§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 3:—
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid)
said his Amendment raised the question whether an export duty ought to be levied upon small coal as well as large. This in South Wales and other parts of the country was a very Important matter. He proposed to insert the words "large or through and through." The effect of this would be that the duty would be taken off small coal, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have the opportunity of telling them whether in dealing with small coal he proposed to put upon it a smaller duty than upon the larger and more valuable kind of coal. He would like to see this duty restricted to large coal, but at any rate he hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be able to meet the owners of small collieries with respect 1438 to the exemption of small coal from the duty. The effect of putting the same duty on all kinds of coal would be very serious. Speaking broadly, large coal was sold f.o.b. at 12s. per ton, while the price of small coal would be about 6s. per ton. When coal was at 12s. a tax of 1s. became a duty of 8 per cent. upon large coal. A duty at the same rate upon small coal at 6s. per ton amounted to 16 per cent. It was not fair to impose twice the percentage on small as upon large coal. In some collieries the proportion of large to small coal was very great; whilst in others there was a very much bigger percentage of the smaller coal. Take as an illustration a colliery producing four tons of large to every one of small, and suppose that amount was 1,000 tons. According to that percentage of large and small coal they would have 800 tons of large and 200 tons of small. The value of 800 tons at 12s. per ton would be £480 and 200 tons at 6s. would be worth £60. The price of 1,000 tons in that proportion would be £540, and upon that they levied a duty of £50 at 1s. per ton. Take another colliery further west, in Glamorganshire, where out of 1,000 tons only 300 were large and 700 small. Those 300 tons at 12s. would produce £180, and 700 tons at 6s. would make a total of £210. From this colliery 1,000 tons only produced 1439 £390, upon which was levied £50 duty, and yet upon a commodity worth £540 only the same amount of duty was imposed. That was a very important matter. He gave those two illustrations to show how the inequality would work in cases where the collieries were not so valuable, and that was the reason why they should be treated much more mercifully. If they put this large duty upon the small coal it must have a tendency to destroy the market for small coal. The result would be that, in many cases where the small coal was now brought to the bank, it would be left underground. That was a very important matter, affecting the safety of the men, for if the small coal was left in the mine there was a greater danger of explosions occurring. Therefore, from the point of view of the safety of the miners, it was important that they should not discourage the raising of small coal to the bank. If they imposed this large duty upon the small coal, then the tendency would be that three-fourths of the people who worked collieries would be encouraged rather to keep the coal inside the pit rather than deliver it on the bank. A great deal had been said about the large fortunes made by coalowners, and he had no objection whatever to see them taxed. If they had ample time to go into the figures with regard to these collieries they would find, even with regard to those mines producing the best coal, that the average return to the coalowner was not so large as had been represented by the right hon. Gentleman. He knew of one colliery employing between 800 and 900 men where the interest paid on the capital sunk in the colliery was not more than one and a half to two per cent. The small collieries depended to a large extent upon the small coal which they were able to sell in order to make a profit, and with this tax they would not be able to sell it in bad times. It was perfectly true that if these collieries were unable to dispose of their small coal at a profit they would have to close their collieries altogether. Therefore, from both these points of view, he hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer was convinced that the duty ought not to be placed on small coal at all. He hoped, at any rate, that the right hon. Gentleman did not propose to make the duty payable at the same 1440 rate for both small and large coal. It appeared to him to be a very hard thing that one colliery producing small coal, and exporting it to Belgium, France, or Italy, should have to pay this duty, while a colliery in the same district producing; the same coal for home consumption would contribute nothing in the shape of duty. Those were the considerations which had induced him to put down this Amendment, and the right hon. Gentleman was not able to meet them to that extent; he hoped that when they came to a quality of coal which was worth only 6s. a ton he did not propose to make the duty payable 1s. a ton.
In page 2, line 29, after the word 'on' to insert the words 'large or through and through.'"—(Mr. Samuel Evans.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
The hon. Member for Mid Glamorgan will perhaps forgive me for saying that I think he has been rather prolific in Amendments upon this particular matter.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
The hon. Member has made three proposals. In the first place he suggested a graduated duty of 6d. on large coal, 4d. on through and through coal, and 2d. on small coal, without reference to value. Then he proposed a similar scale of duty-based on the value as well as the description of the coal. These proposals appear to me to be entirely impracticable, and either of them would absolutely destroy the yield from the duty which I have proposed The third proposal, which he has just laid before the Committee, was that, while the duty should be 1s. a ton on large and through and through coal, small coal should be altogether exempt from any duty. But then comes the difficult question of what is small coal. I have been endeavouring to ascertain that for some time past. I have communicated with many authorities on the subject, in different parts of 1441 the country, and with several Members of this House. I am aware that the subject has been discussed by the Mining Association, but many different views were expressed, and no decision was arrived at. The difficulty of defining small coal is clearly shown by the various Amendments which have been placed on the Paper with a view to arriving at a definition. I am sure that hon. Members acquainted with this subject will be ready to admit that there is a great deal of small coal of a low value, and it is that which, I think, the hon. Member opposite has in his mind. But there is also a good deal of small coal of a higher value than some large coal. I am informed that the bituminous small coal, which goes through a very small sieve, is of as high a value as the large coal from the same district. So that any attempt to differentiate between large and small coal would be absolutely unfair, and would not secure what I believe the hon. Member opposite desires. There are Amendments on the Paper prescribing the size of the mesh through which small coal should pass, with the view of arriving at a definition of small coal. But, in my opinion, it would be absolutely impossible to legislate on such a basis as that. It would be troublesome to the trader to attempt to stereotype in an Act of Parliament the size of the mesh which should differentiate between the coal. I am informed, too, that it is not only a question of the size of the mesh when settling what is small and what is large coal, but that the angle at which the screen is placed has a very material effect on the process of screening. At many ports there are practically no facilities for screening, and although there would be a screen, I suppose, at every colliery, the Customs officers could not attend them. Again, a good deal of coal is sold without being screened at all. I think I have now dealt with the Amendment of the hon. Member, and I contend that I have shown that it would be impossible and unfair for the Committee to exempt small coal, as such, from the operation of a duty which would apply to large coal of less value than some kinds of small coal. I observe on the Paper Amendments attempting to graduate the duty on an ad valorem basis. There is a great deal that is taking 1442 in that proposal, but I do not think it is likely to commend itself to hon. Members from those parts of the country where the most valuable coal is produced, because it is perfectly obvious that, if we attempt anything of the kind, I shall have to ask the Committee to sanction a rate of duty higher on the more valuable coal than that which has been already sanctioned. I am not quite sure that that would be fair in all cases, for some of the very valuable coal is, I imagine, produced at a cost, owing to the depth of the pits and a variety of reasons, which make the profits to the owners not greater, at any rate, than those on some of the inferior kinds of coal which are produced at much less cost. Further, any attempt at an ad valorem duty would, I cannot help thinking, entail so many chances of fraud and so many cases of dispute between the Custom House officers and the persons interested, and so much continual trouble to the trade as to render it almost impracticable.
Having gone through the different proposals I come to what the hon. Member seems to me to have really in his mind, and that is what I alluded to last night—namely, the more favourable dealing in point of duty with the cheapest class of coal. That is a point on which I am prepared to meet the hon. Member and hon. Members on this side of the House, who are equally interested in the subject. There are two ways in which it might be met, but in either case it would be by a rebate of the duty in the Bill. We might either give a rebate of part of the duty on coal below a certain price f.o.b., or we might give a rebate of the whole of the duty on lesser priced coal. I have been personally rather inclined to the former course, but I have reason to suppose that the latter course would be more agreeable to hon. Members who are interested in this matter, and who desire some amelioration for this kind of coal. This particular point of the Bill is not, however, the point at which an Amendment of that kind can properly be moved. If hon. Members will look at the wording of the Bill, they will see that we will come to that point later in the clause, probably at the end of line 31, and I hope I shall be able by the time we get there to suggest definite proposals to the Committee, which may deal with this matter in one or other of the ways I have mentioned. 1443 I may say that I have also examined the case of patent fuel, and I feel that, having regard to the interests of our manufacturers of patent fuel, we must treat patent fuel in the same way as we treat small coal, and therefore any proposal I will make on the subject will apply to patent fuel also. I hope the hon. Member will not now press his Amendment.
§ MR. MCLAREN (Leicestershire, Bosworth)
said he was very glad to hear the favourable view the Chancellor of the Exchequer had taken of the representations addressed to him, and after what the right hon. Gentleman had said he would suggest that the Amendment be withdrawn. Before the Chancellor of the Exchequer submitted to the Committee the exact terms in which he was prepared to allow small coal to go out of the country he ought to carefully consider the effect of railway rates on the price of coal f.o.b. He had had various figures suggested to him, such as 5s. and 6s., but although they might suit Durham and Northumberland very well, where the collieries were near the sea, any hard and fast line would operate very hardly in collieries in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire, and also in South Wales, where some of the most prolific collieries, not the very best collieries, had a rate to the sea of 2s. or 2s. 6d. He could state from personal knowledge that, unless collieries in South Wales got a fair return for their small coal, it would be impossible for them to pay. He was not addressing the Committee as a colliery proprietor, but as the representative of a constituency which contained a large number of miners, who would feel the direct effect of cutting down profits by the unfair treatment of small coal. In South Wales the sliding scale would operate to reduce wages next month; already a reduction of wages was in operation in Durham, and a reduction was freely talked of in the Midlands in the autumn. That seemed to him to be the very worst time to try an experiment which would affect wages without the most prolonged and most careful consideration. He had not the least doubt that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would give the subject that consideration, because the right hon. Gentleman now saw the intricacies of the question 1444 and the complications which every step involved. The coalowners were willing to bear their share of the national burden; all they asked was that the duty should be put on in such a way as to cause the least friction in carrying out their obligations. If there was one thing which a coal owner abhorred and feared more than another, it was the question of a wages dispute with his workmen. He hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would take into account the various burdens which the colliery owners had to bear, and if, in fixing the limit of the abatement of the duty, regard were given to the price at the pit's mouth, and not to the price f.o.b., or by some combination which could be arrived at without any difficulty, the gift which it was proposed to give to the coalowners and miners would be doubly valuable. He felt sure the Chancellor of the Exchequer appreciated the importance of the question, and he sincerely hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would be able to meet them in South Wales and the Midlands on as favourable terms as he had met Members from the North of England.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
said he was very glad indeed to find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was prepared to some extent to meet the demands that had been made on him from different parts of the country with regard to the coal duty. He confessed that he did not fully understand the purport of the concession which the right hon. Gentleman was prepared to make, but at the same time he did not think that it went nearly as far as the demand which they in West Glamorganshire thought they had a right to make. The Amendment of his hon. friend in effect would secure the total exemption of what was called small coal. Of course, the words "small coal" and "large coal" were technical terms, but they were fairly well known in the trade, and contracts were made and carried out every day in respect of them. So far as the Chancellor of the Exchequer based his argument against the Amendment on the difficulty of drawing a distinction between the different classes of coal he would respectfully point out that that was really a matter of language to be 1445 determined by a definition in the Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to the questions of the mesh and the angle, but it would be quite easy to find a form of words which would put beyond all doubt what was the meaning of "large coal" as opposed to "small coal." He was informed that the ordinary screen which separated large coal from small coal had 1⅛ inch mesh. If that were taken as the basis for distinction, the angle could also be determined. He did not, however, desire to enter into detail. What they in West Glamorganshire wished was the total exemption of small coal from the duty. The matter was from the point of revenue a very small one indeed. The amount of small coal exported from Swansea, except for coasting purposes, did not exceed more than two or three cargoes a year. What, then, was the meaning of putting a duty on small coal for revenue purposes? What was really the important factor was the question of manufactured fuel, and he confessed that the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding it was entirely unsatisfactory. One of the largest manufacturers of patent fuel in West Glamorganshire had sent him a communication stating that before the manufacture of that fuel small coal was practically wasted, and remained in huge quantities at the collieries. It was by the energy of a former member of the House that the great patent fuel industry was started, by which small coal was utilised instead of being thrown aside at the mouth of the pit. The reason why they had taken such a great interest in the question was that if the manufactured article were to be taxed, an industry which, notwithstanding obvious advantages, was not at present in a very flourishing condition, would be practically destroyed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his promised concession in regard to small coal, had lost sight of the fact that it was not merely small coal compressed into blocks. It involved not only the use of most expensive machinery, but the introduction into the article in the course of its manufacture of a substitute called pitch, which was highly expensive. He should say, indeed, that from 10 to 15 per cent. of the substances in the manufactured article, which he proposed to treat as 1446 small coal, was pitch. In some instances this very substance had been imported into Glamorganshire in order to carry on the patent fuel manufacturing business. If that was the case, surely the concession of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was wholly inadequate to meet the case. He ought not to treat the article as small coal at all, but to put it into a category by itself.
§ MR. ABEL THOMAS (Carmarthenshire, E.)
said that until he had received an idea of the full extent of the proposed concessions he should support his hon. and learned friend's Amendment. In fact, the Amendment was not inconsistent with the position taken up by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because the Amendment simply aimed at the exclusion of small coal altogether. He was surprised to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer say that there was no definition of small coal. He (Mr. Thomas) supposed a lease was never granted of a colliery in Wales in which there was not a difference in the percentage of royalties charged on small coal as compared with large coal. He ventured to say that there were thousands of contracts made in the course of every year in Cardiff and Wales generally in which they specified for through and through and small coal only. There should be no difficulty in formulating the distinction between these coals. They were dealing with a tax which this year seemed to be reasonable enough, and which last year was reasonable enough. But in 1876, 1877, and 1878 practically the whole of the small coal delivered and sold free on board never reached six shillings a ton, and was often as low as three shillngs. One would see, therefore, that a shilling tax during bad years was an impossible tax, although it was true that in a year like this and last year it very likely was a small matter. The whole idea of taxing coal was a leap in the dark. It was a very dangerous experiment, and still more dangerous when the Government were dealing with such substances as small coal, the price of which in bad times sank to an insignificant figure.
§ *SIR JOSEPH PEASE (Durham, Barnard Castle)
thought that those hon. 1447 Gentlemen who were in the House when the right hon. Gentleman made the statement which he made must have felt that the difficulty of defining coal was very great indeed. If the right hon. Gentleman made any concession at all it should be a full and free concession. He thought that the only definition of small coal on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer could act was that which its value afforded. But it would much facilitate discussion if the right hon. Gentleman would give particulars of the concession he proposed.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydfil)
took rather a different view of the concessions which had been given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He thought the concession which was promised to the patent fuel manufacturers would be no concession at all. The right hon. Gentleman was going to tax small coal according to its value and put patent fuel upon the same basis, but inasmuch as the cost of manufacture of patent fuel was about double the price of small coal he could not see how that was to be done. The price of patent fuel never went down to anything like the price of small coal. The proper definition of small coal was that, whatever its size, so long as the price remained below 6s. it was small coal. When the coal duties were in operation in 1842 and 1845 the duty was 2s. a ton on the large coal and 1s. a ton on the small. The right hon. Gentleman was adding to the uncertainty of the revenue by this means; a year or two hence all coal might be shipped at only 5s. a ton. The right hon. Gentleman had no idea what proportion of coal shipped was small coal and what was large coal, yet notwithstanding his lack of knowledge upon that point he was going to make a leap in the dark by undertaking to remit duty altogether, or to charge a very small duty, on coal that was below the value of 5s. a ton. Such a thing would make a difference to the right hon. Gentleman of one-fourth or one-fifth of his revenue. He was glad the right hon. Gentleman had consented to consider the question of patent fuel. He thought the argument of the manufacturers was unanswerable, but he would point out that once the right hon. Gentleman 1448 made any remissions he accepted the principle of an ad valorem duty, and he could not tell where it would lead him to.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I cannot say more than I have on the Amendment before the Committee. It is an Amendment which I have said I cannot admit, and therefore I think I must ask the Committee to come to a decision upon this matter.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said the question was an important one for South Wales. Everybody in business there understood what small coal was. He was glad the right hon. Gentleman had made these concessions, and he was grateful to him for them.
§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES (Durham, N.W.)
recognised the value of the principle of the concessions made, and was inclined to think that at this stage it was unnecessary to go to a division on the subject. But at the same time he desired to point out that it would be a relief to the north country Members if as soon as possible some indication were given as to the point which the right hon. Gentleman regarded as the point at which the duty should be remitted. In Durham not more than 5 per cent. of the coal exported was small coal, but in Northumberland it was something like 20 per cent. of the total export, and Northumberland would be put at a disadvantage if a permanent charge, partly payable in royalties and partly payable to the State, of 1s. 8d. a ton were made. English coal was already heavily handicapped in competing with foreign coal. The German competition, which was most keen of all, came from Westphalian coal, and if the price of English coal were increased the radius in which the competition of Westphalian coal was felt would be extended. He submitted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should choose a low figure as the price at which duty on small coal should be remitted f.o.b., and if he did that he believed great satisfaction would be felt in the north.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
moved an Amendment providing that the duty should be 1449 levied on "smokeless steam and Durham gas coal." He said he did not intend to press this Amendment to a division; his only object was to confine the duty to the coal which the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech assured the House we had a practical monopoly of. There was no strong objection to imposing an export duty on such coal, because it in no way affected the principle of free trade, but if it could be shown that there was no monopoly, then he submitted it was a violation of the free trade principles upon which this country had prospered for fifty years. So far as South Wales was concerned there was no such monopoly; in all parts of the world competition with Welsh coal was increasing, and in the last ten years they had lost some great markets altogether. He therefore asked the right hon. Gentleman to confine this duty to such coal as had a monopoly.
In page 2, line 29, after the word 'on,' to insert the words 'smokeless steam and Durham gas.'"—(Mr. D. A. Thomas.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN, Worcestershire, E.)
said the hon. Member could hardly expect the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accept the Amendment, which would destroy the yield of the duty.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid)
, while admiring the self-sacrifice of the hon. Member for Merthyr, was not prepared to be laid with him on the same altar. If the hon. Member would exclude Durham, then he would vote for the Amendment.
§ MR. ROBSON
said that though the Amendment might be moved in humour, it had great argumentative merits on the general principle; he pointed out that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had himself instanced smokeless Welsh and Durham gas coal as the two kinds that could hold their own in spite of competition. The Amendment would confine the right hon. Gentleman's duty to his argument, and if it was not 1450 accepted they would know that this was a trade tax imposed to the detriment of the English producer and for the benefit of the foreigner. Even if the Amendment were not accepted now and its principle conceded, a discussion might be raised upon that question later on.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I have attempted in more than one way to meet the reasonable views of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and in return I am met with an Amendment that would absolutely destroy the tax. If the hon. Gentleman does not agree with the tax let him vote against the clause; but the Committee will discuss it in a businesslike way.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
next proposed that the duty should be charged on "the fixed carbon as indicated by analysis" in the coal. He pointed out that in small coal there was a percentage of ash to the extent of 15 per cent. on incineration, and in most of the contracts for the export of small coal it was expressly provided that the percentage of ash should not be larger than a certain amount, otherwise a penalty had to be paid.
In page 2, line 29, after the word 'on,' to insert the words 'the fixed carbon as indicated by analysis in.'"—(Mr. David Thomas).
§ Question, "That those words be there inserted," put and negatived.
§ *MR. LAW (Glasgow, Blackfriars)
admitted that the concession which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had intimated his intention of granting would be a great advantage to the coal trade of the country, especially that of Scotland; but he felt very strongly that the only proper way of levying the duty was on the price f.o.b., and, therefore, he desired to place before the Committee very briefly the case for an ad valorem, versus a specific, duty. If this question were now being considered for the first time, he was certain there would be no difference of opinion whatever that the Draper and only fair way, as between the different districts of the country 1451 and the different collieries in those districts, would be to levy the tax in proportion to the price which could be obtained for the coal. There was a great difference in value between the various qualities of coal exported. There was still exported a considerable quantity of cannel coal which, although not large in comparison with the total amount exported, yet amounted to several hundred thousand tons per annum, was worth about £2 per ton. Then came the Welsh coal, of the value of 18s. 6d. or 19s. per ton, after which there was the Scotch coal, worth only one half the value of best Welsh. That meant that coal of one kind was taxed at only 2½ per cent., another kind at only 5 per cent., while Scotch coal was taxed at more than 10 per cent., and Northumberland coal at nearly 10 per cent. But the case for an ad valorem duty was even stronger than those figures indicated. The Chancellor of the Exchequer when introducing the Budget urged as his strongest argument in its favour that the tax would be paid by the foreigner. The right hon. Gentleman was probably not so sure of that now, and, at all events, to whatever extent it was true it applied only to coal in which we had a monopoly—more especially to Welsh coal, which had a monopoly absolutely in our own Navy and, to some extent, in other navies. If, therefore, Welsh coal could not pay its proportion of the tax according to its value, the main argument of the right hon. Gentleman fell to the ground. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that the Welsh Members would not approve of an ad valorem duty, but surely that could hardly be the case. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, in discussing a previous Amendment, had spent the whole of his time in proving that it was absolutely unfair to tax Welsh coal of a low quality at the same rate as Welsh coal of a higher value. If that was the view of the Welsh Members, how could they possibly maintain that it was fair to tax Scotch coal at the same rate as Welsh coal, seeing that the former had only half the value of the latter? On the question of expediency he admitted there was much to be said. There were difficulties with regard to the imposition of an ad valorem tax, but they were not 1452 insuperable. There was no commodity upon which it would be easier to levy an ad valorem duty than would be the case with coal. But it was not necessary to argue the question, because, according to the public press, the right hon. Gentleman himself had intimated to the representatives of the coal trade that if they were unanimous in desiring an ad valorem duty he would be prepared to concede it.
§ *MR. LAW
said that whether or not the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted it, he was perfectly certain that if the right hon. Gentleman believed it was the right way of levying the tax, and consulted the people concerned, he would find a way of overcoming the difficulties. The difficulties in this matter were not half so serious as those which the right hon. Gentleman had already overcome in regard to the graduated tax on sugar. A great advantage of an ad valorem duty was that when the coal trade suddenly passed from a period of depression to a period of prosperity the revenue would get the advantage of the change, and it would get the benefit at a time when the coal trade would not feel the higher tax. All would admit that a year or two ago a tax of 2s. 6d. a ton would not have done half the harm to the coal trade that a tax of 1s. a ton would do at a time when the trade was depressed, profits were disappearing, and miners' wages had been reduced to the lowest level. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in conducting this Bill had shown great patience and courtesy, and if he adhered to his proposal of a specific duty, it would be felt that he had manifested that most difficult of Christian virtues—love to his enemies, politically. Wales returned to the House of Commons Members who were almost unanimous in their opposition to the Government, whereas Scotland, especially the part affected by the coal trade, and the North of England returned a large part of the majority which kept in power the right hon. Gentleman and the Government of which he was a Member; and yet, by levying the tax in the manner proposed, the right hon. Gentleman would impose upon Scotland a tax exactly twice as 1453 heavy as that imposed upon Wales, and upon the North of England a tax nearly twice as heavy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that the question of profits came in, that it cost very much more to obtain the higher priced coal, and that, according to his information, the profits per ton were not greater on the Welsh than on the Scotch coal. That was a statement which anybody could make but nobody prove. On the face of it it was obviously absurd. It implied that to extract Welsh coal cost 8s. per ton more than to extract Scotch coal, which was hardly probable. But it was not a question of profits. There was the same difference between different collieries in the same district as between one district and another, and the only way to vary the tax would be to levy it on the profits themselves. Under the circumstances, he had stated the case very briefly, and not as strongly as he could have wished, for the case was a very strong one, and he believed that even yet the Chancellor of the Exchequer would find it easier in practice to carry out an ad valorem duty than a tax which varied from nothing to a shilling, in the manner at present proposed.
In page 2, line 30, to leave out the words 'a duty of one shilling per ton,' and insert the words ' an ad valorem duty of seven and a half per cent. on the price "free on board," but not exceeding one shilling per ton.'"—(Mr. Law.)
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I am very grateful to my hon. friend for the kind way in which he has referred to myself, and I can assure him that I am far from wishing to complain either of the Amendment which he has thought it necessary to place before the Committee, or of the manner in which he has proposed it. He has put forward, I frankly admit, a number of good arguments in favour of an ad valorem duty, and there is no doubt that in the case of an export duty there is more to be said in its favour than in the case of an import duty, and that the difficulties are not so great. But I hope my hon. friend will not wish me to embark on any comparison of the respective interests in this matter of the different coalfields of the United Kingdom. He has given me credit, at any 1454 rate, for impartiality in the manner in which I have dealt with this tax, and he has suggested that I have proposed the tax in such a way as to inflict greater burdens on my political friends than on those who are not supporters of the Government. Well, Sir, if that subject were followed to its conclusion I am afraid we should be led into a comparison of the national rights of Scotland and Wales, not to say the North of England, which might rather detract from the harmony of our discussion, and not lead to any satisfactory conclusion. There is one point on which I think I may, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, take praise to myself. My hon. friend has said that an ad valorem duty in a year such as last year would have produced much more to the Exchequer. That is so, but I have been anxious in this, as in other proposals, whatever the merits or failings in principle might be, at any rate to give as little trouble as possible to the trade affected. I feel quite certain that any attempt to graduate this tax by an ad valorem duty would lead to such trouble in the trade and such disputes that it would be an unwise proposal. I trust that hon. Members will be reasonably satisfied with the concessions I am about to propose, which will certainly be a great advantage to the districts which produce the cheaper classes of coal, and not prolong the debate on this particular mode of levying the duty, or press the Amendment to a division.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
In accordance with the intention I have indicated I beg now to move the insertion of the following words—That a rebate of duty shall be allowed on any coal, the value of which free on board is proved, to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Customs, not to exceed 6s. per ton, and on any fuel manufactured from coal ingredients which are so proved not to be of a higher value.I have already sufficiently explained the matter, and I would only add that this Amendment places manufactured fuel on precisely the same footing as coal. I would remind the hon. Member for Swansea, who takes a very natural interest in the matter, that it is under precisely the same conditions—the imposition 1455 of no duty on either—that the trade in manufactured fuel has grown to its present proportions. Therefore I do not think I can be charged with doing anything that will really injure that industry. I think the hon. Member will see that by my proposal all kinds of fuel manufactured from coal under the value in question will be free from duty, and I cannot think that fuel manufactured from coal of higher value should be free.
In page 2, line 21, to insert the words, 'That a rebate of duty should be allowed on any coal the value of which free on board is proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Customs not to exceed 6s. per ton, and on any fuel manufactured from coal ingredients which are so proved not to be of a higher value.'"—(The Chancellor of the Exchequer.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
Speaking for my hon. friends who have more intimate knowledge of the coal trade than I have, I desire to express their sense of the value of the concession which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made. Having previously dwelt very strongly on the sense of injustice created by this tax in the minds of those who were most severely hit by it, and having said that the injustice would be greatest in the case of those parts of the country which produced the cheaper kinds of coal, I desire to say that, while the concession of the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not remove my objections to the tax—I still think it will be bad in practice, and that there will be hardship connected with it—I do recognise that, in making this concession, and in the trouble, attention, and close consideration which the right hon. Gentleman has given to the subject before coming to the conclusion that he could make the concession which is now before the Committee, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been animated by a genuine desire to do all that he could, at any rate, to mitigate the apprehensions of injustice which his proposals had excited. Though I must leave it to my hon. friends who are specially connected 1456 with the trade to express their own sense of the exact value of the concession, I think it would be ungracious on my part not to express at once my sense of the desire to relieve injustice which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has shown by the Amendment he has moved.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
entirely agreed with the observations of the hon. Baronet with regard to the concessions made and the general good spirit displayed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but there were one or two practical points he desired to place before the Committee. Below the 6s. rate, manufactured patent fuel was placed on the same basis as coal. That might be so from the purely legal point of view, but, practically, it was no good at all. No patent fuel could be made at 6s.—
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said that even taking into account the ingredients it was not possible to send out patent fuel under 12s. or 13s. per ton.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
The hon. Member I think is under a misapprehension. The 6s. is the price, not of the patent fuel, but of the coal ingredients.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
was inclined to think that even then the concession was not a large one from the point of view of those for whom he spoke. He was not a practical man in these matters, but he understood that the cost of the production of patent fuel was now so high that, even with the concession, the tax would operate disastrously to the trade.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said that, of course, the matter was a very technical one, and if, after consulting his advisers, the hon. Member desired to make any representations on the subject, he would be perfectly ready to hear them.
§ MR. J. ACRON THOMAS (Glamorganshire, Gower)
said that in the making of patent fuel two qualities of coal were used. 1457 Some of the coal would, no doubt, be of a less value than 6s. per ton, but the bulk of it would cost more. He therefore desired to know whether the duty would have to be paid on the whole of the coal, or would it be paid on the proportion of the higher class coal used, the remainder of the coal ingredients being free.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said that if the manufacturers of patent fuel used, say, half a ton of coal at 8s. or 9s., and half a ton at, say, 4s. 6d., he would consider whether the two prices could be added together and averaged, so that in cases where the average came out at under 6s. the fuel would be free of the duty.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
asked whether the Commissioners of Inland Revenue would have it in their absolute discretion to decide in this matter, or would there be an appeal from their decision. He also desired to know how the Commissioners would deal with the question. There would be no difficulty when the coal was sold f.o.b., because the contracts could be produced. He assumed, however, that the rebate would apply also to coal not sold f.o.b. If coal was sold c.i.f., it would have to be ascertained whether, if that coal had been sold f.o.b. at Cardiff, it would have been of the value of 6s. or not. This Amendment would show as much as any other portion of the Bill how hard this tax was as a whole. The fact was two counties out of the fifty-two in England and Wales would contribute far and away the largest proportion of the total duty. According to their shipments, Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire would contribute more than half of the amount raised for taxation purposes from this export duty, and that proportion would be increased as the result of this Amendment. With this present concession and the question of the contracts the benefit of the duty for this year would be to a great extent given up, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would find that it would have been better for him and his Government if they had never departed from the principles hitherto professed by the right hon. Gentleman, and had not attempted to impose a coal duty at all.
§ MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)
In the debate on the Second Reading of the Bill I ventured to point out to the right hon. Gentleman on behalf of that part of Scotland which I have the honour to represent with what extreme hardship and inequality the tax as originally proposed would weigh on the less productive and less conveniently situated coalfields from which coal was exported abroad. I do not think any coalfields in the country would have suffered more from the tax than the coalfields of Fife. The hon. Member opposite, in a speech to which we all listened with interest and attention, ingeniously suggested that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a spirit of excessive quixotry, had scourged the coalfields represented by political friends in order to do an act of more than Christian charity to the coalfields represented by political opponents. I am not sure, if the facts were analysed, that that theory could be in any way supported, but, at any rate, I am glad to think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has recognised, not a quixotic standard, but the strict standard of justice and equality so far as it can be applied to so complicated a subject as this. There are many arguments to be urged in favour of the proposal for an ad valorem duty which, if worked out in a practical scheme, would work out perhaps more strictly in accordance with abstract justice, but that being a scheme which presents great practical difficulties, it appears to me that the Chancellor of the Exchequer adopted the only possible alternative when he fixed in this Amendment a minimum figure below which the duty should not be imposed. I am not able to say, even as regards my own county, to what percentage of the total exports this modified proposal will apply, but I am quite certain that it will be an enormous relief as compared with the original project of the Government. I desire, therefore, in common with several of my hon. friends, to recognise the spirit of fairness and the desire to adjust the tax—a tax which we still think objectionable—so far as possible to the special requirements of the trade, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has shown.
§ *SIR JOSEPH PEASE
said he believed that this concession would be of very 1459 great service to the whole community. But although they approved of the concession, and thanked the right hon. Gentleman for making it, it did not alter their view as to the inexpediency of the tax from a national point of view. Later on they would have an opportunity of making some observations upon the merits of the clause. It would have been very difficult indeed to have adopted any system of taxation based on the size of coal, or any other standard but that of value. The very best coal produced in his constituency was often crushed for the purpose of making first-class coke into small coal, and any arrangement as to the screening of coal would fail altogether. There would be no end to difficulty in the practical working of any standard of screening. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had now simplified his Bill, and he had also simplified the work of the Custom House officials in asking that there should be a declaration that the coal was not worth more than 6s. per ton, and that the invoice should be produced. He felt sure that the working of this clause would be very much modified and made more easy by the concession which had just been made.
§ *MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)
said he appreciated fully the concession which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made, and the anxiety he had shown to meet them as far as possible without giving up the duty altogether. But, while he made this acknowledgment, he desired to assure the right hon. Gentleman that he was not yet satisfied with the concession made, for reasons which he should have to state when they came to the question "that the clause stand part of the Bill." In times of low prices in the North of England they would no doubt feel the advantage of the concession made. He thanked the right hon. Gentleman for the generous way in which he had endeavoured to meet them, although he thought it only fair to state that he was not satisfied with the concession. It would be ungracious on their part, after all the labour and axiety which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had passed through, not to acknowledge the concession he had just made.
§ EARL PERCY (Kensington, S.)
thought they ought not to pass from the Amendment without one word of gratitude being offered the Chancellor of the Exchequer from that side of the House for the manner in which he had met their views. The right hon. Gentleman had made a very considerable concession, which he imagined would involve a large loss to the Revenue, but whether that loss was large or small he did not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have any cause to regret it, for it would be more than counterbalanced by the removal of a sense of injustice.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
said he wished to join in the chorus of congratulation to the right hon. Gentleman for the concession he had made. In good times this concession would mean nothing at all, although in bad times it might mean a good deal. It seemed to him to be the first step towards an ad valorem duty, to which he objected; indeed, he thought this concession was more unsound in principle than an ad valorem duty. One effect of this concession would be that the class of coal between 6s. and 7s. per ton would be practically abolished. By making this concession the right hon. Gentleman was, in bad times, doing away with the duty upon certain classes of small coal, and he was not carrying out his professed policy of widening the basis of taxation.
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)
did not think the concession would be of the same value to the county of Durham as it would be to the county of Northumberland. The bulk of the coal produced in Durham did not realise very high prices, and the result would be that in all probability a very small proporton of the coal produced in Durham would ever be below the value of 6s. a ton. The right hon. Gentleman had given a concession to patent fuel, and he wished to know whether, in cases where, say, some of the inferior coals of Durham were used for coke-making, a similar concession would be given to the coke as representing coal of the value of less than 6s. a ton.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid)
thought the concession just made was in 1461 the way of mitigating the evils complained of, and it also showed that the tax had been imposed without due consideration beforehand. He did not think that it would affect the position of Durham very much. He believed that only about 5 per cent. of the six million tons exported from Durham would benefit by the exemption. He desired to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he would exempt from duty coke made from small coal which, if shipped f.o.b. as coal, would not realise 6s. a ton. Such an exemption would be of greater benefit to Durham than the exemption of small coal from duty.
§ MR. ABEL THOMAS
said the concession was really much bigger and broader than it looked at first sight, for what it meant was that from henceforth there would be no coal sold between 6s. and 7s. a ton f.o.b. in any port in Great Britain. The person selling the coal would not sell it at 6s. 11d. per ton, but he would sell at 6s. and put the 1s. per ton in his own pocket, and perhaps promise the buyer a goose at Christmas. He agreed that in bad times this concession would be a very great benefit.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I am very grateful to the Members of the Committee for the manner in which they have received the Amendment and for what they have been pleased to say with regard to myself. There has been apparently only one dissentient, the Member for Merthyr Tydvil, who really, I think, was the original author of the proposal. I quite recognise that my proposal does not remove other objections to the tax in principle, and we can debate that later on. Two or three questions have been put to me. The hon. Member for Mid Durham has asked me whether coke would be treated as it was proposed to treat manufactured fuel. I must reserve that point. I feel the force of the argument of the hon. Member, but I am informed that manufactured fuel is made of very cheap stuff, and that coke is made out of valuable coal. I will consider the matter with the view to dealing with coke fairly. I have been asked as to the effect of this concession on the Budget. I will frankly tell the Committee that I do not think it will be large this year. I 1462 agree with hon. Members who hav spoken that in a bad year this concession will be a considerable sum, and that is precisely why I have made it. When an industry suffers by bad trade, that is just the time when it ought to be relieved. As to the question with regard to an appeal and with whom the discretion rests, the Committee might rest satisfied that the discretion of the Commissioners of Customs will be fairly exercised.
§ MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow, Camlachie)
thought the concession which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made would be cordially accepted. He hoped, however, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not allow himself to be involved in questions affecting the composition of fuel, or he might find that fuel would be made in such a way and prepared from such material that it would be perfectly impossible to tax it. He thought this was a wise tax, and he should be very sorry to see it whittled away.
§ *MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
then moved—In page 2, line 31, after the words last inserted to insert the words 'whereof one-fourth shall be paid by the landlord or royalty owner, being the person for the time being in receipt of any royalty or rent in respect of the coal on which the duty is charged.'He said this Amendment raised the question of the person upon whom the duty was to fall. Ordinarily in levying Customs duties on commodities they took care by means of equivalent Excises that the final incidence of the duty should be upon the consumer, but in the case of an export duty they had no hold upon the foreigner, and they could not compel him to buy in the English market. This tax had been defined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as a small toll on their mineral wealth made in the interest of the country at large. The question they had now to consider was, Who was going to pay this small toll? Was it to fall exclusively upon the exporter, or was it to be borne by all the persons engaged in the trade, from the person who first sells the coal, the royalty owner or landlord, down to the person who 1463 exports it? If a toll was to be paid by those concerned in the export of the coal, that was a burden to which the original owners ought to contribute as well as those whose capital was engaged in bringing the coal to the surface and preparing it for sale. It had been admitted that this tax would to some extent fall upon the coal trade. He was not going to discuss the conjectures as to how far it would be paid by the foreigner, but he would take his stand on the solid ground of agreement. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that he thought the foreigner would bear a very considerable portion of this tax, although he entirely admitted that how much he would bear depended upon the state of the market at the time. The degree to which the tax would fall on the trade was uncertain, but the fact that it would do so was not denied. He submitted that the very definition given of this tax was a sufficient argument in favour of the justice of his proposal. Those immediately concerned in the ownership of the national wealth were the only ones absolutely certain of getting a profit. The colliery proprietor risked his capital and gave the initiative in business organisation. The miner risked life and limb and gave his labour. The royalty owners risked nothing and were secure of profit. Was it equitable that they should be the only class who did not contribute to this new toll on the national wealth in minerals? The second reason why this Amendment should be accepted was that the tax would to some extent restrict the sales of coal. It was true that the First Lord of the Treasury concluded the only speech he had made on this subject by saying that—so trifling an alteration as will be produced by the imposition of a shilling duty would have no effect upon the trade.The right hon. Gentleman asserted that with all the parade of confident declamation in the hearing of many hon. Members on both sides of the House who were concerned in the coal trade, and who knew from personal experience that a 1s. duty would have some effect on the trade. In the same speech, however, the First Lord made use of this observation—I cannot regard with perfect equanimity the enormous reductions of our coal supplies 1464 for the benefit of foreign manufacturers which we see going on under our eyes.That observation would have been wholly irrelevant if the right hon. Gentleman had not contemplated, as a result of this tax, that to some extent our sales would be restricted. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, also, used these words—If the duty restricts to some extent the increase in the coal exports, that is so much to the advantage of the country at large.It was, therefore, admitted on the Treasury Bench, at any rate by implication, that the effect of this tax would be to some extent to restrict the sales of coal. That was put forward as the argument of public policy in favour of the tax as distinguished from the financial argument that the foreigner would pay.
He would now call the attention of the Committee to the system under which our coal was raised. Our coal was almost entirely raised under a system of mining leases. Under these leases—and this was very important—the lessee was under obligation to work the coal. The colliery proprietor was bound to pay a penalty of dead rent if he did not work the coal. He had entered into that arrangement under a system of unrestricted sales of coal at home and abroad, and if there was any statutory interference with that freedom of sale there ought at the same time to be statutory interference with the conditions of the contract as between the lessor and the lessee of the mines. It was declared to be a public purpose that these sales ought to be restricted. The colliery proprietor's capital interest was annually depreciating, and if Parliament interfered and restricted his sales he was entitled to compensation. The hon. Member submitted that under these circumstances the fairest way for him to recover compensation for the restriction which he suffered was as against the lessor. The lessee should be allowed to deduct some portion of the tax from the royalty which he had to pay to his landlord. There was still another reason why the Amendment should be accepted. This tax had been declared to be a popular tax, because its effect was going to be to reduce the price of coal. He had 1465 argued on the previous day that while the immediate effect of the duty would be to reduce the price, the ultimate effect, once the output had been diminished, would be to raise the price, because a new element was brought into the cost of production. The cost of production of any article could not be increased without the price being ultimately increased. If the duty was to any extent put upon the royalty owner there was exactly the contrary effect. The charge levied by the royalty owner was an element in the cost of production, and therefore in the price at which the coal was sold. If part of the duty were put on the royalty owner, instead of the producer, they would to that extent reduce the cost of production and introduce a permanent factor in reducing the price of the coal to the consumer. If, then, there was any serious argument underlying the proposal that sales should he restricted as an advantage to the nation, the Amendment ought to be accepted.
He was not going to argue the question whether the foreigner would or would not pay the tax. Out of 46,000,000 tons of coal exported only 38,000,000 went to Europe, and it was only as to the European market that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had alleged that there was any monopoly for British coal. The right hon. Gentleman had admitted—not directly, in so many words, but in reply to questions—that in the east and west, at Colombo, and in Canada and the West Indies, wherever freights raised our coal to something like competition prices with Japanese, or with American, or Australian, or Indian coal, we had to meet competition, and in these cases the duty would fall, not upon the foreigner, but upon the coal trade. Therefore with regard to 8,000,000 tons of the exports we should certainly have to bear the brunt of the tax. As to a large part of the 38,000,000, he admitted we should not immediately have to meet competition, but no one familiar with the details of the coal trade could deny that in the port of Hamburg we should have to meet with serious rivals. It could not be said that in Germany we were free from competition with German coal. It might he said that he was 1466 putting the figure too high when he said that a quarter of the tax should be borne by the royalty owner. That was his own personal estimate, but if the Chancellor of the Exchequer accepted the principle of the Amendment, he would be only too anxious to agree with him upon some figure which he or his advisers might think fair in the circumstances. He reminded the Committee that the annual value of the royalties in this country was at least £4,000,000. That was according to the latest official figures published, but the amount now was probably a good deal higher. The actual figure might be taken as representing an average of 6d. per ton, and if a toll was to be charged on the mineral wealth of the country the royalty owners, who had embarked no capital and exercised no industry in the production of the coal, should be the first to contribute to the toll. If the Government were really serious in the principles they had advocated, and if this tax was not merely to be a partial, even a punitive tax, they ought to accept the Amendment, which distributed the burden of the toll equitably over the whole of the persons concerned in the trade.
In page 2, line 31, after the words last inserted to insert the words 'one-fourth of the said duty shall be paid by the landlord or royalty owner, being the person for the time being in receipt of any royalty or rent in respect of the coal on which the duty is charged.'"—(Mr. M'Kenna.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I do not understand how the hon. Member reconciles this Amendment with any justice to the owners of royalties. The owner of a royalty is a person who, at any rate, is by law the owner of the coal under his land. He has leased his rights to the coalowner on certain fixed terms, these terms being that the coalowner should pay a certain royalty without any deductions, work the 1467 mine, and make what profit he can out of it. The State chooses to impose a tax on the coal taken out of the mine for export, and the hon. Member himself has admitted that, in some cases at least, the tax will be paid by the foreigner. He differs from me in his view as to the extent to which the foreigner or the producer will pay the tax, but everybody feels that it will to some extent be paid by the consumer abroad. The hon. Member's argument in this matter goes very much further than he imagines. I do not admit his argument, but, assuming that the tax will fall upon the foreigner, what equitable right has the coalowner, on whom not a penny of the tax has fallen, to deduct a portion of it from the royalty which he has agreed to pay? The hon. Member cannot contend that that is doing justice to the owner of the royalty; it is, of course, contrary to the agreement between them, by which the royalty has to be paid free from taxation or any deductions of that kind. Then the hon. Member said there is a considerable portion of the coal exported on which the consumer abroad will not pay any tax, and that the tax will fall on the exporter in this country, I think the hon. Member will admit that we have done something to diminish that portion; but is it equitable, even in regard to that portion, that a part of a tax should be imposed on the royalty owner while the coal owner pockets all the gains? The royalty owner let his property on fixed terms, and whatever the increase in the price of coal may be he could not win by it. I think that this proposal would be most inequitable.
§ SIR EDWAED GREY
said he recognised the force of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement that there would be certain cases in which the colliery owner would recoup the tax entirely from the foreigner; but the royalty owner would not have a chance to recover from the foreigner. His position all through had been that, do what they would, with this tax there would be cases of hardship and injustice. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had laid great stress on the fact of the foreigner paying the tax, but it had not been defended solely on that ground, and that was not the reason why it was popular. The real force behind the Chancellor of the Exchequer 1468 was the belief that there were certain very wealthy people who would be able to pay this tax. If that was so, then why was the royalty owner omitted? The Colonial Secretary said the other day, "they would not discuss the question whether the tax would fall on the coal-owner or the foreigner," and added that "he did not care whether it fell on the coal owner or the foreigner." If it came to that, certainly some part of it ought to fall upon the royalty owner. The royalty owner was in a very peculiar position, and he thought he escaped very lightly just now. The Colonial Secretary had stated that part of the reason for this tax was that coal sent out of the country was a consumption of the national wealth, and that the country ought to take some toll on it. The owner of land had this to say, that, by using his land, although he got an increased profit he added to the national wealth, whereas the owner of the royalty was drawing a large income not only without adding to the national wealth, but he was contributing to the waste of the national wealth. The position of the royalty owner was therefore really akin to the position of the owner of land which had exceptional value, but which value had accrued without any exertion or any expenditure on his part. He quite agreed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there would be a certain amount of injustice if part of the tax were imposed on royalty owners; but injustice there must be in some cases. But now that the question had been raised, it was important that the case of the royalty owner should be proved, and he thought his hon. friend had done well in bringing forward the Amendment.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid)
said he would support the Amendment, because he believed that, under the circumstances, this was a subject for careful consideration. He had never been able to see how the foreigner would pay the tax at all. He could show that not only the men but the women in the north of England discussed this question of the tax. He would like to tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer of a discussion he overheard between the wives of two miners. One argued that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a very 1469 wise man, who knew all about the circumstances and ramifications of this tax, and as to who should pay, and that he must have made himself perfectly acquainted with the facts and the truth of the assertion that the foreigner would pay the 1s. The other one said, "We are going down Silver Street. If you saw an article cheaper in one shop than another you would buy it where it was cheapest, if you wanted it. The foreigner is just like ourselves, he buys in the cheapest market." The foreigner would not pay the 1s., there was no doubt about that. It would fall on the coal trade in one form or another. Let them put the question of the wage-earner alongside of the royalty receiver. The royalty owner would never have done anything to develop the national wealth, but the capitalist came along, he sank his pit and then employed the miners—the men who risked their lives for not over high pay. The miners of the country, he felt confident, would be called upon to bear a very large share of the brunt of the tax. It was clear that the Chancellor of the Exchequer put on the tax because he found himself short of money—to put the matter in blunt English—and he turned to the men who were making what he considered large profits—making money by the million, in fact. They admitted that the coalowners were making money, but there were other gentlemen who were making money out of the coal trade, and if it was to be a matter of justice, why should they not pay a share? About 1889 there sat a Commission which found that the output of the coal of the country was roundly 177,000,000 tons a year, and that the royalty rents paid were slightly over £4,000,000. But the increase in the output of coal since that time, taking last year as their comparison, was 225,000,000 tons, and they found that the average royalty rent of the country was sixpence per ton. On that calculation the royalty rents would yield nearly £6,000,000. If the coal trade, on account of its prosperity and great profits, was to pay a large share of this taxation—not because they were politically Liberal or Radical—why should the men who "toil not neither do they spin" be left out? That phrase was formulated or applied at Birmingham. 1470 In his younger days he used to sit at the feet of the Birmingham Gamaliel; he received a large part of his Radical training from the Colonial Secretary. Yes, but he had not followed him into Egypt. He had more regard for consistency and truth. He did not profess one thing and do another. He had considered the right hon. Gentleman the guide, counsellor, and friend of all reformers, but he would withdraw all that now that the right hon. Gentleman had become the friend and counsellor of those "that toil not, neither do they spin." The royalty owners had no risks to run, and they had no financial responsibility. They received their royalty rents without employing their brains, and without in any way adding to the wealth of the country year after year, in bad times and good, and when men were out of work and starving. They knew that mines had been stopped for the sake of a reduction in the price of coal of 2d. or 3d. per ton; and yet the royalty owners had not to bear any share in contributing to the necessities of the country in one of the darkest times and national emergencies that had ever fallen upon us. In the county of Durham they had had old age pensions since 1875, and his hon. friends the Members for Morpeth and the Wansbeck Division with himself formulated that scheme. They had paid old men 4s. 6d. a week, and they had arranged a scheme whereby every old man should have a free house and coal after sixty years of age. They did that out of the generosity of the miners; but the royalty owners, for whose benefit the miners worked, and who made money while they slept, never contributed the smallest iota to the relief of aged miners. Yet they were told that it was not equity or justice when they asked that these men should be called upon to pay their share of the burden. He submitted that if the royalty owners were called upon to pay a penny per ton it would not be unjust. It might be unjust tested by the laws of man, but it would not be unjust tested by the laws of God. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer could modify his position, and call on the royalty owners to pay a penny a ton, the result would be that he would receive a million of money. He was not going to get a million sterling out of the 1471 coal tax during the present year. He recognised that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had appreciated the position they had tried to put before him, and that he had tried to meet them, but in his opinion the right hon. Gentleman was not going to get anything like a million out of the coal tax, and therefore he would suggest a tax on royalty owners until the reign of peace and prosperity enabled the coal tax to be removed. The President of the Board of Trade had stated that the average wages of the miners, who worked as hard as any men could work, in a state of half nudity and in semi-darkness, was on the average 35s. a week. He denied that from his own knowledge. Men were often absent through sickness, and were lying idle for months together on account of injuries. The Amendment raised one of the questions that would come to the front and have to be settled. The schoolmaster was abroad, the minds of men were being touched, and he believed sincerely that eventually the royalty owners of the country would have to pay their just share. He cordially supported the Amendment.
§ COLONEL BLUNDELL (Lancashire, Ince)
said that when the mines were first opened the royalty owner had a share of the profits. He afterwards became a debenture holder, and received the same amount whether times were good or bad. The proper way to deal with the problem was to combine the royalty owner with the coal owner—to regard their interests as identical. The feeling expressed by hon. Gentlemen opposite was, no doubt, to a certain extent, entertained by many people in the country, but it was an opinion which cannot bear the test of careful examination.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
said he intended to support the Amendment, because in his opinion it laid down a principle of taxation which was based on pure justice, and which before long would have to be introduced into the taxation of the country. It seemed to him that all natural monopolies—and coal royalties were surely one—ought to be, not the last, but the very first, subject of taxation, if real justice were done. He understood that the State claimed a right 1472 over precious metals found in the country. When gold was discovered in Wales an emissary of the Chancellor of the Exchequer immediately appeared on the scene to claim a share of it, and in Edinburgh a short time ago, when there was a peculiar find of precious metals, the agent of the State also claimed a right to it. He held that coal was not different from gold in that respect. He thought that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might follow to a small degree what had been done in Rhodesia, where not 1 percent., nor 5 per cent., but 50 per cent., was put on the mineral resources of the country. He could quite understand that the Amendment would not be accepted; but nevertheless it was based on essential justice. It would introduce the greatest amount of benefit to the country, because it was the only kind of taxation which would not interfere with the furtherance of trade. In that respect it was very different from the tax on sugar or the tax on coal, and for these reasons he would cordially support the. Amendment.
§ MR. COLVILLE (Lanark, N.E.)
said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he attempted to answer the arguments of his hon. friend, made an appeal to justice and equity. On those grounds he thought they had a very sub stantial reason for supporting the Amendment. The common sense of a very large proportion of the people realised that in equity there was a substantial right on the part of the nation to have some share of the mineral wealth of the country, which was being extracted, and could not possibly be replaced. The taxation of mining royalties had been advocated on many platforms, and he thought many hon. Members opposite had given certain promises, more or less, that, should an opportunity arise in Parliament for the consideration of a proposal to tax mining royalties, they would not themselves oppose it. He could not imagine any proposal on the part of Parliament which would be more just or equitable than that the enormous income received by royalty owners should bear their just share of the national burden. A large proportion of the minerals of the country were held either by hereditary landowners, who never bought them, or else 1473 by owners who obtained possession of the land without any regard to the value of the minerals. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer had the courage to propose, when money was needed to meet increasing national burthens, that the tax on coal should be levied, not on the colliery owners, and thereby indirectly on the wages of the miner, but on mining royalties, he would have done an act of justice, and would have clothed himself with such honour as became a man occupying his high position. He would support the proposal of his hon. friend, and he trusted every Radical who had expressed himself favourably on the matter before his constituents would also vote for the Amendment.
§ *MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydfil)
said that the matter under discussion raised a very important point, and there was one fact which would, perhaps, not be within the knowledge of the House, and which had a direct bearing on the question under discussion. The mining laws of Scotland, passed more than 200 years ago, specially reserved the right to tax minerals, not only for the benefit of the State, but for the well-being of the aged workers in the mines, and to insure a proper inspection of the mines. These laws had never been repealed. The discussion to-night was only assimilating the law of England to what had been the law of the Continent for over 100 years. Under the mining law of Scotland 10 per cent. of the net value of the output belonged to the King, and 10 per cent. was set aside to provide for the aged workers, and a smaller percentage for the proper inspection of mines. On the Continent the State claimed a portion of the profit of the mines for the relief of the burden of taxation. In 1880 a Return was made showing what was the practice in various countries in regard to the payment of mineral royalties, and from that document it would be seen that in France, since 1789, the minerals in that country belonged to the State. At the beginning of last century, however, coal owners in that country were, under the Napoleonic Code, entitled to a certain rent, and also to certain royalties, but the State claimed 5 per cent. of the net income from the mines; in the north of France the whole 1474 of the royalties were paid into the Exchequer. In Prussia the same law obtained, the owners there being obliged to obtain the permission of the Government before they could sink a shaft, and when minerals were discovered the State claimed 2 per cent. on the gross profits. It was the same in Austro-Hungary, where the State claimed 5 per cent. of the net income on the sale of coal or other minerals, in addition to which a very heavy municipal tax was levied on royalties. In Belgium 5 per cent. was charged on net profits; in Portugal, 1½ per cent.; and so on. In every country in Europe the State claimed as its own a part of the wealth derived from the exhaustion of its minerals, and as a result mining in those countries and the production of iron ore could be carried on much more profitably, and at much less cost, than in this country. He submitted that there was one point which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had overlooked. Last year was an abnormal year for the coal trade, but this tax was not intended to deal with an abnormal period, but was intended to be a permanent tax. It was the fact that the royalty owners, taking one year with another, received a much higher profit from minerals extracted than the capitalist, but these people were not taxed in any way. Ironstone in Scotland was practically unworked, because of the heavy penalties imposed in the form of royalties. The figures worked out with regard to iron ore in this way. On the Continent the average royalty paid on one ton of pig-iron was 2s., in this country it was 6s. 6d., and if the small royalties of the Continent could afford to pay a percentage to the State and still receive a profit for landload and mineowner, much more surely could the royalty owners of this country afford to pay their share. The argument of sacredness of contract was worn out; it might be that the land owner had a sacred right to the minerals, in his land, but the right of the nation to free itself from the intolerable burden of taxation was greater and more sacred, and if it was true that the right of the whole was greater than the right of the few, the contract right of the few must give way. It was a scandal and a shame that the colliers should be called upon to pay their part of the increased 1475 cost, and that the landlord, who risked neither life nor money, should escape scot free. The Chancellor of the Exchequer would do not only a just act, but a wise one, if he insisted upon the royalty owners paying their share. The day had come when the bulk of the taxation should be paid by unearned incomes, whether from royalties or otherwise, and this would have been a good beginning, and he trusted therefore that the right hon. Gentleman would see his way in going still further towards meeting the demands of that side of the House, which he was sure would prove to be the demand of the country as well.
MR. MONRO FERGUSON (Leith Burghs)
regretted that the tax did not extend to the mining royalties, which came to their owners with as little trouble as their ground rents on building areas. He did not know whether the effect of the Amendment, as moved, would throw the entire burden on the royalty owners, and so he could only regret that some part of the burden did not fall upon them. The right hon. Gentleman had made some concessions in the course of the evening which would be of very great value in his part of the country, but he would suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should go further and add to them a tax which would throw some portion of the burden on royalty owners. He did not think that if that were done the tax would be less popular than it was now.
§ MR. WILLIAM ALLAN (Gateshead)
heartily supported the Amendment. There was nothing which appealed to the business side of his nature more than the mere fact that what was in the bowels of the earth for the benefit of humanity should be taken out of the earth and taxed by the men who claimed to own the land. As a business man he objected to that proposition. These men did nothing for the benefit of their estate, but taxed those by whose labour the minerals were taken out of the earth. That was not just or equitable, and was entirely opposed to the advancement of the age. These men, moreover, ran no risk whatever. Yet, when a lease expired, what did they do? They confiscated everything, and re-leased that 1476 portion of their estate at an increased rental. He hoped the day would soon come when the House and the country would look at the incidence of taxation from an honest, from a just, and from an equitable point of view.
§ *MR. FENWICK
said he did not think that the argument which the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave in refusing to accept the Amendment was very conclusive, having regard to all the circumstances of the case. He was not sure that the right hon. Gentleman was aware that there were some parts of the country where the contract between the mine owner and the coal producer contained a provision that a certain level of production should be kept up from year to year, and if that production, from any cause whatever, was not maintained the coal owner was compelled to pay under his contract up to the level agreed to between him and the landowner, even when he has been unable to produce by many thousands of tons, from causes over which he had no control, the amount which he ought to have produced under his contract. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was aware that in 1887 a Royal Commission was appointed to inquire into this question of wayleaves and royalty rents. That Commission, which sat for two years, came to an almost, if not absolutely, unanimous conclusion, but its recommendations had never been carried out. It was found that the charges upon the industry at that time amounted in the shape of royalties to over £4,000,000, and the wayleaves were about another £500,000. Taking the average rent per ton then charged, and applying it to the production of the present day, it gave a total of nearly £6,000,000, not one sixpence of which was getatable so far as local purposes wereconcerned. The colliery owners and the workmen themselves were taxed for the sanitation of the colliery villages and the lighting and paving of the streets, but the only way in which the profits of the royalty owners were touched was by the income tax and the death duties. He submitted that if a portion of the coal industry was to be taxed, the burden should be extended to the landlord or royalty owner, whose wealth accumulated 1477 without any effort or risk on his part, and even in his absence from the country altogether. A great deal had been said about the grievances of the Uitlanders. One of their grievances was that they worked the gold mines under a concession from the Transvaal Government, and that royalties, which in their opinion were excessive, were levied on the industry. But in their case the complaint against the royalties was not for the purpose of relieving the industry, but to increase the dividends of the company. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in this case is simply asked to put a tax on royalties in order to reduce the general taxation of the country, or, at all events, to provide for the general expenditure of the nation. Because he believed this to be a reasonable and honest Amendment he should have the greatest pleasure in supporting his hon. friend in the division lobby.
§ MR. JOSEPH WALTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Barnsley)
said he should support the Amendment because he believed that the true principle upon which taxation ought to proceed was that of every man being taxed according to his ability to pay. If the colliery-owners, by reason of the large profits they had made from the working of the collieries during the last two or three years, could reasonably be called upon to bear a special and extra tax, it was only equitable that the royalty owners also should have a fair share of the additional burden. Royalty owners derived a large revenue from the working of the coal, even in years of depression, when the colliery-owners were working the pits at an actual loss. Moreover, many royalties were on a sliding scale, so that during the recent years of inflation many royalty owners had been receiving largely increased revenues. Therefore, if the colliery-owners, in consequence of their increased profits, were to be called upon to pay an extra tax, surely the royalty-owners ought to bear a portion of the additional burdens of the country. The hon. Member for Gateshead had suggested that the minerals under the surface ought really to be the property of the State rather than the property of the surface owners. That was a very vexed and difficult question, but very few persons would deny that in a large number of cases those who acquired the 1478 surface did not pay a single farthing in respect of the minerals under the surface. There was not the slightest doubt that if we could go backfar enough, and start again, the State would claim, as was done in many other countries, that the minerals should belong to the State, and be leased by the State for the national benefit. There was, however, no utility in raising that question at the present moment, except for the purpose of recalling the fact that many royalty-owners were receiving enormous revenues from the working of the minerals in their land in respect of which neither they nor their forefathers paid a single penny. That fact constituted a strong argument in favour of their being called upon to bear a fair share of the burden which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was now imposing upon the coal trade, especially as the tax was to be a permanent one. The right hon. Gentleman was advised that the coal trade could bear this extra burden permanently. It was perfectly true that colliery-owners had made large profits during the last two years, but cycles of prosperity were invariably followed by cycles of depression, and it was practically certain that the country to-day was face to face with a cycle of commercial depression in which, in all human probability, many collieries, if they continued to be worked at all, would be worked at an actual loss to the colliery-owner. When that condition of affairs was reached, the injustice of the tax would be intensified if the royalty-owner was allowed to go scot-free, because he would still be receiving large revenues. He should therefore support the Amendment, and he earnestly hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would give his serious consideration to the matter.
§ MR. THOMAS SHAW (Hawick Burghs)
desired to point out the extreme simplicity of the problem before the Committee. A tax was being imposed upon an industry, to the great surprise of that industry. They were not endeavouring to reduce existing taxation; they were working upon an absolutely clean slate. He submitted, therefore, that all, and not some only, of the parties to that industry should have been convened. In this, as in all other industries, there were three parties. The first was the royalty 1479 owner, who was indeed the true owner. The second was the coal-owner, who was really not an owner at all, but simply a long lessee. The third was the labouring man. No one could have listened to the debates on this question without coming to the conclusion that the two interests hardly hit by the tax would be the working-man and the coal lessee. Why had the Government adopted a process of selection and exclusion? The owner, whose position was fortified by every ingenuity of the law, had a three-fold claim, which he usually presented, whether north or south of the Tweed. He had a claim to a fixed rent, be the colliery successful or unsuccessful; he had a claim in the event of assure success of a royalty on the output; and, in the third place, which was better than all, he not uncommonly had a claim to a minimum royalty rising by a sliding scale according to the prosperity of the industry. His security for this claim was of the most absolute kind known to the law. He had the security of the stuff, the plant, and the whole of the buildings connected with the work. In the name of equity, therefore, why should he not render some help in the matter of this tax? But that did not end the case. What was the position of the miner and the coal lessee? If adversity overtook the industry the miner was at the point of starvation and the capital of the coal lessee was imperilled, his returns dwindled away, or perhaps were converted into a loss. These three parties being interested, why should the bee be taxed while the drone was excluded? When the Agricultural Rates Act was under discussion it was pointed out that it would raise more questions than it settled, namely, the large question of land values. Similarly this tax upon coal would raise more questions than it settled, namely, the question of a tax upon mining royalties. In the matter of agricultural rates there was much discussion as to the exact person upon whom the burden fell, but in this case there was no such difficulty, because the mines of the country were mostly let on long leases of from thirty to sixty years. It might be taken that the un-expired mining rights of the lessees in this country averaged a quarter of a century. The situation, therefore, was quite clear. There could be no adjustment 1480 by the coalowner to throw the tax upon the shoulders of some other person. He was disappointed that, notwithstanding the fact that many speeches had been delivered, raising, as it appeared to him, a large point of social economics, trenching almost upon national ethics, there had been no reply but one, and that was the reply of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he stated that the royalty owner would have no chance of recouping himself from the foreigner. All he would say in regard to that was that the foreigner was guided in trade by pretty much the same principles as other people—he bought in the cheapest market; while the coal lessee, like other people, sold in the dearest market. The coal lessee had hitherto obtained his price irrespective of the royalty. That price was fixed by the economic law of supply and demand, and it was a phantom to expect that the foreigner would ever contribute to the taxation of this country in that form. He ventured to suggest that the Amendment ought to be accepted, at any rate in principle, but apparently the attitude of the Government was to tax labour and capital, and not to tax the owners of these royalties whom the law so amply protected.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I have already addressed the Committee upon this Amendment, but I must venture to trouble them for another two or three minutes, after the speeches to which we have listened. I think it is a little hard that in the course of a debate upon an Amendment to this Finance Bill we should be asked to discuss what the hon. Member who has just sat down has very fairly described as a large point of social economics, trenching on national ethics. In fact, the matter involves large issues affecting the whole social fabric of the nation—
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
No; it is far beyond a question of taxation. There is really involved the question of whether the land of the country should be owned by private persons or by the State. That really is the point of the speeches of two of the hon. Members who have just spoken. ["No."] Oh, yes, it is. I do not intend 1481 to attempt to address the Committee upon that subject. I take the law as it stands. At the present moment it is the law of this country that private property in land is to be respected, and private property in land has for centuries carried with it the right to the minerals under the surface. What happens? The owner of the land and the minerals it contains leases the minerals to a third party—a capitalist, or an association of capitalists—in order that the minerals may be worked. Both sides make that bargain with their eyes open; they are perfectly free to make it or to reject it. If the persons taking the mines from the owners of the land choose to agree that in return for the profit they expect to make from the coal they should sink a shaft, erect buildings, put up machinery, build cottages, and so on, and at the end of the lease when the mines are worked out all these things should revert to the landlord, is that a thing with which you need interfere? Is not each side free to make its own bargain? ["No."] At any rate, that is the law and the practice, and, as I have said, the arguments used in favour of this proposal go far beyond the question of whether you should or should not impose a part of this duty on coal upon the owners of royalties. I would only venture to add that nothing could be more unfair than the suggestion of the hon. Member opposite that we are taxing labour and the capital of the coal-owner, while we refrain from taxing the royalty owner. I have never proposed this duty as a tax upon a special industry, as the hon. Member contended throughout his speech. I absolutely deny that that is the fact. I have asserted all through, and I have proved, that this tax will fall largely, and in good years entirely, on the foreigner. That is the basis upon which we have proposed it, and I trust the Committee will not pursue the discussion of the larger subject of the rights of property, but that they will, after reasonable discussion of the Amendment which the hon. Member for Monmouthshire has brought forward, in a perfectly fair way, come to a decision on the matter.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I rise mainly to correct what I believe to be a misapprehension of the right hon. 1482 Gentleman as to the real argument of my hon. and learned friend the Member for the Border Burghs. The right hon. Gentleman described almost with pathos the fate of the owner of the soil who entered into a contract with the capitalists, either singly or in company, and who authorised them to sink shafts and erect the necessary buildings for the purpose of working the coal. And, he asked, did they mean to interfere with that, or to prevent that from being done? My hon. and learned friend had no such intention in what he said. What he said was—"Let the owner who has done nothing except assent to this arrangement with the capitalists bear his share of this tax when it is put on a commodity with which they are all dealing." And then the right hon. Gentleman fell back on his argument that the tax is to be paid by the foreigner. But we dispute his argument. We believe that to a very great extent, if not to the greatest extent, it would be paid by those at home who were engaged in the trade—from the shipowner and the merchant and the colliery proprietor, down to the workman who got the coal out of the soil. And we say it is almost a scandal, certainly I think it is an economic scandal, that the one sole person who has not to contribute to a tax of this sort is the man who does the least in producing the coal, and who therefore, I think, may very well pay at least a share of the burden that is put upon it.
§ MR. MANSFIELD (Lincolnshire, Spalding)
said he had heard a very strong case made out for the taxation of mining royalties, and he had heard from the Chancellor of the Exchequer nothing in favour of leaving that source of revenue alone. It had been argued that the taxation of mining royalties was the introduction of a system of land nationalisation, but he might just as well argue that the income tax was the beginning of a system under which the whole of the incomes would eventually be taken. According to this method of arguing, by imposing an income tax of 1s. 2d., a tax of ½d. per pound on sugar and 1s. per ton on coal, the Chancellor of the Exchequer would go down to history as the greatest confiscator which the nation had ever known. There were three classes of persons affected by this tax, 1483 namely, the miner, the colliery proprietor, and the mineral owner. He did not want to go into the question of the ownership of minerals, although that might be a very interesting discussion. It would no doubt open up a very wide field of research. It was a fact that the law had given to the mine owner what was known as the minerals, which meant everything that was underneath the soil. He wished to know why the miner, who was hit by the sugar and other taxes, and the capitalist, who was hit by this shilling a ton and the income tax, should pay income to the country, while the mineral owner, who belonged to the extensive class which toiled not, neither did they spin, was let off absolutely. His own impression was that the mineral owners had expected a tax for many years past. It might be used as an argument against the Amendment
§ that the burden would fall upon the person who found the capital to work the coal. He believed that the House could arrange to cancel such a clause, and make the burden fall where it ought to fall, upon the people who were not paying anything except the income tax, and who ought to be brought in and compelled to pay their fair share of taxation. He hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would modify his views on this subject, or, if he did not, some other Government at an early date would take the question in hand and see that the burden and incidence of taxation was put on the shoulders of those best able to bear it, but who had up to the present largely escaped.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 144; Noes, 172. (Division List No. 276.)1485
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Mooney, John J.|
|Allan, Wm. (Gateshead)||Farrell, James Patrick||Murphy, John|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Fenwick, Charles||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Ferguson, R.C. Munro (Leith)||Newnes, Sir George|
|Austin, Sir John||Ffrench, Peter||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)|
|Barry, E (Cork, S.)||Field, William||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Norman, Henry|
|Bell, Richard||Flynn, James Christopher||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Boland, John||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Boyle, James||Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Brigg, John||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Doherty, William|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hammond, John||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hardie, J. K. (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Dowd, John|
|Burt, Thomas||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Buxton, Sydney Chas.||Harwood, George||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Caldwell, James||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Malley, William|
|Cameron, Robt.||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Mara, James|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Horniman, Frederick John||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Jones, David B. (Swansea)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cawley, Frederick||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Price, Robt. John|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Jordan, Jeremiah||Priestley, Arthur|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Joyce, Michael||Rea, Russell|
|Colville, John||Kennedy, Patrick James||Reddy, M.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kinloch, Sir John George S.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Craig, Robt. Hunter||Lambert, George||Redmond, Wm. (Clare)|
|Crean, Eugene||Langley, Batty||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Rigg, Richard|
|Cullinan, J.||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Daly, James||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Lough, Thomas||Roche, John|
|Delany, William||Lundon, W.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Dillon, John||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Donelan, Capt. A.||M'Dermott, Patrick||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Fadden, Edward||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||M'Govern, T.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Dunn, Sir William||M'Kenna, Reginald||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Edwards, Frank||M'Laren, Chas. Benjamin||Sullivan, Donal|
|Ellis, John Edward||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Mather, William||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Thomas, JA (Gl'morgan, Gower||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Thompson, Dr E C (M'nagh'n, N.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Warner, Thomas C. T.||Williams, O. (Merioneth)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Weir, James Galloway||Wilson, F.W. (Norfolk, Mid.)||Mr. Causton and Captain Sinclair.|
|White, George (Norfolk)||Wilson, Hy. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Fisher, William Hayes||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Aird, Sir John||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Anson, Sir Wm. Reynell||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Myers, Wm. Henry|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Flower, Ernest||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Forster, Henry William||Orr-Ewing, Chas. Lindsay|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Garfit, William||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard|
|Bain, Col. James Robt.||Goschen, Hon. George J.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Balfour, Maj K R (Christchurch||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)||Purvis, Robert|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Hain, Edward||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Hambro, Charles Eric||Renwick, George|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.|
|Bigwood, James||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Robertson, Herbt. (Hackney)|
|Blundell, Col. Henry||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Bond, Edward||Heaton John Henniker||Ropner, Col. Robert|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Helder, Augustus||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alex.|
|Brookfield, Col. Montagu||Hoare, Edw. B. (Hampstead)||Seely, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Brown, Alex. H. (Shropsh.)||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Seton Karr, Henry|
|Bull, Wm. James||Hope, J. F. (Sh'ffield, Brightside||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hoult, Joseph||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Butcher, John George||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H.||Spear, John Ward|
|Cavendish, V C W. (Derbyshire)||Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh.)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Stroyan, John|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Keswick, William||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Law, Andrew Bonar||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lawson, John Grant||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. M.|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S.||Tufnell, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Lowe, Francis Wm.||Wason, John C. (Orkney)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Webb, Col. William George|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Whiteley, H. (Aston-un. Lyne)|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Denny, Col.||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Maconochie, A. W.||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph C.||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb., W.)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Doughty, George||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn W. F.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Doxford, Sir William T.||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Younger, William|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Morgan, David J. (Walthamst.)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Morrell, George Herbert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Fielden, Edward B.||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Finch, George H.||Morton, Arthur H A. (Deptford)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert B.||Mount, Wm. Arthur|
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
said the object of the Amendment he rose to move was to exempt contracts from the operation of the coal duty made prior to the introduction 1486 of the Budget on April 19. He asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what difference would it make in the amount of the revenue 1487 if he remitted the duty on all contracts made up to December 31 or longer, prior to 19th April. At all events, it was not a question of principle, it was a question of degree. These contracts had to be made by middlemen and they often had to be made for more than one year. He knew of a case where a contract was made for two years and it only came into operation in May, though it was made last November. That contract had to be carried out; it could not be broken, though the right hon. Gentleman suggested that contracts might be broken. So far from the contract being unusual, it was practically the continuation of a contract made previously for three years. He had received a telegram from one firm stating that upon the contracts they had entered into this tax meant to them about £7,000. The right hon. Gentleman took a different view of commercial ethics, and he argued that it was a very easy thing to break contracts. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that the law should be so framed as to enable a person to break his contract unless the person abroad was willing to pay the duty. He confessed that he was very much surprised at that statement, for it was a suggestion which no honest business man would ever dream of adopting. Perhaps he knew more about contracts than the right hon. Gentleman; and when business men in Cardiff made contracts they would not dream of breaking them. They carried them out.
In page 2, line 32, to leave out the words 'may if they think fit in any,' in order to insert the words 'shall in every.'"—(Mr. D. A. Thomas.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I think I need hardly notice the latter part of the remarks of the hon. Member. I have never suggested that anybody should break contracts. What I suggested had reference to the application to the coal duty of the existing law which permits persons who have contracted, for example, to sell sugar at a 1488 certain price before the sugar duty was imposed, to add the amount of that duty to the price agreed on in their contracts, and not that contracts should be broken. As to the Amendment, it is a perfectly impossible one, for there must be a judge of what a contract is—whether a contract is a real contract. Under the proposal of the hon. Member there can be no discretion as to what is a contract or what is not; and I know, if the hon. Member does not know, the great variety and difference of detail in contracts which are made by the exporters of coal. I have gone as far as I think I ought to go in the interest of fairness to all concerned. It is not fair for the hon. Member to read a telegram from Cardiff sent under the impression that the exemption would cease on September 30th. I have received a telegram from the same place in which the 31st of December, which I have adopted, is suggested. With regard to the question whether contracts made with foreigners only or with British subjects abroad as well as foreigners are to receive exemptions from the duty, I at first proposed that these should extend to foreigners only, for the reason that it would be impossible for a coal owner who had a contract with a foreigner to make the foreigner pay the duty. But I found on inquiry that in the foreign or colonial ports where these contracts had been made with foreigners there were also British firms who had made similar contracts, and it was perfectly clear it would not be fair to give foreigners an exemption from a duty which British firms at the same port had to pay, and therefore I decided that it was necessary the exemption should be extended to all persons abroad, whether foreign or British. The hon. Member asked what this exemption was likely to amount to. I think it will be seen when I state the amount that practically the case is covered by what I have stated. I am convinced that the sum which will be lost by it this year will be more than £650,000. That is a large sum, and I am sure it will be admitted that I have acted liberally. In the circumstances I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY
said he regretted extremely to hear the statement of the 1489 right hon. gentleman. No one recognised more than he did the generosity which the right hon. Gentleman had shown in dealing with those contracts, and he would be the last to complain when he had dealt so liberally with the question raised at the present time. But after all there was something more to be said on that question, and he thought he should say a word or two in the hope that he might influence the right hon. Gentleman to some extent, for he felt sure from the course pursued that the right hon. Gentleman was anxious to be just and reasonable in dealing with this matter. It seemed to him that the sub-section gave a Minister power which this House should hesitate to give. Was this House prepared to put into the hands of a Minister the power of saying that one person should pay the tax and that another should not? It was an unwise discretion to give to any Minister, whatever his position might be. He had no reason to complain of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Treasury at the present time, but it was proposed to set up a dangerous precedent, which hereafter might be used by a Minister with serious disadvantage to the country. The right hon. Gentleman said there would be £650,000 lost by the exemption.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I ought not to have named a figure. I stated earlier in the evening that I used the figure quite roughly.
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY
said that all who knew anything about this question knew that the right hon. Gentleman had given a very large exemption, but still he fancied it would be found that the exemption represented roughly about two-thirds of the tax which would be due on these contracts. Was it wise for the sake of the other third to debar it from the principle which, he thought, was a very proper one? If it was just to exempt contracts up to the end of December, it was certainly equally just to exempt for the same reasons all contracts entered into prior to 19th April last. After the Spanish-American War Spain put an export duty on iron ore. What was the action of Spain in the matter? He was informed on good authority that she respected not only the contracts of 1490 Spanish merchants but those of English shippers in some cases for three years. Surely what was possible and just for the Spanish Government ought not to be impossible or unjust for the English Government. There were many gas companies abroad which had to make arrangements with their municipalities in fixing the price of gas, and these companies had to arrange for a supply of coal. The Paris Gas Company bought for three years. Some of the contracts applied to coal intended for the Paris Gas Company. When they considered that an exporter entered into these contracts in a bona fide way, simply in the ordinary course of business, he thought it was scarcely just that they were not to be exempted. He was sure that if the right hon. Gentleman really understood those questions as people did who were brought into contact with the transactions, he would not hesitate for a moment to exempt those contracts. He represented one of the largest firms of coal exporters in this country, and whatever might be the action of the Government in this matter—and he felt that his partners would agree with him when he put it before them—he could not conscientiously ask anyone who had contracts with them to pay the tax. He thought it would be unjust to do so. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consider the point again before he came to a final conclusion.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I am surprised at the speech of the hon. Baronet. I have done my best to be fair and even generous to the great interest which he with many others in this House represents. I have given a very large concession, according to my promise, in this matter of contracts. Sir Robert Peel on a similar occasion gave four months for a similar object. I have given nine months. What I have done has been acknowledged by those who represent the coal industry in this House. That this great concession should be made an excuse for asking more is not fair. I have made my statement and I cannot depart from it.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said that so far as the trade was concerned there ought to be no uncertainty at all with 1491 respect to the exemption the right hon. Gentleman was going to make. The proposal now made allowed the Treasury absolute discretion to give exemption in the case of one contract and not in another. The question was whether the word "shall" should be inserted. If the conditions were fulfilled, why should the Treasury be allowed discretion to say whether the exemption would be given? If the conditions were not fulfilled, the sub-section would not operate at all.
§ MR. MCLAREN
said it was rather hard that in the case of contracts entitled to exemption the trade should have to apply to the Commissioners of Customs for relief from the duty. If a contract was made by telegram it was exceedingly awkward that the exporter should have to go to the Government officials in order to have the price adjusted. It seemed to him that the Amendment now before the Committee was the logical corollary of the concession which had already been given.
§ not be unreasonable to suppose that there was some object, unknown to the Committee, in inserting the discretionary words, "may if they think fit in any case."
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
In this case there must be some authority to interpret what is or what is not a contract coming under the exemption. I think the hon. and learned Member has a natural predilection for the law courts, and if the word "shall" were adopted, and it were left to the courts to interpret what is such a contract, I believe it would be infinitely worse for the parties concerned.
§ MR. MCLAREN
said these were not speculative or gambling transactions. The colliery owner could not know what the coal was going to cost him for twelve or fifteen months. He did not know what would be the cost of labour, or the nature of the strata he had to pass through.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 206; Noes, 148. (Division List No. 277.)1493
|Acland-Hood,Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Chapman, Edward||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Fletcher, Sir Henry|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Flower, Ernest|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Forster, Henry William|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Bagot, Capt. Joceline FitzRoy||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Garfit, William|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir john Eldon|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Cranborne, Viscount||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S. Edm'nds|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Crossley, Sir Savile||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Gunter, Sir Robert|
|Bignold, Arthur||Denny, Colonel||Hain, Edward|
|Bigwood, James||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x|
|Bond, Edward||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry|
|Brassey, Albert||Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashford|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Doughty, George||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Bull, William James||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Helder, Augustus|
|Butcher, John George||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Fardell, Sir T. George||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Hoult, Joseph|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire)||Finch, George H.||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Finlay, Sir Robert Rannatyne||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'||Fisher, William Hayes||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Morton, Arthur H A. (Deptford)||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh||Mount, William Arthur||Stroyan, John|
|Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Murray, Rt. Hn A Graham (Bute||Strutt, Hn. Chas. Hedley|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Keswick, William||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Myers, William Henry||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Law, Andrew Bonar||Nicholson, William Graham||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Lawson, John Grant||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Parkes, Ebenezer||Valentia, Viscount|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Peel, Hn. Wm. Rbt. Wellesley||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Percy, Earl||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Lock wood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Lowe, Francis William||Plummer, Walter R.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)||Purvis, Robert||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Macartney, Rt. Hn. W.G. Ellison||Reid, James (Greenock)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Rentoul, James Alexander||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Renwick, George||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Richards, Henry Charles||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Robertson, Herb. (Hackney)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E. (Wigt'n||Ropner, Col. Robert||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Maxwell, WJH. (Dumfriesshire||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Seton-Karr, Henry||Wylie, Alexander|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wyndham, Rt. Hn. George|
|Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks)||Younger, William|
|Morgan, David J (Walthamstow||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Spear, John Ward||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Cullinan, J.||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Daly, James||Higginbottom, S. W.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Joicey, Sir James|
|Ambrose, Robert||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Delany, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jordon, Jeremiah|
|Austin, Sir John||Dillon, John||Joyce, Michael|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Donelan, Captain A.||Kennedy, Patrick James|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Doogan, P. C.||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth|
|Bell, Richard||Duncan, J. Hastings||Lambert, George|
|Boland, John||Dunn, Sir William||Langley, Batty|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Elibank, Master of||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Boyle, James||Ellis, John Edward||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington|
|Brigg, John||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Leigh, Sir Joseph|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Lough, Thomas|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Farrell, James Patrick||Lundon, W.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Fenwick, Charles||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.|
|Burt, Thomas||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Caldwell, James||Ffrench, Peter||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)|
|Cameron, Robert||Field, William||M'Dermott, Patrick|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Flynn, James Christopher||M'Fadden, Edward|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Forster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||M'Govern, T.|
|Carville, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Gilhooly, James||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Cawley, Frederick||Griffith, Ellis J.||Mooney, John J.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Hammond, John||Murphy, John|
|Colville, John||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harwood, George||Newnes, Sir George|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Col. John. P. (Galway, N.|
|Crean, Eugene||Helme, Norval Watson||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Norman, Henry||Priestley, Arthur||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Rea, Russell||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, G'wer|
|O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Reddy, M.||Thompson, Dr E C (Monagh'n, N|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Thompson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Rickett, J. Compton||Weir, James Galloway|
|O'Doherty, William||Rigg, Richard||White, George (Norfolk)|
|O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Dowd, John||Roe, Sir Thomas||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|O'Malley, William||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|O'Mara, James||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham||Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Soares, Ernest J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)||Spencer, Rt Hn C.R. (Northants||Mr. D. A. Thomas and Mr. McLaren.|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Sullivan, Donal|
|Price, Robert John||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ *MR. WARR (Liverpool, East Toxteth)
The Amendment I now move is directed to cases in which contracts are entered into in this country by owners of coaling stations abroad, and dealers for the supply and delivery of coal at thess coaling stations. In these cases the seller covers his contract by purchases made here, and exports the coal to the coaling station in order that he may fulfil his contract. But it is doubtful whether he can be said to export the coal in pursuance of any contract with his buyer, for the buyer is only concerned with the supply to him at the coaling station, and so far as he is concerned the seller may buy the coal afloat or export it at any time he pleases. Under these circumstances a question might arise as to whether the terms of the clause as it stands would enable the Treasury to remit the duty, and yet it would be fair and reasonable that it should be remitted.
In page 2, dine 34, to leave out 'in pursuance of,' and insert 'for the purpose of fulfilling.'"—(Mr. Warr.)
§ Question proposed—"That the words 'in pursuance of' stand part of the clause."
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said that this was a technical point, and he thought the words in the clause as it stood were sufficient for the hon. Gentleman's purpose. He would be very glad, however, to communicate with his hon. friend on the matter.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
formally moved the Amendment standing in his name in order that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said that his great object was that foreigners should pay this tax, might inform the Committee why he proposed to exempt from the duty bunker coal which was shipped on a foreign ship.
In page 2, line 36, after the word 'any' to insert the word 'British.'")—(Mr. Samuel Evans.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'British' be there inserted."
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said that if the privilege of shipping bunker coal free of duty were confined to British ships, one result would be that foreign ships would not call at British ports for bunker coal, and these ports would lose considerably in consequence. But a more important objection to the Amendment was that it would impose unequal treatment on foreign ships, and would thus be a breach of our treaties with foreign nations. The result would be retaliation on our ships in their ports, which would be very much more to our injury than to theirs.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made a great deal about the question of retaliation; but he could not see how the right hon. Gentleman could consistently carry out his policy of making the 1497 foreigners pay unless he accepted the Amendment. Without the Amendment the result would be that a foreign vessel would obtain bunker coal in this country free of duty, while a British vessel coaling at any port outside this country, even in British possessions, would have to pay the tax.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
believed his hon. friend was perfectly right; and it seemed an extraordinary thing that whereas a foreign ship could coal here, and have their coal free of duty, a British ship bunkering in, say, Colombo, had got to pay the duty.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said that for many years past we had treated foreign ships the same as British ships in our ports, and it would be unwise in the interest of the trade of this country if another rule were adopted.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said that as he was against the duty altogether he would not press his Amendment; but he had thought it necessary to point out the anomaly.
§ MR. ALEXANDER CROSS
said that grievances might arise from the rule in consequence of ships taking bunker coal and trading coal at the same time. In Glasgow they had had trouble in this way in regard to coal dues.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
moved to leave out Sub-section (5). He said that this Amendment really raised a question which had not yet been determined by the Committee. Sub-section 5 denned what the term "coal" included for taxation purposes. It said that for the purposes of this Act coal included culm, coke, cinders, and manufactured fuel. He was not sure what culm was, but he was perfectly certain that he did not know what cinders were. It was true that the Chancellor of the Exchequer in dealing with manufactured fuel—which he understood 1498 was patent fuel—said he was willing to take into consideration the price of the coal which was used in manufacturing this fuel, and that if the price was less than 6s. per ton, then the patent fuel entirely escaped taxation. But the right hon. Gentleman had not made a similar declaration in regard to coke, or culm, or cinders. He thought it was bad enough to impose this extra duty on coals, but it was worse to impose it on manufactured articles.
In page 3, line 1, to leave Sub-section (5)."—(Mr. Samuel Evans.)
§ Question proposed, "That Sub-section (5) stand part of the clause."
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said he had found this definition in the original Coal Act. To some extent these articles were manufactured, but they were valuable articles, and there was no reason why they should not be taxed.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said they had had no information yet in regard to cinders, although of course he knew what cinders were in the ordinary meaning in English. Where was culm manufactured, what was the price of culm, and where was it exported to? The right hon. Gentleman had confessed that he had put this sub-section in the Bill because he had found it in some Act of Parliament passed fifty or sixty years ago. The right hon. Gentleman must have some reason for the faith that was in him, and surely he could tell what was the average price of culm, and coke, and cinders.
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said he could not carry in his mind all these petty details as to the prices of these articles and the countries to which they were exported. Culm was, he believed, a mixture of coal and clay, and it was exported to some extent. On the report he might amend the words, but he hoped they would now be passed as they stood. The tax to be placed on manufactured fuel would depend on the value of the coal used in making it, and he would see how far that principle could be applied to the others.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
asked if the right hon. Gentleman could give a rough estimate of the amount of revenue he expected to derive from these articles.
§ *SIR JOSEPH PEASE
said that these Words had different meanings in different districts. In his district the large ashes that came from the engine boiler fires Were generally called cinders, and with coke breeze were often used for ballasting railways, and would not be subject to duty under the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposed remission of articles under the value of 6s.
§ MR. DAVID MACIVER (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
moved in page 3, line 2, at end, to add "Nothing in this section shall apply to coal exported from Great Britain or Ireland to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man." He knew that the Isle of Man had already been exempted; but, if so, why not the Channel Islands? He thought the Channel Islands had a much stronger claim than the Isle of Man, and the chambers of commerce of Guernsey and Jersey had petitioned in favour of the exemption. The Channel Islands were the most ancient possession of Great Britain, and had always been considered as part of the United Kingdom. By a charter of Queen Elizabeth, which confirmed all the rights and privileges of the islanders, provision was made to the effect that they should be exempted from all tributes, tolls, customs, subsidies, and contributions of any kind whatsoever towards the general expenses of the realm of England, and that the liability of the islands to taxation was thereby confined to their own internal necessities. Those privileges were confirmed by Orders in Council on the 21st May and 17th December, 1679, and the islanders were given the right to import goods from any part of England or Wales free of duty, provided such goods were used on the islands, and it was worthy of remark that in the latter Order mention was specially made of coals. Those charters still remained in full force, and the islanders 1500 respectfully submitted that the privileges which had been granted to them should not be ignored in the present instance. He thought there were other grounds also on which the Channel Islands were entitled to exemption. It was the greatest mistake to treat the islands as if they were foreign countries. The people were most loyal to the Crown; they had been given a certain measure of Home Rule, but they had no one in the House of Commons to speak for them. He thought that they should not be placed at a disadvantage on that account, but that their request should receive favourable consideration. The reason why he had ventured to say a word for the Channel Islands was that for many years he had been a director of one of the great railway companies which served the Channel Islands, and naturally and properly he had taken a keen interest in them. He went frequently to the islands, and understood something of their trade. On both islands there was a fine race of people. Jersey largely supplied England with early potatoes, and both islands, but more particularly Guernsey, sent us grapes and tomatoes.
§ MR. DAVID MACIVER
submitted that fruit growing was relevant to the coal question, and went on to say that the grapes and tomatoes were grown under glass by artificial heat, which required coals. The islands needed revenue for the maintenance of their harbours and other local charges, and in Guernsey coals already had to pay half-a-crown a ton. The shilling export duty would bring these imposts up to three and sixpence. The coal tax would be regarded as a great hardship, and he thought it was not worth the while of the Imperial Government, for the sake of so little money as this tax would yield, to burden the trade of these islands, and to inspire a loyal people with a sense of wrong and injustice. He did not regard the coal tax as a war tax, but nevertheless, in pleading the cause of the Channel Islands, he thought he might venture to point out that in proportion to their population they had in a 1501 larger measure than any other portion of the British dominions given of their best to help the mother-country in the South African struggle. It should also be remembered that the inhabitants of Jersey and Guernsey, possessed of no great wealth, had given more than any in proportion to their means to help the various funds in support of those who had suffered owing to the war, and that each island had presented the mother-country with a battery of artillery, each costing £7,500. They had never been sufficiently thanked, and it was a poor reward for such loyalty to come down upon the Channel Islanders now and ask them to pay a shilling a ton upon coal. He thought he had shown good reasons why the islands should be exempted, and he hoped their case would not suffer before the Committee from the imperfect manner in which he had presented it.
In page 3, line 2, at end of clause, to add, as a new sub-clause, the words,' Nothing in this section shall apply to coal exported from Great Britain or Ireland to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.'"—(Mr. David Maclver.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ *SIR M. HICKS BEACH
The hon. Gentleman has given somewhat curious reasons, such as the growing of grapes and tomatoes, why the Amendment should be accepted, but I will endeavour briefly to take a serious view of his arguments. He contended in the first place that owing to some ancient charters the Channel Islands had a claim to this exemption. I have had this matter carefully investigated, and I find that those charters and Orders in Council only promised the islanders such exemptions from Imperial taxation as were enjoyed by the self-governing colonies of the Crown, and that their existence does not constitute any obstruction to the imposition of duty on goods imported from this country. On the contrary, while our colonies in the time of William III. and Queen Anne were treated in a specially indulgent manner in regard to the duty on coal, the Channel Islands were treated as a foreign country. 1502 The hon. Member has told us that the Channel Islands have their own import system, and that they impose a duty of 2s. 6d. a ton on coal, and yet he asks us to give the Channel Islands the special favour of being exempted from this tax. What would be the consequence, supposing we did so? The Channel Islands would simply become a depot for supplying France with English coal, which, as we have no control over their Customs service, our officers could not possibly check. I think that is a sufficient answer.
§ *MR. D. A. THOMAS
said he listened to the right hon. Gentleman with some surprise. He thought that what had been said with regard to the Channel Islands reshipping coal would also apply to the Isle of Man.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
said it had been found necessary to make a special arrangement with the Isle of Man, but surely it would be very easy also to make an arrangement with the Channel Islands, by which they would undertake not to reship coal. The right hon. Gentleman stated that when the coal tax was in operation formerly, the Channel Islands were regarded as a foreign country. That was true enough, but the right hon. Gentleman should remember that the whole position of things had changed since then. The right hon. Gentleman also referred to grapes and tomatoes, but either he was very inconsistent or his memory was very short. Only a few weeks ago, in reply to representations from the Channel Islands, he gave as a reason for not making a remission in their favour that the islands were able to produce early potatoes or green peas. If that were going to be an argument he would ask the right hon. Gentleman to exempt the Scilly Islands. The serious point was—and it showed one of the many anomalies which arose from that very absurd tax—that when coal was put on board a vessel running to Jersey at Southampton it was free of duty, whereas coal supplied at the same price and for the same firm put on board at Jersey for the return voyage was charged 1503 duty. A ship running to the Isle of Man had coal free of duty at both ends, and why should not a similar exemption he applied to a vessel running from Southampton to Jersey?
§ The leave of the Committee not having been given,
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 116; Noes, 233. (Division List No. 278.)1505
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Mara, James|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Joicey, Sir James||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Jordan, Jeremiah||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Joyce, Michael||Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)|
|Boland, John||Kennedy, Patrick James||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Lambert, George||Price, Robert John|
|Boyle, James||Langley, Batty||Priestley, Arthur|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Rea, Russell|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Reddy, M.|
|Burt, Thomas||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Caldwell, James||Lundon, W.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Rigg, Richard|
|Causton, Richard Knight||M'Dermott, Patrick||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||M'Faddon, Edward||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||M'Govern, T.||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Crean, Eugene||M'Kenna, Reginald||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Cullinan, J.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Daly, James||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John Wm.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Mooney, John J.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Morton, Edward J. C. (Devonp't||Sullivan, Donal|
|Delany, William||Moulton, John Fletcher||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Dillon, John||Murphy, John||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, JA (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Doogan, P. C.||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)||Thompson, Dr E C (Monagh'n, N|
|Esmonds, Sir Thomas||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Norman, Henry||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Norton, Captain Cecil Wm.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Fenwick, Charles||Nussey, Thomas Willans||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Ffrench, Peter||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Field, William||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Doherty, William||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Hammond, John||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Dowd, John||TELLERS TOR THE AYES—Mr. MacIver and Mr. D. A. Thomas.|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Chas. H.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Holland, William Henry||O'Malley, William|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Bullard, Sir Harry|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Burns, John|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Butcher, John George|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Bell, Richard||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Cautley, Henry Strother|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bignold, Arthur||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bigwood, James||Cawley, Frederick|
|Austin, Sir John||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Bond, Edward||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Brassey, Albert||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manc'r)||Brigg, John||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Chapman, Edward|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Brown, George M. (Edinburgh||Churchill, Winston Spencer|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Bull, William James||Clare, Octavius Leigh|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Kenyon, James (Lancs, Bury)||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Keswick, William||Renwick, George|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Lambton, Hn. Frederick Wm.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Law, Andrew Bonar||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Lawrence, Wm. P. (Liverpool)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Lawson, John Grant||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Doughty, George||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lough, Thomas||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Loyd, Archie Kiakman||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Elibank, Master of||Macartney, Rt. Hon. W. G. E.||Spear, John Ward|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Macdona, John Cumming||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Finch, George H.||M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B. (Cambs.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||M'Crae, George||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.)||Stroyan, John|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Majendie, James A. H.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Flower, Ernest||Malcolm, Ian||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Forster, Henry William||Manners, Lord Cecil||Tennant, Harold John|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Massey-Mainwaring, Hon. W. F.||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E. (Wigt'n||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire||Valentia, Viscount|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S. Edm'nds||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Gretton, John||Morgan, David J (Walthamstow||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John L.|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Morrell, George Herbert||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|Groves, James Grimble||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Morrison, James Archibald||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Gordon, Sir W. Brampton||Mount, William Arthur||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Myers, William Henry||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashford||Nicholson, William Graham||Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E. R. (Bath|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Harwood, George||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Wylie, Alexander|
|Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Parkes, Ebenezer||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Helder, Augustus||Peel, Hon. Wm. Robert W.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Penn, John|
|Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Percy, Earl||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Hoult, Joseph||Plummer, Walter R.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Question proposed, "That Clause 3, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
said that the clause with all the changes 1506 proposed would require a certain amount of debate which could hardly begin at that time of night. He suggested that progress be now reported.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Thursday.