HC Deb 11 April 1905 vol 144 cc1285-341

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That there shall be charged on and after the first day of July, nineteen hundred and five, until the first day of July, nineteen hundred and six, the following Customs Import duty on tea (that is to say)—

'Tea, the pound Sixpence'"—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)


said that all agreed that if there were a subject of indirect taxation that ought to be relieved it was, beyond all question, tea. But the taking off of 2d. a 1b. from the duty was open to one serious objection, and that was that the very poor would not derive any benefit from the relief of taxation. The reduction of 2d. would no doubt benefit those who bought their tea in large quantities, but those who had to purchase it in very small quantities could not possibly get any advantage from the change. They had always been told that the income-tax payers had the first claim to consideration when an opportunity was afforded for the remission of taxation, and it certainly seemed hard that their interests should have been neglected in this instance, and that the consumers of tea alone should have received the benefit. Of course they all wished to see a reduction of taxation of every description. He desired to emphasise one statement, and it was that in his judgment the poor income-tax payers formed the class of persons who paid the largest amount of taxation in the whole country. He regretted that it had so often been held that these people were not worthy of much consideration because they were supposed to be rich men, but those who had studied income-tax statistics well knew that the smaller persons were those who paid the largest proportion of the tax, and therefore, he thought it was a pity that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not taken the more heroic line of saying that, inasmuch as he could not possibly fulfil his pledges to income-tax payers to relieve them of a portion of their burden, he would devote the whole of his surplus to the payment of debt instead of relieving indirect taxation by reducing the duty on tea. No doubt it was a very pleasant thing to reduce the cost of tea, but it should be remembered that the expenditure of this country was growing to an enormous extent, and the people were continually demanding further assistance from the State. The time had come, therefore, when it was desirable to pay an increased amount off the Debt, and he, for one, would have looked with satisfaction at any arrangement by which even more than a million would have been set apart for that purpose.

He knew that the payment of debt was not always popular, but it was a question which struck at the root of our whole financial system. In spite of our enormous prosperity, and in spite of the tremendous increase of wealth in this country during the Last thirty or forty years, we were not now paying off more of our debt per year than when Sir Stafford Northcote first introduced his system. Sir Stafford fixed the annual repayment at that time at £28,000,000 a year and under the present system the figure was the same, if only we had adopted the policy of our forefathers in this matter the financial position of this country would have been far better. After all, the strength of the country lay in its ability to cope with any emergency, and its financial strength was one of the most important factors in connection with its defence. He did not wish to say a word against the scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the present occasion, but he must repeat that, he thought the time had come when the question of the repayment of debt must be gone into more carefully, and that their efforts should be directed towards that rather than to the remission of taxation. It might he suggested that the public, in view of the national expenditure on alcohol, were not overburdened, and undoubtedly a nation in which each family could voluntarily set aside as much as £20 per annum for alcohol for legitimate use, and which at the same time owed nearly £700,000,000, ought to set apart a larger sum than it now did for the repayment of debt. He had long held that opinion, and he was again crying in the wilderness. He believed, however, that there were other Members who agreed with him that they should do more towards the repayment of debt than they now did. He certainly did not think that £30,000,000 would be an excessive sum to set apart for that purpose annually. The increasing expenditure of the country was largely due to the spirit which had recently been manifested of demanding that the Government should do much for individuals and communities. He thought that that spirit was a mistake and that it undermined the self-reliance of the people. The more they could get the public to look after themselves the better it would be, instead of calling upon the State and municipalities to do so much at the public cost. They still owed money that was raised, practically speaking, at the beginning of the last century for the great French War, and in his opinion that ought to have been cleared off years ago, and it would have been if they had followed the policy adopted by their ancestors at the beginning of the last century. But, instead of that, they had added to their debt.

He was well aware that the reduction of the tea duty commended itself to many people, not only because tea was a necessity, but also because the reduction would benefit our Indian Empire and would encourage the trade of India. So far as that went, the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had his complete sympathy, but he did hope the right hon. Gentleman would take into his consideration the question of the reduction of the Debt, and would set himself resolutely to the task of diminishing the permanent burden.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

said he would like to add to the expressions of congratulation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the interest and lucidity of the speech in which he introduced his Budget on the preceding night. He was sure the whole House listened to the right hon. Gentleman with great satisfaction, and that it was with especial satisfaction that they heard what he had to say as to the trade of the country and the improvement which had occurred in connection with it. He thought also that the Members on the Opposition side of the House were, on the whole, I satisfied with the actual proposals of the right hon. Gentleman, because those proposals were in the direction which they had always advocated, namely, greater reduction of the National Debt and the diminution of indirect taxation, and especially of the tea duty.

Undoubtedly, the great question of the present moment was how the national expenditure was to be reduced, for, so long as that expenditure remained on its present scale, they could not hope for any substantial reduction of debt or of taxation. The general financial position last year was rather curious. It appeared from the right hon. Gentleman's figures that there had been a considerable increase of elasticity in the income-tax apart from what he might call his "hustling" policy, for the tax had produced nearly half a million beyond what had been estimated, and in addition to that the arrears had been brought in more rapidly. But indirect taxation—Customs and Excise—had, on the other hand, shown a great want of elasticity.


here interrupted the hon. Member, and said that the increased product from the income-tax had been due not so much to the elasticity of the tax as to the fact that he, last year, had rather underestimated the product.


said that, at all events, they had had a very satisfactory receipt from the tax, while, on the other hand, the receipts from the Excise and Customs had not been so satisfactory. It seemed to him to prove that the general trade and commerce of the country were in a satisfactory condition, but that the burdens on the consumers at the present moment were so heavy that they had been unable to extract any elasticity from the Customs and Excise. After the right hon. Gentleman had delivered his speech introducing the Budget on the preceding evening, he (the speaker) spoke to a tariff reformer and asked him if he did not regret that nothing had been taken off the income-tax, and the reply very promptly came that it was a matter of perfect indifference because nobody now had any income. The produce from the taxation of other articles consumed by the poorest members of the community had also shown, unfortunately, a want of elasticity, and in the matter of sugar there had not only been the burden of taxation, but the price of the article to the consumer had also been increased by the operation of the Sugar Convention.

The right hon. Gentleman had avoided any mention of the results of certain taxation he introduced last year. For instance, there was the stripped tobacco duty. He certainly did say he rather congratulated himself that, in spite of the alleged disorganisation of the tobacco trade, the revenue from the tobacco duty had been satisfactory. But he (the speaker) wanted to know what had been the actual result of the duty upon stripped tobacco. Had not that very thing happened which they on that side had declared in the course of the debates of the previous year would occur, namely, that there had been practically no stripped tobacco imported into this country, and that there consequently was no revenue arising from it.

He thought that the country might well be congratulated on the fact that the last few months had shown a real turn in the tide of prosperity. A few months ago there appeared to be a falling off, but there had now been a most remarkable change—a change all the more remarkable when they bore in mind the effect of the disturbance of trade through the uncertainty which at the present moment existed in most trades in consequence of the fiscal agitation, and the public ignorance as to what was likely to be the future fiscal policy of this country. No doubt this prosperity was somewhat disheartening to those who had been telling them that their trade was disappearing, and who had been attributing that disappearance to the operation of the principle of free trade. But the great blot on the Budget was the item of expenditure. He was glad to think that the plague of expenditure had to a certain extent been stayed this year. He, however, did not think it was altogether satisfactory that the reduction of expenditure this year as compared with last amounted to less than one million sterling. The whole of that was due to the reduction of the Navy Estimates which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol twelve months ago declared were far in excess of the needs of the country. It was, undoubtedly, essential that there should be a reduction in those Navy Estimates this year, but he thought there was considerable disappointment that that reduction had not been larger than it appeared to be. There had also been extreme disappointment because they were not to have any reduction on the Army Estimates at all in the present year. They had been told by the Secretary of State for War that if he were allowed to carry out his scheme of Army reform it would involve a large reduction of expenditure, but unfortunately the various schemes of reform which had been produced had, in turn, been placed on the scrap heap, and instead of expenditure on the Army having diminished it was continuing at its old figure. The result of all this was that at the present moment they were asking for a sum of £141,000,000 to cover the national expenditure for the year as against a demand for £96,000,000 in the year 1895–6 when the present Administration came into office. And this, it must be borne in mind, was peace expenditure with the exception of about £4,000,000 which represented the contribution towards war expenses—the amount by which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon raised the Sinking Fund two years ago.

The right hon. Gentleman had made three proposals. One was the redaction of the tea duty, and he was glad the right hon. Gentleman chose that in preference to the income-tax, because he felt that the indirect taxpayer had the greater claim to relief. Then there was the second proposal, that dealing with debt, and again he was able to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on having taken a step in the right direction. And finally, by the abolition of a certain number of small charges which fettered particular trades, he was glad that the right hon. Gentleman had had it in his power to proceed in the direction of the simplification of our fiscal and financial system, and had at the same time exemplified some of the advantages of free trade. He thought, however, something more might have been done to reduce the Debt charge. He did not know if people generally were aware how very little of the South African War debt had yet been paid off. The war cost £220,000,000, and out of the actual proceeds of additional taxation the amount paid in reduction of that cost was £55,000,000; so that there were still £165,000,000 of war charges which had not been met, and were not likely to be met unless the Debt charge was considerably increased. When the matter was under discussion two years ago the Chancellor of the Exchequer was anticipating the receipt of £6,000,000 from the Chinese indemnity and of £30,000,000 as a war contribution from the Transvaal, but neither anticipation had been realised, and personally he was not very much impressed with their chances of getting the latter sum. But still these were the facts on which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon justified his contention that there was no necessity to raise the Sinking Fund above £27,000,000, as he calculated if these moneys came in they would produce such an increase of the Sinking Fund as would enable the Debt to be reduced to £694,000,000 by March, 1908. At the present moment the whole Debt amounted to £796,000,000, and last year the whole operation on the Debt was this, that while £7,500,000 were paid off, £9,500,000 were added. The fact was that at the end of five years the country, so far as debt was concerned, was exactly in the same position as before.

The right hon. Gentleman had drawn a distinction between the dead-weight debt and the debt as against which he said there were specific assets, but with the exception of the Suez Canal shares, which had proved a very good investment, the telegraphs, and perhaps the Uganda Railway, there were no realisable assets, as money spent on naval and military works could not be realised in any sense of the term. The only asset remaining for the capital expenditure on guns and forts and powder and barracks might be said to be the Transvaal itself, and so far that had not proved very profitable. All were glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman express a hope that the capital expenditure would this year be reduced. He was afraid that the right hon. Gentleman was rather over sanguine in regard to this matter, because as soon as one programme was finished another more expensive one was started either for the Army or the Navy.

With regard to the credit of the country one of the objects of the Sinking Fund was not only to reduce the Debt, but also to maintain the credit of the country by annually purchasing funded or unfunded debt. Last year the Chancellor of the Exchequer bought Consols with the Sinking Fund somewhere about £89; that was to say, he was buying annuities and paying £2 16s. per cent. for them, and in the same year he issued £6,000,000 of Exchequer Bonds upon which he had to pay 3¼ per cent. So that with one hand he was selling stock at £2 16s. per cent. and then buying stock for which he had to pay 3¼ per cent. Of course that was not a profitable transaction for the National Exchequer, and the security which the Sinking Fund ought to give was neutralised. With regard to the £1,000,000 of unclaimed dividends in his balance-sheet, he noticed that he credited himself with £1,000,000 on that account. He would like to know how much Consols had he to sell for that sum and at what price he sold them. He thought that would show the absurdity of the position of the Government having to buy things dear and sell them cheap. He had some doubt whether the particular proposal of the right hon. Gentleman to take £10,000,000 of Exchequer Bonds and apply £1,000,000 each year would be a more satisfactory proposal than merely adding £1,000,000 a year to the fixed debt fund. He should have thought that this course would tie the hands of those who had to deal with these matters each year and force them to extinguish these particular Exchequer Bonds when the Sinking Fund as a whole might be more profitably employed elsewhere. He thought it would have been better simply to have raised the Sinking Fund by £1,000,000 instead of earmarking this money for this particular purpose.

He was entirely in accord with the proposal to reduce the tea duty, and he regretted that the expenditure of the country did not allow the right hon. Gentleman to reduce, other duties also. The hon. Member opposite seemed to think that because this proposal would benefit the Colonies the members of the Opposition ought to oppose it. He would remind the hon. Member that those sitting on the Opposition side of the House were just as anxious to benefit the Colonies as any hon. Members, when they could do it with advantage to the Empire as a whole. One reason why the tea duty was selected was that it would benefit the British consumer as well as the colonial producer. He thought the figures in regard to direct taxation which had already been quoted conclusively showed that in this year the right hon. Gentleman, having only a limited amount of money, decided that indirect taxation had a greater claim upon him than the income-tax payer. While the direct taxpayer was paying £10,000,000 a year more in consequence of extra taxation, the indirect taxpayer was paying £13,000,000 more. Within the last two years the direct taxpayer had had a remission of £18,000,000, whilst the indirect taxpayer had only been remitted £2,000,000. He was glad the right hon. Gentleman was dealing in a fair way as between the direct and indirect taxpayer, and he trusted that next year the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be able by a reduction in expenditure and increased elasticity in the revenue to take the remaining 2d. off tea and give the direct taxpayer some relief as well.

*MR. WYLIE (Dumbartonshire)

said that he joined in the congratulation which had been showered upon the Chan cellor of the Exchequer in regard to all his Budget proposals with the exception of that referring to a reduction of the tea duty. He desired to repeat what he had told the Committee upon a former occasion, namely, that tea had no nutritive properties whatever, that it was merely a stimulant like alcohol and tobacco, and that in the excessive quantities in which it was used by very many in this country it was a very deleterious luxury. It was, therefore, perfectly absurd to endeavour, as many hon. Members had done, to put this stimulant in the position of a prime necessary of life. Sugar was very much wanting in many of the essential qualities of a nourishing food and it ought to be used very sparingly. The consumption of tea in this country had increased by leaps and bounds. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, when proposing to put 2d. on the tea duty last year, stated that the community was "saturated with tea." The consumption increased from 2½ 1bs. per head in 1864 to 6½ 1bs. at the present time. The consumption of sugar had also increased to an enormous extent. A very large amount was used in connection with tea, and it was also used in large quantities as confectionery. This combination of tea and sugar with its concomitants of a little milk, a little butter, and a very large amount of bread, principally white bread, had become to millions of people in this country the staple diet. It was used morning, noon, and night, and according to the Report of the Commission on Physical Training in 1903, and that on Physical Deterioration in 1904, this diet was the cause of an enormous amount of physical deterioration. It was so destitute of nutritive properties that the families living upon it were in a state of semistarvation. The deterioration was specially marked among infants and young children, and the effect remained all through life. Infantile mortality was enormous, and one of the great causes of this was the diet to which he was referring. The teeth of the present generation were inferior to those of their ancestors, and the Report of one of these Commissions stated that there was no doubt whatever that this was due to the absence of proper diet. It had also been clearly shown that ænemia dyspepsia, and many other forms of disease wore brought about by tea and sugar diet. The supporters of the tea and sugar diet stated that if it was bad it was the best the poor could afford. He would have no difficulty in disposing of that argument. It was quite true that the poor could not afford flesh, fish, fowl, and eggs, which were necessary to supply the deficiencies of the other diet, and which the better classes could afford. But in oats, peas, beans, barley, etc., well cooked as porridge and used along with, milk, they had splendid substitutes containing an enormously greater amount of nutriment which could be obtained at a cheaper price. Soups made with beef or mutton, with a large proportion of bone, and containing vegetables, cereals, and pulses, afforded a far better and more nutritious diet, and they could be got for about the same price as the porridge and milk diet to which he was referring.

He had a large amount of statistical and other information on this subject, but he would not trouble the Committee with it. He would put it in the form of a concrete example. A labouring man with a wife and six children, ranging from two to sixteen years of age, required, when using the tea and sugar diet, to spend 15s. 6d. to 16s. 6d. to maintain them even in a condition of semi-starvation. With the other far more wholesome and nutritious diet that man could maintain his family on from 10s. to 11s. per week. If the income was only £1 per week, what an enormous benefit the saving on food of 5s. per week gave to the family for the purpose of providing better clothing and better housing! The objection to this more wholesome diet was that it required a great deal of skill and patience in the cooking. One advantage of tea was that it could be easily cooked. He had great sympathy for the poorer classes, the exigencies of whose employment compelled them to use the more readily cooked article of diet, but tea and sugar formed the diet of an enormous number of the lazy and thriftless in the community. The education authorities had come to recognise the importance of this subject, and to see that it might be of more practical value to a boy or girl to possess information about the elementary principles of health than to have a smattering knowledge of subjects which would be in after life of little use. There was an anti-tea duty society. He thought an anti-tea diet association would be of more practical benefit, and better still a rational food society, and one of its first duties would be to assign to every article of diet used by the working classes its proper place in dietetics, and to instruct the people as to the best method of using it. By this means hundreds of thousands of families who were in a position of penury would be elevated into a position of comparative affluence. He had endeavoured to show that tea and sugar, instead of being necessaries for the poor, were really luxuries they could not afford except in small quantities, so small that any duties upon them would be to the consumers almost infinitesimal—while those who could afford to use them in larger quantities would also be able to pay the taxes. Under these circumstances the question the Chancellor of the Exchequer should consider was not how he could reduce the tea duty, but how he could increase it to the same proportion is that of the kindred luxuries of alcohol and tobacco. In that way the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be able to increase the tea duty to 1s. 4d. per 1b., the figure at which it was in 1874. This would open up to future Chancellors of the Exchequer the fine prospect of being able to raise £20,000,000 extra, while at the same time greatly benefiting the health of the community. But, Chancellors of the Exchequer, like ordinary human beings, made their plans in accordance with popular sentiment and the opinion of the time.

There had been a great deal of nonsense talked about "the free breakfast table." They might as well talk about "the free dinner table," including beer, which was regularly a part of the diet of some people. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had sympathised with the false sentiment and remitted the tax on tea to the extent of 25 per cent. Scotch Members would be much better employed in endeavouring to restore their national diet, than in inveighing against the tea and sugar duties. English Members, some of whom had shown great aptitude in adopting Scotch customs such as playing golf and drinking whiskey, in which pastimes they sometimes excelled the Scotch, would do better if they assisted to introduce in their country a solid system of diet among the working classes, similar to that which still obtained among hundreds of thousands of the working people in the North. And Irish Members, if they reformed the diet of their fellow-countrymen, would have the double satisfaction of being dietetic reformers and of bringing the taxation of their country into a more proper proportion, according to their ideas, with that of the adjacent island. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had shown great financial ability in regard to other items in his Budget, but he would have shown statesmanship of a higher order if he had retained the duty on tea at 8d.

*MR. REA (Gloucester)

said he would not attempt to follow the hon. Gentleman in his very interesting and valuable discourse on food and food taxation. He would confine himself to a more superficial criticism of the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In listening to the not altogether unsatisfactory exposition of his Budget by the Chancellor of the Exchequer he felt animated by sympathy with the right hon. Gentleman because of the extreme disappointment which the right hon. Gentleman must have felt in having to open such a Budget to the House of Commons. He remembered that last year the right hon. Gentleman in his Budget speech said that he looked for relief this year to the reforms which his right hon. friend the Secretary for War was preparing in the Army system of this country. Well, they would have been glad for relief from such reforms, but the real objection to his Budget was not to the Budget itself but to the necessity for the Budget. In the situation in which the right hon. Gentleman found himself from the Estimates already accepted by the House, they could not object very much to his proposals. In his estimate of revenue for the year the right hon. Gentleman had made an extraordinary good shot—almost a bull's eye; but his hit was compounded of misses. The errors he made in regard to Customs and Excise were excusable; but the right hon. Gentleman had not made allowances for the extraordinary social phenomena manifested in the reduction of the consumption of beer and spirits by the inhabitants of this country. He did not agree with the hon. Member for Devon-port that this was to be explained simply by the poverty of the people. On the contrary, he believed that that poverty had been exaggerated on both sides of the House for fiscal purposes. In spite of the statistics of pauperism, unemployment, and consumption of beer and spirits, he did not believe the working classes, as a whole, were suffering from any unprecedented destitution.

He noted that the consumption of tobacco had increased enormously. The tobacco duty had increased by £600,000—more than £250,000 above the estimate. He should like to repeat the question already put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer:—"How much of that increase was due to stripped tobacco?" The hon. Member for Liverpool had assured the Committee that the import of stripped tobacco had entirely ceased, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was therefore wrong in denying last year that the revenue from tobacco was no longer elastic.


No. I never said that.


I beg pardon. It may have been the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor the year before who stated that the taxation of tobacco had reached its limit.


What I said last year was that I was advised that to increase the rate of the tax on tobacco would probably reduce the consumption, which might largely affect the revenue. That is not the same thing as saying that the revenue was not elastic.


said he wondered that the right hon. Gentleman, in considering this tax, did not accept the suggestion which the whole tobacco trade made to him last year. The right hon. Gentleman was told that the trade would prefer to have the duty raised all round to 3s. 3d. per 1b. on all tobacco. If the right hon. Gentleman had accepted that suggestion, he might have found a new source of revenue which would have relieved him at present.

But the chief criticism he had to make on the right hon. Gentleman's proposals was his dealing with the fixed debt charge. That proposal had been met with a chorus of approval and congratulation; but he could only give his congratulation in a very modest degree and to a qualified extent. He asked the right hon. Gentleman why he had not taken the opportunity of dealing with the terminable annuities which fell in next year, and of bringing in a scheme which would have associated his name in a prominent degree with a reform of the finances of the country, and would have conduced very much to the stability of trade? The right hon. Gentleman said that he thought it right to leave that matter to the next Chancellor of the Exchequer, but that was too great a temptation to leave in the hands of any Chancellor of the Exchequer. A bird in the hand was a very tempting thing; and next year the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have in hand £3,000,000 for which the spending Departments and the tax-payer would compete, but which should be applied in reduction of the permanent Debt. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer said that he would so apply it if he held then his present position. He could promise the right hon. Gentleman that they on that side of the House would remind him of his pledge and hold him to it. But human nature was weak; and the weakest form of human nature had lately been incarnated in the shape of recent Chancellors of the Exchequer. What was to prevent the Chancellor of the Exchequer next year, when he had this windfall in his hand, using it for another purpose?

*MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)

said he associated himself with the congratulations which, without exception, had been showered on the head of his right hon. friend. He could not help thinking—while sitting listening attentively to his right hon. friend—that there was one whose voice, alas, they would never hear any more, who would have associated himself with those congratulations; because if there was one principle more than another which the late Sir William Harcourt pressed on the House of Commons it was the urgent and constant necessity of increasing the resources of this country by the diminution of debt. If he might be pardoned preferring his own opinion he would say that the one feature which more than anything else stood out as deserving of commendation in the right hon. Gentleman's statement, was his resolution and firm determination to ensure the continuance of the diminution of the Debt which had grown up with enormous, though unavoidable, leaps and bounds. Having said that, he would like to add his thanks to the right hon. Gentleman for what he had laid down as to the financial principles which should guide him. Of course they could not expect a Chancellor of the Exchequer— and he did not think the right hon. I Gentleman could, if he would—who had spent many valuable years of his public life at the Admiralty—when he got to the Treasury, which was a purifying atmosphere, to propose to sweep away if not the mischievous, certainly the unhappy, arrangements for increasing the Debt by the system of expenditure for naval works. He was surprised to find, such an authority on finance as his hon. friend the Member for Poplar make the error of very vehemently reproaching former Chancellors of the Exchequer for the additional expenditure in connection with the naval and military works. Then the hon. Member for Poplar had said that while we were reducing the Debt by £7,500,000 we were increasing it by £9,000,000. His (Mr. Cohen's) reason for viewing that expenditure with indulgence was because they had not to depend on a courageous, but an orthodox. Chancellor of the Exchequer. Whether the right hon. Gentleman liked it or not that expenditure must be extinguished by Votes in Supply and was beyond the control of any Chancellor of the Exchequer. He, therefore, regretted those additions to the liabilities of the country, because they were created, to a certain extent, clandestinely, or, in other words, not in the straightforward and above-board way of adding to the expenditure of the country by Votes of Supply.

They had heard a good deal of the way in which the expenditure of the country was mounting up, but personally ho did not look for any great reduction of expenditure. He believed the most powerful influence for reduction was to be found in the propagation of such principles as those laid down by the right hon. Gentleman, as, for example, that of reducing debt by a manner which would not be dependent upon any particular Budget Estimate of any year but would work automatically, and would ensure that when these repealed claims for expenditure were put forward the Chancellor of the Exchequer would say, "You can have them all, provided that you pay for them by additional taxation." He rejoiced in the restoration of the £28,000,000 to the service of the Debt. They knew it was only reverting to the figures of Sir Stafford Northcote, when the Debt was much smaller and the expenditure very much less lavish than it was now. He thought those two alterations in the consideration of the case might render more, and not less, obligatory the rigid appropriation of a minimum of £28,000,000 at a time of peace, and he believed and hoped, of prosperity.

The hon. Member for Poplar had called attention to the fact that we were buying Consols and at the same time were selling £1,000,000 worth from the unclaimed dividends. As a member of the Public Accounts Committee he knew that the Government, when it sold and bought the same article at the same time, generally did so at a loss to the Exchequer. He would be glad to hear how the Chancellor of the Exchequer arranged the selling and buying of Consols. If the right hon. Gentleman could do these things for himself, it would be a great advantage to the Exchequer, because he knew that Stock Exchange members gained an advantage when a Minister appeared there both as buyer and seller. The right hon. Gentleman merited congratulations in having framed his Budget not to court popularity, but in such a way as to protect him, not only from himself, but from any future Chancellor of the Exchequer who would be obliged to redeem £1,000,000 of Exchequer bonds a year—thereby strengthening the credit of the country, and rendering it more sound, more stable, because more free from incursion.

MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)

ventured to say that the national balance-sheet was presented to the House, and through the House to the country, on a system which would not be tolerated by any business firm in the country. On a previous occasion he had been told that Mr. Gladstone had sanctioned the system. If that, were so he was still sorry to say that he differed from it because a great deal of misunderstanding and foolish talk arose from employing a wrong method of rendering a balance-sheet. The national expenditure consisted of two things—they had to keep the nation going and had to pay for its Army and Navy; but the nation ran other businesses, such as the Post Office and the Telegraphs. That expenditure ought not to be included in the national expenditure, but should be kept absolutely distinct. A business man would keep a separate account and only bring the profit or loss into the general account, but in this national balance-sheet they had on one side the Post Office receipts and on the other side they had the expenditure. If the State took over the railways, the expenditure would be jumped up by £100,000,000 and it would be perfectly absurd to call that national expenditure. They were told that the national expenditure was £141,000,000, but £14,000,000 was required for the Post Office and Telegraphs, out of which a profit of £5,000,000 was made, and the expenditure was consequently £127,000,000. They ought to know exactly from year to year the proper amount of the expenditure of the nation. He asserted that there ought to be a separate account for each separate business of the State, a Post Office account, a telegraph account, and so forth. He remembered when the Telegraphs were taken over by the nation, when according to the form of book-keeping the expenditure jumped up nearly £5,000,000, although it had not really done anything of the sort. The nation was now going to take over the telephone system, and he supposed under the present form of book-keeping the expenditure would go up another £5,000,000. It was not generally known that out of the Post Office the nation made £6,000,000, whilst the Telegraphs was a losing business. What was wanted was a separate account for each business so that we could put our finger on the losing businesses and see whether we could not stop or reduce those losses. When we took over the telephones we ought to have a separate account for them so that we could see whether we were losing or gaining. What the nation really wanted in these Estimates was to know what it was spending for national purposes, what were the national purposes on which it was making the expenditure, and whether that expenditure was going up or down in future years. The figures now were quite useless. They wanted to know what the Army, the Navy, and the Civil Service—what all those things which were necessary for running a nation—amounted to altogether; and, secondly, they wanted to know how each separate business was going on. He, therefore, asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give those reasonable facilities which were necessary for this purpose in order that a great deal of the confusion and misunderstanding that now existed might be cleared away.

MR. SEYMOUR ORMSBY-GORE (Lincolnshire, Gainsborough)

associated himself with the remarks of the hon. Member who had just sat down as to the manner in which these Estimates had been presented to the House. He heartily congratulated the right hon. Gentleman on his most able but unsensational Budget, especially on the part in which he had allocated so much money to the reduction of the National Debt. He did not altogether agree with what had fallen from the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire in regard to the taxation of food. He was glad the right hon. Gentleman had seen his way to taking something off tea, although he himself had a kindly feeling in favour of a remission of the taxation on sugar. He thought, however, the benefits which were derived from a reduction on tea very nearly counterbalanced those which would be obtained from a reduction on sugar. No doubt there would be some heartburning because nothing had been taken off the income-tax. It was quite a mistake to suppose that the income-tax only hit the rich; those whom it hit hardest were that large body of the community, the clerks. Another bad effect of that income-tax was the large amount of capital it drew from new businesses, but under the present conditions he thought the right hon. Gentleman was quite unable to reduce this tax. He hoped, however, that later on in the debate a Motion would be moved in favour of a graduated income-tax. There were a great many arguments in favour of such a departure, and he for one would rejoice to see a difference made in favour of incomes earned as against those derived from investments.

Another point to which he wished to call attention was the flotation of Consols. When Lord Goschen, in 1888, passed his scheme for the conversion of the National Debt, it was received with great acclaim, but he had never been able himself to see the benefit derived from that transaction. True, the nation derived £1,500,000 taxation from it, but the ultimate result had been that the taxpayer paid less taxation because he received less on his Consols, while the scheme at the same time had had the effect of reducing the stability of the National Debt. The effect of that reduction of the interest payable on the National Debt gave rise to the wildest speculation. The flotations in 1886 amounted to £90,000,000 odd, and two years later to £150,000,000. There was the Argentine boom, followed by the Baring crisis, the South African boom, the cycle boom, and the most fruitful result of the conversion was a plenteous crop of Jabez Balfours, Hooleys, and Whitaker Wrights. He thought that it would be better for the country if Consols were still 2¾ instead of 2½ and he hoped eventually to see the interest raised to the original 3 per cent. They had now Consols, the war loan, and the Irish loan all carrying different rates of interest, and he hoped that some future Chancellor of the Exchequer would at some time come to the House and say that it would be better for the nation and better for the people to revise these matters and put all these loans on the same basis.

MR. HELME (Lancashire, Lancaster)

regretted that the Estimates did not show as large a reduction as the Committee had a right to expect. The House during the war willingly provided the necessary sums for its prosecution, and naturally when it was over they looked for a reduction in the charges for the maintenance of the services. The Prime Minister ought to have insisted upon a more moderate expenditure, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to have curbed the extravagance of the various Departments. The Secretary of State for War had held out hopes of far greater economies than had yet been effected. It had been shown to be possible to make a reduction in the charges for the Navy, and why was it not possible in the Army? It was absolutely necessary to adopt the homely idea of cutting one's coat according to the cloth at one's disposal, and the people were not willing to bear as heavy burdens in time of peace as they were in time of war. The process of balancing income and expenditure was an interesting one, but one of the first concerns of the Government should be to consider the extent of that expenditure, and the country had a right to complain that, although there was a slight remission of taxation, the relief was not considerably larger. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had evidently learnt the lesson of his last Budget. The £1,000,000 which the right hon. Gentleman took from unclaimed dividends, instead of being applied to the ordinary expenditure of the year, ought to have gone to the reduction of debt. He would be glad to hear at what price the Consols connected with that operation were sold. With the Sinking Fund proposal of the right hon. Gentleman the Opposition would cordially agree. They were anxious to see the national credit stand high, and the Chancellor's proposals tended in that direction. He was glad that the tea duties had been reduced, though he regretted that the amount available did not allow of a larger reduction. He was glad to hear that the drink bill had been diminished, and, although it meant less revenue to the Exchequer, the spending of the money in other directions would doubtless mean greater prosperity and happiness in the country. The everyday life and comfort of the people would be improved by still further reduction of taxation, and to that object he hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would turn his attention.


The debate may presently be directed more particularly to the tax which is the subject of the Resolution before the Committee, and before the discussion is narrowed down in that way it may be for the convenience of the Committee that I should reply on the general discussion which by consent has taken place on this Resolution. In reference to the tea tax, I would only say that I do not share the fear of my hon. friend below the gangway that the relief now given will not reach even the smallest consumer. I think it will reach him, if not in money, in improved quality of tea; I am hopeful that the competition which exists will be sufficient to secure that the relief should go, either in better quality or in lower price, to the consumers in the country. The hon. Member for Dumbartonshire made some interesting observations. No doubt the advantage of tea can be exaggerated, but I do not go so far as my hon. friend in regarding tea as an insidious and deleterious article of food. At any rate, I hope the course apparently recommended upon certain posters now decorating the hoardings will not be followed, and that now the duty is lowered tea will not be made an ordinary article of infants' food. I share the regret—no one more than I—expressed by my hon. friend for North Islington that there is no relief for the income-tax payer in this Budget.

Unlike the hon. Member for Poplar, I do not consider that the balance in recent years has bean to the disadvantage of the indirect taxpayer. On the contrary, it has been greatly to his advantage, and at the present time the scale is in his favour and presses unfairly against the direct taxpayer. The hon. Member added up the amounts estimated to be received from each addition of taxation, direct or indirect; subtracted one total from the other, and arrived at the result that the indirect taxpayer is contributing a greater proportion than he used to. That is a very misleading method. The hon. Member misleads himself when he makes a calculation on that basis. The only way in which you can make the comparison fairly is to take the respective proportions of the total taxation borne by the two classes of taxpayer. Yesterday in my Budget statement I compared the respective estimated yields of direct and indirect taxes with the actual results, and showed how that, owing to the falling off in the receipts from various sources of indirect taxation, the indirect taxpayer had contributed a smaller, and, consequently, the direct taxpayer a larger, proportion than I had expected. The proportions last year, according to my Budget Estimates, were 51.8 per cent. from in direct taxation, excluding the coal duty and stamps, and 48.2 per cent. from direct taxation. The actual yield was approximately only 50.9 per cent. from indirect and 49.1 per cent. from direct taxation.

MR. McCRAE (Edinburgh, E.)

Does that include the amount raised from local taxation?


Yes, and on my Budget Estimate for the present year indirect taxes fall to 49.8 per cent. while direct taxes rise to 50.2 per cent. Although it was not framed to produce that result, my Budget scheme of last year assigned exactly the same proportions to direct and indirect taxation as were estimated for in the year before the war. It will be seen, therefore, that the position of the indirect taxpayer is not less, but more, favourable than before the war, and, in my opinion, it is the direct taxpayer who has the greater right to complain of the present distribution of the burden. If it had been a question this year between the relief of the indirect taxpayer and the relief of the direct taxpayer, I think still, as I thought and said last year, that the latter would have had the first claim to consideration. But I regarded it as my first duty to make a greater provision for the reduction of debt, and when I had taken the sum which I thought sufficient, but not more than sufficient, for that purpose, the money remaining available for the remission of taxation was insufficient to give the income-tax payer relief even to the extent of 1d. I commend that comparison to the attention of the Committee; I think it is a much more accurate one than the method of comparison adopted by the hon. Member for Poplar, and I only need to add, in order to make my views complete upon this subject, that I think, although we have been accustomed to make these comparisons from year to year, and they may serve some useful purpose, that it should always be remembered that the distinction between direct and indirect taxpayers is wholly artificial. Whilst there are indirect taxpayers who do not pay direct taxes, there are no direct taxpayers who do not pay indirect, taxes. My hon. friend the Member for Islington said that amongst those most worthy of consideration when we are recasting our financial arrangements are the small payers of income-tax, upon whom probably, in spite of the abatements, the income-tax falls with sensible force, and who also have to make very great contributions to indirect taxation.

Hon. Members on the other side of the House have not subjected my Budget proposals to any severe criticisms. They have, in fact, rather directed their remarks over my head or through me to those whom I may call my spending colleagues. They have claimed that I do not exercise a sufficient restraining influence upon them, and when I appear at this Table they say that I do not speak with sufficiently bated breath about the enormous amount of our expenditure, or dwell upon the urgent need for a reduction with the force and with the frequency which have been common with some of my predecessors. I said last year, and I repeated it yesterday, that I see no advantages in taking this course whilst the expenditure is on the increase. I think it is the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide for the expenditure which, in his opinion, and in the opinion of the Government, is requisite for the service and safety of the country. I often find it my duty inside this House and outside the House to criticise proposals for expenditure. Sometimes the House listens to me and sometimes it does not. What passes between myself and my colleagues is our affair alone, and I do not pretend to reveal the secrets of our discussions here. I only say that if I did not believe that the expenditure embodied in our Estimates was necessary it would not be possible for me to continue to hold the position that I do. It must be my duty to scan that expenditure closely and to secure for the taxpayer, as far as it is in my power to do so, good value for the money expended, and to see that I do not provide more money than is necessary. I do not, however, regard it as any part of my duty, as the guardian of the national finances, to reject proposals for expenditure, merely because they involve expenditure, without regard to their merits or necessity for the defence or improvement of the country.

The main point of this Budget is the proposed addition to the fixed debt charge and the measures which I have brought forward for reducing the Unfunded Debt. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have not seriously criticised these proposals except from the point of view that good as they are, they would have been better if they had been larger, and the hon. Member for Poplar, speaking from the front Opposition bench with all the authority that that position gives him, came very near to pledging those of his colleagues who act with him that when they came into power they would still further raise the fixed debt charge. I shall be interested in the future to see whether they carry out that pledge should circumstances happen to transfer them to this side of the House, and when the future Chancellor of the Exchequer will have to consider all the questions that are now brought before me. All I can say is that if I find that they are inclined to go further than the course which I have now taken, I do not think they will find a very hostile critic in the present Chancellor of the Exchequer. But, Sir, I think the Committee should know what we are proposing for the reduction of debt. The hon. Member for Poplar in the statement which he made to the Committee fell into an error which has been noticeable in more than one speech made in our debates, namely, that he took no account whatever of the Sinking Fund which is specially attached to the debt created for the works charged to capital account. Sir, that Sinking Fund is on a scale out of all proportion to the Sinking Fund attached to the ordinary debt. Hardly any of that Debt extends over a period of more than thirty years, and the Sinking Fund is such as to reduce the whole of it within that time. I estimate that the Sinking Fund which is provided outside the fixed debt charge and in the Votes of the various Departments was in 1904–5, £1,204,000. I estimate that in the present year it will be £1,683,000, and that sum has to be added to the amount of the Sinking Fund included in the fixed debt charge amounting to £8,428,000. Therefore the total amount available for the extinction of debt in the present year should be no less than £10,111,000. I think that is an adequate provision to make for the redemption of our debt, large as that debt is, and I think I should have been unduly tempting my successors if I had adopted the suggestions which have been pressed upon me from some quarters as to "applying the whole surplus to increasing the fixed debt charge without giving any relief of any kind to the taxpayer. I am all for a high Sinking Fund, and all for a big fixed debt charge, but I think there is some danger in pressing that principle too far, for by so doing you may make the Sinking Fund a burden so great that you may produce a reaction in the minds of the taxpayers which would undo the work you had done, and thus fail to achieve the very result which you wish to accomplish.

Sir, I will say one word in reply to the hon. Member opposite. All I need to say is that if he would do me the honour to read the second speech I made yesterday in answer to some observations made by the hon. Member for Edinburgh, he would see that I dealt with the criticisms he made upon me to-day for not dealing this year with the terminable annuities which fall in next year, and that I have shown that, whatever be the merits of establishing new terminable annuities in preference to reducing debt in other ways, the particular course which he invited me to pursue as being one that would connect my name favourably with the finances of the country would not in my opinion reduce a penny more debt than the other ways which I have adopted. There are some hon. Members to whom the system of terminable annuities has a great charm and mystery, but if they understood more exactly their working they would attach less reverence to that particular method, and they would see that it is only one way which may or may not be the best one of obtaining the result which they desire.

There are a couple of Questions put by the hon. Member for Poplar as to the sale of Consols held on the unclaimed dividend account. I cannot give the figures because I have not got them with me, but if the hon. Member will put a Question on the Paper I shall no doubt be able to supply the information. No part of those Consols as sold in the market, but they were bought on account of another account by the National Debt Commissioners. The hon. Gentleman also asked for some information as to the yield of the increased duty on stripped tobacco last year. I estimate that I received from that source, after the Budget concession which reduced my proposed duty to one-half, on account of all stocks about £400,000 in the course of the year. The hon. Gentleman also asked me whether it was not the case that the importation of strips had very largely fallen off since the imposition of the duty. Certainly it has. It was part of my contention that the old scale of duties favoured strips unfairly to the disadvantage of whole leaf, and of course, if there was anything in that contention, as I still hold there was, the readjustment of the duty would naturally result in a larger importation of whole leaf and a smaller importation of strips. But apart altogether from that, I should add that the importation of strips is one thing and the consumption of strips in the course of a year is another thing; and the falling off in the consumption of strips in this country was very much less than the falling off in their importation. That is natural, and was the necessary result of the concession which I made for strips already in bond at the date of the introduction of the Budget, because any strips which are now imported are not coming in at 3s. 3d. merely in competition with whole leaf at 3s., but they are strips coming in at 3s. 3d. in competition with other strips at 3s. 1½d.; and, as the House knows, there was a very large stock of strips on hand at the time the new duty was imposed, of which rather more than one-third passed into consumption in the course of the past year, still leaving a very large number in this favoured position. It will not be until they have been very much more largely worked off that we shall be able to say what the result of the duty will be on the future course of the trade.


asked at what figure the right hon. Gentleman estimated the receipts from the taxation of last year, and whether it was not a fact that the imported strips had fallen off.


I can get for the hon. Gentleman the whole of the figures. If he tells me that he has refreshed his memory lately as to the fact I will take it from him. There has been an enormous falling off in the importation of strips. This is natural. Why should anyone import strips at 3s. 3d. when there are large stocks in the country ready to come into consumption with a duty of 3s. 1½d.? All the strips at present on hand have a preference of 1½d., and it cannot be expected that strips will be imported as long as the stock of them is sufficient.

The hon. Member for Bolton raised a question which he has raised before in regard to the form of our national accounts. The hon. Gentleman speaks with great independence, disregarding every authority. He does not mind what Mr. Gladstone said; he holds his own view. He does not mind what the hon. Member for King's Lynn says, although he holds to Mr. Gladstone's idea. There are really two schools of thought on this subject. The hon. Member for Bolton, and those who think with him, would like to assimilate our form of national accounts to those of any business concern. There is a great deal to be said for that, and I have very great sympathy with the desire. I think it does mislead the House, and certainly the country, that the total expenditure is put on one side, and the revenue from the Post Office on the other side, of the accounts, and although profits grow year by year, not perhaps so much as we should like to see them, yet our expenditure is shown in a way which represents it to the taxpayer as if he were paying more taxes. The expenditure due to this cause is lumped in with the total and represented as being due to increased provision for naval and military purposes. I think that is a misconception fostered by the present form of accounts, and if I had to frame the accounts for the first time I do not think I should be inclined myself to frame them in the way they are now. But the present form has high authority behind it. It is the form which our accounts have taken for many years, and there is always a certain disadvantage in altering the form of accounts because it is apt to confuse the comparisons with previous years. Against the opinion of the hon. Gentleman and those who think with him, I have to balance the opinion of the hon. Member for King's Lynn and those who agree with him, that the present form is the right one, and that we ought actually to go further in the same direction. The hon. Member for King's Lynn makes it a complaint that every appropriation-in-aid does not in the same way appear on both sides of the account. We carry out, let me say, the service for some petty loan. We advance £1,000 and receive it back. According to some hon. Gentlemen that ought to be shown in a separate suspense account, and ought not to enter into our balance-sheet at all. According to the hon. Member for King's Lynn the tax-payers will not know the true state of affairs until it is first added to the expenditure and then the revenue, and appears on both sides of the account. Who shall decide when doctors disagree? I am not by any means wedded to the present way of presenting the accounts. I have shown that by adopting the form of circular which was this year placed in the hands of Members when the Budget was introduced, and which I owe to the hon. Member for Exeter, to whom I think the Committee are indebted in this matter. I know that if I attempt to introduce changes without the general consensus of opinion behind them, however desirable in my opinion or that of hon. Gentlemen, there would arise great opposition, and a great expenditure of time would be caused. I think the Public Accounts Committee have some right to be consulted in these matters. Any expression of opinion from them would, of course, always receive my serious attention, and if they thought it well to recommend a change such as the hon. Gentleman proposes I should at any rate feel that that was some further inducement to incur the risk of criticism and of condemnation by the hon. Member for King's Lynn. I hope if we are to have a discussion with special reference, to this tea tax the general discussion may now be allowed to close, so that we may take that special discussion before half-past seven.

MR. BROADHURST (Leicester) moved that the tea duty be reduced to 4d. instead of 6d. as proposed by the Chancellor the Exchequer. The Committee would be perfectly justified in further reducing the tax, and in bringing it back to the sum at which it stood before the war. The hon. Member for Dumbartonshire had dilated at considerable length on the evil effects of tea-drinking, and suggested that Scotch broth should be adopted in place of tea as an article of diet. Scotch broth was no doubt an excellent diet, but it would be inconvenient for working people who used tea because they could carry it with them to their places of employment, where of necessity they must drink it cold. He would not argue this subject at length, but he did contend that tea was an article of necessity in the homes of the people. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had told them that many people who paid indirect taxation did not pay any direct taxation. That was undoubtedly true, but was it not a great misfortune to the people who did not pay direct taxation? Many people would be delighted to be in the position of having to pay income-tax. Ho would remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer that although the workers did not pay income-tax, they stood in a wholly different relationship to the State from that in which the richer portion of the community stood. The worker every hour of his working life was contributing to the maintenance of the State, and without him the State would soon become a thing of the past. The workers suffered in many ways. In the recent bad times thousands of them suffered from want of employment. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer should again feel inclined to argue that the workers escaped direct taxation he should remember that by their labours they made a great contribution to the maintenance of the State. Therefore, they were entitled to wholly different consideration from that which was given to the people who paid income-tax. He agreed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the income tax in its present form was a great burden to a large number who now had to pay it. He could bear witness to the fact that many people paid income-tax who really were not liable for it, and who would be exempted if their case was thoroughly examined and properly put before the Income-Tax Commissioners. He hoped that the results of the labours of the Committee appointed last year to consider this great question would be to protect people of limited incomes from the imposition of heavy burdens.

The tax on tea was now, in some cases, upwards of 100 per cent. on its wholesale value. That was an enormous tax to levy on an article of everyday use, chiefly among the poor, and ought not to be allowed to pass. It ought at least to be brought down to the amount at which it stood in the ante-war period, viz., 4d. per pound. Some years back the right hon. Member for West Bristol, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, made him a conditional promise that he would go into the question of taxing tea on its value. Why not tax tea according to its value instead of according to its bulk or weight? He hoped the Chancellor would consider what could be done in that direction. It might be said that his proposal would reduce the Chancellor's revenue by a million and a half. He was, of course, not called upon to make good the deficiency. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer had graciously consented to select the next Chancellor from the Opposition Benches; but it was rather unkind of him to make arrangements somewhat in advance of the occasion. He could not expect to be that Chancellor, and therefore it was not for him to point out how the Chancellor could recompense himself for reducing the tea duty to 4d. But there was a very simple way. The Exchequer might be recouped by a reduction of expenditure. The Chancellor might turn his attention to his colleagues' extravagance in Pall Mall. It would be a much more difficult thing to reduce the efficiency of the gentlemen there than their extravagant expenditure, because they had a notorious habit of spending money without giving the nation adequate results. He might also consider the question of taxing ground rents. In the Metropolis alone an income of several millions was obtained from this source.


They pay income-tax already.


said they paid income-tax on their gross income, but here would be an additional source to tax. Other sources of revenue could be obtained from pure luxuries and extravagance of living. The whole object of taxation should be to make all classes bear an equal sacrifice according to their position and the means at their disposal.

Amendment proposed— In line 5, to leave out the words "six pence, and insert the words "four pence."—(Mr. Broadhurst.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'six pence' stand part of the proposed Resolution."

*MR. HIGHAM (Yorkshire, W.R., Sowerby)

said that the hon. Member for Leicester had stated that the duty on certain kinds of tea was 100 per cent. of its value; but the hon. Gentleman had understated the case. It was considerably over 100 per cent. The tea most used by the working people was sold wholesale at from 4½d. to 5d. per 1b, and on that a duty of 8d. per 1b. had been paid last year. But that was not the only pressure put on the working classes, for they had to pay duty on the tea, and then also the percentage of profits on the whole price of the goods which had been increased in price by the duty. That was one of the evils of all indirect taxation; and a man who bought a tea originally sold at 4½d. per pound had to pay for it 15d. or 16d. per pound, whereas the man who bought a high-class tea at 4s. per pound paid a much smaller proportion of the duty compared with the working man. If some hon. Members would only visit the towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire they would see hundreds and thousands of tins containing tea being carried to the workpeople two and three times daily, which showed the extent to which the beverage was consumed, and they would realise that a duty of even 6d. per pound was exceedingly heavy upon them. To impose the same duty on every quality of tea might be paralleled by levelling the same tax on every house in a town of, say, 20,000 inhabitants—whether it was a poor man's house or a rich man's house with three or four times the accommodation. He did not believe in what was called the relative proportion of direct and indirect taxation, for indirect taxation always carried with it a double burden, as it involved a taxation on profits as well as on original cost.

MR. BRIGG (Yorkshire, W.R., Keighley)

said it had been suggested that the tax on tea should be graduated according to the price paid for it. To a large number of people tea had now become an article of luxury, and many paid as much as four or five shillings a pound for it. A graduated tax should be put upon tea, and the burden of the tax would then fall on the shoulders of those who were well able to bear it.

SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

thought the Amendment could not possibly be agreed to because the finances of the country would not bear it. It seemed to him that the right state of things in regard to indirect taxation would be reached when they got back to the condition prevailing before the war, and when there was no taxation on articles of universal consumption except such as were regarded as a luxury. He was afraid that he must class tea as a luxury, and he was of opinion that the quantity of tea and bread now given to children contributed very largely to the physical deterioration of the rising generation. The habit of drinking tea and eating bread and butter had lately been condemned by every hygienic authority. One of the causes of the great increase of insanity in Ireland was the practice of feeding children with tea and bread and butter in that part of the country. Tea and bread and butter did not furnish the materials required for the building up of bone in children. He did not put sugar in the same category. It was true that they could not feed a child on sugar alone, but in conjunction with other articles it was an extremely wholesome food, and he hoped to see the day when it would be untaxed, as it was in former days. No doubt it was an article of general consumption which in times of emergency, such as war and when the whole population of the country was called upon to make a sacrifice, might be taxed, but in times of peace it ought to be the object of every Government to free sugar from taxation as early as it could possibly be done, having regard to the due maintenance of finance. It was no part of the duty of a Government to say to the country what luxuries should be indulged in. That decision must be left to the people and whether the Government approved or not of the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or tea, their feelings should not influence their minds on the subject of taxation. They might look to the taxation of those articles as reasonable incidents in the raising of the Revenue. He hoped the tax on tea might be further reduced as soon as the financies of the country would permit.

MR. CAWLEY (Lancashire, Prestwich)

said even a small amount of duty fell upon the consumer. He did not agree with the view of reducing the tea duty instead of the sugar duty. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer had granted a reduction in the sugar tax he would have conferred an enormous advantage upon the country. He believed that, owing to the Sugar Convention, sugar held a totally different position to that which it held before. The Continental countries willingly contracted themselves out—


Order, order! The question of sugar does not arise on this Amendment. The hon. Member must confine himself to tea

MR. KEARLEY (Devonport)

understood that by the arrangement of the previous night a general discussion was to be allowed.


pointed out that this Amendment must be disposed of before a general discussion could take place.


said he desired to argue that sugar had a much greater claim to reduction than tea but in deference to the Chairman's ruling he would not continue his argument. He would at another time point out to the Chancellor the Exchequer the grave danger to the country likely to accrue if the sugar tax were not reduced.


said that owing to the exigencies of the case the Government was unable to accept the Amendment.


said the question of an ad valorem duty on tea had been raised by the hon. Gentleman on more than one occasion. He did not think the hon. Gentleman was aware how great would be the difficulty in imposing an ad valorem duty. They heard a great deal of comment regarding the high ad valorem rate which the tax bore to the value of the article. He did not think the way in which that argument was used was always honest or frank because he did not know among those using it any one who was in favour of an ad valorem duty. He recently received a very influential deputation of the trade which touched lightly on the proportion of the duty to the value, and he put the question to them direct—would they like him to impose an ad valorem duty? They did not give him a definite answer at first but told him it would be impossible to collect such a duty, and subsequently they begged of him with all the emphasis at their command not to do it. They pointed out that it tended to penalise the higher class article; to force the consumption of the lower grade and to restrict the consumption of the higher grade teas. He did not know whether much tea was sold at the prices I named by the hon. Gentleman opposite, but he could assure him that it was by no means a universal fact that poor people or the working classes drank the worst tea. Some time ago he had occasion to examine some Irish budgets which were familiar to members of the Congested Districts Board, and he wanted the amounts respectively spent on tea and tobacco. There was no estimate set out of the quantities, and he consulted an hon. Member from Ireland as to what he thought would be a fair price to charge upon the tea which was consumed in that country. The hon. Member replied that he could not answer the question off-hand, but it might be taken for certain that the poor Irish peasant generally drank a good tea and would not be put off with poor rubbish. Accordingly an ad valorem duty might not result in bringing relief to that particular class to which the hon. Gentleman was anxious to give it. But even if it were not open to that objection there would be an enormous difficulty in imposing a duty in that form. Sales of tea no longer took place as formerly in the sale rooms. Some of the great distributors now had their own tea gardens and imported their own tea. In 1834–35 there was an attempt to graduate the duty and there were three rates, 1s. 6d., 2s. 2d., and 3s. respectively, but the discrimination then in force would not be applicable in the circumstances of to-day. That attempt to graduate the tea duty really broke down because the Customs authorities of that time found it impossible properly to distinguish between the different teas, and whatever theoretical attractions it might have to the hon. Gentleman it would prove to be harassing and annoying to the trade. It would require them to intrust an enormous discretion to the Customs authorities which could not be exercised without criticism, and might in the end result in the poor people having to pay a far higher price for their tea than they did now.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 249; Noes, 184. (Division List No. 131.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets) Lawson, Hn. H L W. Mile End)
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel. Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lawson, JohnGrant(York. N. R.
Allsopp, Hon. George. Dickson, Charles Scott Lee, Arthur H(Hants., Fareham
Anson, Sir William Reynell Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C. Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.
Arrol, Sir William Doxford, Sir William Theodore Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham)
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Fardell, Sir T. George Long, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol, S.)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Fellowes, Hon Ailwyn Edward Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Baird, John George Alexander Finch, Rt. Hon. George H Lowe, Francis William
Balcarres, Lord Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ss B'ghs) Lowther, C. (Gumb., Eskdale)
Baldwin, Alfred Fisher, William Hayes Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r.) Fison, Frederick William Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds) Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch) Flower, Sir Ernest Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Forster, Henry William Macdona, John Cumming
Banner, John S. Harmood- Gardner, Ernest MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Garfit, William Maconochie, A. W.
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Majendie, James A. H.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Marks, Harry Hananel
Bigwood, James Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Martin, Richard Biddulph
Bill, Charles Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E (Wigt'n)
Bingham, Lord Goulding, Edward Alfred Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire
Blundell, Colonel Henry Graham, Henry Robert Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Boulnois, Edmund Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry Milvain, Thomas
Bousfield, William Robert Greene, Sir E W. (Bury Edm'nds) Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Bowles, Lt. Col. H. F (Middlesex) Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Brassey, Albert Gretton, John Moore, William
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Morpeth Viscount
Brotherton, Edward Allen Hambro, Charles Eric Morrell, George Herbert
Butcher, John George. Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry Morrison, James Archibald
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow) Hare, Thomas Leigh Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Campbell, J. H. M (Dublin Univ.) Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Mount, William Arthur
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Haslett, Sir James Horner Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray, C.
Cautley, Henry Strother Hay, Hon. Claude George Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Heath, Sir James (Staffords N W Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Heaton, John Henniker Myers, William Henry
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Henderson, Sir A (Stafford, W.) Nicholson, William Graham
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Hickman, Sir Alfred Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A (Worc. Hobhouse, Rt Hn H (Somers't, E Parkes, Ebenezer
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Chapman, Edward Hornby, Sir William Henry Pemberton, John S. G.
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hoult, Joseph Percy, Earl
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Howard, John (Kent, Faversh'm Pierpoint, Robert
Coddington, Sir William Howard, J. (Midd. Tottenham) Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hudson, George Bickersteth Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole Hunt, Rowland Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Compton, Lord Alwyne Jameson, Major J. Eustace Pretyman, Ernest George
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Purvis, Robert
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Pym, C. Guy
Cripps, Charles Alfred Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Kerr, John Randles, John S.
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Keswick, William Rankin, Sir James
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile King, Sir Henry Seymour Rasch, Sir Frederic Garne
Cust, Henry John C. Knowles, Sir Lees Reid, James (Greenock)
Dalkeith, Earl of Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Laurie, Lieut.-General Renwick, George
Davenport, William Bromley Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Ridley, S. Forde
Denny, Colonel Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Spear, John Ward Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Stanley, Hon. Rt. Lord (Lancs.) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Round, Rt. Hon. James Stone, Sir Benjamin Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Royds, Clement Molyneux Stroyan, John Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Wodehouse, Rt Hn E. R. (Bath)
Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Talbot, Rt. Hn J G (Oxf'd Univ. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Samuel, Sir Harry (S Limehouse Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson.
Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles Thornton, Percy M. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Tritton, Charles Ernest Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Sharpe, William Edward T. Tuff, Charles Younger, William
Shaw-Stewart, Sir H (Renfrew) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Sloan, Thomas Henry Turnour, Viscount TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Vincent, Col. Sir C E. H (Sheffield Alexander Acland-Hood and
Smith, H. C (North'mb. Tyneside Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton) Viscount Valentia.
Smith, Rt Hn. J Parker (Lanarks. Whiteley, H. (Ashton and. Lyne
Smith, Hon. W. F. D (Strand) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Eve, Harry Trelawney Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Farrell, James Patrick Lloyd-George, David
Ainsworth, John Stirling Fenwick, Charles Lough, Thomas
Allen, Charles P. Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Lundon, W.
Ambrose, Robert Ffrench, Peter Lyell, Charles Henry
Ashton, Thomas Gair Field, William Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Atherley-Jones, L. Findlay, Alexander (Lanark N E MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Barlow, John Emmott Flavin, Michael Joseph M'Crae, George
Barran, Rowland Hirst Flynn, James Christopher M'Hugh, Patrick A.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry M'Kean, John
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Black, Alexander William Furness, Sir Christopher Markham, Arthur Basil
Blake, Edward Gilhooly, James Mooney, John J.
Boland, John Gladstone, Rt Hn Herbert John Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Brigg, John Goddard, Daniel Ford Moss, Samuel
Bright, Allan Heywood Grant, Corrie Moulton, John Fletcher
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Murnaghan, George
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Murphy, John
Burke, E. Haviland Hammond, John Nannetti, Joseph P.
Burns, John Harcourt, Lewis Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Rurt, Thomas Harmsworth, R. Leicester Nussey, Thomas Willans
Buxton, Sydney Charles Harwood, George O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Caldwell, James Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Healy, Timothy Michael O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Causton, Richard Knight Helme, Norval Watson O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Cawley, Frederick Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Cheetham, John Frederick Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Clancy, John Joseph Higham, John Sharp O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Holland, Sir William Henry O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Crean, Eugene Horniman, Frederick John O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Cremer, William Randal Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. O'Dowd, John
Crombie, John William Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Crooks, William Jacoby, James Alfred O'Kelly, James (Roscommon N.
Cullinan, J. Johnson, John O'Mara, James
Dalziel, James Henry Joicey, Sir James O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nsea Perks, Robert William
Delany, William Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pirie, Duncan V.
Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galw'y Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Power, Patrick Joseph
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Joyce, Michael Price, Robert John
Dillon, John Kearley, Hudson E. Rea, Russell
Donelan, Captain A. Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George Reddy, M.
Doogan, P. C. Kennedy, P. J. (Westmeath, N Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W Rickett, J. Compton
Duffy, William J. Kitson, Sir James Robson, William Snowdon
Duncan, J. Hastings Labouchere, Henry Roche, John
Elibank, Master of Lamont, Norman Roe, Sir Thomas
Ellice, Capt E C (S Andrw's Bghs Langley, Batty Runciman, Walter
Emmott, Alfred Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Layland-Barratt, Francis Shackleton, David James
Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.) Tennant, Harold John Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Thomas, Sir A (Glamorgan, E. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Sheehy, David Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R. Wills, Arthur Walters (N Dorset
Shipman, Dr. John G. Tillett, Louis John Wilson, Fred. W (Norfolk, Mid.)
Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Toulmin, George Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Smith, Samuel (Flint) Ure, Alexander Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Soames, Arthur Wellesley Villiers, Ernest Amherst Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd
Soares, Ernest J. Wallace, Robert Young, Samuel
Spencer, Rt. Hn. C R. (Northants Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Stanhope, Hon Philip James Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Strachey, Sir Edward White, George (Norfolk) Broadhurst and Mr.
Sullivan, Donal White, Luke (York, E. R.) Channing.
Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)

Main Question again proposed.


, in calling attention to the effect of the sugar duty, pointed out that at the time of the imposition of that duty Continental countries had of their own free will contracted themselves out of certain industries because by giving bounties they had so raised the price of sugar within their own boundaries that it was impossible for their people to go into businesses which had wonderfully thrived in this country. Under these circumstances, the position with regard to the sugar duty now was very different compared with that at the time of its imposition, and he could not see how our confectionery manufacturers could carry on their business unless the sugar duty was taken off or the Convention denounced. As the Convention could not at present be denounced, he submitted that the duty ought to be repealed. The confectionery trade had grown up under a system of protection of the very best kind—protection at other people's expense. The bounties had enabled our manufacturers to obtain their raw material cheaply, and the consumer also had benefited. But the Germans were now relieved of their bounties; the price to the German consumer was as low as in this country, and, Germany being the largest grower of beet sugar, the German manufacturers would have the advantage which accrued to the producers of the raw material. The result, unless the Chancellor of the Exchequer saw his way to repeal the duty, would doubtless be to reduce our confectionery trade by at least one-half. All British manufacturers wanted were even, terms, but these they would not have under existing circumstances. The reduction of the sugar duty might well be advocated on the ground that sugar was a food of the poor, but for the moment he urged that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should give his attention to the aspect of the case as it affected the confectionery trade, otherwise some thousands of hands might be thrown out of employment.


The speech to which we have just listened is a remarkable one as coming from that side of the House. The hon. Member practically states that the trade for which he is expressing anxiety has been protected, and that unless that protection is renewed large numbers of workmen will be thrown out of employment.


regretted he had not made himself better understood. What he said was that the industry had been protected at other people's expense, and what he wanted was that the raw material should be brought into the country duty free, the raw material not being grown here, in order that our manufacturers might be on equal terms with other people.


I do not think the hon. Member's explanation corrects my statement to any appreciable extent. He ascribes the prosperity of the trade to the fact that it was protected. He says it was at other people's expense. Undoubtedly it was—partly at the expense of the foreigner and partly at the expense of other industries in this country. The hon. Member further says that the trade cannot continue to exist in any condition of prosperity unless either the Convention is denounced or the present duty of 4s. 2d. per hundredweight repealed. Of course, the denunciation of the Convention will bring no advantage whatever to the trade unless it results in the restoration of the protection which the ton. Member desires.


At other people's expense.


We have often tried to find out what really was the point of view of hon. Members opposite in regard to bounties, and from the hon. Member at any rate we have now had a clear statement. He would consider it the duty of any British Government to stimulate the granting of bounties by foreign countries. If bounties are good for raw sugar they are equally good for confectionery. And why should not the consumer of the articles have the advantage of the bounty? And why should not the manufacturer on the Continent have the advantage which the producer of the raw material has hitherto had? You cannot defend these bounties in regard to one article without defending them in regard to all articles, and it would be interesting to see the condition of trade which would be introduced if the hon. Member had his way, and extended among our competitors a general system of bounties upon all goods which compete with our home-made productions. The hon. Member has rightly said that the Convention cannot be denounced at present. I do not think it is likely to be denounced at any time, unless it has so efficiently done its work that there is not much probability of a recurrence of bounties. That being so, the hon. Member says the confectioners cannot live unless the sugar duty is repealed. Why not? What trade are they going to lose? Their export trade does not suffer. They get a drawback when they export, and are thereby put in the same position for exporting as if there were no duty. Then it is their home trade. But why? This duty is not confined to articles manufactured in this country. Imported confectionery has to pay the same duty as has been charged on the sugar used in the manufacture of confectionery here. Accordingly, as far as the home trade is concerned, the British manufacturer of confectionery is on those equal terms which the hon. Member desires, and which he in the same breath declares are not sufficient to preserve the industry from extinction; whilst in regard to the foreign trade, by reason of the drawback, he is at no disadvantage whatever. The hon. Member says that our home manufacturer will be at a great disadvantage because an enormous amount of sugar is produced in Germany, whereas none is grown here. But he does not press that to the logical conclusion to which I should have thought his protectionist theories would have driven him, and suggest that the same encouragement should be given to the producer of beet in this country as has existed in Germany. What he does suggest is that the growing of sugar by Germany will give the German manufacturers of confectionery an unfair advantage in competition with our own manufacturers unless the duty is removed. The idea that a particular price of Germany is a world's price is rather a peculiar one, and the hon. Member will find little commercial or economic authority for that theory.


made a remark which was inaudible in the Press Gallery


The hon. Member should not interrupt with an observation which is entirely irrelevant. The hon. Member's argument was that the price would be lower in Germany because Germany was a sugar-producing country. There is nothing to prevent anybody buying German sugar, and the fact that there is a prohibition of the importation of sugar from the Argentine or Russia does not in the least affect the transfer of sugar from Germany to this country or the fact that the price of sugar is a world's price. It is not relevant to the hon. Member's argument, which was confined to German sugar. It does not affect my statement about the world's price because, although Russian and Argentine sugar does not come here at this moment, it does enter into the world's supply and consumption, and therefore does enter into the world's price. The hon. Member opposite seemed to be under the impression that Germany, unlike ourselves, had no duty upon sugar. ["No."] The hon. Member is also mistaken if he thinks that the duty on sugar is higher in this country than in Germany. If he entertains any idea of that kind he is completely mistaken. Our duty is 4s. 2d., while the duty in Germany is 7s. 1½d.


But the German manufacturers get a drawback.


Our manufacturers, we are told, cannot compete with the German manufacturers of sugar because they are called upon here to pay a duty of 4s. 2d. which is charged upon all imported confections of sugar, whilst in Germany the manufacturer have to pay 7s. 1½d. I am aware that there is a drawback given on the export of sugared goods from Germany exactly as there is an export duty here, but so far as it enters into competition at all for trade purposes the duty is lower here to-day than it is in Germany. I think I have said enough to show that whatever may be said either for or against a revision of the sugar duties it cannot be urged upon the grounds which the hon. Member opposite has put forward.

*MR. THEODORE TAYLOR (Lancashire, Radcliffe)

said the Chancellor of the Exchequer would never persuade any class of manufacturers that to tax their raw material, whatever drawbacks were allowed, left them in as good a position as if it had not been taxed. The German Government was at present endeavouring to arrange for a system of drawbacks to enable English cloth to be imported to make German jackets, but it was found almost impossible, and when it came to be worked out the difficulties of ascertaining how much of the raw material entered into the composition of any particular kind of goods loft an opening for the manufacturers to defraud the Government as was done largely in the United States. The difficulty of determining how far the raw material entered into the article left an open field either for defrauding the Government or for putting the manufacturer to a loss which the Government did not compensate him for by means of the drawbacks. Apart, how ever, from the question of cost, the very great inconvenience and trouble were always hampering conditions to the manufacturer. The fact could not be ignored that sugar had a strong claim for consideration, as not only the food of the people, but also as the raw material not of one industry, but, as had been said over and over again in the House, of many industries. It entered into the production of many articles which did not usually come before them, and which most of them did not know had sugar in their composition. He came up in the train the other day with a rather I rabid supporter of the Government who told him that while he considered sugar a proper instrument by which to tax the consumer, it was a most abominable thing to tax it as the raw material of his industry, for he happened to be a manufacturer of an article of which sugar was a raw material. That sort o f thing was not confined to one Party. People did not like taxation which hit themselves. With regard to the bounties the position was this: The sugar-using industries of this country had had the advantage and the disadvantage—he would call it a doubtful advantage—of protection, and now that they were brought into open competition with the rest of the world they were to some extent at a disadvantage. There was no doubt that every protected industry, though it might enjoy some advantages, was, like a hothouse plant brought into the open air, weaker for the conditions under which it had lived. It was, however, a protection which at all events had not been to the disadvantage of the consumer in this country. Having had that advantage taken away, their case was one of peculiar hardship that their raw material should be thus doubly hit, and this made the tax on sugar one to be removed as soon as possible.

He did not see why there should not be issued at the time of the Budget a Paper showing in a very brief form of profit and loss the accounts of the Post Office. It should always be recognised that part of the expense of the Post Office was interest on capital and depreciation.


A Return is published giving the information desired.


In the shape of a balance-sheet?


No; as a Return giving the information.


said he suggested the Return should take the form of an annual balance-sheet and profit and less account of that Department. It would be a very useful thing, and prevent misconception on the part of the public and the mixing up of one fund with another. Might he make another practical suggestion which would prevent a great amount of misconception, and which would, he believed, tend to economy—that economy which they all professed to desire and so few really tried to promote? The Commissioners of Inland Revenue, when issuing the demand note for income-tax, might give upon it in small epitomised form the amount of the national expenditure to which the taxpayers were called upon to contribute their quota. He had long thought that it would be a most useful thing if the taxpayers were informed in this way of the amounts required for the Army and Navy, education, the Civil Service, and other things. This would bring home to the taxpayers the real objects for which the money was paid, in the same way as was done by local authorities. He did not see that the Imperial Government should be above taking a lesson in this matter from the local authorities. This information could be given without incurring any additional cost. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had told the Committee that afternoon that he was not personally responsible for the Army and Navy expenditure. The right hon. Gentleman said he saw no advantage in the homilies which Chancellors of the Exchequer sometimes gave while expenditure was increasing. The hon. Member would like a homily from the Chancellor of Exchequer when expenditure was being decreased, and he thought it would be a good thing if the right hon. Gentleman would nail his colours to the mast in the way former Chancellors had done. He hoped if the right hon. Gentleman was still in office next year he would not only give them a homily but an illustration in the reduction of expenditure, because though, he might not be responsible for military I expenditure he was an important member of the Government which was responsible. The right hon. Gentleman had shown pluck this year in defying the strong feeling not only in the House but in the country in favour of the reduction of the income-tax. He urged the right hon. Gentleman to show a little more pluck and to put more pressure on his colleagues, so that when he brought in another Budget next year he would be able to preach an economical policy and to give better illustrations than he had done this year.


said he agreed with the hon. Member opposite that there was nothing more important than that the public accounts should be made intelligible to the ordinary person. They were not so at present. The two suggestions made by the hon. Member would not tend to simplify them. The first suggestion was that the whole of the public expenditure should be printed on the income-tax paper in anepitomised form. The House would remember that the income-tax paper was issued in the autumn of each year and the total expenditure of the country was not and could not possibly be known until March 31st following. Therefore the suggestion of the hon. Member was like a request for six months further credit. If they were to wait until they got the total expenditure they would not pay until March 31st what they ought to pay before December 31st. The hon. Gentleman also suggested that the revenue and expenditure of the Post Office should be put in the form of a balance-sheet. A balance sheet did not show revenue and expenditure; it was a statement of assets and liabilities, which was an entirely different thing. One of the assets of the Post Office was the monopoly right of carrying letters and sending telegrams. That a was good asset, but would the hon. Gentleman suggest the amount at which it should be valued? He submitted that it was impossible for the Post Office to give that kind of balance-sheet. He thought that what the hon. Gentleman meant was a profit and loss account. That was really published already, because there was an account with the receipts on one side and the outlays on the other. It was within his knowledge that the telephone department of the Post Office made an annual loss while the National Telephone Company made a profit. The remarkable thing with regard to the Post Office accounts was that the real effectual revenue came not from the telegraph and telephone sixpences, shillings, and half-crowns, but from the magic penny.


indicated assent.


said he was glad the Chancellor of the Exchequer cheered that. He would recommend the penny to the right hon. Gentleman as a great engine of taxation. Any Chancellor of the Exchequer who knew how to use it in the same sort of spirit as it had been used by the Post Office would obtain a large increase of revenue.

He did not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been quite fair in his treatment of the sugar question. The right hon. Gentleman asked how it was that the sugar manufacturers were suffering and how they could not manufacture now as before. For the simple reason that sugar had doubled in price. The same sugar which formerly cost his constituents 1¼d. per 1b. now cost 2½d. With the raw material of this industry so largely increased, it followed as a matter of course that the industry could not be conducted with the same success as before. The remarkable thing was that although it was said the increase in price was due to the shortage of crops the price had not gone up, but had gone down in the other countries which were parties to the Sugar Convention. It was only here, the great sugar market of the world, that the price had gone up. How could they talk of the world's price when they excluded from this market the sugar produced by countries like Spain, Russia, Denmark, the Argentine, and San Domingo? The Argentine was a country from which previously we obtained large quantities of sugar. When a monopoly was given, as in fact was done in this case, this mischief arose. That was what had been the greatest element, in his belief, in the rise in the price of sugar. That was why the confectionery and jam industries had seriously suffered. In his own constituency the import of sugar had enormously declined. Not only was sugar dearer, but a great deal of work had been lost to those who used to unload the sugar and handle it afterwards. It would be an affectation to doubt whether the export of confectionery and other cognate products had not been affected by the Brussels Convention. The right hon. Gentleman knew that by this Convention we had been made slaves of the Brussels Commission composed for the most part of foreigners. It should not be forgotten that an appeal was made by the Government against what we considered the totally unfair methods in which articles manufactured in this country, into the composition of which sugar entered, were treated when exported to the contracting countries. He hoped that that appeal would be successful. The cruel loss to the sugar industries of this country was not due so much to the tax this House had given to the Chancellor of the Exchequer as that we had given a monopoly of the greatest market for sugar in the world to the co-signatories of the Convention, and the result had been most disastrous. He thought that sugar was a very important article of food. It was well known that in cane sugar producing countries every animal, from man downwards, got fat, round, and rubicund when the new crop of sugar came in. The right hon. Gentleman might keep his sugar tax as long as it was necessary for revenue, but he regretted the fetters by which we had unfortunately bound ourselves in consequence of the Sugar Convention, which was contrary to every sound principle of sound finance.

MR. O'MARA (Kilkenny, S.)

said he would not enter into any discussion of the fiscal aspect of the Sugar Convention. What concerned him was the sugar tax, which was the subject more strictly before the Committee. This sugar duty was imposed by a former Chancellor of the Exchequer as a merely temporary tax, which was to be taken off as soon as the war was over. At the time of the impost he himself protested against the increased burden which it would put upon the people of Ireland. He protested all the more strongly against the tax because it had been imposed in order to carry through the South African War—a war waged against the most sacred sentiment which Irishmen possessed, a war against the liberties of a free people. If this matter was brought to a division he would vote against the tax. Earlier in the evening there was a discussion as to the proportion which direct taxation bore to indirect taxation. It was pointed out that the proportion of indirect to direct-taxation was 49 per cent. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in replying, did not tell the Committee that the system of taxation imposed on Irishmen had very different results, because it worked out that the proportion in Ireland of direct to indirect taxation was 37 per cent. That had the result of putting an extreme burden on the poorer population of Ireland. It was time that some Irishmen should protest against such a system of taxation which was largely responsible for the unfortunate economic condition of that country.

MR. GEORGE WHITELEY (Yorkshire, W.R., Pudsey)

said he wished to know whether any consideration had been given by the Cabinet to the great question of the reform of local taxation. Every four years the Agricultural Rates Continuance Act was passed, which was a great injustice to urban taxpayers.


That question is not before the Committee.


said he wanted to know whether they were to have every four year a continuance of those Bills to which there was so much objection from hon. Members on that side of the House, and whether—


said this did not come within the four corners of the Finance Bill. It was not even a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but came in the province of the Local Government Board.


begged to think it must be in the province of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He would not persist in his arguments, but he thought it a surprising ruling.


pointed out that a Bill was already before the House and was under the control of the Local Government Board.


had no desire to argue the question, but would ask whether the whole matter of the reform of our local taxation was under the consideration of the Cabinet, and whether there was any prospect of this great question being dealt with.


That is a matter for the Prime Minister.

MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow, Camlachie)

said the present tax on sugar was a serious impost on the food of the people. The money spent on the country had somehow to be raised, and vari us taxes had to be devised. They could not judge in a single year what would be the effect of the Convention upon the supply of sugar in years to come. Already in various cane-growing countries there had been a great stimulus, and they might expect to have sugar supplied in increasing quantities and at a decreasing cost. With regard to Germany—


said the hon Member was not entitled to discuss the subject of the Sugar Convention. He was entitled to refer to it so far as it influenced the price of sugar in this country, but to go into the whole question would not be relevant to the Question before the Committee.


explained that he was only following an argumen raised by an hon. Member who had taken a wrong line. He thought the Government were to be congratulated on the liberal way in which they had dealt with the tea tax. There were a great many persons in his constituency upon whom the burden of the income-tax pressed very hardly. He, for one, sympathised with the income-tax payer in that he had not been chosen by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as a subject for relief. The right hon. Gentleman had, however, in his wise discretion, given the relief to the consumers of tea, and they all looked to him to make further remissions when he had further funds in hand.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 247; Noes, 168. (Division List No. 132.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Denny, Colonel Laurie, Lieut.-General
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Allsopp, Hon. George Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th
Auson, Sir William Reynell Dickson, Charles Scott Lawson, Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lawson, John Grant (Yorks. N R
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareham
Arrol, Sir William Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Doxford, Sir William Theodore Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Duke, Henry Edward Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Baird, John George Alexander Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham
Balcarres, Lord Faber, George Denison (York) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)
Baldwin, Alfred Fardell, Sir T. George Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lowe, Francis William
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale)
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Finlay, Sir R. B. (lnv'rn'ssB'ghs) Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Fisher, William Hayes Lucas, Reginald J (Portsmouth
Banner, John S. Harmood- Fison, Frederick William Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Flannery, Sir Fortescue Macdona, John Cumming
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Flower, Sir Ernest MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Forster, Henry William Maconochie, A. W.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Galloway, William Johnson M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Bigwood, James Gardner, Ernest M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W.
Bill, Charles Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Majendie, James A. H.
Bingham, Lord Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Marks, Harry Hananel
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Martin, Richard Biddulph
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E. (Wigt'n
Bousfield, William Robert Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshire
Bowles, Lt.-Col H. F (Middlesex) Goulding, Edward Alfred Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Graham, Henry Robert Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Brassey, Albert Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Milvain, Thomas
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Brotherton, Edward Allen Greene, Sir E. W. (B'rySEdm'nds Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)
Bull, William James Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Burdett-Coutts, W. Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Moore, William
Butcher, John George Gretton, John Morpeth, Viscount
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow) Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Morrell, George Herbert
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. Hambro, Charles Eric Morrison, James Archibald
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Cautley, Henry Strother Hare, Thomas Leigh Mount, William Arthur
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire) Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Haslett, Sir James Horner Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.) Heath, Sir James (Staffords. N W Myers, William Henry
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc. Heaton, John Henniker Nicholson, William Graham
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.) Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Chapman, Edward Hickman, Sir Alfred Parkes, Ebenezer
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside) Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hoult, Joseph Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Howard, John (Kent, Faversham Pemberton, John S. G.
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Percy, Earl
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Pierpoint, Robert
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Hudson, George Bickersteth Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hunt, Rowland Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Jameson, Major J. Eustace Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Pretyman, Ernest George
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Purvis, Robert
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Pym, C. Guy
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Kerr, John Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Cust, Henry John C. Keswick, William Randles, John S.
Dalkeith, Earl of King, Sir Henry Seymour Rankin, Sir James
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Knowles, Sir Lees Ratcliff, R. F.
Davenport, William Bromley Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Reid, James (Greenock)
Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Webb, Colonel William George
Renwick, George Smith, H. C. (North'mb. Tyneside Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C E. (Taunton
Ridley, S. Forde Smith, Rt Hn J. Parker (Lanarks Whiteley, H. (Ashton and. Lyne
Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Spear, John Ward Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk Wilson, A. Stanley (York. E. R.)
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes.) Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R (Bath)
Round, Rt. Hon. James Stone, Sir Benjamin Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Royds, Clement Molyneux Stroyan, John Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Talbot, Rt. Hn. J G (Oxf'd Univ.) Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Limehouse Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Younger, William
Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles Thornton, Percy M.
Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Tritton, Charles Ernest Alexander Acland-Hood and
Sharpe, William Edward T. Tuff, Charles Viscount Valentia.
Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Sloan, Thomas Henry Vincent, Col. Sir C E H (Sheffield)
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Farrell, James Patrick M'Kean, John
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Fenwick, Charles M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Ffrench, Peter Markham, Arthur Basil
Allen, Charles P. Field, William Mooney, John J.
Asher, Alexander Findlay, Alexander (Lanark, N E Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Atherley-Jones, L. Flavin, Michael Joseph Moss, Samuel
Austin, Sir John Flynn, James Christopher Murnaghan, George
Barlow, John Emmott Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. Murphy, John
Barran, Rowland Hirst Gilhooly, James Nannetti, Joseph P.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Goddard, Daniel Ford Nolan, Joseph, (Louth, South)
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Norman, Henry
Black, Alexander William Hammond, John O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Boland, John Harcourt, Lewis O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Brigg, John Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Bright, Allan Heywood Harwood, George O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Broadhurst, Henry Hayden, John Patrick O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Healy, Timothy Michael O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Burke, E. Haviland- Helme, Norval Watson O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Burns, John Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Burt, Thomas Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Caldwell, James Higham, John Sharpe O'Dowd, John
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Holland, Sir William Henry O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Causton, Richard Knight Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.
Cawley, Frederick Isaacs, Rufus Daniel O'Malley, William
Channing, Francis Allston Jacoby, James Alfred O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Cheetham, John Frederick Johnson, John Perks, Robert William
Clancy, John Joseph Joicey, Sir James Power, Patrick Joseph
Condon, Thomas Joseph Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Rea, Russell
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Reddy, M.
Crean, Eugene Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Cremer, William Randal Joyce, Michael Rickett, J. Compton.
Crombie, John William Kearley, Hudson E. Robson, William Snowdon
Crooks, William Kennedy, P. J. (Westmeath, N.) Roche, John
Cullinan, J. Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W. Roe, Sir Thomas
Dalziel, James Henry Kilbride, Denis Runciman, Walter
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan) Kitson, Sir James Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Delany, William Labouchere, Henry Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight)
Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galw'y Lamont, Norman Shackleton, David James
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Langley, Batty Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Dillon, John Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Sheehy, David
Donelan, Captain A. Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Doogan, P. C. Layland-Barratt, Francis Slack, John Bamford
Duffy, William J. Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Duncan, J. Hastings Lloyd-George, David Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Elibank, Master of Lundon, W. Soares, Ernest J.
Ellice, Capt. E. C. (SAndrw'sBghs Lyell, Charles Henry Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants
Esmonde, Sir Thomas MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) M'Crae, George Sullivan, Donal
Eve, Harry Trelawney M'Hugh, Patrick A. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Tennant, Harold John Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Md.
Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Wilson, J. W . (Worcestersh. N.)
Toulmin, George White, George (Norfolk) Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd
Trevelyan, Charles Philips White, Luke (York, E. R.) Young, Samuel
Ure, Alexander Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Villiers, Ernest Amherst Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Wallace, Robert Wills, Sir Frederick (Bristol, N. O'Mara and Mr. MacVeagh.

Resolution to be reported to-morrow to the House.

Committee to sit again to-morrow.

Sitting suspended at 7.28.