HC Deb 16 June 1902 vol 109 cc717-73

Amendment again proposed— In page 5, line 9, to leave out the word Maize.' "—(Mr. Flynn.)

Question again proposed, "That the word 'Maize' stand part of the Schedule."

(2.50.) MR. FLYNN (Cork Co., N.)

declared that the duty on maize was a tax not only on the food of the poor people of Ireland, but also on an important industry of the tenant farmers of the country. He had taken the trouble to get out some figures in regard to the matter, and they showed that the burden would fall even more heavily on Ireland than was at first supposed. Ninety thousand tons of this grain were imported into Cork, and this at 5s. per ton represented £22,500, a burden which fell heavily on the poor population on the Western seaboard, as well as upon those who were engaged in the pig-feeding industry. He found, too, that approximately the importation into Ireland was about 750,000 tons, which at 5s. per ton represented nearly £190,000. Surely such a tax on Ireland, which was admittedly already overburdened, was excessive and unfair. The duty on maize represented 5.5 per cent. as against 3.5 per cent. on corn generally, and again this was a tax on the food of the poorest of the poor in Ireland, which in times of the greatest scarcity would be felt with the utmost severity. He regretted to say that the present gloomy ungenial wet weather was calculated to have most disastrous effects on the agricultural prospects of the country, and yet the taxation of the wealthiest country in the Empire was to fall on the very poor people. This was no light matter, and he hoped that before the debate closed the Chancellor of the Exchequer would find some means of getting rid of so odious a tax.


hoped the right hon. Gentleman would see his way to agree to the remission of this tax. He was concerned for the right hon. Gentleman's own reputation. Last year, when defending his coal duty, he commended it to the favourable consideration of the Irish representatives on the ground that in imposing it he had had special regard to the condition of Ireland. But then, and since, he had asserted that the coal duty would fall, and had fallen only, on the foreign purchaser. In the matter of coal, therefore, Ireland had had reason to be peculiarly grateful to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He, for one, would gladly welcome any manifestations of consideration for Ireland coming from the Treasury Bench, and if the right hon. Gentleman really desired to show goodwill towards that country he had now an opportunity for so doing. The tax was odious in two ways. First of all, it was a war tax. That promising young understudy of the Almighty, the junior Member for Oldham, once told his hearers, when referring to the sugar tax, that every time an old woman put a knob of sugar in her tea she was firing a shot at Kruger. The old women had plied their artillery so well that lately the Hooligans of London had had another big night. No doubt this was highly gratifying to hon. Members opposite, but the case of Ireland was different, and the Irish were having to pay for a war which they had always condemned. This was also a tax upon a necessity of existence in Ireland. He knew not how to deal with the topic of Irish poverty in a House which recently applauded the Colonial Secretary when he poured his classic ridicule on the Irish Members for their poverty. Famine is endemic in Ireland. From the rainy nature of the present season there was every reason to fear a failure, total or partial, of the potato crop. With the loss of the potato and the tax on Indian meal, what was the poor peasant to do? The right hon. Gentleman had inclined his ear to the sweet jargonings of Lombard Street. He had had compassion on the out-at-elbows millionaire. He had dropped an iron tear on the proposed extra cheque tax, and blotted it out forever. But the City is near and powerful, while Connemara and Kerry were far away and weak. Would he listen to the cry of the emaciated figures who shivered like ghosts upon the hillside? or would he regard the rich rather than the poor, and let it be said of him that "he hath bent his bow to cast down the poor"? If the Chancellor of the Exchequer refused to accept this Amendment, the people of Ireland might do worse than follow the example of the people of Boston when they flung the tea-chests into their harbour. The opponents of the Education Bill had threatened to resist the payment of rates if the measure becomes law. Let the Irish people go and do likewise.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

explained that when, on a previous occasion, he expressed the hope that on each of the articles in the schedule there would be a discussion and a division, it was not with any obstructive intention, but simply because each article had special points of its own, and, in his opinion, the one now under discussion had an exceptionally strong case of reconsideration. The Opposition objected to the whole grain tax because it would materially affect those who were least able to bear additional taxation, but the case of maize was the worst of all. The Secretary to the Treasury had contended that they could not logically oppose the com tax, unless at the same time they argued in favour of removing the taxation from other articles of food and comfort of the working classes. But there was no question of logic in the matter. So long as the present expenditure continued, he thought there ought to be a certain amount of indirect taxation, but he felt with regard to this particular tax that the working-class households had been already severely hit by the war taxation on tobacco, tea and sugar, and this addition would, as the last straw, lead in many cases to a diminution in the articles of consumption. The right hon. Gentleman had been somewhat inconsistent in his argument, because in replying to a deputation representing the horse-dealers he had said they could pass the tax on to the consumer, while in regard to the bakers, he had declared that nothing of the sort could be done. In any case, the argument would not hold, so far as maize was concerned. The Irish peasants bought their maize almost entirely in the form of flour, so that before it reached them not only had the tax been put on but also, in many cases, the additional expenses involved by the taxation. Moreover, as maize was a considerably cheaper article than wheat, the amount of the tax falling on maize was proportionately much heavier than that upon wheat, so that not only would the poorest of the poor be hit, but, as was usually the case, they we 1d suffer for their very poverty. It was generally recognised that, if possible, the taxation on articles of food, and of raw materials should be avoided, but this tax would fall upon both. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had declared that there was no Protection or discrimination in connection with the tax. If the tax did not discriminate as between home producer and home producer, it certainly did as between the home producer and the foreign producer as regards feeding stuffs, and that in favour of the foreigner. While he did not desire any such differentiation or Protection, if it was to be he would prefer to have it in favour of the home producer rather than the foreigner, especially when the latter already had considerable advantages over the former in regard to railway rates. In a short time the right hon. Gentleman would find it hard to resist the pressure which would be brought to bear upon him to get rid of this discrimination in favour of the foreigner, and the next proposal would be one for counter-vailing duties to those who used these materials for feeding purposes. The Chancellor of the Exchequer would have a difficulty in resisting that demand, both on its merits and on the argument, and Protection of every different article of trade would certainly follow The tax was originally proposed on the ground of natural emergency, and on that ground it would have been difficult to resist. But that argument had entirely disappeared; the Chancellor of the Exchequer had ample funds at his disposal, and he should therefore support his hon. friends below the gangway in voting against the inclusion of maize in the schedule.


I understand the question before the Committee to which it is necessary to confine myself is the question whether maize should be included in corn that should be taxed under the first clause of this Bill. Now, it will be obvious to anyone who observes the large imports of maize, and the a mount of duty paid by maize, that it would be impossible for me to retain the corn tax if the Committee agrees with the proposal of the hon. Member to exempt maize. The total amount estimated to be yielded from maize is £600,000 a year, not far short of one quarter of the total yield of the duty. That is not all, because the imports of maize into this country in recent years have been in-increasing out of proportion with the other imports of corn, so I think if we impose duties on other imports of corn, as the Committee have already decided to do, and exempt maize, maize, although not largely favoured, might be sufficiently favoured to supplant these other corn imports. That would affect, of course, the yield in duty on other kinds of corn which would be reduced in proportion. Now, why is it proposed that maize should be exempted? I agree that the argument with regard to Ireland is most important. It cannot be said that the tax with regard to maize is Protective because, as everybody knows, maize is not produced in this country. Therefore, there cannot be any violation of any principle of Free Trade in this duty. It is suggested that the imports of maize will be much diminished by the tax, but I do not think that suggestion can be considered for a moment. The imports of maize, curiously enough, have not varied in proportion to the rise and fall in prices; there has been a general increase for many years with but little regard to prices. For instance, I find in 1896, when maize was as much as fourteen pence per cwt. cheaper than it was last year the imports of maize into this country were very nearly the same in amount as they were last year. Therefore, it is clear that a duty of 3d. a cwt. would not make any difference with regard to the amount imported into this country. The hon. Member who moved this Amendment has referred to the present price of maize; undoubtedly prices are higher, but that is due mainly to the bad harvests in America last year, and I observe from the records that the average price of maize now is just about the same as it was in 1892. Then it fell until it reached the lowest point, very much less than it is now, in 1897, and then rose to its present point, giving us hope that these variations go in cycles of years. We have every reason to hope that we are now at the highest point and that the price of maize will fall in future years as indeed it has begun to fall already.

With regard to the present prices, I would remind the Committee that the total imports from America between November and May were less than one-twelfth of the imports in the same period of the previous year, and if it had not been that this deficit had been largely made up by Russia and other European countries, as will always happen in cases of bad harvests in one particular part of the world, the price of maize would have risen much higher. I must remind the Committee it is a mistake to consider the article maize in the same light as the article wheat. Wheat may be fairly called the food of the people, maize, generally speaking, is certainly not the food of the people. I believe more than half the imports of maize are used for feeding stock, and nearly six-sevenths of the total imports were used for feeding stock, distilling, and brewing. In all these respects, maize compares more with barley and oats, and if barley and oats are to be taxed, maize should be taxed also. Now I come to the point that maize is used for human food. I am afraid that it is by no means always used alone. When maize is cheap I have no doubt that what is called wheaten bread is adulterated largely with maize, and that I think is an additional reason for not exempting maize from this tax at the expense of wheat. But, of course, this proposal is really based on the argument from Ireland. I am prepared to admit that the use of maize as a food in Ireland is greater than in Great Britain, but I do not think it is so great as the hon. Member thinks.


I got my figures from the largest importers of maize in Ireland.


I would rather not trust the figures of importers of maize in this matter, who, no doubt, would suggest the largest import that they could. I entirely admit it is more largely used in proportion in Ireland than it is in the rest of the United Kingdom. It is used, as I have said, for feeding stock and for distilling in Ireland, and a larger portion than in Great Britain is used for the food of the people. It is used no doubt by the very poor, the cottiers to whom the hon. Member refers and to whom the hon. Member for Waterford referred the other day. It is used by them as food in place of other kinds of meal. But what is the position of these cottiers as compared with the very poor in our great towns. The very poor in our great towns are practically at the mercy of the bakers. Whatever price—always bearing in mind the competition which exists in the trade—the bakers may fix the very poor must pay. They have no alternative but to buy the bread at the price which is charged. But that is not the case with regard to the Irish cottier. He has an alternative. If maize should become dear he always has his land. On his land it is open to him to grow oats, and oat-meal I say—and I am in the habit of eating it—is as good a food as anyone could desire. I should like to ask hon. Members, when they are regarding maize as such an absolute necessity at the present day owing to the extent to which it is used, what they suppose the population of Ireland did twenty years ago. The import of maize into the United Kingdom last year was some 51,000,000 cwts., in 1882 it was 18,000,000 cwts. The population of Ireland was greater then than it is now, the stock in Ireland was as numerous then as it is now, and I believe the people of Ireland then were rather worse off than they are now, though perhaps hon. Members opposite may not admit that. I should like to know how they managed then with their share of 18,000,000 cwts. instead of the 51,000,000 cwts. imported now. Of course more corn was grown in Ireland then, and they made it into meal, and it might be infinitely better for the people in this country and in Ireland, who occupy land, if they would use a little more of it for the purposes of arable cultivation instead of allowing it to go down to that miserable grass we often see which is called "meadowing" in Ireland. Then it cannot produce anything like what it would produce under arable cultivation. I cannot myself see even if it is admitted that this tax must increase the price of maize in Ireland, how the position could be so terrible as hon. Members suppose, but in my belief, as I have contended all through, the 3d. tax on maize would be as nothing compared with the variations in the price of the article. That anybody may see who studies our market reports year by year, month by month, or week by week. It is impossible for me to agree to this Amendment without imperilling in effect the whole tax. I therefore sincerely hope the Amendment will be rejected.

(3.32.) MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)

said the right hon. Gentleman was apparently determined to raise a considerable sum by this taxation, and it was quite clear that it must come out of someone's pocket. It was said it would not come out of the pocket of the consumer, but in the long run it was the consumer that would have to pay. In the previous debates upon this tax hon. Members had spoken on behalf of the poor of England, and pointed out how the tax on wheat would affect them. Those who spoke on behalf of the poorest of the poor spoke of bread as the fundamental food of the poor of this country. He was sorry to say the state of things with the poor of Ireland was not so happy; they regarded bread not as a necessity but rather as a luxury. With regard to maize it had been described by hon. Gentlemen as the food of cattle, and no doubt in the United Kingdom it was largely used as a feeding stuff for cattle and dogs, but it was used for no such purpose in Ireland. In many districts there it was the staple food of the people. The hon. Member for West Donegal had shown conclusively on a previous occasion that a considerable portion of this taxation would fall on the poorest of the poor of Ireland, but one would think from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman that they had very little poverty in that country. The right hon. Gentleman had recommended a different system of cultivation and tillage, and he was very glad the right hon. Gentleman had done so, because be had recommended exactly what the United Irish League, which condemned these huge grazing districts, had recommended. They had had an instance of the grinding poverty of these people in the last Parliament. Four years ago the Government was applied to to do something for these wretched people, who, it was feared, would otherwise starve, and the Government refused. Ultimately they were compelled to do something for them, and they commenced relief works in the western districts, and, notwithstanding the fact that the Government only paid 1s. a day, the poverty of these people was so great that they were glad to walk long distances to and from these works in order to get the 6s. a week which was offered them. One thing that Irish Members could not forget was that this was a War Budget—that the whole of the charges connected with this Budget were war charges. They had always been opposed to the war, and those who sent them to the House were opposed to it, and when he saw the poverty in which the people of Ireland were kept by British rule, he was sorry to see Ireland's sons, born among this poverty, enlist and fight and spill their blood in a war, the object of which was to extend the dominion of the nation which had kept Ireland in this state of starvation. And now, when all was over, these unhappy people were to be charged with the cost.

(3.38.) MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

said in the three divisions which had been taken on this schedule he had taken no part. In speaking and voting against Clause 1 he thought he had said enough on the tax, and had abstained from voting further. But when it came to a question which touched Ireland very nearly, he thought the Committee ought to consider very carefully what it was asked to do before they imposed this tax. Maize was used in Ireland for two purposes; it was used by the farmers as a feeding stuff for animals, and if that had been the only use for it he was not prepared to say he would have assented to its being exempted from the operation of the tax. But this Indian meal, or yellow meal as it was more often called, had another use. There was a small class of farmers who fed their pigs and poultry upon it, but a considerable number of the poorest of the poor of Ireland were compelled to use it as an article of food. He wished the Committee to realise the class of people upon whom they were placing this import. He had over and over again pointed out what kind of place the west of Ireland was and probably nothing he could say would influence the Government on this matter. But it happened in the previous week that a London newspaper had sent a special commissioner to inquire into this matter, and he would quote two paragraphs from a letter that commissioner had written. [After reading an extract, the hon. Member continued.] The Chancellor of the Exchequer felt the position quite as acutely as anyone in the House. The right hon. Gentleman had been Chief Secretary for Ireland, and he knew the country. Sometimes he wished that the right hon. Gentleman were back. Sometimes he wished that they had his strong will and character in that country. A fortnight ago, accompanied by the Members for Oldham and North-West Lanark, the hon. Member stood on a farm of seven or eight acres on the De Freyne estate, in County Roscommon. He talked to the farmer and his wife in their little cabin. They were just the kind of people the Government were going to place this impost upon. For these seven or eight acres of bog they paid 15s. to 17s. 6d. an Irish acre, which was higher than the ordinary land of Ulster. He tried to find out from the farmer what his income was, and it appeared that by no sort of husbandry—whether the growing of potatoes or corn—could that man handle in cash more than £25 a year out of that holding. Out of that he had to pay his rent and rates, and to feed a family of six. He put this question seriously to hon. Members, "How was it possible for a man, no matter how economical he might be, to bring up a family of six children on a farm of six acres of bog land, every part of which he had reclaimed from the heather himself, with a cash income of £25 a year, and pay this impost?" What they were doing was to make the lot of these miserable people more intolerable than, Heaven knew, it was at the present moment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was rightly keen to get at people who did not pay taxes. Why did the right hon. Gentleman not try to get at him? He did not drink spirits, he did not smoke tobacco, he abhorred sugar, and he used very little tea. The right hon. Gentleman had no means of getting at him except by the income tax. He would rather the Chancellor of the Exchequer invent a means of putting an impost on men like himself, than that he should put an additional tax on the Indian meal used by the poor people whom he had referred to. He was glad to say that the standard of comfort was rising in those parts. They used a little tea, and on that they paid duty. Many of the men smoked and paid the tax on tobacco, and he was sorry to say that at fairs and markets some of them drank, and paid the tax on, whisky. They were, therefore, not a class who did not pay taxes at all and whom the Chancellor was endeavouring to get at. They paid taxes now far beyond their capacity, and this was just another impost heaped on to the other imposts which they had to bear. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted that the case was hard, especially with regard to Ireland, but he asked what the people did twenty years ago. The right hon. Gentleman said that instead of using this meal they ought to cultivate oats and use oatmeal. Nobody could say that that was an argument that would bear the test of examination. In the first place, those wretched people with seven or eight acres of bog land must grow potatoes. Their very life was dependent on that. They could not grow potatoes and oats both. They had not land to do it upon. Why, the whole thing was an impossibility, and the House had better realise the plain fact at once. There was no alternative for these miserable small holders of land in the West and North-West of Ireland but to consume the potatoes they grew, and when these were exhausted to fall back on the yellow meal, to the price of which they were going to add by this tax. The Chancellor had stated that this tax on maize was to produce £600,000 out of a total of a little over £2,000,000. What did that mean? It meant that if a tax was not imposed, the Chancellor would have a smaller surplus. By dropping the tax on maize the Budget would not be deranged, but, by dropping it, there would not be so much to give to the taxpayers in relief for English education. But was it not a miserable thing that English rates for education were to be paid by those wretched peasants in the West of Ireland? All parties in Ireland were perfectly clear that Ireland was overtaxed. He hoped the Chancellor, first as representing the Government, and the Committee in the second place, would think once, twice, and thrice before taxing these poor people in the West and North-West of Ireland, and making their lot still more miserable.

(3.55.) SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

said the case mentioned by the hon. Member for South Tyrone was one of the most typical cases that arose in connection with this tax. The subterfuges and fallacies which the defenders of this tax had to resort to in order to hide its real meaning, and to justify its unfortunate and deplorable consequences, would be brought before the House and country again and again. He quite agreed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there was nothing Protective in this tax. The article which they now proposed to tax would be taxed in its pure and native simplicity, and to the last farthing the tax would have to be paid by the consumer. In imposing this tax the House was entitled to look at it, not as part of a Budget, but from the point of view, whether the resources of the nation were so completely exhausted that they were bound, in order to raise a War Budget of something like £170,000,000 sterling, to tax the food of the poorest of the poor, and the poorest food of the poor. He repudiated that doctrine altogether. Except in the presence of a gigantic national emergency the House of Commons ought not to impose any burden on the poorest of the poor. In the case of Ireland the hon. Member for South Tyrone, and the Irish Members, of course, spoke with a personal knowledge which many hon. Members did not possesss. But it did not need even their experience to tell them that Ireland contained a larger proportion of the poorest poor than any other part of the King's dominions. Why should they pay this tax? The Chancellor of the Exchequer wanted to broaden the basis of taxation, and that was the specious reasoning put forward in favour of the tax. So far as these people were concerned, there was no necessity to broaden the basis of taxation. There was no Irish peasant who did not pay taxation in some form or another. He did not know that the hon. Gentleman, if he were living in the West of Ireland, would be able to do without his tobacco or tea; and he dared say he might find occasion for a little nip of whisky. [Mr. T. W. RUSSELL: Never.] Strong temperance man as he was, he insisted that they had no right to dictate to people how they were to spend their money, so long as the sale and consumption of any article was lawful. They had no right to tax the poorest of the poor in order to raise the ordinary revenue of the country. Every step that had been taken in the debate, since peace had been declared, showed that the money was not wanted. The Chancellor of the Exchequer could not tell the House what he was going to do with the money he had in hand. The House of Commons would no doubt respond to the appeal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and give him a blank cheque. If the income taxpayers chose to do it, let them do it. If the large taxpayers chose to do it, let them do it. But they should not tax the poor people who had nobody to represent them in this House. This was a tax on the poor, not only in Ireland but in London and the great manufacturing towns of England and Scotland. The food of the people was not a legitimate subject of taxation, unless under an absolute necessity; and then it ought to be confined within reasonable limits. He rejoiced to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer saying that the use of maize meal was extending. He thought it was a wholesome food, and its general use in England and Scotland as well as Ireland was not to be reprobated. But he asked the House of Commons whether there was any necessity for levying this additional taxation on the people of Ireland, and thus adding to the legitimate wrongs and sufferings of the poorest of the poor of that country.

MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)

said he could not agree with the right hon. Gentleman that maize in any shape or form, could possibly be as good food for the people as oatmeal. He had never in his life seen maize meal used as food by the people of Scotland; although, no doubt, Ireland stood on a different basis. He sincerely sympathised with his friends from Ireland, in their condemnation of this additional burden being placed on the poorest of the poor in that country. They in Scotland who had cattle and sheep would also be hit by this tax. There was also a small but growing industry which had been too much neglected in the past—he alluded to poultry rearing—which would be affected by this tax on maize. The peasantry in the West of Scotland used large quantities of maize for poultry feeding; and from the eggs and chickens I many of them paid half their rents of from £70 to £80 a year. He objected to the corn tax, the wheat tax, and the barley tax, but above all, the maize tax; because the latter hit all round—the poorest of the poor in Ireland, and farmers, breeders of cattle and sheep in Great Britain; and he regretted extremely that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with a large balance in hand, could not see his way to remit this tax on maize, which was almost a necessity, and allow it to come in free of duty.

(4.8.) MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)

said if the Irish Members spoke at any considerable length, they would be fully justified by the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman commenced by saying that he could not exempt maize, because the tax upon that grain constituted a fourth of the whole tax put upon corn. He was surprised at that admission, because from the point of view of Ireland, that added strength to their argument against the tax on maize. The greater the amount of the tax derived from maize, the greater the injustice to Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman gave another reason, which must have been addressed to the supporters of Free Trade on both sides of the House, when he said that maize could not be produced in this country, and that, therefore, there was no element of Protection about the tax on that grain; but if Ireland had been able to grow maize, there might have been something to be said for the tax. Apart from these reasons, he insisted that the imposition of this tax was a cruel and heartless device on the part of the Finance Minister of this country, considering the special circumstances of Ireland, particularly the West of Ireland, with which at present they were more particularly concerned. When he contrasted the condition of the poor people in the West of Ireland with that of the wealthy millions who lived in England, he could scarcely think of the imposition of this tax without a feeling of indignation. The part of Ireland principally affected was, of course, the congested areas, but there were people outside these areas who were almost as badly off. The holdings in the congested districts were valued at about 30s. a year, and the extent of arable land on it was scarcely more than two acres, and in some places only half an acre, and a great part of the expenditure of these small farmers was upon Indian meal. Now, he was not stating what was not admitted. The Government themselves—the present and former Chief Secretaries for Ireland and the Chancellor of the Exchequer—had all admitted, over and over again, the extreme poverty of these unfortunate people in the West of Ireland, otherwise there would have been no suggestion for their relief and the establishment of the Congested Districts Board; there never would have been the employment of money for the Imperial Treasury without asking for any repayment, if the misery in these districts were not profound, prevailing, and even appalling. He had often thought that if money was wanted for this war, considering the poverty of the people, even in England itself, it would be a mighty good job, and an act of justice, for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the Government backing him up, to send the police to lock up the gates of Hyde Park during the Sunday parade, and exact from the people within all that was wanted to pay for this war. That would fall with far loss effect on these people than this maize tax would fall on the unfortunate peasants in the West of Ireland, who were perpetually on the brink of starvation. When he contrasted the condition of these two classes he could hardly believe otherwise than that this Parliament was acting, not in obedience to the dictates of justice or in the interests of the people, but in the interests of money and capital. The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked—Why did not these small farmers grow wheat, and barley, and oats? Imagine the unfortunate farmer in Ireland, who had a couple of acres of arable ground, three-fourths of the little patch consisting of stones, with patches of green between them, growing wheat! The late Professor Darcy Thomson, professor of Greek in Queen's College, Galway, once visited these districts, and described them as like the ruins of Babel. It seemed to him a monstrous thing to put any tax on the tea, tobacco, whisky, maize, or any commodity on earth which those poor people used, while there were hundreds of thousands of people in the country who did not feel the taxation imposed upon them at all, and who spent every night as much on a single dinner-party as would keep hundreds of these poor peasant families in comfort for six months. Why did not these poor peasants plant vines and make champagne? That would be a much more profitable thing than growing oats! They might plant the vines and erect glass-houses; they might employ some scientific experts from the Continent to make a now sort of wine, and everything would be beautiful, and it would take the place of French wine! Why did not these poor peasants do these things? The reason was that they could do those things just as easily as they could grow oats. The one thing was just as impossible as the other. If they grew fine vines and produced splendid champagne, the landlords would take all the profit from them. The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked why they did not turn the grass lands in the West of Ireland into arable land? That was what the United Irish Land League had been saying for years past; and for preaching that doctrine the Government had arrested only the previous morning one of the Members of this House and were going to prosecute him. No doubt the agents of the Government would send that hon. Member to six months imprisonment, probably more. And, perhaps, some other agent of the Government would arrest the hon. Member again on his release for preaching precisely the same doctrine which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had that night propounded without fear in the House of Commons. He thought that political economists, amongst whom the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a great authority, had for years past been preaching the doctrine that they in Ireland were wrong in sticking to old-fashioned methods in trying to grow wheat, oats, barley, and other such crops, and that they should turn their fields into grazing ranches. It appeared that this advice was all wrong, and that what they ought to have done, apparently against the laws of nature and foreign competition and grand political economy, was to persist in growing wheat for which they could not get any price, in growing oats which it would not pay to scatter on the ground, in growing barley when it would land the farmer into bankruptcy. It did not matter whether at the end of the season they could not get somebody to buy their wheat, or oats, or barley; the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, "Grow them anyhow, and eat what you grow." It might possibly be the case, however, that the landlord and the tax gatherer would step in and get some of that wheat, barley, and oats, and how then could they eat it? He could only wonder that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should announce such a theory to the House of Commons. He did not want to touch on the financial relations of Ireland and Great Britain, but he could not help saying that this was a splendid example of the working of the system of common taxation. When they read in the London morning papers comments on an Irish debate they were always met with the argument that they were all taxed alike. Exactly; but take the maize tax. Everybody was to be taxed who used maize. But who used maize? Somehow or other the people of England and Scotland did not eat maize, while the people of Ireland did; and thus it was found that under this beautiful system, by which everybody was taxed alike, it was Ireland that was taxed, and England and Scotland were let off. Assuming, however, that the tax on maize would hit the poor in England, Scotland and Ireland equally, he ventured to remind the Committee that by a solemn Act of Parliament, which was called a Treaty of Union, this House had authority, nay, was bound to give special treatment to the people of Ireland—to the poor of Ireland; and that meant that the poor of Ireland were not to be treated on the same level in regard to taxation as the poor of England, and were entitled to lighter taxation. And, therefore, it was no answer whatever to say that if the poor of Ireland were hit by this tax, so also were the people of England. In conclusion, he wished to express it as his solemn conviction, that if Ireland had the power, in face of facts like this, she would be justified in rising armed insurrection against England.

(4.25.) SIR JOSEPH A. PEASE (Durham, Barnard Castle)

said that he too, was certainly surprised when he saw in the Schedule the article maize. As had been already stated, maize was not an article of diet in either England or Scotland, even among the very poor; but it was in Ireland. He was one of those whose mission it was, when Ireland was in her worst straits, to travel around the west coast, where nothing but maize was served out to the poor people, which was purchased by subscription, some of it from this very House, and from England generally. Their American brethren also sent in most welcome shiploads of maize, which was distributed by those with whom he was then working. He had been through those districts since, and he found that maize still continued to be one of the staple articles of consumption by the poorest of the people. His hon. friend had remarked that oatmeal was mainly eaten in Scotland; but if his hon. friend went into any of the little shops that served the poor people in the West of Ireland with food, he would find that only about one-tenth of the supply was oatmeal, the remaining nine-tenths being maize in its various forms. There was another aspect of the case to which he wished to refer. Maize was not used for human food in cither England or Scotland; but it was an article which, in those countries, farmers continued to use more and more for cattle feeding. The district he had the honour to represent was, in many places, a splendid wheat growing district; but the Yorkshire valleys which were well-known to students of the picturesque, the Durham valleys, and the border land of Northumberland were all grass land, and the farmers earned a living by breeding and feeding young stock. Two Chambers of Agriculture to which he had the honour to belong, had reported to the Central Chamber that the only farmers who were really prosperous were those who had turned their attention to milk farming. Within four or five miles of his own house there were farmers with from keeping two or three cows in old times now kept eighty or ninety cows always for milk. They were fed on these and other foods and thus added very materially to the manure which was laid on the grass lands. The farmers who would get the benefit of the 1s. a quarter on wheat were, in very few cases, the same individuals who would have to bear the whole of the tax on the maize. On a particular farm he had lately seen in Cornwall, out of 500 or 600 acres of farming, there were only ten acres of wheat, and the tenant expected to have to pay in the tax on maize four times as much as he would get out of the tax on wheat. It was, in his opinion, very unwise, immediately after the depression through which agriculture had been passing to impose a tax of such a character, and he should vote against it.

MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)

admitted that the case of the agriculturists sank into insignificance beside that of Ireland. But he thought that when the Chancellor of the Exchequer used the argument that this tax would not affect the price of maize, he must admit that it would not affect it to the extent of £620,000 a year, because that was the revenue he expected to derive from it. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that one half of the imports of maize was used for feeding purposes; so that the farmers of the country would be taxed to the tune of something like £310,000 a year. That was a very serious and hampering tax to place upon those who, after all, were the most progressive part of the agricultural community, viz., those who had devoted their attention to the growing of cattle, the keeping of poultry, and so on. He could not understand why the right hon. Gentleman had not been able to leave maize out of the Schedule, because it was bound to burden those who were producing meat, bacon, and poultry. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had advised farmers to keep poultry, and so on, but by this tax he was going just the wrong way to encourage it. The competitors of the British farmer would be able to send their meat, bacon, and eggs to this country without any tax at all, and thus the British farmer would be placed in an absolutely disadvantageous position. Moreover, the cottager would feel this tax. In his part of the world, the agricultural labourer used maize for fattening pigs. He did not think at the last general election the agricultural labourers were promised a tax on maize, but they were promised old-age pensions, and they would not accept this as an equivalent. If the food of the pig was to be taxed, he wondered how long it would he before the right hon. Gentleman taxed the pig itself, it he went on at his present rate, broadening the basis of taxation. The right hon. Gentleman, in answer to a deputation the other day, said that the tax could be passed on to the community, but it was impossible for the British farmer to do that, because the price of meat and eggs depended on the price at which they could be sent here by the foreign producer, and not upon the cost to the English farmer. The imports of maize had increased enormously, and it had become greatly used for fattening all kinds of animals. It was not quite fair-play to the agricultural community, who had borne a heavy wave of depression, that the most progressive portion, who had turned their attention from wheat-growing to matters in which the foreigner could not compete so keenly, should now be taxed in this way. The right hon. Gentleman had said that in seeking for a new source of taxation he wanted to find an article of practically universal consumption, but it was impossible to say that maize was such an article. Without going into the question of the poverty of the people in England or Ireland, it did seem to him that when there were those who were ready to pay 10,500 guineas for a picture at Christie's, that was the class which might bear a little more taxation, instead of a burden being placed on maize, especially when used for fattening purposes. He, therefore, urged, first, that the tax infringed the canon of the right hon. Gentleman, that it should be a tax upon an article of universal consumption; secondly, that it could not be passed on to the community; and thirdly, that it hampered those engaged in a struggling industry like agriculture. He hoped even at this stage the right hon. Gentleman would consent to the omission of maize from the Schedule.

(4.40.) MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

found it difficult to believe that the Chancellor of the Exchequer intended to persevere with this tax, but after the Statement he had just made, it appeared that the Budget with its many blots was to retain this worst blot of all, and that he was going to tax not merely the poorest of the poor, but the poorest food of the poorest of the poor. It was much to be regretted that the right hon. Gentleman's Statement had not been heard by every Member of the House, because if one had desired a speech which would show how far removed from understanding the conditions of Irish life even a well-informed Englishman who had lived a good deal in Ireland was, the Statement just made would admirably serve the purpose. The right hon. Gentleman, in comparing the consumption of maize in 1881 and 1901, and describing the condition of Ireland then and now, said he "believed" the population of Ireland now was less than in 1881. The population in 1881 was 5,174,836, and, in 1901, 4,456,546, so that even with an emigration of three quarters of a million, the right hon. Gentleman had not got beyond the stage of belief and conjecture on that point. That was the extent to which the condition of Ireland was realised by one who had twice been Chief Secretary, and from that might be deduced the amount of information existing in the minds of the majority of Englishmen who had never touched the shores of Ireland. For years it had been urged that Ireland was unfairly taxed as compared with England, and now the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with imperturbable equanimity, proposed to meet that contention by imposing a new tax which was essentially a preferential duty as between England and Ireland, in favour of the former. It was exactly as if the right hon. Gentleman proposed to tax rice in India and in England. It would not mean very much in England but it would mean starvation in India. In this case the right hon. Gentleman selected for taxation an article of food which was little used in England but abundantly used in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that oatmeal was a better food, and had suggested that these people should grow oats and eat oatmeal instead of yellow meal. He quite agreed that they should do so if they could; but they ate yellow meal for the reason that the price of oatmeal was 15s. or 15s. 9d. per cwt., and that of Indian meal was 6s. 9d. or 7s. per cwt. And this was the sympathetic knowledge which the right hon. Gentleman had of the people of these districts! He did not even know that the population had decreased, but he believed it had! They all knew where this tax would fall. It would not fall upon Ireland universally, but mainly on the poorest of the poor of Ireland—people who even in a good year always had the dread of famine before them. In the most prosperous of the congested districts, the standard of life was very low, the diet being altogether vegetable, with a little salt fish at times, used more as a relish than as a food, and it was this particular section of the Irish people that the right hon. Gentleman had selected to bear the burden of the cost of a great war. It was an astonishing fact that bread in some parts of Ireland was regarded as a luxury. In England it was the food of the poorest of the poor, but to the still poorer poor of Ireland it was a luxury—Indian meal was the staple food of the people of the districts of which he was speaking. Indian meal was a diet which was only taken by these people because it was the cheapest they could get, and this was the article the right hon. Gentleman had taken to pay the cost of this war. It really required all one's experience of this House to believe that the right hon. Gantleman was going to impose this tax, and when he looked at the Irish people on the one hand, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the other, this tax seemed to him a splendid epitome of the long struggle between the Celt and the Saxon. The Irish people had been against the Government in this war, and had expressed their feelings in the frankest manner; now, when all the shouting was done, the calm, cool Englishman knocked at their cabin doors and made them pay the penalty of their exultation by a tax upon their food.

MR. THOMAS SHAW (Hawick Burghs)

said he was against this as he was against the imposition of every one of these taxes. There was one class in Scotland this tax was going to hit very hard. The tax on corn, coupled with the tax on maize, would heavily affect the stock traders, but there was another article in the schedule to which maize was closely related, namely starch, in which maize was largely used as a raw material, and that would produce a very curious result. The only manufactory of maize starch in the United Kingdom was in Scotland, at Paisley, where large buildings had been erected, and expensive plant had been laid down to carry on the industry. The tax on a hundredweight of maize was to be 3d.; the tax on a hundredweight of starch was 5d. The United States manufacturer could send in starch which paid a duty of 8s. 4d. a ton. But the manufacturers at Paisley, who had to use 2½ tons of maize to produce one ton of starch, would have to pay 7½d. per cwt. duty on their starch, or 12s. 6d. a ton. So that the tax would be Protective in the sense that it protected the foreign manufacturer. He suggested that this grievance might be met by a rebate of 1d. per cwt. on maize used for manufacturing starch, which would bring the duty on a ton of starch to the same as that paid by the foreign importer. Even this, however, would not completely equalise matters, as the British manufacturer would have to pay the duty some months beforehand, when he procured the maize.


said that only that morning he had had before him the matter to which the hon. and learned Member had just alluded, and he was carefully examining it. Assuming the facts to be as the hon. Member had stated them, he hoped they might be able to deal with the matter on the Report stage of the Bill.

MR. BIGNOLD (Wick Burghs)

said that the right hon. Member for East Wolverhampton said the House was about to give an open cheque to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He would be well content to see that open cheque filled up in favour of the poor of the West of Ireland. We could not run the Empire except on terms of equality for all, and he who lived in a country where people did not eat bread and did not get meat, knew what the relative pressure on the poor of a rise in the price of maize amounted to. What the hon. Member for Clackmannan said in regard to oatmeal was perfectly justified by the fact, and he must add to his observations this, namely, that compared with the fibre of meat, the value of oatmeal was as thirty-three to twenty-eight better than the fibre of meat. But it was not so with maize. Maize was far below in point of nutrition, and yet at this present time he himself paid £6 12s. 6d. a ton for flat maize, and £8 a ton for round maize, and he knew what the effect must be of such prices as those applied to the west coast of Ireland. Although the Chancellor of the Exchequer needed the duty on the ground of uniformity, and might be obliged to impose this tax, yet he did think the debate which they had just listened to would not be without useful effect in having drawn attention to the extreme poverty of the West of Ireland, and imposed on the Government the necessity of doing something to relieve it.

(5.5.) SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

said this had been a very useful debate, as it had brought out the fact that this taxation is to be levied on the poorest of the poor of Ireland as well as those of England. He thought the method in which this matter had been met by the Chancellor of the Exchequer had caused very legitimate surprise. This was not a main tax. It was, like a number of taxes in the schedule, a subsidiary tax meant to bolster up the tax on wheat. That was really the only justification for this tax. If it had stood by itself the Chancellor of the Exchequer would never have dreamed of putting a tax on maize, either in regard to its operation on the food of the people, or upon its uses in agriculture. When this tax on wheat was introduced, the First Lord of the Treasury, speaking of its Protective operation, challenged them to say that it would cause another acre of corn to be grown in England. The landed doctrine of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that the remedy for the grievances of the very poor of Ireland was to grow corn, and the increased growing of corn was to take place by the development of the growth of oats in the congested districts of Ireland. But the very poor of England had no land, and therefore they were in a position to envy the congested districts on the west coast of Ireland. This new landed doctrine of the right hon. Gentleman's was capable of very singular developments, and he hoped it would be discussed in all parts of the United Kingdom. They were told at this time of day that when people were reduced to the greatest pitch of misery the best thing they could do was to possess themselves of land upon which they could grow corn, and that was really the only consolation which the authors of this tax offered to the poor people in the congested districts of the West of Ireland, that if the poor people could only got land and grow corn they would be relieved of their distress. He commended the consideration of this landed doctrine to the House and the country. He should most heartily vote against this particular tax, which was the most unjustifiable tax that was ever proposed in this country, and voted by the House of Commons, if it were voted. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton had said, there was no necessity for this tax. In the case of direst necessity he believed it could hardly be justified, but that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who had £10,000,000 to dispose of, should insist upon imposing such a tax was contrary to all justice and all reason, and there was nothing that emphasised its injustice more than this tax upon maize.


said that the right hon. Gentleman had, as he very often did, twisted his argument into a meaning to which he did not think any one fairly listening to it would have thought it capable of being applied. The right hon. Gentleman accused him of starting a new landed doctrine in this country. All he had ever said was that, whereas in the year 1883 the people of Ireland, being then more numerous than they were now, were able, without any suffering, so far as he was aware, to get on perfectly well with an importation into this country of no more than 18,000,000 cwts. of maize, as compared with 51,000,000 cwts. imported last year, and were so able because they must have grown oats or other corn instead of maize, and used it for themselves, therefore, he supposed that if maize became dearer they would take the same course again, and that it would not be to the detriment of anybody except the dealers in maize. That was all he had said, and he entirely disclaimed the interpretation which the right hon. Gentleman had put upon his argument. The right hon. Gentleman said this duty on maize was merely proposed in order to bolster up the duty on wheat.


With the other taxes in the schedule.


entirely denied that. A duty on corn must be a duty on corn all through, or else it was useless to propose it at all. When it existed before it was a duty on corn all through, just as he proposed it now. It existed then for twenty years without those terrible consequences to which reference had now been made, and he believed it would be precisely the same in future when the tax had been passed by Parliament. He should like to say that he did sympathise with what had fallen from hon. Members for Ireland with regard to the condition of these very poor people in the west. But he would submit to the Committee that the way to meet that condition was not to reject a tax of which they, at any rate, would pay but a small part, and which would be borne by the, whole country at large, but to pursue the course of encouraging the Congested Districts Board in its admirable attempts to relieve the poverty and suffering of the people of Ireland, and to do that, as the House already did, by aiding the Congested Districts Board with such grants from the Exchequer as might enable them to carry out the policy on which they had already embarked, and which had already done so much for the improvement of that part of the country. He trusted that, as it was understood the debate on the Committee stage should be concluded that night, and there were several other points to discuss, the Committee might be prepared to come to a decision now on this question.

(5.15.) MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

said that as the representative of a large number of people, who would suffer by the imposition of this tax, he could not allow this opportunity to pass by without making another protest against it. With reference to what fell from the hon. Member for Wick, he must say that he was grateful for the observations that he made, but when he said that this debate would be of use to the Irish people, he must, if the tax was passed, take leave to differ from him. What did the Chancellor of the Exchequer say? He compared figures in 1881 with those in 1901, and said that the imports in the first year were only 18,000,000, as against 50,000,000 in 1901, and he asked how the people managed to get on with the much smaller quantity imported in 1881, although the population of Ireland had decreased in the meantime. Was there ever a more misleading argument? And he must have known it to be misleading, because he did not give the Committee the Irish and English figures, because this enormous increase in the consumption is duo to the use of the maize for the feeding of stock and fowls, and had no bearing at all upon the question of food of the people. The Chancellor was really throwing dust in the eyes of Members when he used that argument. What was the remedy he suggested? He said that the people there had always got their land to fall back upon, and he asked why they could not, when a tax was put upon maize, and the price of yellow meal went up, grow oats or wheat. He did not really think that the right hon. Gentleman understood the economic condition of these unfortunate people. No one could understand it better than he did, because he represented 8,000 voters, although he was sorry to say chat over 7,000 of them had holdings valued at only £5 a year, and were driven, by the extremity of their poverty, to the cheapest form of food. This staple food is the potato, which was the cheapest of all human food, and when the supply of that was exhausted, they were obliged to fall back upon flour, as far as they could afford it, and to yellow meal, when they were not able to afford it. "Why don't they grow oats and eat that?" the right hon. Gentleman said. Well, when the land allowed them to grow oats, they did so, and sold them to pay the rent. Really the lecture of the Chancellor upon agricultural economics was very interesting to him because in it he preached the doctrine of the Land League first, and the United Irish League now. He did that without knowing it. What else had they been preaching for the last twenty years as a remedy? The Chancellor said there should be more agriculture and less grazing and meadows. He said, why don't they grow oats and wheat? What land had they in the west of Ireland? Did he not know that every acre of good land had been taken from the people for the accommodation of graziers, and that in Mayo, Roscommon and Galway the people were driven to the bogs and marshes? This was the land upon which they were told to grow oats! They were obliged to struggle with land upon which no farmer in this country would waste his time if he got it for nothing. They were allowed to live on it upon the terms that they continued to pay a rack-rent. On this land, reclaimed by the patient and unrequited toil of generations, on these patches recovered from the waste, they have got to pay 10s. an acre—land which was not worth sixpence an acre, and which no English farmer would take the gift of. He asked an hon. Member opposite to come over to the De Freyne estate, to go over it, look at it, and then say if he was exaggerating. They would see land assessed at 15s. or £1 an acre, which no one who knew the value of land would put more than sixpence an acre upon. It was this land—the rent of which was paid for by the toil of the men who came to work here at the harvests in England, men driven from home in search of means of satisfying the rack-renting landlords of Connaught, who had been a disgrace to Irish landlordism for generations—it was upon this land that they were going to impose this fresh taxation. It was one of the most unjust things ever done in the history of this House. The attitude of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in regard to this tax was to his mind a most valuable illustration of the whole course of English administration, and especially financial administration. This great Empire, overflowing with wealth, and having multitudes of trading interests all over the world, pursued its course front year to year, and from generation to generation, without the smallest care or reference to the effect of its financial policy on the people of Ireland. Their whole social circumstances and their whole trading interests, so far as they had trading interests, were absolutely different and divorced from those of England, and the Government had never in the course of the last century given a thought to the effect of their taxation of Ireland. Forty or fifty years ago they made the starvation of the people an excuse for throwing open the ports of the United Kingdom to the admission of this yellow meal, but by that method they ruined the agriculture of Ireland and reduced our people to infinite misery. That measure was the means of destruction to hundreds of thousands of Irish people. It was done in order to make way for grass which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had come to see was one of the evils of Ireland. Now after they had ruined Irish agriculture they proceeded to extract a tax from the wretched, starving, miserable people whom he represented, in order to pay for a war against which the Irish representatives never ceased to protest. It was almost incredible that a great nation should be so mean, and so lost to all sense of humanity as to justify a tax like this. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his second speech showed how much he felt the injustice and the cruelty of what he was proposing. He said that the proper way to meet the case which he admitted was unanswerable, was not by giving a remission of the tax, but by encouraging the work of the Congested Districts Board. There was more force in that if he would give compulsory powers and make the Board a reality. What was the use of telling them to encourage the work of the Congested Districts Board in the present state of the law? The Board had been of great advantage to the poor people where it had worked, but as in regard to four-fifths of the people it had done nothing, and its progress was so slow that it might have been in operation for ten or fifteen years before it could do anything for them. The Government had refused again and again to give the powers asked in order to make the Congested Districts Board a reality. Nobody had given more testimony than himself as to the work of the Congested Districts Board. He had spoken of the operations of the Board in his own constituency on the Dillon Estate. But what about the neighbouring estates? The work done would only aggravate the discontent, misery, and despair of those people on the neighbouring estates when they saw the people on the Dillon Estate to some extent alleviated out of their misery. Instead of getting similar benefits themselves, they got a tax imposed which would increase the price of Indian corn. They were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that grass was the great evil of Ireland, and that they wanted more agriculture. Yes, grass was the great evil of Ireland. That was what they had been saying in the West of Ireland, and they had started an association to try to put that down. But the Government had no better remedy than to throw into jail, and to treat as convicts, those who advocated that remedy. Out of Bedlam there never was a worse Government than the present. He believed that if they went to Bedlam and let loose a set of lunatics they could not make a worse hand of it than the present Government. Everything was turned upside down, and when the people clamoured for a remedy they were informed by an intelligent English Minister that grass was the evil, and they should get more agriculture. Whenever they tried to do that they were all clapped into prison. He could promise the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the present experiment in taxation would certainly not recommend to the Irish people the present financial policy of England, the Government of England, or the Union. Never since the days when, he thought it was the French Queen, Marie Antoinette, made the famous observation which had come down the stream of history. When crowds were clamouring for bread in the streets of Paris, one of the Ministers was speaking to her and telling her that the situation was serious, and she replied, "Why don't they eat cake?" From that time there never had been such a monstrous proposition as that of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he said, "Why cannot these people eat oatmeal"

(5.30.) DR. AMBROSE (Mayo, W.)

said that as one of the strongest supporters of the United Irish League he hoped the Government who were instituting prosecutions against its members would at the same time prosecute the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who that day had said what the members of the League had been saying all along—"Divide up the grass lands and we will get rid of starvation." He maintained that the whole province of Connaught, which comprised a seventh of the population of Ireland, would be hit by this tax. The average valuation in the province of Connaught was £1 18s. 4d., and he asked if there was any one in this House who would say that a man whose holding was only worth £1 18s. 4d. was a subject for taxation. One out of every twenty-three of the population of the province of Connaught had to come over every year to England and Scotland to earn from £7 to £12 in order to pay toll to the British Treasury and the Irish landlords. The average size of the holdings in Connaught, leaving aside the grasslands was from three to five acres; and how were these unfortunate people able to make a living out of such holdings? Free trade had ruined the tillage of Ireland, and had driven the people to the growing of potatoes. Then the potato blight came in 1846, and they had to sell their cattle in order to pay the landlords their rents. The landlords got £1,500,000 from the British Treasury in order to improve their estates, but the moment the estates were improved, the landlords said to the tenants, "Out you go, unless you pay treble the rent you paid before." 1,500,000 people died of starvation, 3,000,000 emigrated, and the rest were crushed into the bogs of the West of Ireland. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, "why did they not grow oats on their patches of land?" but the people had not sufficient land to grow oats. They renewed their patches of ground by going out to sea from two to seven miles, and collecting sea-weed, and though the sea-weed was the property of the Crown the landlords prosecuted those poor people for so collecting the sea-weed. He had often thought there was no hope for the Irish people; and he had come to the conclusion that the only remedy lay in what Mr. Disraeli called a revolution. The only reason why there was not a revolution was that Ireland was bound to England, and therefore England was the cause of all the miseries of Ireland.

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

said that although he opposed the imposition of this duty on maize, he must candidly admit that the fact of its inclusion in the Schedule robbed the corn tax as a whole of its Protective effect, and made it a registration duty. The duty on maize deprived the agricultural interest undoubtedly of any benefit which they might have expected from a duty on corn. The hon. Member for the Barnard Castle Division of Durham said that he had been in the West Country lately, and had found that farmers themselves regarded this tax with dislike. He himself had been in the west country at Whitsuntide, and was told by the farmers that they condemned the tax, as it would not do them any good whatever. He had had an interview with the Secretary of the Importers of Food Stuffs Association, who told him that the tax would be a burden on the agricultural interests of Great Britain, exclusive of Ireland, to the extent of £375,000 a year. As a matter of fact, the only kind of farmer to whom this tax as a whole would do any good would be a farmer who farmed only arable land, who had no cattle, and who worked his land by machinery. Of course they knew that there were no such farmers, and therefore the tax was bound to hit the agricultural interests very hard. There was no substitute for maize which could be grown in this country. Maize was most valuable for fattening stock. It was very rich indeed in oil and nitrogenous materials. Cattle-breeding and fattening was becoming more and more an important industry in this country. The number of cattle was steadily increasing in England. In 1871 they numbered 4,054,074; in 1891 they numbered 4,841,852; and in 1900, 4,848,698; and if they looked at the agricultural returns they found that there had been a steady growth in the amount of permanent pasture in the country. That proved conclusively that stock raising was becoming a more important industry every year. Foreign competition was becoming keener than ever, and the amount of fresh meat imported into this country had more than trebled during the last few years. He thought the Government had chosen a singularly unfortunate time for putting this burden on the agricultural interest. Tenant farmers were experiencing great difficulty in regard to the labour question. It is perfectly true that some assistance had been given them by means of the Agricultural Bating Act, but they all knew that the benefit of that Act had gone from them and fallen to the landlords. [Hon. Members on the Ministerial Benches: No, no.] They were going to put another burden upon the farmers by the Education Bill, and by laying this duty on the raw material of agriculture, there was no doubt whatever that it would render it more difficult for the tenant farmers to pay their rents than in I the past.

(5.42.) MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

said he must deprecate the observation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the debate should now conclude. He did not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer' had any right whatever to stifle discussion, or to stop the voice of the representatives of the Irish people, when they pleaded for their starving constituents. He opposed this tax, because it was a tax on the stall' of life of the great majority of the Irish people. This debate was a specimen of what he regarded as the infamy of Irish Government by England. The power of external legislation had been employed against Ireland as an instrument of oppression to the enrichment of England and the impoverisation of Ireland. A hundred years ago Burke asked— Is Ireland united to the Crown of Great Britain for no other purpose than that we should counteract the bounty of Providence in your favour? The Government were counteracting the bounty of Providence by taxing the food of the people in the poorest districts of the West of Ireland, which would have the effect of exterminating them altogether, in order to save those who had organised the war. However, amid the cheers and huzzas of the Coronation, there would still be heard, and they would not be able to hush it, the still small voice of the starving Irish peasant. Of all persons in the world, the Irish peasant was the last who should have his food taxed, because he had been deprived, by British legislation, of every industry except the land. The woollen industry, the glass industry, and the other industries of Ireland had been destroyed; and it was now proposed to rob the poor for the benefit of the rich. That ill-accorded on the pledges which were given at the time of the Union. When Mr. Pitt was asked what security the Irish people would have that they would be treated fairly, he replied, "The honour of England." They had been playing the confidence trick on Ireland for a hundred years. He himself never used strong language, but he sometimes stated strong facts; and he said, in full responsibility for his words, that the Irish peasant would be more than justified in resorting to armed resistance to that tax if he had any chance of success.


I hope the Committee will now come to a decision. The question has been discussed at very considerable length, and there are several other points to be considered. Moreover, there was an understanding that the Committee stage should finish tonight.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said he did not regard the appeal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as unreasonable, and, for his part, he did not intend to stand between the Committee and a division. But he wished to refer to one point which had not yet been touched upon. In the very modest speech with which the debate was initiated, there was an estimate of the amount of maize consumed in Ireland. The Chancellor of the Exchequer questioned that estimate, and put it much lower; but the right hon. Gentleman admitted that he had no knowledge of the facts. Was it not, therefore, astounding that a tax should be placed in Ireland, which the right hon. Gentleman admitted would be a terrible burden, when they knew nothing of what its effect would be. They knew nothing about the imports or the exports of Ireland; but these facts ought to be known before the tax was imposed. Yet the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted his ignorance of them, and on that want of knowledge he founded an extraordinary argument. The right hon. Gentleman gave the figures for 1882

and 1902, and he said that although there was a larger population in the former year than in the latter, yet a smaller quantity of Indian meal was consumed then than now. He challenged that statement, and the right hon. Gentleman could not prove it. He was equally helpless, because he could not prove the contrary; but he would bet the Chancellor of the Exchequer a new hat, if he could do so, that more Indian meal was consumed in Ireland in 1882 than at present. The first cargo of Indian meal was landed in Ireland in 1846. After that year, for thirty or forty years, the imports of that food, the lowest and worst for human beings in the world, continued to steadily increase. They had, however, no facts, and in such circumstances it was a cruel thing to impose such a burden on a poor country. He thanked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for his statement that the Government would try to make good to Ireland in another way the burden which would be imposed by the tax on the poorer districts; but, with all respect, he submitted that that was a bad system. It would be better to hesitate before putting on the tax; and while acknowledging the kindly tone of the speeches of hon. Members opposite, he could not help joining in the protest against the tax.


rose in his place and claimed to move that the Question be now put."

(5.53.) Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 248; Noes, 165. (Division List No. 225.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Butcher, John George
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Banbury, Frederick George Campbell, Rt. Hn. J A (Glasgow
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Bartley, George C. T. Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.
Aird, Sir John Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Cavendish, V. C. W. (D'rhyshire
Allhusen, Augustus H'rny Eden Beach, Rt. Hn Sir Michael Hicks Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Bignold, Arthur Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bigwood, James Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Bill, Charles Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry
Bailey, James (Walworth) Blundell, Colonel Henry Chapman, Edward
Bain, Colonel James Robert Bond, Edward Charrington, Spencer
Balcarres, Lord Bousfield, William Robert Clive, Captain Percy A.
Baldwin, Alfred Brassey, Albert Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Coddington, Sir William
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Coghill, Douglas Harry
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Brown, Alexander H.(Shropsh. Cohen, Benjamin Louis
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hoare, Sir Samuel Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Pretyman, Ernest George
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hoult, Joseph Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Houston, Robert Paterson Purvis, Robert
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Howard, John (Kent, Fav'rsh'm Pym, C. Guy
Cox, Irwin, Edward Bainbridge Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Cranborne, Viscount Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Randles, John S.
Cripps, Charles Alfred Hudson, George Bickersteth Rankin, Sir James
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Rasch, Major Frederic Carrie
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Johnston, William (Belfast) Reid, James (Greenock)
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Renshaw, Charles Bine
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
Davenport, William Bromley- Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T.(Denbigh) Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm Keswick, William Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Denny, Colonel Kimber, Henry Ropner, Col. Robert
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Round, James
Dickson, Charles Scott Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Russell, T. W.
Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Lawson, John Grant Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dix'n Leeky, Rt. Hon. Wm. Edw. H. Sharpe, William Edward T.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lee, Arthur H. (Hants. Fareh'm Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Duke, Henry Edward Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Durning-Lawrence. Sir Edwin Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Leigh-Bennett, Henry Carrie Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Faber, George Denison (York) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Fardell, Sir T. George Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Stanley (Lancs).
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S Stock, James Henry
Finch, George H. Lonsdale, John Brownlee Stroyan, John
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lowe, Francis William Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Firbank, Joseph Thomas Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale) Talbot, Rt Hn J. G.(Oxf'd Univ.
Fisher, William Hayes Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Thorburn, Sir Walter
Fison, Frederick William Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison Thornton, Percy M.
FitzGerald Sir Robert Penrose- Macdona, John Cumming Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon MacIver, David (Liverpool) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Maconochie, A. W. Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Flower, Ernest M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E Warde, Colonel C. E.
Calloway, William Johnson M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Warr, Augustus Frederick
Gardner, Ernest M'Killon, James (Stirlingshire) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Garfit, William Majendie, James A. H. Webb, Colonel William George
Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond Manners, Lord Cecil Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Tunton
Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans Martin, Richard Biddulph Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Maxwell W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Middlemore, Jhn. Throgmorton Whiteley, H (Ashton-und. L'ne
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Goulding, Edward Alfred Mitchell, William Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Molesworth, Sir Lewis Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Brm.
Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edmonds Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Grenfell, William Henry Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Gretton, John Morgan, David J (Walthamstow Wills, Sir Frederick
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Gunter, Sir Robert Mount, William Arthur Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Hain, Edward Muntz, Philip A. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Hall, Edward Marshall Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Wilson-Todd, Wm. H (Yorks)
Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Myers, William Henry Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Newdigate, Francis Alexander Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Harris, Frederick Leverton Nicol, Donald Ninian Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Hay, Hon. Claude George O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Heath, James (Staffords. N. W. Parker, Gilbert Younger, William
Heaton, John Henniker Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley
Helder, Augustus Penn, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Henderson, Alexander Percy, Earl
Higginbottom, S. W. Pierpoint, Robert
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Austin, Sir John Bell, Richard
Ambrose, Robert Barlow, John Emmott Boland, John
Asher, Alexander Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Broadhurst, Henry
Bryce, Et. Hon. James Jones David Brynmor (Swansea Paulton, James Mellor
Burke, E. Haviland- Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham
Burt, Thomas Joyce, Michael Pirie, Duncan V.
Buxton, Sydney Charles Kearley, Hudson E. Power, Patrick Joseph
Caldwell, James Kinlocn, Sir John George Smyth Price, Robert John
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Kitson, Sir James Rea, Russell
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Lambert, George Reckitt, Harold James
Carew, James Laurence Langley, Batty Reddy, M.
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Cawley, Frederick Layland-Barratt, Francis Redmond, William (Clare)
Channing, Francis Allston Leamy, Edmund Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Clancy, John Joseph Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Rickett, J. Compton
Condon, Thomas Joseph Leigh, Sir Joseph Rigg, Richard
Craig, Robert Hunter Leng, Sir John Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Crean, Eugene Levy, Maurice Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Cremer, William Randal Lewis, John Herbert Roche, John
Crombie, John William Lloyd-George, David Runciman, Walter
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lough, Thomas Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Delany, William Lundon, W. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Dillon, John McVeagh, Jeremiah Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Donelan, Captain A. M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants
Doogan, P. C. M'Kean, John Stevenson, Francis S.
Dunn, Sir William M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Strachey, Sir Edward
Edwards, Frank M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Sullivan, Donal
Ellis, John Edward Mansfield, Horace Rendall Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Emmott, Alfred Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Tennant, Harold John
Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone Markham, Arthur Basil Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Mather, William Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.
Fenwick, Charles Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Ffrench, Peter Mooney, John J. Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Tomkinson, James
Flavin, Michael Joseph Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose Toulmin, George
Flynn, James Christopher Nannetti, Joseph P. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Newnes, Sir George Ure, Alexander
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N. Wallace, Robert
Fuller, J. M. F. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Furness, Sir Christopher Norman, Henry White, George (Norfolk)
Gilhooly, James Norton, Capt. Cecil William White, Luke (York. E. R.)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Connor, James (Wicklow W.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.
Harwood, George O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Young, Samuel
Hayden, John Patrick O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Yoxall, James Henry
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- O'Dowd, John
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E) O'Malley, William TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. Causton.
Horniman, Frederick John O'Mara, James
Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Jacoby, James Alfred Palmer, George Wm.(Reading

(6.8) Question put accordingly, "That the word 'Maize' stand part of the Schedule."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 243; Noes, 175. (Division List No. 226.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Balcarres, Lord Bignold, Arthur
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Baldwin, Alfred Bigwood, James
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J, (Manch'r Bill, Charles
Aird, Sir John Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Blundell, Colonel Henry
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds Bond, Edward
Arkwright, John Stanhope Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Bousfield, William Robert
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Banbury, Frederick George Brassey, Albert
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Hartley, George C. T. Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Brookfield, Colonel Montagu
Bailey, James (Walworth) Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks Brown, Alexander H.(Shropsh.
Bain, Colonel James Robert Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Brymer, William Ernest
Batcher, John George Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Penn, John
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow Harris, Frederick Leverton Percy, Earl
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hay, Hon. Claude George Pierpoint, Robert
Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbyshire Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Heath, James (Staffords. N. W. Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Helder, Augustus Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J, (Birm. Henderson, Alexander Pretyman, Ernest George
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Higginbottom, S. W. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Chapman, Edward Hoare, Sir Samuel Purvis, Robert
Charrington, Spencer Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E Pym, C. Guy
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hoult, Joseph Randles, John S.
Coddington, Sir William Houston, Robert Paterson Rankin, Sir James
Coghill, Douglas Harry Howard, John (Kent Faversham Rasch, Major Frederic Came
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Reid, James (Greenock)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Renshaw, Charles Bine
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hudson, George Bickersteth Ridley, Hon. M. W.(Stalybridge
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.) Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Compton, Lord Alwyne Johnston, William Belfast Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Ropner, Colonel Robert
Corbett, A Cameron (Glasgow) Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Round, James
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Cranborne, Viscount Keswick, William Sharpe, William Edward T.
Cripps, Charles Alfred Kimber, Henry Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Simeon, Sir Barrington
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East
Davenport, William Bromley- Lawson, John Grant Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)
Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Denny, Colonel Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Leigh Bennett, Henry Currie Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Dickson, Charles Scott Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Digby, John K. D., Wingfield Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Stock, James Henry
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Stroyan, John
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Duke, Henry Edward Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S) Thornton, Percy M.
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Lonsdale, John Brownlee Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Lowe, Francis William Tritton, Charles Ernest
Elliott, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale) Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edawrd
Faber, George Denison (York) Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Fardell, Sir T. George Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G Ellison Warde, Colonel C. E.
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Macdona, John Cumming Warr, Augustus Frederick
Fergusson, Rt. Hn-Sir J.(Manc'r MacIver, David (Liverpool) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Finch, George H. Maconochie, A. W. Webb, Colonel William George
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Welby, Lt. Col. A. C. E (Taunton
Firbank, Joseph Thomas M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)
Fisher, William Hayes M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Fison, Frederick William Majendie, James A. H. Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Malcolm, Ian Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Manners, Lord Cecil Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Martin, Richard Biddulph Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm
Flower, Ernest Max well, W. J H (Dumfriesshire Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W Middlemore, John Throgmorton Willox, Sir John Archibald
Galloway, William Johnson Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G. Wills, Sir Frederick
Gardner, Ernest Mitchell, William Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Garfit, William Molesworth, Sir Lewis Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond. Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.) Wodehouse, Rt Hon. E. R.(Bath
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Gore, Hn G. R. C (Ormsby-(Salop Morgan, David J. (W'lthamstow Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Goulding, Edward Alfred Mount, William Arthur Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Muntz, Philip A. Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds Murray, Rt. Hn A. Graham (B'te Younger, William
Grenfell, William Henry Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Gretton, John Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Myers, William Henry
Gunter, Sir Robert Newdigate, Francis Alexander TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Hain, Edward Nicol, Donald Ninian
Hall, Edward Marshall O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Parker, Gilbert
Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Harwood, George O'Shaughmessy, P. J.
Ambrose, Robert Hayden, John Patrick Palmer, George Wm. (Reading)
Asher, Alexander Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Paulton, James Mellor
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Hemphill, Rt. Don. Charles H. Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)
Austin, Sir John Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Pirie, Duncan V.
Barlow, John Emmott Horniman, Frederick John Power, Patrick Joseph
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Price, Robert John
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Jacoby, James Alfred Rea, Russell
Bell, Richard Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Reckitt, Harold James
Boland, John Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Reddy, M.
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Joyce, Michael. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Broadhurst, Henry Kearley, Hudson E. Redmond, William (Clare)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Burke, E. Haviland- Kitson, Sir James Rickett, J. Compton
Burt, Thomas Lambert, George Rigg, Richard
Buxton, Sydney Charles Langley, Batty Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Caldwell, James Law, Hugh Alex.(Donegal, W.) Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Layland-Barratt, Francis Robson, William Snowdon
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Leamy, Edmund Roche, John
Carew, James Laurence Lecky, Rt. Hon. William Edw. H Roe, Sir Thomas
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Runciman, Walter
Causton, Richard Knight Leigh, Sir Joseph Russell, T. W.
Cawley, Frederick Leng, Sir John Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Channing, Francis Allston Levy, Maurice Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Clancy, John Joseph Lewis, John Herbert Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lloyd-George, David Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Craig, Robert Hunter Lough, Thomas Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Crean, Eugene Lundon, W. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Cremer, William Randal MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R (Northants
Crombie, John William MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Stevenson, Francis S.
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Strachey, Sir Edward
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) M'Kean, John Sullivan, Donal
Delany, William M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Dewar, John A. (Invernesshire) M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Tennant, Harold John
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Mansfield, Horace Rendall Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Dillon, John Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Donelan, Captain A. Markham, Arthur Basil Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings)
Doogan, P. C. Mather, William Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Dunn, Sir William Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William Thorburn, Sir Walter
Edwards, Frank Mooney, John J. Tomkinson, James
Ellis, John Edward Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Toulmin, George
Emmott, Alfred Morley, Rt. Hon John (Montrose Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidst'ne Nannetti, Joseph P. Ure, Alexander
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Newnes, Sir George Wallace, Robert
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.) Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Fenwick, Charles Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Ffrench, Peter Norman, Henry White, George (Norfolk)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Norton, Capt. Cecil William White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Whlteley, George (York, W. R.)
Flynn, James Christopher O'Brien, Ken. (Tipperary, Mid.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Fuller, J. M. F. O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Furness, Sir Christopher O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Gilhooly, James O'Counor, T. P. (Liverpool) Young, Samuel
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Yoxall, James Henry
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) O'Dowd, John
Haldane, Richard Burdon O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur.
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William O'Malley, William
Harmsworth, R. (Leicester) O'Mara, James
(6.30.) MR. HAROLD RECKITT (Lincolnshire, Brigg)

moved to omit from the Schedule "locust beans," on the grounds that they were not beans or grain at all, that they were in no sense a human food, and that they constituted a raw material largely used in the manufacture of feeding stuff's.

Amendment proposed— In page 5, line 15, to leave out the words "locust beans,'"—(Mr. Harold Reckitt.)

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


I had certainly been under the impression that locust beans were taxed under the old registration duty and were included in the term "beans." But I have made inquiries into the matter since the subject was first mentioned on the earlier stage of the Bill, and I find that though locust beans may have been included in the imports of beans, there is no trace of their having been taxed. Therefore, on that ground, and as they are in no sense grain, if the Committee desire to omit locust beans, I have no objection.

Amendment agreed to.

MR. HAROLD RECKITT moved to exempt rice from the tax on the ground that it was a raw material largely used in the manufactures of the country. But not only was it used in the manufacture of rice-starch, but it also largely entered into the composition of feeding stuff's and cakes. Rice was in the same position as locust beans in that it was not taxed under the old registration duty, so that if there was any substance in that remark the Chancellor of the Exchequer should consider the fact in giving his answer upon this Amendment, but of a total import of rice, including broken rice, into the United Kingdom, of 250,000 tons in 1901. 125,000 tons were re-exported from London and Liverpool and he asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to remember that fact. A very large proportion of the rice came from our own possessions, India and Burmah, and not from foreign countries, and in that respect rice differed entirely from maize, which was entirely a product of the United States. If the consumer of rice in this country was not going to bear the duty, we were throwing the tax upon India and Burma, and those who took an interest in our possessions were aware that those countries were hardly able to bear the increased taxation. If, on the other hand, it was to be borne by the people of this country, he thought it would be found that those who used rice in starch manufactures (in this country) in feeding stuffs would have to hear the tax themselves, and not be able to put it on the consumer, because if they manufactured, or sold on the market, an article at so much per lb., it was almost impossible to raise the price in any way to meet the tax imposed of threepence per cwt. As the only person in the House connected with the rice and starch trade in this country, he felt that in moving this Amendment he was treading on tender ground, because the House should always look with suspicion on hon. Members who rose to support trade interests with which they were themselves connected. If they were to pursue the policy of adding articles to the Schedule for taxation it would be unfortunate for the country, because every article added would mean an additional Member financially interested in the tax. In dealing with this matter they should make their Schedule as short as possible, cutting out, as far as possible, all unimportant articles, and, above all, eliminating all articles which were raw material, and which were imported into this country solely and only for the purpose of our trade and the development of our commerce.

Amendment proposed in page 5, line 15, to leave out the words "Rice (other than whole and cleaned rice)."—(Mr. Harold Reckitt.)

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


said that he was afraid that he could not possibly agree with the Amendment. The hon. Member himself had shown that rice was used for precisely the same purposes as wheat or any other kind of grain. He knew it was used partly in the manufacture of starch, but it would be unreasonable to impose a duty on wheat and maize, and exclude rice, which was a grain used for identical purposes, and had no particular claim on the ground of its consumption by the very poor, such as had been urged in favour of other grain. The hon. Member had stated that rice was not taxed under the old Act, but, whether that was so or not, he thought it ought to be included now. The total product of the tax on rice would be about £55,000.

(6.43.) Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 250; Noes, 167. (Division List No. 227.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Fardell, Sir T. George Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Finch, George H. Lowe, Francis William
Aird, Sir John Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Firbank, Joseph Thomas Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fisher, William Hayes Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. Ellison
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Fison, Frederick William Macdona, John Cumming
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Maconochie, A. W.
Bailey, James (Walworth) Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Flower, Ernest M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)
Balcarres, Lord Foster, Philip S.(Warwick, S. W. M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W
Baldwin, Alfred Galloway, William Johnson M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Gardner, Ernest Majendie, James A. H.
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Garfit, William Malcolm, Ian
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Manners, Lord Cecil
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin & Nairn) Martin, Richard Biddulph
Banbury, Frederick George Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire
Bartley, George C. T Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Middlemore, Jno. Throgmorton
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Goulding, Edward Alfred Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Mitchell, William
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Greene, Sir E. W (B'ry S Edmn'ds Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Grenfell, William Henry Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Bignold, Arthur Gretton, John Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)
Bigwood, James Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Bill, Charles Gunter, Sir Robert Morgan, David J (Walthamstow
Blundell, Colonel Henry Hain, Edward Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford
Bond, Edward Hall, Edward Marshall Mount, William Arthur
Bousfield, William Robert Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Muntz, Philip A.
Brassey, Albert Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Murray, Rt Hn. A. Graham (Bute
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.) Harris, Frederick Leverton Myers, William Henry
Brymer, William Ernest Hay, Hon. Claude George Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Butcher, John George Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Nicol, Donald Ninian
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Heath, James (Staffords. N. W. O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Helder, Augustus Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Cavendish, V. C W. (Derbyshire Henderson, Alexander Parker, Gilbert
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Higginbottom, S. W. Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hoare, Sir Samuel Penn, John
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E. Percy, Earl
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r. Hogg, Lindsay Pierpoint, Robert
Chapman, Edward Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard
Charrington, Spencer Hoult, Joseph Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Clive, Captain Percy A. Houston, Robert Paterson Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Howard, Jno. (Kent, Faversham Pretyman, Ernest George
Coddington, Sir William Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Pryce Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Purvis, Robert
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hudson, George Bickersteth Pym, C. Guy
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Randles, John S.
Compton, Lord Alwyne Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Rankin, Sir James
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Johnston, William (Belfast) Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Reid, James (Greenock)
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Renshaw, Charles Bine
Cranborne, Viscount Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge)
Cripps, Charles Alfred Keswick, William Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Kimber, Henry Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Ropner, Colonel Robert
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth) Round, James
Davies, Sir Horatio D.(Chatham Lawrence, Wm F. (Liverpool) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lawson, John Grant Sharpe, William Edward T.
Dickson, Charles Scott Lecky, Rt. Hon. William Edw. H. Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham Simeon, Sir Barrington
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Duke, Henry Edward Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Faber, George Denison (York) Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Webb, Colonel William George Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Stock, James Henry Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Stroyan, John Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath)
Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ. Whiteley, H. (Ashton-und. Lyne Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Thorburn, Sir Walter Whitmore, Charles Algernon Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Thornton, Percy M. Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray Williams, Rt Hn J. Powell-(Birm. Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Tritton, Charles Ernest Willoughby de Eresby, Lord Younger, William
Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward Willox, Sir John Archibald
Wanklyn, James Leslie Wills, Sir Frederick
Warde, Colonel C. E. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Warr, Augustus Frederick Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Wilson, John (Gasgow)
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Ambrose, Robert Goddard, Daniel Ford Palmer, George Wm. (Reading)
Asher, Alexander Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Paulton, James Mellor
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Haldane, Richard Burdon Pirie, Duncan V.
Atherley-Jones, L. Harmsworth, R. Leicester Power, Patrick Joseph
Austin, Sir John Hayden, John Patrick Price, Robert John
Barlow, John Emmott Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Rea, Russell
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Reddy, M.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Redmond, John E.(Waterford)
Bell, Richard Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Redmond, William (Clare)
Boland, John Jacoby, James Alfred Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Rickett, J. Compton
Brand, Hon. Arthur G. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Rigg, Richard
Broadhurst, Henry Joyce, Michael Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Kinloch, Sir. John George Smyth Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Burke, E. Haviland- Kitson, Sir James Robson, William Snowdon
Burt, Thomas Lambert, George Roche, John
Buxton, Sydney Chas. Langley, Batty Roe, Sir Thomas
Caldwell, James Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Runciman, Walter
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Layland-Barratt, Francis Schwann, Charles E.
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Leamy, Edmund Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Carew, James Laurence Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford)
Causton, Richard Knight Leigh, Sir Joseph Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Cawley, Frederick Leng, Sir John Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Channing, Francis Allston Levy, Maurice Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Clancy, John Joseph Lewis, John Herbert Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lough, Thomas Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants
Craig, Robert Hunter Lundon, W. Strachey, Sir Edward
Crean, Eugene MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Sullivan, Donal
Cremer, William Randal MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Crombie, John William MacVeagh, Jeremiah Tennant, Harold John
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) M'Kean, John Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)
Delany, William M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings)
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) Mansfield, Horace Rendall Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Dillon, John Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Tomkinson, James
Donelan, Captain A. Markham, Arthur Basil Toulmin, George
Doogan, P. C. Mather, William Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Duncan, J. Hastings Mooney, John J. Ure, Alexander
Dunn, Sir William Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Wallace, Robert
Edwards, Frank Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Ellis, John Edward Nannetti, Joseph P. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Emmott, Alfred Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) White, George (Norfolk)
Evans, Sir Francis H.(Maidstone Norman, Henry White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Norton, Capt. Cecil William Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Fenwick, Charles O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Ffrench, Peter O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Young, Samuel
Flynn, James Christopher O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Yoxall, James Henry
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry O'Dowd, John
Fuller, J. M. F. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Harold Reckitt and Mr. Kearley.
Furness, Sir Christopher O'Malley, William
Gilhooly, James O'Mara, James
(6.50.) MR. OSMOND WILLIAMS (Merionethshire)

moved an Amendment to reduce the duty on offals of the articles mentioned in the first part of the Schedule to 1½d. per cwt. He said this was a modest Amendment, and he was in hopes that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would see its reasonableness and accept it. The right hon. Gentleman evidently considered that the raw material should be taxed at a lighter rate than the prepared article. It might, therefore, be reasonably contended that residual products should be taxed at a still lighter rate. There were very strong reasons for this, both on fiscal and economic grounds. The importation of wheat offals amounted to 6,000,000 cwts. a year, and if the duty proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer were imposed, a great quantity of them would be diverted from this country, and he would be disappointed in his hopes of revenue. If, however, the duly were reduced to 1½d. the trade would not be much affected. The economical reason was that these offals formed most valuable food for cattle, pigs, and poultry, and at certain seasons the demand was considerably in excess of the home supply. If these offals were admitted free on the Continent, and were used to feed live stock which was afterwards admitted free to this country, this tax would be eminently unfair to British farmers. The reduction which he proposed was small with regard to the revenue involved, and yet it was of immense importance to the interests affected.

Amendment proposed, in page 5, line 16, after the word "articles" to insert "at the rate of 1½d. the cwt."

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow, Camlachie)

said he should like to put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer a further argument in favour of this Amendment. On behalf of the agricultural Members of the House he wished to draw attention to what would happen if offals were taxed at all. Offals were the residue in the production of the higher class meals, and were of small value. The value of offals was from 70s. to 80s. per ton, and it was proposed to tax them 5s. per ton. That was from 7½ to 8 per cent. on the value of the article. The tax was paid by the dealer and he got a profit on that equal to 2 per cent. Therefore, it was proposed to tax this important article for the agricultural industry 10 per cent. on its value. He belonged to a part of the country where the farmers were largely engaged in cattle feeding, and the production of milk and butter, and to them offals were of enormous importance. The competition of the farmers of Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, and Lanarkshire was with Denmark and Holland, and in these countries there were no taxes on offals, so that the home farmers would be handicapped to the extent of 10 per cent. If it was said that the producer at the far end paid the tax, then the American producer would no longer send the offals to this country but to Denmark and Holland, where they would have no duty to pay. And if the supply of offals to this country was cut off, the duty on the raw material which was so largely utilised for the production of beef, milk, and butter would rise from 10 per cent. to 25 per cent. The agricultural interest had only been maintained by the enterprise of the men engaged in it, and by a curious irony of fate the Government were going to impose a 10 per cent. tax on the two sections of it in England and Scotland which had been able to hold their own. If this were persevered with they would hear about it in the counties. He did trust that the agricultural interest, which had great claims on the consideration of the Government, would not be included in this universal net of taxation; and that they would be put upon a parity with their competitors in foreign lands. He submitted that a much stronger case had been made out for dealing in an equitable way with the farmers than with the starch makers, and he trusted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would see his way to accept the Amendment.


said he would point out to the Committee that there was this difficulty in regard to this matter; that if offals were entirely exempt from taxation it would give a great premium on milling wheat abroad before it was imported into this country, which was the last thing they desired. He disputed the figures of the hon. Member for Camlachie in regard to the percentage of the 3d. per cwt. duty on the value of offals. Some of the offals were of low value, but others, including the great bulk of wheat offals, were of high value. It had been mentioned to him that some of them were worth £5 per ton, or even more.


said that the price varied.


said that of course the price varied with the quality. He was anxious to meet the wishes of hon. Members in this matter, if the Committee desired that offals should be more favourably treated; and he was prepared to go as far as the Amendment of the hon. Member for Merionethshire. He could not accept the form of the Amendment, because they must clearly define what offals were meant. They must not have a valuable meal, something that was nearly equal to the value of flour, included as offal. They must be bonâ fide offals. If the hon. Member would withdraw his Amendment, he would be prepared to move the insertion of the words— Any offals which are feeding start's that are proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Customs not to contain more than, 50 per cent of starch, per cwt, 1½d. and this would be followed by a definition of the offals liable to that duty. He would like to add that he had been very much influenced in this matter by a desire to do something for the agriculturists of Ireland. He was informed that bran was very much used among agriculturists in some parts of Ireland, and he had in this Amendment endeavoured to compensate them in some way for the resistance he was obliged to offer to their previous proposals.


said he did not like to use strong language, but he regarded the last observation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as adding insult to injury. [Hon. Members on the Ministerial Benches: "Oh, oh."] The Chancellor of the Exchequer had absolutely refused to make any concession in reply to the appeal which the Nationalist Members had made on behalf of the poorest of the Irish people for a reduction of the tax on Indian meal, which was their principal food, yet the moment a Scottish or English Member got up and appealed for a reduction of the tax in regard to maize used for starch, or in regard to feeding stuffs for cattle, the right hon. Gentleman at once made the concession. Having absolutely refused to give any concession on the food of the people in response to the appeal of the Irish Members, yet the moment a few Scottish or English Members made an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman he immediately yielded, although they had not been able to make out any case to be compared with the case made out on behalf of Ireland. At the last moment, the right hon. Gentleman said he was sorry he was not able to meet fully the appeal of the Irish Members; but the right hon. Gentleman knew perfectly well that next to no concession had been made in response to that appeal. From beginning to end he was opposed to this iniquitous taxation, and, therefore, he would net oppose that or any other reduction of it; but he would not permit the Amendment to pass without protesting against the different manner in which poor people in Ireland and fat cattle in England were to be treated. The Irish Members had appealed to lift the tax off the food of starving people, who were driven to that wretched food which, as a sole food, was utterly unfitted for any human being; but they received no con-cession, although when the light hon. Gentleman was appealed to on behalf of cattle feeders, he did make a concession. He thought that was most disgraceful and scandalous and that the attention of the Irish people ought to be directed to it.


I think I have cause to complain of the language of the hon. Gentleman. What I have said with regard to Ireland was said because, only on Thursday, the hon. Member for South Tyrone, who, I suppose, may be regarded as an independent Member of this House, told me that this very concession would be of great importance to the farmers of Ireland. [Mr. DILLON: Of Ulster. The hon. Member said of Ulster.] Well, of Ireland. I do not know why I should confine my view as to what may benefit Ireland to the parts of it represented by hon. Members opposite, or why I may not listen occasionally to opinions expressed on this side of the House. Of course, if the House chooses not to accept the proposal, I will be prepared to let the Bill stand as it is; but I have made it in good faith.


said that as far as the concession went, they were prepared to accept it; and he congratulated his hon. friend on having obtained it. He wished, however, to direct attention to the great complications and injustice which would result from this taxation. They had two concessions that afternoon, and they were both based explicitly on the fact that if the concessions were not given, the tax, as it stood, would be a bounty in favour of the foreign exporter as against the home producer. That argument would appear to be equally strong in regard to the question of maize and other grain; and he confessed he could not see why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should have given way on two small points, such as starch and offals, and stood firm with regard to greater matters.


I have not given way on the question of starch.


said he certainly understood that the right hon. Gentleman said that he was not only impressed with the arguments of his hon. friend, but that he had received communication from persons interested, and had promised to give them some concession in the matter in order to get rid of the bounty.


A rebate to the makers of starch from maize.


said that that was surely the same thing. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that the foreign exporter would receive a benefit at the expense of the home producer; and what he desired to point out was that that would also apply to other parts of the schedule. The right hon. Gentleman was able to give a rebate or concession in regard to minor matters, but he was unable to meet equally strong objections to other taxes. That showed the great complexity, difficulty, and danger which were involved by the introduction of this taxation.


said he thought the concession of the right hon. Gentleman was somewhat artificial. The right hon. Gentleman had given concessions to the Scottish and English Members, but he assumed a very different attitude towards the case of the Irish Members, which was listened to with sympathy in all parts of the House. However, they would give the right hon. Gentleman another opportunity of considering whether the people of Ireland were entitled to any concession after the case which had been made out on their behalf. He was sure they would have the votes of hon. Members opposite if they were not bound by their Party obligations.


said he would ask leave to withdraw the Amendment, as he felt that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had done something to relieve agriculturists from what they looked upon as a burden. He hoped that offals, which were first to be taxed at the rate of 5d., next at 3d., and now at 1½d., might finally disappear from the Bill altogether.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The Amendment proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was agreed to.


said he now intended to put the Chancellor of the Exchequer to a fair test. He assumed it would be agreed that if there were to be a tax on corn it should be as low as it possibly could on the food of the people. He would not traverse the ground which had been already covered as regarded wheat, barley and oats; but would come to the central point of his Amendment, which was maize. He did not consider that there was any insuperable difficulty, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer were willing, in reducing the proposed duty on any article in the schedule. That had already been done in the Amendment which had just been passed. If at an earlier stage the Chancellor of the Exchequer had given the Irish Members any intimation that he would be willing to consider the reduction of the duty on maize by 50 per cent., the debate might have been over long ago. Even if the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave such an undertaking now, he would not proceed. He, however, saw no sign of assent on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. He thought a very strong case had been made out for the reduction of the duty. Maize formed the food of the very poorest of the people in Ireland, and it was also largely employed in cattle feeding, fowl feeding, and other minor industries in Ireland.

It being half-past Seven of the Clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again this evening.