HC Deb 23 March 1906 vol 154 cc742-803

Order for Second Reading, read.

MR. SUTHERLAND (Elgin Burghs)

said that in moving the Second Reading of the Land Values Taxation (Scotland) Bill he craved the indulgence and forbearance of the House. The title of the Bill had been considerably altered from that which had been originally presented to the House. That arose in this way. He had intended to include counties within the scope of the Bill, and also to empower local authorities to acquire compulsorily land at a fair value for public purposes. But, after consideration, it was thought that the embodiment of such clauses would over-burden the Bill, while it was also stated that some of them might be incompetent; therefore he had limited this Bill to what was known as the Glasgow Bill. By doing so they could get a straight issue on which to debate the principle of the taxation of land values. The principle of the Bill had been supported by no fewer than 550 municipalities, by the Prime Minister in his recent speech in the Albert Hall, by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and by the Lord-Advocate for Scotland. Here he might be allowed to say that, as a Scotsman, he tendered his sincere congratulations to the right hon. Gentleman on his appointment to the distinguished position of Lord Advocate, and on his making his first appearance in a Scottish debate; and he expressed the hope that the right hon. Gentleman would have a brilliant career in his new office. This House had affirmed the principle of this measure in the last Parliament by a majority of twenty. Without wishing to be offensive he might be permitted to say that in this reformed House of Commons there would be a much greater majority in favour of the Bill than on the last occasion on which it was presented to the House. Roughly speaking, the Bill provided for the separate valuation of sites and for the imposition of a rate not exceeding 2s. per £1 on site values. Clause 7 provided for the taxation of feu duties by the method of granting a right of relief to the person liable in payment of the feu duty against the person entitled to receive payment. That seemed to him to form the main scope of the Bill. He did not presume to think in asking the House to assent to the Second Reading of this Bill that every hon. Member would agree with every detail in it, but he hoped that they would agree with its main principle—which was the taxation of land values. It met the needs of municipalities—needs not created by extravagance, but imposed upon them by the growing, necessi- ties of the case; by the rise in the standard of comfort and civilisation which had increased, was increasing, and was likely to increase—by discovering new sources of revenue. To many municipal corporations it appeared that no more fitting subject of taxation could be found than the property which derived so much of its value from municipal expenditure. They knew that in the past expenditure had generally proceeded along the line of land tenure. Not to go too far back, they were aware that a tax of 4s. in the £ was imposed on the land in order to maintain the functions of government. However, it had come to pass that the landowner had slipped out of his obligation, and had transferred that burden to the shoulders of others. He maintained that there was a fundamental distinction between the site of a house and the structure. The house depreciated in value unless expenditure was incurred in keeping it in a state of repair; but the site remained, and it appreciated in value by the presence and the expenditure of the community. When rents increased it was not because the value of the building had increased, but because the value of the site had increased. It was locality, therefore, which gave the site its value. If a man had his house burned down it took him no more to rebuild it than it did to build the original house. Now he held that one of the effects of this Bill, if put into operation, would be to kill land speculation. In New South Wales, by the imposition of a two shilling tax on the annual rent of land values, land speculation had been killed. At the present moment vacant land in this country contributed practically little or nothing in taxation to the community. Take the case of a man who bought two pieces of land each of the same value. On the one buildings were erected, and the other he left vacant. On the first he paid taxes, on the second he paid nothing; but the value of the second was continually being increased by the expenditure of his neighbours and of the municipal corporation. That was a tax on industry. The more a man did to make his house valuable, the more he had to pay for his energy and enterprise in upholding the machinery of municipal government; while the man who held up his land got off scot-free. And then, when the owner of the vacant land let it out in feu, he took the law into his own hand and contracted himself out of all liability by saying that the feuar should pay all the taxation on the property. A great deal had been said about the unearned increment. It was not right to say that it was unearned; it was unearned as far as the landlord was concerned, but not as far as the community was concerned. Some who were in favour of the principle of this Bill thought that the whole amount of what was called the unearned increment ought to go to the benefit of the local rates that was to say that the whole unearned increment should be appropriated by the community. That was not the case with the present Bill. The Bill merely proposed that a rate not exceeding two shillings in the pound should be levied in addition to the ordinary rates on the holder of the land. Take a case in point. When the municipality of Portobello proposed to expend a certain amount of money in public improvement, rents in the neighbourhood were increased by £5,000. It seemed to him and those who agreed with him, that the consumer of land values, who in the case mentioned was the owner of the land, ought to pay his fair share of taxation. The hon. Member for Holborn had given notice of an Amendment to the Second Reading of the Bill setting forth that a satisfactory reform of the present system of local taxation must be arrived at, not by piecemeal and partial treatment, but by such legislation as would secure fair and equitable results to all classes of the community. The position taken up by the hon. Member for Holborn reminded him of the remark of the late President Lincoln, that he generally found that the man who protested that he would shed the last drop of his blood in defence of his country was amazingly particular about the first drop. It had been pointed out that there was an inequitable distribution of taxation on personal and heritable property. That question did not come within the scope of the measure now under consideration; but he had no doubt that if the hon. Gentleman who brought that matter before the House of Commons last year introduced a Bill on the subject, those on the Ministerial side of the House would be found willing to support it. It was pointed out that there were other things besides land which got the benefit of the expenditure of the community, such as gas-works, water-works, and tramways. In the first place most of those were already municipalised, and rightly so. They occupied a totally different position from the land. Where those enterprises were not municipalised, so soon as exorbitant charges were imposed so soon was there competition. That could not be the case in regard to land. It had been argued by an hon. Member that it might be for the ultimate good of the community if a vacant site was kept back from occupation for twenty or thirty years—that the community would then reap an immense benefit. It was easy to reduce that argument to an absurdity and say that it would be still better if the land was kept back from occupation for 200 or 300 years. Again, it had been argued that to put a tax on unoccupied land would not cheapen sites for workmen's houses. But, he insisted, experience went quite contrary to that argument; it had been proved that by putting a tax on unoccupied land a great deal of it must necessarily come into the market by easy and natural stages. If that was not the case, it was useless on the part of hon. Gentleman opposite to oppose this measure. Another question dealt with by the Bill was the very important one of the taxation of feu duties. He held very emphatically that feu duties acquired their value from the presence of the community, and so ought in justice to contribute to the burdens of the community. They depended for their existence on the continuance of the community, and without the community the ground would not be worth the feu duty. The ground was not the security for the feu duty; it required also the house that might be built upon it to make it of value. The feu duty was not the interest on a mortgage with the land as security any more than rent was the interest on a bond with the house as security. In the case of interest on mortgages the subject of the mortgage might be redeemed. It was not so in the case of a feu duty or house property. By stress of circumstances there might be a chance of purchasing the feu duty, but there was no inherent right to do so. Feu duty was undoubtedly rent, and as such ought to bear its fair share of the burdens which other rents had to bear, It was argued that the clause should not have a retrospective effect. There might be a legitimate difference of opinion with regard to that, but it was a matter, he should say, for discussion in Committee. All he asked the House now to do was to assent to the principle of the Bill. Coming to the question of contract between the landlord and feuar, he would ask whether the parties to the contract were free agents. All monopolies were bad, but surely there was no kind of monopoly worse than land monopoly. Did the landlord and feuar meet on equal terms? If they did, then let them assume that the feu duty was rent. In that case the feuar was asked in many cases to pay from 50 per cent. to 100 per cent. more than the usual rent. They knew the fate of those who went into courts of law to try and get interest at that rate. How was it that when a contract was entered into, the proprietor always managed to contract himself out of all obligations with reference to local rates, and that the whole burden had to be borne by the feuar? Surely no one would tell him that there was freedom of contract there. It was stated that there would be a violent interference with existing contracts by making the clause have a retrospective effect. He would, however, point to the crofters' legislation, and to the whole trend of Irish legislation on the land question, which had been so amply justified by experience. Surely the words of the Prime Minister, speaking in 1903 in the House, meant that in his opinion existing contracts were not altogether so safe and sacrosanct as was represented. He had heard one or two gentlemen deride the idea that there was no freedom of contract between the superior and the feuar. At the present moment the north-east of Scotland was greatly excited, because one of its public boards wanted a bit of land on which to build a school, and the condition laid down was that unless the building was reserved for all time for that purpose, no matter what legislation might ensue, the land would not be granted. Yet they talked of freedom of contract. Everyone knew that towns were not allowed to extend in the direction wanted, because of the difficulty of acquiring land on reasonable terms. One of the land associations of the north of Scotland was protesting against the passing of the measure. A few years ago the Corporation of Aberdeen erected a bridge across the Dee, where that association had 180 acres of land. The corporation erected a bridge giving access to that particular ground, and enabling it to be feued by the land association. The bridge cost somewhere about £25,000, the land associations contributed merely £3,000 or £4,000; and yet, when the Harbour Commissioners of Aberdeen wanted to purchase 8½ acres of the land, which had been made so valuable by the erection of the bridge, they were charged he less than £56,000, although the annual rental on the valuation roll was only £444. The same commissioners had to get 4¾ acres of ground adjacent, belonging to another landlord, and they were mulcted in a sum of £29,900, although the rental on the valuation roll was only £32 10s. 0d. If they did not go in for the principle of the taxation of land values, he put it to the House whether they should not have something like municipal death duties. Those men who reaped so much out of the energy and expenditure of the community should be made to return a fair proportion to the community. He understood that his hon. friend the Member for Preston was to propose an Amendment to the Motion for the Second Reading of this Bill. The name of his hon. friend was associated in the public mind with the powerful advocacy of Cobdenite principles. What was it that Cobden said with regard to the land laws? He said— I warn Ministers, I warn landowners and the aristocracy of this country against forcing upon the attention of the middle and industrious classes the subject of taxation. For great as I consider the grievance of the protective system, mighty as I consider the fraud and injustice of the Corn Laws, I verily believe that if you were to bring forward the history of taxation in this country for the last one hundred and fifty years you would find as black a record against the landowners as even the Corn Law itself. He did not say that this Bill would re-dress all the grievances which Mr. Cobden had in his mind, but he believed it was a step in that direction. He believed the Bill would have a marked effect upon that class of men who did so much against the best interests of the country, that class known as the slum landlords. The people of Ireland had been working out their own solution of their land question; they in Scotland might not have their wit, eloquence, and imagination, but they were as fully alive to the evils of their land system and were as fully determined that they should be grappled with. It would not do that on this question the minimum of performance should follow the maximum of promise. He appealed to the House to assent to the principle of the Bill by giving it its Second Reading and so to do some measure of justice to the populations of their great towns. He was certain that the Government would be no party to disregarding the authoritative voice of the 550 municipalities which advocated the passing of the measure. He begged to move.

MR. LAIDLAW (Renfrewshire, E.)

said he had two reasons for seconding the Motion. The first was that his predecessor in the representation of East Renfrew moved the Second Reading last session, and the second was that his constituents were very deeply interested in the matter because it closely touched their relations in and with the city of Glasgow. In the debate which took place last session the Corporation of Glasgow was twitted with not being able to find a representative of its own to plead its cause in this House. True at that time Glasgow was misrepresented and not represented; its then representatives were largely concerned in the landed interest; to-day they represented the people. Last year the Bill was opposed by hon. Members to whom the status quo was everything; those Gentlemen were no longer Members of the House, and not a single Scottish representative who took an active part in opposing last year's Bill had secured re-election to Parliament. He did not intend to discuss the details of this intricate question. Others who would follow—life long students of the subject—were much more able to do so than he; but he yielded to none in his profound conviction as to the need for such a measure as the Bill under discussion. He was strongly fortified in that conviction by the fact that the Town Council of Glasgow, one of the best governed cities in the Empire, was almost to a man in favour of it, and that there were no less than 550 municipalities in Great Britain and Ire- land supporting the Bill. Further, at least sixty of the seventy-two hon. Members who now represented Scotland were in favour of it. The people of Scotland (except the happy possessors of the land) were for it. A Royal Commission on the Housing of the Working Classes in 1885, reported in favour of a measure of this kind, and lastly a Tory Government last session allowed this very Bill to pass its Second Reading. He approached this question from a tenants' standpoint, and as one who held that all men had equal rights in the land. What was this measure designed to effect? Broadly, it was to prevent the squeezing of the poor man by the land monopolist. He supported the Bill for two reasons—firstly, because it would give labour and industry a more just share of their own earnings, and secondly, it would bring idle land into the market, especially in the belt on which all our great cities must expand. Most hon. Members had heard of the Old Scotch Pumps. These pumps were placed for the refreshment of weary travellers, who, however, were put to very great exertions in the effort to obtain a refreshing drink. The expenditure of a great deal of labour produced very small results, so far as the traveller himself was concerned, and the secret was that the pumps were so arranged that for every drop of water he drew for himself, a gallon went up to the big house on the hill. This aptly illustrated the position of most of their great industries as well as the position of every labouring man who rented a cottage or a tenement throughout Scotland. Their present system of putting all the burdens on the buildings bore hard on all classes, and hardest of all on the poorest, for the man with the smallest income paid most relatively for rent and rates. It pressed on labour, skilled and unskilled. It pressed on industry, trade, and commerce, and even science and art did not escape the pressure. The rent of the meanest cottage and the rent of the workshop were at once advanced, and the workman was hit twice—aye, hit three times. The landlord took more rent, the collector demanded more rates, and the employer gave smaller wages, because, his rent and rates being higher, he could not pay more. The shop, the warehouse, the merchant's office, the professional man's rent all went up because the owner of the land on which they lived and worked took advantage of their natural wish—their necessity in many cases—to remain where they were, and where they had, by years of toil, created for themselves comfortable homes and good surroundings, when they had provided themselves at great expense with good sanitation, a pure water supply, well lit streets, and much else that went to make life, even in great cities, worth living. No sooner had this been done than a gentleman of unlimited leisure swooped down and demanded in the shape of increased ground rent nine-tenths of the fruits of all their efforts. It was said that seventy men owned one half of Scotland. Half a-dozen of them held most of the golden zone which surrounded the city of Glasgow. They were good men in their ways. He did not blame them for taking the best price they could get for their land or for holding it back when they saw a prospect of doing better five or ten years hence. He did the same himself when he had anything of value to sell. They did not blame the men; they blamed the system and they wanted to alter it. Land fetching £2 per acre for the grazing of cattle fetched £40 to £200 when wanted for the shelter of men, and anything up to £500,000 when the buyer was cornered. The present Lord Advocate, in supporting this Bill last session, quoted instances in Scotland where eighty-six, 136, and 435 years' purchase had had to be paid to private individuals for land in Scotland when wanted for public purposes. A Bill like this in force would create such competition amongst sellers as would save the State from having to pay such exorbitant rates. He would like to quote one or two concrete cases from Glasgow. When the Cathcart School Board wanted the use of land to erect a public school, the price rose from £2 10s. per acre per annum to £ 100 per acre per annum. The Glasgow Social Union, who resolved to build houses for the working classes, had to pay for the ground they occupied at the rate of £4,440 per acre or over £200 per acre per annum, while the Corporation paid £43,500 for 43½ acres between the River Clyde and Rutherglen Road, as an addition to the Glasgow Green—£1,000 per acre. £43,500 for permission to convert a swamp into a recreation ground! The Corporation, over a hundred years ago, sold the site upon which the Glasgow municipal buildings stand for 2s. 8d. per square yard, or some £800 in all. When the Corporation bought this same site back, some twenty years ago, they had to pay £175,000—equal to £35 16s. per square yard. There were other instances he might cite, but surely these were sufficient. What was proposed by this Bill was not an untried experiment. In New Zealand no fewer than sixty rating districts had adopted the taxation of land values for local purposes, with the most beneficent results, and he could quote the testimony of competent authorities on that point. In New South Wales, in Queensland, in South Australia, in New York, in Canada, and in Japan steps were being or had been taken in the same direction. He would briefly refer to some of the objections that had been urged against the Bill. The House was told last session that the landowners before they were able to feu were obliged to lay out large sums of money in the preparation of plans for houses, in roadways, on drainage, and in other ways. He had made careful inquiries and he found that this was very far from being the case anywhere in Scotland. There might be occasional instances where that was done, but it was only in cases where the landlord found that he had a prospect of getting back a pound for the shilling he laid out. The second argument constantly urged was the widows' and orphans' argument. They were told it would be very hard on those who had invested their small savings in ground rents. But a measure of this kind would benefit a hundred widows for every one it would injure, because they would be as eager as anyone else to have their rates reduced. With regard to trust funds invested the persons interested would suffer no greater injury than holders of Consols suffered when Mr. Goschen reduced the interest from 3 to 2½ per cent. He would not attempt to answer all the arguments constantly urged against this measure, because that could be better done by those who would follow him. It was sometimes said that if a new source of revenue was put within the reach of a municipality it would greatly encourage them in extravagance. It would encourage them in useful enterprises, in the cheapening of trams to the country, the pulling down of old slums and the making of open air spaces, and should they be tempted to use this source of income for wasteful purposes, a chord of public opinion would be struck which would not fail to be vocal. It was not intended to increase the revenue. What was put upon the land would be taken off improvements. In 1850 the gross rental of Glasgow was £1,017,362. In 1890 it was £4,952,960, an increase of £78,000 per annum, or 386 per cent. in fifty years. What the promoters of this Bill desired, what they were aiming at, was to make it possible for a workman to have a better house for £8 a year than he was now able to get for £16. They wanted him to have it where his wife and children could have fresh air and decent surroundings, instead of in the slums, where the owners of the land would not keep their horses or dogs. Intemperance was said to be the chief cause of this condition of affairs. It was no doubt one of the causes, but the cruel wrong arising from the fact that our people were shut out from the land fell alike upon the just and the unjust. We had now cheap transit in the large cities, and if land could be obtained at a moderate price the condition of affairs would be speedily altered. Men were holding the land with an iron grip, and it must be the object of Parliament to slacken that grip. They wanted to make it as unprofitable to keep idle land as it was to keep an idle horse. He did not object to a man having two or three millions a year—what would some of our charities do without them?—nor did he mind men having large incomes so long us they were honestly earned by the exercise of superior strength or skill, but he did object to accumulations of great wealth at one end of the scale which entailed accumulations of misery and wretchedness at the other. If we had unemployed at the top we must have unemployed at the bottom. If there were fewer millionaires we would be troubled with fewer subscription lists. He appealed to the House not to reject this measure. It was, he thought, needless to make any appeal to the Prime Minister, who had both inside and outside the House expressed himself strongly in favour of the principle of this Bill. No doubt the Bill would also have the effective support of the Lord Advocate. He appealed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because if this Bill appealed to any one it should be the Chancellor of the Exchequer. All they asked was that he would show his gratitude to them for unearthing a new source of revenue—a new gold mine. They only desired to take the crust for local purposes. The deep hidden deposits they left him to extract at his leisure and they would ask no questions. The Bill secured the valuation of land apart from improvements, and it would enable the Chancellor of the Exchequer to estimate how much could be secured for the national purse at any given rate from this source. Might they suggest this as a first step in the readjustment of taxation which was so emphatically demanded by the country at the recent general election. He need not appeal to hon. Members on the Ministerial side of the House, as he believed that nine-tenths of them were pledged to the principle embodied in this Bill, and he might say the same of the hon. Members who sat on the front Benches below the gangway on the opposite side. Were it necessary to make an appeal to their Irish friends for support, he would do so on the plea that in a domestic matter of this kind Scotland should have her own way. He hoped that the time was not far distant when it would not be necessary for Scotland to trouble the Imperial Parliament with the results that follow the working of their own pump handles, and when they would be allowed to manage all purely domestic matters in their own way for themselves. He was sure that he would not appeal to their friends in vain when he reminded them that this Bill related to Scotland alone, and that at least sixty of the seventy-two Scottish Members of this House ardently desired the passing of this measure. With all deference he made an appeal to the Party opposite, the Party that was supposed to represent the landed interests in this House, but who never failed—when gently driven—to consider the poor. He had great hopes that the majority even on that side would support this measure. If any small remnant remained to whom further appeal was needed, he would remind them of their own often repeated prayer—"laying aside all personal interests and prejudices," let him appeal to them to answer their own prayers. In conclusion he would say that in the first half of the last century two barbed wire fences stood between our people and a condition of comfort and happiness. Richard Cobden smashed the fence which surrounded our shores. The clumsy attempt which had been made to re-erect that fence had brought together a force which would demolish the other, and enable us to take another great step in advance, by giving the people free access to the land, and bringing happiness and content to the people of this country.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time.—(Mr. Sutherland.)

MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

said he rose to move the rejection of this Bill, and he felt sure that his intervention would not be resented. It was true that this Bill applied to Scotland only, but he thought everyone who was in favour of the Bill looked upon it, not merely as a measure for Scotland, but as a measure which they hoped to extend to the whole of the United Kingdom. Therefore, Englishmen were justified in sallying forth to resist the attack. He believed that the Bill was based upon a fundamental delusion. He recognised fully the sincerity of those who supported it and were convinced of its value, but he believed they had been led away by delusive arguments into supporting what was not a reform but an obstacle to reform. At the back of the Bill was really the name of Henry George. He was the author of the whole delusion. About twenty-five years ago he startled the country by professing to teach a new gospel, which was really only a réchauffé, of the doctrine of the French physiocrats of the eighteenth century that nothing was to be taxed except land. The object Henry George had in view was to get rid of private property in land. That was also the object of the originators of this Bill. Members had all received a circular issued by a gentleman who had led this agitation in Scotland. There were many mistakes of fact in that circular. The author said that a land tax was imposed by William the Third, and out of that land tax landowners had ever since been trying to escape. If he had read history more carefully he would have known that this tax was not a land tax but an income tax, and with further investigation he would have discovered, that it was to-day actually charged on houses as well as land. The point in the circular to which he (Mr. Harold Cox) specially referred was the remark— The fundamental principle upon which this Bill rests is that land is not and cannot become private property. He would like to know whether the Government accepted that definition of the Bill. He doubted whether the Lord Advocate accepted it, and he did not believe that the Government was going to risk its reputation and the reputation of the whole of the Liberal Party by conducting a campaign against private property in land. He hoped the Lord Advocate would treat it rather as a modest measure for the reform of local taxation. If that were so then the measure could be argued on the assumption that private property in land was to be permitted to continue. How did land differ from other property in such a way as to justify this proposal? There had been a good deal of exaggeration as to the relative importance of land. Centuries ago, no doubt, land was of supreme importance when food was obtained by hunting wild animals, and then every man wanted many square miles for himself in order to get a meal. When they reached the pastoral stage of civilisation, the individual man could do with fewer square miles; in the agricultural stage still less land sufficed, and now that the manufacturing stage was reached men could do with very little land indeed per head. His point was that as civilisation advanced so the relative importance of land declined and the relative importance of capital increased. To bring the question home in a concrete manner, supposing an operative who had spent the greater part of his life in a particular industry were thrown out of work, what would it profit him if he were offered land which no farmer would take? What, too, was the use of land without capital to work it? One of the few Liberals who was defeated in the last election told him that very near the centre of a village in a Yorkshire valley there was a plot of land used for growing potatoes. The grasping landowner wished to put up the rent but the villagers would not hear of it. The rent of the land was threepence a year and the grasping landowner wanted another penny. He wished there were more pieces of land like that, Hon. Members cheered, but if they filled up a little island with human beings they could not expect the rent of land to remain low. Again, they were told that land was a monopoly. It was not true. The monopoly was in a particular piece of land, just as a particular pair of trousers belonging to a man was a monopoly. [An HON. MEMBER: You can make more trousers.] Yes, and there were other pieces of land. [An HON. MEMBER: You cannot make more land.] No, but there was more land ready made. [An HON. MEMBER: But you don't make it.] If one owner did not wish to sell there were others who wished to do so. Taking England and Wales alone he found that there were well over 1,000,000 separate landowners, and yet people said there was a monopoly of land. A large number of landowners every day were trying to sell their land and were unable to find purchasers. It was said that there were occasions where a particular piece of land was wanted to benefit the community. Of course there were, but surely when such cases arose it was the duty of the community to buy that piece of land at a fair price. If a community wanted something for its benefit it had no right to take it at the expense of a particular individual. What ought to be done was to enlarge the powers of local authorities so that they could buy land with less difficulty than at present. But the Bill did not do this. All the Bill did was to impose a tax with the object of forcing people to sell what they were reluctant to sell. He could imagine nothing more unjust than that a man who by his savings had purchased a piece of land should be taxed in order to compel him to sell it at a lower price to someone else. That was what was being proposed by this Bill. What had they been protesting against for the last two years? They had been protesting against the proposal that the State should interfere on behalf of the seller to make things dearer for the buyer. It was equally unjust for the State to interfere on behalf of the buyer to make things cheaper for him at the expense of the seller. That was not free trade. It was an inverted form of protection. If they once started on that process where would they stop? They might apply this doctrine of selling things cheap to labour in South Africa. Did hon. Gentlemen approve of the poll tax on natives to compel them to sell their labour cheap? He was told that this Bill was necessary because land was held back. Was labour never held back? Had they never heard of a strike? If they accepted the principle of this Bill it would be equally just to put a heavy tax on every man who was striking. Take the case of dealing with futures in wheat or iron. That was occurring every day. The business of a man whose machinery was perfect, whose employees were working sympathetically with him, and whose whole industry was well managed, might be brought suddenly to a standstill because somebody was holding up the raw material which he wanted for his work. Such an incident as that might cause widespread misery throughout the whole of a great industry. It might be the result of a ring extending all over the world, but in land there never was a ring. There was never such a thing as a ring of land in this country. There were local cases, of course; but surely there was a very great difference between the local injury caused by one or two landlords refusing to sell in a locality and the widespread injury that might be caused by holding back wheat or iron. [An HON. MEMBER: It is a question of degree.] That was his point. The promoters of the Bill were dealing with a trumpery matter. Cheap capital was much more important than cheap land from another aspect. It was more important for industrial development. Everybody knew that when money was cheap manufacturers were more likely to launch out, and their competition tended to increase the wages of the working-classes. He passed to a question upon which the greatest stress had always been laid, and that was the housing question. They had been told again and again that if they were to tax land values they would solve the housing problem. In his opinion it would act in entirely the contrary direction. In order to build houses they wanted not only a site, but capital to build with. He had got out the figures of some housing schemes, and those he would quote were not selected figures. He would take for example the case of a housing scheme near London where the land cost £400 per acre, and the construction of the roads and sewers cost another £400. Seventeen houses per acre had been built on that land costing £300 apiece. Taking interest at 5 per cent. they would find that the total annual cost of the scheme worked out at £17 7s. per house. The cost of the site of each house was £1 3s. 6d. Therefore, supposing they got the land absolutely for nothing the whole saving would be 23s. 6d. upon each house. On the other hand, supposing they had their capital cheaper by one per cent. they would effect a saving of £3 9s. 5d. He could give numerous instances in other places where the saving by reducing the interest on capital by 1 per cent. would be two or three times greater than if the land was obtained for nothing. So that it was clear they would not solve the housing problem if they got their land for nothing. He was doing his best with others to promote a housing scheme for rural districts, but at present it was hung up because they had not the necessary capital, and if any of those who were so anxious to tax land values would only lend them the money at 3 per cent. they could go ahead. He had been asked how he would make capital cheaper. He had no sovereign remedy except to avoid the blunders which made capital dear. They could not have the luxury of a war without paying for it. The money that ought to have been spent in building houses for the working classes had been blown away in South Africa, and they would never get it back again; neither would they get back to the economic position they were in before the war except by steady work and careful saving. There was another way in which the taxation of ground values affected the housing question. Anyone familiar with the practical working of the building trade would know that it was the habit of builders to raise money upon ground rents. By doing that they were able to get their capital cheaper, and why? Because ground rents were a trustee investment, and as there was a large area of supply they got capital at a lower rate. If they adopted the principle of this Bill or the proposals of the hon. Member for the Elland Division, they would subject ground rents to all the uncertainties of local taxation, and they would cease to be a subject of trustee investment because of the uncertainty, and the price builders would have to pay for capital would rise. His next point was that of the unearned increment. The hon. Member for Renfrew gave some awful cases from Glasgow, and he could give some awful cases in London and elsewhere, but he thought the Lord Advocate would admit that hard cases would make bad law. But was it only land that got unearned increment? Had they never heard of the unearned increment on the Stock Exchange and of the millions made there by buying cheap and selling dear? There was this great difference between Stock Exchange securities and land, that although they could rig the market on the Stock Exchange by false rumours and lying telegrams, they could not rig the market in land. They had been told that although Stock Exchange values fluctuated up and down, land always rose in value. He would ask those who really believed that to put their money on their creed and go into the market and purchase land. If the tendency of land was to always rise in value why did they waste money in their own business or in buying Stock Exchange shares? But, after all what relevance had the unearned increment to this Bill, which did not deal with it at all? If they were in earnest about taxing the unearned increment, they would make a valuation of the whole country, and provide that in future the unearned increment should be taxed or confiscated, but this measure did not do that. This Bill taxed at an equal pound rate land whether it had fallen or risen in value, and it was therefore irrelevant to use arguments about the unearned increment in connection with these proposals. This Bill imposed a special tax upon persons who owned land. He laid stress upon the word persons because people imagined that they were taxing the land itself. Land did not pay taxation; persons paid taxes, and all this talk about land being made for man came to this that they intended to put a penal tax upon a specially selected class of the community, which class already paid 1s. in the £. income tax and who would be called upon to pay an additional income-tax of 2s. in the £. He would ask how would hon. Members deal with the case he would now put before them which would inevitably come up not once but a hundred times. Supposing a workman saved money and bought his house, and another workman, instead of buying a house, put his savings into the savings bank. Under this Bill they were proposing to tax one at the rate of 2s. in the £. and the other nothing at all. He had never yet received an answer to that question. Again, suppose a man had two daughters and he left to one £20 a year in ground rents and to the other £20 a year in Consols. The girl with Consols paid nothing, but the girl with £20 in ground rents would have to pay £2 a year. It was all very well to use metaphysical arguments about land, but there was something far more important, and that was to maintain justice between individuals, and until the right hon. Gentleman was able to tell them where the justice lay in picking out one individual for a penal tax and leaving another individual untaxed, he thought they were justified in voting against this Bill. Last year the Lord Advocate partly suggested that Clause 7 of this Bill was largely a matter of detail, but he could hardly believe that that was his real view. That Clause provided that existing contracts should be torn up as far as this Bill was concerned. Surely the right hon. Gentleman would not hold that the fulfilment of a contract was a matter of detail. Surely a Government which had maintained the sanctity of contracts in South Africa, even though they were virtually contracts of slavery, would not destroy the sanctity of contracts in order to shift the burden of rates and taxes in Scotland? Yet if they rejected this clause the whole agitation would tumble to pieces.


No, no.


said he knew the hon. Member for the Elland Division would not agree with him, but he was referring to the Scottish agitation. He had watched the opinions expressed in the Scotch papers on this subject, and the impression was that as soon as they knocked out Clause 7 the Bill would disappear. The aim of this measure was to get at the great landowners, but if they left out Clause 7 the landowner disappeared, and they would be left face to face with the ordinary ratepayer, who would have to pay this burden and would be called upon to pay two taxes instead of one. It was a great mistake to assume that only great landowners were involved. The Prudential Insurance Company had £4,000,000 invested in ground rents, and £6,000,000 on mortgage, together with other land investments, making a total of £13,000,000 in land out of total assets of £51,000,000. Those were the kind of people who would be hit by this Clause, as well as every working man who had bought his own house. And who would be benefited? This Bill would benefit people like the Beits and Barnatos, and shareholders in great industrial concerns paying 30 per cent. dividends. Those were the people whom it was proposed to benefit at the expense of working men who had bought their own houses. This was essentially a capitalists' movement. [Cries of "No, no."] It was very significant that some of the most prominent supporters of this movement were among the most prominent capitalists in the country. They would obtain an advantage, because their taxation would be reduced by virtue of the penal taxation imposed on landowners. People talked about getting access to the land. What did it mean? It meant that they would compel various landlords at present to sell land cheap. Would the people generally be benefited by that? No. The people who had made their money on the Stock Exchange would benefit. This Bill would merely transfer the land from the old landowners to the new capitalists. He came now to the Minority Report of the Royal Commission. The Lord Advocate last year based his case largely on that Report. He should like to know whether the hon. and learned Gentleman accepted the whole of that Report, or whether, in quoting the Report, he felt justified in taking out pieces to suit his argument and rejecting the rest. What the Royal Commission proposed was something absolutely and totally different from this Bill. It condemned Bills of this character, and it proposed instead a small tax on land which must be strictly limited by Act of Parliament, and which must be accompanied by a large Imperial subsidy. The two things were to go hand in hand, and the small tax on land values was only declared to be just because of the large Imperial subsidy. Was that the view which the Lord Advocate accepted? It was utterly unfair to quote in support of such a measure as this the Report of the Royal Commission. It was equally unfair to quote the case of New Zealand, for in that country there was a land-tax which was a substitute for the income-tax, Did hon. Members propose that their land-tax should be a substitute for the income-tax? They proposed it as an addition to the income-tax? The proposal here was to pick out the owners of land and saddle them with a double share of taxation. In favour of the Bill it was argued that it would shift the burden of taxation from the suburbs to the centre. That sounded very nice for the people living in the suburbs, but what about the struggling ratepayers who were doing their best to make a living in the centre? Where was the justice of relieving somebody in the suburbs at the expense of somebody in the centre? It would have the inevitable effect of destroying open spaces. [Cries of "No."] Unless they exempted all open spaces the Bill certainly would lead to their sale for building. In regard to unoccupied land it was asked why it should not be taxed. It was because it was yielding no revenue. Like the Royal Commission, he saw no objection to a small tax on unoccupied land. It must be very small, or it would be unfair. If a man had no revenue from what he owned it was contrary to our system of taxation to put a tax on it. The Royal Commission, in the final words of their report, said— This proposal would conduce to the removal of some of the widely spread misconceptions which seem to prevail, not only in political circles, but among economic authorities and responsible statesmen; for …. it would show that there is no large undeveloped source of taxation available for local purposes, and still less for national purposes. That was the verdict of the minority of the Royal Commission which the supporters of this Measure were so fond of quoting. It was because of that verdict he began his speech by saying that this agitation blocked the way of real reform. They were asked to pass the Bill in order to remove widespread misconceptions from the minds of responsible statesmen. It was better that their statesmen should think out the question and remove these misconceptions themselves. The Bill which the Royal Commission recommended was the maximum they would ever get from any Government. Was it worth getting? Was it worth while wasting their efforts on such a trumpery measure as this? There were many defects in the present rating system which needed reform, and the ideal to be aimed at was the devising of such a system of taxation that every citizen should contribute to the expense of the State in proportion to his means. In other words the ideal to be worked for was a universal and graduated income-tax—a tax under which everybody would pay something, some regular subscription to the great club to which they all belonged and which they called the State, but under which the subscription would be payable in proportion to the means of payment. Such a tax would enable them to sweep away at once the taxes on tea, sugar, and cocoa, and abolish the coal tax. It would enable them to prevent any further rise in local rates and to remove the worst anomalies of the local rating system. He did not think it would be just to use such a tax to abolish rates altogether, for he held that rates ultimately fell upon the owner of the soil, for if there were no rates, the owner of the soil would get more rent. Therefore to abolish rates altogether would be merely to put in the landowner's pocket something to which he had no right. But by preventing the future increase of rates it was clear that they were relieving the landowner of a contingent liability. Therefore they were justified in imposing a local death duty so as to compensate the community for the relief it had given to the landlord. Such a death duty would enable the community to secure in the best of all possible ways the unearned increment of the land. In addition such a reform would introduce a system of taxation which all the community would recognise as equitable to every class. He ventured, without going into detail, to suggest this as a radical solution of the whole problem of national and local taxation. He believed it was possible, as well as desirable, and because he believed that he appealed to his hon. friends around him not to block the path of progress by supporting a Bill which was based on antiquated metaphysics and false economics — a Bill which, if it were passed into law, would inflict cruel injustice on thousands of their fellow citizens possessed of only scanty means, and would compel them to pay beyond other members of the community for the crime—their sole crime—of having ventured to invest their savings in the soil of their native land.

On the return of Mr. SPEAKER after the usual interval,

SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)

said he wished to second the Motion which had been made that the Second Reading of this Bill should be taken six months hence. He would certainly not emulate previous speakers in occupying the time of the House at the great length which they had done. The mover and seconder of the Second Reading had repeated arguments of the most elementary character, which had not in one iota added to the strength of the case generally put forward in favour of this confiscatory Bill. He would refer to only one or two points brought forward by the mover and seconder of the Bill, one of whom had given the House a startling description of the sufferings of the poor by an imaginary case of a man who held up land available for building for two hundred years. The hon. Member who seconded this Bill wished them to think that the ground landlord might, at his own sweet will, and at any period he chose come down with a fell swoop and demand a higher ground rent upon the land. He took away the whole effect of the Bill, moreover, by saying that the proprietor of the land always managed to bargain himself out of any burden in spite of any Act of Parliament. The hon. Member had given them an instance in Aberdeen of how a certain advantageous bargain was made by a Land Association against the Harbour Commissioners of that City. The Land Association of Aberdeen, if he was rightly informed, was one largely owned by small investors who belonged to the working classes. Were a powerful Corporation like the Harbour Commissioners of Aberdeen, the people on whose behalf Parliament must step in to enable them to make an easier bargain with shareholders of the Land Association? Was that the reason why they were going to introduce this novel and unheard of machinery into the taxation and the rateable arrangements of the country? The seconder had given them some harrowing accounts of the housing of the working classes, as if he were the only hon. Member who wished to improve the conditions of working men. The hon. Member had said that all the people in Scotland were in favour of this measure, except perhaps a few land owners. For himself, he wished to treat the Bill as a Scottish measure, and he would have something to say of the genesis of the Bill in Scotland. He spoke on behalf of no landowner or wealthy corporation, but in the interests of great educational institutions, of many charities, of friendly societies, of many investors among the most thrifty and humble classes of the community, and also for many trade unions whose funds were thus invested. The Bill was started some years ago in Glasgow by a certain ex-Bailie Ferguson, who was the main mover in this agitation. How had he obtained the adhesion of the Town Council? They had his own explanation before the Commission in 1898. Replying to a question as to what views the Town Council held, he said— They held four years ago that they would not support such a doctrine at all, and I told them that I would change their convictions or their seats, and I have done it. He was asked, "And they have changed their convictions for the sake of keeping their seats? He answered— I am not bound to know the reasons, but in point of fact they run out and vote for taxation of land values. Was that the way that hon. Members thought that public opinion should be manufactured? Were they proud of the support of the Glasgow Town Council obtained by means such as that? What did I the Bill propose to do? It was called a Bill for the taxation of land values, but as a matter of fact it was confined to taxation of sites in urban districts. Something lay behind the discrepancy between the title of the Bill and its real purpose. There was a feud between the advocates of the taxation of land values generally and those who confined themselves to the taxation of urban sites. He wished hon. Members opposite to observe that hostility between two sections of their own Party. The hon. Baronet the Member for the Northwich Division of Cheshire had argued for the application of the principle to rural as well as to urban land In a letter to the Speaker on the point and dealing with the term "site values" he had said— As a matter of fact the land immediately outside our urban boundaries is the largest field for the beneficial operation of the coming change in the law. The man who first started this pestilential notion of distinguishing urban from other land and the man who first spoke of 'site values' are as bad as Alexander the Coppersmith. But what in the name of Lincoln s Inn and all the other Inns is a site? If I were to use language of appropriate warmth in condemnation of the phrase and you were to print it, no respectable person would ever read the Speaker again. The Bill proposed to value sites separately, and to rate them upon a yearly value of 4 per cent, of their capital valuation. But this was a small part of the Bill. Was it justified by any full and carefull investigation? They had had quotations from various authorities, but he would ask the House to examine what they were. The opinion of the Commission on the Housing of the Working Classes, which had been cited in favour of this Bill, was discounted by the dissentient remarks of the late Lord Salisbury and of Mr. (now Lord) Goschen. Lord Salisbury, dealing with the question of the rating of vacant land, said it had been suggested that it should be rated upon its capital value and not on its income. "This suggestion," the noble Marquess said," had been introduced into the report just before it was signed, and he could not find that it was based upon any evidence before the Committee." Viscount Goschen also wished to record his "dissent from the recommendation of the report with reference to the rating of vacant lands." A much more important committee was the Select Committee on Town Holdings, which reported in 1892 in a sense directly opposite to the preliminary part of this measure. He now came to the Commission which had been referred to, that upon Local Taxation. The hon. Member for Preston had forgotten that the report which he had quoted was the Minority Report, and that the Commission as a whole reported against this plan. The hon. Member had pointed out how completely insufficient was even the report of the minority of the Commission to support the present Bill, because they stated that the grounds for the new proposals were chiefly sentimental and political, and they proposed that even if adopted this new Land Value Tax should be borne half by the owner and half by the occupier. The proposal to tax land values deserved careful criticism and consideration, and they must look at what it was intended to achieve and what was the object of it. It was argued that it would prevent the holding up of vacant spaces. He thought in regard to that, self- interest might be left to act. How could any holding up of vacant spaces in urban districts which defrauded the receiver of rates do otherwise than involve loss to the owner of property? If the landowner held it up, he did so because he thought that by dispensing with the return for a certain period he would afterwards get a larger return which would recoup him for his abstinence. If he did so, it was because he thought that the buildings which would afterwards be erected on it would be of such enhanced value that it would pay him to hold up. Would that not pay the rating authorities also? How could they fail to get the same advantage? The seconder of the Motion had adduced the case of the School Board of Cathcart. Was that hon. Member aware that the School Board could by a very simple process, under compulsory powers, have got the land at an arbitrator's valuation? If the School Board paid anything like the enhanced value which had been quoted they would have been guilty of a great dereliction of duty, of which he was certain they were not guilty. This part of the Bill would achieve very little. The machinery by which it was proposed to put it in force was bad. It introduced the doubtful principle of assessing the rateable value on capital value. Great injustice might be wrought. Land fluctuated in value and in the neighbourhood of towns frequently an exaggerated value was put upon it. Supposing a piece of vacant land was taxed for twenty years on an exaggerated value, and when it came to be sold the real value was much less, were they going to return to the owner the overpaid rates? It would discourage one great aid to health in cities—namely, vacant spaces and garden grounds. No greater blow could be inflicted on the projectors of garden cities than the passing of this Bill. But the important blot upon the measure was its confiscatory element. That was the salient point by means of which and of which alone the originators of it would achieve the end they had in view. The Bill was pushed by two leagues—one in England and one in Scotland — formerly called the Land Restoration Leagues, and now reconstituted as the Leagues for the Taxation; of Land Values. Their objects were shown by the evidence of Mr. Peter Burt, J. P. before the Royal Commission on Local Taxation. His examination was as follows:— Do you come here in any of your public capacities, or as President of the Scottish Land Restoration Union?—As President of the Scottish Land Restoration Union. To whom are you going to restore he land?—To the people. By this proposal?—Yes. But this proposal will not restore it to the people, will it?—What people want land for in the sense of ownership is not for the land but for the rent, and if we restore the rent to the people we think that we do all that is necessary to satisfy them. But are you by this proposal to restore the land to the community which does not now own the right of receiving rent?—We are to restore the rent to the whole community. But all I understand this proposal as put before us to do, is to shift the burden of rating from one class of owner to another?—The proposal starts with altering the basis of taxation in relation to rentas, that is, instead of paying as at present, on the annual rent they receive from the tenant, they shall pay upon the annual value of the ground; that is the beginning of the principle or the foundation of the principle for altering the incidence of taxation altogether. What is to be the next step?—Increase the tax upon the value of the ground. Until you take it all?—Yes; until you take twenty shillings in the pound. There was the same class of evidence from Bailie John Ferguson, who said that he held that nothing short of 20s. in the £ would be a complete settlement of the question. They were not, therefore, left in any doubt as to purposes of the Bill; and what was to be the end of it, even if this confiscation were justified? It would turn the municipality into a landlord, receiving rent by way of taxation. Could there be a more capricious, a more tyrannical, a more hard-hearted landlord than the tax receiver? What became of fixity of tenure? They were between the horns of a dilemma. Either every man would hold his land subject to the will of the rating authority, or else he would be allowed to acquire certain rights, it might be leasehold rights, in the land. The moment a man acquired these rights they became the subject of new purchase and sale. New rights were established, new increment began, and they had all their work to do over again. The real vice of the Bill was that it rested upon confiscation and robbery. If the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister were in his place he would appeal to him on this matter. He had had the honour of the friendship of the Prime Minister longer perhaps than any other Member of the House, and he was proud to count among his memories those who had gone before him and were great builders and architects of the prosperity of Glasgow—men who made it their aim to encourage the thrift and industry of Scotsmen. Did the Prime Minister think that those whose memories they both revered would have looked with favour on a Bill like this, or would have deemed it worthy of our national character? He would appeal to hon. Members below the gangway. He would use no language of fulsome flattery to them, but regarding them as men of strenuous work, of high equipment, of zealous energy and of strong conviction, he could only regret that such powers were not added to the assets of his own Party. He believed in their sincerity, and trusted that they would give him credit for equal sincerity in his convictions. But he would put this question to them—Was it not the case that if Clause 7 were cut out of the Bill they would tear it up and throw it in the face of the Government? [Cries of "No" and "Yes."] The reply of "Yes" was, he believed, the honest answer. They and the Government knew that that was the only clause that would enable the purpose of this Bill to be carried out, and they would never carry out that purpose merely by a change of the future incidence of taxation. As one of the speakers had told them, property would always bargain itself out of new burdens, and the object in view could only be achieved by taking it from the pockets of the actual holders who were bound by existing bargains. In fact, they could only achieve the principle of the Bill and meet the views of its supporters below the gangway by accepting this principle. They had had on the front Bench opposite a good many instances of trying to ride two horses. It was an experiment which the Prime Minister the other day said was impossible. But they had seen it done in the circus, and it was possible perhaps that it might be achieved in the Parliamentary arena. But he defied anyone to ride two horses down two different roads. He urged the Government to be bold enough to resist this dangerous and confiscatory Bill, and, on the other hand, he appealed to hon. Gentlemen below the gangway not to be deluded by conciliatory promises that were not likely to be fulfilled. Personally, if he were in their place, he would rather have to face downright, plain, and sincere opposition than conciliatory phrases which were not to be followed by any effective action.

Amendment proposed— To leave out the word 'now' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon his day six months.' "—(Mr. Harold Cox.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said he had listened with some surprise to the speech which had just been made. He entirely agreed with his hon. friend—whom he was glad to welcome to this House—that it was a pity that on an afternoon devoted to a Bill which had been more than once before the House the speeches should have been of such length. He did not propose to follow the last speakers into those personal topics which they had shown a tendency to introduce; he would rather consider the Bill on its merits. One point, however, the hon. Member had evidently kept well in his mind—the view that the Bill was one, as he described it, of confiscation; and it could surely only have been by inadvertence that he had forgotten to refer to certain other terror-striking phrases, as for instance, the sacredness of the British Constitution. The hon. Member appeared to have been seriously concerned about the personal element: he had introduced a variety of characters. He had referred to Bailie Fergusson, to Alexander the coppersmith, and to Bailie Burt, while the hon. Member for Preston had taken fright, not at such homely characters, but at the great name of Henry George, Assuming that Henry George, Bailie Fergusson, and Bailie Burt would have approved of this Bill, it might all be very disconcerting, but do let them proceed to consider whether it was a good Bill. He would refer for a moment to the language as to confiscation used in all sincerity by his hon. friend opposite. After all, he hoped they would survive the terror with which he evidently intended to inspire them. The principle of the Bill was a familiar one. Parliament had discussed it time after time, and a majority of a Conservative House of Commons had voted for it before. The conditions, however, under which the Bill had been previously, considered and those under which it was considered that day, were strangely different. The opposition of the Bill today seemed to be attenuated in dimensions but accentuated in quality. The views of Scotland on the subject had been referred to. He knew them, he supposed, as well as his hon. friend, and one instance of his untenable position he might give. Was there, he asked, one Member representing the city of Glasgow who would oppose the principle of the Bill as it had been expounded to day? There was only one man from Glasgow who would go into the lobby against the Bill, and he was the representative, not of the community, but of the University of that city. Was it for a gentleman so situated to get up in the House and characterise as a measure of confiscation one which had been promoted for half a generation by the humane and generous men who had constituted the corporation of Glasgow, and supported by the entire body of its Parliamentary representatives? There had been a growth of public opinion recently on this subject, and why? It was accounted for by the fact that in recent years, owing to social demands, there had been an enormous increase of local taxation for poor law, local government education, and other purposes, and that since 1899 there had been added to the Imperial burdens of the country another crushing debt for Imperial causes. It was those things which had forced the overburdened ratepayer and taxpayer to consider whether it might not be possible, without confiscation, robbery, or any injustice whatever, to alter the incidence of taxation, at least, in such a way as would readjust it in a manner fairer as among all classes of the community. He asked the House to remember that it was on the report— it was true it was a minority report—of such men as Lord Balfour of Burleigh, the late Lord Kinross, Sir George Murray, and Sir Edward Hamilton, that the Bill was substantially framed. [Cries of "No."] It was possible for hon. Members to argue this matter, but argument did not consist in explosive interruptions. This Bill was not to be characterised by those hard terms which had been employed, when at the back of it there was the recorded opinion of the men of the highest authority in the State. The acuteness of the situation was one, as the House had been told, not only arising out of the increase of rating, but bearing upon the general alteration of social conditions. There had been report after report pointing out how serious was the situation in regard to this subject, not only as a rating question, but as a social question. Such rating of land tenures as was proposed in the Bill would act as a direct incentive to the owners to part with the land, to the manifest advantage, in the majority of cases, of the rest of the community; while in the meantime this valuable property would contribute to the rates something more nearly approaching its proper share, and the burden to other ratepayers would be pro tanto diminished. The very fact of taxation on real value would put land into the market, and. the competition, moreover, which would follow in the sale of building land would necessarily bring its feuing rate more within the reach of public demand. The present rates for ground were a consequence of no expenditure of money or work on the part of the landowners but admittedly of the activity, enterprise and industry of the townspeople themselves. Could it be fairly called confiscation if a landowner, who chose to hang up his sites for a time and then get for them twenty times their initial cost, was asked to contribute something in the way of rating during the course of that increase — an increase which at present was being brought about by schemes in which he himself had not not been a partner and on which he had not expended a penny? The opinion of the Government in regard to the Bill was that the sifting of the subject by Commissions and by public discussion in Parliament had at least not put back the clock of this reform. The crudeness which sprang from a quick recoil from manifest injustice was disappearing from the scheme. That violence which was apt to spring from a bitterness of protest against our present social arrangements was also disappearing; and it had, in the opinion of the Government, been becoming clearer and clearer that the times were ripe for this reform. These were the feelings with which they approached the Bill. Not only had inquiry been made and concluded, not only had anything approaching violence been eliminated from the scheme, but the broad fact remained that the Bill could now be properly considered in the light of the inquiries which had been made—and not upon vague and terrifying notions of expropriation or confiscation. It was when the matter was considered in the light of the social considerations of the hour that the principle of the bill struck them as going in the direction not merely of social expediency but almost of social necessity. As to the attack made on the Bill, how did the matter stand in respect of unoccupied land. Did not unoccupied land in or near a city become valuable because of the privileges which surround its possession with comforts, amenity, means of communication, schemes of health, lighting, drainage, and all the other consequences of popular energy and expenditure—energy and expenditure to neither of which had the owner of the land, as such, been a contributor. So far from being a partner, indeed, the owner of such land was rather a parasite on the community. It was said that no new source of revenue would be tapped. He was not so sure of that. He would cite one illustration showing the evil of the present system. Unbuilt on land in Edinburgh was said to be rated at £2,750 per annum, bringing in £344 a year. If it were rated at 4 per cent, on the assessable capital value it would bring in at least £27,500 a year. Similarly at Leith the difference between the two systems was the difference between £350 and £24,000. In his opinion there was to be found in this direction a new and not improper source of revenue from taxation. The Bill would substitute a real for the existing fictitious system of valuation. In the words of the Royal Commission, present rates indisputably hampered building which was necessary to life and business of every kind, and anything which tended to discourage building must make houses fewer, worse, and dearer. He submitted that he had established the proposition that the social reform which accompanied the Bill was almost greater in its effect than the change in the incidence of taxation. An appeal had been made to Scottish independence. He happened to know a good deal about his own country, and he had never found the relation of the population to the law of the country better expressed than by Mr. Sherwell, who said— The spectacle of one-half of the entire nation living under overcrowded conditions, while almost whole counties are preserved as deer forests and private parks, is as astounding as it is happily rare. Eight per cent, of overcrowded persons, which is the figure for Wales pales into comparative insignificance beside 47 per cent., which is the measure of overcrowding in Scotland. One half the nation in Scotland were crowded together at the rate of more than two persons to a room, while the whole population, if spread out, would have no less than four and one-third acres for every man, woman, and child in the kingdom. Those were conditions which Scotland could put forward a claim to have remedied, and, though this Bill would not accomplish all, let them begin. Appeals to independence were all very well, but he knew no better use to which an independent people could apply their brains and energies than to the upsetting of such a condition of things as that in Scotland. He knew it was said that the proposals of such a Bill as this were fantastic, and that the thing was impossible. It reminded him of a saying of Charles Reade— The impossible has clothed itself in fact and has gone through the hollow mockery of taking place. Yes, it had taken place—this very thing—in Germany, in our Colonies, and elsewhere. There had been vast schemes of re-housing in Glasgow, and enormous expenses had been incurred, but they had touched only the fringe of the evil. The civic barrel had had great resources poured into it, but the barrel leaked the land value had not been hit. Every improvement in social conditions gave an opportunity for putting an extra value on land. The action Glasgow had taken in the past, and their attitude in the present, were alike meritorious. The holding up of land would largely disappear and under this Bill every inducement would be held out for more and better buildings. The first requisite was to get a proper system of valuation, to substitute a real for a fictitious valuation, and the first four clauses of the Bill before the House substantially operated in that way. The impractability of the thing was disposed of by the experience of Mr. Henry, the assessor of Glasgow, whose opinion confirmed his own in all these arbitration cases, that it was not at all an impracticable thing to settle the value of the land and then settle the value of the houses upon the land. The Government approved of the principle of the first four clauses, and they thought that there was no reason why the new system of valuation proposed should not be proceeded with without delay. The next clause substantially gave power to put on taxation equivalent to a penny in the £ on capital value, but the Government were of opinion that a year at least should be allowed for the operation of the clauses affecting valuation before empowering assessment. This valuation would go through the ordinary run of appeals, in which principles might have to be adjusted and settled by the Courts, and, if they postponed until 1907 the assessment clause and made the valuation clauses operative now, there would, in the interim, be effected a most valuable reform in valuation, the principles of which would be settled, so that, when the assessment came to be laid in the following year, it might be done smoothly and without friction. As to the last clause, dealing with existing contracts, they were confronted with an enormous body of skilled opinion. The Majority and Minority Reports of the Royal Commission on Taxation and the separate Scottish Report all concurred in viewing with unfeigned hostility on grounds of principle the idea of attacking existing contracts. He looked upon this with considerable anxiety. He had not varied in his opinion on this matter. When the Bill was before the House two years ago he stated that he was against interference with existing contracts. The Minority Report said that existing contracts should be absolutely respected, but that in the case of future contracts the holder should be entitled to make the deduction—substantially as in Clause 7. The existing system in Scotland might have its defects. He thought it had its defects, and there was scope for a large and far-reaching measure dealing with the relations between superior and vassal, and even providing for the commutation of feu-duties. The Government proposed to follow the skilled opinion referred to. It did not matter who paid. The thing was what was going to pay. The land itself was going to pay, and the provision by way of deduction, by the man who paid, from some other body who got something out of it, had no effect upon the community as a whole, and, accordingly, the principle of the clause was intact. The seventh clause of the Bill was, no doubt, a protest against the system under which land had been held up, and profits had been got. But he desired to associate this great and salutary reform with no violence whatever to existing contracts, and with no invasion of rights sanctioned by the State. Under these rights sanctioned by the State interests had grown up, investments of money in trade unions and friendly societies, and great trusts like the Heriot Trust and others. All these things had grown up on the theory that the State had guaranteed a fixed net monetary return. But new contracts they might affect, and they ought to affect—and he proposed if the Bill went to the Grand Committee on Law to insert a single line making the seventh clause operative with regard to future transactions in land. He did not say that the Bill was a panacea for all existing evils. But it went near to the roots of many evils. This was a new Parliament, and they had been forced in recent times to consider principles at their foundations. They had been taunted with one-sided free trade. Yes: but what was the other side. It was stated by Cobden himself towards the close of his life in the sentence— I would take Adam Smith in hand and I would have a league for free trade in land, just as we had a league for free trade in corn. The object of this Bill was more and more to force land into the market, so as to make land transferable by depriving owners of the pecuniary advantage they had in holding it up as against the community itself. They had been taunted with parochialism. Yes: perhaps this was parochialism. But this modest, simple measure had, in the opinion of the Government, elements in it which might prove of more abiding welfare than those more ostentatious efforts which had provoked noise and tumult to begin with, and which had ended in exhaustion and prostration. Those great, much-heralded, much-boasted efforts had left untouched that weakness which was at the very heart of the social state It was to that weakness the new Parliament must address itself, and the Bill was welcomed by him, and would have the approval of the Government on the Second Reading, because it was one of, he hoped, not a few measures of like spirit, under which a quiet and determined effort was being made towards reaching the heart of our social trouble, and alleviating and curing it.

MR WHITTAKER (Yorkshire, W.R., Spen Valley)

said he intervened in this debate because, in all probability, he had more to do with, and knew more about, land values than any other Member of the House. He warned hon. Members that, while no doubt some of the principles of this Bill were sound, it was not going to accomplish all or anything like all that was claimed for it. One would think, from the speeches which had been made, that this Bill was going a long way to solve the housing question, to increase wages, to reduce rates, to help the widow and orphan, and generally to bring about the millenium. All he could tell them was that it was going to do nothing of the kind. As the result of several years experience he had discovered that people had an idea that, when a lease ran out, and the property fell back into the hands of the ground landlord, a great injustice had been done to the person who was the lessee. In fact one hon. Member had said the landlords stole the property. In London he would point out, in the first place, there was every opportunity of buying freehold land. But supposing a private owner had leased a plot of land on which the lessee intended to erect property which he was to have the use of for ninety-nine years, he had only to set up a sinking fund, to indemnify himself when the property fell in. Hon. Members were apt to overlook the cumulative power of compound interest. One-fifth of a penny in the £ at 4 per cent, for ninety-nine years would pay for that, and, therefore, there was no very serious grievance there. The House was told that this Bill was going to bring building land into the market. In his judgment the tax proposed was not sufficient to do that. In his opinion the community ought to get practically the whole of the unearned increment of the land, but the Bill was going to do very little in that direction. Under this Bill they were going to get only 10 per cent. of it and it was intended to levy 10 per cent. in other directions where there was no justification for it. He could take hon. Members to estates with 100 houses let at £50 rental each per annum with a ground rent of £10 each. The head rent on the whole of the estate was probably not more than £5, which secured the reversion of the estate at the end of ninety-nine years. All the contribution that would be got out of that would be 10 per cent of £5. In the case of the leasehold ground rent of £10 on each house, precisely the same rate would have to be paid as in the case of the man who had the reversion. The middle man, the leaseholder, would have to pay on any increased value of the land and would get no advantage whatever. Then there was another curious provision in the Bill. It was proposed only to charge if the lease were more than thirty-one years. Surely, if the lease were short, the landlord would come into the benefit all the sooner, and yet he was to be the man who was to be relieved. They might take localities where improvements had been effected at the cost of the community, and the money was borrowed for twenty-five or thirty years. The tenant in that case would pay the interest for the repayment of the loan, and according to the Bill he was not to charge back upon the landlord anything at all. That meant that the nearer the direct interest of the landlord the less he had to pay, the longer it was the more he paid. Was that commonsense and reasonable? He ventured to think it was not. Then take the case most prevalent in Scotland where there was practically a permanent rent change. There was no reversion there. It would be most unjust to break contracts in order to levy a tax. Last year there was something very much like an understanding that that clause was to come out of the Bill, but it was in the Bill again this, year. He did not object to the taxation of site values. He believed it was sound that they should adopt some method of getting this unearned increment, especially in our large towns. There was no reason whatever why, for the future, the additional value given to land by the expenditure and labour of the community should not all of it be got into the pocket of the community without injustice being done to anybody. But the promoters of this Bill would not get by it the advantages they thought in many directions. They could not dodge the laws of political economy. If they put on these taxes as provided for in the Bill, then, of course, for the future everybody who invested in or created ground rents would invest in them or create them with a full knowledge of what was before them, and would arrange accordingly. If it were true that the rates and taxes always came out of the landlord the position would be practically the same. If, on the other hand, it was true that the tenant paid the rates and taxes, then they could be sure that when the landlord was making his bargain with the tenant they would come out of the tenant just the same. But if they could not dodge the laws of political economy in that way they might get a much larger proportion of the cost of local administration put upon great central sites which were increasing in value. Another thing was that when anyone was engaged in laying out a large estate a very important matter was the amount he could get for the ground rents. If he could sell the ground rents at a good price he sold the leasehold interest in the houses at a much lower price. There were cases in which the leasehold interest in a house was sold at a lower price than it cost to build the house. The profit was got out of the ground rent, but the net result was that the total cost, including the ground rent, worked out as well as if it were a freehold. If they diminished the price to be got for the ground rent, as they would by rating it, they would thereby increase the price that would have to be paid for the house. These things cut in many ways, and he did not want the House to form incorrect views as to what was going to occur. The main principle of taxing site values was right and just. It would be inequitable, how ever, to disturb the whole of the existing contracts. As for the future, those who had to deal with the matter would know how to take care of themselves. He took a great amount of interest in this question, but he had not a penny of interest in ground rents himself, except that he had to pay a ground rent on his own house to one of the large landowners of London, but he wished to warn his hon. friends against entertaining the idea that they were about to start the millennium by the passing of this Bill.

MR. PARKER (Halifax)

said that in making his first speech he would not begin by saying that he did not intend to make a long speech, because when Members offered that statement they usually followed the exactly opposite course. Although he and his friends did not expect the Bill to bring about the millennium, they realised that it was a step in the right direction. The present system of rating in our towns and cities for local purposes was in the opinion of those acquainted with municipal life antiquated and unjust. Some years ago he took it upon himself early in his connection with municipal life to compare the rateable values of the areas where villas were erected with the values of the slum areas, and he found that, as a matter of fact, the poorer classes of the community under the existing system of rating paid much heavier rates according to the ground they occupied than the wealthier classes. Whatever the Bill might or might not do, it would in time, he thought, remove that condition of things. The landowning classes obtained the greatest advantages from municipal developments at the expense of the ratepayers. During the past thirty years rates of the towns had been doubled, and they must of necessity go on increasing, for every fresh piece of legislation passed by this House must tend to send up municipal rates, and unless some new source of taxation was found it was utterly useless to cry out against the continual increase. What would be the result if this Bill were in operation to-day? Take the case of his own town. Some years ago a street was cut through a piece of vacant land, the price paid for which was about £4 per yard. In a very few years the piece of land went up to £10 per yard, and during the past two years the council had paid £20 a yard for some of it for street improvements. The average price at which the whole land had been sold had considerably more than doubled. Certain hon. Members had argued that in such a case the landlord would be able to shift the whole of the tax proposed. He would not say that in some cases the landlord would not shift it, but he certainly could not in regard to the pieces of land which grew rapidly in value in the centres of large towns. No doubt there had been a rise in the wages of skilled workmen during the past twenty years, but fully 30 per cent. of that was required for increased rent. They could not hope to see rents reduced unless they dealt with the rating problem. The present rates in towns were a tax on the thrift and industry of the people, and there was probably not a town in the United Kingdom where, if such a scheme was in operation, the rates would not be reduced by at least 10 or 15 per cent. in a few years. That would be something at least to accomplish. The present methods of local rating blocked improvements rather than helped them, formed and tended to continue unemployment, where otherwise employment might be found. Of course it was true that the development of municipal tramways, electricity, etc., found some portion of profits in relief of rates, but it could not keep pace with the ever-growing expenditure unless municipal activity were extended on a much larger scale. While he and others did not regard this measure as the only necessary thing—indeed, they looked upon it as only the beginning of social reform—yet they regarded it as of some value to improve the condition of the people. The hon. Member for Glasgow University spoke of it as a measure of confiscation, but what about the confiscation of values by the men who took value from the community—the land value which had accrued through nothing which the landlord himself had done, but through the industry, thrift, and activity of the people individually and collectively? The question of land values had been debated over and over again, and he was satisfied that they should not talk much more about the measure, but proceed to pass it into law.

MR. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.)

said he had listened to all the excellent speches made on this subject in the hope of being able to form some clear idea of what the Bill actually proposed to do. Although no one would object to anything in the sentiments which had been expressed, he thought there had been a great want of lucidity in the explanations of the Bill as it stood. Almost every hon. Member who had spoken in its favour had given reasons for a Bill, but in each case he had said he would not be satisfied with the provisions of this particular Bill to carry out the desirable objects. He would willingly have many of the improvements eloquently referred to by the Lord-Advocate carried into effect, but he could not see how the right hon. and learned Gentleman's sentiments tallied with the provisions of the Bill. He had, however, on this as on previous occasions had the courage of his convictions. On the part of the Government he had admitted that if the Bill got into Committee, the pressure of the Government would be brought to bear to exclude Clause 7 of the Bill.


I said I hoped to make it applicable.


said that no doubt in appearance the Bill would be the same, but the spirit and the vitality would be for ever departed. The main object of hon. Gentleman below the gangway, it might be, was to get at the man to whom the land, which had increased in value through no effort of his own, belonged. But he ventured to say that if the clause were dealt with in the manner adumbrated by the Lord-Advocate, that object would fall to the ground, and they would merely increase the burden on the shoulders of those who now bore it. All that the honourable mover would succeed in doing would be to secure that where the cloak had been taken, the coat should be taken also. It could not be seriously contended that this Bill was based upon the Minority Report of the Commission. In almost every important point the Report differed. The Minority Commissioners were of opinion that the rating of vacant land should be accompanied by a liberal and far-sighted policy in the direction of acquiring parks and gardens for public use. That was extremely desirable, but it did not appear among the provisions of the Bill. There were other safeguards advocated by the Minority Commissioners which did not find a place in the Bill. The honourable mover and the honourable seconder had made speeches which were not exactly, as he thought, upon this particular measure. The honourable seconder gave expression to many admirable sentiments, and hoped that if this Bill were passed into law the result would be that where a man now paid £16 a year rent he would only have to pay £8. There was a platform ring, he thought, about those sentiments that was an echo of the recent general election. The hon. Member for Preston had effectively exposed the character of the measure. He did not approach with a natural predilection any speech delivered by an hon. Member holding views in entire opposition to the views he himself held, but he had listened with interest to the hon. Member's clear and unanswerable arguments in regard to the disastrous effect the Bill would have in making houses and land far dearer instead of cheaper. The hon. Member had also described the Bill as a perverted form of Protection. It certainly did seem strange that supporters of the Government should say that to put a tax on ground rents would cheapen house rent, whereas if they put a tax on wheat it would raise the price of bread. It seemed to him that if they put a tax upon ground rents the ultimate result would be to increase house rent. That had been the effect in every country that had tried it. In his view the prime elements of cheapness were private initiative. This Bill would not encourage that. It would not give capital that security which it required. He had hoped the Lord Advocate would explain the Bill, but if the right hon. Gentleman would allow him, he would ask him to clear up one or two points of difficulty. In the first place the title of the Bill was somewhat misleading. It was said to be a Bill— To provide for the taxation for local purposes of land values in Scotland, and for the compulsory acquisition of land by local authorities in Scotland. Nothing, however, appeared in the provisions of the Bill dealing with the acquisition of land. That was extremely, almost grossly, misleading. Was it the intention of the promoters to attract unwary flies to their net by this title? [Cries of "No."] It seemed rather strange, at any rate, that it should not have been explained.


If the hon. Gentleman had been present at the opening of the proceedings on this Bill, he would have heard my explanation on this particular point.


hoped he had not done the hon. Gentleman any injustice. The explanation must have been very early in the proceedings, for he came in almost at the opening. He agreed, however, with an hon. Member on the Ministerial side who, in April, 1904, wrote to the Daily News that in his opinion it was equitable that if unoccupied land was rated in the belief that its owner had a good thing, the owner should be given the right to demand that the community should take up the good thing and its accruing unearned increment. Supposing that they did put extra taxes on land on that account, the landlord surely ought to be able to say to them, "You consider this land worth a largely increased sum of money; if so, then take it over yourself; you are welcome to it." There was a difficulty in Clause 1. How on earth the provisions of that clause were going to be carried out he did not know. The proprietor, or reputed proprietor, had got to estimate the annual value as between a willing seller and a willing buyer. How was a working man to take on the somewhat difficult task of measuring the ground and estimating its value? If the proprietor did not succeed in doing this he was liable to imprisonment. In large centres in Scotland there was what was known as the tenement or flat system, and in each case the tenement or flat was owned by the vassal himself. How was it conceivable that under this measure each owner of a flat or part of a flat would be able to assess the proportion of the ground upon which his tenement was built, and hand it in to the proper authority? That was perfectly ridiculous, impractical, and impossible, and that provision alone was sufficient to condemn the measure. Was it possible for a working man to value accurately the ground upon which a house was to be built? There were whole streets of these tenement houses in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the owner of each flat would be called upon to make this ridiculous and absurd assessment. It had been said that this Bill emanated very largely from Glasgow. The hon. Member for Glasgow had given to the House some of the reasons why the Town Council of Glasgow supported this measure, and one reason was that if they did not do so they would probably lose their seats. But even under those circumstances the Bill did not meet with very much support in Glasgow. The idea seemed to be that some one had to be taxed and a victim had to be found, without any reasons being given why that particular individual should be the owners of ground values. It was almost the invariable rule in Scotland for builders to acquire land on a fee-simple or absolute title. The difference between the Scottish and the English cases was that whereas the feu was a perpetual charge, in England the lease came to an end, and the landlord might perhaps get some advantage from the increased value as far as the improvements were concerned. The Scottish landowner had none of those advantages, for he sold his land at a perpetual interest, and whether the land was improved or not he was unable at any period to get a higher interest than that for which he had contracted, and that made a very great difference. He had no reversionary right, and he had no vote. Would hon. Gentlemen insist upon taxation without representation? He supposed that this Bill was one of those efforts at "cleaning the slate," of which they had heard so much. Undoubtedly the hardship of this Bill would fall upon the small investor. Feus had always been a favourite form of investment amongst the working classes of Scotland. All the benefit and friendly societies had invested their small savings in the purchase of feu-duties. He did not quite understand whether Clause 7 of this Bill was to stand or not.


said he thought he had made that point quite clear. Clause 7 was an excellent clause if applied prospectively, but he proposed at a subsequent stage to put at the beginning of the clause a proviso making it absolutely clear that the clause had no retrospective effect.


said what the right hon. Gentleman had promised was to meet the point raised by the Royal Commission in order that existing contracts should not be interfered with, because to do that would be a very grave and indefensible action. The right hon. Gentleman endorsed the view of the Royal Commission on this point, and he understood that he would admit of no compromise upon that.


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


withheld his assent, and declined then to put the Question.


continuing, said he thought it was hard that hon. Members opposite should attempt to interfere with the principle of free discussion, because, after all, they were now dealing with a great matter of principle. The object of this Bill was to levy taxation upon capital, and he hoped the House would listen to what he had to say. How would this Bill affect charitable institutions? It was a common joke with Englishmen that Scotchmen were supposed to be extremely near, and therefore anything which affected the power and influence of those institutions affected Scotchmen in a marked degree. This Bill would affect seriously the Merchant Company of Edinburgh and the institutions connected with it, for they had money invested in feu-duties amounting to £16,000. This money belonged mostly to charitable and educational endowments and funds for the widows of members. If this Bill were passed, at thirty years purchase the income of this institution would be diminished by one-tenth, or a capital sum of £48,000. These institutions denied that they held up their land, for they were at all times willing to feu at the market value at the prices obtainable by auction. One of the chief attractions of Edinburgh was its open spaces. If they went along Prince's Street they would see the numerous open spaces of which Scottish Members were so proud. If they were to pass any measure which would crowd over those open spaces with bricks and mortar it would be a national disaster. This Bill would discourage the laying out of garden cities and open spaces. The feeding of children, fresh air, and healthy playgrounds were as great a necessity as good houses. How on earth his hon. friend who moved this Bill made out that it was going to improve the housing of the working classes by increasing the cost of the ground he could not for the life of him see. He would give an instance of one of those magnates who were supposed to make these bloated sums out of feuing land. There was an estate of 700 acres within the city, of which 386 acres were feued, and 34 acres open spaces and parks. The cost of development was £204,000, out of which £112,000 had been recovered, leaving £92,000 outstanding, only part of which was recover, able. In addition to ground which was given for a railway and numerous open spaces, twenty miles of roads and sewers were made. He ventured to say that in this case the public had benefited as much the owner, Such a large capital outlay as this was only possible where the State secured to the proprietor that the contract he had entered into should be faithfully and duly observed. He opposed this Bill on several other grounds. He agreed with the Minority Report of the Royal Commission, which stated that there had been a great deal of misconception and exaggeration prevalent on this subject. These proposals would weaken security and tend to congest areas and would not facilitate the purchase of open spaces and gardens. The supposed direct taxation of feu-duties would violate the law of contract and

involve injustice without securing any public benefit. It would not benefit the ratepayers or the working classes, and only the present owners of houses would be benefited, because future purchasers would have no share in the benefit. It would injure numerous charitable institutions and private investments, and the principal sufferers would be the frugal, the provident, the industrious, and the poor. It would involve a reversal of the uniform practice of Parliament, and it would be a violation of the well-established canons of political economy. Although he believed the Bill had been considerably weakened by the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman, nevertheless he should vote against it.

Mr. SUTHERLAND rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided: — Ayes, 328; Noes, 60, (Division List No. 24.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E) Branch, James Churchill, Winston Spencer
Adkins, W. Ryland Brigg, John Clancy, John Joseph
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. Bright, J. A. Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Brocklehurst, W. D. Cleland, J. W.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Brooke, Stopford Clynes, J. R.
Ambrose, Robert Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs. Leigh) Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)
Armitage, R. Bryce, J.A.(Inverness Burghs) Cobbold, Felix Thornley
Astbury, John Meir Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Cogan, Denis J.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Burke, E. Haviland- Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Collins, Sir Wm. J.(S. Pancras, W
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Burnyeat, J. D. W. Condon, Thomas Joseph
Banner, John S. Harmood- Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Cooper, G. J.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Corbett, CH(Sussex, E. Grinst'd
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Byles, William Pollard Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.
Barnard, E. B. Cairns, Thomas Cory, Clifford John
Barnes, G. N. Caldwell, James Cotton, Sir H. J. S.
Barry, E. (Cork. S.) Cameron, Robert Cowan, W. H.
Beale, W. P. Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)
Beaumont, Hubert(Eastbourne Carr-Gomm, H. W. Crean, Eugene
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Cremer, William Randal
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Cawley, Frederick Crombie, John William
Billson, Alfred Charming, Francis Allston Crooks, William
Boland, John Cheetham, John Frederick Crosfield, A. H.
Cross, Alexander Jardine, Sir J. O'Dowd, John
Cullinan, J. Jenkins, J. O'Grady, J.
Dalziel, James Henry Johnson, John (Gateshead) O'Hare, Patrick
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Jowett, F. W. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Joyce, Michael O'Kelly, James (Roscommon N
Delany, William Kearley, Hudson E. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Devlin, Charles R. (Galway) Kekewich, Sir George O'Shee, James John
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Palmer, Sir Charles Mark
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Kilbride, Denis Parker, James (Halifax)
Dickinson, W.H.(St. Pancras, N Laidlaw, Robert Partington, Oswald
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Paul, Herbert
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Paulton, James Mellor
Dillon, John Lamont, Norman Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)
Dolan, Charles Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Donelan, Captain A. Layland-Barratt, Francis Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)
Duckworth, James Leese, Sir Joseph F (Accrington Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Duffy, William J. Lehmann, R. C. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness Lever, A. Levy(Essex, Harwich Pirie, Duncan V.
Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall) Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Pollard, Dr.
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Levy, Maurice Power, Patrick Joseph
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Lewis, John Herbert Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)
Elibank, Master of Lough, Thomas Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)
Erskine, David C. Lundon, W. Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)
Esmonds, Sir Thomas Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Priestley, W.E.B.(Bradford, E.)
Essex, R. W. Lyell, Charles Henry Radford, G. H.
Eve, Harry Trelawney Lynch, H. B. Raphael, Herbert H.
Farrell, James Patrick Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Fenwick, Charles Macdonald, J.M.(Falkirk B'ghs Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'
Ferens, T. R. Mackarness, Frederic C. Reddy, M.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Maclean, Donald Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Ffrench, Peter MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Redmond, William (Clare)
Findlay, Alexander MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Ronton, Major Leslie
Flavin, Michael Joseph MacVeigh, Charles(Donegal E.) Richards, Thomas(W. Monm'th
Flynn, James Christopher M'Callum, John M. Richards, T.F. (Wolverh'mpt'n
Furness, Sir Christopher M'Crae, George Rickett, J. Compton
Gibb, James (Harrow) M'Kenna, Reginald Ridsdale, E. A.
Gilhooly, James M'Killop, W. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Gill, A. H. M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Ginnell, L. Maddison, Frederick Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert, John Mansfield, H. Rendall(Lincoln Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Glendinning, R. G. Markham, Arthur Basil Robertson, Sir G. Scott(Bradf'd
Goddard, Daniel Ford Marks, G. Croydon(Launceston Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Grant, Corrie Massie, J. Roe, Sir Thomas
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Masterman, C. F. G. Rose, Charles Day
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Meagher, Michael Rowlands, J.
Grove, Archibald Meehan, Patrick A. Runciman, Walter
Gulland, John W. Menzies, Walter Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Micklem, Nathaniel Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Molteno, Percy Alfred Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Hammond, John Mond, A. Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Harcourt, R. Hon. Lewis Money, L. G. Chiozza Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Hardie, J. Keir(Merthyr Tydvil) Montgomery, H. H. Scott, A.H.(Ashton-under-Lyne
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Mooney, J. J. Sears, J. E.
Harmsworth, R.L.(Caithn'sssh Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Seddon, J.
Harrington, Timothy Morley, Rt. Hon. John Seely, Major J. B.
Hart-Davies, T. Morrell, Philip Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Harwood, George Moss, Samuel Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Hayden, John Patrick Murnaghan, George Sheehy, David
Hazleton, Richard Murphy, John Shipman, Dr. John G.
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Myer, Horatio Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Henderson, J.M. (Aberdeen, W.) Napier, T. B. Sloan, Thomas Henry
Henry, Charles S. Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Nicholls, George Snowdon, P.
Higham, John Sharp Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncaster Stanger, H Y.
Hobart, Sir Robert Nolan, Joseph Steadman, W. C.
Hodge, John Nuttall, Harry Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Hudson, Walter O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Idris, T. H. W. O'Brien, William (Cork) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Illingworth, Percy H. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Stuart, James (Sunderland)
Jackson, R. S. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Sullivan, Donal
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Summerbell, T.
Taylor, John W. (Durham) Waterlow, D. S. Wills, Arthur Walters
Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury) Watt, H. Anderson Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) Wedgwood, Josiah, C. Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Thorne, William Weir, James Galloway Wilson, J.W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Torrance, A. M. White, George (Norfolk) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Verney, F. W. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Villiers, Ernest Amherst White, Luke (York, E. R.) Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid
Vivian, Henry White, Patrick (Meath, North) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Walker, H. De R. (Leicester) Whitehead, Rowland Woodhouse, Sir JT(Huddersf'd
Wallace, Robert Whiteley, George (York, W.R.) Young, Samuel
Walsh, Stephen Whitley, J, H. (Halifax) Yoxall, James Henry
Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent Wiles, Thomas TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Wardle, George J. Wilkie, Alexander Mr. Sutherland and Mr. Trevelyan.
Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney) Williamson, A.(Elgin and Nairn
Anstruther-Gray, Major Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Meysey-Thompson, Major E.C.
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Balcarres, Lord Fell, Arthur Remnant, James Farquharson
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Fletcher, J. S. Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Bowles, G. Stewart Haddock, George R. Smith, Abel, H. (Hertford, East)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hamilton, Marquess of Starkey, John R.
Brotherton, Edward Allen Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Talbot, Rt. Hon. J.G.(Oxf'd Univ
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hervey, F.W.F.(Bury S. Edm'd Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C. Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Thornton, Percy M.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Houston, Robert Paterson Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Hunt, Rowland Williamson, G. H. (Worcester)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Kimber, Sir Henry Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Younger, George
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Liddell, Henry
Courthope, G. Loyd Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Bull and Sir Henry Craik.
Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim, S. Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Dublin, S.)
Craig, Captain James(Down, E.) Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Dalrymple, Viscount Lowe, Sir Francis William
Dixon, Sir Daniel Mason, James F. (Windsor)

Question put accordingly, "That the word 'Now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes, 333; Noes, 63. (Division List No. 25.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Beaumont, Hubert(Eastbourne Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles
Adkins, W. Ryland Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Byles, William Pollard
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. Bellairs, Carlyon Cairns, Thomas
Ainsworth, John Stirling Bethell, T. R, (Essex, Maldon) Caldwell, James
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Billson, Alfred Cameron, Robert
Ambrose, Robert Boland, John Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.
Armitage, R. Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N.E. Carr-Gomm, H. W.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Branch, James Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight
Astbury, John Meir Brigg, John Channing, Francis Allston
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Bright, J. A. Cheetham, John Frederick
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury,E.) Brocklehurst, W. D. Churchill, Winston Spencer
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Brooke, Stopford Clancy, John Joseph
Banner, John S. Harmood- Brunner, J. F.L.(Lancs., Leigh) Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Bryce, Rt. Hn. James(Aberdeen) Cleland, J. W.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Bryce, J.A.(Inverness Burghs) Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W)
Barnard, E. B. Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Cobbold, Felix Thornley
Barnes, G. N. Burke, E. Haviland- Cogan, Denis, J.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)
Beale, W. P. Burnyeat, J. D. W. Collins, Sir Wm. J.(S. Pancras W.
Beauchamp, E. Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Condon, Thomas Joseph
Cooper, G. J. Henry, Charles S. Napier, T. B.
Corbett, C.H.(Sussex, E. Grinst'd Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Higham, John Sharp Nicholls, George
Cory, Clifford John Hobart, Sir Robert Nicholson, Charles N.(Doncast'r
Cotton, Sir H. S. J. Hodge, John Nolan, Joseph
Cowan, W. H. Horniman, Emslie John Nuttall, Harry
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Crean, Eugene Houston, Robert Paterson O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Cremer, William Randal Hudson, Walter O'Brien, William (Cork)
Crombie, John William Idris, T. H. W. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W)
Crooks, William Illingworth, Percy H. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Crosfield, A. H. Jackson, R. S. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Cross, Alexander Jacoby, James Alfred O'Dowd, John
Cullinan, J. Jardine, Sir J. O'Grady, J.
Dalziel, James Henry Jenkins, J. O'Hare, Patrick
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Johnson, John (Gateshead) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Jowett, F. W. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon N
Delany, William Joyce, Michael O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Devlin, Charles Ramsay(Galway Kearley, Hudson E. O'Shee, James John
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh S.) Kekewich, Sir George Palmer, Sir Charles Mark
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Kennedy, Sir Vincent Paul Parker, James (Halifax)
Dickinson, W.H.(St. Pancras, N Kilbride, Denis Partington, Oswald
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Laidlaw, Robert Paul, Herbert
Dillon, John Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Paulton,, James Mellor
Dolan, Charles Joseph Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Donelan, Captain A. Lamont, Norman Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thamptn)
Duckworth, James Law, Hugh Alexander Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Duffy, William J. Lawson, Sir Wilfrid pickersgill, Edward Hare
Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness) Layland-Barratt, Francis Pirie, Duncan V.
Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall) Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Pollard, Dr.
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Lehmann, R. C. Power, Patrick Joseph
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Price, C. E.(Edinb'gh, Central)
Elibank, Master of Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)
Erskine, David C. Levy, Maurice Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Lough, Thomas Priestley, W.E.B.(Bradford, E.)
Essex, R. W. Lundon, W. Radford, G. H.
Eve, Harry Trelawney Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Raphael, Herbert H.
Farrell, James Patrick Lyell, Charles Henry Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Fenwiek, Charles Lynch, H. B. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'
Ferens, T. R. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Reddy, M
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Macdonald, J.M.(Falkirk B'ghs Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Ffrench, Peter Mackarness, Frederic C. Redmond, William (Clare)
Findlay, Alexander MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Renton, Major Leslie
Flavin, Michael Joseph MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Richards, Thomas (W. Monm't
Flynn, James Christopher MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E. Richards, T.F.(Wolverh'mpt'n
Furness, Sir Christopher M'Callum, John M. Rickett, J. Compton
Gibb, James (Harrow) M'Crae, George Ridsdale, E. A.
Gilhooly, James M'Kean, John Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Gill, A. H. M'Killop, W. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Ginnell, L. M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Robertson, Rt. Hn. E.(Dundee)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Maddison, Frederick Robertson, J.M. (Tyneside)
Glendinning, R. G. Mansfield, H. Rendall(Lincoln) Robertson, Sir G. Scott(Bradf'd
Goddard, Daniel Ford Markham, Arthur Basil Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Grant, Corrie Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Roe, Sir Thomas
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Massie, J. Rose, Charles Day
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Masterman, C. F. B. Rowlands, J.
Grove, Archibald Meagher, Michael Runciman, Walter
Gulland, John W. Meehan, Patrick A. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Menzies, Walter Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Micklem, Nathaniel Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Hammond, John Molteno, Percy Alfred Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis Mond, A. Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Hardie, J. Keir(Merthyr Tydvil) Money, L. G. Chiozza Scott, A.H.(Ashton under Lyne
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Montgomery, H. H. Sears, J. E.
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn's-sh Mooney, J. J. Seaverns, J. H.
Harrington, Timothy Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Seddon, J.
Hart-Davies, T. Morley, Rt. Hon. John Seely, Major J. B.
Harwood, George Morrell, Philip Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Hayden, John Patrick Moss, Samuel Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Hazleton, Richard Murnaghan, George Sheehy, David
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Murphy, John Shipman, Dr. John G.
Henderson, J.M.(Aberdeen, W.) Myer, Horatio Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Sloan, Thomas Henry Villiers, Ernest Amherst Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Walker, H. De R. (Leicester) Wiles, Thomas
Smith, F.E.(Liverpool, Walton) Wallace, Robert Wilkie, Alexander
Snowden, P. Walsh, Stephen Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Stanger, H. Y. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Williamson, A.(Elgin and Nairn
Steadman, W. C. Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent Wills, Arthur Walters
Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Ward, W. Dudley(Southamptn Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wardle, George J. Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh. N.)
Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras. S.)
Stuart, James (Sunderland) Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Sullivan, Donal Waterlow, D. S. Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid
Summerbell, T. Watt, H. Anderson Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Sutherland, J. E. Wedgwood, Josiah C. Woodhouse, Sir JT.(Huddersfd
Taylor, John W. (Durham) Weir, James Galloway Young, Samuel
Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury) White, George (Norfolk) Yoxall, James Henry
Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Thorne, William White, Luke (York, E. R.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Torrance, A. M. White, Patrick (Meath, North) Mr. George Whiteley and Mr. Herbert Lewis.
Trevelyan, Charles Philips Whitehead, Rowland
Verney, F. W. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Dixon, Sir Daniel Meysey-Thompson, Major E.C.
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Nield, Herbert
Balcarres, Lord Fell, Arthur Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Fletcher, J. S. Remnant, James Farquharson
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter
Bertram, Julius Haddock, George R. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Bowles, G. Stewart Hamilton, Marquess of Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)
Boyle, Sir Edward Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Starkey, John R.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hervey, F.W.F.(Bury S. Edm's Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G.(Oxfd Univ
Brotherton, Edward Allen Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Bull, Sir William James Hunt, Rowland Thornton, Percy M.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C.W. Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Williamson, G. H (Worcester)
Cecil, Evelyn (Ashton Manor) Kimber, Sir Henry Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Younger, George
Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H.A.E. Liddell, Henry
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Courthope, G. Loyd Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. Mr. Harold Cox and Sir Henry Craik.
Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim, S. Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Craig, Captain James(Down, E. Lowe, Sir Francis William
Dalrymple, Viscount Mason, James F. (Windsor)

Main Question put, "That the Bill be how read a second time."

The House divided:—Ayes, 319; Noes, 61. (Division List No. 26.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Baring, Godfrey(Isle of Wight) Branch, James
Adkins, W. Ryland Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Brigg, John
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. Barnard, E. B. Bright, J. A.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Barnes, G. N. Brocklehurst, W. D.
Allen, A Acland (Christchurch) Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Brooke, Stopford
Ambrose, Robert Beale, W. P. Brunner, J.F.L (Lancs., Leigh)
Armitage, R. Beauchamp, E. Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen
Ashton, Thomas Gair Beaumont, Hubert(Eastbourne Bryce, J.A.(Inverness Burghs)
Astbury, John Meir Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Bellairs, Carlyon Burke, E. Haviland-
Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.) Billson, Alfred Burns, Rt. Hon. John
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Boland, John Burnyeat, J. D. W.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Bolton, T.D.(Derbyshire, N.E.) Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Grove, Archibald Molteno, Percy Alfred
Byles, William Pollard Gulland, John W. Mond, A.
Cairns, Thomas Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Money, L. G. Chiozza
Caldwell, James Hammond, John Montgomery, H. H.
Cameron, Robert Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis Mooney, J. J.
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Hardie, J. Keir(Merthyr Tydvil) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Morley, Rt. Hon. John
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Harmsworth, R.L(Caithn'ss-sh Morrell, Philip
Cheetham, John Frederick Harrington, Timothy Moss, Samuel
Churchill, Winston Spencer Hart-Davies, T. Murnaghan, George
Clancy, John Joseph Harwood, George Murphy, John
Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham) Hayden, John Patrick Myer, Horatio
Cleland, J. W. Hazleton, Richard Napier, T. B.
Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.) Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Henderson, J.M. (Aberdeen, W.) Nicholls, George
Cogan, Denis J. Henry, Charles S. Nicholson, Charles N(Doncast'r
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe Nolan, Joseph
Collins, Sir Wm. J.(S. Pancras W Higham, John Sharp Nuttall, Harry
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hobart, Sir Robert O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid
Cooper, G. J. Hodge, John O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Corbett, C.H.(Sussex, E. Grinst'd Horniman, Emslie John O'Brien, William (Cork)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Houston, Robert Paterson O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Cowan, W. H. Hudson, Walter O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Idris, T. H. W O'Dowd, John
Crean, Eugene Jackson, R. S. O'Grady, J.
Cremer, William Randal Jacoby, James Alfred O'Hare, Patrick
Crombie, John William Jardine, Sir J. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Crooks, William Jenkins, J. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Crosfield, A. H. Johnson, John (Gateshead) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Cross, Alexander Jowett, F. W. O'Shee, James John
Cullinan, J. Joyce, Michael Palmer, Sir Charles Mark
Dalziel, James Henry Kearley, Hudson E. Parker, James (Halifax)
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Kekewich, Sir George Partington, Oswald
Delany, William Kennedy, Vincent Paul Paul, Herbert
Devlin, Charles Ramsay(Galway Kilbride, Denis Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Laidlaw, Robert Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton(
Dickinson, W. H.(St, Pancras, N Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lamont, Norman Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Dillon, John Law, Hugh Alexander Pirie, Duncan V.
Dolan, Charles Joseph Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Pollard, Dr.
Donelan, Captain A. Layland-Barratt, Francis Power, Patrick Joseph
Duckworth, James Lehmann, R. C. Price, C.E. (Edinb'gh, Central)
Duffy, William J. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Price, Robert John(Norfolk, E.)
Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)
Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall) Levy, Maurice Priestley, W.E.B.(Bradford, E.)
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Lough, Thomas Radford, G. H.
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Lundon, W. Raphael, Herbert H.
Elibank, Master of Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'
Erskine, David C. Lyell, Charles Henry Reddy, M.
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Lynch, H. B. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Essex, R. W. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Redmond, William (Clare)
Eve, Harry Trelawney Macdonald, J.M.(Falkirk B'ghs Renton, Major Leslie
Farrell, James Patrick Mackarness, Frederic C. Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'h
Fenwick, Charles MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Richards, T.F.(Wolverh'mpt'n
Ferens, T. R. MacVeagh; Jeremiah (Down, S. Rickett, J. Compton
Ferguson, R. C. Munro MacVeigh, Charles(Donegal, E.) Ridsdale, E. A.
Ffrench, Peter M'Callum, John M. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Findlay, Alexander M'Crae, George Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Flavin, Michael Joseph M'Kean, John Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)
Flynn, James Christopher M'Kenna, Reginald Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Furness, Sir Christopher M'Killop, W. Robertson, Sir G Scott(Bradf'rd
Gibb, James (Harrow) M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Roe, Sir Thomas
Gilhooly, James Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Rose, Charles Day
Gill, A. H. Markham, Arthur Basil Rowlands, J.
Ginnell, L. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Runciman, Walter
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Massie, J. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Glendinning, R. G. Meagher, Michael Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Meehan, Patrick A. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Menzies, Walter Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Micklem, Nathaniel Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Schwann, Chas. E (Manchester) Summerbell, T. White, George (Norfolk)
Scott, A.H.(Ashton under Lyne Sutherland, J. E. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire
Sears, J. E. Taylor, John W. (Durham) White, Luke (York, E. R)
Seaverns, J. H. Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Seddon, J. Thorne, William Whitehead, Rowland
Seely, Major J. B. Torrance, A. M. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Trevelyan, Charles Philips Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Verney, F. W Wiles, Thomas
Sheehy, David Villiers, Ernest Amherst Wilkie, Alexander
Shipman, Dr. John G. Walker, H. De R. (Leicester) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wallace, Robert Wills, Arthur Walters
Sloan, Thomas Henry Walsh, Stephen Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Smith, F.E. (Liverpool, Walton) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Snowden, P. Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Stanger, H. Y. Wardle, George J. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Steadman, W. C. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Woodhouse, Lord(Norfolk, Mid)
Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Young, Samuel
Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Waterlow, D. S.
Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Watt, H. Anderson TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Stuart, James (Sunderland) Wedgwood, Josiah C. Mr. George Whiteley and Mr. Herbert Lewis,
Sullivan, Donal Weir, James Galloway
Anstruther-Gray, Major Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Meysey-Thompson, Major E.C
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Balcarres, Lord Fell, Arthur Nield, Herbert
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Fletcher, J. S. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Remnant, James Farquharson
Bertram, Julius Haddock, George R. Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Bowles, G. Stewart Hamilton, Marquess of Salter, Arthur Clavell
Boyle, Sir Edward Hardy, Laurence(Kent Ashford Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Starkey, John R.
Bull, Sir William James Hervey, F.W.F.(Bury S. Edm'd Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G(Oxf'd Univ.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C.W Hunt, Rowland Thornton, Percy M.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W Williamson, G. H. (Worcester)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Kimber, Sir Henry Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. King, Sir Henry Seymour(Hull Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Liddell, Henry Younger, George
Courthope, G. Loyd Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham
Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim, S. Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Harold Cox and Sir Henry Craik.
Craig, Captain James(Down, E.) Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Dalrymple, Viscount Lowe, Sir Francis William
Dixon, Sir Daniel Mason, James F. (Windsor)

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed to the Standing Committee on Law, &c."—(Mr. Sutherland)—Debate arising.

And, it being after half-past Five of the Clock, and objection being taken to further proceeding, the debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed upon Monday-next.