HC Deb 28 February 1905 vol 141 cc1552-86

Order read, for resuming adjourned debate on Amendment [27th February] to Main Question [14th February], "That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, as folioweth:—

"Most Gracious Sovereign,

"We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament."—(Mr. Mount.)

Which Amendment was— At the end of the Question, to add the words, But we humbly represent to Your Majesty that Your Majesty's Government in committing the country to the policy of the Brussels Sugar Convention have inflicted heavy losses upon trade, diminished employment of labour, enormously increased the cost of a necessary food to consumers, without any compensatory advantage; and we humbly submit to Your Majesty that these evil results call for an immediate remedy; and that the Convention should be denounced at the earliest possible moment.'"—(Mr. Kearley.)

Question again proposed, "That those words be there added."

MR. ASHTON (continuing his speech)

said when the adjournment took place he was endeavouring to develop an argument against that which the right hon. Member for West Birmingham had employed on the previous evening, namely that the abolition of the bounties would prevent the fluctuation of prices. With that view he agreed, always provided bounties were abolished and that the countries affected had free trade. But that was not the case with this country, because we were not allowed to have free trade within the Convention. Our liberty was largely restricted, and we were only allowed to deal with certain favoured countries for sugar. That being so we should not get the benefit of the reduction in the price of sugar. Theoretically, bounties were absolutely bad. They bolstered up industries by means of false protection, of which they were themselves a form, and therefore he disclaimed entirely any desire to see bounties in this or any other country which studied its own interest. But that was a very different thing from saying that we ought to have assisted in this Convention to get rid of bounties in foreign countries, which, so far from being detrimental to us, were of enormous benefit. In consequence of those bounties we got our sugar cheaper by many millions of pounds sterling than we otherwise should, and there was no reason why we should not have gone on receiving that benefit so long as other countries were satisfied. The advantages were so great that we were enabled to start large numbers of new industries which depended for their prosperity on cheap sugar, and in that way get a start in the markets of the world, with our cheap goods, which it would be very difficult for other countries to overtake. We also gained a very cheap article of food, and sugar being so cheap was one of the great factors which permitted the Chancellor of the Exchequer to put a half-penny tax upon it during the time of war. It would have been extremely difficult for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to have put the duty on sugar if the right lion. Gentleman had not at the same time been able to argue that we were getting our sugar at less than cost price and that, therefore, it was not a hard tax to bear. But now the policy had been altered and the price of sugar raised as it had been by the Convention, he was bound to say this tax had become a very hard tax for the people of this country to bear. Under these circumstances the Government might well be charged with a want of foresight and businesslike methods in conducting the affairs of this country.

The argument that the Convention was entered into for the benefit of the West Indies did not hold good, because the benefit to the West Indies could only be a few hundreds of thousands of pounds, whereas the loss to this country was £8,000,000, taking the price of sugar at £11 a ton, the price to which it was expected to drop when the next crop came in. He quite admitted that there had been considerable hardship felt in our West Indian colonies in having to compete with bounty-fed sugar, but at the same time the benefit to ourselves was so enormous and the loss to the Colonies so infinitesimal that it would have paid this country over and over again to give some sort of subvention to the Colonies, while the bounties lasted, rather than deprive itself of the vast benefit accruing from cheap sugar. If the condition of things had been met in that way the great free-trade policy of this country would not have, been interfered with. It would have been left intact. That could not be said under the present circumstances. This Convention had brought us to a condition of preferential trading. And to whom was the preference given? Not to our Colonies, but to the hated foreigner. That was hardly the thing to expect from the right hon. Gentleman, and those who supported him. This preference had already led to retaliation, and was in itself a splendid illustration of what the policy of retaliation would be. The innocent suffered for the guilty. Russia was prevented from sending sugar to this country and therefore had retaliated not by putting a tax upon this country, not even by taxing the sugar-growers of India, but by putting an extra tax on the unoffending tea-grower of India. One set of people had to suffer for the sins of another set of people. What a commentary that was on the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman for a policy of retaliation. America would not take South Wales tin plates, and therefore we were to tax nor American tin plates but American agricultural implements imported into this country!

Were we quite sure that the West Indian Islands were in need of this policy of a Convention which had had such a disastrous effect on this country? There had hardly been a period in the history of those islands when the people had not been calling out about the distressed condition of their trade and expecting this country to go to their assistance. In private life the giving of doles was known to be a most dangerous proceeding, and it was open to question as to whether this policy of giving doles to communities did not sap the enterprise of the people. Want of enterprise was one very important factor in the economic history of the islands. How was it that the West Indies had been unable to compete with sugar bounties when Cuba and Java had not only been able to compete, but had increased their production? The reason that Cuba was able to compete was because in that island the planters lived on their plantations and took an interest in them and were up to date in their machinery and methods. Nothing but indolence and want of enterprise prevented the West Indies from doing what Cuba had done. Were we quite sure these Colonies were going to make so much out of this Convention? Speaking for himself he was not so sure. If sugar fell to £11 a ton were these islands going to be much better off for it. Before the Convention came into operation the West Indies were admitted to the American markets, which were closed against bounty-fed sugars. That advantage had now gone. The bounties were now abolished, the Continental growers would keenly compete in the American markets, and he thought the West Indies would not have the advantage that they had before the abolition of the bounties. On the other hand there were the industries in this country which had been injured by this Convention, not only those directly concerned with sugar, but also those which were injured indirectly. We had excluded the sugar of certain countries from our ports. That was to say, we were going to restrict their exports to this country, and the natural result of that would be that they must restrict our exports to them. We could not restrict the imports of sugar into this country without affecting our exports to the countries whose sugar we did not allow to come into our ports. That was a very serious matter. Our exports to the Argentine amounted to £8,500,000, and it would be a most serious thing to the manufacturers of this country if the Government's action in this matter restricted their markets for the benefit of foreigners. Another great result of this Convention was that it placed the policy of the fiscal system of this country at the mercy of the foreigner. The right hon. Member for West Birmingham had admitted on the previous evening that he could not carry out the changes in our fiscal policy which he desired to carry out, and the reason for that was that we had bound ourselves to the foreigners, and we had tied ourselves to the tail of certain interests in this country—the sugar interests.

MR. SEYMOUR ORMSBY-GORE (Lincolnshire, Gainsborough)

said he had always looked upon the Convention as a gross monstrosity, and he had voted against it at every stage during the last session. On this question, the Government had shown great precipitation. They had plunged headlong into the question without taking the opinion of their Party beforehand. Their supporters were not told before the last election that they would be called upon to vote for a measure so far-reaching. The Government had shown scarcely less impetuosity than another historic collective body which once ran down a steep place into the sea. They had gone into this alliance in haste, and were now repenting at leisure. The result of the Convention so far had been that works directly or indirectly interested in the sugar industry were shut in all parts of the country, and we were paying in increased prices of sugar no less than £8,000,000. [Cries of "No, no!"] He would refer those who differed from him to the Board of Trade statistics. They had heard the statement cited that evening that the people of this country were paying over £8,000,000 more for their sugar than they were before the Convention, and he did not think any answer had been given which actually refuted that statement.

SIR FREDERICK BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)

It has been pointed out that the increase is £2,000,000 and not £8,000,000.


said that was the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, but he appeared to have left out of his calculation the freights and the duties.

Three reasons had been adduced by the Government in favour of this Convention. First of all, it was contended that the recent rise in the price of sugar had not been caused by the Convention, and that in any case the price of sugar would have risen to its present level. The second reason was that the Convention would render assistance to the struggling sugar industry in the West Indies, but that had proved true only to an infinitesimal extent. The third reason advanced in support of the Convention was that it would rehabilitate the sugar-refining industry of this country. With regard to the contention that the Convention was not responsible for the rise in the price of sugar, he was not an admirer of the argument of post hoc, ergo propter hoc, but he thought an argument like that could be urged upon this occasion. He thought there was overwhelming evidence that the increased price of sugar had been produced by the Convention. They had been told that this increased price was largely due to an attempt to "corner" the sugar market, but no such attempt had been made. There had, of course, been a great impetus given to speculation that might be entered upon. The results of this Convention might have been fore seen by any business man. What happened on the Continent, with the abolition of the bounties and the surtax limited to 6 francs per 100 kilos for refined, and 5½ francs for unrefined sugars? The fence round our Continental neighbours broke down, and the price dropped heavily, consequently a great increase in consumption, and a restriction in production. In France up to the year ending August, 1904, consumption increased from 371,119 tons to nearly 700,000 tons, or about 90 per cent.; in Germany, from 740,000 tons to over 11,000,000 tons, or 52 per cent.; in Austria, from 380,000 to over 500,000 tons, or 37 per cent. The production on the Continent had decreased. This might, be due to last season's drought, but not to that alone, because the sowings of beet had largely diminished. The area under beet had diminished by over 100,000 hectares. The diminished yield was accounted for by the withdrawal of the bounties, but that only accounted for a minimum of the increased price, for present visible supply with sugar at 14s. 3d. per cwt. was 10,250,000 tons, against 10,750,000 tons in 1902, and 10,375,000 tons in 1903.

Had the Convention benefited the West Indies? He had always questioned the great utility of the West Indies to this country as a sugar-producing colony. The people were very pig-headed. They still thought they could grow sugar at a great profit. This country had given them doles, but what had they done with them? Had they improved their machinery or systems of production? No, their capital had been what was called "blown" and not expended on the importtation of machinery. Besides, the greater number of the islands in the West Indies were not adapted to sugar growing. They were hilly, whereas flat countries were required for the conveyance of the produce. Nor could he see that the West Indies had benefited by this Convention. The West Indies could only manage to distil 58 per cent, of their sugar, whilst in Honolulu they distilled 92 per cent. The West Indies had brought most of their misfortunes on their own heads. They had squandered the many doles and subventions that had been accorded them by the House. The hopes raised had prevented the West Indies from making arrangements with the United States. It would have been far cheaper for this country to have given them £350,000 per annum rather than to have imposed £8,000,000 on this country. Let them take Barbadoes as an instance. In 1902 the production of Barbadoes was valued at £301,602; in 1903 it was valued at £259,746. In 1903 the imports from the West Indies and British Guiana to this country were 522,907 cwts. In 1904 they were 809,929 cwts., or an increased value of only about £20,000 to the whole of the West Indies. The West Indies were not adapted to growing sugar except Cuba, Antigua, Barbadoes, St. Kitts, and British Guiana, which were now growing fruit instead. They were too mountainous and did not permit of the cheap construction of tramways to the central factories. With regard to sugar refining, there were just as many men employed in this industry as there were twenty years ago, and therefore there was not the slightest grievance on that score. Some twenty-three pigmies had been consolidated into two giant factories, and that was the only difference. Mr. Martin, a director of Tate's, said in a pamphlet— Sugar refiners have never asked for more than fair competition, and if anyone has cause to grumble at the Sugar Convention surely it is the British refiner, who still feels the effect of the surtaxes allowed the foreign refiner which give him a distinct protection in his own market. The increased price of sugar was due to the Sugar Convention, which had given a stimulus to speculation. Having been on the Stock Exchange he knew the game. We had almost wrecked certain industries through this disastrous legislation, and had made ourselves the laughing-stock of the foreigner. Why, having had this large sugar-plum put into our mouths, should we insist on rejecting it? We had shut Russia and Argentina out of our markets, and had given an impetus to Java only. The 250,000 tons of sugar from Russia and Argentina would have relieved the market. Speaking upon the subject of retaliatory duties in regard to Indian sugar, Lord Curzon said he thought that was indisputable. He imagined that that opinion was synonymous with that which was held by those on his side of the House who took the same opinion on this Convention as he did. He looked upon the whole Convention as a disaster. But, to speak metaphorically, they were "sucked" into this Convention and the foreigner was reaping the benefit. He thought he might be allowed to read what Monsieur Josef Caillaux said in "La Gironde" of September 22nd last— Several years ago the impost on sugar was fixed at the exorbitant rate of 65 frs. per 100 kilos., 65 centimes per kilo. As everyone knows, a large portion of the product of this growing tax does not return to the Treasury. The annual consumption of sugar in France oscillating between 400,000,000 and 500,000,000 of kilos., the State ought to recoup 450,000,000 frs. yearly; it only receives 150,000,000 to 200,000,000, the surplus being employed in bounties distributed to the manufacturers of sugar. This custom has had the principal result of creating a disproportion between the production, which, roused by the stimulus of bounties, develops itself beyond all measure and the consumption which remains stationary, overwhelmed by the weight of the impost; above all, furnishing the English at the expense of the French taxpayers with cheap sugar. The laws of concurrence prevented, therefore, the producers retaining the greater part of the bounties which were paid, though they employed them to lower the price of sugar, and, as they sold in England about two-thirds of the goods which they manufactured, two-thirds of the bounties paid by the French reached the English. We were thus benevolently turning over to our neighbours across the Channel a subsidy of 50,000,000 or 100,000,000 frs. yearly. "Ah, my dear neighbours, what is so remarkable about your astonishment? What you have not understood is that the imposition of bounties oil the powers of the Continent had the effect of diminishing the price of sugar to your advantage; that when the bounties disappeared, necessarily the tendency of sugar was to rise; that, however, was only to be expected. Now, Sir, that was a faithful witness as to the effect of the bounties in this country. Even had they wished to raise the money by the further taxation of sugar in this country that even would have been better than to have attempted to bolster up the West Indies at the price of the British taxpayer. But here they got nothing, and they gave £8,000,000 for nothing, and that was an act of the grossest stupidity which the Government could have been capable of. He had always voted against the Government on this question, but to-day a vote did not mean that the Convention would be repealed, and even if the Convention were repealed, they could not force the sugar-growers and manufacturers in Germany and Austria to reimpose their cartels. The Convention would continue in force for the next three years and a half. We had bound ourselves in this unfortunate alliance with nine other Powers, but if he were in the House two years and a half hence he should certainly vote for denouncing the Convention.

MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

said that he remembered the agitation in the old days when sugar refining first encountered foreign competition and its improved methods. He was then one of the injured working men whose trade had been taken away, and he remembered the masters getting up mass meetings of five or six in a public-house to protest against the bounty-fed sugar when an unanimous vote was easily secured after the champagne and cigars had gone round. He remembered reading a speech which the right hon. Member for West Birmingham made in Greenock, and in which, talking of the disappearing industries of the district, he pointed to the decadence of the sugar industry, and asked where it had gone to. If he had been behind the right hon. Gentleman he would have said that it had gone to Silvertown. In former days there were thirteen sugar houses in the Tower Hamlets, and they were now all shut up. But when they were working the number of men employed was only 300—all Germans too. They never heard anything about aliens in those days. A firm which had to leave Greenock owing to the acquisition of the site of their premises for the extension of a dock came to Silvertown and started in this ruined industry there. This one firm now employed far more men than all the thirteen sugar houses did in their time. They might get an Englishman, or a Welshman, or an Irishman to invest his money in a ruined industry, but they would never get a Scotchman to do it. That gentleman knew all about bounties, and yet he started in Silvertown, where he put improved machinery in his works, and where he had convenient rail and river transit facilities. There was also the case of Messrs. Tate & Co. He could affirm that this particular firm—he did not know the technical name for it, but he would put it in his own rough way—was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1869 or 1870 when the duty was taken off sugar. That firm discovered a new method of refining sugar, and they went to the various refiners throughout the kingdom, and informed them of the discovery which they said would enable British refiners to fight their foreign competitors. They invited the other firms to co-operate with them in working on the new system, but their request was refused. Messrs. Tate & Co. went on with the new process on their own account, with the result that they had built up a great business which had prospered during the worst periods of competition with imported bounty-fed sugar. Why? It was because the quality of their sugar was better than that produced by the foreigner. This ruined industry enabled Sir Henry Tate, who was a philanthropist, and an exceedingly good sort, to present Liverpool with money to build a children's hospital, to present Battersea Polytechnic with £10,000, and to leave to the nation the beautiful collection of pictures in the gallery at Millbank.

Was there any need for this Convention at all? We had suddenly discovered that our neighbours on the Continent were so immoral as to endeavour to improve their trade by means of bounties, and we had to teach them better manners by saying we would not have their cheap sugar. That was a new doctrine for Englishmen, who gener ally wanted all they could lay their hands upon. Was it because we were getting it for nothing that we would not have it? If £250,000,000 had been wasted on a war to make dividends for somebody, it would have been a different thing altogether. They were asked to look at the profits made in the confectionery business. Would not the mine-owners like to make such profits? Of course they would. But the confectioner was probably getting his 37 per cent, on his invested capital, while the others wanted to make it out of their watered stock, which was a different thing. The Member for West Birmingham claimed that the Convention had increased the growth of cane sugar, and also maintained that there had not yet been time for its effects to be felt at home. He could not have it both ways. A rise of £2,000,000 in the price of sugar had been spoken of as if it were of little importance; but it made the difference between having sugar in their tea and doing without it to many people whom he knew. An increased profit had been given to the sugar refiners of this country, but he would like to know where the working men had received increased wages. Confectioners had been obliged to dismiss hands. How could it be said that the cause of such a condition of things had made no difference? The fact was that cheap sugar gave us markets at home and abroad, and we were able to employ thousands of the humblest of the population in the sugar-using industries. The depression which the country was passing through was bad enough before, but it was worse now. How could it be said that the cause of this condition of things made no difference? Anyone who said so must live in the clouds. By this policy the value of the shares in the sugar-refining companies had been increased, but an irreparable injury had been done to the working men of this country.

MR. LOUIS SINCLAIR (Essex, Romford)

said the hon. Member for the Chester-le-Street Division had stated in his speech that the Member for West Birmingham had made a bad case. If that was the hon. Member's opinion he did not think it was shared by anyone else in the House. He thought his right hon. friend had made a splendid case, and that his arguments were absolutely unanswerable. He was convinced that if the Convention had done anything in the way of altering our fiscal policy and removing difficulties under which we laboured, it was a step in the right direction. It was patent to all that anything that was unstable with regard to raw material must be a bad factor so far as the manufacturer was concerned. Nothing could make the sugar industries more unstable than the fact that they were bolstered up by bounties. It was obvious that something had to be done in order to meet the difficulty in which we found ourselves as the result of the bounty system. It had been said that if the West Indies were in a good condition, they could easily compete. The fact was that there had been no confidence whatever in the investment of capital in the West Indies, and consequently no machinery went out to enable sugar-growers there to carry on their industry to the best advantage. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham had introduced confidence, and the result had been that machinery was being set up for the purpose of producing sugar under more favourable conditions than had hitherto been possible. He considered that was one proof that the Convention had so far done good. They did not say for a moment that the best effects of the Convention had yet taken place, but he thought they would come in the near future. It was now realised that the principle of bounties was a bad one, and that foreign countries should be prevented, if possible, from giving them. If bounties were to be successful in destroying our sugar trade, foreign countries might be encouraged to attack our shipping and other industries by means of subsidies. That was not a good business policy. He did not think the hon. Member for West Islington would ask the Government to abolish the Convention and reinstate bounties. On account of the artificially low price of sugar a number of factories were established in this country for the purpose of producing confectionery, because the goods could be exported to the countries which sent us the sugar and sold there at lower prices than they could be produced at in; those countries. It was a peril to this country to have factories which could not compete unless they were bolstered up by low-priced sugar. He thought the time had come when we should set our house in order by putting our commercial administration on a thoroughly sound basis.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

said he had listened with very great interest to the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. He did not understand that the hon. Gentleman was altogether very happy about the Convention or that he was disposed to take the responsibility which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham seemed inclined to put upon him. The fact was that the rise in the price of sugar had been very annoying to the Government, because it had made it obvious that the Convention had not been the success which they anticipated it would be. The Under - Secretary and other hon. Gentlemen opposite had said that, because free-traders were averse to a system of bounties, therefore they ought to welcome this Convention. They did not appear to be able to appreciate the great difference between our proposing to abolish bounties to which we were opposed, and our coming to an arrangement with other Powers to abolish bounties which, in our opinion, were financially to our advantage. The Under-Secretary to the Board of Trade had quoted the authority of Mr. Gladstone and other eminent Liberals on this subject, but he was quite certain that if those great authorities had had to deal with the abolition of bounties which, in theory, were abolished by the Convention, their object would have been two-fold. In the first place, they would have endeavoured to effect it gradually and by degrees, without the violent convulsions of prices and trade which had attended the introduction of the Convention. And, further, they would have desired and obtained an absolute and complete abolition of all bounties. They would not have agreed to a Convention which retained the principle of cartels and surtax, which secured to each foreign country concerned ''efficient protection" in its own market against our sugared goods, and forced us to prohibit sugar from all other countries. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade in his original speech. looked upon the Convention as a diplomatic triumph, and seemed to think that the Government had been able to induce reluctant foreign countries to agree to the British proposal. The Undersecretary to the Board of Trade, following the right hon. gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, developed the idea that the bounties had been put on with the object of destroying our sugar industry in the West Indies and our refineries here, and that that being accomplished, they would secure a great monopoly. He did not think that the history of the sugar question justified that attitude. It was quite certain that the bounty-giving nations had not been able to come to any agreement to abolish bounties—the only result of their manifold conferences being that the bounties had been increased—until they found a Government, like the present Government of this country, to act as a cat's-paw for them, and to enable them to come to an arrangement by which they finally abolished the bounties. The fact was that these bounties had become a sort of Old Man of the Sea to foreign Governments, clinging round their necks and continually becoming tighter and heavier. They were consequently anxious to obtain relief from them.

The point for us was what had been the financial result of the Convention, especially taking into account the attitude of the Government and the prophesies they had made in regard to it? A great deal had been heard in reference to the increased cost of sugar. He was not quite sure that too much had not been made of that particular point; for, putting it for the moment aside, he condemned the Convention on its merits. How did we stand with regard to this matter? The Prime Minister some time ago very rightly said that so far as he was concerned— The riches of one nation conduced not to the poverty but to the wealth of another nation; and if we could double or treble by the stroke of some fairy wand the wealth of every other nation in the world but our own, depend upon it our nation would greatly profit by the process. He agreed with that statement, with this emendation, that the additional prosperity to other nations should not be carried out at the expense of this country, or we be impoverished for the greater comfort of other countries. Now, it was admitted that the Convention had cheapened the cost of sugar in other countries, while it had raised it here. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham had said that the price of sugar abroad was not cheaper than here. That was true, but what had happened was that relatively to the position before the Convention came into force, the price of sugar in this country was infinitely higher than it was before to the foreign consumer and competitor. The best evidence of that was that while in Germany the consumption of sugar had jumped up 25 per cent., in this country, if it had not diminished, it had not increased in the ordinary degree. Then our manufacturers were admittedly in a worse position than they were before. The Under-Secretary to the Board of Trade in his speech the previous evening had stated more than once that in consequence of the drawback given on the exports of foreign sugared goods, as far as our own markets were concerned the English manufacturers were not in a worse position than they were before. He ventured to dispute that position, because the mere fact that the foreign manufacturers got very much cheaper sugar than before would be a benefit to them. Then the hon. Gentleman forgot the very important element that when we had cheap sugar here, and dear sugar abroad, our manufacturers of sugared goods had not only been able to advance their position in our own markets, but to export, in increasing amounts, their manufactured goods to those countries in which bounties were given. But now the reduction of the Excise duty and the increased import duty very much prejudiced the foreign markets against our manufacturers, and, therefore, these would lose very largely in the foreign market.

There was one point to which he thought no reference had yet been made, though it was important in his judgment. In this country we were going to pay a toll in the increase of cost to an extent variously calculated up to £15,000,000 a year, while our taxpayers would have to pay an additional price for their sugar. What had happened abroad in consequence of the abolition of the bounty system? It was found that in France, Austria, and Germany the Exchequers had enormously benefited. It made a difference to the Austrian Exchequer of £800,000 a year, and had given the Austrian Chancellor a surplus instead of a deficit. Last December the German Chancellor stated that, in consequence of the increased consumption of sugar in that country, the sugar revenue had increased to the extent of no less than £700,000. That was a very different position to that in which we stood here. Our Chancellor of the Exchequer would be very glad to receive such a sum as that. While our consumers and manufacturers had suffered from the Convention, the taxpayers and consumers abroad had enormously benefited.

He now came to the question, largely discussed, as to how far the additional cost of sugar in this country was due to the Convention or to other causes. They were in rather a remarkable position in regard to this matter. The previous night the right hon. Member for West Birmingham, in defending the Convention—although he would not admit it was due to him—said that the increase of price, be it two or fifteen millions, had "had nothing whatever to do with the Convention." He was glad to hear that afternoon that the Under-Secretary of the Board of Trade had practically admitted the whole of the case of the Opposition, because he started by saying that some of the increase in the price was due to the Convention. Nobody on that side of the House said that the whole increase in price was due to the Convention, but that the Convention had largely aggravated it.


said that he had denied there was any evidence that the Convention had been the cause of the rise. So far as he could judge it was the drought.


Very well, but he could not understand why the Government and the right hon. Member for West Birmingham should be much annoyed at the suggestion that the Convention had raised the price of sugar, because the whole object of the Convention had been supposed to be to raise the price of sugar. The President of the Board of Trade had several times said that the price of sugar before the Convention was unnaturally low, below the cost of production, and that the Convention would raise the price to £10 per ton, and enable the West Indian planters to make a profit. Why, then, should he be so much annoyed when it was said that the Convention led to an increase in price. He understood the Under-Secretary to the Board of Trade to argue, that if the rise in price were due to the Convention, that rise must have come earlier, and his argument was that the increase of price was entirely due to shortage of crop. But his hon. friend the Member for Devonport had shown by figures that there was a surplus of stocks immediately after the Convention came into force, which, under market conditions, kept down the price. This was entirely confirmed by a Question which on February 25th, 1904, was asked of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in reference to the operation of the Sugar Convention and its effect on the exports of sugar from the West Indies. That was at the period when the Under-Secretary said the price ought to have risen. In his Answer the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary said— The existence of large surplus stocks of sugar in the home market necessarily retards the natural operation of the abolition of bounties. But "the natural operation of the abolition of bounties" was to increase the price, and it proved entirely the contention of those on that side of the House that the reason why the price did not rise earlier was because there were surplus stocks which kept values below their normal prices. He came now to the other point of the Under-Secretary, namely, that the whole of the increase in price was due to the short crop. Now, the shortage of crop in 1904 admittedly amounted to 700,000 tons, and the increase in consumption admittedly amounted to 840,000 tons. It seemed to him, therefore, clear that the greater effect on the increase of price was due to the Convention, which caused the increase of consumption, rather than to the shortage of crop. The Undersecretary and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham had also argued that the considerable speculation which had taken place had driven up the price of sugar. Of course if 1,500,000 tons were taken off the market by shortage and consumption it afforded a greater facility to speculators to run up the price But his contention was that the restriction of the area to which we could go for our supply had had a very considerable effect also on the power of speculators to run up the price. It had been said that a very small amount of sugar from Russia, Argentina, and other prohibited countries had ever come into this country; but the point was how much would have come in if the price had risen from £6 to £16? He contended that if our ports had been open to the products of these countries there would have been a very large addition to the amount of sugar exported from them to this country, and that would have very much affected the question of price.

It had also been argued by the Under-Secretary and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham that the great advantage of such a Convention as this would be that fluctuations in price would in the future diminish. If there were less fluctuations in the future it would only be because the price was permanently on a higher level. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham said that they would not get so much fluctuation because they would stimulate the production of cane sugar. He confessed that he had listened with very great surprise to the development of that argument. The right hon. Gentleman had said that if there was a short crop of beet sugar last year, on the other hand, there was an increase of 400,000 tons of cane sugar, and that that was due to the Convention. He denied that because, with the very small exception of Java, all the other nations from which that increase had come were not under the Convention at all, but were in the prohibited area. But assuming that the Convention had stimulated the growth of cane sugar, he maintained that that was not the object of the Convention at all. The great sacrifice we made was not made to increase cane sugar cultivation in Argentina, Java, and the Philippines and other tropical countries. Its whole object was to increase the production of cane sugar in the West Indies. Had it done so? The Under-Secretary shook his head, but only a few months ago the Prime Minister said— If it were not for the fact that in this case the proper investment of capital in the West Indian Islands, capital belonging to the Empire, was rendered impracticable and dangerous under our existing system, if it was not, in fact, for the case for the West Indies, there is no conceivable reason why we should not allow the foreigner to tax himself for the benefit of the British consumer. Surely, it was not intended that we should pay so many millions a year in order to benefit the cane sugar planters elsewhere than in the West Indies; yet the West Indies was the one spot in the world where the crop had been shorter than in previous years. Of course, the West Indies had benefited in that for the smaller crop they had got about £10 a ton instead of £6. But we had been told that as members of a great Empire and lovers of the Colonies we were to be benefited by being able, to consume West Indian sugar whilst the West Indies got a higher price. Whether they looked at the Convention from the point of view of the supposed advantage to the West Indies, the enormous disadvantages of our own consumers and manufacturers, or the increased price which had followed it, the words of the Amendment properly condemned it, and the judgment of the country would condemn it as well.


said that after listening to the three speeches delivered from the front Opposition Bench, he was still at a loss to know what was the real attitude of the Liberal Party towards the Convention. First of all the hon. Member for Dundee told them that, so far as foreign bounties were Concerned, he would lie on his back, open his mouth, and ask for more. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberdeen held that bounties were economically unsound, and said, if without any effort of ours we could see bounties abolished that would be a matter for rejoicing. Last of all came the hon. Member for Poplar, who told them if Cobden and Mr. Gladstone had had to deal with the problem they would have been quite ready to enter into a Convention for abolishing bounties, the only difference being that they would have objected to certain provisions in the present Convention, such as the penal clause and the surtax. He did not know which of these three views represented the view of the Liberal Party at the present time; but he congratulated the hon. Member for Poplar on having returned to the traditions of the old Liberal Party on this subject. Two questions had been asked by the hon. Member for Dundee as to the proceedings of the Permanent Commission. They did not appear to him to be particularly relevant; but as one involved a reflection on the action of the British delegate at Brussels he would answer them at once. The first question had reference to the resolution passed at the last meeting of the Commission as to the possibility of a bounty being given by any of the Governments, parties to the Convention, on sugar products; and the hon. Member asked whether a resolution of that kind had executive force. In a narrow and technical sense he did not suppose that the resolution would carry with it executive force. It was binding on the Commission, and in the case supposed the Commission would be under an obligation to express an opinion; but there was no clause in the Convention binding the contracting Powers to accept such an expression of opinion. He had little doubt, however, that it would be practically operative, nor did he think that the Governments, parties to the Convention, were at all likely to ignore a recommendation of the Permanent Commission made in accordance with the terms of this resolution. If they did it would be a justification for this country to take such steps as the circumstances might seem to require.


What would you do?


said to the hon. Member: it was not the custom in this House to answer hypothetical questions. When the matter came up it would be time enough to decide what action should be taken. Next, a reference was made by the hon. Member to a further resolution of the Commission by which a countervailing duty was fixed in the case of about seventeen States outside the Convention; and the hon. Member asked whether the British delegate voted against this resolution. It did not appear that any vote was actually taken on the subject, but the British delegate did record his objection in the most formal manner against the action taken by the Commission. His Majesty's Government concurred with Sir Henry Bergne in the objection which he raised, and he had every expectation that the Permanent Commission would meet the views of the Government on the subject.

He did not think it necessary to spend many words on any abstract question raised in connection with the Amendment or to discuss whether the Sugar Convention was a step in the direction of free trade or not. The general contention of hon. Gentlemen opposite appeared to be that the importation of bounty-fed goods was not inconsistent with free trade. All he would say was that it was inconsistent with free trade as understood by such authorities as Cobden and Mr. Gladstone. Trade was free when it flowed in natural channels, and it ceased to be free when diverted from those channels either by protection or bounties. As regards what, after all, had been the main subject of the debate—namely, the relation which the Convention had had to the great rise in the price of sugar—he would not contend for a moment that the Convention was not likely to have any effect on the price of sugar. It was the intention of the Convention to restore the natural price of sugar by restoring the natural conditions of demand and supply. The price during a considerable period before the Convention was such that the production of sugar in many parts of the world could no longer be carried on at a profit. A price below the cost of production could not possibly be a natural price; and if they started from a price of 6s., of course the tendency of the Convention would be to raise that price to one more nearly approaching the natural or normal price. At the same time, the Government had always contended that the Convention would have the other effect of preventing great and rapid fluctuations of price. In spite of the rise of price during last year, from which we were still suffering, he still maintained the soundness of this contention; but it was also necesary to add that they must distinguish between the policy of the Convention and the mere process of change from the old bounty system to the new system under which bounties were abolished.

The real question was what, if any, effect had the Convention had in producing the great and rapid rise of price during the last five or six months of last year. Now, assuming for the sake of argument that the Convention was responsible for the rise, was it the abolition of the bounties which had been the cause, or was it some special provision in the Convention apart from the abolition of the bounties? In other words, was it contended that if the sugar-producing countries on the Continent had of their own accord abolished bounties without any action on our part, the great rise in price would have resulted, or had the rise in price been caused solely by some special provision in the Convention, and in particular by the penal clause? Various opinions had been expressed on this subject by hon. Gentlemen opposite. The hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs said that the bounties were worth £6,000,000 annually to this country. Therefore, his view was that it was the abolition of the bounties that produced the increase in price. On the other hand, the hon. Member for West Islington advanced the view that the abolition of bounties had had no effect whatever on the rise in the price of sugar. The hon. Gentleman's contention was that three-fourths of the rise was entirely due to the action of the Government in excluding Russian and Argentine bounty-fed sugar from this country. During the last five months of the year the rise in the price of sugar was something like 4s. Therefore, if the view of the hon. Member for West Islington was correct, at least 3s. of that rise must have been due to the action of this country in applying the penal clause to Russian and Argentine sugar. Was that admitted? Very well. It happened that a practical test could be applied to the matter. If the application of the penal clause was the real cause of the rise in the price of sugar, it was clear that that rise in price must be a phenomenon peculiar to the country applying the penal clause. In countries which were not parties to the Convention the rise in the price of sugar, according to the view of the hon. Member for West Islington, should be at least 3s. less than it had been in the United Kingdom. But what was the fact in Switzerland? There the rise in the price of sugar was greater even than than it had been in this country.




The price had also increased in France more than in this country. Surely these facts blew the entire case of the hon. Member to the winds. The truth was that in all Continental countries, whether they applied the penal clause in the form of prohibition or in the form of countervailing duties, sugar had risen in price as much and as fast as in the United Kingdom. The Member for Devonport had attacked him with some vehemence in respect to certain statements which he had made on a previous occasion regarding the amount of sugar sent by Russia into this country. The statement he had made was in reply to a statement of the hon. Member for Islington that the amount of sugar sent into this country by Russia in 1902 was 100,000 tons. He had traversed that statement, and, quoting from Russian official statements, had said the amount was only 1,000 tons. He was prepared to admit that subsequent investigation had convinced him that the official document on which he relied did not give an accurate account of the facts. There was no doubt that a good deal of sugar formerly came into this country from Russia through Germany which was not shown in the Russian statement. On the other hand it was perfectly clear that in 1902 not more than 69,000 tons crossed the European frontier, and it was therefore absolutely impossible that the figure given by the hon. Member—100,000 tons—could have been anything near the mark. He was prepared to admit that he might have been wrong to the extent of 20,000 tons, but in that case the hon. Member for Islington would still be in error to the extent of about 80,000 tons. Even taking the higher figure of the hon. Member for Devonport, and allowing that 36,000 tons might come from Russia into the United Kingdom, it would be seen that, as the total imports into this country were something like 1,600,000 tons, the Russian contribution was a comparatively trifling affair. Putting the amount which might have come from Russia and Argentina together after the Convention at 50,000 tons, the absolute annihilation of this small quantity would not have been likely to cause a very great difference of price. But this sugar was not annihilated. Although Russian sugar was excluded from this country, it was not prevented from taking the place of sugar that did come to this country. Russia exported sugar in considerable quantities to Turkey Persia, Egypt, and the Levant generally, where she competed with Austria. The moment prices rose in the London market, Austrian sugar would be attracted here, and its place in the East would be taken by Russian sugar. He hoped that what he said would convince the House that they might really neglect absolutely any effect of the penal clause in producing the rise in the price of sugar.

It remained to be considered whether the abolition of sugar bounties, as distinguished from the application of the penal clause, had had any effect on the rise of price and, if so, what effect. There was really no mystery about the cause of the rise that had taken place. Everybody in their candid moments would admit that it had been produced by two causes—in the first place, by a shortage in production, and in the second place by an increase in consumption. Price depended upon considerations of demand and supply, and in this case there had been at once a greater demand and a smaller supply. If the abolition of bounties had had any effect on the rise of price it must have been by affecting the demand or the supply or both. It was admitted on all hands that there had been a very great shortage in the supply. The best authorities put it at something very little short of 1,200,000 tons. Reference had been made to diminished sowings during the past season. These diminished sowings had been estimated at about 6½ per cent, of the whole, but the shortage in the yield of the beet crop was no less than 20 per cent., so that only about one-third of the shortage could be put down to diminished sowings, the remaining two-thirds, an amount which might be estimated at not less than 800,000 tons, being due to a drought of altogether exceptional character.

MR. RUNCIMAN (Dewsbury)

asked what the diminished sowings were due to.


said that if he granted that possibly the diminished sowings, representing a shortage of 400,000 tons, were due to the Convention, he was equally justified in assuming that the increased yield of cane, which came to almost exactly the same figure, was the result of the Convention too. Therefore, setting one against the other, both might be written off the account. The dominating feature of the situation, so far as supply was concerned, was the shortage of 800,000 tons, due entirely to climatic conditions, which neither this nor any other Government could control. The hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs had said that speakers on the Government side contended that the rise in price was due to the drought and to nothing else. At any rate it was better to insist upon what everybody admitted to be a real and a most important cause, than to omit mention of it altogether. He had read speeches made in the country by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberdeen, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, in which the rise of price was invariably ascribed to the Convention pure and simple, and in which no mention whatever was made of the drought. He put this question to those right hon. Gentlemen. If they knew of the drought, was it fair or honest to say nothing about it in the country? And if they did not know of it, what title had they to discuss this subject at all? So much for the question of supply.

He now came to the question of demand. He did not dispute for a moment that in connection with the abolition of bounties there had been a great reduction of price in Continental countries. That reduction of price was caused partly by the reduction of internal taxes, which was certainly not due to any provision of the Convention. In fact, internal taxes had not been reduced at all in some countries that were parties to the Convention, as for instance Austria and Holland. Still he was quite prepared to admit that the abolition of bounties did afford a convenient occasion for the Governments of various countries to diminish internal taxation, and so to reduce the cost of sugar. But was the Convention to be condemned on that account? Hon. Gentlemen opposite, who had cosmopolitan sympathies, should rejoice that, the price of sugar had been reduced in those countries. [An HON. MEMBER: At our expense.] Was the excess of consumption as compared with production a permanent or a temporary effect? If it was a permanent effect, he could well understand that it would be fair enough to connect with the Convention; but there was a great difference between an increased consumption as compared with production that arose from the temporary disturbance in the relations of supply and demand incidental to the change from a bounty system to a non-bounty system, and one which would be a permanent effect of a system in which bounties did not exist. Was it the abolition of the bounty system, or the mere transition from one system to another that had produced that effect? He said it was a merely transitional disturbance, and it was not fair to attribute the effect to the Convention itself or to the policy of the Convention. He submitted that he had shown that the penal clause had had nothing whatever to do with the rise of price; that the most important element in the rise was shortage of supply caused by climatic conditions; and next to that the increased consumption: but this increased consumption was not directly the result of the Convention, but was due to the transition from one system to another, during which production had temporarily fallen behind the increase of consumption. Both these factors in the rise of price were of a temporary character, and if we had a favourable season next year it was practically certain that the prices would again resume their normal level. Even to-day the prices for delivery in the later months of this year were £4 or £5 below the current price.

He desired to add a few words about the effect of the Convention upon the sugar-using trades. It had been said that unemployment in those trades had been entirely the result of the Convention. If the Convention had not been the cause of the rise of price, then, so far as rise of price had affected those trades, it was clear that the Convention could not be responsible for the depression which he was sorry to say existed. Then it was said that the sugar-using trades in foreign countries, especially in countries outside the Convention, had the advantage of cheap, and even of bounty-fed sugar, and were thus able to compete unfairly with our own sugar-using industries. So far as the countries in the Convention were concerned, it was quite clear that they were not in a position to use bounty-fed sugar in the manufacture of confectionary. Switzerland, as a matter of fact, did not use bounty-fed sugar, except to an extremely small extent from Russia. The import of sugar from Russia into Switzerland last year was less than 400 tons, he believed, or about 1–200th part of the entire amount of sugar that Switzerland used. Therefore it was clear that the depression in the confectionery trade was not due to serious competition arising from the use of bounty-fed sugar in Switzerland. There was no sign in the figures that our sugar - using industries were losing their position in the foreign markets. Our exports of sugared goods were almost exactly the same in the present year as they were last year. It had been asserted that sugared products of Continental manufacture were beginning to invade neutral markets, which had hitherto been supplied by this country, and even to invade our home market. The figures gave absolutely no sign to point to that conclusion. There had been a considerable increase in the imports of sugared goods, but this increase consisted exclusively of fruit preserved in their syrup, a class of goods with which our own trade did not directly compete. Confectionery imports, properly so called, were not increasing, but declining. In the face of these facts he submitted that there was no justification for the allegation in the Amendment that the policy of the Brussels Convention had inflicted heavy losses upon trade, diminished employment of labour, and enormously increased the cost of a necessary food to consumers without any compensatory advantages. The Convention could not be expected to produce within eighteen months all the results which they ultimately anticipated would accrue from it. One of the declared objects of the Convention was to equalise competition between beet and cane sugar, and by that equalisation of competition to increase the sources of supply and give steadiness to the price of sugar. Such objects could not be secured in a day, and to judge the Convention by the results of a year's experience was altogether unreasonable. The Parliamentary Secretary had earlier in the evening quoted from a speech in which Mr. Gladstone declared that the bounty system with all its inequalities and injustice was not really to the advantage of either the consumer or the producer. The Government held the same opinion as Mr. Gladstone, and assuredly nothing had occurred since the Convention came into operation, or been said in the course of the debate, to shake their conviction that time would vindicate the wisdom of the policy they had pursued.


said that the right hon. Gentleman had endeavoured to prove that the Convention had nothing to do with the rise in the price of sugar, If the right hon. Gentleman honestly believed that, he was the only man connected with the trade, either officially or unofficially, who did believe it. The right hon. Gentleman practically contended that it was possible to cut off important sources of supplies of raw material without that cutting-off of supplies having any effect on prices; in other words, that supply had nothing whatever to do with price. That might be very good special pleading, but it was uncommonly bad economics. The whole of the Convention was nothing but a gratuitous scheme for putting large sums of money into the pockets of foreigners, and a small amount into the pockets of the West Indian planters. The Government had intended to do the latter, though not the former, but they had succeeded admirably in both. According to the preamble of the Convention, one of the main objects was to increase the consumption of sugar. That object had been attained—on the Continent—but the right hon. Gentleman had overlooked the fact that increased consumption without increased supply must increase the price. It was true there had been a drought, but prices were rising long before the drought occurred. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that diminished sowing had something to do with the rise. That was an extraordinary admission on the part of one who was contending that the Convention had nothing whatever to do with the rise in price, as the diminished sowings were directly caused by the Convention. If bounties were abolished or diminished, it obviously meant less chance for the growers to make a profit on their commodity, and naturally they would sow less. Climatic conditions doubtless had something to do with the rise, but to cut off sources of supply simply accentuated the evils caused by the drought. There were two obvious facts which no amount of argument or special pleading would overcome. Before the Convention £20,000,000 a year were paid in sugar bounties, and those bounties were now practically wiped out. This country would never be persuaded that the wiping-out of those bounties had had no effect on the price of sugar. But one of the main arguments for the Convention had always been that it was to benefit the West Indies. If the Convention had not raised prices, how had it been a boon to the West Indies? The rise was due to the act of God; it was God, not the authors of this Convention, who had conferred the boon on the West Indies. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham had stated that the disadvantage under which the West Indies laboured before the Convention was about £5 per ton of sugar. If that statement meant anything, it meant that the Convention had resulted in a loss of something like £8,000,000 a year to this country. The Convention was certainly not the product of free-trade principles. The Parliamentary Secretary had supported it in an eloquent and ingenious speech, but he had ended by enunciating the most orthodox protectionist principles. The Convention was really a step in the direction of that retaliation of which the Prime Minister was an ardent advocate. Sugar had had a peculiar political history. It brought about the downfall of Lord Melbourne's Administration in 1841; it brought into peril Sir R. Peel

in 1844, and Lord John Russell in 1846; and it had certainly not benefited the standing of the present Government in the year 1904.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 211; Noes, 276. (Division List No. 10.)

Abraham, William (Cork,N. E.) Eve, Harry Trelawney Lundon, W.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Farrell, James Patrick Lyell, Charles Henry
Ainsworth, John Stirling Fenwick, Charles Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Allen, Charles P. Ferguson, R.C. Munro (Leith) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Ambrose, Robert Ffreneh, Peter MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Ashton, Thomas Gair Field, William M'Crae, George
Asquith,Rt. Hn.HerbertHenry Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N.E. M'Fadden, Edward
Atherley-Jones, L. Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond M'Hugh, Patrick A.
Barlow, John Emmott Flavin, Michael Joseph M'Kean, John
Barran, Rowland Hirst. Flynn, James Christopher M'Kenna, Reginald
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Fuller, J. M. F. M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin
Bell, Richard Furness, Sir Christopher Markham, Arthur Basil
Benn, John Williams Gilhooly, James Mooney, John J.
Black, Alexander William Grant, Corrie Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen)
Boland, John Goddard, Daniel Ford Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Griffith, Ellis .J. Murnaghan, George
Brigg, John Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Murphy, John
Bright, Allan Heywood Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Nannetti, Joseph P.
Broadhurst, Henry Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Newnes, Sir George
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Hammond, John Nolan,Col.John P. (Galway.N.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Harcourt, Lewis Vernon Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Hardie,J Keir(Merthyr Tydvil Norman, Henry
Burke, E. Haviland Harmsworth, R. Leicester Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Burns, John Harrington, Timothy Nussey, Thomas Willans
Buxton, Sydney Charles Harwood, George O'Brien,Kendal(Tipperary Mid
Caldwell, James Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Hayter,Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. O'Brien,P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Helme, Norval Watson O'Connor, John (Kildare N.)
Causton, Richard Knight Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Cawley, Frederick Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Dowd, John
Channing, Francis Allston Higham, John Sharpe O'Kelly, James (Roscommon,N
Cheetham, John Frederick Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E. O'Malley, William
Churchill, Winston Spencer Holland, Sir William Henry O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Cogan, Denis J. Horniman, Frederick John O'Shee, James John
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Parrott, William
Crean, Eugene Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Partington, Oswald
Cremer, William Randal Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Crombie, John William Jacoby, James Alfred Perks, Robert William
Crooks, William Johnson, John Pirie, Duncan V.
Cullinan, J. Joicey, Sir James Power, Patrick Joseph
Dalziel, James Henry Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Rea, Russell
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Joyce, Michael Reckitt, Harold James
Delany, William Kearley, Hudson E. Reddy, M.
Devlin,Chas. Ramsay (Galway Kennedy, Vincent P.(Cavan,W Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kilbride, Denis Reid,Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kitson, Sir James Richards,Thomas (W.Monm'th
Doogan, P. C. Labouchere, Henry Rickett, J. Compton
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Langley, Batty Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Dyffy, William J. Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W. Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Duncan, J. Hastings Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Edwards, Frank Layland-Barratt, Francis Robson, William Snowdon
Elibank, Master of Leese,SirJoseph F. (Accrington Roche, John
Ellice,Capt EC(SAndrw'sBghs. Leigh, Sir Joseph Roe, Sir Thomas
Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Levy, Maurice Runciman, Walter
Emmott, Alfred Lewis, John Herbert Schwann, Charles E.
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Lloyd-George, David Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Evans,Sir Francis H(Maidstone Lough, Thomas Shackleton, David James
Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Sheehy, David Thomas,David Alfred(Merthyr Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Shipman, Dr. John G. Toulmin, George Wills,ArthurWalters(N Dorset
Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Trevelyan, Charles Philips Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.
Slack, John Bamford Waldron, Laurence Ambrose Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk.Mid
Smith, Samuel (Flint) Wallace, Robert Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.
Soares, Ernest J. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Woodhouse,SirJ.T.(Huddersf'd
Spencer,RtHnC.R (Northants) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Young, Samuel
Stanhope, Hon. Philip James Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan Yoxall, James Henry
Stevenson, Francis S. Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney
Strachey, Sir Edward White, George (Norfolk) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Sullivan, Donal White, Luke (York, E. R.) Herbert Gladstone and Mr.
Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Whiteley, George (York, W. R. William M'Arthur.
Tennant, Harold John Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Greville, Hon. Ronald
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Compton, Lord Alwyne Guthrie, Walter Murray
Allhusen,AugustusHenry Eden Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Hall, Edward Marshall
Allsopp, Hon. George Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hambro, Charles Eric
Arkwright, John Stanhope Craig, Charles Curtis (AntrimS. Hamilton,RtHnLordG (Midd'x
Arnold-Forster,Rt.Hn. HughO Cripps, Charles Alfred Hamilton, Mar. of (L'nd'nderry
Arrol, Sir William Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Hardy,Laurence(Kent Ashford
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dalkeith, Earl of Hare, Thomas Leigh
Aubrey-Fleteher,Rt.Hn. Sir.H. Davenport, William Bromley Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th
Bailey, James (Walworth) Davies,Sir HoratioD.(Chatham Haslam, Sir Alfred S.
Bain, Colonel James Robert Denny, Colonel Hay, Hn. Claude George
Baird, John George Alexander Dewar,SirT. R (Tower Hamlets Heath Arthur Howard(Hanley
Balcarres, Lord Dickinson, Robert Edmond Heath SirJames(Staffords.NW
Balfour,Rt.Hn. A.J. (Manch'r. Dickson, Charles Scott Heaton, John Henniker
Balfour,RtHnGerald W(Leeds) Dimsdale,RtHn.Sir Joseph C. Helder, Augustus
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Disracli, Coningsby Ralph Henderson, Sir A (Stafford, W.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Dixon-Hartland,Sir FredDixon Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Hogg, Lindsay
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Hope,J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Doxford, Sir William Theodore Horner, Frederick William
Beach,RtHn.Sir MichaelHicks Duke, Henry Edward Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Dyke, Rt Hn. Sir William Hart Hoult, Joseph
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Houston, Robert Paterson
Bigwood, James Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W Howard, J. Kent, Faversham
Bill, Charles Fardell, Sir T. George Howard. J. (Midd.Tottenham)
Bingham, Lord Fergusson,Rt.Hn.Sir J (Manc'r Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil
Blundell Colonel Henry Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Hunt, Rowland
Bond, Edward Finch, Rt. Hn. George H. Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Finlay, Sir R B (Inv'rn'ss B'ghs) Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Brassey Albert Fisher, William Hayes Jeffreys, Rt, Hon. Arthur Fred
Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John Fison, Frederick William Jessel, Captain HerbertMerton
Brotherton, Edward Allen FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.
Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh. Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Kenyon, Hn. Geo T (Denbigh)
Brymer, William Ernest Flannery, Sir Fortescue Kenyon-Slaney, Rt Hn. Col. W.
Bull, William James Flower, Sir Ernest Kerr, John
Burdett-Coutts, W. Forster, Henry William Keswick. William
Butcher, John George Foster,Philip S(Warwick,S.W. Kimber Sir Henry
Campbell, J.H.M(Dublin Univ. Galloway, William Johnson Laurie, Lieut-General
Carson, Rt, Hon. Sir Edw. H Gardner, Ernest Law, Andrew Bonar Glasgow)
Cautley, Henry Strother Garfit, William Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th
Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Lawson, Hn H L W. (Mile End
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Lawson John Grant (Yorks. NR
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gordon, Hn. J.E. (Elgin &Nairn Lee Arthur H(Hants, Fareham
Cecil Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S. Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn J.(Birm. Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'r H' mlets Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Leveson-Gowar, FrederickN.S.
Chamberlain,RtHn.J A (Wore. Goschen, Hn. George Joachim Llewellyn Evan Henry
Chamberlayne T. (S'thampton Goulding, Edward Alfred Lockwood, Lieut. Col. A. R.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Graham, Henry Robert Loder Gerald Walter Erskine
Chapman Edward Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham
Coates, Edward Feetham Green, Walford D.(Wednesbury Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol.S.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Greene, Henry D(Shrewsbury) Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Lowe, Francis William
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Grenfell, William Henry Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R. Gretton, John Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft Plummer, Sir Walter R. Stock, James Henry
Lucas,Reginald J(Portsmouth Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Stone, Sir Benjamin
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Pretyman, Ernest George Stroyan, John
Macdona, John Cumming Pryee-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Purvis, Robert Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Maconochie, A. W. Pym C. Guy Thorburn, Sir Walter
M' Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Thornton, Percy M.
M' Calmont, Colonel James Rankin, Sir James Tollemache, Henry James
.M' Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W.) Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Majendie, James A. H. Ratcliff, R. F. Tuff Charles
Malcolm, Ian Reid, James (Greenock) Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Manners, Lord Cecil Remnant, James Farquharson Tuke, Sir John Batty
Marks, Harry Hananel Renwick, George Turnour, Viscount
Martin, Richard Biddulph Ridley, S. Forde Valentia, Viscount
Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Vincent. Col. Sir C.EH (Sheffield
Maxwell, W.J.H (Dumfriesshire Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Milner Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G. Robinson, Brooke Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H
Molesworth, Sir Lewis Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter Wanklyn, James Leslie
Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Round, Rt. Hn. James Warde, Colonel C. E.
Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Webb, Colonel William George
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool Welby, Lt.-Col. A.CE (Taunton)
Moore, William Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Welby, Sir Charles G.E. (Notts.
Morgan, David J (Walthamstow Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd
Morpeth, Viscount Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos.Myles Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Morrell, George Herbert Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W. Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Morrison, James Archibald Sharpe, William Edward T. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Shaw-Stewart, Sir HI (Renfrew) Wilson, A.Stanley (York, E.R.
Mount, William Arthur Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Skewes-Cox, Thomas Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.
Muntz, Sir Philip A. Sloan, Thomas Henry Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R (Bath)
Myers, William Henry Smith, Abel H(Hertford, East) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Nicholson, William Graham Smith, HC(North'mb. Tyneside Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury) Smith, Hon. W.F.D. (Strand), Wylie, Alexander
Peal, Hn. W. Robert Wellesley Spear, John Ward Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Percy, Earl Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Pierpoint, Robert Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lanes.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Pilkington, Colonel Richard Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Alexander Acland-Hood and
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.

Main Question again proposed.

Debate arising; and, it being after midnight, the debate stood adjourned. Debate to be resumed to-morrow.

On the Motion for the adjournment of the House.

MR. J. A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)

asked what business would be taken on Thursday in the event of the debate on the Address being concluded.


said that in the event of the debate on the Address being concluded on Wednesday, Supplementary Army Estimates would be taken on Thursday

to be followed by the Supplementary Civil Service Estimates.