HC Deb 14 July 1909 vol 7 cc2033-247

(1) On any transfer on sale of any land or interest in land, or on the grant of any lease of any land, Increment Value Duty shall be collected on the instrument by means of which the transfer or the lease is effected or agreed to be effected, and shall be assessed by the Commissioners and paid by the transferor or lessor, as the case may be.

(2) It shall be the duty of every transferor or lessor, in cases where Increment Value Duty is due, to present to the Commissioners, in accordance with regulations made by them, any such instrument or particulars thereof for the purpose of the assessment of duty thereon, and if the transferor or lessor fails to comply with this provision he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten pounds, and to pay interest at the rate of five per cent. on any duty ultimately payable by him as from the date on which the instrument has been executed.

(3) Any such instrument shall not, for the purposes of section fourteen of the Stamp Act, 1891, and notwithstanding anything in section twelve of that Act, be deemed to be duly stamped unless it is stamped:—

  1. (a) either with a stamp denoting that the Increment Value Duty has been assessed by the Commissioners and paid in accordance with the assessment or;
  2. (b) with a stamp denoting that all particulars have been delivered to the Commissioners which, in their opinion, are necessary for the purpose of enabling them to assess the duty, and that security has been given for the payment of duty in any case where the Commissioners have required security;
but where an instrument is so stamped, it shall, notwithstanding any objection relating to the Increment Value Duty, be deemed to be duly stamped so far as respects that duty.

(4) Any duty assessed by the Commissioners under this section shall be a debt due to the Crown from the transferor or lessor, as the case may be, and for the purpose of calculating the amount of Increment Value Duty due on any subsequent occasion shall be deemed to have been paid.

(5) Regulations may be made by the Commissioners with respect to the mode in which any instrument is to be presented to them in order to be dealt with under this section, and for the payment of any Increment Value Duty by instalments in the case of any lease or transfer on sale where the consideration is in the form of a periodical payment and the Commissioners shall deal with any instrument presented to them and allow payment by instalments in accordance with those regulations.

(6) Where any agreement for a transfer or agreement for a lease is stamped in accordance with this section, it shall not be necessary to stamp any conveyance, assignment, or lease made subsequently to and in conformity with the agreement.

Mr. JAMES HOPE

moved to omit the first word "On" in the clause and to substitute the word "After." The object of this Amendment is to prevent this first section operating as a delay in the case of sales on transfer. As the clause reads at present the transfer would not take effect until the instrument of conveyance had been stamped. This may take a very long time, because the instrument will have to go to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue and the particulars thereof will have to be inspected by them. Considerable argument and discussion may arise between the parties and the Commissioners before the amount of Increment Duty actually payable can be ascertained, and the result of that may be a very long delay indeed, more especially in the first months of the operation of the Act, because the Commissioners will have an enormous number of papers to go through. An hon. Member who is an authority on this subject, from the nature of his practice, said the result would be that Somerset House would be flooded with unstamped and unstampable paper, and that undoubtedly would be the result. I think even any layman, who has had dealings in the ordinary course of life with these matters, must see that that must be the result where any kind of conveyance of fee simple or of lease has to go to Somerset House to be stamped before the conveyance is carried out. Therefore this Amendment of my hon. Friend deferring the intervention of the Commissioners to a later point is suggested. The transfer is to take place, and will be a valid transfer, and then, afterwards, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue at Somerset House will still have plenty of time to see that the duty is collected. It may be that the acceptance of this Amendment would involve some consequential Amendments later on, as to whether the transferor or transferee is to pay, but the substance and principle is perfectly clear, and is to the effect that the sale should not be impeded—that the sale should take place as a bonâ fide sale, and the duty should afterwards be collected. Unless some such Amendment is put in the whole operation of the clause will be impeded and transactions in land will be hung up for an indefinite period. I beg to move.

Mr. W. W. ASHLEY

I support this Amendment, and I think, if the Chancellor will give it a moment's consideration, he will agree, though possibly it may not be in the best possible form, that its intention is good. The Committee, I am sure, and the Government themselves, have stated that they do not wish to put any extra burden upon land; they wish to raise revenue from persons. We think they have a different object, but whatever their object is, the Government have publicly declared, both inside and outside this House, that they do not wish to put an extra burden on land, and it is obvious, unless some Amendment of this sort is accepted, an extra burden will be put on the sale and transfer of land, leasing of land, or dealing in land. I am not imputing any blame or want of energy to the very intelligent, hard-working staff of officials at Somerset House, but it is well known that they are overworked, and if someone dies his estate has to go before the Commissioners, and the heir is extremely lucky if he gets it through Somerset House, of which I have had some experience, in less than six or nine months. The ordinary work of Somerset House will have to go on when this Bill is passed, and the extra work which will have to be thrown upon them by the Death Duties and this enormous amount of stamping and transferring and inquiring into titles and the hundred and one things which are involved in Clause 4 will make the delay not six or nine months but a year, a year and a half, or two years. Some means should therefore be devised satisfactory to the Government whereby the sales should go through and the increment should be collected some reasonable time after. They would get their money just the same, and it would help those who are selling or buying land out of a difficulty. Land cannot, like other property, run away, and cannot be exported like capital. The increased value of the land is there, and the Prime Minister has said that he does not want to tax land, but only persons. If the Government accept this Amendment I do not think they would hurt their revenue or their Bill, and they would help this class of people.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir William Robson)

I think the hon. Member who moved this Amendment on behalf of the hon. Member for East Down has scarcely appreciated the purpose of it as it was set down, because the hon. Member for East Down has further Amendments on the Paper with the object of transferring the liability for the duty from the transferor to the transferee.

Mr. JAMES HOPE

I said that that probably would have to follow and be considered later on.

Sir WILLIAM ROBSON

That is one of the objects of the Amendment, and all I can say is that if that is the object with which this change is sought to be made it would be a very mischievous and mistaken object to aim at.

Mr. JAMES HOPE

That was not my primary object in moving it.

Sir WILLIAM ROBSON

It is not the hon. Member's primary object, but it is one of the objects with which the Amendment is brought forward. It would allow the conveyance to go through, and allow the payment of the Increment Duty to be deferred until the purchase had been effected. The hon. Member says the land is there, it will not run away, and it is there as a security. That is exactly what the transferor wants. It is not the intention of the Government to make the Increment Duty a charge upon the land, but upon the persons who gain by the increment, and if the conveyance is allowed to go through this will leave the transferee to pay after it has gone through. I object to the proposal altogether. There is no definition as to the time within which the duty has to be paid. It is in effect made a charge upon the land, and would be a serious blot upon the title so long as the duty is not paid, and it makes the duty payable by the wrong person, not by the man who gets the increment, but by the man who pays the purchase money to the vendor. If it is a proper tax it should fall upon the man who receives the increment; he gets the money, and he is the proper man to pay the tax from the amount he receives. To put the burden on the transferee or the man who pays the money is a very illogical and unreasonable proposal. Therefore we must adhere to the words of the clause.

Mr. E. G. PRETYMAN

The Attorney-General was not here when my hon. Friend moved his Amendment, and he did not hear his argument, and I am bound to say that, although all that the Attorney-General has said is evident to the Committee in regard to the difficulty which, he says, would be created if this Amendment were accepted, I wish to point out to him that those difficulties are inherent in the Bill. The difficulties which exist in the measure are very much greater than the difficulties he has been alluding to if we alter the word "on" into the word "after." He says we must not make the purchaser pay because we are putting it on the wrong man. Does that follow? What is the price of any article? It is the consideration which a man will give, taking into account what he is going to get, and the burdens which are upon him, and it is obvious that when a man purchases a piece of land which is subject to a burden he will pay the price of the whole value of the land less the burden upon it, and any burden of this character will be discounted by the purchaser. To that extent the argument appears to me to fall entirely to the ground. Whether you place the burden nominally upon the transferor or the transferee, it will really fall on the transferor,. because he will only give the price which the land is worth, and it will be worth less with the duty upon it than with the duty paid. You cannot avoid the actual pressure that the ordinary law of supply and demand will bring about.

A point of some importance which conies up in every clause of the Bill is that you are placing a most serious and grave obstruction and difficulty upon all transfers of land, and what we have to consider is how shall we place the least difficulty in the way of transfers of land by timing the burden to fall at the moment of sale or to be payable after sale. The Amendment would make things very much easier, because, as the Bill now stands, before any transfer can be completed the whole of these particulars have to be delivered to Somerset House, and, although they have not to be actually passed and completed, it follows that every transaction on land, with all particulars regarding it, whether it be a lease or a sale or on death, thousands in a day, one may say, have all to go to Somerset House, and until they have gone through a certain process of examination and consideration at the hands of the Revenue officials it is absolutely impossible that any transfer can take place. Is that not going to cause such a block and such a difficulty that no one will be able to complete any transaction? If the Amendment were adopted, the transaction would go through and the burden could be settled afterwards, and, although I admit it would create difficulties in another direction, these difficulties are inseparable from this machinery. Nothing can make this Bill a good Bill. Nothing can make the machinery anything but clumsy, and nothing that we can do here can prevent it causing great difficulties and obstruction to all transfer of land. That is inherent, and the only question we have to consider is how these transactions and difficulties can be minimised. They cannot be avoided. The only way to do that is to reject the Bill. We shall perhaps arrive at that stage later. At present we have to assume that the Bill is going to be passed, and all we have to do is to minimise the difficulty. I suggest that the Amendment will involve less difficulty on the whole and less obstruction and less delay than the words as they now stand.

Sir DAVID BRYNMOR JONES

I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman and the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment must have forgotten the Amendment which was made in the first clause of the Bill. This clause relates to the time of the collection of the duty. Sub-section (a), section (1) of Clause I now reads:—"On the occasion of any transfer on sale of the land, or any interest in the land in pursuance of any contract made after the commencement of this Act. "Then certain consequences shall happen. The occasion is the time at which the contract for sale is made, and the Stamp Duty has to be collected on the transfer on sale—that is the time when the conveyance is being made. Then the question as to the particular time of the collection of the Stamp Duty or the making of the transfer will in no way hinder any transaction in land. The transactions in land take place when the contracts are made, whether it be a sale by auction, by a simple signature of a document in the auction room, or a form of contract made after negotiation between the parties. In due course the conveyance has to be executed. Stamp Duties have to be paid upon that now and the question whether they have to be paid subsequently to the actual execution really does not matter at all, and the Amendment is only a formal and technical matter, which does not raise any of the questions referred to by the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Mr. Pretyman). If you are going to collect this by means of a Stamp Duty the right and expedient time to collect it is when the grant is made and executed.

Sir FRANCIS LOWE

I think the hon. Member has entirely misunderstood the purpose of the Amendment. The transaction is really not carried out and completed on the signature of the agreement, but when the conveyance is signed. It would make very great delay in the carrying out of the transaction if all these returns and valuations and investigations had to be made before the agreement could be carried to its conclusion. It is very unusual to put the duty of stamping a deed on the transferor. He has no part whatever in the preparation of the conveyance or the transfer. It is the duty of the purchaser to prepare the deed of purchase, and he has to prepare it and stamp it, and it belongs to him, and the transferor has nothing whatever to do with it. If all these investigations have to take place before the transfer can be completed, and the transferor has to pay the duty and stamp the deed, which does not belong to him at all, there must inevitably be great delay. This must have the effect of depressing the property market, which is at present very much depressed indeed. I know from personal experience that it is very difficult at present to sell any property whatever. I have been in the habit of developing building land for the last 25 years, and I have been able to do it advantageously, because there has been a ready market for the buildings which are erected on the land. Now I have absolutely ceased for the last two or three years to have anything whatever to do with the development of building land, because there is no market either for plots or for buildings which might be erected on them. If further impediments are put in the way of the development of building land, and if obstacles are put in the way of the transfer of property, there is no doubt that it will have an injurious effect on the development of land, and thousands of working men will be thrown out of employment. The proposed legislation of the Government in the direction of these Land Taxes is calculated——

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member is proceeding to deal with the general question.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

I think the Government only desire in re- gard to this point to arrive at the simplest and at the same time most efficacious way of stamping deeds, so as to give the least possible trouble to all parties. We have to remember two things. In the first place, the transferor will desire to get as small a Stamp Duty as possible, because he has to pay it, and, secondly, the transferee will desire that a big Stamp Duty should be paid, so that on the next occasion he may be saved from having as much to pay as he might otherwise. The two interests are diametrically opposed. What is the position with regard to the deed when completed? The conveyance is drawn up by the transferee, and it is sent to the solicitors of the transferor to be executed. When the deed is fully executed, it is submitted to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue for adjudication and stamping. In this particular case there is the difficulty that the transferee wants his deed without delay. In nine cases out of ten in ordinary building transactions you get a denoting stamp, and the transferee who has taken up the property is able to take up a mortgage upon it. The mortgagee in the ordinary case advances the money and enables the transaction to be carried out, unless the mortgagee gets that in turn from the transferee. It seems to me that the machinery of the Government is open to a little bit of difficulty on this point. They have overlooked the intricacies of the position, and the fact that the deed will have to be deposited for the purpose of being stamped. I am bound to say that if it could be done by getting a temporary stamp until the Commissioners see if it is right, it might be a convenient way of dealing with the matter. If any means could be arranged under which a denoting stamp could be impressed on some other document, or upon a certificate, or something of that kind, so as not to interfere with the actual deed itself, and if a reasonable time could be given to deposit the deed of purchase to enable the transferor to get that part of his work through, it might facilitate matters. I am bound to say that from a practical point of view the machinery of the Government here is open to very considerable question, and it seems to me that it will end in being a very serious impediment to transactions, unless the actual circumstances, which are bound to happen in ordinary cases, are taken into consideration.

Mr. A. FELL

There is another difficulty which I believe will arise in all these trans- actions, and which will have to be met by this and subsequent Amendments. A transaction in the purchase of land is carried out by contract. That contract fixes the day for the completion of the transaction, and when the conveyance is to be handed over and the money paid. Under the proposal in the clause I do not see how that will be carried out. There is a certain limit of time which may be considered necessary to investigate the title and to get the Government stamp. There is also a provision in contracts that after the date of completion the purchaser shall pay interest on the purchase money and be admitted into the enjoyment of any rents that may become due. In connection with unearned increment there is probably no income from the land. The land is vacant, and it is supposed to have an increment value for building purposes. The original estimate of the value of the land may have to be apportioned, and that will take time. What is going to happen in that case? You say you do not wish to throw any of this liability on the purchaser. He has no income from the property, but he will have to pay interest at 5 per cent, on the whole of the purchase money. He is not going to part with the purchase money until he gets his conveyance, and the conveyance cannot be handed to him until the stamp has been denoted. The matter is one which will have to be met, otherwise there will be great difficulty.

Viscount HELMSLEY

The Attorney-General's chief objection to the Amendment is that it would transfer the payment of the duty from the transferor to the transferee. He seemed to sweep aside other obvious advantages which this-Amendment would have. I venture to suggest that it really does not matter whether you put this Increment Duty on the transferor or on the transferee in the Bill, for as a matter of fact the question who will pay the duty will vary according to circumstances. The hon. and gallant Gentleman sitting below me (Mr. Pretyman) said he thought the transferor would invariably pay the duty. It seems to me that that argument is open to question. It is just as likely to be paid by the transferee, because, after all, the question of duty is bound to be taken into consideration in fixing the price, and whether the' transferor or transferee pays it will depend on which side is the greater willingness either to sell or to buy. If the present owner is very desirous of selling he will probably have to pay the Increment Duty, but if it is difficult to acquire land in the district and there are more people willing to buy than to sell land, then the duty will be paid by the transferee; and that will happen exactly in those cases where building land is most wanted. Where building land is difficult to get and building companies have been trying to acquire the land they will be compelled to, as it were, tempt the owners of land to sell it, and therefore they will be prepared to give a price which will include the Increment Duty, which will have to be paid by the transferor, and the building company will recoup itself for the payment of this tax by increasing the rent which they will charge. Therefore, so far from the Increment Value Tax falling on the persons who the Government intend to hit, in a great many cases, especially in those cases where it is least desirable, it will fall on the transferee. Therefore it does not matter whether the payment is made nominally by the transferor or the transferee. If that be so, surely it is just as well to pass this Amendment, which will have, as my hon. Friends who are experts in this matter have shown, the effect of not hanging up the deeds for as long a time as they would be hung failing this Amendment?

Mr. ELLIS DAVIES

The object of the Amendment on the Paper is to allow the duty to be paid after the conveyance has been executed and handed over to the purchaser. I do not quite understand the difficulty which has been suggested by hon. Members on the other side, because at the present moment, if any land is being sold subject to Estate Duty or Settlement Duty, the obligation of paying that duty is on the vendor, and it is also an obligation on the vendor when a purchase is completed to give evidence that that duty has been paid. As I read the first part of Clause 4, it is to the effect that the Increment Tax Duty is to be paid by the vendor. The obligation cast upon him is the same as in the ordinary course of conveyancing. It is as much part of his duty before receiving the purchase money to prove that that duty has been paid as it is to prove title.

Mr. GEORGE YOUNGER

I take this opportunity of bringing before the notice of this House a telegram which I have received from Edinburgh on this Question. It will create great difficulties in Scotland if those transactions are hung up. In Scotland these land transactions are usually carried out on the two term days of the year, in May and November. Stamp Duty on Scottish titles requires registration of the stamped instrument, and a dislocation of business will be involved if the parties must wait for adjustment of Increment Duty. The purchaser is not likely to pay the price, nor in cases where money is lent will the new mortgagee be satisfied if he cannot have the document handed over the moment the money is advanced. The system in Scotland is different from the system in England. They say that in England this difficulty does not arise. It seems to be a very serious and important difficulty, and one with which the right hon. Gentleman is called on to deal. The result in Scotland of the present proposal would be a very serious and a very grave difficulty. This might be avoided by providing that the Increment Duty should be paid in Scotland under a separate account by the seller, and not in the form of a stamp on the deed. They say that this does not involve any risk to the Government. There can be no doubt that this is a rather serious matter. I know that other Members besides myself have had telegrams of this kind to-day from important writers to the signet in Edinburgh; and having called the Chancellor of the Exchequer's attention to this difficulty I trust that he will find some way of meeting it.

Sir W. BULL

I would like some explanation as to how completion will in future be carried out. When the deed is fixed this assessment has to take place before completion can take place. How is it to be stamped? The Chancellor of the Exchequer knows that very often when documents are sent down to Somerset House for the purpose of adjudication they take three or four days or maybe a week or fortnight, and sometimes up to five or six weeks. I have known cases in which Somerset House, with all possible desire to expedite matters, took three or four months to adjudicate stamps in complicated questions of duty on settlements and also on freehold. The long delays which must inevitably take place will tend to stop the transfer of land. Sometimes time is the essence of the contract. How can sellers calculate the date, on any sale of land or interest, when the money will be paid? Does the Chancellor of the Exchequer suggest that solicitors should give an undertaking that the money will be paid? Are they to retain money in hand, or draw some in advance before the transaction is completed? It would be very hard indeed on the profession to which I belong if the solicitors will have to give undertakings that the money will be paid and if the responsibility rests on them as to the amount of money to be deducted or not.

Mr. A. J. BALFOUR

This Amendment raises points of general interest as well as of special importance in connection with the transfer and sale of land. I understand that the Government object to substitute the word "after" for the word "on," because they are of opinion that if you use the word "after" rather than the word "on" you will transfer the incidence of the tax now imposed from the shoulders of the transferor to the shoulders of the transferee. Such is the political economy of the hon. and learned Gentleman who is also in charge of this unfortunate Bill, and that is the simple method by which the incidence of the tax can be determined by a Committee of this House. If you keep the word "on," the producer pays the Increment Tax; if you substitute for the word "on" the word "after," the consumer pays the tax. Happy simplicity of the doctrines of Free Trade as understood by His Majesty's Government. What a relief to those who are puzzling themselves, whether they be on one side or the other, as to what the incidence of the import duty would be. It does not depend on commerce, on international supply and demand, it does not depend on the wishes of the producer or the demand of the customer —it depends on how under our system we shall frame any future Budget, and whether we chose to put "on" or the word "after" in the clause which is imposing the tax. These are general observations which it is perhaps worth while for the Government and those who support the Government to consider. We ask the Government how they justify on particular and special grounds, as to commerce in land, their methods of dealing with the subject? I do not believe the framers of this Bill, whoever they may be, have ever realised that there is such a thing as commerce in land. I do not believe it has ever occurred to them that the sale and transfer of land is as much a business as a sale and transfer of corn, cotton, or Consols. I do not know in what dream they live, but they never seem to realise that there is a large amount of capital and a growing amount of energy, industry, and enterprise embarked in this great trade dealing with the sale and transfer of land. If they do realise that, is it conceivable that they would with a light heart intro- duce a clause into their Bill which is making the sale and transfer of land in small parcels almost an impossibility. I do not think that they have at all realised the problem.

My hon. Friend behind me has just given the House the views of the legal profession in Scotland. I have never heard outside the Treasury Bench that there are any legal authorities in Scotland who regard this portion of the Bill except with the extremest disfavour. Is there anyone among those in England who are concerned in the sale and transfer of land, whether as solicitors or in any other fashion, or is there any lawyer in this House who thinks that this is going to work? I hear a faint negation, but I do not know from whom, and I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is a solicitor, as I do not recognise the speaker. Let me put it in this way. Is there a single man practically acquainted with the business of selling and buying land, either as principal or as agent, who is not of opinion that the whole of the business will be hampered almost out of existence by the clogs and fetters under which he will in future have to work? I do not believe that, even as amended by my hon. Friend, the Bill will be satisfactory in that respect; at all events, it will be improved. But if the Bill remains in its present form, and if the Government insists on keeping the word "on" and not "after" any transfer, then the, end of no transaction can ever really be foreseen by either of the parties. No commerce can flourish under conditions of that sort. How is it possible for those who have land to sell, and those who desire to buy, ever to come together if the man who sells cannot say to the man who buys, "You shall have your land free of any encumberance, free of any obligations," and the man who buys cannot in turn say, "Directly you can tell me the time within certain limits that I can have the land, the money will be at your disposal"? This has nothing whatever to do with the principle, be it good or be it bad, of unearned increment; this has to do with the everyday practice of a great industry in this country, and I think it is extraordinary that the Government should not make some serious attempt, if not to remove—they cannot remove entirely the evils which their Bill is going to inflict —at all events to mitigate to the utmost of their ability the evils which I venture to say not a single responsible man on either side of the House will deny are going to be inflicted on this particular class of business. Though we are told— as we are constantly told—that the one necessity of the community is the land upon which it lives, and though we are told, as we are constantly told, that transfer should be facilitated, yet under your system of legislation you are making the transfer of land almost impossible. I think the Government as business men, and as practical men, should not follow the Attorney-General into the regions of speculative economy, but should set themselves in a serious and businesslike spirit to see how the hampering effect of this legislation can be as far as possible mitigated by this or that particular change in the clause with which we are dealing. I do beg the Chancellor of the Exchequer to devote himself to that practical question which, I can assure him, is exercising the mind of every business man, whether in Scotland, in England, or in Ireland.

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd-George)

The Leader of the Opposition, as usual, with great success, has managed to get a discussion on the general principles of the Bill in the guise of an Amendment which deals with a very small and narrow point. He attacked my learned Friend the Attorney-General on something which he said about the meaning of the Amendment. The Leader of the Opposition is never happier than when he thinks he can find some flaw either in the political or in the economic information which is displayed by any lawyer in this House. I think he thought my learned Friend had stumbled on this occasion. I think, however, he will find that it is not we who want to study political economy, or give further attention to the principles of our Bill. I invite the Leader of the Opposition to give a little more attention to the Amendment on which he spoke. He will find that my learned Friend was simply addressing himself to that very Amendment, which is to leave out the word "on" and to introduce the word "after," with a view to moving a consequential Amendment that will transfer the payment to the transferee and not to the transferor.

Mr. JAMES HOPE

That is not my object.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I say it is not the political economy of my learned Friend, but it is the political economy of one of the most distinguished supporters of the right hon. Gentlemen, the Member for East Down (Captain Craig). He is the man who lays down the principle that it ought to be passed to the transferee and not to the transferor. My learned Friend was simply combating—and not laying down any general principle of political economy—that proposal, which was supported by the Leader of the Opposition, the first step being the omission of the word "on." The Leader of the Opposition said, and not for the first time, that we are creating difficulties which are absolutely insoluble. I have to answer, and not for the first time, that there are the same difficulties exactly in great commercial centres, and they have actually been solved. They have got to go through the same processes wherever this duty is imposed, and they have not found the difficulties insoluble. In centres like Frankfort, Hamburg, and Dresden, there has been more building since the Increment Duty was passed than there was before.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

That is a totally different thing.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The Leader of the Opposition said that these difficulties will be so great that the buying and selling of land will disappear altogether and will pass out of existence. I think these were his words. Why should it? He says that the man who wants to buy land will not buy because the vendor has to pay the Increment Tax. Here is a man who wants to buy land on which to build a house, and he will not buy because the man who sells the land to him will have to pay an Increment Tax of 20 per cent. Is it that the man who is anxious to sell the land at a price will not sell because he has to go through this process, or is it, at least, that his lawyer will be put to the extra trouble of filling up a form in order to get the document stamped? Is that really contended for a moment, when there are already so many difficulties in buying and selling land—difficulties with which every solicitor in this House is perfectly well acquainted, difficulties of title, the landing of the purchaser and vendor in requisitions, and in most complicated problems, very often making it necessary to consult counsel? Is it really suggested, when there are so many difficulties already, that the mere preparation of a form of this kind, giving these elementary particulars, would pre- vent the buying and selling of land in this country? It is perfectly absurd to imagine that would be the case among those who have any practical experience of the difficulties of buying and selling land. The difficulties are very grossly exaggerated. In the vast majority of cases the transaction will be very simple, and there will be no increment at all—certainly not 10 per cent. It is only in the minority of cases that the Increment Duty will accrue due at all. It seems to be imagined that in every case there will be Increment Duty. I should be very glad, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, if that were so, because there would be an enormous revenue; but that will not be the case, and a very small minority will have to go through this process. What will happen then? The solicitor in addition to the documents which he has got to prepare, and which are naturally much more complicated, will prepare the documents which will give the price or the consideration. In addition to that, if there is some responsibility on himself he will get that from the vendor, and that will put an end to the matter. Then the document will be sent in, and it will take very little time. There may be some cases where there will be certain difficulty, because the Commissioners may not accept the view of the vendor, who naturally wants to bring the amount down. In the great majority of cases it will be a perfectly simple transaction, and it will be simpler and simpler as the years go on. Another great point is that for the first time you will get something in the nature of a land register. As a matter of fact, if hon. Members will take the trouble of looking, they will find that Lord Palmerston introduced a Bill to simplify the registration of the title of land, but it was never carried. [HON. MEMBERS: "To simplify."] It was for a land register, but it was not carried. There was an attempt made some time ago in this direction, but in a very tentative sort I of way. "Everybody has been agreeing every day since that undoubtedly it would enormously facilitate the sale and transfer of land if these particulars were registered officially, and if men engaged in transactions in land were able to resort to them and get particulars, that would simplify the process rather than complicate it. That would be the effect of the setting up of a great national register of this kind, and for the first time every man concerned in land transactions would have the particulars officially. [Mr. ARNOLD HERBERT: "Will it be open to inspection?"] It is open to inspection by those who are interested in the particular land. I come to another point. I would rather avoid the complication of Scotch law, and perhaps my learned Friend will answer anything of the kind.

Mr. YOUNGER

I thoroughly agree with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I agree there is one thing that will undoubtedly have to be done to simplify these transactions. I think local registries will have to be established in all the great centres. I do not think that it would be necessary to insist on every transaction of this kind passing through Somerset House. I think it would be an enormous advantage that in Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and other centres there should be a local register, so that the solicitors of both parties would be able to go to the register and get the thing put through. That is really the answer to the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Sir W. Bull). In most cases it ought to be before completion. If there were any complications it would be necessary to leave a sufficient portion of the purchase money in the hands of the solicitor, who would give his undertaking. My hon. Friend seems to be alarmed about the undertaking, but I think solicitors can be trusted to safeguard their own interest in a matter of this kind. I do not think there is the slightest danger of their giving undertakings unless they have got the cash in hand in some kind of way. Supposing there is a complication, in most of these cases there will be no difficulty in getting the matter settled before completion.

Sir W. BULL

Are we to understand that it is assessed before completion and not paid?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I should say in the majority of cases that ought to be done. If there is a difficulty there may be a dispute in some cases between the Commissioners and the vendor as to the actual amount that ought to be paid.

Sir W. BULL

The Commissioners will assess it.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I should say there will be no difficulty in the vast majority of cases in getting assessment before completion. I think the hon. Member will quite realise that there is not such a practical difficulty as he has imagined. The greatest difficulty would be in places like Liverpool, if you had to send all the documents to Somerset House. That we shall be able to meet by a local register, which will be of enormous convenience in the long run to those dealing with land. I trust I have dealt with most of the points, and let me take the Committee back to the actual Amendment from which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Balfour) has led me away. The actual Amendment is that the Increment Duty should be paid by the transferee and not by the transferor. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Really it is. I followed his speech and that was his argument, that it ought to be paid by the transferee. There is a consequential Amendment by the hon. Member for East Down (Captain Craig) which transfers the whole of this burden from the transferor to the transferee. That is the real point you have got to settle, Is the Increment Duty to be paid by the transferee, whereas it ought to be paid by the man who receives the purchase money?

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I am really surprised, after the speech of the Leader of the Opposition, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should think that an Act of Parliament could so easily settle by whom a particular tax was ultimately to be paid.

Mr. LEIF JONES

Not ultimately.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

That is the Chancellor of the Exchequer's argument. The hon. Member should have paid attention to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's argument. He is always worth listening to.

Mr. LEIF JONES

I listened most carefully to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He did not use the word "ultimately." That word has been put in by the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I am perfectly well aware of that. If the hon. Member would leave it to the Chancellor of the Exchequer directly that I misrepresent the Chancellor of the Exchequer's argument, we shall continue the Debate more quickly. I am quite sure the Chancellor of the Exchequer is quite able to protect himself. I do not think he will say I am misrepresenting him. His argument was that the object of this Amendment taken with subsequent Amendments is to cause the burden to fall upon the transferee instead of falling on the transferor. That is, I think, one degree less simple than the argument of the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General said that if you substituted the word "after" for the word "on" you shift the incidence of the tax.

Sir W. ROBSON

I never said anything so ridiculous, and there was not the slightest foundation for the suggestion that I said anything of the kind. Nobody who heard my speech would dream of making such an absurd imputation. I dealt with the question of the transfer of responsibility from the transferor to the transferee as being the question raised by the Amendment. It is proposed by the Amendment I discussed to transfer the liability from the transferor to the transferee, and I dealt with that fact. To say that I dealt with it as an economic result of substituting the word "after" for the word "on" is not only groundless, but it is ludicrous. The whole basis of the speech of the Leader of the Opposition would have disappeared if he had properly read the Amendment, or listened to my speech, or gave me credit for ordinary intelligence.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I am very sorry I have so profoundly disturbed the equanimity of the Attorney-General, though apparently I was wrong in supposing he based these arguments upon the difficulties between the word "on" and the word "after." He did base it on some equally flimsy pretext, the substitution of the word "transferee" for the word "transferor." He says, provided an Act of Parliament says the duty shall hi paid by the transferor it would have to come out of the transferor's pocket.

Sir W. ROBSON

I never said anything of the kind.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

Then in that caste the Attorney-General had no argument at all. If he will tell me I will retire from the conflict with him, because I frankly admit I came in too late to hear his observations, and I am dependent for my knowledge and report at second hand of what he said. I therefore say no more about the Attorney-General. I turn to what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said. The argument of the Chancellor is that if you say in an Act of Parliament that the duty shall be paid by the transferor it will be paid and will come out of his pocket, and that he will have no recourse against anyone else; but that if the Act of Parliament says that a duty shall have to be paid by the transferee it will have to come out of the pocket of the trans- feree, and he will have no recourse against anybody else. Is not. that open to all the strictures made by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition? It does not depend on who is the actual man responsible for producing the cash to the Revenue officer who shall have to bear the ultimate expense of the tax. It depends upon the play of complex causes which cannot be settled by the terminology of any Act of Parliament. If it were as simple as the Chancellor of the Exchequer thinks, then, as my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition has said, that would entirely settle with the stroke of the pen all the conflict that arises as to upon whom Customs Duty should fall, because you would simply say in the Act that they should be paid by the importer and not by the consumer. According to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if you only put the word "importer" instead of the word "consumer," which I think is really a reduction to an absurdity of the arguments against this Amendment.

We are not arguing on the ground that by the Amendment the incidence of the tax will be altered. We do not pretend that the incidence of the tax will be settled by any phraseology in the Bill. You may put in transferor or transferee, but the phraseology of your Bill will not settle by whom the tax is to be paid. That will be settled by the circumstances of the party and by the play of supply and demand, and by the greater eagerness of one man to sell or another man to buy. If that is so the whole argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer from that point of view falls to the ground. It comes, then, to the question, as my hon. Friend has said, not who shall ultimately bear the tax but what is the most convenient moment at which to collect them. We hear a great deal, from the Front Bench in particular, of the injury that would be done to trade when goods were imported from abroad into this country if at the ports or places of destination they had to pay at once the duty. But in this case the commodity is not to be freed by a single payment on it. Every time the commodity changes hands or any portion of it changes hands, or any interest changes hands, it is liable to duty, and though the Chancellor of the Exchequer says that in the great number of cases they would not have to pay duty, that does not relieve the great number of cases from all the inconveniences of the tax. In every one of those cases you have got to make a valuation and calculation which will prove that no duty is due, and which will, therefore, free the transaction. The amount of work to be gone through will be the same; the amount of cost involved will be the same; the amount of delay will be the same—or approximately the same— whether there is a duty to be paid or not. It will be less if the estimate of the Commissioners is the same as that of the vendor, and greater if the opinion of the Commissioners differs from that of the vendor.

Then the right hon. Gentleman says that we on this side greatly exaggerate the inconvenience and delay that will follow, because all these things are done so simply in Germany. All those other taxes are collected so simply in Germany—those taxes which the right hon. Gentleman thinks it would be impossible to collect, even on a much more moderate scale, in this country without destroying the trade of the country. Does he not think so? That is news. The Chancellor of the Exchequer does not think that import duties will have that disastrous effect upon our trade. Then I will not lay the charge against him, but it is a commonplace with his friends. What is the German example worth? Are the calculations which have been made in connection with the sale of property in Frankfort comparable with the calculations which will have to be made under this Bill? There is absolutely nothing in the German system to compare with the system proposed to be set up here. In the Frankfort system you have to compare the actual price paid in one transaction with the actual price paid in another. Here you have to do nothing of the kind. From the actual price paid on each occasion you have to work back to the site value, and compare that site value with the original site value; then, if it be not the fee simple, you have to reverse your sum, and from the site value which you get work back again to the proportion of the duty payable by the particular interest transferred. There is absolutely no parallel in the Frankfort system for anything of the kind. The ease with which the Frankfort system works, such ease as it is, in a country where they are much more ready to submit to the decrees of officials than we are accustomed to do here, has nothing to do with the system proposed in this Bill; and to contend that you do not hamper the ordinary conduct of commerce in land, and in particular the very transactions which you are most anxious to stimulate, namely, transactions for the development of land as building sites, by imposing these intricate calculations, not merely on the occasion of every transfer, but as a condition precedent to the completion of any transfer, is to contend something which is not only incapable of proof, but demonstrably, and even on the face of it, untrue. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that it would hamper business if all these transactions had to come up to a registry in London, and he announced the intention of the Government to establish branch registries in the great provincial towns. That is an interesting announcement. I think it is rather a pity we have had to wait until the Bill has been three weeks in Committee before we got a hint of it.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

This is the first clause dealing with the matter, and on the very first Amendment to that clause I made the announcement.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

But it ought to have been on the face of the Bill. It is a tremendous proposal which the right hon. Gentleman announced in half a sentence, almost as an aside.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

It will not require legislation.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

The right hon. Gentleman is going to try to do it without legislation; then we shall learn more about the proposal as we go along. Meantime, I gather that the first result of it is that the Commissioners— these arbitrary gentlemen who we thought were to settle the fate of every landlord on all these occasions—are to be superseded in a great majority of cases by local authorities in provincial towns. The establishment of local registries is no good if every case has to come up, nevertheless, to the central Commissioners to be settled by them. The mere establishment of local registries without any local control will not greatly facilitate business.

Let me take this opportunity of saying that the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that solicitors or parties would have access to the registry for the purpose of consulting it in regard to any particular plot of land in which they are interested will not meet the case at all. The Attorney-General spoke as if you could settle this matter by two or three test cases. But what is the use of test cases if you cannot get at them? What is the use of a plot embodied in the registry unless the registry is generally open to the people concerned? It would be very invidious and difficult, but in my opinion it would be necessary to give the parties access not merely to the particular entries concerning the transaction into which they are entering, but to all the transactions recorded in the registry, in order that they may see the principles upon which the Commissioners have worked, the decisions which have been laid down, and the general line which proceedings have taken. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to establish local registries by administrative action without any sanction from the House, and without proposing to the House any scheme. That, I think, is a most unsatisfactory way of doing it, and we shall have to consider how the matter can be brought within the cognisance of the House. But whether you have local registries or confine yourself to a single central registry, it has been amply proved by my hon. Friends, with their practical knowledge of the working of these transactions and the way in which they are carried through, that you will hang up numberless transactions, and perhaps prevent many of them ever going through, because of the difficulties which your new tax will place in the way of the vendor handing over the property clear to the purchaser. Like my hon. Friends, I dislike the tax in to to; I am opposed to the whole of it; but this is not a moment to discuss that matter. Granting you are to have the tax, it should at least be the object of the Government to make it work with the smallest amount of friction, and to enable ordinary business transactions to go through as far as possible unhampered and undelayed by the disagreeable fiscal necessities which this Bill imposes upon the parties.

Mr. F. A. NEWDEGATE

I should like to point out how very difficult it will be to develop mineral estates in connection with this tax. As the Bill at present stands, when a mineral estate is to be developed the owner, before he gets any money at all from the minerals, will have to pay Increment Duty. If minerals are found to exist, then and there this duty will have to be paid on the assessed value of the mineral property which has not yet been tested. I have here particulars of a case in which the development of a new mineral field in the Midlands has been indefinitely postponed because of this tax. A mining engineer of great experience in the Midlands states: "Here is a strong case, and it is only one of many. I was negotiating with a syndicate to bore for coal in a certain part of the midlands, and on two estates——"

The CHAIRMAN

I do not see what this has to do with the Amendment, which is to leave out "on" and insert "after." Unless the hon. Member can bring it in connection with that, the point does not arise here.

Mr. NEWDEGATE

The point I wish to make is this. If Increment Duty has to bo paid on the minerals, and if the unfortunate owner, before the minerals are proved, or before he gets any money from that mineral estate, has to pay down a large sum for Increment Duty, it will indefinitely stop mineral development in many parts of the country.

The CHAIRMAN

That is on the general question. It does not arise on the word "on" or "after."

Mr. NEWDEGATE

It is a case of considerable hardship. The owner, before he gets any money from the minerals, has to pay down a large sum.

The CHAIRMAN

I have already said that that is out of order.

Lord BALCARRES

May I submit to you that this and similar cases are perfectly well known in mineral districts? Because of this Increment Tax, great tracts of mineral property are not now being opened, for fear of incurring the Increment Tax; and it seemed to my hon. Friend and myself, when we discussed this Amendment together, that this was an occasion on which we might discuss the question of "transferor"versus "transferee?."

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member was not making that argument.

Mr. NEWDEGATE

That was the argument I was trying to make. The lease would not become valid unless the stamp was put on, and I submit it is a very great hardship indeed to people who are anxious to develop their estates that they should have to put the stamp on any lease before that lease is valid. For the first few years an owner gets little or nothing for the minerals he may possess. It is only as the minerals become developed that he gets any return in the way of royalties or anything else. If it is necessary to put the stamp on the document before the lease becomes valid, I am unable to see how it can do otherwise than stop the development of minerals all over the country. I was about to put to the Committee a case in which, owing to this duty, the development of a mineral field in the Midlands is being indefinitely postponed.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Gentleman is now discussing what I said was out of order.

Mr. ALFRED MOND

The point we have arrived at is one of great practical interest. I do not often agree with the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Austen Chamberlain), but there is a great deal in the argument he has advanced from the practical point of view. I am in favour of this tax; but I disagree with the right hon. Gentleman when he says that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has ever stated that it was impossible to collect Import Duties. Nobody has ever said it was impossible, but everybody who has studied the question knows that in this country, and in Germany, it is extremely inconvenient to anybody concerned. As far as the particular point under discussion is concerned, I have never yet understood why it should not be possible to collect the Stamp Duty at a more convenient moment than on the conveyance or the deed of transfer itself. None of us want to see transactions in land made more difficult in this country. I think everyone with any practical experience knows that there is too much difficulty already. That point has been dealt with in Germany in various cases that I have investigated. There they do not make this duty a Stamp Duty, which hampers the transfer. They make it a duty that is collected after the transfer has taken place. I would just like to read to the House a translation of a, report dealing with the matter at Breslau. [An HON. MEMBER: "Breslau?"] Yes. I do not know why Frankfort has been taken so much, because Frankfort is not the most typical of the towns. I think it is because it is in the Blue Book:— The purchaser of a piece of land and the former owner are obliged to give the Municipal Council notice of the transfer within a fortnight, and, on demand, to submit the necessary documents within a month, The taxpayer as well as those who have acquired an interest in the property are obliged to give information for the assessment of the tax on the demand of the Municipal Council. There (at Breslau) you see the transaction takes place first. Both the vendor and the purchaser have to give information when they are called upon, and then the assessment takes place. I would like to point out it is not quite right to assume that there is no trouble with assessment under the German, system In a book which I have been reading there are a number of decided cases which show that there is very considerable trouble with the assessments there, as doubtless we shall have here. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] Yes; but the trouble is a very poor reason for not imposing a tax which otherwise would operate well. [An HON. MEMBER: "Mention another one."] We will see to that. I know in Germany that the opponents in every ease——

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member is getting away from the point.

Mr. MOND

I shall try to confine myself to the subject, but the interruption of the hon. Baronet has led me from the point. The actual point is whether it is best not to collect the duty on the conveyance, but afterwards. The argument against the latter from a Treasury point of view is nothing. I can quite understand there is a very strong objection from the social point of view. The question, therefore, is whether the objection that the Treasury should run the risk of not getting the whole duty should weigh against the disadvantage of hanging up the transaction till the duty is paid. It is a very important point. But it seems to me that this question can be dealt with in sub-section (6) of section (3), to which I have handed in an Amendment. Under that sub-section a denoting stamp could be put on the conveyance simply noting the transaction and thereby franking the transaction for purchase, and also so far as the title is concerned. That would be following the course followed in Germany. There, where you have your titles on the register, the transfer is noted automatically. If we adopt a similar system those concerned will run no risks whatever, because the solicitor receiving the purchase money will regard himself as having to pay the duty before his client gets the balance. By this simple mechanism, then, you will get over this difficulty.

Mr. J. A. CLYDE

No one who has listened to the hon. Member for Chester (Mr. A. Mond) but can see that the practical difficulty of the exaction of this duty on the conveyance, or, rather, at the time of the transfer, say, in England, is a very serious matter. I am sure that those who see that, with an experience which in the main refers to England, will agree, after I have made the explanation in regard to our Scottish people, that it is as inconve- nient and even more serious with us than in the case of English conveyances. There is no need of technicalities at all in what I am going to say. Our Scottish system is such that I am afraid if the Government were to hold to their proposal as it stands that that system would require to be very materially altered. The peculiarities, as hon. Members in general know, of the Scottish system of landed title is that all actual titles are registered, and—this is the important point—until the titles are registered they are not complete. Anybody who gets on to the register first wins the day. The consequence is that nobody will part with his money except in exchange for a conveyance or deed of some sort which can be instantly placed upon the register, so that his title is completed, and there is no risk from outsiders or third parties, who are absolutely shut out. What applies in an ordinary case of sale? The sale takes place. It is arranged for settlement at the ensuing term. The parties have fixed up their own price long before, or perhaps a short period before. Settlement is to be made at the term. In all probability the arrangements of loans, made with a view to the term, fixes the necessity for carrying the whole thing through at that time. Very well, it will all depend upon the question of whether the necessary valuation to determine the increment value, and therefore to fix the duty, can be carried through in a week, fortnight, three weeks, or possibly two months; whether, when the term comes, the cash can be handed over in exchange for the conveyance, which shall be instantly registerable. Because it must be remembered that in the Acts of Parliament which regulate these registers in Scotland the registrar is bound to satisfy himself that the full amount of duty has been paid before allowing a deed to be put on the record.

Therefore if you take an ordinary case where the increment value may be due you have got to get through the whole of your machinery between the time that your purchase is arranged and the time that it is actually settled. All our term transactions depend upon that. They must be term transactions. If the Government's proposals stand unchanged, and if it is insisted that on the conveyance the stamp must be put—that means before registration and before the completion of the title —the meaning would be that the term transaction would of necessity be thrown into confusion. It follows that the security which our registers provide for title in Scotland would be greatly damaged, because delay would ensue, and in the interval half a dozen things might happen. The vendor might become bankrupt, or other misfortunes may take place, and plainly it will be agreed that it would not be reasonable because of this proposal to upset a system which has been established for a long time, and which we in Scotland value very highly. To be frank with hon. Members who represent English constituencies, we think that our system of land rights in Scotland has very great advantages over the English system. It will be most unreasonable, I submit, to insist upon a proposal of this kind which cannot work consistently with the operation of our registry system in Scotland. I would like to ask a question in regard to the difficulty which I must confess I have found in understanding what is proposed. I should like to know whether the conveyance of the land in security of money in Scotland, whether for a deed on mortgage, or what we call "a bonded dispensation in security," or, on the other hand, by a conveyance which is absolute and qualified only by agreement—I would like to know whether this transfer——

The CHAIRMAN

I think that point had better be left until we come to the Amendment dealing with it.

Mr. CLYDE

My only intention was to ask whether, as this seemed probable, it would apply to such transactions. But I bow to your ruling, and confine myself entirely to the subject-matter of what I have said, and ask the right hon. Gentleman what they are going to do, and whether they are going to insist on carrying out a system which cannot work? If they are not going to do that, can they tell us how they are going to make the system fit?

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for SCOTLAND (Mr. A. Dewar)

I agree with the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Edinburgh (Mr. Clyde) that there is a distinction, and a very wide distinction, between our Scottish system and our English system, and I agree also with the historical account of it which he has given to the House. I do not agree with him, however, that the proposals would throw the whole of the Scottish system out of gear. No doubt a tax of any kind is an inconvenience wherever it falls, and by whoever it is sustained. This tax, like other taxes, will cause some inconvenience in Scotland as elsewhere. The question is whether or not the proposal can be modified in the case of Scotland as distinct from England. I am sure my learned Friend will agree with me that it cannot be modified under this Amendment, because this Amendment proposes to transfer some obligation of immediate payment from the vendor to the buyer. Clearly that is not the only solution of the problem possible, even if it were a good one. The matter is one which I have no doubt the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be glad to have a further opportunity of hearing my learned Friend upon, and if he were to put down an Amendment in the proper place I have no doubt it will receive full consideration. I agree with my hon. and learned Friend as to the difference in our registration as compared with that of England, but I think that he will agree with me when I say that the change which he would like to see brought about in the Bill would not be affected by the Amendment which we are now discussing.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

May I make a suggestion? It is that the difficulty might be met by the insertion of the words "on, or as soon as conveniently possible after." With regard to this particular difficulty, it will be admitted by everybody, and the speech of the hon. Member for Chester (Mr. Mond) goes to show that on the continental example they do pay duty afterwards, and, after all, it is a question of convenience, and that being so I think that the words that I have suggested would meet the difficulty, and then on subsequent Amendments the further position might be discussed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer indicated with regard to the machinery that it was his intention to establish registers so as to deal with this particular difficulty all over the country. I think I am right in pointing out that there is not a word in the financial Resolution which gives the slightest indication that any such expenses were going to be incurred, and it seems to me it would be entirely outside our purview at the present moment. Subject to your ruling, Mr. Emmott, I desire to say that the establishment of any such registers, open to inspection by the public, as was indicated by the Chancellor, would very greatly add to the difficulties in Liverpool at all events, and everywhere else I am sure. To give everyone the right of inspecting these registers to see what a man pays for his land, the cost of transfer, and to inquire, as it were, into his banking account, would greatly add to the difficulties, and dangers and terrors, which are to be found in these clauses.

The CHAIRMAN

I do not think we can go into all the difficulties such as the hon. Member raised with regard to the register, and with regard to the financial question, of course, that does not arise here.

Sir ARTHUR BIGNOLD

I do not think the difficulties, which have been spoken of as existing in Scotland, would be removed by the suggestions which have been made by the Solicitor-General for Scotland. There is a great difference between the system of tenure of land in Scotland and that in England. In England all land is either freehold or copyhold, fine, arbitrary, or certain, with some few unimportant exceptions, but in Scotland not one acre in every 500 is held as freehold. The land is held clench of the Crown. The Crown had granted land at various times to vassals, who there became proprietors a coelo usque ad centrum, which meant the ownership not only of the land, but all beneath it. The owner thus created had the power to sell the land and retain the minerals or sell the mineral rights and retain the land, and consequently to-day in Scotland there is very often an absolute divorce between the ownership of the minerals and the ownership of the land. Unless this Amendment or some similar Amendment is adopted I think this part of the Bill will be absolutely unworkable in regard to Scotch land.

Mr. COURTENAY WARNER

The Commissioners have power to delay this payment under Clause 3, and consequently the difficulties which hon, Members point to do not necessarily arise, because I should assume these are exactly the cases where the Commisioners would defer payment where difficulties about royalties arose.

Mr. T. B. NAPIER

I think it is now generally agreed that the section and the Amendment both relate to questions of machinery only, and that they do not in any way affect the real incidence of the tax. I did not understand from the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Attorney-General that they suggested anything more concerning the Amendment, and in no sense was it suggested that the real and ultimate persons who would pay the tax would be affected any way either by the Amendment or the section. The question before the Committee is whether it is better that the transferor or the transferee ought to pay the tax. I think after a little consideration it will be seen that really the transferor ought to pay it, and ought to be the person liable, because he alone is the man who knows the circumstances and the facts upon which the tax must be based. The transferee does not know the amount spent upon permanent improvements. The transferee knows nothing of the general circumstances of the property or of the various items which go to build up increment upon which the tax and the deductions from the tax ought to be made, and, therefore, it seems to me, whatever they do in Germany, it will be according to our English practice hopeless to expect to get a transferee to give all the facts which would be necessary in order to enable the Treasury to fix this charge. Supposing for a moment you put the duty upon the transferee. The transferor has got his purchase money according to the hypothesis of the Amendment, and he may leave the country. You may possibly never get any additional knowledge or explanation from the transferor if once you allow him to get his purchase money without having satisfied the Treasury that he has either paid or is able to pay the tax. It is said this will delay completion of the purchase. I do not think so for a moment. Take 99 out of a 100 purchases of land. How long is there between the agreement and the actual completion of the purchase? I venture to say more than a month elapses between the beginning of the bargain and the execution of the conveyance. What is the vendor's solicitor doing in the meantime? He has to furnish abstracts of title, that takes some time. A month is fixed for the time of completion, because the vendor's solicitor has a great deal to do. Contemporaneously with getting his abstract, what does he do? These particulars are taken to Somerset House, and this period of time will be ample in which to gather the whole of the facts necessary to enable Somerset House to decide upon the amount of the Increment Tax. What about the few cases in which you want to complete the purchase at once? They are not very many, but there may be some, and we must see how far the Chancellor has met this difficulty.

I venture to say the difficulty is completely met by sub-section (b) of section (3). All particulars are carried in at once to Somerset House, which will enable them to make the valuation in order to verify the statement of the vendor. Having done that, Somerset House will assess the duty. There is no doubt about it, it is not a question of discre- tion, because Somerset House, with all its defects, endeavours to push business forward, and will give the certificate referred to under B. Then, I agree, Somerset House may demand security from the vendor, and that the vendor will not be in a hurry to give security; but Somerset House is not obliged to demand security, and often it will be enough to say that the vendor is known to be a reputable man, or, as they say in the police courts, that "nothing is known against him." I venture to say Somerset House will often exercise the discretion given under this Bill, and will give the stamp without requiring security. In these circumstances it seems to me there is little advantage to be obtained by asking that the transferor shall not pay the Increment Tax, but that the transferee shall. I would like to ask the Attorney-General a question, do I understand under this Bill, if a conveyance is made and if Increment Duty has been paid upon that conveyance, if I choose to risk it and take the conveyance without the stamp denoting that Increment Duty has been paid, is the property in my hands liable at any future time to be charged by active steps taken by the Government for the payment of the Increment Duty? I know that under a later sub-section I might have difficulty when I came to sell the property, because I have to produce a conveyance properly stamped with an increment stamp, and then it may be that I have to purchase that out of my own pocket. But supposing I do not want to sell, I should like to know whether, twenty or thirty years later, the Increment Duty is a charge on my property?

Sir W. ROBSON

Look at Clause 4, section (3), sub-section (b,) which, I think, answers the matter.

Mr. NAPIER

That does not confer upon the Government the power of taking active steps for enforcing the duty on land. It simply says if I sell land, then I am obliged to produce my usual stamp of conveyance and the purchaser will say, "If you have not got your Increment Duty stamp, go and pay it." But supposing I do not want to sell.

Sir F. BANBURY

I will leave the Attorney-General and the hon. Member opposite to settle their differences on some more propitious occasion. The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Napier) is in error if he thinks Somerset House will not come down upon him if he has not paid the duty. The hon. Member says it is the settled practice of English law to do certain things, and he states that he does not care what happens in Germany. The settled practice is that the transferee shall pay all Stamp Duties due upon the sale of any description of property. The Stamp Duties are always paid by the buyer, and, as far as that is concerned, the practice of the English law is against the conclusion of the hon. Member. I have listened to the arguments for and against this Amendment, and I have concluded that the Debate has shown that this clause is practically unworkable. I think there is a good deal to be said against the Amendment which has been proposed from this side of the House. If you leave it as it is, and put the duty upon the transferor, you will, and must, create a further impediment in the free sale of all landed property. It is said that a solicitor is very often a month preparing the necessary deeds before possession can be given. If that is so, why on earth make it worse by putting in a clause which will probably occupy the solicitor two or three months before possession can be given to the purchaser. It is absolutely certain that when you have to discover whether or not Increment Duty is due, Somerset House will not give the stamp until the matter has been settled, and, therefore, many months may elapse before the purchaser can obtain possession of what he has bought. The hon. Member opposite seems to think that as soon as the seller has obtained his money he is going to leave the country. I think very likely it will be one of the effects of this Bill. I believe that as soon as any person is fortunate enough to get in hard cash a certain consideration for the property, he will very likely go where Radicals will cease from troubling and where Chancellors of the Exchequer do not exist. That, however, is not an argument against this Amendment; on the contrary, it is an argument in favour of it. Supposing the Amendment is carried and the transferee has to pay the stamp. It is quite open for hon. Members opposite to argue that a purchaser will be deterred from purchasing because he will not know exactly what liability will be put upon him. You cannot tell what this increment value is going to be. I think we shall be stopping sale if we pass this Amendment. I do not think a purchaser, unless he is very anxious to get a property, will submit himself to the risk of having to pay an unknown quantity in regard to this increment value. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us that in the majority of cases there will be no increment at all, and that view is a strong argument in favour of this Amendment. That is a very extraordinary admission, and it really does not seem to me to be an argument calculated to advance this Bill as a whole. I have endeavoured to point out the difficulties as they have suggested themselves to my mind, and I confess I do not quite know on which side I shall vote. On the whole, however, I think this side is more likely to be right, and, therefore, I shall support my hon. Friend's Amendment.

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

The CHAIRMAN

I think the Committee is prepared to come to a decision without the closure.

Sir W. BULL

The Chancellor of the Exchequer almost took my breath away when he mentioned the fact that for the purposes of this clause practically he will have to set up a Land Registry in every county in England. Is it seriously suggested that in every county, and in every large centre of population, for the purpose of registering the deeds in cases where increment has to be paid, and for properties where no Increment Duty will have to be paid, every single transaction will have to be registered in those land registries 1 If so, an enormous number of officials will have to be employed.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member cannot go into the details of land registries now.

Question put, "That the word 'on' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 262; Noes, 87.

Division No. 282.] AYES. [5.25 p.m.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Chance, Frederick William Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Channing, Sir Francis Allston Gwynn, Stephen Lucius
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Halpin, J.
Agnew, George William Clancy, John Joseph Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cleland, J. W. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Alden, Percy Clough, William Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Clynes, J. R. Hart-Davies, T.
Ambrose, Robert Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Harwood, George
Armitage, R. Condon, Thomas Joseph Haslam, James (Derbyshire)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hayden, John Patrick
Atherley-Jones, L. Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Crooks, William Hedges, A. Paget
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Cross, Alexander Holme, Norval Watson
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Crossley, William J. Hemmerde, Edward George
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Cullinan, J. Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset) Curran, Peter Francis Higham, John Sharp
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Hobart, Sir Robert
Barran, Rowland Hirst Davits, Ellis William (Eifion) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan) Hodge, John
Beale, W. P. Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hogan, Michael
Beauchamp, E. Delany, William Holt, Richard Durning
Beck, A. Cecil Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)
Bellairs, Carlyon Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Horniman, Emslie John
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Bennett, E. N. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hudson, Walter
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Dobson, Thomas W. Idris, T. H. W.
Boland, John Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Illingworth, Percy H.
Boulton, A. C. F. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Jackson, R. S.
Bowerman, C. W. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Jenkins, J.
Brace, William Essex, R. W. Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)
Brigg, John Evans, Sir S. T. Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Bright, J. A. Everett, R. Lacey Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Flynn, James Christopher Joyce, Michael
Brooke, Stopford Foster, Rt. Hon. sir Walter Kavanagh, Walter M.
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Fuller, John Michael F. Kelley, George D.
Bryce, J. Annan Fullerton, Hugh Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Gill, A. H. King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Burke, E. Kaviland- Ginnelll, L. Laidlaw, Robert
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Lamont, Norman
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Glover, Thomas Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Byles, William Pollard Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)
Cameron, Robert Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Lehmann, R. C.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Grant, Corrie Levy, Sir Maurice
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Lewis, John Herbert
Cawley, Sir Frederick Griffiths, Ellis J. Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Lundon, T. Parker, James (Halifax) Stead man, W. C.
Lyell, Charles Henry Paul, Herbert Stewart, Halley (Greeneek)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Paulton, James Mellor Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Macpherson, J. T. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Summerbell, T.
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Pearce, William (Limehouse) Sutherland, J. E.
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Taylor, Theodore C, (Radcliffe)
M'Micking, Major G. Philips, John (Longford, S.) Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Maddison, Frederick Pirie, Duncan V. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Mallet, Charles E. Pointer, J. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Marnham, F. J. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Thomasson, Franklin
Massie, J. Radford, G. H. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Masterman, C, F. G. Rainy, A. Rolland Thorne, William (West Ham)
Meagher, Michael Rea, Walter Russell (Gloucester) Tomkinson, James
Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Reddy, M. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Molteno, Percy Alport Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Walsh, Stephen
Money, L. G. Chiozza Redmond, William (Clare) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Montagu, Hon. E. S. Rendall, Athelstan Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Montgomery, H. G. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Waring, Walter
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Morrell, Philip Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Morse, L. L. Roberts, Sir J. H. Denbighs) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Waterlow, D. S.
Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Robinson, S. Watt, Henry A.
Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Robson, Sir William Snowdon White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Rogers, F. E. Newman White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Napier, T. B. Rose, Sir Charles Day White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Nolan, Joseph Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Schwann, C. (Duncan (Hyde) Wiles, Thomas
Nussey, Sir Willans Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne) Wilkie, Alexander
O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Seeley, Colonel Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
O Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Silceck, Thomas Ball Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Snowden, P. Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Soares, Ernest J. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
O'Dowd, John Spicer, Sir Albert
O'Grady, J. Stanger, H. Y. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Sir E. Strachey.
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N ) Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
O'Malley, William
NOES
Acland Hood. Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Fardell, Sir T. George Morpeth, Viscount
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fell, Arthur Newdegate, F. A.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Forster, Henry William Oddy, John James
Ashley, W. W. Foster, P. S. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Balcarres, Lord Gardner, Ernest Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Baldwin, Stanley Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Pretyman, E. G.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Goulding, Edward Alfred Remnant, James Farquharson
Banner, John S. Harmood- Gretton, John Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Ronaldshay, Earl of
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hamilton, Marquess of Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Harris, Frederick Leverton Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Brotherton, Edward Allen Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Bull, Sir William James Heaton, John Henniker Stanier, Beville
Butcher, Samuel Henry Helmsley, Viscount Starkey, John R.
Carlile, E. Hildred Hill, Sir Clement Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Cave, George Hills, J. W. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Hunt, Rowland Valentia, Viscount
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Joynson-Hicks, William Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Clive, Percy Archer King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Clyde, J. Avon Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Long. Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Craik, Sir Henry Lonsdale, John Brownlee Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Doughty, Sir George Lowe, Sir Francis William Winterton, Earl
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Magnus, Sir Philip
Faber, George Denison (York) Marks, H. H. (Kent) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Younger and Mr. Lane-Fox.
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Mason, James F. (Windsor)

Mr. A. E. W. MASON (for Sir J. Dickson-Poynder) moved, after the word "land"["or on the grant of any lease of any land"] to insert the words "within the meaning of sections 1 and 2 of this Act." The Amendment seems to me to be one of a very necessary character. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has within the last day or two allowed some very important exemptions, and, unless the words "any land" are limited by some such reference to those exemptions as has been put down by the hon. Member for North-West Wilts (Sir J. Dickson-Poynder), this clause would be a distinct contradiction of Clauses 1 and 2, and would bar those exemptions and prevent the intention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer being carried out.

Sir W. ROBSON

I think my hon. Friend (Mr. A. E. W. Mason) is needlessly apprehensive. This clause will have to be read in connection with Clauses 1, 2, and 3 and any deductions or exemptions mentioned in the preceding clauses will apply to this clause. The Amendment would defeat the purpose for which it is designed.

The CHAIRMAN

Does the hon. Member withdraw?

Mr. A. E. W. MASON

I do not quite follow the hon. and learned Gentleman. The phrase is "on any transfer on sale of any land or interest in land, or on the grant of any lease of any land," and within the last day or two certain exemptions have been made. They will be perfectly familiar to the House, and the Amendment is simply meant to carry out the intentions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Of course, if the hon. and learned Gentleman is perfectly certain this clause does not in any way contradict the other clauses, I do not wish to press the Amendment.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I confess I have not given much attention to this matter, and have only listened to what the hon. Gentleman (Mr. A. E. W. Mason) and the Attorney-General have said. Is the Attorney-General perfectly certain that the word land, without qualification, must refer to land as defined, limited, and qualified in the other clauses? Surely this clause would stand by itself and would embrace all land, whether exempted in other places or not. You have to have inquiry and proof under the other clauses, and is it not necessary in some way to limit the word in this place so as to confine it to the particular classes of land defined in the other clauses of the Act?

Sir W. ROBSON

This clause would be read in connection with the other clauses, and, if there is any particular kind of land to be separately dealt with, it will be so dealt with. There is no occasion whenever you use the word "land" to import all the exemptions mentioned in the other clauses. It is only where duty is due that it will be collected; where it is not due there will be no collection.

Earl WINTERTON

I can see no words in this clause to the effect that it only refers to land when Increment Value Duty is due. It seems to me it would refer to any land on which there is an increment value, and not necessarily only to that land as defined by the first two clauses in the Bill and on which Increment Value Duty would be due. I think the Attorney-General should explain more plainly. None of us on this side of the House can see any words limiting the clause to cases where Increment Value Duty is due under Clauses 1 and 2. As I understand it, it refers to all land where there is increment value.

Sir W. ROBSON

The clause is inserted for the purpose of declaring that the Increment Value Duty, of course when due, shall be collected on the instrument—"On any transfer, on sale of any land or interest in land, or on the grant of any lease of any land, Increment Value Duty shall be collected on the instrument by means of which the transfer is made." You do not want every time you are using the word "land" to reintroduce all sorts of words of qualification.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I quite understand that the purpose of both sides of the House is the same. The only question is, which is the best way to carry it out. I am not sure the words moved are the best, because all the exemptions to which he wishes them to apply may not occur in the first two clauses. I venture to suggest that, instead of proceeding with the Amendment, the hon. Member (Mr. A. E. W. Mason) might take the words used by the Attorney-General just now, and after the word "land" insert "on which Increment Value Duty is due." That will make it plain that the words "any land or any interest in land, or any lease of any land" are not intended to have an extensive application, but are strictly limited to such instances or transactions as have already had the duty attached to them.

Sir W. ROBSON

I think those words will introduce fresh doubt and difficulty and will be very undesirable. I think the words in section (2),"where Increment Value Duty is due," ought to be dropped out, because the duty of the vendor to supply the Commissioners with particulars should not in all instances be limited to cases where Increment Value Duty is due. There might be cases where they would require particulars where it might turn out that Increment Value Duty is not due.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

That raises a very big question indeed; but I do not want to discuss the words in section (2). Where is there anything about it being the duty of the transferor or vendor to supply these particulars if he be required to supply them in every case, whether duty is due or not I admit this has no surprise for me; it is what we have contended on many occasions. You are going to cause an enormous amount of work and expense in a vast number of cases in which no duty is due at all. Surely, the requiring of these particulars has nothing whatever to do with this section, and the Attorney-General's objection to my suggestion was irrelevant. It does not matter whether the Commissioners require these particulars or not; the only question is whether duty shall be collected on any transfer on sale, or on the grant of any lease, or only on such of them as the House has decided in previous sections shall fall within the scope of the duty. I do not understand the Attorney-General's contention. Perhaps he will explain more fully.

Sir W. ROBSON

I think we are discussing other words than those which are the subject of the Amendment. We only collect the duty where it is due. Why should we add words when the meaning of the clause is already obvious?

Mr. PRETYMAN

We are obliged on this section (1) to refer to section (2) merely for the purpose of making the point clear to the Committee. We have under section (1) the statement that the increment value shall be collected. Section (2) states what is to be the process to be gone through when the value is collected. It is thought necessary by the Government in section (2) to state that this process shall only be gone through in cases where the increment value is due. In section (1) these words are omitted. Why? If they are necessary in the one place, surely they are equally necessary in the other. It is our duty as a Committee to pass this Bill in such a form that the people who are to live under its provisions will be able to understand and act upon them. I defy anyone in reading sections (1) and (2) of this clause, as now drafted, to know whether the Increment Duty is payable; if he looks at section (1) he thinks it is. If he looks at section (2) he thinks it is not. The object of this Amendment is to bring both sections into line, and this can be done much more simply by a drafting Amendment which should begin with the words "Increment Value Duty, when due, shall be collected on any transfer or sale of land," etc. As it stands at present there is complete confusion in the drafting of the section.

Mr. G. CAVE

This Amendment raises a question of some importance, chiefly owing to the Attorney-General's answer. If section (1) is right, why will he not bring section (2) into accord with it? The effect of the two together will be this: that when a man knows that no duty is or can be due he will have to go through the process of presenting the instrument to the Commissioners and supplying them with a number of details to enable them to decide whether the duty is due or not. I notice in the later section of this clause, while there is a provision for a denoting stamp certifying that the duty has been assessed, there is no provision for a stamp denoting that no duty is due. In that respect the clause is deficient. The effect of the hon. and learned Attorney-General's argument is that when no duty is due at all the process of presenting the instrument to the Commissioners must still be gone through. It will be necessary to get some kind of stamp, but there is no provision in the case where no duty is found to be due for affixing a denoting stamp to that effect. You are imposing on the subject a long and burdensome process without any object at all. Surely the simpler plan would be to accept the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire (Mr. Austen Chamberlain). It is a perfectly simple Amendment, and cannot hurt the Attorney-General.

Mr. JOYNSON- HICKS

Surely the Attorney-General might give us an outline of the policy of the Government on this Question. I have an Amendment on the Paper later on dealing with this very matter, and it would be well for the Government to tell us what course they are going to take.

The CHAIRMAN

That can be done when the hon. Member's Amendment is reached.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

But surely it is desirable, in connection with this particular Amendment, for the Government to let us know whether it is their policy that those who deal in land are to give particulars, and to affix a stamp in the case of all transactions under this particular section, or whether the duty will only be payable when it is a dutiable transfer. We want some kind of guidance to enable us to decide whether or not it is a dutiable transfer. I understood the Chancellor of the Exchequer to suggest that the solicitors might give an undertaking, and I think it is quite possible they could give a certificate, otherwise all this process of valuation would have to be gone through in such trumpery cases as the sale of a cottage, and that will do away with any possibility of cheapening the transaction. I hope the Government will accept the Amendment, and make some general statement of policy.

Mr. A. E. W. MASON

I am quite willing to withdraw my Amendment, but I propose to move the addition of certain words later on.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. A. E. W. MASON

I now beg to move after the word "land"["of any lease of any land"] to insert the words "in respect of which the Increment Value Duty is due."

Sir W. ROBSON

I think I have already dealt sufficiently with that point. The object of this provision is simply to direct how the Increment Duty is to be collected, and I do not think there is any necessity for inserting these words.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I do not understand why the Attorney-General objects to the insertion of these words at this place. I understand him to suggest it would confine their operation merely to leases of land. I presume it depends on the effect of the word "or" between the different sentences. The section runs, "transfer on sale of any land or interest in land or on the grant of any lease." Are we to take it that this will only apply to leases of land. I was assured from the Front Bench opposite the other day that the use of the word at the end was sufficient to govern the whole. Now the hon.

and learned Gentleman reads the word differently, and he says that only the last sentence is governed by it, and that it therefore is confined to leases.

Sir W. ROBSON

I do not think the right hon. Gentleman is accurate in his recollection, as far as I am personally concerned, but it is perfectly clear here that the words apply only to the grant of any lease of any land on which the Increment Value Duty is due.

Sir FRANCIS LOWE

Surely it is not beyond the power of the Attorney-General to insert words in this section making our intention and the intention of the Government perfectly clear? I understand him to say he only wishes the Increment Value Duty to be collected on land where the Increment Value Duty is payable. Surely that can be made perfectly clear.

Mr. JAMES HOPE

May I suggest that, as the intentions of the Mover of the Amendment are quite clear, the whole point can be met by simple instructions to the printer as to the form in which this clause should be printed.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I think I can meet the Attorney-General by another Amendment, and I would suggest the insertion of the words "either of," so that the Amendment will read, "in respect of either of which the increment value is due." I think that will meet the Attorney-General's objection and also our view, and I beg therefore to move it as an Amendment to the Amendment.

Viscount HELMSLEY

May I ask the learned Attorney-General if he accepts those words which will satisfy us, and then, if, on further consideration he thinks them unnecessary, on Report, he can strike them out? It seems to me that they are necessary, and should be put in. It is quite possible that on consideration he will come to the same opinion.

Question put, "That those words, as amended, be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 96; Noes, 278.

Division No. 283.] AYES. [6.3 p.m.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Balcarres, Lord Banner, John S. Harmood-
Anson, Sir William Reynell Baldwin, Stanley Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Beauchamp, E.
Ashley, W. W. Banbury, Sir Frederick George Beckett, Hon. Gervase
Bignold, Sir Arthur Haddock, George B. Ridsdale, E. A.
Bridgeman. W. Clive Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bull, Sir William James Harris, Frederick Leverton Ronaldshay, Earl of
Butcher, Samuel, Henry Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Carlile, E. Hildred Hay, Hon. Claude George Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Cave, George Heaton, John Henniker Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Helmsley, Viscount Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D,
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Hill, Sir Clement Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Chance, Frederick William Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Stanier, Beville
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Hunt, Rowland Starkey, John R.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Joynson-Hicks, William Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Clive, Percy Archer King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Clyde, J. Avon Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lane-Fox, G. R. Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Thornton, Percy M.
Craik, Sir Henry Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Valentia, Viscount
Davies, David (Montgemery Co ) Lonsdale, John Brownlee Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire).
Doughty, Sir George Lowe, Sir Francis William Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Magnus, Sir Philip Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Faber, George Denison (York) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Winterton, Earl
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Mason, James F. (Windsor) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Fardell, Sir T. George Morpeth, viscount Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Fell, Arthur Morrison-Bell, Captain Younger, George
Forster, Henry William Newdegate, F. A.
Foster, P. S. Oddy, John James
Gardner, Ernest Paulton, James Mellor TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. A. E. W. Mason and Sir J. Dickson-Poynder
Goulding, Edward Alfred Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Gretton, John Pretyman, E. G.
Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Remnant, James Farquharson
NOES.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Clough, William Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Acland, Francis Dyke Clynes, J. R. Hart-Davies, T.
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Harwood, George
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Haslam, James (Derbyshire)
Agnew, George William Condon, Thomas Joseph Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Haworth, Arthur A.
Alden, Percy Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Hazleton, Richard
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Crooks, William Hedges, A. Paget
Ambrose, Robert Crosfield, A. H. Helme, Norval Watson
Armitage, R. Cross, Alexander Hemmerde, Edward George
Ashton, Thomas Gair Crossley, William J. Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Curran, Peter Francis Henry, Charles S.
Atherley-Jones, L. Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Higham, John Sharp
Baker Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Delany, William Hobart, Sir Robert
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Hodge, John
Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset) Dickinson, W, H. (St. Pancras, N.) Hogan, Michael
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Dobson, Thomas W. Holt, Richard Durning
Barnes, G. N. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Hooper, A. G.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Horniman, Emslie John
Beale, W. P. Elibank, Master of Hudson, Walter
Beck, A. Cecil Essex, R. W. Hutton, Alfred Eddison
Bell, Richard Esslemont, George Birnie Idris, T. H. W.
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Evans, Sir S. T. Illingworth, Percy H.
Bennett, E. N. Everett, R. Lacey Jackson, R. S.
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Jenkins, J.
Boland, John Flynn, James Christopher Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)
Boulton, A. C. F. Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Bowerman, C. W. Fuller, John Michael F. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Brace, William Fullerton, Hugh Kavanagh, Walter M.
Bramsdon, Sir T. A. Gibb, James (Harrow) Kekewich, Sir George
Brigg, John Gill, A. H. Kelley, George D.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Brooke, Stopford Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Glover, Thomas Laidlaw, Robert
Bryce, J. Annan Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Lamont, Norman
Burke, E. Haviland- Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Grant, Corrie Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Lehmann, R. C.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Levy, Sir Maurice
Byles, William Pollard Griffith, Ellis J. Lewis, John Herbert
Cameron, Robert Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Halpin, J. Lundon, T.
Cawley, Sir Frederick Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) Lyell, Charles Henry
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Cleland, J. W. Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Macpherson, J. T. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Pearce, William (Limehouse) Summerbell, T.
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Sutherland, J. E.
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
M'Micking, Major G. Pointer, J. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Maddison, Frederick Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Mallet, Charles E. Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Marnham, F. J. Radford, G. H. Thomasson, Franklin
Massie, J. Rainy, A. Rolland Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Masterman, C F. G. Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Thorne, William (West Ham)
Meagher, Michael Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Tomkinson, James
Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Reddy, M. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Menzies, Sir Walter Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Molteno, Percy Alport Redmond, William (Clare) Walsh, Stephen
Money, L. G. Chiozza Rendall, Athelstan Walton, Joseph
Montgomery, H. G. Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Mooney, J. J. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Waring, Walter
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Morrell, Philip Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Morse, L. L. Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Robinson, S. Watt, Henry A.
Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Robson, Sir William Snowdon White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Rose, Sir Charles Day White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Napier, T. B. Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Nolan, Joseph Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Samuel, Rt Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Wiles, Thomas
Nussey, Sir Willans Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Wilkie, Alexander
Nuttall, Harry Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sears, J. E. Williamson, Sir A.
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Seely, Colonel Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Shaw, Sir Charles E. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
O'Connor, T. P; (Liverpool) Silcock, Thomas Ball Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
O'Dowd, John Snowden, P. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
O'Grady, J. Soares, Ernest J. Winfrey, R.
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Spicer, Sir Albert Wood, T. M'Kinnon
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.) Stanger, H. Y.
O'Malley, William Steadman, W. C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Parker, James (Halifax) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Paul, Herbert Strachey, Sir Edward

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

Sir W. ROBSON moved, after the word "land"["On any transfer on sale of any land or interest in land, or on the grant of any lease of any land"] to insert the words "for a term exceeding 14 years."

This is a verbal Amendment to make this section correspond with sub-section (a,) section (1) of Clause 1. The section will then read: "On any transfer on sale of any land or interest in land, or on the grant of any lease of any land for a term exceeding 14 years Increment Value Duty shall be collected," etc.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I certainly do not rise to oppose the Amendment of the Attorney-General, which is the exact parallel of the proposal we have just voted for, and which he has voted against. The hon. Member for Coventry (Mr. A. E. W. Mason) is in his place, and I congratulate him, not on his immediate, but on his ultimate success. The object of the hon. Member for Coventry was to bring land in this section into harmony with land as defined in the previous clause. That, said the Attorney-General, was quite unnecessary, because all the clauses of this Bill would be read together, and this section dealt not with the imposition of the tax, but with the collection, and it could not be collected from any landowner from whom it was not due under other sections. Therefore, he thought it worth while to make two speeches, and put us to the trouble of a division in order to prevent the hon. Member for Coventry from inserting the words which showed that the land referred to in this section was the land referred to in the other clauses. Now he comes, and setting aside every one of those arguments, thinks it necessary to insert words in order to prevent leases, excluded from Clause 1, section (1), sub-section (c), from being brought within the purview of this particular sub-section. I have seen Members turn round in an amazingly short space of time, but I have never seen a quicker performance than that which the Attorney-General has just accomplished.

Sir W. ROBSON

Hon. Members will see if they follow the words of the section that what I am doing here is to make them exactly correspond with the words of sec- tion (1), which imposes the duty. The last Amendment was for something totally different. It was not to add something to the narrative words, but to add a qualification which had nothing to do with them, and which would have introduced considerable difficulty in dealing with the definition of land' and which would have distinguished between land under lease and land under sale. The right hon. Gentleman's admiration for the quickness of the turn which he ascribes to me happens to be misplaced.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD moved to leave out the words "collected on the instrument by means of which the transfer or the lease is effected or agreed to be effected and shall be."

The object of the claus3 is that upon transfer of the land or a grant of the lease Increment Value Duty is to be assessed by by the Commissioners and paid. The Government in the clause, as originally drawn, have thought fit to insist upon a certain method of paying that duty. They have insisted upon the duty being collected on the actual instrument which gives the transfer. It has been made abundantly clear that this would be a grievous injustice and would create intolerable delay, and, moreover, there is not the slightest necessity for it. The duty can be collected like any other duty is collected, upon a printed form which is sent in by the transferor or the lessor as the case may be. He has to send it in to the Inland Revenue, who go through the particulars and mark upon it the amount of duty they assess. Then the person who is responsible for the payment of the duty hands the form back to the Stamp Office with the amount of duty, whereupon a stamp is put upon the paper there and then, and afterwards, if the holder of the deed so desires, he can go at any time and get a denoting stamp put upon it when he produces his form. I suggest that the Government have chosen a most difficult, complicated, and dilatory method of insisting upon this duty being paid, and I appeal to them, on behalf of those who are desirous of seeing ordinary conveyances go through with reasonable celerity, to allow these words to be left out of the clause altogether. I could have understood them if they had been prepared to accept Amendments putting an alternative in to allow this form to be presented and the duty paid on the form, but there is not the slightest occasion to complicate the cause by any such words at all, because regulations are to be made as to the exact method of carrying this out. Surely the kind of form and the way it is to be submitted can be reasonably and properly provided for, and there is no occasion that I can see to inflict this serious burden and difficulty upon us.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I can assure the hon. Member that the Government gave very careful consideration to this question, and we came to the conclusion that both from the point of view of the revenue and of the parties themselves, it was infinitely better that it should be recorded on the permanent instrument of title. From the point of view of the revenue, it is undoubtedly better, because it is a guarantee as far as it goes, and it goes very far, that Increment Duty will be paid. If it is known by the parties that it is an essential part of the document of title, the purchaser will be sure to see that the stamp is on the face of the document, showing that at the date of the transaction the obligations of the land to the revenue have been discharged. That is a much more effective means of collecting revenue and ensuring that fair play is done by the revenue. The hon. Member pointed that out very effectively. He showed that the interest of the vendor is either not to pay or to make the payment as small as possible. The interest of the purchaser is to see that the vendor pays, and the more substantial the payment is the better will he be pleased. That is a very ingenious arrangement from the point of view of the revenue, to make one party to the transaction guard the interests of the revenue. He is a better watch-dog than any Inland Revenue officer would be, because the purchaser himself wants to have a clean title. The first thing when you investigate a title is to see that all these obligations are discharged, and instead of having to look up all these mere ephemeral papers you have these parchment documents, and you see on the face of them a stamp showing that the duty has been paid.

Mr. CLYDE

May I ask whether that answer must be construed as referring to Scotch titles also? Our system in Scotland requires the title to land to be registered, and until it is registered you have no completed title, and in order to register any title to land in Scotland it must first be stamped. The reason is that the registrar is directed to refuse registration until he is satisfied that the Stamp Acts have been properly complied with. The consequence is that no one can part with his money in Scotland except for value, and in this particular case what that means is that he will not part with his money on a transaction in real estate except in exchange for an instantly registerable title. If he did, anyone who got on to the register in front of him would actually defeat him, and, of course, in the case of creditors of the seller, that is a very serious difficulty. If time is to be spent between the date when the transaction is made and the term at which it falls to be given effect to by the exchange of money for the conveyance, the result is that the completion of transactions in real estate must be kept in suspense because you cannot give an instantly register-able title. No difficulty of the kind happens with any ordinary conveyance, because in no ordinary conveyance is any such valuation of the title required. The duties are ad valorem, but it is determined by the consideration of the transaction. Here you require a valuation. I have myself handed in a set of Amendments, the purpose of which is really to make the stamp collectable entirely on account. It gets rid of all this difficulty about the further stamping of the deed. The deed will pass the register with the ordinary ad valorem stamp. Then this duty would be collectable on the account which the person who got the money for his property renders to the Commissioners in order to show that the Increment Duty is paid, and it is practically a receipt. Our difficulty is not unreal. It will really mean, because you cannot part with your money except in exchange for a registerable title with any safety, that transactions will be hung up; and, speaking for a great many who are interested in the carrying out of these transactions, it will involve great inconvenience. I am bound to say that the Amendments as I handed them in were not in terms restricted to Scotland. I am willing to restrict the Amendments in some way to Scotland to meet the requirements of the highly developed and not unsatisfactory system of registration in operation there.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I have seen the Amendments which have been handed in by the hon. and learned Gentleman. They are substantially the same as that now before the Committee. This Amendment really raises the same point. I speak with fear and trembling when I approach a question of Scottish law. I do not know much about the system of conveyancing in Scotland, but it appears to be a very much better system than that which is in operation here. I think the Bill will have the effect of enabling us to approximate in England to the Scottish system, inasmuch as it will give us a land register for the first time.

Mr. GEORGE YOUNGER

It is not a land register in Scotland; it is a register of title.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

Yes, a register of title. [An HON. MEMBER: "This will be beyond it."] That will really be perfection. The difficulty indicated by the hon. and learned Gentleman is that you cannot complete your conveyance in Scotland until you have paid your Stamp Duty and the registrar has received instructions with respect to the register of title. He says that the effect of this proposal will be to hang up transactions indefinitely, especially where there is anything to be cleared up— if there is any dispute between the Commissioners and the vendor about the amount of Increment Duty payable. That would be the case if we had not met it in sub-section (V) of sub-section (3). Supposing they are not agreed in regard to the amount of Stamp Duty to be paid, then all you have to do is to have a stamp denoting that all particulars have been delivered to the Commissioners which, in their opinion, are necessary for the purpose of enabling them to assess the duty. I think really that will meet the case.

Mr. CLYDE

I have kept that in mind. The right hon. Gentleman knows that an Amendment of which I have given notice proposes to strike this out. It is not what comes after which will cause difficulty, but the valuation, which is essential to the Increment Duty being arrived at at all.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I really do not want to reopen the question of valuation It is not the question of valuation in the ordinary sense of site value. It is the question of setting out the improvements which constitute the claim for deductions—that is not in the ordinary sense valuation. I think there is some danger even in making that observation, for I see an hon. Gentleman opposite taking a note of it. What will really happen in practice? Let us assume an ordinary case where on the face of the transaction there is an increment. The original site value is £1,000, and the total value that appears on the register is £1,500. There is a sale for £2,000. Then the vendor will say, "I have spent £300 in improving the property, and, therefore, the real increment is not £500 but £200."That is the sort of dispute that will arise. There may be some dispute also as regards the amount, or whether the deductions are of the character which come within the meaning of the section. There should not be any difficulty in settling the transaction as to the £2,000. The solicitor would furnish particulars, and the matter would go for adjudication. The solicitor would say that he would give security for the payment of the duty, a denoting stamp would be affixed to the document, and the transaction would be completed. That would not take very long. When I consider that security having been given, the revenue will get its fair share of the increment, I come to the conclusion that the difficulty is not a real one, and that there will be no embarrassment and no delay. The denoting stamp will adequately meet the difficulties mentioned by the hon. and learned Gentleman. If the denoting stamp does not meet the Scottish case, I shall be pleased to listen to any suggestion which he may make with the view to making the system of collection work more smoothly in Scotland or elsewhere.

Mr. GEORGE CAVE

I do not want the Committee to think that this is merely a Scottish question. The points raised by the Amendment apply just as forcibly with regard to England. I have received a number of letters about the business effect of this clause. I quite appreciate the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposal from the point of view of the Exchequer. If he wants to put the screw on a possible taxpayer, this method of levying the duty may be desirable. But we should look at the proposal for a moment from the point of view of the taxpayer, who, after all, has something to do with the question. What is the present practice in completing a purchase in England? A deed is prepared and executed, and the money is paid. The deed is delivered to the purchaser, and so far as the vendor and purchaser are concerned the matter is complete. Then the purchaser has a period of time—I think it is thirty days—within which he can go to Somerset House and ask the authorities there to stamp the deed for him. That does not delay the completion of the transaction. The purchaser of the land is in possession, and all he has to do to make the deed complete is to go to Somerset House and pay the duty. Just see what happens if the Increment Duty is made leviable by a stamp on the instrument. If that method is adopted, and if the vendor has to pay the duty before the instrument is complete, it is quite obvious that the real completion of the transaction, the payment of the money, and the conveyance of the property, cannot go through until the vendor has delivered at Somerset House, or wherever the place may be, such particulars as are satisfactory to the Commissioners for that purpose. He must go through all the elaborate system which the hon. Gentleman has described. He must deliver an account containing a great many details, and it is absurd to suppose that that process can be gone through in 24 hours, even with the best good will in the world, or in 48 hours. I have known purchases go through in 48 hours from the time the parties began to negotiate. I have been sitting with other Members of the House on the Land Transfer Commission for some months, and we have had a volume of evidence from persons interested in the sale and purchase of land showing that many purchases go through in that time. But I do not care whether it goes through in 48 hours or a week. Whatever the time is, the period must be extended by the process proposed in the Bill. I think when the Government have an opportunity of giving effect to their professions in favour of simplifying and facilitating the transfer of land by making a change in the Bill, it is a pity that they should not avail themselves of it. The method proposed by the Amendment is to leave the present system of conveyance where it is as between vendor and purchaser, and that, when the transaction is complete, the vendor should be under obligation to deliver an account to the proper authorities containing all particulars showing the amount of increment on which he is liable to pay duty. Then let the value of the increment be assessed, and let him pay the duty as a stamp duty on his return. It is a perfectly simple transaction, and one which the authorities will see could be properly carried out. It would have the great advantage of not delaying the completion of the sale. I do not wish to say anything offensive, but I think the Government, in making this proposal, do show a real disregard of the interests of the business world. I have had further evidence to-day that the mere introduction of this Bill has had a serious effect upon the transactions of land companies and bodies of that kind. The effect has been so serious that for the moment these proposals have put an end to, or suspended, thousands of transactions in land. If the Bill goes through, the effect on these companies will be so serious that I hardly like to even suggest what it will be. Here the Committee have a chance of putting the Bill right in one respect. I hope they will give favourable consideration to the Amendment.

Mr. G. H. RADFORD

I do not wish to criticise this tax in a hostile spirit. On the contrary, I believe it is a good tax, and I am anxious that it should pursue its beneficent way without interfering with the great commercial interests concerned in dealings in land. I should like to point out that the Bill introduces an entirely new method of arriving at the amount of Stamp Duty. and that method appears to me to be extremely inconvenient. It actually interferes with legitimate important business, and, at the same time, is wholly unnecessary. What happens with regard to the ad valorem duty at present? The conveyance is completed, and the purchaser—it does not matter whether it is the purchaser or the vendor—has a certain number of days to complete the stamping of his deed, and he does it within that time, but he is under no embarrassment whatever from the moment the conveyance is executed and delivered to him. It is an unfortunate fact that perhaps two-thirds of the persons in this country who buy land borrow part of the purchase money on mortgage. Persons in that position need to be able to deal with their deeds immediately. The mortgagee will not part with his money until he has got the deed, and therefore the mortgage and the conveyance must be absolutely simultaneous. The method proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this Bill appears to me to involve difficulties which are almost insuperable. The transferor or vendor is to pay the duty, and in most cases, in order to save the trouble of going through the process of ascertaining the duty, he will probably pay the duty down. He will pay the duty on the transaction before he has got the purchase money, and it is possible that the transaction may go off. I do not know what is going to happen then. Probably there will be a provision later on in the Bill for enabling him to get back the money in such a case. But having paid the duty he then hands over the receipt to somebody else. Surely that is an inconvenient thing in the case of a sale by trustees, where the life tenant's interest is conveyed in remainder. It is a great inconvenience that the receipts for payments made on this occasion by the transferor should be handed over to another party and not remain in the control of the persons who paid it. These provisions will cause delay and inconvenience, which arc greatly to be regretted and are quite unnecessary. If the present method of stamping deeds for duty were applied to this transaction, the Chancellor of the Exchequer would lose nothing. The business would not be delayed or inconvenienced in any way. I do not suppose the Chancellor of the Exchequer will tell us that under the present system the Commissioners of Inland Revenue make any bad debts. They certainly do not. The purchaser sees that the deed is properly stamped, because it is one of his title deeds, and it is necessary for him to show on future dealing with the property that it has been duly stamped. I venture to suggest that if the system of stamping suggested in this clause is entirely omitted, and the Stamp Duty for increment value met in the same way as the payment of the ad valorem duty is dealt with, there would be no inconvenience whatever with business, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not lose a shilling. For those reasons I hope that this Amendment will receive favourable consideration.

Lord WILLOUGHBY de ERESBY

To my mind there does exist a very great wish that, as far as possible, in this Bill the conveyance and transfer of land should be made as simple as possible. Under the existing duty I myself have been a sufferer by this very question in delay in the transfer of land. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not accept this Amendment many difficulties will arise. I may mention a case, without giving the names, of which I had personal experience, where the land is sold and the total duty is not known at the time. All went well until a certain public body bought some of this land and the solicitor discovered that the land which they had purchased was liable for the duty. They then stated they could not take a title of the land until the duties were paid, and I think it was a very sensible action on their part. The right hon. Gentleman has given a case where a question of some £60 is in dispute. His case is that the solicitor for the vendor will give a deed or bond on behalf of the vendor that he will hold himself responsible for this duty. Exactly a similar case occurred in this instance. It was sug- gested that a bond should be given, so that the purchaser would not be liable for the duty. But the purchaser refused to accept it. He very naturally said it was very nice to have this bond, but how did he know that the vendor was not going bankrupt in the meantime? This case came under my own notice, and I am perfectly certain that it will arise under this Act as regards Increment Duty.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

That is not so. If the Commissioners of Inland Revenue accept the bond, they put on the denoting stamp, and then the purchaser is absolutely discharged from any obligation.

Lord WILLOUGHBY de ERESBY

Under those circumstances I should have thought it would be well to accept this Amendment, and for the Commissioners to go to the purchaser and collect the sum from the purchaser. It appears to be a very good reason for admitting these words and accepting the Amendment, because, if the Inland Revenue are willing to accept the bond of the purchaser. they must let the transaction go through, and then, afterwards, they will have the purchaser to attack to get the duty out of. I am quite certain that hundreds of cases of sales will be hung up for a very long period whilst these negotiations are going on between the vendor and Somerset House before the purchaser can get a proper title to the land. Personally I should have thought that all in favour of quickening the cheap transfer of land would have accepted the Amendment.

Mr. ELLIS DAVIES

As I understand, the vendor is merely going to be asked for some evidence that he has paid the duty. Whenever a purchaser is buying from trustees under a will, he insists, first of all, on knowing that the property which he is buying has been assessed for the Estate Duty or Succession Duty payable, and he also insists on having from the vendors evidence that it has been paid. That is all that is asked in reference to the Increment Tax Duty. With regard to the Stamp Duty, are you going to make the purchaser liable to the Government for seeing that the duty is paid? If so, I, for my part, object on behalf of the purchaser. It is a duty and an obligation that is cast on the vendor. With regard to the Estate Duty, it is well known that that is a charge upon the property, and consequently it is part of the duty of the purchaser to see that it is paid. Otherwise he himself can- not deal with the property later on. Speaking from considerable experience of small transactions of conveyancing—a very large number every year—there is only one of two methods by which the Chancellor of the Exchequer can issue a receipt of this kind. The first is to register all transactions, and insist on a purchaser giving notice to the Government of the transaction. The only alternative method I know of is to make the liability for duty a charge upon the property in the same way as the liability for Succession and Estate Duty. In that case the purchaser would accept the property, knowing that he himself would be responsible to see that that duty was paid if the vendor did not perform his obligation. Whether a purchaser's solicitor would be wise in accepting an undertaking from a vendor's solicitor is another matter, but I am quite sure of this, that if the Government are going to collect this duty they must either insist on a purchaser giving notice to some officer or other of the transaction or make it, like Estate and Succession Duty, a charge on the property which the purchaser sooner or later is bound to see was discharged

Viscount HELMSLEY

All the Gentlemen who have spoken have dealt with the actual circumstances of conveyancing. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in arguing that there would be no delay, seemed to think that only simple cases would arise, such as the one he gave. But I would ask him whether he does not think that there would be a great deal more delay in cases like this: Say that a man had to pay Increment Value Duty on a single plot of land, which, however, he sells in lots. Before these different sales or transfers can become effective, the Commissioners would have to satisfy themselves not only as to the amount of Increment Duty paid for the whole lot but as to the amount to be paid on each of those lots. That would take a great deal of time. They ought to have all the apportionments and valuations of the different lots, and nobody can suppose that that is going to be done very quickly. How will the Commissioners know exactly in each case as that arises what are the particulars which they require in order to find out what the Increment Value Duty would be? They cannot say, "We want such and such particulars, and that would settle it." It will entail visits on the part of the Commis- sioners, or somebody deputed by them, to that particular plot to find out what are the particular circumstances that make a certain portion of the increment payable on one lot rather than upon another. Therefore it is not so simple as the right hon. Gentleman led us to believe. Suppose they got particulars and they give a denoting stamp, even then the transaction is not complete, from the purchaser's point of view, because the denoting stamp is of very little use to him. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to look upon the purchaser as a sort of amateur tax collector. I do not know why he should be put in that position, but he will not be able to do even that if he has the denoting stamp, because he will only have the stamp denoting that the particulars have been given to the Commissioners. He will not know in the least what increment valuation is paid on a particular lot. Therefore he will want further protection on his deed. Otherwise he will not know whether any particular plot of land he has bought has been franked by the payment of Increment Duty over the larger block, and the result is that these transactions will be hung up for a considerable time. The suggestion of my hon. Friend that there should be a separate document is very much better, and gets over all these difficulties. And if at the same time there was a provision that when the duty is paid a copy of the stamped document be sent to the purchaser then, and be affixed to the deed, it will give the purchaser all he requires, and will not have the effect of hanging up these transactions.

Lord ROBERT CECIL

I cannot understand why the Government do not give way upon this point, which seems to me to be urged solely in the interests of the Bill, and with not the slightest desire to throw any obstacle in the way of the scheme of the Government. The hon. Member who spoke just now said that there were only two ways to secure the revenue. One was by giving notice to the Inland Revenue, and the other was to require notice from the Government of every transaction.

Mr. ELLIS DAVIES

I said one way was that notice should be given by some official, and the other was to make the duty payable on part of the property.

Lord ROBERT CECIL

The point is whether it is necessary to carry through all these transactions which are requisite for affixing the stamp, either to the fact that the necessary valuation and apportionment have been carried out, or to the fact that the Commissioners were satisfied that no such valuation or apportionment was necessary, because there was no Increment Duty. I do not think the Committee realise that on every single transaction in land this process will have to be gone-through, whether there is any Increment Duty or not. You will always have to have a submission to Somerset House of the necessary particulars to show whether any Increment Duty is to be charged; you will always have to satisfy them as to the site value, whether it is any greater than the original site value, or whether it is of such and such an amount. You will have to make all those calculations, and we know that it is perfectly idle to say this is a simple matter of valuation. It is a complicated matter. Where you have the question of apportionment in addition it will be a matter of the very greatest complication in numberless cases. It is a perfect absurdity to contend that it is going to be a simple matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer suggests that it is not going to be any clog, and that is really the material question which the Committee has to consider in connection with the transfer of land. Can anyone seriously maintain that it is not? You will not be allowed to carry out any transaction in land without this reference to a Government Department. I do not want to make the slightest attack on the Inland Revenue Commissioners. We know that even in the case where there is a land register, as in Middlesex, it is a matter of the very greatest doubt whether that does not impede transactions in land. Many hold that even a simple matter like registration materially impedes transactions in land. To tell us, as ordinary men, that to submit an elaborate calculation to a Government Department in order to get a stamp affixed or a settlement made is not going to cause delay is simply playing with common-sense. We know perfectly well that in this very Department which is in question—I do not attach any blame—the greatest delays do take place. Anyone who has had to do with the Death Duties knows that there is enormous delay, even extending over months and years, before a final settlement can be ascertained. Everyone knows the enormous delay which occurs in recovering abatements on Income Tax, ex- tending often to three-quarters of a year after the abatements have become due. There fore, to tell us that there will be no delay in this case is an absurdity.

Everybody, on all sides of the House, for years past, have been engaged in endeavouring to cheapen and simplify the transfer of land. Lord Cairns and many other great men were engaged in a constant effort to make the transfer of land simpler, plainer, and easier than before. It has been the great policy of politicians and legal reformers in the past. But here we have this Government—pledged more than any Government that has ever existed to land reform and to the making the transfer of land easier, which desires the creation of small holdings and the distribution of land among a larger number of the people —putting on land transfer the greatest clog and the greatest fetter that could be devised. I appeal to the Government to reconsider this matter in order to see whether they cannot accept the moderate and reasonable proposal that the tax shall be put not on the conveyance, but that an account should be submitted to the Inland Revenue Department in order to allow the transaction to go through.

Mr. ROBERT PEARCE

There are two points raised in this discussion. One is that the Exchequer should get the revenue and the other that the purchaser should be satisfied that the duty has been paid. The hon. Member below me said that it was a Crown debt, and not chargeable on the land. We know that it is the duty of the solicitor to see that Crown debts are not in existence at the time of the transaction. Let me give a concrete instance. There was a sale of land in London to the amount of a quarter of a million, and in that transaction there was no contract at all for purchase. The price was agreed, and it was all carried through in 14 days, and the money paid. I happen to know that in that particular case there would have been a large amount of Increment Duty, if such a duty had been in existence. By the plan of the Chancellor of the Exchequer the duty would be put on the instrument of transfer, and that, I think, is a wise precaution. In that case, of course, as in all others, there will be requisitions as to titles presented, and in every case of a requisition of title the vendor shall satisfy the purchaser that the contract is arranged and the amount of the duty ascertained and affixed. That can be done before the purchase by application to Somerset House. Of course, it would never do for the purchaser to part with his money before the duty is paid. I suggest that the Government Department should give certificates rapidly and expeditiously, to enable the vendor to answer the requisitions on the paper which there will be on the deed, and specifying what the amount of the duty is to be. There would be no difficulty in preventing the duty being paid before the actual transfer. I suggest that in some such way the difficulties would be got over and the objects in view accomplished, namely, of satisfying the Exchequer that the money is paid, and that it is made clear to the purchaser that there shall be no encumbrance on the title.

Mr. W. JOYNSON-HICKS

This question also applies to London. Everybody seems to have forgotten that we have a system of land registration in London similar to that which exists in Scotland, and the whole of the argument applicable to that country is also applicable to the county of London. To-day every deed dealing with land in London has to be registered. The land register is there, and all the land in the county of London has to be placed on that register. Take a concrete case, which will perhaps bring the difficulties of this method of taxation homo to hon. Members. Last week I completed a large purchase in London on behalf of others. I was at once able to take the deed to Somerset House and to get it back within a quarter of an hour. I then took it to the Land Registry, after which my title to that land became absolute. I was the owner of the land within a few days. The Land Registry took my deed and gave me a land certificate. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by the way, that deeds nowaday are not those wonderful parchment documents which he suggested; they are on bits of paper. You transfer your land to-day through the Land Registry, and you get a certificate on a piece of paper. There are no old-fashioned parchment deeds now, though I was delighted to hear a Radical Chancellor of the Exchequer referring to them, and I thought we had got a Tory on the other side of the House. So far as land in London is concerned, the purchaser, not the vendor, gets his land certificate. Supposing this clause had been in operation last week, when I had to complete the purchase, instead of being able to take it to the Land Registry and getting the matter settled within a short time, the purchase would have been suspended until the vendor had gone through all the arrangements at Somerset House and had got his duty assessed or a denoting stamp affixed. It would have been impossible for me to have got this done in 48 hours, or anything like it. There were four pieces of land, one of which was bought two years ago. The property was pulled down, rebuilt, and then sold. Each one of these pieces of land would have had to be valued, the valuation would have had to go to Somerset House, together with the original value, the value of the buildings, and the value of the improvements. Does any hon. Gentleman suggest to me that I could have got that done within two or three days or two or three weeks? I wonder if the Chancellor of the Exchequer remembers his younger days, when he had to go to Somerset House to stamp deeds? May I describe what took place?

I want the Committee to realise what the congestion will be in Somerset House. To-day you have working from 9.30 to 4 o'clock four or five men, stamping deeds as hard as they can by machinery. You go and push in your deed, and your money, £2, £4, or £10, as the case may be, down comes the machine, and your deed is shot out. That operation takes perhaps half a minute. Now, suppose every one of those transactions has got to be subject to a complicated assessment by Commissioners, the work that now takes five clerks, working as hard as they can by machinery, then you can picture Somerset House as being congested. Let the Chancellor of the Exchequer go and see how fast they work. If every one of those transactions has got to be assessed, how long is that going to take? If I were to go to Somerset House to lodge particulars, I am not going to get through in two or three days, even if I got the papers filled up. The whole process would be clogged. This suggestion of putting a stamp on the conveyance itself before the conveyance can be registered in the county of London, would prevent registration taking place for two or three weeks, and during the whole of that time the purchaser will be at the risk of the vendor selling the property over again. The whole object of the Liberal party I thought was to facilitate the transfer of land. This process is bound to delay the transfer of land, whatever way you look at it. Unless you make your tax payable, as my hon. Friend suggests, on account. Exactly in the same way as Estate Duty is paid. Every deed will have to be stamped with its ad valorem stamp, and the clerk at Somerset House will make a note of the vendor's name and see that that goes to the proper Department. Somerset House can see that they get paid, just as in the case of the Estate Duty. I suggest that in the interests of the rapidity of business for commercial men, that the Chancellor should adopt some system by which the process of calculation would take place before the deed can be stamped, and allow the Increment Duty to be paid on some future occasion.

Sir FRANCIS LOWE

One additional reason in favour of the Amendment is that the purchase deed on the transfer does not belong to the vendor. It is the only receipt the purchaser has for his money, and he would not be likely to part with it to the vendor for any purpose whatever. It is very desirable that the vendor should have his receipt on a separate document of some kind, and my hon. Friend, in his Amendment, suggests that it should be given in a separate account. That seems a most businesslike proposal, and I cannot see why the Government should not accept it. It is proposed that the duty should be collected before it is assessed, and my hon. Friend's Amendment proposes that it should be assessed before it is collected. I think if we adopt his proposal we can go on to see how it should be collected, and what receipt should be given for it. There is no doubt whatever, and no Member of the Committee can possibly doubt that a great deal of delay must necessarily take place with all the elaborate, complicated process which has been so graphically described by my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Manchester (Mr. Joynson-Hicks).

Mr. ARNOLD HERBERT

Although there is a great deal to be said on both sides of this question, I hope that the Government, if not now, at any rate, will promise before the Report stage, that they will give careful consideration to the question whether they should not alter the system which they are proposing. To enforce an ad valorem stamp on every conveyance will give Somerset House complete knowledge of every transaction that takes place within a month, and with that knowledge you may be quite sure that they will not fail to get their due. Although I think hon. Members on the other side have exaggerated the difficulties that will arise when the system is once in full working order, the point I want to make is that until you get the system working and the Departments knowing how to deal with all the particulars, and how to adjudicate upon them, you will at the beginning have a great block of business; and wherever you get, even for a short time, a great block of any important business, it is very detrimental to the business of the country. I do hope very careful con-

sideration will be given to some alteration or facility in the system.

Question put, "That the words 'collected on' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 290; Noes, 102.

Division No. 284.] AYES. [7.25 p.m.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Delany, William Joyce, Michael
Acland, Francis Dyke Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Kavanagh, Walter M.
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Agnew, George William Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Laidlaw, Robert
Alden, Percy Dobson, Thomas W. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Lamont, Norman
Armitage, R. Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh) Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis
Ashton, Thomas Gair Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Elibank, Master of Levy, Sir Maurice
Astbury, John Meir Essex, R. W. Lewis, John Herbert
Atherley-Jones, L. Esslemont, George Birnie Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Evans, Sir S. T. Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Everett, R. Lacey Lundon, T.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Flynn, James Christopher Lyell, Charles Henry
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset) Fuller, John Michael F. Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Fullerton, Hugh Mackarness, Frederic C.
Barnes, G. N. Gibb, James (Harrow) Maclean, Donald
Barran, Rowland Hirst Gill, A. H. Macpherson, J. T.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)
Beck, A. Cecil Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) M'Kean, John
Bell, Richard Glover, Thomas McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. George) Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Bennett, E. N. Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) M'Micking, Major G.
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Griffith, Ellis J. Maddison, Frederick
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Mallet, Charles E.
Boland, John Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Boulton, A, C. F. Halpin, J. Marnham, F. J.
Brace, William Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Bramsdon, Sir T. A. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Massie, J.
Brigg, John Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Masterman, C. F. G.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)
Brooks, Stopford Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Molteno, Percy Alport
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Hart-Davies, T. Money, L. G. Chiozza
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Montagu, Hon. E. S.
Bryce, J. Annan Harwood, George Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Burke, E. Haviland- Haworth, Arthur A. Morrell, Philip
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Hayden, John Patrick Morse, L. L.
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Hazleton, Richard Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S )
Byles, William Pollard Hedges, A. Faget Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)
Cameron, Robert Helme, Norval Watson Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Henry, Charles S. Napier, T. B.
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Cawley, Sir Frederick Higham, John Sharp Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)
Chance, Frederick William Hobart, Sir Robert Nolan, Joseph
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Nugent, Sir Walter Richard
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Hodge, John Nussey, Sir Willans
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hogan, Michael Nuttall, Harry
Cleland, J. W. Holt, Richard Durning O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)
Clough, William Hooper, A. G. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Clynes, J. R. Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Horniman, Emslie John O'Dowd, John
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Howard, Hon. Geoffrey O'Malley, William
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Hudson, Walter Parker, Jamese (Halifax)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hutton, Alfred Eddison Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hyde, Clarendon G. Paul, Herbert
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Idris, T. H. W. Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Crooks, William Illingworth, Percy H. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Crosfield, A. H. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)
Cross, Alexander Jackson, R. S. Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Crossley, William J. Jenkins, J. Philips, John (Longford, S.)
Curran, Peter Francis Johnson, John (Gateshead) Pirie, Duncan V.
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Pointer, J.
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Power, Patrick Joseph
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Simon, John Allsebrook Wardle, George J.
Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Waring, Walter
Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Snowden, P. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Rainy, A. Holland Soares, Ernest J. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Rea, Rt. Hon. Russet (Gloucester) Stanger, H. Y. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire) Watt, Henry A.
Reddy, M. Steadman, W. C. White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Redmond, William (Clare) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Rees, J. D. Strachey, Sir Edward White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Rendall, Athelstan Straus, B. S. (Mile End) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Whitehead, Rowland
Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Summerbell, T. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Sutherland, J. E. Wiles, Thomas
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wilkie, Alexander
Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Robinson, S. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Robson, Sir William Snowdon Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Rose, Sir Charles Day Thomasson, Franklin Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) Winfrey, R.
Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Thorne, William (West Ham) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Tomkinson, James Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Seddon, J. Walsh, Stephen
Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford) Walton, Joseph TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Sheehy, David Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Silcock, Thomas Ball Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
NOES.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Peel, Hon. W. R. W.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fell, Arthur Percy, Earl
Anstruther-Gray, Major Forster, Henry William Pretyman, E. G.
Ashley, W. W. Foster, P. S. Radford, G. H.
Balcarres, Lord Gardner, Ernest Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Baldwin, Stanley Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Remnant, James Farquharson
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Ridsdale, E. A.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Hamilton, Marquess of Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Ronaldshay, Earl of
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Beauchamp, E. Hay, Hon. Claude George Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Helmsley, Viscount Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Kill, Sir Clement Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bowles, G. Stewart Hills, J. W. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. {Strand)
Bull, Sir William James Joynson-Hicks, William Stanier, Beville
Burdett-Coutts, W. Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Starkey, John R.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Keswick, William Stone, Sir Benjamin
Carlile, E. Hildred King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Castlereagh, Viscount Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Cave, George Lane-Fox, G. R. Thornton, Percy M.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Valentia, Viscount
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Clive, Percy Archer Lonsdale, John Brownlee Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Clyde, J. Avon Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) M'Arthur, Charles Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Craik, Sir Henry Magnus, Sir Philip Winterton, Earl
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Doughty, Sir George Mason, James F. (Windsor) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Morpeth, Viscount Younger, George
Du Cros, Arthur Morrison-Bell, Captain
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Newdegate, F. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Watson Rutherford and Sir F. Lowe.
Faber, George Denison (York) Oddy, John James

Mr. GEORGE CAVE moved to leave out the words "or agreed to be effected."

Under the Bill as it stands you have to pay duty not only on the conveyance of land, but on the agreement either to sell or to let land. My proposal is that the duty should be payable only on the actual conveyance or the actual lease of land. Agreements for the sale or letting of land are often made by perfectly informal documents, sometimes by a mere exchange of letters. The practice followed now is that a man who has an agreement of that kind, or a letter accepting his offer, gets a sixpenny stamp impressed upon it, or simply buys a sixpenny stamp at the post office and sticks it on to the agreement. If the Bill passes as it stands, the result will be very different indeed. Everybody who enters into an agreement will have to go to Somerset House, or the proper office, and have affixed a stamp showing that duty has been assessed or that the necessary particulars have been delivered. I want to keep to the simpler practice. Let the Committee see what the effect of the proposal will be. After an agreement is entered into, the vendor may repent of his bargain—possibly he has a better price offered, and does not want to go on. The purchaser, thinking he has a good bargain, may desire to go on. The purchaser, however, cannot enforce the agreement or take any steps to protect his rights until all this process has been gone through, or until the vendor, who may be unwilling to complete, has delivered at Somerset House the particulars before the delivery of which no stamp can be affixed. Is that really businesslike or workable? The vendor who has to deliver the particulars may not have the document at all. In many cases the actual agreement exists only in one form; there may be only one letter accepting the offer, and that letter may be in the possession, not of the vendor, but of the purchaser. How, in such a case, can the vendor comply with the conditions of the Act? How can he get stamped a document which is not in his possession? Or the vendor may be unwilling to complete. How, in such a case, can the purchaser make him get the agreement stamped? On the other hand, if the purchaser has the document, he cannot deliver to Somerset House the particulars required; he does not know what the site value was, what improvements have been effected in the land, or what deductions may have to be made. Therefore he cannot get the document stamped. The man who has the information will not do it, and the man who desires to do it has not the information. The document is not stamped, and nobody can take steps to compel the agreement to be stamped. It is a wholly impossible position.

Then supposing the agreement, after it has been properly stamped, goes off. The duty has been paid, perhaps to the full, and in the result there is no sale, and therefore no conveyance. There is no machinery whatever in the Bill for enabling the duty to be repaid. The main question, however, is this. In the case of a sale of land, should you put the stamp on the agreement or wait for the completion? There is a very excellent precedent for this Amendment. In the Stamp Act, 1891, there is a provision that agreements for sale shall have affixed an ad valorem stamp, but agreements for the sale of land are excepted. Thus the very agreements which, under the existing law, are excepted from the requirement are, under this Bill, to be stamped. Obviously those who put the exception in the Stamp Act knew their business. They had a good reason for making it, namely, that in the case of agreements for the sale of land, entered into very often at short notice by informal documents, nothing passes by the agreement. Land never passes except on completion, on actual conveyance. I submit that if the Government are going to levy this duty, they should levy it when the matter goes through, and when the vendor has the purchase money out of which he can pay the duty. The duty should not be levied on the preliminary transaction represented by the agreement. I move this Amendment, not as hostile to the Bill, though I do not pretend to be friendly to it, but in order that if the Bill passes the machinery may be such as not to make it unduly burdensome upon the parties affected.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."

Sir W. ROBSON

I think the hon. and learned Member has moved this Amendment on the assumption that as the Bill now stands an agreement for a lease must be stamped. That, I think, is a mistaken assumption. The words of the clause are: "On any transfer on sale … or on. the grant of any lease of any land, Increment Duty shall be collected on the instrument by means of which the transfer or the lease is effected or agreed to be effected." That is really an option to have the stamp fixed either to the lease or to-the agreement for a lease. Section (6) of the same clause says: "Where any agreement for a transfer or agreement for a lease is stamped in accordance with this section, it shall not be necessary to stamp-any conveyance, assignment, or lease made subsequently to and in conformity with the agreement." That shows that there is an option to the taxpayer to put the stamp-on one document or on the other. It is very important that we should have the words which the hon. Member proposes to omit, for a reason which, I am sure, he will thoroughly appreciate. Supposing we struck out the words "agreed to be effected," in the case of a lease it might lead to the complete failure on our part to get the duty, because an agreement for a lease is as good as the lease itself. Of course, it is not by any means the case where you are dealing with the sale of a freehold; but where it is a leasehold interest or the granting of a lease, the agreement, provided it is properly stamped, is, for all practical purposes, as good as the lease. If we struck out the words "agreed to be effected," purchasers might then content themselves with an agreement for a lease, which would serve their purpose and would not be, or might not be, considered liable to stamp for Increment Duty. That might lead to a very unfortunate evasion of the duty so far as leases are concerned. Therefore we must keep these words in the clause.

Mr. CAVE

Does the Attorney-General mean that in the case of an agreement for a lease the lesson is not bound to stamp the agreement for duty?

Sir W. ROBSON

He can really do whichever he likes. He can either bring the agreement for the lease to Somerset House to be stamped, or, in any of the cases to which the hon. Member referred— for instance, where the agreement for a lease is in the shape of a letter, and the letter is in the possession of the purchaser, and therefore the vendor cannot bring forward the agreement to be stamped—he may wait until the lease is drawn out, and then produce the lease at Somerset House to be stamped. But it is entirely optional. There is nothing compulsory as to which document he shall submit for the purposes of stamping.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

It appears to me that the Attorney-General has failed to appreciate the point of the Amendment. If the words of the section were—which, of course, they might have been, and I suppose still might be—"at the option of the lesson either on the agreement or on the lease, "that would satisfy my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Cave), and, I take it, carry out exactly what the Attorney-General has just said is the meaning. But unfortunately the words are not so. The words are" that this duty shall be collected on the instrument by which the transfer or lease is effected or agreed to be effected. "And the inevitable result of that will be that no solicitor acting for a purchaser of a lease, or taking an agreement for a lease, would be content with that agreement unless it were properly stamped with the Increment Duty. He would feel that he was not in a position to wait for the actual deed of transfer, that he would be bound under the words of this section to insist upon the agreement itself being stamped. The Attorney-General referred us to section (6) of this very clause. It says: "Where any agreement for a transfer or agreement for a lease is stamped in accordance with this section, it shall not be necessary to stamp …or lease." That is the application of it to this particular point. Certainly, but even those words do not give an option. What we are asking for is the option, and what the hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General says is that these words give the option. What we very respectfully point out is that they do not. What we ask the hon. and learned Gentleman is to agree that these words shall be altered in order to carry out the object which he himself has stated he would desire to see made clear in this clause. It could be easily done by a further modification, which, of course, has not yet been suggested. If these words are to remain in, and the option is to be given, it ought to be stated here, and it might be very easily stated, I am sure, if the hon. and learned Gentleman desires to do so. We shall all be too pleased if he will get up and say that he would put in words here that would make that option effective.

Mr. BALFOUR

I have listened with a great deal of attention to this discussion, and I feel as a layman that I have no statement to add that would carry weight with the Committee on a detailed argument which is clearly for the technical experts who have taken part in the Debate. But as I gather from my hon. and learned Friend behind me, and the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, we are not at loggerheads on any fundamental question. They desire, as the Government desire, that an option should be given, and the point is that it should be embodied in the section in some state or form. Everybody has listened to this afternoon's discussion with a growing sense of the difficulties and complications of land transactions which this Bill will impose. When we are agreed as to what ought to be done, there really ought to be no difficulty in finding language which will carry out the common intention of both parties.

Mr. CAVE

At this point may I just say that in my view—I may be right or wrong —that the words of the section, "any such instrument shall not …be deemed to be duly stamped," unless certain things are done, would apply to an agrement to sell? If that is so, my point is a good one. I ask the Attorney-General whether he would not accede to the view suggested, and make clear what, at all events, is not clear in the words of the Bill. You might put in after the word "or," line 21 ["transfer or the lease is effected"], "or at the option of the transferor or lessor on the instrument by which the transfer or lease is effected." That would carry out exactly the intention.

Sir W. ROBSON

We shall give full consideration to the point which has been raised, for we have in mind the real difficulty of the position. If the hon. and learned Gentleman will take my assurance that the point will be considered, it will perhaps meet the case. We do not want to compel the placing of a stamp on the agreement for the lease under conditions which might be indefinite.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

I think, on that assurance, I can ask the hon. Member to withdraw his Amendment. I think we are entitled to point out that the line which is taken now is absolutely inconsistent with the statement made a few moments ago by the Attorney-General. The statement he made then was this: "The lessor has the option; he can, if he likes, by section (6), pay on an agreement or lease at his option." He says now: "Oh, no; you cannot do that." Therefore, he says, we will stick to the words of our Bill, which practically do not give the option, and we must insist now upon the agreement being stamped, but we are going to take the matter into consideration. That is what I understand to be the attitude of the Attorney-General. [An HON MEMBER: "Oh, no."] Well, I do not understand it at all if that is not right. This is a very onerous and serious thing, because, not only agreements for leases would require to be stamped, but every contract, every sale on any bit of property all over the kingdom would require to have the increment stamped upon it. Any of these transactions may go wrong. The parties may never make an agreement at all. Look at the position in which we are placed. It is really a very important matter. The lessor or vendor of property finds that his purchaser is not going on with his purchase. He is in this position; he has got to go into court and bring an action for specific performance. Now, according to the rules of the court, he cannot produce his contract in order to compel that specific performance unless it is duly stamped. Therefore he has got to go in advance and pay his Increment Duty and get his contract stamped before he can go into court and enforce it. The vendor never gets his purchase money—assuming that the proposed purchaser never completes—to pay the Increment Duty out of. The Government takes the Increment Duty in the meantime which has not been earned and that nobody has received; and by the wording of this section, which they have insisted upon to-day—inconsistently insisted upon—they actually force-vendors of all kinds of property to take these ridiculous and absurd precautions. Really, I think the Government in this clause is stretching our patience to the utmost limit in trying to make sense of it.

Mr. NAPIER

There is really no difference between the parties in this matter. Both the Government and the Opposition are perfectly willing that in the case of an ordinary agreement on the sale of land, not being an agreement for a lease, that there should be the option of paying the Increment Tax either on the agreement or on the subsequent conveyance. Both parties are also, I believe, agreed that you cannot treat the agreement for a lease in the same way, because it is practically the equivalent of a lease, and therefore you must pay the Increment Tax upon the agreement for the lease. The sole question is whether the words of this section do carry out what I believe is the common intention of both parties. There is some ambiguity—nobody can doubt that—in the section as it stands. Will it not satisfy my hon. Friends opposite if the Government, admitting that their intention is similar to that of the Opposition, say they will have this section reconsidered in order to carry out the common intention of both parties. It is a thing perfectly easy to carry out if you recast a sentence or two.

Mr. BALFOUR

The Government, I believe, have given two promises, but I am not quite sure if they have withdrawn from their position that they do not mean to give an option in the case of a lease. I should like to ask whether on that point there is that agreement in substance between the two sides?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I do not think there is any real difference. The question is this: You have to pay an Increment Duty either upon the agreement or upon the document which carries out the transaction. With regard to the lease those concerned are very often satisfied with the agreement it self, and the deed is never com- pleted. Very well, then, the Government say that you have in that case to have a stamp upon the agreement. The right hon. Gentleman says if that is the case there is no option. There is an option, because the person who takes the land may say: "I am not satisfied with the conveyance, and I mean to have the complete lease." He has thus the option to have the stamped agreement or the other document stamped. That is what my right hon. Friend means by saying there is an option. That is what my hon. Friend meant by saying that there is an option. I think it is necessary, in order to make that perfectly clear, and we shall consider that position in view of the criticisms passed by the hon. Member opposite. The mere fact that there seems an ambiguity is quite enough to demand inquiry further as to whether words are necessary to make it absolutely clear. The words as they stand at present do not perhaps make it perfectly clear, but we shall look into the matter further.

Mr. CAVE

Upon that assurance I am bound to withdraw my Amendment, and I ask leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

moved after the word "lessor"["and shall be assessed by the Commissioners and paid by the transferor or lessor"] to insert the words, "except a mortgagee who joins in any such transfer or lease as a consenting party and does not receive a greater part of the consideration than the amount of his principle, interest and costs, and except a trustee or other consenting party."

I have given notice of exactly the same words to be inserted also in section (2) after the word "lessor." Here you have got, for the first time, a statement as to who is to pay the duty. In the next clause, where it is the duty to present a statement of particulars, the duty is also cast upon the transferor or lessor, as the case may be, to prepare this elaborate account and to submit it. In a vast number of conveyances and leases, in addition to the actual persons whose names appear there, and receive consideration money, there are a variety of other persons joined as parties to the document who, in point of fact, received no consideration from a money point of view upon the actual transaction. I take the case of the mortgagee. A man has mortgaged his property, which is worth, suppose, about £1,000. He mortgages it for £500. There is an increment of £200, because when he is selling that property he sells it for, say, £1,200. Here we have a conveyance, and in that conveyance the actual transferor is the party, but in addition there are mortagees who are parties who simply joined in the document for the purpose of releasing their security and receiving their principal, interest and costs. That is a simple case illustrating the first portion of my Amendment. The next case is this. There may be trustees, for instance, under the Settled Land Acts, under a settlement or under an instrument, or by force of some Act of Parliament or by the force of law. There may also be people who are necessary to be joined as parties, because they have some bare outside local interest which is not a beneficial interest in the property, but, as a matter of conveyancing, it is absolutely necessary that these individually should be joined as transferors. I am perfectly certain that the Government, even assuming they have an interest in giving the utmost annoyance they possibly can to everybody connected with this matter, which I am sure is not their idea, would not dream of throwing upon every person who joined as a matter of form, or of law, or as convenience, or other reasons, and is apparently a transferor or lessor in a document, the responsibility which is cast upon them in these two sub-sections of seeing the Increment Duty is paid. What has that to do with the mortage? He has nothing to do with the Increment Duty; he simply lent money and wants to be paid his interest and costs, and ought to have nothing to do with the payment of the duty. But as the clause stands he will have a statutory obligation cast upon him of seeing that somebody else pays a duty with which he never has anything on earth to do.

I am afraid that unless some words of this kind are put in people will hesitate about taking the position of mortagees of property at all. I am bound to refer to the insertion of these words in the next section as well, because every transferor is liable to a £10 tenancy and 5 per cent, interest on the duties and all kinds of things if he does not carry out the provisions of the Act in this respect. I certainly suggest that the words "transferor or lessor" ought to be confined to the persons beneficially receiving consideration. Unless this or some similar Amendment is made in the Bill serious difficulty and annoyance will be cast upon people of all classes under these sections. This is an important point which has been overlooked, and it is not fair of the Government. I beg to move.

Sir W. ROBSON

The hon. Member who has just sat down has, I think, a little underrated the intelligence and common-sense of the tribunals that will be called upon to consider these statutes. After all, I do not think there will be very much difficulty on the part of the learned judge who sits down to Clause 4 to see who is the "transferor or lessor." I do not think he will have much difficulty in finding who Is benefiting.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

Is not the "transferor" everybody joined in the deeds of transfer legally?

Sir W. ROBSON

I think not. A judge, after all, has only got to deal with this matter as a plain, sensible man. The construction of the statute will not be too subtle. It requires only the application of some sound and careful common-sense to what are intimate documents, and the judge has got to find out, if the question ever arises, who is the transferor—the person who has received beneficially from this transaction, who is receiving the money which is paid in respect of it. That is the question the judge has to decide, and I do not think he will have any difficulty in saying that the transferor is a very different person to the mortgagee or to the trustee. I do not think any of these secondary persons are at all likely to be confused with the person who is really the individual engineering the transaction, so to speak, who is the mortgagor or owner-in-fee, who is the person interested in the transfer subject, it may be, to charges already upon the property. The same thing will be found when you come to section (2). The word "transferor" there means the person who makes the transfer. So far as improving the meaning of the section goes, I certainly could not take the words the hon. Member has read out. I do not think they are the proper form of words, but if any doubt is likely at all to be caused there is no reason why we should not remove it, and I think it would be best removed in the definition clause dealing with the word "lessor."

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

And "transferor."

Sir W. ROBSON

Yes, and transferor. That would be the best way to deal with it, and if not that way, then by a new sub- section. Both these matters will be considered. This is largely a conveyancing matter, and my experience of the law is on the common law side rather than on the equity side, and if any ambiguity is likely to arise in this matter we shall certainly introduce words in the proper place wherever that may be in order to take care that there is no confusion such as that suggested by the hon. Member. My information is that no such confusion is likely to arise, but if other persons who are judges are of a different opinion we will remove the ambiguity that now exists.

Mr. PRETYMAN

I hope my hon. and learned Friend will not act upon the suggestion made by the Attorney-General unless we get an understanding that some such words as he has moved will be inserted. We are now raising all these questions at the expense of our own time, and the time of the Committee, on behalf of those persons interested in land, and they will afterwards have to be dealt with by members of the learned profession upon very different terms. The Attorney-General appears to think that as long as the words in the Bill are capable of being interpreted by a judge, that is all that is necessary in an Act of Parliament. I take an entirely opposite view. It is difficult to understand Acts of Parliament when the meaning is made as plain as possible, but when we find a difference of opinion between learned gentlemen as to the interpretation of certain words, when there is a general agreement as to what is intended, surely it is our clear duty to make the words so plain that learned gentlemen will agree as to what they mean. If lawyers disagree in this House they are likely to disagree outside as well, and that state of things is likely to lead to serious expense on the part of those who are transferring land. I wish to remind the Attorney-General that in the definition clause neither the transferor nor the lessor are mentioned. Perhaps he meant that he would insert those words in the definition clause.

Sir W. ROBSON

Yes, if we decided that that was the better way of doing it.

Mr. PRETYMAN

Does the Attorney-General admit that the words in the Bill are somewhat obscure.

Sir W. ROBSON

My own opinion is that they are obscure.

Mr. PRETYMAN

My hon. and learned Friend, the Member for the West Derby Division, thinks they are obscure, and I took the Attorney-General to admit that when he said the judge could interpret them. I think it is much better that they should be setted here. We must have a very clear understanding, not only that the matter will be considered, but that some definite words will be inserted. It must be understood that the mortgagee will not be liable. The case was very briefly sketched in the Debate yesterday, where the mortgagee practically becomes the owner of a property because it has been reduced in value and there are no funds in the possession of the true transferor. That is a material point, because there might be an Increment Value Duty at a period subsequent to the time when the original site value was fixed and when the property had largely increased in value. The property might fall in value, and when the occasion came for levying the duty there might be an Increment Duty to pay on a forced sale. The property does not fetch enough, or only enough, to cover the mortgage and repay the interest. If the original owner has no funds, who has to pay 1 That is a matter of great importance. In the interests of the whole business community, it should be made perfectly clear that when any individual advances money upon the security of land, and particularly in the case of trustees, that under no circumstances whatever— even where they are obliged to foreclose to obtain their capital and interest back again—should they be liable for Increment Value Duty. If there is not a clear understanding arrived at upon this point I am afraid I shall have to debate this question at some considerable length, because it is a matter of serious importance to the business community whether a man or trustess advancing money on the security of land is thereby to render his trust money or his own property liable to Increment Value Duty, which may very seriously reduce the capital. If this Rill is to be stretched to cover cases of that kind, the sooner we know it the better. We have now passed out of the region of drafting, and we have come to a matter of great importance in the structure of the Bill.

Mr. G. D. FABER (York)

The learned Attorney-General has assumed all through that matters of this kind would come as a matter of course before a judge. The hon. and learned Gentleman appears to have forgotten altogether that the persons who are going to decide these questions will be the Commissioners, gentlemen who have had no legal training whatever. They are not gentlemen who have attained to-the eminence of lawyers and afterwards to-the Bench. These matters, therefore, will have to be decided by unskilled people. It seems to me to be a matter of very considerable doubt whether the Commissioners might not hold that the mortgagee did come within the meaning of the word transferor. When we look at sub-section (2), this point becomes even more doubtful. You can use this in the sense that every transferor means every person concerned in the particular transfer. If that is so, there is no doubt that all the parties who have an interest might be brought in and called upon to find the Increment Duty. If the Bill does not mean-that, let us put it boy and all doubt. You are going to introduce the greatest confusion, and, in some cases, the greatest injustice. As regards the other point, take the case of a mortgagee where the security has fallen in value, and where the mortgagee exercises his power of sale, and only gets just enough money to pay him back the principal and interest due to him. The Increment Duty has got to-be paid by someone. The mortgagor has nothing beside the subject-matter of the mortgage, and he cannot pay. Is the mortgagee to be held liable? If he is, then every mortgagee in the country, and every bank, is going to be exicted and alarmed by the prospect opened up before them. We are entitled to an answer, here and now. Will the mortgagee in such a case be called upon to pay the Increment Duty arising out of a subject-matter in which he has no interest at all? All he is concerned in is to get back the principal he has lent and interest on his money beside. I think the Attorney-General should give us some definite assurance on that point. If it is not in the direction we expect, then, indeed, he has raised a hornet's nest which he will find will not be easily laid.

Mr. J. F. REMNANT

I only want to-enlarge upon a point raised by my hon. Friend below me (Mr. Pretyman), and, in doing so, may I say how sorry one is to have to attack the learned Attorney-General, knowing he is not responsible for the Bill.

Sir W. ROBSON

I must not disclaim responsibility.

Mr. REMNANT

One knows that and appreciates the courteous way in which the hon. and learned Gentleman is trying to meet our point. It must be admitted by everybody who has listened to this short discussion that the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend (Mr. Watson Rutherford) is an extremely important one, not only from the owner's point of view, but in connection with what seems to me to be one of the main objects of the Bill, namely, the development of ripe building land for building purposes. I know of an instance, and, after all, these concrete instances are sometimes very valuable in dealing with these matters— where the owner of a considerable amount of property is without funds for its development. A railway came through the property, and a very considerable portion of it became ripe for building purposes. It is necessary, as everyone connected with land knows, to lay out considerable sums of money—in this case between £800 and £900 per acre—for the purposes of making land suitable for building purposes. He had not the money with which to develop the property, and he had to borrow a considerable sum. The wave of prosperity went away from this property, and all the money he had expended in roads and other development purposes was practically useless. He then had not the money with which to meet the interest on this large sum, and the mortgagee foreclosed and sold. The property, under this Bill, would have realised considerably more than the original site value, but, in selling, the mortgagee did not get back anything like the amount he had lent. You are going to stop for the future lenders of money lending on such estates for development purposes if they are going to be liable to lose, not only their interest, but considerable slices of their capital as well. What my hon. Friend wishes to do is, at all events, to safeguard mortgagees from being called upon to pay Increment Value Duty which they would have been called upon to pay in this case, and which would have amounted to a considerable sum of money. We are told we want to get people to lay out their land for building purposes and to bring it into the market. You are not going to do it by this means. You are going to put a heavy handicap on those who lend money for development purposes. There is another point. A mortgagee, who forecloses but does not Bell, becomes the transferee, and, according to the Bill, he would not be called upon to pay the Increment Value Duty. The hon. and learned Gentleman has not considered the many intricate and difficult points which must arise, and we are under a debt of gratitude to my hon. Friend for bringing this matter forward. It is an important point, and I hope the Amendment will be acceded to, or, at all events, that this handicap which is likely to be placed on the development of land will be removed.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

The hon. and learned Gentleman has made an appeal to me to withdraw this Amendment on two grounds — first, because it is unnecessary, as no reasonable person, amongst whom he included all the judges who may possibly have to construe this section, could possibly hold the mortgagee or trustee to be a transferor or lessor under the section; and secondly because he, personally at all events, has no desire to inflict any trouble or difficulty upon people who are merely mortgagees or trustees, and the point will be considered. We will take his two reasons separately. In the first place, he says no reasonable person——

Sir W. ROBSON

I said "I did not," and I gave my reasons for my opinion. I did not say "no reasonable person." I hope that statement is correct, but I do not happen to have made it.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

It is, at all events, what I understand. Of course, the hon. and learned Gentleman's ideas of the way these words might be construed perhaps would not be the same as those of some other person's. The first point is this: Do the words in the Bill as they stand include a mortgagee or a mere trustee? In addition to ordinary mortgagees you frequently have other parties joining in the conveyance of land on sale, or in leasing properties. There are incumbrances of any sort or description which would come under the heading of mortgagees. There are trustees under the Settled Lands Act for all sorts of purchases. It is not an uncommon thing, in a conveyance, to find 12, 13, or 14 parties to the deed, and in a transfer such as that described under this Bill, these persons would be either transferors or transferees. If you look at the words in the deed, you will find the first person mentioned in the document is the mortgagee. All the other persons whose consent is legally necessary in order to effectuate that document are brought into the testament as persons transferring the property, and they are the transferors. You get a little more light on this point in the next section, where you find the words "every transferor." The Attorney-General says that does not actually mean every transferor, but it means the transferor in every case. Surely it means the transferor in each case. If it means otherwise, it is a great pity it is not so stated. You cannot get out of the words "every transferor or lessor." What is the position at which we have arrived? Are the Government prepared, or are they not, to tell us here that they have no intention of imposing the obligation of seeing that the duty is paid upon persons who are in this fiduciary capacity. If they will undertake to see that words are put in, either here or on Report, which will make it clear that only the person who is really bonâ fide carrying out this transaction shall be made liable, by this section, to pay the money, and further made liable under a penalty of £10 to send in these Returns, then I am prepared to accept the assurance of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and I will not press my Motion to a Division. But the hon. and learned Gentleman does not offer me that assurance. All our attempts to get a frank and unmistakable statement as to the intentions of the Government in this matter have failed up to the present, and if they persist in that attitude, then I must insist on carrying this Motion to a Division.

Viscount HELMSLEY

I never could quite understand why the Government are so reluctant to add words which will contribute to the clearness of the Bill, which has to be read by men as well as by lawyers. It is just as well that laymen should be able to understand what it really means. We know, by cases decided in the courts over and over again, that judges are not at liberty to find out the intentions of Parliament. It is not their business to study the Report of the Debates. They must go by the words of the statute, and therefore it is necessary those words should be as clear as possible, and that there should be no legal complications likely to arise. Why cannot the Government accept words which will make it perfectly clear who the transferor or lessor actually is? This raises the whole question of the position of the mortgagee. The Attorney-General was asked the other day whether mortgagees were, in any part of this Bill, to be called upon to pay the Increment Duty. The answer was in the negative. The hon. and learned Gentleman said he did not think it was provided for in any part of the Bill. But this subsection looks as if the mortgagee will have to pay the duty in certain cases. Let me put a case to the Attorney-General. Take an instance where a property has been mortgaged up to the hilt of the increment value. It is quite possible that the mortgagee would have advanced as much money on the estate as will cover the increment. What happens when he forecloses, and when the estate passes to somebody else? Who, in that case, pays the Increment Duty? I take it that it cannot be the original mortgagor, because presumably he is bankrupt. Why should the mortgagee pay it? I think he would have to pay, although he has actually got no benefit whatever from the transaction, because he has already advanced sufficient money on the estate to cover it. This is a very important point. We have had practically no discussion in these Debates on the position of the mortgagees. We have been unable to get any statement from the Front Bench opposite as to that position. I wish to know what the position is in the particular case I have cited. Then there is a position of trustees under this Bill. What happens in the case of trustees of a minor on whose estate such a transfer or sale takes place? Who is the transferor, legally speaking? Does this section mean that the trustees themselves would be personally liable to pay the Increment Value Duty on the estate which they are managing, and either letting or selling for the minor? These are points which I really think do want clearing up, and it seems to me that the Amendment of my hon. Friend would, at all events, make the matter a great deal clearer. I have not the exact words, but, at all events, I gather that they practically include the whole point, as they exclude all these other people who are not directly benefited. That seems to me to be the real point, and it appears to me that some words should be inserted by the Government to show that they only intend to take Increment Value Duty from the person who actually gets the increment value, and they do not intend to take it from someone who has no interest in the estate at all.

Sir W. ROBSON

My own view is that the Bill already is sufficiently well guarded against any construction of the kind that the mortgagee or trustee in any conceivable circumstances would be regarded as the transferor or the lessor who has to pay the Increment Tax. I think the hon. Mem- ber for the West Derby Division (Mr. Watson Rutherford) clearly is mistaken in regard to the construction of section (2). He says the words, "It shall be the duty of every transferor or lessor, in cases where the Increment Value Duty is due, to present to the Commissioners, in accordance with regulations made by them, any such instrument or particulars thereof for the purpose of the assessment of duty thereon," means every transferor in the Kingdom. I have pointed out that it means the transferor in every case. [An HON. MEMBER: "It does not say so."] But it does say so, and there is no object in saying it twice. It says the transferor shall present" any such instrument or particulars thereof for the purpose of the assessment of duty thereon. "That means the transferor in every case; it does not mean every person taking part in the conveyance by way of consent to the transfer. See what follows. Otherwise it goes on to say, "and if the transferor or lessor fails to comply with this provision," there arises certain penal obligations, showing that my construction is right, and that it is "the" transferor in every case, and not every transferor in every case. If it is found that we do not apply this principle, it would be a very simple matter to add proper words—it may be here or it may be at a later stage, or it may be by the addition of a clause—in order to make it quite clear.

Mr. PRETYMAN

I think we are agreed so far upon the trustee point, and that if these words do not carry out the intention they will be made to do so. We thank the Attorney-General for his very clear explanation and undertaking on a very difficult point so far as that goes, but it is very important to us, and to the whole Committee, to know what are the intentions of the Government on the further point arising on this Amendment. It is a manuscript Amendment, and the wording is not before us, but the clear intention of it is— I cannot say whether it is carried out—that no mortgagee should, under any circumstances, be liable to this duty as such. That is the point, and what we want to know is, if the hon. and learned Gentleman will kindly add to the information he has given us, whether it is the intention of the Government that, under no circumstances, where the mortgagee forecloses, and there are no assets, and where the mortgagor becomes bankrupt, and in other exceptional cases which we raised, the mortgagee will become liable for Increment Value Duty, and whether the liability will fall upon the new owner?

Sir W. ROBSON

The hon. Gentleman has given a case where the mortgagee becomes the transferor, and I should say, under those circumstances, ought to be liable. My assurance covered mortgagees so long as they are within the terms of the Amendment, but it does not ask for anything of that sort. This is something quite outside the Amendment; in fact, this is a case in which the mortgagee may very well become the transferor and lessor if he forecloses. He becomes the transferor, and I am asked to undertake that under no circumstances shall there be any liability to pay the duty. All I can say is I do not extend my undertaking as far as that.

Mr. PRETYMAN

I understand if the Amendment is negatived we cannot raise any point upon it afterwards, and if it is withdrawn the point is left undecided. Both sides are in agreement as to the drafting point where there is no question of the mortgagee being the only person upon whom the duty would fall; but on the further point I submit, as a point of order, whether the wording of the Amendment does not cover this particular case. As I read it, it does, because the Amendment says "where the mortgagee is no more a beneficiary than to the extent of the money he has advanced." That will be so in this particular case. In spite of that the Attorney-General says he would be liable for the duty, and I submit that is within the scope of the Amendment, and that we are entitled to discuss it.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Caldwell)

If the Amendment is negatived that will be dealt with on any future Amendment which comes before the Committee, and the Chairman for the time being will consider to what extent the new Amendment was affected by the Amendment which was negatived.

Mr. PRETYMAN

The point we desire to raise on the Amendment now is whether a mortgagee who foreclosed and forced a sale of the property, and received no more back on the sale than the money which he had advanced with interest, and where the original owner has no assets and is therefore unable to pay the duty—whether that mortgagee would then become liable, and the Attorney-General told, us he would. The question is whether or not we are entitled to discuss that point on this Amendment.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

No, that is obviously not in the Amendment. It is a case where the mortgagee who joins in any such transfer or lease as a consenting party.

Mr. PRETYMAN

He would join as a consenting party.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

As I read the words, if he does not join as a consenting party in his own right he does so to give his consent for any interest he might have in the property. It is a well-known distinction in law.

Mr. PRETYMAN

It is perfectly clear that if the point is not included in the Amendment, and if the Amendment is negatived, we shall be entitled to raise it later.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

That will be a question for the interpretation of the Chairman, when the Amendment is brought forward. I cannot give a ruling on matters which will come later on.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I understand you to rule that we cannot

discuss on this Amendment the case of a mortgagee who forecloses, and thereby becomes the owner, even though he does not receive as a consequence of his sale more than the amount of his principal and interest.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

assented.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

I endeavoured to exclude, in wording the Amendment, the case of a mortgagee who was really the acting seller and was receiving the whole purchase money or receiving something different from merely his principal and interest. The object of the Amendment was that the mortgagee, where he is simply a consenting party and has not sold the property, but is obliged to join as transferor, should not be subjected to the annoyance of having to send in returns and the statutory imposition of seeing that the duty was paid.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 54; Noes, 224.

Division No. 285.] AYES. [8.57 a.m.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Faber, George Denison (York) Parkes, Ebenezer
Balcarres, Lord Fell, Arthur Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Baldwin, Stanley Forster, Henry William Peel, Hon. W. R. W.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gardner, Ernest Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Pretyman, E. G.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Haddock, George B. Rawlinson, Sir John Frederick Peel
Bowles, G. Stewart Helmsley, Viscount Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bull, Sir William James Hill, Sir Clement Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Carlile, E. Hildred Hills, J. W. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Cave, George Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Clyde, J. Avon Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lowe, Sir Francis William Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Craik, Sir Henry MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Doughty, Sir George Magnus, Sir Philip Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Du Cros, Arthur Philip Middlemore, John (Throgmorton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Remnant and Mr. Lane-Fox.
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Oddy, John James
NOES.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Cawley, Sir Frederick
Acland, Francis Dyke Bennett, E. N. Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Cleland, J. W.
Agnew, George William Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Clough, William
Alden, Percy Brace, William Clynes, J. R.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Bramsdon, Sir T. A. Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Brigg, John Condon, Thomas Joseph
Armitage, R. Bright, J. A. Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)
Astbury, John Meir Brocklehurst, W. B. Cory, Sir Clifford John
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Brooke, Stopford Cotton, Sir H. J. S.
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Cowan, W. H.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Crooks, William
Barnes, G. N. Bryce, J. Annan Crosfield, A. H.
Barran, Sir John Nicholson Buckmaster, Stanley O. Cross, Alexander
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Crossley, William J.
Beck, A. Cecil Burnyeat, W. J. D. Curran, Peter Francis
Bell, Richard Byles, William Pollard Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport) Cameron, Rubert Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lament, Norman Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Delany, William Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis Ridsdale, E. A.
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-shire) Levy, Sir Maurice Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)
Dobson, Thomas W. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lundon, T. Robinson, S.
Essex, R. W. Lyell, Charles Henry Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Esslemont, George Birnie Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Evans, Sir S. T. Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Rogers, F. E. Newman
Everett, R. Lacey Maclean, Donald Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Flynn, James Christopher Macpherson, J. T. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Fullerton, Hugh MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Gibb, James (Harrow) M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Seddon, J.
Gill, A. H. Mallet, Charles E. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Glover, Thomas Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Simon, John Allsebrook
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Marnham, F. J. Sloan, Thomas Henry
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Massie, J. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Griffith, Ellis J. Masterman, C. F. G. Snowden, P.
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Meagher, Michael Soares, Ernest J.
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Stanger, H. Y.
Hardle, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Micklem, Nathaniel Steadman, W. C.
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Molteno, Percy Alport Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Money, L. G. Chiozza Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Hart-Davies, T. Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Summerbell, T.
Harwood, George Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Sutherland, J. E.
Haslam, James Derbyshire Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Haworth, Arthur A. Napier, T. B. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Hayden, John Patrick Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Hazleton, Richard Nolan, Joseph Thomasson, Franklin
Hedges, A. Paget Norman, Sir Henry Thompson, J. W. H. (Someret, E.)
Helme, Norval Watson Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Henry, Charles S. Nuttall, Harry Thorne, William (West Ham)
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Higham, John Sharp O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Wardle, George J.
Hodge, John O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Hogan, Michael O'Dowd, John Watt, Henry A.
Holt, Richard Durning O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Hooper, A. G. Parker, James (Halifax) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) Paul, Herbert White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Horridge, Thomas Gardner Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Hudson, Walter Pearce, William (Limehouse) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Hutton, Alfred Eddison Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Wilkie, Alexander
Hyde, Clarendon G. Pirie, Duncan V. Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Idris, T. H. W. Pointer, J. Wills, Arthur Walters
Illingworth, Percy H. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Jackson, R. S. Power, Patrick Joseph Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Jenkins, J. Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Johnson, John (Gateshead) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Winfrey, R.
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Joyce, Michael Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Kavanagh, Walter M. Reddy, M.
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Redmond, William (Clare) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Captain
Laidlaw, Robert Rees, J. D. Norton and Mr. Fuller.
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster) Rendall, Athelstan
Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

When the Amendment which has just been disposed of was under discussion a point was raised which you (Mr. Deputy-Chairman) ruled must be raised by a separate Amendment. I propose to raise it now by moving to insert after the word "lessor"["paid by the transferor or lessor"] the words, "but the mortgagee who becomes owner by foreclosure shall not be liable if he receives from the sale or lease no more than the amount of his advance, with interest and costs. "The case which I wish to raise is one which I think can be very fairly stated, and it will be apparent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that it is a case of considerable hardship, needing very serious consideration. The Attorney-General has told the Committee that where a mortgagee is merely a consenting party to a transfer on sale or to a lease it is not the intention of the Government to make him liable for any part of the duty. The hon. and learned Gentleman said he believed that the wording of the Bill as drawn is sufficient to protect the mortgagee in those circumstances, and that, if it is not, words should be proposed at a later stage to make it perfectly clear that under such conditions the mortgagee should be under no liability. I wish to raise the case of the mortgagee who has to foreclose, and who by the act of foreclosure becomes the owner. Suppose that having been obliged to foreclose and become the owner, the mortgagee sells the property on which he has advanced money, and that the result of the sale is to realise no more than the amount of money he has advanced with interest, and with costs to which he has been put, surely he ought not to be liable to pay the Increment Duty Tax on an increment which he has not received, and yet there may be in such a case a very considerable increment. Nearly all building land, or land which is coming into use for building purposes, is developed by means of mortgages. Very often the land passes, so to speak, from one mortgagee to another, but there is a mortgage on it all the time. If the speculation of the man who is developing the land has turned out bad and he becomes bankrupt, the mortgagee may be forced to foreclose and put up the property for sale, and he may not be able to realise enough to cover his advance with interest. Provided that he does not realise more, then I submit that he ought not to be charged duty on increment which he has not received. There has been no possible justification I have yet heard urged by the supporters of this tax for putting a tax on increment of that kind. The increment on land has been called a windfall. This man does not get a windfall. It has been called unearned increment. He has no unearned increment. He gets back no more than his own, or less than his own, and it would be a great hardship if he had to pay the tax, although he could derive no possible benefit from the increment. If this liability were left by the Bill on mortgagees it would deal the severest blow on the whole system by which urban land is developed and built upon at the present time. It would make the kind of transaction by which capital is provided for developing land very difficult, and it would have a serious effect on all existing mortgages. Mortgagees would have to scrutinise their position under the circumstances, and mortgagees would be prevented from advancing in future anything like to the same extent so which they have been accustomed to advance in the past. On the ground both of the injustice to the individual and the gross interference with the way in which this business is conducted, involved in the proposal of the Government, I move this Amendment.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

This is purely an Amendment dealing with cases where a mortgagee has become actual owner and is therefore in the position of the owner or lessee, as the case may be. Let me point out what that really means. He is only liable to be charged Increment Duty when there is an appreciation in the value of the land. Let us assume that he gave an advance of money. No careful mortgagee advances more than two-thirds, or, at the outside, three-fourths of the value. Very well, there is a margin to begin with of either one-third or one-fourth. In addition to that, there must be an increment of 10 per cent, before he is liable at all. First of all, there is 33 per cent, of the value of the land. Then there is an additional 10 per cent., and it is only after that 43 per cent, margin has been crossed that the mortgagee, as owner of the land, would ever be liable. That is ample protection for any careful business-like mortgagee. If it were a case of an absolutely reckless moneylender that would be a different transaction, but I do not think it was our business altogether to take on the interests of a man of that sort; and for this reason— it would be quite possible by means of a collusive mortgage to evade payment altogether. All he would have to do would be to say, "I am going to sell my land, and I want to get rid of the Increment Duty," and then go to somebody else who will advance more and allow the interest to run up, and then the whole of the Increment Duty would be wiped out absolutely by means of a transaction of that kind. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman has fully considered this. That is one of the disadvantages of an Amendment rushed through and concocted in the Lobby, which is not the best place always to sit down to draft these Amendments. I have done it many a time myself. I thought I had got hold of some splendid idea, and I put it in the best words I could, and I rushed in and put it down on the Paper. I do not think that if the right hon. Gentleman had got the time to consider it this would have been done. I do not think he had in his mind the margin which every mortgagee has got of 33 per cent., or at the least 25 per cent., with in addition to that, the margin of 10 per cent., which franks the transaction. We have safeguarded the case of a mortgage which occurred 10 or 15 years ago. We have accepted an Amendment moved by the Noble Lord (Viscount Helmsley).

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

The Amendment of my noble Friend (Viscount Helmsley) did not cover the only case which is raised by this Amendment, and did not touch the case of the mortgagee who has foreclosed and become the owner.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I do not quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Austen Chamberlain). I think it covers the case where the money was advanced within the last 20 years, but if that is all that the right hon. Gentleman wants I am prepared to consider any words that will meet a case of that kind. But his words go far beyond that. They will cover the case of a mortgage in future where the land goes up by 15 or 20 per cent. They would even cover the case of a collusive mortgage or the case of a reckless mortgage where the mortgagee advanced six-fifths of the value of the land. That would destroy the whole of the Increment Duty, 'and I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman on consideration would think that that is the case which ought to be provided for.

Viscount HELMSLEY

I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has stated quite accurately the effects of the Amendment which was incorporated the other night. It provides for the case in which the mortgagee of any land proves that he or any of his predecessors in title has advanced an amount which exceeds the total value. That is only a basis of calculating from that the original site value. The original amount which he advances is only a guide to the original site value, and may be taken as the original site value instead of the first valuation; and so I do not think that the point is quite covered by the Chancellor's suggestion. There is another point arising out of this mortgage. It is quite possible there will be large fluctuations. A man may have advanced two-thirds, say, of the value at a time when the value looked as if it were going up very considerably, although as a matter of fact no valuation for Increment Duty had arisen. But then circumstances alter, and at the time of foreclosing he may find he has been mistaken, and that actually when the estate comes to be sold that increase in value which he anticipated has not occurred to the extent which he anticipated; because, after all, though the right hon. Gentleman says that no prudent mortgagee will advance more than two thirds or three-fourths upon the land, yet we all know of cases where mortagees have foreclosed and where they sold the property, with the result that they have suffered considerable loss. After all, the valuation of which we have heard so much is only a question of opinion. The Chancellor of the Exchequer criticises the Amendment of my right hon. Friend, but he will admit that the principle ought to be granted that suppose it does happen that a mortgagee finds when he forecloses that there is Increment Duty payable on the estate, but what he gets for the estate only covers the principle and interest, then in that case no increment value is really payable by the mortgagee. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us several times in the course of these Debates that this tax is not a charge upon land, but it is a charge upon the owner, who is supposed to gain an advantage from the community. If it is proved that as a matter of fact there is no beneficial income to the person who comes into the position of owner by mortgage, then I say that he ought not to be compelled to pay, and I do not think he ought to be asked to rely upon the somewhat hypothetical margin which the Chancellor of the Exchequer foreshadows.

Mr. W. R. PEEL

I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the reply he made did not very fairly distinguish between the site value and the whole value, because he said no mortgagee of any sense would advance more than half or three-fourths of the value of the land, so that you got 33 percent, margin, and, in addition, 10 per cent. But you have not got 10 percent, at all, because you advance, we will say, your money upon the security of land and buildings together, and this 10 percent, is only 10 per cent, margin on the pure site value. And adding the 10 per cent, to the 33 per cent, is simply, if I may say so with respect, a mistake in arithmetic, because you do not get the 10 per cent, on the whole value. Of course, where a mortgagee lends his money on a composite subject, the house and land, a change may take place, and there may be a rise in the site value, and a considerable fall in the value of the property on the site. Obviously in that case he is badly hit, and, although he might barely realise the amount of his money, he might have to pay Increment Duty on that portion of the site value although there is a relative discrepancy between the two values of the house and the site. I think the case is not so hypothetical or so rare as the Chancellor of the Exchequer made it out to be.

Mr. A. FELL

There are several cases in which a difficulty may arise. Trustees may have lent money as mortgagees, and at the end they would suffer additional loss through the action of the provision which we are now discussing. We know that builders work on extremely fine margins, and, owing to the immense competition, they are only able to make small profits. The land on which the builder is erecting property is plotted out for houses, and each site value is separate. The mortgagees lend their money on one house and one plot. They do not know what the site value will be apportioned by the Commissioners. Afterwards the builder falls into arrears, and if the trustee in the bankruptcy renounces, the mortgagees have to take possession of the land and of the house. When they sell that property they will have to go back and apportion what value that particular plot on which the house is built bears with regard to the value of the whole building estate. It entirely depends upon the Commissioners as to what the value of that particular plot is whether the mortgagees will come out straight or not. If the Commissioners say the plot has a certain value, and afterwards decide that it has gone up in value, then the mortgagees on a sale stand to lose a very considerable sum.

Mr. J. F. P. RAWLINSON

Not a single word of the right hon. Gentleman's speech would apply to existing mortgages. He gave the margin of 33 per cent., and so forth, but mortgages at the present moment, many of them, have not security for the full amount advanced. The only concession which the right hon. Gentleman has made at present is that, for the purpose of getting the original site value, the sum advanced on mortgage during the previous 20 years is to be taken at the site value instead of the valuation. That is a slight but not a complete protection. The second point the right hon. Gentleman made was that this Amendment will throw open the door to collusion. That, of course, cannot apply to existing mortgages, which could not have been made in anticipation of this legislation.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I admit there is a distinction between existing mortgages and future mortgages, and the point made by the hon. and learned Gentleman is perfectly sound that there cannot be any collusion with regard to past mortgages. At the same time I cannot accept the Amendment of the Noble Lord, but if it subsequently turns out that his point is not covered I am willing to consider any further words.

Viscount HELMSLEY

It is not a case where there has been a decrement. There may have been an increment on the original valuation, but a decrement from the time when the money was advanced. If you take the advance over the whole property my Amendment is merely a guide to ascertain the original site value. That is the whole point. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has run away with the idea that it is only a question of decrement, but there may be an increment, although it does not go into the hands of the mortgagee.

Sir FREDERICK BANBURY

I think the statement of the right hon. Gentleman is a very satisfactory one, as far as it goes. I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that existing mortgages shall be exempt.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

No. What I did say was that I would consider the point raised by the Noble Lord if it turned out that it was not covered.

Sir F. BANBURY

I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say in reply to my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Rawlinson) that existing mortgages would be exempt.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

No.

Sir F. BANBURY

Is not that so? It is a very important point. The point raised was that there should be no collusion in regard to future mortgages, and that existing mortgages should be exempted.

Mr. ROBERT PEARCE

The Amendment is as to foreclosed mortgages, and the hon. Member is discussing existing mortgages, therefore I ask whether he is not out of order.

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Emmott)

The question was referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and therefore it is in order.

Sir F. BANBURY

I think there ought not to be any misunderstanding on this point I should not wish to continue the discussion if I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say existing mortgages are to be excluded from the operation of the Bill.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

No.

Sir F. BANBURY

The right hon. Gentleman does not say so. Then I think my intervention has elicited a very important fact.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I am not quite certain of the exact position. I recognise the difficulty of the form of words, and that the words which I have suggested do open the way to collusive agreements in the future. I have not been able to devise words that would in the future distinguish between these and bond fide mortgages, but I may say the thing is quite as likely to happen in the future as in the past, because these great fluctuations of property we have experienced in recent years are not a single and isolated one, but will recur from time to time. It just depends at what time the transactions were entered into and the last time the Increment Duty was paid. If it was paid some time ago there has been time for the property to rise to a point at which a prudent mortgagee may make an advance. Then the property may again fall, but at the point at which he sells there may be an increment compared with the time at which land was last taxed, especially in the case of building land where these fluctuations are very common. It is very difficult to describe what exactly causes a town to develop in one direction rather than another, or at one time and then suddenly change and develop in another direction and another quarter of the town. It is impossible for a prudent man to foresee, and if that were possible a great many more fortunes would be made, and a great many fewer bankruptcies would be made in the building trade. It is because of these uncertainties that these operations are not always successful. Sometimes those who engage in land suffer very heavy losses. Provided the last payment of the tax has been at a sufficiently low rate, there is room in further fluctuations for the mortgagee to be a loser of the increment value. I do feel that is very hard lines. The Chancellor does not think the mortgagee foreclosing ought to pay under those conditions. He puts forward the view that it is impossible to protect him in the future, because of the danger of permitting collusive mortgages. I think the Chancellor wants to meet us on this particular question, and if the Chancellor could give us an assurance that existing mortgagees shall be protected, I will ask leave to withdraw my Amendment. I am not quite certain whether he has given that assurance or not. I think he has only gone to the length of saying he would consider the matter. He admits his objection does not apply to the case of existing mort- gages, and that if the case arise it would be a case of hardship. If he will turn the conditional assurance into an unconditional assurance, and a promise that existing mortgagees shall be protected, I will withdraw the Amendment. Very likely he does not want to take the words on the spur of the moment. I think it could be met if after the words, "When the mortgagee," he were to insert the words, "claiming under an existing mortgage." If the Chancellor does not like to accept the words on the spur of the moment, and that is a natural course, and I do not really press him to do so, I only press him for an assurance that he will take whatever steps are necessary to make it perfectly clear that existing mortgagees do not suffer.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

This is one of the difficulties of considering a very complicated and tangled problem of this kind, even where you have the Amendments on the Paper, and have got the morning to consider them. But it is infinitely more difficult to consider them in a discussion in the House. The right hon. Gentleman will quite appreciate the caution with which, I will not say declined to give too precise an assurance, but why I want to consider exactly what the effect will be. All I can tell him is this, that I have some sympathy with the position of the present mortgagee where the value of land has gone down under the mortgage. I thought we had met it by accepting the words of the Noble Lord. I will consider what the right hon. Gentleman said with regard to the other point. He seems to think those words are not sufficient, and I am quite willing to look into the matter. I think the position of the mortgagee who has advanced before the passing of the Act is a totally different position to the mortgagee who advances afterwards, with the full knowledge that he has got to discount Increment Duty. That alters the situation. I quite agree with him that that is the position, and I will consider, and quite favourably, whether it is necessary to strengthen the words of the Noble Lord in order to safeguard the present mortgagee.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I think the Chancellor has met us fairly, and that I ought not to press the Amendment at the present time. I think the fact that he says that future mortgagees will have to discount the danger of having to pay increment is a very serious objection to the tax itself and a very serious impediment to industry. I ask to withdraw.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Sir CLIFFORD CORY moved at the end of section (1) to insert, "But in the case of mineral leases, the Increment Duty shall not be collected until after the first fourteen years of the lease has expired."

The case which I wish to meet by my Amendment is the following: In Cornwall men are granted a licence to search for tin, which varies from coal in this respect, that as a rule coal is known to exist over a certain area, whereas tin may exist in one spot and in the neighbouring land it may exist or it may not. A licence is given to search for tin or for minerals, with the option of a lease at the end of a year; if minerals are found the lease is granted, and Increment Value Duty would be collected on the value of the whole term of the lease. But very often within six months the minerals fail, or the company may go into liquidation, with the result that the lessor has had to pay the Increment Duty on a lease which has existed perhaps for only six months. It is the intention of the Government, as I understand from the Amendment which they made in Clause 1, not to charge Increment Duty on any lease that does not run for a longer term than 14 years. If this Amendment is not accepted it will hinder a great many leases being granted. It frequently happens that a number of people have undivided shares in the mineral property. Those who have the biggest shares are people of comparatively small means, whereas a rich man may have a very small undivided share in the property, and if he has to pay Increment Duty on a long-term lease he will decline to grant a licence with the option of a lease on which he may have to pay a bigger increment than the part of the dead rent on the royalty he may receive. I trust, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman will see his way to accept the Amendment.

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

Mr. LLOYD GEORGE

I really think I am entitled to complain that my hon. Friend should spring an Amendment of this kind upon the Committee, raising an important issue, without having taken the trouble to notify the Government of his intention, and given them the opportunity of examining its bearings. Moreover, the hon. Member introduced a deputation to me, and he has full cognisance of the questions that bear upon minerals. I have only just had an opportunity of seeing the Amendment; it would have been fairer if he had given me an opportunity of examining it and ascertaining what its effect would be. Having made that observation, I may point out that a similar question was raised by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Ridsdale) in reference to houses. He put the case of house property, where a lease was granted at a high rent, Increment Duty charged and paid, then at the end of a year the lessee became bankrupt, and the property was let at a lower rent to somebody else. We pointed out that that very case was met in this clause, and that if words were necessary to make it clearer we should be prepared to insert them. There is a provision in the case of a lease for payment of the Increment Duty by instalments, and I think that really covers the case put by the hon. Member (Sir C. Cory). The licence is purely a right to search for minerals, and it depends upon what follows on that search whether a lease is granted. After the prospector has satisfied himself that there are minerals, a lease is granted; upon that lease Increment Duty is charged, and may be paid by instalments. The hon. Member for Brighton wanted to be assured that the lessor would not have to go on paying the instalments after the lease had lapsed through the lessee becoming bankrupt, and the granting of a fresh lease at a lower rent to somebody else. He was referring to house property, but I think the same principle applies to mineral property. I promise, if necessary, to strengthen the words of sub-section (5), in order to make it absolutely clear, and I think my hon. Friend might consider that the same pledge covers his case.

Sir C. CORY

I apologise for not having given my right hon. Friend more notice, but I did not know exactly to what clause the Amendment would apply. As regards the deputation to which he refers, this matter does not come within their province. Moreover, it is a very different matter in regard to tin and copper than in regard to coal. It is pretty well known where coal seams exist, but minerals such as tin are in "pockets."

Mr. LEVERTON HARRIS

The hon. Member desires, as I understand, that Increment Duty should be postponed until such time as the permanence of the tin has been ascertained. Supposing the tin pans out, and the lease is terminated, or the mine owner becomes bankrupt, will the instalments cease?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

That is the pledge I have given.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

The case has been put of the lease lapsing in consequence of the failure of the minerals. Supposing that in the meantime the owner of the minerals dies, will he have been charged Increment Duty on the assumption that the minerals are there, and is there any provision for the return of the duty in such a case?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

As a matter of fact, he will be charged exactly as he is now. There will be no difference at all in the method of procedure.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

Then you would take a slice out of his capital on the assumption that there were minerals which were subsequently found not to be in existence?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

What will happen under this provision is exactly what happened when the right hon. Gentleman was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He then valued the mineral rights, and' it is possible that some of them have "petered out"; but he put the market value at the time being, charged 15 per cent, upon it, and walked off with the loot.

Sir C. CORY

May I ask when the instalments will become due?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I think my hon. Friend had better not anticipate that point.

Mr. ROWLAND HUNT

May I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question? My predecessor in this House owned a tin mine which was worth £5,000 a year at one time. The tin is there all right, but it does not pay to work it. Will the owner be charged on that tin which is there but which cannot be worked at a profit?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I am afraid I do not want to refuse to answer the hon. Gentleman, but he has raised a question which is somewhat contentious. It comes in a specific clause later which deals with value in a case of the sort.

Mr. HUNT

I am sorry I troubled you.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

Oh, not at all.

Sir C. CORY

In view of what has been said, I beg to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. JAMES MASON moved, at the beginning of section (2), to insert the words, "Within a period of not less than one calendar month after execution of such instrument." This is an attempt to mitigate to a small extent what may be a considerable hardship.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

Do we understand if an Amendment is carried to add words to the section that it is not possible for us later to move the omission of the section as amended?

The CHAIRMAN

Certainly not.

Mr. JAMES MASON

This Amendment is to provide that the provision of the section shall not take effect until after the period of at least one month after the execution of the instrument. It will mitigate, to some extent at all events, a very burdensome provision which this section appears to me to contain. I think it cannot be denied that the call upon the individual to himself declare the duty to the Commissioners without any notice being sent to him that he is liable to the duty is a very burdensome one. It is followed up in the same section by a penalty which, in. many cases, would be of a serious nature. It seems to me in this section, as in many other cases in this Bill, to be forgotten that the owner, or in this case the transferor or lessor, may be a small owner. I think it will be necessary later on in the clause to provide against failure to comply with what is necessary under this section by making it clear that a man is only liable to a penalty if he willfully fails to comply with the law. As the clause stands, there is also another point. He has got to be aware that there is a duty upon the transaction. In the case of a small holder living in a freehold house which belongs to him, and perhaps is the only property he possesses, he may be driven by stress of circumstances or otherwise to let this house. He lets it in the condition, possibly considerably altered and improved, for the rent, which includes his improvements and alterations. It seems to me impossible for him to have any very clear idea that he is liable for Increment Value Duty. I do not see what there is to indicate to him that he is liable, and therefore it is unreasonable that he should be made subject to a penalty for not declaring to the Commissioners. The only object of my Amendment is, at any rate, to give him some time in which he is likely to become aware of the fact, or to be warned.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I think the hon. Member will see that the insertion of these words will make the section quite unworkable. What do they mean? We have already discussed the question. The instrument which completes the execution has got to be stamped with the Increment Duty. Now, the hon. Gentleman says that a month after the completion of that contract is to be allowed to the vendor to stamp his document. The document will not be complete and the transaction will not be complete, until it is stamped. By that time the document may have passed into the hands of the transferee or the mortgagee. Why the vendor is more likely to find out his position in a month than before I do not see. He has got all his papers before him. A purchase will not be completed without an investigation of the register.

Lord BALCARRES

I imagine that the objection taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer is just. But, at the same time, he has not met the fundamental object of the Amendment on the Paper. That is, that it shall not be in the power of the Commissioners to make an unreasonable period during which the instrument has got to be executed. Every transferor, or lessor, must present to the Commissioners an instrument or particulars thereof. Of course they have to make regulations, and I think you ought to say whether that is to be completed in a week or two, or a month or six weeks. I think it is the business of Parliament to settle these matters as much as possible, and I think the interval of time allowed should be settled by this House. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree with the Amendment so far as this goes that it is necessary to remove any unreasonable power on the part of the Commissioners?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The point put "by the Noble Lord is a totally different one from the one raised by the hon. Member for Windsor. He wants to give a month after the completion of the transaction. That is obviously unreasonable and quite impracticable. Whether it would be necessary to ask for a month, as a matter of convenience for a man engaged in these land transactions, I cannot say, but the Commissioners would never dream of inflicting a penalty upon a man because his solicitor had not completed the purchase within a month.

Mr. RAWLINSON

What is the register that has been referred to?

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is quite right that the completion is necessary, but my hon. Friend's point is that a man should not be prosecuted for not having within a few weeks, or a month, completed the whole transaction. I think it is not too much to fix some date before which a prosecution should not take place.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

Within a month, not a month after the transaction. That is not reasonable time for the completion. As regards the register, earlier in the course of the afternoon we talked of a register of all these transactions as necessary from the moment you began to carry out the provisions of this Bill.

Mr. RAWLINSON

Will that be open to inspection by the public?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

Yes.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

Up to the present, if the document in accordance with the regulations is not presented, a man shall be liable on conviction to a fine. It is the duty of the transferor, or the lessor, to present documents to the Commissioners for stamping, and if he fails to comply he is liable to a fine of £10. You cannot fine a man next morning. Suppose I sent a transfer conveying certain property to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and did not present the instrument for, say, a month. When does the time expire? The question is, When does the time arrive at which I may be liable to a penalty? It would not do for the Commissioners to come down the day after and say "You are liable to a penalty of £10 for not having presented the document." I think the matter could be dealt with in a later paragraph. If the Chancellor will give us some reasonable suggestion of the time within which the document must be presented before a penalty could be inflicted.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I quite realise there ought to be a reasonable time, but I am not quite so sure that the hon. Member would secure the purpose he has in view by introducing any words at all. Is it conceivable that any magistrate would fine a man for not having completed a transaction which he could not complete, except within a certain time? I cannot imagine a conviction of that sort taking place. I am quite sure the words proposed in this Amendment would not answer the purpose which hon. Members have in view. I think it would be a mistake to introduce any words that would limit the discretion of the parties, and that would limit the time within which these transactions should be completed.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

Would the Chancellor of the Exchequer put in the words "within a reasonable time"—"if the transferor or lessor pays within a reasonable time"?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

Yes, if the hon. Member thinks it necessary, but I advise him to refresh his memory by looking at the Stamp Act. He had better make the regulations conform to those of the Stamp Act generally.

Mr. STEWART BOWLES

If we leave this matter to be dealt with later on, then we are really, in spite of any words we put in here, leaving the whole matter to the discretion of the Commissioners.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

No, no; I think not.

Mr. STEWART BOWLES

Then you will have this extraordinary situation, that while the Commissioners may certainly make rules that instruments are to be brought before them within a certain time, you may have a contrary provision in a subsequent part of the section. If we mean, as we do, that there should be a time, a sort of period of grace, after the execution of the instrument——

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

No, there must be no misconception about that. The execution of the instrument must be an entirely different thing. The hon. Member for Windsor wants a reasonable time after the completion of the transaction. That is a different thing.

Mr. JAMES F. MASON

After what the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said I feel quite satisfied, and I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. EVELYN CECIL moved to leave out section (2). The principle of this section is an extremely bad one. The general principle has been that the Government should look after and collect its own taxes, but now we are proposing to do something quite different. We are proposing to put it on to the taxpayer to come up to the Government to be fleeced, without giving them any notice that they are liable to be fleeced. This is a new principle—it is a very bad one, unfair to the taxpayers, and introduces lassitude on the part of the Government. There are many cases where this new system is being introduced, and it occurs at least in 10 or a dozen places in the Bill. It is by way of protest against this principle that I move the omission of this section. I also take a specific objection to this section. We are told that "it shall be the duty of every transferor or lessor, in cases where Increment Value Duty is due, to present to the Commissioners" the document, and, failing that, they will be liable to severe penalties. I notice that the hon. Member for St. Pan-eras has an Amendment on the Paper to leave out the words "in cases where Increment Value Duty is due." I have heard a rumour that the Government intend to accept that Amendment. If that is so, let us see the position in which we stand. Every transferor or lessor of the smallest property, whether liable to the duty or not, must come to the Commissioners and get his document assessed. No plea of ignorance is to be of the slightest avail, nor any plea of forgetfulness, and the whole weight and duty of his being taxed is to be put upon his own shoulders, and a severe penalty is imposed in case of noncompliance with the Act. There is to be a summary conviction and a fine. I suppose in many cases the innocent transferor or lessor is to be subject to the same vulgar and objectionable procedure of a petty sessional court, and is to be exposed to all the obloquy and ignominy of a summary conviction which that procedure appears to involve. I cannot help thinking that these constant penalties imposed in this manner throughout the Bill tend to indicate the unpopularity which the Chancellor of the Exchequer anticipates for his-own Budget. He knows perfectly well that many citizens throughout the country of all classes will feel that the provisions of this Budget inflict the grossest injustice, and he is therefore obliged to resort to such sections as this in order to enforce provisions which in many instances are properly considered to be unjust. I entirely protest against the new principle which is being introduced in this section. It is wholly against former precedents and proceedings in taxation, and it is on this ground, and also on the ground of the methods of the section, that I move that it be omitted.

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Samuel Evans)

The hon. Member pro- tested against this section, and went so far as to protest against the Budget in all its proposals. He is a little late in the day to make his protest effectually, because the Committee has already decided that an Increment Value Duty shall be paid upon increment, and it is further decided that the duty is to be paid by the transferor or lessor. The provisions of the section which the hon. Member moves to omit are merely provisions for carrying out by the machinery here set forth the obligation which has already been put upon the transferor or lessor by the first section of this particular clause. If the Increment Value Duty has to be paid by the person receiving the increment as already decided, some machinery is necessary, and the machinery is here provided, namely, that the transferor shall give particulars of the conveyance or shall present the instrument of the conveyance to the Commissioners who have to decide what duty is leviable upon the increment. Some such machinery is absolutely necessary. The only other part of the section to which the hon. Gentleman objected, I think, was that part which provides for bringing into operation what he called the vulgar procedure of the petty sessional court. He is, I daresay, familiar with other taxing statutes, and, wherever an obligation is Imposed under taxing statutes, such as the obligation placed upon individuals for making a proper return for the purposes of the Income Tax, summary jurisdiction is given and penalties may be inflicted by the magistrates. Therefore, whether this is a vulgar procedure or not, it is not a new procedure to deal with matters of this kind. Surely if it is right, as the Committee has decided, that the person receiving the increment should pay, and that the transferor or lessor should be the person to provide the necessary particulars, then some such procedure is necessary, and, of course, you must have some penalty lest the transferor or the lessor desires to get out of the obligation made upon him of paying the Increment Value Duty.

Mr. PRETYMAN

I think it is obvious, although we may have decided under section (l) to have applied the torture or the thumbscrew, we are entitled under this section to discuss whether any victim should be obliged to apply it himself. This is an issue of some importance. How is a person to know and what mental process has he to go through in order to discover whether he is to be liable to be taxed under this section or not? If the learned Solicitor-General had devoted himself to showing it was quite obvious that any individual who might be liable to this tax would have the earliest possible means of knowing whether or not he was liable, and whether it was his duty to send in particulars—if he had explained to us how it was quite easy for every subject to know what he had to do, and where he had to do it, the Amendment need not have been pressed, and we could have gone on to the consideration of the details raised by further Amendments. But the Committee is at present entirely in the dark how any person who may be liable to this tax is to know whether he is liable or not; and, in the absence of such information, we cannot advantageously continue this discussion.

Mr. LAURENCE HARDY

We are told we must have machinery for carrying out this section, and that this wording is as good as any other. We have, however, to remember that since this machinery was put into the Bill three new factors have come under our consideration. Practically every transferor or lessor will have to make a return of these particulars. How is it going to be done? How about the small owner, who is now to be exempt from the duty? Is he to be called upon to give these particulars, and to send in this instrument every time any small transaction takes place, which cannot be finished until he has provided the particulars? How about the agricultural owner? How about the person who has the 10 per cent, increment, and who does not know whether it is going to rise to 25 per cent.? All these different questions will arise in connection with the proviso of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and when we remember the new factors which have arisen I think the Solicitor-General might have borne in mind that the machinery which he considered sufficient when the Bill was first introduced cannot be sufficient now when such a very large number of people have been relieved from paying the tax, and who certainly ought to be relieved of any liability for the various legal proceedings which the Government may desire to apply to those from whom the tax is due, regulations which, according to this clause, apparently will fall upon those who will never be called upon to pay the tax at all. We have also to remember that this is to be done under regulations of which we know nothing, and which, judging from what the Chancellor of the Exchequer told us last night, will be of a very unusual character. Then, again, in regard to the penalties, we find that, although in the case of other taxes there is a right of appeal, in this case there is none. From that point of view alone this section stands in a very different position, and I have much pleasure in supporting its total exclusion.

Sir HENRY CRAIK

My hon. Friend who moved this Amendment pointed out that this was a new departure, and that hitherto, although we had difficulty in filling up the return for these Commissioners of Inland Revenue, yet we have never had a penalty of this sort imposed upon us at all. But there is something more in this. Not only is this landlord bound, under a very severe penalty, to make a return, not only is he bound to look at it, with any suspicion that may be open to him, that he is liable to this tax; not only is he bound to see that under no construction of the present Bill, when it becomes an Act, he comes within the four corners of it; but he is bound to act in accordance with any regulation laid down by the Inland Revenue Commissioners themselves. These will be regulations we are now in absolute ignorance of, of which we are allowed to have very slight information, and which the Treasury Bench has told us over and over again they must reserve for further consideration. Yet this unfortunate taxpayer, who has, under a severe penalty, to make a return, is bound to determine for himself in regard to all these regulations. Suppose that a man does his very best to make an honest and fair return, is it the least likely that the question between him and the Commissioners will be adjusted at the date at which the instrument has been executed. It is utterly impossible that it should be adjusted till long after that, and if difficulties arise on the part of the Commissioners, and they hold over questions for further decision, weeks and months may pass before it is decided, and the transferor or lessor is to be liable to pay interest upon the duty from the date that the instrument has been executed.

Sir SAMUEL EVANS

No.

Sir H. CRAIK

The Solicitor-General dissents, and therefore he has not to pay, but then why should he be subject to this interest of 5 per cent, if, through an entirely honest difficulty on his part, he has been unable to decide how much is due from him to the Inland Revenue Commissioners under the regula- tions made by them. Why should the Government cast the liability upon him to pay interest at 5 per cent, from the date when the debt accrued? That is surely to impose a very heavy penalty upon a man who has done his best. A penalty is imposed upon him because he has failed to persuade the Inland Revenue Commissioners that he has complied with their regulations. Surely nothing could be more unjust than that such an act of vengeance by the Commissioners should be inflicted upon a man who has attempted to master a vast number of legal difficulties, which might perplex a man of acute mind, but who has failed to comply with any regulations laid down by them. That is practically an impossible thing for any private taxpayer to do. He will require to consult all sorts of legal authorities. Those authorities may fail him as they have failed the Inland Revenue Commissioners, who, if the delay occurred with them, would not venture to charge interest from the date at which the instrument was executed, and if he and his legal advisers fail exactly to comply with the regulations they have laid down, or fail in the Commissioners' eyes to comply with the regulations, he is to be liable to this interest. Surely no greater screw of taxation, and no more severe instrument of torture, was ever proposed. For these reasons I most cordially support the proposal of my hon. Friend.

Mr. PEEL

I want to draw the attention of the Committee to a very remarkable fact about the section, because it is the first time that a law court comes into this measure at all. As regards the position of the subject, all these matters right through have been decided by Commissioners, and there is no resort to a court of law for the purpose of having the assessment fixed. But as soon as it comes to a question of putting some liability upon owners of land, they are rapidly haled before a court and taxed. That is a curious comment on the whole position of the measure and the way in which the rights of the subject are treated. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in dealing with agriculturists has held out various hopes—sometimes they increase and sometimes they wane—that he is going to except the agricultural interest altogether from the Increment Taxes. Then, again, he tells us that agriculture is not to be excepted when any part of the value of the land is due to any other cause than agriculture—proximity to a railway station or accommodation land, or what not. How on earth is that to be guessed at by the unfortunate agriculturist? How is it possible for him to know that Increment Duty is or is not payable in a case of that kind? It is a matter of pure hypothesis. It is not one of those things which, in many cases, would strike the ordinary man who is not always measuring his distance from a station; yet, if he makes a mistake in what is a matter of hypothesis and speculation, such as a gradual increase in the value of his land owing to the growth of a town near by, a matter which would test the ability of some of the ablest valuers, he is liable, not for some moral delinquency, but because he has made some mistake in a mathematical calculation, to be haled before a magistrate's court and fined £10 or 5 per cent, of the money which it is afterwards adjudged he ought to have paid.

Mr. JOHN GRETTON

I want to point out one difficulty which arises in ascertaining when the duty will be due, and, of course, if the owner of the land does not ascertain when it is due he is liable to all the penalties which are set forth. It is not sufficient that the total value of the land should be approximately the same or even within 10 per cent, of the same. The value which is to be taken is a hypothetical value called the site value. That will make it necessary that every bit of land should be valued if there is any kind of ground for suspecting that there is reason for readjusting the total value of the land and the proportion which the site value bears to it. That will apply equally to agricultural land and town land, or to land in process of development near a town. In the case of town land covered with buildings these buildings may in process of time become less valuable, because the owner has neglected to keep them in proper repair. There may be other reasons for depreciation. It may be owing to a decrease in the necessity for that particular class of buildings, and yet the total valuation of that property may be about the same. It will be necessary in respect of such properties to call in a whole army of expert valuers, otherwise the unfortunate owners may find themselves liable to the increment which is not properly due. The case will be more difficult in the case of the owner of agricultural land. The owner of that land has to find a very shadowy valuation of site value under rules and regulations laid down by the Commissioners. These rules and regulations may be the subject of doubt until decisions have been given on appeals to the referee, or, as we believe the Government intend in the case of important clauses, to the court. While the matter is in doubt the owners of the land will be in doubt whether they are rightly assessing the site value of their properties. While they are acting in such a manner as to keep outside the clutches of the law, and in absolutely good faith, they may be found liable in the prescribed penalties. The Government have not estimated the difficulties to which owners will be put. They have neglected to consider that the value to be ascertained is site value of which nobody has experience, and which may be constantly varying on account of local conditions.

Mr. HICKS BEACH

The Committee having decided that Increment Duty is to be levied are now considering the machinery to be employed in the collection of the duty. There is no reason why a particular kind of machinery should be set up. Before now the House has imposed Income Tax, and it has been necessary to provide machinery for the collection of that tax, but I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer will agree that no particular machinery of this kind has ever been set up for the collection of Income Tax. The first procedure of the Commissioners is to send out a form to everyone who is supposed to be liable for the tax, and then if any person fails to fill up the form the Inland Revenue Commissioners assess him on the income he is supposed to have. It has not been the custom to compel him to make a return before charging the tax, and if anyone fails to fill up the return he is not fined £10 with an addition of 5 per cent, to the particular duty. The machinery proposed in this case is an absolutely novel departure in the collection of taxation. Therefore I think we ought to have from the Government some adequate reason why they take this opportunity of setting up this novel form of bleeding the unfortunate taxpayer. My hon. Friends have brought forward various cases which appeared to them difficult to work under this particular section—the case of the small holder, that of the owner of agricultural land whose land, for some particular reason or another, becomes on sale or transfer liable to Increment Duty. Another case of considerable difficulty is where land changes hands several times. Suppose the first change is after the duty has been passed, and it goes up in value and pays Increment Duty? Then, according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that particular piece of land will be franked to that particular amount. If its value rises from £5,000 to £7,000 it will be franked to £7,000. Suppose it falls in value, not only below £7,000, but below £5,000, and various people buy this land, they are told that it has paid Increment Duty long ago and has been franked, and that it is never likely to rise to that particular value again. The obvious result would be that these people very likely would forget what the value was at which this particular piece of land was franked. A few years afterwards it may rise above £7,000, and the last man who is fortunate enough to have a little increment on this particular piece of franked land, if he does not make a return of the small increment on which he is liable to pay duty, is to be fined £10 and 5 per cent, on the duty from the day on which it becomes due. With all the labour placed on the Inland Revenue officials as a result of passing this Act, it is quite possible it may be many years before they realise that this particular gentleman is liable for a certain amount of Increment Duty, and because he has failed to come forward and say, Please come and tax me for a certain amount, "you are going to make him pay 5 per cent, on that particular amount which was due years before. The section appears to me to be entirely novel in form. It was never carried out before in any taxing legislation in this country, and I must protest against it.

Mr. JAMES HOPE

I would ask the Government do they intend seriously that

these particulars should be sent on the occasion of every transfer, not only of land, but of every interest in the land? Apparently by this section it would be so. The words "interest in land" covers an immense variety of things. For instance, a man transfers sporting rights to another. Is it intended seriously that particulars of the transfer of sporting rights shall be sent to Somerset House in order that the Commissioners may see whether some increment in land may have arisen? By the provisions of the second clause you have machinery which would enable the Commissioners to claim increment. They would ascertain the value of the fee simple of the land from the value of the sporting lease—a nice problem for them—and then when they have got that they would have a number of deductions. Then they claim the site value. Then they would have to apportion the increment to see how much the transferor of the sporting rights had got for it. All these particulars would have to be gone through. I suppose that they would not be gone through unless the person then possessed of the sporting rights were to send them with full particulars of them. Is it seriously contended in a case like this that the transferor of a small interest in land shall have to send up to Somerset House full particulars and that the valuation shall not be carried through until the particulars were carried through? If that is the case the whole thing breaks down through its own weight.

Question put, "That the words 'It shall' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 268; Noes, 97.

Division No. 286.] AYES. [10.55 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Boulton, A. C. F. Clough, William
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Bowerman, C. W. Clynes, J. R.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Brace, William Condon, Thomas Joseph
Alden, Percy Bramsdon, Sir T. A. Cooper, G. J.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Bright, J. A. Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)
Allan, Charles P. (Stroud) Brocklehurst, W. B. Cory, Sir Clifford John
Armitage, R. Brodie, H. C. Cotton, Sir H. J. S.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Brooke, Stopford Cowan, W. H.
Astbury, John Meir Brunnner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Crooks, William
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Bryce, J. Annan Crosfield, A. H.
Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset) Buckmaster, Stanley O. Cross, Alexander
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Burke, E. Haviland- Crossley, William J.
Barnard, E. B. Burns, Rt. Hon. John Curran, Peter Francis
Barnes, G. N. Burnyeat, W. J. D. Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)
Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs) Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)
Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.) Byles, William Pollard Davies, Timothy (Fulham)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Carr-Gomm, H. W. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)
Beale, W. P. Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)
Bell, Richard Cawley, Sir Frederick Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-shire)
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport) Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, W.)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John p.
Bennett, E. N. Cleland, J. W. Dobson, Thomas W.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lynch, H. B. Robinson, S.
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Mackarness, Frederic C. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Maclean, Donald Rogers, F. E. Newman
Elibank, Master of Macpherson, J. T. Rose, Sir Charles Day
Essex, R. W. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Esslemont, George Birnie McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Evans, Sir S. T. M'Laren, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Leicester) Schwann, C Duncan (Hyde)
Everett, R. Lacey M'Micking, Major G. Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Maddison, Frederick Seddon, J.
Fuller, John Michael F. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Seely, Colonel
Fullerton, Hugh Marnham, F. J. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Gibb, James (Harrow) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Simon, John Allsebrook
Gill, A. H. Massie, J. Sloan, Thomas Henry
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Masterman, C. F. G. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Glover, Thomas Meagher, Michael Soares, Ernest J.
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Micklem, Nathaniel Stanger, H, Y.
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Moiteno, Percy Alport Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Griffith, Ellis J. Mond, A. Steadman, W. C.
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Montgomery, H. G. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Strachey, Sir Edward
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rotsendale) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Morrell, Philip Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Morse, L. L. Summerbell, T.
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Sutherland, J. E.
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.) Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Haworth, Arthur A. Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Hayden, John Patrick Nolan, Joseph Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Norman, Sir Henry Thomasson, Franklin
Hazleton, Richard Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.J
Hedges, A. Paget Nussey, Sir Willans Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Helme, Norval Watson Nuttall, Harry Thorne, William (West Ham)
Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.) O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Tomkinson, James
Henry, Charles S. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Verney, F. W.
Higbam, John Sharp O'Dowd, John Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. O'Grady, J. Vivian, Henry
Hodge, John O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Hogan, Michael Parker, James (Halifax) Wardle, George J.
Holt, Richard Durning Paul, Herbert Waring, Walter
Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) Paulton, James Mellor Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Horniman, Emslie John Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Hudson, Walter Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Waterlow, D. S.
Hyde, Clarendon Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Watt, Henry A.
Idris, T. H. W. Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Illingworth, Percy H. Phillips, John (Longford, S.) White. J. Dundas (Dumbarton)
Jackson, R. S. Pickersgill, Edward Hare White, Sir Luke (York, E-R.)
Jenkins, J. Pirie, Duncan V. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Johnson, John (Gateshead) Pointer, J. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Wiles, Thomas
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Power, Patrick Joseph Wilkie, Alexander
Jowett, F. W. Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Kavanagh, Walter M. Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Williamson, Sir A.
Kelley, George D. Radford, G. H. Wills, Arthur Walters
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Rainy, A. Rolland Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Laidlaw, Robert Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.).
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Rea, Waiter Russell (Scarborough) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Lamont, Norman Rendall, Athelstan Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Winfrey, R.
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Levy, Sir Maurice Ridsdale, E. A.
Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Lundon, T. Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)
Lyell, Charles Henry Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
NOES
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Bowles, G. Stewart Doughty, Sir George
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bridgeman, W. Clive Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Anstruther-Gray, Major Brotherton, Edward Allen Du Cros, Arthur Philip
Balcarres, Lord Bull, Sir William James Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan).
Baldwin, Stanley Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Faber, George Denison (York)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Carlile, E. Hildred Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George" Castlereagh, Viscount Fell, Arthur
Banner, John S. Harmood- Cave, George Forster, Henry William
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Foster, P. S. (Warwicks, S.W.)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Gardner, Ernest
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H, A. E. Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Craik, Sir Henry Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)
Gouldlng, Edward Alfred MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Gretton, John Marks, H. H. (Kent) Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Mason, James F. (Windsor) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Haddock, George B. Morpeth, Viscount Stanier, Beville
Hamilton. Marquess of Morrison-Bell, Captain Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Harris, Frederick Leverton Newdegate, F. A. Starkey, John R.
Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Oddy, John James Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Hay, Hon. Claude George Parkes, Ebenezer Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Helmsley, Viscount Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)
Hill, Sir Clement Peel, Hon. W. R. W. Thornton, Percy M.
Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Percy, Earl Valentia, Viscount
Hunt, Rowland Pretyman, E. G. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Joynson-Hicks, William Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Keswick, William Remnant, James Farquharson Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Renwick, George Winterton, Earl
Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Lane-Fox, G. R. Ronaldshay, Earl of Younger, George
Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwlch) Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Rutherford, John (Lancashire) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Evelyn Cecil and Mr. Laurence
Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Lowe, Sir Francis William Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Hardy.
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.

Mr. JAMES HOPE moved to leave out the word "every"["It shall be the duty of every transferor"], and to insert the word "the."

Very often when a conveyance takes place, a number of persons having interests arc joined in the conveyance as consenting parties, and it was urged earlier in the evening that the general words of the last section of the Clause might involve these persons in paying Increment Duty, although they obtained no increment whatever. I understand from the Attorney-General that that was not the intention of the Government, and that the words "every transferor" would not mean all these parties appearing in the conveyance as transferring the land. If that is so, I think it should be made clear that only the real transferor will be affected. If this Amendment is accepted, I shall move a consequential Amendment to substitute "every case" for "cases."

Question proposed, "That the word 'the' stand past of the Clause."

Sir W. ROBSON

I have no objection to the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN

What is the hon. Member's consequential Amendment?

Mr. JAMES HOPE

I am advised that it is not necessary to move it; therefore I do not.

Mr. W. H. DICKINSON moved to leave out the words, "in cases where Increment Value Duty is due"["It shall be the duty of every transferor or lessor in cases where Increment Value Duty is due, to present …"], I need hardly say that it is in no spirit of antagonism that I move this Amendment. I hope after the discussion of the last half hour that I may perhaps have the assistance and support of hon. Members opposite. I propose to avoid the difficulty that has been expressed by cutting out the words, "in cases where Increment Value Duty is due," in order to ensure that in the case of every transfer of land in this country every transferor shall know that he has to communicate that transfer to the Commissioners. The inclusion of these words affects several classes of land. It affects land that at the present moment is not liable for Increment Value Duty, and that very likely will not be liable for years to come. It affects, secondly, land upon which Increment Value is likely to fall immediately. If these words are left in a great deal of the value to be attained by the Bill, in the fact that it proposes a valuation of all land and a register of owners, will be lost. Under the provisions of the Bill we are to have an initial valuation soon after the Bill becomes law. We are also to have information given to the Commissioners as to the ownership of every plot of land. Immediately that is done the entire position will be altered of plots of land registered within a comparatively short number of years. The right, hon. Gentleman this afternoon stated that in his opinion one of the most valuable results of this Bill will be that we will have something in the nature of land registration. If we are to have anything in the nature of a land register it is absolutely essential that particulars should be kept up to date, and if these words are included in the Bill it means that a great mass of transactions will never come to the notice of the Commissioners at all, and, therefore, the great work which has been done in initiating this register will be rendered useless. So far with regard to land that will not be liable to immediate Increment Duty, the same consideration applies with regard to other land. As has been pointed out, everything will depend upon the view the transferor takes as to whether or not he is a transferor and liable to the payment of the duty. We must remember that the whole bias of the transferor would be to refrain from communicating these facts to the Commissioners. He will be called upon to pay the duty, and there will be a natural inclination in his mind to err upon the side of keeping back the information.

If we take the case of the absolutely bonâ fide transferor there are many cases in which he would not know there was any increase in the site value of his land, or there might be a case in which he would be perfectly justified in not presenting the document to the Commissioners. Take, for instance, the case of a man who owns agricultural land worth at the present moment £50 per acre. It rises by reason of some change in the tenancy to a value of £100 per acre. That transaction under the Bill, or in the change that will be made in the Bill, will not render the transferor liable to the payment of the Increment Value Duty, and, therefore, he would be perfectly justified in notifying to the Commissioners this transaction. A little later transactions are carried on in which the amount of the profit does not exceed ten per cent. These transactions are not liable to come before the Commissioners. And so it might come about that after a series of transactions, all perfectly bonâ fide, and none of them rendering the transferor liable to duty, that on some ultimate transaction the Commissioners will be called into action, and will find they have to assess the increment value. The only facts they will have at their disposal would be the fact that the original land was assessed at a value of £50, and now at a value of £200, and they would be almost bound to charge the last purchaser with the payment of the duty upon that increment. It is absolutely necessary that he, at any rate, ought not to be mulcted to that extent; and it seems to me that the only way by which results such as that would be prevented from occurring would be by having a constant register kept containing all the facts of transfers occurring, and recording definitely upon each occasion what has happened in regard to the land, and whether or not the duty was payable upon it. With that object I propose to omit these words, "In cases where Increment Value Duty is due," I beg to move.

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. C. F. G. Masterman)

As already announced, the Government are prepared to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend, the Member for North St. Pancras (Mr. Dickinson). The whole Debate has been continued on that subject, from the beginning of the Bill. It will, however, be necessary to make a subsequent Amendment in order to bring in the same exemption which is brought in on Clause 4, section (1), which will be proposed in the same terms by the Government. The proposal of the Government will be to insert after the words "lessor" in section (2) the words, "On the occasion of any transfer or sale of any land or interest in land or on the grant of a lease of any land for a term not exceeding 14 years." It has always been intended that the situation which has been made clear by the hon. member for North St. Pancras should be the situation when this Bill has passed. It has always been assumed that no purchaser would be content without a definite assertion from the State, and not simply from the man from whom he is purchasing the land that the increment has been franked on the estate he has purchased. I am not quite sure that the determination of the purchaser would not be sufficient to effect the same purpose which my hon. Friend desires, but without them there might be in the mind of the purchaser a considerable uncertainty as to whether increment value had been due because the Commissioners had not asserted that it was due and had been paid. This case has become inevitable since the large concessions which were made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last night. If you are going to exclude under 10 per cent, of the increment value you must bring within the cognisance of the Commissioners transactions under that amount in order that the increment may be registered even though none is due because of the exemption. Hon. Members opposite will see how necessary this is, as a consequence of that large concession. Doubt has been raised as to whether under sub-sections (a) and (b) of section (3) of Clause 4 there ought not to be another sub-section. Under the assumption that all transfers or leases would come under Clause 4, the hon. Member invited us to consider the Amendment on page 17 of the Amendment Paper, in the name of the hon. Member for the West Derby Division, which provides another sub-section (c) in the following terms:—"With a stamp denoting that upon the occasion in question no Increment Duty was payable." That is a third alternative, of placing a stamp denoting that upon the occasion in question no Increment Duty was paid. That makes it quite clear that the Commissioners have certified that on that occasion no increment value was paid, and the title of the land is quite clear.

Mr. BALFOUR

The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down appears to be under the impression that from the beginning of our discussions of this Bill the acceptance of this Amendment was contemplated, not merely by the Government, but by the House. It would have been well if the Government had themselves put down the Amendment, as they had apparently long ago made up their minds that it was necessary. The only hint we have had up to the present moment that they meant to accept it was a stray remark which, I think, fell from the Attorney-General early in the evening to the effect that they would have to consider it. I am bound to say that is the oddest way of explaining your intentions of accepting an Amendment which you intended to accept even before the Bill began to be discussed in this House, and which is now accepted on very small ground by the Government. In my opinion this Amendment is not at all a matter to be passed over in the easy fashion which the Front Bench opposite seem to suppose. It raises two very big questions. One is the practical question of how you are going to deal with the commerce in land in this country, and the other is a constitutional question. I will take them in their order. What do the Government now propose? They say that in every transaction connected either with the freeholder or leaseholder of land, nothing is to be allowed, no arrangement or transaction is to be allowed, which is not to come under the cognisance of Somerset House. It seems peculiarly incredible and absurd, when we take it in connection with the protestations of the Government that agricultural land is to be exempted from the action of the tax, and that holdings under £500 capital value are also to be exempt. What is the use of exempting people from the pecuniary burden of the tax if you leave all the other disadvantages of the tax weighing upon their shoulders? It is quite true they have to pay money, and it is quite true the Exchequer does not get that money. The friction, the inconvenience, the heartburnings, the expense and trouble which must and will attend every transaction in land after this is absolutely inevitable. There is no exemption under this Bill now. It is a mere pretence. There is no exemption of the smallholders. In addition to all the other burdens upon commercial dealing in land which we have had to point out in the course of the Debate, we now have the incredible policy, publicly announced by the Government, that whether they are to get money out of the thing or not, whether the general taxpayer is to profit or not, whether anything is to be done for Old Age Pensions or "Dreadnoughts" by this tax or not, every man who leases or sells land, every man who mortgages land, every man who has any transaction connected with land, is to come before the Inland Revenue, to come before Somerset House, explain the whole transaction in which he is concerned with all its incidental circumstances, and prove to the satisfaction of that tribunal in the first place that he does not own the land, and in the second place, that such and such a thing has been done to the land, which may form the basis of future taxation.

That is not exemption. It leaves in the plainest manner, upon these transactions in land of any sort or kind all the difficulties that we have insisted your Bill will impose, not merely upon the land from which you mean to get money, but also upon the land from which you do not mean to get it—it will impose all the inconveniences necessarily incident to this proposal. I think we require a much better justification for that arbitrary proceeding than has been given by the Under Secretary to the Local Government Board (Mr. Masterman). There is another point, which I think to be of real constitutional importance, I have always been puzzled to understand upon what principles the Government thought it in accordance with our established practice to introduce a Valuation Bill into a Bill for raising-revenue. There is, indeed, no justification; it has nothing to do with a Finance Bill. We heard, earlier in the afternoon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer explain that in reality this portion of the Bill was a plan for securing the registration of title of every parcel of land throughout the country. Is that a financial proposal? Is that a legitimate portion of a financial measure to provide for the supply of the year? It is nothing of the kind, and if anything could emphasise the statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer it is that made by the hon. Gentleman who proposed this Amendment, which has just been accepted by the Government. What was his argument? It was to this effect: "If you do not put in the Amendment the result will be that those portions of the land of the country from which you do not expect to get money will not come under your registration scheme." In other words, the hon. Gentleman proposed this Amendment deliberately, avowedly and explicitly for the purpose of turning this Bill from a Finance Bill into a Registration Bill. He explained that the reason for accepting this Bill was that the Government last night had exempted agricultural land from the operation of the Bill, and that it did not mean to extract money from agricultural land. If that is so, what business has any such provision in this Bill which has to do with the finances of the country? The hon. Gentleman went on to explain that the further exemption in regard to urban holdings under £500 value where they were in the occupation of the owner, would enable these also to escape from the net of the general system of registration; and then he went on to say that all land which did not pay increment because it was under 10 per cent. would likewise escape. I agree all those lands will escape from the taxation of this Bill. Then they ought to escape, if this be indeed a Finance Bill, and only a Finance Bill, from the other provisions of the Bill. I defy any constitutional lawyer in this House to say that it is legitimate for the House of Commons to introduce into its Finance Bill great measures of valuation and compulsory registration. Compulsory registration were the words used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The right hon. Gentleman says I used the words compulsory registration. I did not.

Mr. BALFOUR

At all events the right hon. Gentleman said that he intended to make a system of land registration in England like the system of land registration in Scotland, and the system of land registration in Scotland is compulsory. I rather think that the right hon. Gentleman at some time indulged in a rare flight of rhetoric and told us that he regarded this as one of the most valuable provisions of this part of the Bill. I do not argue at this moment whether it is valuable or not. I have already told the Committee, and given reasons to the Committee why I think it will prove a great destruction of commercial dealings in land. I made a constitutional point, and I say of this most valuable portion of the Bill, how dare you describe it as being part of a Finance Bill? How can you with propriety describe this part of the Bill as being a Finance Bill at all? By your own admission it is not a Finance Bill. It is a compulsory registration bill, which would make the transfer of land difficult and impossible, and dealing with a large part of the land, which, by the very admission of the Government themselves, is not land from which they either expect or desire to extract a shilling of revenue, whether as Ministers responsible for dealing with this portion of the commercial transactions of a great commercial country or as Ministers responsible for the constitutional use of powers given to them in this House. I am equally amazed at the course they have taken in regard to this Bill.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I think the right hon. Gentleman has introduced very unnecessary heat into the discussion of a practical proposal submitted by my hon. Friend to the House. What did he say? He said for the first time every lease, every conveyance, comes under the cognisance of Somerset House. Is that really all he knows about the leases of the country? Is he not aware that every lease and every conveyance comes to the cognisance of Somerset House at the present moment. There is not a single transaction of the kind that Somerset House does not intervene in. [An HON. MEMBER: "Purely Ministerial."] We are talking about the cognisance of Somerset House— I am using the words of the Leader of the Opposition, not my own—what is the ognisance of Somerset House? Somerset House has to put a stamp upon the basis of the consideration, and it seems to me that means that the transaction comes within the cognisance of Somerset House. The right hon. Gentleman reads that as if it were something which undermined the constitution of the country.

Mr. BALFOUR

That is not a representation of what I said. I did deal with the constitutional aspect, but not in connection with Somerset House.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The Amendment is to bring every transaction within the cognisance of Somerset House, and the only difference between what may happen after the Bill is passed and what happened before is that a few more particulars are to be supplied to Somerset House. The real point is whether the taxpayer is to be judge in his own cause. The effect of the Amendment is to compel him undoubtedly to submit, when he gets his document stamped, particulars of the transaction. The right hon. Gentleman says, "Is he not exempt?" Let him submit the particulars to show that he is exempt. If it is a tenement worth only £500, cannot he fill up a form to say so? If it is a tenement which is not worth £40 Inhabited House Duty, £26 in certain boroughs, and £16 in others, merely to ask for a form to say so is to subvert the Constitution.

Mr. BALFOUR

I said nothing about the Constitution in connection with that.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

Was there ever a more grotesque objection to anything? The right hon. Gentleman has unnecessarily exaggerated the effect. As a matter of fact the very concessions introduced by the Government rendered it absolutely necessary that we should obtain these additional particulars. In regard to the £10 limit there is an exception, but it has to be claimed by filling up a form pointing out what the consideration is and what the increment would be. What additional trouble is it in a case of that kind? The right hon. Gentleman in the second part of his objection said one of the objects is to establish a complete register of title, and not to obtain revenue at all. I did not say so. I said one of the incidental effects would be that there would be a complete register of all these transactions, and that will be an advantage not to the revenue merely, but to all those who deal in land, and in the long run to the landowners themselves. The moment I talk about a register the right hon. Gentleman says, "You are not going to limit inspection of the register merely to those interested in the land," and I agreed with him, and the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for Cambridge University, said, "I hope you will allow access to the general public." They realise, as men of some practical acquaintance with these matters, how very valuable it would be to have a record of all these transactions. The right hon. Gentleman says we are overthrowing the Constitution.

As a matter of fact it is a protection to the purchaser, and a great protection. All we do is to say you ought to have a denoting stamp showing that the Increment Duty is paid, or that there is no duty which can be charged. That would be on the face of the docu- ment, and a purchaser who was about to buy a piece of land would be able to look at that document and say: "There is no Increment Duty chargeable." It is infinitely better from the point of view of the purchaser and also from the point of view of the vendor. It is necessary that we should make it clear in each case where there is a case for exemption. The right hon. Gentleman says: "You are getting rid altogether of the exemption of agricultural land." We are doing nothing of the kind. All you have to do is to fill up a form saying that it is agricultural land. After all, every building land, or at least most building land, is agricultural land at one time. Supposing that agricultural land is sold as building land, it is converted into building land. The right hon. Gentleman says it is not so, and a case of that kind should be exempted. Is it not right that there should be the right to adjudicate upon it? That is all that is required. It is a perfectly simple transaction. The right hon. Gentleman has chosen to use his very great power to exaggerate the difficulty. I think it would be in the interest of all the parties themselves to show an absolutely clean title.

Mr. BONAR LAW

The speech to which we have just listened shows very clearly what the feeling of the right hon. Gentleman was in regard to the criticism addressed to this Amendment by the Leader of the Opposition. My right hon. Friend dealt with two points. The first was a very simple one, which might naturally occur to most of us—the difficulty in ordinary commercial dealings in land. He said that what this Government is doing is making it the inevitable rule that, in every case, whatever it may be, where land passes between one member of the public and another the Commissioners of Inland Revenue have to be satisfied of the whole nature of the transaction, and of the stops which were taken in regard to it just as much as if revenue were to be derived from it. What is the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer? He says that every case goes to Somerset House now. That is precisely the same as if he were to pass a Bill and say that no man is to post a letter in this country until he has satisfied the Post Office that there is nothing involved in it. It goes before the Post Office in the one case, and it goes before Somerset House in the other, but to pretend that the two transactions have any similarity is to show how hopeless he feels on the subject. In regard to the commercial side of this question, it is amazing to me that this should be proposed by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Dickinson). Despite the suggestion of the Attorney-General I do not for a moment believe the Government meant to accept this Amendment. It would be surprising from any Government, but it comes, I understand, from a Free Trade Government. The old idea of land reform in the Liberal Party—I am speaking now of forty or fifty years ago—was free trade in land. The idea of this Government is to throw every obstacle possible in the way of free trade in land. That really represents the whole difference of view between the present and former Liberal Governments. The former was the Liberal view, and the present view is that of hon. Gentlemen below the gangway. The other point raised by my right hon. Friend was a constitutional point. I am not going to say much about that, but I would ask the Committee to consider the answer given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. My right hon. Friend's speech was this—"You are insisting for a purpose which is not revenue, on having every transaction in land, though you do not rely on it for getting revenue, passed through an inquisition, and for what purpose"? For what was described by the Chancellor of the Exchequer this evening as a most valuable purpose, one of the most valuable purposes in the Bill—to have compulsory registration of land all over the country." He says that that is merely filling up a form. I venture to say that the very fact of the Government insisting by this Bill on having registration in the case of land which they themselves say is not going to give a return of revenue to the country, is in itself a proof that this Finance Bill is not a Finance Bill at all, but that it is a Registration Bill tacked on to a Finance Bill.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

The Chancellor of the Exchequer just now spoke a sentence which, I confess, very much astonished me. He said that every lease and every conveyance of land to-day comes to the cognisance of Somerset House. We have in this country three or four stamp offices. After a great deal of trouble Liverpool succeeded in getting one a few years ago. We had no stamp office in Liverpool down to that point. Also a few years ago they succeeded in getting one in Birmingham. For a few years before they had one in Manchester. But before that there was no stamp office in England with the exception of Somerset House. Now the position of affairs was this: that nine documents out of ten that required to be stamped were invariably written upon stamped paper, and stamped paper is purchased from Somerset House, perfectly blank, and the document is written upon it. And this is the case to-day, in the great majority of the cases in London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham, where they have got these stamp offices; and it is the almost invariable custom up and down through the country where they have no stamp offices that they keep a stock of ten-shilling stamps or stamps for £l, and the ordinary stamps for ordinary small transactions. They are kept by solicitors and law stationers whom they employ. And therefore I fail to understand why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should make the statement. But I am able to state that there is not a shadow of foundation for the statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that every lease and conveyance comes to the cognisance of Somerset House. I thought it my duty, having heard that statement, and knowing it to be contrary to fact, to get up and say so. I take this opportunity of pointing out that there is in this very clause which we are considering, about three lines further down, a statement as to what the object is. The whole object, and, if I may be allowed to say so, the only excuse, for putting this section in the Bill at all is the object which is stated in the section itself, "for the purpose of the assessment of duty thereon."

That is the only reason why every transferor is to send his document to Somerset House, whether he likes it or not. The hon. Member who moves the Amendment, and the Government who accept it, are unabashed in making the statement that they are doing this, not for the purpose of getting duty, not for the purpose stated in their clause as it stands, but for some other purpose altogether. Everybody who knows anything about these transactions know that in 19 cases out of 20 in future there will be no duty to pay on a lease, and no duty to pay up on a conveyance. Why? Because property is not always going up. That is one important reason. Another is that in the vast majority of cases there will be no 10 per cent, increase. Then there are all the multifarious cases of agricultural land and town holdings, land under £500. Yet we are asked to accept an Amendment under which all those transactions are to be brought to the cognisance of Somerset House. What for? The purpose of paying the duty? What duty? No duty whatever. It is perfectly clear that the basis of the whole clause is a sham, and that there are ulterior motives behind it. It is not for the purpose of extracting any duty, and cannot be in cases where there is no duty to pay. No; the Chancellor of the Exchequer admits that it is for the purpose of getting hold of, information, for compiling a register; but there is no ground in the Resolution passed by the House to lead up to that result. And this Registry is going to cost a tremendous lot of money. Where is it going to come from? There is no provision for it. The whole position is unconstitutional and a piece of arrant humbug.

Mr. G. R. LANE-FOX

We have had some rather remarkable pieces of drafting from the Government, but I think this is really the most remarkable. We have been assured that it was always the intention of the Government to make this alteration in the Bill. It is obvious to the whole House that we have here an ingenious suggestion made to the Government by the hon. Member for St. Pancras, which has given them an opportunity of getting this register in an easy way. From the illustration given by my hon. Friend the Member for the West Derby Division (Mr. Watson Rutherford) it is easy to see the working of the minds of the Government. But when the right hon. Gentleman tells us that in this case nothing more is being done than has been asked for in the past, I should like to know how the situation is going to remain the same. Giving the particulars will involve the whole question of the site value, which is an entirely new situation. As the hon. Member for West Derby (Mr. Watson Rutherford) has said, in the old days under the present system the stamping of a document was a mere formality. Now the Commissioners will rail on the unfortunate vendor to supply all sorts of details and go into the most-elaborate calculations never suggested or dreamt of before. This will be a matter of great resentment to those who on the declaration made by the Chancellor last evening are this morning hoping that they have finally escaped from these meshes of taxation. I do not think he will get very much gratitude from them. I want to know how this is going to add anything to facilitating the transfer of land. We were told in the discussion on the Resolution that the great object of the Government in bringing in this Budget was to improve the housing of the working classes and to deal with the case of 150,000 persons living in one-room tenements in Glasgow. How on earth is transfer going to be assured by this, or how is the peroration of the President of the Board of Trade going to be carried into effect. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will explain. If you consider the various deductions which will have to be entered into; the various calculations which will have to be made, I think the House will see that this is imposing a very unfair, very unnecessary, and very burdensome task upon those who might reasonably be expected to have escaped from all these troubles, especially when the right hon. Gentleman has given them special exemption owing to the reasons why he thought last night they ought not to be called on to bear the burdens.

Mr. J. A. SIMON

The Leader of the Opposition has been looking for a constitutional point, and he has raised great enthusiasm amongst his supporters because they think he has found one. I desire to pursue the analogy, for the position at the bottom of the constitutional point can be easily decided by reference to some other kind of taxation, which everyone is familiar with, and the constitutional form of which is beyond dispute. The proposition put forward, as I understand it, in criticism of this Amendment, is this: that it is said you must not in any proposal to tax include provisions which will involve calling upon people to make disclosure or returns which will produce no taxation. [An HON. MEMBER: "That is not the case."] I notice somebody, but not the Leader of the Opposition, says that is not the point. I will see if I cannot get it more precisely. The proposal is to exclude the words," In cases where Increment Value Duty is due. "If I correctly followed the very clear argument which was put forward by the Leader of the Opposition as to his constitutional point, it was this: that he says if you exclude those words, you are then under this section calling upon citizens to make a return or disclosure that you know perfectly well no money comes from, and that it will not be accompanied by the payment of any tax. He says, if you do that in a Finance Bill, instead of it being a Finance Bill it is a Registration Bill and a Valuation Bill. That is, at any rate, one aspect of the argument he puts forward. The first and plainest of the principles at the bottom of a Finance Bill is that if you are going to tax people you want machinery which will make it certain that they do not escape the tax. The instance which must occur to everybody is that in our Income Tax law we require citizens to make returns, although they are told on the very form sent out by the Treasury that if they have no income they have only to say so. Exactly the same argument will apply here. What business have you to insist on a return from all citizens, rich and poor, which will tell you what the total income of the country is, although a great number of persons required to make that return will not have to pay any Income Tax. The answer in that case, and in this case alike, is that when you are devising a system of taxation, whether the tax is on income or on unearned increment, you are entitled to have a machinery which makes it certain that those persons who have to pay do pay; and for that purpose it is very often necessary to find out who has not got to pay. The simplest and most obvious method of finding out who has not got to pay is to require a return in all cases which come within the scope of the tax. One is a little astonished to find the enthusiasm with which this discovery is greeted by hon. Gentlemen opposite, who, if I mistake not, when it was proposed to omit this section, argued that it must be omitted, because it said that it was the duty of every transferor or lessor in cases where increment duty is due to make a return, and the point was made, how is the poor fellow to know? We have relieved them of that difficulty. He makes a return, and if and when it appears that the transaction in question is one upon which no duty is payable, because in fact no increment has arisen, there is an end of it. If it appears on the return that there has been an increment on which duty is not only due, in the sense that it is due on any increment, but payable, because the increment exists, then he pays it. I am at a loss to understand how it is said that some constitutional principle which makes a return justifiable and proper if it turns out that there is an increment, makes it unjustifiable and improper if it turns out there is none. The Constitution of this country is no doubt a mysterious thing, and much of it is unwritten; but I decline to believe that it is any part of that Constitution that you cannot put into a Finance Bill such machinery as is necessary to make certain that the taxes you are imposing will be paid by the people who ought to pay them.

The right hon. Gentleman also contended that this in effect withdrew the exemption granted to agricultural land and to small holders. It is very easy to test that. What would gentlemen concerned with the agricultural interest say if the Chancellor of the Exchequer took them at their word, and said, "Very well; if it is withdrawn, let us go back to the position as it stood before." Everybody knows that the substance of the concession is that a particular kind of land as long as it remains in that particular category is not to be required then and there to pay the duty.

That is no reason why the scheme which is involved in this Bill should not be accompanied, within the four corners of the Bill, by machinery which is going to make clear that those who ought to pay this duty are not going to escape by saying when brought to book: "Oh, we thought we were the people on whom the duty was not going to fall." It is for the purpose of making sure that those who ought to pay do so, and those who claim to be exempt are exempt, that this Finance Bill, like every other Finance Bill, should contain machinery to effect that result

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

There is one observation of my learned Friend with which the whole of the Committee will be in entire accord, namely, that there is nothing unconstitutional when you are imposing a tax, in creating the machinery which is necessary to see that the tax is paid. But that is not the contention met by the right hon. Gentleman. Let us consider a little further the analogy that he drew. The section says that no transaction, no sale of land or transfer …shall be accomplished without the submission by the transferor or lessor to the Inland Revenue Authorities of all particulars necessary for ascertaining what duty is to be levied. Those words are obviously out of place. But no such demand is made upon the Income Taxpayer. There is no general injunction to everybody throughout the country, whether he is under the obligation to pay Income Tax or whether he is exempt to make a return of all his income, and of every transaction that he takes part in throughout the year, in order that the Commis- sioners may ascertain and decide whether he ought to pay Income Tax or not? That would be the true analogy that the hon. and learned Gentleman sought to draw. On the contrary, not only is there no return called for, but no man is bound to make a return until the Commissioners ask for it. Will the Government insert words to have that effect? Will they take the defence provided for them by the hon. and learned Gentleman, the best —if I may say so—at all events yet found? Will they take that defence and act upon it? Will they apply the analogy which he has suggested and see that the transferor and the lessor shall only come under this obligation when required by the Commissioners to do so? Then, at any rate, the great mass of people in a great mass of transactions where there is no pretence that any duty will accrue will cease to be harassed by these requirements. If they do that the hon. and learned Gentleman's defence would be a good one, and they would have done much to meet the constitutional difficulty raised by my right hon. Friend. If they refuse to do that we can take the position given by my right hon. Friend, that the object of the Government is not to levy taxation, but to obtain a registry of land.

Mr. SIMON

I know the right hon. Gentleman does not wish to do me any injustice. The point of my argument is this, and I will put it by asking him a question: Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that it is constitutional to provide that you shall make a return, even if you have no income, if the Commissioners tell you, but that it is unconstitutional to provide that you shall make a return?

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

It is Constitutional, as the hon. and learned Member very properly pointed out, to do, in connection with the imposition of taxes, all that is necessary to secure their payment, but it is not Constitutional to do a great deal which is not necessary. If the Government will accept the analogy of the hon. and learned Member and take the suggestion which I have made, they will have some shadow of excuse for saying they are doing nothing more than is necessary for the collection of the tax, but if they refuse that, then it is perfectly plain that their object is not the collection of the tax, but the collection of information.

Mr. THOMAS LOUGH

I had some doubt, until I heard the hon, and learned Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Simon) whether I would ask the Chancellor to consider this Amendment a little more carefully before he accepts it. My hon. and learned Friend took the analogy and the Income Tax, and I think if he studied carefully the conclusion to which that leads him he would have hesitated to present the argument he did to the Committee. We all know the returns that are sent to employers under the Income Tax. They are asked to give a return of all those in their employment who earn more than £160 a year. They are not required to make any return of people who earn £50, or any sum under the sum upon which Income Tax is levied. Having regard to that analogy of the Income Tax, I think we ought to hesitate before we lay down a new principle that everybody, however small the transaction, and however much exempt it may be by law, should be obliged to make a return. I am very much afraid the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend (Mr. Dickinson) is one of those calculated to weaken the Bill. It would be better for the Chancellor to stick to his own Bill, which seems to me in this respect to be drawn in form. I do not think the Committee realises the vast number of cases that would be affected by this Amendment. There is not only the case of the small holder, who will have transactions under £500, but there is the whole case of agricultural land. I am sorry the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) is not in his place. It was in reply to the case made by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, who put the case of the agricultural holders in Ireland, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer said all agricultural land should be exempt. It is intended to exempt agricultural land, and all small transactions are to be exempt, but this clause, if the Amendment is carried, would provide that it shall be the duty of every transferor or lessor, without the limitation contained in the clause, to present to the Commissioners for the purposes of assessment of duty these returns, and if he does not do so he shall be liable to a fine of £10. I think that is a most heavy obligation to throw upon Ireland. If hon. Members will only look at Clause 16 they will see there is special provision exempting all holders in Ireland from making any return. Agriculturists in Ireland will be obliged to make that return if this Amendment is accepted. I am not sure, with the addition of these words, the clause will read properly.

Mr. F. W. LAMBTON

The hon. Member for Walthamstow appears to have forgotten that the return alluded to is made once a year, and under this clause every instrument, transfer and lease will have to come up to Somerset House to be examined. The analogy of the Income Tax is really most absurd. It has been said that on this side of the House that we are not grateful for the exemption given to agriculture. We contend that there is no exemption given to agriculture while you insist upon these returns being made by agricultural owners. This Bill is unconstitutional. It is all very well to try to get away from that position by a few quibbles with regard to Income Tax returns, but they bear no analogy whatever to this Bill. These people are going to be penalised and taxed, not for purposes of revenue, but in order to get what the right hon. Gentleman wishes to obtain by a side wind in his Budget, that is a valuation and a registry office. These things are unconstitutional in a Bill of this sort. For these reasons I shall continue most strenuously to oppose these proposals.

Mr. HICKS BEACH

I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will vouchsafe some reply to the right hon. Gentleman behind him (Mr. Lough) who at one time was a distinguished Member of the present Government. The point is whether, in regard to other transactions relating to agricultural land, a return is to be made to the Commissioners of the Inland Revenue. We have been told that although this information is to be given to Somerset House upon the transference of any lease there will also have to be given a few additional particulars. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman what those few additional particulars are. As far as I understand this section, it will include the site value and all these various other technical points which have been returned before assessing the Increment Duty, and I hope before we go to a division the right hon. Gentleman will clear up these very important points raised by one of his most distinguished supporters behind him.

Mr. MEYSEY-THOMPSON

The hon. Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Simon) put forward an argument which hardly bears examination. According to his argument, it would be just as reasonable to ask a farmer, in order to value his stock and avoid the penalty for giving a false return, to put it through the market every month, whether it is sold or not, and to pay the auctioneers' fees and the cost of bringing the stock to the market. The whole point of the hon. Member was that it was immaterial whether there was any increment or not, but we say people should not be called upon to incur this heavy expense unless there is a reasonable supposition that there is sufficient increment to justify it.

Captain CLIVE

I cannot but think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has, only by considerable ingenuity, kept within the rules of order in accepting this Amendment. If, instead of omitting part of the Bill, he had had to propose the inclusion of an Amendment to bring within it all leases and other transactions in land which did not involve the imposition of the Increment Duty, I cannot but think the Chancellor would have ruled it out of order. It is hard to believe such an Amendment would come within the scope of a clause whose heading is "The collection and recovery of Duty in case of transfer and leases." The Chancellor of the Exchequer has several times suggested that concealed in the Bill are some remarkable benefits to owners of agricultural land. He mentioned last of all the great benefit of obtaining a registry of land, and says that benefit far outweighs any duty which may be imposed by this Bill which perhaps is only called a Finance Bill in order to secure its passage through another place. It is difficult to understand how the right hon. Gentleman can wish to accept this Amendment after the way in which the arguments in its support have been entirely disproved by Members on this side of the House.

Mr. POINTER

I rise to a point of Order. I wish to ask you, Sir, if you do not think this silly farce has gone far enough?

Earl WINTERTON

I ask your ruling, too, Sir. Are the words "silly farce," as applied to the speech of an hon. Member of this House, in order?

The CHAIRMAN

The expression "silly farce," as applied to these proceedings, is one which certainly ought not to be used.

Mr. W. THORNE

What about "humbug?"

The CHAIRMAN

The word "humbug" has been allowed on previous occasions. I hope the hon. Member, whatever may be his private opinions, will withdraw the words.

Mr. POINTER

My difficulty is this. I do not know what words to substitute for them.

The CHAIRMAN

I am asking the hon. Member to withdraw words which ought not to have been used.

Mr. THORNE

Call it "arrant humbug!"

Mr. POINTER

Out of respect for your ruling, Sir, I will withdraw the words.

Capt. CLIVE

I had no intention of saying anything calculated to provoke these points of Order. I will only add that we cannot possibly see the applicability of this proposal to the ordinary purposes of a Finance Bill.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'due,' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 101; Noes, 218.

Division No. 287.] AYES. [12.30 a.m.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S.W.) Paulton, James Mellor
Anstruther-Gray, Major Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Baldwin, Stanley Gardner, Ernest Percy, Earl
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Pretyman, E. G.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Goulding, Edward Alfred Remnant, James Farquharson
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Gretton, John Renwick, George
Beauchamp, E. Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Ridsdale, E. A.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase) Haddock, George B. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hamilton, Marquess of Ronaldshay, Earl of
Bowles, G. Stewart Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Bridgeman, W. Clive Harris, Frederick Leverton Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Brotherton, Edward Allen Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bull, Sir William James Hay, Hon. Claude George Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Helmsley, Viscount Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Carlile, E. Hildred Hill, Sir Clement Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Castlereagh, Viscount Hunt, Rowland Stanier, Beville
Cave, George Joynson-Hicks, William Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Keswick, William Starkey, John R.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Lane-Fox, G. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Clive, Percy Archer Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Thornton, Percy M.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cory, Sir Clifford John Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Courthope, G. Loyd Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Craik, Sir Henry MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Dalrymple, Viscount Marks, H. H. (Kent) Winterton, Earl
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Du Cros, Arthur Philip Morpeth, Viscount Younger, George
Faber, G. Denison (York) Morrison-Bell, Captain
Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.) Newdegate, F. A. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir
Fell, Arthur Oddy, John James Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia
Forster, Henry William Parkes, Ebenezer
NOES.
Acland, Francis Dyke Brocklehurst, W. B. Crossley, William J.
Agnew, George William Brodie, H. C. Curran, Peter Francis
Ainsworth, John Stirling Brooke, Stopford Davies, Timothy (Fulham)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Brunner, J. F L. (Lancs., Leigh) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)
Armitage, R. Bryce, J. Annan Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-shire)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Buckmaster, Stanley O. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Burke, E. Haviland- Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Astbury, John Meir Burnyeat, W. J. D. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Byles, Wiliam Pollard Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)
Barlow, Percy Bedford Carr-Gomm, H. W. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)
Barnard, E. B. Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Elibank Master of
Barnes, G. N. Cawley, Sir Frederick Essex, R. W
Barran, Sir John Nicholson Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Esslemont, George Birnie
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Evans, Sir S. T.
Beale, W. P. Clough, William Fiennes, Hon. Eustace
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Clynes, J. R. Fuller, John Michael F.
Bellairs, Carlyon Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Fullerton, Hugh
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Cooper, G. J. Gibb, James (Harrow)
Bennett, E. N. Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John
Berridge, T. H. D. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Glover, Thomas
Boulton, A. C F. Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford
Bowerman, C. W. Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)
Brace, William Crosfield, A. H. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Griffith, Ellis J. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Seely, Colonel:
Guest, Hon Ivor Churchill McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Maddison, Frederick Silcock, Thomas Ball
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Simon, John Allsebrook
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Masterman, C. F. G. Soares, Ernest J.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Mond, A. Stanger, H. Y.
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Montagu, Hon. E. S. Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Montgomery, H. G. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Strachey, Sir Edward
Haworth, Arthur A. Morrell, Philip Straus, B. S. (Mile End
Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Morse, L. L. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Hedges, A. Paget Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Summerbell, T.
Helme, Norval Watson Nannetti, Joseph P. Sutherland, J. E.
Hemmerde, Edward George Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Henry, Charles S. Norman, Sir Henry Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Higham, John Sharp Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Thomas, Sir A. (Glamoganshire)
Hobart, Sir Robert Nussey, Sir Willans Thomasson, Franklin
Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Hodge, John O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Holt, Richard Durning O'Grady, J. Thorne, William (West Ham)
Horniman, Emslie John Parker, James (Halifax) Tomkinson, James
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Hudson, Walter Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Hyde, Clarendon G. Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Verney, F. W.
Idris, T. H. W. Pickersgill, Edward Hare Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Illingworth, Percy H. Pirie, Duncan V. Vivian, Henry
Jenkins, J. Pointer, J. Wardle, George J.
Johnson, John (Gateshead) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Waring, Walter
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Kennedy, Viscount Paul Radford, G. H. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Rainy, A. Rolland Watt, Henry A.
Laidlaw, Robert Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Lamont, Norman Rendall, Athelstan White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Lardner, James Carrige Ruse Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Law, HUGH A. (Donegal, W.) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Wiles, Thomas
Lehmann, R C. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Wilkie, Alexander
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Williamson, Sir A.
Levy, Sir Maurice Robinson, S. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Lewis, John Herbert Robson, Sir William Snowdon Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Rogers, F. E. Newman Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Lundon, T. Rose, Sir Charles Day Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Lyell, Charles Henry Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Winfrey, R.
Lynch, H. B. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Mackarness, Frederic C. Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Maclean, Donald Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Macpherson, J. T. Seddon, J.

Amendment proposed, "after the word 'lessor' to insert 'on the occasion of any transfer on sale of any land or interest in land or on the grant of any lease of any land for a term exceeding 14 years.'"— [Mr. Masterman.]

Viscount HELMSLEY moved, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, "to add at the end the words 'and on application by the Commissioners."

I do not think the importance of this Amendment can really be exaggerated. We have had a false analogy of the Income Tax raised. This is to do something to make the analogy more real and more complete, and, moreover, to remove from the harmless individual who is not required to pay any tax the very severe onus of proving to the Commissioners that he ought not to be so required to pay the tax. It is all very well for the Chancellor of the Exchequer speaking in an airy way of filling up a form as if that were all that the unfortunate person who transfers land has to do. It is a great deal more than that. He will have in the majority of cases to ascertain what the site value at the time the transfer takes place really is, and he will have to compare that with the original site value. Again, we get the question of the apportionment coming up. It is not only a simple case of the particular bit of land of which the transfer takes place, but it may be an isolated piece out of a larger property which has hitherto been valued as a unit. Therefore before he can satisfy Somerset House as to whether it is liable for duty the Commissioners will have to make an apportionment. It means a great deal more than the filling up of a form. Then there is the case of the 10 per cent, minimum increment which is allowed. In order to ascertain whether there is that 10 per cent, he will have to go through the whole process in the same way as if the Increment Duty were payable. It seems to me quite obvious that all through the work to toe done on every transfer of land is a perfect absurdity, and that it will create ridiculous expense all to no purpose. No doubt the Chancellor of the Exchequer would say that it would be very difficult without this return for the Commissioners to fix the title when the Increment Tax was due. There is really no difficulty in the matter at all. It is absurd to go to a man and say, "We call upon you to show whether there is increment or not." Such a proposition is really too absurd to be advanced seriously. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer realises the immense cost which would be saved to many people who are not to be taxpayers under this clause he cannot fail to favourably consider the Amendment, which is really one of very great importance.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The Noble Lord proposes to add certain words, but if they were added I do not see how the Commissioners are to find out these particulars. There might be transactions all over the kingdom, and unless they get returns how are they to find out the particulars?

Mr. STEWART BOWLES

I think you said that the particulars all go to Somerset House.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

These particulars do not all go to Somerset House, and I never said so. I said that the documents in regard to title go to Somerset House, but the particulars to which we are now referring do not. How are the Commissioners to know anything at all about these matters unless there is a return supplied to them? This proposal is on the analogy of what is done in regard to Estate Duty. There are exemptions there, but everybody has to supply particulars in a much more elaborate way, in order to obtain the exemptions. It is exactly the same thing here.

Mr. PRETYMAN

The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that the case of the Death Duties is analogous to this case because these duties are paid on death wherever there is an estate. In this particular case the Chancellor has admitted that, owing to the exemptions which have been inserted, in an immense proportion of the cases no duty will be leviable at all. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that it is only a question of filling up a form, but that form is of a most complicated character. These particulars of great complexity have to be included in the form and presented to the Commissioners to consider on every single transfer of land.

The CHAIRMAN

I do not quite see how this bears on the Amendment.

Mr. PRETYMAN

My point is that in the absence of those words the burden of making these returns will fall upon every owner of land who is transferring land, but the insertion of the words proposed will relieve him of that duty unless the Commissioners object. The Chancellor of the Exchequer's point is that this is an intricate and difficult matter, that it is impossible for the Commissioners, but that though it is impossible for them you are asking everybody else to do it. [Cries of "Order."]

The CHAIRMAN

Would the hon. and gallant Gentleman be good enough to address the chair.

Earl WINTERTON

On a point of Order. May I call attention to the fact that the hon. Member for West Ham is not in a fit state to take part in the Debate.

Mr. THORNE

I beg your pardon. I am as sober as you, my dear Friend. (Cries of "Withdraw.")

The CHAIRMAN

The Noble Lord's observation is obviously unjustified, and must be withdrawn.

Mr. KEIR HARDIE

May I ask whether the statement just made is in order, and, in the event of its not being in order, whether the Noble Lord will be called upon to withdraw it?

The CHAIRMAN

I told the Noble Lord that his statement with regard to the hon. Member did not seem to be justified, and that he must withdraw it.

Earl WINTERTON

I felt it my duty to call attention—(Cries of "Sit down.")

The CHAIRMAN

I must ask hon. Members to be quiet. I cannot hear the Noble Lord.

Mr. THORNE

He ought to have the words rammed down his throat.

Earl WINTERTON

In my opinion the hon. Member was not in a fit state to take part in the proceedings, but as you, Sir, have ruled that the hon. Gentleman is in a fit state, I therefore withdraw. [Interruption.]

The CHAIRMAN

I must ask that the business be conducted in an orderly way, and beg hon. Members not to be constantly interrupting.

Mr. THORNE

Let me say that I have not interrupted during the whole evening.

The CHAIRMAN

I was not alluding to the hon. Member for West Ham, but there have been a good many interruptions from other hon. Members.

Mr. THORNE

Hon. Members on this side of the House above the Gangway have been interrupting all the evening.

The CHAIRMAN

I am appealing to hon. Members in that quarter of the House, where I have heard a good many interruptions. I was not referring to individual Members at all when I asked hon. Gentlemen not to keep interrupting.

Mr. KEIR HARDIE

May I ask whether the form of the withdrawal was such as it is usual to make?

The CHAIRMAN

I understood the Noble Lord to withdraw his statement. [Cries of "No, Sir."]

Mr. KEIR HARDIE

The words were that the Noble Lord still thought that the hon. Member was not in a fit state, whereas you, Sir, thought otherwise.

The CHAIRMAN

I did not understand the Noble Lord to say that. I understood him to withdraw the statement.

Mr. JEREMIAH MacVEAGH

No; he repeated it.

Earl WINTERTON

There is no other possible meaning which could be attached to the words I used.

Mr. THORNE

If he is not prepared to withdraw the statement, I call him a liar.

The CHAIRMAN

The noble Lord withdrew his statement, and the hon. Member for West Ham must not call the Noble Lord a liar.

Mr. THORNE

He is an absolute liar. I am as sober as any man in this House, and do not forget it.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member has himself now used an unparliamentary expression, and I must ask him to withdraw it.

Mr. THORNE

I will do nothing of the kind.

The CHAIRMAN

Then I must ask the hon. Member to withdraw from these proceedings, because of his disorderly conduct.

Mr. THORNE (leaving the House, and addressing Earl Winterton)

You walk out, and see whether you are soberer than I am!

Mr. CLEMENT EDWARDS

I rise to a point of Order. I was sitting in the vicinity of the hon. Member for West Ham, and I say that, for the last ten minutes there has not been a single interruption from him. I say that the Noble Lord is under an entire misapprehension.

The CHAIRMAN

The incident is closed.

Mr. PRETYMAN

I did not desire to complain of interruptions below the Gangway, and I should not have referred to them, but my point is in this Debate we are considering an interest of very great importance to a very large section of the community, and I think those who are interested in the particular industry more deeply than those who are connected with other things of a different character should do so. Of all the points which we in this Committee are considering, and have to decide, the question of the machinery, by which this tax is to be worked, is that with which this community is most concerned. We are now considering a most important issue, and after what has occurred I really do not think that at this stage and with the present feeling of the Committee at one o'clock in the morning it is possible to obtain the attention of the Committee to matters of really first class importance which we are now discussing. Therefore if we cannot discuss this matter seriously I shall feel it necessary to move that you do report Progress and ask leave to sit again. I am prepared to continue my argument. I must move to report Progress. [HON. MEMBERS: "Move."] I move to report Progress.

Question put, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 88; Noes, 204.

Division No. 288.] AYES. [1.0 a.m.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Bowles, G. Stewart
Baldwin, Stanley Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Bridgeman, W. Clive
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Beckett, Hon. Gervase Brotherton, Edward Allen
Banner, John S. Harmood- Bignold, Sir Arthur Bull, Sir William James
Burdett-Coutts, W. Harris, Frederick Leverton Renwick, George
Carlile, E. Mildred Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Castlereagh, Viscount Hay, Hon. Claude George Ronaldshay, Earl of
Cave, George Helmsley, Viscount Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hill, Sir Clement Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Hunt, Rowland Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Clive, Percy Archer Joynson-Hicks, William Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E. Lane-Fox, G. R. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Courthope, G. Loyd Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Stanier, Beville
Craik, Sir Henry Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Starkey, John R.
Dalrymple, Viscount Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Faber, George Denison (York) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Thornton, Percy M.
Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.) MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Fell, Arthur Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Forster, Henry William Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Foster, P. S. Morpeth, Viscount Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Gardner, Ernest Morrison-Bell, Captain Winterton, Earl
Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Newdegate, F. A. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckam) Oddy, John James Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Goulding, Edward Alfred Parkes, Ebenezer Younger, George
Gretton, John Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Percy, Earl TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir
Haddock, George B. Pretyman, E. G. Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Hamilton, Marquess of Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Remnant, James Farquharson
NOES.
Acland, Francis Dyke Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lehmann, R. C.
Agnew, George William Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh S.) Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Levy, Sir Maurice
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Lewis, John Herbert
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Armitage, R. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Lundon, T.
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Lyell, Charles Henry
Astbury, John Meir Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Lynch, H. B.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Elibank, Master of Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Essex, R. W Maclean, Donald
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Evans, Sir S. T. Macpherson, J. T.
Barnard, E. B. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)
Barnes, G. N. Fuller, John Michael F. McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Barran, Sir John Nicholson Fullerton, Hugh Maddison, Frederick
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Gibb, James (Harrow) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Beale, W. P. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Beauchamp, E. Glover, Thomas Masterman, C. F. G.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Mond, A.
Bellairs, Carlyon Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Montgomery, H. G.
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Morrell, Philip
Bennett, E. N. Harcourt, Robert Vernon (Montrose) Nannetti, Joseph P.
Berridge, T. H. D. Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Boulton, A. C. F. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Norman, Sir Henry
Bowerman, C. W. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Nussey, Sir Willans
Brace, William Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Haworth, Arthur A. O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Brodie, H. C. Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. O'Grady, J.
Brooke, Stopford Hedges, A. Paget Parker, James (Halifax)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Helme, Norval Watson Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Hemmerde, Edward George Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Bryce, J. Annan Henry, Charles S. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Burke, E. Haviland- Higham, John Sharp Pirie, Duncan V.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Hobart, Sir Robert Pointer, J.
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Hodge, John Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hogan, Michael Radford, G. H.
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Horniman, Emslie John Rainy, A. Holland
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hudson, Walter Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Clough, William Hyde, Clarendon Rendall, Athelstan
Clynes, J. R Idris, T. H. W. Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Illingworth, Percy H. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Cooper, G. J. Jenkins, J. Ridsdale, E. A.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Jones, Leif (Appleby) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Robinson, S.
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Jowett, F. W. Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Crosfield, A. H. Kennedy, Vincent Paul Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Crossley, William J. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Rogers, F. E. Newman
Curran, Peter Francis Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Rose, Sir Charles Day
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Lamont, Norman Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Seddon, J. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Seely, Colonel Thomasson, Franklin White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Silcock, Thomas Ball Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Simon, John Allsebrook Tomkinson, James Wilkie, Alexander
Soares, Ernest J. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander Williamson, Sir A.
Stanger, H. Y. Villiers, Ernest Amherst Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire) Vivian, Henry Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Walsh, Stephen Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Strachey, Sir Edward Wardle, George J. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Straus, B. S. (Mlle End) Waring, Walter Winfrey, R.
Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Summerbell, T. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury) Watt, Henry A.
Mr. KEIR HARDIE

On a point of Order, Mr. Emmott, arising out of the incident which happened a few minutes ago, may I call your attention to the fact that my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham has tasted no liquor of any kind to-day. The words he uttered were used under extreme provocation, and, in addition, I may say that his words were conditional. In the event of the Noble Lord saying so-and-so he made the retort for which he has been suspended. I desire to ask whether under those circumstances your ruling that he be debarred from the House for the rest of the sitting could not be recalled and my hon. Friend be reinstated in his place.

Earl WINTERTON

On a point of Order, in view of what the hon. Gentleman has said, I am perfectly prepared to apologise to the hon. Member for West Ham. I accept unreservedly what the hon. Member has said, and I may explain that I was led to say what I did by the conduct of the hon. Member for West Ham. Under the circumstances I quite admit that I was misled, and in view of what the hon. Member has said it would, I think, be courteous for me not only to withdraw but to apologise.

The CHAIRMAN

I am very glad to hear that said, but I regret to state that it is

quite impossible for me to recall the suspension. It would be technically impossible to do so, and also the hon. Member for West Ham refused to withdraw a word which I told him was unparliamentary. It was on account of his conduct to me and to the Chair that I had to direct his withdrawal for the remainder of the sitting.

Mr. S. ROBERTS

With regard to the Amendment we were discussing before this happened, I should like to direct the attention of the Government to a point which deserves their consideration. Unless this Amendment be accepted they will not be carrying out their promise to owners of land in Ireland under Clause 16, which provides that owners of agricultural land in Ireland are not to be required to make returns under that section. That, however, will not exclude them from having to make returns and to send particulars under Clause 4. I urge, that the Amendment should be accepted, because it would give the Commissioners a discretion as to whether they shall demand or not from owners in Ireland that they should send in these particulars on the occasion of every transfer of land on sale or lease.

Question put, "That the words 'on application by the Commissioners' be added to the proposed Amendment."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 84; Noes, 199.

Division No. 289.] AYES. [1.10 a.m.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex F. Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Haddock, George B.
Baldwin, Stanley Clive, Percy Archer Hamilton, Marquess of
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond) Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Craik, Sir Henry Harrison-Broadley, H. B.
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Dalrymple, Viscount Hay, Hon. Claude George
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hill, Sir Clement
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Faber, George Denison (York) Hunt, Rowland
Bignold, Sir Arthur Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Joynson-Hicks, William
Bowles, G. Stewart Fell, Arthur Lambton, Hon. Frederick WM,
Bridgeman, W. Clive Forster, Henry William Lane-Fox, G. R.
Brotherton, Edward Allen Foster, P. S. Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)
Bull, Sir William James Gardner, Ernest Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Carlile, E. Hildred Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)
Castlereagh, Viscount Goulding, Edward Alfred MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh
Cave, George Gretton, John Marks, H. H. (Kent)
Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Ronaldshay, Earl of Valentia, Viscount
Morpeth, Viscount Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Morrison-Bell, Captain Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Newdegate, F- A. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Oddy, John James Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George O. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Parkes, Ebenezer Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Winterton, Earl
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart.
Percy, Earl Stanier, Seville Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Pretyman, E. G. Starkey, John R. Younger, George
Ratclifte, Major R. F. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Viscount Helmsley and Mr. Samuel Roberts.
Remnant, James Farquharson Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Renwick, George Thornton, Percy M.
NOES.
Acland, Francis Dyke Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Pirie, Duncan V.
Agnew, George William Glover, Thomas Pointer, J.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Radford, G. H.
Armitage, R. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Rainy, A. Holland
Ashton, Thomas Gair Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Astbury, John Meir Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Rendall, Athelstan
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Haworth, Arthur A. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Ridsdale, E. A.
Barnard, E. B. Hedges, A. Paget Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Barnes, G. N. Helme, Norval Watson Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Hemmerde, Edward George Robinson, S
Beale, W. P. Henry, Charles S. Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Beauchamp, E. Higham, John Sharp Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Hobart, Sir Robert Rogers, F. E. Newman
Bellairs, Carlyon Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Rose, Sir Charles Day
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. George) Hodge, John Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Bennett, E. N. Hogan, Michael Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Berridge, T. H. D. Horniman, Emslie John Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Boulton, A. C F. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Seddon, J.
Sowerman, C. W. Hudson, Walter Seely, Colonel
Brace, William Hyde, Clarendon G. Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Idris, T. H. W. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Brodie, H. C. Illingworth, Percy H. Simon, John Allsebrook
Brooke, Stopford Jenkins, J. Soares, Ernest J.
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Stanger, H. Y.
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Bryce, J. Annan Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Burke, E. Haviland- Jowett, F. W. Strachey, Sir Edward
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Kennedy, Vincent Paul Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Burryeal, W. J. D. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Summerbell, T.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Lamont, Norman Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lehmann, R. C. Thomasson, Franklin
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Clough, William Levy, Sir Maurice Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Clynes, J. R. Lewis, John Herbert Tomkinson, James
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Cooper, G. J. Lundon, Thomas Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Lyell, Charles Henry Vivian, Henry
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Lynch, H. B Walsh, Stephen
Cory, Sir Clifford John Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Wardle, George J.
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Maclean, Donald Waring, Walter
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Macpherson, J. T. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Crosfield, A. H. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Crossley, William J. McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Curran, Peter Francis Maddison, Frederick Watt, Henry A.
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Masterman, C. F. G. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Mond, A. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-shire) Montgomery, H. G. Wilkie, Alexander
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Morrell, Philip Williamson, Sir A.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Nannetti, Joseph P. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Norman, Sir Henry Wilson, p. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Nussey, Sir Willans Wilson, W. T (Westhoughton)
Elibank, Master of O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Winfrey, R.
Essex, R. W. O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Evans, Sir S. T. O'Grady, J
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Parker, James (Halifax)
Fuller, John Michael F. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Fullerton, Hugh Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Gibb, James (Harrow) Pickersgill, Edward Hare'

Question, "That the word 'reasonable' be inserted," put and agreed to.

Question proposed, "That the words on the occasion of any transfer on sale of any land or interest in land, or on the occasion of any lease of any land for a term not exceeding 14 years,be there inserted."

Mr. CAVE

I want to understand exactly what the Amendment of the Under-Secretary of State means, because as it at present stands I do not follow it. Under this Amendment, where there is first an agreement for sale or lease, and then the actual conveyance or lease, which is the instrument to be presented for stamping? The subject ought to be allowed to know on what default he is to be fined. After all, it is the machinery imposed by the Bill— as we think the needless! machinery— which has caused a good deal of anxiety in the business community. I should like to know how the words proposed to be inserted will operate in the particular case to which I have referred?

Sir W. ROBSON

As I understand it the hon. and learned Gentleman finds some difficulty in the use of the word "lease." I do not think any difficulty can really arise. The words proposed to be inserted are simply words identifying the occasion upon which the particulars are to be presented. The word "lease" In such a case obviously includes an agreement. The point was raised in the previous section, when we dealt with it in much detail. Here I do not think that anything on earth can arise. If there is a lease and the lease can be affected by agreement, that clearly comes within the Amendment.

Viscount HELMSLEY

The point with regard to Ireland was not answered in the previous Amendment. It arises equally in this one, and I desire to know whether owners of agricultural land in Ireland will have to make these returns unless some special exemption is added to the Amendment. They are exempted in Clause 16, section (4), but I do not know whether that exemption applies in this instance.

Mr. S. ROBERTS

Are we not to have an answer?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

It does not arise here at all.

Mr. S. ROBERTS

It does arise. The provisions of Clause 16 only refer to agricultural owners of land making returns of valuation. Unless some words are inserted here all owners of land in Ireland would have to send in particulars of each transaction.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I have no objection to answering questions relating to the Amendment. This question was raised on the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for St. Pancras (Mr. Dickinson). It was raised afterwards on another Amendment of a similar character, but it has really nothing to do with this Amendment. I do not want to give an answer which will justify somebody in replying and raising a general debate. This is purely a technical and drafting Amendment.

Viscount HELMSLEY

The right hon. Gentleman has not explained how it does not arise. Will agricultural owners in Ireland have to return these particulars?

Mr. STEWART BOWLES

The right hon. Gentleman says the question does not arise here. To the previous Amendments it was relevant, but for some reason or other he failed to give an answer. The right hon. Gentleman can say Yes or No. I cannot understand what advantage it can be to the right hon. Gentleman to constantly refuse to answer questions.

Mr. BALFOUR

My hon. Friends are entitled to say that if the right hon. Gentleman will not answer the question the inference is one that they must draw for themselves, and that is that all agricultural owners in Ireland will have to make the returns.

Mr. LANE-FOX moved to leave out the words "in accordance with the regulations made by them"["present to the Commissioners in accordance with regulations made by them."].

The object of moving this Amendment is chiefly to obtain information from the Government as to what is actually involved in these words. If we do not get that information now we shall not be able to refer to the regulations later in the clause. Especially in view of the fact which we now know that all owners of land will be subject to these regulations, including, apparently, all agricultural owners in Ireland, it is most necessary that we should know exactly what they involve. Why is it necessary that there should be these special regulations! If they are only intended to be for the benefit of the transferor, so far so good, but what I want to know is whether there is something behind them. There has been in a great many of the Government's proposals something behind the actual words. Is it contemplated that the regulations shall contain any limitation of time? Is the unfortunate transferor to be liable to prosecution at any time after the transaction has taken place, or is there to be any statutory limitation to the time in which the Commissioners may come down upon him and say, "You have made a mistake; there has been a false return, and you must pay the penalty." It is quite possible that these regulations may involve some conditions which may be extremely oppressive, and involve the unfortunate transferor in considerable expense. It is with a view to elucidating matters of this kind that I have put down the Amendment, and I think the right hon. Gentleman should give us some idea of his intentions in regard to the regulations. Finally, I should like to ask whether these regulations will also lie on the Table of the House and be subject to the control of the House. It is most important that the House should have full knowledge and control in regard to the nature of these regulations, especially in view of the enormous number of people who are to be subject to them and the possible oppressive character they might take.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I gather that the hon. Member simply moves this Amendment in order to elucidate the regulations. That appeal is perfectly reasonable. I will take his last question first. He asked whether the Government contemplated laying the regulations on the Table of the House. I do not know whether he was present last night when we had a discussion on that very point in reference to the regulations under the preceding section. It was then generally agreed—and the Government are prepared to assent to the general proposition—that all the regulations under this Bill should be laid on the Table of the House, and that the House should have a full opportunity of discussing them. It was also agreed that the method of laying these regulations should be laid down in a separate clause. That clause will deal with all the regulations, not merely regulations under Clause 3 and Clause 4. It would be far better to have a separate clause gathering all the regulations together and providing that they should be laid on the Table under conditions which will enable the House to have an opportunity of discussing them. I quite agree that the regulations might have a very important bearing upon the conveyance of property, and the House should have a full opportunity of criticising them, and also, I think, of making any alterations. Therefore, I trust the hon. Member will be satisfied with my answer to that part of his inquiry. With regard to the regulations, I think it is perfectly evident that it would be necessary to have regulations of this character. Whether they are too inquisitorial and so forth will be open to the consideration of the House of Commons.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

The right hon. Gentleman himself, I understand, will put down the new clause?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

Yes.

Viscount HELMSLEY

I am sure the Committee will think it very satisfactory that these regulations are to be laid on the Table. I am inclined to think that the powers of the Commissioners to frame these regulations are rather too drastic. I take it that one of the conditions which the Commissioners could make under the section would be a time limit in which to present the instrument or particulars for the purpose of the assessment. If the Commissioners chose to fix what we might consider an unreasonable period, they might have the power of summoning any potential taxpayer before a Petty Sessional Court where he would be liable to a fine of £'10 and interest at the rate of 5 per cent.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

If there were regulations of that character it would be quite competent for the House of Commons to strike them out.

Viscount HELMSLEY

The question is whether the power is not too much to give to the Commissioners even with the provision that the regulations shall lay on the Table of the House, because we all know that the opportunities are few and far between for raising these points, and I really think it would be much more satisfactory if, instead of including this great power within the regulations, the terms under which the instruments were to be accepted by the Commissioners should be laid down in a schedule. This House would be more likely to make provisions that would protect the taxpayers than would the Commissioners in framing the regulations. For this reason I support the amendment.

Mr. LANE-FOX

In view of the assurances given, which I understand will include an opportunity of discussing these regulations, I certainly am ready to withdraw my Amendment.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I quite agree that the House of Commons should have that opportunity.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Earl WINTERTON

I move to insert before "particulars" the word "reasonable," and I do so in order to obtain some information as to the specific meaning of the word "particulars," because I am informed on sound and legal authority that as the section stands the word might be taken to refer to all kinds of subjects which I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer intends should be included within the scope of the clause, such as easements and even paths across property, and building operations adjoining property. I am willing to withdraw the Amendment if the right hon. Gentleman will give some assurance that the word "particulars" will be narrowed down to the meaning which he no doubt wishes.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I do not think there can be any objection to the insertion of the word "reasonable." I believe the word appears in the Stamp Act.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I do not know whether it would be convenient to the right hon. Gentleman that I should raise another Amendment with regard to these particulars which I think is worthy of attention. I intended to raise the question by an Amendment to omit the words "particulars thereof," but I think I can raise it on this Amendment, and that I need not move a separate Amendment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Members have spoken as if these instruments were all that was required to enable the Commissioners to make the assessment, and the sub-section itself sets out what is the purpose for which they are to be supplied. But what particulars are they? Take a site with a poor or unsuitable property upon it. Take the case of an old residence in what has become a commercial part of a town. Very often in such a case the clear site is more valuable than the building and the site together. The instrument will not show you how much is attributable to the site value and how much to the building, and from the particulars of the instrument you will not be able to obtain the information.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

I beg leave to move to leave out the words. "For the purposes of the assessment of duty thereon"["such instrument or the particulars thereof (for the purposes of the assessment of the duty thereon)"]. I think it will be agreed on all sides of the House, after the discussion we have had to-night, that the object of this sub-section as stated is not the correct one. If instead of the word "thereon" you had "for the purpose of assessing the duty on one in twenty of the documents" then it would be clear that it would be something like a statement of the fact, because there are all the small people, all the owners of agricultural property, all the owners of property not exceeding £500 in a town, and all the people whose land has gone down and not gone up. On all those transactions, or probably on nineteen out of twenty of them, no duty will be payable, and it is absurd to say that these people should be obliged to deposit the instrument, or to go to the trouble of making out some form of particulars, and sending them in "for the purposes of assessing the duty thereon" when it is-admitted there is going to be no duty to assess. I think we are entitled to assume that the Government desire to be honest, and the object of my Amendment is to give them a chance of being honest by leaving out of this sub-section an expression which gives an entirely erroneous statement of the object of the section itself. See what the Government would gain by leaving out these words! Everybody in every transaction throughout the country is to bring in his instrument or these particulars to Somerset House. Why? If these words are left out the particulars would merely have to be brought in. No reason would be given. I can quite understand that in the nineteen out of twenty cases where there is going to be no duty payable the individual whose duty it might be to bring the instrument in to be stamped would say, "I need not bring my instrument in to have it stamped because there is no duty payable, and when I look at the Act of Parliament I see I am asked to bring it in for the purpose of assessing the duty.

But it is obvious there is no duty to be assessed, and I am therefore relieved from the necessity of bringing in the instrument to be assessed, because when I refer to the words of the subject it is obvious it does not apply to my case." I venture to submit to the Committee that unless the Government accept this Amendment they will be on the horns of a dilemma. In the one case the words to be left in the section will not be true, and it will be obvious they will not be true, and in the other case, if they put the true words in it would give them weight over the whole clause. I am trying to help them out of the difficulty by saying, "Leave out the statement of your object." The Government have got some object up their sleeves which the unfortunate owners of property are, I suppose, going to find out in a few years hence when some at present unknown, or undisclosed, tax is to be imposed on all owners of property. In the interests of morality and of honesty, or, at all events, of apparent honesty, it would be desirable that the Government should accept this Amendment, and to leave out these words which are entirely inapplicable to the present state of affairs.

Sir W. ROBSON

I am sure the hon. Member will not expect an answer to a speech couched in such terms. We think the words are there for a legitimate and useful purpose, and I hope I may be allowed to keep them in.

Mr. LANE-FOX

We have the word of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that in the majority of cases the increment would not accrue. It is perfectly obvious without his statement that a very large majority of the cases will not come under these words.

Mr. LAMBTON

If this Amendment is to carry out the intention of the clause other words should be ruled out also.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

I should have thought this was an actual consequential Amendment of the hon. Member for St. Pancras (Mr. Dickinson) who moved to leave out the words "in cases where increment value is due." The latter words must necessarily go. Supposing a transferor declined to produce his document on the ground that it was absolutely settled on the face of it, that there could be no possible duty, and he used these words, arguing that the very purpose of the Act was to assess the duty, I submit there would be in law an answer to the claim of the Inland Revenue to have this particular document brought in for the purpose of assessing duty. The Government has accepted one Amendment which we should have thought involved this as a consequential Amendment, and we are entitled at least to a courteous answer to the speeches which have been made by hon. Members behind me.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

I apologise if at this late hour I should have been betrayed into using anything to which objection could possibly have been taken. My only object was to point out that if the clause was to be consistent these words ought to be left out. But if the Government will not make their clause consistent I do not see why we should insist upon it. Therefore may I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Viscount CASTLEREAGH moved, after "lessor" to insert the word "wilfully." I should like to ask the hon. and learned Gentleman if it would not be to the advantage of the Bill if the word "wilfully" were inserted. I think that as the Bill stands the onus of proof is on the individual who happens to be the transferor or lessor, and he will have to prove why he has failed to comply with this provision. If the word "wilfully" is inserted the onus will lie on the Commissioners. There may be any number of reasons why the transferor or lessor has failed to comply with the provision, but if this Amendment is accepted the onus of proof will lie on the prosecution that he has wilfully or knowingly failed to comply with the Act.

Sir W. ROBSON

The Noble Lord has quite accurately stated the legal effects of his Amendment. He has stated that the result of this Amendment would be to change the burden of proof, but as the case stands now all that the prosecution will have to show is that the transferor or lessor has failed to comply with the provisions, and has therefore incurred a penalty. That is all that will have to be done by the prosecution under the Bill as it stands. If the word "wilfully" is inserted the prosecution will have to show not merely that the transferor has failed to comply with the provision, but will have to show what no prosecution can show, except with the assistance of the defendant, that he has failed wilfully, i.e., deliberately set his mind not to comply with this provision, so that the prosecution will have to give evidence to satisfy the Court not merely as to what defendant did, but also the intention of mind with which he did it. That, I am afraid, they cannot show unless the defendant will assist them, and that, of course, would make the provision entirely nugatory.

Viscount CASTLEREAGH

I do not think the learned Gentleman has quite made out the case. It appears that the meaning of the Act is that if a man wilfully fails to comply with this provision he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten pounds. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS moved, after the word "fails"["and if the transferor or lessor fails to comply with this provision he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten pounds"] to insert the words "for a period of thirty days from the execution by him of such instrument."

I have refreshed my memory since this matter was last referred to by looking at the Stamp Act. In the Stamp Act there is no penalty at all. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was entirely wrong in suggesting that there is. The only penalty for the non-stamping of a document is that you cannot use that document in a court of law—cannot be taken before a court of law and be fined £10 for the non-stamping of it. This in the clause is an entirely new provision never known in the laws of England yet. Anyhow, I submit that there must be some time limit. Under the clause as it stands a man might execute a deed and the very next day he might be told that he would be fined because the deed has not been stamped. I want to guard against a case of accident. One has heard of cases where people are foolish enough to act in matters of this kind without the intervention of lawyers. A small man might draw up his own deed, and not knowing of the provisions of this Act he might fail to comply with the provisions and down would come the Commissioners and summon him because he has not stamped his deed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer on a previous occasion mentioned the word "reasonable," and I want to know whether he has considered it with the learned Attorney-General? The thirty days is, I think, a reasonable time. If the learned Attorney-General insists on this new penalty for the non-stamping of a document, I would point out that it is at present unknown.

Sir W. ROBSON

I think the hon. Member has rather blunted his memory as to some of the dealings that take place now. He says there is no such thing as a penalty under the Stamping Act. I think he will remember the very well known case of a fine of £20 for giving a receipt without a stamp. Now, with regard to the question of time, obviously that is a matter of regulation. The regulations will lay down the time.

Mr. C. B. STUART-WORTLEY

I should like to ask whether this matter will really be considered in the regulations? It is only reasonable that there should be some provision as to the length of time to be allowed.

Sir W. ROBSON

Of course, the question of time is the very first thing to consider.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

I can assure the learned Gentleman that there is no penalty for the non-stamping of a deed. The learned Gentleman knows I am right. I can sign my deed to-night and I can keep it locked up for ten years, and unless I want the deed for production in a Court to prove my title I need not stamp it at all and nobody can haul me before the magistrates. There is a provision that you cannot produce an unstamped deed in evidence without paying £10, which, of course, I was perfectly aware of. But that is quite different to hauling a man before the Petty Sessional Court and fining him £10. I submit that you are raising an entirely new provision in the law of England. I would only say that I think the Attorney-General owes my legal knowledge some apology for the reflection he has cast upon it. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer were here I think he would have granted this Amendment. He was quite favourably inclined two or three hours ago. It is not a matter that we want to leave to regulations. We want to say that it shall not be in the power of any Commissioners whatever to expose a subject to a prosecution. I shall press the Amendment unless the learned Attorney-General gives me a satisfactory reply.

Sir W. ANSON

I am surprised at the learned Attorney-General suggesting that there is any parallel or similarity between the case of an agreement or deed which was not stamped and which you therefore cannot prove except on payment of a penalty of £10; and the liability to summary conviction for not having a document stamped under the circumstances set forth in this Act. The agreement which you cannot produce in court except on payment of a penalty of £10 does not subject you to liability to conviction on summary jurisdiction.

Sir W. ROBSON

I never said so.

Mr. FELL

It is clear that there is no conviction for failing to stamp your deed. I would ask one of the Scottish law officers who is present whether failure to register your document either in Scotland or in the County of London, or in the Middlesex Registry, or any other place where it may be necessary that such documents shall be lodged, renders you liable to be fined £10 or any other sum.

Mr. PRETYMAN

It does seem a very serious question indeed, the imposition of this new penalty in circumstances

hitherto unknown under our law. I think that point would be better raised on the Amendment standing next on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for West Down (Capt. Craig); it does not appear to arise on the question of the thirty days.

Question put, "That the words 'for a period of thirty days from the execution by him of such instrument' be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 70; Noes, 175.

Division No. 290.] AYES. [2.15 a.m.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Goulding, Edward Alfred Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Ronaldshay, Earl of
Baldwin, Stanley Haddock, George B. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George O.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hay, Hon. Claude George Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hunt, Rowland Stanier, Beville
Bowles, G. Stewart Kennedy, Vincent Paul Starkey, John R.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Bull, Sir William James Lane-Fox, G. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Carlile, E. Hildred Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Valentia, Viscount
Castlereagh, Viscount Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cave, George Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Morpeth, Viscount Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Clive, Percy Archer Morrison-Bell, Captain Winterton, Earl
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Newdegate, F. A. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry Oddy, John James Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Dalrymple, Viscount Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Younger, George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Percy, Earl
Fell, Arthur Pretyman, E. G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Forster, Henry William Ratcliff, Major R. F. Mr. Joynson-Hicks and Viscount Helmsley.
Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S.W.) Remnant, James Farquharson
Gardner, Ernest Renwick, George
NOES.
Acland, Francis Dyke Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gwynn, Stephen Lucius
Agnew, George William Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Clough, William Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Clynes, J. R. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)
Armitage, R. Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cooper, C. J. Haworth, Arthur A.
Astbury, John Meir Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hedges, A. Paget
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Cory, Sir Clifford John Helme, Norval Watson
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hemmerde, Edward George
Barnard, E. B. Crossley, William J. Henry, Charles S.
Barnes, G. N. Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Higham, John Sharp
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hobart, Sir Robert
Beale, W. P. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Hodge, John
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Horniman,. Emslie John
Bennett, E. N. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Berridge, T. H. D. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Hudson, Walter
Boulton, A. C. F. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Hyde, Clarendon G.
Bowerman, C. W. Elibank, Master of Idris, T. H. W.
Brace, William Essex, R. W. Illingworth, Percy H,
Brocklehurst, W. B. Evans, Sir S. T. Jenkins, J
Brodie, H. C. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Brooke, Stopford Fuller, John Michael F. Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Fullerton, Hugh Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Bryce, J. Annan Gibb, James (Harrow) King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Burke, E. Haviland- Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Glover, Thomas Lamont, Norman
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Lehmann, R. C.
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Levy, Sir Maurice Rainy, A. Rolland Thomasson, Franklin
Lewis, John Herbert Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Lyell, Charles Henry Rendall, Athelstan Tomkinson, James
Lynch, H. B. Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Macpherson, J. T. Ridsdale, E. A. Vivian, Henry
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wardle, George J.
McKenna, Rt Hon. Reginald Robinson, S. Waring, Walter
Maddison, Frederick Robson, Sir William Snowdon Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Masterman, C. F. G. Rogers, F. E. Newman Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Mond, A. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Watt, Henry A.
Montgomery, H. G. Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L. White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Morrell, Philip Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Nannetti, Joseph P. Seddon, J. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Seely, Colonel Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Norman, Sir Henry Silcock, Thomas Ball Wilkie, Alexander
Nussey, Sir Willans Simon, John Allsebrook Williamson, Sir A.
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Soares, Ernest J. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Stanger, H. Y. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
O'Grady, J. Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire) Winfrey, R.
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Strachey, Sir Edward
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Pirie, Duncan V. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Pointer, Joseph Summerbell, T.
Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Viscount CASTLEREAGH

I desire to move the Amendment which stands in the name of the hon. Member for East Down (Captain Craig) to leave out the words "on summary conviction to a fine of ten pounds, and"["he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten pounds and to pay interest."] As the Bill is worded at the present moment the transferor or lessor who may through sheer inadvertence fail to comply with the requirements of the clause, will find himself summarily convicted and punished to the extent of a fine of £10. The onus of proof in these cases should be on the prosecution, and they ought to be required to show that the offence was committed knowingly. As there are no such words in the clause as "wilfully" or "knowingly," I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will agree that the words I desire to leave out should be omitted.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

May I point out that, after all, the proceedings will come before a competent tribunal, and the whole of the circumstances which the noble Lord contends would be a palliation of the offence will be stated to the magistrate. I cannot see there is any reason to fear that he would exact a penalty where there is the slightest ground for believing that the offence has been committed through inadvertence, and therefore I must resist the Amendment.

Mr. STUART-WORTLEY

I think the Committee will agree that there is a certain stigman in being hailed before a magistrate, even when the offence is not serious in character. To subject a person who has failed through sheer inadvertence to present the document which he is required to furnish to all the stigma of a criminal prosecution is undoubtedly pushing matters very far.

Mr. CAVE

I understand that the Government have refused to insert either "wilfully" or "knowingly." I cannot understand why. It has been a regular practice when creating a new criminal offence to say that a man should not be held to commit that offence unless he knew he was doing to. But under the Bill, if a man is brought before the bench and is accused of not presenting a document, when once the fact of his not having done so is proved the bench will have no option but to convict. This is, I think, an unusual form of imposing a penalty, because instead of saying a fine not exceeding £10 you say a fine of £10. The Bench, therefore, must impose a fine of £10, and not a fine of 10s., or whatever other sum they may think fitting. I think, in view of the fact that the offence may be committed without the least knowledge on the part of the offender, these words are extremely hard.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

I want to call the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the mode in which this clause is going through committee. First of all, an instrument has to be drafted and certain particulars lodged in it, possibly of a most intricate character. If the requirement is not complied with a prosecution ensues. First we tried to put in the word "wilfully," and that was refused. Then we tried to limit it so as to give the wretched individual thirty days. That, again, was refused. Therefore we are face to face with the fact that every single suggestion we have made on behalf of the taxpayer is refused by the Government, and they are going to insist on having their pound of flesh to the extent of the £10 penalty. The man who commits an offence inadvertently is to get just as much punishment as the man who desires to defraud the revenue. This is a new crime added to the law of England. I do not believe there is any crime similar to it in the whole gamut of our English laws. I do not think that you will find that it is made a criminal offence not to stamp a deed in any other Act of Parliament whatsoever. You are giving no loophole to the subject. You are giving no time to the subject whatever. You are making him liable to a fine of £10 and hailing him before the petty sessions when he may not even know that he has committed an offence. Under these circumstances I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer would do well to modify the extreme hardships of this particular clause.

Mr. LAURENCE HARDY

I should like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the words "on summary conviction" carry with them the power of appeal. As he knows, the Act of 1894 with reference to Estate Duty imposed similar penalties on people who wilfully failed to comply with the provisions, but in this case the offence has not even to be committed wilfully. In the 1894 Act, the Inland Revenue Regulation Act, which

gave the power of appeal from the decision of the Court of Summary Jurisdiction, was included, I believe.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I do not think there is an appeal from the court of summary jurisdiction except when there is imprisonment without the option of a fine. I do not think that the words mean that a magistrate must impose a fine of £l0, but I have no objection to the insertion of the words "not exceeding £10."

Mr. CAVE

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the putting in of the word "knowingly" ["if the transferor or lessor (knowingly) fails"]?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I will consider the matter, and see what the legal effect is.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

If the noble Viscount would ask leave to withdraw his Amendment, and then move to-omit the words "on summary conviction," we can take our division on the question of summary jurisdiction.

Original Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed, to leave out "on summary conviction to a fine of £10."["if the transferor or lessor fails-to comply with this provision he shall be liable (on summary conviction, etc.)"].

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out to the word "of" ["of ten pounds"] stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 163;. Noes, 71.

Division No. 291.] AYES. [2.40 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Elibank, Master of
Agnew, George William Bryce, J. Annan Essex, R. W.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Burke, E. Haviland- Evans, Sir S. T.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Fiennes, Hon. Eustace
Allen, Charles p. (Stroud) Burnyeat, W. J. D. Fuller, John Michael F.
Armitage, R Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Gibb, James (Harrow)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John
Astbury, John Meir Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Glover, Thomas
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Clough, William Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Clynes, J. R. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Barnard, E. B. Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)
Barnes, G. N. Cooper, G. J. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)
Beale, W. P. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Harvey, A. G. C (Rochdale)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Crossley, William J. Haworth, Arthur A.
Bennett, E. N. Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.
Berridge, T. H. D. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hedges, A. Paget
Boulton, A. C. F Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Helme, Norval Watson
Bowerman, C. W. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Hemmerde, Edward George
Brace, William Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Henry, Charles S.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Higham, John Sharp
Brodie, H. C. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Hobart, Sir Robart
Brooke, Stopford Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.
Hodge, John Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Horniman, Emslie John Norman, Sir Henry Summerbell, T.
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Hudson, Walter O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Hyde, Clarendon G. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Thomasson, Franklin
Idris, T. H. W. Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Illingworth, Percy H. Pickersgill, Edward Hare Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Jenkins, J. Pirie, Duncan V. Tomkinson, James
Johnson, John (Gateshead) Pointer, J. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Vivian, Henry
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Rainy, A. Rolland Wardle, George J.
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Waring, Walter
Lamont, Norman Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Lehmann, R. C. Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Levy, Sir Maurice Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Watt, Henry A.
Lewis, John Herbert Robinson, S. White, Sir George (Nerfolk)
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Robson, Sir William Snowdon White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Lyell, Charles Henry Rogers, F. E. Newman White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Lynch, H. B. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Wilkie, Alexander
Macpherson, J. T. Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne) Williamson, Sir A.
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Seddon, J. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Seely, Colonel Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Maddison, Frederick Silcock, Thomas Ball Winfrey, R.
Narks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Simon, John Allsebrook Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Masterman, C. F. G. Stanger, H. Y.
Mond, A. Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Montgomery, H. G. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Morrell, Philip Strachey, Sir Edward
Nannetti, Joseph P. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
NOES.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Goulding, Edward Alfred Ridsdale, E. A.
Baldwin, Stanley Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Haddock, George B. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hay, Hon. Claude George Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bigneld, Sir Arthur Helmsley, Viscount Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bowles, G. Stewart Hunt, Rowland Stanier, Seville
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Starkey, John R.
Bull, Sir William James Lane-Fox, G. R. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Carlile, E. Hildred Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cave, George Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Valentia, Viscount
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Clive, Percy Archer Morpeth, Viscount Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Morrison-Bell, Captain Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Cory, Sir Clifford John Newdegate, F. A. Winterton, Earl
Craik, Sir Henry Oddy, John James Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Dalrymple, Viscount Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Percy, Earl Younger, George
Fell, Arthur Pretyman, E. G.
Forster, Henry William Ratcliff, Major R. F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount
Foster, P. S. Remnant, James Farquharson Castlereagh and Mr. Joynson-Hicks.
Gardner, Ernest Renwick, George

Mr. CAVE moved to leave out "of," and insert the words ("not exceeding a fine of £10").

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. LAURENCE HARDY

I desire to move the Amendment standing in the name of the Member for East Down (Captain Craig) to insert after "conviction" the words "with the right of appeal to Quarter Sessions."

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I am prepared to accept that Amendment.

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

Mr. YOUNGER

This will not apply to Scotland. It ought to be "the Sheriff of Scotland" in place of "Quarter Sessions."

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I am assured there is an appeal already in Scotland and that therefore it will not be necessary.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I move "That the Question, 'That the words of the Clause, down to the end of the fifth section, stand part of the Clause,' be now put."

The CHAIRMAN

I have not had time to consider all the Amendments handed in. I do not know whether it is desired to leave out section (3) or not.

Mr. CAVE

Am I not entitled to move to insert the words "per annum"after"5 per cent."?

The CHAIRMAN

That can be moved.

Mr. CAVE

Then I move the Amendment.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I quite agree that it is necessary, and that being so, I have no objection to the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Viscount HELMSLEY moved to insert the words "provided that no proceedings shall be taken more than one year after the transfer or lease has been effected." It is obviously absurd that any of these proceedings may be taken after any number of years. You must have some statute of limitation, otherwise it might be possible for the Commissioners to come down on a man 50 years after he has effected his transfer or lease and not only fine him but charge him interest for all those years. I am sure the Chancellor of the Exchequer will realise that the Government themselves have put down several Amendments in this way. I think that when the Chancellor has had time to grasp what the substance of this Amendment is, he will see it is one which is essential to the proper working of this sub-section. It really cannot be contended that five or six years after, the Commissioners can suddenly come down upon the transferor, who may have long parted with his interest in the land, and say: "you did not send an instrument to the Commissioners and we will haul you up before the magistrates." Not only would the man be fined £10 but he would have to pay interest at the rate of 5 per cent. from the date the omission was made.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

It would not have taken a moment to make a copy of the Amendment and to hand it in. It is so difficult in a matter of this sort to see immediately exactly what the effect of the Amendment is. As far as I can understand, the effect will be this—that if a man is able to conceal these proceedings from the Commissioners for 13 months no proceedings can be instituted against him. Clearly, that would be a perfectly absurd Amendment to put in the Bill.

Mr. LANE-FOX

I should like to point out that I was not aware that an Amendment in manuscript should have been sent to the right hon. Gentleman, but I would refer to the inconvenience there is in handing in these manuscript Amendments while we are working under this pressure. But surely this Amendment is not so absurd as the right hon. Gentleman seems to think. There ought to be some limitation of time beyond which a man will know he is free from any prosecution—or shall I say persecution?—of the authorities. Supposing the man has made some mistake and not complied with the regulations there ought to be some limitation of time beyond which he is free from being attacked. If the right hon. Gentleman chooses to extend the time from one to two or three years I do not mind.

Mr. STUART-WORTLEY

I think the whole scheme of this clause shows a fine democratic disregard of the existing law. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the Statute Book is full of time limits.

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

It ought not to be lost sight of that this penalty is being imposed not upon the man who ought to have paid, but upon the man who should have sent in the return. It ought not to be forgotten that in addition to the transferor or lessor who has committed this crime of omission, you must have a lessee and a transferee who must be cognisant of it, because the lessee and the transferee will have the possession of the document which is to show that the Act has been complied with. The state of affairs is this: that the transferor or lessor who has not sent in these particulars has to pay a fine of £10—supposed, of course, to have had a criminal intent—and he must have done these things not only with the knowledge of the solicitors on both sides, but to the knowledge of the purchaser or transferor or lessee. It seems to me to be a preposterous thing that we are to give no reasonable time after which the party concerned is not capable of being hauled up before the magistrate and fined. This is an unreasonable proposition, and I think we, on this side of the House, are fully justified in protesting against it.

Mr. GEORGE WYNDHAM

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that if the Amendment were carried the man would only have to conceal things for 13 months to avoid punishment. I would point out that in many cases the omission would be due to complete and sublime ignorance of everything that has taken place to-night. Is this going to be reported in the papers to-morrow? No. Who will read this sub-clause buried in an Act of Parliament? And yet it deals with the rustic as well as the cute inhabitant of the town. If I may say so, the right hon. Gentleman is pressing the matter rather far when he is creating a new crime and uses arguments to support it which would be perfectly pertinent in respect of a known crime but are irrelevant when a new crime is constituted —a crime of ignorance of proceedings carried on at three o'clock in the morning, never reported, and then entombed in an Act of Parliament which none of the rustics of the country will ever study.

Mr. LAMBTON

I cannot support the Amendment, as I understand that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to put in the word "knowingly."

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE dissented.

Mr. LAMBTON

In that case, there is every need for the Amendment.

Question put, "That the words 'provided that no proceedings shall be taken more than one year after the transfer or lease has been effected' be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 65; Noes, 163.

Division No. 29a.] AYES. [3.5 a.m.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex F. Gardner, Ernest Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Baldwin, Stanley Goulding, Edward Alfred Ronaldshay, Earl of
Banner, John S. Harmood- Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Haddock, George B. Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hamilton, Marquess of Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bowles, G. Stewart Hay, Hon. Claude George Stanier, Seville
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hunt, Rowland Starkey, John R.
Bull, Sir William James Joynson-Hicks, William Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Carlile, E. Hildred Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Castlereagh, Viscount Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Valentia, Viscount
Cave, George Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Clive, Percy Archer Morpeth, Viscount Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Morrison-Bell, Captain Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry Newdegate, F. A. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Dalrymple, Viscount Oddy, John James Younger, George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Fell, Arthur Pretyman, E. G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Viscount
Forster, Henry William Ratcliff, Major R. F. Helmsley and Mr. Lane-Fax.
Foster, P. S. Remnant, James Farquharson
NOES.
Acland, Francis Dyke Clough, William Hedges, A. Paget
Agnew, George William Clynes, J. R. Helme, Norval Watson
Ainsworth, John Stirling Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Hemmerde, Edward George
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Cooper, G. J. Henry, Charles S.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Higham, John Sharp
Armitage, R. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hobart, Sir Robert
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cory, Sir Clifford John Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.
Astbury, John Meir Crossley, William J. Hodge, John
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Horniman, Emslie John
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hudson, Walter
Barnard, E. B. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Hyde, Clarendon G.
Barnes, G. N. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Idris, T. H. W.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Illingworth, Percy H.
Beale, W. P. Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh) Jenkins, J.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Elibank, Master of Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Bennett, E. N. Essex, R. W. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Berridge, T. H. D. Evans, Sir S T. King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Boulton, A. C. F. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Bowerman, C. W. Fuller, John Michael F Lamont, Norman
Brace, William Gibb, James (Harrow) Lehmann, R. C.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich!
Brooke, Stopford Glover, Thomas Levy, Sir Maurice
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Lewie, John Herbert
Bryce, J. Annan Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Burke, E. Haviland- Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Lyell, Charles Henry
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Macpherson, J. T.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) McKenna, Rt Hon. Reginald
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Haworth, Arthur A. Maddison, Frederick
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Masterman, C. F. G. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Vivian, Henry
Mond, A. Rogers, F. E. Newman Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Montgomery, H. G. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wardle, George J.
Morrell, Philip Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L. Waring, Walter
Nannetti, Joseph P. Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lynt) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Seddon, J. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
O'Connor, John Kildare, N.) Seely, Colonel Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Silcock, Thomas Ball Watt, Henry A.
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Simon, John Allsebrook White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Stanger, H. Y. White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Pirie, Duncan V. Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire) White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Pointer, J. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Strachey, Sir Edward Wilkie, Alexander
Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.J Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Williamson, Sir A.
Rainy, A. Rolland Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Summerbell, T. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Taylor, John W. (Durham) Winfrey, R.
Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wood, T, M'Kinnon
Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Thomasson, Franklin
Ridsdale, E. A. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Robinson, S. Tomkinson, James
Robson, Sir William Snowdon Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

We have now really reached the end of this section, and we have also reached the time at which we are accustomed to adjourn our discussion. We have had a very businesslike discussion, as those who have attended the Debates will know, the proof of which Is that a moment ago—I might have said during the whole of to-day's Debate—the Closure had never once been moved. I cannot say that now. All I can say is, that the Closure has only once been moved during that time and then you did not think proper to accept it. Even that Closure motion was not designed to terminate a discussion which had been going on too long, but it was a motion to prevent any discussion on a considerable portion of the clause which has not yet been discussed at all. I think it is significant of the strain which is put on Members of this House who really have to take part in these Debates and follow what is going on, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should have actually moved the Closure down to a point beyond that at which the Under-Secretary to the Home Office earlier in the afternoon agreed to insert an Amendment. It was pointed out earlier in the afternoon that owing to the change which the Government were making there would now have to be an enormous number of documents submitted to the Commissioners to be stamped for which no provision was made in this, the stamping, clause; that is to say, documents on which no tax becomes due at all. Provision is made for a stamp to denote that the tax has been paid and provision is made for a stamp to denote that security is given, but there is no provision in the clause for what will be the most numerous class of transactions, namely, those on which no duty of any kind whatever is payable. The Under-Secretary to the Home Office, speaking earlier in the afternoon, admitted the fact and that it would be necessary to insert a new sub-section to provide for those cases. I do not wish to make an attack on the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I only seek to show the strain which those Members who are following the Bill are feeling, and that perhaps even the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not proof against the fatigue which he is undergoing. Under those circumstances, having sat for 12¼ hours without the closure having been thought necessary on any occasion, after a most businesslike and matter of fact discussion—and the Chancellor of the Exchequer will concur in my statement when I say that Amendments have been withdrawn or very rapidly dealt with—the discussion of which might have lasted considerably longer—I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I would rather not express any opinion at all about the length of the discussion or the character of the Amendments. It is not for me to do so. But the majority of Members who have attended the House have been present during the whole of the proceedings, and are able to form their own conclusions with regard not merely to the speeches and to the repetition of arguments which we have heard hundreds of times before, but also with regard to the character of the Amendments. I do not believe that ever in the history of any Committee discussion have there been so many manuscript Amendments moved in the course of a single evening's proceedings. I know from some experience what that means, and what are the intentions of those who persist in moving them. I do not think there can be any kind of pretence. We want to get the Bill and, as I have said, the whole Bill. On the other hand the Opposition mean by every Parliamentary resource available to them to kill the Bill. That is really the position. They have used every Parliamentary facility and device—I am not using the word in any invidious sense—which is open to them for that purpose.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

We have not.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I think it is far better that we should clear our minds of all kinds of cant. Surely there is no right hon. or hon. Gentleman who will get up on the other side and say he is not going to use every Parliamentary resource to thwart, to prevent, to hinder the passing of this Bill. This is purely a machinery clause. Take Clauses 1 or 2. There were certain questions of principle which turned up at every line, or at every other line. What I want to point out is this: I do not care what the Bill is. I do not care whether it is a Finance Bill or any ordinary legislative measure, if it is to be discussed at the length of the proceedings up to the present on the Finance Bill, it would be absolutely impossible to carry any measure of first-class importance through the House of Commons. As the right hon. Gentleman, the Leader of the Opposition, very well said earlier in the course of our proceedings on the Finance Bill, after all a Finance Bill has to be carried within the year. At the present rate of progress we should not carry it in three years. It simply means, if we are to go on at the present rate, that Parliamentary procedure breaks down altogether. It is necessary, not merely in the interests of the finance of the country and all that hangs upon it, including the Dreadnoughts which hon. Members opposite would not wait for, but which they are not party to paying for, preferring to shuffle the responsibility of paying for them on to somebody else——

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

On a point of order, Mr. Emmott, I wish to ascertain the exact limits to which we shall be allowed to go into this question. I presume we may take it for granted that anything the Chancellor of the Exchequer says we are entitled to answer?

The CHAIRMAN

I think the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is going a little wide of the question, and in a general way arguments could be used in reply to him.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The right hon. Gentleman seems to think we have gone as far to-night as reasonably could be expected. The right hon. Gentleman has been concerned with a Finance Bill himself——

Mr. J. F. REMNANT

This is not a Finance Bill.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

It is, because it involves a financial responsibility that the hon. Gentleman and his friends are objecting to it. I remember perfectly well the right hon. Gentleman moving the closure on many clauses in the course of a single night. As he reminded me, I have only done it once in the course of the whole evening. We have to get through these machinery clauses in order to get on to the other clauses which deal with vital matters of principle. It is absolutely impossible to carry any measure unless we are entitled to make progress. If every word in an Act of Parliament is to be canvassed and discussed it would be impossible to carry any measure within the compass of a Parliament. We have already had one Motion to report Progress; now we have a second. I do hope the right hon. Gentleman will really help us not merely to report Progress, but to make progress.

Mr. BONAR LAW

The right hon. Gentleman made one remark with which I entirely agree, and that was that we should, as far as possible, clear our minds of cant. He made the remark, but he seemed to forget it when he came to give us his own platform jokes about paying for Dreadnoughts. If the Committee will allow me to treat the arguments which have been put forward by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a business-like way, let me state his grounds for stating that we have no right to expect that we should now adjourn the House. His first ground was that there has been an unusually large number of manuscript Amendments, and he holds us responsible for that. I ask any fair-minded Member of this Committee how is it possible to avoid manuscript Amendments when we find that the Bill is changing, not only from day by day, but from hour to hour. Then the right hon. Gentleman made another remark which seemed to me very surprising from one who had his experience in the last Parliament of fighting Bills. He told us we were using every device to prolong the discussion. I do not for a moment deny that the statement which the right hon. Gentleman has made, that it is our desire by every means to kill this Bill, is perfectly true. But what I do say is that throughout the whole of these discussions we have never been reduced to adopt the obstructive tactics in which the right hon. Gentleman was such a past-master in the last Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman has supplied us with such a mass of material which is open to the most careful discussion in this House, that for that reason all of us have deliberately avoided wasting time on trivial Amendments. We know that there is plenty of material in this Bill to give us ample opportunity of discussion on subjects which are worthy the discussion of this House. The right hon. Gentleman told us further that this clause is only a machinery clause, but our contention is that this part of the Bill is going to break down all machinery; that it is impossible to adopt any fair machinery to these proposals, and that the country, and even the Members of this House, will find that this section of the Bill cannot possibly be carried into law, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to realise this. He says that if we go on at this rate we will never finish the Bill. Whose fault is that? If the right hon. Gentleman chooses to put into a Finance Bill subjects which should occupy the House for several sessions then obviously, taking his own argument, all that is necessary to prevent the discussion of any subject in this House is to put enough material into the Finance Bill to make it evident that unless you pass it without discussion it can never pass. For these reasons I have much pleasure in supporting the Amendment.

Viscount HELMSLEY

I think the temper to which the Committee is reduced is quite sufficient argument in itself, if there were no other, for moving to report Progress I should like to point out one or two things to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He made a good many, I do not like to use the word offensive, but a good many aggressive and provocative accusations as to the way in which we have conducted this Debate which, I think,

are not founded on fact. In the first place let him look at the number of Amendments which have been accepted. Are we to understand that the Chancellor accepts Amendments whether they are reasonable or not? Are we to understand that he accepts trivial Amendments? Look at the last few questions we have been discussing. Look how carelessly the last sub-section discussed has been drafted. We had the Chancellor of the Exchequer not realising that a fine of £10 is not the same as a fine not exceeding £10. Another point was the 5 per cent. It had not occurred to the Government apparently that it would mean nothing unless 5 per cent, per annum was added. Those are not the only instances of how carelessly the Bill is drafted and what minute examination it requires. Then if anyone would take the trouble to compare so much of the Bill as has been reprinted with the original copy of the Bill they will see there also ample justification for the Amendments which have been moved. I think the Committee will be well aware that if these Amendments had not been raised, and if we had not had these various discussions upon them, the Bill would not have been improved to the extent to which it has been improved by the Amendments which have been accepted. Therefore I really do protest against the accusation of the Chancellor of the Echequer that we have in any way unduly prolonged the Debate. After all, have the Government been so chary in moving the closure during the time they have been in office on the various Bills we have had before us. We know that the Chancellor does not go on all day and not move the closure until now because he wants the discussion to go on. He moves the closure whenever he has the opportunity of doing so. I do most earnestly protest against the accusations which have been levied against us by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 162; Noes, 65.

Division No. 293.] AYES. [3.32 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Balfour, Robert (Lanark)
Agnew, George William Armitage, R. Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Ashton, Thomas Gair Barlow, Percy (Bedford)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Astbury, John Meir Barnard, E. B.
Barnes, G. N Hedges, A. Paget Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Helme, Norval Watson Richards, T, F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Beale, W. P. Hemmerde, Edward George Ridsdale, E. A.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Henry, Charles S. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Higham, John Sharp Robinson, S.
Bennett, E. N. Hobart, Sir Robert Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Berridge, T. H. D. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Boulton, A. C. F. Hodge, John Rogers, F. E. Newman
Bowerman, C. W. Horniman, Emslie John Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Brace, William Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Hudson, Walter Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Brooke, Stopford Hyde, Clarendon G. Seddon, J.
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Idris, T. H. W. Seely, Colonel
Bryce, J. Annan Illingworth, Percy H. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Jenkins, J. Simon, John Allsebrook
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Johnson, John (Gateshead) Stanger, H. Y.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Jones, Leif (Appleby) Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Strachey, Sir Edward
Clough, William Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Clynes, J. R. Lamont, Norman Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Lehmann, R. C. Summerbell, T.
Cooper, G. J. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Levy, Sir Maurice Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Lewis, John Herbert Thomasson, Franklin
Cory, Sir Clifford John Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Crossley, William J. Lyell, Charles Henry Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Tomkinson, James
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Macpherson, J. T. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Vivian, Henry
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Wardle, George J.
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Maddison, Frederick Waring, Walter
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Elibank, Master of Masterman, C. F. G. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Essex, R. W. Mond, A. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Evans, Sir S. T. Montgomery, H. G. Watt, Henry A.
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Morrell, Philip White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Furness Sir Christopher Nannetti, Joseph P. White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Gibb, James (Harrow) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Glover, Thomas Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Wilkie, Alexander
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Williamson, Sir A.
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Pickersgill, Edward Hare Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Harcourt, Robert V; (Montrose) Pirie, Duncan V. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Pointer, J. Winfrey, R.
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Rainy, A. Rolland TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Haworth, Arthur A. Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
NOES.
Baldwin, Stanley Gouldlng, Edward Alfred Remnant, James Farquharson
Banner, John S. Harmood- Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Haddock, George B. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bowles, G. Stewart May, Hon. Claude George Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Helmsley, Viscount Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bull, Sir William James Hunt, Rowland Stanier, Beville
Carlile, E. Hildred Joynson-Hicks, William Starkey, John R.
Castlereagh, Viscount Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Cave, George Lane-Fox, G. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Clive, Percy Archer Marks, H. H. (Kent) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Craik, Sir Henry Morpeth, Viscount Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Dalrymple, Viscount Morrison-Bell, Captain Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Newdegate, F. A. Younger, George
Fell, Arthur Oddy, John James
Forster, Henry William Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir
Foster, P. S. Pretyman, E G. A. Acland-Hood and Viscount
Gardner, Ernest Ratcliff, Major R. F. Valentia.

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again:"

The Committee divided: Ayes, 65; Noes, 161.

Division No. 294.] AYES. [3.40 a.m.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Goulding, Edward Alfred Remnant, James Farquharson
Baldwin, Stanley Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Haddock, George B. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Beckett, Hon Gervase Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hay, Hon. Claude George Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bowles, G. Stewart Helmsley, Viscount Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hunt, Rowland Stanier, Beville
Bull, Sir William James Joynson-Hicks, William Starkey, John R.
Carlile, E. Hildred Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Castlereagh, Viscount Lane-Fox, G. R. Valentia, Viscount
Cave, George Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Clive, Percy Archer Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Morpeth, Viscount Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry Morrison-Bell, Captain Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Dalrymple, Viscount Newdegate, F. A. Younger, George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Oddy, John James
Fell, Arthur Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. H. W. Forster and Lord E. Talbot.
Foster, Philip S. Pretyman, E. G.
Gardner, Ernest Ratcliff, Major R. F.
NOES.
Acland, Francis Dyke Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Agnew, George William Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Rainy, A. Holland
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Allan, Charles P. (Stroud) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Armitage, R. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Astbury, John Meir Haworth, Arthur A. Ridsdale, E. A.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Hedges, A. Paget Robinson, S.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Helme, Norval Watson Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Barnard, E. B. Hemmerde, Edward George Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Barnes, G. N. Henry, Charles S. Rogers, F. E. Newman
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Higham, John Sharp Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Beale, W. P. Hobart, Sir Robert Soarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Hodge, John Seely, Colonel
Bennett, E. N. Horniman, Emslie John Silcock, Thomas Ball
Berridge, T. H. D. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Simon, John Allsebrook
Boulton, A. C. F. Hudson, Walter Stanger, H. Y.
Bowerman, C. W. Hyde, Clarendon G. Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Brace, William Idris, T. H. W. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Illingworth, Percy H. Strachey, Sir Edward
Brooke, Stopford Jenkins, J. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Bryce, J. Annan Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Summerbell, T.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Jones, Leif (Appleby) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Thomasson, Franklin
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Lament, Norman Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lehmahn, R. C. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Tomkinson, James
Clough, William Levy, Sir Maurice Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Clynes, J. R. Lewis, John Herbert Vivian, Henry
Collins, Sir WM. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Cooper, G. J. Lyell, Charles Henry Wardle, George J.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Waring, Walter
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Macpherson, J. T. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Crossley, William J. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Maddison, Frederick Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Watt, Henry A.
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Duncan, c. (Barrow-in-Furness) Masterman, C F. G. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Mond, A. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh) Montgomery, H. G. Wilkie, Alexander
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Morrell, Philip Williamson, Sir A.
Elibank, Master of Nannetti, Joseph P. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Essex, R. W. Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Evans, Sir S. T. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Winfrey, R.
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Fuller, John Michael F. Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Gibb, James (Harrow) Pickersgill, Edward Hare TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Pirie, Duncan V.
Glover, Thomas Pointer, J.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question 'That the words of the Clause, to the end of sub-section (b),

section (3), stand part of the Clause,' be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 159; Noes, 65.

Division No. 295.] AYES. [3.45 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Glover, Thomas Pointer, J.
Agnew, George William Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Rainy, A. Holland
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Armitage, R. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Astbury, John Meir Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Haworth, Arthur A. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Robinson, S.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Hedges, A. Paget Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Barnard, E. B. Helme, Norval Watson Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Barnes, G. N. Hemmerde, Edward George Rogers, F. E. Newman
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Henry, Charles S. Samuel, S. M. Whitechapel)
Beale, W. P. Higham, John Sharp Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Hobart, Sir Robert Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Seely, Colonel
Bennett, E. N. Hodge, John Silcock, Thomas Ball
Berridge, T. H. D. Horniman, Emslie John Simon, John Allsebrook
Boulton, A. C. F. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Stanger, H. Y
Bowerman, C. W Hudson, Walter Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Brace, William Hyde, Clarendon G. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Idris, T. H. W. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Brooke, Stopford Illingworth, Percy H. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Jenkins, J. Summerbell, T.
Bryce, J. Annan Johnson, John (Gateshead) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Jones, Leif (Appleby) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Thomasson, Franklin
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lehmann, R. C. Tomkinson, James
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Clough, William Levy, Sir Maurice Vivian, Henry
Clynes, J. R. Lewis, John Herbert Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Wardle, George J.
Cooper, G. J. Lyell, Charles Henry Waring, Walter
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Macpherson, J. T. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Crossley, William J. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Watt, Henry A.
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Maddison, Frederick White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Masterman, C. F. G. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Mond, A. Wilkie, Alexander
Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh) Montgomery, H. G. Williamson, Sir A.
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Morrell, Philip Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Elibank, Master of Nannetti, Joseph P. Wilson, W T. (Westhoughton)
Essex, R. W. Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Winfrey, R.
Evans, Sir S. T. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Fuller, John Michael F. Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Gibb, James (Harrow) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Pirie, Duncan V.
NOES.
Baldwin, Stanley Craik, Sir Henry Hunt, Rowland
Banner, John S. Harmood- Dalrymple, Viscount Joynson-Hicks, William
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lambton, Hon. Frederick William
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Fell, Arthur Lane-Fox, G. R.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Forster, Henry William Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Foster, P. S Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Bowles, G. Stewart Gardner, Ernest Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Goulding, Edward Alfred Marks, H. H. (Kent)
Bull, Sir William James Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Carlile, E. Hildred Haddock, George B. Morpeth, Viscount
Castlereagh, Viscount Hamilton, Marquess of Morrison-Bell, Captain
Cave, George Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Newdegate, F. A.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Harrison-Broadley, H, B. Oddy, John James
Clive, Percy Archer Hay, Hon. Claude George Pease, Herbert Pike {Darlington)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Helmsley, Viscount Pretyman, E. G.
Ratcliff, Major R. F. Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Remnant, James Farquharson Stanier, Beville Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Ridsdale, E. A. Starkey, John R. Younger, George
Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Ronaldshay, Earl of Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir
Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool) Walrond, Hon. Lionel A. Acland-Hood and Viscount
Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid) Valentia.
Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)

Question put, "That the words of the Clause down to and including the word' security' ['in any case where the Commissioners have required security'] stand part of the Clause."

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD (seated and wearing his hat)

On a point of order.

Will not the way in which you have put the question shut out an Amendment to insert a new sub-section (c)?

The CHAIRMAN

No, it will not have that effect.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 163; Noes, 64.

Division No. 206.] AYES. [3.55 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Glover, Thomas Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Agnew, George William Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Rainy, A. Rolland
Ainsworth, John Stirling Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Allen, Charles P. Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Armitage, R Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Ridsdale, E. A.
Astbury, John Meir Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Haworth, Arthur A. Robinson, S.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Hedges, A. Paget Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Barnard, E. B. Helme, Norval Watson Rogers, F. E. Newman
Barnes, G. N. Hemmerde, Edward George Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Henry, Charles S. Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Beale, W. P. Kigham, John Sharp Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Hobart, Sir Robert Seddon, J.
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Seely, Colonel
Bennett, E. N. Hodge, John Silcock, Thomas Ball
Berridge, T. H. D. Horniman, Emslie John Simon, John Allsebrook
Boulton, A. C. F. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Stanger, H. Y.
Bowerman, C. W. Hudson, Walter Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Brace, William Hyde, Clarendon G. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Idris, T. H. W. Strachey, Sir Edward
Brooke, Stopford Illingworth, Percy H. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Jenkins, J. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Bryce, J. Annan Johnson, John (Gateshead) Summerbell, T.
Burke, E. Haviland- Jones, Leif (Appleby) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Thomasson, Franklin
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Lehmann, R. C. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Tomkinson, James
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Levy, Sir Maurice Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Clough, William Lewis, John Herbert Vivian, Henry
Clynes, J. R. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Lyell, Charles Henry Wardle, George J.
Cooper, G. J. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Waring, Walter
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Macpherson, J. T. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Cory, Sir Clifford John McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Crossley, William J. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Watt, Henry A.
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Maddison, Frederick White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Marks, G. Croydon (Launcsston) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Masterman, C. F. G. White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Mond, A. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Montgomery, H. G. Wilkie, Alexander
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Morrell, Philip Williamson, Sir A.
Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh) Nannetti, Joseph P. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Elibank, Master of O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Winfrey, R.
Essex, R. W. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Evans, Sir S. T. Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Fuller, John Michael F. Pirie, Duncan V. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Gibb, James (Harrow) Pointer, J.
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
NOES.
Acland-Hood, Bt. Hon. Sir Alex F. Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Baldwin, Stanley Haddock, George B. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Banner, John S. Harmood- Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hay, Hon. Claude George Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Helmsley, Viscount Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bowles, G. Stewart Hunt, Rowland Stanier, Beville
Bridgeman, W. Clive Joynson-Hicks, William Starkey, John R.
Bull, Sir William James Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Carlile, E. Hildred Lane-Fox, G. R. Valentia, Viscount
Castlereagh, Viscount Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cave, George Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walrond, Hon Lionel
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Clive, Percy Archer Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Morpeth, Viscount Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry Morrison-Bell, Captain Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Dalrymple, Viscount Newdegate, F. A. Younger, George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Oddy, John James
Fell, Arthur Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr, Mr. H. W. Forster and Lord E. Talbot.
Foster, P. S. Pretyman, E. G.
Gardner, Ernest Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Goulding, Edward Alfred Remnant, James Farquharson
Viscount HELMSLEY

I want to move after the word "security" ["in any case where the Commissioners have required security"] to add "and to that notice shall be affixed a further stamp declaring the value of the duty after such duty has been paid." The Amendment deals with a point which was raised in discussion earlier in the day in answer to something which fell from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman congratulated himself on the fact that he would have the purchaser in every case as an ally collecting the revenue for him. I pointed out that the purchaser will not know the amount of Increment Duty which will be paid, and that is a thing which I think he is entitled to know. There should not only be on his deed a denoting stamp, but he should have some documentary evidence of what was the increment value payable, because on that depends the amount he will have to pay on a subsequent occasion when Increment Duty becomes due.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The Noble Lord wants to deprive the vendor of an opportunity of completing transactions as speedily as the arrangements will permit. He wants to provide that to the denoting stamp shall be affixed a further stamp declaring the value of the duty.

Viscount HELMSLEY

After the duty has been paid?

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The moment the denoting stamp is affixed, as far as we are concerned, the transaction is complete. The purchaser takes the deed and he need not worry any more about it. On the other hand, the Noble Lord says that the purchaser has not done with it. He has to come back after the duty has been fixed, and, though it is no concern of his, he has to find out at what amount it has been fixed. The Noble Lord, it seems to me, only wants to add an additional complication and difficulty to the complications which, in his judgment, are already too great.

Mr. CAVE

I admit that the particular place in which my hon. Friend has moved his Amendment is not the best place for it, but the object of the Amendment is perfectly clear. It is this: When the stamp duty is paid the purchaser shall have the right, if he pleases, to go to Somerset House and ask for a further stamp to be affixed. He can say: "Put on my deed a stamp showing the amount of duty paid. I shall then, for the purpose of future dealings, know what duty has been paid, and on the occasion of later transactions I shall know what further duty becomes due on the land." I hope we shall have some promise that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will consider the matter, and that he will say we shall get in some form or other the effect of the Amendment.

Mr. LANE-FOX

I think this is a point of substance which will have to be dealt with at some time in the Bill. I am quite willing to admit that to place these particular words in this place may not be the best course, but that is not our fault. Here is a point of substance, and I think it would be to the advantage of the Bill if the right hon. Gentleman met with consideration a point urged in all sincerity.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

I think we can meet the point which the Noble Lord desires to meet by moving an Amendment to the Amendment to leave out the word "shall" and insert "may if he so desire." It is perfectly clear that there can be no possible objection to allowing the purchaser to have the right to go to Somerset House and say, "It would be very useful for me in years to come to know what duty has been paid, so will you affix a definite stamp showing what actual duty has been paid. It will be my chance, so to speak, when I have to pay Increment Duty on another occasion." Surely the Chancellor will not object to that. I trust he will accept the insertion of "may if he so desire"["purchaser"("may if he so desire").] I move accordingly.

Amendment to proposed Amendment agreed to.

Captain PRETYMAN

I do not think the Chancellor would wish to refuse the Amendment now. It is obviously to the advantage of everybody concerned in these transactions that they should have the opportunity of knowing at a glance in the future exactly what Increment Value Duty has been paid in any transaction. If the purchaser has the option of getting this stamp put upon his deed, showing exactly what has been paid, and if he neglects the precaution and is put to future trouble, it would be his own fault to that extent. If he has this opportunity of having the stamp showing exactly what he has paid no financial question can arise afterwards. It seems to me enormously to improve the machinery of the Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer only objected

before on the ground that the words moved by my noble Friend would create further difficulties. My noble Friend entirely recognises that the Chancellor has already agreed that the Amendment as amended provides for the necessities of the case.

Viscount HELMSLEY

I do not think the word "purchaser" would quite do. The words "transferee or lessee" would be the words that would really meet the case. Personally, however, I think it should be mandatory upon the purchaser, because otherwise it will lead to great confusion.

Mr. WYNDHAM

What we are really discussing is whether the objection of my noble Friend ought to be embodied in the Bill or not. I venture to think the Government, on reflection, might accept the Amendment; in fact, I think they can hardly withhold their consent to the Amendment. Surely I need only remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he has met many of our arguments at previous stages of the Bill by saying that the whole essence of his plan consists in franking any property up to the amount of the increment accruing at a certain time. The purport of the Amendment is that the extent to which that property is franked should be patent and obvious to those whom it may concern. I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer can resist that in substance.

Question put, "That the words of the Amendment, as amended, be inserted in the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 62; Noes, 157.

Division No. 297.] AYES. [4.20 a.m.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Goulding, Edward Alfred Ronaldshay, Earl of
Baldwin, Stanley Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Haddock, George B. Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hamilton, Marquess of Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hunt, Rowland Stanier, Beville
Bowles, G. Stewart Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Starkey, John R.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lane-Fox, G. R. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Bull, Sir William James Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Carlile, E. Hildred Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Valentia, Viscount
Castlereagh, Viscount Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cave, George Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Morpeth, Viscount Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Clive, Percy Archer Morrison-Bell, Captain Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Newdegate, F. A. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry Oddy, John James Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Dalrymple, Viscount Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Younger, George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Pretyman, E. G.
Fell, Arthur Ratcliff, Major R. F. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Viscount
Forster, Henry William Remnant, James Farquharson Castlereagh and Mr. Joynson-Hicks.
Foster, P. S. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
NOES.
Acland, Francis Dyke Glover, Thomas Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Agnew, George William Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Rainy, A. Rolland
Ainsworth, John Stirling Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Armitage, R. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Astbury, John Weir Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Ridsdale, E. A.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Haworth, A. A. Robinson, S
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Barnard, E. B. Hedges, A. Paget Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Barnes, G. N. Helme, Norval Watson Rogers, F. E. Newman
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Hemmerde, Edward George Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Beale, W. P. Henry, Charles S. Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Higham, John Sharp Seddon, J.
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Hobart, Sir Robert Seely, Colonel
Bennett, E. N. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Berridge, T. H. D. Hodge, John Simon, John Allsebrook
Boulton, A. C. F. Horniman, Emslie John Stanger, H. Y.
Bowerman, C. W. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Brace, William Hudson, Walter Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Hyde, Clarendon G. Strachey, Sir Edward
Brooke, Stopford Idris, T. H. W. Straus, 3. S. (Mile End)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Illingworth, Percy H. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Bryce, J. Annan Jenkins, J. Summerbell, T.
Burke, E. Haviland- Johnson, John (Gateshead) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Jones, Leif (Appleby) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Thomasson, Franklin
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lehmann, R. C. Tomkinson, James
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Clough, William Levy, Sir Maurice Vivian, Henry
Clynes, J. R. Lewis, John Herbert Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Cooper, G. J. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Wardle, George J.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Lyell, Charles Henry Waring, Walter
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Cory, Sir Clifford John MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Crossley, William J. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Watt, Henry A.
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Maddison, Frederick White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Masterman, C. F. G. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Dickinson, W H. (St. Pancras, H.) Mond, A. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Montgomery, H. G. Wilkie, Alexander
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Morrell, Philip Williamson, A.
Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh) Nannetti, Joseph P. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Elibank, Master of O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Winfrey, R.
Essex, R. W. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Evans, Sir S. T. Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Fuller, John Michael F. Pirie, Duncan V. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Gibb, James (Harrow Pointer, J.
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

I beg to move as a new sub-section ["(c) or with a stamp denoting that upon the occasion in question no Increment Duty was payable"]. I simply want to point out that there are several occasions and conditions of affairs which are not provided for with regard to this stamp. For instance, there is no provision in the clause as it stands for any indication to be put upon the document showing that it has been found by the Commissioners that there has been no increment and therefore no duty. The provision does not provide for the case in which the increment value is less than 10 per cent. A further case not provided for is where there is no duty payable, because, although there is an increment, the duty has been already paid. The fourth case which is not provided for is that where there may be an increment or not it has not been necessary to go into the question because it is agricultural land at the time of the transfer. There is still another case. It may be found that there is no duty payable because the property in question is an urban property under £500 in value and actually in the occupation of the persons liable to duty. Now these are five distinct cases under which there may be no duty payable, and each of which is in a different category altogether, and for none of which is there any provision at all. It is for these reasons that I move this Amendment. And I would add a very strong recommendation that the Government should consider the adoption of this Amendment, and also make clear which of the five distinct categories it arises' upon, so that there may be no possible mistake about this very important matter. And as this will be a stamp which will have to be affixed to quite nineteen out of every twenty cases, there should be some distinct legislative enactment upon the subject.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I do not think that these words are at all necessary. I think they are covered by sub-section (b) and every one of the cases indicated by the hon. and learned Gentleman. The Government had been actually taunted with the number of Amendments they have accepted. Amendments which the Government might not have inserted, but which they thought perfectly harmless, and Amendments which the Government might have inserted, I have done my best to accept. I have gone out of my way to do so. But the hon. Member to-night has done his very best to make it difficult for me to accept this Amendment. He gave indication of four or five different Amendments which might be moved if we

accepted this one. If that is the spirit in which he has moved it——

Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD

As a matter of explanation, may I say I did not mean anything of the sort. I did not refer to further Amendments: I simply gave instances that were not covered.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

If the Amendment is put in that spirit, I am ready to accept it.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE rose in his place and claimed to move "That the Question ' That the words of the Clause to the end of section (5) stand part of the Clause' be now put."

Question put, "That the Question 'That the words of the Clause to the end of section (5) stand part of the Clause' be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 149; Noes, 61.

Division No. 298.] AYES. [4.35 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Evans, Sir Samuel T. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Agnew, George William Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Maddison, Frederick
Ainsworth, John Stirling Fuller, John Michael F. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Gibb, James (Harrow) Masterman, C. F. G.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Mond, A.
Armitage, R. Glover, Thomas Montgomery, H. G.
Astbury, John Meir Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Worrell, Philip
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Barnard, E. B. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Barnes, G. N. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.) Pirie, Duncan V.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Pointer, J.
Beale, W. P. Haworth, Arthur A. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Hedges, A. Paget Rainy, A. Rolland
Bennett, E. N. Helme, Norval Watson Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Berridge, T. H. D. Hemmerde, Edward George Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')
Boulton, A. C. F. Henry, Charles S. Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Bowerman, C. W. Higham, John Sharp Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton)
Brace, William Hobart, Sir Robert Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Robinson, S.
Brooke, Stopford Hodge, John Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) Rech, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Bryce, J. Annan Horniman, Emslie John Rogers, F. E. Newman
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Hudson, Walter Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Hutton, Alfred Eddison Seddon, J.
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Hyde, Clarendon G. Seely, Colonel
Clough, William Idris, T. H. W. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Clynes, J. R. Illingworth, Percy H. Simon, John Allsebrook
Cooper, G. J. Jenkins, J. Stanger, H. Y-
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Jones, Leif (Appleby) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Crossley, William J. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Strachey, Sir Edward
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Lehmann, R. C. Summerbell, T.
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Levy, Sir Maurice Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Lewis, John Herbert Thomasson, Franklin
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Elibank, Master of Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Essex, R. W. Macpherson, J. T. Tomkinson, James
Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander Watt, Henry A. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Vivian, Henry White, Sir George (Norfolk) Winfrey, R.
Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Wardle, George J. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Waring, Walter Whitley, John Henry (Halifax) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan) Wilkie, Alexander
Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
NOES.
Baldwin, Stanley Haddock, George B. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Beach, Hon. Hichael Hugh Hicks Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Helmsley, Viscount Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hunt, Rowland Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bowles, G. Stewart Joynson-Hicks, William Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Stanier, Beville
Bull, Sir William James Lane-Fox, G. R. Starkey, John R.
Carlile, E. Hildred Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Castlereagh, Viscount Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cave, George Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Morpeth, Viscount Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Clive, Percy Archer Morrison-Bell, Captain Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Newdegate, F. A. N. Wortley, Rt Hon. C. B Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry Oddy, John James Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Dalrymple, Viscount Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Younger, George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Pretyman, E. G.
Fell, Arthur Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S.W.) Remnant, James Farquharson TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount
Goulding, Edward Alfred Ridsdale, E. A. Valentia and Mr. H. W. Forster
Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

Question, "That the words proposed be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

Question put, "That the words of the clause down to the end of section (5) stand part of the clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 152; Noes, 60.

Division No, 299.] AYES. [4.45 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Agnew, George William Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Levy, Sir Maurice
Ainsworth, John Stirling Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh) Lewis, John Herbert
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Elibank, Master of Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Armitage, R. Essex, R. W. Macpherson, J. T.
Astbury, John Meir Evans, Sir Samuel T. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Maddison, Frederick
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Fuller, John Michael F. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Gibb, James (Harrow) Masterman, C. F. G.
Barnard, E. B. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Mond, A.
Barnes, G. N, Glover, Thomas Montgomery, H. G.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Morrell, Philip
Beale, W. P. Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Nannetti, Joseph P.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Bennett, E. N. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Berridge, T. H. D. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Boulton, A. C. F. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Pirie, Duncan V.
Bowerman, C. W. Haworth, Arthur A. Pointer, J.
Brace, William Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Hedges, A. Paget Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Brooke, Stopford Helme, Norval Watson Rainy, A. Rolland
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Hemmerde, Edward George Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Bryce, J. Annan Henry, Charles S. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')
Burke, E. Naviland- Higham, John Sharp Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Hobart, Sir Robert Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Ridsdale, E. A.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Hodge, John Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Horniman, Emslie John Robinson, S.
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hudson, Walter Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Clough, William Hyde, Clarendon G. Rogers, F. E. Newman
Clynes, J. R. Idris, T. H. W. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Cooper, G. J. Illingworth, Percy H. Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Jenkins, J. Seddon, J.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Johnson, John (Gateshead) Seely, Colonel
Crossley, William J. Jones, Leif (Appleby) Silcock, Thomas Ball
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Simon, John Allsebrook
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Stanger, H. Y.
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Lehmann, R. C. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Strachey, Sir Edward Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Vivian, Henry Wilkie, Alexander
Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Summerbell, T. Wardle, George J. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Taylor, John W. (Durham) Waring, Walter Winfrey, R.
Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Thomasson, Franklin Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.) White, Sir George (Norfolk) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Tomkinson, James White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
NOES.
Baldwin, Stanley Haddock, George B. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Helmsley, Viscount Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hunt, Rowland Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bowles, G. Stewart Joynson-Hicks, William Stanier, Beville
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Starkey, John R.
Bull, Sir William James Lane-Fox, G. R. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Carlile, E. Hildred Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Castlereagh, Viscount Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cave, George Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r) Morpeth, Viscount Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Clive, Percy Archer Morrison-Bell, Captain Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Newdegate, F. A. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Craik, Sir Henry Oddy, John James Younger, George
Dalrymple, Viscount Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Pretyman, E. G.
Fell, Arthur Ratcliff, Major R. F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount
Foster, P. S. Remnant, James Farquharson Valentia and Mr. H. W. Forster.
Goulding, Edward Alfred Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Ronaldshay, Earl of
Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I have now to move an Amendment which I promised, I think, to the hon. Member for Durham, the hon. Member for Brighton, and the hon. Member for one of the divisions of Warwickshire. It is to safeguard cases where the Increment Duty is calculated on the basis of a lease which eventually fails. The Amendment is as follows: After "and allow payment by instalments in accordance with those regulations," to insert the words: "The regulations shall provide that where the duty due on the grant of a lease is payable by instalments, and the lease is determined before all such instalments have fallen due, the instalments which have not fallen due shall be remitted, and that in that case the amount of duty which under this section is deemed to have been paid, shall be reduced by the amount of the instalments so remitted."

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I will only make one observation on this Amendment. I made a temporately worded appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer some time back to allow us to go home to bed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, while refusing in so many words to interrupt the course of the Debate, proceeded to insinuate that there had been obstruction from this side. He justified that charge on the ground that my hon. Friends on this side of the House had handed in a great number of manuscript Amendments I do not think any individual Member of the Committee has handed in quite so many manuscript Amendments as the Government have done. I am grateful to the hon. Member (Mr. Masterman) for the courtesy he displayed in passing this Amendment across the Table for our inspection, but I think if in their future conduct of the Bill the Government could manage to put down on the Paper the Amendments they intend to move, they would greatly simplify our procedure. I think I am right in saying that up to the present time, of all the Amendments moved by the Government, and some of them have been of a most complicated character, only one has been put down on the Paper.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I do not think it is possible for the Government when it is making concessions to put all the Amendments down on the Paper. In the vast majority of cases, in fact, it is almost impossible. I should have thought it would not have been to the interests of the Opposition to insist that the Government should always put down their Amendments, because that would be an excuse for the Government not making concessions. The majority of the Amendments are moved in response to criticisms made in the course of debate, and therefore it is impossible to put them down.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

I do not want my criticism to be thought unreasonable. I quite admit that there must be occasions on which it is impossible to put down the Amendments on the Paper. But we have had striking instances of long and complicated Amendments being moved in manuscript form, and we all remember the great difficulty we got into on Monday night through not having an Amendment on the paper. As the Government find it necessary to hand in these manuscript Amendments themselves, it really comes with rather ill grace from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to complain of our action in that respect.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

I desire to move an Amendment which is on the Paper. It is to insert after section (5) the following new sub-section:"(6) In any case where Increment Duty shall have been paid under the provisions of sections (2) and (3) of this section of the Act, but the transaction in respect of which the duty shall have been paid was subsequently not carried into execution, the duty shall be returned to the transferor or lessor on his making application to the Commissioners in accordance with regulations to be made by them under the provisions of section (5) thereof. "I should like to know whether it is not pos-

sible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accept this Amendment forthwith. It is a perfectly reasonable proposal taken from the report of a Committee of the Law Society, which has given consideration to the Bill. That Committee has come to the conclusion absolutely unanimously that it is in the interests of justice that some such Amendment should be made.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I accept the substance of the Amendment, but there are one or two other Amendments of the same character which are framed in a rather different way, and I should like to defer any question of verbal alteration or drafting for further consideration. But subject to that, I am prepared to accept the Amendment.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I beg to move "That the Question 'That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill' be now put."

Question put, "That the Question 'That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill' be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 149; Noes, 60.

Division No. 300.] AYES. [5.2 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Agnew, George William Crossley, William J. Hudson, Walter
Ainsworth, John Stirling Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hyde, Clarendon G.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Idris, T. H. W.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Illingworth, Percy H.
Armitage, R. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Jenkins, J.
Astbury, John Meir Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Elibank, Master of King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Barnard, E. B. Essex, R. W. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Barnes, G. N. Evans, Sir S. T. Lehmann, R. C.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Beale, W. p. Fuller, John Michael F. Levy, Sir Maurice
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Gibb, James (Harrow) Lewis, John Herbert
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Bennett, E. N. Glover, Thomas Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Berridge, T. H. D. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Macpherson, J. T.
Boulton, A. C. F. Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Bowerman, C. W. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Maddison, Frederick
Brace, William Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Masterman, C. F. G.
Brooke, Stopford Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Mond, A.
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Montgomery, H. G.
Burke, E. Haviland- Haworth, Arthur A. Morrell, Philip
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Nannetti, Joseph P.
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Hedges, A. Paget Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Helme, Norval Watson Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hemmerde, Edward George Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Henry, Charles S. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Higham, John Sharp Pirie, Duncan V.
Clough, William Hobart, Sir Robert Pointer J.
Clynes, J. R. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Cooper, G. J. Hodge, John Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Horniman, Emslie John Rainy, A. Rolland
Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Strachey, Sir Edward Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Straus, B. S. (Mile End) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Summerbell, T, White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Robinson, S. Taylor, John W. (Durham) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wilkie, Alexander
Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomasson, Franklin Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) Winfrey, R.
Seddon, J. Tomkinson, James Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Seely, Colonel Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Silcock, Thomas Ball Vivian, Henry
Simon, John Allsebrook Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Stanger, H. Y. Wardle, George J.
Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire) Waring, Walter
NOES.
Baldwin, Stanley Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Haddock, George B. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Helmsley, Viscount Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bowles, G. Stewart Hunt, Rowland Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Joynson-Hicks, William Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bull, Sir William James Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Stanier, Beville
Carlile, E. Mildred Lane-Fox, G. R. Starkey, John R.
Castlereagh, Viscount Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire).
Cave, George Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Clive, Percy Archer Morpeth, Viscount Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Morrison-Bell, Captain Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Craik, Sir Henry Newdegate, F. A. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Dalrymple, Viscount Oddy, John James Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Younger, George
Fell, Arthur Pretyman, E. G.
Foster, P. S. Ratcliff, Major R. F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount
Goulding, Edward Alfred Remnant, James Farquharson Valentia and Mr. H. W. Forster.

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put and agreed to.

Question put accordingly, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 150; Noes, 60.

Division No. 301.] AYES. [5.8 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Hodge, John
Agnew, George William Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Horniman, Emslie John
Ainsworth, John Stirling Crossley, William J. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hudson, Walter
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hyde, Clarendon
Armitage, R. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Idris, T. H. W.
Astbury, John Meir Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Illingworth, Percy H.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Jenkins, J.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Jones, Leif (Appieby)
Barnard, E. B. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Barnes, G. N. Elibank, Master of King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Essex, R. W. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Beale, W. P. Evans, Sir S. T. Lehmann, R. C.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Fuller, John Michael F. Levy, Sir Maurice
Bennett, E. N. Gibb, James (Harrow) Lewis, John Herbert
Berridge, T. H. D. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Boulton, A. C F. Glover, Thomas Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Bowerman, C. W. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Macpherson, J, T.
Brace, William Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Maddison, Frederick
Brooke, Stopford Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Masterman, C. F. G.
Bryce, J. Annan Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Mond, A.
Burke, E. Haviland- Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Montgomery, H. G.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Haworth, Arthur A. Morrell, Philip
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Nannetti, Joseph P.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Hedges, A. Paget Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Helme, Norval Watson Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Hemmerde, Edward George Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Henry, Charles S. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Clough, William Higham, John Sharp Pirie, Duncan V.
Clynes, J. R. Hobart, Sir Robert Pointer, J.
Cooper, G. J. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Stanger, H. Y. Wardle, George J.
Rainy, A. Rolland Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire) Waring, Walter
Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Strachey, Sir Edward Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth) Straus, B. S. (Mile End) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Summerbell, T. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Robinson, S. Taylor, John W. (Durham) Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wilkie, Alexander
Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomasson, Franklin Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) Winfrey, R
Seddon, J. Tomkinson, James Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Seely, Colonel Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Silcock, Thomas Ball Vivian, Henry TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Simon, John Allsebrook Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
NOES.
Baldwin, Stanley Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Haddock, George B. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hamilton, Marquess of Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Helmsley, Viscount Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bowles, G. Stewart Hunt, Rowland Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Joynson-Hicks, William Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bull, Sir William James Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Stanier, Beville
Carlile, E. Hildred Lane-Fox, G. R. Starkey, John R.
Castlereagh, Viscount Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Cave, George Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Clive, Percy Archer Morpeth, Viscount Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Morrison-Bell, Captain Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Craik, Sir Henry Newdegate, F. A. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Dalrymple, Viscount Oddy, John James Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Younger, George
Fell, Arthur Pretyman, E. G.
Foster, Philip S. Ratcliff, Major R. F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount
Goulding, Edward Alfred Remnant, James Farquharson Valentia and Mr. H. W. Forster.
Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

I move "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

On a point of order. I submit that there have been already two Motions to report Progress, and that as the House has already decided the question, the hon. Member is not competent to move this Motion.

The CHAIRMAN

At about half-past three, or thereabouts, we had a similar motion, and I do not see why such a motion should not now be made.

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

If I wanted to find any reasons for reporting Progress I could not find any better than those the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given on previous occasions. I have been making a somewhat extensive inquiry into his past history, and I find that on the Education Bill the right hon. Gentleman found no less than 33 distinct reasons for reporting Progress. One of these reasons was that some progress had been made, and that therefore the Chairman ought to report Progress. Another reason was that no progress had been made, and that therefore he should report Progress. To-night we have made very considerable progress. We have discussed without obstruction. We have moved a number of Amendments, every one of which was of substance. We have been improving his Bill and making his Bill to a certain extent more reasonable than when it was begun. It is quite true that a little time ago, when we moved to report Progress, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was very angry with us He said he must get the Bill through before Christmas. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] If hon. Members are not inclined to sit here and do the business of the country, we on this side of the House are prepared to sit and proceed as long as you like. I am not moving to report Progress because we are tired but because it is impossible for the business of the country to be properly carried on at this time. The next two clauses of the Bill are highly important. There are Amendments of substance to both. How is it possible to consider them? It is wrong that Amendments of substance should be closured simply because the Government want to force through their Bill. They have chosen to adopt this course. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that it was a Finance Bill and that it must be carried through before Christ- mas. It is nothing of the kind. These land clauses are not financial clauses at all, and it would not matter to the country if the whole of the land clauses were swept away from the Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer wants to carry it for a different reason. I do not believe that there are more than five or six whole-hearted supporters of these land clauses, and they are all below the Gangway. I beg pardon, I had forgotten the Lord Advocate. He really knows what he means.

Mr. LEIF JONES

Has the opinion of the Lord Advocate anything to do with the question whether we shall report Progress?

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS

I do not think I can take notice of that. [An HON. MEMBER: "It was not put to you."] I am moving to report Progress in order that the Committee may properly discuss this question, and in order that the country may know what is being done. It is quite possible if we discuss these Clauses 5 and 6 another concession will be made for bye-election purposes. We do not want any bye-election concessions rushed through. It is for that reason I do not want to give the right hon. Gentleman the chance of going on with this Bill in order that he may make ill-considered decisions. For these reasons I move that you do now report Progress and ask leave to sit again.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I suggest that we postpone reporting Progress until we get real Progress to report. We have been reporting Progress night after night when no real progress has been made. We have been discussing the Increment Duty very nearly a month, and I really think that in the interests and the efficiency of the House of Commons we ought to get rid of that Duty and get on to the next point. Of the two next clauses, the first one is purely a concession. There are only two or three Amendments put down, It is only a technical point which is raised —a very narrow legal point, and the second is a very small part of the machinery. I ask that we shall now deal with these clauses, so that on Monday we can get on with the Reversion Duty.

Mr. WYNDHAM

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has invited us to withdraw this Motion on the ground that in the next clause there is not a subject-matter which need engage our earnest attention, or excite the House of Commons. Well, with all respect to the right hon. Gentleman, we must point out that it is not for him to judge of these questions. I would, with the greatest respect——

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

I am not judging at all. I am judging by the views of the Opposition as expressed in the Amendments on the Paper.

Mr. WYNDHAM

I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that at an earlier stage of our proceedings this morning, the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself took a more sanguine view than subsequent events justified. He made a motion to take a considerable number of lines in the Bill, but that motion was not put from the chair because you, Mr. Chairman, stated that you had not been able to give all the attention required to those Amendments. How could hon. Members give attention to Amendments coming far later down the Paper. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had to concede to us a far longer amount of time. Since then he has taken the remainder of the Clause, and under these circumstances he asks us at 5.30 in the morning to address our attention to an entirely new matter. That is not a reasonable request. The right hon. Gentleman made no appeal on the ground of the fatigue felt. It has been usual to make an appeal on behalf of the servants of the House; but no such appeal was made, nor in regard to the dignity of this House. We cannot at this hour bring a clear mind to a perfectly new matter.

Mr. PRETYMAN

This is entirely a new procedure in regard to the discussions we have so far had upon this Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has on previous occasions, after we have discussed a clause for some considerable time, moved to carry the Bill on to a certain point where there were no Amendments of any real weight or importance, and after that point Progress has been reported. I would remind the Committee that up to a comparatively short time ago we were occupied in an important discussion on the first half of the clause, and that practically the whole of the latter half was carried by the Closure, apparently without discussion. Hon. Members who have important Amendments down on Clause 5 and Clause 6 had no possible reason to anticipate this sudden departure from precedent.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE

The precedents are much more drastic than this.

Mr. PRETYMAN

I do not think so, taking all the circumstances into account. This is an entirely novel procedure so far as our discussions have hitherto gone. Is there an hon. Member on the other side of the House who will tell the Committee that two hours ago he had the slightest intention of proceeding with these two clauses?

Several HON. MEMBERS

Yes.

Mr. PRETYMAN

Hon. Members say that merely because the majority think that they can get Clauses 5 and 6 after sitting up till five o'clock in the morning. That is an abuse of our procedure. For instance, there is an important Amendment in the name of the hon. Baronet who represents Oxford University (Sir Wm. Anson), providing that no duty shall be levied upon the property of universities, which has been, with the consent of the Government, postponed till Clause 6 by the Chair.

The CHAIRMAN

That is a mistake. I do not think it is in order.

Mr. PRETYMAN

That is only one Amendment. There are many other important Amendments. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says we have made no progress. We have made more progress to-day with this Bill than on any previous occasion. A whole clause of an important character has been discussed, and even after the discussion it has had it is leaving the Committee in an unsatisfactory condition. There are great difficulties in machinery which the Committee has not yet cleared up, and which will require to be cleared up in report. Now we are to embark at five o'clock in the morning on the discussion of two more points of machinery. Practically the whole weight of this discussion does not fall on hon. Gentlemen who come here to walk round the Lobbies, and are anxious to see progress made with the Bill, nor even in the majority of the minority on this side of the House, but upon a few Members of the House who, through their professional knowledge, happen to have a special acquaintance with the machinery by which this Bill is to be worked. For the past 12 hours those hon. Members have been devoting their time and thought to discussing the machinery proposed in these three clauses in a fair and reasonable manner, and I say it is absolutely unfair and unreasonable on the part of the Committee to demand that they should continue for an unnumbered number of hours to discuss that machinery. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will lose nothing if he allows these clauses to be discussed at a reasonable hour. In the name of good business and the credit of this House, I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to allow Progress to be reported. We have had no desire at any stage, nor have we had any occasion to obstruct, because there is ample matter for discussion in the Bill. It is the duty of the Opposition, just as much as it is the duty of the Government, to see that the Bill leaves the House in a condition which will inflict as little injury as possible. The responsibility rests upon us, and in exercise of that responsibility we make the demand that this Debate shall now cease.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put"; but the Chairman withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question. Debate resumed.

Mr. HICKS BEACH

Hon. Members opposite are very anxious to close the discussion, but I rise to put one point, which is that the right hon. Gentleman himself gave us a most excellent reason why the Motion should be accepted. He told us we had been spending a good portion of the last twelve hours discussing machinery clauses, and that we were now coming on to the third clause, which is highly technical. Does the right hon. Gentleman, and do hon. Members opposite, really think that twenty to six in the morning is the right time to start a discussion on a highly technical clause? [Interruption.] I dare say hon. Members below the Gangway think it is, because they have no desire at all to discuss the clause. It makes no difference to them how the duty is levied, and whether fairly or not. To those Gentlemen who are proficient in the technical knowledge which the Bill entails, and whose experience and skill is really necessary to the proper discussing of this Bill, it is not fair to tax their brains still further after fifteen hours' discussion. I can only imagine that the Government are anxious to get these clauses, because on the Amendment Paper there are Amendments down to omit them in the names of hon. Members who sit on that side of the House. I imagine the Government are so afraid of meeting the arguments of their own supporters on the merits of the clauses that they prefer to have it discussed at a time when those Members have gone to bed.

Mr. MORRELL rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put"; but the Chairman withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question. Debate resumed.

Mr. ERNEST LAMB

As I understand that a Motion for the closure was moved at an earlier period but was not accepted, I rise to appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to persist in making progress with this Bill, so that we may try to do good and at any rate stop the fooling of the party opposite.

Viscount HELMSLEY

On a point of order, Mr. Emmott, is that a proper expression to be made use of in this Committee?

The CHAIRMAN

I do not think expressions of that kind ought to be used. If they are not actually offensive, they border upon the offensive, and they should not be used.

Mr. ERNEST LAMB

In deference to your ruling, Mr. Emmott, I will, of course, withdraw the word "fooling," though I have heard it used from the Opposition Benches in the present Parliament. I will substitute for it the words "arrant humbug." I should like to add that in addition to "arrant humbug" we have had——[Interruption.]

The CHAIRMAN

I hope the Committee will allow the hon. Member to speak.

Mr. ERNEST LAMB

I will only add to what I have said, and the majority of the Committee, I am sure, will be with me, that we have had to listen to a good deal that has been impertinent. I use the word not in its offensive sense; what I mean is that we have had to listen to a good deal that is impertinent to the Debate. We have had a lot of time wasted by these Motions to report Progress, and that is why I have risen to say that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer decides to go on, we private Members on the Ministerial side are prepared to support him.

Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN

None of us doubt that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer cared to ask a majority of the Committee to continue to sit, the majority would be prepared to sit as long as he desired them to do. I did not need the interposition of the hon. Member who has just spoken to teach us that; but his interposition has served one useful purpose. It will have shown the Chancellor of the Exchequer the kind of temper which is evoked by the strain which he is putting on the Committee, and how unfitted hon. Members are to continue the discussion at this time of the morning.

Mr. LANE-FOX

The hon. Member for Rochester (Mr. Lamb), who has just taken part in the Debate for the first time, is prepared to go on discussing the Bill for an unlimited time. I should like to know what intelligent part he has taken in the Debate.

Mr. ERNEST LAMB

I can claim as one of the private Members on this side of the House to have stayed in the House throughout this sitting. I have done my best to secure that progress should be made with the Bill, and have not obstructed the business of the Committee.

Mr. LANE-FOX

We have been deliberately accused of obstruction, but I maintain that our discussions have been most business-like in character and entirely to the point. We have been doing our best to improve the Government's Bill, and I do not think we ought to be subjected to continual interruptions from hon. Members who have not been attending to the Debate. A great many Ministers of the Crown have not been here at all during the course of the discussion.

Mr. HAVILAND-BURKE

On a point of order. I protest against Members of this Committee, who have been here since three o'clock yesterday afternoon, being told that they had not been attending to the Debate.

Mr. LANE-FOX

What I have to say is that we have been here for fourteen hours and it is impossible at this time of the day to deal properly with the important issues which are before us. I am perfectly entitled to say that the hon. Gentlemen who have made this charge of obstruction against us have not been in a position to give their opinion on the matter. There are certain hon. Members who have been here throughout the discussion. The Chancellor of the Exchequer himself has been here, and everybody in this House will respect the very great courtesy with which, under difficult circumstances, the Chancellor has carried out his duties. If the Chancellor has been betrayed into saying that in his opinion some of the discussion has gone rather more into detail than it ought to have done, he himself will be prepared to admit that there has been nothing in the shape of the polished, finished and elaborate obstruction of which he was such a past master, and which, in the future, we may find he has not forgotten. Nothing of the sort has occurred since the beginning of the sitting. There is a great deal which could be said in favour of this Motion for Progress, and hon. Members around me are not going to sit down under this

charge of obstruction as a justification for the proceedings of this House being continued to this hour.

Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE moved, "That the Question be now put."

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 144, Noes, 60.

Division No. 302.]. AYES. [5.55 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Rainy, A. Rolland
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Armitage, R. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Astbury, John Meir Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Haworth, Arthur A. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Barnard, E. B. Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Robinson, S.
Barnes, G. N. Hedges, A. Paget Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Helme, Norval Watson Rogers, F. E. Newman
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Hemmerde, Edward George Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Henry, Charles S. Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.
Bennett, E. N. Higham, John Sharp Seddon, J.
Berridge, T. H. D. Hobart, Sir Robert Seely, Colonel
Boulton, A. C. F. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Bowerman, C W, Hodge, John Simon, John Allsebrook
Brace, William Horniman, Emslie John Stanger, H. Y.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Howard, Hon. John Geoffrey Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Brooke, Stopford Hudson, Walter Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Hyde, Clarendon G. Strachey, Sir Edward
Bryce, J. Annan Idris, T. H. W. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Illingworth, Percy H. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Jenkins J Summerbell, T.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Johnson, John (Gateshead) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Jones, Leif (Appleby) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Thomasson, Franklin
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Clough, William Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Clynes, J. R. Lehmann, R. C. Tomkinson, James
Cooper, G. J. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Levy, Sir Maurice Vivian, Henry
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Lewis, John Herbert Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Davies, Timothy (Fuiham) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Wardle, George J.
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Waring, Walter
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Macpherson, J T. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Duncan C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Maddison, Frederick White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh) Masterman, C. F. G. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Mond, A. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Elibank, Master of Montgomery, H. G. Wilkie, Alexander
Essex, R. W. Morrel, Philp Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Evans, Sir S. T. Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Winfrey, R.
Fuller, John Michael F. Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Gibb, James (Harrow) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Pirie, Duncan V. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Glover, Thomas Pointer, J.
NOES.
Baldwin, Stanley Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Lambton, Hon. Frederick William
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Craik, Sir Henry Lane-Fox, G. R.
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Dalrymple, Viscount Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Fell, Arthur Marks, H. H. (Kent)
Bowles, G. Stewart Foster, P. S. Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Goulding, Edward Alfred Morpeth, Viscount
Bull, Sir William James Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Morrison-Bell, Captain
Carlile, E. Hildred Haddock, George B. Newdegate, F. A.
Castlereagh, Viscount Hamilton, Marquess of Oddy, John James
Cave, George Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)