§ 1. "That for the purpose of paying off any Exchequer bonds issued under the Supplemental War Loan Acts of 1900, any sums not exceeding ten million pounds be raised by the issue of Exchequer bonds to be current, subject to the provisions for the redemption of the total issue, for a period of ten years, and that in each year of that period one-tenth part of the total issue of the new bonds be drawn for repayment and redeemed by the application for the purpose of the requisite part of the new sinking fund, and that the permanent annual charge for the National Debt be increased so as to be £28,000,000. That any expenses incurred in connection with raising or paying off any such sums, and the principal of and interest on any such sums, be charged on the Consolidated Fund, and, as to the interest, be paid as part of the permanent annual charge for the National Debt."
§ Question again proposed
§ MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)
said he, personally, did not approve of the manner in which the bonds were issued, because he thought it was not calculated to secure them the most favourable terms. But at the same time he wished to congratulate the Chancellor of the Exchequer on his action in providing the means, by the present Resolution, of ensuring the absolute automatic repayment of the colossal debt which was now pressing on the finances of the country. Concurrently with expenditure there ought always to 828 be provision for the extinction of debt. Let them spend as much as they liked, but let it be spent out of income and not out of capital. Year after year seven or eight millions were spent in a way which was not legitimate, and since the Chancellor of the Exchequer was one of the original sinners in the offence which was committed by the Public Works Loan expenditure he hoped he would now apply himself with all the greater vigour to reforming this unsound method of voting the expenditure of the country.Undoubtedly reform was needed in the present system. He would not stay to inquire whether it was right for the Admiralty or the War Office—
Order, Order! The hon. Gentleman is not entitled now to discuss the general financial position of the country. He must confine himself strictly to the question of the issue of these Exchequer bonds.
§ MR. MCKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
pointed out that the remarks of the hon. Member were a reminder to the House that while the Chancellor of the Exchequer was making provision on one hand for the repayment of debt, on the other he was incurring debt. But how was it that the House was discussing now this Resolution on Report when the ten millions of bonds had been issued? Had the Law Officers of the Crown been present he would have asked them if there was any precedent for such a proceeding. Could the Chancellor of the Exchequer give any authority for issuing these bonds before he obtained the approval of the House to the Resolution passed in Committee? He believed that no precedent could be quoted. Even if the Resolution, however, were refused by the House it would be now impossible to rescind the contract. The Chancellor of the Exchequer could not go into the market and repay the money to those 829 who had subscribed for the bonds. He also suggested that in making these financial arrangements for the issue of bonds the payment of interest should be made the same for all persons who took them. The element of lottery speculation at present introduced was not a wise arrangement. There was to be a ten years currency of the bonds. What was the result? The bonds were issued at 2¾ per cent, and were subscribed at 98. Those which were drawn at the end of the first year would receive repayment at par in addition to the 2¾ per cent, interest; practically they would get a little over 4 per cent, on their investment, while on the other hand the bonds drawn last would produce only about 3¼ per cent. The fact that business men did not approve of these methods was shown by the fait that the subscription for the bonds was so small. He certainly did not think it wise to introduce this lottery system into our financial arrangements.
§ MR. RITCHIE (Croydon)
said that the hon. Member was under an entire misapprehension as to the practice governing the issue of loans. It was the practice, when the money was being borrowed, for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to act upon the Resolution passed in Committee, and not to wait for its confirmation in the House or in the Bill. The reason for this was obvious. To have the issuing of a loan hanging or an indefinite period over the market was very prejudicial in the public interest. He had himself when at the Treasury acted on the principle indicated, and he believed that previous Chancellors of the Exchequer had followed the same procedure. With regard to the question of the mode in which the money had been borrowed he confessed that he was not quite sure that the proper course had "been adopted. He doubted whether he would have followed the method adopted by his right hon. friend, and he certainly thought that better terms might have been secured had a different method and another moment been chosen for issue. He thought that the amount of interest payable under this system of borrowing was higher than the figure at which the Treasury ought to have been able to borrow. It was not a fair argument to single out for contrast the individual 830 who drew his bonds the first year. The true method of judging the system was to take the average in the proportion which might be drawn every year. He reckoned that the amount of interest paid, taking into account commissions and other matters, was a little over £3 2s. 6d. In his judgment that was rather an extravagant figure for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to pay, though he knew well the great difficulties which surrounded the subject, and the various opinions which were held as to the best method of dealing with the question. He was certain that his right hon. friend had taken the best advice procurable, and had acted in the way he thought best for the public interest. Personally he did not think that the City believed it to be either the right method or the right time to choose. The money could have been borrowed on somewhat better terms. As to the £10,000,000, he was glad that his right hon. friend had, notwithstanding many temptations to the contrary, adopted a method by which a considerable additional sum would be available for the repayment of debt. It might be thought that he was uttering an opinion contrary to the view he expressed when at the Exchequer; but it must be remembered that at that time there was every expectation that we should receive large repayments on account of the £30,000,000 from the Transvaal. He had acted not only on the strong views held at the Colonial Office at the time, but he was extremely careful to go through all the reports which came from Lord Milner. He was then fully persuaded that the hopes he expressed as to the revenue of the Transvaal would be realised.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
The right hon. Gentleman gave an actual pledge that the money would be forthcoming.
§ MR. RITCHIE
denied that he went so far as that. What he said amounted to much less than a pledge. He merely stated the facts. He attached more importance to the payment of the first £10,000,000 than to the exact period when the other instalments would be forthcoming. Occupying the position he did, 831 it would have been foolish for him not to have expressed a belief that the money would be forthcoming. Unfortunately the money had not been forthcoming, but no one could be surprised at the fact, having regard to the state of finances in the Transvaal. It would be a monstrous thing to saddle the Transvaal with this large debt payment every year when its finances were hardly in a condition to meet the ordinary expenditure of the country. It seemed to him, therefore, that in present circumstances nothing remained for the Chancellor of the Exchequer but to make some other provision for the extinction of debt. His right hon. friend had acted most wisely in seeking to discharge a portion of the Debt in the way he had provided, although, as he had said, he felt that the time was not well chosen for the issue, and more had been paid for the accommodation than ought to ha e been.
§ MR. BLACK (Banffshire)
said the Conservative predecessors of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had shown a consistent tendency to spoil the Sinking Fund. It was therefore a relief to find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had taken a small step in the right direction; but the question was whether the step was large enough, and the point he desired to make was, that in place of this £10,000,000 being met by a further borrowing, a very much larger sum ought to have been met out of current taxation if we were to put ourselves in at all a good position financially. If the South African War had resulted in our acquiring an asset, there might have been something said for deferring the repayment of the debt incurred for that war but instead of it being an asset, we found it a huge liability, for the holding of it implied the employment of about 25,000 soldiers there at a cost of something like £5,000,000 a year. In October, 1899, the light hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham put forward as a reason for engaging in the war that we should avoid having so large a garrison in South Africa if we managed to beat our foes:but, instead of having effected this, we were still obliged to keep up a large garrison there, and the country, instead of being an asset, was a liability.
Order, order! The hon. Member is allowing himself too much licence. He is not entitled to review the whole policy of the war.
§ MR. BLACK
said he hoped he would be in order in pointing out that our indebtedness was not decreasing. In 1904 the Debt amounted to £ 794,000,000 as against £798,000,000 in 1903. Under ordinary circumstances one would have thought that this decrease would have been effected by the operation of the Sinking Fund, but it was not so effected; it was almost entirely due to £3,000,000 recovered from the Transvaal. In 1905 they found the Debt had again increased to £796,000,000, so that during the whole of these years we had not paid off a single penny; on the contrary, we had diminished our assets, while our Debt remained practically the same. What was the position in the current year? We should have only paid off £468,000, and this in the piping times of peace. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to deal with the matter of national finance as if the nation were a person with a secure title, and perhaps with a mortgage on his estate; and, so long as he paid the interest on the mortgage, kept the repairs, going, and kept the household up, he thought he did well. But this was far from being the position of a nation, and particularly this nation. We were in the position of a person whose title was subject to attack, and who might be called upon to defend his title at a cost that might be greater than the whole value of his estate; and unless this country made due provision in times of peace and prosperity by the reduction of debt or the accumulation of assets we should find ourselves without the sinews of war-when we most needed them. At the present moment our indebtedness amounted to £796,000,000, but to this, there was to be added the indebtedness of local bodies, amounting to very little less than £300,000,000, making a total of something like £1,100,000,000, or more than £25 per head of the population or £120 per householder. How many householders were there possessed of assets to the extent of £120, their rateable quota to the National Debt? He ventured 833 to say there were comparatively few. "With the single exception of France, he thought, too, it would be found that all our neighbours were better off in this respect. Russia, before the war, was only indebted to the extent of some £16 or £17 per householder; Germany £12, France £150, and Italy £80. He agreed that, comparing national wealth with national indebtedness, our position was not quite so bad, but they had to look at what that wealth consisted of. France's national wealth consisted largely of landed property which could not be moved out of the country; but ours consisted to a large extent of fugitive wealth, in the shape of industrial capital, holdings in Colonial or Foreign Government securities, or interests of various kinds in undertakings outside the country which, if taxed too heavily, in sudden emergency would cross the border. Therefore we ought to make provision year by year for our national requirements, and this was exactly what the Chancellor of the Exchequer failed to realise, even in the provision which had been so much praised. If he had added £5,000,000 to the Sinking Fund it might have come approximately to what was required. There were only two ways of sound finance—either to diminish expenditure or increase income; and he hoped another year the Chancellor of the Exchequer would do a little more to put the finances of the nation in a sound position, and so furnish us with what were, after all, the true sinews of war.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Then if I am not to be heard, I presume the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot speak.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
What occurred on the last occasion was that if a Question was asked one could not get an Answer. The debate was a very short one.
The hon. Member's speech was a short one, but it 834 occupied half a column of Hansard, and therefore can hardly be looked upon as simply a Question. The hon. Member for Halifax also spoke on that occasion. I have refreshed my memory by looking up the report.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
I too have refreshed my memory, and I think the right hon. Gentleman will find I merely urged reasons against proceeding with the I matter at that particular moment, and the Chancellor agreed with me.
§ MR. WHITLEY
I simply appealed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to proceed with the Motion. I only indicated points which needed to be discussed and said the ten minutes which remained was not sufficient time for the discussion.
It was open to the hon. Member to continue his observations. I am afraid I cannot take into account the quality of a speech. All I can say is that the hon. Member did speak and that his speech is reported to the extent of one-third of a column. He therefore technically exhausted his right.
Mr. GIBSON BOWLES
thanked the House for permitting him to speak and said that in view of that indulgence he felt that his remarks should not be lengthy. He would endeavour to keep to the point of the Resolution—viz., the specific method of dealing with a specific portion of debt. It was proposed to deal with the unfunded portion of the Debt by an entirely new method, by issuing Treasury bonds to the extent of £ 10,000,000 under wholly new conditions. He was not fond of these newfangled methods of finance, he was not an admirer of the new devices. Let 835 them examine this matter upon its merits. He understood that the rate of interest was governed by the War Loans Act of 1900. The rate of interest of these £10,000,000 of bonds was therefore 2¾ per cent., and the price obtained for them was about 98.6.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN,) Worcestershire, E.
£ 98 13s.10d.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Say then 98.7. On an average the holder would receive something over 3 per cent, for his money, although those paid off in the first year would realise over 4 per cent. He had some grievance as to the form of issue. This was the first time in modern financial history that England had trusted to a lottery for raising money. These were eminently lottery bonds, and he was only surprised that they did not fetch a higher price. The right hon. Member for Croydon had partly explained that by intimating that the Treasury made a serious mistake and issued these bonds under wrong conditions at a wrong time. That was a very serious allegation, and he was sure the Chancellor of the Exchequer would feel that it needed a serious answer, for if the Treasury existed for anything at all, it was to see that issues of this kind were made at the right time under the right conditions. Another point was that by the War Loans Act, 1900, £13,000,000 of Treasury bills and bonds, which this issue was partially to meet, were to be repaid on April 5th, 1910, but this £10,000,000 was to run until 1915, and therefore the term of repayment was extended of five years.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
May I be permitted to interrupt the hon. Gentleman? The Exchequer bonds were redeemable within six years, and some of them have already been redeemed. In the Supplementary War Loans Act there is a provision allowing new bonds of a similar amount to be issued for the purpose of redeeming them.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that did not effect his point. The "Rake's Progress" was quite complete. The Treasury issued the bonds and re- 836 paid them by reborrowing.. They were in the position of a man who said, "I owe you half-a-crown: if you will lend me the money I will repay you." He submitted he was right in his contention that this was a renewal of debt with five years longer for repayment. The wiles of the Treasury were numerous; it was not always easy to follow the intricacies of its finance. But the disentangled fact remained. Now this issue was made for the especial purpose of dealing with the Unfunded Debt, and that debt undoubtedly required serious attention. Although the Funded Debt had decreased in the last ten years, the Unfunded Debt had increased enormously during the same period, and by much more than the Funded Debt had diminished, so that the total debt was a great deal more than it was. While the Funded Debt had in the year ending March 31st, 1905, been reduced from £637,600,000 to £635,600,000, which showed a reduction of £2,000,000, the Unfunded Debt of all sorts had been increased in the same year by over £4,000,000, mainly in the loans for Works. So that while we apparently owed £2,000,000 less if the Funded Debt were alone regarded, yet, when the whole debt was considered, we really owed above £2,000,000 more. The Unfunded Debt was the worst form of debt and the most dangerous, and it was increasing alarmingly. The Unfunded Debt stood on March 31st, 1905, at £161,000,000 as compared with £156,700,000 in 1904 and £79,000,000 in 1894, and it was to be increased by at least £8,000,000 this year for what was called capital expenditure on works. The Budget was quite sound, as far as it went it was plain, honest, and straightforward, but it did not go by any means far enough in the direction of retrenchment and of making provision to meet the Debt. He would warn the House and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to beware of new methods of meeting debt; the only real way to raise money was to have new taxation or to omit taking off existing taxation. If they took the total national indebtedness, quite apart from local indebtedness, they would find that with Funded and Unfunded Debt, contingent liabilities, and guaranteed loans this country was at the 837 present moment under a load of liability which nearly approached £1,000,000,000. He thought the provision for the redemption of the Debt was insufficient. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to deal with the expenditure which the House had accepted or would accept. Hon. Gentlemen opposite pretended to have a monopoly of the desire for peace, retrenchment, and reform. That was not so. He could assure them that on his side of the House there were as good advocates of peace, retrenchment, and reform as any that could be found on the other side. He himself felt very considerable apprehension on this matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had shown the right spirit. The Treasury, he believed, was animated by an absolutely correct view of our finances; indeed, he should call this a sound Treasury Budget. The right hon. Gentle-man was so far entitled to credit, but he begged him to persevere in the right direction, to stiffen his back, to set up his upper lip against the Departments, aid to learn to refuse them all they wanted. He begged the right hon. Gentleman to take to heart the example of the Admiralty which had succeeded, they were told, in increasing the efficiency of the Navy while reducing the expenditure by £3,500,000. That was the direction in which they must primarily look. If that direction was successfully pursued then, and then alone, would they get a reduction of debt.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said the debate that afternoon had confined itself to two parts, namely, first, the general indebtness of the country, and, second, the particular manner in which the Exchequer bonds had been created and issued. He did not intend to go at length into the first question, because on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill, or in Committee, there would be better opportunities of dealing with that matter than upon a Resolution. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon stated that in consequence of the failure of the Transvaal to pay the £30,000,000 of indebtedness, his calculation of two years ago of the annual amount that ought to be provided towards the redemption of the Debt had largely broken down. That was to say, the Debt 838 was not, under the present conditions, being redeemed in the way he had intended or desired. In supporting the proposal to give an additional £ 1,000,000' annually to the reduction of debt, he wanted to comment on the fact that many Members on both sides of the House did not consider that this sum ought to be taken as against the £ 30,000,000 which was expected from the Transvaal. Two years ago, even including the £ 30,000,000, they did not consider that the right hon. Gentlemen was making sufficient provision for the reduction of debt. Quite apart from that question, they would support the Chancellor of the Exchequer in adding £ 1,000,000 to the reduction of debt. The figures given by the hon. Member for King's Lynn were of very serious moment to the country. The hon. Member's statement, broadly speaking, amounted to this. The war had cost £ 260,000,000, and, apart from the war cost, our indebtedness was exactly the same now as it was before the war took place. At the present moment we had not redeemed a single million of the charge which the Debt had thrown upon the country. Before the war the debt charge was £ 23,000,000 a year. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon increased that to £ 27,000,000, the increase of £ 4,000,000 representing the interest on the war debt. The charge should have been £ 4,500,000. The total net burden to the taxpayer, quite apart from the question of how much went to the reduction of debt or for interest at the present moment, was only £500,000 a. year more than before the war period.
As to the other point—the issue of Exchequer bonds—he ventured to remark: when the subject was before the House at an earlier period that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was making a mistake in creating a particular sinking fund in respect of these bonds. In his opinion it was a mistake to make appropriations of particular sums to particular purposes. What would happen? It might very well happen that in the next ten years it might be better finance, and more economical, to apply another £ 1,000,000 to the reduction of debt rather than to the redemption of these Exchequer- 839 bonds, and, therefore, he thought it was a pity that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had tied his hands and those of his successors as to the way this £1,000,000 might be applied to the redemption of debt. The right hon. Gentleman's chief argument was that it would prevent some subsequent Chancellor of the Exchequer from robbing the Sinking Fund. He could only say, speaking from the experience of the past, that if they had a predatory Chancellor of the Exchequer nothing would stand in the way of his suspending the Sinking Fund and using it another way. The £10,000,000 of Exchequer bonds had, as had already been shown, been issued.at a price which was very costly to the British taxpayer. The price was 3⅛ per cent., whereas the ordinary credit of the country was very considerably below that sum. That was on account of the particular form in which the bonds had "been issued, namely, for ten years with a liability to be paid at any time within the period. That was a distinctly unattractive form of investment and it accounted for the dearer price we had o pay for interest. There was force in what had been stated by one or two previous speakers, namely, that this was the first time since the days of Pitt that we were actually issuing lottery bonds. Some holders would be fortunate enough to have their bonds drawn earlier than others, who might have to go through the full currency of the bonds. He did not think that was a system which was altogether satisfactory to our modern ideas. We had at the present moment too many forms of bonds and complications in regard to the issue of our Debt, and it was to be regretted that another had been created. It seemed to him to be a step in the wrong direction. He did not think this new form would be very negotiable. The Chancellor of the Exchequer deserved full credit for having added £1,000,000 a year to the sum devoted to the diminution of debt, but he did not seem to have been well advised in regard to the method of issuing the Exchequer bonds.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said he hoped the House would facilitate the progress of these Resolutions, of j which the one they were discussing 840 was only the first on the Paper. There were one or two points raised in the course of the discussion to which it was necessary for him to make some reply. The first was in regard to the amount which was allocated in his Budget proposals for the redemption of the National Debt. That amount must be judged not merely by the intrinsic sum, but by the proportion which it bore to the Debt for the service of which it was appointed. Judged in that way, he thought the sum set aside this year as Sinking Fund would bear comparison with anything that they had bean accustomed to do in recent years. it was not easy to go back further than 1888–89, because in that year great changes were made in the conversion scheme. In that year, which he might call the heyday of the Sinking Fund, the amount available for the redemption of dead-weight debt was £7,577,000, which was 1.19 per cent, of the dead-weight debt. With the addition which he had proposed to the fixed debt charge of £1,000,000 in the current year, the Sinking Fund now amounted to £8,650,000, which was T14 per cent, of the dead-weight charge, and it would, in fact, bear a larger proportion to the dead-weight debt than it had borne in any but two of the whole series of years beginning with 1888–89. Of course, as the Sinking Fund operated to redeem the Debt it automatically reduced the amount required for interest and increased the Sinking Fund available in subsequent years.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon referred to the anticipation which he had entertained of receiving an earlier payment of the Transvaal war contribution. Supposing that anticipation had been realized and £20,000,000 of that contribution had already been paid, that sum would have been devoted to redeeming some of the floating debt that was costing us on the average 3 per cent, per annum, and there would have been £600,000 less required for interest and £600,000 more available for the reduction of debt than there were before he made his proposals to the House. Against that £600,000 he had set his proposal to vote £1,000,000. Whether that was sufficient or insufficient, 841 he was asking the House to do something more than was contemplated by his right hon. friend the Member for Croydon.
§ MR SYDNEY BUXTON
said if the anticipations of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon had been realised, next year the third installment of the contribution would have been paid.
MR. AUSTEN CHAMBEELAIN
said he was dealing with the situation as it was at present. If they were to look forward to another year they must consider what was going to happen in the course of that year. He did not propose this addition to the Sinking Fund in lieu of or as an alternative to the Transvaal war contribution. He thought it would have been wrong to ask the Transvaal to pay that contribution in the circumstances of the past year. The Government thought it would be inexpedient and impolitic to impose by the authority of that House in a purely nominated Assembly an obligation on the Transvaal which they expected the Transvaal voluntarily to assume in its own representative Assembly.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said he was very glad they were all agreed. He would not name a date, but with the returning prosperity of the Transvaal he did not doubt that our fellow-citizens there would make their contribution to the expenses of that great war, and that the contribution would be available, in addition to the effort which he was asking this country to make, for the reduction of the Debt.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
said he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he was able to compare the net diminution of the entire debt of the country in 1888–89 with the net diminution of the entire debt of the country in the present year.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said the figures for 1888–89 were not before him, but he could obtain them if the hon. and learned Gentleman would put a 842 Question on the Paper. The estimate for the special Sinking Fund applicable to the debt outside the fixed debt charge for the year 1905–6 was £1,683,000. If they added that sum to the £8,650,000 included in the fixed debt charge, they would obtain a total of £10,333,000, which was the amount the House was asked to vote in reduction of debt in the current year. In his opinion that was not an inadequate amount for the country to allocates to that purpose in the circumstances of the present time; and he thought that opinion in circles best competent to judge outside that House would support him, not merely in increasing the Sinking Fund, but in the amount of the increase which he had proposed to the House.
The hon. Member for North Monmouth had asked him whether there was any precedent for proceeding with the issue of a loan in circumstances such as those in which the issue of Exchequer bonds was made. There were several precedents for proceeding, before the sanction of the House was complete, at the exact moment at which he had proceeded. In 1901 the Resolution authorising the issue of £60,000,000 of Consols was taken on April 19th, the issue was made on April 20th, the Report of the Committee's Resolution was not taken until April 29th, and the Royal assent was not given until August 17th in the same year. There were obvious reasons, as his fright hon. friend the Member for Croydon had pointed out, why it was frequently desirable to proceed with any issue of this kind as soon as notice of the intention of the Government bad been given. It was no doubt an inconvenience to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Treasury sometimes that they could not proceed at the moment which they themselves would most desire but they were bound to come to the House of Commons before they could invite tenders, and the fact of their having to disclose their intentions to the House of Commons on a particular date, fixed for other reasons, might force them to make an issue at an earlier moment than they would otherwise have chosen. But, be that as it might, the precedent on which he was able to found himself was there.
843 He must say a brief word as to the time and form of the issue. He did not think the time itself was ill-chosen, though he did think the news, over which they had no control and which it is impossible to foresee, which came during the week when the tenders were opened was probably not such as to tend to a favourable result in respect of the issue. As regarded the popularity or unpopularity of the method of drawings, he thought opinion in the City and elsewhere was by no means unanimous. It must be borne in mind that the market for Exchequer bonds was at all times a limited one, and that they were not the kind of security that was very widely held or that appealed to a very large public. But he did not think it was adversely affected to anything like the extent which some hon. Gentlemen appeared to suppose. Investors who tendered for these bonds calculated the price so as to yield them 3 percent, on their money. He thought the result of the issue was not unsatisfactory. "What was the alternative to the course he had taken? He might simply have renewed the Exchequer bonds in the lump for ten years. "Would that have been an altogether satisfactory arrangement? It was an embarrassment to have this large amount of debt falling in in a single year. It necessitated the accumulation of money which they were unable to use in order to be ready to pay off, on the date when the bonds fell due, the whole amount of these bonds. He thought it was more desirable to pay off these bonds by regular annual stages, which would take a million off the market every year without any disturbance either to the market or to the Exchequer.
The hon. Member for Poplar said there was no precedent for such a transaction as this, at any rate since the time of Pitt, and he described the bonds as "lottery" bonds. He did not think the hon. Gentleman seriously suggested that there was a serious element of speculation or gambling in an issue of this kind, but he was quite wrong about the precedent. The precedent had been adopted in at least three cases in recent years in regard to stocks the interest and capital of which this country had guaranteed—a Turkish loan, an Egyptian loan, and a Greek loan, issued under the 844 guarantee of the Government of Great Britain.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
replied that he really could not say what the terms of issue were, but he should say that most likely they were issued at a discount. They appeared to him to be exact precedents—at any rate they were precedents for all the purposes of the criticism which the hon. Gentleman the Member for Poplar urged against his proposal. Of course there was a certain amount of novelty about the proposal. As he admitted when making it to the House, ha had to consider whether it was on the whole the best proposal, or whether he should have submitted some other suggestion. The hon. Member for Poplar seemed to suggest that if he had made other proposals—that if he had issued Consols—he might have borrowed on very much better terms. He did not know whether the hon. Gentleman seriously thought that.
MR, AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said the hon. Member did not mention Consoles, but he mentioned the rate of interest payable on the Funded Debt, contrasted that with the rate of interest payable on these bonds, and said therefore the issue of these bonds was an unbusinesslike transaction. If the hon. Gentleman meant anything he meant that an issue of Consoles would have been a better course to adopt. If he had made a large issue of Consoles, still more, if he had attempted to make a small issue of entirely new stock, he would have depressed the price of Consoles, he would have borrowed upon terms certainly not more advantageous than those he had obtained, he would almost certainly have borrowed further below par, and, therefore, there would have been a larger amount to repay on each £100 of actual money secured than there would be under his present proposal. This system of drawings, though not very frequent in our finance, was very well known to the Money Market, which could 845 easily make its calculations when the amount to be drawn every year was a .simple division of the total sum, as was "the case in the present instance. It calculated the price at which it tendered on the average life of these bonds. This reduced the element of speculation to a minimum, and was not, he thought, open to the accusation, not pressed by the hon. Member for Poplar, but adumbrated by him, that he was really tempting gentlemen in the City to some wild gambling transaction, foreign to their nature, and depraving to the people of this country. He appealed to the House to treat this matter in a businesslike way, and to facilitate the progress of these Resolutions through their present stage. He thought many points they had to discuss would be far more easily discussed when hon. Gentlemen had the Bill in their hands than they could be on the Report of the Resolutions.
§ MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)
said he would not comment upon the particular form of the bonds except to point out that when it was desired to raise £10,000,000 this country had to pay at the rate of 3⅛ per cent. The right hon. Gentleman began his remarks by defending himself and the Government as to the means they had taken under this Resolution for the reduction of the Debt. Looking back on the conduct of the finances during the last twelve years lie (Mr. Buchanan) did not regard that branch of finance as one upon which the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Government could pride themselves. They had enjoyed periods of great prosperity, and latterly of exceptional prosperity, but during both periods they had not shown themselves sufficiently alive to the primary obligations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to look as his first interest to the diminution of the great burden of debt on the State. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol was Chancellor of the Exchequer during a time of great prosperity, and yet was the greatest sinner of the whole lot because he reduced the debt charge by £2,000,000 in order to avoid a deficit. That was one item in the financial career of the Party opposite which least redounded to their financial credit. Then there was the right hon. 846 Gentleman the Member for Croydon who was Chancellor of the Exchequer when the war came to an end, but neither that right hon. Gentleman nor his predecessor nor his successor had ever endeavoured to put before the House and the country any general plan for a substantial reduction of the enormous increase of the Debt caused by that war. There was a strong opinion in the country that it would have been well to have allowed a large amount of the increased taxation due to the war to have remained upon the shoulders of the taxpayers if they could have been assured by those administering the finances of the country that it was to be kept upon their shoulders with a view to making within a reasonably short period a substantial diminution in the war debt. But on that general topic there would be a better opportunity on the Second Reading of the finance Bill of taking up the challenge of the right hon. Gentleman.
There was an obvious fallacy in the comparisons made by the right hon. Gentleman in his statement of what he was doing with regard to the reduction of the National Debt. The proportion of dead-weight debt to the total debt of the country was much larger than in former years, and a comparison founded upon the proportion of the dead-weight debt to the total debt was not a comparison with the reduction of the National Debt as a whole. When they desired to make a comparison between themselves and their predecessors of twenty-five or fifty years ago he ventured to think the legitimate form of comparison was to see how much the taxpayer has been prepared to take upon his shoulders as the debt charge from year to year with a view to the reduction of the National Debt as a whole. He had not been quite able to follow the right hon. Gentleman in the comparison he made between what he was doing now under this Resolution and what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon proposed two years ago, because supposing the anticipations of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon had been fulfilled the position would have been a very different one. The right hon. Member for Croydon anticipated that they would get bask £30,000,000 from the Transvaal, so that in January, 1906, they 847 would have had £30,000,000 wiped off the National Debt, and have had a debt charge remaining at £20,000,030. So far as the present position was concerned they would have £1,000,000 wiped off the Debt instead of £30,000,000, and would have a debt charge of £28,000,000. Had the anticipations of the right hon. Member for Croydon been fulfilled they would have been in an immeasurably better position than could now be the case. It had not, he thought, been pointed out how small the amount was by which it was proposed to reduce the National Debt. £160,000,000 had been added to the Debt for the cost of the war, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to wipe off £10,000,000 only in ten years. That was all that was proposed to be done with a view to the extinction of this extra debt. The right hon. Gentleman at the end of his observations indulged in the hope or anticipation that, after all, some day we might get this £30,000,000 from the Transvaal, but as time went on that hope became more slender, and he (Mr. Buchanan) did not think anybody now looked upon it as a real asset to be depended on by this country. It was summed up in the words of a proverb well known north of the Tweed:" You canna tak the breeks aff a Hielanman." They could not get money out of the Transvaal, and he would be a foolish person who, administering the finances of this country, ever anticipated getting money from that source.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said the calculations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer were based altogether on the assumption that no obligation lay on this country to redeem the war debt. Those who could remember the discussions which took place at the commencement of the war would remember that the then Chancellor of the Exchequer the right hon. Member for West Bristol declared that this country ought to make provision to clear off altogether any debt incurred for the war in South Africa.
§ MR. DILLON
said it was then assumed that the war would only cost £10,000,000, but in the discussion which took place 848 upon the raising of that £10,000,000 the-right hon. Gentlemen's remarks were not directed to the £10,000,000, but to the debt incurred for the cost of the war. The war turned out to be a very different war to what was anticipated by the right hon. Member for West Bristol. His statements and his convictions were-perfectly honest, but they were based on false information just in the same way as were the hopes held out for the twentieth time of obtaining this money from the Transvaal. The principles laid down by the right hon. Member for West Bristol had no application to the £10,000,000 loan, but to the debt due to the war, and it was his conviction that it was the duty of this country to make a special effort to deal with it. That was essential to the credit of this country.
He had listened with amazement to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's justification of the provision he had made for the reduction of the National Debt. After a great war, when an immense deficit had; been made for this country, the right hon. Gentleman thought he was justified if he made a provision not to reduce the extra war debt, but a provision one third less than that which had been made in times of peace before the war. It was a new principle and a principle which struck a most deadly blow at the credit of Great Britain. To a large extent the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, he thought, closed his eyes to the opinion in regard to the credit of this country. The present low price of Consoles was a sign of the diseased state of public health. It was inflicting loss on every interest in the country and was inflicting a most grievous burden on the constituency he represented. It was. inflicting a loss which would amount to millions. The first duty of the State was to raise the price of Consols, and if steps were taken to make a special attempt to redeem the war debt the most proper and effectual way would, in his opinion, be by a purchase of Consols on the market. He was bound to protest against the provision made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the reduction of the Debt, because it was, in his opinion, a most inadequate provision for extinguishing the war debt.
His second [criticism was [that the-Chancellor of the Exchequer had almost 849 ignored the growing operation of the new system of extraordinary budgets for naval and military works. In making comparisons between he proportions existing at the present time and in 1890 between the Sinking Fund and the volume of the Debt, one ought not to leave out of account that new system of special budgets which was unknown until the introduction of Works Bills, and which had been frequently denounced by older And sounder financiers as characteristic of the Budgets of European nations. It had always been contended that to understand the position of European .countries so long and elaborate a study of the national finances was necessary that it was practically impossible for any others than experts and persons behind the scenes to know how the country stood, whereas in the case of England, through the action of a long series of great financiers, the accounts bad been so simplified that "the man in the street," with no special knowledge of finance, could take up the financial statement and understand exactly the position. During the last fifteen years, however, that had ceased to be the case. As a senior Member of the House, in sitting through financial discussions, he had noticed that the majority of Members were absolutely ignorant as to the financial obligations of the country. At first the Naval and Military Works Acts were for small sums—£3,000,000 or £4,000,000—which, it was said, ought to be spent as capital expenditure, and Members who protested against the beginnings of the system and prophesied that it would expand in an astounding manner were laughed at by the Ministers in charge of the Bills. From that time they had gone on expanding, until now there was in full force the system of extraordinary budgets. Moreover, when the Bills were for small amounts they were introduced early in the session, and ample time was given for their discussion; now, although they increased the debt of the country by £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 a year, they were brought in towards the end of the session when anything like adequate discussion was impossible. He altogether denied that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was setting aside £10,000,000 for the reduction of debt. As far as he could make out, there would 850 be no reduction of debt this year at all. because there was being as much borrowed as paid off. What satisfaction was it to the British taxpayer to introduce the ridiculous expression "capital expenditure?" It was debt all the same, aid the charges had to be met. The permanent works carried out under Works Bills were said to be assets of the nation, bat that was not so. The only asset which could be set against borrowing was one bringing in revenue, and, so far from doing that, naval and military works were excuses for and causes of further expenditure, as once the works were constructed further expenditure was demanded for guns, garrisons, and other matters. Under the present system the Sinking Fund was illusory. There was really no Sinking Fund; the debt of the nation was practically not decreasing at all.
With regard to the Transvaal contribution towards the cost of the war, it would be interesting to know whether the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol still believed we should get the £30,000,000. Two or three years ago the right hon. Gentleman expressed in very strong terms his determination to see that £30,000,000 paid. But if it was just to impose the £30,000,000 then why was not security taken for its payment? Personally, he had always expressed his belief that it was unjust to impose the contribution, and that none of it would be obtained, and many Members were now beginning to see that he was a truer prophet than they had thought. He saw little prospect of the money being paid, and as years went on he believed the chances of payment would still further diminish. Would it not be more honest, and wiser from the point of view of Imperial policy, for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to draw his pen across this £30,000,000, and not leave it to be a bone of contention in the future. Possibly hon. Members had read General Botha's opinion in that morning's Times, Already the £30,000,000 was becoming a great national issue in the Transvaal, and to say that there would be any more probability of getting the money from the new Council was preposterous. He rejoiced to hear the statement of the 851 Chancellor of the Exchequer that it would have been wrong and impolitic to impose this contribution on the Transvaal by the nominated Council and the authority of this House. That was the view he himself held four years ago, and he believed the statement of the right hon. Gentleman would create a profound impression in the Transvaal. If it was wrong and impolitic to impose the contribution by a nominated Council, how could the right hon. Gentleman defend its imposition by a semi-nominated Council and a Government not responsible to the people? Could not the House see that they were giving General Botha and his friends a most popular cry and a great platform on which to demand real self-government for the Transvaal? They would naturally demand that the matter should be left to the free voice of the people, and it was well known what that voice would be. He regarded that £30,000,000 as gone. Those who looked forward to a peaceful and contented South Africa would do well to drop the question before they were forced to do so by a popular agitation, and he suggested it would be more honest for the Chancellor of the Exchequer now, and in the future, when providing for the payment of debt to make no further allusion to a contribution from the Transvaal.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
said it was obvious that the financial arrangements of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been disturbed by the non-payment of the £30,000,000 by the Transvaal. It was unnecessary to enter into details, but the matter having been left to the new Council, four-fifths- of which would be elected, it was impossible to understand how any human being could imagine that the people of the Transvaal could be so generous as to vote £30,000,000 for this country. Would it not be more straightforward for everyone to admit that it was hopeless to expect to get any part of that £30,000,000 for the relief of the Debt of this country? If the money could be obtained from those who made the war it would be a different story; nothing would give him more profound satisfaction, but that was out of the question. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer said he bad been led by the statements of Lord Milner 852 to anticipate the payment of the first £10,000,000 last year."
§ MR. RITCHIE
What I said was that in addition to the representations made to my Department, I most carefully studied all the despatches from Lord Milner, and I came to the conclusion that,, according to his reports, the Transvaal would be in a position to pay the whole £30,000,000 at the times stated.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman followed up that series of reports by reading the Blue-books containing the falsification of almost every prediction of Lord Milner. All the predictions which had been made in regard to the war had proved 40 or 50 per cent. out. He presumed that Lord Milner was advised by some of the officials around him, but there never had been anything more remarkable than the entire falsification of the predictions contained in the dispatches of Lord Milner in 1903.
Since the year 1899 the direct debt of all kinds in this country had increased from £635,000,000 to £796,000,000. That was the first effect, but the second was that they were now paying off far less debt than before. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had displayed great skill in handling figures, but the broad point to be considered was how much richer on capital account was the country at the end of the year 1899 than it was at the beginning; and how much richer would it be at the end of this year on capital account to what it was at the beginning. How much of the total debt had been paid off and not renewed? They wanted to know the net diminution. The Chancellor of the-Exchequer had taken the year 1898–9 to compare with this year. He believed in that year they paid off £7,000,000 of net liabilities, and that was the net diminution on capital account. At the end of this year they would not diminish their net liabilities by more than £1,900,000. 'It should not be forgotten that they had a much greater Debt in consequence of I the war, and yet they were paying it off at an absurdly low rate. That was the j real reason why Consols were down, and j that was the cause of the present position of British credit. One thing had always struck him, and that was 853 that the real point was nearly always forgotten or else not mentioned. A late Chancellor of the Exchequer anticipated that £10,000,000 would be the cost of the war in South Africa, but it endel in costing £230,000,000. It was the same story in regard to Somaliland and Tibet; therefore he thought they ought to be a little less credulous in regard to the information given to them. Until they were really prepared, without regard to influences of any sort or kind, to deal with the expenditure upon the Army and Navy, and until they had the courage to deal with both, it was no use asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make more provision for paying off debt. The real remedy lay in the House of Commons taking a closer interest and devoting its earnest attention to finance. Why had they not got the Committee, -which was recommended by the House some time ago, to examine all the items of expenditure, with power to call witnesses, in order to keep some check upon this extravagance, which would lower the credit of this country unless it was stopped?
§ MR KEARLEY (Devonport)
said they had just heard the important statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, in his judgment, it would be quite improper to exact this war contribution from the Transvaal. He thought it would help them considerably in this matter if they could have the views of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol on this question, because the House of Commons sooner or later would have to either enforce or abandon this war contribution of £30,000,000. The statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a most momentous one.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I have not added anything to what I said in my Budget statement when I spoke of the impossibility of exacting this contribution by our authority in a nominated Assembly, which is absolutely moribund and foreign to the people, at a moment when a new representative Council is being formed. If I said anything to convey the impression which my words have had on the hon. Member then it was quite inadvertent.
§ MR. KEARLEY
said that he understood what the right hon. Gentleman meant was that at this particular juncture it would not be wise to make any special effort to get the money for this war contribution. That did not dispose of the fact that the £30,000,000 was still in question. There was a growing impression that we were not going to get that £30,000,000, and it was no good playing hide-and-seek in the matter. If they did not anticipate obtaining it, it would be far better to own up to it. He; did not think there was a strong disposition in this country to endeavour to get that money. He hoped that before the debate closed the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol would intervene, for his intervention at this moment would be most opportune.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I am not disposed to respond to the invitation of the hon. Member opposite, because I do not think that this is a proper time to discuss this question. I must say, however, that it does seem to me rather strange that hon. Members opposite should devote themselves to finding fault with the Chancellor of the Exchequer because, in their opinion, he makes no sufficient provision for the reduction of our Debt, and then, almost in the same breath, should do their best to persuade the Transvaal that we do not expect to get this £30,000,000. I think the less said upon this matter at this moment the better. I have never expressed to the House or the country, any more than I think my successors have done, any opinion that a war contribution could be exacted from the Transvaal unless it could be paid out of the mining wealth of the Transvaal. The moment has not come when the mines of the Transvaal are in a position to pay that war contribution. When that moment does come, as we have some reason to anticipate it must come before very long, then a very considerable revenue from mining rights will be received by the Transvaal Government. Then I say, as I have said before, that in my opinion this debt ought to be paid, and I hope nothing will be said in this House, either by the Government or by hon. Members opposite, which will convey to the Transvaal the idea that the people of this 855 country have not a right to ask for this war contribution.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Falkirk Burghs)
said they had from the mouth of the mining magnates themselves the most emphatic testimony that the Transvaal would be perfectly able to pay the £30,000,000 if British rule were established in the Transvaal. Mr. Henry Hays Hammond, the eminent mining engineer, who was the greatest authority on this subject, had calculated that the substitution of British rule for the rule of President Kruger, the abolition of the dynamite monopoly, and the free importation of labour would mean a having to the mineowners of £4,800,000 j per annum, a sum sufficient to pay both the interest and the principal on £100,000,000, which was the sum he had
§ always maintained the Transvaal ought to pay. On behalf of hon. Members on his side of the House he protested against anything being said which would militate against the chances of this country getting the £30,000,000 repaid. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, stated most emphatically in the House that the Transvaal would be able to pay the £30,000,000 from the mining profits. It was a mistake for the Government not to have insisted on payment in connection with the granting of the new Constitution.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 191; Noes, 102. (Division List No. 147.)857
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim, S.||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Hope, J. F(Sheffield, Brightside|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hornby, Sir William Henry|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Davenport, William Bromley||Hoult, Joseph|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Dickson, Charles Scott||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hudson. George Bickersteth|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt.Hn.Sir H.||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Hunt, Rowland|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Duke, Henry Edward||Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fergusson, Rt.Hn.Sir J.(Manc'r||Kenyon, Hon.Geo.T.(Denbigh)|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Kenyon-Slaney.Rt.Hon.Col.W.|
|Balfour, Rt.Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Finlay, Sir R B (Inv'rn'ss B'ghs||Kerr, John|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fisher, William Hayes||Knowles, Sir Lees|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Bartley, Sir George G. T.||Flower, Sir Ernest||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Forster, Henry William||Lawson, Hn. H.L.W (Mile End)|
|Beach,Rt.Hn.SirMichael Hicks||Galloway, William Johnson||Lawson, John Grant(Yorks.NR|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Garfit, William||Lee, Arthur H.(Hants,Fareham|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bigwood, James||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Leveson-Gower, FrederickN.S.|
|Bingham, Lord||Gordon, Hn.J.EfElgin&Nairn)||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gordon, Maj Evans (T'rH'mlets||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||Long, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol, S.|
|Bowles,Lt.-Col H.F(Middlesex)||Gorst Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bowles, T.Gibson (King'sLynn)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Brassey, Albert||Graham, Henry Robert||Macdona, John Gumming|
|Krodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Gretton, John||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Butcher, John George||Hall, Edward Marshall||M'lver, SirLewis(EdinburghW.|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.J.A(Glasgow)||Hamilton, Marq.of(L'nd'nd'rry||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hardy,Laurence(Kent,Ashford||Malcolm, Ian|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Marks, Harry Hananel|
|Cavendish, V.C.W(Derbyshire)||Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th)||Maxwell, W.J. H.(Dumfriesshire|
|Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.J.A.(Worc.||Haslam. Sir Alfred S.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley||Milvain, Thomas|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Heath, Sir James (StaffordsNW||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Coddington, Sir William||Helder, Augustus||Montagu, Hon. J Scott (Hants.)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Tuff, Charles|
|Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Tuffnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Turnour, Viscount|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E H (Sheffield)|
|O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir William H|
|Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)||Samuel, Sir Harry S(Limehouse||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Parker, Sir Gilbert||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos.Myles||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Welby, Lt.-Col.A.C.E (Taunton|
|Percy Earl||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Pilkington, Colonel Richard||Sloan, Thomas Henry||Whiteley, H.(Ashton und.Lyne|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Spear, John Ward||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Stanley,Edward Jas.(Somerset)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Stanley, Rt.Hon. Lord(Lancs.)||Wilson-Todd,Sir W.H. (Yorks.)|
|Pryce- Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Purvis, Robert||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Wodehouse,Rt,Hn.E.R., (Bath|
|Randles, John S.||Stock, James Henry||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Ratcliff, R. F.||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine||Talbot, Rt.Hn J.G(Oxf dUniv.|
|Ridley, S. Forde||Thornton, Percy M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia|
|Ritehie, Rt. Hon Chas. Thomson||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Roberts, Samuel Sheffield)||Tritton Charles Ernest.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Helme, Norval Watson||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Allen, Charles P.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Ambrose, Robert||Higham, John Sharp||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Holland, Sir William Henry||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Black, Alexander William||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Rose, Charles Day|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Horniman, Frederick John||Runciman, Walter|
|Brigg, John||Hutchinson, Dr.CharlesFredk.||Russell, T. W.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Jacoby, James Alfred||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Burt, Thomas||Johnson, John||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, Leif S. (Appleby)||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lambert, George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Slack, John Bamford|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Levy, Maurice||Spencer,Rt.Hn.C.R,(Northants|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Lloyd-George, David||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Cremer, William Randal||Lundon, W.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Lyell, Charles Henry||Thomas,DavidAlfred(Merthyr)|
|Delany, William||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Tomkinson, James|
|Devlin, Jofeph (Kilkenny, N.)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Toulmin, George|
|Dillon, John||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Wallace, Robert|
|Doogan, P. C.||Mooney, John J.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Edwards, Frank||Moss, Samuel||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Emmott, Alfred||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||0'Brien,Kendal(Tipperary,Mid||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|Findlay, AlexanderLanark.NE||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Gladstone.Rt.Hn.HerbertJohn||O'Connor, James (Wicklow.W.)||Wills.Arthur Walters(N.Dorset|
|Grant, Corrie||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Grey. Rt. Hon.Sir E. (Berwick)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. J. H. Whitley and Mr. John Wilson (Falkirk)|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Parrott, William|
|Harcourt, Lewis||Partington, Oswald|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Harwood, George||Price, Robert John|
Motion made, and Question, "That the Debate be now adjourned,"—(Lord Stanley)—put, and agreed to.