HC Deb 04 May 1871 vol 206 cc155-246

Resolution reported; That, towards raising the Supply granted to Her Majesty, there shall be charged, collected, and paid for one year, commencing on the sixth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, for and in respect of all Property, Profits, and Gains mentioned or described as chargeable in the Act passed in the sixteenth and seventeenth years of Her Majesty's reign, chapter thirty-four, for granting to Her Majesty Duties on Profits arising from Property, Professions, Trades, and Offices, the following Duties (that is to say):

Subject to the provisions contained in section three of the Act of twenty-sixth Victoria, chapter twenty-two, for the exemption of Person whose whole Income from every source is under One Hundred Pounds a-year, and relief of those whose Income is under Two Hundred Pounds a-year.

Resolution read a second time.

MR. W. M. TORRENS moved to leave out "Sixpence" and to insert "Five Pence," with a proportional reduction under Schedule B in the Resolution. He said, the Committee of Ways and Means had recommended the House to vote an addition of 50 per cent to the income tax, but the forms of the House admonished them that before they accepted that recommendation they had a right to consider its substance. He asked the House, not merely in compliance with an old form, but in discharge, as he conceived, of an obvious duty, to consider whether this recommendation ought to be adopted. The experience of the past fortnight encouraged, if it did not compel, hon. Members to think for themselves in respect to these matters. There was a time when the Budget was regarded as a prescription prepared with unusual care and peculiar knowledge, and even men of thought and reflection in all parts of the House were slow to question the recipe of the financial physician. A fortnight ago the House was informed what was the first prescription for this year. The patient had since been taken into consultation; each ingredient to which he had in turn objected had been abandoned; and nothing now remained but the element which the doctors themselves concurred in declaring the most objectionable of all. The Chancellor of the Exchequer frankly owned when he brought forward his first Budget, and the admission was creditable to him, that he shrank from laying the whole weight of exceptional burdens on the income tax, because, to use the right hon. Gentleman's own words, "It would bitterly pinch the lower middle class," a class already heavy laden in the struggle for life. The House, he trusted, would keep these words in mind. He could not mend them if he tried. He trusted that hon. Members, as the guardians of a great and varied community, would not deal so inequitably with a particular class which was even now paying more than its quota. Why shear only the flock they had already fleeced, and leave the rest of the sheep unshorn?

He took no part in the discussion raised the other evening by the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), and he did not vote on that occasion. He recalled these facts, because he and those who thought with him conceived that there was a prior and a greater question at stake, which question he was about to lay before the House. The wisest statesmen in times past had always carried in their minds the equity between to-day and to-morrow, the equity between the ability of the country to bear an extra weight of taxation during a single year for the accomplishment of a particular object and the spreading of the taxation over all the years that were to be benefited by it. If there was justice to be done between classes there was justice likewise to be done between years. They might be told they were bound to care for the rights of those who are to come after them, and not to mortgage the inheritance of their children in order to benefit themselves. That was true; but they had a duty likewise which they owed to their own generation, the spirit of whose industry might be over weighted: this was also true; and the wisdom of legislation lay in balancing and reconciling different truths, not in setting up one against an other. He might be permitted, before proceeding further, to say, that he had had the great advantage of comparing his opinions and his reading of the facts of the case with Mr. Hubbard—a gentleman whose absence from the House on the present occasion must be generally regretted on account both of his great financial knowledge and his conscientious candour and care in dealing alike with great questions of principle and detail. He should state nothing which he did not believe had Mr. Hubbard's entire sympathy and support. He should say nothing upon what had been described by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) as a hocus-pocus of finance; but he must express his regret that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister should have led the House over ground so difficult as that they had to tread, and at the end left a majority of the House unaware of the merits of the case. He did not charge these right hon. Gentlemen with intentional deception; but he thought it dangerous for a Government to ask the House to sanction great measures of taxation upon reasons which they could not make clear to the majority of its Members. The question was not difficult of comprehension if Government would steer clear of subtleties, which, though convenient for a policy of mystification, were not likely to uphold the dignity of Parliament, or to promote the true interests of the country. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) that in dealing with Ways and Means it was not wise to interpolate discussions on Supply, and, therefore, he should say nothing as to the nature of the contemplated expenditure, or the possibility of its reduction; but for the purposes of a fair discussion, he would take the figures which had been laid before the House by Ministers. There were, then, two ways of looking at the question of the Budget; first, the way in which he thought it ought to be dealt with, and then the way in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer thought fit to deal with it; and in both points of view he undertook to show that Parliament ought not to vote this addition of 50 per cent to the income tax; but that at the worst, 25 per cent, or an additional penny in the pound, might be made sufficient to meet all the equitable charges of the year. What were our requirements and our resources? We were told that we wanted for the Army £16,432,000; the Navy, £9,756,000; to maintain the dignity of the Crown and the cost of the Civil Service, £10,726,000; for the collection of Revenue, the Packet and Telegraph Services, £6,644,000; for the Consolidated Fund, £1,820,000; and for the payment of the legal interest on the public Debt, £24,685,000: making a total of £70,083,000. To meet these demands we were led to expect from the Customs, £20,100,000; from the Excise, £22,420,000; from Stamps, £8,750,000; from Taxes, £2,330,000; from the Post Office, £4,670,000; from Telegraphs, £750,000; from Crown Lands, £375,000; from Miscellaneous, £4,100,000; and from Income Tax, at 4d. in the pound, £6,100,000:making a total of £69,595,000. And here he must observe that he had not, during the last fortnight, met a single individual who did not concur in the opinion that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had fixed his yield of Revenue too low, and that he would not have the deficiency at the end of the year which he now proposed to take Ways and Means to provide for. The Chancellor of the Exchequer estimated his indispensable Revenue for the year at £69,595,000, and his outlay at £70,083,000, which left a deficiency on the expenditure, in round numbers, of £400,000; but if that were all that was in dispute, he fancied that the House of Commons would not have been engaged during a whole fortnight in discussing the question. In addition to the figures he had quoted, the Minister asked the House to provide £2,300,000, which he said was required for extra expenditure, but which he (Mr. W. M. Torrens) maintained was intended to provide for the creation of annuities to pay a debt which the House ought not to be called upon to discharge out of the taxes of the current year. Let them by all means pay what they owed; but in law an obligation to pay implied two persons, an obligor and an obligee, and he maintained that in the present case there was no obligee. Annuities might be fabricated, but there were no annuitants to be paid, and, in fact, this statement of liability was a fiction for the purposes of account. It was with amazement that the other night he heard the First Minister urge in support of the present proposal, that in 1842, when great distress prevailed, Sir Robert Peel laid on a heavy income tax, but did not venture to suspend payment of the annuities for the year. The right hon. Gentleman might as well praise Sir Robert Peel for not having stopped the Civil List or the pay of the troops. He had no discretion in the matter. Sir Robert Peel had to deal with Long Annuities held by the public—not to pay which would have been an act of insolvency. In the name of plain dealing what was there in common, except the word Annuities, between the state of things with which Sir Robert Peel had to deal and the state of things now existing. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had no Terminable Annuities to pay in 1871 but what his right hand chose to give to his left. His advice was that they should pay what was actually owing; but he would go through the items they were asked to pay, but to which he objected, and ask any hon. Member with whom a sentiment of party did not supersede the sentiment of patriotism, whether there was any necessity for paying items of account demanded by nobody, out of taxes wrung from the middle and poorer classes of the people?

The alleged deficit was made up of three items—new schools, new Army com- missions, and new military stores. Let them take these items one by one, and say how they ought to be dealt with. First, with regard to schools, the House did not grudge the £420,000 additional required this year for education; but what would this year get for the money? Every penny of it was outlay for future years. Some of the outlay might ripen five years hence, some ten years hence; outlay that might be for the benefit of 1881 and for the years intervening. Then why should not those years help to pay for it? They could not build school-houses every day. Build them this year, and they were built for the benefit of the 10 years. He did not say do not build them; but that it was at variance with the consistent policy of the House in other matters to lay the whole of the cost on the taxes of a single year. The sum was not large, but it was made one of the pretexts for imposing a great and grievous additional burden. A man might want an extra twopennyworth of cream, but was that a reason why he should keep an additional cow? He felt quite sure that if Mr. Bright were in the House he would join with him in saying that if an annual expenditure of over £70,000,000 was required for special purposes in times of peace, the extra sum ought to be provided either by cutting down expenditure in other quarters or by diffusing the cost over a number of years. Now, as to Purchase. The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the House to provide £600,000 for buying up commissions this year under the Re-organization Bill, and he took this item, therefore, as one for which provision ought to be made. But what was the item? It was confessedly one which might not have to be met by the Treasury during the current year. The Bill was not passed; it had yet to go through Committee; and looking at the unbusinesslike state of public business, who could venture to say for certain that the Re-organization scheme, whatever might be thought of its merits, would become law this Session? Was it not, he would ask, trifling with the temper and the patience of the taxpayers of this country to impose upon them a most odious tax in the mere hope of passing the measure unchanged through that and the other House of Parliament? With reference to the stores, he would ask, why should the profits and wages of to-day be over-weighted with the whole cost of the £1,600,000 which it was proposed to spend on extra munitions and stores? Were the accumulated cartridges, the surplus powder and ball, the rockets, torpedoes, and shells to be fired away by Christmas or before the end of the current financial year? If these costly means of national defence were to be provided, they were so in the honest hope that they might not be used in 1871; but that the fact being known of their having been made ready betimes, we might not be called on to use them. They were in the nature of national insurance against rash and wanton aggression, and as such their cost was well-spent money. But was the insurance they afford, security for 1871 alone, and was it not meant to be for 1873 and 1876, the whole expense being confined to one year? He had heard a very admirable explanation of those stores given. They had been described as the furniture of the forts; and as the cost of the forts was spread over a number of years, the same plan ought to be followed with regard to the furniture. In a word, this was an item which ought to be charged to capital account, and not set down in the working expenses of the year. Of all the expedients, too, at the disposal of the Government for raising the money they required, they had selected the one which the Prime Minister himself had condemned in the strongest possible terms. Speaking in that House when in Opposition, the right hon. Gentleman had, referring to the income tax, said— It tends more than any other tax to demoralize and corrupt the people; not from the extent of its levy, nor from the fault of those who levy it.…but from the essential nature of the tax itself.…It is a source so productive, an engine so convenient—it is so easy to lay on 1d. or 2d. at a time…that so long as you have the income tax a part of your ordinary revenue you need not think of effective and extensive economy."—[3 Hansard, clxix. 2139, 2140.] Here was condemnation, broad, sweeping, and plain. He did not say that Ministers had not a right to qualify their opinions; but they had been accustomed in that House to look to the right hon. Gentleman as the great financier of the Liberal party, and with that article laid down as one of the cardinal items of the Government creed they had a right to expect that the right hon. Gentleman and his Government would not be the Government to resort to a tax which had been so condemned by his own lips. It was only the other evening that the right hon. Gentleman had denounced what he termed the illegitimate combination of Gentlemen on both sides of the House—a combination defined by him to be illegitimate because, in the event of success, hon. Members from the Ministerial side of the House, and Members from the Opposition, who voted in the same Lobby, would not have agreed upon what was to be done afterwards. He would, however, remind the House of what had occurred during the administration of Lord Liverpool. When the great Continental strife had ceased the Liberal party in Parliament, then in a decided minority, asked for a reduction of troops and an abatement of taxes. Lord Liverpool's Administration had, up to that time, never been shaken. It was led in that House by a man of wonderful energy, courage, and talent, and the majority supposed to be at his command was unbroken. But the Government of 1816 refused to cut down the Army Estimates, refused to give up the re-payment of debt; and for these two purposes they insisted upon keeping up the income tax. The House of Commons, to their amazement, suddenly slipped out of their hands. Brougham and Whitbread, Romilly and Russell, denounced the keeping up of an income tax to liquidate debt which they agreed should only be done when there was a clear surplus; and a section of the supporters of Ministers, led by Wilberforce and Baring, broke their ranks, voted with the Opposition, and, by a majority of 39, scattered the financial scheme of Mr. Vansittart to the winds. He supposed, if the present Prime Minister had then been in Parliament, he would have called the forces that thus fraternized an "illegitimate combination," because, as he told the House the other night, when men of different antecedents and different aims united on a vital question of policy without settling, or pretending to settle, what they would do in the event of success, such a combination was not legitimate. But the country thought then—and he would venture to tell the First Minister the country thought now—that honourable men differing widely in their political leanings were esteemed all the more, not the less, useful and honest when they walked in the footsteps of Wilberforce and Brougham, when they preferred the good they could in common accomplish to a blind subserviency to the cause of party.

Sir Robert Peel was young in office when Mr. Vansittart pleaded in vain to be allowed to keep the income tax to feed a sinking fund. But Sir Robert Peel was a man on whom lessons of experience were not thrown away. And for the next 25 years he took care to keep a wide offing of the rock on which the Liverpool Cabinet had nearly foundered. When he became Prime Minister in 1841, he renewed, it is true, the income tax, but for what? To meet a great deficiency in the Revenue and to restore public confidence. But how did he apply the proceeds? Not to increase the value of Consols by reducing their number and converting a portion of them into Long Annuities, but by taking off other taxes which pressed heavily upon the labour and trade of the nation. Sir Robert Peel never, during his whole official life, proposed to levy an income tax to feed a sinking fund. Lord Halifax, who succeeded Sir Robert Peel, had extra expenditure to meet for the famine in Ireland; that was, he had a deficiency. But he did not attempt to meet it out of the Ways and Means of the year. He did what was better; and with Sir Robert Peel's sanction—he diffused the burden over a period of years. When the distress was past, he too had a surplus, and, with the assent of Sir Robert Peel, he divided that surplus between remission of taxes and paying off debt. In both cases he did right, and he remained Chancellor of the Exchequer for nearly six years. He was a Member of the Cabinet now; but he (Mr. W. M. Torrens) should marvel indeed to hear that he was the author of this unpopular scheme. The fact was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been somewhat spoilt by the impunity with which he had disregarded the protests of public opinion. He owned that in these days of indiarubber principles it was something to find a man possess the hardihood needful to stick to his opinions when he was sure they were right. But he could not say that he respected equally the courage of a man who came forward to defend measures, some of which at least he admitted to be wrong. Indifference to the passing breeze of public favour was high merit in a statesman; and if the right hon. Gentleman had clung to any one view of the public interest, professing to believe it indispensable and sound, men of humbler capacity and less information would have been staggered by his firmness, and, perhaps, have been convinced at length by his reasoning. But when they saw one child after another born only to be deserted, charity compelled them to doubt the paternity of each and all. First they had had one with three heads, which the populace declared to be a monster, and which, after three days, was abandoned; then they had one with two heads, and that was likewise forsaken; and now they had one born in convulsions, which had come into the world "scarce half made up, and that so lamely and unfashionably" that it seemed extremely doubtful whether it would ever be able to stand. The Chancellor of the Exchequer did not battle for these children that were called his as he was wont to do for his genuine offspring. They missed the philosophy, and lacked the fun— Quæ nunc abibis in loco, Nec ut soles dabis joca. If the right hon. Gentleman had propounded what he thought right, and adhered to anyone of his Budgets, though he might not have been able to support him, yet he would have had his respect. But these three Budgets could not be all right, nor equally right, and there was not one of them that had not been condemned. At the clubs, in the press, in society, wherever you went, you met with the same condemnation of the Government proposals, and if the House could be polled without regard to party there would be only a minority of 1 to 3 in its favour. The common-sense plan was to diffuse the burden of exceptional expenditure over a number of years, and, if we deviated from this rule and told the people that the price of national defence was to be submission to intolerable taxation, we should debauch their minds and inspire them with a feeling of selfishness, that might one day prove a source of peril and calamity to the realm.

If it were true, as we had lately been told, that the Government had been recently entering upon great banking speculations, they ought not to have done so unless they had been provided with a surplus. If they chose to set up a State bank in Downing Street, they ought to have known beforehand where they were to get their working capital, and they had no right, because they were short of it, to impose direct taxes upon a particular class. They must contrive to carry on their operations with the savings banks deposits and the Chancery Suit Funds without involving the country in any new liability. We could not afford it; the people would not bear it; it would render Government unpopular, and bring national finance into unprecedented disrepute. The House of Commons represented the shareholders in this State bank; Ministers were the directors; and if they entered into these operations they must not come down upon us for a call, for it would be refused. The demands of the year could be met without it; but the £2,250,000 required for speculative purposes were not forthcoming, and they were opposed to furnishing it by direct taxation. Without bandying words about 1866, he believed that the impression left on the House by the language of the First Minister was that his scheme of Terminable Annuities "would have the great advantage of giving facilities for borrowing that never existed before." Money could be had on easy terms now, and he was assured there would be no difficulty in providing £2,300,000 by Exchequer Bonds, or by re-converting Annuities into Stock. It would not do for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to try and get rid of the matter by a special demurrer. He had, a few evenings ago, deprecated the modification proposed by him (Mr. W. M. Torrens), because there was no conversion going on; but the First Minister had argued that we ought not to suspend the process of conversion. But how could we suspend an operation that was not going on? He must leave the First Lord of the Treasury and the Second Lord of the Treasury to settle between them the proprieties of financial speech; but the House was thinking of facts not of phrases. The Committee of Ways and Means had voted the addition of 2d. to the income tax; he did not ask the House to overrule entirely the recommendation of the Committee; but unless the whole scheme of the First Minister was an empty farce it was in our power, as it was our duty, to reconsider the question with a view of saying whether the half would not be better than the whole. That would bring us back to the first item of the Budget, which, if it were right a fortnight ago, could not be wrong now; and, adding 1d. to the income tax, let us suspend the conversion of stock, or, if that was not the right expression, do that which the First Minister assured the House there would be great facility in doing, and let us take the money up on expiring securities, and diffuse the burden over other years. We were assured that prosperity was returning; if so, the Revenue would rise, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have a surplus to deal with next year. There was a vast difference between a real surplus earned by the people and the fictitious supply of exceptional wants by means of taxation. A genuine surplus was the healthy sweat of national industry, which had nothing in common with a scalding douche of excessive exaction. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving his Amendment.


, in seconding the Motion, said, after the able and exhaustive speech of his hon. and learned Friend but little was left for him to add, except to express his regret that he had not gone further, and had moved that the income tax should be 4d. instead of 5d. With regard to the Terminable Annuities, as far as he could make out from the last Finance Accounts, the future annual charge would be £4,017,955. Of that amount, £1,600,000 of annuities were on account of savings banks, issued in the year ending the 31st of March last. It was quite obvious that out of figures of that magnitude the Chancellor of the Exchequer might, by a year's extension of the term of a part of those annuities, well be content with an income tax of 5d. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted that the thing could be done, if it were good that it should be done. He held that it was good that it should be done, and he therefore wished it would be done, as the result of the decision of the House. It was true the Prime Minister had piteously implored them not to break down the great ancestral system of Terminable Annuities. With all respect for the archæological reverence of the right hon. Gentleman, he must remind him that he had not scrupled to break down more than one ancestral system of much higher antiquity, and he broke them down because their raison d'être had ceased, and their continuance could not now be justified. It might be a very sublime and transcendental sort of sensation that a man had when he consoled himself that he was doing something for posterity, and there were people who carried their heads so high and who looked so far that they quite forgot, or overlooked, the misery and distress which were around them. He could not help thinking that the zeal and energy which the right hon. Gentleman had imported into his scheme of Terminable Annuities derived an enormous amount of vigour from a book which was written by Professor Jevons on the probable early exhaustion of the coal-fields of this country; but one of the Royal Commissioners now investigating the question of the coal supply, the hon. Member for Glamorganshire (Mr. Hussey Vivian), had recently assured the House that there was an abundant supply of coal for many hundreds of years. The discussion at that time, and the remarks of the then Member for Westminster (Mr. Stuart Mill), he believed had a great influence on the mind of the present Premier. He (Mr. White) knew it was held to be eminently respectable to reduce the National Debt, and the proposal found much favour with the rich; but he had always protested against, he would not say that piece of political pedantry, but an operation which could not be justified by expediency or by common justice to the present generation. Only the other night, the hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. Seely) urged on the Postmaster General that if he would consent to a sacrifice of not more than £31,700, by reducing the postage rate between England and America from 3d. to 1d., a great boon would be conferred on millions of our own race on both sides of the Atlantic. But that delusion of paying off the Debt for the relief of posterity stood in the way of such a beneficent change. He might be told that the United States had already reduced their Debt £200,000,000 sterling. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!] He admitted the fact; but it must also be recollected that it was the present generation who made that just and holiest of wars, and they were content also to pay for it. Moreover, England, by taking thought, could not add to the area of our island home, but America had the strongest incentive to reduce her Debt, and consequent taxation, to render her country attractive to European immigrants now needed to till her vast uncultivated prairies and almost boundless tracts, of which it might be said, in the words of Douglas Jerrold, that "They only require to be tickled with the hoe to laugh with abundance;" whereas our case was very different. But was the right hon. Gentleman so sure that if even if they reduced the Debt posterity would benefit by it; for was there not great danger that when the public feeling was much excited, as had happened in times past, a Government might be encouraged to commit some hideous blunder, and to plunge the country into an unnecessary war, thereby, perhaps, heaping up the Debt to its original magnitude? Again, was it not obvious that the natural increase of population, the normal augmentation of wealth, and the inevitable diminution in the purchasing power of gold must gradually lighten the pressure of the Debt on the nation. The burden of the Debt was constantly diminishing. It was estimated in 1811 as being equal to 26 per cent of the aggregate value of the property of the country. In 1871–60 years afterwards—it was estimated as having fallen to only 11 per cent; and though, of course, these statistics must only be approximative, still it might be fairly assumed that before the end of this century the burden of the National Debt on the people would not equal more than 5 per cent of the whole wealth of the country. About £7,000,000 had been raised in Terminable Annuities for the construction of fortifications; and would it not be fair that the expense of arming those fortifications should also be charged to the fortification loan, or to a special loan for that purpose? The extra demand made in the Estimates this year for ordnance, projectiles, gun-carriages, torpedoes, &c, amounted to £986,480. As most of them believed that the guns now being put into these forts would never be fired in anger, was it too much to ask that their cost, together with the charge for the abolition of purchase in the Army—a charge which could occur only once in the history of the country—should not be paid for out of the taxation of this year? These two amounts would be equivalent to the 1d. of income tax for which the hon. Member for Finsbury had pleaded. On the subject of the National Debt he wished to quote this passage from Mr. Mill's work, Principles of Political EconomyIn a country advancing in wealth, whose increasing revenue gives it the power of ridding itself from time to time of the most inconvenient portions of its taxation, I conceive that the increase of revenue should rather be disposed of by taking off taxes than by liquidating debt, as long as any very objectionable imposts remain. He asked whether the malt tax was not a very objectionable tax; whether the taxes on locomotion were not also very objectionable; and, indeed, he might give a long list of very objectionable taxes of which they were expected to bear the burden for the benefit of posterity. Was not the poor man taxed a farthing on every pint of beer he drank for the benefit of posterity? The opposition which he and his friends below the gangway felt it to be their duty to offer to the Budget had been stigmatised in the Government organ as "the result of the conspiracy of this Session;" but he assured the right hon. Gentleman that if they were conspirators they would sit en permanence, and that opposition would be renewed whenever there was any attempt to impose new burdens on account of unnecessary expenditure. While they were glad to promise a general support to the Prime Minister, he must not construe that promise to mean servile submission, neither should he forget the original compact of economy which justified their fealty.

Amendment proposed, to leave out "Sixpence," and insert "Five Pence,"—(Mr. W. M. Torrens,)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That 'Sixpence' stand part of the proposed Resolution."


said, he must deprecate the re-opening of the discussion on the whole question of the Budget after the long debate which was held on Monday evening; and he must add that he, for one, must despair of investing a subject of that kind with the interest his hon. Friend (Mr. W. M. Torrens) always cast around any question he dealt with. He could not agree with the observations of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White) on the subject of Terminable Annuities, because he did not share in that disregard for posterity which had been manifested both by the hon. Gentleman and by one who had been a predecessor of himself as a representative of the City of London. The hon. Member for Finsbury had proposed to raise the income tax from 4d. to 5d., instead of 6d., and to borrow the remainder of the sum required by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; but the House should remember that the money, if borrowed, must be repaid, and it would only be in accordance with principle and practice to provide the money now, in a time of peace, by means of taxation. The hon. Member for Finsbury had denounced the wickedness of the income tax in very strong language; but would there not be as much mischief done by the imposition of an extra 1d. as by the additional 2d. proposed by the Government? There was nothing in the speech of the hon. Member which should induce the House to depart from the decision at which the Committee had already arrived. In speaking of the Terminable Annuities the hon. Member described that scheme as "a fiction for the purposes of account;" but money must be raised by taxation for the purpose of meeting the annual charge of those Annuities, and that money must be held in such a way that it would yield some return in order to meet the demands of depositors in savings banks. It was never intended that so large a sum should remain unfruitful. The hon. Gentleman had misconceived the nature of the arrangement involved by the scheme of Terminable Annuities, and had misunderstood what had been said by the present Premier in 1866, when the right hon. Gentleman clearly contemplated the continuance of his plan until 1885. The right hon. Gentleman also said— Terminable Annuities have, I think, very great political advantages. They place the payment of the public Debt to a certain amount beyond competition for the repeal of this or that particular tax, and beyond the caprices and vicissitudes of the finances of any particular year. With those words before them, he wondered that any hon. Member should have supposed that the right hon. Gentleman contemplated having recourse to the suspension of the Terminable Annuities operation as a means by which he could at any time replenish the Exchequer. If the money were at the disposal of the Savings Banks Commissioners it would be competent for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to obtain from Parliament authority to borrow £1,000,000 or £2,000,000 in Exchequer bills or bonds; but the money was already engaged, £1,500,000 having been already lent to the Irish Church Estates Commissioners, while arrangements had been made for lending a further sum. Borrowing from the Savings Banks Commissioners was, in fact, borrowing from the public, and that could not be done without repayment; and he therefore differed from the hon. Member for Finsbury as to the means by which the Chancellor of the Exchequer could raise the amount he had to provide. Hon. Members must, however, look to the fact that the general principles of the Budget had been some time before the House, that £2,700,000 had to be provided on account of the Votes which had already been passed in Committee of Supply, and that it was now the duty of the House to provide the Ways and Means. He took exception to any renewal of the discussion respecting the financial arrangements of the Government in the shape of the Motion which was now before the House, because, whatever might be the merits or the demerits of the proposal of the Government, its further discussion would be an unnecessary consumption of public time. For the reasons he had stated he should decline to give his vote for the Amendment.


said, he could not agree with the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White) in thinking that no effort should be made to reduce the National Debt; but while anxious to reduce the Debt, he considered that much of the expenditure of the current year, including that which would be involved by the passing of the Army Regulation Bill, might be regarded as an investment rather than as expenditure. The result of that Bill, he feared, would be to make the Army an engine for political jobbery; but, while holding that view, he would, for the sake of argument, assume what was alleged by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that it was a boon to the country, and on this supposition he maintained that it was in the nature of an investment, and we were not bound to meet it out of the taxation of the current year. There were other charges which, as the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) had stated, were in the nature of an insurance, and might therefore fairly be provided for by suspending the operations which would otherwise be carried out for the reduction of the Debt. He strongly objected to the proposed increase of the income tax, which was a most oppressive tax, and universally disliked throughout the country. It was their duty, therefore, to their constituents and the country at large to pause before accepting this third Budget of the Government. The increase of 2d. in the pound would be felt as a great hardship by the professional classes, especially by poor clergymen and medical men. At the same time, he must admit that he was glad the proposal made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in introducing his first Budget to substitute a percentage for a poundage had been abandoned. He was only surprised that such a proposal had ever been sanctioned by a Cabinet in which the the First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Goschen) had a seat, for that right hon. Gentleman was undoubtedly considered in the City as a very high financial authority, and he must have known that the proposal in question would have inflicted very great inconvenience on the commercial community, and probably on his own constituents. The two previous Budgets having been withdrawn, the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had now been reduced to the "sweet simplicity" of an increase of 2d. in the pound to the income tax, and he hoped the House would refuse its sanction to that proposal. He should have much pleasure in voting for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Finsbury.


The hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) commenced his observations by deprecating any discussion on the question before the House as unusual. Sir, it may be unusual; but I ask the hon. Gentleman, and I ask, the other Members of this House, whether the whole of the circumstances attending the introduction of Budget No. 1, the withdrawal of Budget No. 2, and the introduction of Budget No. 3, are not also very unusual, and whether it be an improper consumption of time if we thrash out this subject a little further. I was one of the small band who, on the Motion of the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), on a late occasion, not only declined to give him their support, but also abstained from giving a Vote of Confidence in the Government. If I view the vote of that majority aright, it was not so much approbation of their financial plans as a qualified Vote of Confidence, and, probably, a little dread of the effect of a contrary vote—a qualified Vote of Confidence in the vitality of the Ministry. Now, while I am on the subject of appeals to confidence, I must be allowed to remind the House that, formerly, Votes of Confidence were "few and far between." The Minister then kept back that as an extraordinary weapon for extraordinary occasions. Now, forsooth, it is produced upon the most every-day occurrences. And, whether the question at issue regards the dismissal of a distinguished and ill-used Admiralty official, or whether you have a Budget withdrawn after the deprecation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the pinching of the increased income tax on the lower middle class, the merits of the question at issue are totally put on one side. No regard is paid to the justice done to the individual or the satisfaction of the country; the whole thing is made a party question, the result being for the convenience of the Government. Now, Sir, I say it is not fair to be always calling on this House for Votes of Confidence. Questions should be discussed on their own merits. Party is a dirty enough transaction as it stands at present; but if you are dragging us through the mire of party on every occasion—if you are always starting up and saying, "This is a question of confience, and we will go out if you carry it out," it strikes me that if that weapon is made too much use of the right hon. Gentleman will be like the boy in the fable, who cried "Wolf!" so often until the cry lost all its cogency and power. Now, I do not wish to criticize all the details of the Budgets that have gone by. I wish to speak of them, as of the dead, with a certain degree of respect. The succession duties are gone; the lucifer imposition is extinct; and I think I can give the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is nothing if not classical, a little consolation as a little gain from his favourite author— Quid minuat curas, quid te tibi reddat amicos, Quid pure tranquillet—honos an dulce lucellum?


It is amicum in the original, not amicos.


Yes; but I choose to make it plural; and for this reason—an hon. Gentleman the other night asked the Treasury Bench who are "We?" I say, therefore, "amicos," not "amicum." Well, Sir, we have now got a new Budget—Budget No. 3. Whatever the Members for the City of London may say to it, we all remember the correspondence on a recent occasion with "Dear Mr. Crawford." I say this Budget is a Budget of Revenge. Because we have not chosen to countenance the increase in the succession duties, therefore the right hon. Gentleman, who is the putative father of that scheme, has chosen to give another turn to the screw of the income tax, and to put an additional 2d. in the pound on the lower middle class, of whose interests he was so chary when he introduced his first Budget. We are told, by way of apology, that we have to provide for a transitional expenditure. That is a very good Parliamentary term; but my experience teaches me that when transitional expenditure and transitional Estimates are talked of, the danger is we shall be saddled with them in perpetuity. What was the promise made on the introduction of the income tax? It was called a transitional tax, to meet transitional circumstances, and the House was induced to pass it, limiting its duration to three years. What was the result of that transaction? The income tax has not only been saddled upon us for our natural lives, but, to use the words of the right hon. Gentleman the other night, it will become an "ancestral tax." I should like on this subject of the income tax to read to the House the promise made by the First Minister of the Crown. We have heard a quotation made by my hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) in a speech of which, I must say, I never before heard so much good sense and so much wit displayed in so short a compass by any Member of this House—a speech which merited a better fate than being answered in the curt and contemptuous way it was replied to by the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford). Well, how did the present Prime Minister describe the income tax when speaking of it as Chan- cellor of the Exchequer on the 18th of April, 1853? He said— In my own individual opinion it is perfectly plain, from the mode in which the income tax was put an end to at the termination of the great war, that it is not well adapted for a permanent portion of your ordinary financial system.…Even if you could remove its inequalities…there would still remain in my mind at least objections to it of the gravest character.…I think it most desirable that effectual measures should be taken to mark this tax as a temporary tax.…My own opinion is decidedly against the perpetuity of the tax as a permanent ordinary portion of our finances.…Our intention to put Parliament in 1860 in a condition to part with the income tax is a real and a bonâ fide intention."—[3 Hansard, cxxv. 1364, 1385.] In 1861 the right hon. Gentleman made most remarkable observations on this tax. On the 15th of April he said— I must confess I think it is a hard imposition. I should like very much to be the man who could abolish the income tax. I do not abandon altogether the hope that the time may come.…Looking forward to the future, and desirous to afford such indications as I can, I should hazard an opinion that, if the country is content to be governed at a cost of between £60,000,000 and £62,000,000, or £64,000,000 a-year, there is not any reason why it should not be so governed without the income tax, provided that Parliament shall so will it to be. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!] If, on the other hand, it is the pleasure of the country to be governed at a cost of between £70,000,000 and £75,000,000 a-year, it must, in my judgment, be so governed with the aid of a considerable income tax. That I believe to be the whole case."—[3 Hansard, clxii. 585–6.] I ask, is it his pleasure that the country should be governed at this cost? Is it necessary? When the right hon. Gentleman the present Chancellor of the Exchequer—it is difficult to know now who is Chancellor of the Exchequer—asks this House in formâ pauperis to suggest a new tax, I may refer him to his right hon. Friend the present President of the Poor Law Board (Mr. Stansfeld); he is the man to give him advice as to how the country is to be governed. Hon. Gentlemen will recollect that the other night that estimable Member of the Government was put forward—I suppose to tickle Gentlemen on these benches, of whom he was once a most respectable Colleague. He talked about virtuous Resolutions being endangered. I was somewhat surprised, because I remembered a virtuous Resolution that was moved by him on the 3rd of June, 1862. And what was that virtuous Resolution? It was a Resolution on expenditure by the right hon. Gen- tleman the Member for Halifax, now President of the Poor Law Board— That, in the opinion of this House, the National Expenditure"—which was then £70,000,000—"is capable of reduction without compromising the safety, the independence, or the legitimate influence of the country. Well, that went to a Division. It was seconded by the present Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Baxter); it was supported by three Cabinet Ministers—the right hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster), the right hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Childers), late a Cabinet Minister; the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton), who, I beg his pardon, is not a Cabinet Minister, although he ought to be; and the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hibbert), the present Secretary of the Poor Law Board. There were 65 Members supported the Resolution, which was got rid of by a sort of mock Amendment, moved by Lord Palmerston; and from that day to this the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Poor Law Board has never said anything about the reduction of expenditure until the other night he got up and told us that these were transitional Estimates, and that it was impossible to make any reduction in the Civil Service Estimates. I maintain that the only true way out of the labyrinth of debt, difficulty, and deficiency we have got into is the reduction of expenditure. I maintain that, as we have taken back the Budget with no false shame, we should have no false shame about taking back the Estimates. When were these Army Estimates framed? They were framed when the world was in a far different condition from that it is in now. They were framed when war was in full tide. They were framed when the Benedetti treaty frightened everybody in this country; but what is the case now? What is the state of the Continent now? Can you get up any panic at all now upon anything? The only panics in this country are those produced by the destructive Budgets brought forward by a Liberal Government. France! What danger do you run from France? It is in a state of collapse. Germany wishes to be quiet; Russia is pacified; America, we are told, is not at all dissatisfied. What reason have you to persist in forcing on the House this warlike Budget and these warlike Estimates? These Army Estimates, without any reference to the abolition of purchase, I think hon. Gentlemen will open their eyes to. They will not be content to spend £16,000,000 or £18,000,000 on a scheme of which it is not too much to say nobody knows much about it. Then we have no estimate of the cost of retirement; it is, indeed… Monstrum horrendum, informs, cui lumen ademptum. "Ex luce"—there is no light there; you will get no light upon that. I do hope hon. Gentlemen will pause before they rush into this profligate expenditure. I find that there is £2,800,000 in excess over the Army Estimates of last year, not including the buying up of commissions. If it is the pleasure of the country that these commissions are to be bought, why are we not to treat them as we treated the costly scheme of fortifications, which I always opposed? If you are determined to benefit posterity to this extent, do not let us forget the present. Why should you not pay the amount off by means of loans, as you have paid for the fortifications? What pretext have you for calling upon the suffering taxpayers of the present day to pay the whole of this enormous demand. Talking of expenditure and war Budgets, I find a most remarkable extract from a speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire. He said— Let us terminate this disastrous system of rival expenditure and mutually agree, with no hypocrisy"—I do not know who he alludes to—"but in a manner and under circumstances which can admit of no doubt—by a reduction of armaments—that peace is really our policy. Then, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer may look forward with no apprehension to his next Budget, and England may then actually witness the termination of the income tax."—[3 Hansard, clv. 179.] That speech was made in 1859, and it was followed in 1868 by one of those speeches of the Prime Minister at Manchester, who put upon the House, not upon the country, the increased expenditure. He said the Government were urged by the House to enter into this expenditure, and yet he will turn round upon you when you oppose him. I say you are bound to oppose him. He twits you when out of the House and before his constituents with this expenditure, and says it is the House of Commons which urges him into it. I call upon the House of Commons to be true to themselves. If they are a House of Commons elected to keep down the Estimates, and to save the money of the taxpayers, I call upon them to urge the right hon. Gentleman to take back his Estimates. With respect to the question of these Terminable Annuities immediately before the House, I well remember when this "ancestral" scheme was proposed. It was in the year 1866, in a thin House, on a May evening. However much we all delight in Mr. Stuart Mill to read him, his speeches certainly had the effect of thinning the benches of this House when he discoursed upon ultra-economic topics. Previous to that evening Mr. Mill had started the theory that it was due to posterity that we should pay off the National Debt; and he created a panic in this House by quoting a passage from a book Professor Jevons had written on the probable exhaustion of the coal-fields of this country. The right hon. Gentleman then the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Gladstone) was very much moved by that speech and that pamphlet; and he proposed what then I could not understand, what very few people did understand, and what was looked upon as one of those arithmetical puzzles that could be comprehended only by ready reckoners like the hon. Member for the City of London and others. In 1866, be it remembered, there was a considerable surplus. In a very long speech—I have since endeavoured to master it in Hansard, but I broke down—the right hon. Gentleman proposed these Terminable Annuities. Not a soul would support him. They were opposed by Mr. Hubbard, by Mr. Laing, by the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley), who made one of his usual telling, common-sense speeches, which gave one an inkling of what was meant, in which he declared that the scheme was nothing more nor less than a sinking fund in disguise; and by the hon. Member for Brighton—I do not mean the agile Member. These Resolutions were protested against by Mr. Laing, who said at the time that the project was one for fine weather, and that directly a deficiency occurred the whole scheme would break down. And it has broken down. ["No, no!"] Well, it ought to break down. You had a considerable surplus in 1866; in 1871 you have a deficiency of £2,713,000. It is a bad proposition to set off this £2,250,000 which we have in reserve, which is, in fact—and do not let it be disguised under other terms—taxation upon the people; it is setting this aside which renders it necessary to put 2d. extra on the income tax. I feel satisfied that if you are to continue the income tax, you must render it more just and fair in its assessment to make it at all palatable. It is quite true that it presses most unfairly upon professional men in contradistinction to the men of property and the professional man will say to the Chancellor of the Exchequer—he will not use classical language—I will call his attention to the poem in the Anti-Jacobin—he knows what I mean, the "Needy Knifegrinder"— I give thee 6d.! I'll see thee— We have heard very much of Votes of Confidence and of party obligations. Parties are so broken up we never know where men are. We never know that one day may not undo the resolution of the previous day, and I confess that party obligations sit very lightly on me. I like not Conservatives the less, but my constituency more. I feel satisfied that if the Budget is to be passed as it is, the next time the Government call for Votes of Confidence, and threaten a Dissolution, they will not dare to carry out their threat, because I feel satisfied that that majority, whether it be 100, or those 85 confiding creatures who, at the time they voted for the Government, deprecated the conduct of the Government, would disappear. I feel satisfied that, should there be a Dissolution of Parliament, there will be a very great change in the material of this House. I may not return to it; but I think I shall be accompanied in my exile by a great many of my hon. Friends. Of this, however, I am sure, that if we are to maintain the solemn profession of being a Liberal Government and a Liberal party, we must be true to the doctrines we have urged in Opposition; and must not, after condemning the income tax, be now a party to an increase of the suffering of the taxpayers of this great country.


said, the continual appeals which were made to the general dislike of taxation placed Members on that side of the House in a very great mess. Hon. Gentlemen opposite desired to circumvent the Ballot Bill, and prevent the proposed abolition of purchase in the Army; but as he had pledged himself to the abolition of purchase, and wished, above all things, to see the Ballot Bill carried, he would not be a party to a Motion which would place the Government in a position of great difficulty, by asking them to take back and revise their Estimates. It was his solemn conviction that the peace of Europe was not worth five years' purchase, and was full of combustible material. He firmly believed that Europe had not heard the last of Prussian aggression. Before six years were out they would probably see her proposing to absorb Holland and annex Denmark, and she would give Belgium over to the French, a proceeding which last year the peace-at-any-price party in this country were ready to go to war to prevent. He denied the accuracy of the calculation of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) that in 1872 there would be a deficit of £2,700,000, and expressed his belief that it would be less than it was in the present year.


said, it was with hesitation he intruded himself upon the House on a question of finance; but he hoped he might be permitted shortly to express his views upon the matter now before the House, and his reasons for supporting the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens). It was not necessary to allude to the wanton disregard of the interests of the working classes evinced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he proposed to impose a tax on matches; to the contempt for the cherished feelings and warm sympathies of the people of this country exhibited in the proposed increase of the duties payable on the devolution of property in the case of the nearest relations; to the silly arithmetical puzzle invented for the purpose of taxing and tormenting the brains as well as the pockets of the income tax payer; nor need he dwell upon the threatened removal of the exemption in favour of agricultural horses. He rejoiced to think these propositions were withdrawn, and he hoped the promise of Her Majesty's Government, that at some future day they would be again brought forward, would never be fulfilled. He remarked that the House was now considering the third finan- cial scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was not one of those who were opposed to the total amount of taxation sought to be raised, although he decidedly objected to the wantonly oppressive manner in which the right hon. Gentleman originally proposed to levy it. With reference to a sixpenny income tax, it was not immaterial to consider whether the increased rate would be imposed for only one year, or for a longer period. It should be borne in mind that £1,200,000 would have to be paid next year in respect of the abolition of purchase, and that altogether £2,400,000 would have to be provided for. In all probability, therefore, the deficiency next year would be as large if not larger than it was this. As the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not propose indirect taxes, his only course would be to fall back upon the income tax, which might, perhaps, be increased to 8d. He objected on two grounds to the increase of the income tax now proposed by the Government—first, because it was opposed to all the principles of political economy; and, secondly, because it would most unjustly burden certain classes of the people. It would, he thought, be admitted as a principle that in all cases where additional taxation was to be levied, indirect as well as direct taxes should be resorted to. With regard to his second objection, it was most important to consider how the income tax was assessed at the present time. A large portion of the community suffered most grievously under Schedule D. Under Schedule D precarious and casual incomes were charged the same rate of tax that was levied upon realized property under Schedules A and B, a grievance most deeply felt by those who suffered under it, and who asked on what grounds of justice such a state of things could be maintained. A clerk with £300 a-year was dependent, and his family were dependent upon his life and health; but the property of a man with £20,000 in the funds remained after his death for the maintenance of his family, yet both classes of income paid the same rate of tax. It was said that people with limited incomes avoided the hardship of the tax by evading it; but, in his opinion, the evasion was simply due to the fact that the impost was felt to be harsh and unjust. It was clear that one of two things must be done—either the income tax must be diminished, or the mode of assessment under Schedule D must be modified. The Chancellor of the Exchequer last year contended that— The true basis of taxation is equality, because, in the first place, it renders the coincidence more just, and, in the second place, it renders it lighter; but the moment the time arrived for putting this sound political declaration into practice it was utterly ignored and contravened. A diminution or modification of the tax on casual income would be more popular in the country than the very remarkable adhesion of the Prime Minister to the unconstitutional principle of female suffrage.


said, everyone must admit that the House and the country had got into a very considerable muddle. There was a vast expenditure, and no one seemed to know where the money was to come from to meet it. He was not greatly surprised, for he had always felt that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had flung away the corn and the timber duty with rash haste, and he had thereby greatly increased his present difficulties. He agreed with the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne) in thinking that the present financial difficulties arose from extravagant expenditure, and would be glad if the Government would take back their Estimates; but, as he took it, they would do nothing of the kind, they must grapple with the question as it stood. Now, he heartily concurred in everything that had been said against the income tax. No man could speak more strongly in deprecation of it than he would, for it pressed the most heavily upon persons whose incomes depended upon their personal exertions, and he never could understand why a man earning £200 a-year by hard daily work should pay at the same rate as the man whose landed or freehold property brought him in the same sum. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had condemned the tax over and over again; yet they now asked the House to increase it by 2d. in the pound, while all the other sources of Imperial taxation were to remain untouched. Was the position of affairs such as to justify an imposition so unusual and so contrary to the first principles of modern taxation? He thought not. He agreed with the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) in thinking that there was no reason to be found on financial grounds to prevent the suspension of the operation of the Terminable Annuities Act. He had himself put on the Paper a Motion on the subject, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had admitted to be practicable, but which he had opposed on the ground that it would be unfair, unjust, and a breach of trust. He should like to ask, if that representation was correct, who would be the sufferers by that breach of trust? With whom was the contract made? If a man made a resolution in his own mind to transfer so much of his money from one pocket to another, should he be accused of breach of trust if he thought proper to suspend the operation for a time? The Terminable Annuity arrangement was made by the House with itself—by the nation with itself—and it was absurd to say that there would be any breach of trust in suspending it for six months. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had next argued that injustice would be done to savings banks, but every lawyer knew that by the statute the security of the Consolidated Fund was given to the depositors in the Government savings banks; and what better security could they have or want? The hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) had argued that if they suspended the Terminable Annuities they would be taking the money of the public to supply the Ways and Means of the year, and also that it would be equivalent to borrowing. He demurred to both these assertions. To cease paying off a debt was a wholly different operation from borrowing fresh money; and it must be remembered that in this instance the only effect would be to cause the Terminable Annuities to expire six months later, unless by economy in the interval the sum withdrawn this year should be replaced. Therefore he could not accept the Prime Minister's definition of the operation which the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury contemplated. It really seemed to him, when he reviewed the different proposals of the Government, as if the whole financial genius of the Cabinet had exhausted itself in maturing the tax upon matches, so that, not being permitted to carry out that proposal, they were unable to devise anything else except the augmentation of the income tax. He was greatly surprised to hear the reference which the Prime Minister made to Sir Robert Peel—[Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!]—because as he understood the facts the annuities in Sir Robert Peel's case were held by private individuals, and not by the nation, so that Parliament could not, without sacrificing the national credit, have suspended the payment of the annuities at that time. The Prime Minister had said that the suspension of the Terminable Annuities was such a beautifully easy operation; that if it were done once they might be sure it would be done again in future, and that such a bad precedent ought not to be set for future days. He replied that the future might be safely left to solve its own difficulties. Let the House do what was right and just for the present, which was its proper business, and the future might be trusted to follow its example. It was also remarkable that, whereas the Prime Minister deprecated interference with the Terminable Annuities, because the operation was such a dangerously easy one the Chancellor of the Exchequer objected to it because it was so excessively difficult, and so calculated to produce confusion. Then they had been told that the present emergency was not urgent enough to justify the suspension of the Terminable Annuities, and the Prime Minister, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the President of the Poor Law Board, were all agreed that the difficulty they had to meet was a very small affair indeed. That line of argument was natural enough in the mouths of men who had never personally known the value of a sovereign; but to the struggling taxpayer, who found it hard enough at best to make both ends meet, the imposition of an additional 2d. was very far from an insignificant matter. He looked upon the proposed expenditure of the year in this light—that they were going to devote a large amount of capital to the abolition of purchase, and to the acquisition of stores; and the House would therefore be perfectly justified in saying that they would not extract from the pockets of the ratepayers the whole of that capital, but would meet the deficiency by the easier and juster method of suspending the Terminable Annuities. He had heard it said that they would injure their credit in the eyes of Europe if they declined to carry out the arrangement that they had made with themselves. But there was another view of the matter which foreign nations might take with greater justice, and that was that the people of this country had too much good sense to pay money that was not necessary; and, as had been rightly said the other evening, when the people were willing to be taxed there was hardly any limit to that which they would decline to pay. Those who were opposed to the policy of the Government were again told that they were not anxious for the future of the country; but he believed that the present condition of the country demanded even more consideration. They might have to encounter great disasters; but, on the other hand, they might have times of great prosperity, and who could predict which was to happen? He had no objection in prosperous years to using the surplus of the year for these purposes, instead of hastily taking off taxation; but he did object to treating the system which had been adopted as if it were cast-iron, and not subject to revision. At the same time he could not attach importance to the assertion that the Irish Church Commissioners would suffer if the Terminable Annuities were interfered with, because nothing could be easier than to give the Chancellor of the Exchequer power to use some of the vast amount of stock under his control for the accommodation of the Irish Church Commissioners. The conclusion of the whole affair, in his mind, was this—that the imposition of an extra 2d. on the income tax was needless and unjustifiable, and that it would be so considered by the common sense and natural instinct of those who would be called on to pay it. He could discover no flaw in the argument of the hon. Member for Finsbury; and the supporters of the Government would have some right to complain if this question should be treated, by the Government as a Vote of Want of Confidence. But, of course, if the Government resolved so to treat it, he could not help it. He did not mean by his vote to disturb the Ministers in their seats, for whatever might be his feelings in regard to them, he actually did not know what other body of men there were in the House in whom he could place confidence. Therefore he should not vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury, and he certainly should not vote against it. But he did earnestly wish that the Government would re-consider their present proposal, for he must once more protest against the additional 2d. as needless, unjust, and oppressive.


said, that he had listened with great attention and some interest to the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, and he must say that he had never heard a speaker arrive at a more lame and impotent conclusion. If the hon. Gentleman, in the discharge of his duty, thought it right to say what he had said with regard to the injustice and hardship of the proposal of the Government, why had he neither the moral pluck nor the courage to give his vote in behalf of those hard-worked professional men whose case he had so eloquently bemoaned? What was the use or object of an able speech, unless it was to be followed by a vote? He agreed with the hon. Gentleman that the arguments of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) had no flaw in them, and for that reason he should most assuredly record his vote in favour of the hon. Gentleman. The speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne) was well worthy of him, and was marked by all that versatility and wit which were becoming so rare in the House. But what had been the strain of the hon. Baronet for Chelsea (Sir Henry Hoare) who had followed him? The hon. Baronet had admitted that we were in a pretty mess, and that the proposition of the Government was in no respect right or just; but still as he did not wish to place the Government in a difficulty, he should vote against the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury. Thus the interests of the country disappeared before the interests of the party, and those poor, pinched, middleclass constituents of the hon. Baronet when they came to the conclusion of the speech of the hon. Baronet would doubtless appreciate the benefit of being represented by an hon. Gentleman who spoke for, but voted against them. They would also observe that, though on the present occasion the hon. Baronet considered it to be his first and paramount duty to support the Government, he had not hesitated to announce that when the Local Taxation Bill came on he would put the Government to any amount of difficulty rather than support the pro- posal to take £1,200,000 out of Government funds and to hand it over to the local authorities; so that the hon. Baronet would presently be prepared to change front. He (Colonel Barttelot) should support the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury on three grounds—first, that the Estimates were not "transitional" ones; second, that the proposed expenditure was not justified within the course of the year; and, thirdly, that it was unjust to raise the whole sum required by means of direct taxation. Now, the Prime Minister had argued that the Estimates were transitional, because they were going to spend more than £1,000,000 for the increase of the Army this year. Did he intend to imply that next year he should propose the decrease of the Army by 20,000 men? Again, the right hon. Gentleman had said that this year £560,000 was to be asked for the Reserve Forces. Did he mean that next year those forces would not be called out for training? The right hon. Gentleman had also argued in favour of the transitional character of the Estimates by saying that stores and munitions of war were to be purchased to the amount of £1,200,000. But why, he asked, were they to be called upon to pay, in a single year, the whole amount of the deficiency which had been occasioned by the present Administration during the time it had held office? In regard to the £600,000 towards the abolition of purchase, he would have the House remember that only the other night the Secretary of State for War had distinctly stated that he was going to withdraw from the Bill certain clauses, the effect of which would be that they might be called upon to pay £1,200,000 this year and £2,000,000 the next, because officers would be allowed to retire at once, if they pleased. He contended that, even if these expenditures were transitional, they ought to be met in some other way, and not by adding 2d. to the income tax. He did not profess to be a financier and to find the way, and although he knew how to spend any money which he might have, he understood nothing about the hocus-pocus, as it had been called, of the Terminable Annuities. But they were told something else by the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman and the Chancellor of the Exchequer distinctly stated that they had nothing else to offer in the shape of indirect taxation, and that statement pointed to this—that on every future occasion when they were in any difficulty, they would make use of the income tax, and the income tax alone, to get them out of that difficulty. He wished the country distinctly to understand this, and it would then be able to judge whether the right hon. Gentleman was carrying out those specious promises he had made when he said that direct and indirect taxation were like two blooming damsels, and that he cared no more for the one than the other, while, in fact he was ignoring indirect taxation entirely. And what did the right hon. Gentleman say about the remission of the shilling a-quarter duty on corn? The remark made by the right hon. Gentleman was an unfortunate remark. The right hon. Gentleman said that the duty on corn—he presumed the right hon. Gentleman meant wheat, not oats or barley—was 4 per cent. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Grain duty, not wheat.] Exactly. That was a very ingenious excuse of the right hon. Gentleman; for the duty on wheat was not 4 per cent, but only 2½ per cent on the present price. It was all very well to make such statements; people did not understand these things, and thought that the price of their food would have been raised by 4 per cent, but he denied it. The right hon. Gentleman went back on the old Corn Law duties, which he (Colonel Barttelot) hoped had been exploded long ago. Now, those on his (the Opposition) side of the House never spoke of free trade now; they were done with it; they used free trade in the very best way they could, and the farmers of this country had manfully done their duty under adverse circumstances. They did not ask for protection; but what they asked for was fair play, and that fair play had not, he thought, been meeted out to them by the right hon. Gentlemen who sat on the opposite benches. Another statement of the right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had struck him with astonishment, and it was that £1,900,000 was obtainable from the farmers by a tax on horses and waggons. That was a statement which the right hon. Gentleman would not get over so easily as he thought. It would be remembered and reiterated in every market place and on every hustings throughout the country; and he promised him that he would mention it on every possible oc- occasion; he would menion it because it was an unfair statement; he would mention it because it was an unjust statement; he would mention it because it was an ungracious statement, and came from the right hon. Gentleman at a time when they had done nothing that he (Colonel Barttelot) knew of to incur his displeasure, except that they had asked him to attend to their requirements as to the malt tax, which he said he would, and then he came down to the House and took no notice of them whatever. If he put such a tax on agricultural industry he must put a similar tax on all motive power throughout the country—on all manufactures as well—and then there would be a fair and equal distribution of that tax throughout the country. But he believed the tax was a most unjust and unfair tax. He believed the House had no right to increase and multiply upon the hardworking people of this country taxes to meet Estimates which were not transitional Estimates at all. If they were to put this country in a state of defence; if they were to avoid those panics which the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War said we were constantly falling into; if we were to expend our money for the general advantage of the country—then the whole of the country, and not one class only, ought to pay for the expenditure. He, therefore, demurred entirely to placing the burden upon the income tax, and he believed that doing so would do those Gentlemen who sat on the Ministerial bench more harm than they could possibly anticipate.


, in adverting to the course the discussion had taken, did not question the right of any Member to discuss how the money was to be spent. He feared the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne) had unintentionally misrepresented the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) in the course of his remarks. He (Mr. Magniac) was unable to endorse the principles of finance laid down by the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens). They were calculated to produce an accumulation of Debt to the disadvantage of the country. The argument that the Debt need not be paid because the creditor was not an individual was based on a most dangerous principle. Debt was debt, however contracted; and the obligation to honour a promise to pay was binding under all circumstances, whether the creditor was an individual or a corporation. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear!] Would his hon. Friend desire private liabilities to be dealt with on the principle he had laid down, that money should be paid only when payment became absolutely necessary? The hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White) had excepted the Americans from the rule he would lay down for us, because the present generation of Americans had incurred the Debt. But he ventured to submit that we enjoyed the advantages which had resulted from the creation of our Debt—not the least of which was our position among nations, and our flourishing commerce. He did not think that our Revenue would be anything like £70,000,000 a-year. The hon. and gallant Member for West Sussex (Colonel Barttelot) made a very strong appeal in favour of indirect taxation, and prefaced his remarks by informing the House that he was not a financier. If he had been a little more of a financier, and had examined the subject with a little more care, and had possessed a little more knowledge of it, he might have arrived at a different conclusion from the one he had arrived at. During the last 15 years the taxation of this country had been £1,100,000,000; and of that sum the proportion of direct taxation had been 34 per cent, and the proportion of indirect taxation had been 66 per cent. From the examination of the Budget of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he found that the proportion of direct taxation was 32½ per cent, and that of indirect taxation was 67½ per cent; and, therefore, in order to establish a proper relation between those two sources of Revenue, £15,000 for every £1,000,000 ought to be taken off indirect and placed upon direct taxation. The hon. and gallant Member for West Sussex would, therefore, see that the injustice of which he complained did not exist. The hon. Member for Northumberland (Mr. Liddell) had referred to the charge that had been brought against the Government of having thrown away a large amount of revenue by indiscreetly abolishing indirect taxes; but the hon. Member did not appear to take into account the extraordinary recuperative power of our taxes, which enabled them, however much they might be reduced, to recover themselves in a short time. From 1855 to 1869, £40,000,000 of taxes had been repealed, while only £17,000,000 had been imposed, which would naturally lead to the supposition that there would be a diminution of the Revenue to the amount of £23,000,000. Instead, however, of the Revenue being decreased by that amount, it had actually been considerably increased. These taxes required to be periodically adjusted, to keep them at their proper level. He hoped the House would never go back from the position it had now taken with regard to the payment of the National Debt. The hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. White) had attempted to show that from the increase of the national wealth the burden of the National Debt would be lessened from year to year; but he forgot that from the same cause the burden of taxation would also be lightened. The hon. Member had proposed that we should wait until the end of the century before we attempted to pay off the National Debt; but it was to be hoped that by that time we should have repaid nearly the whole of the Debt. He trusted that the end of the century would not find this country with a large amount of dead weight hanging over it in the shape of a National Debt. The subject of the re-payment of our vast Debt was one which he hoped to see taken up by new Members of the House, whom he knew held strong views with reference to it. On the present occasion he should give the Government his sincere support.


said, he regretted to hear his hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. White) was opposed to the principle of reducing the National Debt, and was surprised to hear him quote Mr. Mill in support of such views, for he well remembered being seated beside Mr. Mill when, in a debate on the question, that gentleman declared in the strongest terms our moral obligation, not only for ourselves but on behalf of those who came after us, to discharge our share of the National Debt, and he (Mr. J. B. Smith) most heartily concurred in these views; but he was opposed to the method of paying it by means of annuities—or, in other words, by means of a sinking fund. The only rational and sensible way of paying off the National Debt was by discharging a portion of it when we had the means of doing so. That was the course which had been adopted successfully in America. The American Government had paid off, since the War, $500,000,000 of their Debt, and had thereby extinguished $30,000,000 of annual interest. Had our Government adopted a similar plan we should have extinguished £350,000 per annum of interest on the sum of £10,500,000 of Debt, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer says has been paid off from 1867 to 1871, which would have enabled him to take off the whole duty on coffee, or the duties on currants and raisins. He was one of those who had thought that the Estimates of the Government should have been taken back; and, therefore, he had voted against their being adopted, and also against the Ways and Means by which it was originally sought to provide for the expenditure necessitated by those Estimates. The Government, having taken back their Budget, now proposed to place an additional 2d. in the pound on the income tax, and he did not see what more judicious course they could have adopted. Therefore, however much he might differ from them on the subject of the payment of the National Debt by means of Terminable Annuities, he should heartily support them on the question of the increase of the income tax. He thought, however, that while we ought to continue to maintain the annuities now contracted for, we should cease the system of further reducing the Debt by means of Terminable Annuities.


reminded the House that when the war broke out between France and Prussia this country was in no position to fulfil her treaty obligations with regard to Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg, to enable us to meet the eventualities of these engagements. Our Army was increased by 20,000 men, and the question now arose how was the bill to be paid? He objected to the breakfast table of the working man being made dearer by the imposition of indirect taxes, and to the operation of the measure for the reduction of the National Debt being interfered with. The only source, therefore, from which an increased revenue could be derived was the income tax, which forced those classes who were possessed of the wealth of the country to bear a proper share of the burdens of taxation. He thought the proposal of the Government for imposing a sixpenny income tax was a just one, and he would support it. It was said that the increased expenditure for this year was not transitional, and would be continued from year to year; but the precedents of what had occurred during the last 70 years, in regard to the alternate increase and reduction of our military expenditure, threw valuable light on that question. The Returns which he had himself obtained of the annual state of the British Army, and of the annual cost of its effective and non-effective branches during the present century, which he held in his hand, would show how rapidly the country had put forth all its resources of men and money in periods of emergency, and how on the return of quiet times it had almost as rapidly contracted its expenditure and its military establishments. In the year 1815—the year of Waterloo—the total charge was £43,256,260; but on the close of the next year, 1816, we suddenly reduced our expenditure to £13,077,227, and for the following 37 years the expenditure never exceeded £10,000,000; and from 1830 to 1836 the expenditure barely exceeded £8,000,000, and in 1836 it was only £7,940,189. In 1855 the Crimean War raised the Estimates to £28,670,497; but in 1858 they had fallen to £11,577,755. What had been done before, therefore, could be done again. Our military expenditure was now £16,000,000; and we could reduce it £2,000,000 within a very short period. For 36 years after Waterloo there were no Militia embodied, no panics, and the Army Estimates never rose to £10,000,000. Why should we admit that a panic could paralyze us? And how did a panic originate? Why, in a sensational article in a leading newspaper, representing that the country was in danger of invasion; and that article was quoted by the country papers, and repeated by quidnuncs in conversations; but the nation at large did not feel any such danger. The Returns to which he had referred showed that under all circumstances of real emergency we had within ourselves a manly spirit, a determined purpose, and the ability to apply our resources with vigour and effect.


said, he should regret if pressure were brought to bear on the Government to make them break up a plan for the reduction of the National Debt which had been deliberately adopted by the House on the recommendation of successive Ministries. At the same time he entirely agreed with the view taken by the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens) that an interference with that plan would involve no breach of faith on the part of the House or the country, and that no party to the transaction would have a right to complain if it were given up. View it as they might, the system of Terminable Annuities as now practised was subject to all the objections formerly entertained to a sinking fund. If the Government had been inclined to propose that the sums required for furnishing the forts should be provided, as the forts themselves were, by borrowed money, or that the sum necessary for extinguishing the purchase system in the Army according to their scheme should be provided in the same way, the House and the country would have been put in the same absurd position as it occupied in the days of the Sinking Fund—namely, that of borrowing money for the service of the year, while at the same time they were raising the taxes for the payment of the Debt. For his own part, he would be satisfied if the result of that discussion should be that they did not plunge in a future year into a new creation of those Terminable Annuities. But they had had a plan shadowed forth by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for large operations in the same direction with the vast fund in the hands of the Court of Chancery. Now, although he should be very sorry to oblige any Government to forbear carrying to its issue a measure which had been deliberately and recently adopted by the House, and although he did not think the exigencies of the country were really such as to warrant their going back from that decision, still he had no difficulty in voting for the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury, because it did not oblige the Government to adopt that alternative. There were many means at the disposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for tiding over his present difficulty. An addition of 1d. in the pound on the income tax was quite sufficient to meet the public necessities for the present year. The plan for the organization of the Army had not yet passed that House. He did not see why they should assume that £700,000 would be the charge incurred during the present financial year. It was difficult to tell what the amount for officers' commissions in any one year might be, and there might be great difficulty in fixing the precise sum that would have to be drawn from the Consolidated Fund. The First Lord of the Treasury had told them that they were mistaken in supposing that the 2d. income tax would produce £3,100,000 in the current financial year, but, theoretically, the whole of the income tax was to be raised within the year, and that would give £300,000 more than the Chancellor of the Exchequer required. As he felt the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not be placed in a position of embarrassment by the present Motion, he felt no difficulty in voting for the 5d. income tax, because he felt how vexatiously that tax bore upon persons of slender means.


protested against the imposition of a 6d. income tax on the taxpayers of the country. A strong objection to the income tax was that it was unequal in its pressure. The tax also was full of exemptions—not only those which were sanctioned by Parliament, but those which some of the taxpayers made for themselves; and the honest payer had to bear the default of the dishonest payer. He had received a letter from one of the most respectable electors of Manchester, complaining that such a proposal should now be made considering that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had last year surrendered £3,000,000 of indirect taxes. That was the general feeling throughout the country, for the tax was everywhere denounced. Though it was not the duty of those who sat on the Opposition benches to suggest any tax in lieu of that now proposed, yet he would observe that taxes on imported articles of luxury were the least felt, and, after them, a small tax on articles of general consumption would press with the slightest weight on the whole of the population. It had been said that the House had rendered the tax necessary by agreeing to abolish purchase in the Army and assenting to the proposed Votes in Committee of Supply. He repelled that assertion most strongly, as he, at all events, had taken a course which rendered that observation inapplicable to him. The hon. Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) had lectured in Manchester on his scheme during the last Recess, and it had met with some favour there; but that hon. Gentleman did not tell his hearers that the abolition of the purchase system in the Army would entail a heavy increase of taxation on the country. He (Mr. Birley) should like the hon. Member to pay another visit there, and see whether his scheme would meet with any favour now, since it became known that it would entail upon the country a very heavy expense. The Government had brought in an Army Regulation Bill, but had explained no system of retirement; and the House had not, therefore, the means of judging of the efficiency of the measures contemplated by the Government for the military services of the country. He was not satisfied that the plans of the Government would be adequate to secure the honour of the country, for the regimental system, which was almost the only branch of the service which held its own during the Crimean War, was to be broken up. He should be glad if some Member of the Government had explained to the House what were the advantages of this tax and why it was the tax of all others which should now be adopted. If the Prime Minister had been in Opposition and a proposal had been made for the increase of such a tax, the right hon. Gentleman would have denounced it in terms of scathing eloquence which would have rung throughout the country, and the increase of the tax would have been impossible.


said, the habit seemed to be growing upon this House of debating the same question many times over, and listening Members discovered that they were hearing the same arguments and statements often repeated. Now, this practice of repeating the same thing over and over again was not one to be encouraged. The division of Monday had really decided the question, and he did not understand why it should be discussed once more. He thought that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had acted a fair, a prudent, and a manly part, when he saw that the feeling of the House and the country was against his first proposition in withdrawing it, and in substituting for it an addition of 2d. to the income tax. There ought then to have been an end of the matter, particularly when it was remembered that they had now a very limited time to get through the business of the Session. Under such circumstances he was ready to support the Government, although he considered that the income tax was a very bad tax. It was originally introduced as a war tax, and he was of opinion that, except for very great emergencies, it ought never to be resorted to. Now, the successes of Prussia in the recent war with France resulted in making the German Empire, beyond all doubt, one of the most formidable military Powers in Europe, and it was not, in his opinion, unreasonable that we in this country should have, in consequence, been led to look at the state of our defences. Having done so, the Government, in entire conformity with public opinion, proposed a plan of Army organization which entailed a considerably increased expenditure, and the question arose how that expenditure should be met. The Chancellor of the Exchequer produced what he thought a well-planned Budget; but the House did not approve of it. He would suggest that the Government, before proposing a new tax, would be wise to look a little at common things and to talk with ordinary people. They should not keep themselves too high in the world. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer had taken a little advice from that unfashionable quarter, the East-end of London, the match tax would never have been heard of. Many Governments had committed a similar fault by elevating their gaze or looking to a vast distance and stumbling over things lying at their feet. The first Budget was abandoned, and the House had already decided that it was proper to make use of the income tax in order to meet an emergency such as existed at present, and to place the country in a position to maintain or avoid a war which might threaten or occur at an early period. There had been much difference of opinion as to a substitute for this impost; and he believed that if both sides of the House considered the question in a candid spirit they would sanction an increased income tax, supposing direct taxation to be accepted as better than indirect modes of raising supplies. He trusted that after a division had been taken there would be no more discussion on this subject.


said, he wished to call attention to a point which had not yet been sufficiently considered. He had always looked upon the income tax—regarded as a war tax, or a tax antece- dent to warlike preparations—as an impost which was placed very unequally upon the different classes of society in this country, and he believed it would never be satisfactorily or reasonably settled until a broad line of demarcation was drawn between income on realized property and income from professional and trade resources alone. The income tax would be neither satisfactory nor reasonable so long as it was continued without regard to the present clear distinction which existed between real property and professional incomes. He never could understand that it was fair or reasonable to tax them both on the same basis, and he suggested that before they imposed an additional 2d. in the pound they should first ascertain the best and fairest mode of levying it. It was not because Estimates had been voted that they should be carried out without re-consideration. Even though it were to be admitted that the purchase system should be abolished—and upon that point he would express no opinion—he saw no reason why it should be abolished now. At present we knew nothing about the cost, and might be committed to an expense inconceivably large. Let it be well understood by the people of the three kingdoms that the money which would be required for the purpose must be raised by taxation, extending to all classes of the community, before Her Majesty's Government proceeded any further with this scheme. At present we had something like a deficit, and that surely was not the time for carrying out so costly a proposal. It was not because the House had a Bill before it of a very complicated character that it should hurry to do that which had certainly never been impressed on the mind of the country until an hon. Gentleman, the Member for the Border Burghs, had thought fit to go through the northern parts of the kingdom, and collecting here and there meetings, not always very numerously attended, explained his views as to the abolition of purchase. Up to that time no one asked for it, and, if not, he did not see why the scheme should be pressed on them now. Something had been said about its costing only £600,000 the first year. But he should like to know what it would cost the last? If the country was told what the cost would be it would probably not be so well pleased. He should like to know what we were to expect if, on every occasion like the present, we were to be told that an additional 1d. or 2d. must be put on the income tax. The abolition of purchase was not an absolute necessity, and it certainly was not imperative that it should be done at a time when there was the approximation to a deficit. He objected to direct taxation being made the camel to bear the whole burden of the national expenditure. Why should not articles of luxury and of foreign manufacture imported into this country bear the burdens of the State? He believed the time would come when we must re-impose duties on articles of commerce, whether imported or exported.


said, the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne) had informed the House that party obligations sat very lightly upon him; but he (Mr. Wykeham Martin) was not in a position to make a similar statement. This was the 18th Session he had had a seat in that House, and he could appeal to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Brand) and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Shaftesbury (Mr. Glyn) if he had ever failed them on a party or Government division; but really he could not vote for the Government that night, but should support the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens), who had made an unanswerable speech in support of his proposal. If he thought the money was absolutely required for a great national emergency, such as a contemplated war or invasion, he would not hesitate to risk his seat to serve the Government; but he did not believe there was any necessity for the proposed increase of taxation, and if the House were to reject the Government proposition he had not the least doubt they would speedily discover a means of relieving the country from the £1,000,000 out of the £1,500,000 it was proposed to cut off by the Resolution before the House. A fortnight ago, the Chancellor of the Exchequer told the House repeatedly that it was profligate and wicked to tax the people £200,000 more than was required; and if that were so, it was more so to take £300,000 out of the pockets of the people than was absolutely required. He (Mr. Wykeham Martin) understood that of the money that was proposed to be raised £700,000 was to be expended on fortifications. He was told that that sum was to be expended in pursuance of the provisions of an Act of Parliament. When that Act was passed, it was thought absolutely necessary to make these gigantic fortifications; but the state of affairs was different now. Were we certain that, in completing the immense fortifications commenced about 14 years ago, we were not raising up for ourselves another Metz? These fortifications would absorb a great portion of our Army, half of our Militia, and a great portion of the Volunteer Force. He thought, therefore, that the proposed expenditure of £700,000 might be spared with great advantage. He would not ask the Government to postpone their scheme for the abolition of purchase or to postpone the payment of Terminable Annuities, because, in doing so, he would be asking them to humiliate themselves; but if it came to a mere question of a deficiency of £500,000 or £600,000, he thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer had ingenuity enough to be able to raise that money in some unobjectionable way. It was not likely that, after supporting the right hon. Gentleman now at the head of the Government for 18 Sessions, he should vote against him now on any light or trivial grounds. Upon people of small incomes, the burden of this extra 2d. on the income tax would be very nearly intolerable, and he hoped that if the Government gained another victory to-night, as he supposed they would do, they would remit some portion of the tax upon small incomes. The idea was not his own, but that of one of the largest banking firms in the City, who had pointed out to him that the burden might be made more tolerable if the exemption now given to people whose incomes were under £199 per annum were extended to people whose incomes were under £300 a-year.


said, that on a former occasion, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer was pressed to withdraw one item from his Budget by some of his anxious supporters, he had warned the right hon. Gentleman that the withdrawal of one item from his Budget might raise a much larger issue, and that prediction had been verified by the Motions that had since been placed upon the Notice Paper by the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith) and by the present Amendment. He gave the Go- vernment credit for having framed their Budget with great care and deliberation, and on equitable principles; but the Budget itself reminded him very strongly of a work he had lately been reading, entitled Ginx's Baby, which was one of a triplet born of respectable parents, somewhat embarrassed in circumstances. At one point the parallel was not exact, for he did not think this child had been found wrapped up in the columns of the leading print. He trusted also that the future career of the family would be more bright, for, if he remembered the tale, Ginx's father emigrated to avoid domestic troubles, and the baby, after passing through a variety of misfortunes, finally committed suicide over Vauxhall Bridge under the pressure of local taxation. Passing from this. It had been said by the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) that there could not be much distinction between a penny and twopenny increase of taxation; but the question was, whether the extra penny was really necessary or not? The hon. Member for Brighton—[Mr. OSBORNE: Which Member?]—Not the agile one, but the Professor—had made a remarkable speech—remarkable in this respect, that it should have come from that side of the House, in which he had expressed his fear of the influence of the democracy; but that was a point on which they had had many lessons. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer had said on one occasion— Everybody knows that if America were altogether governed by the great towns the result would be most disastrous, and that it is the cultivators of the soil who moderate their influence and keep them from rushing on to their own destruction. The right hon. Gentleman had made use also of this remarkable quotation from an American source, addressed to Jefferson— It is quite plain that your Government will never be able to restrain a distressed and discontented majority, and the day will come when in the State of New York a multitude of people—not one of whom has had more than half a breakfast or expects to have more than half a dinner—will choose a Legislature. Another remarkable speech had been made by the hon. and learned Member for the City of Oxford (Mr. Vernon Harcourt), and still another by the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne). Both those hon. Gentlemen had talked of panics—indeed, it was often said from the benches opposite that what was done had been done under a panic, and would not have been done without one. But he was not able to admit that that was the case; and though he might have looked for such sentiments from a parochial legislator, he never should have expected them from men of such distinguished position and ability as the hon. and learned Member for Oxford and the right hon. Member for Waterford. [Mr. OSBORNE: I am not right honourable.] Well, from the hon. Gentleman who ought to be right hon. Member for Waterford. The Estimates were not too large if they were to secure the safety of the country, and with that object in view they could not have been less, even if the late war had not occurred. This country should be safe, not only from invasion, but from the fear of invasion, and from the diplomatic insults she had received during the past year. He should almost have been inclined to have sympathized with Her Majesty's Government in the position in which they found themselves, were it not that they had adopted the policy of wasteful remission of taxation. He objected at the time to the remission of the 1s. duty on corn, the repeal of which had been of no benefit whatever to the consumer. It appeared that in 1867 34,645,569 cwts of corn had been imported, of the value of £22,102,884, while 242,460 cwts had been exported, the price being 60s. 2d. per quarter; in 1868, 32,639,808 cwts had been imported, of the value of £20,877,392, against 306,622 cwts exported, the price being 50s. 11d. per quarter; in 1869, 37,695,828 cwts had been imported, of the value of £17,043,009, against 78,464 exported, the price being 40s. 8d. per quarter; and in 1870, 31,026,142 cwts of the value of £14,879,335 were imported, against 1,465,685 exported, the price being 52s. 3d. per quarter. The whole benefit, therefore, of the remission of the 1s. duty went, not into the pocket of the consumer, but into those of certain merchants who were engaged in the corn trade. When the remission of that duty was proposed two years ago, he (Mr. Corrance) had opposed it on the ground which had the authority of all great financiers, that a duty of that description was not a tax upon the consumer. The right hon. Gentleman had talked of free trade; but this was not, and never had been, a question of free trade. What right, then, had the right hon. Gentleman to throw these corn duties in their teeth as furnishing an argument? He came now to the great principle of direct and indirect taxation. They all knew that the income tax was intolerable; that no less than £57,000,000 under one schedule escaped taxation; and that under Schedules B, C, D, and E, the remissions amounted to £52,000,000. That was almost conclusive against putting on such a tax as this. With regard to indirect taxes, it had been said that they fell upon the poorer class. He denied that, unless they fell upon articles of primary want. Of all articles of luxury that could not be said. Again, throughout that discussion nothing had been said of the assessed taxes; the whole pressure had been put on the income tax. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Finsbury suggested the propriety of taking advantage of the Terminable Annuities. He well remembered when the scheme of the Terminable Annuities was brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman, and the great authorities by whom it was opposed, among others, by Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Laing. The former had put it thus— Would a landowner, who owed money on mortgage at 3½ per cent, which enabled him to make 7 or 7½ per cent by draining his land—would a merchant, who borrowed money at 4 per cent, and made 8 per cent out of it by extending his trade—would a manufacturer, who borrowed money at 5 per cent, and earned 10 per cent upon it—be taking a wise and prudent course in adopting the straight-laced recommendation to pay off the money they had borrowed, and abstain from making those improvements which would enable them to double the interest they had to pay? This, he concluded, was the way in which the country ought to look at this great question."—[3 Hansard, clxxxiii. 1204.] Mr. Laing had said—"He declined to commit the nation to a prospective payment of indefinite amount out of taxes." To that weight of authority, if they added the names of Earl Granville, Mr. Henley, Mr. Marsh, and other well-informed financiers, it was scarcely possible to admit of further doubt. But, if it were possible, he would turn to the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government himself, and take his own account of this financial puzzle, which would explain better than any words of his own the real position which existed. Now, what had the right hon. Gentleman said? He said— That the operation of reducing the Debt would involve a present expense to the country of £550,000, and £748,000 the year after this, leaving £480,000 as the future annual cost, as a charge upon the Revenue until 1885. Now, he would ask the right hon. Gentleman this—and he begged to request his attention to it—had those anticipations been fulfilled, and was that the real state of the case? [Mr. GLADSTONE: Yes.] Then he thought it a matter of regret that the credit of the country should be so pledged. But the right hon. Gentleman had also said— Terminable Annuities have, I think, very great political advantages. They place the payment of the public Debt to a certain amount beyond competition for the repeal of this or that particular tax, and beyond the caprices and vicissitudes of the finances of any particular year. Now, was the right hon. Gentleman at that instant so well satisfied at that? [Mr. GLADSTONE signified assent.] Well, then, his satisfaction was not partaken of in the House; and he trusted that, as in such words there seemed to be a loophole of escape, he would not consider himself bound to give them effect. He had detained the House long enough; but his opinion was this—he believed the only good reason then given for that transaction was that they were then unfortunate enough to have a surplus of £778,000. He thought he had said enough to justify the Resolution of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Finsbury and the vote he intended to give in its favour.


said, the Motion now before the House was really this—"that it is inexpedient that the whole of the additional amount that is required this year should be raised by the income tax." ["No, no!"] He begged pardon; that was Monday's Motion, which was negatived by a majority of 85; but he ventured to say that was precisely the same Motion that was now before the House. ["Hear, hear!" and "No, no!"] The only difference he could suggest was that on Monday the reduction proposed was indefinite, while tonight it was a definite reduction of 1d. in the pound. Practically, therefore, they were debating over again the Motion which was rejected on Monday last. He ventured to appeal to the candid opinion of the House whether the speeches to which they had listened to-night had not been identical with those of Monday last? [Mr. OSBORNE: No!] Certainly, on Monday they had not heard a speech so amusing as that which had been delivered to-night by the hon. Member for Waterford. [Mr. OSBORNE: Nor one so convincing.] But it occurred to him to ask whether last Session the hon. Member for Waterford held precisely the same opinions. [Mr. OSBORNE: There was then a different state of things.] There was this difference in the state of things—They had not then learnt the lessons they had now learnt. Those great realities which had since occurred had come home to the heart of the country. They were now proceeding on experience; whereas then they were only dealing with hypothesis. He honestly confessed the state of things was different from what it was in August last, and so was the attitude taken by hon. Gentlemen opposite. Surely it was not to the credit of the House that, as was said by one of his Colleagues on Monday last, they should pass from a state of panic to a state of false security—that they should blow hot and cold, and be shifting their policy with every change in the events of the day. He hoped hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House would do justice to the Government in this respect—they would admit that it must have been with great pain, and after mature deliberation, that they proposed an increase of the Estimates, That proposal was not made lightly, and they were not unprepared to meet many such criticisms as they had heard; but they felt it their imperative duty to face these criticisms, and they would stand by what they had done. In listening to the various speeches, he felt that there was one party who had gained in strength—namely, the economists of the House. Why? Because these debates had shown the immense difficulty there was in the present Parliament in finding the additional money which the House declared should be voted. That was a fact to be deplored quite irrespective of the difficulty the Government had encountered. Only one point seemed to be considered—how to shift the burden; and the suggestion made was to borrow. ["No!"] He was glad it was not so; he trusted they were not going to borrow money to supply the deficit; but as he read the Motion of his hon. Friend the proposal distinctly was to borrow part of the money required. ["No, no!"] Then he could only say the Motion was one on which it was impossible to come to any one consistent interpretation; and, indeed, the speeches to which they had listened rather indicated that to be the real result of the debate. Many of the speakers seemed about to vote in favour of his hon. Friend's Amendment in order to get rid of the Army Regulation Bill—they wanted to get rid of the £600,000, though no mention was made of it in the Amendment. Their object was to defeat the Government by indirect means, while hon. Members opposite could not defeat them by direct measures. To-night they had been addressed by two Members who were the representatives of minorities—the minority Member for Leeds (Mr. Wheelhouse), and the minority Member for Manchester (Mr. Birley). ["No. no!"] Surely, he was right in saying that these hon. Members represented the minorities in those towns because they did not receive so many votes as the aggregate number of those given to the Liberal Members. Few Members for large towns sat upon the opposite side; but they seemed determined to utilize them to-night. ["Oh, oh!"] A good many hard words had been used against the Government, and was he called upon to be mealy-mouthed? There were certain reasons which made hon. Members opposite feel uncomfortable in opposing this additional penny of income tax. [An hon. MEMBER: Additional twopence.] It was not the additional two pence that was opposed for they would vote an extra penny; and therefore it was only the other penny that was involved. One of the objections of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens) was that additional income tax would pinch the lower middle class. He felt that it was hard that additional burdens should be thrown upon them; and he observed that this statement caused the cheers from the Opposition to subside. And why? Because hon. Members knew what he was coming to. At Chambers of Agriculture they said—"Tax personal property. Otherwise, you cannot reach fortunes such as that of the late Mr. Brassey." ["Oh, oh!"] Had they not deplored the fact that colossal fortunes escaped? They wished to tax personalty. That had distinctly been their policy. But when they hoped to defeat the Army Regulation Bill, they supported the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury against the taxation of personalty by making piteous appeals for the lower middle class. Gentlemen opposite had long been making proposals in the Chambers of Agriculture for the imposition of a local income tax. ["No, no!"] Why, he believed that a Motion had lately been passed in an influential Chamber of Agriculture previously to the effect that no Bill on the subject of local taxation which did not tax personal property would be acceptable to the country. It was true that they had not spoken in this strain to-night; they were afraid to do so because it would show their cards. The very men who were for shifting the burden of local taxation on to personal property now supported a Motion against the increase of the income tax. It was unfair that the Government should be held up to odium for seeking to put an additional 2d. on the income tax, when for years past the agricultural interest and the Conservative party had been contending that personal property was not sufficiently taxed, and that it ought permanently to bear a larger share of the taxation of the country. He wanted to know what was the great offence of the Government in this matter? It was that they had endeavoured to meet the existing deficiency by taxation. Was that the issue on which they were to divide? Was the issue borrowing versus taxation? Upon that issue the Government were prepared to take the division. ["No, no!"] Hon. Gentlemen opposite said—"No, no"; some hon. Gentlemen below the gangway said this was a question of retrenchment. Now, there was no question of retrenchment in the case. If the Government were to accept the Resolution, what guarantee would the economists in the House have that they would get the same support from hon. Members opposite? The guarantee for economy was in the union, not in the division, of the Liberal party. Gentlemen below the gangway were not more anxious than the Government to keep down expenditure. Her Majesty's Ministers had honestly endeavoured to keep it down, and they had been successful for two years. The increase of this year for great objects which the House had supported was not equal to the reductions which had previously been effected. They were as much as ever in favour of economy; but when the question lay between economy and security, they did not shrink from the duty from fear of being accused of proposing extravagant Estimates. He hoped hon. Members below the gangway who were in favour of economy would not think they were furthering their cause by voting with the hon. Member for Finsbury. The issue which he raised was that of borrowing versus taxation, and he dwelt upon the great advantage of spreading the payment over a certain number of years, and not charging permanent improvements on the present year. The question, then, was, how was the House to deal with the question of borrowing? There were two ways of dealing with it. It might be contended that if we wished to ease the taxation of this year, we need not borrow the money, but only suspend the payment of the Terminable Annuities. Apart from the consideration of the other questions which had been introduced, he wished to know whether the House was prepared to sanction the interruption of the great policy of paying off the National Debt, for the sake of avoiding one or two millions of taxation, when, through the Terminable Annuities, we had paid off £50,000,000 of the National Debt since the year 1850. The incalculable benefit of that to future generations could not escape the attention of the House. If hon. Members below the gangway could divest themselves of the idea that they were furthering their economical notions by the course they were pursuing, they would support the Government in carrying out a policy to which they attached the greatest importance. With regard to the policy of borrowing, his hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Fowler) had said that what they had got to do was to take care of the present, leaving the future to take care of itself. But surely no Government could be expected to avow or maintain such a policy. The Government would think they had betrayed their trust if they took such a view of the destinies of a great country, and said that "sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." Did his hon. Friend the junior Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) think economy would be promoted if for every outlay we were to borrow money? A man was certainly not deemed economical if he borrowed money, more especially if he charged the repayment on his posterity. There were no more certain means of increasing expenditure than by borrowing from year to year. Take the case of the fortifications. What had made the system under which they were built so exceedingly unpopular? It was because we now felt the burden of the expenditure incurred some years ago—because the principle was not followed out of paying in the year the debts which belonged to that particular year. No Government, he believed, would have the strength to resist the constant appeals for increased expenditure from all sides of the House if they were to propose the easy expedient of borrowing, and say—"We need only care for the present—the future of this great country must take care of itself." The Government were content to take a vote on that issue. They felt it was our duty to think, not only of ourselves, but also of posterity, and to pay off the National Debt as fast and by such means as we could. The expedient of the Terminable Annuities had been very successful, and it would be unworthy of the House of Commons, for the sake of this temporary embarrassment—if embarrassment it could be called—to make an inroad upon that system. One word with respect to Votes of Confidence. It had been said that Votes of Confidence had been constantly asked for by the Government. The fact was the Government never asked for a Vote of Confidence, and, of course, it was not their fault if they opposed the Votes of Want of Confidence which were proposed by others. This was a matter on which he and his Colleagues on the Treasury bench felt very strongly. It was painful to the Government that questions were constantly raised by their supporters which were called questions of confidence. But they felt that there were questions which they could not deal with in any other manner. There were certain principles and matters of duty in which they could only be guided by their own sense of honour. There were points in reference to which they could accept even with pleasure, the views and opinions of their friends, and of the majority of their supporters; but there were other questions of policy which they could not accept, because by doing so they would be carrying out a policy with which they did not agree. Therein lay the difference between independent Members and Members of the Government. If Members of the Government were called upon to do things to which they were in their consciences opposed, it was impossible for them to accept the charge, not because they wished to treat the matter as one of temper or of party, but because they disapproved of the policy. It would not be the duty of a responsible Government to allow the great principle of the payment of the National Debt to be interfered with. They were the guardians of the public purse, responsible for the conduct of affairs, and they must act with a view to considerations for the future which independent Members might be relieved from regarding. They appealed with confidence to Members sitting on their side of the House. They had no temper in the matter. They had no feeling of amour propre about it; but it was a matter of great importance to a Government while declaring its readiness to provide for a proposed expenditure in a manner the House would approve of, to avoid the reckless system of first proposing expenditure and then leaving it to their successors to meet. It was upon that issue the Government wished to be tried, and they left the verdict with confidence to the House.


said, he would not follow the right hon. Gentleman into the speculations in which he had indulged, as to want of confidence in the Government, which he had very properly addressed to his own supporters, nor would he enter into any disquisition as to what had been done by Chambers of Agriculture. So far as he could understand from what had taken place in the House, the feeling of the party with which he was connected was, that in the case of local taxation, when large additions were made for Imperial, rather than for local purposes, that taxation should be taken rather from the Consolidated Fund than from local sources. He had risen to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Torrens)—a Motion which might, on the face of it, mean one of two things, either that the expenditure ought not to be incurred, or that, if it ought, the Ways and Means ought to be raised in some other manner. He would endeavour briefly to examine both these positions, and would merely remark, in passing, that those who held either of these opinions, different as they were, must necessarily act together, and that there was no more inconsistency in their doing so than, for instance, in Roman Catholics and Dissenters uniting for diametrically opposite reasons in the destruction of the Irish Church. We had been told, however, with regard to the first point, that we were committed to this expenditure, that especially hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House had constantly, under the influence of panic, or perhaps from worse motives, been crying out for excessive armaments. Passing over the evident fact that a strong Government need not listen to what it deemed an unreasonable clamour, let him ask what they had demanded, and to what they were committed? They had asked for adequate forces—forces adequate to maintain the prestige of the country—a prestige which, to put it on the lowest grounds, had a money value which would be worth a large expenditure. They had demanded this, he admitted, and they demanded it still. The whole country required it. He thought he had heard it said that the working men did not share this panic, did not want this expenditure, and ought not to pay for it. Well he, for one, did not admit the panic. He did not believe there had been anything which could be properly called a panic; but if there were one thing more conspicuous than another during last autumn and winter it was the keenness with which the working classes felt what they, rightly or wrongly, considered to be the contemptible part which England had played during these great events, and what at least seemed to them her practical exclusion from those European councils in which she was formerly so powerful an arbitrator. Well, where were the adequate forces? We could obtain little information except that we should get them by means of the Bill from which many of the best authorities on military matters hoped so little, and which, at any rate, might take yet many unexpected shapes. This they knew, that purchase and retirement were two gulfs which would swallow up vast sums, and though if we were to begin again we should not adopt this system, which he, for one, was certainly not going to defend on principle, yet why choose the present moment to saddle the country with this in addition to other permanent charges? The Secretary of State for War had said that it was the basis of his re-organization; but he had not shown the House how it was so. But if so, and if this comprehensive scheme had long been contemplated, as it must have been, it should have been provided for by anticipation. If we were to talk of panics, what sort of panic was that which induced us to reduce our prepara- tions when the clouds were gathering, and to augment them when the clouds had burst? Yet this would have been the case had this Army re-organization been caused by the Continental War. He assumed, then, that this scheme had long been contemplated; and, if so, though he did not call the reduction of indirect taxation throwing away money, yet he thought that reduction should have been deferred until these great changes had been paid for. This had gone by, and if objections existed, which he did not deny, to frequent changes of duty on articles of ordinary consumption, yet, in his judgment, the same objection would not apply to the imposition of an additional 5 per cent on all duties. He quite agreed that we ought not to be sangnine in anticipations of revenue. We had had two years of excessive drought; we might have one now of excessive rain. Another year's bad harvest would fall with extreme severity on all who lived by the land. He need not argue against the income tax as a permanent tax. The Prime Minister had more than once shown that the impossibility of making the incidence fair and equitable in the eyes of the people was a very strong objection to its permanent use, and though a rough sort of balance had been contrived by other taxes, the objection in great measure remained. The hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease) talked about the middle class Members of this House being responsible for the expenditure, and being made to feel it. Well, he had already said that he thought all classes were responsible, yet he quite admitted that in another sense Members of that House were responsible, and he hoped they might long remain so; but the middle class was a large class with enormous difference of circumstances between the two extremes. To the hon. Member for South Durham, as to most of the hon. Members of that House, an additional 1d. or 2d. in the income tax represented an entry in their banker's book; but to the poor, sickly, ill-paid clerk, or the still worse paid, curate, it meant the impossibility of taking his family from hot and crowded streets, of which they complained even at the open West-end, to get a breath of God's fresh country air, which would have to last them for 11 months afterwards, and be it remembered when they talked of responsibility that these classes with small, fixed in- comes had, perhaps, less political influence than any other. But they were told that the expenditure was in great part transitory, and, therefore, the income tax was the proper burden from which it should be derived. At any rate the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not think so when he introduced his Budget, and though he had been stripped bare he was not ashamed, but still thought his first Budget the best of the two; nor did the President of the Poor Law Board think so when he told the House that the Civil Service Estimates were increasing, and would increase. Therefore, he ventured to think that at this moment of pressure they ought not to make artificial scarcity by employing balances which they might use in aid of the Revenue, in redeeming part of the annual rent-charge which was called the National Debt, to do which he maintained they were under no legal or moral obligation whatever. Talking of panics, the Prime Minister, indeed, once created a panic by endeavouring to prove that this was the duty of Government on account of the prospective failure of coal. This was a valid argument if the facts were true; but they had heard nothing of it lately. They knew, on the contrary, that the great and increasing wealth of the country, not to mention the effect of gold discoveries on the value of money, made the burden of this rent-charge relatively lighter every year. This being so, he hardly thought they were called upon to show such great tenderness for the interests of posterity as to pinch themselves to spare them sufferings which they might never feel. The arguments against tying up money for the benefit of future generations—namely, that they could not tell what might be the circumstances and wants of future generations—were precisely of a similar nature. Long before 1905, when the Prime Minister's operation B was to terminate, even before 1885, when under operation A the first Terminable Annuities were to expire, the republic of the hon. Member for Nottingham (Mr. Auberon Herbert) might have dealt, contrary to his wish no doubt, in a much more summary way with the National Debt. He thought he was quite as entitled to anticipate this as to suppose that the extinction of coal would make the payment impossible. Putting it in any form they chose, there could be no doubt that the Terminable Annuity plan was simply a device to induce the taxpayer to pay more than he need pay every year to the reduction of the Debt. It had been argued as if these Annuities were held by annuitants, living people of flesh and blood, to whom the public faith was pledged. Nothing of the sort; they were mere entries in books. The only reality about them was the additional sum which, beyond the interest due on the Consols they represented, was extracted from the pockets of the taxpayer, and was really a re-payment of part of the capital of the Debt. By converting Consols into Terminable Annuities, they were doing exactly the opposite of what railway companies were now doing to so great an extent for the sake of relieving and steadying their finances—namely, converting debentures into debenture stock. He did not say that in ordinary years this operation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was wrong. He was quite aware that the argument of leaving taxes to fructify in the hands of the people had been pushed too far; but the reply that the money was not swallowed, but went at once into the market, though perfectly true did not entirely meet the case. The money, especially when raised by income tax, was drawn from a vast number of small payers, who were all obliged to reduce that expenditure which profited those around them. The aggregate sums which went from the Exchequer into the market were more generally employed by capitalists, and by them, possibly, devoted to railways in South America or elsewhere abroad, or to other objects which might or might not indirectly benefit this country. This plan of inducing people—tricking them, to use the word in no bad sense—into paying more of the Debt than they supposed they were paying might have its recommendations. Like the old woman who paid so many pence a-week which she did not miss to a clothing club, and was pleasurably surprised at the amount to which she was entitled at the end of the year, the nation heard with complacency that the National Debt had been reduced so many millions almost imperceptibly. But the result would be far less satisfactory to the old woman and to the nation if they had starved themselves to make the periodical payments. The Terminable Annuities was an expensive way of borrowing, partly because allowance was made for the un- fair incidence of the income tax. In this case of mere bookkeeping it was, of course, not so while there was a surplus. But in a year of deficit they did something which was not a mere matter of entry, if they raised for purposes of revenue a sum perhaps not more than their revenue would suffice for, if they did not repay that portion of capital which they were not obliged to do. The moment they got beyond the manipulation of their own books they necessarily incurred the expenses which must attend new transactions, as an illustration only of which he might mention the £1,000 which must be paid for the new match stamp—a sum, of course, utterly wasted, and which it would take the pennies off the incomes of very many poor clerks to supply; whereas by merely making an entry in the nation's books this year, and next, and the year after if necessary, to this effect—to interest so much, to redemption of principal nil—they would simply remain as they were, incurring no new liabilities, fulfilling all their engagements, and avoiding expense. Though he quite admitted it was better on the whole when they had laid down a plan like this of the Terminable Annuities to adhere to it, yet if there ever was a time in which it might be reasonably suspended it was when the deficiency was caused by the re-organization of the Army, which changed what had existed for centuries, and which, if it was beneficial, would confer benefits on those who would be here long after they had passed away. But there was another argument. There was before the House a most important Bill, dealing with Chancery funds to the amount of some £60,000,000, by which he understood the Chancellor of the Exchequer would gain some £750,000 a-year, besides the means of creating more Annuities, of which, from his point of view, that they were merely an excuse for increased taxation, he spoke more doubtingly. With this enhanced power of dealing with the principal of the Debt he thought there need not be such great unwillingness to stay for a brief period the repayments at present going on in a similar way. If this were done an additional 1d. to the income tax would be ample, and no other tax would be required. The Prime Minister recommended the plan of Terminable Annuities in 1866, because it enabled the Chancellor to borrow from his banking account in order to avoid selling stock in a falling market. Was there not a greater cause now? In conclusion, he thought Her Majesty's Government right in demanding every shilling which the defence and the honour of the country might require. He thought them wrong in pressing forward for the sake, he might say, of mere symmetry the costly project of abolition of purchase, which was not essential to either. He thought them wrong in devising so vast and expensive a scheme as Army reorganization without retaining last year a proportion of indirect taxation to meet it, and, above all, he thought them wrong in supplying the whole deficiency of the year by means of a vexatious, oppressive, unpopular tax, which bore most hardly on the most helpless classes of the community.


concurred entirely in the remarks of the last speaker as to the desirability of not interfering with the Terminable Annuities, and he also agreed in that respect, and that only, with the First Lord of the Admiralty, who said they ought not to forget the claims of posterity. The right hon. Gentleman had asked then what offence the Government had committed against hon. Gentlemen below the gangway, and what fault they had to find with them. The few words that he had to say were intended as an answer to a challenge which he thought was entitled to a reply. When a Government came into office elected by the people and put into power under certain pledges, he, for one, thought those pledges ought to be maintained. The right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury bench came into power in 1868 in the avowed policy of "economy and retrenchment." The Irish Church and several other matters doubtless formed a part of the programme; but economy and retrenchment were paraded from Lancashire to London. But what had the Government done since then? They had violated all their pledges, they had coquetted with the Delilah of Conservatism. They had carried measures by the aid of hon. Members opposite in the very teeth of hon. Gentlemen below the gangway, who had, therefore, a right to complain, and had voted with reluctance against some of their measures. And what had happened this Session? They had largely increased armaments and largely increased Estimates. To meet the expenditure the Chancellor of the Exchequer first came forward with a Budget that certainly met with little favour from that House. He (Mr. Muntz) was one of the 41 who, on the night it was brought forward, voted against a tax which he might say was unequalled for its matchless effrontery—the tax on matches. That tax was a retrogression on the policy of the last 25 years, a re-introduction of Excise drawback, and all the annoyances resulting from the taxation of manufactured articles. The right hon. Gentleman said that this tax was to be levied in accordance with the principle adopted in the United States; but that was a mistake, for our Yankee cousins were far too shrewd to tax an article in a manner which would increase the effect of the tax tenfold, but taxed it as it was sold over the counter. That tax would have ruined 150,000 people. Then came the doubling of the succession duty, which would have fallen heavily upon the honest man, but would have been evaded more than it was now by the dishonest man, and would have brought no more to the Exchequer. Then came the new mode of assessing the income tax, a mode which appeared to be intended to teach the country decimals, and now the Government had brought forward a tax of 2d. in the pound on income, thus augmenting a tax which pressed so heavily, so annoyingly, and with so much of the character of a nuisance upon the lower middle classes. He maintained, however, that the extra penny was not wanted, and he would show how the 5d. tax proposed by his hon. Friend (Mr. Torrens) would amply suffice. The additional penny which he was ready to give would yield £1,500,000. The fortifications mentioned by the hon. Member for Rochester (Mr. P. Wykeham Martin) would cost £700,000, and there could be no occasion for them just at present, for we never had less cause to fear an invasion. All the fortifications, too, at Plymouth, Portsmouth, and so on, might just as well be thrown into the sea. In addition to those sums there were £600,000 which he should take the liberty of voting against when the Army Estimates came to be considered. If it was right to abolish purchase in the manner proposed, they were not bound to pay in a few years for what had arisen in the course of two centuries. That would give £2,800,000, and if that advice were followed there would be no necessity for resorting to any new imposition of taxation. Supposing the £600,000 was not to be had, his opinion was that the Estimates of the Chancellor of the Exchequer fell very far below what would be realized. He understood the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister on Monday to make this question a Vote of Want of Confidence; he understood—he should be glad to learn whether his interpretation was correct—that the threat of resignation was held over the House in terrorem. No one would regret such a decision more than he should; but it could never be tolerated by the House that hon. Members were never to exercise a free opinion, to hold by that which they deemed essential to the welfare of our common country. He should regret very much to see a change of Government, and nothing would induce him to vote against the Government on this occasion were it not that he believed it to be a duty he owed to his country and his constituents. Believing that, nothing should deter him from doing so.


said, that if he remembered aright, the Prime Minister said he had searched every precedent, but that there was not one to be found for any Ministry withdrawing a Budget and then remaining in office. [Mr. GLADSTONE dissented.] The first Budget had been practically withdrawn, and yet the Ministry were still there, and his belief was that if the income tax was reduced from 2d. to a 1d. they would find the Ministry there still, and exceedingly rejoiced at having got out of the difficulty. His principal object in rising, however, was to ask for explanation of a statement made by the President of the Poor Law Board in his speech the other night, when speaking of indirect taxation. The right hon. Gentleman said that it would be a great question what indirect taxation should be taken off for the future, for that when indirect taxation was once removed the alternative would be an increase or the suspension to the extent of the amount required of the payment for the reduction of the National Debt. Were they from that to understand that the policy of Her Majesty's Government, in case we required any exceptional or traditional expenditure, was in future to resolve itself into this alternative of an increase of the income tax, or a suspension of the payment of the National Debt? It was a question of the utmost importance, and required their most serious consideration. The First Lord of the Admiralty had stated, in effect, that the only alteration, under present circumstances, to the income tax was the suspension of the Terminable Annuities. Now the constituencies of large towns were certainly of the opinion that the incidence of taxation should remain as at present; and he would remind the right hon. Gentleman that in the North there were a large number of owners of real property, although they were of humble means; so that the question was really not one between real and personal property, but between the rich and the poor. He also wished to point out that, seeing that the so-called constitutional expenditure of this year for the Army Bill was £600,000, and that it was to be next year £1,200,000, it was the bounden duty of any Gentleman that had to propose such a scheme, to bring in with it some well-organized and comprehensive scheme of finance to meet it. The truth was that the transaction would only go from great to greater, and the Government had never told them how great it might be. He protested, therefore, against the notion that the whole of such expenditure should be placed on the income tax alone, whereby it would press most heavily on that class of the community that was least able to bear it. He had one word more to say. A great deal had been said with reference to the Terminable Annuities that had little to do with the question. The point really was this. If they omitted from their calculations the sums necessary for the Terminable Annuities, it would be proper that the amount required for the Army Bill should be met by a scheme of taxation spreading over years; and as for the sum required for the reduction of the National Debt, it ought, beyond all dispute, to be levied with the most scrupulous exactness over all classes of the community. In regard to the extra 2d. of the income tax, if the Government persisted in refusing to listen to the suggestion of the hon. Member for Finsbury, it would be said of them—


said, that the hon. Gentleman had just asked some questions about the abolition of purchase that called for an answer, which Gentlemen in that part of the House could give quite as well as the Government. Hon. Gentlemen opposite did not appear to like the Army Regulation Bill, and he assured them that what had occurred in the House during the last fortnight had made him, and those who felt with him, much more indifferent about the measure than they were formerly. The Bill was not a Bill for abolishing purchase, but simply a well-devised machinery for insuring officers of the Army against the injurious effects of economic reform. No one who had heard the speeches of the last few days could doubt that economic reform on a very large scale was coming. Did hon. Gentlemen believe that whether purchase was abolished or not the country would submit for ever to maintaining one regimental officer to every 31 men, and allow the Army to be swamped with 580 generals? He assured hon. Gentlemen there would not be a town of over 20,000 people in the whole country which would not be made acquainted, in the course of the autumn, with the real meaning of the debates of the past week or two. The secret of administrative extravagance was to be found in the large salaries obtained by the influential classes with which no Government had yet ventured to deal. The Government knew very well that when once these salaries were cut down, as far as the Army Estimates were concerned, the price of commissions would fall. Officers knew they had a good bargain in the Army Regulation Bill, and when they read certain announcements on the Notice Paper they might clearly discern this was the last year the over-regulation price would be offered them. It was not, therefore, in the interest of his own political friends that the Army Regulation Bill should go on, but in the interest of those officers in whose behalf the Opposition had spoken. He believed and hoped that, after the lesson the Government had received, they would begin to deal with all the great sinecures, the Lord Privy Seals, and Junior Commissioners of Inland Revenue just as they had dealt with the clerks in public offices and the dockyard labourers. And in return for the votes the Government would get from below the gangway, he trusted that Ministers would use every effort to press forward those great measures which had been urged upon them during the past two Sessions, and show as much energy for the welfare of Great Britain as they had displayed in behalf of the regeneration of Ireland.


, agreeing with the principle on which the Budget was framed, desired to explain why he did not intend to vote for the Government. If that money was necessary to be raised, he knew of no better means of doing it than those now proposed. He would not refer to the match tax that had been already everywhere condemned; but they had been told that the question of increasing the succession, probate, and legacy duties, though withdrawn at present, was to be again brought forward at a future period for their dispassionate consideration. Now, he ventured to say that a more iniquitous impost than the present succession and legacy duties did not exist on the Statute Book. They taxed the whole personal property of the county; and whilst upon real property the burden was comparatively slight, on personal property the duties varied from 3 to 12 per cent. He was astonished that a Chancellor of the Exchequer should have the effrontery to make such a proposal for increasing them. For himself, he could not have sanctioned any addition to the tea or sugar duties, because he thought it would be very unwise, for the sake of meeting a temporary exigency like the present, to lay increased taxes on the necessaries of the poor. Neither could he agree with those who said that the £900,000 which had been remitted upon imported corn was money thrown away. If, therefore, there was to be any increase of taxation, it could not take a better form than a 6d. income tax. But he objected to any increased taxation at all. The late invasion panic had been artificially stimulated by the newspapers, which had nothing else to do in the long vacation but to write warlike articles, and by that means an unhealthy public opinion had been created, which had induced the Government to bring forward those extravagant Estimates. He hoped the Government would re-consider their Estimates and their Budget, which they might fairly do, considering the altered state of affairs on the Continent—for there was that loophole open to them. The country was not in favour of increased taxation; it was a mere newspaper cry; and any necessary expenditure consequent upon it should be placed not upon the poor, but upon those who had excited the cry.


Sir, there is no doubt that by the importation of foreign topics any field of debate in this House can be made sufficiently wide; but I think that the issue before us this evening, if we look at it calmly, dispassionately, and as men of business, is a narrow one. Foreign topics, on this occasion, are nevertheless topics in themselves of great importance, which we have had, and which we shall again have, an opportunity of discussing with propriety and advantage, and I hope I may be permitted to say without offence that topics relating to the public expenditure are, when the House is upon a question of Ways and Means, strictly and properly foreign topics. I trust I speak in the hearing of those whose memory will enable them to correct me when I say that every effort and every declaration, come from what quarter or what side of the House it may, which tends to the reduction of the public expenditure, has always been met on my part—I speak for myself, and I might say likewise for my Colleagues whether we could agree with it or not—with respect and also with sympathy. To those sentiments I fully adhere. But I venture to point out in the utmost seriousness of mind that there cannot be a greater mistake on the part of the friends of economy and retrenchment than the urging of economy and retrenchment with reference to Motions which relate to the means of providing for charges which the House had already voted. If the House of Commons is to pursue this course—if it is in the first instance to vote unanimously, or to vote with very small minorities, charges which are recommended by the Government in Supply, and, if when we come to the means of meeting those charges, combinations are to be formed with those whose only complaint, so far as the Estimates are concerned, has been that those charges were insufficient—if these combinations are to be formed with the effect of producing powerful demonstrations, not in favour of retrenchment nor in favour of the reduction of the Estimates, but against the means of meeting the engagements which the votes of this House have created, the result will be not the diminution of the Estimates, not their withdrawal, not the reduction of the expenditure, but the sliding unawares into the fatal system of meeting every temporary want by the ignoble source of borrowing, in disregard of the principle which every sound, every salutary—aye, and I venture to say every ancestral maxim of prudence has made us adopt and take delight in adopting—the principle of regard for the future. But what says my hon. Friend the Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne)? Why, that he yielded to no man in regard for the future. [Mr. OSBORNE: I did not say so.] I thought I heard my hon. Friend say it to-night? I must say that in general, where others are speaking, my hon. Friend is not remarkable for that close reticence now evinced by him. But my hon. Friend has to-night adopted a line of argument which in itself commands from me a considerable sympathy. He wishes to hold the Ministry to very strict rules of action, and no doubt he will apply them with even greater rigour to himself. He says, for example, that I spoke of what it was the pleasure of the country to spend from year to year, and then he put it to me—"But what is it your pleasure to spend?"—as if it were a matter of duty for me to exact as a condition of holding office in this country that the whole expenditure of the State should be adjusted and squared according to my private opinion. No doubt there would be something of a magnificent Egotism in the adoption of such a rule, as for an individual, be he who he may—be he the greatest who lives or who has lived—to undertake to say in a country which boasts of being self-governed that he will not contaminate himself by touching the helm of public affairs unless all matters of pounds, shillings, and pence are referred not to the people at large, but to his private conscience and understanding. I have never acted upon that principle. I leave it to the heroic elevation of my hon. Friend to revive the age of chivalry in that and every other respect. I confess I have always thought it my duty to conform to what I find to be the determined inclination of the people in that respect; but, at the same time, as far as depends on my individual action, to spare no effort and sometimes even to strain a point for the purpose of checking the inclination to expenditure. But my hon. Friend had another charge against me, and said I laid the responsibility upon the House of Commons. I never laid upon the House of Commons the responsibility for the purpose of exempting the Government. In Lancashire I contended that the Government of the day were responsible for the expenditure of the time, and I do not think they will allege that any portion of the expenditure they adopted was forced upon them by the Opposition of that day. I think that it is my duty to say that there is, from time to time, a great, a most unhappy tendency—I will not say in this House as a whole, but in portions of this House, in portions and sections of this House, in individuals of this House—to press expenditure on the Government, and to appeal to excited public feeling. I heard very sound doctrine from my hon. Friend to-night opposing a Vote in Ways and Means. He manfully went to the root of the matter, and said—"The mischief is in an excessive expenditure." Yes; but how long has my hon. Friend held that lofty strain? How long is it since he alarmed us with a forgotten saying of Napoleon about the possession of Antwerp? How long is it since he endeavoured to inflame to the uttermost the sentiments of the people at a time when they were naturally excited? He speaks to-night of economy. What did he say last July?—the question then not of meeting a charge, but of incurring one. The doctrine which I laid down with confidence is this:—Be economical, be restrictive, I will not say be obstructive, but, at any rate, be firm when you are incurring a charge; but in meeting one which you have incurred, pray remember the obligation you are under. When the question was of incurring a charge my hon. Friend was liberal enough; aye, not only liberal in respect to the question then under consideration, but liberal to the extent of condemning severely the previous economies, and with a greater freedom of language than he has found it necessary to use to-night. On the 18th of July, 1870, a question arose in Supply on the Army Estimates, and what said the hon. Gentleman? He said— Here we are on the eve of a great European war [Mr. OSBORNE: Hear, hear!], and we are unable to play our part in Europe, because we have got into such a muddle with our 'cheap and nasty' system. [Cheers.] I am cheered from the other side of the House; but I make no complaint whatever, for those cheers are perfectly consistent with the conduct pursued informer Sessions, and with everything except certain pretensions that have emerged from time to time in the course of this debate. On the part of my hon. Friend what it amounts to is that the reductions effected by the Government in 1869 and 1870 were not only not wise and politic measures, but deserved to be condemned by some of the most unsavoury epithets in the vocabulary that my hon. Friend can command. [Mr. OSBORNE: Hear, hear!] Let us now come nearer to the question. I have thought it necessary to refer to the subject of expenditure for the purpose of showing hon. Gentlemen that if I put it aside from discussion to-night, it is because I do not think that this is the particular occasion on which it ought to be further and minutely pursued, for I am confident that as on the one hand there is nothing so certain to drive us into a system of borrowing as the practice of making an effective resistance to the plans of the Government, not in Supply, but upon Ways and Means, so there is nothing like the system of borrowing for striking a fatal blow at every hope of public economy. I must own my regret at this debate. I am not aware of any point in the question before us that has not been thoroughly sifted and investigated. I do not think it answers the purpose of the majority of this House to spend unnecessary time upon the remaining stages of the financial proposals of the Government. We have other work to do. There are great measures of legislation before us. I will not speak of all those which have been introduced into this House; but I speak only of those which have been read a second time. These are great measures of legislation which I believe command the approval of the majority of the House, and it is the firm intention of the Government that if these measures fail at least it shall not be through our fault or our neglect. To spend time on matters which this House has fully debated and which have been supported by large majorities may be very suitable to the purpose of those who conscientiously and honour- ably disapprove of our legislative intentions; but if time is so to be spent, and obstructions are so to be interposed in the way of the prosecution of those great public measures, I wish that the responsibility of that obstruction should rest with the true opponents of those measures, and that they should not be enabled to find an instrument for their purpose in the excellent intentions but misguided conduct of those who sit on this side of the House. I hope to be excused for pointing out what I believe to be the certain effect of the indefinite prolongation of the debate upon a point which is not complicated, which does not involve a great amount of detail, and on which the House has decided by a very large majority. In one respect I may offer my thanks to my hon. Friends, for they have given me a pleasure which, from the nature of the case, Members of this House can very seldom enjoy—namely, the pleasure of cheering their own speeches. I have heard much in the course of this discussion of my speech on Terminable Annuities, and since I appealed to hon. Members for some reference I have found this speech so entirely conformable to prudence, experience, policy, conviction, duty, and everything else that it is satisfactory that I am extremely pleased with the opportunity of doing what is called "responding," meeting them with a truly sympathetic cheer when my words have been quoted in the speeches of my hon. Friends. At the same time, I have found them really refreshing when compared with the context. Without referring to the points involved in those speeches, let me allude to a matter on which the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) thought he had a very strong ground for objecting to an argument which I used. He said he heard me with amazement refer to the conduct of Sir Robert Peel in 1842, when I urged that Sir Robert Peel, having a great deficiency to supply, and having no means of supplying it from any tax then in existence of which the principle was admitted, had better seek a new tax on which the principle was not admitted than to suspend the Terminable Annuities. My hon. Friend says he was amazed, and no doubt he was; but, at the same time, I venture to tell him that his amazement was owing rather to his unacquaintance with the practical nature of this question, with the intricate machinery wisely provided by our law to prevent abuse in matters of extreme delicacy and importance, and with the processes to be pursued. If my hon. Friend were to induce the House to give him a majority to-night, the process which would have to be pursued with respect to the Terminable Annuities would be precisely the same which Sir Robert Peel must have adopted had he done the same thing. My hon. Friend says the Annuities are in the hands of private persons. Undoubtedly they are, but it makes no difference; for if you suspend the Annuities a Bill must be brought before Parliament. If Sir Robert Peel had wished to suspend the Annuities, he would have had to say—"I am every year paying the owners of the Long Annuities £2,000,000 or £2,500,000 which is not interest, but a return of capital. I ask you to give me the means of replacing that money in the Exchequer." That would have been exactly the same as if my right hon. Friend were to say to the House—"I ask you to give me the power of taking out of my banking till a certain sum of money and transferring it to the till which it is my business to keep at the Exchequer." In neither case would there be the slightest discretion. Ten years ago my right hon. Friend might have done it; but I thought it part of my duty, and the House concurred with me, to abridge the power of the Finance Minister of this country, and to prevent him from adding to the permanent Debt of the country without the consent of Parliament. It is idle and futile to inquire who was the claimant; the question is not who is the claimant, but what is the claim? The claim is exactly the same, whether you pay the Savings Bank Fund or whether you pay the charge on the market. In either case the machinery would be exactly the same, so far as regards the necessity of coming to this House for the authority to borrow. The only difference would be that in the one case you would borrow from a fund which by law is placed under your custody; in the other you would have to borrow from the Bank of England the exact amount that you had to pay, that being not the interest, but the capital of the debt. So if he pursues his studies on that head he will find that the point he insisted on with such strong argument is perfectly visionary. Some Gentlemen seem to think that they have reason for voting for a project of this kind, on the ground that, by the machinery afforded under the Terminable Annuities Act, it is perfectly free for the Government to find this money. I am very glad to have seen, since I last spoke on this subject, the language quoted which I am supposed to have used in reference to it. I abide by every syllable of what I stated, and I say again that when a deficiency has occurred, and when your balances do not admit of your supplying the deficiency out of those balances, you have then in this banking fund under your control a most convenient form of supplying the cash you want, instead of injuring the public credit by going into the public market. That is a clear, natural proposition; but it has nothing to do with encouraging the Chancellor of the Exchequer to come forward upon a prospective deficiency, and to plead that by this machinery the cash might be found, in a more convenient way than in any other. The question of prospective action and the question of retrospective action are very different things. On a former occasion I understated my case when I said that this system of paying off the Debt by Annuities was more than 100 years old. It was more than 100 years since it was established in its amended form; but the original scheme existed from the time when a National Debt existed in this country. And why are we now to depart from it? Is the country in a state of extraordinary difficulty and incapacity to pay? It is proposed that, in view of the present necessities, the income tax should be raised to 6d. in the pound. Is that an unheard-of rate? Why, the original rate was 7d. in the pound, and it remained so from 1842 to 1854. The general effect of the changes made in the rate since 1854 has been to make, within the merest trifle, the average rate from 1842 to the present day 8d. in the pound. That certainly is no reason why we should raise the income tax to 6d. without necessity; but it is an argument against the extraordinary complaints and the marvellous effusion of compassionate feeling which proceeded from hon. Gentlemen opposite, who sat with patience and entire resignation, and in a state of silence as complete as if nature had not gifted them with the organ of speech, when the same proposal of adding 2d. to the income tax was made in 1868 upon a smaller deficiency. Now, I come to the flimsiest pretext that was ever heard of in this House. The right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), admitting that the then Government raised the income tax to 8d. in the pound, said that the reason was because that was a war tax; and the tax now proposed is not a war tax. Do you suppose that the war contemplated was the Abyssinian Expedition, involving a charge on the resources of the country of about two millions of money? A war tax means a tax making such demands on the resources of the country as cannot be met by the ordinary means of the country. The amount of the income tax is measured by the amount of the deficit. The deficit on which the right hon. Gentleman obtained the tax was £2,200,000. The present deficit is £2,700,000, and the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire is not ashamed to say that his was a war tax, and that this is not an occasion of war. If the right hon. Gentleman had then known what he ought to have known, the amount of the expenses of the Abyssinian War might have been differently levied. The right hon. Gentleman had a deficiency of £2,200,000, and to meet that he asked for an income tax of 2d. in the pound. I wish to show to the House the use of Terminable Annuities in reference to the reduction of the National Debt. It is commonly believed, and it is true, that in this country we have two instruments by which we operate on the public Debt with a view to its reduction—namely, the application of the annual surpluses, and the re-payment of capital through the medium of Terminable Annuities. What I wish to bring to the mind of the House is that in the view of the Government the question comes to no less than this—That, when you impair you prepare the way to destroying altogether the system under which we alone reduce the Debt. As I have stated, there are two instruments for the reduction of the Debt—that which consists in the use of surpluses in the purchase of public securities, and that which operates through the medium of Terminable Annuities. I have not been able to look through any series of years further back than 1850, and that is a series of 21 years; but I believe if we went back further the effect would be exactly the same in substance. I beg hon. Gentlemen to pay attention to the figures which I will lay before them. They are extremely few; but I believe that they will speak most eloquently and instructively. I will not guarantee their minute accuracy; but I will guarantee their substantial correctness. From the 5th of January, 1850, to the 31st of March, 1871, there was £31,705,000 of surplus income over deficiencies. The amount of the deficiencies during the same period was £42,903,000. So far, therefore, as your annual operations were concerned, the effect of your proceedings during those 21 years has been that you have incurred a balance of deficiency to the amount of £11,198,000, adding (somewhat less in consequence of certain items of reduction) £10,250,000 to the National Debt. Now, that is the net result of your operations of 21 years, so far as the use of annual surpluses and deficiencies are concerned. That, I think, is a most grave fact. Well, I ask you, do you mean to act upon the National Debt or do you not? Do you mean to say that, posterity having done nothing for me, I will leave posterity to shift for itself and to devise its own expedient? If you do, then why do you not say so plainly? Why have you not the courage to express your opinions openly and give effect to them by laying on the Table a proposition embodying that intention? But do not, by a circuitous operation, seek to undermine the public virtue in the House of Commons whilst endeavouring to disguise from us the ends for which you are working. Let us know at once the policy we are to meet. Such is the result of our operations as regards annual surpluses and deficits. Therefore I am not ashamed of the words which have been quoted, and in which it seems I had at one period of my life good sense enough to say that it was the merit of the system of Terminable Annuities that it took the payment of the National Debt out of immediate competition with those momentary motives which determine the finance of the year. What are these momentary motives? Sometimes the existence of a deficiency. Sometimes the unpopularity of a particular tax. Sometimes the combination of party. From all these, down to the present hour, the system of Terminable Annuities has been quite exempt. What has been the effect? So far as your annual operations are concerned, you have, in those 21 years referred to, contrived to add £10,250,000 to your National Debt, and during the same period you have redeemed by means of this despised system—this hocus-pocus system of Terminable Annuities, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire described it—£49,000,000. Sir, I admire the lofty genius of the hon. Member for Finsbury, who has no better name for the wise and prudent device of those who went before us for the purpose, as we may say, of securing us against ourselves. And he invites us to take this first step, and to set this first bad example, supported by a Conservative party—a party whose boast it used to be that they looked into the future; a party who used to condemn any resort to the sentiments and language of the demagogue, and who were always exhorting people to set aside considerations connected with the moment and to think rather of the permanent institutions and the permanent interests of this great country. Such, then, are the auspices under which this attack upon the Government is now made. Under the operation of the present system, while £10,250,000 has been added to your Debt, £49,000,000 has been steadily redeemed, and the consequence is a reduction of Debt to the amount of nearly £39,000,000, of which reduction you would not have had a single farthing if the temper of mind and the combination of circumstances which now appear to exist had influenced this House 22 years ago, and if men so disposed had been able to do what they could not do then, and I am sure will not be able to do now—persuade the House of Commons to enter into their views and share their delusions. My hon. Friend said it was too bad of the present Government to bring forward so many Votes of Confidence. Now, I was really weak enough to believe that there was something in the answer of the First Lord of the Admiralty when he stated that we did not bring forward any Votes of Confidence at all. We had no desire for such votes. We wished to lead a peaceful life—[a laugh]—of course under due control and scrutiny from Gentlemen, in whatever part of the House they may sit. Our object was to be per- mitted to go quietly about the business of legislating for this country, which is at the present time difficult enough, and for which this House as a whole, and in particular the majority of this House, are responsible. We wanted no Votes of Confidence at all. But is it meant that when, by a method of proceeding entirely unusual, so far as I am informed, the hon. Member for Finsbury requires the House on Thursday to overturn a vote which it gave by a very large majority on Monday, and which on Monday we declared to be a vote incompatible with our honour and our existence, we are on this Thursday to change our minds and say we are perfectly willing and content to walk in any direction whatever which he may be pleased to point out? I am not making my hon. Friend responsible, because I think he challenged the question fairly; but I am speaking of the argument, without the least personal reproach. I am frequently taunted with changes of opinion. I see a noble Lord opposite, who upon no occasion, if he can find the opportunity, avoids that favourite subject. His Muse is more propitious if he can possibly find means of reference to my changes of opinion. I will not retort upon the noble Lord, though, perhaps, I might do so with effect, by inquiring anything about his changes of opinion. But this I must say—I was reared in the ranks of what was then the Conservative party under Sir Robert Peel. When I belonged to that party there was one happy circumstance in the condition of the country, and I trust that that state of things may again be realized. Probably it will not be in my time; but I have reached a period of life when, looking forward to what may happen a very few years hence, I feel I can regard it with a complete personal impartiality, and I venture to express the firm hope that, irrespective of the question of political denomination, the time is again to return when the two parties in this House will, as they did from the time of the Duke of Wellington to the time of the Crimean War, vie with one another in the endeavour to apply to the public expenditure those principles of strict thrift and husbandry which I venture to say never can be effectively supported as long as they are the peculiar property of one particular party. I trust and believe that time may return. I may be very wrong; and when I see men like my right hon. Friend (Colonel Wilson Patten) take the course which he is pursuing on this question, I am bound to believe he is doing what he deems to be for the true interests of the country. Will he permit me, with great respect and with no excitement, to say, referring to a more distant future, that he and those with whom he acts are preparing for themselves, in the day when their political predominance may come about, a Nemesis the character and intensity of which they do not seem to be at all aware of. However that may be, the present Government is perfectly and entirely determined. What we have said as to the reduction of the National Debt we have said with earnestness of purpose—free from any idle love of consistency, but standing on the basis of facts such as those which I have pointed out to you—facts which indicate that by this method alone in the long run have you operated upon the capital of the public Debt, and succeeded in doing something for futurity. Sir, we will steadily refuse to lend ourselves to any attack on this system, in whole or in part, in action or in words, either by a positive declaration that for purposes of momentary convenience it is well to break down this admirable device, or still more by Motions which are not positive, which are not outspoken and do not reveal the purpose or disclose the end to which they are infallibly tending, but which go to that same end, and are aimed, as we think, at the very foundations of true financial credit and of public and national prosperity.


Mr. Speaker—I concur with the right hon. Gentleman that, as a general rule, it is inconvenient to discuss expenditure when we are in Committee of Ways and Means. Generally speaking, the Estimates of a Government are prepared with great care, great information, and arrived at after mature consideration. When those Estimates are ascertained it becomes the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider the Ways and Means which may provide for this expenditure. That, no doubt, is an affair of time, anxiety, and deep thought, and the results of his labours are frequently and conveniently submitted to his assembled Colleagues, who ultimately decide upon his provision with all the authority of a Cabinet, and with that sense of responsibility which is the best guide of statesmen. When, therefore, the House of Commons have voted Supplies, and when they have become acquainted with the well-matured Ways and Means of a Minister, generally speaking, under such circumstances I cannot conceive that it would occur to anyone to challenge the expenditure of a Government in a Committee of Ways and Means. But the circumstances under which we are now called upon to consider Ways and Means are of a peculiar if not unprecedented character. We are to-night to consider Ways and Means which only 10 days ago were denounced and decried by the very Minister who now proposes them. It is very well for a Prime Minister, under ordinary circumstances, to refer to the sublime etiquette on which he has taken his stand to-night, and to treat as profanation the House of Commons in Committee of Ways and Means referring to the expenditure of the country. But when I remind the House that the Ways and Means before us consist of a single tax, the levying of which is viewed with the greatest jealousy and anxiety by the people of this country—encouraged in their conviction by the frequent and recent declarations of the Ministry themselves—is it wonderful that when such propositions as these are placed before us we should ask ourselves, in duty to our constituents, what is the necessity for a proposal so monstrous which they themselves have proscribed, and how can we possibly arrive at any conclusion unless we refer to the expenditure which they have called upon us to incur? The right hon. Gentleman says the expenditure has been already voted; but he is not accurate in making that statement. There is, at least, one item, and one most important item, in the expenditure that has not been voted by the House. It is the item which refers to the re-construction of our Army, and that, I think, is connected with a series which may involve the House in an expenditure which it is impossible at this moment to estimate. Let us remember, also, that during these few eventful days we have had, in the discussions that have taken place, important declarations made by Ministers, which must be taken into account in dealing with this subject. It is only three or four days ago that the Secretary of State for War, in answer to an ordi- nary Question, and at a time when the attention of the House was scarcely given to the course of Public Business, made an announcement that after due deliberation the Government had decided that there was to be no limit whatsoever with respect to the retirement of officers from the Army, the idea that there was to be a limit having, in the first instance, greatly influenced the discussions on the subject. It was, however, only in the course of a casual communication, given to us with his usual blandness by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, that we arrived at the real truth in the matter. When he made it everyone felt that a new element had been imported into the question, and that the very item asked for the purposes of the Army Regulation Bill this year might be increased in consequence. Well, what is the declaration which we heard from another Member a few evenings ago? The President of the Poor Law Board (Mr. Stansfeld)—an eminent professor of sententious finance—told us that the Government had determined that in future all expenditure should be supplied by means of an increase in the income tax unless we were in a state of war, when, I suppose, the whole resources of the country might be called upon to bear their share of the burden. But, Sir, this is a position in which the House of Commons has never before been placed. It is mere pedantry to get up and say that this is a Committee of Ways and Means, and that we have no right to refer to expenditure. A Committee of Ways and Means, into which we have scrambled God knows how, by means no one can tell, and in a manner never before experienced by the House of Commons. We have a Minister coming down with a Budget containing three distinct proposals. He carries his first proposal by two great majorities, and withdraws it in consequence, I suppose, of its having been supported by the House. He announces another scheme on which he never asked the opinion of the House; and to this day we have had no explanation from the Prime Minister, or the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or any of their financial colleagues—for all the Members of this Ministry are financial—we have had no explanation up to this moment of the reason why they withdrew that matured scheme with regard to the succession duties, which must have been under the consideration of the Cabinet on several occasions, and must have occupied a large portion of its time in its preparation; but we have been treated in a cavalier manner, and told that it does not become us in a Committee of Ways and Means to refer to the expenditure of the country. You call this a Committee of Ways and Means, and you ask us to pass a measure which only 10 days ago you denounced, and you tell us now you stand or fall by your opinions, as becomes you when you have changed them within the last three days. It is quite absurd for the right hon. Gentleman to suppose that that King Cambyses vein, which is the result of the weakness of the position he occupies with reference to this question, can stifle discussion and inquiry in a moment like the present.

We have a proposition before us in Committee of Ways and Means to increase the income tax to 6d. in the pound, and there is a Motion before us to reduce that amount by a penny. That is the real question under our consideration, and there is no other with which we have at present to deal. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government has gone into another subject at great length, and to-night, with some colour of reason, because he at least answered a speech which was made in the course of the debate, although on a previous evening he spoke of Terminable Annuities when no human being referred to them. But here we have before us a Motion to reduce the income tax by 1d. in the pound, and upon that Motion it is that I now wish to speak. I shall support the proposal to reduce the 6d. income tax to 5d. I do so, in the first place, because I am still of opinion that it is not right the Ways and Means should be entirely supplied by direct taxation—an opinion to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given expression, and which has been supported by the Prime Minister. [Mr. GLADSTONE: When?] I understood the right hon. Gentleman to have supported the original Budget of his Chancellor of the Exchequer. There was, indeed, for a night or two some doubt as to whether he intended to support it, for his heart seemed faint and his spirit low. But, as the contest waxed warmer, so his gallant spirit rose, and he gulped it. From that moment he seemed to take his full share of the responsibility of that "arduous and anxious task," as it has been described by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of duly portioning out the different items of direct and indirect taxation which appeared in the Budget. Now, I am of opinion that the whole of the deficiency ought not to be supplied by means of direct taxation. On this subject I entirely agree with the views which have been expressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The position which he took up is one which I think it would be most unwise to relinquish. And I think that we should, in fact, encounter hereafter a Nemesis if we give in our adhesion to a precedent so perilous and fatal as that of levying the whole of the Ways and Means of the year—and those considerable Ways and Means—by direct taxation. But if we deduct from the expenditure on which these Ways and Means are founded the important item relating to purchase in the Army, which has never been voted in Committee of Supply, I find the deficiency will then amount to £2,100,000. A penny in the pound in the income tax will give us upwards of £1,500,000, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would then have to meet a deficiency of between £500,000 and £600,000. Now, I am bound to say that a Chancellor of the Exchequer must be no very great hand at his profession if he cannot manage, somehow or other, to put his hand upon £500,000 or £600,000. I do not doubt that by many modes at his command, he would be able to frame his Ways and Means and his expenditure without committing these two great errors—first of all, unnecessarily inflicting an extra 1d. of income tax upon the classes with whom he so much sympathizes; and, secondly, establishing so fatal a precedent as raising the whole of his Ways and Means by direct taxation. When we remember how this affair has been managed—when we remember that these Ways and Means are not the Ways and Means that the Government first proposed, but are Ways and Means founded on principles entirely opposed to those which they at first professed—I do not think it remarkable that the House of Commons should take every opportunity, in Committee and out of Committee, in Committee of Supply and in Committee of Ways and Means, of challenging the propriety and policy of such conduct on the part of Her Majesty's Government, and of looking into the expenditure and examining the details upon which they are urging the Committee to take a course which they themselves only a few days ago disapproved. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government says the matter has been fully debated; but it cannot be fully debated until you have explained to the people of this country, in a manner which will bring conviction to their minds, why it is that we are asked to pursue a course which is most injurious to their interests, and which less than a fortnight ago the Government themselves denounced. It requires discussion. The right hon. Gentleman says—"We have other work to do, so we must not waste further time on finance." That, I have no doubt, is a convenient doctrine for the right hon. Gentleman to lay down. But is that a course of conduct that will satisfy the country? There are classes in the country who look with the greatest repugnance and alarm to the financial propositions of the Government. If we pass those propositions, what satisfactory answer will it be to them that Her Majesty's Government have matters of importance to bring forward; that they have other Bills upon subjects which greatly interest them, and that they could not allow us time to examine into the necessity of passing measures most injurious and most unpopular with our constituents, and which Her Majesty's Government themselves on principle highly disapprove?

Then, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman says this is a Motion to suspend the Terminable Annuities, and to interfere with the arrangements—the ancestral arrangements—which have been made for the payment of the National Debt. Now, Sir, it so happens that for the most considerable arrangements for acting on the public Debt by those Terminable Annuities I am myself responsible, for it was not in the year 1866, but in the year 1867, when I was in office, that measure was carried. Therefore I can speak of it with impartiality, or rather with that partiality which everyone must have for any measure with which he has been intimately connected. Now, I am myself, and always have been, in favour of supporting that arrangement. I never did at the time—although I do not depreciate the importance of acting upon our Debt—I never did pretend that it was merely or even principally for that object that I recommended the arrangement to the attention of the House. I have always believed, since the great discoveries of gold—though I am ever very glad to find that our Debt has been reduced by the natural surplus under the National Debt Act—that it was not, on the whole, expedient to make any vast and artificial effort to obtain that reduction. But, Sir, one of my principal objects in passing that measure, which cleared off £28,000,000 of Debt, was this—that it would prevent that reckless reduction of taxes on which the House was then, I think, far too hot, and the cutting off of sources of revenue which, in hours of dark necessity, might be of the greatest importance to this country. Now, I must say that I listened with astonishment to the right hon. Gentleman when he noticed the remarks of the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. W. M. Torrens) with regard to the Long Annuities and those Terminable Annuities with which I had to deal in 1867. I think the remarks of the hon. Member for Finsbury, in that able and complete speech which was fortunately delivered when the House was full, and was entirely appreciated by the House—I think those remarks were perfectly justified. Sir, it is a complete fallacy for the right hon. Gentleman to pretend that there is any similarity between the position of those Annuities that we have to deal with and the Long Annuities in the time of Sir Robert Peel. Why, if the dividends on the Long Annuities had been stopped you would have soon found out what the difference was. It would have been an act of bankruptcy, a declaration of national insolvency, if the dividends of the Long Annuities had been interfered with. With regard to this arrangement of Terminable Annuities, unquestionably if we have to deal with them at all, we must deal with them by Act of Parliament. I do not suppose anybody ever contemplated dealing with them except by Act of Parliament. The Terminable Annuities created by the scheme of 1867 were a sinking fund in disguise, neither more nor less, and it is perfectly open to the Government of this country, if they desire it, to come to Parliament to sus- pend, or to alter, or to abolish altogether the machinery which was then established. Why, we have had a Sinking Fund in this country even in modern times. After the Crimean War Sir George Lewis, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, established a Sinking Fund of £1,500,000, and it was in operation for some years. In 1858, just after a commercial and monetary panic, I acceded to office, in the month of February, and the rate of interest at that time was from 8 to 10 per cent. There was then a deficiency. Besides the deficiency, it was necessary to supply £1,500,000 in order to maintain the Sinking Fund that had been established by Sir George Lewis. I was in this position: I had to consider the propriety of proposing taxes to Parliament, not merely to supply the deficiency in the Revenue, but also to supply the £1,500,000 to maintain the Sinking Fund. I put it to Parliament whether it was their opinion that taxes should be raised not merely to supply the deficiency, and to afford the Chancellor of the Exchequer a fair surplus, but also to supply the £1,500,000 necessary for the Sinking Fund, which had then been in existence some years. Why, it was the unanimous opinion of Parliament that I ought not to do so, and the right hon. Gentleman was a Member of Parliament at that time of course, and I had to bring in a Bill, which the House passed without opposition, and which entirely abolished the Sinking Fund. I believe that my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdon (Mr. T. Baring) was the only Member who protested against it, and he did protest against it, but did not divide the House. It was, as he thought, and it may so be held in a certain degree, an injury to the public creditor. But the wisdom of the House settled the question; it felt that it was perfectly absurd to be levying taxes on the people of this country in order to maintain an artificial Sinking Fund. But are we now in the same position? The question for us is this:—Is the situation one which recommends an interference with the considerable arrangements made in 1867? I say frankly, with what really is only a deficit of little more than £500,000, that is a course which I should not think of recommending. But there is no similarity between the case of the Long Annuities and the creditors of the savings banks. If you touched the Long Annuities your credit was destroyed throughout the world, and you would never recover from it; but the creditors of the savings banks have always the best security, and will continue to have it. Therefore, the observations of the right hon. Gentleman, delivered with mock indignation—no doubt they were sincere, but they had the appearance of mock indignation—when addressed to the hon. Member for Finsbury, were most uncalled for. Then, the right hon. Gentleman made an attack on me, because I described the income tax, imposed on account of the Abyssinian War, as a war tax. Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that we were not at war with Abyssinia? Does he mean to say it was not a war tax? The right hon. Gentleman positively became furious. I should like to hear the right hon. Gentleman propose a war tax; for if, upon a subject so essentially peaceable as this he has dissertated upon this night he could work himself up to such a pitch of indignation—but I forgot. He did propose a war tax with regard to the Crimean War, and then he was mild as a lamb. I quite forgot that. I quite forgot, and I suppose he quite forgot when he gave us that elaborate history of the effect of the Sinking Fund on Terminable—or, I should rather say, Interminable Annuities, from the way he dwelt upon them, and on the money saved, and the Debt that had been redeemed—he seemed, then, so full of my unfortunate but successful expenditure about Abyssinia, which produced at least no debt, that he appears to have forgotten the immense debt occasioned by the Crimean War; and, most of all, to have forgotten that that war was mainly owing to the timidity of the Government of which he was a Member. This is the Minister who now reproaches the Conservative party, and who said that when he was a Member of the Conservative party they looked to the future. Well, Sir, I hope the Conservative party will always have a due and modest regard for that which may occur; but I always thought it was rather characteristic of the Conservative party that it looked to the past, and reverenced the past. And, Sir, animated by the remembrance of what the Tory party has done, I may say we shall not be put down by the gibes of the right hon. Gentleman, al- though he once stood in our ranks. I shall not forget the traditions of that party; and I, therefore, will never give my consent to raising the Ways and Means of the year entirely by direct taxation. I will, remembering the traditions of that party, remember that it is my duty to support the interests of the poorer classes of the community. I will not be prevented in a Committee of Ways and Means, brought forward in this preposterous manner, from endeavouring to ascertain the cause why a Government, defeated and discomfited, propose measures which they themselves have denounced. I will, remembering the traditions of that party, not be afraid of opposing a Minister who, I think, has shown this evening that he has no regard for those classes of the country for whom he always affects to have so peculiar a sympathy. I call upon the Committee of Ways and Means to remember what is the question on which we are now asked to vote. It is whether, instead of 6d., we shall insert 5d. in the Resolution in the hands of the Chairman; and whether, by that course, we shall at one and the same time vindicate those principles of financial policy which we have always upheld, and show to our constituents that we are determined to maintain and uphold their interests.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 294; Noes 248: Majority 46.

Resolution agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. DODSON, Mr. CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER, and Mr. BAXTER.

Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 126.]

Acland, T. D. Bazley, Sir T.
Adair, H. E. Beaumont, Captain F.
Agar-Ellis, hon. L. G. F. Beaumont, H. F.
Amcotts, Col. W. C. Beaumont, W. B.
Anderson, G. Bentall, E. H.
Armitstead, G. Blennerhassett, Sir R.
Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S. Bolckow, H. W. F.
Backhouse, E. Bonham-Carter, J.
Bagwell, J. Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.
Baines, E. Bowmont, Marquess of
Baker, R. B. W. Bowring, E. A.
Barclay, A. C. Brand, rt. hon. H.
Bass, A. Brand, H. R.
Bass, M. T. Brassey, H. A.
Baxter, W. E. Brassey, T.
Brewer, Dr. Fletcher, I.
Brinckman, Captain Foljambe, F. J. S.
Bristowe, S. B. Fordyce, W. D.
Brogden, A. Forster, C.
Brown, A. H. Forster, rt. hon. W. E.
Browne, G. E. Foster, W. H.
Bruce, Lord C. Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P.
Bruce, rt. hon. H. A. Fortescue, hon. D. F.
Buckley, N. Fothergill, R.
Buller, Sir E. M. French, rt. hon. Col.
Bury, Viscount Gavin, Major
Cadogan, hon. F. W. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Callan, P. Gladstone, W. H.
Campbell, H. Goldsmid, Sir F.
Candlish, J. Goldsmid, J.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Carington, hn. Capt. W. Gourley, E. T.
Carnegie, hon. C. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Carter, Mr. Alderman Gower, Lord R.
Cartwright, W. C. Graham, W.
Castlerosse, Viscount Gregory, W. H.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Greville, hon. Captain
Cavendish, Lord G. Greville-Nugent, hon. G. F.
Chambers, M.
Chambers, T. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Cholmeley, Captain Grieve, J. J.
Clay, J. Grosvenor, Capt. R. W.
Clifford, C. C. Grosvenor, hon. N.
Cogan, rt. hon. W. H. F. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Grove, T. F.
Coleridge, Sir J. D. Hamilton, J. G. C.
Collier, Sir R. P. Hanmer, Sir J.
Colman, J. J. Harcourt, W. G. G. V. V.
Cowper-Temple, right hon. W. Hardcastle, J. A.
Harris, J. D.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Hartington, Marquess of
Crawford, R. W. Haviland-Burke, E.
Dalglish, R. Headlam, rt. hon. T. E.
Dalrymple, D. Henderson, J.
Dalway, M. R. Henley, Lord
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Henry, M.
Davies, R. Herbert, H. A.
Dease, E. Heron, D. C.
De La Poer, E. Hibbert, J. T.
Denman, hon. G. Hoare, Sir H. A.
Dent, J. D. Hodgkinson, G.
Devereux, R. J. Hodgson, K. D.
Dickinson, S. S. Holland, S.
Digby, K. T. Holms, J.
Dillwyn, L. L. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Dixon, G. Hughes, T.
Dodds, J. Hughes, W. B.
Dodson, J. G. Hurst, R. H.
Downing, M'C. Illingworth, A.
Dowse, R. James, H.
Duff, M. E. G. Jardine, R.
Duff, R. W. Johnston, A.
Dundas, F. Johnstone, Sir H.
Edwardes, hon. Col. W. Kay-Shuttleworth, U. J.
Edwards, H. King, hon. P. J. L.
Egerton, Capt. hon. F. Kingscote, Colonel
Ellice, E. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Enfield, Viscount Knatchbull-Hugessen, E. H.
Ennis, J. J.
Erskine, Admiral J. E. Lancaster, J.
Esmonde, Sir J. Lawrence, Sir J. C.
Ewing, H. E. C. Lawrence, W.
FitzGerald, right hon. Lord O. A. Lawson, Sir W.
Lea, T.
Fitzmaurice, Lord E. Leatham, E. A.
Fitzwilliam, hon. C. W. W. Leeman, G.
Fitzwilliam, hon. H. W. Lefevre, G. J. S.
Lewis, H. Roden, W. S.
Lloyd, Sir T. D. Rothschild, Brn. L. N. de
Loch, G. Rothschild, Brn. M. A. de
Locke, J. Rothschild, N. M. de
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Russell, A.
Lubbock, Sir J. Rylands, P.
Lusk, A. Salomons, Sir D.
Lyttelton, hon. C. G. Samuda, J. D'A.
Macfie, R. A. Samuelson, B.
Mackintosh, E. W. Sartoris, E. J.
M'Arthur, W. Seely, C. (Lincoln)
M'Clean, J. R. Seely, C. (Nottingham)
M'Clure, T. Seymour, A.
M'Lagan, P. Shaw, R.
M'Mahon, P. Sheridan, H. B.
Magniac, C. Sherlock, D.
Maguire, J. F. Sherriff, A. C.
Marling, S. S. Simon, Mr. Serjeant
Matheson, A. Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.
Maxwell, W. H. Smith, E.
Melly, G. Smith, J. B.
Merry, J. Stacpoole, W.
Miall, E. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Milbank, F. A. Stapleton, J.
Mitchell, T. A. Stepney, Colonel
Monk, C. J. Stevenson, J. C.
Monsell, rt. hon. W. Stone, W. H.
Morgan, G. O. Storks, rt. hn. Sir H. K.
Morley, S. Stuart, Colonel
Morrison, W. Sykes, Colonel W. H.
Mundella, A. J. Synan, E. J.
Murphy, N. D. Talbot, C. R. M.
Nicol, J. D. Taylor, P. A.
Norwood, C. M. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
O'Brien, Sir P. Torrens, R. R.
O'Conor, D. M. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-
O'Conor Don, The
Ogilvy, Sir J. Trelawny, Sir J. S.
Onslow, G. Trevelyan, G. O.
O'Reilly-Dease, M. Verney, Sir H.
O'Reilly, M. W. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Palmer, J. H. Vivian, A. P.
Palmer, Sir R. Vivian, Capt. hn. J. C. W.
Parker, C. S. Vivian, H. H.
Parry, L. Jones- Waters, G.
Pease, J. W. Wedderburn, Sir D.
Peel, A. W. Weguelin, T. M.
Peel, J. Wells, W.
Pelham, Lord West, H. W.
Philips, R. N. Whitbread, S.
Pim, J. White, hon. Colonel C.
Platt, J. Whitwell, J.
Playfair, L. Whitworth, T.
Plimsoll, S. Williams, W.
Portman, hon. W. H. B. Williamson, Sir H.
Potter, E. Wingfield, Sir C.
Potter, T. B. Winterbotham, H. S. P.
Power, J. T. Woods, H.
Price, W. P. Young, A. W.
Ramsden, Sir J. W. Young, G.
Rathbone, W.
Richard, H. Adam, W. P.
Richards, E. M. Glyn, hon. G. G.
Robertson, D.
Akroyd, E. Anson, hon. A. H. A.
Allen, Major Anstruther, Sir R.
Amphlett, R. P. Arbuthnot, Major G.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Archdall, Captain M.
Arkwright, A. P. Fawcett, H.
Arkwright, R. Fielden, J.
Assheton, R. Fellowes, E.
Aytoun, R. S. Finch, G. H.
Bagge, Sir W. Forde, Colonel
Bailey, Sir J. R. Forester, rt. hon. Gen.
Ball, J. T. Fowler, R. N.
Baring, T. Galway, Viscount
Barrington, Viscount Garlies, Lord
Barttelot, Colonel Gilpin, Colonel
Bateson, Sir T. Goldney, G.
Bathurst, A. A. Gooch, Sir D.
Beach, Sir M. H. Gordon, E. S.
Beach, W. W. B. Gore, J. R. O.
Bective, Earl of Gore, W. R. O.
Bentinck, G. C. Graves, S. R.
Benyon, R. Gray, Lieut.-Colonel
Beresford, Lt.-Col. M. Greene, E.
Bingham, Lord Gregory, G. B.
Birley, H. Guest, A. E.
Bourke, hon. R. Gurney, rt. hon. R.
Bright, R. Hambro, C.
Brise, Colonel R. Hamilton, Lord C.
Broadley, W. H. H. Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Brooks, W. C. Hamilton, Lord G.
Bruce, Sir H. H. Hamilton, I. T.
Bruen, H. Hamilton, Marquess of
Burrell, Sir P. Hardy, rt. hon. G.
Buxton, Sir R. J. Hardy, J.
Cameron, D. Hardy, J. S.
Cartwright, F. Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Cave, rt. hon. S. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Cawley, C. E. Henry, J. S.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Herbert, rt. hon. Gen. Sir P.
Chadwick, D.
Chaplin, H. Hermon, E.
Charley, W. T. Hervey, Lord A. H. C.
Child, Sir S. Hesketh, Sir T. G.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Heygate, Sir F. W.
Clowes, S. W. Hick, J.
Cochrane, A. D. W. R. B. Hill, A. S.
Collins, T. Hodgson, W. N.
Conolly, T. Holford, J. P. G.
Corbett, Colonel Holford, R. S.
Corrance, F. S. Holmesdale, Viscount
Corry, rt. hon. H. T. L. Holt, J. M.
Crichton, Viscount Hood, Cap. hn. A. W. A. N.
Croft, Sir H. G. D. Hope, A. J. B. B.
Cross, R. A. Horsman, rt. hon. E.
Cubitt, G. Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.
Dalrymple, C. Hutton, J.
Damer, Capt. Dawson- Jackson, R. W.
Davenport, W. B. Jenkinson, Sir G. S.
Dawson, R. P. Johnston, W.
Denison, C. B. Jones, J.
Dickson, Major A. G. Kavanagh, A. Mac M.
Dilke, Sir C. W. Kekewich, S. T.
Dimsdale, R. Kennaway, J. H.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Knight, F. W.
Dowdeswell, W. E. Knightley, Sir R.
Duncombe, hon. Col. Knox, hon. Colonel S.
Dyke, W. H. Laird, J.
Dyott, Colonel R. Langton, W. G.
Eastwick, E. B. Learmonth, A.
Eaton, H. W. Legh, W. J.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Lennox, Lord G. G.
Egerton, hon. W. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Egerton, Sir P. G. Liddell, hon. H. G.
Elcho, Lord Lindsay, hon. Col. C.
Elliot, G. Lindsay, Col. R. L.
Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H. Lopes, H. C.
Ewing, A. O. Lopes, Sir M.
Lowther, J. Shaw, W.
Lowther, W. Shirley, S. E.
Lush, Dr. Simonds, W. B.
Mahon, Viscount Smith, A.
Maitland, Sir A. C. R. G. Smith, F. C.
Malcolm, J. W. Smith, R.
Manners, rt. hon. Lord J. Smith, S. G.
March, Earl of Smith, W. H.
Martin, P. W. Somerset, Lord H. R. C.
Matthews, H. Steere, L.
Mellor, T. W. Straight, D.
Milles, hon. G. W. Sturt, H. G.
Mills, C. H. Sykes, C.
Montagu, rt. hon. Lord R. Talbot, hon. Captain
Montgomery, Sir G. G. Talbot, J. G.
Morgan, C. O. Taylor, rt. hon. Colonel
Morgan, hon. Major Thynne, Lord H. F.
Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R. Tipping, W.
Muntz, P. H. Tollemache, J.
Neville-Grenville, R. Tomline, G.
Newdegate, C. N. Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-
Newport, Viscount Turner, C.
Newry, Viscount Turnor, E.
Noel, hon. G. J. Vance, J.
North, Colonel Vandeleur, Colonel
O'Neill, hon. E. Verner, E. W.
Osborne, R. Verner, Sir W.
Paget, R. H. Vickers, S.
Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J. Walker, Major G. G.
Palk, Sir L. Walpole, hon. F.
Parker, Lt.-Col. W. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Patten, rt. hon. Col. W. Walsh, hon. A.
Peek, H. W. Waterhouse, S.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Welby, W. E.
Pell, A. Wethered, T. O.
Pemberton, E. L. Whalley, G. H.
Percy, Earl Wharton, J. L.
Phipps, C. P. Whatman, J.
Plunket, hon. D. R. Wheelhouse, W. S. J.
Powell, W. Williams, C. H.
Raikes, H. C. Williams, Sir F. M.
Read, C. S. Wilmot, H.
Ridley, M. W. Winn, R.
Round, J. Wyndham, hon. P.
Royston, Viscount Wynn, C. W. W.
Sackville, S. G. S. Yarmouth, Earl of
Salt, T.
Sandon, Viscount TELLERS.
Sclater-Booth, G. Torrens, W. T. M'C.
Scott, Lord H. J. M. D. White, J.
Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.
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