HC Deb 21 May 1901 vol 94 cc786-845

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [20th May], "That the Bill be now read a second time"—

And which Amendment was— To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the question, in order to add the words, 'this House, while ready to make adequate provision for the naval and military requirements of the Empire, is of opinion that the Financial proposals of His Majesty's Government are objectionable both with regard to taxation and debt, are calculated injuriously to affect industry and commerce, and do not exhibit that regard for economy which the alarming increase that has recently taken place in the normal expenditure of the country imperatively demands,' instead thereof."—(Sir Henry Fowler.)

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

Debate resumed.


Before discussing the question of the coal duty, I have only a word or two to say with reference to the tax upon sugar. I notice that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been careful to pay attention to the different qualities of sugar, and has brought to his aid a scientific instrument known as the polariscope, by means of which he is able to insure that the incidence of the duty upon this particular commodity shall be just. We do not ask in the case of the coal tax to have scientific apparatus; applied in order to detect the different qualities of coal, but we do ask that in the imposition of the duty the instruments of justice and common sense shall be applied.

Coming to the coal duty, the different qualities of coal ought to be and are, of course, thoroughly well-known, not only to coal-owners but to coal consumers, and I am sorry it is proposed to place a level 1s. per ton upon every class of coal, no matter from what district it comes. There appears to me in this to be a lack of consideration for the interests of colliery owners and the trade. The Chancellor of the Exchequer usually selects some prosperous trade upon which to levy taxation. He is quite entitled to do that, and I for one think the coal trade has been prosperous and ought to be taxed; but, at the same time, I hold that the incidence of the taxation, whatever form it may take, should be one which is guided by a proper appreciation of the principles of justice. Now the remarks I am about to make will chiefly refer to one district, which is harder hit than any other. I mean the district of Northumberland. The popularity of the coal tax is undoubted; it is, I believe, growing in popularity, but that fact will not prevent me from expressing my opinion. The reason for the popularity is obvious. The householders of this country have been very much punished by the high prices they have had to pay for coal lately, and that is quite a sufficient reason for their present attitude. I was driving through my constituency the other day, and saw an advertisement announcing that for 5d. it was possible to buy 28 lbs. of coal. That works out at 33s. per ton. It is a monstrous price to pay for coal, especially when it is remembered that coal at the pit's mouth will not fetch one-third of that sum. Hence one cannot be surprised that the tax is popular, and appeals to those who have had to pay such high prices. But, after all, the feeling is somewhat unjust, because it is not the coalowner who has reaped all the benefit of the heavy charges. The money has gone largely to the middlemen. I have over and over again put down the price of coal at the pit mouth, and added to it every conceivable charge for freight, etc, and yet I could not bring the total up to anything like 33s. per ton, or even 29s. There must, therefore, be a considerable amount added at some intermediate stage. If I might be allowed to suggest it, it is the coal ring in London which has benefited by these high prices, and yet the gentlemen who form this ring are not touched by the tax. However, the people with whom this tax is so popular are not aware of that fact. They simply blame the coal-owners generally, and when they hear that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to put a tax upon exported coal they are not aware of the fact that the coal which is exported is not the same class of coal as that which comes into London and which is used for household purposes. The coal produced in Northumberland is not household oal. It is not gas or cokeing coal. It is merely ordinary steam-producing coal which has not the smokeless property of Welsh coal. In consequence of not possessing that property it has an extremely restricted market, and when I tell the House that 80 per cent. of the coal which Northumberland produces is exported—and I know that in some collieries 93 per cent. is exported—I would urge that hon. Members should recognise that it is a most serious thing to put a tax of 1s. per ton upon it. The situation becomes still more grave when it is known that the only markets we now have left for that coal are the northern ports of Europe, where German coal comes into competition. It is the fact that there is only a margin of 2d. or 3d. per ton between the Northumberland and the Westphalian coal, which enables the English coalowners to get the contracts, and if you are going to put 1s. extra per ton upon their coal you will practically destroy that market for them. It will be found to be impossible to make the foreigner pay the 1s., and I do not see how Northumberland can pay it. Formerly Northumberland used to supply coal to the Navy, but they lost that market when the Welsh coal fields were developed, and smokeless coal was obtained from them. Northumberland has no chance against the smokeless coal, and so one by one our markets have disappeared. In the Far East we have no chance at all. In India the coalfields of Madras and Hyderabad have cut us out entirely, and we have no export there; while if we go to the West Indies we find that we have been deprived of our original markets by America and Australia. Thus, there is nothing left to us but the northern ports of Europe, and there we are subjected to a keen and close competition with Germany. The German trade is not one that can be spoken of with disrespect. At present it represents 138,000,000 tons per annum, while our own trade throughout the United Kingdom amounts to 225,000,000 tons. The German coal-owners, therefore, are no mean antagonists in our trade. The increase of the German coal output is going on at a very great speed, and I am informed that it is at least five and a half million tons annually. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his speech the other day rather dismissed this question of German competition and the difficulties attending it by suggesting that the coalowners should go to the North Eastern Railway Company and ask them to reduce their rates. I see some of the North Eastern directors in the House at the present moment, and I should like to know their view of the suggestion. They have a monopoly in their district, and it is very unlikely indeed, therefore, that they would help us in this matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer also suggested that we ought to put our coals on board vessels and send them to the south. But he forgot that our coal is not a household coal, and therefore that particular remedy would not be efficacious. We do, of course, send some of our coal south, but it must be remembered that there are no large manufacturing centres near the southern ports, and therefore there is practically no market there for our coals.

I now come to the effect which the tax will have in favour of the German coalowners. It is a well-known fact, not only in Northumberland but elsewhere, that the full working of the collieries produces the lowest cost; for instance, we get the minimum cost when we are working eleven days in the fortnight. If we work ten days the cost goes up at least 6d. per ton; if we only work nine days it goes up a shilling; while for eight days the increase, as compared with full time, is 1s. 6d. In the case of Germany exactly the reverse occurs, for directly the collieries there are worked at full time—which they are not just now—the cost will go down 1s. 6d. per ton. It has always been my view that the profit made by the reduction of cost is ten times more valuable than that obtained by fluctuations in the market, and we are giving that to the Germans. They are throwing up their hats with joy at this proposal, because, they recognise that the export duty will curtail the quantity that we send out, and therefore increase our cost of production; in fact, what is a loss in our case will be a profit to them, and this is quite independent of any advance in price they get from being able to charge the 1s. duty to their home consumers. It has been suggested that owners might send their coal to other markets by railway. But allow me to tell the House that in Northumberland half of the colliery owners are absolutely independent of the railway company. Many of them have their own railways, and enormous sums of money have been expended in constructing lines and shipping stages. Is all this outlay of capital to be thrust on one side on account of a capricious change of the nature proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer? I hope the House will see that it is a most unreasonable proposal, and that it would have been, at all events, less unsound to have put a tax upon some imported goods that we ourselves manufacture. I am not a Protectionist, but I say that this duty breaks through one of the great canons of Free Trade, and, if you once do that, there is nothing to prevent the creation of tariffs which will, no doubt, bring revenue to the country, although they may at the same time increase the cost to those who buy the articles in this country.

I wish to allude to a Return of statistics relating to coal mining, moved for by the President of the Board of Trade, and published last Saturday. I think it shows most conclusively that the contention that the coal trade is as a rule a poor trade, and only good in times of inflation, is fully borne out. I do not intend to trouble the House with many figures, but those figures are given in such a form that it is easy for the House to follow them. I will ask them to look at the table on page 4, which gives the average quantity of coal raised per annum between 1890 and 1899 as 191 million tons. The average price per ton at the pit mouth during the same period was 6s. 10.3d., and that amount is divided under the heads of, first, wages to miners, and, second, expenses other than wages including coal owners' profits. The computed amount under the latter head is 19½ million pounds sterling, which means that after the wages are paid there is just 2s. per ton left for paying the other expenses and for profits, if there are any. A great many things have to be paid out of this. We have school board rates and taxes, mineral rents, materials, and way leave charges, damage to land, and other things which have to be compressed into that 2s. In Northumberland and Durham materials alone cost 8d. to 10d. per ton: rents, 5d. to 7d. per ton; colliery consumption of coal, 3½d. per ton; rates and taxes, 1½d. per ton. These are all included in the 2s. per ton. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer where are the large profits left? There are no doubt some coal owners who have made a profit all through those ten years, but many have lost. It only shows that this question must be investigated before legislation of this kind is put forward. I only give those figures from the Home Office statistics to show that the estimates upon which this tax is based are absolutely fallacious. Another way in which we can get at the profits on coal is from a statement prepared by Mr. J. Bell Simpson (an eminent Northumbrian engineer) for the fourteen years ending March, 1899. In that Return, taken from the Inland Revenue Returns, he gives the total average gross profit at over £9,000,000; of that the royalties were £4,600,000. So far as royalties are concerned, there is no Return except 1899, when a Commission was appointed which reported and gave the royalty rents for that year 5.7d. per ton, and if we deduct the amount of the royalties at this rate from the coalowners' profits we find that the royalty owners receive more than the coal owners. The amount which is made by the coal owners runs out at 5.6d. per ton. These different statements show that the amount of the earnings in coal mining over a term of years are very small, and when such a tax as this is to be imposed all these matters ought to be thoroughly considered. The coal owners are glad to admit that they have had a good year, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will devise an equitable plan of making a charge upon what they have earned they will not grumble, but they do grumble at the selection of particular districts for punishment. I was asked the other day to present to the Chancellor of the Exchequer a resolution which had been passed by the Mining Institute of Great Britain, asking that a small charge should be put upon all coal raised at the pit to cover the full amount he expected to raise from the export duty, and the reply I received from the right hon. Gentleman I do not consider was entirely discouraging. He pointed out that the proposal could not be entertainad until it was proved to be unanimous from all localities. It is, no doubt, difficult to get absolute unanimity, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not expect it, for when coal owners not affected by this tax are asked to bear a portion of this burden many of them will probably be selfish. Any small view of the case such as that should have no consideration whatever in this House. Now that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made up his mind, I hope that this duty will not stop where it is, but that next year it will extend to the whole coal trade. I urge the respectful request that there should be a proper inquiry into this question before legislation takes place, so that there might be some kind of equality and justice in the way the tax is levied. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has seemed to be rather obdurate on this matter, but at the same time we know that he can take as broad a view as anyone of these things; and we believe that when the Bill gets into Committee this question will have his consideration. I trust he will then find some way out of the difficulty, and that he will bring forward proposals by which there shall be laid upon the coal trade a tax which will not press with so much inequality and injustice upon particular districts of the country.

SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)

I wish to state the grounds upon which I intend to support the Amendment, especially as there has been a good deal of criticism which has arisen, I think, from misunderstanding. If the Amendment meant an approval of the policy which led to this war, I certainly should not vote for it. If the Amendment was an attempt to prevent the legitimate discussion of the issues raised by the war, I should think it a most unworthy device, and should vote against it. I do not intend to enter upon the question, but my view with regard to the policy which led to the war is the same as it always has been. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said the issue was whether Boer or Briton was to be supreme in South Africa. I believe it is a complete delusion to suppose that any such issue was at stake until the war itself raised it. Whether I am right or wrong in thinking that that policy is the greatest blunder this country has made during the last century and a quarter, since the loss of the American colonies, I am quite satisfied that there was no intention on the part of my right hon. friend the Member for East Wolverhampton to exclude any legitimate discussion which might arise in respect of that subject. To begin with, no one would be so foolish as to imagine that, whatever differences may exist on this side of the House—which appear to excite so much mirth among hon. Gentlemen opposite—they are to be composed by cunningly constructed sentences. I hope those differences will not be of long duration, but this I will undertake to say—that when they are brought to an end it will be by toleration, mutual respect, and above all, plain and explicit expression of opinion among the Gentlemen sitting together on this side of the House.

I understand the real object of the Amendment to be to condemn the enormous growth of our normal expenditure, quite apart from that which is due to the actual outlay on the war. That is a most legitimate and useful theme of discussion, and we ought not to allow the plain fact of this enormous growth to be concealed by reason of the existence of a state of war. The rise in expenditure, we have been told, has been 30 per cent. or more during the past six years; and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, be it noted, holds out no hope of a reduction. Throughout his speech he said nothing about any prospect of a reduction. He is too candid a financier; he knows perfectly well that the probability is not a reduction but an increase. He has warned us against it repeatedly; he now sees it coming upon him. I do not doubt that some saving might be effected by close examination of details, such as, unfortunately, this House is not well able at present to make. I have often thought that if a strong Committee, similar to that which used to be appointed every twenty years in regard to Indian finance, were appointed to consider the finance of this country, possibly something might be done in the way of the reduction of expenditure, or the promotion of economy. Whether that be so or not, I am sure that small parings here and there will not affect the great volume of taxation in this country, and it would be a great pity if we deluded ourselves with the idea that any mere methods of investigation or inquiry could achieve the object we have in view. The great bulk is what we have to deal with, and the great bulk of the increase is in regard to the Army and the Navy. I am well aware that it pleases some hon. Gentlemen—I think they do it more out of heedlessness or party spirit than out of any belief that it is true—to be constantly suggesting that we—especially the miserable individuals who hold my opinions about the war—are "Little Englanders," that we wish to restrict the power and the greatness of our country, and that we are prepared to give up in every direction British interests and the British Empire. I shall not condescend to answer any suggestions of that kind. I believe that all parties in the House really desire to maintain the greatness of this country, and that they all recognise that it is impossible to do that without also maintaining the dependencies, the colonies, and what is generally called the Empire attaching to this country. What we differ about are the means and methods. I believe the methods which have been adopted for some time are calculated to diminish the British Empire, to weaken it, and to expose it to great danger when the time of tria comes. That is all we differ about, and my purpose now in referring to this military increase is merely in a few words to point out what I believe to be the true reason that we have arrived at the financial situation in which we now find ourselves. The military increase has not been gradual or by slow steps. Within the last six years the military expenditure has gone up from £18,500,000 to £30,000,000. Not only so, but for the year or two following 1896 there was no appreciable increase at all; while in the year ending 31st March, 1900, if I remember rightly, the expenditure stood at £20,500,000, and now it is almost £30,000,000. The increased expenditure, therefore, has been almost entirely within the last three or four years, and mainly within the last two years. That is quite remarkable.

What are the reasons for the great increase during the last six years? The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that there were four or five Great Powers now, whereas there was only one before, from whom we need apprehend any danger. Is that new within the last six years? There has been no Great Power which has come into existence within that period. The United States has taken a more prominent position of late, but apart from that no Great Power has taken up such a formidable position as would require this enormous military expenditure, any more than it was required six years ago—or even ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in dealing with the reasons for this increased expenditure pointed to the extended frontier that we have to defend. He referred to India. Well, India is no new thing. The North-West frontier of India is no new thing; we have had to provide for that for many years. India is a country with an enormous population of her own, and I am satisfied, although we must not neglect reasonable precautions, that one of the best safeguards we can have for India is to govern the people justly and well, as I believe we are trying to do, thereby securing their contentment and allegiance. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to Canada. That also is a very old story. None of the recent increase of military expenditure can be attributed to Canada, and the right hon. Gentleman will not suggest such a thing. If—which God forbid—there should ever be a conflict between Canada and the United States, the 10,000 or 20,000 or more Regular troops which we have in that country would not make the smallest difference in the issue. That issue would depend upon very different considerations. But I trust we may practically exclude such a calamity from the range of possibility. The only other frontier to which the right hon. Gentleman adverted was that of Uganda. Uganda is inaccessible. I feel that I am treading on delicate ground in saying anything about Uganda, but I may say I have never been in the least friendly to the original occupation of that territory. But whether that be a correct view or not, it is very difficult to think that any great portion of the increased military expenditure now proposed is required on account of Uganda. It is not the old condition of things to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer referred. It is not the old conditions which caused this great increase in the expenditure, but it is the new state of things created within the last five or six years, and especially within the last two years. It is the new spirit that is abroad throughout this country, which was sedulously fostered and cultivated by a quarrelsome and aggressive disposition. It was this spirit which nearly led us into a war with Prance, and which has unhappily ended in the most serious war we have been embarked upon for the last hundred years. That I believe to be the case. I do not say that hon. Gentlemen opposite desire to quarrel, but they use language of a provocative character. They decline arbitration, for example, as they did with the United States over Venezuela, although I am bound to say that Lord Salisbury nobly redeemed his original mistake. The Government and Gentlemen opposite carry on a policy of a provocative character. [Ministerial cries of "No, no."] There is nothing unparliamentary or offensive in that expression, and I think hon. Gentlemen opposite will see that it is perfectly legitimate.


It is a provocative expression.


Then let me express my meaning by simply saying that there has been a difference in the manner in which we have conducted our foreign relations within the last four or five years, and it has not been a change in the direction of a conciliatory or propitiatory demeanour. Another reason for this great expenditure is this: When this war is ended, as I trust it soon may be, it is almost certain that a situation will have been created full of new danger and full of a new military danger. That is almost certain to be the case. It is also necessary for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide for that danger. I deplore as much as any man this expenditure, and regret more the causes which have led to this expenditure; and, unless there is a less aggressive attitude adopted towards other nations, I am afraid that this is not the last war you will enter upon, nor will this be the last increase in our military armaments for which we shall have to provide. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer was to analyse this question he would have to say that the spirit which has been created abroad in foreign countries is far less favourable to this country than it was, and they are more disposed to find fault and be embroiled with us. The right hon. Gentleman also contemplates a great increase of military expenditure arising after the settlement of the war. I regret this expenditure exceedingly. I cannot see why great additional armaments have become necessary by reason of this war. It is not the old conditions with which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to deal which are responsible for this increase of taxation and expenditure, but it is the new conditions, for which, I believe, the Government themselves are responsible; and this state of things will be still more aggravated unless the Government alter their methods and their tone.


I sat here listening to this debate during the greater part of last evening, and up to the present moment this evening every speech I heard from the other side has confirmed me in the opinion that was so adequately expressed by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Waterford, that this Amendment and the debate upon it is a farce and a sham. We have really had no criticism in this debate upon the Budget. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is introducing increased taxes and originating two new ones, and the right hon. Gentleman who initiated this discussion had nothing to say against the war, nothing to say against the expenditure for it, nothing whatever to say against the principle of borrowing for it, nothing to say against the income tax or the sugar duty, and very little against the coal duty. Practically every speech made last night, instead of dealing with the new taxation proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, went back to the old subject of grants in aid of local taxation, which, after all, is not the question we are discussing. This is a subject which the right hon. Gentlemen themselves had an opportunity of dealing with from 1892 to 1895, but they never touched it, and I venture to say that if they were in office to-morrow they would not touch it, because they would lose the support of all the agricultural Members who sit behind them if they did. I confess that I thought, however, that the hon. Member for Waterford was a little hard in other respects upon the right hon. Gentleman who introduced the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman, whether he differs from his party or not, is always honest, frank, and straightforward, and that was the essential character of his speech last night, and of that portion of the Amendment for which I take it he is responsible. But that cannot be said of the preamble to the Amendment. I cannot conceive why any such platitude as that which forms the first part of this Amendment was introduced at all. It is not necessary for the right hon. Gentleman to proclaim to the House and to the country that he is prepared in a certain way to defend the Empire. The preamble must have been introduced on behalf of another section of the party in search of a character, of a section of the party who no doubt would like to catch the patriotic breeze now blowing, and yet do not wish to be committed by anything it says. For such the word "adequate" has been introduced into this Amendment, and this "fly in the amber" betrays its origin. I venture to say it has been introduced by no less a Member than the Leader of the Opposition. It is just one of some half a dozen words, which mean nothing at all, that form part of the stock-in-trade of the embarrassed politician, and is valuable because it has no fixed meaning. The lady in the circus ambles round on her monotonous course until she finally lands in the arms of the clown, and the right hon. Gentleman, after riding opposite policies abreast, has fallen into the hands of the Daily News; but the Daily News is far from being in a comic mood, it is in a very serious mood indeed. That paper, recently re-edited and renovated to express the opinions of the united Liberal party, declared that this was not an honest Amendment, but that the honest party Amendment was represented by the notice given by the hon. Member for South Molton— That this House is of opinion that if the foreign policy of the country is conducted with skill and judgment our present large and increasing armaments are quite unnecessary and the taxation which they involve perfectly unjustifiabla I do not wish to intervene in these party squabbles, which apparently do not represent the feeling of the party opposite, although that is the feeling of the Daily News. Surely the country, upon an occasion like the present, has some right to have an expression of opinion from the other side upon a resolution of this kind. Upon a vote of want of confidence in the Government, surely the ordinary man and honest artisan has some right to have a full, straightforward, and candid expression of opinion on the question at issue from the Opposition. That is our defence, for we consider the condition of our Army and Navy are more important than any other subject.

But this is not all. The hon. Gentleman who spoke last dealt very largely with the question of the war, but that is not the question at issue to-day. The question of the policy of the war has been placed before the country, and the country has given a decided verdict upon the subject. What we have to discuss to-day is the question of the growth of our normal expenditure. That growth, no doubt, is very considerable, but would it decrease if the party opposite came into power? Is this a party ques- tion at all, or is it due to the sheer necessities of the nation? I hope that whatever we do in this discussion we shall stick to facts. Let us stick to the facts, and not go wandering into dreamland, where I think we have been wandering too long. What is the actual position of this country at the present moment? Great nations have not yet turned their swords into ploughshares. We are no longer the only workshop, the only warehouse, and the only transport managers in the world. The world shows no great desire to be our customers, and our best customers are our colonies. Unlike twenty years ago, we live to-day amid great nations armed to the teeth, and most of our trouble is in connection with trade markets—those very things upon which our national life depends. Trade is like Christianity itself. It may mean "not peace but the sword." When we are told that we are to trust to diplomacy, then I say that we may reasonably ask ourselves the question, Are we to depend for our safety in the future on the benevolence of foreign nations, just as Cobden depended on the goodwill of those nations for the universal establishment of free trade? We compete in peace, and, it may be, in war, with nations with a very large and wide population. Surely it is our duty for that purpose to make the best use of every unit in our population, and this we aim to do by means of national education and perfecting the defences of the country. A very large proportion of this expenditure has been spent on education. Does anyone grudge that expenditure? Is it not likely that it is an expenditure which has not reached its limit, and which must increase if we are to do justice to our policy? Could there be any objects for the nation of more pressing importance than education and self-defence? When we go to the country speaking of this enormous expenditure it would be well to add, for the benefit of the people to whom we speak, something with respect to the purposes to which it is devoted. What does self-defence mean now? The hon. Member for the Dumfries Burghs seemed to say that all our troubles were due to the provocative spirit of our diplomacy. Well, let us get away from theories of that kind, and look at what are the sober facts at the present moment. Even our territorial frontiers have increased. No doubt, as he said, they are the same as they were in India and Canada, but are they the same all over Africa? Are they the same in South Africa, in East Africa, and in Egypt? Even in West Africa twenty years ago very little consideration was given to our colonists there. Our interests in West Africa have very largely indeed developed, and so have our interests in other countries where we have colonies, and where we have land frontiers which we are bound to protect. But there is another consideration. It is not merely that we have larger frontiers, but there were times when we did not take the trouble to protect those frontiers as we should have done. The country has woke up to the necessity of self-defence. It realises that it cannot any longer go on in the happy-go-lucky system to which it trusted twenty years ago. It is a fact, therefore, that we have not only got larger frontiers to protect, but the country has determined, as it never did twenty or thirty years ago, that these frontiers shall be adequately protected. Should we grudge this money spent on self-defence—we who are still the most lightly taxed nation in the world? Though our expenditure has grown great as it is, it has grown to nothing like the same extent as that of foreign nations. Between 1826 and 1869 our taxation has increased only 20 per cent.; that of France has increased 78 per cent.; and that of Prussia 70 per cent. Even on the top of this enormous increase of expenditure France has increased its expenditure from £84,000,000 to £141,000,000 between 1870 and 1897. Germany has doubled its expenditure; and Austria has nearly doubled its expenditure. The expenditure of Russia has advanced from £74,000,000 to £150,000,000; and Italy has increased from £44,000,000 to £70,000,000. Our National Debt is only £15 18s. 7d. per head, while that of Italy is £16 17s., and that of France is no less than £28 2s.

The right hon. Gentleman introduced in his Amendment a phrase about which I hoped he would have something to say in his speech, and that was the phrase with regard to economy. I am one of those who have always advocated economy in this House, and I think that the worst things ever done, perhaps, for the real cause of economy were those violent retrenchments of expenditure which took place under Mr. Gladstone's Governments. I believe they have been utterly discredited. What I believe to be more true economy is looking that for every £1 and every £100 spent you have proper regard for efficiency. What the people of this country want at the present moment is a strong Army and Navy, and what they do insist upon is the getting of full value for their money. That is really the subject we have to face. We are told that even in our English methods of procedure in trade we are not so businesslike as we might be. We are reading constantly in the papers, in the reports of consuls, that English manufacturers fall behind their foreign competitors in their business methods. I am afraid that what is true of the private business of the nation may also, to a great extent, be true of the public service. Although I wish that the discussions on the Estimates in this House were more calculated to reduce our expenditure than they are, I am afraid, as a matter of fact, the interest this House takes in the Estimates when they are discussed it is not of such a nature as to bring about any great reduction. On the contrary, the discussions which take place, as a rule, are in the direction of increasing expenditure, and I am afraid even that guardian the Treasury, which is said to keep so close a watch on our expenditure, does not provide the adequate control it ought to do over that expenditure. The Treasury, under the present system, undoubtedly has the power to prevent any great increase of expenditure, but it has not the knowledge to go into all the details of every Department, and it has not the power if a Department is exceeding its own expenditure to cut that expenditure down. Therefore I believe if this expenditure goes on increasing as it has done we shall undoubtedly have to get a more effective control than at present over the details of that expenditure. But, after all, it is not only the expenditure of money; it is the way in which we use our men. I am bound to say that, however excellent as I believe the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War is, what pleased me more than all his scheme of reform were the words in which he spoke of administration, and stated that in the Army in future merit should have its place, and that backstairs influence should disappear. One misplaced man in high position may lead to an enormous waste of money, and I believe that my right hon. friend in inaugurating that reform in the Army is doing a great service. I take the question of contracts. Contracts for the public services should be dealt with on more businesslike principles. As an instance of what may be done I may mention the fact that when sitting in this House one day with the Paper in my hand on which the questions were printed, I found that the paper supplied to the Stationery Office was formerly made in the United States, and was decidedly inferior to what is now obtained. The change was brought about by an arrangement by which, instead of having the contracts fulfilled by wholesale stationers, they were thrown open to manufacturers only, and thus we got English paper and at the same time saved £60,000 a year by that transaction alone. I believe that principle could be applied to a great many of our Departments.

What, Sir, are the two great merits of the Finance Bill? In the first place that it recognises that taxation and representation should go together. The separation between the two has been too great and has lasted too long. Our system of taxation is a relic of the time when the working classes had not got votes, and it is a dangerous state of things when there are classes in this country who have an enormous voting power but who do not bear a corresponding burden in relation to the taxation of the country. While the Government are anxious to widen the basis of taxation, the party opposite, so far as I understand their principles, are anxious to make the basis even narrower than it is. Indirect taxation is levied upon very few articles at present, and when the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to increase the number of these articles by levying a tax upon sugar, the first opponent he met with was the Leader of the Opposition, who said, "That is contrary to our doctrine of a free breakfast table." But why a free breakfast table? Why not a free dinner table, and a free supper table? [Hear, hear.] Yes; but we know why a free breakfast table is to be preferred to a free dinner table or a free supper table. It is because the only person who would benefit by the free breakfast table is the teetotaller. I have never been able to see why teetotallers should be especially exempted from taxation. I believe the working classes are not quite in harmony with those who make these: attacks on indirect taxation—I believe they regard it rather as an insult. The working classes are perfectly willing to take their share in the taxation of the country. They are as proud of the Empire as the richest man is, and they have as large a share in the control of it as the richest man has. [Opposition cries of "Oh."] Oh! yes, they have. The man in the humblest cottage has as large a share in the control of the Empire as the man living in the most highlyrated mansion. Besides that, I venture to say that there are no men like the working man, or the manufacturer, if you like, and his employees, who have so much interest in taxation and are so interested in keeping the markets open to their trades—these markets being to them the very bread of life. We are told that hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to steady the policy of the Government, and are anxious that we should not engage in war except under the direst necessity. What would steady the policy of this country more, and make it more definite and unchanging, than the application of the principle which Mill applied to direct taxation in the old days, when direct taxation was borne by those who had the main influence in the country? He said, "You ought to levy direct taxation, because it makes; taxation odious, and therefore prevents any great increase in the taxation of the country." If we want to prevent the taxation of this country from growing, and to steady the policy of this country, we ought to impose taxation upon those who have a real voice in the Government; of the country, and that can be done by means of indirect taxation.

The main attack on the Finance Bill has been the attack which has been directed to the coal duty. My hon. friend behind me, the hon. Member for East St. Pancras, made a most interesting and to me a most informing speech, but in regard to this question of the coal duty we might very well be on our guard and see from whom the cry really comes. In the first place, we have had a great wail from the colliers, but the colliers are in a very peculiar position in regard to this industry, because they were within a very narrow margin of upsetting the whole trade and industry of this country by a strike, and I believe myself that a great deal of the opposition which came from the colliers was a political opposition.

MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham Mid)

Not in the least.


The hon. Gentleman says "Not in the least," but I venture to say that there are two reasons that fully justify me in taking that position. For instance, this tax will not affect the Midland colliers directly or indirectly, and yet they voted against it as vigorously as anybody.

MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

It will indirectly.


Indirectly, but not so much, at any rate, as to cause such immense emotion in the breasts of the Midland colliers. We have to recognise the fact that colliers as a rule belong to one political party. To a great extent Lancashire is an exception, but Lancashire is a wise county in many other respects. Other colliers, unfortunately, have lagged behind. They have not followed their colleagues under the banner of Unionism, but still lag behind under the banner of Little Englanders, of which hon. Gentlemen seem so very proud. That is very easily explained. Other industries have felt keenly the fight of competition. They have had to battle with foreign competition to an extent which the colliers never had. The colliers have had their home markets to depend upon, or their foreign markets, where their prices practically protected them against any competition whatever; and they are the only class of workmen in this country who have not felt the necessity for foreign markets, and have not supported vigorously the policy of a Government who said these markets are to be maintained.

MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)

Has the right hon. Gentleman forgotten the builders, and printers, and other domestic trades?


I come to the speech of my hon. friend, who laid great stress on the fact that Northumberland coal was cheap coal; but, after all, the cheapness of the coal is not the index to the profit made upon it. The profit depends not so much upon the price as upon the cost of getting the coal. I venture to say that the difference between the cost of getting Northumberland coal and the selling price of that coal is almost as considerable as it is in Wales. We know that in Wales the price of coal is largely governed by the cost of getting the coal, which is enormous, owing to the depth and the quality of the seams which are-worked. The hon. Gentleman also stated that nearly the whole of the Northumberland coal was exported abroad. That assumption is based on inaccurate figures. [Cries of "No."] He said 93 per cent.


In one colliery 93 per cent.


The figures are made up by taking into consideration nearly the whole of the coal that is shipped from the Tyne as if it were Northumberland coal. That is not the fact; a very large proportion of that coal came from Durham, and therefore ought not to enter into the calculation at all. There is another point. I read yesterday in The Times a very interesting letter from a gentleman who wrote from Bremen, and signed himself "Englander." It is so important and so interesting, and the facts he gives are so strong that I venture to put them to the House. He says— A day or two ago I had a conversation with a merchant here who imports about 800 tons of English coal every week. He informed me that he has no fear whatever of losing any trade by increasing his prices 1s., or even 2s., per ton, although during the panic caused by the first announcement of the impost some orders were given to the Westphalia collieries which would in the ordinary course have fallen to the importers of English coal. I then made some inquiries as to the comparative prices of English and German coal, and was much surprised to learn that, on an average for the whole year, English coal is considerably cheaper in the ports of Hamburg and Bremen than any other. The chief cause of this is the gross indifference to their own interests displayed by British exporters. They invariably base their prices for export on the prices current in England, which are almost always lower than here. My informant re-Sated several instances showing the folly of this system which have occurred in his own business; at one period recently the Westphalia Syndicate of Coalowners were demanding 200 marks where the British asked only 170 marks. He also told me with some amusement that the British coal-shippers relied solely on the German buyers for their information of the state of the markets in Germany, whereas the buyers here keep themselves cognisant of all movements of prices in England by subscribing to half a dozen English newspapers. The nature of the information supplied to the British seller by his German buyer may be readily guessed—the news of any slight fall is wired at once, and a discreet silence is maintained as to the rises. There is only one other point which I should like to touch upon in the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, and that is the question of the loan. Of course less loan means more taxation, and if the right hon. Gentleman wants more taxation it is incumbent upon him to say what kind of taxation it should be. He has not hesitated to give his opinion in regard to the loan. He says that the loan ought not to have been as large as it is. Surely, if he can give his, opinion as to the loan he ought to give us the benefit of his advice on what the taxation should be. Why should this generation bear the whole burden and brunt of this war in the next two or three years? We are at this moment paying the debt incurred for the wars of those who went before us. We are not only bearing our own sins, but specially the sins of those who went before us; we had to bear the cost of Majuba, and of the ignominious retreat then imposed upon us. That was proved by one of the letters, written by a Boer in England, which have appeared in The Times. [Nationalist cries of "P.S."]

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

He was not a Boer at all.


He was a Boer who, at any rate, knew what he was writing about, and he had the strongest anti-English sentiment.


It was not a Boer. It was one of the forgers in The Times office.


I do not know how the hon. Member knows that. If the hon. Member can tell me the writer's name I would be obliged.


Nobody knows his name. I judge from the past history of The Times office.


The letters betray the hand of a man who knew the whole history of the Boers, who expressed their opinion, and was entitled to be heard. What is his opinion on the subject of how this war was brought about? He says— All nations thought you English were dead; but, unfortunately for us, you were only dead drunk, drugged by the fatal folly of your disarmament craze and love of luxury, and the war has, as yet, only very partially aroused you. I cannot blind myself to the fact, however, that new life has been breathed into the dead bones in the valleys in Great Britain, and that your people are gaining strength and spirit every day, while our men are degenerating into murderous bandits and ruining our land, regardless of the fate of our women and children, who are now depending upon the generosity of the British for their food and clothing, and their very lives. That is the kind of thing for which we are paying now. It was the peace after Majuba Hill and our loss of prestige that has brought about this war.

MR. E. J. C. MORTON (Devonport)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that the present Colonial Secretary in this House defended with the greatest enthusiasm the making of peace after Majuba?


If the right hon. Gentleman did defend it, then he has paid dearly for it, and we are paying for it at the present moment. But, again, there is another difference between this war and the Crimean War. This war will bring us a permanent investment in South Africa. We shall have, at any rate, something tangible to produce as a result of this war, and there can be no doubt whatever that, although we may not get from the Transvaal so large a recovery as we once anticipated, we may confidently look forward to the fact that a large portion of this loan will ultimately be repaid by the Transvaal itself. But after all, what will we gain by this war? We will gain much more than the mere repayment of any part of the cost of the war; we will gain much more than the permanent investment of having added two colonies in South Africa to our Empire. We will gain the increase in the public spirit of this country which has been called forth by this war, and which will last for many and many a generation to come. The spirit of this country has been aroused, and not only that, but the spirit of our colonies also. The price paid for this war has produced a feeling of sympathy between the various branches of the English-speaking race that no other war or cause could have produced, and even if a portion of this loan does fall on future generations great results have been gained, and the loan itself would be a small price to pay for so great a blessing.

SIR JOSEPH PEASE (Durham, Barnard Castle)

I was one of those who listened yesterday with considerable interest to the speech delivered by the hon. Member for Exeter. He took a very different view of the position of things to that taken by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. The hon. Member, as a new Member, looking over our expenditure, was astounded at its magnitude, and he devoted the greater part of his speech to what he deemed might be the means of reducing our expenditure in future. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has made, to my mind, one of the most hopeless speeches I have heard from the other side during this debate. The right hon. Gentleman gloried in this expenditure, and looked in a very superficial way at its origin and at its effect. I have always thought that the origin of this war, the manner in which it has been conducted, and the effect it will have in the future are questions which ought to come into a debate of their own, and which are hardly apposite or proper to be raised in the debate on the motion of my right hon. friend the Member for East Wolverhampton. What I desire to do is to take that portion of my right hon. friend's motion which refers to the manner in which the Government propose to deal with one specific trade. The hon. Member for East St. Pancras has already made a very practical and excellent speech on this subject, but what I want to do is not to take up the question of the coal-owners, but to show how unfair the incidence of this tax is, and how little the Chancellor of the Exchequer-will get from the coal tax as compared with the damage he will do to the general trade of the country and to the various, industries which are directly and indirectly connected with the coal trade.

This is not a new subject. In 1848 I was partly in command of collieries, and in 1873 I had the honour of sitting on a Committee on this subject after a large boom in the coal trade—a larger boom than that recently experienced. Out of the seventeen members of that Committee only three are now left—my right hon. friend the Member for the Ripon Division of Yorkshire, the Earl of Ravensworth, and myself. We sat, I believe, for three months, and went very carefully into many of the questions raised during the last few weeks and came, I believe unanimously, to the conclusion that it would be injurious to the best interests of this country as a trading country to tax the export of coal. It is rather curious to see the evidence that was given before the Committee. My late friend who for so many years sat in this House; Sir George Elliott, a man of great natural ability, and a large coal-owner of what might perhaps be called the speculative type, in Durham and Wales, declared that the average profit he had made had not exceeded 8d. per ton. I was a witness, and I took very much the same view as the hon. Member for East St. Pancras does now. I said I did not think from my experience of the coal trade that it had ever made more than 5 per cent. over an average of years, and I was speaking at a time when a greater boom than the late boom had just passed. I also stated, and it is my opinion still, that as a rule, coal-owners did not get in the long run as much profit as they paid the landlords in the shape of rent. This evidence agreed with the figures given to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by the chairman of the Northumberland Coal Trade Association, Mr. Eamb, who said that after carefully going through the figures of the coal' trade in Northumberland he found the average profit was from 7d. to 9d. per ton. Another commission which sat a few years previously to 1873 stated rather-curiously that the discovery off coal in China, Japan, India, Australia, and America would gradually have the effect of limiting the distance to which the export of English coal could attain. There can be no manner of doubt that at this moment the large quantity of coal produced in Germany and Belgium does materially place a limit to the extent to which our coal can leave our shores. In "Tooke on Prices" it is stated that a deficit of one-tenth raises the common market three-tenths and that a deficit of two-tenths raises the common market eight-tenths. The markets to which we send our coal are comparatively few. Out of the 44,000,000 tons of coal exported in 1900 Cardiff and Wales sent 18,000,000, the Newcastle district 13,000,000, the Hull and Yorkshire district 4,000,000, and Scotland about 6,000,000. Therefore, this tax, which is not a war tax, but a tax which is to last, falls upon the industry of those comparatively few districts which happen to have steam and export coal of various descriptions in them. The Baltic, including Russia, took 18,000,000 tons of our coal, and France and European ports 21,000,000 tons. One point has not been mentioned in this House, and that is the large amount of bunker coal which is worked in order to get 44,000,000 tons exported. The bunker coal amounts to about 12,000,000 tons per annum, and therefore 56,000,000 tons, or a fourth of the whole quantity of coal raised in the United Kingdom, is concerned in this question. The disturbance in such a quantity must cause a very great disturbance in the trade of the country.

Now, my hon. friend the Member for East St. Pancras called attention to the different ratios in which the different parts of England will be affected by the manner in which this tax is to be put on. Northumberland and Durham raise 46,000,000 tons of coal. Thirty-one per cent. of that is exported, but Northumberland when taken alone exports eighty per cent. of its output. That shows how unfairly this tax will fall on different districts. The district I am personally interested in is not what is generally known as a coal-exporting district; it is a coking district. Therefore this permanent rise would be paid by north of England to the extent of £678,000, and by Wales and Cardiff £922,000. So that two comparatively small sections of the country will have to bear the burden of this proposed tax. We have not heard yet what are to be the allowances during the current year on the coal under contract. The best figures I can find show that the right hon. Gentleman will lose a quarter of this revenue for the current year, and that all this disturbance will be caused to the trade for £1,500,000, paid to the Exchequer. The Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot expect that so large an amount of coal will be exported with this duty of 1s. per ton as when there was no duty. The right hon. Gentleman will lose, as I have said, probably a quarter of a million, or £500,000 below his calculation of revenue; but if he is going to lose one-fourth of the export coal trade of this country, what is he going to lose by the disturbance to other trades? I think he will lose £500,000 in value of exported coal. He will lose for the workmen £2,500,000 in wages, He will lose for the landlord about £250,000, to whom he looked for income tax; he will lose to the farmers, from whom we buy our horse corn, £47,000; but, worse than all, he will send 33,000 men out of employment, unless other work is found for them, and they will go back upon the labour market, reducing wages, and that will reduce the men's power to purchase farm produce which they are now able to do. It has been said that the foreigners are going to pay this tax, but you cannot get it out of them. The Times newspaper has over and over again declared that it is going to be paid by the rich coal owner. But I say that the coal owner will not pay it. You may get it out of the Durham men, or the Yorkshire men, but not out of the Scotchmen. It is not a usual charge against the coalowner that he sells abroad at 1s. per ton less than the market price of the day. This tax will also affect the shipping interest, because coal forms a great proportion of the out cargoes, and the ships bring back raw material for English manufacture. There is the "long trade" from Hull and the "short trade" to Dutch and Belgian ports.

And here we come into direct competition for French and German coal. If the export of coal is stopped the shipper cannot afford to take anything he can get for other goods, the earnings of each voyage must be taken as a whole. His voyages will cease to be profitable when coal no longer forms part of his cargo, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer reduces to any extent the seagoing trade, he will be doing an irreparable damage to the whole of the country. All these industries are going to be damaged—I will not say ruined—but certainly the process of the right hon. Gentleman is essentially to damage all these industries. And all this is to be done for the sake of a revenue of about £1,500,000. Lord Londonderry is interested in a company at Seaham which is spending £600,000, in new docks. The North Eastern Railway is spending £250,000 on a new east coast line. They are also spending many thousands of pounds in shipping facilities at Newcastle, Middlesborough, and Hartlepool, and there are now three large companies sinking shafts along the East Coast, and these have enormous fields of coal going underneath the German Ocean. It is said, "Oh, that is railway property!" But what is railway property, and who are railway investors? Railway investors are principally not the rich, but the middle class men; they are the little investors. I have periodically taken out of the North Eastern shareholders' register the average holdings. Of course, there are large investors, such as bankers, financiers, and so forth, but the average of our ordinary holding, including these, is under £900 per head. That shows that you cannot trifle with this industry without probably depriving these people of some of their hard-earned savings. With regard to the question of exhaustion, first of all I would say that you cannot have your cake and eat it. If you want the tax you must work the coal. Either you must carry on the coal trade or you must hold specifically and practically the doctrine of exhaustion. Are you going to provide for that? That surely means the buying up by the State of the unexhausted royalties in order to hold them as a savings bank for the future. You cannot do that when you are borrowing money or when one only of your wars is costing you £200,000,000. You might do it otherwise, but it is a doctrine which the Committee of which I have spoken put on one side. The old principle is that 1s. a ton to-day would be worth 2s. per ton fourteen years hence. You will have to work your coal when you can get it. There is one point more that I should like to mention, and that is the relative position of our exports and imports. If we knock on the head this most important exporting trade, which takes out our goods, or do anything to damage it, we do something to increase the discrepancy which exists between our imports and exports—a discrepancy which is at present larger than ever before.

I do not wish to detain the House, and would therefore sum up my remarks. Your mining interest will be damaged by decreasing the output and adding to the cost of production. The question of the cost of production was very well treated by the hon. Member for East St. Pancras. It is a fact that, if you take from any of these pits 10 per cent. or anything like that amount of their productive working, and so stop this particular market, you damage the other portion of the produce, to the infinite disadvantage both of the owner and of the men he employs. You damage the working classes, and when you do that you deprive the farmer of his best market, because the working classes are his best customers. You damage your manufacturers by adding to their expenses in obtaining raw material and in the cost of reaching foreign markets. I can only repeat that the damage you cause must in my opinion far exceed any present gain by the tax you propose. I thank the House for having listened to me so patiently.

MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

If I may be permitted to intervene for a few moments in this debate, I hope there will be nothing in what I have to say to cause my inclusion in the list of long-winded sinners who were the object of so much complaint a few nights ago. I understood the hon. Baronet opposite to say that coalowners during recent years had not received as much out of their properties as the landowners of this country.


I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. As much as their landlords have received.


Oh, the royalty owners?


Yes, the royalty owners.


I beg the hon. Baronet's pardon, because if that had been so I should have commiserated with him in the extreme. He appeared to attach great importance to extremely cheap wheat. Wheat for many years had been extremely cheap, with the result that the growth of wheat in this country had diminished by a great deal more than one half. I do not know whether, in the interests of the manufacturers, the working classes, and nearly all other classes of the population, the hon. Baronet thinks that coal should be equally cheap, and whether he would view with the same satisfaction a great reduction in the production of coal in this country as he seemed to view the enormous reduction in the growth of wheat.

Sir, I have no intention whatever of travelling over the general grounds of the proposals contained in the Budget, but, following the example of the hon. Gentleman who resumed this debate, I desire to limit my observations to the export duty on coal. I was extremely glad to hear from my right hon. friend the Minister for Agriculture that he had listened to a very instructive and informing speech from my hon. friend, but if I am to be perfectly frank, I confess I was unable to perceive that he had profited very much by that instruction. However that may be, I desire to devote my attention entirely to that branch of the question to which I have referred, and as far as I can to reinforce the views which have been urged by the hon. Member. We have been told from the first that this proposal to place an export duty on coal was based on the belief that the tax would be paid by the foreign consumer. I am not quite sure that the Government are now quite as confident in that belief as they were at one time; their later statements are to the effect that the tax, or a part of it, will be paid by the foreigner, which is a very different thing. I do not know that I should be prepared to go quite as far as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton went yesterday, when, as I understood him, he said that no export duty ought to be placed on any article other than an article which was in the nature of a monopoly. But I am quite prepared to make this admission, that where it can be shown that in any particular class of coal that we export from Great Britain we have a monopoly, and that the foreigner cannot do without it. There, no doubt, you can, and you will, give effect to the belief and intention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the foreigner will be made to pay the duty. But your ability to impose that burden upon the foreigner will be limited strictly to that particular description of coal. What proportion of the total amount exported from this country does that kind of coal represent? The total amount exported is 42,000,000, and of that, in 1900, 18,500,000 tons were supplied by South Wales. There is, therefore, a large amount beyond the Welsh coal to be reckoned with. With regard to the best coal, I admit there is very little doubt that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is right, and that the foreigner will have to pay. But as to the rest of the coal which is exported, unless we are absolutely misled by the statements of hon. Gentlemen interested in that industry, I cannot help thinking it may be a very different story. Where does this other coal come from? In 1900, from Durham and Northumberland alone 14,000,000 tons were exported, or one-third of the total amount. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Agriculture said he knew a great deal about the way in which these figures were prepared, and that a large quantity of the coal attributed to Northumberland in reality went from Durham. But the figures with which I have been favoured are very explicit. They give the total export from Durham as 5,600,000 tons, and the total export from Northumber- land as 8,300,000 tons. I think my right hon. friend should have produced greater proof of the knowledge he professes before he could expect those who have given some attention to this subject and been supplied with figures of a positive character to credit the mixing of the amounts in the manner he has described.

If I might be permitted for a few moments to examine the position of Northumberland, I think I shall be able to show the House very clearly that it is not nonsense altogether on the part of the coal industry in that district to object to this tax, and that there is some real and genuine cause for apprehension on their part as to what the effect of this tax may be with regard to the export of coal in their district. The case they submit to Parliament is this. In 1900 in Northumberland they produced 11,500,000 tons of coal, and of that they exported 8,500,000 tons; in other words, 80 per cent. of the whole production in that county. But there is this to be observed about Northumberland, that not only is there little or no demand at all for local consumption, but the situation of the coalfield is such that it is impossible for them to dispose of the great bulk of their coal unless they dispose of it by export, and for this reason the adjacent markets are already occupied. The market to the north is supplied by Scotland; that to the west is supplied by Cumberland; and that to the south is supplied from Durham and Yorkshire. Consequently, the whole mining industry in Northumberland has been developed and the capital sunk with a view of extending the great export trade. And if by any unfortunate accident that trade should fail them, so far as I have been able to learn I should not envy the prospect of the industry or the enormous population which is dependent upon it in that part of the world. The right hon. Gentleman met these objections by saying, in the first place, that the amount of coal required abroad was so enormous that it never could be met without what we sent them at present. In a moment or two I will compare the relative amounts supplied by Northumberland and Durham and foreign countries for export, and I think my right hon. friend himself will see that this reply upon that point was hardly sufficient. Then he said that the reason why there is no demand at present in the adjacent counties is this, it is because the freights into Yorkshire are more, than the freights to the ports abroad where they have been in the habit of sending their coal. That, no doubt, is perfectly true, and it is one of the reasons which adds to their apprehensions. Go to the railways, says the right hon. Gentleman, make better terms with them; and what will they get if they do? It is not like railways abroad. In Germany they are always ready to give preferential rates either to coal or agricultural produce—or, indeed, to any produce which enters into competition with us; but nobody knows better than the Chancellor of the Exchequer that whether it is for coal or agricultural produce, or whatever it is, railway rates are always the subject of constant complaints in this country.


They do give preferential rates.


I am not sure about that, and that is not the reason which prevents Northumberland supplying the home markets at present. The home markets are occupied already, but if it were possible to make a change in the source of supply the only result would be to hamper industries in other parts of the country and to throw people out of employ, if not in Northumberland in other districts. Then it is said why do you not export Northumberland coal to some of the southern parts of this country, where coal is exceedingly dear at present, and where it is greatly needed. The answer to that is that what is wanted in these southern parts is house coal; and the great bulk of Northumberland coal is sea-coal, and not suited for the purpose. Under all these circumstances, we cannot be surprised that it has become with them a question of vital importance in that part of England whether their trade in coal will be able to hold its own under the new conditions in future. What are the facts for our guidance and information upon this point? Northumberland has to compete with Germany, Belgium, and with France, who export coal like ourselves. It is a fact that these three countries alone in 1898 exported no less than 23,000,000 tons of coal in direct competition with British coal.


No, no.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer will not deny, I think, that Germany alone exported 14,000,000 tons of coal—as much as Durham and Northumberland combined. Moreover, it is stated on the highest authority that the German coal is nearly equal in quality to the north-country coal, and it is positively asserted that 2d. or 3d., or at the outside 4d., per ton would turn the scale in favour of the Germans. This fact is confirmed, to a certain extent, by the fact that large contracts have already been recently lost to the north of England, and given to Germany instead of to England. These statements may be exaggerated, for what I know, but the information is given to me as absolutely reliable; and, if they be anything approaching the truth, how is it possible in the future that we can continue to compete successfully with an additional weight of a shilling per ton?

I have listened with great attention to the replies which have been given upon this subject, and I am bound to say that it seems to me, so far, that the right hon. Gentleman has failed to meet these various objections. There is another point on which I certainly did expect to hear something from the right hon. Gentleman, and it is this. That while the coal exported from this country is all of different classes and qualities, they are all taxed at precisely the same rate. This has been repeatedly urged, and the justice and force of this argument cannot, I think, be denied. I joined myself in this appeal when I had the privilege of saying a few words on this subject a few nights ago, but as the right hon. Gentleman has apparently either forgotten or ignored the question altogether in his speech last night, perhaps I may be permitted to repeat in a very few words the statements which have been made upon this point. The prices of the best Welsh coal are said to be from 16s. to 20s. a ton, those of the north-country coal from 10s. to 12s., and there is another class of coal not worth more than 8s. per ton. The result is that the tax on the worst class of coal is rather more than two and a half times as much as on the best; and with regard to this there is a general agreement that even with the extra shilling a ton the best coal could always hold its own. Even the exporters are willing to admit that. As or the others, they are placed in this extraordinary position. The worst coal or which they declare that the market is imperilled abroad, if it is not already destroyed, has to pay two and a half times as much as the best coal, which can command a market whenever and wherever it pleases. Surely that is a manifest anomaly and injustice, which could not have been contemplated when this proposal was made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am not attributing in any way blame to the right hon. Gentleman. I can quite understand, and it must be perfectly obvious, that it was impossible for him to get the information required on all these points before his proposals had been declared without the secrets of his Budget escaping. The existing contracts of which we have heard so much in the course of this debate was a case in point, and I suspect that this question of the different classes of coal all being taxed at the same rate is another. But that is no reason why an injustice should be allowed to continue after the facts are made known.

There is another point upon which I should also like to say a word, and it is on the possible effect of the proposals on the wages of the miners in Northumberland. There and in Durham wages are assessed and adjusted according to the price of coal at the pit's mouth, and if by any misfortune the Chancellor of the Exchequer should turn out to be wrong, and the price of coal at the pit's mouth in Northumberland should be less than it has been, then the miners' wages would fall in proportion. I confess this adds to the misgiving with which I regard this part of my friend's proposals in their present form. Suppose experience should prove that a mistake had been made, that the duty imposed on this inferior coal could not be and has not been paid by the foreigner, that the industry of the North of England has, in consequence, been seriously damaged, if not destroyed, that a number of pits have been closed, and a great number of workmen have been thrown out of employment—what would be the position of a Government who had made such a mistake when that mistake was discovered? Rightly and properly they would be condemned, and when Parliament met under ordinary circumstances it would be strange if they were not turned out and another Government put into their place. The tax would of course be repealed, and we on this side of the House have had very good warning from hon. Gentlemen opposite as to where the substitute will be found. They have told us very distinctly they would begin by doubling the rates on agricultural land, and in some way or other would endeavour to put the whole burden on that kind of property. I am perfectly frank and open upon this subject. It adds to my desire that no mistake should be made on this occasion, and I should say to my brother agriculculturists that we ought to be warned in time. That is one of the reasons, but not the only reason, why I urge these views on the House of Commons this afternoon. So far as I am able to judge, the tax seems to me to be an unfair and unjust tax so far as it relates to the inferior coal which is exported from this country. There is no doubt that it has already created a great disturbance in that industry, and in all probability it will create more, and although on general grounds, and with this exception, I approve and support the proposals of the Budget of my right hon. friend, I most earnestly hope that he will take into consideration the representations that have been made with regard to the effect of this tax on the inferior kinds of coal exported from Great Britain, and that, when we come into Committee he will either propose or agree to amendments in the direction that is desired.

MR. ALFRED THOMAS (Glamorganshire, E.)

I desire to support the Amendment of my right hon. friend the Member for East Wolverhampton. In common with all who view the ever-growing and present abnormal growth in the expenditure of the Government, I expected that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would propose additional taxation. But I was not prepared to find that the Chancellor would be so hard driven as to be compelled to make proposals so reactionary and mischievous in character as he has done. Hitherto we had regarded him as an orthodox free trader, and, so he tells us, he still regards himself. But in his present Budget he advocates the imposition of a tax of a character that has been abandoned for over half a century, and few, if any, ever expected to see it re-enacted in this country. Indeed, so far has the right hon. Gentleman backslidden that he has made a proposal, namely, that of the tax on coal, that would be repudiated by even the most advanced protectionist. The example of the United States is often dangled before us as one worthy to be followed, and as being that of advanced protectionists. Yet even in the United States they would not impose such a tax as that proposed by the Chancellor. The first article in the Constitution expressly prohibits the levying of duty on exports. Yet in order to obtain a comparatively small amount, small when contrasted with the enormous sum now necessary in order to meet present expenditure, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taxed one of the first necessaries of life, and an article upon which our supremacy as a mercantile power is altogether dependent; for I have no hesitation in asserting that our importance as a Power is just in ratio to that of the position of our mercantile marine. We have heard much of the desirability of keeping up a strong Navy. I quite agree with that proposition, as long as we have a strong mercantile marine, but no longer. Among the many salutary lessons taught us by what I should have liked to describe as the late war, is that of the extreme difficulty of successfully invading a country. That ought to have one good effect; it ought to convince those cowardly people who, in combination with some City financiers, get up these periodical scares, and who prevail with whatever Government may be in office in rushing into reckless and useless expenditure. We may hope that much may be learnt from the costly war in which we have been so long engaged, and which, if rumour be correct, will last to the day of judgment if some people are to be the arbitrators of the terms of settlement. We believe that the chief duty of the Navy is to protect our trade and commerce, but with a few more such Budgets as the present one, we will have no trade and commerce to protect.

Sir, for what has the Chancellor of the Exchequer taxed the food of the people and disorganised and dislocated our foreign trade? In order to raise a sum that would be covered by threepence in the pound of income tax. Now, why does the Chancellor of the Exchequer make so little use of this convenient tax? In this the right hon. Gentleman had an instrument ready to his hand, for this tax has been rightly called a war tax or an emergency tax. It has very many qualifications superior to any other. To begin with the limitations put upon such an impost—no one can be so taxed as to reduce him to the position of being unable to provide the necessaries, at least, if not some of the luxuries, of life. How different is the case of the poor widow striving to bring up a young family without having recourse to parish relief, when she finds that she has to pay duty on so necessary an article of diet as sugar. Again, if the income tax be 6d. in the £, or, as I maintain it ought to be, under present circumstances, 1s. 6d., it would not require an additional employee to collect the extra taxation. But I would like to know how many more employees will be required by the complicated system just introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer? A little army of non-producers must be saddled upon the over-burdened taxpayers of this country, and as far as the coal tax is concerned, in order to bring in a sum that would be covered by 1d. in the £ of income tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer when proposing the tax upon coal spoke of the large profits made by colliery proprietors during the last eighteen months or two years. He very carefully abstained from referring to the lean years. The Chancellor of the Exchequer succeeded in obtaining a large number of statistics to prove the money gained—he did not take any trouble, as far as we know, to ascertain the money lost in other years; and it was very flattering to those of us who represent the constituencies in which the best Welsh steam coal is obtained (which by the way is only four constituencies) to know that the coal is of such a superior quality. But superior as it is, it is not essential, though undoubtedly the best steam coal in the world. The area of the South Wales coal-field is about one thousand square miles, but the area in which the coal that has given the name of South Wales so much prominence is only one hundred and twenty square miles, just one-eighth of the total area. And even the best coal in ordinary times is not so much sought after as appears to be the view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In fixing the selling price he seems to be under the impression that it is only a question of the amount demanded and the purchaser would have no other choice than to comply.

But the President of the Board of Trade the other evening rightly expressed the proper view when he said it was largely a question of freights; and, that being so, the addition of 1s. per ton in the shape of a tax will mean that much less freight will be available to compete in foreign markets. In fact the tax is just 1s. in favour of the foreign shipowner and the handicapping of our own. The tax will just reduce our markets as represented by the distance that the freight of 1s. per ton would carry a cargo of coal. Now we complain that a section of a trade should be penalised by this tax. We may say that mine-owners and their workmen and the shipowners are chief sufferers by this tax. Some of us know the risks the mine-owners have to endure in order to win the coal. We also know that the miner risks his life in order to raise it from the dark caverns in which it is found. But what do the royalty owners risk in the matter? Not a farthing. Has not the Chancellor of the Exchequer heard of the proposals to nationalise royalties? Well, this measure will be an inducement for those who hold such views to persevere in their agitation. I maintain that such a proposal is not more unreasonable than the one to put a tax of 1s. per ton upon exported coal. Hitherto it has been said that Wales has not suffered so much from agricultural depression as some other portions of the United Kingdom. That is to be attributed to the fact that in Glamorgan and Monmouth there have been so many flourishing industries in which many thousands have been employed, and which furnished so good a market for food supplies. Many of the workers keep up their connection with their old homes, and large sums of money find their way to the rural districts. Anything that will hurt the great industries of South Wales will react upon the whole of the Principality. Indeed, some seven hundred thousand people in Glamorgan and Monmouth depend entirely upon coal exporting industries. So strongly do the miners of South Wales feel the imposition that I myself have received eighty resolutions, representing one hundred and twenty thousand miners, in which they bitterly complain of the injustice of being singled out to bear this additional burden. They realise that they have to bear a double burden. First, a tax on their wages and on the increased cost of sea-borne food. Whatever may be our opinion about the present war, we must have felt proud of the manner in which our men rallied to the colours when called upon at the commencement of hostilities. I certainly felt very proud of my native county, which in every way sent out some four thousand men to the front, and most of them were miners, whose fellow workmen subscribed to keep the wives and families of those who are fighting for their country. And how does the Government recognise the gallantry of those brave men? By taxing their one great industry. It is for us who have some regard to the principles under which our country rose to what we are now afraid is its greatest height; we must at least offer our strongest opposition to a measure that seeks to wreck and destroy the splendid services of Peel and Cobden, Bright and Gladstone, and reject the most reactionary and mischievous Budget of modern times. I trust that the Government will do something to bring about a reconciliation and pacification of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony. It is the City financiers who get up these political and war scares. They do not realise how difficult it is to conquer a free people. One of the grandest things connected with the late war was to see the sons of the Empire rallying round the grand old flag. I trust the same policy will be pursued as in Canada during the rebellion there, when Lord Durham went out and brought peace in a very short time, and as was followed in Australia after the Lawlor insurrection, when self-government was given to Victoria. I would never be a party to a settlement which did not secure the supremacy of Great Britain in South Africa. There is no mistake about that, but granting that, there should be nothing short of self-government to the new colonies.

COLONEL MILWARD (Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon)

In the last two speeches we have seen the difficulties of debating a specific subject on a general Amendment. Here and there we have a speech interjected on one specific subject, such as the coal tax, in the midst of a general debate. I have an Amendment on the Paper to discuss another specific subject, viz., the question of the sugar tax as it will affect our colonies; but I have thought it better not to persevere with it. This is a subject in which I myself have taken a very great interest for the last five years; one where a great deal of injustice has been done to our colonial possessions; and which involves a large amount of capital invested, not only in the West Indies but in Australia and Natal. It seems to me that it would be scarcely respectful to these colonies to discuss this question unless we could do so in a serious way. The colonies will naturally be looking to the English papers to see what has taken place, and they would be disappointed if they saw that, instead of giving an evening to it, we had simply interjected a speech here and there on this important subject, on a general motion regarding the finance of the country. Therefore I come at once to the Amendment which has been raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton. I should like, however, to say that perhaps the most striking speech delivered yesterday or to-day was that of the hon. Member for Waterford. It was painful and interesting. Painful because it was a studied attack on the right hon. Member for East Wolverhampton, who has many admirers on both sides of the House; and interesting, because the hon. Member said that the whole of the sympathies of the Irish Members were given to the Boers in the present war. I take that to be a proof that the question of Home Rule is absolutely dead as a question of practical politics. The hon. Member would not have made that statement otherwise; but from it we are taught what to expect should Home Rule ever be granted to Ireland.

The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition spoke very much more strongly at Bradford the other day than the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton yesterday, and described the financial outlook as appalling. I cannot see that it is in the least appalling. I see that the country is enormously rich, that it is spending its money very freely, and is apparently well able to pay for all its wants. True, there is great need for economy, but I can see nothing in the financial outlook which can be properly described as appalling. I wish to say, in passing, that it is curious in dealing with figures to observe what different aspects can be placed upon those figures. For instance, they told quite a different story to the right hon. the Memberfor East Wolverhampton and the hon. Member for East Edinburgh. Taking the last year of Lord Rosebery's administration, and comparing it with this year, I find that the national income in 1895–6 amounted to £90,192,000, while the income this year is estimated at £143,255,000—or an increase of £47,000,000, although no one can say, inside or outside the House, that the burden of taxation is by any means particularly heavy. Certainty it is not appalling. Out of that increase of £47,000,000, the increase of national taxation accounts for £22,067,000, and the normal increase of the income of the country has been no less than £24,996,000; that is to say, putting the new taxes out of account altogether, the actual increase of income has amounted to £25,000,000. Of course the expenditure has largely increased. We have heard that the expenditure on the Navy and Army has increased by no less than £24,000,000, but in connection with that increase there was an interesting statement by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition at Bradford. He stated that during the years 1890–5 the navies of France, Germany, Russia, and the United States had increased at the rate of 6 per cent., whereas in the years 1895–1901 they had increased at the rate of 50 per cent. The right hon. Gentleman, of course, could not say that that was due to their own necessities, but this was certain, that it would be impossible for this country to sit down to a position of that kind. If foreign nations increase their navies it is necessary that we should increase not only our Navy, but our Army too. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton says that the Navy is our first line of defence, our second line of defence, and our third line of defence. That is perfectly true, but after that comes the Army. We have seen many strange things in connection with the present war. We saw, to our utter surprise, Natal invaded by an enemy; we saw Kimberley and Mafeking shut up for weeks by great bodies of Boers. But if this surprise took place when we were fighting a small country in South Africa, what might not the surprise be in connection with large Continental countries, which were increasing their armies and their navies at the rate mentioned? I should like to point out that the measure of reform for our Army passed last week is a measure of decentralisation, and will not necessarily increase the cost of the Army. There is no doubt that a great deal of the expense of the Army has arisen from the overgrown nature of the establishment. I thoroughly believe that when we have not one army, but six, when we have generals at the head of these six army corps capable of supervising closely the expenditure, we will find a very large economy in the administration of the Army. I should like to mention one concrete case, which illustrates the necessity for reform. After the attack on Spion Kop, the chief of the staff telegraphed down to Natal asking for volunteer officers from the volunteer regiments in Natal to go to the front. Twenty seven of these young fellows, from twenty five to thirty years of age, many of them engaged in business, volunteered. They all knew the country, and many of them knew the Boer and the Kaffir languages, but, to their utter surprise, eighteen out of the twenty seven were ordered by the War Office to join batteries either in England or India! I think that shows how the War Office is conducted. The total excess over ordinary expenditure at the present time is three millions. The right hon. Gentleman put it at five millions.

SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

The Returns circulated this morning show that the actual sum is £9,300,000.


It is very curious when we are dealing in figures that we can often find different figures which express very much the same idea. Last year we added by new taxation £11,067,000, and this year £11,000,000, making together £22,067,000. I fully and frankly admit that our normal expenditure is increasing, and that as regards defence it has been forced on us. But if we are forced to this additional expenditure we will not shrink from it, and we are as well able to bear it as other nations. My right hon. friend the Member for Preston referred to the great increase in expenditure in France, Italy, Germany, and Russia, but if we look at the continually increasing wealth of this country there is no doubt whatever that we will not be the first to give in if it is a matter even of increasing our armaments. No one doubts the vast increase in the prosperity and well-being of the working classes. We see it on all sides, especially on Saturdays and Sundays. We see that pleasures which formerly were outside the purview of their lives now enter very largely into them. Another class which have also advanced in wealth and prosperity are the income-tax payers. In the last year of the late Administration the income tax at 8d. in the £ produced £15,600,000, and last year at 1s. in the £ it produced £26,920,000. It is very easy to find from these figures what was the income of income-tax payers in these two years. In 1894–5 the incomes on which the tax was levied amounted to £468,000,000, whereas last year they amounted to £538,000,000. Such a story in finance was never told in any country before, as that the incomes of one class of the community should in six years have increased from £468,000,000 to £538,000,000. And it must be remembered that in that class there are no doubt many men—landowners, agriculturists, and perhaps clergymen—whose incomes have not increased at all. Look at it from another point of view. Deducting the amount of the tax, there remained to that class £452,000,000 in the first mentioned year, and £511,000,000 last year. I am not here to defend the income tax. I believe that in many cases it is a very hard tax, and presses unduly on certain classes such as landowners, agriculturists, widows, clergymen, and people on settled incomes. I made a suggestion once or twice to the Chancellor of the Exchequer which I venture to renew now. It is, whether it would not be possible to collect a part of the income tax half-yearly in advance. I believe that there are a great many people who would rather pay a part of their income tax in advance in August or September than have to pay it all at the beginning of the year. A man with an income of £700 has at the shilling rate to pay £35 at the beginning of the year, when he has to pay rent, rates, and doctors' and other bills, which come in at that time. I believe if some inducement were offered many people would pay part of the tax in advance, and the Treasury would have five or six millions in the autumn and a great deal of satisfaction would be afforded to the persons concerned. In conclusion I would say that if this Amendment is pressed to a division, it can only be regarded as a want of confidence vote in the Government. No Government could possibly stand after being defeated on an important Amendment to the Finance Bill. I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman opposite—I have the greatest respect for him—that it would be very desirable if we could discuss questions connected with the finances of the country without introducing party questions; but it is exceedingly difficult to do so. It is unfortunate that on a question of duties of this kind one must vote on party lines. Members must vote aye or nay, as it is a vote of want of confidence in the Government, and will be so regarded by the House and the country.


I think it will probably be for the convenience of hon. Members if we take the division to-day, leaving the general question to be discussed further on the day on which this Bill will again be put down for discussion. I have seen a crowd of Members on either side rise on every occasion, and I can only address this word of consolation to them—I have no doubt that, either on that further occasion or on the details of the Bill, they will have ample opportunity of enlightening the House with their opinions. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that this was in reality a war Budget. He said:—"What is the main feature of this Budget? It is the war expenditure." In a sense that is perfectly true. No doubt the huge sums which have been dealt with last year and this year directly arise from the war. The war, past, present, and future—the War in its inception, its conduct, and its probable end, comes within the limits of this discussion; and you, Sir, have shown that that is so by the great latitude you have allowed in the course of the debate. But I doubt whether it would be either usual or convenient to use this occasion for the purpose of discussing the policy or the conduct of the war. The House has had repeated occasions of discussing the subject, and will have others, no doubt. We must have opportunities within a very few weeks of discussing our present position in relation to the war in South Africa. I cannot help thinking we should not be doing justice to the growing feeling of weariness on the part of the country if we did not. The country is desirous, no doubt, of securing benefit to ourselves and to our Empire from all the sacrifices that have been made in the war; but, at the same time, I am sure I am expressing what is within the knowledge of most Members who hear me when I say that there is an almost universal desire for peace—for a peace, not only on reasonable, but, I would rather say, on generous and honourable terms; but, at the same time, for a peace which would be final and satisfactory. That is what the country desires, and we are in a great state of uncertainty and darkness as to the steps that are being taken at this moment in order to secure that desirable result. That is a matter which is necessarily forcing itself upon the attention of the House. It must be dealt with before much further time has elapsed, but I venture to doubt whether this is the proper occasion for it to-day. To-day we are concerned, not with the war itself or with the expenditure upon the war, but with the financial arrangements that are proposed by the Government for meeting that expenditure. It is to these that this Amendment addresses itself, and it seeks also to direct—and this, perhaps, is its main object, as I understand the motive of my right hon. friend—the attention of the House and the country to the startling facts disclosed as to the huge growth of our normal expenditure.

There are two purposes, Sir, to which there seems apparently to be an idea, in some quarters at all events, of applying this great war expenditure. There is a tendency to use it for the purpose of blinding our eyes to the rate at which the normal charges have been allowed to increase. Of any such intention I completely acquit the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He has, not only in his Budget speech, but since then, been most honest and outspoken in his language on this subject. More than once we have been surprised and gladdened by a healthy outburst of a strong economical fervour from the right hon. Gentleman. We have on more than one occasion praised his frankness and his courage in doing so but I am bound to say that on further reflection we have qualified a little our estimate, not, indeed, of his frankness, but of his courage. The right hon. Gentleman appears sometimes to forget that he is not a mere watchman set upon a tower to warn us of some impending danger. He is above all other men the particular public official who is charged with the duty of protecting us from that danger. He has given us on several occasions eloquent rebukes and exhortations, addressed, it seems to us, rather to his colleagues than to the House; but they should, I venture to say, have been administered to his colleagues in their respective Departments. He has hinted that we should not think hardly of him if we knew all the things that have been asked of him, and what it was that he had replied. I can well believe it. I can well believe that the demands made upon him as Chancellor of the Exchequer have been extravagant beyond our knowledge, if not beyond our conception, and I feel sure that he met those demands in firm and emphatic language. But that does not alter the fact of his responsibility, and the fact that it is the duty of the Treasury to check extravagance. The Treasury does not discharge that duty by mere complaints. What are the facts? I am not going to plunge into figures, because for one reason, although there is really no conflict on the general effect of the figures, I notice that every set of figures that is quoted differs in some way or another from those that we have had before. But I have one or two figures, at all events, that I think are beyond suspicion. The increase in the ordinary expenditure of the country since the present Government came into power has been 33 millions sterling. The right hon. Gentleman meets this sometimes by asking us what we would have reduced, by asking us to put our finger on the particular item which should be diminished. In that he makes a demand on us that I think he is not entitled to make. It is not our business to suggest particular reductions, and we have not the information which is at his disposal which would enable us to do so. Take an individual case. Take the expenditure on the Army and the Navy. It has increased by £22,600,000. I said I would avoid figures, but here are some which I think set the growth of expenditure in rather a strong light. In 1881–2 the ordinary cost of the Army and Navy was per head of the population 14s., in 1891–2, ten years later, it was 17s., and this year, after another decade has passed, it is 30s. per head of the population. The right hon. Gentleman and some of his friends say to us, "Do you want to starve the Army?" and we reply, "No." "Then," it is said, "why do you grumble at this expenditure? We are asked," Do you think, on the other hand, we do not need a Navy?" We say, "Yes, we quite agree that we must have a strong Navy." "Then why do you cavil at the Naval Estimates?" is the rejoinder. There are two qualifications with which we accept any Estimates for the most excellent purposes. In the first place, do these Estimates give us an army and navy strong in proportion to the money spent? Here is where the strong Chancellor of the Exchequer in a strong Government would come in. I have never seen in Committee of Supply much useful work done in the way of reduction of expenditure, although, of course, there is abundant use and public benefit in the free discussion of the matters involved. I confess I thought that the hon. Member for Exeter in the course of an admirable speech last night made a suggestion which well deserves consideration, and that is whether on the Army and Navy Estimates there should not be a periodical committee of inquiry—not a Standing Committee, to which I should be entirely opposed. A Standing Committee to which these Estimates should be referred automatically would destroy the responsibility of the Minister, and, what is worse, would destroy his own sense of responsibility. But a periodical examination every five, six, or seven years would, I think, be a great source of enlightenment to the House, and would bring larger number of Members into some acquaintance with the facts with which you have to deal in this matter. The only organised opinion in this House on the question of military and naval expenditure is an opinion organised to increase and not to scrutinise or to check expenditure. But our object is to secure well expended money. We are by no means satisfied that this is now done. When fresh items of expenditure are incurred—and the relentless march of military inventiveness no doubt makes that necessary from time to time, for the art of war, unfortunately, is not an art which stands still—I cannot help thinking it might often occur that some older expenditure might be dropped, and some relief obtained in that way.

My confidence in the present Administration is shaken when I remember what can occur in these matters. I remember a case, which, perhaps, some Members of the House may also bear in mind, where a Minister was censured by the House of Commons on account of a deficiency in small arms ammunition. This thoughtless Minister had provided only ninety-two million rounds—at any rate, he had provided an amount which, considering the enormous pace at which the article could be produced, and considering also that at that moment the powder that was used was practically not out of the state of being experimented with, his military advisers told him was a sufficient provision. The House of Commons thought differently, and that happy result to which I have referred followed. A Minister came in who immediately introduced a special Vote for a large sum of money to make good this frightful deficiency. Five or six years have passed, and no doubt the Votes have been carefully scrutinised by these Gentlemen who are so sensitive to the possible deficiencies of the country in every respect. Yet, when they managed to lead us into a big war we are informed, to our great surprise—and our surprise is still greater when we ask why we were informed of the matter—that in the first days of the war they only had in reserve 3,300 rounds of small arms ammunition. It was not for want of money. This was not due to starving the Army, because the Estimates had been increased from eighteen millions to well on to thirty millions. Therefore, I can only take it as a terrible example of maladministration and a proof to the world in such a concrete form as they have seldom had before that the mere spending of money and heaping up of Estimates does not, after all, prevent occasional lapses from perfect efficiency.

But that by the way. I have dealt with one of the qualifications with which we regard estimates for military purposes. The other is this. Expenditure depends on your necessities. But you yourselves are the principal agents in many cases in creating these necessities. If you pursue a restless, pushing, bouncing policy, your needs may be indefinitely multiplied. The right hon. Gentleman attributes this great expenditure to the growth of the Empire, to the necessity of guarding the frontiers of India and Canada, and to the increased armaments of four or five Great Powers. There is nothing new in India or Canada. The only thing that I know about India is that the Government of which I was a member determined upon a certain arrangement for the defence of the Indian frontier, where it was most liable to attack; that the present Government, the moment they came into power, reversed that arrangement, and after looking at the matter and having experience of it for two or three years they reverted to the arrangement which they had abandoned. There is no new necessity in that direction. As to Canada, I can only say it is a most ill-omened reference. I never knew before that there was any necessity for openly and avowedly taking Canada into consideration in regard to our military require- ments. It is difficult, therefore, to see how the dangers have increased. Then there is the action of other Powers. The action and reaction between themselves of the estimates of expenditure of different nations are extremely difficult to follow, and it is hard to say which are foremost and which are only following on the others. The Minister of Agriculture quoted figures showing how the military expenditure of Continental Powers had increased, and he actually quoted the increase of the French and German expenditure since 1870, as if that had anything to do with the position of this country. There are two main factors only which I can discern which have produced any change in the last five or six years. The first is the colonial energy of Germany, which brings a severe and steady competition against us in the markets of the world. But that is not a competition that you will meet by any armaments that military expenditure can provide. It is a competition that must be met by the increased intelligence and the better training of those who conduct your trade. So far as I am aware there is no direct geographical friction between us and Germany in any part of the world. Therefore, that new development can have nothing to do with increased expenditure. The only other novelty consists in the braggart words and aggressive designs with which the present Government opened their career as an Administration, and in the claim they put forward to be the lineal inheritors of universal Empire. It is since that time that we have had nothing but troubles and critical situations all over the world. This is the true genesis of all this expenditure, and it is in these respects that you can introduce moderation into your military and naval expenditure. I am not going on to speak of education, of the Post Office, and other branches of expenditure, when we are met in the same way—"Are you in favour of education?" "Yes." "Then why do you grudge the sums we ask for?" Our doubt is whether the money is properly bestowed; and with regard to all those Civil Service branches of expenditure we find the same thing exemplified when we by accident come upon a concrete instance. The other day the ingenuity and pertinacity of some of my hon. friends behind me provided an excellent instance of what I mean. We may be asked, "Are you in favour of having law officers of the Crown and good ones?" Yes, we are. We think they are a useful institution to the Government and to the country; but, on the other hand, we do not think the two law officers of the Crown should be paid £30,000 a year, when £19,000 was enough five or six years ago. That is the sort of thing which, on being disclosed, tends to make us doubt whether there is that careful administration that there ought to be. The truth is, the Government is demoralised by this huge expenditure. The feeling is, when you are throwing millions about, why should you care about thousands? It is here, from the strong vantage ground of the Treasury, that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer might have so much effect if he chose. He speaks strongly in the House. He said last night— I do not think—and I say this with the consciousness of my responsibility as Chancellor of the Exchequer—it possible for us to continue at the rate of increase which we have seen for the past six years without the gravest danger to the financial system which has been long established in this country, and to which, with its light and easy taxation of the industries of the country, I believe we owe much of our prosperity. Here is a picture of helplessness. The right hon. Gentleman does not know what it will end in, because expenditure such as I am deploring cannot be stopped. There are a great many items and channels in the present expenditure, great as it is, which necessarily may lead to increases in future years. You cannot suddenly stop. It is a slow process. It needs a great deal of courage and hard-heartedness. The right hon. Gentleman made an almost piteous appeal to the colonies. He said we must look for help in this Imperial expenditure to the colonies. That is too large a question to discuss now, and too large to be introduced in a casual way into a debate of this sort by a responsible Minister. But on what condition of a full share in the control of Imperial matters would any contribution to Imperial charges be made by the colonies?

Well, Sir, I have said that the war is being used in some quarters for two purposes. The second purpose is that in our financial system there may be new taxes introduced, slipped in which are permanent and capable of development, but which are introduced under cover of the patriotic feeling of the moment, and on the plea of making those who supported the war contribute to its cost. Of course I refer specially to the coal duty and the sugar duty. I will say nothing at present on the coal question, which has been so much discussed; but as the right hon. Gentleman has referred to what I have said about the sugar duty, I will say this, that if you are to open some new source of revenue like this, sugar is about the worst you can choose, inasmuch as it is the largest but one of the articles of food consumed by the people, not only when you take the sugar itself, but all the other articles into which it enters. It is emphatically the food of women, and especially of children, and when you say, "Let the working man pay his share," it will not be the working man who pays, as he would do if you taxed his tobacco or his beer, and possibly other things which he consumes personally, but this will come out of the money he allows for the maintenance of his family. It will therefore press upon the children and the home. I will not go further into the general question, but that was the reason which made me use the words to which the right hon. Gentleman referred. Now this Amendment is directed against the financial proposals of the Government. I blame them for their careless administration, the proof of which is the steady growth of the Estimates. I blame them, for their imposing by their policy burdens which their own Chancellor of the Exchequer says cannot be increased without disaster.


I said at the same rate.


We must expect the same rate of increase if the political circumstances continue the same. I believe the Government have chosen, with preferable alternatives-open to them, new sources of revenue which will prejudicially disturb trade and seriously diminish the comforts of the people.


The right hon. Gentleman, in the course of his speech, has attacked us for the nature of our taxation. He has attacked us for the extravagance which has, in his view, made that taxation necessary. Of the character of the taxation I mean to say nothing. The right hon. Gentleman's chief criticism was that in putting on the sugar tax we had taxed the wife and child of the working man himself. I do not draw that distinction between the working man and his family, nor do I believe that the working classes of this country deserve the taunt of the right hon. Gentleman. I do not think the working man is prepared to regard with indifference taxation which does not happen to touch articles which he consumes, but touches only articles which are necessary to his wife and children. The chief part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech was devoted, not, however, to criticism of the taxation we have proposed, but to the cause which made that taxation necessary; and he has told us what everybody knows, and what we have never concealed, that the Estimates have grown very largely in the course of the last few years—the Civil Service Estimates, the Educational Estimates, and the Military Estimates. The right hon. Gentleman hints that we might economise in the salaries of the law officers and that we might greatly economise in our education. [Opposition cries of "No."] So I understand.


I said we were not certain that the money is all well spent. We would vote more money for education if we had that security.


When we are talking about the amount of our taxation the question is whether we can economise or not. If we are not spending too much money on education, then no economy can be made under that head. But the main charge of the right hon. Gentleman is the growth on the military side of our expenditure. Nobody denies that. Have we got an Army or a Navy too great for our present necessities? That is the simple question we have before us, and I say, in view of the present needs of the Empire, neither our Army nor our Navy is too great. "But," says the right hon. Gentleman, "they are greater than they were in our time, and in our time the necessities were the same."


No. I said the natural necessities were the same; but I said also that new necessities had arisen in consequence of your policy.


The "bouncing" policy to which he referred, I suppose. I do not know what that bouncing policy is. I know that when the right hon. Gentleman left office he and his friends left behind them unsolved five or six great questions between us and the great military Empires of the world, each one of which, if mismanaged, might have produced a great war. Was Fashoda, among other things, due to a bouncing policy on the part of the Government? Was it we who said that any interference of the French Power in the Valley of the Nile would be treated by us as an unfriendly act? Was that our bounce or your bounce? We do not blame you for that statement; we agree with it. But if you make these statements you must have defensive forces, naval and military, to enable you to back up a policy like that. When the right hon. Gentleman left office he had neither the naval nor the military forces which in our opinion are necessary for the defence of the Empire. And no man has shown—no man has attempted to show—that the expenditure on the Army, greatly as it has increased, has not given us increased military strength in proportion to the increased military expenditure. On the contrary, I think it can be demonstrated with mathematical certainty that, whether our Army be too big or too small, or the right size or the wrong size, at all events the money we now spend upon it gives us proportionately a much more effective, a much more mobile, and a much more useful force than the Army expenditure, smaller though it was, in the time of the right hon. Gentleman. I am not going to discuss the question of ammunition again, but the right hon. Gentleman actually had the extraordinary courage to get up in this House and remind us of the fact that he only left ninety-two millions of cartridges in stock, and that that amount, more than doubled by that which we hastened to provide, proved insufficient when war came. That is the evidence he gives of the preparation for war which he and his friends made. It would be quite beyond my power at the present time and in the few minutes still left to me to take any survey of the responsibilities of this Empire; but I do say, in the light of recent events, in the light of the strain which the recent war has placed not only upon the men but upon the stores of this country, that it would be perfect insanity for us to allow our Army to sink back into the condition in which it was when the right hon. Gentleman left office in 1895. I do not know whether a united Liberal party are going rapidly to turn us out of office and to accept the responsibility of government. When they do, and when they have not merely to make speeches but to carry out actions, I think they will find that what we have done, costly as it has been, great as is

the strain—and we admit it to be great—which we have placed upon the resources of the country, we have not done a single thing which they will not have to maintain, we have not raised our forces by a single man which they can afford to disband, we have not added a single ship which they can afford to put on one side. Under these circumstances, Sir, it appears to me to be mere folly to pretend at this time of day that we can run this great Empire, in the face of our recent experience, on Estimates framed on the scale which the right hon. Gentleman and his friends thought adequate six years ago.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 300; Noes, 123, (Division List No. 199.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc' Flannery, Sir Fortescue
Aird, Sir John Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Fletcher, Sir Henry
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden Chapman, Edward Flower, Ernest
Allsopp, Hon. George Charrington, Spencer Foster, Sir Michael (Lond Univ.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Churchill, Winston Spencer Garfit, William
Arkwright, John Stanhope Clare, Octavius Leigh Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond.
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick
Arrol, Sir William Coddington, Sir William Gordon, Hn J E. (Elgin & Nairn
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir J. Eldon
Bailey, James (Walworth) Colomb, Sir John Charles R. Goschen, Hon. George Joachim
Bain, Col. James Robert Compton, Lord Alwyne Goulding, Edward Alfred
Baird, John George Alexander Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Graham, Henry Robert
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds
Balfour, Maj. K. R. (Christen.) Cranborne, Viscount Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury
Banbury, Frederick George Cripps, Charles Alfred Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.)
Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor) Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Gretton, John
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Greville, Hon. Ronald
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Crossley, Sir Savile Groves, James Grimble
Beach, Rt. Hn. W. W. B. (Hants Cubitt, Hon. Henry Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Bill, Charles Cust, Henry John C. Guthrie, Walter Murray
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Dalkeith, Earl of Hain, Edward
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Dalrymple, Sir Charles Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Bigwood, James Denny, Colonel Hambro, Charles Eric
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlets S. Geo. Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Middx
Bond, Edward Dickinson, Robert Edmond Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Rbt. Wm.
Boulnois, Edmund Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Harris, Frederick Leverton
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Dorington, Sir John Edward Haslam, Sir Alfred S.
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hay, Hon. Claude George
Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh. Doxford, Sir William Theodore Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)
Bull, William James Duke, Henry Edward Heath, James (Staffords, N. W-
Bullard, Sir Harry Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Heaton, John Henniker
Butcher, John George Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Henderson, Alexander
Campbell, Rt Hn J. A. (Glasgow Faber, George Denison Higginbottom, S. W.
Carlile, William Walter Fardell, Sir T. George Hoare, Edw Brodie (Hampstead
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)
Cautley, Henry Strother Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Finch, George H. Hogg, Lindsay
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Hope, J. F (Sheffleld, Brightside
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Fisher, William Haves Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Fison, Frederick William Howard, John (Kent, Faversh
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose- Hozier, Hon. James Henry C.
Hudson, George (Bickersteth) Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Seton-Karr, Henry
Hughes, Colonel Edwin Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants. Sharpe, William Edward T.
Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Moon, Edward Robert Paey C. Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Jebb, Sir Richard (Claverhouse Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Johnston, William (Belfast) Morrell, George Herbert Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Kennaway, Rt Hn. Sir J. H. Morrison, James Archibald Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand
Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh Morton, Arthur H. A (Deptford Spear, John Ward
Kenyon, Jas. (Lancs, Bury) Mount, William Arthur Spencer, Ernest (W. Bromwich
Keswick, William Mow bray, Sir Robert Gray C. Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskrk'
Kimber, Henry Muntz, Philip A. Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
King, Sir Henry Seymour Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Lambton, Hon. Frederick W. Myers, William Henry Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Law, Andrew Bonar Newdigate, Francis Alex. Stock, James Henry
Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth Nicholson, William Graham Stone, Sir Benjamin
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Nicol, Donald Ninian Stroyan, John
Lawson, John Grant O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H. Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Farehm Parker, Gilbert Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Parkes, Ebenezer Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Uni.
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley Thornton, Percy M.
Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Pemberton, John S. G. Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Llewellyn, Evan Henry Percy, Earl Tritton, Charles Ernest
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Pierpoint, Robert Tufnell, Lt.-Col. Edward
Loder, Gerald W. Erskine Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard Tuke, Sir John Batty
Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham) Platt-Higgins, Frederick Valentia, Viscount
Long, Rt. Hon Walter (Bristol, S Plummer, Walter R. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Walker, Col. William Hall
Lowe, Francis William Pretyman, Ernest George Wanklyn, James Leslie
Lowther, C. (Cum., Eskdale) Purvis, Robert Warde, Col. C. E.
Lowther, Rt. Hn. Jas. (Kent) Pym, C. Guy Wason, John Catheart (Orkney
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Welby, Lt.-Col. AC E (Taunton
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft Randles, John S. Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Rankin, Sir James Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd
Macartney, Rt. Hn. W G Ellison Remnant, Jas. Farquharson Whiteley, H (Ashtonund. Lyne
Macdona, John Cumming Renshaw, Charles Bine Whitmore, Chas. Algernon
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Richards, Henry Charles Williams, Rt Hn J Powell- (B'rm
Maconochie, A. W. Ridley, Hn. M. W (Stalybridge) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
M'Arthur, Chas. (Liverpool) Ridley, Samuel F (Bethnal Gr'n) Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)
M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B (Camb. Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Wilson, John (Glasgow)
M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney Wilson, J. W (Worcestersh, N.)
M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Robinson, Brooke Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.
Malcolm, Ian Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Manners, Lord Cecil Ropner, Colonel Robert Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm
Maple, Sir John Blundell Round, James Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Martin, Richard Biddulph Royds, Clement Molyneux Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E (Wigton Rutherford, John Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Melville, Beresford Valentine Sadler, Col. Samuel Alex. Younger, William
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Milward, Colonel Victor Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Molesworth, Sir Lewis Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Craig, Robert Hunter Goddard, Daniel Ford
Allan, William (Gateshead) Crombie, John William Grant, Come
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Griffith, Ellis J.
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Duncan, J. Hastings Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Atherley-Jones, L. Dunn, Sir William Haldane, Richard Burdon
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire Edwards, Frank Harmsworth, R. Leicester
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Elibank, Master of Hayne, Rt. Hn. Chas. Seale-
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Ellis, John Edward Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.
Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh) Emmott, Alfred Helme, Norval Watson
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)
Burt, Thomas Farquharson, Dr. Robert Holland, William Henry
Buxton, Sydney Charles Fenwick, Charles Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.
Caine, William Sproston Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Joicey, Sir James
Caldwell, James Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir Henry Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U
Causton, Richard Knight Fuller, J. M. F. Kearley, Hudson E.
Cawley, Frederick Furness, Sir Christopher Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth
Kitson, Sir James Palmer, George Wm. (Reading) Strachey, Edward
Lambert, George Partington, Oswald Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Layland-Barratt, Francis Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Tennant, Harold John
Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington) Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Leigh, Sir Joseph Perks, Robert William Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.
Leng, Sir John Price, Robert John Thomas, F. Freeman- (Hastings
Levy, Maurice Priestley, Arthur Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Lough, Thomas Rea, Russell Wallace, Robert
M'Crae, George Reckitt, Harold James Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.
M'Kenna, Reginald Reed, Sir Edw. Jas. (Cardiff) Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Reid, Sir R Threshie (Dumfries) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Rigg, Richard Weir, James Galloway
Markham, Arthur Basil Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) White, George (Norfolk)
Mather, William Robson, William Snowdon White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William Roe, Sir Thomas Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Whiteley, J. H. (Halifax)
Morley Charles (Breconshire) Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Shipman, Dr. John G. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth
Moss, Samuel Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersfd
Norman, Henry Smith, Samuel (Flint) Yoxall, James Henry
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Soames, Arthur Wellesley TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. M'Arthur.
Nussey, Thomas Willans Spencer, Rt Hn. CR. (Northants
Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham) Stevenson, Francis S.

Question put, and agreed to.

Main Question again proposed; Debate arising.

It being after Seven of the clock, the Debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed upon Thursday.