Amendment again proposed—
In page 1, line 17, after the word 'Two,' to insert the words 'Until the first clay of August, 1903.'"—(Mr. Channing.)
§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ (9.0.) MR. RECKITT (Lincolnshire, Brigg)
said that, in connection with the question of preferential duties, one could not help remembering that during the last eighteen months there had been a great tendency towards increased protection in our Australian colonies as a result of federation, although there had been a doing away of duties as between respective colonics. The Committee ought to bear that fact in mind in view of the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the question of the financial relations between this country and the Colonies should be discussed from the point of view of Free Trade as far as we are concerned. The new tariffs of the Australian colonies set an example in that they did not tax raw materials, whereas in the case of the corn tax raw materials were not exempted. It was of great importance that a new tax of this character should be open to revision at the end of the financial year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had taken as his basis of differentiation between corn and flour the figures of 3d. and 5d., but it did not at all follow that in regard to the whole of the articles manufactured from the raw material enumerated in the schedule the same ratio obtained. In the present 176 feeling of the country it might not be easy to call the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the variations which might be, on the one hand, of a Protective character to the manufacturer, or, on the other hand, in the nature of a Bounty to the foreign consumers; but it would be of great utility to be able, a year hence, to reconsider the whole question, when they knew what the various effects on trade had been. He believed the right hon. Gentleman had always done his best to secure that the incidence of the taxation he imposed should not be of a Protective character, although in this case he had somewhat departed from that position by reason of the fact that he had not proposed an Excise duty on corn. A point to be borne in mind in this matter was that this country had not the particular machinery possessed by Protective countries in the way of Standing Committees on Trade which habitually discussed financial questions, and the effect they would have on the various trades. Here these questions had to be discussed in the whole House, and it necessarily followed that there was always a distaste for any particular trade to introduce its particular grievances or requirements. But if there was to be a system of taxation, such as this duty on corn, by which fifty-four articles were affected, it would be necessary sooner or later to remit the consideration of these matters to a Standing Committee where trade interests, which were prejudicially affected, might be heard He instanced a, ease in the North of England of a manufacturer of feeding stuffs for cattle, the basis of which was rice, who had to contend in the market with a manufacturer, the basis of whose feeding cakes was linseed. But whereas rice, under this Bill, was taxed, linseed was not.
Order, order! I think the connection between the matter which the hon. Member is now discussing and the Amendment before the Committee is rather remote.
§ MR. RECKITT
said he mentioned it as an illustration of the difficulty of discussing in the first year a matter of such great importance as the tax upon corn. Even at the present time there 177 were matters of dispute between the Excise and consumers in reference to the sugar duty unsettled, and they could not be discussed on the Finance Bill. If the question could be debated again next year, these matters of detail could be properly discussed or referred to a Committee. It was impossible, on the first occasion of the re-imposition of such a duty, to pay proper attention to matters affecting small consumers and smaller interests, but whether the interest to be taxed was wheat or that of the person who sold locust beans, it should be equally deserving of attention in the eyes of the Committee. The question of whether or not a tax was Protective was of vital importance, whether a man was in a large or a small way of business, and it would be a great advantage to be able to discuss these questions again next year. He should, therefore, support the Amendment.
§ (9.10.) MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)
said that while certain trades might be quite willing to bear the burden of this tax, if it was to be simply a war tax, they would strongly protest against it being imposed as a permanent source of revenue. It would seriously handicap trade, and some trades would be affected more than others. Hitherto the Committee had considered the tax as merely one upon food; he desired it to be regarded as a tax upon a raw material of manufacture. He was afraid the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not realised what a serious matter it was from that point of view. Personally he was not afraid of a new tax. He was so charmed with the courage of the right hon. Gentleman in sticking to a tax which was electorally so unwise, that he was very reluctant to vote against him, but as a business man he felt compelled to call attention to the serious consequences of the proposal. To take the cotton trade as an example, doubtless, some Members had heard of "sizing," but probably very few were aware of what an enormous proportion of the calico exported consisted of flour. It was, he believed, well within the mark to say that of all the calico manufactured in this country one-third of its weight in flour was required for its use in one way or another. The Chancellor of the Exchequer might 178 say that the tax would not raise the price of flour, but most people who studied these matters would agree that, as a general principle, the price of a thing was determined by the source of its largest supply. When the registration duty on corn was allowed to go on under Mr. Gladstone, three-fourths of the corn was grown in this country, and only one-fourth imported, with the result that the three-fourths determined the price of the whole, and the foreigner sending the one-fourth had to ask himself whether he could afford to pay the duty and compete with the other three-fourths. But the positions were now reversed. The price would be determined by the same law as before, but, as three-fourths of the corn was now imported, the whole would have to bear the price of that which was imported. For the £2,500,000 which would go into the pocket of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the country would probably have to pay £3,500,000. The price of corn would be raised by so much, and wheat and flour would be so much dearer in this country than in America whence the flour came. What was the position of the trade on whose behalf he spoke? They had to bring their cotton from America, bearing the cost of bringing it 3,000 or 4,000 miles, and, in addition, this large element of flour was taxed hero while it was free to the American. The severest competition they had to encounter, and the still more severe competition they had to fear in the future, was that of the United States. It was very necessary, therefore, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was the custodian of their welfare, should be extremely careful that he did not handicap the trade in any way in meeting that competition. But that was what the right hon. Gentleman was doing. There were hundreds of trades into which flour entered very largely—such, for instance, as the manufacture of wall-paper, oilcloth, biscuits, and so on. At least, £10,000,000 of the £50,000,000 worth of grain imported into this country was used for manufacturing purposes, so that upon one-fifth of that import this would be a trade tax.
The right hon. Gentleman had justified the tax on the ground that 179 it struck the balance between the income tax payers and the poorer people, and that each ought to pay their share of the cost of the war. That was perfectly right, but care should be taken that the tax did not fall where it was not intended. One-fifth of the tax would fall upon trade, and the trades affected were those which largely paid income tax. It would be interesting to know how much of the total income tax of the country was paid by Lancashire and Yorkshire. He believed that those counties contributed a very large sum indeed towards the upkeep of the Army and the Navy and the Empire. The right hon. Gentleman was in danger of killing the goose that lay the golden eggs. All success in manufacture in the future, as in the past, depended upon their getting the raw material as cheaply and as freely as possible. The Chancellor of the Exchequer would not dare to propose a duty on raw cotton; to tax the raw material of manufacture was preposterous, but that was exactly what he was doing. Wheat was a raw material of manufacture, so that the right hon. Gentleman, while he was getting something from what was called "the poor man's loaf," was also taxing trade. It might be said that the cotton trade was rich and could afford to pay the tax. But he was pleading on behalf not of the masters, but of the great masses of the work people. Anything which handicapped trade in competition with foreign rivals told most disastrously upon the wages and prosperity of the work people. It was a most costly way of raising money, and he begged the right hon. Gentleman to consider the matter from the point of view of wheat and corn as raw materials of manufacture. It was true it was only a small duty, but it prevented the free flow of those raw materials into the country. The time would come when it could not be hoped that the manufacturing supremacy of this country would be continued in its present degree. That was one reason why he supported the export duty on coal. Our future prosperity depended on the country being a depot for the world; it must be the one country into which all things could flow freely—the money market, the goods market, the product market of the world—and yet, in regard to one of the most vital products, that position was being done away with, and a barrier erected against that free coming in of 180 corn. England at present was the wheat depôt of the world—["No"]—but this tax would prevent it continuing to be. Foreign exporters instead of saying, "Shall we ship these cargoes of wheat to London?" would say, "Can weafford to pay this duty which we can never get back?" He thought this was a most serious step to take, and a step which would be a great blow to the prosperity of our trade, and a great hindrance in our competition, with manufactures all over the world. It was sure to handicap them in this struggle, and it would have a very serious effect in preventing this country maintaining its position as the great manufacturing centre of the world. They had heard during the debate something about the necessity of changing their fiscal system, and they had been told that their old-fashioned theories of economy had gone out of date. What was it that had enabled this nation to stand a strain of this war so easily, and which had enabled them to raise sums of money which would have startled their forefathers, and which to them would have been impossible? It was simply because the prosperity of this country was built upon the rock of sound economic principles, and upon that rock they had raised this superstructure of prosperity. Therefore he was anxious that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should not do anything to undermine that prosperity.
§ (9.30.) MR. WILLIAM M'ARTHUR (Cornwall, St. Austell)
said he did not possess the eloquence of the hon. Member for Bolton, but he had been for a good many years more or less concerned in business with some of their great Colonial dependencies, and in the absence of any clear declaration on the part of the Government upon this subject, he wished to say that Gentlemen conducting Colonial business had been put in a false position. He did not want to enter into any long argument with regard to free trade or protection, but he wished to speak on behalf of Colonial merchants. He admitted that a great many of those merchants held views contrary to his own, but he washed to point out that a certain amount of unrest and difficulty had arisen in the minds of Colonial merchants owing to 181 the attitude, he would not say of the Government as a whole, but of certain prominent Members of the Government. Shortly before the last Colonial conference, a suggestion was made by the Colonial Secretary, which rather pointed towards a Zollverein throughout the Empire. That created a large amount of expectation and hope in the minds of Colonial business men and politicians, who held the protectionist view. That feeling had been to a certain extent accentuated by the financial arrangements made last year and this year, and he did not think it was fair that those engaged in the Colonial trade should be left in any sort of uncertainty with regard to this matter.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
The hon. Member cannot have heard my statement upon this question this afternoon.
§ MR. WILLIAM M'ARTHUR
said he had been present all the afternoon. He was not concerned so much with what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, as with what the Government were doing. Having last year somewhat deviated from the old fiscal policy, this year they were still further deviating from that policy. They had been asked whether this particular tax was to be limited for one year, or whether it was to be indefinitely imposed upon the country. If this tax was to be a permanent one, it might be taken in some quarters as an indication of an intention to pursue the policy hinted at some years ago. So long as that question was not set at rest, and was further accentuated by the refusal to make this imposition for one year, there would continue to be unrest amongst Colonial people, who had large sums of money invested in British trade. Those who were doing business with the Colonies were entitled to have a clear and a plain declaration from the Government as to what this tax really meant. If the tax was imposed to pay the expenses of a war for which he admitted as much responsibility as any hon. Members opposite, he should otter no objection to the tax. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer told them that he could not pay for the war under any other system that would be all right, but he contended the Colonial traders had a 182 right to know definitely whether this was another step in the direction which he had indicated. They had a right to demand a clear indication of the views of the Government upon this question. This corn tax, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer must know, had been taken in Canada, in Australia, and other parts of the Empire, as an indication on the part of His Majesty's Government of a desire to form a Zollverein within the British Empire. In those circumstances surely it was not unfair for them to ask for a clear and definite statement.
§ MR. WILLIAM M'ARTHUR
contended that the very best indication that could be given would be for the Government to accede to the Motion made, and to limit the operation of the tax to one year.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)
thought the demand made by the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down was a most unreasonable one. It was admitted on all hands that this tax was rendered necessary either by the war or by the permanent increase in the expenditure of the country or by both. Who could say that twenty-five years hence they would have got rid of this unfortunate burden. He thought the hon. Gentleman's demand for a further declaration from the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been advanced simply to bolster up this Amendment, and therefore his argument failed altogether.
§ (9.45.) MR. MOULTON (Cornwall, Launceston)
said it appeared to him that the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had raised the Amendment of his hon. friend from a mere detail to an Amendment of prime importance. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had insisted with considerable force and with some show of reason that a tax which is imposed as a permanency is as much subject to yearly Parliamentary criticism as a tax which is voted for a year only. Under ordinary circumstances, therefore, the question raised by the Amendment would not be of great moment. But the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had 183 changed all this. He always felt a great deal of sympathy with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and personally he had much confidence in him. He believed him to be a sound financier, and he also suspected that there were many financial discussions between him and certain of his colleagues, in which he was not always victorious. But these tragedies remain the secret of his own breast. The House knows nothing of them. So brave is the right hon. Gentleman in bearing these tribulations that he "wears no less a smiling face although so brokenhearted." But in the present case he had been forced by the cross-examining skill of an old Parliamentary Counsel to make two admissions, or rather declarations, in the name and on behalf of the Government. He had frankly said in the first place that this tax is a war tax, and secondly that the Government had hopes of establishing what he might call preferential Free Trade with the Colonies. But while making this latter admission the right hon. Gentleman had raised his own voice in indignant denunciation of the suggestion of duties being imposed against other nations to enable the Colonies to have this Free Trade. The Chancellor of the Exchequer must think that those who sat on the Opposition side of the House were gifted with an infantile simplicity if he cherished the hope that they would not now see the reason why he insisted on this tax on corn being voted as a permanent tax. What the right hon. Gentleman hoped to be able to say was this: "I give Free Trade in corn to the Colonies, but I impose no countervailing duties against foreign nations." This he can say if he gets the duty voted permanently. For instance, he will be able to say, "I have put no duty on as against foreign nations. I have only let Canada and our other Colonies off an existing duty." Having first put the duty on against the whole world, he can let Canada and Australia off, and yet say that in; has put no duty on as against America. That is the reason why this tax is being imposed permanently. If the light hon. Gentleman gets this tax voted for one year only, and at the meeting of Colonial Premiers which will shortly be held, it is agreed that there shall 184 be a shilling duty against America, Argentina and Russia, and no duty against Australia or Canada, he will have to impose the tax in that form next year. He will no longer be able to come down and say "I will let off Canada and Australia, and who can say I have put any countervailing duties against foreign nations?" This was very ingenious, but it was not original. In conveyancing it used to be stipulated that one should pay a rent of, say £100, and that if the money was not paid to the day the amount of the rent should be doubled. The law very properly held such clauses to be oppressive and refused to enforce them, and consequently the conveyancer's devil varied the form of conveyance and made it stipulate: "You must pay £200 a year, but if you pay it to the day we will let you off with £100." Alas! this transparent device was sufficient to get over the scruples of the law, and the new form of clause was held to be valid on the ground that it was beneficent and not penal in character, although it was identically the same in operation as the other. That was precisely the plan which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was now following, and he no doubt hoped for it a like result. But it was absolutely necessary for the success of this plan that the tax should be imposed permanently; and this was the reason why the Amendment of his hon. friend, which they were now considering, had become a matter of prime importance.
This brought him to the substance of this pronouncement of policy, this precious British Zollverein. He wondered when we were going to give up mimicking the greatness of other people, and be content with being great in our own way. He could assure hon. Members that they could not beat the way England had become great, by imitating other nations. In matters of Empire they should stick to the principles upon which England had been working so long and so gloriously. If they worked them out in the same spirit, they did not need to go to other nations for lessons in policy. Nobody admired the great German Zollverein more than he did. It was the great idea of a great genius, and he would tell the House why it was great, and why it 185 brought about great results. It did great things for two reasons. Firstly, it extirpated Customs frontiers, and secondly it destroyed no Free Trade. Think what Germany was then. At that time Germany was a mass of little States, each of which had Customs frontiers against its own neighbours. At one stroke Germany wiped those out and left only one great Customs frontier with nothing but Free Trade within. In the case of the British Empire, on the other hand, no Customs frontier would be destroyed. Every Customs frontier would not only exist as it existed before, but it would exist in the more odious form of a preferential Customs frontier. Instead of destroying the Customs frontiers this proposal would aggravate the evil tenfold, because it would harass trade at each Customs frontier with harassing inquisitions as to origin. So that with one of the two things which made the Zollverein in Germany great this proposal had nothing to do.
Now consider the other cause of the beneficial effects of the German Zollverein. It destroyed no pre-existing Free Trade, but on the contrary, the German Zollverein brought in Free Trade on an enormous scale throughout every part of the great German Empire. But what would the British Zollverein do? It would destroy the Free Trade which exists now between us and all the nations of the world. It would destroy that vast system of Free Trade, and substitute for it protective tariffs with every other nation excepting our own Colonies. This suggestion that yon could have a British Zollverein and Free Trade between England and the Colonies, and no countervailing duties as against other nations, was an absurdity so great that one was puzzled why anyone had ventured to talk about it. He had thought over it very seriously, and he had at last discovered how it came about that it was put forward by some politicians as being their policy. People whose notion of triumph was to be found in newspaper puffs always liked to steal well-known ideas. It was just the same in music halls, where the oldest "chestnuts" produce the quickest response in laughter. Originality might take years to be recognised, and the men who had done the greatest things for their country had 186 often met with nothing but hostility from the Press, which has to make up its mind on the instant as to how to treat questions requiring years to think out. It favours anything which comes with an already acquired renown. Hence it was that second-class statesmen always liked to borrow accredited ideas which had been a success in the hands of other people. What had given such a great boom to this idea? Why, the word Zollverein, which brings with it all the associations of Bismarck's great achievements in consolidating the German Empire. Now that he has passed away it has passed as a second-hand article into the hands of smaller statesmen. That was the reason why this word had been taken up, and the Government were juggling with the word in order that they might benefit by the reflected glory of Bismarck's achievements. But just look at the results of this policy. What would be the effect of it between England and the Colonies? What would be the first consequence of this policy? We should have to take off the duty on tea. Almost the whole of the tea consumed in Great Britain comes from India and Ceylon. This duty must be taken off, and we must look about for something to replace it. Where is it to be found? We must either raise the missing revenue by direct taxation or put import duties on articles now untaxed. Take the other side of the picture. What about New Zealand? The greater part of the revenues of that colony were derived from duties on imported manufactured goods, and if those duties were abolished in favour of England we could easily supply her with all the manufactured goods she could require, so that her main source of revenue would be destroyed. What could we give her in return? How could we give to her exports oncoming into England a preference over those coming from other countries. There was not a single product from New Zealand upon which there was a tax for us to remove? The consequence was that we should have to tax some articles which we did not tax now for the purpose of taking off the duty in the case of New Zealand. And however advantageous such arrangements might be to the community in New Zealand, it must have revenue so 187 that it must impose new taxes to take the place of the abolished import duties, just as when England had lost its tea duty we should have to find some other convenient course of raising the revenue. The suggestion that we could have Free Trade between England and its Colonies, without imposing taxation on other things, in order that we might get our revenue from those other things when they come from foreign nations, was mere idle twaddle. In this House the representatives of the Government ought to pay hon. Members the compliment of not talking quite so superficially. He stood up, without fear of contradiction, when he said that nobody could sketch out a Zollverein between us and our Colonies without imposing duties which would be nothing more nor less than Protective duties against foreign nations to the benefit of our Colonies—the very thing which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had repudiated. He confessed that he thoroughly enjoyed the speech of the hon. Member for South Longford, who praised the attitude of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was evident that this was not because he wished an Imperial Zollverein, but because he knew that if we bad not countervailing duties as against other nations an Imperial Zollverein was a thing which was impossible. So much for the suggestion that the aim of the Government was to have Free Trade with the Colonies and no duties against other nations.
He would now call the attention of the House to the suggestion that it was important that the Government should have this corn tax in order that they might commence this Zollverein. This reversed the old fable, for it was the mouse that was in labour and brought forth a mountain. This miserable 1s. on corn, a thing which very largely came, no doubt, from foreign countries, but to a much smaller extent from our Colonies, brought in something like £2,000,000 or £3,000,000, and it was supported on the ground that it might be made the basis of reciprocal preferential arrangements between England and her Colonies. It was the small bird that was to be divided among the 188 hungry appetites of all those Premiers who were coming over the week after next. Of course, to discuss such a policy would be idle if it were not intended that ultimately this corn tax should be largely increased and kept permanent. That was what made the discussion of this corn tax so important. It was true that in its present form it was a small tax. But it was heralded in by the statement that our permanent expenditure required the broadening of the basis of taxation. It was called a war tax, but it was announced that it was to be permanent by the Chancellor of the Exchequer who piously hoped that there might be no more great wars. The occasion for it was a temporary need, yet the suggestion that it should be for one year was repudiated. It was, in short, heralded in with so much laudation, and so solemnly that one could not but believe that it was regarded by the Government as a baby which was to grow up and be big and strong. All these indications showed that it was the forerunner of much heavier taxation of a like kind, and if that was so it was most important that they should support this Amendment now before the House. It was quite true that the forms of Parliamentary procedure enabled one to criticise the tax, even though originally it was voted as a permanency; but if the House refused to vote it as a permanency it was a recognition of the intention of the House that it should not be a permanent source of revenue. He was not going into the details of his objections to the tax, but he did say that those who held that the tax was objectionable in itself felt that it was rendered tenfold more objectionable by its being put forward as the forerunner of the taxation which would give preferential duties against foreign nations with whom we ought to seek to be friendly. The Committee were told that this tax was intended to be the beginning of a policy of drawing the Colonies nearer to us. There was one piece of advice that he would give as to this. Do not let us try to bring our Colonies nearer to us by pushing other nations further from us. If they were wise and sought England's true prosperity and the friendliness of all the 189 world they would take this first opportunity of pronouncing heartily against any tax or any measure that tended to give to England an isolation which, instead of being a "splendid isolation," was an isolation of narrowness and greed.
(10.2.) MR. JAMES LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)
said he need hardly apologise for interposing in the debate, for his presence had been made the subject of criticism by no less a person than the Leader of the Opposition. The right hon. Gentleman said, "Where are the Protectionists?" Well, he certainly took no part in the discussion of the corn tax, because he said he would wait until there was something to defend. He had contended throughout that this clause did not contain, in any shape or form, the element of Protection. If it did pretend to do so, it would be a contemptible pretence. The tax would give a paltry and insignificant source of revenue, and from the Protective point of view it was absolutely worthless. The provision, however, was a valuable one, because by widening the basis of taxation it would afford an opportunity to all classes to contribute their fair share towards the revenue of the country. He endorsed the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that this was not a war tax. No one could ignore the fact that there was an immense progress of opinion in favour of preferential treatment as between the mother country and the Colonies. Hon. Members opposite might denounce that, but the facts were too strong for them. They might, like certain newspapers, decry eminent colonial statesmen who advocated what they believed to be for the true interests of the Empire. Preferential relations between the component parts of the Empire were coming, and coming rapidly. The hon. Member for the Launceston Division had said that a Zollverein for the Empire was absolutely absurd. He agreed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that it was outside the range of practical suggestion at present that the Colonies should admit of free competition with the United States in articles which would annihilate their manufactures and destroy their sources of revenue. But he could not follow the hon. Member for the Launceston Division and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the disparaging tone in 190 which they referred to what he called, rightly or wrongly, the practically unanimous opinion of the self-governing portion of the Empire, namely, that some help should be given to inter-British trade. Any who ignored the fact that there had been enormous progress in public opinion throughout the Empire in favour of preferential trade were people who had not been reading the signs of the times. There could be no doubt, be it right or wrong, that every self-governing community associated in the Empire was strongly in favour of this view. Practically the whole of the self-governing portions of the British Empire, except the mother country, had pronouuced in favour of this system. The mother country was not lagging much behind, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was out of touch on this subject with the rising opinion of this country. He did not think the public would go the length that he would, but they were in an inquiring mood, and would not prejudge the colonial emissaries before they had arrived. When the case of the Colonies was fully laid before the country, all old fads and crotchets would have to take a prominent back scat. The Committee must not run away with the idea that the stale platitudes of fifty years ago would stand against the rising tide of popular opinion in the present day. We should have to listen to the proposals which were submitted to us by our fellow subjects from all parts of the Empire, and those who thought that by appealing to the prejudices of bygone times they could deter the Empire from being welded into one homogeneous whole, largely through commercial influences, were struggling in vain.
§ (10.18.) MR. McKENNA
said that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Thanet had made a most amazing speech. He had told the Committee that there was a rising feeling in favour of Protection. Did he forget that during the last fifty years this great England had been built up, and that we now enjoyed the most gigantic trade in the world? What possible reason or justification had he for telling the Committee beyond his mere ipse dixit, that we should be better off under Protection? The 191 trade of the United States with a population nearly double ours was not comparable to ours. The right hon. Gentleman forgot that in the trade returns which he had studied there were certain items which should be included, but were altogether omitted. He should remember what the carrying trade had done for this country. We took a toll upon nearly all the goods of the world which were carried across the seas. We took tolls on a large portion of the world's commerce through our bankers and insurance agents, and there was scarcely any business transacted "from China to Peru" on which some British merchant or other did not get a profit. That business did not appear in the Board of Trade returns. If the right hon. Gentleman was able again to bring Protection upon us, we should lose that mighty fabric of trade which we had built up during fifty years of what he called Little England feeling. The question before the House was whether this tax should he for one year or a permanent one. He understood from what the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that this tax-was to become permanent because it was necessary in the growing expenditure of the country to add permanently to indirect taxation. But what became of the right hon. Gentleman's assertion that there ought to be a certain equality maintained between direct and indirect taxation, when he promised to take off the extra penny on the in come tax at the earliest opportunity? Had the right hon. Gentleman abandoned that principle? Were they to find that the wealthy taxpayers were to be relieved and the poor taxpayers not? They had been told over and over again that it was necessary to broaden the basis of taxation. The right hon. Gentleman had referred with approval to that principle. What did he mean by it? What was the basis of taxation? He knew of no basis of taxation other than the taxpayers. The right hon. Gentleman meant by broadening the basis of taxation making the poor people pay more than their fair share of it. He himself would be very glad to hear any other explanation of the phrase than that it meant giving relief to the direct taxpayers.
§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL
said that surely his hon friend knew that never before in the financial history of the country had a greater burden been borne by direct taxpayers.
§ MR. McKENNA
said that, of course, the direct taxation was mainly borne by the well-to-do classes, and indirect by the poorer taxpayers. It had been the boast of the Chancellor of the Exechequer that he had maintained the equality between direct and indirect taxation; but their complaint was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had promised the Committee that at the earliest opportunity he was going to relieve the direct taxpayers and to reduce the income tax below 1s. in the £. If the right hon. Gentleman reduced the income tax by 3d. or 6d. what equivalent of indirect taxation was he going to take off? The argument was plain and simple enough. Did the right hon. Gentleman mean to leave off the tax on corn, and flour, and sugar, and keep it on tea, tobacco, and beer? In 1900, when he laid additional duties on these articles, he said that he looked upon it as a temporary addition to the existing taxation—he hoped merely for the coming year. That was to say, that the right hon. Gentleman was so tender to the duties on tobacco and beer, that they were only to be imposed for one year; but when he came to sugar and bread he was content to make the tax on them permanent. Accepting the Chancellor of the Exchequer's own rule and principle, that the equality between direct and indirect taxation was to be maintained, when he came to take off 3d. from the income tax, which had he chosen. To abolish the duty on corn; or reduce, the duty on tobacco, beer, and spirits?
§ (10.28.) MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL
said he thought that the mover of the Amendment had great reason to congratulate himself on the very important speech which he had elicited from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken of a matter which had been in everybody's mind during the last few weeks, and upon which there had been no very definite expression of opinion from the Government, or from anyone in a position of authority; and for his 193 part, he welcomed the statement which the right hon. Gentleman had made that evening. He thought we should make a very great mistake if we were to commit ourselves to an attitude of uncompromising hostility to the colonial proposals, before any of these proposals had been definitely made. We had no right to prejudice the question. The representatives of the Colonies were coming over to England at a moment when we were particularly glad to welcome them. They had come over with proposals which they had carefully and deeply considered, and we should give them a fair hearing. There was no doubt that, economically, in so far as we were to give the Colonies a preference in our markets, we should be taking the money out of our own pockets. But there were other things in the world besides money, and it was quite possible that the colonists might have something to give us which would be equivalent to the actual financial loss which we suffered. They might give us great military strength—50,000 or 60,000 of probably some of the finest fighting men in the world, and he did not know how many more in the future. That was something to consider. He maintained that this was a question of balance between fiscal loss and sentimental and actual strength. At any-rate, this question ought not to be met in this House in an intolerant and impartient spirit, before they heard the discussions upon it by the colonial statesmen. The speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, while very important, was also very gloomy in parts. He spoke of the increasing expenditure of the country, and apparently he assumed that nothing could be done to stop that upward tendency. It might be that next year the expenditure would still be on the up-grade, and that the efforts of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to keep down expenditure, would be no more successful then than in the past. Rut even so, a very large reduction in taxation would certainly be possible. It was difficult to elicit from the figures exactly how far the present expenditure was in front of our normal expenditure; but it was incontrovertible that it was largely so. The point he wished to make, with the indulgence of the Committee, was that when the time came for reducing the expenditure it would be on a peace 194 basis—they could not do it this year, but they could next year—then the reduction in taxation must not seriously disturb the equality now reached between direct and indirect taxation. He believed immensely in the advantage of being able to restrict the spending desires of both the masses and the classes by pointing out to them that they would have to bear a share in any increase of expenditure. From a financial point of view the first tax to be reduced should be the income tax; but if the income tax was reduced some indirect tax would have to be reduced also, in order that the equal proportion between direct and indirect taxation should be maintained. Representing, as he did, a manufacturing community he could say that they would never tolerate any alteration in the ratio of direct and indirect taxation which would be to the marked disadvantage of the indirect taxpayer, and the marked advantage of the direct taxpayer. If they were to take off indirect taxation it might not be the corn tax, but the tax on sugar and beer. However, next year, when they would be in a, position to consider anew the financial condition of the country, they might easily decide which would be the best indirect tax to relieve. If the Amendment of the hon. Member were carried it would unduly limit the decision of the country.
§ (10.35.) SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
said he quite agreed with hon. Members opposite, who seemed to be impressed with the view that the Amendment embraced a very small point. That was true, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, on behalf of the Government, turned the Amendment into a very large question. He was not finding fault with the Chancellor of the Exchequer for having made so large a speech. He had listened to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman with much appreciation and some relief, but it was absolutely necessary that those who felt strongly on this question should put on record their opinion on it. The right hon. Member for Oldham said that the House ought to reserve its opinion because the colonial representatives might put proposals before this country.
§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL
said he did not say this question; but on any particular proposals which might afterwards be brought before the House.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
said that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Thanet had given it a larger acceptation. But that suggestion came too late. A speech was made at Birmingham the other day, which had made it necessary for those who had decided views on the question, to express their opinion, and which had made it necessary for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to express his opinion. There was another danger besides that of prejudicing the question, and that was the danger of loose talk over here misleading the colonial representatives before they arrived, and it was better that they should arrive as perfectly informed as possible of what the opinion of this country really was—[Sir HOWARD VINCENT: Hear, hear!]—and if they formed an accurate judgment it might save disappointment afterwards. He had listened with astonishment to the speech of the right hon. Member for Thanet, to the lightness of heart, the levity with which he was prepared to abandon all our old system of economics through which our trade had been built up, as if he were tired of the success of British trade, and wished to see a change. Was he really anxious to plunge into a new departure at this moment when trade was never so prosperous? His objection to the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that it was a great new departure. The right hon. Gentleman said that he did not propose this tax with any idea of its being a new departure. The right hon. Gentleman might propose, but other people would dispose afterwards. The disposal would be some time or other in other hands, and it was certain to lead to other things which the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not, and never would, contemplate, but for which he was opening the door. This tax was doing something for the first time after many years under very different conditions. The House was told that it was only the revival of an old tax, but it was not the same thing, leaving an old tax on the Statute-book from indifference and re-establishing it years 196 afterwards, when the conditions were changed. The conditions now were new, and our relations with the colonies were new. They were such as did not exist when this tax was imposed; and he was glad that this was so. He was glad to welcome the growth of the colonies and their growing trade; but now they would say, "The conditions have changed, and you this year for the first time are establishing a differential duty in favour of the British producer against the colonial producer." It was a duty against the colonial producer in favour of the British producer. This was the most serious aspect of the tax, and he did not see how we were to escape from the consequences of it. The colonies would plead with very great force that at this moment, after they had shown such courage and loyalty and devotion in helping us in a great war, after the assistance they had been proud to give and we had been proud to receive—this moment was chosen to establish a duty in favour of the British producer against the colonial producer. The colonies had always had leanings towards differential duties, and had been looking for something that would be a ever in their hands with which to move British trade in the direction of their own productions. Hitherto they had had no fulcrum for the lever, for we had always said, "Our system is a Tree Trade system. It does not operate against you in any way, and we are not going to alter it." Now they would get a fulcrum on which to rest the lever. If it was to lead to a Zollverein, which meant Free Trade within the Empire entirely, he admitted there would be some considerable compensation for other risks. But that was impossible. We could not have it, and the colonies could not have it. What was to become of the revenue duties of the colonies? They would be driven back to direct taxation. They would be obliged to maintain their revenue duties. They could never be in a position to dispense with them, and we could not object when we were saying that new revenue duties were necessary to ourselves. He knew the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that we should leave nothing undone to induce the colonies to reduce their duties, but he did not mean that that should be done by the establishment of differential duties 197 against the world. One result of that was absolutely certain, and that was that this country must pay increased prices for the whole of the food of the people and for the raw material.
The hon. Member for Oldham had spoken of striking a balance between sentimental and economical considerations, but the hazard and risk to which our great export trade was exposed was such as could not be measured by any possible balance. A few years hence, when some Chancellor of the Exchequer was in a position to reduce taxation, it would be found that the Government would be only too ready to suggest that in reducing taxation there should be a modification of this corn duty and that it should not be dispensed with altogether. How could they resist that argument? They would be told that they opposed the duty because it was a Protective duty, and how could they resist the modification of a Protective duty? It would be argued that the modification would have a tendency to reduce the price of the food of the people, and they would be asked bow they could possible oppose a modification which would reduce the price of the food of the people. Those were the arguments which would be brought to bear a few years hence. That was the difficulty in which they were placed. His objection to the tax was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer thought he was doing a very little thing. That was his defence; but they objected to the tax because it was not a little thing, and the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that evening had increased his apprehension, because he turned a blind eye to the direction in which they were proceeding. Instead of doing a little thing, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was doing a big thing, so big that it became impossible to see what the consequences might be. Before the Colonial Conferences were over, however, the right hon. Gentleman would begin to feel that the future situation was becoming increasingly difficult. Putting aside for the moment that the tax was a Protective duty, and also the argument as to whether it would increase the food of the people, which was a very serious argument, he maintained that the danger in the tax really lay, not so much in the present, as in what it was bound to lead to in the future. He believed it 198 would lead to a preferential tariff, and he objected to it, not because it was a small thing, but because it was a very much larger thing than the Government had any idea of themselves.
§ (10.48.) SIR FREDERICK MILNER (Nottinghamshire, Bassetlaw)
said the straight forward statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been received with very general satisfaction on that side of the House. The tax had, however, afforded hon. Gentlemen opposite an opportunity, for once in their lives, of having a tabernacle in which they were able to meet in peace and unity on one subject at least, and it had also provided them with a cry on which to go to the country. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition waxed very eloquent on the subject some time ago, and tried to make out that this infinitesimal revenue duty would cost the working-classes three times the amount of the tax. There was one fact, however, with which hon. Gentlemen opposite did not attempt to deal, and that was that when this revenue duty was taken off, notwithstanding the fact that the price of corn at the same time went down 2s. the quarter, the price of the loaf did not sink, and there could be no possible reason why, when this infinitesimal duty was put on again, that the price of the loaf should rise. It was true that in certain places bakers had taken advantage of the tax in order to increase their profits. He himself had been in a few of these places, and he had given advice to the people, which, he was glad to say, had been adopted. He had advised them to bake their own bread. There was immediately immense lamentation amongst the bakers, and he had been informed from two or three sources that the result was, not only to bring the bakers to their senses, but also to show the people that they could actually make their own bread at a less price than that originally charged by the bakers. He thought that hon. Gentlemen opposite would find that the working-classes were too sharp and shrewd to be influenced by their perfervid eloquence. For himself he heartily rejoiced that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had shown a firm attitude on the question, and that he had revived a very useful duty and expressed his intention of holding to it.
§ MR. ABEL THOMAS (Carmarthenshire, E.)
said the Amendment before the House was simply whether the tax was to be an annual or a permanent tax. Personally, he hated the tax, and that in itself would be a sufficient reason why he should vote in favour of the Amendment. The argument which was just used by the hon. Baronet was one of the most astonishing he had ever heard, because it was perfectly certain that in future a man would have to pay 5d. more for a cwt. of flour, and he would find that when that flour was baked into bread it would have cost him much more than 5d. than it did before. At present the tea tax and the income tax were annual taxes, and the reason why he would suggest to hon. Members opposite that they should vote for the Amendment was that it would leave the corn duty in exactly the same position as the income tax and the tea tax. The three could be discussed on the same footing next year, and if the income tax were reduced it would be possible at the same time to deal with the corn tax. Even hon. Members who believed in the Zollverein system should vote for the Amendment, because it would render it much more easy to deal with the subject next year if the tax were an annual tax. He himself believed that it was the most abominable tax that could possibly be imposed, because it would increase the price of bread, and the poorest families were the families who would have to pay most in hard cash for it. He would cordially support the Amendment.
§ (10.56.) SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)
said he entirely agreed with the arguments put forward by his hon. friend the Member for Berwick, that in this tax they were opening what was likely to be a new and probably a sad chapter in their fiscal history. Like his hon. friend he dreaded the consequences of the tax, and he was glad to have the earliest possible opportunity of voting against it that night as a protest. He should have other opportunities of protesting against it, and he would gladly avail himself of every one of them. He felt ashamed that the argument should be put forward so persistently and boldly 200 that it was necessary to buy the continuation of the attachment of the Colonies to the Mother Country. Up to the present they had given the Colonies no fiscal preference, yet, nevertheless, the Colonics had supported the Mother Country during the last three years in a fashion of which the Colonies were proud, and, as his hon. friend had said, of which they also were proud. He did not think it necessary to offer any monetary advantages to the Colonies, and he did not believe that the love of the Colonies for the Mother Country was simply cupboard love. He had rarely listened with such pleasure to any speech as that which had been delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Thanet Division,. After many years, the right hon. Gentleman felt himself entitled to declare that hon. Members on that side of the House were believers in old shibboleths and exploded ideas. That was the very idea they had held about the right hon. Gentleman since they had had the pleasure of knowing him, and he congratulated the right hon. Gentleman on the joy he felt in making that statement. He would vote in favour of the Amendment because it would give him a further opportunity of declaring his opinion that the expenditure of the country was wasteful and improper. He believed that military expenditure was not expenditure for the strength of the Empire, but tended towards the weakening of the Empire. It was because he wished to declare that the tax should not continue longer than a year and also because he desired a further opportunity for advocating the reduction of expenditure that he would support his friend's Amendment.
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)
said he had listened to the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer with very different feelings to the feelings of some of his hon. friends. He observed that one of his hon. friends said that he felt greatly relieved, indeed, at the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, because he had declared himself in favour of Free Trade. His opinion was different to that of his hon. friend, and he confessed that he was rather in a difficulty to understand what was quite the right hon. Gentleman's position in regard to Free 201 Trade. The right hon. Gentleman stated that he was thoroughly in favour of Free Trade with the Colonies. He himself was as strong a Free Trader as any Gentleman in the House, but he rather gathered from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman that his idea of Free Trade with the Colonies was not quite consistent with that general Free Trade with the world which was advocated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth. So far as he had been able to gather, the right hon. Gentleman would not be averse to increasing trade between the Colonies and the Mother Country by means of giving preferential tariffs to the Colonies. That created a great deal of uneasiness in his mind, because he could not help thinking that the light hon. Gentleman had been bitten with the views put forward so admirably and ably by the. Secretary for the Colonies at Birmingham. It was a dangerous policy indeed to advocate so far as the general interests of the country were concerned. If they attempted to give preferential duties to the Colonies, they would create a strong ill-feeling in all their other customers in the different parts of the world, and he was afraid that it would create also serious retaliation on their part. Why should the Committee begin a system of retaliation when they could not tell where it would lead to. It would lead to a complete break-up of the tariff system with various countries with
§ which they had at present many important treaties. He should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he had considered what effect such an arrangement would have on the most favoured nation clause. Supposing they gave preferential rates to the Colonies—
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY
said that was not his intention, but he was dealing with points which had been brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman, and the right hon. Gentleman's speech was of such a startling character that he thought he would be in order in dealing with it. He would, however, simply content himself with protesting against the tax which had been forced on the country; and when they considered that the country had had no opportunity of expressing an opinion on it—it was a tax which be felt sure the supporters of the Government would not dare to broach during the last general election—he thought that was a strong argument for limiting the tax to a year.
§ (11.3.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 173; Noes, 236. (Division List No. 210.)205
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E)||Burns, John||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Duncan, J. Hastings|
|Allan, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud||Caldwell, James||Dunn, Sir William|
|Ambrose, Robert||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Elibank, Master of|
|Asher, Alexander||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Emmott, Alfred|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Causton, Richard Knight||Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone|
|Austin, Sir John||Cawley, Frederick||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan|
|Barry, E (Cork, S.)||Channing, Francis Allston||Fenwick Charles|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Cogan, Denis J.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Craig, Robert Hunter||Ffrench, Peter|
|Bell, Richard||Crean, Eugene||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond|
|Blake, Edward||Cremer, William Randal||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Boland, John||Crombie, John William||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Delany, William||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Gilhooly, James|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Dillon, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Doogan, P. C.||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Markham, Arthur Basil||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Haldane, Richard Burdon||Mather, William||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Hammond, John||Mooney, John J.||Soames, Arthur (Wellesley)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Harwood, George||Moulton, John Fletcher||Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R (Northants|
|Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Newnes, Sir George||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Helme, Norval Watson||O'Brien, Kendal (Tip'era'y, Mid||Tennant, Harold John|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, H.)|
|Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Holland, William Henry||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Horniman, Frederick John||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Joicey, Sir James||O'Malley, William||Thompson, Dr. EC (Mon'gh'n, N|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Joyce, Michael||Palmer, George Wm. (Reading||Tomkinson, James|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Partington, Oswald||Toulmin, George|
|Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Kitson, Sir James||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Wallace, Robert|
|Langley, Batty||Pirie, Duncan V.||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Price, Robert John||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Leamy, Edmund||Priestley, Arthur||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Rea, Russell||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Leng, Sir John||Reckitt, Harold James||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)|
|Levy, Maurice||Reddy, M.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Lloyd-George, David||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Logan, John William||Redmond, William (Clare)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Lough, Thomas||Rickett, J. Compton||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.|
|Lundon, W.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Robson, William Snowdon||Young, Samuel|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Roe, Sir Thomas||Yoxall, James Henry|
|McVeagh, Jeremiah||Runciman, Walter|
|M'Cann, James||Russell, T. W.|
|M'Crae, George||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|M'Kean, John||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|M'Kenna, Reginald||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Brassey, Albert||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Cubitt, Hon. Henry|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Brymer, William Ernest||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Allhusen, Augnstus H'nry Eden||Butcher, John George||Dalrymple, Sir Charles|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Cautley, Henry Strother||Dewar, T. R (T'rH'mlets, S. Geo.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Dickson, Charles Scott|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield|
|Balcarres, Lord||Chamberlain Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Disraeli, Coniogsby Ralph|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manchr.||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Dorington, Sir John Edward|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Chapman, Edward||Doxford, Sir William Theodore|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Charrington, Spencer||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)|
|Beach, Rt Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Bigwood, James||Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r|
|Bond, Edward||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Finch, George H.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Firbank, Joseph Thomas|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Fison, Frederick William||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Round, James|
|Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter Bristol, S.|
|Flower, Ernest||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Forster, Henry William||Lowe, Francis William||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Gardner, Ernest||Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent)||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Garfit, William||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Gordon, Hn. J E. (Elgin & Nairn)||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||Macdona, John Cumming||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew|
|Gore, Hn G. R. C Ormsby-(Salop||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East|
|Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Majendie, James A. H.||Smith, H. C (North'mb, Tyn'sde|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry||Maxwell, W. J H (Dumfriessh're||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Greene, Sir E. W. (B'ry St. Ed.||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Grenfell, William Henry||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.||Stock, James Henry|
|Gretton, John||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Hain, Edward||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Ox'fd Univ|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn. Lord G (Mid'x||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Momn'thsh.||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Morrell, George Herbert||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm||Morrison, James Archibald||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Hardy, Laurence (K'nt, Ashf'rd||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptf'rd)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Valentia, Viscount|
|Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Vincent, Col Sir C. E H (Sheffield|
|Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Helder, Augustus||Nicholson, William Graham||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Hogg, Lindsay||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside||Pemberton, John S. G.||Welby, Lt. -Col. ACE (Taunton)|
|Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Percy, Earl||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.|
|Hoult, Joseph||Pilkington Lieut.-Col. Richard||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Plummer, Walter R.||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset))|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Purvis, Robert||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Randles, John S.||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Rankin, Sir James||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.|
|Keswick, William||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Knowles, Lees||Ratcliff, R. F.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Lawson, John Grant||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Younger, William|
|Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareh'm||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
§ (11.18.) MR. KEARLEY
said the object of the Amendment he now desired to move was that duty should not be charged on articles other than those mentioned in the Schedule, and also to ascertain exactly from the Chancellor of the Exchequer where they were, and on what principle they were proceeding, if there was any principle at all, in levying the duty. When the Bill was introduced they were given to understand it was merely the reimposition of the registration duty on corn and flour; but when 206 the Resolution was put from the Chair they learned a great deal more. The Resolution mentioned various articles, and also stated that all farinaceous articles used for food came within the purview of the tax. That appeared to be understood by everyone, but when they came to consider the duties levied by the Customs, they were utterly unable to find out where they were, and therefore, it was that he was endeavouring to elicit from the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what principle he was 207 proceeding, and what articles were to be charged. In the first place, he would point out that the duties were being levied altogether contrary to the principle laid down in the Resolution. Duties had been levied on articles not starchy, and, indeed, not food at all, whereas, although the Resolution stated that starchy food substances would be taxed, many articles were excluded which were essentially starchy food substances. Take the case of locust beans. They had nothing in common with ordinary beans, except the name. They were the pods of a plant, and although they contained no starch, they were full of sugar and nothing else. He asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how he could justify a duty being levied on such an article, which was neither a food nor a starch. Then there was an article called dextrine. It was perfectly true that it was a product of starch, but it would be equally true to say that whiskey was made from starch. It was not a food, and should be no more included in the Bill, than whiskey. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer proceeded on the hypothesis that all products of dutiable articles should be taxed, then why did they not tax carbolic acid and the colours made from coal tar. He ought to be consistent, and tax the by-products of coal. Then, again, would anyone contend for a moment that potatoes were not largely composed of starch. Why did not the Chancellor of the Exchequer propose a duty on potatoes? It was suggested that potatoes were not imported, but that was not the case because last year seven million cwts. were imported. There was another article which ought to come within the purview of the Resolution, and that was pepper, which contained as much as 60 per cent of starch. Why had not the right hon. Gentleman included that, which was an article which was very largely imported. Again, ginger contained from 65 per cent. to 75 per cent. of starch, and was, therefore, a starchy food and ought to be included, if the tax were to be levied on any principle. Some hon. Gentlemen might say that it was nonsense to talk about taxing ginger and pepper as food, but he based himself on the legal 208 definition of food which was included in the Sale of Food and Drugs Act of 1899. There was great difficulty in the way of prosecuting persons for adulteration, because up to then there had been no legal definition of food, and Section 26 of that Act stated that the expression "food" should include every article used for food or drink by man, other than drugs and water or any article used in the preparation of food. That made it perfectly clear that ginger and pepper came within the purview of the Act, if the Resolution meant anything at all. The Customs had made out a list of fifty-two articles, and he thought they should all be enumerated in the Bill before they proceeded to discuss the Schedule. Last year, when the sugar duty was before the Committee, it was impossible to ascertain all the ramifications of the duty, but the experience of last year had been an advantage to the Customs, and they had ascertained very quickly to how many articles the duty applied. His object was to have inserted in the Schedule all the articles taxed, and also to obtain from the Chancellor of the Exchequer some explanation as to the principle on which he was proceeding, in order that they might know the full extent of their liability in connection with the tax.
In page 1, line 18, after the word 'Schedule,' to insert the words 'and no other.' "—(Mr. Kearley.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ (11.30.) SIR M. HICKS BEACH
It is perfectly clear that the words which the hon. Member proposes to insert can have no operation at all, and I cannot assent to their insertion. Nothing can be taxed except the articles named in the Schedule. The hon. Member suggested that articles are being taxed which are not named in the Schedule. I deny that that is so. Several articles have more than one name.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
Millet is not taxed. The hon. Member may take my word for it, that it is not. The first list, issued, I think, somewhat hurriedly, by the Customs was incorrect, and a number of names were quite unnecessarily included.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I do not know; I never heard of it before. The hon. Gentleman asked me what was the basis of our proposal. The basis of our proposal is the old registration duty which applied to a certain number of articles which he will find set out in the old Act. That list has been practically copied into the new Schedule, with one or two omissions.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
Oh, no, Sir. The hon. Gentleman asked me why I did not tax this, that, or the other article, but I think I have included a sufficient number of articles to carry out the principle fully. If, however, the hon. Member will communicate with me with reference to any article which he says ought to be taxed, and is not included in the Schedule, I will be prepared to consider it.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
Is it understood then that the list now at the Customs House does not go beyond the Schedule? I understood there was a list at the Customs House greatly in extension of the Schedule of the Bill.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
It was an extension caused by naming articles separately which really ought to be included under one term.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
One of the great evils of this tax is that it necessitates putting, as it were, under 210 the ban of the Customs a great number of articles not meddled with by the Customs before. One of the great reforms which took place in our finance was the diminution of the number of articles which were taxed by the Customs; but now these two apparently single taxes on sugar and corn involve an addition to the articles subject to taxation, amounting to several score. I understand that the number of articles which will be subjected to the annoyance, the trouble, and the hindrance to trade, of a Customs duty in respect of sugar and corn amount to seventy odd. What we really wish is a clear understanding that there shall be no Customs list interfering with the trade of this country in regard to any articles except those mentioned in the Schedule. If that is clearly understood, the evil of which complaint is made will be to some extent diminished.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
could not understand why there had been so much mystery in regard to the articles to be scheduled. Those who took an interest in the matter had had the utmost difficulty in getting the list. The Cancellor of the Exchequer promised a Return, but that Return, when granted, was very inadequate, and one was forced to the conclusion that for some reason it was desired to prevent the Committee knowing the full details of what the tax would lead to. He desired to know what the right hon. Gentleman proposed to do in reference to the preparations referred to.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
Under the ordinary law, quite apart from the Schedule, preparations containing dutiable articles are liable to so much of the duty as would be properly leviable on the amount of the article contained therein. That was the case in regard to sugar last year. For instance, preparations containing sugar are taxed to the extent of the sugar in them.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said the answer of the right hon. Gentleman showed how great the mischief of this proposal was. At any moment, fresh articles might be discovered in the manufacture of which flour was used, and instead of fifty, sixty, or seventy articles being added to the list, the number might 211 run to hundreds. Each article containing any of the substances named in the Schedule would have to be examined to find out how much of it was taxable, and it was impossible to conceive anything which would cause greater injury to trade. The reply of the right hon. Gentleman had shown the proposal to be a great deal worse than he had ever supposed it to be.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
did not think the inconvenience would be very great. There had been no difficulty in regard to the sugar duty.
§ MR. KEARLEY
asked why such articles as semolina, macaroni, and vermicelli should not be enumerated.
§ MR. KEARLEY
urged that the trader ought not to be exposed to the inconvenience of finding fresh articles added week after week at the caprice of the Customs. There had now been ample opportunities for ascertaining the articles that were chargeable, and those that were not, and the present Customs list might very well be put in the Schedule. If the tax was to come up for reconsideration next year, there would not be so much to be said for this course being adopted, but seeing that the matter was about to be dealt with once for all, it was a most reasonable request that the articles which were well known should be put in the Schedule of the Bill.
§ MR. LAMBERT
asked whether feeding cake containing locust beans or maize meal, would have to bear a share of the tax.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
We cannot discuss the Schedule now, but as regards locust beans and some other minor articles, I shall be perfectly ready to consider them later on.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
asked whether, under those circumstances, before they reached the Schedule, the right hon. 212 Gentleman would seriously consider whether, from the point of view of the trader, it would not be better to have all these items specifically mentioned. No dispute could then possibly arise.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn,
§ (11.55.) MR. FLYNN (Cork County, N.)
moved to omit the words "or Ireland" The tax was one which would fall with special heaviness upon Ireland, as it would tax not only the food of the people, but also an industry which was largely in the hands of the smaller farmers of the country. The right hon. Gentleman could hardly have realised the peculiar weight with which the tax would fall upon Ireland, as compared with England or Scotland. It was difficult to get figures showing approximately how the burden would fall, but according to taxation returns prepared by a very competent authority, with regard to County Kerry, it was estimated that on that one county alone the tax would fall to the extent of £27,000 or £28,000, of which sum about £10,800 would be on the food of the people in the shape of flour, and the balance upon their cattle-feeding industry Unfortunately, owing to the poverty of the people of Ireland, maize or Indian meal was largely used as a food, so that the maize tax would affect the poorest of the poor. The matter was the more serious in the present year because the potato crop prospects were of the gloomiest possible character. On the basis of the figures he had given for County Kerry, he estimated that the burden of new taxation on the whole of Ireland would amount to £500,000 or £600,000. As that country was already over-taxed, such a prospect could not be regarded with anything like equanimity. If it was admitted that the tax on wheat or flour would fall heavily on the artizan classes of this country, who were comparatively prosperous, he I thought a very strong case would have been made out for the exemption of Ireland, where the bulk of the peasantry, especially in a bad year, had to exist almost exclusively on Indian meal. If 213 the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not undertake to exempt Ireland as regarded flour and wheat, he might as Ear as maize was concerned. The Customs difficulty could easily be got over, because by far the greater quantity of maize was imported direct to the parts in the ships' bottoms. The small peasant farmer had to compete with the Dane. No tax was imposed on offals in Denmark, and the competition which was already very keen, would be much more severe if this tax were imposed. He hoped that before the Report stage was reached the Chancellor of the Exchequer would reconsider the matter with a view to relieving Ireland from some portion of the burden.
In page 1, line 19, to leave out the words "or Ireland."—(Mr. Flynn.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'or Ireland' stand part of the Clause."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said that the hon. Member would probably see, on consideration, that he could not possibly accept this Amendment. It would necessitate the establishment of separate custom houses, and that would be a system which would be injurious both to Ireland and to England. This matter could be most conveniently discussed on the Schedule, when they came to the particular article to which the hon. Member had referred. The hon. Member had not laid much stress upon wheat, and with regard to maize there was probably a larger consumption in Ireland than in England. But, as he had said, that was a matter which ought to be discussed when they came to the article in the Schedule. He was bound to say, however, that maize competed so largely with wheat that it would be very difficult to differentiate between maize and wheat in the amount of duty. He understood from a recent speech of the hon. Member for Waterford that hon. Gentlemen from Ireland desired something in the nature of a Protective duty for agricultural products. If the effect of this proposed duty was to raise the price of corn in 214 Ireland, that would, to some extent, be what they desired. But he did not believe it would be found that the duty would have that effect. There was an enormous surplus of maize in America, and that surplus had to come to this country, because other countries had considerable duties which prevented it from going there. Therefore, except under very exceptional circumstances, he did not think that a duty of 1s. a quarter would have any serious effect on the price of maize. However, he did not desire to argue the question at the present stage; that could be better done on the Schedule, and he hoped the hon. Member would not press the Amendment.
§ (12.10) MR. DILLON
desired to draw attention to the peculiar hardship and injustice of this particular tax which was primarily levied for the expenses of the war, but was now to be taken as a part of the permanent financial system of the country. The poorer the taxpayer, the more heavily would the tax press. He represented a district in Ireland where a great number of the people throughout long periods of the year could not afford to eat bread at all. He had seen them, in their own homes, eating potatoes and salt, and he remembered years when they had to subsist on Indian meal. It was monstrous and cruel of such a rich Empire to throw on these people any portion of the burden of the war for which they certainly had no responsibility, and from which they would reap no benefit whatever. There was no doubt that Free Trade had been the ruin of Ireland. The complaint of the Irish Members was that England had always carried on her fiscal system with a view to her own interests, and an utter disregard of those of Ireland. He was no bigot in the matter of Free Trade. He had seen America and Australia grow prosperous under a system of Protection as they could not have done under a system of Free Trade, but that was because they had suited their system to their circumstances. England, at a certain period of her history, embraced the principles of Free Trade, because enlightened men said that system would lead her in the path 215 of prosperity and wealth. And so it did, to an extent unparalleled in the history of the world. Free Trade literally deluged England with prosperity and money, but at the time England adopted Free Trade she struck down Ireland as an agricultural country, having previously robbed her of her manufactures and her industries by the laws directed against them. Today along the whole western and southern portion of Ireland ruin and misery and desolation were to be found where once, flourished the mills and granaries and stores through which the products of Irish tillage were sent to the markets of the world. The Chancellor of the Exchequer appeared to be under the impression that maize could be grown in Ireland, and he said that the Irish wanted Protection.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said he could have made himself clear. He did not, of course, suppose that maize could be grown in Ireland. All he meant was that if the tax raised the price of maize then pro tanto it would encourage the growing of corn in Ireland.
§ MR. DILLON
asked if anything could be more absurd than that? Indian meal was simply used by the people there because it was the very cheapest. Used in the way the people ate it in Ireland, it was food upon which no Christian people should be obliged to depend for an existence. The tax was simply another drop in the cup of misery of those poor people. But if the Government proposed a really substantial task it might be that the Irish members—although he would be sorry that it should be so—would feel themselves obliged to support it in order to lighten the intolerable burden which at present lay upon the people in Ireland, driving them out of the country because all prospect or future for them at home had been absolutely ruined. But so long as they had landlords in Ireland, every single shilling of a really Protective duty would pass into their pockets, and he had no idea of encouraging any Protective measure which would have the result of raising the rents in Ireland and putting money in the landlords' pockets. It must however be 216 understood that the Irish Party held themselves perfectly free to consider what their action should be in the event of the Chancellor of the Exchequer being dragged along unwillingly, and against his own better judgment, into extravagant proposals and new experiments in taxation. If justification were needed or the claim of the Irish people to manage their own affairs, it was supplied by the history of the taxation of Ireland and the cruel, thoughtless, and remorseless way in which the people of England had fitted their financial system to their own needs and commercial requirements, without the slightest regard for the way in which that system would affect the circumstances of Ireland. The action of the Government in proposing the present tax was simply in accord with that old and invariable practice. Ireland's experience of her partnership with Great Britain was that as long as she was tied to the Union no regard whatever was taken of the ruin which England's fiscal system entailed on the Irish people, and he was convinced that the longer the partnership existed the poorer would the people grow.
§ MR. FLYNN
said the remarks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had filled him with alarm. If in addition to a bad harvest, which seemed all too probable, they were to have this tax on the top of the high price of maize, the figures he had given of the serious nature of the burden would be greatly under estimated. The tax on wheat would not cause any additional cultivation in Ireland, so that, while having to bear all the loss of the additional price of flour and of the enormous quantity of maize—used both for human food and in the industry of poultry feeding and so on—they could get no advantage whatever. It was useless to say that this matter could be discussed on the Schedule. Members would then be pinned down to one particular point, and a full discussion would be impossible. He therefore moved to report progress, in order that the question could be fully considered at a reasonable hour of the evening.
§ Motion moved and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report progress and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Flynn.)
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said he would not resist the Motion except for one reason. The hon. Member had made a suggestion to which he could not possibly agree, viz., that a tax which was to be levied in Great Britain should not also be levied in Ireland. If the hon. Member would now take a disvision on this Amendment and resume the debate on the Question "That clause 1 stand part of the Bill," he would find that from the Irish point of view he could equally well discuss the matter he desired to raise, and the Committee would, at any rate, have made some progress.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
did not think it possible wholly to exempt Ireland from the tax. The real question they ought to consider was as to maize, and that could best be done on the Schedule. The Chancellor of the Exchequer should remember that maize was the food of a large number of the poorest of the poor in Ireland, and also that, so far as it could be classed as a feeding stuff, linseed and cotton seed cake, which were the principal
§ feeding stuffs in England, were not taxed, so that from that point of view also, this was an unjust tax upon Ireland. He was prepared to resist the inclusion of maize as strongly as possible, when they came to the Schedule, but he did not think hon. Members would carry the Committee with them in asking for the total exemption of Ireland from this tax. He agreed with every word of the hon. Member for East Mayo as to the injurious effect of Free Trade upon Ireland, but for the reasons he had given he thought it would be better to join issue on the question of maize.
§ MR. DILLON
suggested that the Motion should be withdrawn, although he agreed that the Irish question could not be properly fought on the Schedule.
§ Motion by leave withdrawn.
§ (12.38.) Question put, "That the words 'or Ireland' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 153; Noes 54. (Division List No. 211.)219
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex F.||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Finch, George H.|
|Allen, Charles P (Glouc., Stroud||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Firbank, Joseph Thomas|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wor'c.||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Chapman, Edward||Fison, Frederick William|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Charrington, Spencer||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Clive, Capt. Percy A.||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Balcarres, Lord||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Gardner, Ernest|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Corbett, T. L. (Down. North)||Core, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Line.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Green, Walford D.(Wedn'sbury|
|Bignold, Arthur||Dalkeith, Earl of||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Bond, Edward||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Hamilton, Rt Hn L'rd G. (Middx|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'ndnderry|
|Brassey, Albert||Duke, Henry Edward||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Dunn, Sir William||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.|
|Helder, Augustus||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Round, James|
|Hogg, Lindsay||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Russell, T. W.|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Milner, Rt Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Hoult, Joseph||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Howard, John (Kent, Favershm||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Morgan, David J. (W'lth'mstow||Smith, HC (North'mb, Tyneside|
|Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)||Morgan, Hn Fred. (Monm'thsh.||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frderick||Morrell, George Herbert||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Keswick, William||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ|
|Lawson, John Grant||Norman, Henry||Thomas, J A (Glamorg'n, Gower|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard||Valentia, Viscount|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Pirie, Duncan V.||Vincent, Col. Sir C E H (Sheffield|
|Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Plummer, Walter R.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Pretyman, Ernest George||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Pryce-Jones, Lt. -Col. Edward||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Purvis, Robert||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Randles, John S.||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Ratcliff, R. F.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Rea, Russell|
|M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|M'Crae, George||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Ritchie, Rt Hon. Chas. Thomson|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Priestley, Arthur|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Leamy, Edmund||Reddy, M.|
|Boland, John||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)|
|Caldwell, James||Levy, Maurice||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lundon, W.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Cogan, Dennis J.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Crean, Eugene||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Delany, William||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Dillon, John||Markham, Arthur Basil||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morley, Charley (Breconshire)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Elibank, Master of||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Thompson, Dr EC (Monagh'n, N|
|Ffrench, Peter||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Toulmin, George|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Hammond, John||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Malley, William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Mr. Patrick O'Brien and Mr. Haviland-Burke.|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Partington, Oswald|
|Joyce, Michael||Power, Patrick Joseph|
§ Question proposed "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill."
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.