§ (1) For the purposes of this Part of this Act the increment value of any land shall be deemed to be the amount (if any) by which the site value of the land, on the occasion on which Increment Value Duty becomes due, exceeds the original site value of the land.
§ (2) The site value of the land on the occasion on which Increment Value Duty becomes due shall be taken to be—
- (a) where the occasion is a transfer on sale of the fee simple of the land, the value of the consideration for the transfer; and
- (b) where the occasion is the grant of any lease of the land, or the transfer
1866 on sale of any interest in the land, the value of the fee simple of the land, calculated on the basis of the value of the consideration for the grant of the lease or the transfer of the interest; and
- (c) where the occasion is the death of any person and the fee simple of the land is property passing on that death, the principal value of the land as ascertained for the purposes of Part I. of the Finance Act, 1894, and where any interest in the land is property passing on that death the value of the fee simple of the land calculated on the basis of the principal value of the interest as so ascertained; and
- (d) where the occasion is a periodical occasion on which the duty is due in respect of land held by a body corporate or unincorporate, the value of the fee simple of the land as ascertained for the purposes of the assessment of duty under this Act;
§ (3) The Commissioners shall record all allowances and deductions made under this section.
§ (4) Where, on any occasion on which Increment Value Duty is due in respect of any land, it becomes necessary, for the purpose of ascertaining the original site value of the land on which the duty is to be assessed, to apportion any original site 1867 value as first adopted for the purposes of this Part of this Act, that value shall be apportioned between that part of the land on which duty is to be assessed and the remaining part of the land in such proportions as the Commissioners determine. On the application at any time of any person entitled to the fee simple of, or to an interest in any land, the Commissioners shall apportion or reapportion the original site value of the land amongst such parts of the land as may be specified in the application in such proportions as they think just, and shall give a certificate of any apportionment or reapportionment so made. The value attributed on any such apportionment or reapportionment to each part of the land shall, for the purposes of this Part of this Act, be treated as the original site value of that part of the land.
§ (5) Where the owner of the fee simple of any land, or any person entitled to an interest in the land, proves to the Commissioners that he, or any of his predecessors in title, has acquired for a consideration, being money or money's worth, the fee simple of or interest in the land within twenty years before the thirtieth day of April, nineteen hundred and nine, and that the total value of the fee simple of the land, as calculated on the basis of the value of the consideration then given, exceeds the total value of the land as first adopted for the purposes of this Part of this Act, after deducting any part of that value which is attributable to works of a permanent character executed since the purchase or acquisition, or where the mortgagee of any land proves that he or any of his predecessors in title has advanced upon mortgage on the land an amount which exceeds that total value, such sum shall be substituted for the purposes of Increment Value Duty for the original site value of the land as the Commissioners determine, having regard to the total value as so calculated of the fee simple or the amount advanced on mortgage as the case requires, was at the time the site value of the land.
§ Question again proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. G. D. FABER (York)
I feel that so many topics of great importance having been discussed during the last few days——
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
On a point of order, I would like to ask you whether the clause is in order in view of the ruling which you were good enough to give last night? I wish to ask whether the clause 1868 does not involve a new public charge? This is the first of the clauses which deal with valuation under this Bill. It provides for a valuation of the increment value, and also for apportionment, and so on. It is provided by Clause 17 of the Bill that the valuation is to be carried out by the Commissioners if they are not satisfied with the returns made by the land-owners. The effect of that is, I submit, that in certain events the Commissioners will have to carry out the duty thrown upon them by this clause, and it will have to be carried out at the public expense, in accordance with the principle which you were good enough to lay down last night. In deciding the question whether the Amendment I moved last night was in order you said:—The point raised by the Noble Lord, as I understand it, is that the Commissioners might have to pay out of their own pocket. That is the point on which I ask the Government to give me information. If it can be said that it is possible that the Commissioners may have to pay, I shall have to allow the Noble Lord to move the Amendment. On the face of it, this is a public charge for which the Commissioners cannot be said to be personally liable. If that is so the Amendment would be out of order.I submit that on the principle of that ruling the Commissioners will have to carry out as part of their duties a duty which will fall on public funds, and that is not covered by the Resolution which was passed by the Committee. I have a copy of the Resolution here, but I need not read it. It is clear that it does not refer to valuation in any respect. I submit that since this clause really does add to the charge on the taxpayers a fresh Resolution is necessary before the Committee can be asked to adopt the clause.
I do not quite know what the Noble Lord means by his reference to Clause 17. The Question now before the Committee is, "That Clause 2, as amended, stand part of the Bill," and we have nothing to do with Clause 17 at present, because we have not yet arrived at that clause. So far as I can see, the new duties thrown upon the Commissioners are not in the nature of what the Noble Lord calls creating a public charge. The Amendment which the Noble Lord moved last night, and upon which I had some difficulty in deciding whether it was in order, raised the question of throwing on the Commissioners in certain circumstances a fresh charge. When it was altered and made clear that they would have to pay out of their own pockets, I allowed the Amendment. That is a different matter from instructing the 1869 Commissioners to perform certain duties. But apart from that the question should have been raised at the beginning of the clause, and not now. There has been nothing put into the clause which involves a fresh charge.
§ Mr. G. D. FABER
I should like to have the indulgence of the Committee to make a few observations on the salient points that seem to me to emerge from the discussions we have had on this clause. The first remark I have to make is upon the extraordinary course that has been taken by this clause in regard to the courts of law. The courts of law are not in the picture, or at least only to a small extent. I believe this is the first time that such an evil precedent has occurred in the history of Bills of this kind, and I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who belongs to the legal profession, should have initiated such a dangerous precedent. You are, if I may so say, closing the doors of the temple of justice—a temple which has been more the palladium of the liberties of this country than even the House of Commons itself. You are substituting for the courts of law an autocracy. It is not only an autocracy which you have under this clause, but it is the autocracy of a bureaucracy, and, what is worse, the autocracy of a bureaucracy of the new democracy. I cannot venture to hope that the protests of my right hon. Friend the Member for Dublin University will have much effect on the hardened hearts of the Ministers on the front bench opposite. Perhaps those of the hon. and learned Members for Reading and for Cambridge, sitting behind the Government, may have. The Government have said that they intend to introduce Amendments, but we are always told of the changes that are coming, and we are always put off to the Greek kalends. We shall see. But at any rate, we are entitled to say that this clause has been thought over for months and months, and represents the considered judgment of the Cabinet, and that considered judgment is that in the performance of duties under this clause the courts of law are to have no authority. The Commissioners are to have carte, blanche. They will call the tune, and the millions of land-owners of this country—I believe there are millions—will have to dance to the Commissioners' tune; and if they do not dance it will be worse for them. What is the tune the 1870 Commissioners are going to play? Is it the tune to which they have been accustomed? No; it is a new tune altogether. They have never been accustomed to work of this kind; neither have the valuers nor the other experts they will be able to call in. It is a new machine. Hitherto valuers have been accustomed to value land and buildings as a going concern, the land with everything upon it which gives it its value, the fertility of the soil, the buildings, and everything under the earth and above it. They have been accustomed to consider that, and they have no difficulty in arriving at a judgment in the matter. But under this Bill they have to deal not with a going concern at all, but with a mere hypothesis; something that does not exist, an abstraction; something they have got to imagine in their minds. You are putting on them an absolutely impossible task.
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition observed with great force a few weeks ago that valuers, of course, say they can value anything. They will value your immortal soul if you give them a chance. It is not a fair task. I remember the story of the blind man who was turned into the dark room to look for the black hat that was not there. The duties which the valuers will have to perform under this clause will be trifling compared with the duty that was cast on the blind man. They had got to deal with what does not exist. I think much more complication was introduced into the matter yesterday in the discussion which we had on the question of the apportionment site value. The original site value, according to the theory I understand of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is to be your datum, your starting point, your rock of ages, through the years and the centuries. Posterity will always have to cast its eye back to what I suppose will be known in remote times as the "Lloyd-George Valuation." He will be immortalised, but I am afraid his immortality will be purchased at the expense of millions of the people of the country. In your apportionment of original site value you forget that the original conformation does not in this changing world in fact remain the same. If the original piece of land were always there, in the same shape, and you could always refer back to it, then it would be complicated enough. But it does not remain the same. Like the pieces of glass in the kaleidoscope, it is always changing its conformation, until after a time it will pass the wit of man 1871 to discover the original against which the comparison for all time has got to be made. I do not know on which there would be the more difficulty—urban land or agricultural land. I sat down the other day to try to work out what I should have to do if this Bill became law. Sanity almost left me by the time I had done with the urban land. When I was trying to discover the original site value of a farm I sighed for the sanity of Colney Hatch.
Why is not agricultural land excluded? We were told under Clause 1 that it was going to be excluded. We were told under Clause 2 that it was excluded. I would venture to say that every Member of the Committee who has listened to the Debate on this clause, whatever view he may take about the Bill, must come to the conclusion that agricultural land is not in effect excluded. If it was intended to be excluded, why did not the Chancellor of the Exchequer accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman). The right hon. Gentleman has been pressed over and over again by Members upon his own side to exclude agricultural land, but he has not done it. The right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General tried to maintain the hopeless contention that Clause 2 and Clause 14 combined will have the effect of excluding agricultural land. They will have no effect of the kind. The right hon. Gentleman was a little bit unjust towards one of his ardent supporters last evening, the hon. Baronet, the Member for Louth, who was in despair at the effect that this clause would have upon the many hundreds of his constituents who are small holders. The right hon. Gentleman was a little waspish to the Member for Louth because he showed that small holders will be put to all this trouble. The hon. Member for Louth was only putting the case exactly in the way this Bill will fall out if it becomes law. The small holders will have to apportion their plots, however small they may be, because the Attorney-General warned the Committee yesterday that if the apportionment is not made it may be unfortunate for the persons concerned. As regards valuation, the Attorney-General, while we were discussing Clause 1, said that it was so simple that a man of the most bucolic intelligence could make the valuation. We have gone far away from that. The Attorney-General himself said, in a phrase which has often been repeated, and will again often be repeated throughout the country before we have got to the 1872 end of this matter, that valuation is to be elaborate, costly and expensive.
It will have to be made probably by millions of people. In 1876 there were estimated to be more than a million owners of land in this country. There would be probably many more now, and, in addition, you are now going to treat as owners all those who have leases for more than 50 years' duration. That will add enormously to the number of people who will have to make valuations. You have not done then, because the valuation has got to be made not only of the separate properties of the owners, but of the separate holdings that belong to the separate properties of the owners. It is calculated now that you might get as high as 10 millions of valuations. Each one of them is going to cost not a little money, but very likely a great deal. In these elaborate and extensive calculations the Attorney-General referred yesterday to the expert advice and the machinery at the beck and call of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We know that. We know that the whole expert forces are behind the Government, and will be behind the Chancellor of the Exchequer if this Bill becomes law. What does it matter to the Government what it costs? They have the national purse to draw upon. That is not so with the millions of people, rich and poor, great and small, who will have to make these elaborate calculations. It is said it will cost twelve millions of money. I should not be in the least surprised. I know nobody can sit down and work out with any degree of accuracy at all what it will cost, but it might easily cost twenty millions. You say yourselves you do not intend agricultural land to come within the purview of the Bill, and that it is not to come within the meshes of your net. But you are going to put this enormous expense in the matter of valuation upon all the agricultural land in this country, and upon your own allegation, at any rate, you do not intend to include them in the burdens of the Bill.
There is no common-sense in the matter whatever; it is not fair, it is not reasonable. Here we are, not knowing which way to turn for money. This £20,000,000 which valuation may cost owners alone would provide eight "Dreadnoughts." Twenty millions for valuation, and it is going to bring you in only £250,000, but ultimately I do not know what. There lies the danger. When once you establish the machinery under Clause 2 it brings you in £250,000 1873 to-day, but by a turn of the screw it is going to bring you in two, three, four, and perhaps many more millions of money hereafter. I do once again appeal to the right hon. Gentleman at any rate to make his course so far clear as to remove the agricultural land of this country from the purview of this Bill. I should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman would have had a fellow-feeling for agriculturists, instead of giving them what he called "butcher's treatment." The right hon. Gentleman, I know, used the words in a different connection, but he said, "After all, agriculture is going to get butcher's treatment."
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd-George)
The hon. and gallant Member for Chelmsford (Captain Pretyman) asked me to treat the market gardener as I would treat the butcher, and I said the market gardener was being treated exactly the same.
§ Mr. G. D. FABER
In that sense, I do not think agriculture has got butcher's treatment. What the hon. and gallant Member for Chelmsford meant was that the land of the market gardener was his stock-in-trade, as the shop of the butcher was his stock-in-trade. You are going to take increment value from the market gardener in the course of his business, but you are not going to take it from the butcher in the course of his business. The right hon. Gentleman then remarked that the land had got butcher's treatment. From the point of view that I take I am afraid that agricultural land has got butcher's treatment. I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman is so unkind to agriculture, because in one of his genial moments he confided to the Committee that he was once a bit of a market gardener himself. I should have thought he would have had some feeling for his fellow sufferers, and that it would have been the most ardent desire of his heart to exclude the market gardener, at any rate, from this unfair and in some cases ruinous clause. The right hon. Gentleman has forgotten his old friends. Before I conclude, I would say a word about the Prime Minister's windfall theory, because upon that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as it appears to me, have parted company. On the windfall theory the Prime Minister followed the man, but the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer follows the land, and does not follow the man. The windfall theory has gone, to which the 1874 Prime Minister looked, in desperation, to illuminate the darkness of his cause, but it turned out to be only a will-o'-the-wisp, which has landed him almost up to his neck in the bog. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has thrown over the Prime Minister. I think that is rather unkind. The right hon. Gentleman the other day bore testimony to the loyalty of the Prime Minister, and I think he should have returned the compliment by showing more loyalty to him.
But the Chancellor of the Exchequer has got to think of his Bill, and under Clause 2 he threw over the windfall theory, which, therefore, is gone. The theory of the Chancellor of the Exchequer brings with it the extraordinary injustice of disregarding decrement. A man has a field of half a dozen acres worth £1,000. Half of it is sold for gas works. This is an illustration which has already been given by an hon. Member. Half of the whole is sold for gas works, and what was originally worth £500 becomes worth £l,000, and the Increment Duty of a fifth of £500 is £100. But the very process of increasing the value of one-half of the field destroys the value of the other, as no one would wish to live in the neighbourhood of a gas works; yet the Government only look at the half on which there is a profit, and disregard that upon which there is a loss. Surely that must be absurd. You cannot put on spectacles and look merely at a particular part; in such a transaction you must look, at any rate to a certain extent, to the whole matter. We have been told a great deal about Germany. There they do look at the entirety. In the case of Breslau they do not look simply at the increment but at the decrement as well. There is a limit of three years, during which, if there are transactions in respect to a particular plot of land, the owner is allowed to set off any decrement as regards a part of it against the increment in regard to another part. Surely that is only common-sense. See what immense difficulties arise, and what immense injustice is done under the system proposed by this Bill, where you are dealing with buildings. Building development, like almost every other transaction, has its gains and its losses, and you have to look not only at the gains, but at the losses. The front part of a particular piece of building land may go at a very large profit to the builder; and you take that increment value; but the back part may lie idle for years, and it may result in a grievous loss, yet you pay no regard to that.
1875 We really have had no answer, at least I have not heard any, to our allegation that, whatever else this may be, it is not just. The Attorney-General said it was not practicable to allow for decrement. I said at the time that it was the business of the Government to make it practicable; it is their legislation. We cannot leave it in this way, that this Bill should emerge from this House with such a crushing injustice as will and must arise, if you are going to deal merely with the increment in a transaction, and have no regard at all to the decrement. I want to make a quotation from Adam Smith. The right hon. Gentleman rather made game a little while ago of Adam Smith. He said he was too dull for the Member for Dulwich.
§ Mr. G. D. FABER
I thought, perhaps, the right hon. Gentleman meant to be alliterative, and said that he was "too dull" for the Member for Dulwich; apparently he said he was "too slow" for the hon. Gentleman. However, Adam Smith, in respect of the quotation I am now going to make, is not too slow for me. He appeals entirely to such argumentative capacity as I may possess, and such ideas as I entertain in reference to fair and proper taxation. Adam Smith, in his first canon of taxation, says:—The certainty of. what each individual ought to pay is, in taxation, a matter of so great importance that a very considerable degree of inequality, it appears, I believe, from the experience of all nations, is not nearly so great an evil as a very small degree of uncertainty,This clause introduces not only no degree of certainty, but it introduces as great an amount of uncertainty as it is possible for any man to conceive. This clause traverses the dictum of Adam Smith from beginning to end, and I venture, therefore, to ask that this clause be deleted from the Bill, and I move that be done.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
I have risen for the purpose of making an earnest appeal to the Government not to allow the Division to take place on this clause without clearing up some of the obscurities in which the Committee stands at this moment. There has been a very long and a very detailed discussion of this clause, and the right hon. Gentleman certainly has not spared himself in his desire to elucidate every doubtful point, and to assist 1876 the Committee in coming to a conclusion, and yet, with reference to what I regard as probably the most important point of all in the clause, the Committee finds itself at this moment in a state of absolute uncertainty and insecurity. My colleagues and I who sit on these benches are in favour of the principle of this tax. We have supported it. We have supported the Government in the Lobby whenever what we regarded as destructive Amendments were moved, and which, in our judgment, were directed against the principle of the tax of which we approve. We stated from the very commencement that our support of this clause was conditional upon two matters. The first was that the yield of this tax should go, not to the Imperial Exchequer, but to the local authorities. The right hon. Gentleman has not gone the full way that we desired, but no doubt we will have other opportunities of pressing our views. But he has made a concession, and no doubt, from his point of view, a large concession. He has promised that one-half of this tax shall be put into a pool and devoted to purposes for which the local authorities are responsible. Therefore, so far as that is concerned, I have not at this stage to make any complaint.
Our second point was with regard to agricultural land, that it should be excluded and exempted from this particular tax. The right hon. Gentleman spoke on this matter repeatedly, and, as far as I could understand, and as far as I understand at this moment, judging by these public declarations, there is no difference of intention between him and those like myself who have asked that land should be excluded. But the unfortunate position in which we stand is this, that the words of the clause, as they are now being put from the Chair, do not provide for this, and that as they are being put they undoubtedly make agricultural land liable to these taxes. When we began to discuss this matter the right hon. Gentleman told us that when we came to sub-section (2) of Clause 2 that then words would be put forward which would satisfy our anxiety and our uncertainties on this matter. When we reached that part of the clause he made the suggestion that instead of the deduction of improvements, buildings, and so forth, there should be a fixed percentage deducted. I was not here that night unfortunately, but I read most carefully every word of the Debate, and it was perfectly evident that that suggestion of his did not meet with approval, as far as I know, in 1877 any quarter of the House. It did not meet with approval above the Gangway or from my colleagues on these benches, or, as far as I can understand, from those supporters of the right hon. Gentlemen on the other side who, as far as I can judge, have shared our anxiety on this question of agricultural land. Therefore the right hon. Gentleman quite naturally withdrew that suggestion, and he withdrew it, I must be allowed to say, as a result of reading the Debate most carefully, on the understanding that the whole matter would be further reconsidered, and that words to carry out the intention which he professed would be forthcoming.
Yesterday I asked the right hon. Gentleman at Question time why those words had not been put on the Paper in the interval between Wednesday and Monday. He gave me an answer from which I gathered that he had no intention of proposing words on this clause at all, that he was reconsidering the matter, but that it was quite indefinite when his consideration of it would come to the point, when he would be in a position to put the words on the Paper. I say that that leaves the Committee in a state of absolute obscurity and uncertainty on one of the most important issues in this clause. After that answer of the right hon. Gentleman yesterday my colleagues and I felt so uncertain and so perplexed and so embarrassed that we took no part in any of the Divisions last night. We certainly could not possibly vote in favour of this clause, much as I am in favour, as I have said, of the principle of the Increment Tax, if we are left in a position of uncertainty. I have risen only for the purpose of urging the right hon. Gentleman most respectfully to put an end to this uncertainty. I am not, I hope he will not imagine, imputing to him in the smallest degree any desire to break his pledge on this Bill or his pledged word on this subject. Nothing is further from my mind. I am quite sure he is speaking absolutely sincerely and that his intention is the same as that avowed by myself. After all, the declaration of the intention of a Minister is not sufficient when you are dealing with the actual words of the clause of a Bill. If the right hon. Gentleman wants us to take his declaration and act upon it as if it were words in the Bill, then I respectfully say he should put on the Paper the Amendment he is going to move and let us consider its terms and see whether it carries out the promise that he gave.
1878 I had hoped, even this morning when I received my Parliamentary Papers, that I might have found the words of some proposed Amendment on the Paper, but they are not there. I do now ask the right hon. Gentleman to put an end to this uncertainty and to tell us exactly what he is going to do and when and how he is going to do it. I do not know whether he has had time to consider the words to carry out these promises, but I think it is unfair to the House of Commons, and that it is unfair to those who take a keen interest on both sides of the House on this point, to let this clause go to a Division until we have some certain and definite declaration as to what the right hon. Gentleman is going to do. Therefore I would ask that words should be put on the Paper as soon as possible to let us see how the right hon. Gentleman is going to translate his intention into the words of an Act of Parliament. We will not go into the other point discussed last night—that is, the question of the exemption of small holdings. The declaration of the right hon. Gentleman, made last night was, I understood, quite satisfactory, but there again I do say we want something more than a declaration of intention. I sympathise with some hon. Members, who said last night it is all very well to promise that you will excuse small holdings, but what do you mean when you say small holdings? That is what I want to know. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman on this point also would put his intentions into words, and let us see those words and consider them, and not go on expecting the Committee to pass a clause of this kind when the most serious points are wrapt in obscurity. I am anxious to support this clause, because, as I have said, I am in favour of the principle of the tax, but I certainly cannot do that if I am left in a state of uncertainty when the Division is called.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I do not propose to follow the hon. Member for York (Mr. G. D. Faber) in his general survey of all the Amendments that have been moved on this particular clause, and I hope he will not think that I am treating him with the slightest disrespect when I say that it would be quite impossible for me to re-enter into all these discussions. At the same time I am not complaining of his having summarised the whole of the case against the clause. I would rather confine myself to two or three practical considerations which have been submitted 1879 to the Committee by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond), because those are the points which I think the Committee as a whole will be especially interested in. I promised the hon. and gallant Member for Essex (Mr. Pretyman) that I would endeavour before this clause passes through the House to make some statement with regard to the position of the small holder and of agricultural land. With regard to agricultural land, I think there is agreement amongst all sections of the House as to the desirability of excluding it from the operation of all these taxes. That I think is accepted as a principle by all Members of the House with the exception of a section, and I do not know what I would call them. I think, on the whole, the House has accepted the principle, and that it was purely a question of the way of carrying it out, or to draw the line. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin (Mr. Walter Long) pointed out in a speech yesterday, and very forcibly, it is very difficult to draw the line between purely agricultural land, and land which has got a special value owing to its proximity to towns. That has already been done, it is true, in the Finance Act of 1894, in a provision for which I believe the Leader of the Opposition is responsible. In the year 1894 it was a question of dividing the land of the country roughly into agricultural land, and land which had some special value. The right hon. Gentleman secured for agricultural land the limitation of the value to an amount not exceeding 25 years' purchase, leaving the other land at its market value.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I think the operation of the Act is this: that where an estate consists of a certain area, and where a part has a building value the whole estate is valued, and then the valuer, in addition to that value, puts the value which attaches to the building part of the estate. There is not, however, any separation of the two classes of land, and it is not defined which part is building land.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
As a matter of practice the hon. and gallant Gentleman is quite wrong, though I believe we are agreed, and that that does not upset the whole proposition which I have urged, that there is a difference between the valuation in the case of building land and other land, and that it is treated as having a special value. These are the words for which I 1880 am assured the right hon. Gentleman is responsible:—Provided that in the case of any agricultural property where no part of the principal value is due to the expectation of increased income from such property"—these latter words are the definition there of building land—the principal value shall not exceed twenty-five times the annual value.There is the distinction drawn between land which has this special value and land of a purely agricultural character. In practice that has been taken to mean that the building value is to be valued at its market value. What happens in practice is that whenever an estate is submitted to the Commissioners there is a map of the estate submitted, and the land which has got a special value is coloured, say, red, and the other is coloured, say, green or yellow; then a special value is placed upon the parts so marked out. What I want is something which will be analogous to that procedure that has worked well. Agricultural landowners have not urged any complaint as to it, and I do not think it can be said any really agricultural land has ever been charged the building price; I never heard that once alleged against the working of the Act of 1894. That is what we really want to discover, but that is not covered by the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Mr. Pretyman). It did not accomplish that purpose. I objected to it, and I suggested an alternative which was objected to on several grounds. One ground, which I recognised probably to be fatal, was that you have got to deal with a large community, and that that it is too complicated. I think it was open probably to the objection of the hon. and gallant Member for Waterford that it was obscure. It would require a good deal of explanation, and at any rate it was not quite clear that it provided an adequate safeguard to agricultural land against the taxes either from Increment or from Undeveloped Land Duty. I have stated that the intention of the Government was not to include purely agricultural land in any of these taxes, and it is entirely a question of the method of carrying out that intention. Several Members have criticised the method adopted to attain that object; they criticised also the alternative which I suggested, and which, on the whole, was not accepted in any quarter of the House as quite meeting the case. As the hon. and gallant Member (Mr. Pretyman) says, it is not enough to merely have a declaration of the Minister; because, after all, an Act of Parliament is 1881 interpreted not by what is said by the Minister, but by the words contained in the Act. I think also it is perfectly fair to say that there is a great deal of anxiety on the part of agriculturists as to whether they are included, and the sooner that anxiety is allayed the better. I have been devoting such time as I could to seeing if I could not suggest another formula which would make it absolutely clear that purely agricultural land in the sense of the Finance Act of 1894—the sort of land which is exempted there, and gets special privileges under that Act—should also get the privileges under this Act. That is really what it amounts to. I think it can be done on practically the same lines, namely, by dividing the land of the country into land which is purely agricultural, and to exempt that altogether from all these taxes——
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I never had the slightest hope of satisfying the hon. Member for York (Mr. George Faber); that would be too much to expect. All I have said on behalf of the Government is that we will exempt all this land from these taxes. What will be the way to do it? I think the way is to divide the land of the country roughly into land which is agricultural and land which has a special value of the kind I have indicated, either for industrial or for building purposes. I am taking the analogy of the Act of 1894, which has worked very well for a good many years, and I think on the whole it might be adopted. I will put down words —I do not wish to be tied to the exact words—which will have to be moved as a new clause; they could not be included in the present clause. The words I suggest at present are: "Increment Value Duty shall not be charged in respect of agricultural land while that land has for other purposes no higher value than its value for agricultural purposes."
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
There is no intention of charging purely agricultural land in respect of the Undeveloped Land Tax.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
It includes purely agricultural land. May I call attention to the Finance Act of 1894? They are substantially the same words which have worked so well there, and have effectively protected agricultural land. I do not think anyone can point to a single case where agricultural land has not been protected by these words in the Act of 1894—"Provided that in the case of any agricultural property where no part of the principal value is due to the expectation of an increased income from such property. …" The words I suggest are even stronger, and will completely exonerate agricultural land from any fear of having to participate in any of these taxes. Of course, the moment agricultural land passes from one category to the other, from agricultural land to building land, the tax will apply. I have never heard anyone contend that, if you are to have an Increment Tax, that should not be the case. In a country like ours you may have land which to-day is purely agricultural and in five or ten years may be exceedingly valuable as building land; and in cases of that kind, when it passes from one category to the other, it will be liable to this tax. I propose to put these words on the Paper tonight, but I would deprecate at the present stage a long discussion of them. I have stated the intention of the Government, and if the words require strengthening we can discuss the matter when we come to them. I may say that this proposal will undoubtedly enormously smooth the difficulties of agricultural land with regard to valuation. All that agricultural land will have to do will be exactly what it does in the case of Death Duties —that is, to supply particulars. It will not be liable to any tax; it would only be liable in the case of a town springing up in the neighbourhood, and the land suddenly becoming very valuable as building land. Therefore it will be necessary to have a complete register of agricultural land.
Then with regard to small holdings, their case has been pressed upon me from all quarters of the House; but when I indicated my intention to meet it there was a disposition rather to withdraw from the invitation which had been given to me. It was regarded as unfair. The case of the small holder had been pressed upon me by the hon. and gallant Member (Mr. Pretyman) in almost every speech he delivered. He said that it was a hard case, especially in the matter of valuation, and that there was no money in it—which is rather true. 1883 The hon. Member for York (Mr. Faber) talked about a million people who would be put to this expense, and said that it would cost about eight "Dreadnoughts." That is a picturesque and very effective way of putting it, since we are thinking in "Dreadnoughts." I agree that there is a good deal of expense and very little money in it, and that it would cause a good deal of bother to the small holder. In that case I think it will probably be advisable to follow the example of the Colonies, where small holders have been exempted, very largely on the grounds of the expense and trouble of collection, and also on the ground that it is desirable rather to encourage than discourage these small holders. Therefore, the Government propose to put down another Amendment, which will exempt from all these taxes the small holder in every case where the total value of the holding is under £500, and where the holder is the occupying owner. That is the case in the Colonies. In addition to that, it will probably be necessary, where there is a house, to have another test than capital value, and to convert that capital value into terms of annual value, so that the occupying owner may know from his rateable value or his assessment for Inhabited House Duty exactly where he is, without having to find out whether his house is worth £500 or £550. That will save a good deal of expense and trouble. The appeal which has been made, notably from the benches opposite, to exempt these poor men from all this trouble and tribulation, which would bring no revenue to the Exchequer, has softened what the hon. Member for York called my hard heart, and I shall, therefore, propose this Amendment.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
The Chancellor of the Exchequer says it would be necessary to convert the capital value into terms of annual value. Does that mean terms of the rateable value as it now exists or some other value?
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
Those are not freeholders. This proposal refers to freeholders and to leaseholders who are occupying owners. The case the hon. Member puts is a different one altogether. With respect to the Noble Lord's question, I think what the Government have in their mind is to adopt rather the definition in 1884 the Housing of the Working Classes Act taken in terms of the Inhabited House Duty, basing the rateable value on a rental of £26, £16, etc., according to the size of the town. After all, £40 in London may be just equal, and no more, to perhaps £15 and £20 in a rural district. I have been appealed to to make it perfectly clear as to what the attitude of the Government was on these two points. I thought it was perfectly right before we got away from this question that the Committee, the hon. Members, and the country generally, ought to be left in no doubt as to the intentions of the Government. We have made it absolutely clear what our intentions are, but the hon. and learned Member is perfectly right that a matter of this kind should not depend upon any declaration of any Minister. The Committee, therefore, is entitled at the earliest possible moment to have this declaration translated into the terms of the Amendment.
The statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has completely altered the whole bearing and meaning of the clause. We are asked to assent to alterations made at the final stage of the discussion of the clause. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has any more exemptions to tell us of?
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
Really, that is not quite accurate. I did state perfectly clearly that we are prepared to exempt small holders with regard to agricultural land. I said the other night that I was not wedded to the form in which the Amendment should be put before the House. We are prepared to introduce words that will carry out the purposes of the Government.
I do not want to make any severe comment upon the procedure of the right hon. Gentleman, but what he did while we were discussing the clause was to give us a sort of general assurance on certain new lines of policy, though he was not prepared to give us the intentions of the Government in precise language. He has now done it more or less in precise language, but at a rather late stage. We should have been glad to have had these views before us when we were discussing the clause itself.
I desire to say only a very few words upon the two promises which the right hon. Gentleman has made. He has been asked to exempt agricultural land, and he has emphatically expressed his desire to 1885 do so. I do not know really how that is consistent with Clause 2, line 13, in which the words occur: "the value of which is due solely to its capacity for agricultural purposes." In the second place, let us examine what the right hon. Gentleman proposes to do to carry out the request of the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford, and the appeal which has been made to him from other parts of the House. He has based himself upon the precedent of the Act of 1894. I do not think the analogy holds; nor do I think the wording corresponds. The right hon. Gentleman has made a simple bare exception which refers to land having no higher value than its value for purely agricultural purposes. I do not believe there is a single holding, for instance, in Ireland—or Scotland, or England, for that matter—that has not some additional value for some purpose or another. It may be insignificant, but it would be difficult to prove there was no increment due. There may be a residential value not at all due to neighbouring property. A man may desire to buy a farm because it has an agreeable situation; there may be sporting points about it. You cannot say it is purely agricultural when there is a house upon it. You have two farms absolutely equal so far as soil, neighbourhood, and markets are concerned. Take it that they are equally well equipped. The one is in a sporting country, the other is not. In one there is a certain additional value due to the neighbourhood of the hunting country, and, say, there is a certain amount of game upon the farm itself. One has a good residence; the other has not, although, of course, there must be a residence sufficiently good in order that the man should be able to live in it to be able to carry out his business of husbandry. In the one case the farm has something which is not due to purely agricultural considerations. The land is agricultural land, which has a higher price owing to considerations not purely agricultural. I do not wish to misinterpret the right hon. Gentleman, but I certainly understood the whole purport of his argument to be this: that he would exempt from his Bill land of which you could say with absolute certainty and to the satisfaction of the Commissioners, "this is land only valuable because it raises so much in the way of crops." Very well, if that view prevails, I say that he deliberately brings within the mischief of his Bill land that in any such fashion does raise crops. At any rate, I put the case in all good faith, and perhaps this is not 1886 the time to deal with it in detail. The right hon. Gentleman sees the difficulty I have, and I am sure he will endeavour to meet it.
I come now to another class. There must be in Ireland—I mention Ireland because the Debate has arisen out of the speech of the Member for Waterford—a great many holdings which are going to be used for years to come for agricultural purposes. The holdings have been bought by the tenants as mere agricultural land. They are not very far from towns, from Dublin, Belfast and other places. Although towns in Ireland do not grow as fast as towns in England, unquestionably there must be many of these holdings that have varied in their capital value, and have acquired something additional to their capital value on account of their proximity to the towns. How is the right hon. Gentleman going to deal with them? Does he mean to include or exclude them from his Bill? These are not the cases of market gardens, which are just on the edge of increment. I do not believe the right hon. Gentleman will ever deal satisfactorily with this question until he has found some means of excluding from the mischief of his Bill cases like these. It is not a question of holding up nor of keeping land out of the market.
There is another point which I wish to put to the right hon. Gentleman in relation to market gardens. The proximity of a market garden to a market has nothing whatever to do with building land: it has to do with the fact that the products of that land find a very easy access to the buyers. Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to exclude that market garden land or not?
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
If its agricultural value is above its building value, although that agricultural value is due to its nearness to a town, it would still be exempt.
I am very glad to hear that reason. I doubted what the policy of the Government was. My hon. and gallant Friend (Mr. Pretyman) moved an Amendment precisely in that sense dealing with Clause 2, and the Government refused to take it. I do not know, as far as I am concerned, until I see the words on the paper, that I can say anything that will be of much assistance to the Committee in dealing with that part of the right hon. Gentleman's statement. There was another part which interested me as much, and that was the part in which he said he was 1887 going to exclude small holdings, of which the capital value was under £500. The interest of that statement is that it entirely destroys the whole theoretical process on which the Government have chosen to erect this exceptional taxation. Nobody doubts it is an exceptional form of taxation. The Government have accepted the theory of unearned increment, and that unearned increment is a proper subject for taxation. They profess this in many respects in the same way as the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne and hon. Members below the Gangway. Under this theory it is, of course, quite impossible to exclude small holdings. If your theory is that unearned increment is sufficiently prominent, to which the owner of the land under the existing law has no moral right whatever, if it is a subject of taxation that may be raised to any extent, then I say you have no more right to exclude the man whose holding is under £500 than the man whose holding is over £500.
Of course, if this tax is impending, and not put on any particular kind of property but on a particular degree of wealth, that is another matter, and upon that I am not going to quarrel with the right hon. Gentleman until I see what his method is in taxing higher wealth, until I see his proposal in its entirety. It is perfectly consistent with the original principles of the Government. It is part of their general principles with which I find myself in the least dissent that the rich must pay their full share of any of the burdens which are thrown upon the country. We agree upon that; but is this intended to be a method of exempting the poor and taxing the rich? Is that the object? If that is the object of it, let us consider it from that point of view. I am quite ready to consider it from that point of view. It is thoroughly indefensible. A man with a large holding is not necessarily a rich man. He may be an absolute beggar. He may have mortgaged that holding up to the extreme limit, and even beyond it. He may not have a shilling. [An HON. MEMBER: "He may have squandered it."] I am not going to discuss the relative morals of different sections of the community. May I put this to the hon. Member who interrupts me? A man may mortgage a property for purposes which he anticipates would benefit himself, and will certainly benefit the community. He may borrow money for what he conceives and hopes to be productive purposes, but he may fail. 1888 He may invest in business, and he may fail. Let us take the case of a man who has failed, or let us take the case of a man who inherits acres which are mortgaged. Is it not a gross absurdity that a heavy tax should be placed upon those who, for anything you know, may be extremely poor? And these are not isolated cases. The magnitude of a man's holding is absolutely no guide whatever to the degree of his wealth.
A millionaire may have a small holding, less than £500, and be exempt from taxation altogether in respect of that holding. Another man next door may have a holding which is over £500, but which is mortgaged up to the extreme limits, yet the millionaire is taxed not in proportion to his wealth, but to what he pays for the land. In other words, your justification of your tax has a bearing on the kind of land a man has and the amount he has paid for it. Then you must justify it, if you can, upon your theory of unearned increment and the action of society I am not going into that argument again. I only suppose, for the sake of argument, it is a sound justification, as it is the only justification ever put forward by the Government, and if this is your justification you cannot exempt small holdings. If, on the other hand, you suddenly reverse your policy, and say, "We will exempt certain land because it is owned by poor people, and include other land because it is possessed by rich people, and make the magnitude of wealth the measure," I say your Bill is an absurdity. The size of a holding has no relation to the size or magnitude of your tax. The small owner may be a millionaire, the other man, the larger owner, may be little better than a pauper, yet you tax them upon principles which are neither intellectual upon original ground nor justifiable on the grounds on which they are going to be justified, in your Sur-tax and increasing Death Duties. It is quite clear the Government have found unexpectantly to themselves that there are a great many more owners of small plots of land than they had any idea or conception of. They have begun to realise that to throw upon these people the cost of valuation in the first and the cost of paying the taxation in the second place would arouse an amount of unpopularity which even the most popular of Governments could hardly be expected to bear. They have discovered, moreover, that the Budget as a whole has so many enemies in the constituencies that it is 1889 their business to make friends where they can. They have tried one election upon the original principles of the Budget. They have not found them very satisfactory. They have other bye-elections going on, and they propose to try the Budget on wholly new principles. I do not know whether that is good electioneering or not, but it is certainly excessively bad finance. It is certainly one of the most amazingly unprincipled things that I think a Government has ever done, to bring forward a tax on the ground that unearned increment was a proper subject of taxation; then to discover that a good many people have unearned increment; and then, in order to conciliate them, to throw your taxes, not upon the rich, but upon those who happen to own larger plots of land than you think the majority of the existing freeholders in this country happen to possess. When the right hon. Gentleman brings forward his new clauses we shall be able to discuss them in detail. In the meantime, I venture to point out to the Committee, with all respect, that the whole principle underlying Clause 1 and Clause 2 of the Bill has been abandoned by the Government, and they have not substituted for them any other proposal which have behind them, so far as I can discover, any principle at all, unless you call it a principle, at the moment when it is extremely desirable to attract as many votes as you can, to throw all the burden of the taxation upon the smaller number of people who may be expected not to have so many votes. That is the only principle I can see behind them. They no longer use words about unearned increment, or the action of society to which land owes its whole value. This very point was impressed upon Mr. Henry George over and over again, and he, although I do not agree with his principle, held with rigid consistency that if you exempt the small owners, or the owners of small portions of land, there was not a single principle left by which you could adopt his peculiar methods to the larger holders. Mr. Henry George realised that. The Government had failed to realise it, and I think the gross inconsistency as well as injustice in which they will be involved will add largely to the ever-growing difficulties' which surround their path in attempting to pass this measure.
§ Sir J. DICKSON-POYNDER
Before making a few observations upon the clause I should like to say a word with regard to the statement made by the Chan- 1890 cellor of the Exchequer. In his desire to meet the appeal made to him from all quarters of the House, the right hon. Gentleman has come down with two alternative proposals to those proposals in the Bill. There has been a general appeal to exclude agricultural land, and it is the fixed determination of the House of Commons that agricultural land, as such, shall be excluded from the purview of the Increment Tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us that land which is higher in value than its value for agricultural purposes shall be taxed as such. I venture to believe that on closer investigation this will be found to be, I am afraid, one of those hurried proposals which are brought upon the Government in this Bill under the weight and burden of exemption and taxation. I do not believe myself that you can discriminate any agricultural land as long as it is being employed for that purpose. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that no agricultural land will come under the increment taxation. I should like to ask him what will be the condition of agricultural land not merely round London and the large provincial towns, but near every single small town throughout the length and breadth of the country. There is not an acre of land round these towns, or even villages, that have not got a value over and above what is, strictly speaking, their agricultural value. Go to any part of the country and you will find if you value land let, perhaps, at £l or £l 10s. or £2 an acre, if sold it will easily bring in something between £300 and £400. That land would not for many years be developed for building purposes, but it has a value over and above its agricultural value due to its prospective building value. This tax is going to affect such land in all the small towns and villages as well as in the large towns throughout the country. This brings me back to my original argument that you cannot include with any justice the Increment Duty on ordinary leases. You can only include it at special times and occasions, and those special occasions are when the land materialises and is being converted to a lease for building purposes. I do not believe that this proposal will bear the weight of discussion in this House, because it must mean that a great deal of agricultural land will come within the tax. We have heard a good deal about small owners, and the Government finds itself in this respect in a some- 1891 what ridiculous and anomalous position. The small owner of land is going to be excluded when the land is shown to be under the value of £500.
§ Sir J. DICKSON-POYNDER
I think it must be the total value, but perhaps some Member of the Government will explain which it is. I will take the case of a small holder whose land is valued at £600, which at 4 per cent. produces £24 a year. You can go through the whole list of owners, and you will find an immense number of people will be hit by this tax. As long as you charge this Increment Tax upon the ordinary lease you have to go into these exemptions, which merely reduces the whole matter to a maze of confusion, and when close investigation has been made great injustice will be shown to many individuals in the country. With regard to the clause itself, I fully admit that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has done his very best to meet the suggestions which have been made in all parts of the House, and he has been generous in the concessions which he has made in the course of the Debates during the past week. The clause which we are going to divide upon does not embody anything like the number of undertakings which have been made in the course of the discussion, and it is a great pity that those undertakings have not been embodied in the draft of the Bill. The concessions which have been made have almost reduced the Increment Tax to the vanishing point.
What have we got left? We have erected alongside this tax a cumbersome and extremely expensive machinery which will not produce revenue, but simply a full catalogue of barren statistics. These Debates have made us almost forget what we are here to discuss and vote for. We are here to vote revenues for the State to meet a very great deficit to the tune of many millions. This tax when brought into operation, far from increasing the revenues of the State, will, by the erection of this costly machinery, create a state of affairs under which I shall not be at all surprised if the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the future has to come down to this House and impose further taxation 1892 to meet the expenditure involved by this scheme. Why do we find ourselves in this unsatisfactory position? The reason is because the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made it his determination to establish a new system of valuation in this Bill, and in order to achieve this the right hon. Gentleman is obliged to erect this universal system of taxation for all those different classes and categories upon whom this Increment Duty will be imposed. I say this with every desire to urge upon the Government before it is too late the necessity of recasting this scheme into something of a practical nature.
I am confident that in dealing with land taxation you can only impose the Increment Duty on two occasions. The first occasion is when the land passes by sale from one owner to another. When it can easily be shown that there is something over and above the actual agricultural value or the capitalised revenue which the owner has enjoyed. Upon the occasion of the sale the difference can easily be taken, and such a tax could be imposed by existing machinery. The second occasion is the time when agricultural land bordering on a town is let upon lease for building purposes. The matter is then a perfectly simple one, because land which was formerly let for agricultural purposes at £2 per acre will probably be producing £30 to £40 per acre for building purposes, and that is a reasonable time for charging an increment tax. That can be done by machinery which exists at the present time. I have tried by Amendments to recast this Bill in that direction, and if I had been successful a reliable revenue would have been procured for the State with a minimum of friction and a minimum expense of collection. Unfortunately, I was not successful, and there still remains in this measure this unfortunate Increment Tax which is being imposed upon general leaseholders, and also at the time of death, which, of course, involves a State valuation.
Is this proposal of a State valuation satisfactory? I believe when the local authorities in the country realise what this scheme means they will take the greatest possible objection to it. It is proposed that four Commissioners shall be appointed, and they are to be dictators in London who will have to appoint the valuers. Now, what does it mean to value a great county or a great town? One single valuer cannot do it, and he will have to provide himself with a large staff of clerks and accessories, and this new 1893 machinery is going to be established in our counties and towns at a time when there has been in existence for centuries a complete system of assessment and valuation throughout the country. The existing system is going to be ignored, and the new one is going to be placed alongside it. I know it would be impossible to include in the Budget Bill a large scheme of reformed assessment and valuation, but I appeal to the Government to withdraw all those proposals which necessitate the setting up of a new system of valuation, and content themselves for revenue purposes by raising their tax upon increment at sale, upon conversion, reversion, on the expiration of leases, all of which can be done by the existing machinery of the Inland Revenue. The whole system of valuation in the country is an overdue reform which must take place with local and Imperial taxation working in harmony. I should like to see the whole of this scheme withdrawn from the Budget Bill, and next year the Government could come down with a well-considered measure for the reform of our valuation system. I am in no way opposed to a valuation upon a capital basis throughout the country, because then you would avoid all this heavy tax upon undeveloped land. I urge the Government to reconsider the situation, and in doing so I am speaking for a very large body of hon. Gentlemen who sit upon the Ministerial side. Many of us look with the deepest apprehension upon this Bill as it lumbers on day by day in the difficult morass in which we find ourselves in the early hours of the morning after a long Debate. This is all due to the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has insisted upon introducing a scheme of valuation in this Bill and has broadened his Increment Duty in order to bring in a lot of categories of land quite unsuited to the purpose. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer will withdraw those unsuitable categories, and confine himself to those occasions when land materialises in its increment, he can easily collect a large sum for the revenues of the State.
§ Mr. J. J. CLANCY
I am desired by the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford (Mr. John Redmond) to express what the Irish party have to say to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this clause. From the very commencement, the Irish party have insisted that agricultural land should be excluded from the operation of this tax, especially in Ireland, because 1894 there is going on in that country a revolution of a most beneficial character, which we think might be stopped and prevented by any burden of this kind being put upon agriculture. We are very glad to learn from the repeated statements of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that it was the intention of the Government to exclude agricultural land from the scope of these taxes. When we looked at the clause in the Bill, I confess we were not quite so reassured as we were when listening to his speeches, and, consequently, at an early stage in the discussion, I expressed the opinion that the proposals in the Bill cut athwart the revolution taking place in Ireland under the Land Purchase Acts. The Chancellor of the Exchequer on that occasion repeated for the second or third time that it was the intention of the Government to exclude agricultural land, and that the fears I had expressed were entirely unfounded. Further discussion ensued, and on Wednesday night last, I must confess, the rejection of the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) was rather disconcerting. I thought the rejection of that Amendment meant that, after all, and notwithstanding everything the Government had said to the contrary, agricultural values were going to be taxed under this Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, however, made another statement which gave hope that he meant what he had said, and that what he said would be carried out. He said the whole question was open, and he would further consider what methods ought to be adopted for carrying out an agreement which, it was evident, had been come to between the various sections of the House. He has produced to-day the particular solution at which he has arrived, and I am instructed, on behalf of my colleagues, that they consider the new clause which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has read out this evening is one which will meet our case. It is even more drastic than has been noticed by either of the right hon. Gentlemen who have just spoken. I would like to call attention to the wording of the clause. "Increment Value Duty shall not be charged in respect of agricultural land providing the land has for other purposes no higher value than the value for agricultural purposes." That means there may be increment value, and yet it would not be taxed. The enactment would be, not that there must be increment, but that the 1895 increment must be larger for building purposes than for agricultural purposes. This is of extreme importance from the point of view of the Irish people.
If I am putting the correct interpretation upon it, it means simply that no agricultural land in Ireland will be taxed unless it is building land. There may be an increment in the value of the land, but that increment must be greater for building purposes than it is for agricultural purposes before there can be any duty assessed. If that be so, I am not alarmed by the remarkable figures given by the hon. Baronet who ha3 just sat down (Sir J. Dickson-Poynder). He imagined the case of a piece of land worth £l per annum per acre, and he assumed that the capital value of it would be £300. That may be the case in England, but I do not know any such case throughout nine-tenths of Ireland. It is an absurd set of figures, and it shows that hon. Members in this House have not that knowledge of Ireland and of Irish conditions which is desirable in anybody speaking upon a measure affecting Ireland. I have myself drawn attention to the fact that it is a familiar practice in fixing the value of land to take into account what is called proximity value. In many cases the value of agricultural land has added to it 50, 60 and 70 per cent. in proportion to its proximity to a town. Those of us who are acquainted with the matter of fixing rents in Ireland and agricultural value know from actual experience that many of these assessments have resulted in crushing burdens being put upon the tenants, and I have no doubt that to pass any enactment which would tax proximity values would double the burdens in the long run on Irish tenants; and, if it involved that, it would be our duty to vote against the clause. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, however, has in the plainest manner stated that it is not intended by these words to tax proximity value. It comes, therefore, to this, that only building land will be taxed, and, for my part, I have no hesitation in saying that for the 24 years I have been in this House I have been in favour of the taxation of such building land, the only difference I and my colleagues intended being that it should go in aid of the local rates. We are now going to get half of it in aid of the local rates, but it is inconceivable that I should be asked to prevent Lord Pembroke, Lord Carysfort, Lord Longford and Lord De Vesci, who have reduced 1896 conditions in Ireland to what they are at present, and have made Unionists and Nationalists alike indignant that they should not have long since been stopped from these predatory operations, and from pocketing the proceeds of their neighbour's enterprise, from being taxed.
We shall certainly vote for this clause, it being clearly understood, as I understand, that proximity value is not being taxed, that agricultural value to any extent is not being taxed, and that the only thing which is being taxed is building value. I have no hesitation whatever in saying I should vote most gladly and heartily for that. The Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to the question of exempting small holdings. I thought the speech of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Balfour) the most amazing deliverance I have listened to for a long time. The demand for the exemption of small holdings came from above the Gangway on this side of the House. The right hon. Gentleman is understood to lead the party above the Gangway on this side of the house. I do not know whether he does or not. He made an ingenuous speech, the substantial effect of which is that it is impossible to devise a scheme to exempt small holdings at all. His reason for thinking you could not exempt them was that you could not separate the small holders from the large ones. He was able, as he always is, to give very effective illustrations of his assertions. There is no doubt, whatever language you take, you will find cases on one side which ought to be on the other, but you must try and lay down some rule. Wherever you draw the line, you will find some hard cases. It seems to me an extraordinary thing to ask on what principle this could be justified in face of the fact that you do it in assessing the Income Tax. Every man who has not an income of £160 a year is exempted absolutely from the Income Tax. It is too late in the day to argue whether you can have an exemption or not or whether you can have a dividing line. It is done, and the only question is whether or not another limit ought to be enacted. I am not prepared to say at the present moment whether the limit selected is too low. I should like to consider the question. The matter has only been mentioned in the course of this Debate, and, of course, it is a very difficult matter, involving not merely questions of law, but also questions of facts and figures. We ought to have an oppor- 1897 tunity of considering whether or not another limit ought to be chosen. We want to see whether the words of the clause meet our case, and it is for English Members on both sides of the House to see whether they meet their case. But with the principle of exempting small holdings we are entirely in favour, and if this scheme be carried out we consider that our case will be substantially met, because, if I understand the two proposals which have been made, the exemption of small holders will free nine-tenths of all holders of agricultural land in Ireland from all land taxation; and, as for the remainder, they will be protected, in my opinion. Only building land is to be taxed. Agricultural values will not be taxed at all, and amongst these agricultural values is proximity to a market or town. Under these circumstances we intend to vote for the clause. It remains to be seen whether or not, if this clause is inserted, some alteration will have to be made in the wording. I have not had time to examine it, and there may be some inconsistency between the words of the new clause and the provisions of Clause 2 which we are now considering. I have no doubt, however, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will make it plain that nothing shall be put into this Clause 2 which will take away the effect of the new clause of which he has given notice to-day.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
The speech to which we have just listened is an excellent example of the kind of confusion into which this House has been thrown by the conundrum put before it this afternoon by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The hon. Gentleman practically abandons all the principles which he has hitherto advocated providing that the part of the country he represents is freed from this burden. Let me say a word or two in reference to his observations as to the exemption of small land-owners. He said that we on this side had no right to criticise the proposals of the Government in that respect, because we had asked for the exemption of small land-owners. I do not think that that is quite an accurate statement of what has occurred. What has been constantly said on these benches is that it will be a very great hardship on the small land-owner to have to pay this tax. But I think we have all recognised that, if the principle is good for anything, it must apply equally to small and big land-owners, and that the principle of valuation cannot be split up according to the number of acres a man may happen 1898 to own. In reference to this clause the hon. Member was strikingly inconsistent. He was very grateful to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for having granted the demand that agricultural land should be excluded from this tax, although its value was a proximity value, and not due to social value. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that in dealing with agricultural land, and agricultural land only, you are not to have regard to social value, or to the value created by the community, and as long as it is used for the purposes of agriculture that principle does not apply. The hon. Member expressly thanked the right hon. Gentleman for disregarding what he called proximity value. That was because those whom he represents are more interested in agricultural land with a proximity value than in urban land with a similar value.
§ Mr. CLANCY
I dealt with agricultural value. The value which these gentlemen have appropriated to themselves is building land value near to the towns.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
Is there any distinction between a market garden which owes its prosperity and the value of the land to its neighbourhood to large markets like London or Dublin, and land which owes its value—its building value—to the same reasons. These are instances of "proximity value." I think that is an excellent phrase. In my opinion, there is no distinction at all. There is a distinction between the purposes to which the land is applied, but there is no distinction between the causes which bring about the value of the land. Much has been said about the importance of excluding agricultural land. Of course, I think that all land should be excluded from this Bill. I am glad that small holders are excluded. I only wish that large landholders were also exempt. But the provisions of the clause announced by the Government today are absolutely inconsistent with any kind of principle which can possibly be defended. There is another point which arises in reference to the proposed agricultural land clause. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that this clause will free the agricultural landowners from the worries of valuation. I cannot imagine why he said that. If you take the case of a field deep in the country, miles away from any habitation, then it may well be that it does not much matter what value you put upon the land, because for many years to come it is likely to be used for 1899 agriculture only. But there are enormous tracts in this country which will certainly come into use for other than agricultural purposes before very long, and in all these cases you must have the whole apparatus for valuation ready to put into operation. From time to time whenever a change of ownership takes place, or when any occasion arises for a fresh valuation you will have a much more difficult and elaborate valuation to make. First, you will have to value the land for agricultural purposes; then you will have to certify or conceive what other purposes it can possibly be put to, and if you can find a purpose to which it can be put other than agriculture, which is more valuable for employing the land, then this exemption will come in. You will, in fact, have a much more elaborate valuation in a large number of cases than before, and there certainly will be no simplification. That brings me to the great point which has already been made several times, I am afraid, and that is, the enormous difficulty of the valuations which are provided for by this Bill. There are not only the different kinds of land to be dealt with, but there are different kinds of ownership, all involving considerable difficulty. There is the freeholder, the building owner, and the tenant. They will all have different interests, and will require to be heard before the valuer. They will all have different objects in view, and they will complicate the valuation in many ways. There are other enormous difficulties; there is the one which will arise from the use of the words "permanent works." No one knows what constitutes a permanent work. From one point of view nothing is permanent; from another point of view anything which lasts over 30 years may be considered permanent. How the unhappy valuer is going to distinguish between them, I confess I do not know. Then there is provision with regard to the work executed on behalf of the owner or of any person interested in the land. No one knows what that means. Take the case of gas pipes laid by the gas company, or water pipes put down by the water company. Is that expense executed on behalf of the owner? Is it not rather on behalf of the company? Undoubtedly one would expect it to be included among the deductions. But I will not labour this point.
I wish to press upon the Committee that all this gigantic elaboration of valuation means expense. We have a right to complain that the Government have absolutely 1900 declined to give us the slightest assistance in arriving at an estimate of what that expense will be. I cannot understand why. The Government must have formed some estimate; it is quite incredible that even a Radical Government would come down to this House and propose a gigantic scheme to be put in force without having formed some idea of what it is going to cost. Why do they not communicate it to the House? It can only be because they are afraid if they do give the figures they will terrify their own supporters. It may be that they are advised that the cost of the valuation is going to be a very serious item. Still, I think we should have some estimate from the Government. There have been estimates advanced on the part of the opponents, but they have been very vague, ranging between 10 millions and 40 millions sterling. I will take the lowest estimate—10 millions. The Government are going to put a charge of 10 millions upon a certain class of tax-payers in this country; that is what it means. What are they going to get out of it? The original estimate of the Government was that, in this year, it would produce £50,000. Half of that they have given away to the local authorities; that leaves them £25,000. They now announce that they are not going to bring in the small land-owner, and that they are not going to apply it to agricultural land or to small increments. In passing, I should like to say we ought to have some statement as to what is the exact effect of the Amendment in regard to that. It is impossible for a private Member to make any estimate at all of the diminutions these exemptions mean. We have asked for an estimate, but it has been refused. The Government do refuse these things, because they know that they can trample on their own majority as much as they like, and, naturally, they are not very much afraid of the minority. Still, they have refused to give us an estimate. I should be very much surprised if, when all these diminutions are worked out, this tax will bring in to the Exchequer more than £10,000. This is the proposition submitted to this House of Commons which is considering the finances of the year. In order to get that £10,000, we are asked to enact a clause which will involve a scheme of valuation that will cost, at the lowest estimate put before us, 10 millions sterling.
I ask any hon. Member to consider whether that is a reasonable, business proposition. Then, we are told by the Prime 1901 Minister, in his speeches throughout the country, "Oh, it is no use talking to us about the unfairness of this or that hard case. We have got to get the money. We have got to build 'Dreadnoughts' and to give old age pensions, and we want all the money we can get, and we are going to spend ten million pounds in order to get ten thousand." That is the defence which the Government makes as far as the revenue is concerned. With regard to other defences that are made to these proposals, they are rather kaleidoscopic. There is the windfall theory, but undoubtedly this tax is not going to be levied upon it, nor is it going to be levied on great acquisitions of wealth, but on all sorts of things beyond that. I am not going to repeat the argument about the dealer in land. The argument is very clear, and it is that you should, having got men engaged in a particular commercial transaction, tax them 20 per cent, on their incomes, while you are going to tax everybody else less than 5 per cent. We have put that point over and over again to the Government, but have not got a single syllable of reply to it. There is not a single sentence of an answer which the Government or any Member of the Government has made to that case, which has been pressed upon them by the hon. Member for Preston and by other hon. Members on this side of the House. The only answer that has been given has been made by the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald). His reply is coherent, though I think it myself is in the highest degree inconclusive, and it is that it is so wicked to be the owner of land or a dealer in land that you are entitled to take as much as you like from the pockets of a gentleman who is in that position. He is, it is said, a kind of enemy of the human race, and is entitled to no consideration whatever. That, however, again, is not part of the announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, therefore, no kind of reply has really been offered.
There is another gross injustice which has never been dealt with at all by the Government. They say that they propose to tax increment, and they propose to levy this Valuation Duty—because it really is a Valuation Duty if you impose this gigantic expenditure upon all those who have to make the valuation. The Government impose this burden, moreover, not only on the people who are going to pay the tax, but on an 1902 immense number of people who are not going to pay the tax, including the owners of agricultural land, who were expressly freed this afternoon. How can that be justice? How is it possible in a Finance Bill to justify the creation of a system of valuation evidently not for the purpose of taxing but merely for some ulterior purpose, which is not disclosed? And, be it remembered, all this arises upon the finance of a year, when by the admission of all we have got to raise every penny we can. We have a deficit of 16 millions, and we have to get money for that, and the Government propose, in addition to that 16 millions, to impose for no purpose of revenue what would be an additional tax of 10 millions, which will bring in to the Exchequer £10,000, and they propose for another tax a payment of £100,000. I call that positively ludicrous finance, and one is forced to ask why is this done? Is it finance at all? Is this really a Finance Bill—I am talking of the land clauses—is this really a Finance Bill at all, or is it merely a Valuation Bill in disguise? I confess I have some difficulty in answering that question, but there is a passage in a recent speech of the Prime Minister which makes me think it may be a Valuation Bill in disguise, even in the intention of the Government. The Prime Minister made a speech about a week ago, in which he was dealing with some random talk or rash phrases, about the action of the House of Lords, and said:—All this random talk betrays, to my mind, an uneasy consciousness and an uncomfortable apprehension: an uneasy consciousness that this class of land is at the present moment very much undervalued, and an uncomfortable apprehension that if it ever comes to be valued for these taxes at its true market value that valuation may possibly be taken advantage of for some other purpose.Is that really the foundation of the Government policy? Is it the object of the Government and the party opposite to use the Finance Bill in order to pass a Valuation Bill which may be used for some other purpose? At the same gathering, I think it was the National Liberal Federation, there was a speech made by the hon. Member for North Carnarvon (Mr. William Jones), who said:—There was only one way of carrying into effect the popular cause, and that was the establishment beyond dispute of the supremacy of the House of Commons. For that purpose the veto must go. As an emissary of the Budget League he urged them to focus their energies on the Budget, which was a two-power lever to raise democratic finance and undermine the influence of the Lords.I wish very respectfully to ask whether that is the policy of the Government? I think both the expressions of the Prime 1903 Minister and of the hon. Member are a little obscure, but I think I understand what the hon. Member for Carnarvon, at any rate, means by the phrases which he used. He means this: We will pass a Valuation Bill in our Finance Bill. We will then send it to the House of Lords. If the House of Lords rejects it, we shall go to the country and say, This is a great invasion of the liberties of the House of Commons, and a great aggression on the part of the hereditary Chamber; but if, on the other hand, the House of Lords passes it, it will be a valuable precedent, and can be applied to a great number of other purposes. That is what I understand the hon. Member for North Carnarvon to mean, but is that what the Government mean?
Is this part of the Government campaign against the House of Lords or not? Is it a Finance Bill or is it a political manœuvre? Do they desire to use this Bill to enforce a conflict on a constitutional question? I very earnestly ask, not the Government this time but hon. Members opposite—the hon. Members of a moderate turn of mind, and, I believe, there are very many of them—whether that is the kind of policy of adventure into which they desire to go? Let me press upon them this consideration. What would be the results of the policy? It means, I will not say a constitutional revolution, because that may be an exaggeration, but it does mean a very grave constitutional change, whatever the result. If you succeed in goading the House of Lords into throwing out the Budget Bill—if you succeed in that policy, and you fail in the constituencies, you will have at any rate started a precedent, which may be of large importance, of enormous importance, in the future relations of the two Houses, and not to the great advantage of this House. ["Question."] It is eminently, I venture to submit, germane to the question of the clause, as this is the first time that we have had an opportunity of discussing the kernel of valuation. If, on the other hand, the House of Lords submits, and you beat them, then it means a material difference in the position of the House of Lords, and it means a great constitutional change, whichever way you take it. I do think it is time that every Member of this House should realise what they are being led up to by a Government, or by certain Ministers, who are absolutely regardless of con- 1904 stitutional considerations. The question is, whether you are going to try to utilise a Bill for raising the revenue of the country for this year, in order to force a constitutional conflict upon the country, which, I fervently believe, they have not the least desire to enter into.
§ Mr. E. J. SOARES
I do not propose to follow the Noble Lord into the very interesting constitutional question which he has just raised, because, after all, we are not dealing with the whole Bill, as we are only dealing; with Clause 2, but we shall be quite prepared to deal with these constitutional questions when they arise. In the meantime, the hon. Member can rest assured that we are not afraid either of the constituencies or of the House of Lords. I must honestly say that I am astounded at the attitude which hon. Gentlemen opposite have adopted this afternoon. Two very important concessions have been made by the Chancellor. He has excluded agricultural land and has excluded small holdings. Day after day, night after night, the exclusion of agricultural land has been pleaded for, from those benches opposite, by almost every right hon. and hon. Gentleman who has spoken on the other side of the House, and yet, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer gets up this afternoon and proves conclusively that he intends to keep the pledges which he has given before, there is not a word of thanks from hon. or right hon. Gentlemen opposite. Then again, in regard to small holdings, we have heard the woes and sorrows of the small holder pleaded from that side of the House. They have been full of sympathy with the small holder, until he is excluded from the Bill. When he is excluded we are told at once by the Leader of the Opposition that it is altogether against the scheme of our Bill, but it is not against it, because the scheme of this measure is the taxation of wealth and luxury, and therefore the exclusion of the small holder is quite in consonance with the scheme of this Bill.
As the hon. Gentleman refers to me, may I point out that the omission of the small holder has nothing to do with the difference between wealth and poverty.
§ Mr. SOARES
I must say I do not agree with the right hon. Gentleman in that contention. In my humble opinion, I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer has kept the pledges which he and other Members of 1905 the Government have made with regard to the exclusion of agricultural land, and I am quite satisfied with the clause, which the right hon. Gentleman has promised to put on the Paper in the course of a few days. The Leader of the Opposition gave some criticisms of that clause—and I do not wonder, because at first sight I admit the clause needs a certain amount of consideration—and he alluded to the case of a farm having a certain amount of residential value. We all know that there are many such farms where there is beautiful scenery and in other ways there are many farms which have a residential value. The clause says:—"Increment Value Duty shall not be charged in respect of agricultural land while the land has for other purposes no higher value than its value for agricultural purposes." From that it follows that if it is of more value as a farm than it is as a residence it will not have to pay any Increment Duty at all. The same remark applies also to the criticism which the Leader of the Opposition gave in respect to sporting rights. After the statement which the Chancellor of (the Exchequer has made this afternoon no one can deny that this is a great boon to the agricultural community. Agriculture is absolutely excluded from all these taxes. There can be no shadow of a doubt about that, and we get the Agricultural Development Grant, we get half the money derived from these taxes in reduction of the rates, and we get the improvement of the roads. These are great benefits indeed to agriculture, and the agricultural community recognise it. They believed that the Government were going to keep their pledges with regard to agricultural land. The Government have fulfilled their pledges, and they have received no thanks from hon. Gentlemen opposite, but the agricultural community have never doubted them. The best test of that is what is the opinion of people who are purchasing farms to-day. I have an account of the estate market taken from the "Standard" of last Saturday week. They say:—The succession of good sales under the hammer at the Mart during the past week or two has imported an air of cheerfulness to the precincts of Tokenhouse Yard to which that afflicted region has long been a stranger. It would appear as if investors, disregarding the perils with-which property is threatened are taking full advantage of current prices, assisted thereto by the present ease in money rates. In the country there is much more activity in the property market, while in the offices a deal of private treaty sales are taking place. It must. not be overlooked, however, that the season is at its height, and fixtures unusually numerous. To an extent, therefore, the good business now taking place must be viewed in conjunction with these circumstances and judged accordingly. Taken altogether the 1906 transactions in real estate just now are decidedly favourable, and to the investor are of a profitable character.Let us see what some of these investments are which to the investor are of a profitable character. There were some Essex farms put up. The first lot, 148 acres, known as Carter's Farm, with good house and the usual buildings, realised £1,900. The rent is £60 5s., that is over 30 years' purchase, and good business for the investor according to the "Standard." The second lot consisted of a freehold occupation farm with the usual premises, area 103 acres, let at £40, and realised £l,450, that is 36 years' purchase, and good business for the investor according to the "Standard."
§ Mr. SOARES
Landlords generally get the highest rent they can. There is another farm of nearly 207 acres with a fairly good house, let at £100 and sold for £3,250, besides £120 for timber, that is 32½ years' purchase. When you consider these facts you must come to the conclusion that the people who are investing in agricultural land look upon this Budget as good business. Now that the pledge of the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been put in clear and explicit terms, and will appear in the Bill, I believe agricultural Members, on whichever side they sit, ought to thank the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ Mr. E. G. PRETYMAN
The hon. Member represents an agricultural constituency and he has repeated what he told us a few days ago that this was good business for agriculturists, and that the agriculturists thought so, especially in his constituency, but he omitted, in giving the opinion of the agriculturists, to read a resolution which was passed a few days ago in his own constituency by a large gathering of farmers, and which I believe was sent to him. It read as follows:—That this public meeting of the men of Braunton, tenant farmers and others interested in the land, held in the largest agricultural parish in the North-West Division of Devonshire, hereby repudiate the statement made by Mr. Soares that we have expressed warm enthusiasm for the Budget Resolutions.
§ Mr. SOARES
That was an out-of-door meeting addressed by a peripatetic Tariff Reformer, one of those gentlemen you pay so much a night to, and the chair was taken by a paid agent. So far as I am aware there was not a single tenant farmer present. To call that an agricultural meeting is absurd.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Of course, I must accept the meeting as the resolution described it. It is for the hon. Member to communicate with his constituents to discover whether his account or that of the meeting itself is the more accurate. I have no doubt he will be able to settle that with his constituents, and there will be another way in which he will have to settle with the tenant farmers of Devonshire, perhaps before very long. My experience of the feeling of the agricultural interest is very much more in accordance with the terms of the resolution than that expressed by the hon. Member himself. The agricultural interest has been very much alarmed by these proposals, and I cannot help traversing, in all kindness, the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he has never intended to tax agricultural land. How can he reconcile that with the last part of the clause as introduced where it distinctly states that in the case of agricultural land, the value of which is solely due to its value for agricultural purposes, certain exemptions shall be made, thereby implying that a tax is to be imposed upon them. You cannot get away from it. The exemptions could not amount to total exemptions, and in some cases would be no exemption at all.
I proposed an Amendment which stated definitely that where land was used for agricultural purposes it should be exempt. The right hon. Gentleman refused to accept the Amendment on the ground that there was a kind of agricultural value which he called "accommodation value," or which was due to its proximity to a town, which he most strongly held ought to be taxed. He has now absolutely abandoned that position. He said he objected to my words because they would include that particular kind of land in the exemption. The words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's own proposal are exactly similar in that respect, and he has admitted it. The only ground for the refusal of that exemption has been definitely abandoned. It would have been a little more candid if the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted what everyone knows to be the fact, that his views have undergone considerable modification as the result of the discussions in this House, but he obviously intended to include all land within the purview of the Increment Value Duty, and as these discussions proceeded, and as a consensus of opinion has been displayed on both sides of the House that agricultural land cannot, and should not be included, he has gradually brought himself, 1908 rather late in the day, and after a great deal of time has been wasted, to the conclusion that agricultural land must be exempted. He has refused the words which would have done it in. accordance with the principles of the Bill, and he has now introduced other words which are going to create new difficulties, which again will have to be met. I understand the Chancellor of the Exchequer to say that the owners of all agricultural land are to send in a valuation, just as they were to do before, and it will have to be a valuation for site value as well as for capital value, therefore, they will have I presume the original site value fixed which will be a very low site value indeed, and if at some future time that land obtains a building value the comparison will be with the very low original site value which now has to be fixed. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why very low?"] Because I am speaking of poor agricultural land. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted only a few minutes ago that this site value of agricultural land would in many cases be almost nothing. Is not that very low? My proposal was that where there was agricultural value the land should be exempt to that extent only. That would not have altered the general principle of the Bill at all. What the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes now is that agricultural land, although to be untaxed, is to have its site value fixed as from 30th April last. He has also admitted that that site value is in many cases a negligible quantity. Therefore you are going to start with a site value of very little indeed. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that that was a good ground for abandoning it, because in many cases the buildings were worth nearly as much as the land.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I never said the site value of land was a negligible quantity. There is a great difference between that and saying that the site value on some land was not equal to the value of the building.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I should have thought it was a stronger statement, because he said that the value of the land in many cases was not equal to the value of the buildings, and that the value is to be arrived at by taking the buildings from the land. The difference between us is this: The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that it is less than nothing, and I say that it is a negligible quantity. The Committee may take their choice between the two.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
Surely the hon. and gallant Gentleman does not mean what he says, or at least he cannot have reflected upon it. His statement is that you deduct the value of the buildings from the land. You deduct the value of the buildings from the total value, and that is a very different thing.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
The total value of the unit is less than its original capital value. Certainly the buildings have cost in innumerable cases an amount exceeding the present capital value of the land. That is known to every agriculturist, and, therefore, in that case the site value will either be nothing or a negligible quantity. That means that under this proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer we shall have a site value fixed which will be in many cases—and those cases include the poorest land—a negligible quantity, and that is to be the point of departure as original site value for the calculation of future value. We contend that that is an unfair point of departure. I do not argue this point now beyond pointing out that it is a matter for amendment at a future stage, or before the clause finds its way on to the Statute Book. It will have to be dealt with. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he introduced the words which he said he did not wish to be pinned to, stated that he would be prepared to strengthen them, and it is from that point of view that I put this forward. They will require to be strengthened in order to make the matter perfectly clear. We cannot too often remember that expressions of intention on the part of the Government in this House are of no value whatever to the subject afterwards when the words in an Act come to be interpreted by the courts which have to give effect to them. It is necessary that the referee, or the Commissioners, or, as we hope eventually, the court will have to interpret these words. Even now there is an appeal to the court on points of law when the referee decides to state a case, and, therefore, I think there is an ambiguity which has been obvious in this discussion. There was a difference of opinion between the Leader of the Opposition and hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House, and the hon. Member who spoke below the Gangway, as to the exact meaning of the words as to land being of no higher value than for agricultural purposes. I think these words will have to be made clear, because there are two interpretations which can be put upon them. Which of the meanings is to be attached to the words is not clear. I think it is obvious 1910 that the Chancellor of the Exchequer meant that there should be a value independent of the agricultural value before the tax is leviable. The words would not include sporting, of course. I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer means that they would include increment arising from iudustrial or business purposes. Then we come to the question of the exemption of the small holder. A question was asked while the Chancellor of the Exchequer was out of the House, and none of his colleagues were able to reply to it. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will now tell us whether the £500 limit of value is total value or site value.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Then the £500 limit is the value of the composite subject of land and buildings, the owner occupying. That reduces the concession to a very much smaller proportion. So far as both these exemptions are concerned, I am personally very glad to see that the agricultural interests and the small holder are exempted. Everyone on this side of the House has genuinely appealed for their exemption, because we thought and felt that both of those interests were going to be most hardly hit and seriously affected by this clause of the Bill. I am very glad that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has admitted that the exemption of both these classes is due to the appeals made from this side of the House. That is an admission of which the country will take note. But because you have succeeded in pulling two people out of the fire that is no reason why you should not try to pull other people out as well. We object to the whole of this principle, and we have been for three weeks or more on Clause 2 pointing out its absurdities and its defects. I cannot help thinking that when the commander of a ship begins to jettison the cargo it will not be very long before he abandons the ship altogether. What I want to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer is: What is now left to justify our continuing to spend laborious days and nights in discussing these proposals of which an immense proportion have already been thrown overboard on the first two clauses? We hear constant rumours and suggestions that more is going to be thrown overboard at a later stage. If there is one thing that justifies the time which the Committee have given to the Debates from our side, though it does not justify the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it is the fact that, as a, result of these 1911 discussions and the disclosure of the weak points we have shown in this measure, these exemptions and concessions have been made. I think it would have been far better for everybody in and out of this House if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had considered all these difficulties before he introduced the Bill. What we feel now is that it is absurd that the whole agricultural industry and that the whole of the small holders and everybody in the country should be forced to send in valuation after valuation at their own expense, when probably, with these exemptions included in the Bill, three out of four of the persons will be subject to no tax whatever. What justification is there for including a proposal like this in the Finance Bill at all? What has it to do with finance? The Finance Bill is for the year, and the taxes to be raised for the year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is certainly entitled, in considering a particular tax, to look at its effect in future years as well as in this year, but he is not entitled to include in the Finance Bill of this year a proposal to inflict a valuation upon an enormous number of persons who are not to be subject to any new tax whatever in this year. We ought to get some information from the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to whether his object is to tax them at all in the future. That seems to me to be rather an important point. If he is not going to tax them at all there can be no possible excuse, either now or in the future, for putting them to the expense and trouble of this valuation. If he is going to tax them in the future, what is the value of those concessions given to-day, when it only means that the Government are going to let them off for the present, but that they will be taxed next year, or the year after, perhaps, in a form more onerous and troublesome than the proposals made in the Bill. We are glad to see these concessions, so far as they go, because they will remove anxiety and fear from the minds of Chose particular people, but so far from justifying the tax itself it does exactly the opposite. What has been done so far strengthens the case of those not exempted. It will strengthen the Opposition in continuing to oppose the taxes as they have done ever since the Committee stage of the Bill commenced.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Masterman)
The Debate having ranged over rather a 1912 wide field, including the possible action of the House of Lords and the Tariff Reform meetings in the country, I may be forgiven if I confine my remarks specifically to one or two points strictly relevant to the clause, and the announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We all welcome much of the tone of the speech of the hon. and gallant Member opposite (Mr. Pretyman) as to the particular concessions. I think he is wrong when he speaks of these being the jettisoning of the cargo, as I hope to show. I think the Leader of the Opposition was wrong—though no doubt these are the points which are made across the floor of the House—in associating any of those so-called concessions with electioneering movements in the House or the country. I am dealing with facts which the hon. and gallant Member (Mr. Pretyman) is not familiar with as to the way in which these so-called concessions have been discussed during the past few weeks, and even months. There has never been any doubt at all from any declaration made either by the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Prime Minister from the day the Bill was introduced that purely agricultural increment was going to be exempted from this Increment Tax. It was announced on the first clause on the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Chaplin). It was announced again and again in the discussions on the second clause. Various alternatives were suggested. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that he thought agricultural increment was exempted by the last part of the first section of the second clause of the Bill, but he said that if it was shown that it was not fully exempted he would be willing to listen to any other suggestion for it3 exemption.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Then I do not need to amplify the point. The Leader of the Opposition is in agreement with us on that point. One or two suggestions were made to make clear to the Committee the exact meaning of the new clause. The original suggestion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer exempted increment value in agricultural land for all practical purposes in the immediate future. The new clause he has now suggested exempts agricultural increment at all times, unless this House desires to make a modification. Any increase that may be due to good farming, any increase of agricultural value that may be due to agricultural discovery; or new methods which are going to be of ad- 1913 vantage to agricultural land, any increase—as was put very fully before the Committee in the speech of the hon. Member for Waterford—which may be caused by land hunger, by people competing for agricultural holdings—all that is henceforth exempted from the tax altogether. The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Mr. Pretyman) gave us a challenge when he sat down. He asked is our object to tax this in the future, and, if not, what is the use of valuation? Our object is not to tax this at all, as far as the Government is concerned; but our object is to impose an Increment Tax if and whenever any portion of the land of this country has an increased value for other purposes than its purely agricultural value. It is quite impossible to tell where that might happen. It might happen in any part of the country at any time. Flourishing towns have now grown up with an enormous building value which a few years ago were merely open country. There are hundreds of examples. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has mentioned again and again the opening of a mine in the neighbourhood, where immediately you get a great building value created in what is a purely agricultural country, and therefore it is necessary to have a normal standard of site value even if that normal standard in many cases may not be used for many years or may never be used at all.
The other point to which I wish to refer is the question of revenue. The Noble Lord (Lord Robert Cecil), in his usual eloquent fashion, made a considerable point that owing to the various concessions we were making and to the small amount suggested in our first year there would be little revenue raised by this tax; and I think he implied not only little revenue this year, but that the Committee were being asked "to scorn delights and live laborious days," and even nights, in order to produce a tax which would never yield an appreciable revenue at all. That is not the statement of the hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. A. J. Balfour), who stated that we were definitely imposing a very substantial burden not of valuation, but of payment upon men who might perhaps be poor men and not of necessity rich men. But the idea that in imposing any tax we have to consider merely the amount of tax which will be raised this year is an idea altogether alien to the politics of this country. I could mention two examples which have been used again and again in public debates. The first is the Succes- 1914 sion Duties, which were passed by Mr. Gladstone in 1853, when no revenue was raised for the year at all; and the second is the Finance Bill in 1894, when Sir William Harcourt definitely stated that only three-quarters of a million would be raised during the year; and Lord Goschen made exactly the same argument which has been used by the Noble Lord: "What on earth is the use of making all this bother and disturbance and loss of quiet for raising just a few hundreds of national revenue?" Yet those duties are now raising something like £20,000,000. Any hon. Gentleman who will just turn his mind back to the past week, and bear in mind every kind of exemption which we have given or which is likely to be given, and consider what will be the revenue to-day if the tax had been imposed 20 or 10 or even five years ago, will not say we are demanding too much from this Committee in asking them to sit day and night in order that this tax may be imposed. Just outside my Constituency there is now a population of 500,000 in what were green fields less than 10 years ago, in which building value has not only doubled but has gone up 10 or 12 times the value that it used to be. And in many parts of England that process is going on month after month, and in this way there would be some appreciable revenue from this tax even this year.
And now a word in reference to the small freeholder. I have a perfect right to say that from the very beginning of the compilation of this Budget the position of the small freeholder, especially in the town where he is the owner of his own house and the land on which it is and nothing more, has been under the full consideration of the Government. They have not only recognised, but legislation has recognised, that he is in a different position under those circumstances from the general owner outside. It is recognised in the Inhabited House Duty, where he is given a definite exemption. It is recognised in the scheme which the Chancellor has suggested might be taken as a scheme to be applied to this exemption, the scheme in the Housing of the Working Classes Act. There is £40,000 in the case of London, £26,000 in the case of the big towns, and £16,000 in the case of the smaller towns, in the diminishing scale, in order to cut off property in the occupation of working people, and therefore demanding special privileges on account of the fact that you are dealing with a specially poor population, from property which is 1915 not in such possession. It has been urged that our proposals disturb the symmetry of our system of Income Tax. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition is perfectly correct in that. Every concession we have given disturbs the symmetry of the Income Tax. You cannot give a concession to a special class or to special hardships in dealing with a general principle without disturbing in some respects that symmetry. That we freely acknowledge. But that is not any reason for not giving the concession. The exemption of incomes under £150 a year disturbs the symmetry of the tax, and no one in practical politics will suggest that that exemption should be altered, except the hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Harold Cox). We believe that these two boons which have been given will not only remove considerable apprehension which have been felt by people of small possessions which we desire to remove in connection with this tax, but will also be a real benefit to those people when the time comes when these taxes are applied. It has been said that they are devised as an electioneering movement. I do not think I need argue that. It is also said it is a question that must be dealt with on its merits. It is on the merits that we are offering both the Amendments, and that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will justify them when the House comes to deal with this Amendment.
§ Mr. HAROLD COX
The hon. Member who has just sat down said that these concessions disturbed the symmetry of the Increment Tax. They not only disturb the symmetry of the tax but they deprive it of the whole moral basis which has been put forward to the country. We have been told it is justifiable to tax unearned increment because it is something the owner gets apart from his own exertions. Does not that apply to agricultural land? If the price of corn goes up the price of corn land goes up. Is that due to the action of the land-owner? He has not earned this increased price of corn. On the contrary, he gets this increment, I might almost say, out of the stomachs of his fellow citizens. He is taxing them. He is allowed to get this large increment out of something which the country feels more than anything else—an increase in the price of its most important article of food. Yet we are told he is to be exempt. Now take the contrary case. A man owns a piece of agricultural land which was poor agricultural land. He turns it into build- 1916 ing land at his own expense by making roads and sewers, and immediately he is to be taxed on the revenue that arises. I know what the Prime Minister said the other day at the Holborn Restaurant, that nobody was to be taxed except on something which was produced by the energy of the community, and not by his own enterprise, activity, or expenditure. But there are no words in the Bill to safeguard a landowner who will do this. There is nothing in the Bill to prevent a man who has gone to the whole expense of laying out a building estate being charged on the whole of what he himself has created. We had the case the other day of a man who has made the land valuable in front and has added to the value of the back land, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer refused to give him any concession.
That is the first point which knocks over the moral basis of the tax. The second case is more remarkable. An owner occupying land worth less than £500 is to be exempt. That means that if a man is so rich that he can afford to give himself a small house on his small holding and give himself a residence there he will be exempt from tax, but if he is not rich enough for that, if he is obliged to let his land, then he must pay the tax. The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken took the case of the Income Tax, and said that no tax is charged on incomes lower than £l60 a year. I personally think that it ought to go lower. But why do we make that exemption? We make it because we argue that people with less than a certain income ought not to pay any tax at all, and we leave that margin for the necessities of life. If we go beyond £160 we carefully graduate the tax, so that a man with £170 pays very little, and a man with £180 pays a little more, and so on. But in this tax there is nothing of the kind. If a man owns a piece of land which rises from £400 to £500 he will pay nothing; but suppose the land rises from £500 to £600, then he pays £20. Is that fair, that a man who has a piece of land worth £600 should pay while the man who has a piece of land worth £500 pays nothing at all? Is that a reasonable system of graduation? and then again in reference to my point about a moral basis: if there is something unfair to the community in a man getting an increment of land value, that unfairness exists on land below £500, as well as on land above £500. If it is a crime to make a profit on his land which is worth less 1917 than £500, it is equally a crime to make his profit on land which is worth more than £500. The Chancellor of the Exchequer never attempted to touch the question of the expense of valuation. He is committing this country to a vast expenditure, of which no estimate has been given. I would like to draw the attention of the Committee to the contrast between his action in this matter and the action of his colleague the President of the Board of Trade in reference to the Labour Exchanges Bill, in giving a careful estimate of what the proposals were going to cost not only this year but in future years. Why do we not get a similar estimate from the Chancellor of the Exchequer? It is surely within his capacity to give us, at any rate, a vague estimate of what it is going to cost. But I would like to ask him some questions. Has he himself any conception of the site value of the House which he himself occupies? Can he get up in this House and tell us within £100 what that site is worth? How is he going to work to ascertain, and how is the nation going to work to ascertain? It is evident that it is not only the cost of this valuation to the individual landowner, there is also the cost to the nation itself to check the valuation of the landowner. It must be checked. You cannot say to the landowner, "Value the land as you like, and we will accept your valuation." That is our of the question. If you did that many landowners, anticipating a rise, would forestall that rise, and when it came there would be no tax to pay. You must have a State valuation as well as a private valuation. I want to know what it is to cost. I have made inquiries of many valuers, and of people who employ valuers, which is perhaps more important. They tell me that to value the site of a moderately large house costs about ten guineas, and in the country less, perhaps a couple of guineas or a guinea. In the case of a street the valuers would take the average, and they would do the work for very much less. But putting it as low as you can, I would like to know what is the Chancellor of the Exchequer's estimate as to the cost of valuing a site. If he takes it upon the basis of the whole country, the cost of valuation will be 10s. apiece. I am assured that is the very lowest it could possibly be put at. Ten shillings for every site, taking the large and the small together, would be 10s. apiece. Is the Chancellor of the Exchequer aware that there are 10,000,000 houses in this country, which makes £5,000,000 to begin with? 1918 Then to come to agricultural land. You have to value not only the farm as a whole, but separate fields and separate portions of fields, because the portion of a field which is next the high road will be more valuable than the portion of land at the back. There must be separate valuations, and to make these valuations there must be clerks employed, there must be a record of the valuations, and when all that is done the cost will not be £5,000,000, but £25,000,000 or £30,000,000. And what are we going to get out of this-tax? The Noble Lord opposite said we were going to get £10,000 this year. I think it is more likely to be 10,000 pence.
But that is not all. In future years you will get more, conceivably, if the land always rises in value. But why make that assumption? Does land always rise in value? I am informed that at the present time in the City of London and in parts of the West End, and also in a number of provincial towns, land is going down in value. The only land which is rising in value, as far as I can understand, is agricultural land, which is exempt. Therefore, I think in future you will get very little out of this tax, and I am certain you will never get enough out of it to pay the interest on your preliminary valuation. Meanwhile we must keep correcting the valuations. You will have a gigantic staff, a great deal of patronage, and an enormous number of salaries to pay in order to get what will never pay the cost of collection and of valuation. Then I should like the Chancellor of the Exchequer to be a little more definite than he has been about the right of appeal. The other day I believe the right hon. Gentleman made some quasi concession on this point. To me that point seems fatal. We are adopting, I will not say an absolutely new principle, but we are going back on all the best traditions of this country, and the Inland Revenue Commissioners themselves will be the final judges of the taxes they will collect. I said we were going back. I believe there was an earlier precedent. In the reign of Henry VII., our earliest Tudor sovereign, who I think also came from the Principality, an Act was passed which provided that two Commissioners, named Empson and Dudley, should be allowed to collect what taxes they liked from the King's subjects. I will admit that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made a little improvement on that. He has provided that there shall be official referees, and if you do not like Empson, try Dudley.
1919 What is to happen to the man who makes a profession or business of buying and selling land? At present he is taxed under Schedule D. If his income is less than £2,000 a year he pays 9d. in the £l on his earned income, his earned income being defined to be the aggregate of his transactions, taking the profits and losses together. Under this new tax his transactions which alone show a profit are picked out to be taxed as unearned increment, and he is to pay 4s. in the £. I can imagine the Chancellor of the Exchequer saying, "We have been wrong in the past, and we propose to amend the Income Tax and to sweep away this system by which the builder pays Income Tax on earned income and then is taxed on unearned increment." To have these two systems going on concurrently seems to be absolutely indefensible. Take the case of a builder who in three years has nothing but profits, his transactions all turning out well. These profits are all treated as earned income, but under the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Bill the whole are subject to be taxed as unearned increment. The same thing under two separate Acts is to be defined as earned income in the one case, and in the other as unearned increment. There is no possible logical defence for that. I may point out that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will discover that there is very little political defence for it, because he will find that builders and builders' labourers have; votes, and do not want their business to be taxed above the business of other' people. That seems to me generally to apply to the objections brought against; this tax. Hon. Members on this side have been rather apt to taunt their opponents with reluctance to pay their share of taxation. I cannot speak for hon. Gentlemen opposite, but, speaking for myself, I am perfectly willing to pay my share of taxation, and I think that most of my fellow Englishmen are willing to do the same. Englishmen are willing to pay their taxes, but what they do object to is injustice.; They object to this tax first of all because a particular class of persons is picked out to be taxed, and, secondly, and still more, because private people are compelled to pay large sums to land valuers, auctioneers, and so on for no fiscal purpose; whatever. The clause which we are now considering imposes a grave burden upon-a number of people which does not bring: revenue into the coffers of the State; in 1920 fact, I am quite at a loss to know for what purpose it is imposed. There is no objection in any part of this House to a fair Valuation Bill. I believe a Valuation Bill was introduced in the last Parliament by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin. I do not know any part of the House in which there is any objection to a fair Valuation Bill.
§ Mr. HAROLD COX
Valuation is done in the ordinary way at the present time at the expense of the local authorities. The reason why it will cost £10,000,000 is because you are starting an entirely separate valuation—valuing things, not as they are, but as they are not. You say now that you are going to exempt the small holders; you say you are going to exempt agricultural land, and yet these very people whom you are going to exempt will have to pay, and pay heavily, out of their pockets in order that you may get your valuation. Is that fair? What wrong have these men done that their money should thus be taken from them for no purpose whatever?
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
It has been the proud boast of the Liberal party for the last 60 or 70 years that they have on every possible opportunity done something to improve and cheapen the transfer of' land. Here we have in the hands of the present Government a measure which, judging by its methods, will inevitably have the effect of very much hampering the transfer of land in future and making it very much more expensive. My contention is that the boasts of the Liberal party of having cheapened and facilitated the transfer of land is now, at all events for the first time, being set at naught by the present Government. A very curious feature in connection with this Bill, as far as we have got, is that there is not a single word in it to tell us who is to pay the tax. We have had various indications in portions of the Bill as to what certain people may be allowed, but I challenge the hon. and right hon. Gentlemen in charge of the Bill to show me any reference in the first two clauses as to what individual person is liable to pay the tax. The position of the mortgagee in reference to land is one which ought certainly to be taken into very careful consideration when we are discussing the imposition of the new tax. Words have been inserted in the clause referring 1921 to the mortgagee. They are in the reprint of the clause. What is the meaning of that clause? The meaning is that there may be circumstances under which a mortgagee will be, or may be, required to come forward and prove something for the purpose of getting a deduction under Clause 2. I wish to point out the radical distinction there is between the Death Duty and the Increment Duty from the point of view not only of the man who has to pay the duty, but also from the point of view of the mortgagee. When an individual who owns property dies, and the Death Duty has to be paid, that duty is only calculated and only demanded to be paid upon the amount which the deceased really owned. That is to say, if there is a mortgage, the amount is deducted in assessing the value of the land. The exact opposite is the case with respect to Increment Duty which has got to be paid irrespective of any incumbrance. Those are the provisions of this Bill. Last night I mentioned a case on this subject, and let me give an illustration of what it is I want answered. I venture to think that the thousands upon thousands of investors in the United Kingdom who have got some money on mortgage will be wanting an answer to this question from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I refer to all the trustees of banks, all the private persons, all the great trade societies, all the insurance companies, all those great companies such as the Liver and Victoria, where working men have contributed their pence and their shillings, and where those societies have got the greater portions of their moneys invested in mortgages. The point is this with respect to mortgages. Supposing a man has bought a property a few years ago, say, at £15,000, and that he dies this year, and that the property is valued at, say, £20,000. There you have an increment of £5,000 and a sum of £l,000 to pay. The man when he died left, we will say, £600 of debts and £500 of furniture. Deeds of the property were deposited at the bank on an equitable mortgage, and he owed more than £20,000 to that bank. There is the £1,000 to pay of duty, and I ask the question, and I want a reply, and I believe all the mortgagees in the country will want a reply, and it is, Who are going to pay that £1,000 of duty? It is perfectly clear that it is charged on the property, and that it has got to be paid by somebody. The mortgagees have done no wrong, and they have had no increment, the estate of the 1922 man cannot pay the £1,000, and is the bank, as the mortgagee, to be liable to pay that £l,000? I think we ought to have an answer to that question.
Trustees in this country have advanced enormous sums of money upon mortgage, and what is their position? Suppose their mortgagor goes away and sells the equity, that would probably not amount to much, and he may receive only a few pounds for it, but the Increment Duty has got to be charged on the full value. The man cannot pay it, the mortgagor has probably not sufficient money to pay it, and then must the mortgagee pay it? If this position cannot be faced straight, and if we cannot get some intelligible reply from the Government the immediate effect will be to cause the greatest possible amount of uneasiness in the minds of all those who to-day have got money invested on mortgages on land in various parts of the country. And, carrying it a step further, it will have the effect of depriving land of that most important quality which it has got to-day, namely, the facility for going and borrowing very cheap money at low rates of interest, the greatest facility which land, above all things, has got today. It will have the effect as well of preventing numerous people from finding, as they have in the past, reasonable and safe investments. I need not enlarge on the further consequences, except to say that if you bring about this state of affairs, and if you intend to divorce capital from land and from the development of land, the ultimate effect will be, and we shall probably see it, if this Bill is passed, at no distant date, all those building trades, joiners, plasterers, bricklayers, all those people who are engaged in those trades will inevitably suffer, and the amount of unemployment and distress that will be indirectly caused by this ill-considered measure will be difficult of calculation. I am moved to get up, not in any way to controvert or to go into the various propositions which have been laid before you to-day, but because no other speaker, so far, has paid any attention to the point of which I have spoken, and has not given it that prominence which it ought reasonably to have.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE rose in his place and claimed to move "That the question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 266; Noes, 103.1925
|Division No. 275.]||AYES.||[7.35 P.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Furness, Sir Christopher||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Agnew, George William||Gill, A. H.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen|
|Alden, Percy||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Morrell, Philip|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||Morse, L. L.|
|Armitage, R.||Glover, Thomas||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Myer, Horatio|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Napier, T. B.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Nicholls, George|
|Atherley-Jones L.||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Griffiths, Ellis J.||Nussey, Sir Willans|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Nuttall, Harry|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Hall, Frederick||O'Grady, J.|
|Barker, Sir John||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Hart Davies, T.||Pointer, J.|
|Beale, W. P.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Pollard, Dr. G. H.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Haworth, Arthur A.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Bell, Richard||Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Hedges, A. Paget||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Bennett, E. N.||Helme, Norval Watson||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Radford, G. H.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Henry, Charles S.||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)|
|Brace, William||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Bramsdon, Sir T. A.||Higham, John Sharp||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Brigg, John||Hobart, Sir Robert||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Brooke, Stopford||Hodge, John||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Holt, Richard Durning||Robinson, S.|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Hooper, A. G.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Horniman, Emslie John||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Hudson, Walter||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Byles, William Pollard||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Cameron, Robert||Hyde, Clarendon G.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Idris, T. H. W.||Scarisbrick. Sir T. T. L.|
|Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Chance, Frederick William||Jenkins, J.||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Sears, J. E.|
|Cleland, J. W.||Jowett, F. W.||Seddon, J.|
|Clough, William||Kekewich, Sir George||Seely, Colonel|
|Clynes, J. R.||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Laidlaw, Robert||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Snowdon, P.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Lambert, George||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lamont, Norman||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Cox, Harold||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Lehmann, R. C.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Cross, Alexander||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Levy, Sir Maurice||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Summerbell, T.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Mackarness, Frederic C||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Maclean, Donald||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Macpherson, J. T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Tomkinson, James|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||M'Laren, Sir C B. (Leicester)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Elibank, Master of||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Esstemont, George Birnie||Mallet, Charles E.||Verney, F. W.|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Walsh, Stephen|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Walton, Joseph|
|Ferens, T. R.||Marnham, F. J.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Massie, J.||Wardle, George J.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Masterman, C. F. G.||Waring, Walter|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Menzies, Sir Walter||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Micklem, Nathaniel||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Waterlow, D. S.||Wiles, Thomas||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Watt, Henry A.||Wilkie, Alexander||Winfrey, R.|
|Whitbread, S. Howard||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|White, Sir George (Norfolk)||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Whitehead, Rowland||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B'y St. Edm.)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Haddock, George B.||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Hamilton, Marquess of||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Balcarres, Lord||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Renton, Leslie|
|Baring, Captain Hon. G. (Winchester)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Renwick, George|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Heaton, John Henniker||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Helmsley, Viscount||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hill, Sir Clement||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hunt, Rowland||Sandys, Col. Thos. Myles|
|Bull, Sir William James||Joynson-Hicks, William||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Cave, George||Kerry, Earl of||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylehone, E.)||Lambton, Hon Frederick William||Stanier, Beville|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Starkey, John R.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Du Cros, Arthur||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Morpeth, Viscount||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Winterton, Earl|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Newdegate, F. A.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Fell, Arthur||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Forster, Henry William||Oddy, John James|
|Gardner, Ernest||Parkes, Ebenezer||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||A. Acland-Hood and Viscount|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Percy, Earl||Valentia.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."1926
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 302; Noes, 1141929
|Division No. 276.]||AYES.||[7.45 p.m.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Brace, William||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bramsdon, Sir T. A.||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Brigg, John||Crosfield, A. H.|
|Agnew, George William||Brecklehurst, W. B.||Cross, Alexander|
|Alden, Percy||Brooke, Stopford||Cullinan, J.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs, Leigh)||Curran, Peter Francis|
|Armitage, R.||Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Dalziel, Sir James Henry|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bryce, J. Annan||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Delany, William|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Buxton, Rt. Hon Sydney Charles||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Byles, William Pollard||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Barker, Sir John||Cameron, Robert||Dobson, Thomas W.|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Barran Rowland Hirst||Clancy, John Joseph||Elibank, Master of|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Cleland J. W.||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Beale, W. P.||Clough, William||Evans, Sir S. T.|
|Bell, Richard||Clynes, J. R.||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Ferens, T. R.|
|Bennett, E. N.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Colbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Fuller, John Michael F.|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Lundon, T.||Robinson, S.|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Gill, A. H.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Glover, Thomas||Maclean, Donald||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Macpherson, J. T.||Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. B.||M'Kean, John||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Hall, Frederick||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Sears, J. E.|
|Halpin, J.||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Seddon, J.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Mallet, Charles E.||Seely, Colonel|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suflolk)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Sheehy, David|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Marnham, F. J.||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)||Massie, J.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Harrington, Timothy||Masterman, C. F. G.||Snowden, P.|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim N.)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Harvey, A, G. C. (Rochdale)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Mooney, J. J.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Hazleton, Richard||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Morrell, Philip||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Morse, L. L.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Henderson, J. McDd. (Aberdeen, W.)||Murphy, John (Kerry, E.)||Summerbell, T.|
|Henry, Charles S.||Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Myer, Horatio||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Napier, T. B.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Nicholls, George||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Hodge, John||Nolan, Joseph||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hogan, Michael||Nussey, Sir Willans||Tomkinson, James|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Nuttall, Harry||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hooper, A. G.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Verney, F. W.|
|Horniman, Emslie John||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Dowd, John||Walton, Joseph|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Grady, J.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Hyde, Clarendon G.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Waring, Walter|
|Idris, T. H. W.||O'Malley, William||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Jenkins, J.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmon (Swansea)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Jowett, F. W.||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Joyce, Michael||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Kavanagh, Walter M.||Pirie, Duncan V.||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Pointer, J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pollard, Dr. G. H.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wiles, Thomas|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Lambert, George||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Lamont, Norman||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Radford, G. H.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Rainy, A. Rolland||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Reddy, M.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Winfrey, R.|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Bull, Sir William James|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Beck, A. Cecil||Butcher, Samuel Henry|
|Ashley, W. W.||Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Carlile, E. Hildred|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bignold, Sir Arthur||Cave, George|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Bowles, G. Stewart||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)|
|Baring, Captain Hon. G. (Winchester)||Brotherton, Edward Allen||Chance, Frederick William|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hunt, Rowland||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Joynson-Hicks, William||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Kerry, Earl of||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lambton, Hon. Frederick William||Sandys, Col. Thos. Myles|
|Cox, Harold||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Stanier, Beville|
|Du Cros, Arthur||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Starkey, John R.|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Fell, Arthur||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Forster, Henry William||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Morpeth, Viscount||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Newdegate, F. A.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Gretton, John||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B'y St. Edm.)||Oddy, John James||Whitbread, S. Howard|
|Haddock, George B.||Parkes, Ebenezer||William, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Percy, Earl||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Ratcliffe, Major R. F.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A.|
|Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Acland-Hood and Viscount|
|Hill, Sir Clement||Renton, Leslie||Valentia.|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Renwick, George|