§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman has rightly said that he has had a task of almost unprecedented difficulty to discharge. I am quite certain that I express the opinion of Members on all sides of the House when I offer him my congratulations upon the manner in which he has discharged that task. But I must say for myself that consequently I also have a task of almost unprecedented difficulty to discharge. We have never had a Budget statement such as that which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has just made. He frankly stated that he has made an innovation, which I think was congenial to the House, by circulating many of the figures which are ordinarily announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech. But he has made a much bigger innovation. He sketched a Budget mot for the year only, but for a series of years; and he not only sketched the Budget for a series of years, but he sketched in very general terms a legislative programme trenching, if I may use the phrase without offence, upon the province of almost every one of his colleagues—a programme of such magnitude and complexity that it is not a question of one or two years before it can be carried out; it is much more likely to be two or three Parliaments before that vast programme can be achieved. With a good deal of what he said and with a great number of the objects which he set before the House I, for 550 one, heartily sympathise, and for well-considered measures to promote those objects he will probably find as much sympathy on this side of the House as on the side from which he speaks. But I think there is some inconvenience in shadowing forth in this vague manner vast projects which may mean much and may mean little, which are capable of no immediate or early realisation, which may raise great hopes and serve the purposes of an electoral manifesto, but which must recur year after year in our discussions in this House before they can be brought to fruition.
I am not going to attempt to follow in detail a statement which it took the Chancellor of the Exchequer four and a half hours to make, and which obviously I cannot pretend to have mastered in many of its propositions, though I gave all the attention to the subject demanded by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. I make no criticism of that speech on account of lack of clearness or lack of detail; but the Chancellor himself will admit that there is an enormous amount more which it is necessary for us to know before we can judge a great many of his propositions, and I hope that he will even now consider in what form he can lay before the House, by tabulated figures and by printed statement, the kind of information which is required to fill in the picture which he has drawn. In saying that, I make this further observation: that, of course, if there are particular resolutions which must be carried in order to avoid the evasion of the duties or taxes to be imposed, we must carry them now. But when we are dealing with an altogether exceptional Budget, we require exceptional time for its discussion; and I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister must consider whether it is fair to ask us to proceed, de die in diem, with all the Resolutions of a Budget of this kind, involving a rearrangement of a great number of our taxes, and involving changes of principle which are of first magnitude. Changes of principle, however, are perhaps more readily grasped and more easily understood, but it affects also every kind of trade, mercantile, and financial interest, which are entitled to have time for consideration of the Chancellor's proposals, and whose opinions we ought to know before we express any definite views upon them.
Having said that, I now desire to make some observations upon what I may call the exordium of the Chancellor of the 551 Exchequer. He was face to face with a very large deficit. He dealt very briefly, very summarily, with his estimate of revenue on the basis of existing taxation. I know how dangerous it is to speculate on the future yield of taxes, even when you are Chancellor of the Exchequer, with all the admirable advice that he commands. It is much more dangerous to do so when you have not access to any of that advice; but I cannot help observing that I think the hon. Gentleman has under-estimated the revenue which he will receive from at least two sources of existing taxation. In the first place, he has put the estate duties on the present basis at only £18,370,000. That is less than they produced last year.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I beg pardon; I mean less than they were estimated to produce last year, but more than they actually did produce. I think he might have carried his figure a little higher. It is the misfortune of death duties—a misfortune which is aggravated by every increase in the rate—that they yield a very uncertain revenue and when the right hon. Gentleman congratulates us that at any rate our fiscal system avoids the fluctuations to which some other fiscal systems are subject, I think he will find within the statement which he has presented to the House a good many considerations which should cause him to modify that statement. Death duties fluctuate not merely by the chances of what rich men die in any given year—and those chances do not average themselves out exactly—but they fluctuate also, and very seriously, according to the price of securities. A man who, if he should dip at a moment when securities are high, would make a very handsome contribution to the Exchequer, may have his contribution reduced by a very considerable amount, not merely by the absolute decrease in the capital value of his estate when securities are low, but by the fact that that decrease takes him to a lower scale, and his whole estate is taxed at a lower rate. What the Chancellor of the Exchequer had in mind were the fluctuations which occur in times of bad trade in the revenue from customs duties, on which some foreign countries have hitherto more exclusively depended than we have. We have the same fluctuations here, both in cur Customs and in our Excise, where the 552 lesser spending power of the people is reflected in the lesser consumption of the article. I do not think that our system or any system of taxation is immune from the effects of fluctuations caused by the general depression or prosperity of the people, nor do I think the right hon. Gentleman will be able to devise or establish a system which would not have that contingent misfortune attaching to it.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer turned to the purposes for which the increased expenditure is required, which are, of course, mainly the Navy and old age pensions. Whatever sacrifices we are called upon to make, we do not grudge the money spent in maintaining the defences of this country in a satisfactory condition. The only regret I have to express upon that point is that, after all the brave words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, after his declaration that to stint the Navy in any way would be not Liberalism but lunacy, he still has made no provision for the battleships which are necessary. The Estimates remain where they were when presented to the House. We still have no assurance that the necessary battleships will be laid down this year, and still less do we see any intention on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—if, as the result of the agitation to which he objects, but to which the Government I am glad to think show some signs of yielding, the ships are laid down—to pay this year's share of the cost out of this year's taxation. That is the first criticism I have to make about this procedure.
Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke about the burden imposed by the Old Age Pensions Act, and, I suppose by way of defending the Government against any charge of being extravagant or rash in that matter, he said that Amendments moved when that Act was under discussion, which would have cost an additional four millions, were officially supported from this Bench. He should have added that we who supported those Amendments at the same time expressed our willingness to raise the money with which to pay for them. Speaking from my place here on behalf of my colleagues on this Bench, I said that in our opinion it was rash, dangerous, and almost immoral finance to abandon half the sugar duty at a moment when you were incurring that great expenditure, and that if the Government saw their way to do without half the sugar duty for the scheme which they proposed, I would rather devote the half which they 553 proposed to give back to the taxpayer to make that scheme better. That was the justification for the attitude which we took in supporting Amendments which would have increased the cost of the scheme. What, after all, is the statement about the Old Age Pensions Act which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made to us to-day? That it is an incomplete, truncated scheme, incapable of being maintained for any length of time in its present condition—
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I think we laid more emphasis upon that both last year and since, than the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his colleagues have been accustomed to do. It is a truncated scheme, which it is impossible to maintain in its present condition for any length of time; and not only did we undertake then a liability for nine millions without providing more than 1¼ millions to meet the liability, but we in fact undertook a much greater liability, because we established a scheme which would necessarily cast a much higher burden upon us in future years. I congratulate the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the determination to which he and his colleagues have come in regard to any extension of that Act. It has been our contention from the first that many of the hardest cases were excluded by the age limit, but that the adoption of a non-contributory scheme rendered the enforcement of an age limit, and a very high limit, an absolute necessity. The complaint was not that the Government should have tried to bring in old age pensions, or, indeed, that they should have made special terms for those who were already old, or approaching old, but that they did not begin their constructive scheme at the other end by establishing a system which was workable for all time, and which contemplated the necessities which might arise, and which needed to be dealt with by exceptional and temporary legislation. The Government, and my right hon. Friend, proclaim that there is still a great work to be done, a work which cannot be done on the lines on which they began, but needs to be pursued on the lines which we have always advocated. That scheme must involve the principle of compulsion, the principle of a contribution by the beneficiaries to the benefits which they are ultimately to receive. It must safeguard, as all advocates of old age pensions desire, the position and work of the great friendly societies. 554 These were the four principles which he laid down with regard to any extension of the scheme towards which there should be State contributions. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the German system. I think the country really ought to bear the expense of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's trip last year to Germany. I am sure this House would have voted that gladly if only the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have gone to Germany before he legislated. We on this side of the House, and the hon. Member for Preston on the other side of the House, brought the German system repeatedly before the House. What did the Government say at that time? The Prime Minister, when he made his Budget speech last year, only held the scheme up to reject it. He looked at it from a corner. He only saw a portion of the work it was doing, and he mentioned it only to condemn it.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
What I said was "so far as the problem of old age pensions was concerned."
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
I also wish to deal with it as a matter of fact. The right hon. Gentleman rejected the German system as a guide for us on the ground that it after so many years—30 years—had practically done nothing. He quoted the figure which applied only to old age pensions. He ignorantly or wilfully neglected the much higher figure—
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
I can only say if the right hon. Gentleman deliberately withheld what has made a success of the German system, and that he spoke only of the temporary and passing phase of that system, and referred only to the people who were aged at the time that the system was first introduced, then he was guilty really of misleading the House of Commons by suppressing the facts which were absolutely material to the case being put before the House.
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman says they were irrelevant. I do not think anything of the kind. I do 555 not think they were irrelevant for a moment. The fact of the matter is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, starting with old age pensions as the basis of his observations, has brought all these facts into mind in order to foreshadow the various schemes on which the Government would legislate, and for which they would require money. Unemployment insurance is a very important and a very desirable thing. Afforestation on a great scale—of which I will only say at present that it raises a great many more questions than can ever receive adequate consideration at the present time—I was glad to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer say that he was advised, and agreed with his advisers, that the Government was going to make a great many more inquiries before they began to do anything of a considerable kind. Then he proposes to have a development grant for England. What is called the predominant partner is not to be overlooked in these financial arrangements. This grant will be used for many purposes which the Chancellor of the Exchequer foreshadowed. I think he was perfectly right in saying that what we do to advance agriculture, and promote the interests of agriculture in this country as a whole, is something of a scandal. I really can only think that exists because for the greater portion of the last 60 years or so we have been so much occupied with our industries that we have been accustomed to think of the comparative interests of agriculture as a matter of small consequence. I am one of those who feel that, quite apart from the interests of the individual citizen, which we are quite entitled to say should be considered by this House, the nation as a whole is greatly weakened by the weakness of our agriculture. Anything we can do in reason, and with due regard to all the other interests we have to serve, to promote the development and prosperity of agriculture, would be no mere gain to a section of the community, but a gain to our national strength and national well-being. I am very glad to hear, therefore, that there is to be a sum allotted for that purpose. I am very sorry to see how small that sum is, how small the development grant is in view of the many charges that will necessarily come upon it.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
It is only a grant for a part of the year, and that is why the total appears small. I am afraid I do not regard it as at all adequate; so 556 that I agree with the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
I quite agree, and we may accept it and discuss it as a. token, as an earnest of what is to be done by the House. Still, I am disappointed with the sum, and shocked at the proposal to finance the Development Grant. It means the destruction of the old Sinking Fund, especially at the moment when you are raising a new Sinking Fund. When could you better raise a sum of money for the reduction of debt than when your revenue is so abounding that it has altogether exceeded expectations? I am not here to say that on particular occasions or for a particular purpose I am, not prepared to support the Government in seizing upon the surplus in a particular year and preventing that surplus falling into the Sinking Fund, but I do enter a protest against the proposal once for all to abolish the old Sinking Fund, and that at the very moment when you are raiding the new Sinking Fund. As I am on the Sinking Fund let me say a word about the Chancellor's proposal in regard to the new Sinking Fund. I begin at once by a confession that having regard to the character of the Chancellor, or his Government—I will not be personal—and the difficulties, in which they were in, and the rumours that had spread about, I was greatly surprised by the moderation of the raid he made. I frankly make that admission at once, but how does the Chancellor justify it? He does so in the way that was anticipated by the Prime Minister, on the ground of the reductions the Government have made in the debt in the three years in which they have been in office. The reductions they have made have been due to one or two causes—to the new Sinking Fund, arising from the fixed net charge where I put it of 28 millions, and which they left there with a temporary addition of half a million one year and a million and a half the next year, which additions were not net because in each of these years they took about half of the million from the old Sinking Fund. They have made no attempt to strengthen the permanent provision for the debt. They left that where I placed it. A great portion of the reduction is due to the working of that old Sinking Fund, which they have now destroyed. The credit they claim for what they have done is due to the fact that none of their predecessors had ever been willing to carry into effect such a proposal as the Chancellor has made. Now what happened? They have reduced the debt by 557 little over £40,000,000—£40,500,000. That is a very convenient way of speaking of it. It is the popular way, and the one most easily understood, but it does not convey to anyone what is the true state of the case. The national debt, so far as Consols are concerned, are securities. Consols are not capital liability. The owner of £1,000 of Consols has no right now and never will have the right, and his successors never will have the right to bring his scrip for the total sum to the Government, and say, Pay me £1,000 you owe me." But he has a right to get his annuity of 2½ per cent. per annum. It is all very well to talk of 40 millions being struck off the capital liability. Let us ask ourselves by what amount have the annuities been reduced. They have been reduced by just over one million; that is, the Chancellor has reduced the interest which the State has to pay by just over a million, but the Chancellor and the Government feel justified in taking away three millions from the provision made for the further reduction of debt, they are going to reduce the fund by three times the amount by which they have reduced the charges, and the annual liabilities. That is a pretty strong proposal. Looked at from that point of view, I think it is not a satisfactory or as real as when you merely speak of it in the light of the capital liability of the State. I must say I am not prepared for myself or the party to which I belong to associate myself with all the right hon. Gentleman opposite has said, and considering what his predecessors have stated on previous occasions, it is a curious proposal to come from that party. The late Lord Goschen in the first instance reduced the fixed debt charge in recent times. He did it at the moment when he was reducing the interest on debt, when he was converting the debt, and the result of his conversion and nett charge together was that a larger and not a smaller sum was available for the reduction of debt immediately after his operation and immediately before. That has no bearing on the present case. Then you come to the case of Lord St. Aldwyn in 1899. I wonder whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer has refreshed his memory as to the debates of that time, and seen the very high attitude taken by Sir William Harcourt, to whose Budget a few years previously he paid a well merited tribute, as to the iniquity of touching the Sinking Fund for such purposes as this, and as to the line the Liberal party 558 would take in similar circumstances. Sir William Harcourt then said:—The Chancellor of the Exchequer up to this time has had a pretty easy life.Of course that was applying to circumstances which do not apply in the case of the present Chancellor.He was the heir to a highly solvent estate. He has reduced it to a declaration of partial insolvency.Again, Sir William Harcourt said:—In the year 1893, on behalf of the Government of that day, I made this statement: 'We cannot recommend the Committee to meet its liabilities by encroaching further on the fund set apart for the liquidation of the Debt. In our opinion that is a fund not to be tampered with in ordinary times and normal deficiency but reserved for great emergency. That is the keystone of sound and solid finance, and we are not prepared further to weaken its foundation. These are courses which the Government are not prepared to recommend. They only serve to encourage extravagance by concealing and palliating for the moments its effects and therefore promoting its growth. There is in our opinion only one sound and straightforward means of meeting this deficit, and that is by increased taxation. That is the only policy which is worthy of a solvent and wealthy nation which finds itself over-spending.'That was the doctrine of the Liberal party in 1899; it is no longer the policy of the successor of Sir William Harcourt, and they do not propose to act upon it. I will only say further that I am thankful that, having decided to raid the Sinking Fund, they did not raid the new Sinking Fund, and that they did not carry their raids further than they have already done. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer went on in his speech to make an observation which was, to say the least of it, singular in his mouth. He said, and I do not know to what he referred, that he had been subjected to all kinds of scurrility because he was supposed to contemplate economy in certain Departments of the State. I do not know why he referred to that, and I have no comment to make on it; but he went on to say he believed there were great economies to be made in our administration, but that public opinion was not yet ready to support it, and that therefore, although he believed these economies could be made, he was not going to make them now. That is not the way to discharge the duties of Chancellor of the Exchequer. If he believes there are great economies to be made it is his business to show them to the House and the country, and to create a public opinion which would insist upon their being done at once. I must say that a weaker declaration than that indicated, that he must wait for a measure of popular enthusiasm to support him, never came from a Chancellor of the Exchequer.
559 Now I come to the new taxes. This is a subject which will occupy us during a very large portion of this Session, and I think I may safely say will prevent an Autumn Session being held by extending our discussions on these questions nearly to Christmas. I do not propose to examine all his proposals to-night. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said practically: "Here we are in a situation which is unusual. We have not only a very big deficit to meet in the current year, but we require provision for social reform in addition, and a still further largely increased expenditure in the financial year which will follow." Nothing could be worse than for the Chancellor of the Exchequer under such circumstances to leave any doubt as to how those future demands will be met, and it becomes his business to select taxation which will give him not only what he requires, but will also give him the larger revenue he requires in future years. That is a very businesslike proceeding, for which we are very grateful to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; but what a pity he did not convey that idea to the Prime Minister a year ago, when he lightly embarked upon an expenditure of £9,000,000 without giving anyone an idea how he was going to meet the Bill, except by raiding the Sinking Fund. That uncertainty, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer says is the worst thing that could happen for the trade of the country, has prevailed during the whole of the past year, owing to the unsound finance of the Prime Minister.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has cast his net widely, and he has dealt with an enormous number of taxes. Little fish as well as big fish have been caught in his net, and his proposals really revolutionise nearly all the taxes with which he deals. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will circulate to us a paper which will show in regard to the increased income tax on larger incomes and the changes in the death duties and the succession duties what will be the cumulative liability of estates of different values. The Chancellor of the Exchequer dealt with the income tax at one point and with the death duties at another, and he dealt with taxation of special classes of land as his third question. We should like to have these different taxes focussed in one place, and, at any rate, illustrations given to show what is the amount of taxation which particular fortunes or particular estates may be called upon to pay. Unless we have 560 this information we cannot form any sound judgment as to the proposals he has made. The proposals he puts forward in regard to the big estates are a very heavy addition to the burdens they already bear—a fact which is forgotten by many of those who advocate an ascending scale of taxation. The cumulative effect of all these changes will be very large, and we should like to have some idea what they are. In my opinion the Chancellor of the Exchequer by his proposals is taxing again and again at different points of his Budget the same people in different ways, and those people are comparatively a very small number. There is always a certain amount of danger in imposing a larger portion of the burdens of taxation upon very few people. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will give us further information upon this matter.
There is another question which is of much greater importance. The Chancellor of the Exchequer quoted an observation made by the Prime Minister last year to the effect that anomalies and inequalities in a tax which might be borne when the tax was temporary became intolerable when permanent, and must be redressed. That is equally true of the tax which ceases to be a small tax and becomes a very high tax, and when the right hon. Gentleman proposes to make the normal income tax 1s. 2d., with a surtax on that upon a great many fortunes, there are other anomalies in regard to this matter to which he must give his attention and with which the House must deal before it parts with this proposal. There is the whole question of levying taxation under Schedule A. As the Committee knows, certain allowances are made to the landlords, amounting to one-sixth and one-eighth for his land and buildings before his tax is assessed. Take, as an illustration, the one-sixth allowed for houses. That was fixed many years ago, when the value of agriculture was, on the whole, higher than it is now. Consequently, one-sixth is a less allowance now than it was then, and the expenses it was intended to meet have not gone down; but, as a matter of fact, have gone up in order to meet the increased expenses of keeping the houses in repair, and so on. One-sixth may have been adequate at the time, although many of those who are best informed on this subject thought it was not. But if it was no more adequate at the time, it must necessarily follow that it is inadequate now. When you are raising 561 this tax, I think it is necessary that you should go into the question of allowance I made in that way, and see their bearing and effect not merely upon the fortunes of individual but upon the well-being of the estates and the dwellers upon them.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
The right hon. Gentleman has had more experience at the Treasury than I have had. I wish to point out, however, that the difficulty which I found was that whereas one-sixth was too little in one case it was too much in another.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I am much obliged to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for his interruption, but do not let us discourage the good landlord from such things as cottage building in our effort to get the last penny from him. I think we might remember in that connection the very handsome tribute—unusual from the opposite side of the House—which the Chancellor of the Exchequer paid to agricultural landlords as a whole. When dealing with them the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not, I am bound to say, keep it for the time when he wanted to scourge the town landlords with scorpions. I commend to his supporters in the House and the country the handsome tribute which he paid to agricultural landlords. He by no means exaggerated the interest which the agricultural landlords have taken in the management of their estates or the great public spirit they have shown often at very considerable sacrifice to themselves and altogether outside of legal obligations in order to make their estates happy homes for the people. There was a small concession which the right hon. Gentleman announced, and which I heartily welcome, and that is to extend relief to objects of national and historical interest. I would venture to say this, that the object which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has in view is to relieve individuals of what he believes to be a very considerable hardship in forcing them to sell objects in which they have a sentimental feeling, and which have a special place in their own hearts, but I am afraid that all additional burdens that may be put upon a large estate will tend to force these works of art into the market. I am afraid that this country will retain only a small proportion of these works of art as years go on when they come into the market, and that the proportion will be a decreasing one. Another proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is 562 to make donations into inter vivos more difficult by providing that they shall not effect death duties unless they have taken place at least five years before death. When Sir William Harcourt proposed his death duties he said repeatedly that while his object was to prevent death-bed transfers which were almost fraudulent, it was not his desire to encourage the transfer of donations into inter vivos. He thought that was an admirable thing. I think it is a good thing. I am absolutely wedded to one year. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer can show no reason that one year has proved insufficient, and that a great many donations are made when a man is practically on his death-bed, I should be prepared to consider the point, but I do not think that when donations are made when the man was a sound man and in good health that you should go back upon it. That is not to the interest of the country. It is not to the interest of the country to prevent these gifts passing into inter vivos. Take, for instance, the case of a man who lives to a ripe old age. His son may have won his confidence, and the transfer is made. In ordinary circumstances such a transfer is possible, and I think it is hard to make such a transfer more difficult than it is at present.
The right hon. Gentleman, for reasons which I do not quite understand, proposes to charge a higher stamp duty on the sale for the conveyance of land. What is the policy of the Government in this respect? Do you think you can make land more easily transferable by taxing it from time to time? What was the justification which the Chancellor of the Exchequer urged for all these additional charges? The additional charges on land come in force at once. At some future time he proposes to relieve local taxation. In another passage of his speech he explains that the burden of local taxation is paid by the poor and not by the land. You cannot have it both ways. The right hon. Gentleman must make up his mind by whom these taxes are paid.
About the licensing proposal, of the Government I will say very little. I notice the welcome change in the attitude of the Government in respect to that which we advocated in the Licensing Bill of last year. They have now become aware that the growth of clubs is a really serious matter. I mean not the growth of bonâ fide clubs, but of clubs which are nothing more than drinking shops. At the first sight I view most favourably the proposal 563 of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to balance any deficiency in the licensing duties by a poundage on the sale of liquors in clubs. The right hon. Gentleman says that before you can assess these public-houses you must have a new valuation. That is what we tried to impress upon him in the discussion on the Licensing Bill. If we did not succeed in convincing him then, I am glad his own inquiries have convinced him now I should like to know in what spirit and with what objects has the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed these increased duties. It is not primarily to promote sobriety, for the figures which he himself has quoted show that there is a growing movement in favour of sobriety. That has been going steadily on for the past 10 years and it may be expected to go en for the future, owing to the feeling which now animates all classes of society. We know that his colleagues have advocated these additional duties as a punishment on the trade for having opposed the Licensing Bill of last year. [Cries of "No, no."] I do not know that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has done so, but his colleagues have. I could give half a dozen quotations from their speeches. Take the Lord Advocate as a speciality. Most of his time is spent in going up and down the country in supporting taxational land values, a proposal of his own which has been disavowed by the Government. But when he is not occupied in that duty he indulges in swinging attacks on the publicans and the House of Lords. The Chancellor of the Exchequer made an observation which lent some colour, I will not say to the idea that his proposals were done vindictively, but that they were done with the hope that the effect would be that taxation will destroy a good deal of licences. He said in dealing with small houses, which are often undesirable, that he was going to apply to them a similar scale to other houses, and that would probably put a good many of them out of existence. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer says he did not say that I do not press it against him. It is difficult to follow all that was said. I think it is probable that the scale which the right hon. Gentleman has adopted will put many licences out of existence. I think that taxation driven to the point which makes it impossible for a man to continue his business ceases to become taxation, and really becomes spoliation. It is really difficult to say at what point you are robbing a man as you go in an 564 ascending scale in regard to the profits he makes, but if you deliberately adopt a scale to shut up a business altogether that, I say, ceases to become taxation, and becomes pure robbery of the man so taxed. Then the right hon. Gentleman turned to the urban landlord, and contrasted him very unfavourably with the rural landlord. I doubt very much the general assumption which appeared to underlie the right hon. Gentleman's statement that a great deal of land which could usefully and fairly be disposed of at the present time is being held out of the market in our big towns. I think that if he makes inquiries into the number of vacant houses in these towns-he will find that it is amazing, partly through depression of trade, but largely because of the great development which has gone on outside the towns. That does, not show that land is being improperly withheld, and that towns are being starved for want of land. On the contrary, house owners in some of these cases, are being starved for want of tenants, and local authorities complain of the small yield of the rates in consequence of these vacant houses. Then the right hon. Gentleman said that under our present system it is in the interests of the landlord to crowd his land with the worst class of houses—to put the greatest number of houses on the smallest plot of ground, leaving scarcely any means for the introduction of sunlight. That is not at all what the President of the Local Government Board said the other day in introducing his Town Planning Bill. He said that it was in the interests of the landlord to have the better class of house, and that it is very largely the bad bye-laws which have prevented him from putting these up. All these matters we shall have to go very carefully into at a later stage. I must not deal with them further now. I will just, ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he is replying to the Debate to answer two questions dealing with widely different subjects, but both on the same lines. The development grant is to get a surplus whenever there is one. Out of the accumulations of the development grant are you going to meet a deficit, when you get one? You are going to put a special tax, an unearned increment, when your valuations show that property has augmented in value without capital or exertion expended upon it. Are you also going to give any compensation when the process has been the other way—where a man has made an unfortunate speculation, and his land has deteriorated in valued? 565 I only wish the people who talk of such speculation as good speculation would put some of their own money in the land. They would then see that there are two sides to the question. I am not going into the very important proposals which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made tonight. I come now to the indirect taxation to which he has referred. If there is one principle on which the Government, pledged themselves when they came into office it was that indirect taxation was bad, and that they would not be the instrument of putting it on. They took off 3 millions from the sugar duty last year in order to put 2½ millions on tobacco this year. Was it worth while? Are the people going to benefit? Tobacco is already the most heavily taxed article ad valorem, and I think it is quite possible that the effect on your revenue will be much less satisfactory than the Chancellor of the Exchequer anticipates. Then we come to spirits. The Chancellor is bold, and has manufactured a new Irish grievance. He will remember the Financial Relations Committee, and the plea which from time to time was put forward. Let him work out his figures with regard to the new spirit duty, and I think he will find that he has added fuel to the flames. I congratulate myself that the proceedings of the Government in relation to the trade on this occasion is extended to the trade in all parts of the United Kingdom. We in England are not to be legislated for by our Scotch and Irish fellow Members without being able to mete out to them the measure they accord to us. I desire to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer at once whether he implied that there were to be duties on alcohol used for commercial purposes?
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
I assumed that was so; but a good many people will be happier when they read that in the papers to-morrow. Take the Budget as a whole, it is for £162,000,000 this year, and a much larger sum next year. Where are the promises of reduction and economy which were made by the present Government? From the Prime Minister downwards every Member of that party accused their predecessors of having inflated Budgets, and they singled out for reduction at 566 different times every tax which was enforced. Well, it is pretty evident that we have come to the end of reduction in taxation under the present régime. It is very evident that all the professions that were made were the offspring of ignorance or of hope destined to be disappointed, and that the present Government have found out, as we found out, that not merely the international competition, but the demands of our own people for better conditions and for improved circumstances make it impossible for anyone to look forward to any permanent reduction in face of the expenditure with which we have to deal.
§ Mr. T. G. ASHTON
I commend the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the very great foresight that he has shown in providing in, his Budget not only for the requirements of this year, but very largely for the increasing requirements of the year which follows, which will be a very much more difficult year to finance than the present year on which we are now engaged. I also congratulate him very heartily on-having framed this very ingenious Budget—for a very ingenious Budget I think it is—for he has so framed it that he has avoided putting a tax upon the industries of the country. At any rate, in the main be has avoided it, for, after all, any taxes that you can raise are to a certain extent taxes on the industries of the country. But I think in the main he has been extremely successful in the way in which he bas avoided putting taxes upon the industries of the country, in spite of the very large amount of money which he has been called upon to raise. I do not always agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire, but there is one thing in which I do agree with him, and that is in deploring the way in which a raid has been made upon the Sinking Fund. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken first of all about the old Sinking Fund, and I must say I was astonished when the Chancellor of the Exchequer made the statement that he was going to appropriate the old Sinking Fund for other purposes than that of paying off the debt of the country. In a certain sense it is to my mind a far more serious thing to appropriate the old Sinking Fund than to deal with the new, and it is more serious for this reason, because with very small exceptions the old Sinking Fund has never been tampered with. It has been quite common—more common than it ought to be—to tamper with the new Sinking Fund, but so far as I know, with very few excep- 567 tions, the old Sinking Fund has never been tampered with. We have, at any rate, felt that the amount of money which arose from the surpluses of good years has gone towards the reduction of debt, which every economist in the House must want to see reduced as rapidly as possible. Now I come to the new Sinking Fund, and when I say it is a mistake to raid the Sinking Fund I would refer to no less a person than the present Prime Minister, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1906. At that time he used these words:—Second and second only to the duty of reducing expenditure is that of making a more adequate provision for the reduction of debt.The words are "a more adequate provision," and certainly no more adequate provision has been made for the reduction of debt, except by means of the old Sinking Fund.
It has happened that we have been passing through three extremely good years, and there have been additions to debt reduction by means of the old Sinking Fund. But I do not think anyone can say, when you have a debt of over 700,000,000 of money, that to reduce the new Sinking Fund, which is, roughly speaking, only about nine millions, is a very large reduction for this country to make year by year in its debt. The Prime Minister last year certainly egged the present Chancellor of the Exchequer on, by what he said, to reduce the new Sinking Fund, and it seems to me that he did so on very inadequate grounds, and some of his reasons, though I think I see why he did it, did not seem to me to be very good. He chose to compare the dead-weight debt of last year with the dead-weight debt of 20 years ago, and I am quite sure that he made a very large number of Members of this House believe—I do not say intentionally, of course—but he did lead them to believe that we had now got over the whole of the expenditure of the Transvaal War, and that we had reduced the debt to an amount equal to that at which it stood before the Transvaal War took place, whereas, as a fact, nothing was further from the case. Instead of taking 20 years ago, the Prime Minister ought to have taken 10 years ago—the year 1899–1900, when the National Debt was 70 millions—when the dead-weight debt was something like 70 millions lower than it is to-day, and the capital liabilities of the nation were 120 millions lower than they are now. It does seem to me that when the capital liabilities of the nation 568 are 120 millions bigger than they were before the Transvaal War is not a time for a big country like this to reduce the Sinking Fund, and certainly not by anything over the surplus which arises in the good years, and which ought to form the old Sinking Fund. We have the authority for that of many eminent financiers, including Lord Cromer himself. The Noble Lord last year, speaking in the House of Lords on the reduction of the debt, said: "When at peace we ought to do our utmost to pay our debt, in order to meet any financial strain that might be put upon us. He hoped nothing would be done to interfere with the Sinking Fund." I think he is undoubtedly a great authority on questions of finance. Of course, I am perfectly aware that my right hon. Friend and most people will say, When he had to find 16½ millions of money, how could he do it otherwise? But I think we ought to make great sacrifices for our Sinking Fund, and that there is a tax which the right hon. Gentleman might have found which would have been extremely appropriate in dealing with the debts of the country. I believe myself that it would have been perfectly justifiable, rather than to reduce the Sinking Fund, to have put on a coal tax, and I will try to show why I think a coal tax would be a perfectly legitimate one for the purpose of reducing the National Debt, and why I should like to see it earmarked against reduction. After all, when you export coal and part with it, you are parting with the permanent assets of the country. This wealth is not like a crop that grows again, and when you get rid of it you get rid of it for ever, and I think you would be perfectly well justified, when you are parting with your assets, as you do in parting with coal, that you should also part with some of your liabilities; for if these liabilities remain, and the assets go, the future of this country will not be a happy one. As to the history of the tax on coal, I confess I was not in favour of the coal tax which was put on, in the time of the war for this reason, that it penalised some coal in this country and left other coal, which was not used for export, untouched; and, if you put a duty on coal at all, it ought to be put on the article, whether for home consumption or foreign export. That is only fair to the coal owners of the country. I find in 1907 the production of coal was 267 million tons, and if you put on a 1d. a ton—not a very large amount—it would yield the large amount of one million one hundred thousand pounds; in other words, if you put 569 5d. a ton on coal, or a ¼d. a cwt., you would get 5½ millions of money, which you might use for the reduction of debt. It would be an easy tax to collect in my belief, because the statistics of coal have to be given by every coal owner every year. It would not be an expensive tax to collect. It would all go into the Exchequer, and would not be like the corn tax, which goes partly into private pockets, and the burden would be very widely distributed, and in my opinion it would be very little felt. Of course, the question comes in about foreign competition. As a matter of fact, with the exception of America, this country produces coal more cheaply than any other country in the world, and therefore it is not likely that it would be affected very much by foreign competition. I regret myself that the question of a coal tax has not been taken up in preference to the reduction of the Sinking Fund.
I am in favour of almost all the provisions as far as I understand them, but I dislike very much the idea of the super-tax. It is not the amount of the tax that I dislike. I am perfectly willing, if it falls to my lot to have to pay some of the super-tax, to pay a larger share of the taxation of the country. It is only right and just that people who are better off should pay rather more than people who are not so well off, but I object to it mainly on the ground that it penalises the honest man as against the dishonest man. I am perfectly convinced that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not get anything like the full amount that he honestly ought to get by the imposition of the tax. That is not a matter of theory; it has been found in practice to be the fact. Mr. Pitt, in the exigencies of the great French wars, instituted an income-tax in 1798, and put on a tax of 2s. in the pound, and it was collected by personal declaration. It was taken off when the war ceased, and put on when the war started again, but instead of 2s. in the pound he put on 1s., collecting it at the base, as we do now. The result was that it yielded almost as much as the 2s. tax. That shows the enormous amount of fraud and dishonesty that goes on if you allow people practically to decide their own taxation.
§ Mr. T. G. ASHTON
Not so much better that they would make a difference of half the tax. I feel perfectly confident that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer leaves it to personal declaration the super-tax 570 will not yield what he expects, and he will do grave injustice to the honest man as against the dishonest man. I personally should infinitely prefer that he should have placed the income tax at a higher level all round, and then by means of a regression made allowances to people with smaller incomes from that amount. I am perfectly aware of the objection that you would take a very large amount of money off the market, and perhaps interfere with the money market for a time, and then have to pay it back again, but that is a minor objection which might easily be got over by collecting it at various times of the year. I regret more than I can say that the Chancellor has attempted to put on a super-tax, which I, and others who know more about finance than I do, believe will be to a certain extent a failure. After all, it is not as if the rich man did not pay a very large amount of taxation now on his income and on his capital. We are apt to forget what a very large burden the death duties are upon the capital of the rich man. Sir Henry Primrose, giving evidence before the Income Tax Committee, gave an estimate of what he considered the death duties were equivalent to in income tax, and he made out that the death duties from 1896 to 1905 were equivalent on a small income of £400 a year to 6d. in the £, and from £4,000 to £6,000 a year 1s. in the £ extra, going up to 1s. 3¾d. on an income of £40,000 a year. That is already a very considerable super-tax, and I should very much rather have an ordinary income tax increase after regression for those who do not have quite as large incomes.
I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman-upon what he is doing in regard to licence duties. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire said the licence duties were being raised as a punishment to the trade because they would not accept the Licensing Bill. I do not think there is any justification for that charge at all. He said it amounted to robbery if licences as a consequence of this were destroyed. I do not agree with that either. I myself and a great many of my Friends have no doubt advocated a high licence system. For several years past I have always advocated that we should increase the licence duties on public - houses because they were so grossly unjust on the large houses as compared with the small houses. I am very glad now they are all being levelled up to the rate of the small houses. We are told the tax will be something like 50 per cent. That is a high licence, but it 571 is not robbery, and if it has the effect, as I hope, of destroying some of the poorer houses in the back streets of our big towns so much the better. I remember not very long ago having a talk with a chairman of quarter sessions, who is a strong Conservative, and he told me he considered what we wanted more than anything else was this very high licence system which is now proposed. What you want to do, he said, is to get rid of the small public-houses in the slum streets, and compel them to close, as you will do by high licences, and have your public-houses in the large streets, And then you will find a very large number of people who would go into the slum houses where they could not be seen, but would not think of going into houses in the large street where they could be seen. I welcome this because I think it is fair, and because I think it will do something to close some of the worst of our houses, besides at the same time putting a very considerable sum of money into the pocket of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In most respects I fully endorse the Budget which is placed before us, and I hope it may go through almost in its entirety.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
It is many years since we had a Budget statement as important as this. It has been said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire, that when the Government came to power three years ago there was one thing at all events that they said they were going to do, and that was to economise. The present Prime Minister when he introduced the first Budget made a very important point in his Budget statement of that time. The Estimates, as the Committee are aware, were practically made by our Administration before we went out of power. The estimated expenditure which the right hon. Gentleman had to budget for amounted to £141,786,000, excluding the local taxation contribution, because that contribution is not a rational expenditure. The right hon. Gentleman said:—These figures appear to me to call for no comment. They speak with an eloquence which needs no rhetorical embroidery. In my opinion they make a return to more thrifty and economical administration the first and paramount duty of the government.And yet what do we find? The Government which at that time said its first duty was to reduce that figure have not reduced it, and this year the estimated expenditure amounts to no less than £154,000,000, excluding the local taxation contribution, or something like £13,000,000 572 more than the figure to which the right hon. Gentleman referred. That is my comment on this Budget so far as expenditure goes.
I quite agree with what the hon. Member for Bedford said with regard to the Sinking Fund. I thought it was always a maxim of the Liberal party that financial purity must be maintained by keeping up the Sinking Fund of this country. We have had the most extraordinary statement this afternoon that not only is the fixed charge reduced by £6,000,000, but that the old Sinking Fund is to be abolished altogether—the old Sinking Fund which has been in operation since 1828, and by which automatically the surplus went over every year to reduce the National Debt. The right hon. Gentleman is going to devote that sum to a new grant to be called the Development Grant. I do not object to the development grant being established, but I object to the old Sinking Fund being extinguished. With regard to what is called the "fixed charge" of £28,000,000, I would point out that it has varied from time to time. It has been as low as £23,000,000 in 1900 and as high as £29,500,000. That fund was established by Sir Stafford Northcote in 1875. When he was Chancellor of the Exchequer he fixed it at £28,000,000. Why? Because he said that it had never been less than £28,000,000 before 1860, when the country was poorer and the revenue was less. Sir Stafford argued in 1875 that if the country was poorer in 1860 à fortiori it could certainly better afford to pay as much off every year as it had done previous to the year 1860. If that was Sir Stafford Northcote's reason there is at the present time very much more reason for keeping the standard up to £28,000,000, because our national revenue has nearly doubled since 1875 when that sum was fixed. Therefore, surely if the country could afford £28,000,000 in 1875, it can much more afford it now.
May I draw the attention of the Committee to the question of paying off the National Debt, and to what our rivals are doing? What is the condition of their debt? The national debt of Germany is only £193,000,000, or £3 per head of the population, and of the United States of America £183,000,000, or £2 per head of the population. Our deadweight debt—not the total including other capital liabilities—was in the year 1907 £711,000,000, or £16 per head of the population. The national debt of France is higher than ours, but that is the only country that is 573 higher. The French national debt amounts to £1,034,000,000, or £26 per head of the population. The national debt of France is owing to the Franco-German War, and to the fact that they have not maintained the proper method of paying it off by a Sinking Fund. At the present time it is proposed to reduce our Sinking Fund, when the £70,000,000 of debt which was created by the South African War is still to be paid off before we get down to the point at which our National Debt was before the war. Therefore, I say, that at the present moment it is very bad financial policy not to maintain the fixed sum of £28,000,000.
The income tax is the second great reserve which this country has in case of emergency. The Sinking Fund, of course, is the first. It is easy to suspend the Sinking Fund if we want to do so in case of war, but a low income tax is equally important, for if you keep it up at a high rate, you cannot raise money by it at a higher standard when that is necessary. The present Prime Minister and his predecessor, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire, have both expressed the opinion that the income tax, having been raised for the purpose of the South African War, should be first entitled to reduction when the war was over. These promises have not been fulfilled. We know the opinion of the Prime Minister about it, because two years ago, when he made his first statement, he said:—In regard to the income tax I do not hesitate to associate myself with the declarations of more than one of my predecessors that an income tax of a uniform rate of 1s. in the £ at a time of peace is impossible to justify and difficult to defend. It is a burden on the trade of the country which, in the long run, affects not only profits but wages,That is the opinion of the Prime Minister, and yet he is already raising the income tax in time of peace to 1s. 2d., with a super-tax of 6d. upon incomes over £3,000. I agree with what was said by the hon. Member for Bedford. I think this is a dangerous thing to introduce in the financial system. We are dependent on the declaration of the taxpayers. Where the taxpayers think they are being unjustly dealt with in comparison with other taxpayers it makes them think that they are justified in evading the tax if they can do it. We know that capital has been going out of the country in largely increasing amount. During last year more than half of the capital applications that were raised in that year went to foreign countries and our colonies. We also know that most foreign Parliaments have 574 coupons attached to them payable to bearer, and transferable on delivery. There is no means of getting our income tax from these coupons unless the recipient chooses to disclose it; and I am afraid that it will be found that payers of this large income tax will transfer their investments from English to foreign securities, where they can obtain these coupons payable to bearer and transferable on delivery. It is a well known fact that many rich people on the continent in years gone by have made their investments in this country because they considered they were absolutely safe; but the process that has been going on in recent years has been the withdrawal of investments, and they have been withdrawing their investments because they have got a notion that Socialistic methods of legislation are becoming very prevalent in this country, and they do not feel that the capital now is as secure as it was when they invested it. I am afraid that these proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer will increase that tendency to withdraw capital from England, and the first person to suffer by that will be the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself.
Now one word with regard to licences. I am not concerned myself personally in the liquor trade. I am not interested in it at all, and therefore I can speak impartially. Here, again, I am afraid that those engaged in the trade will think that the Chancellor has been punishing them today for their resistance to the Licensing Bill. I am quite sure their feeling will be that these increased duties in the trade, amounting to £2,600,000, are being imposed upon them to punish them for their resistance to the Licensing Bill. I think the trade are being unjustly dealt with. They contribute at present about one-third of the total Exchequer receipts from tax revenue. It amounts to about 38,000,000 of money which the Chancellor receives. This includes an amount of £450,000, which was imposed in the year 1890, and has been imposed now for 19 years. It was imposed in order that that money should be devoted to compensate for licences when they were taken away, but that proposal fell through, but the tax did not fall through. The licence duty continued and has been devoted to technical education and other purposes for which it was not raised. The trade felt that a great injustice was done to them at that time and they still feel it. The charge under that head already has amounted to about 8,000,000 of money. Not only that, but 575 there were the extra taxes imposed when the South African War was on. They amounted to 1s. a barrel on beer and 6d. per gallon on proof spirits. This tax was imposed by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, who was then Chancellor, and he said, when he proposed these taxes, that he regarded them as temporary. They practically now have been merged and made permanent in the general liquor taxation. They amount now to over 2½ millions per year, and on the whole they have contributed since they were put on over £24,000,000, which have turned into the pockets of the Chancellor. In addition to these reasons I should like to mention, which is quite apparent from the figures on the White Paper to-day, that the trade are suffering from the country becoming more sober. A less consumption of beer and spirits is going on. We do not disagree with that, but still that is a matter which ought to be taken into consideration when extra duties to the amount of two millions are being asked to be paid. With regard to the other taxes which the Chancellor proposes, I should like to have more opportunity of studying them in detail than we are able to do on a few minutes' notice, and, therefore, I venture to postpone any further remark I have to make with regard to new taxation.
§ Mr. W. H. LEVER
I wish first of all to congratulate the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a most excellent Budget whilst not agreeing with every detail which it contains. It is impossible for any Budget to be produced that would, in all details, be beyond criticism; but I do say that this Budget exceeds all its predecessors in two points which are the basis of all sound taxation: that is, that taxation should rest first of all upon ability; and, secondly, should make for stability. We have here a Budget which has made an effort to ascertain how the large amount of money we require could be obtained with the least hindrance to the trade and commerce of the country and with the least impediment in the way of cheapening the food of the people, and that, further, would give the greatest opportunity for largely increased revenues in succeeding years. The principle of graduated income tax, which was commenced in 1894—for the death duties which have been mentioned by several of the previous speakers are, after all, only another form of differentiated income tax—is the very 576 soundest we can possibly have. It embodies the differentiation which always, appeared to me should be made, namely, between earned and unearned income, as well as the amount of the income; and I rejoice that this Budget, when it is carried through—that it will be carried through I have not the slightest doubt—for the first time makes an equality in payment between two classes of the community widely divergent. I have often made a calculation of the amount of taxation of the workmen in receipt of only 20s. a week. Out of that small income he pays—including rates and taxation on tea, sugar, tobacco, and a moderate consumption of alcohol—something like 4s. in the £. If we take the income tax and graduated death duties the millionaire would pay, assuming his estate is a million and the death duty is 15 per cent., and assuming he is a prudent man and wishes to insure so that the amount of death duties payable will be recoverable at his death, it works out that he will pay in the first place an income tax of 1s. 8d. in the pound, which is moderate, I think, in proportion to his wealth, and in the second place his estate will pay death duty at 15 per cent. Assume that an estate of a million is making an average return of 4 per cent., that would be an income of £40,000 a year. Insurance at the rate of 4 per cent. on the sum assured, £150,000, would be £6,000 a year, and adding to the 3s. in the pound the income tax of 1s. 8d., the millionaire would also be paying a little over 4s. in the pound as against the 4s. paid by the workman. Now I am sure it would be a source of satisfaction for any man to know that he is enabled by this Budget to bear his fair proportion of the taxation of this country. It is for the protection of wealth and property and business that our armaments are maintained—our whole system of Government, our system of justice, and the bulk of the expenditure on the Civil Service as well as military armaments. From this expenditure the wealthy have the great advantage of effective protection of their property. The whole machinery of the Government, which is so costly, is mainly beneficial to those who possess large estates. It is said that the effect of these graduated taxes would be to force investments out of the country. The last speaker waxed very eloquent on that subject. If money is so insecure in this country, if investors are flying from this country how is it that every investment we have in this country—Government 577 Consols, railways, commercial investments—are all eagerly sought both by the natives of these isles and by foreigners, although there is a lower rate of return than in any other country of the world? Why is that? It can only be because of the higher security that property has in this country, and which it has enjoyed for so long. To show how eager capital is for ample security we have only to compare the perfect security offered by the British Government to investors who accept 2½ and 2¾ per cent. For the same security with the German Government the investor wants 3 to 3¼ per cent., and so it is all round. The commercial investment in the United Kingdom returns 5 per cent., and is considered good. In the United States the same class of security is offered to investors at 7 per cent. Therefore, so far from our conditions here being of such a character as to force capital out of the country, we have such an excessive capital that the rate of interest is lower, which is always the effect of abundance. A moment of thought will convince us that, even supposing the effect of this were a feeling of insecurity, to what country can the investor go where he would have any better conditions for security than he has here? I cannot think that he would make an exchange on any idle sentiment, any feeling of injustice, because he has no ground for such feeling. The government of the country is costly, and is becoming more costly year by year from various causes and it is an advantage to us to have the great privilege of bearing under this Budget, in proportion to our means, a fair share of the taxation of the country. We all rejoice that this opportunity has been given.
There is another thought raised by this Budget. It is this: We talked of economy in former years, yet we have had an increased expenditure to bear. How is that increased expenditure accounted for? Do you wish to cut off the old age pension which accounts for the bulk of this great expenditure, or do you wish to cut off the "Dreadnoughts" of the Navy? To my mind there has been no piece of legislation carried through by any great self-respecting nation that so redounds to the honour of the country as the Old Age Pensions Act. That we should be willing—a great, rich, and powerful nation with our national income going up by leaps and bounds, so that we in a very few years can show that it is increasing by hundreds and millions—that these aged people, past 70 years of age, should be thrown either into the poor houses or on to charity, could not be to 578 the honour of a great nation. We have barely redeemed our honour by this first instalment; we have merely shown the path on which we are bound to go still further, and I feel sure that hon. Gentlemen and right hon. Gentlemen who taunt us about any doctrines of economy, do not refer in those remarks to any reduction in expenditure on old age pensions, and I am quite willing to admit that they do not desire to reduce expenditure on maintaining the safety of this nation from any attack on the sea. Some mention has been made as to the probable raising of a hornet's nest in Ireland because of the incidence of the taxation of whisky. May I point out that whatever inequality there may have been with reference to the incidence of taxation on spirits between the two countries, it has been entirely removed by the passing of the Old Age Pensions Act, under which Ireland receives a much larger proportion, I think amounting to three millions from that fund. Therefore, I feel that if under this change in the incidence of taxation on whisky Ireland feels that she will be paying on spirits a larger proportion than her share compared with England—the beer tax being left untouched—the very fact that she has a large sum of money to go to the aged poor in Ireland, at any rate removes any ground for the slightest objection or feeling of injustice with regard to that matter.
There is only one other matter that I should like to refer to, and that is what is called the raiding of the Sinking Fund. I do think it would have been better to have raised increased taxation, and to have left the Sinking Fund untouched. I venture to say that although the income tax goes a long way to remedy inequalities between the rich and the poor, my own view is that it might have gone a little further. It is my view that the income tax ought to commence at 1d. in the £ on incomes of a £1 a week, and up to 2s. in the £ on large incomes. I feel that if we had an income tax graduated in that way, and if we had it collected at the source, as in the case of large limited companies making great profits, and paid on the scale of their profits, we could put our income tax on a sound financial basis, so that in times of stress and emergency, or when a war takes place, it would be very much more elastic than under the present system, and it would permit of the tax being increased or decreased according to national requirements, and would produce permanently a sound source of revenue of enormous dimensions.
579 I rejoice that we, a Free Trade country—and all Free Trade countries must depend on direct taxation as an important source of their taxation—should ensure that the food of the people shall not be a source from which the revenue can carry on the Government of this country. [Cries of "Tea" and "Sugar."] But to ensure that, and to place it beyond all possibility for all time, we might have had made income-tax from a penny to two shillings. With reference to brokers' notes and one or two little items like that, I think if we had a broad comprehensive income-tax some of those smaller details might have been left out. I do not see that they would produce a very large income. I think we would get much more out of a 2s. in the pound income tax on large incomes, and that those little items, which after all hinder trade, might be omitted. There is no doubt that every form of taxation is a hindrance to the property on which it is placed, and the ideal form would be strict and rigid economy, in which the amount of taxation was reduced to a minimum but with all the obligations a great and powerful nation like ours has to meet in all parts of the world. I do feel that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has placed this country under a very great obligation in showing the direction in which one can go with perfect justice to all classes of the community—by taxing luxuries, by taxing wealth, by releasing industry from harassing duties, and taxes on raw materials or on products, by showing the direction in which the revenue can be obtained—and by doing so he has placed the whole-country under a deep debt of gratitude.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
I do not desire to enter into anything in the nature of an elaborate criticism of the Budget to-night. According to the practice of recent years, which will, I understand, be carried out this year, on Monday next we will have the opportunity of a full general discussion on the Budget. I have only risen to say a few words in order to make clear at the earliest possible moment the attitude which my colleagues will take on this matter. I listened to the remarks of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, the few remarks I have heard with reference to Ireland. He tells us that because, as he says, Ireland is receiving a larger proportion of the old age pension fund than this country, that therefore we ought not to complain of the incidence of the new whisky tax, which will un- 580 doubtedly press upon our country. We stand in the position of men who believe that the finding of the Royal Commission on Financial Relations between the two countries holds the field. That Commission, which was composed of a majority of Englishmen, and of the greatest financial experts of this country, declared so far back as 1895 that Ireland was taxed not in accordance with their financial capacity, but between two and three millions more than her fair proportion. When last year the Old Age Pensions Act was passed, and when it was found that Ireland was receiving a large proportion of the amount, there were many people in Ireland who said: Well, at any rate, so far as it goes, this proportion tends to diminish the injustice which Ireland suffers in its financial relations with this country. The advantage which Ireland obtained in that way did not go even appreciably far to remove that injustice, but it went some distance. But now, in this Budget, it is proposed to remove from Ireland that small redress of the financial grievance and to impose on her very serious injustice.
What has happened in this Budget is exactly what happened in 1853, when the gravest of all injustices was done in point of taxation to our country. In 1853, by the imposition of a largely increased whisky tax, the taxation of Ireland was increased at one blow by £2,000,000 per year, and now you do not propose to put a single additional sixpence on the beverage of this country, while you propose to put an enormously increased taxation on whisky. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about Scotland?"] I am not dealing with Scotland. Scotland has always been very well able to take care of itself, and I may be forgiven if I confine my few remarks on this occasion to my own case. We are bound to resist, by every means in our power, this proposal, which not only sweeps away the advantage which we gain under the Old Age Pensions Bill, and which went to some degree to remedy the injustice of the financial relations between the two countries, but it imposes an additional injustice on us. We will be able to develop this further on Monday. We will be able to go fully into the whole question. I have risen for the purpose of at once declaring, so far as this Budget is concerned, the Government must expect to meet the vigorous opposition of the Irish party.
581 There are other matters connected with the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman to which we object. I think that the imposition of 8d. of an additional tax on tobacco is a cruel thing so far as the poor are concerned. The right hon. Gentleman said that he would not think it right to impose any indirect taxation upon necessaries of life, and he instanced tea and sugar. I agree with him so far as the very poor are concerned that tea and sugar are necessaries of life. I suppose it would seem an extravagant thing for me to say I regard tobacco as a necessity of life. I can assure hon. Members that if they will take the Budgets which have been published in the Report of the Congested Districts Board of the poorest of the poor in the congested districts of Ireland they will see that tobacco is one of those things which the very poorest of the country find it necessary to spend their incomes upon. In those budgets of the very poor of the Irish congested districts the items are tea, sugar, meal, and tobacco. Of course, we are always in discussing a matter of this kind at a disadvantage of talking to men who, however benevolently they may feel to our country, really have no knowledge of it, and are not acquainted with the conditions. But I would appeal to any English Member who has spent any time in the congested districts in the West of Ireland, and who knows the climatic conditions which obtain there, and is acquainted with the lives of the people, whether it is not absolute cruelty to deprive these people to any extent of their tobacco. I do not know whether when we get into Committee on the Budget Bill it will be possible to exclude from this tax twist tobacco, the commonest kind of tobacco used by these poor people. To deprive them in any degree of the consolation of a little tobacco is a cruelty to these men considering the lives they lead.
There are many things which, in listening to the right hon. Gentleman, struck me from the Irish point of view. It is an unfortunate thing that when the figures are published in connection with the annual Budget statement showing the revenue and expenditure of the year, the distinctive figures for Ireland and Great Britain are not given. These figures are given every year, but they are not published until about the month of July, when it is too late to use them in the Budget discussions. One of the things upon which the right hon. Gentleman congratulated himself was that 582 there has been an increase of, I think, a million pounds in the yield of income tax. I should like to know the figure with reference to Ireland. Income tax in Ireland, while it has been an increasing amount in England year after year, has been a diminishing amount in Ireland, and I venture to say that when we get the figures you will find that while there has been an increase of a million pounds from income tax with reference to the rest of the United Kingdom, the yield in Ireland has gone down. You are dealing in the case of Ireland with a poor country, whose population is diminishing, and it is a cruel thing to increase in any degree her taxation. In view of the position we have always taken up since the Report of the Royal Commission in 1895, we are bound to oppose every proposal to increase taxation in our country.
I should not have spoken at all to-night were it not that I desired at the earliest moment to declare that we will oppose this Budget. It is a most extraordinary Budget. In listening to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, it seemed as if I were listening to three or four King's Speeches rolled into one. This is not a Budget Bill in the ordinary sense of the word at all. It is a measure containing four or five Bills thrown into one. There is a Valuation Bill for all the land of the country, a Valuation Bill apparently for all the buildings in the towns, a Land Bill, a Bill dealing with town tenants' interests, and a Licensing Bill, all rolled into one. I do not know what the proposal of the Government will be, whether they intend to keep Parliament sitting until Christmas to discuss this measure, or what their object is in proposing a measure of this kind. [An HON. MEMBER on the Opposition Benches: "A dissolution."] Well, I sincerely hope it is a dissolution. [Opposition cheers.] But not from the same point of view as hon. Gentlemen who cheer. I would be glad to see an issue taken by hon. Gentlemen and the House of Lords upon this Bill. I am entirely opposed to the Bill, because it imposes additional taxation upon Ireland, but there is no man in this assembly so anxious as I am to get a clear issue with the House of Lords, and nothing would delight me more than to have an issue taken upon the main lines of this Budget if we could only get to close quarters with the House of Lords. I will say nothing further now, but on Monday it will be the duty of my colleagues and myself to develop our view with reference 583 to the Irish case more minutely. I content myself on this occasion by saying most emphatically and clearly that, so far as we are concerned, as this Budget imposes additional unjust taxation upon Ireland we shall oppose it on every possible opportunity.
§ Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
I can assure the hon. Member for Waterford that we in this part of the House are thoroughly in agreement with him in everything he has said. We desire a dissolution; we are not afraid to face it; and we agree with the hon. Member that the sooner a dissolution is brought about the better it will be. The hon. Member says that certain figures are presented in July which he has hitherto been prevented from using in the discussion on the Budget because they have been published at so late a period of the year. May I venture to prophesy that when next July comes we shall still be discussing the Budget, and that the hon. Gentleman will have ample opportunity of making himself acquainted with the details which he desires to know. He also told us that this was an extraordinary Budget, and that it was three or four King's Speeches rolled into one. I think it is more than that. It is five or six King's Speeches rolled into one, with the addition of every fad which has ever been referred to upon Radical platforms by Radical enthusiasts. They have nothing to do with the Budget. For two hours we listened to every Radical fad which I have ever heard enunciated, but which had nothing whatever to do with the Budget Question. When the right hon. Gentleman told us that he was going to start model farms, afforestation, colleges for agriculture, colleges for technical something or other, places for improving the breed of cattle, and all sorts of other things, I watched my hon. Friend beside me endeavouring to put them down on paper; but when he got down nine or ten he gave it up, and so did I. I thought I was again in my childhood, and that I was reading the history of Monte Cristo. I thought that here was a benevolent Monte Cristo who was going with a magic wand to redress all the evils of the world, and then I found that we descended to a modest £200,000. It seemed to me that to suggest promoting all these things with £200,000 was descending from the sublime to the ridiculous. I recalled to mind Mr. Hooley; he was a great promoter, who went into the bank- 584 ruptcy court; and I am not at all sure that the right hon. Gentleman will not end the days of his party in a similar manner. What did the right hon. Gentleman propose to do? It is quite true that for what he called his development he proposed to take only £200,000 now, but he proposed in future years to appropriate the whole of the old Sinking Fund. ["No."] He proposed to abolish the old Sinking Fund. ["No."] He proposed to use the old Sinking Fund for what he called development. If I am wrong, I am afraid there is no one here to contradict me, the right hon. Gentleman being absent. But I am perfectly certain that that is what he proposed to do. May I ask hon. Members to consider what that means? The old Sinking Fund is the money remaining unspent at the end of the financial year. The possibilities which arise under this project of the right hon. Gentleman are illimitable. There is nothing to prevent the. Chancellor of the Exchequer—I do not say the present Chancellor of the Exchequer will do it, but we do not know who is going to be Chancellor of the Exchequer in the future—there is nothing to prevent the Chancellor of the Exchequer budgeting an over-estimate of the expenditure for the year—absolutely nothing. He may do it deliberately, because he may say to himself: "I want to obtain £3,000,000"—or whatever the sum may be—"for this particular development. I know perfectly well that if I come down to the House of Commons and ask for a Bill to get it I shall be refused. I will overestimate the sum I am going to spend in the current financial year. The result will be that there will be a saving of three millions at the end of the year. That, instead of going to the old Sinking Fund, goes to my development grant, and I obtain £3,000,000"—or whatever the sum may be—"and I obtain it without going to Parliament for the sanction of Parliament for the development of something which I know Parliament would not sanction."
But that is not all. There are other methods of doing this. The Chancellor of the Exchequer might, with that object in his mind, estimate directly. He may say the estimate is to be £160,000,000. Of that £35,000,000 is for the Navy; £30,000,000, or so, for the Army. He may say: "I intend to see that the money is not spent. I am going to make economies during the present year." That has been done during the present year. If any of my hon. 585 Friends will look at these papers, at the statement which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has published, he will see that there has been a saving of this year of, I believe, £1,200,000. That is, I think, on the Army, and on a variety of small matters which were not contemplated, and which succeeded in reducing the expenditure on the year. In the same way, without overestimating, the Chancellor of the Exchequer might evade the desires of the direct representatives of the people, and obtain large sums of money for doing something which he desired to do, and which is not the desire of the House. I venture to say that never in the history of the House of Commons has such an insane proposal been put before the nation. Well, now we are going to reduce the new Sinking Fund by £3,000,000. I say nothing whatever about the promises of the Radical party, or the speeches with which when they sat on this side of the House they received proposals which we made when we were on that side of the House to reduce the new Sinking Fund. Why? In case of a national emergency, and in case of war. We were told we ought to do nothing of the sort, and here come these apostles of pure finance and reduce in a time when there is no national emergency the amount which we ought to preserve for such national emergencies as may arise, no one knows when! We have been told that there has been a great reduction in the National Debt. Has there? Are the hon. Gentlemen opposite responsible for it? The hon. Gentleman the Member for Paddington wrote an extremely interesting and able letter to one of the newspapers in which he pointed out that the party opposite were not responsible in any kind of way for the reduction of the National Debt. The reduction of the National Debt arises from the application of the new Sinking Fund, which was fixed by my right hon. Friend below me at £28,000,000, and not by my right hon. Friend opposite from an over-estimation of the necessary needs of the year. Automatically that went to reduce the National Debt. It had nothing whatever to do with hon. Gentlemen opposite. They could not have avoided it, or helped it, except, as my right hon. Friend pointed out, it arose out of bad budgeting. Just think of the state of the National Debt at the present moment. According to this Paper here, it stands at £702,000,000. In 1899 it was £628,000,000. That is to say, £74,000,000 less than now. But that did not include 586 the money which we were going to spend upon land purchase in Ireland. That was not passed at that time. We do not know exactly how much we are going to spend on land purchase in Ireland. [An HON. MEMBER made an interruption.] Not quite as much as that; it varies from £120,000,000 to £180,000,000. That is a liability; it is a charge upon the Consolidated Fund. But even if you admit that, we are now something like £74,000,000 above what we were in 1899. In any case, however, it is a fact that the National Debt at the present moment is largely in excess of what it was 10 years ago, and the national expenditure is at the same time largely in excess too. I ask any of the hon. Gentlemen opposite—there are some of them who have been engaged, and who are engaged, in business—if their capital expenditure has increased and their ordinary yearly expenditure has increased; before they begin to take note of the profit and say they are in a better position, do they not say: "We must reduce expenditure." I maintain we are in a worse position both ways. Our capital and annual expenditure has increased, and therefore we are in a far worse position than 10 years ago. Yet this is the time the right hon. Gentleman chooses to come forward and reduce the Sinking Fund. The last hon. Member who spoke on the other side of the House made some very extraordinary statements. He first stated he made a calculation with reference to workmen whose income is 20s. a week. He took tea, sugar, tobacco, and alcohol. I may point out there is no necessity to have alcohol or tobacco, and a great many people sitting close to the hon. Member are inclined to prevent the workmen having alcohol. Then he went on to say he made a calculation about millionaires. He had a good many "ifs" in it. He presumed he had a Sinking Fund, and then he presumed that the death duties would be 15 per cent. He left out of account the legacy and succession duties. If it went to his brother or sister it would not be 15 per cent., but 20 per cent. That shows the sort of calculations the hon. Member makes. He went on to tell us capital was flowing into this country, and he brought forward as an argument in defence of that strange proposition the fact that people were bidding for Consols to yield 2½ and 2¾ per cent. His statement is quite incorrect. Consols at the present moment yield 3 per cent., not ½ per cent., 587 and therefore the hon. Gentleman, I hope he will excuse me saying so, evidently really knows nothing whatever about what he is talking. Let me point out to the hon. Member the real position. Consols do not yield 2½, but 3 per cent., and they have fallen 5 per cent. since the party opposite came into power. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot find better friends to support his arguments than the hon. Member opposite I have not very much faith in the passing of his proposals. The hon. Member also stated that industries in this country paid 5 per cent., and in the United States 7 per cent. 1s the hon. Member aware that United States Government stock yields less than English Government stock?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
United States Government stock yields less and American railways yield no more than English railways. The fact is that railways in the Argentine Republic can obtain money on the same terms as English railways for the first time in the history of the world. If the hon. Member will consult the figures he will find that I am right. For the first time in the history of the world foreign railways can borrow money as cheaply as English railways, although twelve years ago there used to be 20 per cent. difference. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that borrowing was unsound finance in order to defray the expenditure which he has to meet. I wish to ask him one simple question, and it is whether he considers the suspension of the Sinking Fund borrowing.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but I am informed that Mr. Gladstone said that it was borrowing, and if the right hon. Gentleman will consider the question for a moment he will see that it is. The suspension of the Sinking Fund means the suspension of the reducing of your liabilities, and if that is not borrowing I do not know what is. Mr. Gladstone says the suspension of the Sinking Fund is borrowing in the strictest sense of the word. The Chancellor of the Exchequer when he came to deal with the question of land said that nobody would pay rent for land if he could get it for nothing. That is quite 588 true. Who would pay the baker sixpence for a loaf if he could get it for nothing? That argument is absurd; and to base all these proposals in regard to the taxation of land upon the undoubted fact that nobody would pay anything if he could get the same thing for nothing, appears to be trifling with the House of Commons. The right hon. Gentleman referred to Woolwich, and it is a very curious thing that this happens to be a place that I know something about. I know that property in Woolwich has depreciated enormously during the last five or six years. The Chancellor of the Exchequer also alluded to somebody in Plumstead who had made a large fortune out of land there. I do not know whether the person he referred to has still got that land. He may have sold it, and the person who has bought it may have paid the full value for it. If so, the person who holds it now has suffered a great loss. I happen to have invested money in property in Woolwich, and I cannot get any offer for it at all. The right hon. Gentleman talked about ungotten minerals. If the right hon. Gentleman will excuse me, I did not quite follow him. I suppose he means shareholders. Possibly we shall have a Bill to provide a third Financial Secretary to look after the burdens which will be cast upon the Treasury, and that he will have a sufficient salary to enhance the dignity of the office. Having got these ungotten minerals, an inspector will say that somebody will give a price for the ungotten minerals, and a charge will be fixed on the unfortunate persons who own these ungotten minerals.
The right hon. Gentleman said something about the guardians and children. Will the guardians have to show the children? Will the right hon. Gentleman take the word of the guardian in the matter, or will the guardian have to bring the children round with baptismal certificates? They might, after all, be somebody else's children.
Then comes the great question of ground-rent. The proposals of the right hon. Gentleman seem to be based on the fiction that the landlord rents his ground at an enormous interest, and that the builder—who is thoroughly able to take care of himself—requires to be protected from this rapacious person. It seems to me that when a man has agreed, say, to take four pounds a year in the belief that his descendants will benefit, the State is to step in and take the benefit. I can give the right hon. Gentleman instances 589 in which land has gone down in value. Does he propose to compensate the owners? If not, why should he take from them the interest which they derive? I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman one question. It is a personal question, and I hope he will give me his attention. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that when a lease falls in, and if it has increased in value, a tax should be placed upon it. Is that right? If so, I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman this question. I have lived in a small house in London for a good many years. About five years ago I bought the lease of the landlord at a ground-rent of £20 a year. About three years ago in the foolishness of my heart I bought the reversal of the ground-rent. I paid the landlord £2,600 for £20 a year for 21 years. This is the position I shall be in if this Bill becomes law: The value of the house is assessed for the poor at £290 a year. At the end of 21 years the house—unless the country is completely ruined by my right hon. Friend—will be worth £290—it will be worth £270 more at the expiration of the lease than it was before. Am I going to be taxed because I bought the freehold of my own house? I shall be the owner, I shall be the landlord, the lease will fall in to me, and I have already given a long price for the £20 a year. Am I to be taxed in regard to that because some hon. Member opposite has a grievance against certain people who have invested their money in their lands and who want to attack them for motives of spite? The hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, I expect, and my hon. Friend and I will offer strenuous opposition to what I venture to say is the maddest Budget ever introduced in the House of Commons.
§ Mr. A. RICHARDSON
Speaking as one representing an industrial constituency and on behalf of the working classes generally, I would like to express to the Government and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer my gratitude for the splendid Budget brought in this afternoon. Before proceeding further I should like to make reference to an interjection made by the hon. Member for the Walton division of Liverpool. I am sorry the hon. Gentleman is not present now. An hon. Member on the other side made a reference to a Free Trade Budget, and the hon. Member for the Walton Division interjected the words "tea" and; "sugar." I think that was rather an unfortunate remark to come from an hon. 590 Member belonging to the party that increased the tea duty 50 per cent. and imposed a sugar tax increasing the price to the consumer to something like 33 per cent. Some of this some of us will not forget. What brought about the imposition of this tax? Some of us will remember that it was because, if not of a national crime, at least a national blunder—viz., the war in which this country was unfortunately involved. We as representing the working classes do not forget, that although that was a rich man's war, the working classes were called upon to foot the bill. When the bill came to be paid, the first year they put a tax on corn, the second year they put 2d. on tea, the third year they put ½d. on sugar, and the fourth year they put an export tax on coal, and the year after the war they put an additional 2d. on the tea duty, making the taxation so heavy that those classes connected with the industrial population, and especially those men whose incomes were only a sovereign a week and under, were forced to work for two weeks in order to pay the tax on tea and sugar alone. Now that we have a rumour of war and we have to start building these "Dreadnoughts," I am glad the Chancellor of the Exchequer is showing that high courage which he displayed on this side of the House, with such destructive effect against the then Ministry, and is putting into practice the principles which he preached when he sat on this side of the House, now that he sits on the Treasury Bench. I am glad that he, seeing this country has to find large sums of money for these "Dreadnoughts," is placing the burden upon the shoulders of the propertied classes of this country, whose property these "Dreadnoughts" will have to protect. I am glad this Budget is one which makes for social reform based on Free Trade, and is not one based upon Protection and militarism. I should like to have made one or two criticisms of a minor nature, but I will defer them to a later stage, but before sitting down I again express my gratitude and the gratitude of the working people of this country for the Budget which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has introduced.
§ Mr. RUSSELL REA
I rise simply with one object, and that is to express my entire dissent from the hostile criticisms which have been made from both sides of the House by almost all the Members who 591 have spoken in regard to the Chancellor of the Exchequer dealing with the old and the new Sinking Fund. Hon. Members have spoken of the old Sinking Fund as an ancient and sacred institution, which was always devoted to the repayment of debt. Nothing could be more absurd. The old Sinking Fund has been the plaything of parties all through, and I am not sorry to see it go. We know where we are with the new Sinking Fund. What did the late Government do with the old Sinking Fund when they were in office?
When I say the late Government, I mean the 10 years' Government—seven years of peace and three years of war. When Mr. Goschen was at the Exchequer he certainly did use the old Sinking Fund to reduce debt, but from 1896 to 1906 the old Sinking Fund was not raided; it was abolished. The late Government never used the old Sinking Fund. In 1906, when they inherited Sir William Harcourt's magnificent surplus, they raided it by Supplementary Estimates to the extent of 2½ millions, and then there was a realised surplus of over four millions after that, and it all went to the Navy. The next year it was the turn of the Army, and the surplus of 2½ millions which ought to have gone to the reduction of debt went to the Army. The next year it was the turn of the Civil Service, and 2½ millions of the old Sinking Fund was devoted to it. There was another million. I forget what became of that, but it did not go to the old Sinking Fund. Then came another year of peace. There was no other branch of the service to raid the Sinking Fund, so they diverted it before its birth by immense Supplementary Estimates. There were two years of peace after the war when the right hon. Gentleman was at the Exchequer. He did not apply one farthing to the old Sinking Fund.
§ Mr. RUSSELL REA
There has been an account of the old Sinking Fund published this week. None of it went to the old Sinking Fund.
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Gentleman directly attacks me. He speaks of the two years during which I was Chancellor of the Exchequer, and says none of the old Sinking Fund went to the reduction of debt in that time. I diverted nothing from the old Sinking Fund. Three mil- 592 lions of the reduction for which the Government now in office took credit was due to my surplus.
§ Mr. RUSSELL REA
In the Return, which is published this week it is stated that nothing was applied during these years to the old Sinking Fund. So far as the right hon. Gentleman's surplus Was concerned—if he means that I withdraw—I admit that that was applied by the Prime Minister to the old Sinking Fund.
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
I mean for the first year for which I became responsible I had not a surplus but a deficit. I myself never diverted a penny from the old Sinking Fund. The hon. Member is not entitled to base his argument on the allegation that I diverted money which would naturally have gone to the old Sinking Fund for that purpose. I did not.
§ Mr. RUSSELL REA
That is quite right, but I did not say so. I said none was applied, and during the whole history of the late Government not a farthing was applied by means of the operation of the old Sinking Fund to the reduction of debt. I admit that the right hon. Gentleman left a surplus, which the Prime Minister devoted to the old Sinking Fund, and during three years the old Sinking Fund has been used by the Prime Minister to pay off more that £12,000,000 of debt. The old Sinking Fund was absolutely the plaything of parties, and it was always manipulated, and I am not sorry to see it diverted to another purpose. But the old and the new Sinking Funds ought to be considered together. My right hon. Friend is reducing the provision for debt from £28,000,000 to £25,000,000. I wish he had reduced it to £23,000,000, and on that I differ entirely from all the criticisms which have been made on both sides of the House up to now. In 1899 Sir Michael Hicks Beach reduced the provision for debt to £23,000,000 a year.
§ Mr. RUSSELL REA
That is a relative question. It was less than it is now. It is 60 millions more than it was then.
§ Mr. RUSSELL REA
I am speaking of the dead-weight debt. I admitted that it was more, but at that time the market price of Consols was very much higher, and the provision made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer will extinguish far more debt than the provision which was made by Sir Michael Hicks Beach at that date. I am giving Sir Michael Hicks Beach as an example, who in this matter ought to be followed. In 1899, when he reduced the provision to £23,000,000, he used these words:—Now it is not in the interest of the steady reduction of the debt, and I think every one will admit this, that the new Sinking Fund should he allowed to increase to such an extent as this. The new Sinking Fund was never intended to be anything more than a small unappropriated balance of the fixed debt charge. …. When Sir Stafford Northcote established the fixed debt charge in 1874, he never provided more than £5,000,000 a year for its redemption. In the true interests of the Sinking Fund we should reduce the fixed debt charge to £23,000,000. If we do that we shall still have left this year a sum of £5,816,000 for this redemption of debt, a sum greater in proportion to the total amount of the debt than was considered sufficient in past years.It may be objected that the total amount of the dead-weight debt at that time was less than now. I admit it was some 60 millions less than now, but, on the other hand, the market price was much higher, and the five millions devoted to repayment of principal by my right hon. Friend will extinguish more debt than the similar amount devoted to that purpose in 1900 by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. Further, although the nominal amount of the debt be 60 millions more now than it was then, the cost of interest and management will not be half a million more. And again, further, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach had not paid off 12 millions of debt out of the old Sinking Fund, as the late Chancellor of the Exchequer has done. I confess that I wish the Chancellor of the Exchequer had followed Sir Michael Hicks-Beach's example, and reduced the provision for the fixed debt to the same amount. Thrift, both private and national, is doubtless a great virtue, but excessive thrift is not only, like excess in any other virtue, pernicious, but is self-stultifying and self-destructive; it first sterilizes and then paralyses production, and becomes absolute waste. It has been said again and again, not only by hostile critics, but by Members on this side of the House, and by influential writers in the Press, that the credit of the nation and its power to borrow in time of need depends upon our maintaining the Sinking Fund at its present rate, and they point to the low price of Consols as proof of the impaired credit of the nation. Surely recent history should confound 594 such a theory. The low price of Consols, has synchronised with the most active operation of the Sinking Funds known in our history. The highest price of Consols known happened just about the time Sir Michael Hicks Beach performed his operation very similar to that of my right hon. Friend. During the war, when not only were Sinking Funds totally suspended, but debt was leaping up, the prices were higher than in the later time of the greatest repayment of debt. The greatest extravagance any Liberal Government can commit is to pile up excessive Sinking Funds for its successors to raid. The whole financial history of Conservative Governments for 60 years, since the days of Sir Robert Peel, forbid us to believe that they would continue to practice for one single year in office the policy the right hon. Gentleman recommends in opposition. We are surrounded in Europe by great nations whose Governments spend' money year after year which the taxpayers and their representatives decline to furnish, and the issues of loans to balance income and expenditure in times of peace are annual events as regular as the Budgets themselves. This is not our way, and never has been. The solid honesty of British people has forbidden that impatience of taxation, but it is well not to try it too far. In time of peace we pay our way, and something more, steadily all the time. But I would suggest to my right hon. Friend that it is not well to try the patience of the people too far. We are paying our way and paying it steadily, and we are paying very considerably more. And if my right hon. Friend were to reduce the fixed provision for debt to £23,000,000 we should be doing our duty in our generation; we should be doing our duty to our predecessors; we should be honourably acknowledging the obligations they put on us and discharging them, and we should be doing our duty to our successors and to posterity by sensibly reducing the burden we should transmit to them. For these reasons in my criticisms of my right hon. Friend I would rather attach the blame to his excessive prudence in not reducing the fixed provision for debt to £23,000,000.
In reference to the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down I may remind the House that it has already been pointed out by the right hon. Member for the City of London that it is a most wasteful process to do away with the old Sinking Fund; it 595 not only invites the Chancellor of the Exchequer to estimate too highly, but it also enables savings made for one purpose to be devoted to another. The old sinking function was always the keystone of sound expenditure of the national income. I think that that is incontestable by those who know anything of the way in which national expenditure is managed at this time. The hon. Gentleman who spoke last said that some Chancellor of the Exchequer on this side of the House had raided the old Sinking Fund, first for the Navy and then for the Army and then for the Civil Service. That is quite true, but he forgot that those sums were all taken for the purpose of capital expenditure, and therefore they were taken to save borrowing and not in any way for the relief of expenditure of the year. I am not going into the question as to whether Army and Navy loans are expedient or not; but these were taken not for the expenditure of the year but in order to save borrowing, and therefore it really was the easiest way of getting the money which at that time the House decided should be applied in that way. Certainly one canon of good budgeting has been broken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-day. We have always thought that the taxes of the year ought to pay for the needs of the year; that each year has to stand by itself. This is a Budget, as a matter of fact, for at least two years, and it is pledging the finances of the country to be spent in a certain way next year, thus so far prejudicing and making more difficult the task of any future Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman, in borrowing for the purposes of next year, is going outside the limit of sound finance. Regarded as a whole, this Budget seems to be an inquisitorial one. It introduces a great deal more inquisitiveness into property of all sorts and kinds. It refers to ungotten minerals. How do we know what minerals are under the ground? Is the Chancellor of the Exchequer going to send an inspector to make borings to see whether there are any minerals? In the same way, with regard to income tax, it will be more inquisitorial than ever it was before. That is not the way to make a tax popular, or get it well paid; on the contrary, the more vexatious and inquisitorial a tax is, the more reluctance there will be to pay it, and the more difficult it will be to collect it.
§ Mr. T. M. KETTLE
We on these benches have no interest whatever in mak- 596 ing the passage of this Budget, or of the subsequent Finance. Bill, into law, either smooth or rapid. It has been said by those who have spoken from the point of view of the British democracy that this is the best scheme of public finance that has ever been presented to this House. I do not challenge that at all. It is probably true. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been extremely fortunate. Not only has he been able to carry into practice and give satisfaction to the claims of abstract social justice, but he has been able, to use the vernacular phrase, to get home on all the past legislative projects of the present Government. His Budget has been a sort of omnibus Bill, a sort of general resurrection of all the slain legislation of past or present Sessions. From that point of view I think there were some notable omissions. I think he could have improved it. Why, for instance, did he not propose a super-tax on plural votes? Perhaps if he were to put a duty on the purchase or it may be on the pawning price of coronets he would have also increased his income and satisfied his principles. He is in the extremely convenient position of asserting his principles and at the same time giving satisfaction to that desire for getting his own back which, I suppose, even the virtuous breast of the present Government is not always free from. From our point of view the present scheme has other defects. I do not want to quarrel with the special joke which is customary on this question for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and which nobody would think of scrutinising too closely. The only reference to Ireland to-night was concerned with motor cars. Let me say quite frankly that I think all of us on these benches are heartily in favour of the extension of that tax in Ireland. I should like him to have some precaution to secure when English and, as a matter of fact, Scottish motor cars go touring in Ireland that the duties or portion of the duties paid by those cars will go to the up-keep and maintenance of Irish roads.
I come to more serious considerations. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had to justify this afternoon a great and growing increase in the taxation of this country. He justified that by one striking figure, which he quoted. In giving the, great growth of national wealth he took the figures for income tax. Those figures show an increase of 30 or 35 per cent. of the assessments for income tax in Great Britain in the last 15 years. During that same period the assessment of income tax 597 in Ireland has remained absolutely stationary at £48,000,000. The national income, judged by that test, in Ireland is not growing; it is stationary, and possibly it is even declining. That being the case, I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not be surprised if we from these Benches at the first moment enter our protest against the scheme which, whatever its merits as applied to this country, however just it may be as between class and class, threatens to impose upon us an increase of taxation which our national resources are not able to bear.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer expounded the principles upon which this Budget ought to rest. There was one principle of which he made no mention. I heard nothing whatever about founding this Budget upon the maxim of equality of sacrifice. The hon. Member for the Wirrall Division gave us some interesting figures worked out on the basis of the Chancellor's speech, in which he said the net result and the effect of the Budget would be that rich and poor would contribute the same proportion of their incomes. It is not equality of sacrifice if you take 10 per cent. of a poor man's income. You impose an incalculably greater burden upon him, than if you take ten per cent. of a rich man's resources for the same purpose. I heard nothing whatever about an Act in which this House is supposed to be interested—the Act of Union. It was contemplated in the Act of Union—indeed it id explicitly specified—that every Budget presented to this Union Parliament should have regard to the special circumstances of Ireland. I heard no attempt on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make any estimate, even approximate, of the effect of this new taxation in Ireland. It is true that an annual White Paper is issued some time towards the end of July, which will enable us to work out these figures for Ireland in particular; but we had no indication whatever of the detailed effect of this Budget upon that country. I take just one point in the scheme, and that is with regard to the taxation, in a somewhat modified and restricted form, of land values. Is that scheme to be extended to Ireland? Is there to be any regard whatever to the special circumstances of Ireland with regard to that special problem? When I heard the announcement of the increased tax on spirits, while there is to be no increased tax on beer, I could not help recalling that while that may be an admir- 598 able programme, inspired by the highest possible motives, it will have the incidental effect of penalising Ireland for the benefit of the British democracy, who are varying in their attachment to political parties, but are constant in their attachment to that particular article of consumption. I desire to make one point with regard to the present financial position in Ireland. I can well understand why there might be some vindictive motive behind this Budget as regards Ireland. Expenditure in that country on one purpose of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke at considerable length, has shown the elaborate—I might say the encyclopaedic—ignorance of Irish conditions possessed by the Treasury. When a calculation was made of the probable cost of old age pensions in Ireland, the highest estimate with which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was presented was considerably less than £1,000,000. I think the figure generally taken was about £700,000. We are now informed that the actual amount will be something more than £2,250,000. I should like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer this question: Is the specially vindictive provision of his taxation scheme as regards spirit duties a sort of answer to the miscalculation of the cost of old age pensions in Ireland? I do not know whether it is or not. I do not think myself that the fact revealed by the enormous cost of old age pensions in Irelend—the great proportion of the population who, afflicted by feebleness, are unable to contribute anything to the national wealth—is a sign that the country can bear increased taxation. But it has had one incidental effect, at which I heartily rejoice. For the first time this year we are going to have the full benefit of the real theory and basis of the Act of Union. The Act of Union, as presented to the Irish Parliament, and to this Parliament, declared that Ireland was going to get from Great Britain more than she was going to give. That has not been the case. She has always paid the cost of her own government, and, in addition, made a large, though of late years a declining, contribution to the cost of the Imperial system. That contribution last year was just under £2,000,000. The cost of old age pensions was something more than £2,000,000, so that the net result after 100 years of the Act of Union is that while you have brought Ireland to an abject and miserable condition, from the point of view of Empire, the Act of Union has 599 ceased to pay a dividend. After another two years of the finance of this Government no profit will be derived, so far as the Empire is concerned, from Ireland. For our part, we have no interest under the present system, in reducing the expenditure of Ireland. The choice for us is whether money raised in Irish taxation—and it is the only choice—is to be spent upon Imperial "Dreadnoughts" upon the seas, or upon Imperial deadheads in Government offices in London. This Budget has not been framed with any regard whatever to Irish circumstances. In that respect it resembles its predecessors. As my right hon. Friend my Leader announced in an early period of this Debate, we are safeguarding the interests of Ireland. For my part I take it, as I suppose everybody takes it, as a dissolution Budget. I suppose nobody who sees the large schemes of legislation to which this House is committed for the next Session, one of which is a most important Irish measure—an Irish Land Bill—expects that the Finance Bill founded upon this Budget statement will go through, or will even be seriously proceeded with. I cannot speak as an authority upon these matters. I am told that there has never been an instance before of a Finance Bill carried in this House by the use of the closure or of guillotine resolutions. If an attempt is made on these lines to proceed with the Budget I should expect that it will create a precedent—not a very happy precedent—in this respect. For our part we look forward to a dissolution, if such should follow upon this Budget. We have no concern with the swing of the political pendulum in Great Britain. We have our formula for the solution of the financial difficulties of Ireland. We are not greatly concerned in anything else. For all our difficulties we have that formula, it is the old formula, put forward by the whole of the people of Ireland—that is, that you will have to adopt a system, that, whilst securing some contribution to the Empire for Imperial purposes, will place the whole of Irish finance in the hands of the Irish, and will give Ireland an interest in making her taxes equitable and her expenditure economical.
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not rise to make another speech, but to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer two questions. My hon. Friends and myself would 600 like to know, firstly, as to what he said in regard to the tax on petrol. Is it intended by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the tax upon petrol, like the tax upon motor cars, should go to the roads, or is it intended that it should go into the general Imperial revenue? Our attitude towards the tax will depend upon the answer to that question. If it is going to the support of the roads we think it is a very fair proposition; if it is intended to take it for the general revenue then we shall oppose it. The second question is one that I think the right hon. Gentleman will feel is rather in the nature of an appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which I hope he will be able to respond to, and which I think the Committee will feel will be a convenience to everybody. I think it is obvious that the statement that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made with reference to his proposals is much more complicated than usual. If you proposed twopence on the income tax, or twopence on tea, that is a matter any of us could carry in our heads. We do not need to see the Resolution in such a case as that to know what it is about; but when you come to such changes as are proposed in the Budget—stamp duties, and many other things—we cannot really know what we are going to discuss until we see the form of the Resolution, and, although it has not been the usual practice—I think it is unusual, I admit I am asking something unusual, but in what I believe are very unusual circumstances—I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to put the Resolution on the Paper. I do not think it can do any harm or cause any revenue to escape from his hands. What I ask is that, as early as possible, he should put his Resolutions on the Paper, so that we may read them and consider them, and not be dependent upon the Resolutions as read from the chair.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I think I will take this opportunity of making a general reply upon the Debate, or, at least, such part of the Debate as I heard, and I am sorry I could not have remained here the whole time. I think on the whole I have no reason to complain of the general tenor of the discussion as far as I heard it. We have had to impose very heavy taxation, and the proposals had to be drastic because the amounts to be raised are very considerable. In the circumstances I think the criticisms have been exceedingly fair.
I wish at once to answer the two ques- 601 tions put to me by the right hon. Gentleman. With regard to petrol, my proposal is that the whole of the money raised, whether by increasing the gradation of the scale or by the amount of the petrol duty, should go to the improvement of the roads. They are not going to the local authorities, but to the central authority, and the central authority dispenses the whole of the money, which will amount, as I anticipate, to something like £600,000 in the course of the present year, upon a scheme for the improvement of the roads, but the improvement must be made in reference to motor traffic. I think that is satisfactory to the right hon. Gentleman. He asks me whether I can put the Resolutions on the Paper. As the right hon. Gentleman readily acknowledges that course is unusual, but I do not see why it should not be done. On the contrary, I see every reason why it should be done, because I agree with him: they are novel propositions involving considerable changes, and it is quite impossible for anyone in the House of Commons, even for the right hon. Gentleman who is thoroughly equipped in these things and understands the whole mechanism of Treasury work, to see what the whole bearing of the Resolutions is unless he sees them on the Paper, and has time to consider them. Of course, I need not warn him, he knows perfectly well, the Resolution does not cover the whole proposal. The House has to wait for the Bill in order to see what the whole proposal is. A short resolution may cover what may be involved in about 15 clauses of the Bill, and, therefore, I should warn the Committee and the outside public they must not take the resolution as containing the proposal with all the actual conditions. Subject to that I think I can put these Resolutions upon the Paper to-morrow. I think the request is a perfectly reasonable one, and if I can do that it would give the House a fair opportunity of considering the proposals in all their bearings before we get to the general Debate on Monday next.
The right hon. Gentleman has asked me two other questions. I think he expressed some doubt in regard to my proposal as to stamps. I cannot explain the whole of these items, but there is a sum of £360,000 which last year was included under the bead of stamp duty, which now comes under Excise. I have got an increase even after deducting that £360,000, and I have budgeted for an increase, and a very 602 considerable increase, for stamps in the coming year. I think the right hon. Gentleman will find that, on the whole, I have not been too pessimistic as to the revenue we are likely to receive from stamps. With regard to the death duties, the estimate is made upon an average of three years' working, and there is no other way of arriving at anything like a safe estimate. This item is the most difficult of all to estimate, because in one year we may get as many as nine big estates to deal with, and the next year only four or five; and a few more big estates coming in will make a very big difference in the revenue of the year. It is the most difficult of all the duties to estimate for a year, and the only reliable way is to take it for three years, striking an average, and taking that as the estimate. That is all we have done in this case. The right hon. Gentleman asked me if I would circulate some kind of paper which would show the effect of these taxes, and which would give their effect on all kinds of estates. I am afraid I cannot do that, but if hon. Members wish any further papers circulated to make my proposals clearer I shall be willing to do whatever is possible to comply with a request of that kind. It is of the greatest possible importance that we should thoroughly understand the full effect of all these proposals. I think, on the whole, that covers all the questions which have been put to me by the right hon. Gentleman. With regard to the controversial matters raised by the right hon. Gentleman, I should like to postpone my reply until we have a general Debate. The same observation will apply to the points raised by the hon. Member for Tyrone. I am sorry I was not present to hear the speech of the right hon. and learned Member for Waterford, but I must dissent from the suggestion which has been made that the tax on spirits has been put on as a kind of revenge upon Ireland. I really do not know that it is necessary for me to meet that argument. I fully recognise that poverty in Ireland is appalling, but to suggest that we are going to punish Ireland on this account is really an unutterable suggestion for an hon. Member to make in this House. I have considered Ireland in this matter purely on its merits. These proposals not only affect Ireland, but Scotland as well, and the tax is paid by the consumer. After all, it is not the poor in Ireland who are affected. If I had proposed a tax upon tea I could understand the hon. Members representing 603 Ireland making a very fierce protest—especially in the face of the evidence we have that the poorest people in Ireland, when they can hardly get anything else they always have their tea. I apologise to the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, because I was not present when he spoke, but I understand that he protested generally against the tax on spirits and tobacco.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
The tax amounts to an increase on the indirect taxation of Ireland, which is 70 per cent. of the whole, whereas it is only 50 per cent. of the whole in England.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I want the hon. and learned Gentleman to remember that I propose only that three and a half millions of indirect taxation should be drawn from Ireland. That proportion as between Ireland and this country is in favour of Ireland. It is a fair proportion so far as Ireland is concerned. I would rather not now refer to controversial matters because we must have a full discussion upon them hereafter. The reason why I got up now was to make an appeal to the Committee to pass this resolution now; otherwise there must be a very serious loss to the revenue, while the passing of the Resolution will not in the slightest degree prejudice the discussion on the general Question. We shall probably deal with the Resolution on Monday, and as I say the passing of the Resolution will not in any way prejudice the general discussion.
§ Question put, "That, in addition to the duties of Customs now payable on spirits imported into Great Britain or Ireland, there shall, on and after the thirtieth day of April, nineteen hundred and nine, be charged the following duties (that is to say):—
|For every gallon computed at||s.||d.|
|proof of spirits of any description except perfumed spirits||3||9|
|For every gallon of perfumed spirits||6||0|
|For every gallon of liqueurs, cordials, mixtures, and other preparations entered in such a manner as to indicate that the strength is not to be tested||5||5|
|Chloral hydrate||…||the lb.||0||1||9|
|Ether acetic||…||the lb.||0||2||7|
|Ether butyric||…||the gallon||1||1||10|
|Ether sulphuric||…||the gallon||1||16||6|
|Ethyl, iodide of||…||the gallon||0||19||0|
|Ethyl bromide||…||the lb.||0||1||5|
|Ethyl chloride||…||the gallon||1||1||10"|
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 281; Noes, 120.607
|Division No. 76.]||AYES.||[11.35 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Brigg, John||Crooks, William|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Bright, J. A.||Cresfield, A. H.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Crossley, William J.|
|Agnew, George William||Brooke, Stopford||Dalziel, Sir James Henry|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Bryce, J. Annan||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Bytes, William Pollard||Dobson, Thomas W.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Cameron, Robert||Duckworth, Sir James|
|Barker, Sir John||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Chance, Frederick William||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Cheetham, John Frederick||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Erskine, David C.|
|Beale, W. P.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Evans, Sir Samuel T.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Clough, William||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Clynes, J. R.||Falconer, J.|
|Bell, Richard||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Fenwick, Charles|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Ferens, T. R.|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Gee.)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Fuller, John Michael F.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Cooper, G. J.||Fullerton, Hugh|
|Black, Arthur W.||Corbett, C.H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Gill, A. H.|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Cowan, W. H.||Glover, Thomas|
|Branch, James||Craig, Herbert J (Tynemouth)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Maddison, Frederick||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Mallet, Charles E.||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Gulland, John W.||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Seely, Colonel|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tdyvil)||Marnham, F. J.||Shackleton, David James|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Massie, J.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Harwood, George||Menzies, Walter||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Middlebrook, William||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.||Mond, A.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Straus, B. s. (Mile End)|
|Henry, Charles S.||Morrell, Philip||Summerbell, T.|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Morse, L. L.||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Napier, T. B.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Nicholls, George||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Hodge, John||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Norman, Sir Henry||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Hooper, A. G.||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Nuttall, Harry||Tomkinson, James|
|Horniman, Emslie John||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Toulmin, George|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Parker, James (Halifax)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hudson, Walter||Partington, Oswald||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Verney, F. W.|
|Hyde, Clarendon G.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Vivian, Henry|
|Idris, T. H. W.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Walters, John Tudor|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Walton, Joseph|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Pollard, Dr. G. H.||Ward, John (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Jowett, F. W.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Radford, G. H.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Kelley, George D.||Rainy, A. Rolland||Watt, Henry A.|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Whitbread, S. Howard|
|Lambert, George||Rendall, Athalstan||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Lamont, Norman||Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Richardson, A.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Ridsdale, E. A.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)||Williamson, A.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Robinson, S.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Lupton, Arnold||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Mackarness, Frederic C.||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Maclean, Donald||Rose, Charles Day||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and the Master of Elibank.|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Rowlands, J.|
|Macpherson, J. T.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Bull, Sir William James||Devlin, Joseph|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Butcher, Samuel Henry||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Carlile, E. Hildred||Doughty, Sir George|
|Ashley, W. W.||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cave, George||Du Cros, Arthur|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Duffy, William J.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Esmonde, Sir Thomas|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)||Clark, George Smith||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Fell, Arthur|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Ffrench, Peter|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Forster, Henry William|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Craik, Sir Henry||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Dalrymple, Viscount||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Delany, William||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Gretton, John||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Renwick, George|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Mooney, J. J.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Morpeth, Viscount||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Hazleton, Richard||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Salter, Arthur Claveil|
|Hill, Sir Clement||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Hogan, Michael||Nolan, Joseph||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Stanier, Beville|
|Joyce, Michael||Oddy, John James||Starkey, John R.|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Doherty, Philip||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Kerry, Earl of||O'Dowd, John||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Keswick, William||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Kettle, Thomas Michael||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Malley, William||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.||Winterton, Earl|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Power, Patrick Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Haviland-Burke and Mr. Boland.|
|M'Kean, John||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
§ 2. Motion made, and Question put, "That in addition to the duty of Excise now payable for every gallon computed at proof of spirits distilled in the United Kingdom there shall, on and after the 30th day of April, 1909, be charged the following duty (that is to say):—608
|For every gallon of spirits computed at proof||3||9|
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 279; Noes, 121.611
|Division No. 77.]||AYES.||[11.45 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cheetham, John Frederick||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill|
|Agnew, George William||Clough, William||Gulland, John W.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Clynes, J. R.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr, Tydvil)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Cooper, G. J.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Harwood, George|
|Barker, Sir John||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Cowan, W. H.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Barnard, E. B.||Crooks, William||Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Crosfield, A. H.||Hedges, A. Paget|
|Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Crossley, William J.||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Beale, W. P.||Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Henderson, J. McD. (Ab'deen, W.)|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Davies, Ellis William (Efion)||Henry, Charles S.|
|Bell, Richard||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Berridge T. H. D.||Dobson, Thomas W.||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Duckworth, Sir James||Hodge, John|
|Black, Arthur W.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Hooper, A. G.|
|Branch, James||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)|
|Brigg, John||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Bright, J. A.||Erskine, David C.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Hudson, Walter|
|Brooke, Stopford||Everett, R. Lacey||Hutton, Alfred Eddison|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Falconer, J.||Hyde, Clarendon G.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Fenwick, Charles||Idris, T. H. W.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Ferens, T. R.||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Johnson, John (Gateshead)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Fuller, John Michael F.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Fullerton, Hugh||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Cameron, Robert||Gill, A. H.||Jowett, F. W.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Glover, Thomas||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Chance, Frederick William||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Kelley, George D.|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Lambert, George||Parker, James (Halifax)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Lament, Norman||Partington, Oswald||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Summerbell, T.|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirrall)||Pollard, Dr. G. H.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Lupton, Arnold||Radford, G. H.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Rainy, A. Rolland||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Tomkinson, James|
|Mackarness, Frederic C.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Toulmin, George|
|Maclean, Donald||Rendall, Athelstan||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)||Verney, F. W.|
|Macpherson, J. T.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Vivian, Henry|
|M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Richardson, A.||Walters, John Tudor|
|M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Ridsdale, E. A.||Walton, Joseph|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Maddison, Frederick||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Wason, Rt Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Robinson, S.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Marnham, F. J.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Watt, Henry A.|
|Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Massie, J.||Roe, Sir Thomas||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Rogers, F. E. Newman||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Menzies, Walter||Rose, Charles Day||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Rowlands, J.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Middlebrook, William||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Mond, A.||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Car'th'n)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Williamson, A.|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Wills, Arthur Waiters|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Morrell, Philip||Seaverns, J. H.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Morse, L. L.||Seely, Colonel||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Shackleton, David James||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Napier, T. B.||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Nicholls, George||Shipman, Dr. John G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and the Master of Elibank.|
|Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Nuttall, Harry||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Delany, William||Kerry, Earl of|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Devlin, Joseph||Keswick, William|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Kettle, Thomas Michael|
|Ashley, W. W.||Doughty, Sir George||Kilbride, Denis|
|Balcarres, Lord||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Du Cros, Arthur||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Duffy, William J.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Fell, Arthur||M'Kean, John|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Ffrench, Peter||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Forster, Henry William||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Gretton, John||Morrison-Bell, Captain|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hamilton, Marquess of||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Cave, George||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Nolan, Joseph|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Hay, Hon. Claude George||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Clark, George Smith||Hazleton, Richard||Oddy, John James|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Hill, Sir Clement||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Hogan, Michael||O'Dowd, John|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Houston, Robert Paterson||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Joyce, Michael||O'Malley, William|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Peel, Hon. W. R. W.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Salter, Arthur Clavell||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Pretyman, E. G.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.||Winterton, Earl|
|Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Stanier, Beville||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Haviland-Burke and Mr. Boland.|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Starkey, John R.|
|Renwick, George||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Valentia, Viscount|