§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. EMMOTT (Oldham) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1:
§ *MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N.)
, in moving to leave out "each county and borough" and insert "the county of Lanarkshire and burgh, of Glasgow," said there were several general reasons why he moved this Amendment. His object was to reduce the area of financial disturbance this Bill would cause if it were ever placed on the Statute-book. If the reason given by the Government for the introduction of the measure was the real one, viz., the obtaining of reliable data as to the relative value of the land apart from the buildings on it, there could be no better criteria from which that data could be obtained than that proposed by his Amendment, while it would greatly reduce the cost of the proceeding. The already heavily burdened ratepayers in the West of Scotland were anxious to have this additional burden press as lightly as possible on them. In addition to these general reasons there were some local reasons which induced him to move his Amendment. First, he thought it was equitable that the relatively small but important area comprised within his Amendment, being the first to give birth to the agitation which had finally culminated in the present Bill, should be also the first to pay a legal toll to it. In Glasgow during the last quarter of a century a small but active group of public men had constantly kept before the public the Henry Georgian ideals of the taxation of land values embodied in this Bill, and had persuaded the corporation 1782 of the city to incur very considerable expense in pursuing a propaganda for the furtherance of those ideals. He was aware that quite recently the Court of Session had declared that that large expenditure was illegal; and it was also notable in connection with this measure that the other corporations which had joined the city of Glasgow in pushing this matter and bringing it before the public and the House of Commons had been very slow in providing their quota of that expenditure. A further local reason why he urged that the Bill should be thus limited was that the cost of the new valuation, so far at least as the experience of Glasgow was concerned, was likely to be less in that great city than in other parts of Scotland. That view was much dwelt upon by the Assessor for the city of Glasgow who in giving evidence before the Select Committee last year, said in effect that it would not greatly exceed the cost of making up the present Valuation Roll. He ventured to suggest to the Committee that that was a very strong argument in favour of his Amendment, and he thought they were bound to bear it in mind. Further, it had become evident since the Bill was last before the House that the opinion of it held by the citizens of Glasgow had considerably changed. Last week the Corporation of Glasgow passed unanimously a resolution urging that the whole additional cost of this valuation should become an Imperial charge. He submitted that that was an important element which they should be slow to disregard. This measure, they believed, was founded on a colossal delusion and was calculated to lead to overcrowding in towns and not to its lessening. Therefore he suggested that the great community which had inspired the agitation should have the honour of first legal toll to it. There was an obvious explanation for this change of attitude on the part of the Corporation of Glasgow. It had become increasingly plain since the Prime Minister made his famous declaration last autumn that the gold mine of the "existing" feu-duties was not to be taxed under this Bill that the interest of the Corporation of Glasgow had thereupon greatly lessened. If the local authorities in Scotland were not to be 1783 allowed to tax existing feu-duties they were in no wise anxious that the Bill should be placed on the Statute-book. And a further reason was that the local authorities must bear their full proportion of the cost of the new valuation under the Bill. It was exceedingly important to remember that this great change of opinion had taken place in Scotland. At one time it appeared as if there was a strong desire for legislation of this character, but ever since the Government had found it necessary to make that declaration, in great contrast to the propaganda of the Solicitor-General for Scotland during last winter, it had become increasingly evident that those who were chiefly responsible for the Bill had no great desire that the Government should further proceed with it. He begged to move.
In page 1, line 7, to leave out the words 'each county and burgh,' and insert the words 'the county of Lanarkshire and burgh of Glasgow.'"—(Mr. Hugh Barrie.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'each' stand part of the clause."
§ *MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
said that the reason why he supported this Amendment was that he wished to relieve his Scottish friends from the embarrassment of broken pledges. If they would cast their minds back to the agitation which had been carried on for some years, and especially before the last general election, they would remember that they promised their constituents that by supporting the taxation of land values they would be relieved from the burden of local rating; and that the whole or a large part of that burden would be placed on the shoulders of the ground landlords. That pledge those hon. Members did not propose to redeem, for the Prime Minister had intervened and told them that the Government would not allow existing contracts to be interfered with. Therefore, they would no longer be able to tax the ground landlords although some people imagined that they could. He saw that at a meeting recently held in Leicester, a gentleman referred to a speech made by himself in opposing the Bill the other day, and stated that a noble landowner 1784 in Preston drew £120,000 a year from ground rents without paying a penny of rates. That nobleman would continue to do so. This Bill would not touch that point, for the Government insisted that existing contracts must be respected, so that any new land values rate would have to be paid by existing ratepayers. Therefore, hon. Members had not kept their pledges. Not only had they failed to relieve the ratepayers, by taxing the ground landlord as they promised to do, but they were proposing by this Bill to put a new burden on the ratepayers by introducing a very expensive system of valuation. He would point out incidentally that the people who would be relieved in their rating would be primarily the ratepayers in the suburbs, and, secondarily, the owners of the land in the suburbs, because if they relieved suburban houses of rates there would be an additional profit upon building operations in the suburbs and the price of land there would go up. So that the net effect of the proposals in the Bill would be to place a new burden on the ratepayers in the centre of the town in order to enhance the property of landlords in the suburbs. His hon. friends would find that their constituencies would not approve of that policy. Hence he wanted to relieve them from an inconvenience; he wanted them to be able to say that, though they had not kept their pledges, they had except in regard to the county of Lanark and the burgh of Glasgow, imposed no new burden on Scotland. That was a very strong reason for limiting the operation of the Bill. He did not suppose that anybody really understood what the Bill proposed except the Solicitor-General for Scotland, even if he did. Very few Members realised that it was proposed in the Bill to shift all the rates from fabrics on to sites. That was the essence of the Bill. He understood that in a previous Bill it was proposed to put a 2s. rate on the land in addition to the existing rates. But the proposal at the back of this Bill was an entirely different thing. It was to sweep away the whole of the rates from buildings and put the whole burden on the land. He admitted that it was a little hard on the county of 1785 Lanark that it should be made the vile body on which this experiment was to be made, for the County Council of Lanark had refused to petition in favour of the Bill. Still, someone must suffer if the House was determined to goon with this measure, and he wished to limit the suffering as far as possible. Another important reason for limiting the operation of the Bill was that the very elements of the problem of assessing land under this new scheme had not yet been thought out. He ventured to say that not one of the three hon. Gentlemen now on the Treasury Bench understood the measure. He pointed out the other day that complaints were of ten made that the country mansions of wealthy gentlemen and noblemen were not sufficiently rated at present; but that under the principles of the Bill they would be relieved of rating altogether. The Solicitor-General for Scotland replied that he was mistaken and said that the site of the mansion would be rated at a different figure from agricultural land. He ventured to say that the hon. and learned Gentleman was mistaken, because the whole principle of the Bill was that the land was to be stripped of everything on it, and if they took away the mansion there would be nothing but agricultural land value to rate. Therefore the bare agricultural land on which that mansion stood ought to be rated at the same figure as other agricultural land around it. He was sure his hon. friend would not therefore be able to sustain his contention. [The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for SCOTLAND dissented.] Well, then he was unable to understand his philosophy. Perhaps his hon. friend would explain how he proposed to put a higher rate on a field occupied by a mansion and a field occupied by potatoes? If the fields were the same size, of the same aspect, the same distance from town, and had the same amenities, why should one be rated higher than the other? There was no reason except that when they began to apply a Bill like this the folly of the whole Henry Georgite system became evident, and they had to go back to the reasonable and commonsense plan of taxing where they could get the money. In New Zealand where there was an application 1786 of Henry George's principles, he was informed that the assessors always tried to get more out of a big than out of a little house, although the sites occupied were identical. His hon. friend had also shown that he had not gone definitely into this question of assessment. He (Mr. Cox) had put a certain case. He said that in a certain Scottish town there was a belt of 600 acres of land, all of which was equally valuable for building, but the town grew at such a rate that only ten acres a year were disposed of. Consequently the owners of these 600 acres of land were in this position, that when they sold an acre they got £1,000 for it, but only ten such acres could be sold in a year. He wanted to know, were all these 600 acres to be valued at the rate of £1,000 an acre? If not, at what rate were they to be valued? There was no answer to that problem. How were they to draw the line? The owner might not be able to sell another acre for ten or twenty years, and it would be most unjust to him if he was compelled during all that period to pay a tax based upon a value which he could not realise. He contended that it was impossible to lay down any principle on which an assessor could proceed, unless they took the realised value. If they had land producing an actual rent, of £3 a year, that was a definite value they could go upon; but if, as in the case he had put, land might not be sold for twenty years, and meanwhile the owner was taxed on the supposition that his land was worth £1,000 an acre, the grossest possible injustice would be inflicted upon him. There was another point which could be tested by this proposal, and that was the very difficult question of taxing the unearned increment. His hon. friend the Member for West Aberdeen the other day had argued that, although he was totally opposed to the principle of the Bill, yet he would vote for it because it opened the door to the taxing of the unearned increment. The hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for Dulwich, dealt in a very effective manner with the general question of taxing unearned increment and pointed out the fallacy of drawing a distinction between unearned increment of land or any other 1787 source of wealth, including even brain power. He did not, however, want to go into that question, but he wanted the Committee to consider this point. The authority of John Stuart Mill had been quoted, but he ventured to say that John Stuart Mill was wrong on this point as he was wrong on other points. Mill started with the same maxim with which His Majesty's Government started, that they must not confiscate existing values. Mill went on to say that they should take the value of the land as it stood to-day, and if it rose in value then tax the unearned increment. That was a proposition which his hon. friend the Member for West Aberdeen supported; but he thought the Committee would see that if that course were followed they would be confiscating part of the present value, because that value partly depended upon the present estimation of what the value was likely to be in the future. When a man bought land he took into account the prospect of its rising and the risk of its falling, and those elements helped to determine the present price. If, therefore, they said to a man who had bought land, "We will take away from you all chance of the increase in the value of the land but will leave you with a chance of a decrease of the value," then by so doing they depreciated the present value. It was a somewhat subtle point, but he thought he was right in saying that if they confiscated the unearned increment they also confiscated part of the present value unless they guaranteed the owner against an unearned decrement. These were two or three points which could be settled by this experimental legislation, but there was another point to which he would like to call attention. He thought the Lord-Advocate laid very great stress upon the value of this Bill for dealing with the housing problem. The Bill would give the city of Glasgow an opportunity of testing that value, and he hoped their experience would not be the same as that of the London County Council. The London County Council in the year 1901 purchased 225 acres of land in the county of Middlesex for the purpose of a housing scheme. At the end of 1904 they had succeeded in developing only five of those 225 acres. Why? Because the people did not come. [An HON. MEMBER: 1788 "No."] Because the population did not come. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] His hon. friend below the bar interrupted him on that point, and perhaps he had private sources of information. He was quoting from the published reports of the London County Council, and he saw in their housing report that it was unnecessary and would be uneconomical to further develop this large estate of 225 acres because the people were not coming to the land; they were not wanting more houses. If this system of taxing land values came into operation, what would happen? On what principle would the vacant 220 acres be taxed. On their urban value? They were bought at the urban value, and they remained there having a potential urban value.
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
Their actual worth in the market is a speculative value, and the London County Council has to be taxed on a speculative value although it cannot use it.
§ MR. A. DEWAR
was understood to say that they would in this case be taxed on their agricultural value.
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
said that there they had a confession that the doctrines which these hon. Gentlemen had been preaching up and down the country, that landlords were robbing the poor by keeping the land out of the market, were all a delusion. If all this County Council building estate ought to be taxed only at its agricultural value, why should other land that was waiting for development pay at a higher rate?
§ MR. A. DEWAR
said that the particular land to which his hon. friend referred by his own showing was only of agricultural value, and therefore would be rated at agricultural value. But there 1789 were other lands kept out of cultivation which would have a higher value. Therefore, the hon. Gentleman must not say that any land out of cultivation would be fixed at an agricultural value.
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
said the land was bought by the London County Council at an urban value, but the hon. Gentleman said that now it had only an agricultural value. Why did he give his faith to the London County Council which was the landlord in this case and refuse his faith to the other landlords? How was the assessor to act when the landlord said he could only let land for agricultural purposes, and what was the landlord to do when the assessor said he should tax him on the land at the urban value? This was very important, because he was sure that the ratepayers of London, of whom he was one, would not agree to be taxed in order to put money into the pockets of the ratepayers of Middlesex. But there were other difficulties in regard to assessment, and there was one very great difficulty which he was surprised that his right hon. friend the Lord Advocate did not see, and that was the costliness of the legal proceedings which this method of valuation would involve. In the Queensland Report, to which his right hon. friend had devoted such profound study, at pages 10 and 11 there was a very interesting comment on the difficulty of getting a final legal decision on the many complex questions arising directly they tried to treat land, not as it actually was, but as somebody imagined it had been in times gone by. The writer of the book said it took several years to bring the State valuation upon a basis which would "stand the ordeal of the Appeal Courts." That was in a new country where everything was comparatively simple, where the improvements had mostly happened during the lifetime of men now living. How many years would elapse before they could get a basis in Scotland which would stand the ordeal of the Appeal Courts, and how many thousands and tens of thousands of pounds would pass from the pockets of private citizens into the pockets of the lawyers before that was accomplished? He would refer to another matter which the Solicitor- 1790 General for Scotland had rather overlooked. In speaking the other day on this question he tried to reassure the House as to the difficulties of this method of assessment; he told them that what was proposed to be done had already been done for twenty years in the seven counties in Scotland where the Crofters Acts applied, where the rating had been fixed upon the land apart from buildings and improvements. That was the statement made by the Solicitor-General, but he was afraid that it meant that he was either unfamiliar with the terms of the Bill or with the terms of the Crofters Act. The Bill provided that the land was to be rated as if it were divested of buildings and improvements of whatever nature on, in, or under soil; but what was the case under the Crofters Acts in Scotland? He had a book dealing with the Crofters Acts and it contained the Report of the Commissioners on fixing fair rents in Scotland. They put to themselves the question on what lines were they to proceed to arrive at a rent that was fair. They came to the conclusion that if the landlord made the improvements the crofter should pay for them; that if the crofter made them he could not in fairness be asked to pay rent for them; but that if he had made an agreement with his landlord to make the improvements, and to receive an equivalent for their value from the landlord, then again rent should be paid for them. So that it was not accurate to say that rents in the crofter counties were paid for the bare land without improvements. The fair rents of crofters' holdings were totally different from the kind of thing this Bill proposed, and therefore he hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would take the earliest opportunity of undeceiving the House on that matter. The Lord Advocate having said that England was fifty years behind Scotland in this matter he had been at some pains to try and discover where the backwardness of England lay. He gathered from the speech of the Lord Advocate that it lay in the fact that we had a local system of valuation, and that Scotland had a national system.
§ MR. THOMAS SHAW
Does my hon. friend realise that there is no annual 1791 system in this country, and does he not realise that an annual system is better than a quinquennial system?
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
said he recognised that, but he understood the hon. Member to say there was a central body in Scotland.
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
said he had gathered that there was in Scotland a system of national valuation, which was conducted by a body of land value assessors; that they were a body of expert officials in Scotland, a central body of Commissioners.
§ MR. THOMAS SHAW
said that in consequence of the frequent suggestions that were made in reference to his hon. and learned friend the Solicitor-General, he wished to say there was no ground for what the hon. Gentleman had just said in anything that had been said by his hon. and learned friend or himself. It was a total perversion of the Scottish system. There were no Central Commissioners in Scotland, and the thing had not been heard of since the year 1854.
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
said he had merely asked for information. He, at all events, understood that one of the great merits of the Scottish system was that they had a more expert system of valuation in Scotland than obtained in this country. He wished to know whether the Government had any in formation from any official source as to the possiblity of carrying out this assessment. That went to the root of the difficulty. If the expert land valuers were not prepared to carry out this Bill, it would be very difficult to carry it out at all. [An HON. MEMBER: Yes, they are.] His hon. friend said they were, but he held a letter in his hand from a gentleman, who described himself as one of the officials who would have to perform the work under this Bill. That gentleman said—
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
He is an official, so I cannot give his name, but he is one of the officials who will have to perform the work of this Bill. This is what he said—The idea of valuing or fixing the price as sold by a willing seller of a metaphysical abstraction is absurd beyond words. The poor owner has just to imagine the land back in its primeval, unimproved, undrained, unreclaimed state, bare of wails, bindings and every erection or improvement on, in, or under the soil, subject to the further qualification that the benefit thereof is unexhausted at the time of valuation. How is this to be done? In England even Domesday Book would Le too modern for such an investigation, and how is the assessor to fix this value of an idea? He does not know, even if one present owner does, the history of the land since it emerged from its first unimproved state; he will want to dig up the soil to see if the drains, that the owner says are there, are now working properly and their benefit unexhausted. The question is endless and then after all a selling price is to be imposed on this mental fiction. No two persons in this world could agree on the figures. Disputes and litigation (and they can litigate here) will overwhelm the people, and the administration will be reduced to chaos. Let it not be said that it has been given in evidence that this work is possible. It has not. The utmost that has been said by any witness is that it is possible to separate buildings above the soil from land as it now is, but never as it was in the dim past, never to value these roads before they were made. To put a value on such fictions is just as unreasonable as to fix the income-tax assessment on the amount a man might be expected to be annually worth conceived as uneducated, untrained, and before he specialised.As that was the written opinion of one of the experienced valuers who would have to put this Bill into operation it was desirable that the operation of the Bill should be limited as far as possible.
§ *MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)
said his only objection to the Amendment of his hon. friend was that it did not go far enough. No doubt the city of Glasgow and the county of Lanark were in themselves difficult to value, but they were not typical by any means of the whole of Scotland. If the Government were likely to accept this Amendment—the probability was they were not—he would have suggested an Amendment to it to the effect that in addition to the county of Lanark and the city of Glasgow it should include the county of Perth and the burgh of Alloa. He suggested those additions because the county of 1793 Perth was typical of its class. It was neither a manufacturing nor mineral county as Lanark was, but it had fishings and shootings of great value and agricultural interests of great importance, and in that sense it undoubtedly was a difficult county to value. He proposed the burgh of Alloa for two reasons because first, it was a town which existed largely on its manufacturing industries, and, second, its valuation results would be extremely valuable in so far that it would be seen by these that to put all local taxation on site values would be absolutely absurd. He would be very sorry for the right hon. Member representing that town if the Government were to prosecute their scheme to the bitter end. He feared that in such an event the House would have to regret the right hon. Member's absence from their discussions, because there would not be a vote left for him in his constituency. The Lord Advocate had expressed a hope that the figures would not be reopened, and he certainly did not propose to give them again, but he thought the Government ought to proceed in this matter by simple and cautious stages. Why should the whole of Scotland be plunged into this difficulty in order that the Government might obtain statistics which would be of no use? It might be possible to Tate on site values in such places as the city of Glasgow, but at the same time it would be manifestly unfair to do so. The people in the centre of the city would be penalised for the benefit of those in the suburbs and similarly in similar towns. When hon. Gentlemen opposite had pointed out to them what the effect would be in a matter of this kind they always got out of the difficulty by suggesting the putting in of an option clause in the rating Bill. His proposition was that something of the kind should be inserted in this Bill. Why should they have all this worry and trouble and annoyance in all these burghs unless the taxing authorities in Scotland thought the valuation would be of value? The hon. Member for Preston had gone into the matter, and in dealing with this Amendment had put many points of great interest. But there was one point he had not quite exhausted and which was a most important one. 1794 In discussing the argument of the Solicitor-General in regard to annual valuation in the crofting counties, the whole point was missed. The Solicitor-General's argument was that this particular kind of valuation was being made every year in the seven crofting counties of Scotland. Nobody knew better than the Solicitor-General for Scotland that this valuation was an annual and not a capital valuation. The Solicitor-General had not said so. When he had interrupted, the hon. and learned Gentleman had very carefully and clearly avoided the point. He asked him now, whether he was willing to alter his Bill, so that it should be annual instead of capital value. The hon. and learned Gentleman was not willing. Why bring it forward then, and what application had it to his argument? In fact, it was one of those obvious red herrings which the Solicitor-General and his right hon. friend, the Lord Advocate, were constantly dragging across the trail of the Bill the moment they were in a difficulty. In regard to assessments, the hon. Member had read a very interesting extract which only corroborated nearly half a dozen extracts which he had read last year. And he would remind the House that in their discussions in Grand Committee last year it was very clearly borne in upon the Lord Advocate that some kind of directions ought to appear in the Bill as to the manner in which these assessments were to be made; in point of fact, there ought to be a schedule attached to the Bill, fully instructing the assessors in their duties. Why had that schedule not been put in? For the very best of reasons. It ran up against another insuperable difficulty, and they passed on and left it alone. This Bill did not deal with very important interests—in Scotland—with fisheries, for example, and with the minerals of an estate. Let them take the case of a river. The bed of is belonged to one owner, say the Crown; the fishery belonged to someone else. How was the bed of the river to be valued? The Bill did not say, the assessor did not know. It was hardly to be expected that the owner of the soil should pay for a fishery which did not belong to him. In regard to minerals the same thing arose. They 1795 found all these difficulties in the typical counties which his hon. friend had selected. They would find them still better illustrated in the county of Perth and other county areas, where they would have these fishery questions to deal with, and where they would very properly show the true value of the Bill. Hon. Gentlemen opposite, who were pressing the Bill, had come to realise that there were far more difficulties and far greater anomalies than was thought attending this valuation and the resultant taxation upon it. He did not see quite the same ardour in defending the principles of this Bill and its ultimate use as was shown last year. His opinion was that the bottom had been knocked put of it. He supported the Amendment. He thought they ought to restrict this valuation in Scotland until they saw the results of the short tests in the particular county and in the city of Glasgow. If the Lord Advocate showed himself of a pliable disposition and accepted this Amendment he would be happy to move the addition of the other two areas, in order to see what was the effect of this valuation in four districts of Scotland which might be regarded as typical.
§ *MR. WOOD (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
said that the hon. Member for Londonderry in proposing the Amendment had given as his reason for suggesting that the city of Glasgow had changed its mind with regard to the taxation of and values, the fact that the Corporation had asked that the cost of the valuation should be borne out of national funds. That was a very inadequate reason. It was very easy to get a resolution of that kind on any subject from any local authority. At least that was his experience of local authorities. Perhaps some alarm had been caused by the enormous figures which his hon. friend the Member for Dulwich had produced with regard to valuation in Glasgow; because he had said, quoting Dr. Murray, that it would cost £500,000 to value the land of Glasgow. Against that extimate they had Dr. Murray's own opinion that the total annual value of the land in Glasgow was only £570,000. The cost of valuation, therefore, would be very nearly the 1796 total annual value of the land. Dr. Murray was a gentleman of very great ability as a solicitor, and he had doubtless had many dealings with land, but he was not a skilled valuer. There was another witness before the Committee, a skilled valuer.
§ *MR. WOOD
said that the gentleman might not be a professional valuer, but he had enormous experience in valuation, and he did not think his hon. friend would question his competence. He had been assessor in the city of Glasgow for so many years that he thought no one was able to form a better opinion on the subject. But they had a skilled valuer before them in the person of an official of the London County Council, who was a professional valuer, and a Fellow of the Surveyors' Institute. ["Name? "] It was Mr. Harper, who had great experience in valuation in connection with the London County Council. Of course, the evidence given before the Committee showed how necessary it was to get a valuation before attempting to deal with this problem. It was cautious and prudent on the part of the Committee to recommend that course, because the assessor of the city of Glasgow had given a very different estimate of the value of land in Glasgow from that given by Dr. Murray, for he had put the value at over £2,400,000. He thought that this coming from a skilled valuer, was much nearer the true estimate than the former one, which put the value of the land in Glasgow at one-tenth of the annual value of the property. He thought the House would see that the latter was an absurd valuation on the face of it. But to come to the hon. Member for Preston, who had seconded this Amendment. The House always heard his speeches with delight, and it was a little hard that he should have tried to repress manifestations of appreciation which had come from the benches on his own side of the House. On each occasion the hon. Member addressed the House he had a new paradox to unfold; but his paradoxes were not always in the same spirit, for the paradox of this week might not be consistent with 1797 the paradox of last week. A good deal of what the hon. Gentleman had said was manifestly inconsistent with the evidence which he had given before the Select Committee. The hon. Member had said something about unearned increment, and he had previously told the Committee that the most extraordinary example of unearned increment in this country was not the unearned increment of the land, but the increase in the wages of the agricultural labourer since the abolition of the Corn Laws. That was an illustration of the extraordinary view the hon. Member took on the subject of the land. The hon. Gentleman went on to give London as an illustration. The hon. Member's information was three years old, and his figures, therefore, inaccurate. He told them that the London County Council had bought 220 acres of land, and had only built on five acres. When the London County Council bought the land, they took it with the intention of building gradually upon it as the houses became occupied, and the area was gradually being covered.
§ MR. REMNANT (Finsbury, Holborn)
The London County Council intended to build on the whole of the land within the first two or three years. I was on the Council at the time.
§ *MR. WOOD
said his hon. friend seemed to know more than he did, but the fact of the matter was there had been some delay in dealing with the urban district council as regards drainage, and they had not commenced at once. But the development of an estate like that must be slow, and hon. Members were giving him one of the strongest points he could have. What was the reason they could not develop the estate more rapidly? The reason was not that they could not get people who would pay a rent that would return interest on the building expenditure, but that on the top of that they had a tax on the buildings of a third to a half of the annual interest required on the expenditure, and it was that last straw which arrested the development of these housing schemes. The hon. Member for Preston had raised the point that they could not value land apart from buildings. That fallacy had been exploded before 1798 the Royal Commission presided over by Lord Balfour of Burleigh.
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
I did not say you could not value land apart from buildings; I said you could not make the valuation required by this Bill.
§ *MR. WOOD
said that the possibility of valuing land apart from buildings was a subject which they need not discuss now, however, because it was already done under the authority of an Act of Parliament. This was a matter which was very thoroughly considered in another place a few years ago in relation to the subject of betterment. Provision was made that land which was the subject of betterment should be valued apart from the building before the improvement was carried out; and then, some years after the improvement had been completed, should be valued again apart from the building so that they should know what the improvements had really added to the value of the land. With regard to the question which the hon. Member for Preston had very gratuitously raised as to the pledges they were alleged to have given at the last election, the hon. Member seemed to know a great deal about those pledges, but he was singularly misinformed in some cases. He (Mr. Wood) had given no pledges such as the hon. Member had described, though he had pointed out that the present system of rating was unsatisfactory and indefensible. Nothing in that debate had struck him so much as the fact that nobody on the other side, nor the hon. Member for Preston, had ventured in the least to defend the present system of rating.
§ *MR. WOOD
said that statement had not been supported by argument. His point was that the present system of rating was indefensible on several grounds. First of all, it produced a condition, of affairs in which it was extremely difficult either for private persons or for municipalities to build enough houses. Surely it was obvious that if they put a tax on any kind of industry they discouraged it, and it was a most singular thing that in this country they should have chosen the building industry for their chief discouragement. The heavy rating of buildings and fixed machinery was a burden upon manufacture and commerce. He did not dwell on the fact that the discouragement of the building industry was one of the causes of lack of employment. One of the most serious faults of the existing system was its effect upon housing. In London there were nearly three quarters of a million people living under overcrowded conditions—more than two in one room. In Glasgow, there were 368,000. It was admitted that the condition was aggravated (and he had given an instance in the case of the housing scheme which his hon. friend had referred to) by the fact that if they wanted to build they had to provide for a rate of from a third to a half on the annual return they got on the expenditure for building, and that absolutely discouraged building. Municipal authorities were spending large sums of money very profitably with the object of providing tramway facilities in order to make the population mobile, to carry them from the overcrowded centres to the outskirts where there was more room and air to be obtained, but that was all handicapped by the vicious system of rating. If they were to deal with that they must deal with it outside as well as inside the urban area concerned. It was of no use to deal with it inside areas like Glasgow or London alone. They must deal with it on the outskirts where land was cheap and the poorer classes of the community could obtain houses at rents within their means. The hon. Member for Preston had declared that the effect of this proposal would be to 1800 relieve the wealthy merchant who lived in a suburban villa and to put a new burden upon the poor shopkeeper in the centre. In the first place, the hon. Member's picture of the suburbs was a fancy picture. There were undoubtedly villas and wealthy merchants in the outskirts of London, but there were also vast areas which were dormitories of the poor—West Ham, East Ham, and. Walthamstow—and in all these places they would reduce the cost of housing, and it would be an inestimable benefit to the people of London.
§ *MR. WOOD
said that exactly the same remarks would apply to Scotland. Whether it was true or false the hon. Member's argument was absolutely inconsistent with the evidence he had given before the Select Committee. He had said it was his opinion that the effect of rating was to lower the rent which the landlord received, but he had qualified that statement by saying that in many cases the landlord did not exact the full amount he might obtain. He (Mr. Wood) put the question to him very carefully, whether he held the opinion that the ultimate incidence of the rates, speaking generally, was upon the landlord, and he replied that he did. What then came of his argument about coming on the poor ratepayer and relieving the wealthy landlord? It was absolutely inconsistent.
§ *MR. WOOD
said the Solicitor-General had explained what he hoped would ultimately come from the Bill. He had never heard him say they should do it all at a single operation. All this discussion about leaseholds and feus and ground rents was perfectly irrelevant, and there was nothing to prejudice that question in this Bill. He was a member of the Select Committee and knew what view they took. They had thrown out the Bill which was before them largely on the ground that it only dealt with urban areas, though Members opposite were of course opposed to the whole principle. There was one witness who said that the land value of Glasgow was £570,000 a year, and another who said it was £2,400,000. Of course it was absurd to take Glasgow alone or Lanarkshire, the richest part of Scotland. They got no adequate information of the balance of advantage in different parts of Scotland. Surely, if Members wanted justice to be done whenever a Rating Bill was introduced, they wanted full information; and information about Glasgow, though favourable enough to the contention of those who agreed with the principle, might be unfair information and might lead them to do things which were too drastic perhaps in regard to other localities. He maintained that the advantage was not limited to the big towns, but extended to rural districts. They had constant complaints that the landlord spent so much money on his buildings and his improvements that he got no adequate return from the land. This reform would relieve him in the rating on buildings and improvements. They had complaints that there was overcrowding, not only in the big towns but in rural areas, and that it was impossible to build cottages and get a return that was worth speaking of. The second objection was that it would cause the intensifying of the congestion in the centre of towns and the erection of sky - scrapers. Nobody had ever shown or would be able to show that the cheapering of building and the widening of the area of building land could ever tend to make people crowd more into a particular area or have any other effect than that of spreading the population in a satisfactory manner, conducive to the health and morals of the community. The fact 1802 of the matter was that that was an entirely new argument which would not bear a moment's examination. The hon. Member himself had a remedy which he had given before the Select Committee. It was to put the rates on all kinds of income.
This question is really entirely outside even the Bill, although it would be relevant to the Second Reading, because you can discuss alternatives at that stage, But it is entirely outside the Amendment, which is whether the Bill should apply to certain parts or to the whole of Scotland.
§ *MR. WOOD
said he was sorry he was not able to reply to some of the remarks of his hon. friend the Member for Preston. He submitted that under the circumstances no case whatever had been made out for confining the application of the Bill to Glasgow and Lanarkshire, or even to Alloa and Perthshire. What they honestly desired to obtain in the Select Committee was the proposal the Government had adopted, that in dealing with this question they should take the preliminary step of obtaining an accurate valuation of the land, which would enable them to consider the reform of rating and to change the basis of rating, perhaps gradually, but ultimately, from the composite subject of land, buildings and improvements to the single and much more satisfactory subject of the land.
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith Burghs)
suggested that it would be much better to allow the Bill to apply to the whole of Scotland, because local option would not work well inasmuch as some classes of cases might not be obtained at all. With regard to cost, the hon. Member's case was a good one, but he did not think that the Government had shown themselves hostile to it. By adding this column they would collect an immense amount of information and statistics. He had never known a Bill before which was likely to be subjected to so severe a test as this Bill, because it would have to run the gauntlet of every assessor in Scotland-Opinions differed as to what the cost 1803 of this change would be, but they should remember that in the Report on the incidence of local taxation strong opinions were expressed that valuations of this nature could be made without any very great difficulty in urban areas. Even in some of the mining districts he did not think there would be very great difficulty in filling up the valuation roll, and there would be no difficulty in applying the scheme later on. It had been urged that the scheme should have accompanied the Bill. There were great difficulties in regard to local taxation, but they had to choose between the status quo and an increase in the taxation upon what was called the unearned increment on building values. Most of them were not satisfied with the status quo, and it would never be tolerated that land bearing a large value should remain immune from local taxation so long as it was not built upon. They would never solve the housing problem until the populous communities owned the sites outside the towns. He had always been in favour of building values in the future going to the community. A change in the incidence of taxation was necessary, and if they were going to depart from the status quo they must have a valuation of this kind. They night found upon this new column a very foolish scheme or a very moderate or wise one, which was not always the same thing, but whatever kind of scheme they adopted they would require a valuation of this kind—even to carry out Lord Balfour of Burleigh's scheme. By putting upon the local assessment authorities, subject to the payment of a fair proportion of the expense by the State, the duty of filling up this new column they would get an immense amount of information which would be very valuable. He had sat upon a great many of these inquiries, but his mind did not carry him much further than the Minority Report of Lord Balfour. He did not accept the finding of the last Committee as involving the scheme which might be the result of this Bill. In some ways he went beyond that proposal, and in others against it, but he could conceive nothing but good coming out of this inquiry. A doubt was cast upon what the Solicitor- 1804 General had said as to the rating of crofter holdings.
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON
said that in forming a valuation roll there were crofts in which the land and the fixtures were rated, and on which they were not rated at all. He knew of one crofter holding a farm where the original rent of the land was £12 10s. It was let for £10. There were £200 worth of fixtures upon it, but the entire holding was only rated on £10. He did not think there would be any great lawyers' expenses about this Bill, and he was quite sure that any well-organised estate would be able to furnish a very fair return. In some cases there would be litigation, and the only case in which there would be difficulty would be in regard to land surrounding populous centres where there would be imposed the task of deciding what proportion of a building area should be subject to the rate. Just as he thought agricultural land was overrated now, so he beleived that urban land was underrated, and it was by submitting all these points to the assessors and the assessment authorities that they would be able some day to formulate a better scheme than had yet been put before the country by the very numerous inquiries they had had during the last thirty-five years. They ought not to have any unnecessary delay in this matter, and although his hon. friend had made a reasonable proposal he thought it was one which would involve some delay. He would include all Scotland in order to get the fullest information, because that would tend to secure that there would be no further delay in readjusting the incidence of taxation in Scotland.
§ SIR F. BANBURY (City of London)
congratulated the hon. Member for Preston upon his excellent speech. The arguments he had laid down were unanswerable. One of the reasons given by the hon. Member in support of his Amendment was that he wished to rescue his hon. friends from breaking their pledges, but that did not concern 1805 him so much, because be did not care if they broke all their pledges. All the hon. Member's other arguments appealed to him with very great force. The speech delivered by the hon. Member for Leith Burghs seemed to him to be one in favour of the Amendment, because he argued that there should be an inquiry and that the more information they had the better. As a matter of fact, they could get sufficient information from Glasgow and Lanarkshire; therfore, why should they put the rest of Scotland to the expense of obtaining this information? He had always understood that one of the greatest attributes of the Scotch mind was economy. If they could get the information by confining the inquiry to Lanarkshire and Glasgow, why extend it to the whole of Scotland? The hon. Member for St. Rollox had given as a reason that there was overcrowding in the agricultural districts, and that the landlords complained that they could not build houses because the rates were so high. But the rates had nothing to do with it. The cost of cottages was about £400, which at 3s. a week would produce £7 10s. per annum, or under 2 per cent. They must get interest for their capital, and if the return was not sufficient to pay an adequate rate of interest, the question of the rates did not come in at all. With regard to unoccupied land, the hon. Member thought something would have to be done and that some measure ought to be brought in to deal with it. The common idea was that this land was being withheld from the market, and that, if this Bill were applied to the whole of Scotland, the unreasonable landlords would devote the land to buildings. That argument was advanced by the hon. Member for the St. Rollox division of Glasgow. Was that the example of the London County Council? The County Council held land which they would not sell, because the revenue would not give a sufficient return for the money they had spent. That was what the landlord was doing. The County Council was no better than other landlords. Land was withheld because the landlords could not get a sufficient price, and the object of hon. Gentlemen opposite was to force them to part with 1806 the land whether they could get a good price or not. Even a Radical County Council would not agree to that doctrine being applied to themselves. Then there came the question of the cost of the valuation. He had no enmity against the city of Glasgow; he had no doubt that it was a very excellent place. Though he was going to vote for the Amendment he could not help feeling a little regret, because he was rather sorry that he would compel, if the Amendment were carried, the worthy citizens of Glasgow to put their hands deeply into their own pockets. He thought at first that he should not be justified in doing so; but he afterwards came to the conclusion that he should be justified because it was in Glasgow that the demand for this Bill originally arose. Now he was told that when they found they would not be able to break existing contracts, that demand rather vanished, and they thought it would not be wise to put their hands into their own pockets merely for the purpose of obtaining information, but they desired to put their hands into the Imperial Exchequer [An HON. MEMBER: That is the Scottish mind.] He did not approve of the Scottish mind when they desired to put their hands into his pocket, and as he was a contributor to the Imperial Exchequer he felt that if the city of Glasgow had the effrontery to say that if England was to subscribe to what he and his friends considered a wild-cat scheme, it was only right and just that Glasgow should be chastised slightly by having the Bill confined to their own area. When the hon. Member for St. Rollox referred to the cost of the valuation, he presumed the assessor's charges were meant. But there were other charges. How about the cost of appeals? Appeals would have to be made, and then there would be lawyers, refreshers, and 500-guinea briefs. These charges would have nothing to do with the annual value. Counsel did not say: "I am only going to charge so much because the annual value is so and so." He charged according to the number of people who wanted him. If the Solicitor-General for Scotland was put down alone on a moor and valued at his prairie value, it would not be much. But if this Bill were passed there would 1807 be a great many people would be competing for him, and his fee would have nothing whatever to do with the value of the land in question. The hon. Member for St. Rollox division had had some experience of the London County Council, and he would ask him whether it was not the fact that some attempt at the valuation of sites had been made, and that it was abandoned because the cost was so great. The Amendment would limit the expenditure to the county of Lanark and the burgh of Glasgow, and it would not prevent the information being obtained if the information was valuable. They were all spending too much money, and he thought that they might show the country on this occasion that they desired to be business-like and economical.
MR. DUNDAS WHITE (Dumbartonshire)
said he had listened with interest and amazement to some of the speeches made by hon. Members opposite. The mover of the Amendment spoke as though the supporters of the Bill had found a gold mine in this matter. He had never had any idea of the kind. What he and his friends desired was a new and improved method of valuation which, instead of preventing the development of land, would promote its development. The hon. Member for Preston had asked a number of questions and had founded a great deal of his criticism on the different valuations which might be put on land. If his hon. friend had read the Bill carefully he would have seen that there was no mention of agricultural value. The one thing to be considered was the market value—the amount which the land would fetch. The hon. Member took the case of an unnamed Scottish town which was surrounded by 600 acres of land which would gradually be brought into the market; he supposed part of that land was fetching in the market about £1,000 per acre, and he asked how they were going to value the remainder. Marvellous problem! He could assure his hon. friend that if he would go to the landlord and ask how much he would let him have the other acres for, the landlord would place a reserve price upon it. When a reserve price was placed upon it, there would be very little difficulty in finding the market value. The hon. Member 1808 gave away his case when he said that they could not estimate the value of land apart from buildings. The exemptions made both in the House and upstairs were made in order to meet the desires of hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House. He would like to point out that the value of the land which was to be ascertained was not the value before the improvements were made. If they went back hundreds of years he supposed they would come to a time when there were no people, but merely mammals and bears. In what his hon. friend called pre-historic times he supposed the land of Glasgow would not be worth eighteenpence. There was nobody then who would have given eighteenpence for it. The value contemplated by this Bill was not the value in bygone days and under different conditions; it was the actual value in the market if sold under the conditions specified in the Bill. His hon. friend the Member for the Ayr Burghs advised them to proceed cautiously. He appreciated that advice, but he would like to point out to his hon. friend that in the Report of Lord Balfour of Burleigh, which he understood him to follow—
MR. DUNDAS WHITE
said that Lord Balfour's proposal was to couple valuation with rating. They were now proceeding with far greater caution. They said they did not wish to touch rating in this valuation as giving the necessary data. He congratulated the hon. Member for the Ayr Burghs on having come to the rescue of the hon. Member for Preston when he was in difficulty over the question of rating in the crofting counties. The crofter was rated on his rent, which was fixed by the Crofters Commission. In fixing the rent the Commission did not take into consideration any of the improvements made by the crofter or his predecessor in the same holding, and therefore they were exempt from rating. That was, he thought, a very strong point in favour of the present proposal. The hon. Member for the Ayr Burghs stated that under the Crofters Act rating was on the basis of annual value, it was now proposed 1809 to put it on the basis of capital value. The two bases were not so very distinct, because it was common to estimate the purchase price at so many years annual value or rent. Some time back he was in favour of taking the annual value as the basis, but further study of the subject had led him to adopt the view that the capital value ought to be the basis. If they supposed that the landed property was held from year to year, then the value of that property for rating purposes in great cities would be practically nil, because no one would build on land which was held for only a year. It would be different in the case of a lease of ten years or ninety-nine years, or a feu. He thought the Government had, therefore, done a very wise thing in going back to the old simple plan of capital value. They could always get a true basis of value if they charged it at so many years purchase. It was remarkable that no hon. Member had had a word to say in favour of the present system of valuation in Scotland, which worked very badly. How did the present system work? Suppose land that should be used was not used, it went practically rate-free. They did not rate the possession of land but the use of it. If a man built on or developed the land in any way, on every improvement up went the assessment and on went the rates. This Bill was purely a valuation Bill, but he frankly admitted that they should do what they could to shift the rates from the present basis to the market value of the land, and to let all improvements go tax-free. In the towns whole streets of houses were put up, and one-third of the revenue derived from the houses went in rates. The result was that house property was unremunerative; and that building was checked because people would not put their capital into it. Not only that, but there was enormous difficulty in obtaining land. The same problem faced them in all the towns and counties of Scotland; and a reform was needed, not only to secure better houses and better buildings in town and country, but to revive Scottish agriculture. They would never succeed in overtaking the over-pressure of population in the towns until the country was opened up to enable the people to go out on to the land. The 1810 hon. Member for Preston himself admitted that when he said that if the principles embodied in the Bill were extended to the country—
§ MR. J. M. HENDERSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
asked if the hon. Member was in order in going into the whole question of rating.
said that the Amendment only dealt with a specific locality, and the hon. Member could not range over the whole of Scotland upon the question of rating.
MR. DUNDAS WHITE
said he was only anxious to point out the effect of the Bill on the country districts. As he had said, they wanted to relieve the overpressure of population in the towns by opening up the country districts as far as they could. It was in the recollection of hon. Members that the other day the Government purchased the largo estate of Inverleiver in Scotland, extending to 12,500 acres, for £25,000, which he regarded as a very fair price. That estate was bought for the purpose of afforestation which had been advocated for years by hon. Members on both sides of the House. The estate was valued at present for rating purposes at £1,100 a year. But he would point out that provision had been specially made in the Bill to cover such a case, for woods were to be exempt from the operation of the Bill.
said that the hon. Member was travelling beyond the Amendment which was restricted to a certain area. That was the only question before the Committee.
MR. DUNDAS WHITE
ventured to suggest that there was relevance in what he had said. If the Amendment was carried the estate of Inverleiver would be rated at so much; but if the Bill passed as it stood the new trees would not be taxed and the estate would reap the advantage. The Secretary for Scotland had recently stated that in Glasgow more than 54 per cent. of the 1811 population lived under overcrowded conditions, or 2,000 on one acre; and if the Bill passed land in the neighbourhood of Glasgow would be set free for building, and the terrible overcrowding in the city would be relieved. In the case of Greenock, the overcrowding was even worse than in Glasgow. There was plenty of room outside the town for an extension of building, but that land could not be obtained at anything like a reasonable price. There was the same difficulty in every urban district, including Glasgow. It so happened that some of that land was wanted only a few months ago for the purposes of national defence. The property just outside Greenock consisted of forty-eight acres, and was entered in the assessor's roll at the annual value of £75. The Admiralty required ten of these acres, the proportional rating valuation of which would be between £15 and £20. When the Admiralty came to purchase these ten acres they had to pay for them £27,225, or at the rate of very nearly 2,000 years purchase. He maintained that if the Amendment were carried the Bill would lose its chief effect. What they wanted was that the land should be rated at its capital market value, and that when taken compulsorily it should be acquired on that basis. The Prime Minister, speaking in October last at Dumfermline, said—Our present rating system operates as a hostile tariff on our industries; it goes in restraint of trade. It falls with severity on the shoulders of the poorer classes in the very worst shape, and in the shape of a tax upon house-room.The Bill would have the effect of removing that hostile tariff. It would, moreover, do a great deal to improve the farmhouses of the country and to open up new possibilities in Scotland. He hoped nothing would be done to cut the Bill down, as it would prove the foundation of a new and improved system of rating in Scotland, which would develop the natural resources of the country and open up better opportunities for the people.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N. W.)
said that the speech of the hon. Gentleman had travelled somewhat widely from the subject of the Amend- 1812 ment, to the exact terms of which he preferred to confine himself. There were, however, one or two points in the hon. Gentleman's remarks which he must touch upon. The last observation which fell from the hon. Member was to the effect that he resisted the Amendment on the ground that, if carried, it would render the Bill nugatory—it would wreck the Bill. He understood the hon. Gentleman to say that any limitation of the Bill would be vital and strike at its root. If that was the opinion of the hon. Gentleman it was not an opinion shared by the Prime Minister, because the right hon. Gentleman in his correspondence with Lord Balfour of Burleigh observed that the question of the extension or non-extension of the Bill to rural districts was a matter of detail, and that important as those points of detail might be they in no way affected the vital principle of the Bill.
MR. DUNDAS WHITE
said that the hon. Member for North-West Lanark had put words into his mouth which he had never used. He had never said that the effect of the Amendment would be to render the Bill nugatory. What he did say was that if they restricted the scope of the Bill they would very largely lessen its usefulness.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON
said he-did not want to carry on any controversy with the hon. Member, and, of course if he had misrepresented anything the hon. Gentleman had said he at once withdrew it. To those statements his hon. friend would at all events allow him to adhere. The hon. Member had made a very interesting confession, that he never thought that these proposals for the taxation of land values were going to provide an Eldorado, or to open up any new sources of revenue, but he had always proposed this policy, not for the purpose of raising revenue, but for changing the system of land values. But that was not the system which was before those who brought forward this Bill. The hon. Member who brought forward the original Land Values-Bill of 1906, the hon. Member for Elgin Burghs, said that his proposal for the taxation of land values was for the purpose of meeting the needs of the 1813 municipalities, not created by extravagance, but imposed upon them by the growing necessities of the case, and to raise the standard of comfort and education, the cost of which had increased, was increasing, and was likely to increase, by discovering new sources of revenue. That was the view of the hon. Gentleman who introduced the Bill, and the Lord Advocate in a speech which he made later in the debate expressed the opinion that there was to be found in this direction a new and not improper source of revenue and taxation. The Lord Advocate was quite entitled to hold that opinion, but he would merely point out to him that this was not the opinion of hon. Gentlemen who sat behind him, and that that was not the intention of the Report of the Select Committee. With regard to the Amendment he confessed he felt himself in a certain amount of difficulty, because he agreed generally with the proposal his hon. friend had made as regarded limiting in some way the area, and by limiting the area to limit the cost of what was confessedly, if they adopted this Bill, a fishing inquiry. This was distinctly an experimental Bill, and the hon. Gentleman on the Treasury Bench said that he proposed it to get information. His hon. friend then said: "Why not get your information from typical areas," if it was only information which they wanted. He agreed with that proposal in regard to the question of expense. The hon. Member for St. Rollox had made some mention of a witness before a Committee, who gave an estimate of something more than half per cent. on the valuation of Glasgow as the cost of that valuation. The hon. Member said that that was excessive, but he (Mr. Mitchell-Thomson) did not think so; he did not think they would find any valuator or assessor, accustomed to make valuations, who would put the figure at less than one half per cent. He agreed with the proposer of the Amendment on the first ground of expense, and, in the second place, that those who were to do this work were men to whom it would be outside their practice and profession. Those who would have to carry out the work were not valuers in the sense in which they would have to be under this 1814 Bill; they were not lawyers, and yet in some sense they would have to have a knowledge of the law. As his hon. friend the Member for Ayr Burghs had pointed out, the opinion of assessors from all parts of Scotland had been given in no unmeasured terms as to the practicability of the precise proposals put forward in the Bill. When they went further and inquired into the wishes of representative bodies in Scotland, he thought they had very strong ground indeed for supporting some such Amendment as this. An opportunity of securing the opinions of those bodies occurred last summer, when a body calling itself, he thought, the United Committee of the Leagues for Taxing Land Values, sent round a circular to various local bodies representing the authorities in Scotland, asking whether they would be prepared to promote a petition in favour of the Bill. This Committee or whatever it was did not meet with that encouraging reception from the local authorities in Scotland which the statements of Ministers, and of those who had addressed audiences in England with regard to the state of feeling in Scotland, would have led one to believe. They applied to a large number of local authorities in Scotland, but they did not do so apparently in some comities, including Banff, Forfar, Haddington, Inverness, Montrose and Perth; at all events no letters were received in those places. They received a favourable reply from four local bodies in Scotland, the town councils of Glasgow, Dundee, and Galashiels, and the Wick parish council. Nineteen bodies, he thought, in Scotland, had received this communication and recommended that no action should be taken, including amongst the larger, Edinburgh, Ayr, Forfar, Dumfries, Hawick, Jedburgh, Lanark, and Linlithgow. An evangelist of the new gospel did not, therefore, meet with that honour in his own country which one might have expected to be justly his due, because not only did the town council refuse to express any opinion, but the parish council said that the proper place for the request of this Committee was under the Table.
§ MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON
said it was at all events in the same district. Coming back to the Amendment, while he was perfectly prepared to agree that there was much to be said in favour of recommending the valuation of one typical area, he could hardly agree to the proposed typical area which his hon. friend had recommended by his Amendment. If his hon. friend would be prepared to leave out Lanarkshire and insert Linlithgowshire, he would have much pleasure in supporting him; but if he went to a division with the Amendment in the precise form in which it stood he could hardly give him his support, because he, representing the county of Lanark, apart from the city of Glasgow, did not think that strong enough arguments had been brought to bear why those localities should be saddled with the expense of the inquiry—an expense which ought properly to be borne by the State, as the valuation was for Government purposes. If the Government would accept the proposal that this expenditure should be borne by the State he would support the Amendment. Then he would suggest to the hon. Member that considerable difficulty would arise in his own constituency with regard to legal questions. How did he suggest that subterranean valuation should be conducted? How did he suggest that land in which shale was supposed to lie or in which it did not lie should be valued? Speaking of shale, he might ask how it was to be valued in any case, as a place where it was would be a valuable and desirable building site. Was it to be valued on the basis that houses were going to be built on it? [An HON MEMBER: Market value.] Did the hon. Gentleman understand what was meant by market value? He asked how they were going to value a bit of moor or land which had slag or shale on it, and the answer was that it was not going to be valued as a potential building site, but as a bit of land qua land. Not as land with a site for possible buildings in the future, but as land qua land. It was all very Well for hon. Members to say that now, but that was not what they said at the General Election. He would remind hon. Members that in his speech at the Albert Hall the Prime Minister made some remarks with regard to the necessity of 1816 deriving some fresh revenue from the land. ["Hear, hear."] An hon. Member said "Hear hear," but what happened? It was all very well to make remarks like that in the Albert Hall, which was not the centre of a large agricultural district, but that speech of the right hon. Gentleman caused considerable searching of hearts among many English county candidates. A letter was written to the right hon. Gentleman by a candidate for a division of Essex, and the reply was published. The Prime Minister said that he was asked whether or not what he said in reference to deriving money from land in the shape of revenue, was to be read as a declaration that the rating or valuation to be taxed fell or not under the general valuation of land per se. His answer was "most assuredly," and if there was any Longer any doubt in the minds of the writer's friends the right hon. Gentleman hoped, it would be put right. He commended that letter to hon. Members opposite.
§ MR. WEDGWOOD (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
said the discussion had wandered rather far from the Amendment before the House, but at the same time he would point out that the speech of the hon. Member who seconded it was also somewhat wide of the mark, and he hoped that they might find themselves within the bounds of order when they were dealing with that speech. The hon. Member was not in his place, but he thought it would be useful to deal first of all, with the question of the practical difficulty of this valuation. The hon. Member had quoted a letter—a humourous letter from a Scotch assessor, in which the practicability of the valuation was referred to. He had a letter from a valuer in North Staffordshire, in which he explained the scheme of valuation adopted in the towns of North Staffordshire. He had written to this gentleman asking him whether the basis of rent was valuation, and that gentleman wrote back as follows—The method adopted is carefully to measure all buildings and from this to calculate the cubic capacity in feet. Each is then valued at so much per foot according to valuer's estimate, 2¾d.—9d., according to character. This is then added to the value of the land occupied by such braiding and surrounding same, which is estimated separately, at so much per square yard, according to use, position, etc. This 1817 gives the valuer the estimated capital value, which he trarnslates into gross annual value.That was to say, the cubic capacity of the building was worked out, and the cost calculated for that cubic capacity. To this was added the value of the land estimated separately at so much per square yard, according to use and position. That gave the capital value from which the annual value of land and buildings was calculated. They had, therefore, in North Staffordshire a system of valuation which already involved the separate valuation of land. It was carried out automatically, without any expense, as part of the existing system. As the House was aware, methods of valuation differed in different localities, but here was a case in a locality taken purely by accident where the valuation involved the separate valuation of the market value of the land. It had been said that there was not merely the cost of valuation, but that the number of appeals would enormously enhance the expense to the community. He would take an instance from Germany. Mr. Horsfall, who was well known to Members of the House had examined the question carefully, and he said that in Cologne under the old system—that was when the annual value was taken—there were in one year 2,703 appeals against 21,000 assessments. Under the new system of rating on selling value there were only 174 appeals against 30,000 assessments, an enormous reduction due to the fact that the selling value was taken instead of a more or less arbitrary annual value. Indeed, this was the natural result. He had had a good deal of valuation to do when in the Transvaal, where they valued land and buildings at their capital value, and his experience was that when the selling value was the basis there were few objections to high valuation. People liked to see their properties stand high in the rate books, as it was naturally the figure on which mortgages and sales of property were based. The minority Report of the Royal Commission recommended that if the owner of the land considered the valuation excessive he should be entitled to require the local authority to take it over at fixed number of years valuation. He thought himself it would be only fair to give some ultimate appeal of that nature. The 1818 hon. Member for Preston had said it must be remembered that persons were taxed and not things, his meaning being that it did not matter whether the rates were based on the complete value of land and buildings, or on land alone. That, surely was a rather strange argument for a free trader. If person not things, paid taxes, the foreigner paid the taxes on corn, or the importer, or whoever handed over the cheque, and it did not matter whether they taxed diamonds or pork. The case for free trade was that the matter to be considered was not who paid the tax in the first instance, but on whose shoulders the burden would ultimately rest. On the question of the incidence of rates he would quote Professor Sidgwick, who said that the portion of the tax corresponding to the value of the house as a product of industry must be paid by the occupier, except so far as he was a producer, and could shift it forward. Professor Sidgwick went on to say that the portion of the tax corresponding to the ground value would fall upon the owner of the land, who had no means of escaping it by raising the rent, which it must be assumed was as high as the necessity of letting would allow. The rates then were incident to a certain, extent on the landlord, and partly on the occupier, and what he wanted was to make them wholly incident on the landlord and not on the occupier, who could pass the tax forward to the general public. How could this be said to be transferring the tax from, the idle to the industrious?
§ MR. WEDGWOOD
said that to neglect the ultimate effect of the tax and insist on its immediate effect was unworthy of one who had again and again stood up for free trade in that House. The hon. Member had said that what was wanted was not access to the laid, but access to capital Surely the way to cheapen capital was to take the tax off the houses and improvements. When they remembered that houses had to bear what was often a 50 per cent. tax, and any improvements in factories or machinery had to bear this crushing burden which was strangling industry all over the country, and that the proposal was to shift this burden off 1819 industry and capital, they could not be said to be refusing access to capital. This 50 per cent. tax was strangling industry all over the country; and when they asked the House to shift this burden on capital and transfer it elsewhere, they could not say they were refusing access to capital, because they were giving far greater access to capital and making possible a far more enormous development of industries.
§ MR. McCRAE (Edinburgh, E.)
said he rose for the purpose of urging the Lord Advocate to take into consideration one aspect of the question of expense. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment did so more particularly because the expense of the valuation of all Scotland would be so great. He did not agree with him. Lord Balfour's Minority Report demonstrated that the expense would not be so very great. He would point out, however, how unfair the hon. Member was to Glasgow and Lanarkshire. He was going to ask them to bear the expense of this experiment, which was to benefit the whole of Scotland. The hon. Member for Lanarkshire on his own side made it clear that they would object; and rightly so. If, as the Government said, this was a Valuation Bill, and not a Rating Bill, he thought it only fair that they should consider whether some part of the burden of expense in the interval before, the rating authorities were allowed to rate for the object should be borne by the Treasury, and he hoped the Lord Advocate would be able to give them some assurance that the Government would look with favour on that proposal. The hon. Member for Preston had made a statement which he was quite sure when he heard it repeated he would hardly adhere to. He had said that the essence of the Bill was to change the whole basis of rating. The essence of the Bill was to do nothing of the kind. It was a Valuation Bill, a Bill to obtain information, and, when they had that information, they would decide what would be the basis of their rating. He (Mr. McCrae) absolutely agreed as to the economic soundness of the decision of the Committee upstairs and that the basis of rating ought to be changed. This Bill left it open for the House afterwards to determine whether the whole basis 1820 of rating should be changed, whether all taxation should be placed on the land, or whether, as he had always held, there ought to be a separate and supplemental rating put on land values, giving a diminution of general rating. The Bill was one to obtain information to enable Parliament to determine the method which ought to be followed; and he thought it was unfair to place the expense of the experiment on a particular area. He had always maintained that the information obtained would be valuable not only for local, but also for Imperial, purposes. They could never have a fair basis of Imperial taxation until they knew really what was the value of land. He therefore pleaded with his right hon. friend the Lord Advocate to see if he could not give them any assurance that the cost would be borne by the Treasury. He thought that would meet the objection of the hon. Members opposite, and he had no doubt his hon. friend would withdraw his Amendment on such an assurance being given.
§ SIR E. BOYLE (Taunton)
said that the hon. Member for Newcastle had laid down a proposition to which they could not find much objection. He said: First of all, value the buildings, and then add the value of the land for the purpose for which the property is used.
§ MR. WEDGWOOD
I did not say that: "The total is then added to the value of the land occupied by such buildings and surrounding the same, which is estimated separately at so much per square yard according to use, position, etc."
§ SIR E. BOYLE
"According to use." That is my point, and it is right. Proceeding, the hon. Member said that, if they valued the land for a purpose for which it was not used, they would be doing a great injustice. He would give an instance. A man had a piece of land in the High Street and some years ago there was a cottage built upon it. The cottage was cubed out and came to £500. It rented at £30 per year, that was £5 for the land and 5 per cent. on the £500 for the cottage. That was fair. Nobody could take any exception 1821 to that. But if the land were valued for the purposes of a shop for which it was not used and £25 for a cottage for which it was used, then it would be assessed for something which they had no right to touch. The hon. Member conveyed his view to the letter. The thing should be assessed for the purpose for which it was used.
§ MR. WEDGWOOD
said he was only reporting an example of how land and buildings were actually at present assessed separately. He by no means gave his approval to that particular method of valuing land or adding the two together. He merely gave an example of how it was done at present to show that it was not difficult to do.
§ SIR E. BOYLE
thought the hon. Member, if he would read his speech, would see that he had correctly quoted him. If the owner could get possession of the property and pull the cottage down and put up a shop, they might assess it at what it was worth; but if he could not get possession and pull the cottage down, they could only, so long as the cottage stood, fairly assess the property at £30. That seemed to him an elementary principle of justice. A man should not pay for what he did not get. Supposing a cottage at a corner of a street was let at £50 a year on a nine years' lease, so long as that lease ran the freeholder could not get more than £50, and, although the property might be a suitable site for a bank or insurance company's offices, they could not assess it for those purposes till either a bank or some insurance offices had been erected. Otherwise they would be assessing not that which was, but that which might be, and that would be wrong. Somebody had gaily mentioned ½ per cent. as the cost. He had spent all his life in valuations of one sort or another, and the making of a ground plan of a property covered with buildings was no novice's work. There was not one in ten surveyors who could do it. If they were going to have a valuation worth the paper it was written upon, they must have a good man and pay him for doing it. They could get a valuation for next to nothing, but that would be just its value when they had got it. If 1822 they wanted a reliable valuation, which they could act upon, they must pay a fair and proper professional charge. It was not every man who could make the valuation required. It was a difficult task, and they would have to be careful or they would be giving it to a man who could not make even a preliminary survey. It was impossible for 1 per cent. to obtain a surveyor with the necessary skill, knowledge, and experience for the work.
§ MR. WALSH (Lancashire, Ince)
said he had listened to the debates on the Bill during both last session and this session of Parliament. The Amendment proposed to limit the scope of the measure to Glasgow and the county of Lanark. The difficulties raised by the hon. Member who had just sat down cut dead at the Amendment. His observations were directly opposed to the Amendment, which he understood he rose to support. Most of the debates seemed to him to have been of a Second Reading character, and he had risen for the purpose of saying how completely they upon those benches were in agreement with the principle of the Bill. He was surprised that the proposal to divide Scotland in this way should have come from Scottish people themselves. In the Land Bill of the previous day English treatment had to be given to the Southern part of Scotland. Now Scotland had again to be divided, and the work of valuation must be undertaken only in Glasgow and in Lanarkshire and the other parts left alone. That seemed to him merely a counsel of delay. What, after all, was the whole spirit of the opposition to this measure? He remembered the vehement opposition of the Leader of the Opposition last session, and he noticed the attitude that his followers were taking even now. It was simply because they knew that behind the establishment of the valuation roll effect was to be given to a further principle. The little child declined to say A because if she did she would be requested to say B. The enormous values that were being created up and down the country by the labour, the skill, the brain and the general industry of the community must pay its fair share of taxation. They stood for that. They were thankful that the establishment 1823 of this principle came from Scotland. They had been thankful to Scotland for many good things in the past, and they believed that when the further principle was established in Scotland it would be a very good principle indeed and would be applicable to England. After all, why should not there be this valuation roll? What difficulty was there in it? A landowner who wished to sell his land had no difficulty in arriving at the value of it, and what greater difficulty could there be in a valuer arriving at it? There was a refusal price even for land covered with refuse heaps. It was worth something, but hitherto it had escaped the whole burden of local taxation. The principle in the Bill was a proper one, and if it could be applied in Glasgow and Lanarkshire it could with equal facility be applied throughout Scotland. In part the Amendment admitted the validity of the principle, and therefore, it was an Amendment of delay, and was clearly put forward for the purpose of barring the future progress of the Bill. They had had an alarming statement as to what the cost to Glasgow would be, quoted from a comparatively unknown man.
§ MR. WALSH
said the best known solicitor in Glasgow was after all, a comparatively unknown man. They were speaking of great national interests and Dr. Murray was one out of 750,000 people in Glasgow. But when they brought forward these alarming figures that upon an annual land value of £570,000 it was going to cost £500,000, surely they could not expect to be taken seriously. Whatever it might be the principle was such a serious one, and it was so necessary to the advancement of Scotland and of the whole United Kingdom, that he heartily hoped every progressive Member in the House would vote against the Amendment.
§ MR. THOMAS SHAW
said he had listened to the whole debate, and he did not think it necessary to express any opinion on the view as to whether it had been conducted in the interests of delay. 1824 Under the Chairman's ruling they had ranged pretty widely. They had ranged considerably beyond Glasgow and. Lanarkshire, the interesting town of Alloa and the still more interesting county of Perthshire, and had apparently ranged into the theory, and practice of all countries on the face of the world. As to the Amendment, the Government could not accept it. It would be to carry the principle of Scottish sub-division to an absurdity. They had a national system in existence and the proposal of this Bill was to dovetail the new proposal into the national system. The suggestion of the Amendment was hardly within the bounds of reason. However, speeches had been made upon it, and very interesting speeches they had been. It was very remarkable to find that the first Amendment to a Scottish Valuation Bill was moved by an Irish Member, seconded by an English Member and supported by the Member, for the City of London, substantially on the ground that he had never been to Glasgow himself. The language in which the Amendment was introduced was naturally the language of Ireland. The mover said he wished to limit the area of disturbance, They were not accustomed to that language in Scotland. Not many Members for Scotland would wish to limit the application of this valuation principle to one town only. Immediately on the hon. Member's right there sat an hon. Member who at once negatived the suggestion that Glasgow was entitled to a monopoly of all the good things that were going. "Relatively small" said his hon. friend. It was not relatively small. Its valuation was about a fourth part of the entire valuation of Scotland Glasgow and Lanarkshire combined had an annual valuation of nearly £9,000,000 sterling, and therefore it was, he granted, a substantial slice at all events that was going to be made. The mover, however had said that opinion was changing with regard to this in Glasgow. He was afraid the same remark must apply to him as applied in a very notable degree to the seconder, that there was a slight lack of acquaintance with the, condition of affairs in Scotland. Was his hon. friend aware that since last year's Bill, only six weeks or so ago the town 1825 council of Glasgow met and affirmed the principle of a separate valuation of land apart from improvements by forty - five votes against twenty-four, and supported practically this Bill? The argument that opinion was changing was derived rather from imagination than from actual experience. As to broken pledges, they were far beyond the stage of going into personal issues of that kind. He did not know of any pledge that he had broken. The hon. Member for Preston had always done him the justice to say that from the first time that he had had to handle this Bill he had always made his position in regard to existing contracts absolutely plain and he would also further do him the justice to say that both on that bench and on the bench opposite he had spoken as representing the whole bench. So that as far as the Government were concerned they maintained that this was a sound Bill, and so far from having gone back on their principles they maintained them to this hour. The hon. Member had said that it was proposed to shift the rates from the fabric to the site.
§ MR. THOMAS SHAW
said that the Bill had nothing whatever to do with it any more than the Amendment. As his hon. friend had said, they must tax where they could get their money; the best avenue to get the money was to see where the wealth lay, and if it lay in the capital value of the land they would be doing his hon. friend and his principles a great service by substantially helping on towards that time when they would tax the people who could pay the money. The hon. Member then, leaving the Solicitor-General, came down upon his devoted head with a question as to the valuation of 590 acres, of which one acre had been sold at £1,000. He waited to hear whether the hon. Member would not answer himself on that point, and he did in the subsequent statement that one must take into account the prospect of a rise or the risk of a fall, and that that determined the present value. The hon. Member had astonished him by representing this as a subtlety. Not desiring to 1826 put Scotsmen on a pedestal, he would say that no man of any nationality would ever dream of this being a subtlety. It was a perfectly simple thing—as simple as A B C—but it was the A B C of valuation, and it completely disposed of the puzzle the hon. Member thought he was putting to him, otherwise he would have requested him to read the Bill, which said that the subject of valuation was to be valued at what it might be expected to realise if sold by a willing seller in an open market at the time of the valuation. That was not a subtlety. It did not mean that they were to wait years and centuries till they could get £3,000 an acre, but it meant what they could get for it now. That was the principle upon which all valuation in Scotland had been founded as long as he could remember. He had been engaged in many of those arbitrations and had had the highest skill on both sides before him, and the principle laid down had always been the principle which was being applied in this Bill.
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
said his right hon. friend contended that the essence of the whole Bill was that the valuer was to take into account what would be the price which a willing seller would accept from a willing purchaser. If one acre had been sold for £1,000 might they not assume that the next acre would be valued at £1,000?
§ MR. THOMAS SHAW
said his hon. friend thought that because one acre out of 600 fetched a certain figure all the rest must be valued at the same figure. That was quite out of the question.
§ *MR. HAROLD COX
said the case he submitted was given to him by the owner of the land, who said that whenever he sold a single acre he could always get £1,000 for it.
§ MR. THOMAS SHAW
said the word "whenever" begged the whole question. If there were purchasers ready to take the whole of the land to-morrow, would it be right to keep it at agricultural value it being worth £1,000 an acre? He could now see where the hon. Member's difficulties were, and he would suggest to him a little further consideration. 1827 The hon. Member had advanced in his views and changed them not once but more than once, and his views were now in a state of flux and transition. He suggested that a little further study would bring the hon. Member to the point of understanding what market value was, and the moment he did that he would approve of this Bill. The hon. Member having left him in that terrible dilemma turned next to his hon. friend the Solicitor-General and said he bad given a wrong illustration in regard to the crofter. He said he had appealed to the Crofters Acts and the Crofter Commission Report, and he found that the crofters' rent was assessed upon the footing of the value of the land plus the improvements done by the landlord. By that he conceded that it was not assessed upon the footing either of the improvements made by the crofter himself or by any of his predecessors in title. That was the disadvantage of not understanding the Scottish system. The whole discussion had ranged round the proposition that the crofter, and the crofter alone, did all his improvements, and that the improvements done by the landlord constituted the merest fraction. The Solicitor-General, in the statement which had been criticised by the hon. Member for Preston, was referring to the almost universal practice that the crofters had not done their own improvements, were not rented upon them, and were not rated upon them cither. That was a case where the value of the land minus the improvements was actually subject to rating. The hon. Member read the dictum of some experienced assessor to the effect that the value which the Bill desired to ascertain was a metaphysical abstraction, and they could not get at it. Lord Camperdown also had spoken in the country of the wide definition of improvements as rendering the thing metaphysical and unpractical. The original limit respecting improvements in the Bill was altered as the result of negotiations in the House of Commons by which he and the House were bound; but if Lord Camperdown's views prevailed, and the original limit were restored with consent, he would not be disposed to resist. But with regard to the experienced assessor, he wondered whether he gave evidence; because one who did give 1828 evidence, and alleged the metaphysical abstraction which could not be valued, was asked by the chairman of the committee whether he would surrender his appointment if the duty of finding the value was put upon him, and he replied: "Certainly not, I would do my duty." "How would you do it?" said the chairman; and then he proceeded to tell the committee quite correctly the way it could be done. The status quo, it was admitted, was intolerable. Instances arose where they did not find any failure to put a price on the land on account of the metaphysical abstraction. The price was promptly put on the land when it was wanted for public purposes. Capital value must be ascertained in order to avoid the persistent yearly misrepresentation of the true valuation. He would take three methods, all of which had been mentioned in the debate. There was one method very radical, perhaps too radical at least to begin with—the method of substituting a rate upon the land for the present composite rate upon land and buildings. For that purpose a valuation was absolutely necessary. The second method was that of rating upon land values a certain quota so as to assist taxation which weighed so heavily on occupiers. He asked his hon. friends to remember that a valuation was necessary for that also. The third method was to specialise the whole value—the increment value given to the land in consequence of public improvements—and having, so to speak, specialised that, then they must put a separate tax applicable to ownership. They were all agreed that some of these must come, but the point of this Bill was that it was a preliminary to any one of these, and consequently he submitted that it had been proved with regard to this Bill that without it they could not advance a step in favour of method one, two, or three. He did not despair of the tapping of new sources of taxation. He had never represented it as an El Dorado, but he could repeat with perfect candour and increasing conviction that there were new and not improper sources of revenue still to be tapped. The hon. Member for Edinburgh and the hon. Member for the Leith Burghs had mentioned the subject of costs, and as 1829 he might not have another opportunity he thought it right to re-state now in presence of the House what he said to a deputation from the Association of County Councils in Scotland which waited on him in July last. He understood that there was au impression that the local authorities, and Glasgow in particular, would have a heavy bill to pay for valuation. He did not think it would be anything like the ridiculously exaggerated figure which had been suggested. He took it that Mr. Henry, the Glasgow assessor, was the best authority on this subject, and he put it at between £4,000 and £5,000. [An HON. MEMBER: His own costs.] He was only dealing now with the assessor's costs. It was quite fair to say so.
§ MR. YOUNGER
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has made any estimate of the likely cost of this valuation.
§ MR. THOMAS SHAW
said the best estimate one could get, without doing it oneself, was to be got from the assessor of Glasgow. He was only referring to the public costs. He wished to repeat in this House what he said to the deputation, as the thing was very important to the local authorities in Scotland, and as he quite saw that it might have its corollary in other proceedings in England. He would before reading what he said make this preliminary observation. The local authorities said that they had to make this valuation, but were precluded by the Bill from rating for it. He felt the force of their complaint that the cost of this duty could not be recouped in the proper sense of the term, because of their not having the power of rating conferred by the measure. It was with that in view that he approached the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and was able to make this statement last year—A more important matter in which you are interested is what is to be the position of those ten counties which appoint their local assessors, and the expenses with regard to whose operation falls as a county charge.A member of the deputation interrupted and said, "And the county 1830 burghs," and he, continuing his reply, said—My observations apply to burghs also. I am aware that operations for the first year in ascertaining the capital value, although not nearly so involved as some people may think, will certainly involve a very considerable addition to the labour of these skilled men, and in some cases it may be necessary for them to employ skilled assistance. I have, therefore, thought it my duty to represent this matter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I have-now his authority for announcing to you that if it should be found—as I think it will be found—that such an addition will be made to the duties of those assessors as really to be in a reasonable sense a fair addition to their duties, worthy of estimating, and worthy of consideration by the Exchequer, the claims by the local authority, on which this initial charge for the first year will thus heavily fall, will receive fair and favourable consideration from the Exchequer, with a view to granting what, in the opinion of the Treasury, is a reasonable subsidy.He felt that he was bound, in view of the Amendment covering the question of costs, to approach the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He told him that there was doubt in some minds as to whether this pledge, having been given to a deputation of county council members, could be held as applicable to the burghs, and he had his right hon. friend's authority for saying that the pledge would operate all round. If he had made any observations to the deputation which would lead anyone to think it was only the cost for the first and heaviest year, that impression must be removed. It would be a general subsidy which would, of course, in each year be considered by the Treasury and would remain until a system of rating was introduced. He thought it right to allay any misapprehension on that subject. Important as valuation was for any system of rating they wished to devise, important as it was for the ascertainment of any untapped sources of revenue, whether in town or county, the Government held that it would be quite out of the question to cut up this scheme of valuation. They desired it for national purposes on a national scale.
§ MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)
protested against the action of the Government with reference to this debate. He respectfully submitted that the extremely interesting speech of the Lord Advocate should have been delivered two hours ago, 1831 and riot within ten minutes or a quarter of an hour of the time when the allotted period for the stage of the Bill would expire. The Government described the Amendment as one of the least importance. Yet by their own action they had made it impossible for any other question to be discussed. In the debate to-day, and in the debates last session, certain main propositions had been made. First of all, hon. Gentlemen opposite held that this Bill was merely for the purpose of getting information. If it was only a Bill to obtain information, surely it should be applied to the whole country, but even hon. Gentlemen opposite, and even the Government themselves, were not agreed as to the real nature of the measure. They were told last year by the Solicitor-General for Scotland that this Bill was intended to be the basis of future taxation, but the Lord Advocate had told them to-day that that was by no means the definite view of the Government. After all this time, the Government had not made up their minds as to what would be the precise effect of the Bill and how it was to be applied. The critics of the Bill had said that it was unworkable, and evidence given before the Royal Commission had been quoted to show that the cost of working the measure would be extravagant beyond degree. They had been told by the supporters of the Bill that it was going to confer unlimited blessings on the land, produce immense new sources of revenue, and do justice where injustice had been done hitherto. If that were true, there would be a good deal to be said for the measure, but the opponents of it had asked in vain for information as to the way in which these good things were to be brought about. He did not wonder, therefore, that opinion in regard to this Amendment was some what divided. He had hoped that the Lord Advocate would have told them something of an inquiry conducted by the hon. Member for Halifax throughout Scotland as to the views held by certain Scottish authorities regarding the Bill. The Lord Advocate had complained that the Amendment was moved by an Irish Member and seconded by an English Member. What was that as compared with an English Member daring to put his profane foot in Scotland in order to ask the Scottish people what was their opinion regarding this measure? He did not know whether 1832 it was because the hon. Gentleman was an English Member, but the evidence obtained by his Committee showed that even in the constituencies of the Solicitor-General, the Lord Advocate and the Prime Minister, public feeling in regard to the Bill could not be described as enthusiastic. In many cases the feeling was apathetic, while in others it was absolutely hostile. They might have expected that some opinion would have been expressed by a representative of the Government in reply to the Report of the Committee. They were entitled to say that the Scottish people had awakened to the fact that the one advantage that they believed they were going to derive from the Bill, viz., the taxation of feu-duties, had been made impossible by the declaration of the Prime Minister, and they had come to realise that the Bill was not worthy of their acceptance. It was interesting to note that the only member of the Government who had spoken in the debate had passed over this significant fact in complete silence. He had neither attempted to rebut it by proof if it was incorrect, nor to minimise it if, in his opinion, there had been an attempt to mislead the people of Scotland. His hon. friend behind him had said that he was unable to vote for an Amendment unless one county was substituted for another. He presumed that if another county were named the Member for that constituency would say that he was unable to vote for it. It must not be understood that those who supported this Amendment approved of or supported the principle of the Bill. On the contrary, their arguments against this measure stood good. It had not been proved that the cost of the present proposal would not be very heavy indeed, and its practical effect would be very different from what the Government anticipated. Therefore, he maintained that if the Government were going to use the Bill simply for the purpose of experiment, and if they were going to cast on the localities the expense of this work being done, they might in reason confine its operations to a very limited area. He was glad that the Lord Advocate had not used on that occasion the argument that they must have uniformity, because where they wished to obtain information as a means to an end there was no reason 1833 why they should not be limited as to area. He begged to dissociate himself entirely from the proposition made by hon. Gentlemen opposite that there should be an Imperial contribution to Scotland in respect of this measure. This was a question on which Scotland had claimed special legislation for herself, and if Scotland was honest, let her pay for it. If she was so anxious to have it, then surely Scotland should not object to pay out of her own pocket the expenditure which she anticipated would result to her own benefit. On the part of those who represented other parts of the United Kingdom he would resist any attempt to enable Scotland to obtain a benefit for herself, as it was alleged she would, at the expense of the whole community. He did not know whether the hon. Member intended to divide on the Amendment; but he would advise him not to do so, because he felt very strongly that it would be an invidious thing to select a particular part of the Bill for condemnation when they condemned the principle of the whole measure. The Amendment had, however, been of the utmost importance in raising this debate, and by not dividing upon it they would not lose the, opportunity in the Division Lobby of expressing their profound objection to a Bill which was not calculated to justify the propositions laid clown in its support.
§ *MR. CHIOZZA MONEY (Paddington, N.)
said that he voted for the Second Reading of this measure and did not intend to vote for an Amendment which sought to limit its application. He found himself largely in agreement with the Lord Advocate in the views which the right hon. Gentleman had expressed in his speech on the Amendment. It appeared to him that the right hon. Gentleman desired to assure himself and the country as to what part of the wealth of Scotland was directly connected with land values. In that passion for statistics he found himself completely atone with the right hon. and learned Gentleman, and he only wished he could persuade the Government to carry valuation a little further and apply it to incomes, so that they could ascertain with some degree of definiteness how to adjust taxation in regard to the respective incomes which were taken by those who 1834 owned capital and those who owned land. He did not think sufficient account had been taken in the debate of what rates were. He remembered a speech of the Solicitor-General for Scotland, in which he stated that what they wanted was a new standard of rating. That was a very different thing from the views expressed by the Lord Advocate. The Lord Advocate had very properly said that he had confined himself to the suggestions contained in the minority Report of the Royal Commission on Local Taxation, which were not to establish a new standard of rating, but to put a separate and additional tax on site values. He was one of those who had no objection whatever to land values bearing a somewhat larger proportion of the local burdens than other forms of wealth, though that was an entirely different proposition from advocating the transfer of the whole burden of rating from capital to land. He had no objection to a pro tanto relief, but he had strong objection to the proposition that beneficial rates should be charged on land values alone. The suggestion that sewer rates, road rates, police rates, and lighting rates which were merely tradesmens' bills, should be charged on land values alone seemed to him to verge on the ridiculous. Many hon. Members supported the Bill because they recognised that certain local expenditure did benefit in a peculiar degree the owners of land; and in so far as this Bill provided a valuation of the land built upon and the land not built upon in towns, he was heartily in agreement with the suggestion that they should ascertain that value in order to assist the extension of public ownership.
§ *MR. REMNANT (Finsbury Holborn)
said he was anxious to get from the Government an expression of their opinion as to the probable cost of the proposed experiment. All through last session great stress was laid on the fact that this valuation scheme was not going to cost the country very much. When he interrupted the right hon. Gentleman just now he very courteously answered him by saying that in connection with Glasgow the estimate of his chief witness was that the total cost would be something between £4,000 and £5,000. But, 1835 the right hon. Gentleman surely forgot that last year it was stated that the city of Glasgow had been for many years engaged in making a registration of the city streets, that comparatively simple proceeding was not finished to this day, and yet it had cost to date over £20,000. How then could it be argued that this much more pretentious valuation scheme involving such delicate negotiations, would cost only £5,000? The right hon. Gentleman in support of his case referred to the example of London, and said that one of the chief officers of the London County Council had given it as his opinion that he could value a whole street of houses within five minutes, and that he did not believe the cost of the valuation of London would amount to more than £5,000. Against that he referred the right hon. Gentleman to the work of making a ground-plan of London by the London County Council. That was commenced when he first joined the London County Council. He was in that Council for nine years and it was not finished yet, although the cost amounted to many thousands of pounds, and it was not likely to be completed for many years to come. Yet the Government would lead the House to bieleve that their intricate experiments would only cost a few thousands. There were estimates in regard to London and big
§ towns which entirely refuted the argument of the Government. The truth was that the Government had not studied the matter and were afraid to give an estimate.
§ And, it being a quarter before Eight of the Clock, the Chairman proceeded to put the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded this day under the Order of the House of 13th February.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Whereupon the CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report the Bill to the House, pursuant to the Order of the House of 13th February.
§ Bill reported without Amendment.
§ Whereupon Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER proceeded to put the Question, "That the Bill be now read the third time," pursuant to the Order of the House of 13th February.
§ The House divided.—Ayes, 347; Noes, 90. (Division List No. 26).1839
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Bennett, E. N.||Clough, William|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'd)||Clynes, J. R.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Black, Arthur W.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Agnew, George William||Boland, John||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Boulton, A. C. F.||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.|
|Alden, Percy||Bowerman, C. W.||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Brace, William||Cooper, G. J.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Bramsdon, T. A.||Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd|
|Armitage, R.||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J. T. (Cheshire||Cowan, W. H.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Bryce, J. Annan||Crean, Eugene|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Cremer, Sir William Randal|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Crosfield, A. H.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Burke, E. Haviland||Crossley, William J.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Cullinan, J.|
|Barker, John||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Curran, Peter Francis|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Barnes, G. N.||Byles, William Pollard||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Cameron, Robert||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)|
|Beale, W. P.||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Chance, Frederick William||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Devlin, Joseph|
|Bell, Richard||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Dewar, Sir. J. A. (lnverness-sh.)|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo)||Cleland, J. W.||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jackson, R. S.||O'Malley, William|
|Dillon, John||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Jardine, Sir J.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Jenkins, J.||Partington, Oswald|
|Duckworth, James||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Duffy, William J.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Jowett, F. W.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Joyce, Michael||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Kekewich, Sir George||Pollard, Dr.|
|Erskine, David C.||Kelley, George D.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Essex, R. W.||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Lambert, George||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington)||Pullar, Sir Robert|
|Ferens, T. R.||Lehmann, R. C.||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Lewis, John Herbert||Reddy, M.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Redmond John E. (Waterford)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Lough, Thomas||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Lupton, Arnold||Rees, J. D.|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Lyell, Charles Henry||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Gill, A. H.||Lynch, H. B.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Richardson, A.|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T.(Renfrew, W.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Glendinning, R. G.||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Glover, Thomas||Maclean, Donald||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside|
|Gooch, George Peabody||Macpherson, J. T.||Robinson, S.|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||M'Crae, George||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Gulland, John W.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Rowlands, J.|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||M'Micking, Major G.||Runciman, Walter|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Mallet, Charles E.||Russell, T. W.|
|Halpin, J.||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Scott, A. H.(Ashton under Lyne|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh||Massie, J.||Sears, J. E.|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Meagher, Michael||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Menzies, Walter||Seddon, J.|
|Harwood, George||Micklem, Nathaniel||Seely, Colonel|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Middlebrook, William||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Mond, A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Montagu, E. S.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Mooney, J. J.||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Muldoon, John||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Snowden, P.|
|Henry, Charles S.||Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Murray, James||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Myer, Horatio||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Higham, John Sharp||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.|
|Hodge, John||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Hogan, Michael||Nolan, Joseph||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Holden, E. Hopkinson||Norman, Sir Henry||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Nuttall, Harry||Summerbell, T.|
|Horniman, Emslie John||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Horridge, Thomas Gardner||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Hyde, Clarendon||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Grady, J.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carm'rth'n|
|Thorne, William||Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Tomkinson, James||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Williamson, A.|
|Toulmin, George||Waterlow, D. S.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Watt, Henry A.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Ure, Alexander||Wedgwood, Josiah, C.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Verney, F. W.||Weir, James Galloway||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Villiers, Ernest Amherst||White, Sir George (Norfolk)||Wilson, J. W.(Worcestersh. N.)|
|Vivian, Henry||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Wadsworth, J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Whitehead, Rowland||Winfrey, R.|
|Walsh, Stephen||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Walton, Joseph||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer|
|Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Wiles, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Wardle, George J.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Waring, Walter||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dalrymple, Viscount||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Nicholson, Wm. G.(Petersfield)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Everett, R. Lacey||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balcarres, Lord||Faber, George Denison (York)||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Fell, Arthur||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fletcher, J. S.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gardner, Ernest||Roberts, S.(Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gretton, John||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bertram, Julius||Hamilton, Marquess of||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Starkey, John R.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hils, J. W.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hunt, Rowland||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Cave, George||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C. W.||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Keswick, William||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Kimber, Sir Henry||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Chamberlain Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Clark, George Smith (Belfast, N.)||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham)||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Younger, George|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lyttelton, Rt Hon. Alfred||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Cox, Harold||M'Arthur, Charles|
|Craig, Charies Curtis (Antrim, S.||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Cross, Alexander||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
Question put and agreed to.