudes of the seasons and other causes of variation largely affect the product of taxation, and unless the Estimates were framed with some margin of allowance, the result might be that the Government would be landed in a deficit that ought never to have been allowed to occur. We have therefore nothing to help us in anything that has been suggested. I ask, then, my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton what are we to do with him and his Motion? My hon. Friend has framed what I should call a most astute Motion; but I believe he has done it unconsciously. I call it a most astute Motion. It is the first time I ever recollect the framing of a Motion with a very serious purpose by a much respected Member of this House, in the terms of which it is perfectly possible for different bodies of Gentlemen to concur, not only those who are not united in general policy, and who would be what is sometimes called a very unprincipled coalition, united in their opinions in the Lobby to-night, and then for ever divorced, but those who would not even be united in their opinions in the Lobby to-night, who would be obliged to keep back from each other, by their very low tone, the observations they make on the character of the Division, or they would infallibly go to logger heads together before they returned to their seats in this House. It is not a question of shades of difference—it is black, direct contradiction. It is not expenditure that is the question. We cannot appease the feeling on this side of the House in relation to expenditure by setting aside the £600,000 for the abolition of purchase no more than we can appease the feeling on the other side of the House by giving up the tax on matches, against which there is such loud indignation. It is not necessary to follow with minute comments the observations of all the speakers; but I did listen to them with the greatest care, and I find a uniformity of tone has pervaded the whole debate. Increased expenditure is the thing to which objection is taken on this side of the House; on the other side of the House the mode of providing for that expenditure is the thing to which objection is taken. My hon. Friend is so good as to say that he does not intend this as a Vote of Want of Confidence. I should be very sorry to take it on me to say then what is the meaning of my hon. Friend's Motion. My objection to it is of a different character. My objection is that it is very difficult not to give to it two or three meanings. I know of no authority that is to determine what is the right meaning of it; and if it should please the House to adopt it, nothing but a fresh Vote of Confidence could possibly relieve us from the dilemma in which we should find ourselves placed. What my hon. Friend says, is that the expenditure should be reduced, and hon. Gentlemen opposite hold it is not to be reduced. It is impossible to find the means of reconciling not variances, but conflicts of opinion such as those, which are to be found among the several bodies of hon. Gentlemen who are united in opposition to the measures of Her Majesty's Government. It reminds me of an old and famous saying of our school days, of an oracle which might be read either way, and the misunderstanding of which led famous personages into serious mistakes—"Aio te, Æacide, Romanos vincere posse"—"I tell thee, son of Æacus, that you can conquer the Romans," is one perfectly grammatical exposition of the oracle. That is my hon. Friend's exposition. But there was another exposition, also perfectly grammatical—"I tell thee, son of Æacus, that the Romans can conquer you," and that is the exposition of the other side. But there is but one question that is before us, and that question my hon. Friend has raised, but in a form the most unfortunate, because he is the last man who seeks to conceal his purpose, and he finds that on the other side an opinion diametrically opposite prevails—that the expenditure shall not be reduced. ["No, no."] Is that your sense or is it not? The real question for my hon. Friend and for those who think with him is—Can the expenditure in the Estimates be substantially reduced or not? And here I must remind my hon. Friend of the steps taken by the House itself in respect to this matter. On the Army Regulation Bill, it was moved that the House would not incur the charge required by that measure for the abolition of purchase. We had five nights' debate. It is quite true the Motion was not rejected on a Division; but it was rejected without a Division. It was negatived as the result of that prolonged and careful consideration. It was impossible to give a more authentic declaration of the views and intention of the House upon that question. We then come to the Motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella), who moved that while the House approved of the abolition of purchase, it was their opinion that the Army might be put into a state of efficiency without increasing the Estimates of last year. But what was the decision of the House? Ayes, 91; Noes, 294. Then came the Motion of the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Leatham), who said, reduce the Army by 20,000 men. The Ayes were 74, and the Noes 304. Then we come to the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves), who said, "Reduce the auxiliary force"—chiefly referring to the Militia—and the Division was—Ayes, 16; Noes, 92. Then, again, the augmentation of charge on the Navy Estimates was voted without objection of any kind. I, as belonging to the Government who recommended these changes under the circumstances of the country, do not mention them for the purpose of disparaging the view taken of them, but for the purpose of entreating the House to consider what effect will be produced on its character, if it be possible that, after they have been sanctioned one by one, in the most decisive manner, as main and great heads of charge in the Estimates, they reverse that decision now. Whatever you may wish or desire—whatever you may contemplate for future years, is it possible for you, compatibly with your desire to occupy a consistent position in the country, to take advantage of the fact that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has proposed a tax on matches or calculated the income tax by a percentage instead of by pennies, as if that were a vital portion of the policy of the Government? Is it possible, after these grave, deliberate, repeated, decisive votes, to arrive at an alliance with Gentlemen who have sympathies diametrically opposed to yours? Such conduct would not be compatible with the rules by which I am quite sure my hon. Friend, as well as every other hon. Member, would wish that the proceedings of this House should be regulated. Whether this is a Vote of Confidence or no Confidence, it is not in the power of my hon. Friend to give to it a construction of his own. No doubt, if he were called on to give his own construction to it, he would give it a most mild and lenient construction. But if he seduces the House into the adoption of a Motion of this kind, which no human being can construe by private interpretation, I really do not know what is to follow. On the part of the Government we must reserve our liberty of action; but before my hon. Friend with all his agility takes his final leap, and before it is too late, I entreat him, and those who think of following him, to give another thought to the matter, and ask themselves whether such a combination of parties joined—not by a casual concurrence of opinion, but by known palpable differences of opinion, thinly covered and veiled under dubious forms of words—whether the adoption of such a Motion as this, under such circumstances—can either be conducive to the credit of the House, or conformable to the duty we all owe to the country.


said, until his right hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire addressed the House, he did not know how he should vote; but he certainly should not follow the hon. Member for Brighton, who was a Radical Reformer, into the Lobby. When on a recent occasion he proposed that the House should not incur the expense of abolishing purchase in the Army, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire asked him to relieve the Opposition side of the House from the embarrassment of voting on that subject. He yielded to the appeal; but after hearing the opinions expressed this evening by the right hon. Gentleman, he regretted that he did not then proceed to a Division. The object of the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton was the reduction of the Army and Navy; but as he did not coincide in his views, he could not go into the Lobby with that hon. Gentleman.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 257; Noes 230: Majority 27.

Acland, T. D. Dent, J. D.
Adair, H. E. Digby, K. T.
Agar-Ellis, hon. L. G. F. Dillwyn, L. L.
Amcotts, Col. W. C. Dodds, J.
Anderson, G. Dodson, J. G.
Anstruther, Sir R. Downing, M'C.
Antrobus, Sir E. Dowse, R.
Armitstead, G. Duff, M. E. G.
Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S. Duff, R. W.
Aytoun, R. S. Edwardes, hon. Col. W.
Backhouse, E. Edwards, H.
Bagwell, J. Egerton, Capt. hon. F.
Baines, E. Ellice, E.
Baker, R. B. W. Enfield, Viscount
Barclay, A. C. Ennis, J. J.
Bass, A. Erskine, Admiral J. E.
Bass, M. T. Ewing, A. O.
Baxter, W. E. Eykyn, R.
Bazley, Sir T. Finnie, W.
Beaumont, Captain F. FitzGerald, right hon. Lord O. A.
Beaumont, H. F.
Beaumont, S. A. Fitzmaurice, Lord E.
Beaumont, W. B. Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W.
Biddulph, M. Fletcher, I.
Bolckow, H. W. F. Foljambe, F. J. S.
Bonham-Carter, J. Fordyce, W. D.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P. Forster, rt. hon. W. E.
Bowmont, Marquess of Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P.
Bowring, E. A. Foster, W. H.
Brand, rt. hon. H. Gavin, Major
Brand, H. R. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Brassey, H. A. Gladstone, W. H.
Brassey, T. Goldsmid, Sir F.
Brewer, Dr. Goldsmid, J.
Brinckman, Captain Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Bristowe, S. B. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Brocklehurst, W. C. Gower, Lord R.
Brown, A. H. Graham, W.
Browne, G. E. Gregory, W. H.
Bruce, Lord C. Greville, hon. Captain
Bruce, rt. hon. Lord E. Greville-Nugent, hon. G. F.
Bruce, rt. hon. H. A.
Buckley, N. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Buller, Sir E. M. Grieve, J. J.
Cadogan, hon. F. W. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Campbell, H. Grosvenor, Capt. R. W.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Grove, T. F.
Carnegie, hon. C. Guest, M. J.
Carter, Mr. Alderman Hamilton, J. G. C.
Cartwright, W. C. Hanmer, Sir J.
Castlerosse, Viscount Harcourt, W. G. G. V. V.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Harris, J. D.
Cavendish, Lord G. Hartington, Marquess of
Chambers, M. Haviland-Burke, E.
Chambers, T. Headlam, rt. hon. T. E.
Cholmeley, Captain Henley, Lord
Clay, J. Henry, M.
Clifford, C. C. Herbert, H. A.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Heron, D. C.
Coleridge, Sir J. D. Hibbert, J. T.
Collier, Sir R. P. Hoare, Sir H. A.
Corrigan, Sir D. Hodgson, K. D.
Cowper, hon. H. F. Holland, S.
Cowper-Temple, right hon. W. Hoskyns, C. W.
Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Crawford, R. W. Hurst, R. H.
Dalrymple, D. Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W.
Dalway, M. R. James, H.
Davies, R. Jardine, R.
Denman, hon. G. Jessel, G.
Johnston, A. Potter, T. B.
Johnstone, Sir H. Price, W. E.
Kay-Shuttleworth, U. J. Price, W. P.
King, hon. P. J. L. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
Kingscote, Colonel Rathbone, W.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Reed, C.
Knatchbull-Hugessen, E. H. Robertson, D.
Roden, W. S.
Lambert, N. G. Rothschild, Brn. L. N. de
Lancaster, J. Rothschild, N. M. de
Lawrence, Sir J. C. Russell, A.
Lawrence, W. Russell, H.
Leeman, G. St. Aubyn, J.
Lefevre, G. J. S. St. Lawrence, Viscount
Lewis, H. Salomons, Sir D.
Lewis, J. D. Samuelson, B.
Lindsay, Col. R. L. Samuelson, H. B.
Loch, G. Sartoris, E. J.
Locke, J. Seely, C. (Nottingham)
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Seymour, A.
Lubbock, Sir J. Sheridan, H. B.
Lusk, A. Sherriff, A. C.
Lyttelton, hon. C. G. Simon, Mr. Serjeant
Mackintosh, E. W. Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.
M'Arthur, W. Stacpoole, W.
M'Clean, J. R. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
M'Clure, T. Stapleton, J.
M'Lagan, P. Stepney, Colonel
M'Mahon, P. Stevenson, J. C.
Magniac, C. Stone, W. H.
Maguire, J. F. Storks, rt. hn. Sir H. K.
Marling, S. S. Strutt, hon. H.
Maxwell, W. H. Stuart, Colonel
Melly, G. Synan, E. J.
Merry, J. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Milbank, F. A. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-
Miller, J.
Mitchell, T. A. Trevelyan, G. O.
Monk, C. J. Verney, Sir H.
Monsell, rt. hon. W. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Morgan, G. O. Vivian, H. H.
Morley, S. Vivian, Capt. hn. J. C. W.
Morrison, W. Walter, J.
Mundella, A. J. Waters, G.
Nicol, J. D. Wedderburn, Sir D.
O'Brien, Sir P. Weguelin, T. M.
O'Conor, D. M. Wells, W.
O'Conor Don, The West, H. W.
Ogilvy, Sir J. Whatman, J.
Onslow, G. Whitbread, S.
O'Reilly-Dease, M. Whitwell, J.
Palmer, J. H. Williams, W.
Palmer, Sir R. Williamson, Sir H.
Parker, C. S. Wingfield, Sir C.
Parry, L. Jones- Winterbotham, H. S. P.
Pease, J. W. Woods, H.
Peel, A. W. Wyndham, hon. P.
Peel, J. Young, A. W.
Pelham, Lord Young, G.
Philips, R. N.
Playfair, L. TELLERS.
Portman, hon. W. H. B. Glyn, hon. G. G.
Potter, E. Adam, W. P.
Akroyd, E. Arkwright, A. P.
Allen, Major Arkwright, R.
Amphlett, R. P. Baggallay, Sir R.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Bagge, Sir W.
Arbuthnot, Major G. Bailey, Sir J. R.
Archdall, Captain M. Barnett, H.
Barrington, Viscount Fothergill, R.
Barttelot, Colonel Garlies, Lord
Bateson, Sir T. Gilpin, C.
Bathurst, A. A. Gilpin, Colonel
Beach, Sir M. H. Goldney, G.
Beach, W. W. B. Gooch, Sir D.
Bective, Earl of Gore, J. R. O.
Bentinck, G. C. Gourley, E. T.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Graves, S. R.
Benyon, R. Gray, Lieut.-Colonel
Beresford, Lt.-Col. M. Greaves, E.
Bingham, Lord Gregory, G. B.
Birley, H. Guest, A. E.
Bourke, hon. R. Hambro, C.
Bright, J. (Manchester) Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Bright, R. Hamilton, Lord G.
Brise, Colonel R. Hamilton, Marquess of
Broadley, W. H. H. Hardy, rt. hon. G.
Brogden, A. Hardy, J.
Bruce, Sir H. H. Hardy, J. S.
Buxton, C. Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Buxton, Sir R. J. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Candlish, J. Henry, J. S.
Cartwright, F. Herbert, hon. A. E. W.
Cave, right hon. S. Herbert, rt. hon. Gen. Sir P.
Cawley, C. E.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Hermon, E.
Chadwick, D. Hervey, Lord A. H. C.
Chaplin, H. Hesketh, Sir T. G.
Charley, W. T. Heygate, Sir F. W.
Child, Sir S. Heygate, W. U.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Hick, J.
Clowes, S. W. Hill, A. S.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Hodgson, W. N.
Collins, T. Holford, J. P. G.
Corrance, F. S. Holford, R. S.
Corry, rt. hon. H. T. L. Holmesdale, Viscount
Craufurd, E. H. J. Holt, J. M.
Crichton, Viscount Hope, A. J. B. B.
Cross, R. A. Hornby, E. K.
Cubitt, G. Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.
Dalglish, R. Illingworth, A.
Damer, Capt. Dawson- Jackson, R. W.
Davenport, W. B. Jenkinson, Sir G. S.
Dawson, R. P. Kavanagh, A. MacM.
Denison, C. B. Kennaway, J. H.
Dickinson, S. S. Keown, W.
Dick, F. Knight, F. W.
Dickson, Major A. G. Laird, J.
Dilke, Sir C. W. Langton, W. G.
Dimsdale, R. Laslett, W.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Lawson, Sir W.
Dixon, G. Lea, T.
Dowdeswell, W. E. Learmonth, A.
Duncombe, hon. Col. Leatham, E. A.
Dyke, W. H. Legh, W. J.
Dyott, Colonel R. Lennox, Lord G. G.
Eaton, H. W. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Liddell, hon. H. G.
Egerton, Sir P. G. Lindsay, hon. Col. C.
Elcho, Lord Lopes, H. C.
Elliot, G. Lopes, Sir M.
Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H. Lowther, W.
Ewing, H. E. C. Lush, Dr.
Fawcett, H. M'Laren, D.
Fielden, J. Mahon, Viscount
Fellowes, E. Malcolm, J. W.
Figgins, J. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Finch, G. H. March, Earl of
Floyer, J. Matthews, H.
Forde, Colonel Mellor, T. W.
Forester, rt. hon. Gen. Meyrick, T.
Miall, E. Smith, J. B.
Milles, hon. G. W. Smith, R.
Mills, C. H. Smith, S. G.
Mitford, W. T. Smith, W. H.
Montagu, rt. hon. Lord R. Somerset, Lord H. R. C.
Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R. Stanley, hon. F.
Muntz, P. H. Starkie, J. P. C.
Neville-Grenville, R. Steere, L.
Newdegate, C. N. Straight, D.
Newport, Viscount Sturt, H. G.
Newry, Viscount Sykes, C.
Noel, hon. G. J. Talbot, C. R. M.
North, Colonel Talbot, hon. Captain
Paget, R. H. Talbot, J. G.
Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J. Taylor, P. A.
Palk, Sir L. Tipping, W.
Parker, Lt.-Col. W. Tollemache, J.
Peek, H. W. Torrens, W. T. M'C.
Pell, A. Turner, C.
Pemberton, E. L. Turnor, E.
Percy, Earl Verner, Sir W.
Powell, W. Walker, Major G. G.
Raikes, H. C. Walpole, hon. F.
Read, C. S. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Richard, H. Walsh, hon. A.
Ridley, M. W. Waterhouse, S.
Round, J. Welby, W. E.
Royston, Viscount Wethered, T. O.
Russell, Sir W. Whalley, G. H.
Salt, T. Wheelhouse, W. S. J.
Sclater-Booth, G. Williams, C. H.
Scourfield, J. H. Williams, Sir F. M.
Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J. Wilmot, H.
Wise, H. C.
Shaw, R. Wynn, C. W. W.
Shirley, S. E. Yarmouth, Earl of
Simonds, W. B.
Smith, A. TELLERS.
Smith, E. White, J.
Smith, F. C. Rylands, P.

Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.

WAYS AND MEANS considered in Committee.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Wednesday.

House adjourned at One o'clock.