§ 1. Motion made, and Question put, "That towards making good the Supply granted to His Majesty for the service of the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1903, sums not exceeding £32,000,000 may be raised by means of the creation of 2¾ per cent. Consolidated Stock within the meaning of The National Debt (Conversion) Act, 1888; and that any annuities forming stock so created be charged on the Consolidated Fund.
§ "That all expenses incurred in connection with raising the said sums, including any additional remuneration to the Banks of England and Ireland, be charged on the Consolidated Fund."—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)
§ (4.15.) MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said he was surprised that a Resolution of this kind should be moved in silence, and that not a word of explanation was offered to the Committee.
§ * THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. Hicks Beach,) Bristol, W.
I fully explained my reasons for proposing this loan last night.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
The right hon. Gentleman was last night asked to give, and was understood to promise, a full explanation, when this Resolution came to be moved, as to the character of the loan, whether it was to be Consols, and, if so, whether it was to be subject to the reduction to 2½ per cent. in 1903.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
There could be no doubt on that subject in the mind of anybody who listened to the Resolution which the Chairman read just now. I propose to borrow this £32,000,000 in Consols, and, being so borrowed, they will be subject to precisely the same rules as existing Consols—namely, the reduction to 2½ per cent. in 1903. That, Sir, is really the whole explanation to be given.
§ MR. BLACK (Banffshire)
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether the amount of issue would be £32,000,000, or whether it would be for a larger sum, in order to cover the discount at which the loan would require to be issued.
§ MR. DILLON
reminded the right hon. Gentleman that in his Budget speech he distinctly stated that he proposed to ask the House to authorise the raising of £32,000,000 on terms which he would fully explain.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
No, I did not say that. I said I would explain the nature of the loan. That is explained in the Resolution.
§ MR. DILLON
said that that was not the impression which the right hon. Gentleman conveyed to the House. When a Minister promised to explain, at a later stage, the nature of a loan, the House naturally expected that he would personally make a statement, and not content himself with having a Resolution read at the Table. From the course of his observations the previous night, he was convinced there was a pretty wide expectation in the Committee that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was going, in the course of his explanation, to come to close quarters with the question of the liability of the two colonies for some portion of the debt. He knew that that opinion was widely shared, and that the right hon. Gentleman's explanation was looked forward to with a certain amount of interest in consequence. But now they gathered from what had been said that, as regarded the loan of £32,000,000, there was no prospect whatever of recovering any portion of it from the colonies, and that they were in precisely the same position as they stood in regard to the £60,000,000 loan of last year. That was exactly what he expected. He did not believe, and he never had believed, that one single solitary sixpence of any one of those loans would be recovered from the two colonies. But certainly the Committee was, both last year and yesterday, led to expect that some provision would be made for ear-marking, at all events, a portion of the loan to be charged on the credit of the colonies, and repaid in the future. If that could not be done legally, as he believed it could not at the present time, the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought, at any rate, to make some definite statement with regard to the intentions of the Government in connection with these loans.
In his speech of the previous day, the right hon. Gentleman took great credit to himself, when citing the enormous figures of his Budget, for putting the worst rather than the best aspect before the House, and for not 294 prophesying a smooth state of things. He thought the right hon. Gentleman in that respect took a great deal more credit to himself than he was entitled to, because, although his Statement would be a distinct improvement from that point of view as compared with previous Statements, yet even this year the Government had pursued the course which they had pursued from the very beginning of the war, viz., the course of leading on the people of this country from step to step by keeping them in the dark as to the true condition of affairs in South Africa, and the true obligations they were being called upon to face. Last year they were asked to sanction a loan of £60,000,000, and it would be within the recollection of the Committee that the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced, in his Budget speech, that he had to provide for a deficit of £41,000,000. To do so, he asked for a loan of £60,000,000, a course which was absolutely without parallel in Parliamentary history. What was the ground on which he justified that course? He said that he had been frequently accused of underestimating the cost of the war, and that therefore, although, in the Estimates of last year, provision was made to continue the war for as long a period as the; Government then believed it would be necessary to continue it, and although they took provision also for the expensive operations of concluding the war, bringing back the troops, and paying pensions and bonuses and other outlays incidental to the disbandment of the Reservists and the Yeomanry, in spite of that, and in view of the charges which had been made against him in the past, he was determined to have an ample margin for contingencies. He fixed that margin at £5,000,000 or £6,000,000, a very generous margin indeed, in view of the fact that the Government were supposed to have made full provision in the Estimates of the year for the war and contingent expenses. The right hon. Gentleman also went on to say that, owing to the peculiar nature of his Budget, and to the fact that so large a share of the income was to be derived from the income tax, which mainly came in in the last quarter of the financial year, he must call on the House of Commons not only to provide that generous margin of £5,000,000 in addition to the Estimates, 295 but also to give him further borrowing powers to the extent of £10,000,000. He also said that if that total margin of £15,000,000 were not required, it would, by the redemption of Treasury Bills, be restored to the taxpayers. Shortly after the Loan Bill was sanctioned, there was suddenly sprung upon the House, without the slightest hint of warning, a Vote for £6,500,000 as a grant in aid to the new colonies. The Government must have known that that was going to be proposed to the House, yet they kept hon. Members in absolute ignorance of it while they were seeking to obtain their other demands. Later in the autumn, before the House separated for the holidays, the First Lord of the Treasury stated that, after the most careful investigation of the military situation in South Africa, in conjunction with Lord Kitchener, the Home Government had arrived at the conclusion that about the month of September it would be possible to bring home some 70,000 troops. That was an extraordinary instance of the policy of leading the people of this country by a system of deception from point to point, so that they might never have a just and true conception of the liabilities and responsibilities which the war was casting upon them. As soon as Parliament rose, the whole of that beautiful vision vanished and dissolved into thin air, and not only was the whole sum voted for the prosecution of the war, and for the bringing home of the troops, and for allowances for soldiers on disbandment absorbed in running the war, but the margin of £5,000,000 taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was also swallowed up, and in addition only £4,000,000 remained of the £10,000,000 of the loan sanction for which had been obtained, although that money had been expected to remain in hand at the end of the financial year. He ventured to assert that that was not honest finance, and that the country was not being treated fairly, or being told what it was really called upon to pay.
With that experience before them, they now had to face another demand from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who asked them to sanction a loan in excess by many millions of the Estimates before the House. He wanted, in fact, a blank 296 cheque to enable him to spend money for a variety of purposes of which the House had not approved. That was a system of finance which was not only without precedent but which was, in his opinion, calculated immeasurably to loosen the bonds of economy and strictness in the great spending Departments of the State, and to encourage extravagance of the wildest character. What was the use of the Chancellor of the Exchequer appealing to the House of Commons to assist him in withstanding the pressure of the spending departments, and to aid him in carrying out a policy of economy, when he himself set the fatal example of loosening all the checks which the experience of generations had devised? The very fact of his asking for enormous borrowing powers for vague and indefinite purposes was an encouragement to the spending departments to increase their demands, because they would have the knowledge that those demands would not be subjected to any close scrutiny in the House. They were told to be cheerful in the face of the demand for a loan of £32,000,000. Why were they to be cheerful? Because the Chancellor of the Exchequer informed them that even those who were most hostile to this country were now obliged to admit that the end of the war was approaching. Of course it was. But it had been approaching from the time the first shot was fired, and it must approach if the war was not to last for ever. He was unshaken in his belief that the war might have been ended two years ago by offering the Boers in the field fair and honourable terms. And if they now profited by the bitter experience of those two years, in the course of which so many lives had been lost, and millions of money spent, and if they were going to meet the Boers in a fair spirit, it was quite possible that the end of the war was really approaching. But to tell the House, in vague and general terms, that the war was coming to an end, and that that fact was admitted by those who were most hostile to this country, was simply to mock the House of Commons.
This demand for a loan of thirty-two millions had come with a shock of surprise upon all classes throughout the country. No one who had watched the 297 anticipations of the financial proposals of the right hon. Gentleman thought that the loan asked for would exceed. £15,000,000 or £20,000,000. All who were outside the secrets of the Treasury were simply astonished and bewildered by the size of the loan. He had in his hand an extract from a letter by Sir Robert Giffen, whose authority on financial matters when he was a Home Ruler was not so widely recognised as it was at the present time. In one of the famous letters he had written to The Times in support of the Government policy, he said—It may be assumed, I hope, that in the circumstances described in my previous letter in The Times of January 7th, grave as the financial position is, there will be no talk of extensive borrowing.That was Sir Robert's opinion of the financial situation, which he certainly had not minimised, but had rather exaggerated, because he practically admitted in his last letter that the expense of the garrisons in South Africa for many years to come would not be under £20,000,000 sterling. Yet upon such a basis as that he expressed a strong hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not on the present occasion have recourse to borrowing on an extensive scale. In spite of that, however, the House was now asked to sanction a loan of £32,000,000. On what basis was the estimate made which could justify the extent of the loan? The Chancellor of the Exchequer took great credit for his consistent refusal to prophesy smooth things in regard to the war. But what had been the course taken by the Government this year? The Secretary for War produced an estimate for the cost of the war during the coming year of £41,000,000, and he took considerable credit to himself by pointing out how much the cost had been reduced by the exertions of Lord Kitchener. When, in the course of the debate, some of his hon. friends expressed a doubt whether the war could be carried on for the sum asked for, they were informed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary for War had gone into the subject with the utmost minuteness, and were agreed that £41,000,000 would be sufficient for the conduct of the war until the end of the current year. Had the Government intended to deal honestly with the 298 country, they would have told it what they believed would really be sufficient. But, instead of that, they had pursued their old policy of optimism, of suppressing and censoring despatches, and of keeping the country in the dark as to what was going on. Within two months of that estimate they were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the war had not gone on so prosperously or so rapidly as the country could have wished, and that he was now obliged to add to his deficit between £10,000,000 and £17,000,000 in order to provide for the expenses of the war if it were continued. Was that a proper way in which to treat the House and the country? What had happened in those two months to so completely alter the judgment of the military advisors of the Government in South Africa? From the very beginning of the war Ministers had indulged in optimistic statements, and had been telling them that the war must soon end. Then suddenly new loans were asked, and yet Ministers gave no explanation of their changed attitude. This had been going on ever since the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a light and airy spirit, asked for his first £10,000,000 in order to send British troops to Pretoria. He then told the House it need not be alarmed by the magnitude of the Vote asked for, because they had to deal with rich and prosperous colonies, which he was determined should bear their fair proportion of the cost of the war. Since then they had had to find some £200,000,000 sterling, and they had been told that, even if the war were concluded as the result of the present peace negotiations, a portion of the £32,000,000 now asked for would be needed in order to re-settle that devastated country.
The only sentence in the Budget speech to which he listened with any pleasure or gratification was that portion which spoke of the re-settlement of the country. Never in the history of the House of Commons in modern times had millions been kicked about the floor in such a reckless and indifferent manner, and never had money been voted upon the mere ipse dixit of a Minister, without any justification being-put forward for the demand. Never before had he heard a responsible Minister use such language in regard to a country in which there had been adopted the insane and wicked policy of reducing it to the state of a howling wilderness. He would be glad to agree to the giving 299 of any sum of money in reason to restock the farms, always provided that it was not devoted to a policy of confiscation and the planting of settlers on the farms which the Boers formerly held. He thought it was a rather hard tiling on the taxpayers of the country that some of the millions which they were now asked to impose upon them were for the purpose of undoing the ravages—the barbarous and purposeless ravages, of the British Generals in South Africa, in pursuit of a policy not only criminal, but, as he believed, illegal according to the custom of civilised nations. There was one other purpose for which this money was said to be required in South Africa, on which he desired to say a word—it was with regard to the support of the South African Constabulary. They might laugh at his fears and anticipations on this point, but he thought in this Constabulary they were inflicting on South Africa a curse. They in Ireland knew what such a Constabulary meant, and if it was kept up permanently, what had happened in Ireland would happen in South Africa, Time would justify his warning that as long as they maintained this Constabulary to keep down the Dutch they would not have a loyal or a peaceful South Africa. They talked now of conciliating their gallant foes, but what did they mean by keeping up at the same time this armed force as a menace to the Boer population? What was the object of it, except to crush and keep down the Dutch? He held that as long as that force was maintained in the two Republics they were maintaining there a poisoned arrow that would prevent for ever the existence of contentment or peace. They were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the Constabulary was to consist of 10,000 men, of whom (5,000 would he charged on the revenues of the two Republics and 4,000 or, the loan. For 6,000 men, costing £1,500,000, the charge was to be on the revenues of the two Colonies after the 1st of July next. He believed it was a false hope to hold out to the taxpayers of the country to say that the Transvaal and Orange Free State revenues could bear such a charge. He should like to know how the revenue of these States was made up, of which returns were sent over from time to 300 time. Did it include anything in payment of supplies to the troops, or railway charges for the conveyance of troops or supplies? Until they got full details on this point, the House of Commons would be in the dark, and the country hoodwinked. He wanted to know whether that money was not part of the War Charges which were being voted by the House of Commons. The whole matter with regard to the Constabulary was a gross blunder in policy. Either they really meant to conciliate the Dutch people in South Africa, or they did not. If they had seriously an idea of doing it, even in the remote future, they would not set up an armed Constabulary. Let them keep a garrison, which would be recognised as a temporary measure; but an armed Constabulary would be the symbol of a perpetual, or, at all events, a prolonged servitude.
There was another extraordinary statement. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that in addition to the Constabulary and the additional War Charges, he might like, and probably would feel called upon to propose, a considerable sum for our Sugar Colonies. Was not that proposal put in the Estimates of the year?
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
When the Estimates were presented, the Conference at Brussels was still going on.
§ MR. DILLON
asked how the Chancellor of the Exchequer knew that the House of Commons would sanction the proceedings at the Conference, whose proceedings some of the greatest authorities upon this sugar question regarded as disastrous? But the hon. Member would leave that aside, and ask him how that Conference threw an obligation upon the Government to come to the assistance of the sugar countries. If there was no Conference, would they not be equally in want of aid? Why should the House of Commons be asked to raise a great loan, one of the items of which was an indefinite amount—a grant, the details of which they knew nothing about? Why should they be called upon to incur an obligation absolutely in the dark? For his part, while he sympathised with the suffering people in the sugar colonies, he thought the policy was a monstrous one. What did it lead to? The price had been raised upon the English manufacturers, who had inundated us 301 with complaints; yet there was a conference which had for its object the further raising of the price on the manufacturer and the poor consumer. He thought they would have a good deal to say about that before this Brussels business was ended.
§ MR. DILLON
said he quite agreed. It was merely incidental to the fact that part of this loan was to be allocated to an indefinite extent in aiding the sugar colonies. But he was in order in asking what had the signing of the agreement at the Brussels Conference done to render what he said necessary. Was it not rather the other way? If the conference had broken up without an agreement, he might have said that the Colonies were disappointed, had no prospect of assistance, and were therefore entitled to a grant in aid. He was opposed to the whole principle of these grants in aid. However, their action was opposed to one of the chief articles of the conference, and might, in his opinion, lead to the breaking up of the conference altogether. And that was not all the extraordinary finance. The Chancellor said that in pursuance of the policy of last year it was very likely he would be obliged to come here later on and propose a further loan of about £10,000,000. He ventured to prophesy last year that if they got a loan, the greater part of it would be melted in the course of the year. They would have the same thing repeated this year. The fact was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whilst making admirable speeches and congratulating his friend the hon. Member for Oldham upon his advocacy of economy, and standing before the House as a martyr struggling desperately in the same cause, should, if he was sincere, recollect that the best way when he came amongst such people was to keep his hands in his pockets.
The right hon. Gentleman was adopting a policy which was absolutely fatal. He assumed the posture of a martyr struggling desperately against the Departments and his own colleagues in the cause of economy. The only safe way, if he was sincere in that policy, was to keep his pockets empty. There was no use in going among a set of robbers with his 302 pockets bulging with coin. The right hon. Gentleman asked for seventeen or eighteen millions as a margin; and he added that he would resist the importunity of his colleagues. But they would have the overwhelming argument that the right hon. Gentleman had run through the dangerous passages of the House of Commons, that he had the money at his disposal, and had no excuse for refusing it. The policy of asking for loans greatly in excess of anything that could be justified was a continuation of that conduct on the part of the Government which had marked the whole course of the war, namely, their refusal to make a frank statement to the people of the country as to the position in South Africa. It was a policy which, in spite of the speeches of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was directly calculated to, and undoubtedly had, demoralised the spending Departments of the State.
§ *(5.5.) SIR M. HICKS BEACH
The hon. Member commenced his speech with a strong denunciation of myself and my colleagues for a policy of concealment with reference to the expenditure on the war. That denunciation referred in the first place to what occurred during the last financial year. At the outset of the last financial year we placed Estimates on the Table of the cost of the war, and which, as was plainly stated by the Secretary of State for War in the Memorandum which he issued, were to provide for the cost that would be necessary in certain contingencies for the maintenance of the field force in South Africa for a certain period, and then for its diminution in the later months of the year. As time went on; it proved that that amount was insufficient, and it was necessary for us, when the Budget time arrived, to state to the House, what I did state a year ago, that more money would be required than had been placed on the Estimates, and that it would be necessary to raise a loan and add to taxation, in order to obtain that sum. At the time I did not know of the large grant in aid that would be required for the Transvaal Colony. I knew certainly that some of it—a considerable sum—would be required for the equipment and maintenance of the Constabulary; but I was not aware that that would be imposed on the revenue 303 of the Colony, and that, therefore, it would require a civil grant in aid. We stated to the House when the time came precisely what was required, and the House, after full discussion, voted that sum. Now, Sir, the hon. Member complains that that was a policy of concealment, and I thought that he seemed to imply, although he did not state it, that that policy of concealment had also been earned on in the present year. It is impossible for any person who has to be responsible for the finances of the country when engaged in a costly war, the determination of which cannot be foreseen, to judge precisely, before the commencement of the financial year, how much will be required to carry on that war, within the year. I should have thought that even the hon. Member, with all his readiness to interpret, as it seems to me, in the most unfavourable way anything we say or do, might have admitted that. But this year I have adopted another course. I have been, in introducing the Budget, perfectly frank with the House. I have stated that, assuming the war to go on for the whole of the year before us, involving the maintenance of the field force now in South Africa at its present strength, a sum of between £16,000,000 and £17,000,000 would be required towards that purpose in addition to the sum of £40,000,000 already on the Estimates. How am I met by the hon. Member? He says I am asking the Committee to give me a blank cheque, because no Supplementary Estimates have yet been laid on the Table. It is difficult to please the hon. Member. I have endeavoured to tell the country fairly what expenditure might, in possible circumstances, which we all hope will not occur, be required. Yet he accuses me of a policy of concealment in the first place, and then of asking the Committee to give me a blank cheque, without stating for what purpose the expenditure is required.
Then the hon. Member falls foul of two comparatively minute items in the additional provision which I informed the Committee last night might be required for the services of the year beyond that which appears in the Estimates—in the first place, a grant of £750,000 for the support of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony Constabulary, and secondly, a grant in aid for the West Indian Colonies. The hon. Member appears to 304 have an extraordinary antipathy to the term Constabulary. He can hardly be aware that a precisely similar force under the name of the Cape Mounted Police has been for years past in existence in Cape Colony; and why it should be wrong to maintain a force in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony under the name of Constabulary, and yet justifiable and right, as I think the hon. Member must admit, to maintain such a force under the name of the Cape Mounted Police in Cape Colony, is a matter I cannot understand. I do not think the hon. Member ought to object to this particular grant, because as far as it goes it will be distinctly in relief of military expenditure, and he is anxious, above all things, to put an end to military expenditure in South Africa. He also objects to any grant in aid to the sugar producing colonies in the West Indies, and he asked me to say why it was wanted, and what it would be. I am unable to say what it will be, or of what precise nature it will be but as anyone will see who adds up the figures I gave last night, it will be a very small sum indeed out of the £18,500,000, certainly not more than £250,000, and it may be less. The reason it is to be granted is this. Owing to the present low price of sugar, the condition of the sugar-growing industry in some of the Islands at the present time is simply deplorable. It would not be in order for me to go into that subject tonight, but at the proper time my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary will be able to place the circumstances before the Committee, and I do not think the Committee will hesitate to grant any aid, shown to be required in such a manner, after full consideration, as may be proposed to be given by the Government. The reason it has not appeared in the Estimates is this. We had hoped that at the Brussels Conference it might be possible to arrive at an agreement which should commence within a very short period of the agreement being arrived at. For reasons which it is not necessary to enter upon, it was found necessary to postpone the operation of the Convention under which the sugar bounties are to be abolished until the 30th September, 1903; and I have no doubt that at the proper time my right hon. friend will be able to show that the position of the colonies up to the time at which the bounties are to be 305 abolished would be such that some temporary aid must be granted in order to save some of these Islands from absolute ruin, and the population, possibly, from starvation. That is all I need say on that subject, because I hope the Committee will remember that both in regard to this matter and all the£18,500,000 to which I alluded last night, every item will have to be brought before the House and to be fully explained on the Estimates, and then, of course, there will be an opportunity for anyone to object to them.
The hon. Member referred to a point on which, I think, it would be right that I should say something. He stated that in his opinion it was an absolutely absurd idea ever to expect that the Transvaal would be in a position to pay for its Constabulary.
§ MR. DILLON
I said it would be absurd ever to expect it to repay any of the money we are borrowing in this country. I thought it was unlikely that it would be able to pay for its Constabulary next year unless out of railway rates and duties.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I will deal with the Constabulary first, The Committee will remember that the financial year of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony commences on the 1st of July. Undoubtedly, a year ago, the financial position of the Transvaal was extremely bad. I think I remember stating to the Committee when I introduced the Budget last year that it was Sir David Barbour's opinion, owing to the condition to which the Transvaal was reduced, that there must be a heavy deficit for two years after the conclusion of the war on the charges for the administration of the country; and as the revenue of the year ending 30th June, 1901, was only £513,000 as against a civil expenditure, exclusive of the Constabulary, of £753,000 it was perfectly clear that there was a great deal of foundation for Sir David Barbour's opinion. Although the war has been going on, yet there has been, considering the circumstances, a remarkable development of the gold-mining industry during the last nine months. The number of stamps at work was reported 306 the other day to be between 1,600 and 1,700. The gold product of the month of March was as much as one-fourth of what it had been before the commencement of the war. For many months after the 1st of July, 1901, owing to the railways being very deficient in rolling stock and being almost entirely taken up by military transport, it was hardly possible for any civil transport to be carried on, so that neither the white population could get back to the gold-fields, nor could the supplies be taken to them which would be necessary to maintain them. And, of course, for the same reason the Customs revenue of the Transvaal were comparatively small. But within the last few months all that has been changed. In the Vote to which the hon. Member refers a sum of £1,000,000 was included for the purpose of providing new rolling stock. Well, Sir, there was never a better investment, I will venture to say. That new rolling stock has been gradually arriving, with the result that the amount of civil transport has largely increased, the white population is rapidly returning. Customs are increasing, native labour is rapidly coming in.
§ * Sir M. HICKS BEACH
Is that a thing to which the hon. Member objects? They come in perfectly willingly. After careful examination my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary and Lord Milner are convinced, and I think on absolutely good grounds, that from July 1st next, assuming that the administration of the railways can be handed over to the civil authorities, so that the amount of military traffic will he comparatively small—thatdepends, of course, on the peaceful condition of the country—the revenue of the Transvaal next year may be between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000. For the present year, ending with June next, there is no question whatever but that the revenue of the Transvaal will reach £1,200,000: it had reached over £850,000 in March, and, as I have said, it is rapidly increasing.
§ MR. DILLON
asked whether in this revenue were included any duties upon stores and other things consumed by the troops, and also freights.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
No, Sir. I, imagine there is no charge on goods consumed by British troops, and as to freights, the railways are at present, and have been, in the hands of the military authorities, and not only is no freight paid by the military authorities to the colony for military transport, but the military authorities take for military purposes all the profits of the civil transport also. So on that point, at any rate, the hon. Member will be satisfied. Assuming Lord Milner's anticipations are realised, and they are founded, as I believe, on sound bases—but, of course, that depends on the condition of the country and the progress of the war—it seems absolutely certain that the Transvaal will next year not only be able to bear the cost of the Constabulary proposed to be imposed upon it, but also the interest on the debt of the old Government, all the charges of civil administration, and the interest on the debentures and shares of the railways. I do not think the Committee will consider that that is a bad prospect, considering the war is not yet over. The civil administration of the Orange River Colony, apart from the cost of the Constabulary, has never cost us a penny ever since our administration has been established.
Now I come to the reference of the hon. Member to the possibility of the Transvaal's bearing in future a portion of the cost of the war. He stated that it was an absolutely absurd idea that this could ever happen. Sir, the Committee are aware that I have not been disposed to be over-sanguine in this matter. I placed before the Committee last year with perfect frankness, as I think will be admitted, Sir David Barbour's opinion. I then said it was a pessimistic opinion. In my opinion, looking to the development that has already taken place, even under the present circumstances, it was a pessimistic opinion, and having very carefully examined the matter, what I have to say is this—it has always been our intention to charge upon the revenue of the new colonies such a share of the expenses of the war as may fairly be expected to be borne by them without unduly hindering the development of the country and of its principal industry. We consider it premature at the present stage to fix definitely any sum as the maximum of this contribution. But, after 308 the termination of hostilities, we believe it will be practicable to earmark certain sources of revenue, and to apply them from time to time to the service of some portion of the loans raised by us for the war. We anticipate that these specially indicated sources of revenue will be sufficient within a few years of the close of the war, to provide for the annual charge on a capital sum of £30,000,000 in the first instance. Subsequent additions will be made on the prospective increases of these sources of revenue.
Now, it has been suggested that my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary and myself have some difference of opinion upon this matter. Sir, we have a little difference of opinion. I think the Colonial Secretary is more sanguine and more anxious to make this charge upon the Transvaal perhaps even than I am; and yet it can hardly be supposed that, having repeatedly stated to this House that, in my judgment, such portion of the cost of the war as can be reasonably levied on the Transvaal should be levied, I should be backward in doing whatever may be possible. But I have stated to the Committee, what in our judgment, and in Lord Milner's judgment, will be perfectly possible before very long. How soon that time may arrive is a matter, of course, on which I can say nothing today. It has not yet arrived. If it had arrived I might be proposing to the Committee that the loan which I now ask you to sanction should be raised in a different way. But the time for that is not yet come; we must at present borrow on our own credit without reference to the Transvaal. I can only say that I hope the Committee will feel that at any rate the statement I have made does not bear out the lugubrious views of the hon. Member as to the present position of the Transvaal, or as to its future, and that they will be convinced that what we can do shall be done to carry out the policy I have indicated.
§ *(5.26.) SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
The right hon. Gentleman has given us a very pleasant prospect, and I think he should have attempted to fix the time when the British taxpayer is to receive this relief.
§ * Sir M. HICKS BEACH
It is difficult to argue with the right hon. Gentleman, because he has always said the British 309 taxpayer would never get it. It is a little hard to ask us to fix the time precisely.
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
We have the definite promise of the right hon. Gentleman, and perhaps still more definitely the promise of the Colonial Secretary, that we are to have £30,000,000. It would have been agreeable to us to know when it was likely that we were to receive that £30,000,000 from the Transvaal in relief of the loan that has been made, because we have had a very encouraging pledge from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and when the time comes, we hope—no one wishes it more than I do—he will be there to redeem the pledge to produce£30,000,000 from the Transvaal in reduction, say, of the debt which is being raised tonight—that is. £32,000,000. That he undertakes, as far as he can, shall be met by the Transvaal. I should like very much an assurance that that is consistent with the payment of compensation, with the restoration of the ruined condition of the Transvaal, with the repatriation of the Boers who are prisoners, with dealing with the camps, with the settlement which is to turn the Transvaal into a British colony, and with the development of the country, which is to be done at once. That is not the language of those people in the Transvaal who are chiefly concerned. If you ask the gentlemen who are producing this gold, they say, "No; it would be extremely unfair; it would be extremely impolitic to do anything of the kind." They say, "You should not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs." But the bird is not a goose at all. It is a bird of a very different description. It is a bird rather like those described by Burke when he called the Nabobs of India in the old days "birds of passage and birds of prey." That is the bird you have to deal with. There are mines, as we know, which are floated not to be worked but to be sold. The money made out of these mines is not a source of wealth. It has been what is called "milked." Mines have been started and they have been sold, and most of their projectors are no longer in the Transvaal at all. Therefore. the contingent promise of this £30,000,000 310 depends upon the anticipation that the Transvaal shall have reached its own development by these immense liabilities—liabilities of development, of this plan of settlement, of irrigation, of all these works—and I wish I was as sanguine as the right hon. Gentleman of being able to get within any measurable time £30,000,000 from the Transvaal. I hope it will be so, and nobody will be more delighted than I shall be. If you listen to all the golden dreams which are put forward, you may believe it; but these golden dreams are mere advertisements of prospectuses put forward in order that there may be more flotations of mines. That is the reason for these splendid plans of future prosperity. But when you come to touch them, you find that the people at the bottom of them have no disposition to carry them out. I confess I am not as sanguine as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but he ought to know a great deal better than I do. If in his next Budget the right hon. Gentleman is able to produce £30,000,000—
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
Or in the Budget after that—if he is able to produce £30,000,000 for this purpose, I should be extremely gratified. This is a matter of very great importance, and will have to be examined. When we receive, as no doubt we shall, by telegram in the course of the next week, the expression of a fervent desire on the part of the gold industry to close with this estimate of the right hon. Gentleman, then we shall all be happy.
But I rose for the purpose of calling attention to a matter which is of very great consequence, and that is the course which has been followed in the last three years in dealing with this question of taxation and loans—the proportion which the taxation has borne to the loans. We are constantly assured that the country has been enthusiastic in regard to this war, and that it has been willing to make great sacrifices. So it has; it has made sacrifices of life to a terrible degree. But, Sir, there has been no war waged, I believe, in which the Government, I suppose judging the 311 temper of the people, has ventured to ask such small sacrifices of the generation who have made the war. A great responsibility belongs to the generation that makes a war, and it ought to bear itself a considerable part of the burden, and to be very chary of throwing that burden upon their posterity, who were not responsible for making the war. But what have we done in this case? I asked the right hon. Gentleman yesterday, and he was good enough to say he would procure me the exact figures. I cannot give the amount in cyphers, but the proportion is obvious enough. The right hon. Gentleman stated last year that up to that time all the additional taxation that had been levied was exhausted by the normal expenditure. Consequently, up to last year, the £12,000,000 voted in 1900 contributed nothing at all to the war; therefore, in all that debt which you were raising you paid nothing towards this war, because the whole of the burden falls on posterity. The borrowing at that time, I think, amounted to £62,000,000. That is the figure which stands in the Consolidated Fund Return. The additional taxation was estimated at £12,000,000. I am accurate in that figure, I know, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech last year, in speaking of the termination of the war, said that all the additional taxation of 1900 would be required for the normal expenditure if the war came to an end in three months. Very well. Then there is the money that has been spent or contributed in additional taxation in the year just concluded. That, I suppose, includes the £12,000,000 additional taxation of 1900, and £11,000,000 estimated taxation in 1901. But that does not make more than between £20,000,000 and £25,000,000 of taxation, without speaking of the £5,000,000 you are now going to add. Therefore, unless these figures are entirely wrong, it comes out at something like £30,000,000 of taxation in the three years.
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I knew I had not the exact figures. We will say about £35,000,000 including the £5,000,000 of this year.
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
Then I do not see how that is consistent with the statement of last year that all the additional taxation had been absorbed by the normal expenditure.
§ * Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT
I am quite sure I am right about that. The right hon. Gentleman said that if the war came to an end there would be no possibility of reducing the additional taxation, because it was all wanted for the normal expenditure.
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I have not the speech with me tonight, but it is on page 13. [The Chancellor of the Exchequer handed the right hon. Gentleman a copy of his 1901 Budget speech.] Yes, this is the pamphlet I referred to. Here is the passage—The question we have to ask ourselves is—How has this increased expenditure been provided? It has been provided simply by the additional taxation imposed last year. What was that additional taxation imposed for? It was not for ordinary expenditure, but for war services. It was proposed and it was intended by this House to be additional taxation for war expenditure, and we all hoped and expected that at the end of the war it could be remitted. But since then our ordinary expenditure, apart from the war, has enormously increased, and looking at the way in which the increase is going on, supposing the war came to an end three or four months hence—[Opposition cries of "Oh, oh!"]—well, supposing it came to an end sooner than hon. Members opposite expect, as it possibly may, our ordinary expenditure would not permit us to remit the additional taxation which was imposed for war purposes last year.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I think the right hon. Gentleman is carrying that farther than I intended. I did not say that our ordinary expenditure swallowed up the whole of the additional taxation, but that the additional taxation could not all be remitted.
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I confess I find it difficult to extract that 313 from these words. I had not quite finished the sentence—Supposing it came to an end… our ordinary expenditure would not permit us to remit the additional taxation which was imposed for war purposes last year, and which, let me remind the Committee, included an income tax of no less than 1s. in the pound. I hope the Committee will feel that I am trying to place before it the financial situation frankly and fearlessly.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
We are discussing this matter under some difficulty in the absence of figures. To the best of my recollection, the revenue contributed to the cost of the war in the year to which I was then alluding was £15,500,000.
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
However, for the purposes of what I desire to say, it does not matter whether it is £30,000,000 or £35,000,000. I think I am right in saying that the right hon. Gentleman stated yesterday that the money raised by loans up to this time had been £119,000,000.
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
We are going to raise now £32,000,000. We will call the total £150,000,000. In that case, if the money raised by taxation is between £30,000,000 and £10,000,000, what does it mean? It means that the amount you have raised by taxation for this war, for which you are so enthusiastic, and for which you are ready to make such sacrifices, is about one-fifth of the whole.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
It is more than that. I gave the figures showing how much of the total expenditure had been raised by loan and how much by taxation up to the end of March last. The amount raised by loans is over £119,600,000, and by taxation a little under £45,500,000.
§ * MR. McCRAE (Edinburgh, E.)
Including the suspension of the Sinking Fund and realised surpluses, which amounted to over £18,000,000.
§ * SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I do not accept at all the suspension of the 314 Sinking Funds, as additional taxation for war purposes. It is simply an aggravation of the debt by destroying the Fund which was set apart to discharge it. It is not an addition to, but a discontinuance of, taxation. I think there must be some fundamental error there. I will take what really are the taxes levied for the war. That is the only test I apply. I say that in round numbers the amount is about £30,000,000. What has been the practice in former times when the country was much less rich and populous? It is supposed that we are all enthusiastic and ready to make the greatest sacrifices. I assume that the right hon. Gentleman was willing to impose as much taxation as he thought the country was fit to bear. In his first speech, where he laid down admirable principles of taxation, and pointed out to the country how ready it ought to be to accept the taxes which he then proposed, he referred to the precedents of former times. He referred to the great war waged by Mr. Pitt, and he pointed out how at that time when the population was not half what it is now and when its wealth was incomparably less, the country cheerfully accepted an income-tax of 2s. in the pound, how there was taxation on every conceivable thing, and how there was contributed to the cost of that war £391,000,000 in 13 years. What is the proportion contributed by this great and wealthy country compared with the sacrifices that we made at that time? But let us come down to later times which I remember myself. The Crimean War, which he also quoted as an example of the way in which this country ought to be prepared to act, cost £70,000,000. He stated that the larger proportion of that £70,000,000 was raised by taxation and not by loan. Therefore, half a century ago, when the country was much poorer than it is now, the taxpayer was prepared to pay more than half the cost of a contemporary war. We degenerate people, enthusiastic and patriotic as we are, are asked to contribute one-fifth—if the right hon. Gentleman's figures were taken it might be one quarter—of the expense of the war.
It seems to me that that does not show much financial courage—I will not say on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for I have no doubt he asks 315 for all he thinks he can get and all lie thinks the people will pay. You are going to throw upon posterity, including the Vote we are about to give tonight, £150,000,000. I know there are some people who think that when we appropriate whole sections of a continent we are giving them something which will be to them of enormous pecuniary advantage. That is not so. It may turn out to be a source not of wealth, but of great expenditure. I have seen in this country, myself, great families and great landowners who, not satisfied with their ancient and noble hereditary estates, would not rest until they had acquired the property of everybody around them. They borrowed money at great interest in order to effect those purchases. They mortgaged the old hereditary estate, and when they had effected a great expansion, the family was ruined by that policy. It is possible that that may be done by States as well as by individuals. There may be a limit beyond which enormous acquisitions of territory will not add to your strength. It is said that we are going to send out people to populate these enormous countries—countries three or four times bigger than our own. I am not so extremely anxious to send out from this country the best among our population. I alluded last night to a plan, sketched out by Mr. Rhodes, of settling 2,000 people at a cost of £8,000,000 in the Transvaal. If £8,000,000 of money are to be spent upon settling cultivators upon the soil, I should like to spend it at home. We hear of the exodus of the rural population. Eight millions of money might do something towards keeping the labourer on the land.
In connection with these enterprises for the purpose of expansion, our attention is drawn to other cases. We point with pride to the administration of Egypt by Lord Cromer. [Hear, hear!] Yes, but the conditions of Egypt are very different, and so are the conditions that you have to deal with in India, where we occupy a country, the population of which are accustomed to labour and accustomed to government. There you may do a great deal. But where you go and occupy, as we are occupying in vast regions of Africa, great tracts which have no population except savage 316 people, where the white man cannot labour and the black man will not work, there the notion that investing large sums of money is going to be a profitable investment for posterity is, I think, open to question. I think it is a very serious responsibility that we undertake when we burden posterity To a certain extent this war is one which I do not say could have been avoided; but it has not been avoided; and when this war expenditure is forced upon us I regret that we should not have shown a disposition to make greater sacrifices ourselves before casting so heavy a burden on posterity. I believe that before you place these new territories and these new colonies in a prosperous condition—in that sort of condition and development which a great nation like England ought to expect in the new territories it acquires—you will involve yourselves in far greater future expenditure and greater loans.
The right hon. Gentleman hinted at guaranteed Transvaal loans. When you begin the practice of guaranteeing loans of this description you are entering upon financial obligations of the most perilous character. They are nothing less than land speculations and reclamation schemes, and anybody knows that if there is one thing more ruinous than another it is a reclamation scheme. But this is to be a reclamation of continents. I heard with great admiration and satisfaction the speech of the hon. Member for Oldham last night, to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has paid the tribute which was due to it. He cast his view a little forward, and drew attention to the dangers in which this country may be involved when it enters upon unlimited expenditure and unlimited loans. I confess I regard with some apprehension and with great regret that we should today be completing loans for £150,000,000. I fear that we are not by any means at the end of the loans which will follow when this war is over. I know that there is no manner of use in endeavouring to oppose the loan and I do not oppose it, but I think it right at all events to state the dangers which seem to me to exist. This tale of expenditure, and that which lies behind it, ought to be a warning to us not to be too ambitious to extend the great liabilities which we have already incurred.
§ (6.3.) MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)
said he had for the last seven or eight years agreed almost invariably with the canons laid down by the right hon. Gentleman, but he had made one statement which seemed to him so extraordinary that he could not understand how it could emanate from such an authority. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the necessity of making the present generation hear a fair share of the cost of the war, and joined issue across the table with the Chancellor of the Exchequer in regard to the arrangements which were proposed. The Sinking Fund must be suspended the moment the country went to war; but to exclude from the amount paid by the existing generation the sum liberated by that temporary suspension was, with all deference to the right hon. Gentleman opposite, scarcely an accurate representation of what was being done. He himself would have been glad had his right hon. friend raised more by loan and less by taxation. He believed it would be a long time before the sugar and coal taxes and the excellent corn tax were repealed, and he hoped that when the war had ceased they would contribute to the formation of surpluses of income over expenditure, which would resolutely be applied to the extinction of the Debt. He asked the Committee to remember that immense blocks of Debt were liable to be paid off within a shorter time than even the most optimistic could have hoped to see them liquidated. We had £10,000,000 of Exchequer bonds maturing next year; £14,000,000 in 1905; and £30,000,000 of war loan at 2¾ per cent in April 1910. He hoped all these bonds would be paid off at maturity from the contributions to be raised from the Transvaal and the Orange River Colonies. If that was done, then, with the taxation which the right hon. Gentleman had imposed, and which he hoped would be maintained, he believed we would be able to resume the Sinking Fund, and to repay our Debt in the rapid and creditable manner which had been going on during the last few years. He was strongly of opinion that we should never, as we did in 1898, relieve taxation at the expense of the Debt, just as at the present moment he was not desirous of relieving the Debt at the expense of taxation.
§ *(6.11.) MR. McCRAE
said the hon. Member who had just sat down was evidently of a trustful disposition. If he expected £60,000,000 to be paid off from the resources of the Transvaal he was very much more sanguine than the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman, in replying to the hon. Member for East Mayo, had not given any reasons at all to the House why this loan had taken the form it had taken. He thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer had taken a wise course in issuing Consols, but the House was entitled to hear the reasons for the form which the loan was to take, and also as to the amount of the loan. No doubt a loan of £32,000,000 nowadays was taken very much as a matter of course, and therefore the Chancellor was somewhat reluctant to make a statement on the question. He thought that both the House and the country had some reason to complain of this Star Chamber method of asking for a loan of £32,000,000. What justification had the Chancellor of the Exchequer for asking this sum? The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his speech yesterday made merry over those who had prophesied that they should have an Autumn session last year to vote further supplies on account of the war. He was not one of those who thus prophesied. He had occasion to speak in the country, and he pointed out over and over again that the Chancellor had means at his command without coming to the House of Commons for further supplies. But why were those prophecies made by those who made them? They believed, in their simple innocence, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would meet the expenditure on the war from the money that had been voted by the House for the prosecution of the war. The right hon. Gentleman met the expenses of the year by swallowing up all the money that had been voted for terminal charges at the end of the war for transport and gratuities; and in addition to that, he had trenched on the margin of £19,000,000 to such an extent that at the end of the year there was only £4,000,000 left. He asked the House to bear with him while he looked at the present position of expenditure in connection with the war and the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to raise £32,000,000 by way of loan. In his statement yesterday the right hon. Gentleman gave the total 319 expenditure on the war up to the end of the last financial year at £165,000,000, and he pointed out that that sum had been met by way of borrowing to the extent of £120,000,000, £45,000,000 being raised by taxation. But of that £45,000,000, only £26,700,000 had been raised by taxation for the war.
§ * MR. McCRAE
said he was going to tell the right hon. Gentleman. If he might say so, with all respect, the right hon. Gentleman did not seem to be acquainted with the figures in his own Return. In this Return, which was granted on the motion of the hon. Member for Poplar, it was distinctly stated that £18,500,000 was provided, £9,000,000 by the suspension of the Sinking Fund and £9,000,000 or £9,500,000 from realised surpluses.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
It was raised by taxation, but I agree that it was not raised by additional taxation.
§ * Mr. McCRAE
It was raised by taxation for the specific purpose of reducing the Debt so far as the Sinking Fund was concerned; and so far as the realised surpluses were concerned, the right hon. Gentleman knew very well that those would have been applied to the reduction of capital expenditure had it not been for the war. It was no argument to say that the whole of the £45,000,000 had been raised by taxation, because they were not reducing the old debt, which would otherwise have been reduced to the amount of £18,500,000. He would go further, the estimate for the present year was £58,500,000 for war purposes. He would drop the £500,000, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that that was applicable to the relief that might be given to be sugar-growing colonies.
§ * MR. McCRAE
said he would take the total for war purposes at £58,000,000, which, when added to the £165,000,000 already devoted to war expenditure, gave a total of £223,000,000. He would even 320 deduct from that the £5,000,000 which the right hon. Gentleman had said was applicable to China, and therefore they had the actual and the estimated expenditure for the war in South Africa amounting to £218,000,000. If that was so, it meant that they had, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire had pointed out, an outstanding debt of £120,000,000, together with the £32,000,000 which the right hon. Gentleman was asking powers to borrow, which would make up an outstanding debt for war purposes of £152,000,000. Therefore there was a balance of £66,000,000 which the right hon. Gentleman was prepared to raise by taxation and otherwise, He had already pointed out how £45,000,000 of that amount had been raised. The same principle was to be adopted this year. The Sinking Fund was to be suspended and the surplus of last year applied in reduction.
Taking the taxation that was to be put on this year, including the old taxation, and the additional £5,150,000, and adding them to the £26,700,000, the sum raised by taxation for the war in South Africa amounted to £45,000,000, or at the very outside one fourth of the total expenditure upon the war. He remembered when the right hon. Gentleman came down to the House, and told them at the commencement of hostilities how during the Crimean War this country, with resources not nearly so large as they were today, paid over one half of the cost of that war out of taxation. Therefore, the proportion which the right hon. Gentleman was paying out of taxation was a small proportion, not at all commensurate with the proportion which ought to be put upon those who incurred the expenditure. Then there was another point: Was the estimated expenditure for the current year in South Africa sufficient? He pointed out last year that it was only sufficient because the Chancellor of the Exchequer trenched upon the money that was to pay for the terminal charges at the end of the war. The estimated expenditure last year was £58,230,000.
§ * MR. McCRAE
But excluded the charge for Interest on War debt, and he thought the House was entitled to know what amount there was in last year's Estimate on account of terminal charges, transport, gratuities, etc. He had calculated it at £25,000,000, and it meant that if this war was not brought to a speedy conclusion, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was allowed to devote the money voted last year for terminal charges to other expenses, he had under-estimated the expenditure to be incurred by £25,000,000 sterling, and that ought to be taken into account in discussing the question before them. That meant that the expenditure this year, instead of being £58,500,000, should have been nearer £80,000,000 sterling. Every year since the war began the Chancellor of the Exchequer had largely under-estimated the expenditure that would be necessary to meet the war charges, and he should not be surprised if, in the present instance, the estimated expenditure would be found to be insufficient. He made bold to say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not carrying out the principles which he had himself laid down in connection with this war. Upon making his Budget statement last year the right hon. Gentleman said—I never will be responsible for the fatal policy of paying the whole cost of the war out of loans without charging a reasonable amount to the taxpayers of the day.Having regard to the large expenditure which was to be incurred, he thought the right hon. Gentleman was not charging a reasonable proportion to the taxpayers of the day. Why should he be afraid to do so, if this war was so popular as they were told it was? He thought there had been a slackening in the enthusiasm on behalf of the war on the opposite side of the House, and he was afraid that the country was beginning to realise that the policy of the present Government had been one of rashness in entering into hostilities, and of postponement in paying the bills. This Government would be remembered as one which warred in haste, and repented and intended to pay at leisure. What did all this postponement of liabilities lead to? It meant that the right hon. Gentleman was going to leave a legacy to those who came after 322 him, and he would not be there when the bills came to be paid. It meant that the capital liability of the nation was increasing to an enormous amount. They heard from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the National Debt amounted to £768,000,000 at the close of the last financial year. If the present loan asked for of £32,000,000 was added, then the National Debt of this country would be £800,000,000 sterling. When did the National Debt stand at that figure before? They had to go back to the year 1870, when the National Debt stood at £801,000,000. The right hon. Gentleman had not been discharging his duty to the country by the way in which he had faced this expenditure. The right hon. Gentleman had been studying the speeches of Mr. Gladstone, and he quoted him in his Budget speech yesterday, and in his Budget statement last year. There was, however, one quotation from one of Mr. Gladstone's speeches, which he commended to the notice of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered in 1879, in which Mr. Gladstone said—We are not fond of taxation, but we are fond of this—we are fond of financial honesty. We are fond of squaring the account, and no nation in our judgment is financially honest which does not use its best exertions to square the account.He unhesitatingly stated that the policy of the present Chancellor of the Exchequer was not one of "squaring the account."
§ * (6.30.) MR. CLAUDE LOWTHER (Cumberland, Eskdale)
shared the regret that this amount was not to be raised by a Transvaal loan with an Imperial guarantee. The future wealth of the Transvaal was a subject as to which he had acquired information from the cleverest financiers both in England and South Africa, where he had lived for some years. He was convinced that the Transvaal of ten years hence would differ as much from the Transvaal of today as did the Transvaal of fourteen years ago. In 1884 the revenue of the country was £200,000; in 1898, including the Free State, the revenue was £5,000,000. These two States, at the close of hostilities, could not entirely pay the interest on a loan of £32,000,000, but when the revenue augmented by leaps and bounds they would be able to 323 take a considerable part, if not the whole, of the war loan. Whether the revenue would develop so as to realise the golden dream referred to, he could not say; but if they attached importance to the opinions of those best qualified to judge, or gave credence to the speeches of mining leaders, the Transvaal had a magnificent future in store. The most important of its present resources, the motive power of its industrial life, was the gold mining industry. It seemed to him extraordinary that the capabilities of this industry were ignored in this House, for otherwise it would have been impossible for the right hon. Baronet opposite to speak, as he did last session, of the Transvaal as a bankrupt State utterly incapable of contributing one penny to the cost of the war. There were £2,500,000,000 worth of gold in the Witwatersrand alone. This amount was calculated in two periods of thirty-five years each. The output for the first thirty-five years was as much as anything in nature could be assured, as the amount of gold left owing to the equal dissemination of the ore could be reckoned with almost mathematical accuracy.
Then, other industries should be taken into account. There was the coal industry, which would do a great deal to develop the country. In the Transvaal there were 60,000,000,000 tons of a very high quality of coal. The coal between Middleberg and Ermelo was very nearly equal in quality to the best Welsh coal. The industry had been crippled by the most corrupt Government in the world, exportation had been crippled by the scarcity of railroads, and excessive freights of those in existence, but under good and enlightened government we had every reason to believe that the Transvaal would become in the future the great market of the shipping trade of the Southern Hemisphere. He did not wish to weary the House, and therefore would neither discuss the various minerals, especially iron, with which the country abounded, nor the agricultural fertility of the soil, which he could tell them, from his own experience, would, with a sound system, make the Transvaal self-supporting, even when denuded of her minerals. That was the real wealth of South Africa, and during the next decade, what issues might not be 324 expected from such a policy? Mining companies would spring up, markets for agricultural produce be created all over the country, until what was now a wilderness would be converted into a district of prosperous commercial and agricultural life. Was it too much to ask the Government to lay down a policy which should provide, when that day of prosperity had come, not indeed that the British people should profit from it, but that they should be repaid the cost of their outlay on the war? The right hon. Gentleman had not mentioned the sum which the Transvaal was to pay: he had not mentioned any sum.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I carefully abstained from mentioning any sum, for the precise reasons that the hon. Gentleman has just stated.
§ * MR. CLAUDE LOWTHER
expressed his gratification at the course the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to pursue. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman did see that South Africa was a country of such potentialities that he would be able to charge, a very great part, if not the entire sum to her. But if the right hon. Gentleman intended in the near future to state a sum—a sum which it was to be hoped would be a large proportion of the total—if the right hon. Gentleman in wished to see the revenue of the Transvaal accumulate to such a sum that it would not only pay its civil and military expenditure, but would be able to pay interest on and provide a sinking fund for, say, £150,000,000, then a general readjustment of taxation was necessary.
He had no intention of going into details with regard to general taxation of these States, but he wished to say a few words with regard to the taxation of one industry in particular, and about the lenient way in which the Government had been advised to tax it. He referred to the gold industry. The mining magnates never lost an opportunity of shewing this country what advantages could he derived by taxing every other branch of trade, every other form of industry except the mines. But they were extremely modest where the 325 mines were concerned. No doubt they felt extreme delicacy in flaunting the wealth of their own possessions in the face of an impoverished nation. What did Sir David Barbour propose? He proposed the abolition of nearly all the indirect taxation bearing on the mines. That was a reform in the right direction, as the incidence of taxation should fall on result and not effort, and such a reform would enable lower grade mines to be profitably worked. He wished to especially point out to the House that it was an acknowledged fact that these reforms, calculated on the amount of ore crushed in 1898, would mean a saving to the mines of £4,000,000 a year. That was not disputed; the mine owners admitted that if this reform which Sir David Barbour advocated were carried out, it would be a saving to the mines of £4,000,000, and having benefited the industry to this extent Sir David Barbour advised the Government that the mines would be in a position to bear a tax of 10 per cent. on the profits. In 1898 that would have brought in half a million a year. In other words, Sir David Barbour saved the mines £3,500,000 a year. But if this saving were effected, he could tell the House that the mines could bear a tax of 40 per cent. on the profits. That would, calculating again on 1898, mean £2,000,000 a year. The right hon. Gentleman opposite had spoken of killing the goose that laid the golden eggs; on the contrary, they were fattening the bird. The only danger was that it might die of violent indigestion, because he only asked for half the £4,000,000 saved by Sir David Barbour's advice.
Then there was the cry that capital would be driven away if the mines were taxed, but that was a cry which occurred on the introduction of all new taxation. Capital driven away Why, was it likely, with every bourse in Europe on the qui vive to share in the enormous profits of the industry. But, sup-posethesetimid gentlemen packed up their goods and chattels and went away, what would happen? They would be replaced by capitalists from all parts of the world; for, in his opinion, this war had been a magnificent advertisement for the mines. 326 He did not believe there was a corner of the civilised world, unless it were the House of Commons, where something was not known of the prodigious capabilities of the South African gold fields. He, of course, knew that this 40 per cent. tax, to those who were not versed in the taxation of gold mines, would seem big, but it was not exorbitant or even out of the common. He had already told the House that the neighbouring Government of Rhodesia levied a tax of 50 per cent. on the profits. The Chinese Government had lately concluded their mining regulations, and they had established a 10 per cent. tax on the gross, which amounted to some 30 per cent. on the profits, and moreover, participated to the extent of 25 per cent. in the profits. That had not prevented every nation in Europe from tumbling over one another in the race to obtain concessions.
The contentions of the mining magnates were absurd. They had no intention of leaving the country. What had been their attitude during the war? Whilst the mind, the brain, and heart of the whole country had been rivetted on the battlefield of South Africa, the eye and brain of these gentlemen had been concentrated on its gold fields. During the last three years they had had their agents in every part of the Transvaal, who had bought up at rubbish prices every available claim, which they would doubtless sell at enormous profits on the English market.
One other point. He had heard that after this war had ended the policy of this country was to be one of great leniency and generosity; he personally thought too much sentiment had been expended on the enemy and too little on our fellow subjects, if we were to pursue a policy of leniency and great generosity, then, he said, it was to the Boers, to the rural and the agricultural population, that we should show this leniency. It was to an enemy whose bravery we all admired, and whose generosity we had had reason to appreciate that we should display generosity. Did anybody imagine for a moment that the good feeling we wished to see established between Briton and Boer would be assisted by prodigality on our part to the speculators 327 and capitalists who had after all been the indirect cause of this war. Why this lavishness? Why this prodigality to the gold owners, when it must be remembered that every penny with which they were relieved came out of the pockets of the British taxpayer? It was all very well to say we were a great nation and we could afford to be lavish, but could we? Were we not looking at a rather over-painted picture of our own greatness? Were we not putting generosity before justice? Should we be prodigal to the mining princes, when at home we were being crippled by taxation? Should we be munificent to South African industry when the trade of the mother country was languishing under the burden of a long continued war, and should we be lavish to millionaires abroad with a Treasury so depleted that we could offer nothing better to our own poor at home than a wretched end in the workhouse?
§ (6.52.) MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)
said he agreed with the hon. M ember who had just sat down when he said this war had been engineered by the people who were now to be relieved of taxation. He impressed on the Committee the necessity of taking a broad view of this matter. If the Government persisted in their present policy they would have to incur an expenditure of £2,500,000 in maintaining 10,000 police in the Transvaal. In addition to that, they would have to maintain a large standing army. It would be impossible to carry on the administration of the Transvaal, and pay for the policing of the colonies and the maintenance of the standing army. The whole prosperity of South Africa had been built up by the goldfields. In 1886 the revenue of Natal amounted to £816,000; in 1898 the revenue had increased to £2,121,000. In 1887 the revenue of Cape Colony amounted to £3,181,000; in 1889 it was £8,781,000. The white population of Cape Colony was 376,000; that of Natal was 53,000. The population of the Transvaal was difficult to estimate, but good authorities put it at 250,000, and in 1898 the revenue amounted to £3,500,000. Long before the war commenced it was said that the Uitlanders were groaning under the burden of taxation imposed by President 328 Kruger's Government. He would give figures showing the taxes levied on the mines under President Kruger's Government and the amount now levied. The Robinson Gold Mining Company—to take that as an example—was floated with a capital of £2,750,000, of which the vendors received £2,250,000. If we adopted the Chartered Company principle we should be entitled not to one half of the profits, but to one half the vendors' interest on flotation, or 1,125,000 shares, the income from which was £168,750, as the Company paid a dividend of 15 per cent. But the total of the taxes levied by President Kruger's Government, according to the balance sheet of the Company for 1897, was only £1,084. It was true the industry was behind in the matter of dynamite, but that was a small question in comparison with the real issue at Stake. According to the authority of the mine owners, an undue burden was being placed on the Transvaal by the levying of this £3,500,000. If in addition to this they had to maintain 10,000 police, where was the money coming from for the standing army? That was the crux of the question. It was a question of policy, and it was idle to talk about levying tribute on the mines until the question was settled. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had acted most wisely in not now fixing any limit to the amount the Transvaal should bear. All Members on that side of the House recognised the firmness and moderation the right hon. Gentleman brought into the debates. They only wished the administration and carrying on of these affairs had been in his instead of other hands. The whole of the future prosperity of the devastated colonies depended on a spirit of moderation being shown in regard to taxation. The imposition of heavy taxation would stop that development in the Transvaal which was essential for the restocking of the country and the bringing about of prosperity, and check the industry which was the very life of South Africa. That land was decimated and laid waste by fire and sword; its only wealth came from the mines. Were the Government going to cripple that one industry by the imposition of taxation at the present time, when the Uitlauders themselves were away, when martial law and unsettled conditions prevailed? When he spoke on this question eighteen months 329 ago, he did not forsee that the Government would embark on this policy of unconditional surrender, and he thought then the wealth of the Transvaal would pay for the cost of the war, which at that time amounted to £40,000,000 or £50,000,000. That policy meant ruin in South Africa, and until that policy was changed he failed to see any prospect of prosperity. He therefore implored the House not to be led away by the very natural desire to tax millionaires, but to regard the interests of the whole of South Africa as of far more urgent importance than the question of merely getting back a small proportion of the war expenditure. A change of policy would give in a few months far more than would he obtained from the Transvaal if the present policy were persisted in. If the Government agreed to the policy foreshadowed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the policy of making—by being generous to them—friends of the people with whom they had been fighting, they would perhaps be able to recover from the Transvaal the interest on the cost of the war.
There was one question he desired to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the account of the revenue collected from the Transvaal, had any amount been taken credit for in connection with the sale of farms in the Orange River Colony in the Transvaal? Of all the iniquities or wrongs committed, or the barbarous methods adopted by the Government, one of the worst was the selling of the farms of men on commando, or men who had died for their country, and whose wives and children were in the concentration camps. For the sake of a wretched few thousand pounds, these farms had been sold without the widows and orphans even being able to bid for them if they so desired. A large syndicate had actually been formed in the City of London with the object of purchasing these farms.
THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
intimated that the hon. Member was departing from the subject before the Committee.
§ Mr. MARKHAM
said he was asking whether any portion of the money of which the Government were in receipt had been derived from the sale of these farms.
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said he was not aware that anything was included from the source named by him.
§ MR. MARKHAM
submitted that if these farms had been sold during the last twelve months, the Government must be in receipt of the money.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
The hon. Member is under an entire misapprehension. As far as my knowledge goes, there may have been one or two farms sold, but very few sales have taken place, and the amount received is absolutely insignificant, and any money that has been received has gone to the military fund, and not to the ordinary revenue of the Transvaal.
§ MR. MARKHAM
said that if this amount had gone for military expenditure he wished to know if he would be in order in discussing it.
THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member would be perfectly in order in going into the general policy, but not into matters of detail.
§ MR. MARKHAM
replied that the Colonial Secretary had stated that the amount received was absolutely insignificant, but if that was so, then all the more shame that his Majesty's Government should have adopted such a policy. He declared broadly that thousands and hundreds of thousands of acres had changed hands in the Transvaal during the course of the last few months, to the great detriment of a noble foe, and that was a policy which he believed the people of this country would not approve or sanction. He believed the Government had acted wisely in not fixing the amount the Transvaal had to pay. The future prosperity of the community in the Transvaal depended on moderate measures, and the Government should take every precaution not to hamper the gold industry of the Transvaal, which was the source from 331 which Rhodesia and Cape Colony were developed and the source from which South Africa derived its chief revenue.
§ (7.15.) MR. THOMAS SHAW (Hawick Burghs)
said he agreed with the observation made by the last speaker that it was not wise for His Majesty's Government at this stage to speculate with anything like accuracy as to the finances of the Transvaal. It appeared to him that the first thing they had to consider with regard to the Transvaal and its resources was—Was it able to maintain itself as a community governed from an Imperial centre? He for one ventured to doubt whether in this year, or anything like the near future, they would have a surplus on Transvaal finance upon which they could make any draft for Imperial purposes in the way of repayment of the loan. A greatinterest had been added to the debate by the speech of the hon. Member for the Eskdale Division of Cumberland. He understood the hon. Member to seriously avow that his view of the future was very hopeful on account of the well-known capacities of the mines, the value of which he appeared to treat with mathematical accuracy. He seemed to suggest that apparently without delay we should take something like 40 per cent. of the profits of the mining industry in those colonies. If that had been the avowed policy of Britain before the war broke out. he thought it extremely doubtful whether there would ever have been a gun fired. But before they talked of taxing the gold industry they must first produce peace in South Africa, and create conditions under which the community might live and thrive. He ventured to think that if it was part of their policy to impose a tax of 40 per cent. upon the profits of the gold mining industry, it would produce a state of unrest which might last for many a year to come.
The object of his rising was to point to certain elementary facts with regard to the National Debt and the relation of the amount of that Debt to military expenditure in the past. He had made the best calculation he could upon the available data with regard to the military expenditure of this country. In the Napoleonic wars this country 332 spent £831,000,000 on military equipment and operations. In the Crimean War we spent £70,000,000. He had endeavoured to ascertain what was to be the amount of expenditure upon the footing that this war closed within a few weeks, and he could not put it at less than £200,000,000. The result was that there had been an expenditure upon these three great wars of no less than £1,100,000,000 sterling. That was a stupendous figure. The question, however, to which the Committee should address itself was—What was the proportion which the present loan bore to the taxation levied upon the current ratepayer? They had a precedent which was of extreme value upon this issue, and that was the Crimean War. That war cost £70,000,000, and £36,000,000 of that total was defrayed by taxation, by the very people who made the war, at the very time when the war was going on. Therefore, during the Crimean War £34,000,000 only was added to the National Debt. In other words, 53 per cent. of the expenditure upon the Crimean War was paid by the current taxpayer of the day, and only 47 per cent. was put upon the National Debt.
What was the situation with which they stood confronted in the financial proposals which had just been made? If they took the moderate estimate or £195,000,000 as the expenditure of this war up to date, no less than £150,000,000 of that total was to be added to the National Debt, and the remainder was to be paid out of taxation. He was making a very large allowance when he put the amount to be paid out of taxation at £45,000,000 sterling. What were the results of this? Whereas in the time of the Crimean War they taxed the people to the extent of 53 percent, of the total war charges and only put 47 percent. upon the National Debt, in the present instance only 23 per cent. of the cost of the war was being paid by the taxation of the day, while no less than 77 per cent. was put upon the National Debt of the country. That was how the cost of an avoidable war, which was in itself not only a wicked but a senseless war, was being met. The only thing that would bring this country to its senses was the finance of the war, and his regret was that the present Government were not 333 administering this war in anything like the proportion which governed the Crimean War. The present Government were simply postponing the payments, and if they had adopted the Crimean precedent and put upon taxation 53 per cent. of the cost, then the people would have risen to inquire whether the time had not gone by when this war ought to have been brought to an honourable conclusion. So far as this war in South Africa was concerned, the National Debt had gone back in consequence to the limit at which it stood some twenty-five or thirty years ago. This war' had already undone from twenty-five to thirty years of retrenchment upon the national finances, and this had been largely due to the pusillanimous policy of saddling upon the shoulders of posterity a burden
§ which ought to have been discharged by the present generation. He had protested from the first against the whole scheme of the war, and he urged the Government to face the financial situation more in accordance with precedents.
§ *(7.30.) COLONEL BLUNDELL (Lancashire, Ince)
contended that the present war ought to be compared with the war in America, and not with the Crimean war. It was absolutely impossible in a great war like this to throw an enormous proportion of its cost on the taxation of the country.
§ Question put.
§ House divided:—Ayes. 229; Noes 102. (Divison List No. 110.)335
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Win.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Colomb, Sir. Jn. Charles Ready||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cranborne, Viscount||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Helder, Augustus|
|Austin, Sir John||Crossley, Sir Savile||Herman-Hodge, Robt. Trotter|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Balcarres, Lord||Denny, Colonel||Holland, William Henry|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hope, J. F. (Sheffi'd, Brightside|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hoult, Joseph|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Dorington, Sir. John Edward||Howard, Hn. (Kent, Faversham|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Doughty, George||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse|
|Beach, Rt Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Duke, Henry Edward||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Elibank, Master of||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.|
|Bigwood, James||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Kenyon, James (Lanes., Bury)|
|Bill, Charles||Fielden, Edward Broklehurst||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Finch, George H.||Keswick, William|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Knowles, Lees|
|Boscowen, Arthur Griffith-||Fisher, William Hayes||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Fitz Gerald, Sir Robt. Penrose-||Langley, Batty|
|Brassey, Albert||Forster, Henry William||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Butcher, John George||Foster, Sir Michael (Lon. Univ.||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Campbell, Rt Hn J. A. (Glasgow||F'oster, Phil. S. (Warwick, S. W.||Lawson, John Grant|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Fuller, J. M. F.||Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Gardner, Ernest||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lon.||Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Line.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)|
|Chamberlain J. Austen (Wore'r||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Gretton, John||Lowe, Francis William|
|Chapman, Edward||Griffith, Ellis J.||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hall, Edward Marshall||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hambro, Charles Eric||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'th)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hamilton, Marq. of (Londond'y||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison|
|Macdona, John Gumming||Purvis, Robert||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Pym, C. Guy||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Tomlinson, Win. Edw. Murray|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Ratcliff, R. F.||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Ure, Alexander|
|Malcolm, Ian||Reid, James (Greenock)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Maxwell, W. J. H (Dmnfriessh'e||Remnant, James Farquharson||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H (Sheffi'd|
|Milvain, Thomas||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Mitchell, William||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Welby, Sir Cbas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)|
|Morgan, Dav. J. (Walthamstow||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Round, James||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Morton, Arthur H. A. (Depford||Russell, T. W.||Williams, Rt Hn J. Powell-(Bir.|
|Mount, William Arthur||Rutherford, John||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham Bute||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wilson, A. Stanley (York. E. R.|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry||Seely, Maj. J. E. B (Isle of Wight||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, M.|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Seton-Karr, Henry||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Myers, William Henry||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Wilson,. J W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Rath|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East||Wylie, Alexander|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Smith, H. C (N'rth'mb Tyneside||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Spear, John Ward||Younger, William|
|Pemberton, John S. G.||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Platt Higgins, Frederick||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Plummer, Walter R.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart||TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Start, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Jordan, Jeremiah||Partington, Oswald|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Joyce, Michael||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc, Stroud||Kinlock, Sir. John Geo. Smyth||Price, Robert John|
|Black, Alexander William||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Reddy, M.|
|Blake, Edward||Levy, Maurice||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Brigg, John||Levis, John Herbert||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Lough, Thomas||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Burns, John||Lundon, W.||Roberts, John H' (Denbighs.)|
|Caldwell, James||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||MacNoill, John Gordon Switt||Roche, John|
|Cogan, Denis J.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||M'Crae, George||Schwann, Charlas F.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||M'Govern, T.||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick. B.)|
|Crean, Eugene||M'Kean, John||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Cremer, William Randal||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Delany, William||Man-field, Horace Rendall||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Dillor, John||Markham, Arthur Basil||Sullivan, Donal|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Minch, Matthew||Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Mooney, John J.||Thomas,. J A. (Glam'gan, Gower|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Moss, Samuel||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Moulton, John Fletcher||Tomkinson, James|
|Feowick, Charles||Murphy, John||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Ffrench, Peter||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Field, William||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway. N.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nolan, Joseph (Longh, South)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Gilhooly, James||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid).|
|Grant, Corrie||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wodhouse Sir J T (Huddersf'd|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Young, Samuel|
|Hammond, John||O Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Hannsworth, R. Leicester||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Harrington, Timothy||O'Dowd, John|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES, Mr. Channing and Mr. Whitley.|
|Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||O'Malley, William|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Mara, James|
|Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|