HC Deb 23 October 1899 vol 77 cc509-45

Of course it is not my intention on the present occasion to make any review, which would be entirely premature, of the finances of the year, nor do I propose to dwell at all upon the general financial situation of the country. All my duty to-day is to ask the Committee to provide ways and means for the expenditure which has been sanctioned by Parliament since the date of the introduction of my Budget. In balancing my Budget for the present year I estimated the revenue of the year at £111,157,000, and the expenditure at £110,927,000, leaving a margin for contingencies of £230,000. Since that time the House has sanctioned a Supplementary Estimate, in July, to the extent of £278,000, and, of course, there is the large unforeseen expenditure of £10,000,000 for the Army in South Africa, which was sanctioned on Friday night, making a total expenditure of £121,205,000. In my estimate of revenue I estimated for an increase in the current year over the revenue of the year 1898–99 of £2,821,000. I anticipated that by far the largest part of that amount would be derived from the first half of the year, for this reason—that the first half of 1898–99 showed an exceedingly lean yield to the revenue; in fact, so much was that the case, that I remember at the close of the second quarter of that year there were the most doleful prognostications as to the general financial result of the whole year. Therefore, of course, I had reason to anticipate, looking to the progress of the revenue, and in particular to the condition of trade, that there would be a very considerable increase in the first part of the current year over the similar period in 1898–99. The second half of 1898–99 was a very prosperous period for the revenue, which increased, to use an old phrase, by leaps and bounds, and it would be utterly unreasonable to anticipate anything like the same increase over the second six months of 1898–99 as, happily, occurred over the first six months of the year. I have found, I am glad to say, that as regards the first six months of the current year the increase of revenue has largely exceeded our expectations, and the net result, after making a fair allowance for the ordinary Supplementary Esti mates, which, of course, must be required apart from war expenditure altogether, in February next, I think, amounts to this—that so far as we can judge at the present time we may fairly reckon upon a net surplus for the whole year of £3,000,000, to be applied to the purposes of the unforeseen expenditure in South Africa. That, I think the Committee will see, will be, if my anticipations are realised, a very considerable contribution from the existing taxation of the country towards the Vote which was sanctioned by the Committee last Friday. Now, Sir, we have to consider how the remainder of that Vote shall be provided. I should hope that no member of the Committee would suggest that that war expenditure—though it be about to be incurred in a war which, unquestionably, is of greater magnitude than any in which we have been engaged for some time past—yet I hope that no one will suggest that this is a case in which it should be provided for by a permanent addition to the Debt of the country. To my mind, no such permanent addition would be justifiable, except, of course, in the event, which I hope we shall never see in our time, of a war with a first-class Power. But it is necessary to provide in the first place for this sum of £7,000,000 by borrowing—in fact, by a temporary addition to the floating debt.[Ministerial cheers.] Hon. Members must not be "too previous" in this matter; I have not yet completed my statement. I propose to ask the Committee for power to raise for this purpose a sum not exceeding £8,000,000 by Treasury bills. I should explain, as there has been misapprehension on this subject, that, of course, it would not be my intention to place anything like that amount of Treasury bills on the market at once. Such bills as may be necessary from time to time to meet the requirements of the War Office would be placed on the market as the opportunity might arise, and I am glad to be able to add that, having communicated with the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt, I find that they will be able to place at my disposal in the course of the present quarter, and to a greater extent in the course of the next quarter, very considerable sums out of the funds in their hands belonging to the Savings Bank deposits; so I hope there will be no apprehension of any undue disturbance of the money market by the process to which I have referred. It may be asked, "As you propose to borrow £7,000,000, or whatever it may be—"[AN HON. MEMBER: Eight millions.] I said I proposed to ask power to borrow eight, but I do not myself anticipate that it will be necessary to exercise that power beyond seven. But I wish to have a margin. Some may say, "Why, as you propose to borrow for this purpose, should not you obtain the means you require by a suspension of the arrangement for the repayment of the Debt?" Well, there is a very good answer to that question. Although I never could persuade a good many hon. Members of this House to believe it last session, I am not disposed by any means to frequent interference with the machinery for the repayment of our Debt. I do not deny that circumstances might arise in which what happened in 1885 might be very properly repeated—namely, the suspension of the repayment of the capital which is wrapped up in the payments made on account of terminable annuities held by the public departments for the period, we may say, of a year. That was done in 1885, and, if similar circumstances should occur, of course it might be done again, but that is a process which can only be usefully carried out at the commencement of a financial year. The reason is this, and I think it will commend itself even to those who are least disposed to support the maintenance of an adequate sinking fund. It so happens that the great bulk of the repayments, on account of these terminable annuities, is made in the earlier half of the year, and therefore, when seven months of the year have expired, to suspend repayment of the capital wrapped up in these payments would be a process which would produce very little indeed for the Exchequer, while, at the same time, I think it would be unreasonable to anticipate that the machinery for the repayment of the Debt would nearly provide anything like the means I require. Further, I wish, to point out to the Committee that I look upon this borrowing as a purely temporary matter. As I have already stated, I could not consent to regard it as permanent borrowing; it is borrowing for which provision will have to be made by Parliament to repay the sum borrowed as soon as may be possible. Now I come to a question of great importance and of some difficulty. I am asking the Committee to place the means at my disposal for borrowing the sums required. Ought we at the same time to provide for paying off the sums so borrowed? That is a question which if asked at the commencement of a financial year could receive but one answer. Of course, if we had known in April last that we should have been called upon to provide for an expenditure of £10,000,000 for a war in South Africa, I should have felt bound to provide for it out of the resources of the year. But the question assumes a very different aspect when it is asked within five months of the close of the financial year, and I feel quite sure that even Mr. Gladstone, if he were among us now, would admit that, under such circumstances, it is practically impossible to provide for anything like that amount out of the resources of the current year. Why is it impossible? Because when five months alone of the current year have to expire you are absolutely limited and fenced in, as it were, with regard to the possibilities of new taxation. This is, of course, a temporary expenditure, which should be met by temporary taxation; but who would dream of imposing a new indirect tax at this period of the year, with five months only to run? Such a tax would certainly do infinitely more harm to commerce and trade than could be compensated for by any addition that might accrue from it to the revenue. Or again, supposing it was suggested that we should raise money by an addition to some existing subjects of indirect taxation, what would happen? Obviously this. With regard, at any rate, to most of those subjects, the traders interested in them would reduce their stocks in the country to the lowest possible point during the period for which the temporary additional taxation lasted, and they would carefully abstain from clearances of those articles during that period, so that the result would be that the Exchequer for the rest of the year, or during the period it was hoped to obtain revenue, would obtain very little, if any, of that additional duty, and would probably lose, in addition, much of the original duty upon the article upon which we endeavoured to put additional taxation. I am quite sure that any student of our financial history during the past ten years will remember the unfortunate result of the attempt—the very proper attempt—of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth in 1894 to impose an additional tax on spirits. I believe the result of that attempt was that the trade was disorganised, and hardly any appreciable addition was made to the revenue for the period for which the tax was imposed. Of course these reasons have weighed with our predecessors under similar circumstances to those under which we now stand, and hence it resulted that when, in 1867, Lord Beaconsfield had to provide for the unforeseen expenditure in the case of the Abyssinian war, and when, in 1884, Mr. Gladstone had to provide also for unforeseen expenditure, in the autumn, in the case of the Bechuanaland and Soudan expeditions, both of these statesmen, although they levied additional taxation in order to provide for that expenditure, levied it only from one source—namely, the income tax. They imposed an additional penny on the income tax at that time. But, Sir, there is one matter in connection with the income tax which, I think, we are bound to take into consideration. The income tax, of course, is essentially a war tax. It has always been considered so for the simple reason that it is more easily increased than any other tax, because it can be increased or reduced again without any interference with trade. But in 1867, and, I think, also in 1884, the income tax stood at 5d. in the £. The addition of a penny only made it 6d. Our income tax now stands at 8d. in the £ Now, I am very far from saying that if, on the introduction of the Budget, it was necessary to ask Parliament to provide for war expenditure by additional taxation, the fact that the income tax stood at 8d. at the time ought to deter the Committee from increasing it. On the contrary, however high the income tax may stand, it would be the duty of the income tax payer to take his full share—and I think a very full share—in providing for such additional expenditure in common with the other taxpayers of the country. But, Sir, if I were now, with the income tax standing at 8d. in the £, to propose to increase it by a penny, and to propose that additional taxation alone, I must say that the income-tax payer would have some fair cause of complaint. At any rate, such a thing ought not to be done without the most absolute necessity. The question for us to-day is, whether there is such clear proof of that necessity, and whether our duty requires us to do it. Sir, there are some points—there is one point, at any rate—connected with this war which, I think—at least, it is my hope—differentiates it from other wars in which this country has been generally engaged. In the first place, I hope that the Estimates which have been sanctioned by the Committee, and which were so admirably expained the other night by my hon. friend the Under Secretary for War, have been more carefully and accurately framed than has been the case with Estimates in some previous campaigns. Of course it is possible that these Estimates may be exceeded; no one can be certain of accurately foreseeing the total cost of such a war as that in which we are now engaged. But they have been, I am sure, framed with the utmost possible accuracy and care. So far things have turned out well; our troops have had brilliant successes; our colonists are loyal; the natives are quiet, and although there may be something in to-day's news, for example, which gives us cause for anxiety, yet we must remember that every day that passes brings us nearer the time when we shall possess an over whelming force in South Africa, and I see no reason whatever to anticipate that the campaign may not be brought to a successful termination well within the period to which the Estimates have referred. Well, Sir, I was not referring so much to the accuracy of the Estimates, when I alluded to the special character of this war, as to another matter. No one could possibly have imagined when we embarked on the Abyssinian War, or the Soudan Expedition, that the whole of the cost of these wars would not fall upon this country. Well, now, Sir, whatever may be the cost of this war, it is, at any rate, not certain that the whole cost of it, or what amount of the cost of it, will fall upon this country. Our colonies have been invaded by the South African Republic, and it would be consistent with all the laws of war if, when it is brought to a successful termination, the Transvaal taxpayers should have to bear something, at any rate, of the cost. The Transvaal is wealthy in its possession of gold. I know it has been among the complaints of those interested in the goldfields that their taxation has been excessive, but I believe, at any rate, from the best information that I can obtain, that under a pure and honest Government it will be perfectly possible for the Transvaal not only to bear the ordinary expenses of government and to provide for the maintenance of peace and order within that territory, but also to provide a reasonable sum towards the expenses which we may incur in this war, consistently with a reduction in the taxation of the goldfields. However, I do not wish at all to press this matter beyond what I have already said. It is, perhaps, premature to refer to it at all, but it is an element which ought properly to enter into our consideration when we are judging when and how much we should impose upon the taxpayers of this country in payment of the expenses of the war, while the future is still uncertain. Now, for these reasons it appears to us that we should on the whole be wisely acting if we did not attempt at the present moment to levy what could only be a small portion of the sum which we propose to borrow from a tax which would certainly not be equal in its incidence. We think it would be better that the consideration of the precise manner in which the sum to be borrowed should be repaid should be postponed until what seems to be the proper season for the consideration of such a subject, namely, next April, on the introduction of the Budget. I have, in what I have said, formed, perhaps, an unduly favourable anticipation of the end of this war. It may be so; but even if my anticipations should not be realised, even if we should meet with reverses, if the war should be prolonged, if the sum voted on Friday last should be but a part of what this country may ultimately have to pay—why, then we shall appeal to the patriotism of the people next April, and we shall rely that those who have supported us so loyally in the prosecution of this work will not fail us when the proper time comes to pay the bill. But, Sir, I have one word more to say. I will not attempt to conceal from the Committee that the point on which I have dwelt has been one which has given myself and my colleagues in the Government much anxious consideration. I am aware that financial considerations may well be pleaded which would favour a resort to the action of 1867 and 1884; but, Sir, though I am Chancellor of the Exchequer, I feel that I have higher duties than mere financial considerations. It would be impossible at the present time for anyone, however great his financial ability, to deal completely with our system of taxation, or impose a new burden equitably upon all the taxpayers; it would be impossible for us to propose new taxation in this House without causing differences of opinion, prolonging debate, and possibly divisions which might be entirely misunderstood out of doors. Sir, although I am Chancellor of the Exchequer, and although I give as great weight as any of my predecessors to financial considerations, I yet feel that I have a higher duty as a Minister of the Crown, and I will not at such a crisis as this take any course which would aid in promoting divisions in this House or hinder us in presenting a united front at this crisis and in this matter to the world. Sir, I beg to move the resolution of which I have given notice.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That towards raising the Supply granted to Her Majesty, the Treasury be authorised to raise any sum not exceeding eight million pounds by the issue of Treasury bills."—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)


Sir, on every occasion when the Chancellor of the Exchequer makes a statement of the kind to which we have listened, and concludes by moving a resolution or resolutions, it is unusual for the Committee immediately to proceed upon a detailed and critical examination of the proposals he has made. It is usual to allow the discussion to stand over to another day, although, as we have been reminded by the invariable motion which has been moved on behalf of the Government and carried in the House to-night, it is necessary that if any tax is imposed or relieved a resolution on that point should be passed in the House on this first night. But the right hon. Gentleman has now introduced another reason why the debate on this occasion should be very restricted in its extent. I should have been prepared myself, I am bound to say, from the same motives which he explained as having actuated him, almost whatever the right hon. Gentleman had proposed, unless there had been something beyond the ordinary degree of novelty and of a startling nature, to acquiesce without dis- cussion. I am profoundly impressed with what he said, that these are not days in which we can discuss, not only with advantage to ourselves, but with advantage to the country, the details of the policy of the Government. Her Majesty's Government are responsible for everything that goes on at this moment; they are responsible for the proceedings of the war; they are responsible also for the method of raising the money to pay for those proceedings, and I do not think it would be wise, even if it were possible, for the House to interfere in any degree with that responsibility. But the right hon. Gentleman has taken away from us anything about which we could contend. I have heard something said, not, I think, very long ago, about someone who spoke with two voices. Such a position does occasionally occur, and necessarily occur. The right hon. Gentleman has been bi-vocal to-night to a considerable extent; he has been speaking with two voices. But he has finally come to a conclusion which I certainly think is most consistent with the patriotic feeling which prevails among us all at this moment, and which is most consistent also with the interests of the proper discussion of this matter in this House; because, as the right hon. Gentleman pointed out, it is in March or April, and not until then, that those Members of the House who take deep interest in financial matters will be in a position to discuss fully the financial situation into which the country is brought by this large expenditure. Therefore, Sir, I have risen merely for the purpose of congratulating the right hon. Gentleman and acquiescing in the proposals that he has made, and, although hon. Members may be prepared to make observations on some part of his statement—a statement, I may say, in which it appears to me a great deal of sound financial doctrine was included—I trust that there will not be anything of a hostile or angry discussion.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I cannot agree with the observations which have just been made, nor with the rules that have been laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the proper time when the financial proposals of the Government should be considered. The right hon. Gentleman has stated that the proper time for discussing this Vote for the conduct of the war will be on April 1 next, when the Budget proposals are made. In the speech with which the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced the resolution which he has just moved he admitted that, in the course which he has now adopted, he is departing from all the more recent precedents. He admitted that on two previous occasions—once, I think, when a Liberal Government was in power, and on another occasion, in 1867, when the Government of the late Lord Beaconsfield was in power—the course taken by the then Government when they proposed a large War Vote was to make part provision on the spot, and not at the commencement of the financial year, and that is and has been the practice of successive Governments since the income tax came to be a fixed institution in this country, and since it came to be regarded—as the Chancellor of the Exchequer regards it—above all things as a war tax. Therefore, the first position which I desire to take up is this—that in the course which the Chancellor of the Exchequer now proposes, he is departing from the precedents of previous Governments, and from precedents set not alone by Governments supported by the Radical party, but by Governments supported by the party opposite. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has admitted this himself, and he gave two reasons in justification of the departure from the precedent which he is now asking us to adopt. The first reason was this: that whereas in 1867 the income tax stood at 4d., it now stands at 8d. That is perfectly true; but whose fault is that? In the discussions which have taken place during the last few years the income-tax in time of profound peace has been forced up from 4d. to 5d., 6d., 7d., and to 8d., which ought to be only a war figure. We are only a small minority on this side of the House, but we have persistently protested against the system of stereotyping the income tax at 8d. in the £ during a time of peace. If that high income tax had been the result of any honest attempt on the part of the Ministers of the day to equalise the financial burdens of Ireland, or to readjust the whole system of taxation of this country so that the great injustice from which the masses of this country as well as the people of Ireland suffer, owing to the undue weight of indirect taxation, then I should not object to an eightpenny income-tax. But the eightpenny income tax in times of peace has been the result not of any generous or large scheme for the readjustment of taxation, but it has been the result of a persistent increase of military and naval expenditure, which, I believe, is largely responsible for the hideous, cruel, and unjust war in which this country is now engaged. Therefore, I say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not an atom or shred of justification for the position he has now taken up that because the income tax is 8d. in the £ the income-tax payers ought not to be called upon, as they have been called upon in the past when war has been threatened or declared, to bear their share of the burden. When the right hon. Gentleman says that this is not the time to discuss these matters, I reply that this is the time, and that no other opportunity will be given for the proper discussion of the question as to who is to bear the burden of this war, because the proper time to discuss it is at the very outset of these proceedings. When we approach the consideration of this question we are entitled to ask, and we do ask, Who are the people in this country who have engineered this war, and who have clamoured for this war? They are mainly the income-tax payers—and the wealthy income-tax payers—and I say, therefore, in the interest of peace and in the interest of justice it is a matter of vital importance that those who have engineered and are responsible for this war ought to be made to feel, at the earliest possible moment, the cost of the war in their own pockets. If the income-tax payers had known and realised that this war would mean an instant increase of apenny or twopence in the income tax they would not have been so clamorous during the last few months, and their patriotism—or mock patriotism—would have been considerably cooled, for there is no patriotism in attacking a weak State like the Transvaal. This has always been a principle preached by the great men who in past years spoke for the Radical and Liberal party of this country, who have not been afraid to face howling mobs and be denounced as traitors, as John Bright was, and as Mr. Gladstone was when he had his windows smashed in this city by the patriots of that day, just as if he had been a mere Irish traitor. It has been the doctrine laid down by those men who were the leaders of the Liberal party in those days, that the surest safeguard against militarism and the undue ten- dency of popular excitement to thrust nations into war was to take the earliest opportunity of bringing home to the taxpayers the cost of war; and I say that it is a vicious and evil system to resort to devices such as those to which we have just listened from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which push off to an indefinite future the cost of these military operations. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that he would not, as was suggested by The Times newspaper, suspend the Sinking Fund, and that he would make only a temporary addition to the Debt. I suppose the idea is to leave that temporary addition until a Radical Government comes in.


I am afraid I may not have made myself clear on that point. My intention is that this debt shall be by no means of long duration. I think it ought to be provided for, if necessary, of course, by an addition to taxation. I hope it may be paid off in the year following next year, or even sooner.


That is a very important change in the statement, because I confess I formed from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the opinion that there was no limit at all to the period in which the addition should be paid off, and that it might stand for years. While, however, the Chancellor of the Exchequer did give strong reasons—reasons which I admit frankly, without pretending to be a financial authority, to be overwhelming—against increasing the taxation of the country in the middle of the financial year, he gave no reason for not adding a penny to the income tax, thereby bringing home to the gentlemen who wished for war the cost of it. This morning there was no war-whoop in the press, but a howl of anguish for fear the rich people of this country should be asked to pay for the war, and an ingenious personage, who hides his great personality under the title of "Financier," and who proposes to reorganise the financial policy of the kingdom, comes to the rescue and points out how dangerous it would be to dare to attempt to put the burden of this war on direct taxation. I am entitled at the present moment to oppose the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer all the more as I have a proposal to make myself which will, I think, solve the diffi- culty for him. I would suggest that, following the example of one of England's greatest Ministers, he should propose to the wealthy classes of this country, who by a large majority are in favour of this war, to make loyal gifts to the Government to prove the reality of their patriotism. I do not attach much importance to platform speeches coming from men who neither take part in the fighting or in paying for it in anything like proportion to their means. When I read these telegrams now pouring in from the Transvaal I feel affected with the deepest possible sorrow, and I say deliberately I am affected equally, if not more, for the Boers as for your troops. The sufferings of the hundreds now lying wounded on those hills ought to affect every one of us, to whichever party we belong, and I think some of the patriotic gentlemen who confine their contributions towards the war to cowardly, blackguardly, and false charges against their enemies, and who take particularly good care to keep out of the range of the Boer rifles, and who howl loudly when called upon to pay, are not adding to the dignity and honour of this country, or contributing to the strength and self-respect of this Empire. For my part I prefer the views of a soldier who spoke here the other night, who has, I have no doubt, taken part in actions, who knows what war means, who would, if duty called, be willing to fight again, and who has learned the lesson which every gallant soldier learns—that the way to fight is not by staying at home and giving vent to blackguardly calumnies against an honourable and gallant enemy. I have been drawn into these observations by speeches which have been made in the House and outside it. My proposal, in the first place, is to offer to these patriots a chance of being able to show the amount of their patriotism by planking down some of their millions for the carrying on of this war. This country is rich in millionaires and wealthy men; why should they not prove the sincerity of their views on this war? Some days ago there was witnessed a demonstration in the streets of London which aroused great enthusiasm, though why it should surpasses my feeble understanding. It consisted of 500 stockbrokers marching to the Guildhall meeting with the Union Jack at their head. That was paraded in The Times newspaper as a magnificent demonstration of loyalty. These gentlemen made the war, and I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to meet part of the cost of it by a fresh tax on the Stock Exchange. They have made millions out of the Rand, and no wonder they shout for war. They are not going to run the risks which the Irish soldiers whom you sent to the front run.


The Irish soldiers did splendidly.


Why do you not go out and fight yourself?


On that point I am for once at one with the hon. Member for South Belfast. Our countrymen have always been in the front in the wars of England, and no man can say that they ever turned their backs. But you must pardon us if we feel bitterly when we remember, with regard to these men, whose reckless bravery probably saved your troops from terrible disaster, that for years and years the only reward you have given to their devotion has been that you have torn roof-trees off the homes of their fathers. These are the men on whose loyalty and valour the existence of your troops at Ladysmith and Glencoe is now depending. When they come back to Ireland they may find their mothers on the roadside starving, while the forces of your Crown are destroying their roof-trees and hearths. And so it has been through the whole of this century. In every battlefield where the flag of England was carried to victory our countrymen occupied a foremost rank, and never put to shame the traditional valour of their race; and even the Iron Duke himself said that in every battlefield in the Peninsula, and at Waterloo itself, you could have achieved very little without the Irish troops. Still, those are the men who, throughout this century, you could find no better fate for than extermination. [SEVERAL HON. MEMBERS: No, no!] Yes; that has been going on until the population of Ireland has been reduced to its present level.


I must remind the hon. Member that the question before the Committee is one of finance.


But this is part of the question, because it is part of your policy in the extermination of these people. However, I admit frankly, it is somewhat of a digression. These are times when men's feelings are stirred, and I confess I find it difficult to understand how these transactions can be made subjects for laughter and sneering, though I am sure the hon. and gallant Member for Newport does not view them in that way. When I read the long list of slain in these, two Irish regiments I recalled what was said to a friend of mine the other day in Ireland by the sister of one of the colour-sergeants—"I hope my brother will come out, safe, because I wish he were fighting in a better cause." Now I come to the third suggestion which I desire to make to the right hon. Gentleman, and I confess I lean more on it than on the others. There are at least twenty millionaires—many of them multi-millionaires—who have made their fortunes within the last ten years on the Rand—mark you, under the oppressive laws of President Kruger and his plundering Government. They came as poor strangers to the Transvaal, many of them Germans and Jews. I have no objection to Jews. I have great respect for their race, and respect their ability and history, which in many ways is analogous, to the history of our own Irish race. The Jews have always received generous treatment in Ireland. When hunted down in the streets of this country, they never were persecuted in Ireland. [HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!] Yes, that is perfectly true. I read the statement of a learned Jewish Rabbi that the records of his people showed that they never were persecuted in Ireland. And, therefore, I do not speak with any hostility against the Jews. But there are twenty millionaires—largely German by nationality, and largely Jewish. Now, why should not these gentlemen, who have undoubtedly brought about this war, who have throughout worked for this war, and who look to profit by this war to increase their millions—why should they not pay for the war? Why should not the right hon. Gentleman send a circular, beginning with Mr. Rhodes, to all the men who are reported to be worth more than a million, and enquire from them how much they will contribute towards the cost of the war? I think it would be a very moderate thing if these gentlemen gave £500,000 apiece; in fact, it would be a mere trifle to them. If they put down half a million apiece the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be relieved from all embarrassment. If we should see our way to strongly recommend that suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman, I think it would recommend itself to the people of this country. I see no reason why any portion of the cost of this war should be thrown on either of two classes—the taxpayers of this country or the general body of the taxpayers of the Transvaal. The war was certainly not undertaken for the benefit of the taxpayers of the Transvaal, and nothing in my judgment could be possibly more iniquitous, except the inauguration of the war itself, than the proposal hinted at by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of making these poor people pay for it. The Transvaal Government might have done what the Chartered Company have done with your approval, and demanded 50 per cent. of the whole profits of the mines. Is it not a monstrous instance of humbug and hypocrisy to talk of the plundering of the miners, when you know that the treatment of the gold miners on the Rand is five times as generous as the treatment of the gold miners in Rhodesia? Certainly no part of the cost of the war ought to be laid on the shoulders of the Transvaal farmers. I hold also that no part of the cost ought to be borne by the working people of this country, for, although I regret to observe that the false statements and pretexts which have been put forward in behalf of this war—that it is a war of liberty and for the franchise—have deceived a section of the working people of this country, it is only a section—such as in Newcastle and other places. That section believes that this is a democratic war in favour of liberty, although no more monstrous and malignant falsehoods were ever put forward than by one section of the press which has certainly run the Yellow press of America neck and neck. Through the horrible lies poured out on the people of the country against the unhappy Boers by that press, the Government have undoubtedly succeeded in deceiving a section of the people into the belief that this is a righteous war. But I am happy to say that the discussions in this House have proved beyond all question that the majority of the people are against this war. Every one of the working men representatives objects to it. Notwithstanding all the threatening letters, violent speeches, and breaking up of meetings, and all the other infamous machinery, the Government has not succeeded in getting one single working-man representative to sanction the war. ["Question!"] It is the question. I claim, therefore, that the working classes of this country, by a large majority, are innocent of the blood of this war, which sooner or later will be brought home to those who really brought about the war. I do not name them, Sir; everyone knows to whom I refer. Therefore, from the debates which have taken place, and the action of the working men representatives in this House, the working classes of the country ought not to be called upon to pay any share of the expenses of this war. The men who ought to pay for this war are the men who made it, and it would teach them to be a little more charitable and more peaceable in the future, and prevent the shame, the degradation of embarking in other wars if they themselves were made to pay the bill. These are the suggestions I have to make to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in doing so I have discharged my conscience. I would like to say one word in conclusion, although I know very well that I may be ruled out of order in doing so. There is another class of persons who ought not to be called upon to bear any share of the cost of this iniquitous war, and who, if there is any resort to indirect taxation, will be called upon to pay it, that is, the people of Ireland. In spite of all I have seen in this morning's Times, and in spite of the speech of the hon. Member for North Armagh, we in Ireland abominate, we hate this war; we consider it unjust, cruel, and cowardly. It is said that the Irish Unionists are in favour of it, but I know personally many Unionists who take the same view as we do; although I believe the majority are with the war, and more shame to them. They are mostly of the same religion as the Boers, and they are never tired of calling us bigoted Catholics, although we want to see these Protestants free. We Irish Members speak here for the taxpayers of Ireland; we look upon this war as a crime against humanity, as unjust, cruel, and cowardly, inasmuch as you are pouring the enormous resources of this Empire against an untrained people, who are leaving their homesteads to take part in it. Not only is this war fraught with dishonour and disgrace to every one concerned in it, but it adds fresh alarm and horror to the feeling of the people of Ireland. When we see our own countrymen in the van of battle, brave—brave as we are all proud to see them, even when forced to fight in an unjust cause; when we read of the long list of our dead and wounded countrymen in this hideous and cruel war, our feelings are redoubled and intensified. I say it would be an act of oppression, against which the Irish representatives in this House are bound to protest at every stage, and by every means in their power, if any share of the cost of this atrocious war of plunder, piracy, and robbery were imposed upon them.

*SIR JOHN LUBBOCK (London University)

I do not rise to follow the hon. Member who has just sat down in the speech which he has delivered, and which was in the nature of a long digression. There is one part, however, of the speech of the hon. Member with which I entirely agree, and that is where he said that this is an unjust war. I believe that it is an unjust war, but the hon. Member, it seems to me, has entirely forgotten by whom the war was begun. I have been a Member of this House for some twenty-five years with the hon. Member, and I have heard a great many of his eloquent speeches, and listened to them with great attention, but he will allow me to say that I regret he is not more moderate in his tone. I wish he would sometimes attempt to do more justice to his fellow countrymen. In that case his speeches would have more effect in this House and the country. It is deplorable, under existing circumstances, when Englishmen, Scotsmen, and Irishmen are fighting side by side, that the hon. Member cannot restrain his hatred of England. But we are now discussing the financial proposals of Her Majesty's Government, and I have risen simply to congratulate my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the very satisfactory statement which he has been able to make with reference to the finances of the country. I think it must have come as an agreeable surprise to many of us that we have reason to hope that the revenue of the year will be £3,000,000 more than the estimate. That is no discredit to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. My right hon. friend was perfectly justified in keeping on the right side, and the result will certainly be most satisfactory to the people of this country. I have always been one of those in this House who have been most anxious that we should meet the expenditure of the year by the revenue of the year, and do something to reduce the Debt. It is of the greatest possible importance that we should reduce the National Debt in times of peace, and perhaps we might have effected more in that direction than we have done. One reason why I have been so anxious that we should reduce the Debt in times of peace is that we might have a nest-egg when times of stress came upon us. I think it would have been very inconvenient to the country, and unwise, if the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had at the present moment attempted to interfere with the taxation of the country. It is much better that we should wait till next year, when we shall see much more clearly than now what the outcome will be. I believe the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition expressed what will be the general feeling of the country, when he said that the proposals which Her Majesty's Government had laid before the House are wise and statesmanlike, and will commend themselves to the judgment of the nation.


The only serious part of the speech of the hon. Gentleman opposite was that in which he spoke of his grief for the loss of the Irish soldiers who are engaged in this war in the Transvaal. But let not the hon. Gentleman suppose that he and his friends are alone in this feeling of grief. We share to the full the grief for their loss, and the admiration for their gallantry.


Why don't you treat them better? Why do you give them an Irish workhouse when they return?


But many an English home too is now desolate, and many an English soldier lies side by side with the Irish on the Transvaal hills, and if English Members of this House are not so eloquent, or do not parade their feelings so often as hon. Gentlemen opposite, they feel none the less sad that Englishmen, Scotsmen, and Irishmen lie side by side, having given up their lives for the sake of England and the future of liberty, and even sadder that Irish Members whose fellow-countrymen have there stood shoulder to shoulder with ours, should here take advantage of the situation to parade their hatred of the country that gives them a seat in this House. Sir, I come to the Vote. I suppose there never was an emergency such as this in the history of this country, and never was a Chancellor of the Exchequer so justified in taking exceptional measures to deal with that emergency. My own view is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken the right method of dealing with this financial question. He proposes, first of all, to take the surplus of three millions which he expects to have at the end of the financial year, but while he proposes to do that he must bear in mind that only half of the year has expired, and he should not count too surely on that amount, for it is extremely likely that the second half-year will not warrant him in doing so. This sum of three millions, or whatever it may prove to be, is, whatever may be said to the contrary, practically an addition to the permanent Debt of the country, because if there is to be a surplus at the end of the year of revenue over expenditure that surplus, automatically, according to our financial system, would go to the old Sinking Fund in diminution of the National Debt. The remainder he proposes to raise by means of Treasury bills, not many of which, I presume, will be put on the market, but will be taken up by the Departments, or disposed of in some such way. The raising of the money by Treasury bills is no doubt a temporary matter, and as such it is right. The Government cannot close the account because they do not know how long the war will last nor how much it will cost, and you cannot say whether European complications will arise, which I am afraid is extremely likely, and the situation generally may become very acute, and result in a considerable struggle for this country, in which case our expenditure would not be ten millions, but might reach a hundred millions or more. The Chancellor of the Exchequer also pointed out that there was some uncertainty as to whether we shall not get some contribution by way of grants-in-aid, or war indemnities. That also I think possible, though not to be counted on to a large extent. I think this sum of ten millions should be treated as a suspense account, leaving the permanent and final revision and settlement and charge to be made when the account is closed, or when the Government can form some probable estimate of what the war is likely to cost. Though Members opposite suggest the contrary, the income-tax payers are sure to have to pay their share of this sum, and it has to be remembered that the clamour for the war has come just as strongly from the classes earning less than £160 a year, who pay no income-tax at all. [No, no.] Many of us look upon this war with the utmost horror and lamentation, nor are we proud of the negotiations which have negotiated us into hostility and protocolised us into a war which will be most arduous in its course and most serious in its effects. But all these things lie behind us now. The Boer ultimatum was so unmannerly and insolent as never before was known to history, and as to create a new situation, and those who were most against this war are now most determined to go on with it to the end. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is extremely unfortunate as regards supplementary estimates. Only last year he promised he would bring in no more. That was when his supplementary estimates had averaged two millions, yet now we have a supplementary estimate of ten millions. 1 am very sorry, but at the same time must express my conviction that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken the right method of making this a suspense account by proposing in the main a purely temporary loan instead of attempting to impose further taxation, which could only properly be done as part of a general revision and improvement of the present system.

MR. H. J. WILSON,speaking on the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he did not intend to take any part in the discussion, but he wished to be allowed to say he entirely associated himself with the hon. Member for East Mayo in his eloquent denunciation of this war. And he wished to say with respect to the speech of the hon. Member for King's Lynn, when he referred to having addressed meetings of working men, that he also had addressed several meetings of working men, at every one of which resolutions had been passed in favour of a policy with which some of them disagreed. He did not wish to intervene in the debate, but he could not hear the speech of the right hon. Member for the City of London, and the hon. Member for King's Lynn, without saying that this war was proceeded with against the views of a considerable body of opinion in this country.

*SIR F. DIXON-HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)

I cannot help congratulating the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the proposal he has made. This afternoon he has told us of a surplus of three millions which he hopes to obtain, and he has brought in other proposals to secure the remainder of the amount required. I believe the proposals made are the best for our trade and the interests generally of this country. I agree with the hon. Gentleman opposite; I do not see why one class of this country should be called on to pay for this war.

MR. DAVITT (Mayo, S.)

Make Rhodes pay.


When the war took place between Germany and France, a heavy tax was put upon France to make her pay for the war she brought about, and I see no reason why the Transvaal, who brought this war upon us—


No, no! Mr. Chamberlain.


When they had the chance of preserving peace.


They had no chance.


And did not improve it. They sent an ultimatum, which was a most insolent one, and one which never should have been sent; and I think the Transvaal can well afford to pay, and should be made to pay out of its mines, which are very rich. They cannot replace the lives that have been lost through their wicked behaviour, but I hope they will be made to pay for the treasure we have spent.


The hon. Baronet who has just spoken shouted out a few days ago that the war was to avenge Majuba, an expression which brought upon the hon. Baronet the condemnation of the Leader of the House.


I beg the hon. Member's pardon. I never made that remark. In reply to the remark of the hon. Member for Montrose, who said that Lord Beaconsfield had brought back peace with honour from Berlin, I said "Not from Majuba," and he chose to misunderstand my remark to enable him to attack the letter of his late chief, Lord Rosebery.


Then the remark was rather better for my case than I thought it was, and more than justified the distinct rebuke administered to the hon. Baronet by the Leader of his own party. In my opinion the Colonial Secretary has been the machinator of this war.


I must remind the hon. Member that the question before the Committee is a financial one.


Let me congratulate the Chancellor of the Exchequer on having the support of two gentlemen who were among the chief auditors at the Stock Exchange meeting a few days ago. One is the hon. Baronet, and the other the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London.


I have not attended any meeting of the Stock Exchange—


You spoke at a meeting at which the whole policy of the war was approved.


If the hon. Member is referring to the meeting of the citizens of London in the Guildhall, a resolution was passed deploring the war.


I observe that the right hon. Baronet desires to put himself in the position of chief mourner of this war. According to the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer it is quite clear that this war is made in the interests of the rich, and to be paid for by the poor. I am well acquainted with the right hon. Gentleman's views of this war. In 1881 he spoke about the institution of the independence of the Transvaal, and I am glad to see that he has the candour to say that if this war is successful, as, of course, it will be in the long run, a great part of the success will be the recapture of the mines and the payment of the indemnity out of the mines. I submit that this is a great appeal on behalf of the war to the lowest principles of human nature. I join most thoroughly with my hon. friend the Member for East Mayo in stating that the Irish people as a whole—and by that I mean not only Irish Nationalists but a very large proportion of the Unionists—hate and abhor this war. I believe it to be a war in which we shall be called upon out of our wretched poverty to contribute a great deal towards that in which we have no interest, and which has been brought about mainly by ingenuity of the Stock Exchange.

*MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)

I did not intend to take part in this debate, and I only rise because of the speeches to which we have listened from my hon. friends below the gangway. They seem to have disapproved of my right hon. friend's policy, which he distinctly refrained from expounding because, as I understood him to say, he preferred to defer till next session his decision as to the exact manner in which the cost of this war shall be paid. But he did go so far as to say that one means he would not resort to, and that was to make any increase to the permanent Debt of the country. That being the case, I should have thought such an expression of opinion—which is all that we shall get from my right hon. friend with regard to his present intention of defraying the cost of the war—would have met rather with the concurrence than the disapproval of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Sir, I hope the Committee will give me their indulgence if I refer to some observations which fell from the hon. Member for East Mayo with regard to my community. I think he said that this war was got up in the interest and on behalf of those who speculate in South African shares, many of whom belong to my community. I personally have no knowledge whatever of these matters, because I have never had myself any interest in South African shares. But I think I am entitled to protest against the importation into these discussions of the religious faith of those against whom charges are made, and which importation, I think the hon. Member must be aware if he reflects for a moment, must give pain to many members of a community who have not merited it. These remarks are not inconsistent with the most sincere grief for the loss of, and the most profound admiration for, the exemplary and characteristic valour displayed by many of his countrymen, not for the first time, on behalf of the country for which they fought; a valour which, I believe, in the future will be as conspicuously displayed, should occasion arise, as I am quite sure the whole country recognises it has been displayed on the present occasion.

MR. DUCKWORTH (Lancashire, Middleton)

I have been very strongly impressed, while listening to the state- ment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the perilous position in which he is placed at the present moment. I cannot but think that if the resources of the nation, being, as they have been for the last few years, so great and unprecedented, had been husbanded as a wise Government ought to have husbanded them, the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not have found himself before the House in the position in which he stands to-day. If any individual in possession of a prosperous business, and living up to his income, or beyond it, throwing money away on the right and on the left, had, when he came to the pinch through something happening unexpectedly, to resort to means such as are proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the present time, one would call that man by a name which, I suppose, is not permissible in this House. Allow me to repudiate the statement made by the hon. Member for King's Lynn. The working people of this country are not in favour of this war; they are very strongly opposed to it. During the last few weeks I have addressed some half-dozen meetings, using what little influence I could (even up to the night before news came that war had broken out) in the interests of peace; and at all those meetings resolutions of a mild character—mild, because it was thought it would not be wise to pass resolutions too strongly in favour of peace—were passed, and passed almost unanimously, in the town represented by the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Address. I therefore repudiate the statement that the working classes, at all events in Lancashire, are in favour of this war. The feeling there is that this war is not necessary—


This question does not arise at the present time. As I have pointed out once or twice before, the only question at present before the Committee is one dealing with finance.


Well, Sir, it appears to me that that has been deviated from, and I thought perhaps I might be permitted to take the same course. I will not, however, go further into the necessity or otherwise of the war, but will close by saying that I quite coincide with the statement made by a friend of mine the other day—namely, that if the Rand had been a potato-field instead of a goldfield there would have been no war.

MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow Camlachie)

We have heard with plea- sure the news brought by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of a surplus for the current year. I do not share the view that the remaining months of the year will interfere with that surplus, so firm and stable are the foundations of our trade at present. I wonder whether I may say that we in Glasgow entirely approve of the policy that the expenditure on wars ought to be met out of the capital revenue of the year, and that the principle of creating debt which has led us astray in the past will have the same effect in the future. I am glad the Chancellor of the Exchequer has promised that when the time comes to raise the funds for this war the claims of the income-tax payers should be remembered. No doubt the income tax presents a convenient mode of raising money for extraordinary expenditure; but it has now reached such a figure as to indicate that the income tax already bears a large part of the cost of the military and naval preparations which the necessities of the case have called for. I hope, when the time comes, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will deal with the matter in an Imperial sense, and regard the cost of this great national war as one to be borne not by any section of the people, but by the community as a whole. I feel perfectly certain that the citizens of Glasgow, whom I have the honour to represent, will be as willing to bear their share of this expenditure as they are at present to bear the weight of the approval which they give to the policy of the Government. Some one has spoken of the ultimatum of the Boers as an insult to this country. In my view the insult was not the ultimatum, but the motive which lay behind it. To my mind it is a question whether there should be any serious expectation of the taxpayers of this country, whether rich or poor, or both rich and poor, bearing the cost of the war. The resources of the Transvaal are such that, with the savings which would arise from a proper administration, there would be a possibility not only of a reduction of taxation, but also of finding enough to defray the expenses of the war.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I need not say, as I have always been opposed to our large expenditure upon armaments, that, as I believe this war to be unnecessary, I am naturally opposed to the particular expenditure we are now considering. That is not the question at the present moment. The House having already voted the expenditure, the question is solely how the money to meet that expenditure should be raised. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to raise the necessary funds by means of Treasury bills, one of his reasons being that if indirect taxation were imposed for some six months it would unhinge all trade. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself admitted that at least a portion of this money would have to come from the income tax, and therefore I do not see why he should not at once raise that tax by 2d. in the £, which would bring him in£5,000,000, and raise the rest by Treasury bills and deal with that balance next session. I am sorry he does not do this, because it is always desirable when war does take place that those who are in favour of the war should have the fact that they must pay for it brought home to them at once. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has adumbrated the probability of the Transvaal being obliged to pay a portion of this money. I will not say anything about counting chickens before they are hatched, because there is not the slightest doubt that if this war is persevered in, as doubtless it will be, in the end we must be the victors and should be able to dictate terms to the Transvaal. One thing which leads me not strongly to object to the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is the fact that the Boers who are fighting have nothing but their independence; they have small farms, but, probably, very few have any ready money. The money in the Transvaal belongs to the capitalists, and nothing would give me greater pleasure than the thought that we should seize a considerable amount of the money of these capitalists for the purpose of defraying the cost of this war.




The hon. Member says we are all agreed. Then, perhaps, he will agree with me in saying that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer were to commence that proceeding and at once commandeer the houses of the great South African capitalists in Park Lane, the country—and certainly we on this side of the House—would have no objection. The most important statement uttered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that made incidentally to the hon. Member for East Mayo, that the whole expenditure of this war was to be paid in the two ensuing financial years. That does away with any supposition that it is to be thrown over a short or long period. We know now that, be that expenditure what it may —


The hon. Member misunderstood me. I was referring to the £10,000,000.


I rejoice that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has assured us that this £10,000,000 is to be paid during the two ensuing financial years, and I can only express the hope that he will carry out that very sound principle, whether the cost of the war be £10,000,000, or £20,000,000 or £30,000,000. While I, for my part, am not going to oppose the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman, I do not agree with his views in regard to income tax and indirect taxation. I think the burden should be put on the shoulders best able to bear it, and as the working men are not in favour of this war I am perfectly convinced they will object to pay for it.

*MR. JOHN WILSON (Falkirk Burghs)

It has been stated that this is a war on behalf of the rich which will have to be paid for by the poor. I take the exactly opposite view, that it is a war in defence of the poor, which, under the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will be paid for by the rich. I wish to emphasise one point. In the Transvaal are the richest goldfields in the world, and once British rule is established there, as undoubtedly it will be, there will be such security for industry in that country that it will be very well able to pay any impost that is put upon it. The capitalists there would be much more willing to pay an impost of 5 per cent. on £20,000,000 or £40,000,000, whichever of these sums the war costs, than to remain under the rule of President Kruger. It has been said that this is not a popular war among the working men. There are many of that class in my constituency; they are intensely interested in the war—many have relatives or friends in South Africa—and I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that this is one of the most popular wars this country has ever engaged in.


Order, order! That question does not arise on this resolution, which is simply of a financial character.

*MR. JOHN WILSON (Falkirk Burghs)

I simply wish to emphatically support the suggestion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the cost of this war, which, in the meantime, is to be raised by Treasury bills, will ultimately be put upon the Transvaal, which is thoroughly well able to stand it.


Knowing that hon. Members opposite will be anxious to know what are my views upon the question before the House, I take this opportunity of opposing, so far as I can, the imposition of any fresh taxation for the purpose of this war. The proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to defer dealing with this matter for some time, has been received with a good deal of approbation from the Front Opposition Bench, but I am perfectly certain that there are a great number of people in this country who will be disappointed at not being told upon which class of the community the cost of this war is ultimately to fall. It has been suggested that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should raise the income tax in order to secure the necessary money. I should be glad to think that that decision had been arrived at, but I doubt very much when the Bill has to be paid if the working classes and the poorest portion of the population of this country will approve of it, for they will find to their sorrow that they will be called upon to bear a great portion of the burdens of that war which, at the present time, they have had nothing to do with except to cheer and demonstrate. But it is from the Irish point of view that I object most particularly to any proposal which the Chancellor of the Exchequer may make—[Ministerial laughter]. Will hon. Members opposite be kind enough to allow me to finish my sentence, for I know they follow my remarks very closely. I was about to continue the reason why I object to any proposal the Chancellor of the Exchequer may make which in any way whatever includes the Irish taxpayer. This war, we are told, is popular in England, and I am not going to discuss whether that is the case or not. To all appearances it is. It is equally certain that the Irish Members at the present time are not popular. But whether we are popular or not in this country, there can be no doubt that with the vast majority of the Irish people this war is very unpopular. I am not going to deny that there is a considerable min- ority in Ireland, now that the Government has been committed to the war, who will support the Government and say they are in favour of the war. Out of some hundred Irish Members there are some eighteen or twenty only who will support the Government, but there are eighty or more who will certainly not support Her Majesty's Government. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that the vast majority of the Irish people have no enthusiasm for this war, and I say to make any arrangement—I do not care what it is to be—which in the slightest degree casts any burden upon the Irish taxpayer for the cost of this war would, in my opinion, be most unjust and unfair, and more particularly any attempt to tax the Irish people for this war would be resented at the present time, because for some little time past the Irish people have been considering the question of the burden of their present taxation, and they are firmly convinced that they already pay a considerably greater amount than they ought to towards the Imperial taxation of the United Kingdom. Therefore, I would seriously urge upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer to try and meet the cost of this war in some way which will not fall, first of all, upon the poor classes of the people of this country, and, secondly, upon the Irish people or any class of the Irish people at all. But if the Irish people are to be taxed to any extent for this war there is a minority in Ireland who, I have no doubt in their loyal enthusiasm, will be willing to thrust their hands into their pockets and pay for it. The portion of the north of Ireland represented by hon. Members opposite are always expressing their loyalty, and now that a costly war has been entered upon these gentlemen in the north of Ireland, whose bosoms swell with loyal pride, and who declare that the Boers must be put down and the Government must be supported, ought to pay for this war. My constituents will not object in the least degree if the loyalists of Belfast, out of their wealth and resources, desire to help the mother country by paying for this war. Let the supporters of Her Majesty's Government in Ireland be taxed as much as you like, but do not tax in the slightest degree the masses of the Irish people, who have as it is a great deal to do in order to make both ends meet, and to meet the demands of the landlords at the present time. The plan which would commend itself most to my mind to defray the expense of this war would be the plan suggested in the speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said himself that the Transvaal might be called upon to bear some share of, if not all, the cost of this war, which is being waged in the interests of a large body of the taxpayers of the Transvaal. I do not know whether that is so or not, but if the Chancellor of the Exchequer would give me a hint even of the slightest intention on the part of the Government to make these precious Uitlanders pay for this war, I should be so delighted that even I would refrain from speaking any more upon this question, and that in itself might be a relief to hon. Gentlemen opposite. In any case I confine myself now to a protest, and I say it is not fair to tax the Irish people, or any section of them, with any part of the expense of this war, and I confine myself to the suggestion which I again most urgently put before the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that those gentlemen who would not fight for Dr. Jameson when he asked them to do so should now be made to pay when they have got the Imperial Army to go and fight for the liberties which they had not the spunk or pluck to fight for themselves.

MR. LOUIS SINCLAIR (Essex, Romford)

I should not have taken any part in the debate at this stage if it had not been argued that working men were against this war. As the representative of some 28,000 working class electors I wish to state that they have recently declared that they are ready and willing to make any sacrifice which they may be called upon to make in order to support the action of the Government in regard to this war, and they further say that it would be a bad policy if money were not to be expended now which must bring great benefit not only to the Uitlanders, but to the whole Empire. If only this war, by adopting vigorous measures, puts an end to the grievances which previously existed, and if it shows unmistakably that England intends to be the paramount Power in South Africa, it will be money well spent.

MR. C. E. SHAW (Stafford)

I am not going to detain the House very long, but I came down here expressly to oppose any fresh taxation being imposed. I am very glad to be able to fall in with the views expressed by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the point I want to put is this: I was speaking the other day to a very large meeting upon this very question, and I then said that I should propose in this House that the cost of this war should be paid for in the form of a loan specially raised and guaranteed by the Imperial Government at the close of this war. That is on all fours with the issue of Treasury bills, which are one and the same thing. I also said that after the war was over that loan ought to be secured by the revenues of the two States with which we are at war, whatever form of government is established. I cannot in any way forecast what that future government may be, but I do hold that the working men of this country should not in any way be called upon to bear any

form of increased taxation owing to this war. I would venture to point out that those mines, about which we have heard so much, are largely owned by people in Berlin and in Paris, and I want them to bear a portion of the burden. I do not intend to keep the House any longer, but I wish to urge this point upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because very likely we shall not have another opportunity of meeting him face to face before he comes down to the House in April next to propose his definite methods of taxation.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 336; Noes, 28. (Division List No. 11).

Aird, John Caldwell, James Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Dunn, Sir William
Allsopp, Hon. George Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson- Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward Elliot, Hn. A. Ralph Douglas
Arnold, Alfred Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Evans, Sir F. H. (South'ton)
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Cawley, Frederick Fardell, Sir T. George
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Farquharson, Dr. Robert
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Ferguson, R. C. Monro (Leith)
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r
Bailey, James (Walworth) Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Finch, George H.
Bainbridge, Emerson Charrington, Spencer Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Baird, John George Alexander Chelsea, Viscount Fisher, William Hayes
Baldwin, Alfred Clarke, Sir Edward(Plymouth) FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J.(Man.) Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W.(Leeds) Coddington, Sir William Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.
Banbury, Frederick George Coghill, Douglas Harry Flower, Ernest
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Cohen, Benjamin Louis Folkestone, Viscount
Barry, Rt. Hon. A. H. S. (Hunts Colomb, Sir John Charles R. Forster, Henry William
Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor) Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Compton, Lord Alwyne Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H.(Bristol Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Beach, W. W. B. (Hants) Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Galloway, William Johnson
Beckett, Ernest William Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Garfit, William
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Cranborne, Viscount Gedge, Sydney
Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe Cripps, Charles Alfred Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (C. of Lond.
Bethell, Commander Crombie, John William Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Giles, Charles Tyrrell
Biddulph, Michael Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton Gilliat, John Saunders
Bill, Charles Cruddas, William Donaldson Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbt. J.
Blakiston-Honston, John Cubitt, Hon. Henry Goldsworthy, Major-General
Blundell, Colonel Henry Currie, Sir Donald Gordon, Hon. John Edward
Bolitho, Thomas Bedford Curzon, Viscount Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir J. Eldon
Bond, Edward Goschen, Rt. Hn G J (St. George's
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Dalkieth, Earl of Goulding, Edward Alfred
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Dalrymple, Sir Charles Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham Graham, Henry Robert
Bowles, T. Gibson(King'sLynn) Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardig'n Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Denny, Colonel Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)
Brown, Alexander H. Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Greville, Hon. Ronald
Bryce, Right Hon. James Donkin, Richard Sim Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Gull, Sir Cameron
Burdett-Coutts, W. Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Haldane, Richard Burden
Burt, Thomas Doxford, Wm. Theodore Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Butcher, John George Drage, Geoffrey Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Buxton, Sydney Charles Duckworth, James Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord George
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W. Malcolm, Ian Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles
Hanson, Sir Reginald Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Savory, Sir Joseph
Hare, Thomas Leigh Marks, Henry Hananel Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Harwood, George Massey-Mainwaring, Hn W.F. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.
Haslett, Sir James Horner Maxwell, Rt Hon Sir Herbert E. Seeley, Charles Hilton
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Heath, James Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)
Heaton, John Henniker Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H. Middlemore, J. Throgmorton Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Helder, Augustus Milbank, Sir Powlett C. John Sidebottom, William(Derbysh
Henderson, Alexander Milward, Colonel Victor Simeon, Sir Barrington
Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter Monk, Charles James Sinclair, Capt. John(Forfarsh.
Hill, Rt. Hn. A. Staveley(Staffs. Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)
Hoare, Edw. B. (Hampstead) Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Smith, James Parker(Lanarks
Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich) Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Holden, Sir Angus Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport) Spencer, Ernest
Holland, William Henry Mount, William George Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)
Horniman, Frederick John Muntz, Philip A. Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute) Stanley, Sir H. M. (Lambeth)
Howard, Joseph Murray, Charles J. (Coventry Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Howell, William Tudor Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath) Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil Myers, William Henry Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Hughes, Colonel Edwin Newdigate, Francis Alex. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.) Nicholson, William Graham Strachey, Edward
Jenkins, Sir John Jones Nicol, Donald Ninian Strauss, Arthur
Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Northcote, Hn. Sir H. S. Strutt, Hon, Charles Hedley
Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez Edw. Norton, Captain C. Wm. Sturt, Hon. H. Napier
Johnston, William (Belfast) Oldroyd, Mark Talbot, Rt. Hn. J G(Oxf'd Univ.)
Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Tennant, Harold John
Jones, David Brynmor(Swans'a Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham) Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Kearley, Hudson E. Paulton, James Mellor Thornton, Percy M.
Kemp, George Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Keswick, William Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlingt'n Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Kimber, Henry Pease, Joseph A. (Northum.) Tritton, Charles Ernest
King, Sir Henry Seymour Pender, Sir James Valentia, Viscount
Knowles, Lees Perks, Robert William Vincent, Col Sir C. E. Howard
Lafone, Alfred Philipps, John Wynford Wallace, Robert
Langley, Batty Pierpoint, Robert Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Lawrence, Sir E Durning-(Corn Pilkington, Sir G. A.(Lanc. S. W Warner, Thomas C. T.
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Pirie, Duncan V. Warr, Augustus Frederick
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Platt-Higgins, Frederick Webster, Sir Richard E.
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. Curzon Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Pollock, Harry Frederick Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Leighton, Stanley Pretyman, Ernest George Williams, Jos. Powell- (Birm.
Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset) Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Provand, Andrew Dryburgh Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Purvis, Robert Wilson, John (Govan)
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Pym, C. Guy Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverpool) Rankin, Sir James Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Woods, Samuel
Lorne, Marquess of Reid, Sir Robert Threshie Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. S.-
Lough, Thomas Renshaw, Charles Bine Wrightson, Thomas
Lowe, Francis William Rickett, J. Compton Wylie, Alexander
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W. Wyndham, George
Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson Wyndham-Quin, Major W.H.
Lucas-Shadwell, William Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Lyell, Sir Leonard Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Robertson, Herbert (Hackney Young, Commander(Berks, E.)
Macdona, John Cumming Robson, Wm. Snowdon Yoxall, James Henry
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Maclure, Sir John William Russell, Gen. F. S.(Cheltenham TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Rutherford, John.
M'Calmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.) Ryder, John Herbert Dudley
M'Crae, George Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Commins, Andrew Davitt, Michael
Ambrose, Robert Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Donelan, Captain A.
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Daly, James Doogan, P. C.
Flavin, Michael Joseph MacDonnell, Dr M A(Queen's C Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Gibney, James MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)
Gilhooly, James M'Cartan, Michael Tuite, James
Hayden, John Patrick M'Ghee, Richard
Healy, Maurice (Cork) M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Jordan, Jeremiah O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Mr. Dillon and Mr. William Redmond
Lawson, Sir. Wilfrid(Cumb'l nd O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)
Macaleese, Daniel Power, Patrick Joseph