HC Deb 30 June 1909 vol 7 cc405-68

Increment Value Duty.

CLAUSE 1.—(1) Subject to the provisions

of this part of this Act, there shall be charged, levied and paid on the increment value of any land a duty, called Increment Value Duty, at the rate of one pound for every full five pounds of that value, and the duty or a proportionate part thereof shall become due—

  1. (a) on the occasion of any transfer on sale of the land or any interest in the land, or the grant of any lease (not 406 being a lease for a term of years less than seven years) of the land; and
  2. (b) on the occasion of the death of any person dying after the commencement of this Act, where the land or any interest in the land is comprised in the property passing on the death of the deceased within the meaning of sections one and two of the Finance Act, 1894, as amended by any subsequent enactment; and
  3. (c) where the land or any interest in the land is held by any body corporate or by any body unincorporate is defined by section 12 of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1885, on such periodical occasions as are provided in this Act;
and on each of those occasions the duty, or proportionate part of the duty, due, so far as it has not been paid on any previous occasion, shall be collected in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Mr. ABEL SMITH moved to leave out the Clause.

In moving the rejection of this clause I am perfectly prepared to admit that a very large amount of time has been taken up with the discussion of it during the last few days. I venture to say that the time devoted to that discussion has not been out of proportion to the importance of the provisions contained in the clause. By Clause 1, on various occasions enumerated in the three sub-sections, Increment Value Duty is to be imposed upon all land. I should like in the first place to say that I recognise, if we are to have a tax of this kind at all, that the transfer by sale is the only occasion on which this tax can fairly be levied. For this reason, because it is the only occasion when the real value of land is realised. The value is then converted into cash, and the cash is in hand in order to meet the demands of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I very much regret that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not seen his way to listen to some of the arguments put forward against the other two occasions, namely, the transfer of the lease, or the transfer on the occasion of death. With regard to the words "or any interest in the land," I think these words need a far better definition than at present given in the Bill. I think it is most unfair and most unsatisfactory that on the occasion of the transfer, or of any small interest, or on the parting with an interest for which no real value or consideration is received, that this tax should be levied. I am quite aware that the question of valuation does not directly arise on this clause, and I have no intention of discussing the merits of the system proposed by the Bill, or, rather, of the want of system suggested in this measure. But I do not think that we can altogether leave out of account that this tax is to be levied upon an entirely new principle. The Government propose to depart from the system which is well established and well understood in this country of valuation on annual value and to go to a new principle of theoretic capital value. I object most strongly to this departure from the good old principle well understood in this country of valuation on the gross rental, either the rental actually received or that which it is estimated might be received from the land if let. I do contend that it is not right that this duty should be levied except when the capital value is clearly ascertained on the occasion of sale; and I also contend that directly you leave the present system of valuation you are entering on a system of nebulous theory and uncertainty in connection with which injustice and inequality are bound to arise on a great many occasions.

One of the most important points that arose in the discussion on the Amendments of this clause was as to what class of land was to be included in this new-fangled tax. As we understand the clauses as regards land, this Increment Value Duty is to be charged upon all land. One of the most interesting discussions we had was on the question whether agricultural land was to be included in the machinery necessary to bring this tax into law. As far as I understand, and notwithstanding some statements I have heard to the contrary, unless the Bill is amended agricultural land will be included in the machinery necessary to bring this tax into force. I am sure we all agree that the owners of agricultural land are perfectly prepared to pay their fair share for the national services for which this money is required. All parties have also agreed for many years that agricultural land as such, used for purely agricultural purposes, is greatly overtaxed at the present time. That view has been confirmed by one of the most exhaustive inquiries by Royal Commission that has ever taken place. That Royal Commission recommended that many services which were really national in their character ought to be lifted off the local authorities, who have to raise the funds from local taxation, and transferred to the National Exchequer. Since that Report was issued the expenditure upon many of these services has greatly increased. I only need mention the expenditure on roads, which have greatly increased, partly owing to the excellent condition in which they are maintained, and more especially, in the past few years, owing to the great increase in motor traffic. The cost of education has thrown a very much larger expenditure on local taxation; the cost of lunatics, the relief of the poor, and many other services have greatly increased.

It is quite true that at the eleventh hour the Chancellor has agreed that part of that money, at any rate, should go to the relief of local taxation, but I think I am justified in saying that there is no real relief given to local taxation under this Bill, even if the plan of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is carried out, because there will be no relief given to those who pay the rates upon land, at the expense of those whose property is of a personal character. That is the relief which has always been asked for, and it is a claim the justice of which has been admitted by men of all parties. Therefore I say it is a very bad time indeed, and it is quite an unjustifiable thing, in the present circumstances, to put a new burden upon the agricultural land of this country. As we all know, the agricultural interest has been suffering from a long and severe depression there has been an immense fall, amounting to many millions, in the capital value of agricultural land in the past 30 years, and this is the worst time possible, in my opinion, for imposing what will be a crushing burden upon an industry which is just beginning to get upon its legs again. I am perfectly certain that it is a fact that nobody can contradict that many owners of large and small estates have no margin whatever out of which this duty can be met. I am glad to have the principle acknowledged by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his opening speech on the Budget with regard to the attitude of the owners of agricultural land in this country. He paid them a very handsome compliment, and he said he quite realised that the financial position of owners of agricultural land was very different indeed from the position of the owners of urban land in this country, and he said he knew—and his knowledge was confirmed by figures which had been laid before him—that a very large portion of the income received as rent from agri- cultural land in this country is spent by the land-owners upon the upkeep of their estates.

I can assure the Committee of this, which I know of my own knowledge, that there are many owners of agricultural land in this country who have long desired to spend money upon their estates, but have been unable to do so owing to the great reduction of their incomes in the past few years. They are now, some of them, able to spend a little more money upon their estates owing to the slightly increased income they are deriving, and they are most desirous, as a class, of putting their estates in proper order and making up for lost time, and for what could not be done in time of severe depression through which they have passed. There is another point, and that is that new and heavy burdens are continually being laid by the legislation passed by Parliament upon the owners of land. We hear a great deal now in connection with the milk supply of the country. That is the point which perhaps may not be thought to be closely connected with this question, but the sanitary conditions insisted upon, and rightly insisted upon, by the sanitary authorities of this country, in connection with places where milk for public consumption is dealt with, have imposed a very heavy burden upon those who have to provide the necessary buildings. I do not complain of that at all. I think it is perfectly right, and I have taken some part myself in enforcing these regulations, but the point now is that these regulations—made in the interest of the public for the purpose of securing a proper milk supply—impose a heavy additional charge upon the owners of agricultural land.

In my opinion the only satisfactory way to deal with this matter is in some future Amendment to the Bill clearly exempting all agricultural land from this Increment Value Duty, and not imposing upon the owners the additional burden of making a new valuation, unless the land which is to be the subject of valuation has a real value not due to its ordinary agricultural value. It would be most unfair that the owner of land should be put to the great expense and trouble of valuing land which it is absolutely impossible could have any increment value not due to some change in the agricultural position of the country. It would be ridiculous to insist upon the valuation of poor heavy mountain land in the eastern counties which is only let at very low rents for agricultural purposes. I do hope that the right hon. Gentleman, when he replies, will give most careful attention to these points. If agricultural land is exempted from Increment Duty and from the necessity of a long and expensive system of valuation, I think the right hon. Gentleman would do a good deal to modify the attitude of many Members of the House towards this part of the Bill. But, as I have already said, I object to the principle upon which this tax is to be levied. If we are to have it, it should only be levied upon occasions when increment could be clearly ascertained and upon land that has real value for building or for some other purpose after its primary use, namely, the production of food and raw material had fallen away. I beg to move the rejection of the clause.


I desire to support the Motion of my hon. Friend, not because I have much hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is likely to accept it, but because it affords us an opportunity of marshalling our objections to this tax, and the methods and occasions upon which it is to be levied. My main objection to this clause is that we are having introduced an entirely new principle in the taxation of this country. We are having a single class of property chosen which is already very heavily taxed, which bears the whole burden of local rates, and it is extremely unfair to choose that class of property under the circumstances in which it is now placed. We are dealing with proposals which entirely revolutionise the system upon which our present taxation is based, and which violate the cardinal principles which we have always understood regulate taxation. The proposals of this clause fail because they do not clearly define the liability of the taxpayer, and the clause does not set out the places in which the tax is to be levied. It is proposed to charge on something not realised, and which may never be realised, and it also denies that free access to the courts which has been the privilege and inalienable right of every taxpayer in this country. But, beyond all that, the House is asked to agree to a clause which proposes to levy a tax upon a most hypothetical and speculative basis, and it is proposed to tax what we have heard called nothing less than an abstraction.

The valuation should have preceded the imposition of this tax. I know I cannot go into that question now, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I think the Attorney-General, in the course of the Debate, twitted those who took part in opposition to the Scotch Land Values Bill with having changed their attitude. We were charged with objecting to the Scotch Bill because it suggested a valuation before the tax was imposed, and now we are accused of objecting to this tax being imposed without the valuation. I deny that there was the slightest inconsistency in our attitude. We were asked to impose upon Scotland an enormously heavy burden in the way of valuing every site of every sort and kind in the country; and we were not told, and were refused any information, as to what the Government intended to do with that valuation when they got it. We had staring us in the face all the time the propaganda of the Lord Advocate and his Site Values Taxation Committee, and the country had been told that this valuation was going to be used for putting the whole of our local taxation upon that basis. We asked for some information as to the use the Government were going to make of that valuation. We had not at that time had the declaration of the Lord Chancellor that the Lord Advocate's policy was both dishonest and nonsensical. We had not then the comfort of knowing that even the present Government were not willing to follow the Lord Advocate into the mazes of difficulties which he has been endeavouring to deal with. I do not think anything discredits the policy of the right hon. Gentleman more than the present Bill. That policy has been pretty well discredited for a long time, but a coping-stone has been put on by this Bill, which is so totally different that it may be taken to be the final quietus of that extreme and nonsensical proposal.

When we have discussed this abstraction which we are asked to tax, the right hon. Gentleman and the Attorney-General have referred us over and over again to New Zealand and Frankfort, but there is no parallel between the two. In New Zealand undeveloped land is a common marketable commodity which is bought and sold every week of the year. There is no difficulty there in ascertaining its value, nor is there any difficulty in divorcing from the value of the land improvements such as fences and so forth, because the original price is known, and therefore it is easy to estimate what has been put upon it in the way of permanent improvements. In Frankfort we have been told that the valuation system is wholly different to the system which is now being imposed; that the total values are different, and that transfer and sale is a very different matter from this abstraction, which we are asked to value both originally and when the tax is charged on the transfer or on sale. In Frankfort, where this tax is in operation, the valuations are made in zones, and there is no very great difficulty in regard to valuations made in that way. We may have a large proprietor who owns the whole of the land outside some suburban or urban area, and we could value that by zones fairly easily. In such a case the owner would not experience that difficulty which presents itself in this Bill, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes here not that the owner shall value the land in zones, but that every unfortunate individual who owns a mere fraction of a part of a zone will have to make his own valuation. How is it possible for him to do that? It is perfectly impossible, and the only way in which it can be ascertained is by having the valuation carried out by some competent authority.

Another point which strikes me forcibly in conection with the danger of this proposal is that it affords a very dangerous facility for increasing the tax. I think the tax is too heavy already, but it will be very easy to increase it. In the future some needy Chancellor of the Exchequer may say," I want more money, and instead of 20 per cent. I will make this tax 50 per cent." I shall be sorry to trust the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he holds his office next year—he may occupy a higher position—after our experience with the present Budget. I object to that facility, because it appears to me that it will certainly interfere very seriously with schemes of development such as building society operations and so forth, and more particularly because there are no provisions whatever for aggregating property in land. While it is quite possible there may be a decrement on the whole of the property of an owner, he win be liable to be charged increment in instances where there may be an appreciation. I see no difficulty whatever in aggregating the property of an individual owner or society which is developing a particular piece of land comprising 10, 20, 30, 40, or 100 acres. It seems very hard that they should have to pay an increment on sites, where valuable, and get no allowance whatever for the decrement which must necessarily arise in regard to sites which have to be sold under the average price. I believe these proposals will seriously interfere with and injure all these transactions affecting land, and they will throw the property market into the most desperate confusion. It must not be forgotten that this tax, even if it is put upon every acre of land, and every building in the country, will only yield a minimum of revenue and entail a maximum of expense. Our land system will be completely gerrymandered. The staff at Somerset House will be perfectly incapable of dealing with the enormous burdens which will be thrown upon them by this Bill, and there must inevitably be an entire stoppage and hanging up of thousands of transactions all over the country in such a manner as will destroy and paralyse the land system. I should have thought that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have endeavoured to restrict the application of this principle to urban land.

I agree with the hon. Member for Hertford (Mr. Abel Smith) that agricultural land ought to be exempted altogether from this tax. This is not a proper time to start a principle of this kind either with regard to urban or agricultural land. It is perfectly well known that in urban districts houses and sites have largely depreciated in value, and I could give many instances where the sites have no value. In Edinburgh we have two or three extreme cases of that kind, and the same thing applies to Glasgow and other places, and yet this is the time when an original valuation is to be made upon the basis of a value which in many cases in Scotland has wholly disappeared. Even in the case of urban land I think the principle ought to be limited to some area at a maximum distance from the town, and proper machinery should be provided for determining the zone. As for agricultural land, it is most unfair and unjust, and likely to be injurious, to include it in this particular clause. In the case of agricultural land there should be a complete exemption. The great fall in value which has taken place in agricultural land in recent years renders this demand reasonable, and proves that the present year is an unfair time for ascertaining the basis on which the increment should be charged. There can be no Increment whatever in the cases taken for periods under 19 years. I am very glad indeed to acknowledge the concession which the right hon. Gentleman made last night by inserting leases up to 14 years, because that was a very valuable concession. But even that conces- sion will entirely destroy the existing agricultural system in Scotland, where they have nineteen-year leases. I d) think that it is very unfortunate to do anything in this Bill or in any other Bill to penalise a system which has worked so well and in which no Scotsman who knows anything about agricultural land will encourage the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have tried, but without success, to get from the Government a statement in answer to a question of what the position is of the Scottish feuar. The answer given to me has been very courteous but very inclusive. I beg to protest against this burden being placed on the feuar. I said the night before last that in nearly every case the feuar is the man who makes the permanent improvement, and who ought not, according to all the principles enunciated by hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House, to pay as it is proposed that he should pay. I have asked whether we are to consider the Feu Duty as rent, but as yet I have not got a satisfactory answer. It is true that it has been said that it is nonsense to say that the feuar increases the site value. It is said that the people who do so are the community and not the feuars at all. The community may in certain places increase the value, but it is the individuals who really do the improvement. They are the permanent owners of the improvements, which are the result of their labour, energy and capital. I do not want to say anything further. It would be extremely hard to impose an additional burden on the top of the Death Duties. That would be a very harsh thing to do. I believe that the whole tendency of this clause and this legislation will be to make land dearer rather than cheaper. It is only the present owners that will suffer. Syndicates will be formed, with the result that there will be an enormous increase in the value of the sites, with the consequence of covering the whole country with skyscrapers and buildings of that sort. I do not want to go more into the question, but I say seriously that the House ought to think twice and thrice before it accepts a proposal of this kind. We are revolutionising taxation. The proposed tax will in many cases be found to be of a very impracticable character, and will certainly entail the maximum of expense with the minimum of advantage.


With regard to land on which Increment Duty is to be paid, I think that the hon. Gentlemen opposite have not done the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer justice for the way in which he deals with the problem of agricultural land. I must admit that the right hon. Gentleman is in some sense responsible, because the method by which he has dealt with agricultural land is unnecessarily obscure. I, personally, could not have understood it if I had not had the assistance of a paid draftsman to explain the matter to me. I now understand—and the right hon. Gentleman will correct me if I am wrong— that as far as agricultural land is concerned under Clause 14 you are fixing the original value, and no deductions are allowed for buildings and other permanent improvements, but under Clause 2 you make some deductions.


In fixing the original site value you do deduct the buildings, but not the permanent improvements. When, however, you come to the increment you deduct the permanent improvements, and that represents certainly more than 40 per cent.


Personally, I am satisfied that the margin which the Chancellor of the Exchequer allows for what he calls agricultural recovery, amounting as it does to 45 per cent., is satisfactory. So far, I am satisfied with the way in which he has treated agricultural land. I think — under all the circumstances—that the £50 limit is rather hard, and that it ought to be increased so as to make allowance for permanent improvements. When we come to the amount of the taxation, which hon. Members opposite criticise, and which the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down said was very heavy and very hard, I think it is forgotten that the duty is not on the value of the land but on the difference between the value of the land at present and the value which might be added to it at a future time.

When we come to the cases on which Increment Duty is to be levied, I regret to say that I must part company with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have been wise to have confined himself to taking the Increment Duty merely on the occasion when the property is realised. I think I derive some support for this point of view from the favourable answer I received to-day from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on a question as to un-gotten minerals. The one main objection to that is the difficulty of estimating the value, and that same objection applies to the question of the increment on land. I hope that, having gone so far as to return a sympathetic answer on that point, the Government will be prepared to consider whether it is wise in the interests of the Treasury to make estimates, the basis on which to exact any contribution. In listening to this Debate I cannot help feeling that the clause we are discussing is an attempt to reconcile very divergent views as to the taxation of ground and land values. On the one hand we have the view that the capital value of all land should be the basis not only of Imperial, but of local taxation, and I have no doubt that that is in the minds of many hon. Gentlemen who stand for land taxation. Last night I heard the hon. Member for New-castle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood) denounce in strong language almost all the proposals contained in this clause. He said he regarded the collection of the Increment Duties on the sale or transfer of land as an interference with business and with dealings in land. I suppose that is the view of the society which the hon. Member so ably represents in this House. On the other hand, we have the hon. Baronet the Member for the Chippenham Division (Sir J. Dickson-Poynder) supporting the Government far more materially than the very organisation to which the Government are supposed to have humbly bowed the knee. I think the common sense of the proposal lies not with the Association for the Taxation of Land Values, but with the hon. Member for the Chippenham Division. I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be well advised to collect the Increment Duty only where the property has been realised. We have been regarded as opposed to this land taxation. I am not hostile to any proposal which would have the practical effect of filling the Treasury, but it is a question of estimating the capital value of land in this country. It may be a very desirable proposal, but for present purposes it would not have that practical effect, although it might form part of future legislation. But as we stand now with the single object of raising 13 millions of money to meet the expenditure on the services, I really think we should be wise to confine our efforts to obtaining the money in the simplest way. I suggest that if the Government are prepared to meet us on this point it would very much shorten the discussion and get rid of a great deal of the objection which is felt on this side of the House to many of their proposals. I do not gather that the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme would very much regret their doing so, seeing that he has already practically denounced this clause.


I do not think that the Government are exactly to be congratulated on the measure of support which their friends are able to give to their proposals. We have discussed this clause for some days in Committee, and we have not had a single speech inside the House of unmixed approval of the Government proposals. I observe that Members of the Government who are sent as emissaries to defend the Budget elsewhere are precisely those Members of the Government who are never present during the discussions on this measure The Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and the President of the Board of Trade are eloquent on platforms about the justice and facility of these proposals, the criticisms to which they do not think it worth their while to listen when they are made in this House. This clause establishes an Increment Value Tax for the first time, and lays down the occasions upon which it is to be collected. I wish to take the opportunity of the Motion, "that Clause 1 stand part of the Bill," to restate some of the general objections, without entering into details, which I feel to the whole proposal of the Government. I am not, like the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff (Mr. Ivor Guest), to be pacified by small changes in the clause. I object to the whole tax in principle, and I think that our Debates have shown, even to those who approve it in principle, that it is a matter of such complication and difficulty and involves so much hardship, inference with business, and injustice that, even if it be just in principle, it still is not wise to carry it through. Apart from these objections to machinery and of detail, I object to the tax upon principle. What is the principle expounded again and again in the Debates by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on which he seeks to base this proposal? He has singled out a particular form of property for taxation, which is not levied on all property equally. He has singled out not property in the hands of rich men, but particular forms of property, whether hold by rich men or by quite poor men, and he is imposing a special duty on that because, he says, they are in possession of something to which they have no moral right.


I never said anything of the kind.


It is something regarded as property by law, practice, and the custom of this country from time immemorial. The right hon. Gentleman seeks to distinguish between this form of property and other forms of property. He states that the form of property represented by the increment aimed at by this tax is a form of property which has not the sanction or moral authority that any other form of property has, but that it is a windfall derived without the exercise of ability, merit, or any other claim by the happy possessor to which he is really not entitled, and that the Government are right in claiming whatever share of it they may think fit.


The right hon. Gentleman is either quoting or summarising something I am supposed to have said. I do not recognise it in the slightest degree. To say that I have ever laid down the proposition that there is no moral claim to property of this kind, or that the property is not based on any moral principle, is not correct. I have said nothing of the sort. On the contrary, I think there is every moral right to it.


Then I have failed to understand the process of reasoning which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has adopted and repeated on many occasions. If he now repudiates what I thought was a perfectly correct summary of the view so often expressed, then I will ask him on what ground he does justify the distinction he draws between this particular form of property and every other form of property? He selects this form of property and treats it differently from every other form of property. He would not contend it would be right to single out any other form of property in a special degree, and to take chunks out of it from a particular section of the community without laying a corresponding burden on other people. The distinction which the right hon. Gentleman draws between this and other kinds of property is the fact alleged by him that this increment on the property comes to the possessor without any exertion on his part, and that is urged by the Government as their title to take whatever part they think fit. That is what the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister have said over and over again. It is cheered by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, who sees at once it is the only possible explanation of the proposition contained in this clause. But where does it lead to? You are pleased to leave a man,hitherto considered the possessor of the property, four-fifths. At the present time you only require him to yield up one-fifth. But if you have the right to take one-fifth you have a right to take the whole. We know that on both sides of the House below the Gangway there are to be found hon. Members who desire to take the whole, and who are not afraid to say so, and we have every reason to anticipate that if you put the tax on on this occasion, and establish the machinery for its collection, it will not be long before another Chancellor of the Exchequer, with even more predatory instincts, will correct the moderation on which the present Chancellor of the Exchequer prides himself, and, on the very same grounds, will take the four-fifths which the right hon. Gentleman has left. It seems to me there 13 neither justice nor reason in a proposal of this kind. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, and his Friends are accustomed to speak of this as if it were a tax which concerned only a few very rich people, fortunate in that their property has risen in value subject to no risks, and as if they are men who ought not to grudge the contribution asked from them towards the revenues of the country. The suggestion that the rise in this property is normal, progressive, and continuous has been disproved in regard to every class of property in the course of the discussions we have had upon this clause. It is not only admitted not to be true; not only do the Government themselves admit it is not true as regards agricultural property, but it has been conclusively shown by example after example, by typical examples taken from all parts of the country, that it is not true of urban land, or of what is ordinarily called building land, any more than it is true of agricultural land. My first objection, then, is that the attempt to distinguish between this one particular form of property and any other breaks down, and even if you concede the principle upon which the Chancellor proceeds it is a mere matter of time before you go further and proceed to take over for the State the whole interest in a portion of the property of the individual. How can the Chancellor, even on his own principle, confine this for long to property in land, wherein lies the dis- tinction between property in land and other things? I have heard only one distinction attempted to be made, and it is that land is a monopoly. That appears to me to be for all practical purposes a most misleading statement to make. It is quite true that you cannot substantially increase the land of the country, although in particular cases very large areas of land have been added by the ability and enterprise of great landlords. But it is substantially true that you cannot increase the amount of land.

It is not, however, true to say, for any practical purpose, that there is a monopoly of land in this country, or that there is not always plenty of land to be obtained at a reasonable price in different parts of the country. If, however, you do rest your case upon the statement that land is a monopoly, are railways less a monopoly, and why do you not apply the same principles to them? Are canals, gasworks, electric light works, any of those corporations which require statutory authority for carrying on their proceedings, and are protected by this House from anything unfair or ruinous or general competition— are they not monopolies? It is perfectly well recognised by Members below the Gangway that the principles upon which the Chancellor defends his tax upon land not only will justify them in carrying that tax to the point at which it reaches 20s. in the pound, but in applying the same tax to one thing after another until you have, as they desire, seized for the community every portion of increment which an individual cannot prove to be due to direct exertions and expenditure of his own. The adoption of principles like that, by a Chancellor of the Exchequer in a Finance Bill, must, and do, strike at the security of every form of property in this country, must do injury to trade, industry, and development of every kind, and to every transaction as between man and man, and, I think, could hardly be paralleled in any legislative project, even the wildest that we have had before us. May I turn a little more closely from the general principles embodied in the tax, to some of the changes made, and to points raised in the Committee on the discussion of this particular clause. In the first place, I must observe that the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a very brief speech added to this Bill, already extraordinarily complex and confusing, and containing matters far beyond the scope of an ordinary Finance Bill, another entirely new Bill. It is now not merely to be a taxing Bill, a valua- tion Bill and a licensing Bill, but it is in addition to be a local taxation Bill. The fact of the matter is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer finds himself in an unfortunate position. Certain municipalities in this country have cast longing looks at a tax of this kind, with a view to meeting their local expenditure. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was very ready to accept the support which their propaganda would give to his proposals, and he hoped that he would escape with the whole of the plunder. No, Sir, they have been too sharp for him, and lest he should lose the whole he has been obliged to share the booty. I believe that even in private life that is not an uncommon experience to gentlemen engaged in similar transactions.

What is the basis for this change? Hitherto, the Chancellor has defended the tax on the ground that the increment of wealth was due to the exertions of the community. He never would define exactly what he meant by the community, but he is now forced to split the community into two, for the purpose of giving a portion of this tax to the local community, who, so far as a community has anything to do with the growth of the increment, are probably the people who make it, whilst he reserves an equal portion for the State. But, as I understand it, even that portion, which he gives to the local community, is not to go to the community which makes it, for that would leave out his poorest inhabitant on the wild hills of Wales, and in order that that deserving gentleman may get his share— God knows what fraction of a penny it will be—the local contribution is to be spread over the whole of the country by some process not explained, and is not to go to that particular local community, which, according to the Chancellor's principles, have earned and deserved it. The Chancellor's proposals on that point have, naturally, not altered our position towards the tax, but I think have rendered his position even more inconsequential than it was under the Bill as he originally introduced it. What is going to be the effect? It has been brought out in these discussions in a way which, I think, has impressed everybody who has listened to them, on whichever side of the House he be and whatever views he takes of the tax—it has been brought out that this tax will necessitate a costly and difficult operation on the occasion of every transaction of any kind, in any portion of land, or buildings, great or small. That in- volves a series of valuations, not merely of the kind ordinarily made and habitually required for the purposes of sale or transfer, or even for the Death Duties, but a series of valuations on a basis on which no transaction ever takes place and which is useless for any purpose, except for the purpose of the tax, and those valuations are to be made not at the expense of the taxing authority, but at the expense of the individual who is trying to sell a little bit of land. Could you have anything which would cast greater difficulties and greater hardships upon the vendor, or would be a more serious hindrance to the free, easy, cheap, and rapid transfer of land from one person to another? What effect has a tax of this kind levied upon the occasion specified? What are these occasions? They are the occasion of every possible transaction in land or in building.

What effect is such a tax going to have, for instance, upon the building industry of this country? Does the Chancellor really believe, after listening to the de-tailed discussion of the tax, that he is going to increase the supply of houses, that he is going to induce more men to put their money into developing suburban districts, and that he is going to improve the character of the accommodation and lessen the rents which are paid? In order to meet these new taxes, in order to meet the cost of the valuation, in order to insure themselves against the new risk, everybody concerned in the business will require a higher profit, will be slower to enter upon it, will wait for some certain demand, and instead of the supply of houses keeping, as it has been, rather in advance than in arrear of the demand, you will cause builders to wait, for a clearly unsatisfied demand, you will cause them to wait for a famine before they take up land and pay the new tax you impose upon them Then, as to agricultural land, is that going so escape scot free? We have had from the Chancellor of the Exchequer a very general statement that he meant to exclude agricultural land, but when we got to close quarters with him it did not appear that he was going to do anything of the kind. If he meant it. he has not done it. In the first place he qualified his general statement that he did not mean to tax the value of agricultural land, by saying, that he did not mean to tax the value upon the recovery of the price of agricultural land. That is only a limited part of the profit, but he went on further to qualify it by saying that when you turned agricultural land from a less profitable to a more profitable use, but still an agricultural use, it was to be subject to the Increment Duty. He proposed to encourage the provision of allotments, by taxing the land when it gets a higher value through being turned into allotments. He think that will facilitate the creation of small holdings, to put a tax upon a landlord if the landlord derives any benefit from their creation.

It is not, therefore, true to say that this tax does not fall upon agricultural land. It falls, or may fall, whenever there is any increment of value, due to using the land for a higher agricultural purpose. That is the way the Government encourage agriculture. Then, for the occasions, on which the tax is to be collected. The tax is to be collected, not merely when the value is realised, but on many occasions, notably on death, and possibly not the death of the owner, as we found out last night, but on the death of somebody else. It is to be collected on other occasions, not only when the value is realised, but when, very probably, it cannot be realised. There is a real value which anyone would put upon land and which the owner would admit to be fair, but it may not be possible for him to realise, at any given moment, and you cumulate the hardship which is involved in the tax itself, you cumulate it and increase it by the occasions on which you levy it. What is the answer we have had from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General on the working of the tax, as apart from the principle? Their answer is that there is such a tax in the City of Frankfort, and there none of these difficulties are found. We are still waiting for the paper from which those right hon. Gentlemen quoted, and which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has under- taken to circulate as rapidly as he can, but we have ascertained by question and answer, and by admission here and by admission there, something about the Frankfort Tax, which I think entirely destroys its value for the purpose for which these gentlemen have used it. In the first place, we have learned that it does not begin until there is an increment of more than 15 per cent. That was never disclosed until they were directly challenged on the point. They contrasted their tax with the Frankfort Tax in order to show their moderation, and talked of it habitually as 25 per cent. It is only by question and answer dragged from them that we have learnt that under 15 per cent. of increment there is no tax, and that from 15 per cent. to £0 per cent. of increment, that is, when £100 has become £115 or £120, there is only 1 per cent., and the 20 per cent. which the right hon. Gentleman proposes is not reached in Frankfort until £100 has become £210, and the 25 per cent. which he contrasts' with his own moderate 20 per cent. is not reached until your £100 has become £230.


It applies to houses as well as land.


The whole basis on which the tax is levied is wholly different from the basis on which this tax is to be levied. The ease of valuation is due to the difference in the method in which the tax is levied, coupled with the fact never disclosed by right hon. Gentlemen that they have had in Frankfort a careful registry kept for over a century of all ownerships and transactions in land. As if this was not a sufficient amount of information to have had in your possession and concealed from the House, the Frankfort Tax allows the possessor of the land to add 4 per cent. simple interest to his original value before you count increment at all. The Chancellor of the Exchequer may think this clause has occupied ample time in discussion. There certainly has been no obstructive discussion at all. In matters which create so much interest, and are of so much complexity, progress must necessarily be slower than the Government would wish to see, but I defy them to say that a speech has been made of an obstructive character the whole time the clause has been under discussion, but it shows the value of these debates when they serve to elicit such material facts, which certainly we ought to have had in our possession from the first moment that the Frankfort tax was quoted, and which ought to have been explained to us by the Minister who quoted it. The effect of these discussions on my mind is not to remove my objections in principle, but to strengthen my objections in practice. I believe it is unsound in principle, and capable of an extension which means the practical abolition of private property in land, that these principles cannot be confined to land, but will affect every kind of property. In your anxiety to hit a few rich men whether justly or unjustly, you are penalising heavily and terribly an enormous number of poor men, and you are rendering almost impossible the carrying on of one of the most necessary industries of the country upon which the well-being and the housing of our population depends.


I cannot claim to come under the definition of Members of the Government who make eloquent speeches on the land question, but I think I have a right to claim that I come under the definition of those who listen to the arguments which are advanced. I think I have heard almost every word which has been said in the Budget Debates, and I fully accept the statement of the right hon. Gentleman as to the value of this five days' Debate and as to the repudiation of the suggestion of obstruction or lack of valid argument. Of course, when a tax of this kind, empowering new principles and destined in the future, in its present form, to provide such a large source of revenue to the State, comes under the consideration of the House, it is necessary, and it is welcomed as much by the Government as by the Opposition, that the effect and justification of the tax should be discussed even in detail. I was under the impression that the result of these Debates was that a good deal of objection to the tax was being removed and a great deal more sympathy was being shown with the principle in all quarters of the House. Until the right hon. Gentleman got up, all the three Gentlemen who have spoken had some objection to the tax—no one spoke except those who accepted in principle the suggestion of a tax on unearned increment.


I specially objected to it on principle.


I thought the hon. Member said it was justified in certain cases in towns, and that his objections would be largely removed if it did not deal with agricultural land. The hon. Member for the West Derby Division has been known for years to be a passionate advocate of the tax on anearned increment.


Nothing of the kind.


The hon. Member has certainly again and again declared that this is a fair subject for rating or for taxation.


Ah, rating.


I am using the expression in the sense that the State or the municipality has a right to regard this as a proper subject for obtaining revenue. Therefore, the general principle that the tax is unjust as discriminating between two forms of property, and so on, will not be endorsed by the hon. Gentleman. Then in a most interesting speech in the dinner hour, when there were about seven people in the House, such a Conservative of Conservatives as the hon. Member for the Wokingham Division (Mr. Gardner) told us that he had always been in sympathy with the principle of the tax, and his only objection was when we came to the methods by which we were carrying it out. The newspapers which have been attacking us most fiercely have stated that with certain limitations the principle is entirely just and satisfactory. Then, again, some of the explanations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and some of the concessions which have been made, have very largely removed objections and fears which formerly existed in the House and in the country. I have been engaged in discussing the subject with Members, and I suppose hundreds of times explanations have been given of what the Bill really does which have removed legitimate fears. But the right hon. Gentleman will have none of it. He has taken us back from the most interesting discussion on the detailed effect of the Increment Tax, so far as it has been revealed in Clause 1, to the general principle whether a future unearned increment in land should be a legitimate subject of taxation, and he asks us to explain why that increment differs from all other property, and why the increment which is in land should be taxed when the increment which exists in other things is not taxed. I should be taxing the patience of the Committee if I delivered a speech which every Member on this side of the House has got prepared, explaining the difference between increment in land and in other forms of property. There is no one Member, as far as I know, who would not follow the Chancellor of the Exchequer in repudiating the suggestion that the difference is a moral difference, or that we are bringing any charge of immorality against those who are at present taking the increment given them by the laws of the country.


I did not mean to suggest that that was the frame of mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


I was using immorality in a wider sense of the word, which includes that robbery, which the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Prety-man) accused us of, though he said subsequently that he meant nothing offensive. But surely if the right hon. Gentleman is going to repudiate not only the conclusions of Henry George, with which I have no concern, but the whole of the conclusions of any kind of political economy with which I have been acquainted, from Adam Smith through John Stuart Mill with his doctrine of increments, all of which in future should be retaken by the State, with the alternative offered of land nationalisation, down to the greatest exponents of modern political economy, such as Professor Marshall, who calls these public values, and says they are not essentially private values at all—if he is going to repudiate all that, he or his Friends should advance rather more cogent arguments than those advanced at present. The limited competition between land, the quasi monopoly character of land, especially round the big towns, the fact that increment may accrue on land, utterly apart from the exertions, or even the foresight, of the individuals who own it, and the fact that automatically increases are heaped on the value of land when industry develops, and a considerable proportion of the extra profits of industry automatically flows away to the land in the neighbourhood of which the industry is developed— these headings which I have no time to amplify, have persuaded every orthodox political economist with whom I am familiar to draw the very sharpest distinction between the increment of land and of property as a whole as the subject of taxation. There has been an argument advanced in which unearned increments have been found in other forms of property besides land. That is a totally different proposition. I was dealing first with the distinction between unearned increment and ordinary property which has no unearned increment. Now I pass on to the distinction between it and other unearned increments in other forms of property or activity than land. The right hon. Gentleman is a master of economics past and present, but he will agree with me that the crude cases, if I may say so without offence, advanced by the hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Harold Cox) when dealing with increments where there is free competition, say of a town where more doctors can be brought in, and the cases of competition by servant girls, were not in any sense of the word to be identified with the unearned increment in land. There has been a great deal of identification, not in the least agreed to in the same manner, of these cases with the case of the increment in land. There are difficulties in disentangling what is called social value in capital and labour as well as in land. When that disentanglement is clear and accepted, and when some definite, easy, and consistent scheme has been established whereby that increment may be clearly shown as distinct from the ordinary remuneration of industry or the profits from labour, then—and not until then— might come the time when the House might consider it a legitimate subject for taxation.

I pass from the intellectual principle to the justification of this tax. References have been made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) and other speakers to our attempts and endeavours to explain to the Committee the various ways in which this principle of appropriation of a certain proportion of unearned increment by the State has been adopted in various countries. In a speech conspicuously fair, the right hon. Gentleman opposite was, I think, a little unfair in suggesting that we were keeping back in any shape or form private information which we have received in connection with increment taxation. For example, there is an Increment Tax in Germany. It was referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in order to explain that other civilised countries were engaged in applying the same doctrine which we now propose to apply It is not a tax confined to Frankfort. It is in operation in at least 200 municipalities in Germany. It is being added to every day. At Berlin it has been added to by the passing of the Bill in 24 hours —a most commendable example of celerity in legislation.


Is there any case in Germany of the extension of it to a rural area?


The hon. Member is as familiar with the proposals in Germany as I am. That is not the point. The point is whether unearned increment can be separated from the ordinary property which exists in land at the present moment, and whether other countries have decided that it is a legitimate subject for taxation. We have kept nothing back in reference to Frankfort. There is no mystery in the matter. Again and again the Chancellor of the Exchequer has explained fully to the Committee all the points which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) has brought forward to-day. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has promised to put the Committee in possession of the information he has on the subject in order that they may be as familiar with the whole system as the Government. We have never said, and we do not say, that the system of dealing with increment in this Bill is exactly similar to the system of dealing with it in Germany. Nor is our system of dealing with valuation of site value or total value the same as that in America. Nor is the general dealing with site values in the Colonies the same as that in operation on the Continent. What my right hon. Friend has done is to draw knowledge and experience from every country engaged in dealing with the subject, and to try to remove the special difficulties which have been exhibited in those countries, and out of them to establish an Increment Tax which will not be subject to the particular criticism which has been advanced in those countries. For instance, the right hon. Gentleman opposite said that it was monstrous to compare the proposed system with that in operation in Frankfort because our system presses more hardly. Our proposals are not retrospective. The Frankfort scheme went back, and took increments which had been built up and were in the hands of the present owners. We have given minute attention to this matter, and we have been most careful with respect to the present owners. We have decided that the tax should only apply to future nerements in land, and that makes an enormous difference in favour of the people who own land under this scheme in comparison with those who own land under the Frankfort scheme.

I will give one or two instances to show the complexities which arise in dealing with this question. No one on this side of the House has ever suggested that this was an easy matter in dealing with a land system which has been settled for 1,000 years, but the difficulty will not be lessened by postponement. I have not the slightest doubt that either a Liberal or a Conservative Government would have attempted before now to impose Increment Taxes if it were not that there are complexities and difficulties in the way. It is cowardice, and not political courage, to be deterred from an act of justice in taxation by the fact that there are difficulties in the way. There are two classes of difficulties. Let me ask the Committee to disentangle these two classes. There are first the difficulties when dealing with the commencement of the tax. These absorb by far the great majority of the difficulties in connection with the question under discussion. There are always difficulties when imposing a tax and at the same time trying to safeguard from any kind of injustice anyone that will fall under the operation of the tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has promised such safeguards as shall insure the removal of the tax from recovery in agricultural lands, and the removal of the Increment Tax from a considerable number of interests or persons, and also its mitigation in the case of certain interests and persons at the commencement of the tax. I should be out of order if I were to refer now to the valuation clause. The difficulties and complexities in connection with valuation are of a kind which will never be repeated They are incidental to the commencement of the tax only, and I believe that afterwards the tax will work as smoothly, despite the difficulties which are prophesied, as the Death Duties have worked, despite the adverse prophecies which were indulged in at the time they were imposed.

There is a second class of complexities arising out of our endeavours to make —with whatever care is possible—exemptions from the operation of the tax of any increment except that increment which is, in the strictest sense of the word, unearned. There is the exemption of the industry of agriculture; there is the exemption of the industry of estate development; there is the exemption of any kind of improvement put into the land, or any improvement due to building on the land. With a full sense of responsibility, and with the assent of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I can say if under any circumstances it can be shown in future discussion that trade, industry, building, or work attributable to the individual falls under the operation of the Increment Tax, my right hon. Friend will listen favourably to any Amendment brought forward for its removal. It has been said by the hon. Member for the Ayr Burghs that this tax would create the maximum of disturbance with the minimum of result. That has been said before. It has been said that all this is worthless considering the few thousands or the few hundred thousand pounds which will be realised by the tax. I have no wish to indulge in the dismal work of going over past speeches made by Members in this House, but I was compelled a few days ago to refer to the Debates which took place in 1894 in connection with the imposition of the Death Duties. I can assure hon. Members that they are a very salutary study, not of inconsistencies of men to-day or yesterday, because I am not concerned with them at all, but of the falsity of the political prophecies of the evil results which may be expected to follow from particular forms of taxation. Lord Avebury has made a strong attack on my right hon. Friend's Budget. He desires the excision of this Increment Tax because of the injury it may create. Lord Avebury in 1894, in the Debates on the Death Duties, announced that they would create a maximum of distress with a minimum of result, and that persons coming into property would shut up their houses. In quoting these prophecies, I am only giving a summary of similar prophecies to which I have been listening for the past few weeks. We were told in 1894 that people would leave the country to live cheaply elsewhere, sell their horses, dismiss their grooms and gardeners, diminish expenditure with tradesmen of all kinds, that the result would be the dislocation of village life, and a sudden diminution of employment all round, the ruin of small tradesmen, and that sudden curse would descend first upon one village, and then upon another, which could not be foreseen nor guarded against. [An HON. MEMBER:"Quite true."] Let me quote another statement which the hon. Member opposite will not perhaps regard as so true, though it is almost literally a statement which we have heard in connection with this Increment Tax. It was said that the Death Duties would extinguish the present generation of English landlords, and that it would be absolutely impossible to collect the duties. Finally, it was prophesied that the Death Duties would increase evasion, and the temptation to evasion of the duties, and that they would bring in a result of little or no value at all.

Captain CRAIG

Where is that quotation from?


That is from the opposition by Mr. Gibson Bowles to the Death Duties. The statement made on the bringing in of the Death Duties was first that only a few hundred thousand pounds would be collected, and that, therefore, there was really no need for all this dislocation in the rural districts. Secondly, it was said that they would cause ruin, especially in the rural districts. The same statements are being made now with reference to this tax. I think the result of experience will be a similar result if the hitherto increasing growth in the value of land is steady and continuous. If the prosperity of this country is going to decline, and if that growth does not continue, then I agree there is little justification for the creation of the Increment Tax. But if this tax had been created a hundred years ago, what kind of revenue, without any kind of injustice to any particular person, but merely by the unforeseen and speculative increase in the value of land must at the present time be raised? Similarly, without any kind of injustice to private persons, and dealing with the unforeseen and speculative value which must accrue to various portions of the land of England, I believe that in the days to come those who contemplate the opposition to this tax will be astonished that it was not welcomed by all classes in the country.


In reference to the speech to which we have just listened, the hon. Member (Mr. Masterman) said he would not tax the patience of the House because he was sure that every Member behind him had a speech on land value. I think the state of our benches a moment ago showed it was quite clear that every Member on this side had a speech ready against land tax. I was perfectly amazed that as the result of five days' discussion the hon. Member seems to have acquired the idea that the objection to this tax in principle has been in any way lessened by the discussion that has taken place. He must hardly have any accurate and true idea of rural life in this country if he can say in this House that the Death Duties of 1894 have not in any way brought about the results which were prophesied then. I was a Member of the House at the time, and I listened to those Debates, and anybody familiar with the rural parts of the country must know that it is absolutely true to say that every single one of those prophesies read out now in connection with the speech of Lord Avebury have been amply fulfilled. I desire specially to raise a question, which, I am sure, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will welcome the opportunity of replying to, because by his own request I was not able to raise it at the time when my Amendment was in order in connection with the discussion on this Bill. I do not think, great as has been the attention given to many points, that nearly enough attention has been given to the burden which will be placed on a large number of people in this country in consequence of the fact, which is very little understood through the country, that minerals are included in the definition of land. The whole question how this is going to affect the matter is one of enormous importance and very great complexity. First of all, we know there is no definition in any way of what minerals arc, and that necessarily leads to very considerable difficulty in understanding the other sections of the Bill very closely connected with this clause, such as section 2 of Clause 16, where we find that a site valuation will be made on minerals in every case. That is to say, in every case of separate occupancy down to the smallest allotment the owner has to make a separate return of the value of minerals in order to arrive at the value of the land, and we are unaware of what these minerals are. We have never been allowed the smallest idea of what is in the mind of the Government in connection with this Question when we have been dealing with valuation. They are more or less limited to minerals which are known to exist, such as open mines, and we are led into a condition of conjecture in connection with these things which is far greater than in the case of land, about which we can judge to some extent of the value.

In all those discussions about agricultural land I think it is assumed that the site value of the land does include these minerals, and while on the one hand we are told that land under £50 value is going to be excluded, and that agricultural land is not going to suffer owing to proximity to towns and other reasons, we can never tell what value the Commissioners will put upon unknown minerals under this land which will increase the value of the agricultural very largely through the country and place it under the burden of this tax. That is more in connection with the genera] question; but when we come actually to minerals as we know them, such as coal and ironstone, which are connected with the great industries of this country, we are involved in far greater difficulties still, and confronted with a far greater burden. At all events, the great reason for placing this increment upon land which has been stated by the hon. Member just now, and was put with great force by the Prime Minister in his speech only a few days ago, does not apply to minerals. They are not, at all events, the creation of the community. They are not its property in the sense that they have been made by the energy, skill, or improvement of the community. Some of my hon. Friends opposite will agree with me that the deeds of the community are very often the last thing that the owners of minerals desire, because they impede to a large extent the facility for working those minerals. I have had considerable experience for over thirty years in connection with mining properties and the extension of sewers, water-pipes, and things of that sort and their effect upon the working of minerals, and I can say that all the great communal advantages which do increase the value of land are in some cases actually a decrement of value of minerals. Therefore the argument in connection with the community which is often used, that this increment would encourage the disposal of land, cannot be used in connection with minerals. There has been no holding back of minerals in this country in any way. Many of us would say, perhaps, that it would be far better to reserve this great property in minerals and not flood the market with minerals at a moment when they are not wanted. I am quite sure that the country supports hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway in saying that it is not desirable that there should be too great competition in this matter lest it should bring down the wages of those concerned in working minerals. I think there is very great ground for saying that, even if you say the land is a thing upon which you may be allowed to put this Increment Duty, yet, if you come to minerals, they are the raw material of several of the greatest industries in this country; and if you are taking the precaution in connection with this clause to strike out agricultural land, which is the raw material of the agricultural industries, why do not you also take the precaution to strike out the application of this tax to minerals, which are really the raw materials of the great iron and coal industries of this country?

I should like also to point out with reference to this question that I have already alluded to the great inconvenience that must come through the separate valuation which may be required in connection with minerals, even in cases of sale or transfer, though, no doubt, it might be in some measure mitigated by the fact that you do get the value of the whole property which is passing, and, therefore, there cannot be the same objection; but there is a very great objection to applying this increment to minerals in case of passing by death or cases where you take periodical payment from a corporate or incorporate company. You have to estimate the thing which is often proved not to exist when it comes to the actual working, and in many cases this increment may be collected upon valuation which may never be obtained, and which, if they are obtained, are only obtained by a great expenditure of capital and by great risks run by individuals who are willing to take these risks on account of the profit which may come. It was stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in answer to a deputation the other day, that this tax would only fall upon royalty owners, and no doubt he is very desirous as regards this present form in which he is going to collect it that some other persons might find a more palatable and workable alternative than he has been able to find. Yet in the end these taxes must really fall upon industry, though in some cases they may avoid this, where the mine-owners take the minerals and work them. In that case you can perhaps to some extent separate the interests, but you must remember that in this country a very large proportion of minerals are got by those who own them, and a great number of large industrial companies are keeping up the industries by working the minerals which they own themselves; and when the hon. Member just now said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was willing to accept an Amendment which would ensure that in this Bill no trade or business or anything of that sort would be in any way burdened. I hope he will carry that out into actual practice, and that he will consider the case of mineral owners who are also working their own property and their own works because in that case there really is a very great hardship.

I would just like to refer to the company with which I have been associated for thirty years. We have been carrying on our works for nearly 120 years, and we have worked the same beds of minerals around those works. It was absolutely necessary for the purpose of continuity in working those iron works that those who were connected with them should have the foresight to buy mineral beds in order to insure continuity of supply and material; for those works. We have consequently got large areas of ungotten minerals which are being kept for the time required for the carrying on of the ironworks concerned. Now we are going to be taxed upon the increment value of those minerals as they get nearer to being worked. We may be taxed on some of them which we have had in our possession for over 120 years, just as we are getting near to working them, and where they are really wanted for the use of the industry they are to be taxed with the tax which will take one-fifth of the value from them and burden the industry to the extent to which we are compelled to pay tax to the State. Surely these cases, which are very numerous, are cases which do require consideration from the Government, and they really cannot get off on the easy statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer the other day that his only desire is that when the State is in need of money to get from the royalty owners who receive their rents so easily, their share towards the money that is wanted. It is not only royalty owners who are concerned in this increment matter. We have had no attempt by the Government to deal with this question so far as minerals are concerned, and as the clause reads now, if it is accepted to-day, it is an undoubted fact that the industries connected with both coal, iron, and steel would be very largely affected by the manner in which the tax will be placed upon them. There is also the question of increment when it comes up in the shape where there is no consideration received. There are many persons who will suffer very considerably. The clergy throughout the country in many cases have minerals under their glebes. In some instances they may become valuable because coal has been opened out in the district, and the owner may find, at the end of 15 years' interval, that he is called upon to pay a very large amount of increment upon minerals which, although they are valueless because the extent is too small for them to be worked, and because there may be other influences which may prevent them from being worked by others, yet are proved to be of value by the fact that the minerals have been opened up in the immediate neighbourhood of the glebe. There is an enormous number of small holders throughout the country who are also in the same position, and in all these cases the Increment Duty on ungotten minerals will have to be paid on purely conjectural estimate, without any certainty at all whether the value will be ever received by the persons who owned them. There is apparently no provision in the Bill to insure that these taxes are not going to be paid twice over by the unfortunate persons who own these minerals. If we turn further on in the Bill we find that in the case of ungotten minerals it would be the same thing; they are to be taxed every five years, and their value is to be taken from another date, the 30th April, 1914, so that two valuations are going on — the increment valuation first, and then ungotten minerals valuation. There is no provision in the case of undeveloped land that minerals should be treated so that they would not pay twice on the same thing. It may be that the death occurs of an owner who is working his own minerals the very year after he had been paying Increment Duty on ungotten minerals for a number of years, and in that case the tax on the whole value would have to be paid. If the minerals are worked a year after the death of the owner the tax is paid first on the total value and then on the minerals, and nothing is left because the capital is entirely consumed. I do not think that this Question has in any way been adequately dealt with during the discussion of Clause 1, and we shall have to deal with it. There are many most difficult subjects arising from it, and I do hope the Government, before they pass away from this clause, will give some assurance to the House that they more fully realise than they show any appearance of doing up to the present the extreme difficulties in connection with minerals; and I hope we may have some assurance, also, from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, following the lines of answers to deputations and of answers to questions in this House, that he is convinced that the duties on increment and ungotten minerals are unworkable, and that he is already turning to some more satisfactory proposal.


Before voting for this clause I should like to trouble the Committee with a statement of some of the reasons why my colleagues and myself will support it. To begin with, the fact which is before our minds is an exceedingly simple one. Attached to the land there is unearned increment, and the question is who ought to own that increment and who ought to enjoy it. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer, in addressing himself to the Question, made the somewhat extraordinary statement that for the first time in the history of our politics a particular form of property was singled out for special taxation. It may be perfectly true that so far as Bills are concerned the late Chancellor of the Exchequer is right, but I would venture to remind him that there is one whose name is still held in the greatest respect, who is honoured by those of us who have been in politics in this country for the last 15 or 20 years, and whose great contribution to political thought in this country consisted in hammering home the truth of this very clause. I refer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. From 1884 up to 1886 the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, in a most able, consistent, and impressive way, applied this very old doctrine in English political economy to polities, and said that whenever a Government came into power who really meant to advance, through financial ways, the democratic interests of the country, that Government would apply itself to this very question. It may be right, it may be wrong; it may be moral, it may be immoral; Right hon. Gentlemen sitting on the front Opposition Bench may be perfectly justified in applying to this proposition the terms "theft" and "robbery," and so on, but it is not not accurate to say that for the first time it has now entered political discussion in this country. There has not been a single economist of any standing, or any weight, but has always drawn the line between this kind of property and other kinds of property.


What about Bastiat?


I can very well understand now why the hon. Member for Preston holds John Stuart Mill in small esteem when he quotes Bastiat as against English economists of pre-eminent authority. One of the titles of Mill's chapters is as follows: "The increased rent of land from natural causes is a fit subject of peculiar taxation." The difficulties in details may be great, so great perhaps that in the opinion of some they may be considered insuperable, but so far as theoretical justification for the Government attempting to deal with this question is concerned, it is absolutely complete and unquestionable. I am not going to say that it is immoral for certain classes of the community to hold property of this kind. Morality in this respect I think is a very difficult and elusive subject to discuss; but the title which certain classes of the community have in this kind of property is not nearly so good a title as they could produce for other kinds of property which they hold. As a matter of fact, the title is shaky. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] Because they did not create the property. It may be perfectly true that they bought it. The South American slave-owners bought, their slaves. [An HON. MEMBER" They were compensated."] It may be perfectly true that they were compensated, but we are not alienating from landowners their property any more than mine is being alienated from me, when I am charged Income Tax. I might propose to the right hon. Gentleman that if I am called upon to pay an Income Tax of 9d. or 1s. in the £, I ought to be paid by the State for the injustice done to me. Taxation does not involve purchase, and is not the subject of purchase. Taxation is imposed upon property which by reason of the source from which it comes, or by reason of the amount of human effort which it represents, is, or is not, specially liable to be taxed. The whole theory of taxation is not a theory of purchase, it is a theory which concerns the kind of profits that may most properly and most scientifically be burdened with the cost of Government, and if there is any kind of property more than another which may properly be burdened with this cost, then a wise Chancellor of the Exchequer would impose that burden upon it. I have already quoted the title of one of Mill's chapters, which shows that this is the very kind of property that has always been particularly regarded by economists as being subject to taxation. It is perfectly true that during this Debate an attempt has been made to extend the kinds of property to be subject to the tax. I welcome that attempt. When this clause has become part and parcel of the taxation of this country, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to consider whether it is not possible to extend it to other forms of property; and when he makes up his mind to do that he will be able to quote the speeches of Unionist Members in justification of his proposals. The point we have really to consider is this—it is not a question of the small owner, but of the large owner. The hon. Member for the Ayr Burghs has been good enough to refer to the Scotch feuars. He is their special champion. I happen to be a Scotch feuar, and I am exceedingly obliged to him for looking after my interest. So far as I am concerned I have no objection to the tax whatever it may be, but it works in this way: In the place where I have a feu of a certain piece of land for building purposes, the value of that land has gone up for feuing from 10s. an acre to £20 an acre. That has occurred in my own lifetime, and the person who owns that land has not spent a brass farthing on improving it. The increment is simply owing to certain natural advantages which created as years went on not only a monopoly in the land available for building purposes, but an increase in the value. Today there is now a town built where there was no town, and where, I remember, there was nothing but sandbank and sandhills. The town has had to lay the drains at the expense of the feuars, it has had to make the roads largely at the expense of the feuars, and then, when it was found that the drainage had to be conducted into the sea, the landlord actually claimed the unearned increment of the sea, and sued us at the Court of Session, with the result that the feuars had to pay something like £2,000 in order to satisfy the claims of the landlord, who complained that salmon might be poisoned by the drainage whir was being taken to the Moray Firth in order that human beings might not be poisoned by it.

The hon. Member for Ayr Burghs ventures to get up in this House and to tell us that that typical case, for that is the typical case, must be put aside because a few individuals, like myself, may have to pay a few shillings now and again as an expression of the unearned increment that is being placed on land owned by that particular gentleman. What this clause is going to do is this, it is going to hit the landlords who have been holding up their land, because their land is a natural monopoly, what ever may be said by logic choppers for and against. As a matter of simple fact and as a matter of experience the land of this country is a monopoly and its market value is created by the fact that it is a monopoly. If it were not a monopoly the economic laws which regulate the expression of its value would not operate at all. It is for those reasons we claim, when the community created this unearned increment, as is proposed in the clause, we have a right to take a part of that unearned increment and use it for our own: purposes. We were told, moreover, that this was a mere abstraction, that this unearned increment was merely hypothetical. I would like to know what is the view of the landlords on that. It is very significant that in the earlier parts of this Debate, when the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) was talking, in nine cases out of ten he referred to the persons who were going to pay the tax as "us." Ha kept on saying "the tax is imposed upon us, we are going to pay the tax, we are being punished." Who are the "we"? The landlord classes of this country. It is all very well for them to come in now and talk about the high morality of possession. What did they show of it in the whole of their history in this country? I have known scores of small owners who are valued now at such a high valuation by some of the hon. Members who spoke above the Gangway, whose lands have been taken from them by the large owners. There was then no question of the maintenance of an independent yeomanry in this country.

It is all very well for hon. Members to sneer now, but these things are remembered by us who have been victims of the oppression of the class to which they belong. We know perfectly well what the operation of private ownership of land has been. It is nothing but a subject of rather amusing reflection in our own hearts when we hear some of the speeches which have been delivered during the last five days. There is not a single piece of land ever held by the people, ever held by small owners, ever enjoyed by the people, from a footpath to a common, but that they have cast their eyes on, and in too many cases their hands upon, and have appropriated for their own purposes, without compensation, without leaving the people to enjoy80 per cent. of it, as is proposed by this Bill. Therefore, when we hear some of these speeches delivered against this proposal, we do not feel impressed by the logic or morality behind these speeches. The principle of the clause is perfectly clear, whether the machinery is adequate or not. I am not concerned with defending the machinery in all its details. You cannot possibly create a perfect machinery to carry out this principle in one Act of Parliament. Circumstances which nobody can foresee will arise, and there are occasions that will occur which cannot be prevented beforehand by clauses of an Act of Parliament. All that we have got to make up our minds about is this. Is the machinery provided a tolerably fair machinery? So far as I am concerned, I think it is.

It has been suggested by the hon. Member for Cardiff (Mr. Ivor Guest), without giving any detail, that it is a great mistake to levy the rate except where the property is actually realised, but the effect of that is going to be, that every time the property is realised the seller or the buyer is to be punished, so to speak. Every large land-owner who holds up never gets his increments reduced by a tax. Therefore, a man who can hold up his land simply accumulates and increases his annual income, and the increment is never touched at all. That is precisely the man who ought to be touched. If this tax is justified it must act with a certain amount of steady regularity. It must add to the Exchequer an income steadily, regularly, and with a tolerable amount of certainty. You have, therefore, got not merely to tax the man who sells or the man who buys, but the man who holds, otherwise a premium is placed upon land being let out for building purposes upon lease rather than sold for building purposes. The hon. Member may have some machinery in his mind, but he did not disclose it in his speech, but, taking the general principle that would be the inevitable effect of the suggestion which he made in the earlier part of this Debate. I have held very firmly and very warmly to the principle of the clause, because I happen to have experienced landowners, but on the other side of the scale from that of hon. Members above the Gangway. I have, as I say, held firmly and warmly to the principle, and I hope, however much hon. Members may disagree, they will believe held very honestly and held very sincerely. From that point of view and on general principles I support the clause. So far as the details are concerned, I think they are tolerable. I think they have been thought out carefully, and that there is a sufficiently good beginning to enable adjustment and readjustment in future years which will enable this tax to be collected equitably. Therefore I am going to support the clause when the Division comes.


I do not intend to detain the House for more than a few minutes, because of the very legitimate desire of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the Debate on this clause should be brought to a close early this evening. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] I wish especially to deal with the point raised by the hon. Member who has just spoken, and with the argument used by the Prime Minister, and which I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer endorses. The Prime Minister the other day, speaking elsewhere, said that his reason for this tax was as follows: — In cases where an owner of land, not from his own effort, enterprise, or expenditure, but from social Cannes, for which the community, and the community alone, is responsible. The Government are not, therefore, imposing taxes upon land, they are taxes upon the communal value which has been added to the land by the exertions of the State. That is the Prime Minister's defence of this tax. If it is the real defence for the tax why does the Government stop at 20 per cent.? If this communal value has been really earned by it the State is morally entitled to the whole of it. There is no dividing line between taking the whole of the unearned increment and taking part of it. I think, also, I shall carry the hon. Member (Mr. Ramsay Mac-donald) with me in asserting that there are other forms of unearned increment which cannot and never have been differentiated by the Front Bench from the unearned increment on land. It has been constantly said, in answer to that argument, that the difference lies in the fact that land is a monopoly, whereas the exertions of the individual are never a monopoly because competition can come in. A particular piece of land may be a monopoly, but there is always the competition of another piece of land. [An HON. MEMBER: "No, no."] Always. I venture to state if any Member of this House wanted a particular piece of land, and could not get that particular piece of land, he would take another piece. With regard to the second point as to competition, to have that answered with any validity, we should be driven to the conclusion which Mr. Henry George accepted, that the effect of competition is to lower the wages of all classes in the community to a bare subsistence. That was Mr. Henry George's main proposition in "Progress and Poverty." He argued that private property in land resulted in the land-owners getting the whole of the wealth of the country beyond a bare subsistence wage for the workers. The natural result of the argument is that competition deprives the worker of his share of unearned increment, leaving the land-owner his share. It is not true in fact.

As a matter of fact land has not increased so rapidly as other forms of property in this country, including above all that form of property which I may describe as "intellectual property." Nothing has increased so much as the wages of intellectual labour. If there were anything in the argument as to competition, lawyers and doctors should have the same wages as they had fifty years ago but we know they have increased, and that they have shared the unearned increment.

The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. R. Macdonald) said he was willing to accept a system of taxation for every form of unearned increment if a reasonable system could be devised. We have that reason- able system already in the Income Tax and the Death Duty. They are the methods of taxing the increment. Everybody who has increment has to pay on it, and everybody who has property has to pay on it. By these two methods I maintain you do lay hold of all the unearned increment of the country. Wealth, from whatever source it comes, is taxed by those two methods. I wish especially to deal with the point made by the Prime Minister and by a great many newspapers of the country with regard to unearned increment. I have often argued, and hon. Members opposite, that it is unfair to tax unearned increment unless you compensate for unearned decrement. The Prime Minister attempted to answer that by saying do you then propose not to impose Income Tax on a man unless you—


I really do not think we ought to discuss questions which come in on later clauses. That question of decrement can be raised, and will be raised, no doubt, on the next clause.


I was not arguing that there ought to be a deduction. I think it is quite relevant to my contention. The point is that if you do not compensate for a decrement you are in fact taking something away from the present value. The Prime Minister and other Members of the Government say you are not to take anything away from the present value, that really that is sacred. They say, "If your property increases we will take something away from it, but if it declines we will not compensate you." Then clearly you are depreciating the present value. I think that point is quite unanswerable. That is why we argue that the two things must go together.

Let me finally put this point. I think it is now agreed that taxes are paid by persons and not by things. If that is so, I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will deal with a question which has been put again and again by opponents of this tax, and tell us why a person who derives his income from land should be taxed at a higher rate than a person who derives his income from other things. That is a question which has never been answered. No contrast between land and other things answers the question. You are dealing with persons, and you propose by this tax to pick out a particular body of persons and penalise them, while you do not penalise other persons who are equally poor or equally rich. You do that in defiance of the principle of taxation laid down by Adam Smith, which has hitherto been accepted by everybody, that you should tax people upon their means, so that those who have most pay most. Instead of doing that, you are picking out people because they own a particular form of property, whether they be poor or whether they be rich, to pay an exceptional tax. That I regard as unjust, and I hope, even at this late period of the Debate, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will explain why he does it.


The speech of the hon. Member for Leicester {Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) was one not often made in this House; and, speaking for my friends and myself on this side, we shall not pay much attention to it. We do not acknowledge ourselves to be sinners in the sense suggested by the hon. Member, and we regard with indifference the broad phylacteries of other people sitting in other parts of the House. The hon. Member told us that the land-owners of this country had not title to their property, because they did not create the land.


I should raise no objection if the hon. Member accurately reproduced what I said; but in the present instance he is very much mistaken.


I certainly do not wish to misrepresent the hon. Member, but he did say that their title was bad, because they did not create the land.


What I said was that the unearned increment upon land, not being created by the individual, is not held by private individuals by the same kind of title as other kinds of property are held by them.


It is rather hard to follow the hon. Member. He told us that the title was bad, and that the property was not created by us. The same argument applies to the sovereign which the hon. Member has in his pocket. Will he maintain that he made that sovereign I do not think that that sort of argument is worth answering. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board challenged us on this side to speak on this clause in regard to the principle of the measure. Because two or three of my hon. Friends have spoken on the clause, and have not referred to the principle, he maintained that they were in favour of it.


I never said anything of the kind.


The hon. Member also told us that he would not speak of the immorality of land-owners. I am a landowner; I have never done anything immoral in connection with land; and I maintain that the process of holding land is as honest and honourable as any other. Hon. Members may say what they like; we are not going to stand in white sheets in this House.

The Parliamentary Secretary also spoke about the value of land increasing in this country. We all know that agricultural land has not increased in value lately. It is claimed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to protect agricultural land. I maintain that the provisions of this Bill, at all events, will not do so. The mere fact that the Bill is so drawn as to put back the date 20 years shows that the Government have not taken much trouble to inquire into the question of the decrement in land. The Report of the Royal Commission on Agricultural Depression shows that in the year 1875 the average rent for agricultural farm land was 33s. 10½d.; in 1885 it was 20s. 3d.; and in 1894 20s. 0½d.—a drop of 13s. 10d. in those years The Government are only going back to 1889, which is nearly the low-water mark. If they intend to safeguard agricultural land from being charged Increment Duty on low-water mark, they ought to go back at least to the year 1875. The owning of land a hundred years ago, or even two' hundred years ago, gave the possession of that land a much greater position in the country than he holds at present. It is all very well to talk about land-owners being so wealthy, having a monopoly, and so forth; but as far as social position and pecuniary interest go, during the last hundred years they have not increased in the same ratio as other classes in the country. Why, therefore, they should be the only class selected to be penalised by punitive taxation I cannot make out. The hon. Member made light of the prophecies of Lord Avebury with regard to the Act of 1894. Surely he does not know much about the country if he is not aware that a vast number of country houses were shut up. There are large districts in the country where there is hardly an owner living in his house; the houses are all let to gentlemen who have made large fortunes in other pursuits of life. The hon. Member says that the Act of 1894 has not done half the bad things that were prophesied in regard to it. But it has been in operation only 15 years, which is not half a generation. Even he will not suggest that all the land-owners have died in that period, and it is only in the cases where they have died and come under the operation of the Bill that the hardship has been felt.

When at an earlier stage in these Debates I made an interjection about minerals the Chancellor of the Exchequer treated me as a Daniel come to judgment. I have no objection to being called names, and I never felt any uneasiness at all about Daniel. What did concern me was the methods of Shylock. With regard to minerals under Clause 1, we are told that there is an Increment Tax analogous to this in other countries. I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer will tell me that Frankfort applies in this case. Questions as to Increment Tax on minerals cannot be met by analogies from Frankfort. I think my right hon. Friend the Member for East Worcestershire (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) was rather hard on the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he found fault with him for hiding some of the facts of actual practice. My right hon. Friend must have forgotten the nationality of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He has a Celtic imagination, and I think he must be a direct lineal descendant of that Welshman who drew the famous parallel between Macedon and Monmouth: "There is a river in Macedon; there is also a river in Monmouth; and there are salmon in both. "The right hon. Gentleman goes to Frankfort, or New Zealand, or Australia, or any part of the world you like, brings back examples for us, and says, "Here you are; that will do for your tax in England." These analogies and comparisons are absolutely worthless. What is more, I do not wish to take my taxation from Germany, or any other country. [MINISTERIAL cheers.] Those cheers do not disturb me; I have never concealed my opinions on that point. I do not like foreign methods of that sort; and I know not why the Chancellor of the Exchequer is always advancing them in this House.

With regard to minerals we have had no discussion. I, of course, bow to your ruling, Sir; but I do not know why some of the Amendments were not discussed on Clause 1. Most distinctly minerals come under the operation of that clause; the Chancellor of the Exchequer said so. I maintain that minerals cannot come under this Increment Tax. How are you going to obtain an increment on minerals? The Chancellor of the Exchequer has not used the phrase "ungotten minerals" lately. It was a very mysterious phrase, which I have been unable to fathom. During the vacation I spent some time studying the geology of the British Isles. I learnt something about the primary, secondary, and tertiary formations; I remember something of the upper and lower silurian systems; but I have never been able accurately to locate the Georgian strata; and the experts whom I have consulted on the subject informed me that if they are ever found they will probably be too hot to be worked. The Chancellor of the Exchequer received on Thursday last a deputation from the Coal Miners' Association, which must have made some impression upon him. I have several Amendments down to the mineral clauses in the Bill, and I think he will pay some attention to them when he knows the source from which they come. I should like to point out to the Committee a few points with which my Amendments will deal. They are drawn up by one of the most distinguished solicitors in the North of England, who knows all about the coal trade, and I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer will agree that they are worth some consideration. In the first place, increment cannot be charged on undeveloped coal. Nearly all coal is either let or in process of being worked I do not know any district where coal is not worked at present, and if it is not worked it has no potential value. How can you have an increment in a thing which is not worked? In the case of coal which is leased, how, on the death of a man, can there be any increment in that? Coal is leased at a certain price per ton, and unless the price is raised there will be no increment. On the passing or renewal of a lease it is impossible to have an increment of value, because the lease is not fixed like an agricultural lease or any other lease on a certain fixed duty. It is fixed on the amount of coal raised, and therefore it is impossible to say that there will be any increment upon it. There is a lot of dead rent, but the amount of the lease itself depends on the amount of the coal brought to the surface. The amount of coal brought to the surface depends upon a number of circumstances. Therefore if he rents the coal at a higher lease next year than he has done this year you cannot claim the increment because you do not know the increment that will be received. Under this Bill you will have to capitalise that increment as if it were real capital. I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman, too, that under this Bill no proper clause is drawn up and no provision made to deal with the interests of the lessor and the lessee. Under Clause 15 the lessor, the owner of the coal, will not only have to pay Undevelopment Duty on his own interests but also on the interest of the lessee. I should like to ask why that particular form of property is to be treated more harshly than others? I maintain that the owner of the minerals ought to be exempted from Increment Duty, in the first place because it is unworkable, and not to be got at; and in the second place because he will have to pay two or three times over, by way of Reversion Duty, Undeveloped Land Duty, etc. Then there is the arithmetical problem as to how this tax will affect a man who owns mineral land in the neighbourhood of a town as against the person who owns Consols. Why should one be dealt with more harshly than the other? For instance, take the man who has an income of £6,000 per year from Consols. He pays a Super-tax on, roughly. £3,000 of 1s. 8d. in the pound. Take the case of a man who gets £6,000 a year from land near a town. The Commissioners come along and say that the land is undeveloped, and that it ought to be used for building purposes, and they fix the value of it at £150,000. The coal underneath is also valued at £150,000. On that total of £300,000 he will pay a halfpenny tax each year, which amounts to 2s. in the pound. This will be in addition to his 1s. 8d., so that, therefore, the man with mineral value and increment value will be charged practically a tax of 3s. 8d. in the pound, whereas the man who derives his income from Consols will be paying 1s. 8d. I am leaving out of consideration altogether all increment of rates and taxes, Death Duties, and other similar matters which press more heavily upon the owner of land than upon the owner of Consols. How does the Chancellor of the Exchequer justify these provisions?

I am not going into the merits of Clause 15 at present, but it says: "The total value of minerals means the amount which the fee simple of the minerals, if sold in the open market by a willing seller in their then condition, might be expected to realise, and the capital value of minerals means the total value, after allowing such deduction (if any) as the Commissioners may allow," etc. I maintain there is no site value in minerals. The "total value of minerals sold in the open market" means that the fee simple of the minerals will not be in the interests of the lessors, but in the interests of the lessee. The owner will have to pay increment on a capital value calculated against him on a basis that is quite wrong. I do not suppose for a moment the right hon. Gentleman meant that, but that is the effect of the Bill according to the learned solicitor I have mentioned, whose opinion has been fortified by learned counsel, and which opinion I believe to be absolutely correct. Of course, these mineral clauses have altogether been drawn too carelessly. The right hon. Gentleman seems to think that all the minerals are owned by the landowners——


We are not discussing whether or not the mineral clauses are badly drawn. The point is that Clause 1 stand part of the Bill.


I beg your pardon, but I desire to maintain my position on Clause 1, and to point out that the Bill has been drawn up so badly that I think that Increment Duty on minerals is absolutely unworkable. I most earnestly hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will pay some attention to these complaints, which I know are generally put forward by owners and lessors of minerals, and I hope that hon. Members on this side of the House will point out during the discussion on this first clause the injustice and penalising character of the legislation proposed in Clause 1 upon the owners of land generally.


The hon. Member who has just spoken alluded to the fact that some of the hon. Members on this side of the House were in favour of the principle of increment value. It has been apparent in this Debate that that is not so, because we are strongly opposed to the Increment Duty, as embodying a principle of the taxation of capital value, and capital value arbitrarily chosen, in place of the fairer principle of the taxation of the net income. I should think that this would have been made plain by the many reasons which have been given from these Benches against the increment provisions in the first clause, and not only given from this side of the House, but from the other side of the House. As was remarked some time ago by the right hon. Gentleman sitting below me, more speeches have been made from the other side of the House in criticism of these clauses than has been made in support of it. I am not concerned in the first instance to discuss the merits or demerits of the scheme of taxation which it embodies. I base my opposition in the first instance on the impossibility that the provisions of this clause can be operative by the date upon which this Bill is to come into force as an Act. I also base my opposition upon the impossibility that the prior work of valuation can be affected within the time suggested. My point is that the valuation for the purposes of carrying this first clause into effect must of necessity be a long and laborious process. The owner is to make his own valuation. In a very few instances will he be able to do so. Difficulties have been dwelt upon at length in this Debate. It is pretty certain that in almost every case the owner will have to have recourse to the services of the surveyor, and it will be found that there are very few surveyors competent to fulfil the duty. That will become clear when we consider the intricacies which will arise. In the valuation of urban property the surveyor will have to take into consideration not only the use to which the land is being put up to the present time, but also the use to which it may be put in the future. In considering this problem of value, all kinds of other considerations will arise, such as, for instance—to take one of the many—the rights of the adjoining properties. The Surveyor will have no real existing basis to work upon. Hitherto he has based his valuation upon market values. We all know that land and houses are let and sold together. No such basis exists for the separate valua-tion of the two things. It is, therefore, I think, quite obvious that the process of valuation in the case of urban property cannot be expeditious, and must, of necessity, delay the coming into force of this first clause.

Still greater will be the difficulties of site valuation in connection with agricultural land. In towns the bare site may perhaps at rare intervals come into the market and give some sort of basis for valuation, but it will not be so in the case of agricultural land, in connection with which the valuation of the site value will be extraordinarily difficult. In the case of large agricultural estates which have been for a long time in ownership and in connection with which there has been a strict method of book-keeping, the valuer will have the assistance of the records of the estate; but it seems to me that the chief difficulty will arise in con- nection with the smaller owners of the agricultural land, a class which is rapidly increasing, I am glad to think, at any rate in my part of the country—Devonshire. It is forgotten by those who are in charge of the Bill the extent to which this first clause will add to the burden of the small owners of agricultural land by the expenses attending the valuation. Such men will only know the price which they gave in the market for their holdings in the first instance. They will not be able to separate the site and the gross values. They will not even be able to make a comparative idea of the two values, and, of necessity, they will have to have recourse to the services of a surveyor, although they can ill afford to do so. Hon. Members can picture to themselves what immense labour will be thrown upon the shoulders of these surveyors, who are competent to make these valuations. The Lord Advocate said the other day that a careful valuer must go round every field, and take every estate most carefully. How can this work be performed expeditiously? The provisions of this Bill will force many land-owners to make a hurried valuation for themselves, although they are not competent to do so, and if they make any mistake, or incorrectly value their estate, I understand they are likely to be heavily fined. As to agricultural land, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that he does not wish to add to the burdens upon it. He recognises that it would not be fair to make agricultural land subject to the increment duty, as at this moment the value of agricultural land after many years decrease is so very low. We know he speaks most sincerely, but he tells us that we must rely upon his word, and that he cannot put it plainly in the Bill that no agricultural land is to be subject to this Increment Duty.


I never asked the Committee to rely entirely upon my words. I said that there were provisions in the Bill that would safeguard the agriculturist. These provisions may perhaps be a proper subject of Amendment if it seems necessary to make the matter clearer.


I quite understand the position the right hon. Gentleman takes up, but I think he will admit, I think most Members of the House will admit, that the matter is not clear at present. We know that the right hon. Gentleman will not always be Chancellor of the Exchequer. We can rely upon his word so long as he is Chancellor of the Exchequer. But we who represent those who get their living from agricultural land are strongly of opinion that in this Bill there ought to be some words which will protect agricultural land in the future, and will not leave it at the mercy and rapacity of Somerset House. We are strongly of opinion that agriculture in this first clause is not sufficiently safeguarded as the Bill is now worded. We all know there are certain Members on the opposite side of the House below the Gangway who welcome the fact that agricultural land is not safeguarded from this Increment Duty, because they look to putting some duty upon agricultural land in the future, the same as put upon urban land by this clause. We who are convinced that at present agricultural land is bearing an unjust burden are bound to oppose the wording of the Bill as it now stands. It opens up a possibility, and something more than a possibility, of having an increased charge put upon agricultural land in the future. It is a curious thing that so many hon. Gentlemen opposite, who are as zealous as possible not to tax the foreign importer of agricultural produce, are ready to put the whole burden of taxation upon the home producer. They do not mind taxing him. Again we say that such unjust taxation put upon the English agricultural producer amounts to giving a preference to the foreigner, and is to this extent protecting the foreign producer in our home market and hampering the home producer in Ins competition with the foreigner. In connection with these Debates the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. Soares) professed to speak on behalf of the tenant farmers of Devonshire. It seems to me that the hon. Member must have been suffering from a most extraordinary hallucination when he stated that the farmers of Devonshire were prepared to welcome these provisions of the Bill. If he imagined the opinion he gave utterance to were the opinions of the tenant farmers of South Devonshire he was labouring under an extraordinary hallucination. I have a somewhat longer acquaintance with the farmers of Devon than the hon. Member. During last Whitsuntide I made it my business to go down and to endeavour to ascertain what might be the views of the farmers in Devon in connection with this Budget and these clauses, and I may say without fear of contradiction that almost all the men there are convinced that many provisions in this Budget, and also the provisions of this clause, will deal a very serious blow to agricultural interests in Devonshire. They have held a meeting since that, and they have conveyed this opinion to the hon. Member for Barnstaple. I am concerned that if this Committee and this House should know that the hon. Member for Barnstaple, in professing to talk on behalf of the tenant farmers of Devonshire, is speaking absolutely without authority. I only repeat that in our opinion on this side agriculture is not sufficiently safeguarded by the words at present in the Bill. We welcome the declaration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he will be ready to consider any further words which may carry out what we have in view, but the wording being such as it is now, I feel myself constrained to vote against the provisions of this clause.


We have now reached the end of the first stage in the long journey before us, and it is the duty of the Committee to devote themselves to the consideration whether the clause with which we have been dealing during the last five days, and which in some small particulars has been amended, really embodies any principle which ought to find a permanent place in our Statute Book when we are dealing with the taxation of the subject. We have had only two speeches tonight, so far as I remember, in favour of the clause—one by the hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Treasury Bench on behalf of the Government, and the other from one of the leading Members of the Labour and Socialist party. They represent the combined forces which are trying to compel us to adopt this absolutely novel departure in our fiscal system, and though the tone and the temper of the two speeches was utterly dissimilar, I cannot make out that the doctrines underlying them are profoundly different. It is quite true that when the Under-Secretary spoke on behalf of the Government he repudiated altogether the idea that the owners of land, and those who obtain increment upon their property in land, hold either property or increment by different moral or legal tenure from any other persons who hold property which increases or may increase in the future.

He was charged, and the Government were charged, by my right hon. Friend the Member for East Worcester with holding the opposite doctrine, but they repudiated that. They acknowledge apparently now, they do acknowledge, that the owner of land has precisely the same title to the land and the same title to the increment, both by fundamental principles of morality, so far as they apply to these questions at all, by tradition, by law, by customs, by the habits of civilised people, as any other citizens of the Crown have to the property they own, and which may have an increment just as land may have. I welcome that admittance from the Treasury Bench. It is not quite in accord with the admission made by the hon. Member for Leicester, who represents the Labour party, but I am bound to say while I agree with the principle laid down from the Treasury Bench I think that Bill carries out not these principles, but the principles of the hon. Member for Leicester. If the owners of land ought to pay an increment on land standing in precisely the same relation to their property as any other holder of property, why should you treat them differently? The Member for Leicester says they do not stand in the same position, or if they did he would like to treat everybody who has an increment with the same scant consideration as this Bill proposes to treat those who are fortunate enough to obtain some increment in land. That is not the Government doctrine, and I am bound to say that the Under-Secretary in that part of his speech which he devoted to his rather interesting argumentative defence of the Bill never once really touched that question. There were parts of his speech which I confess did not illuminate us much; parts in which he told us that he thought the speeches of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the passage of the clause through Committee softened our objections to it, and the latter part of his speech in which he endeavoured to show that the taxation of increment value was common policy with politicians and thinkers of all shades of opinion. I do not think that that is very true or very illuminating. The middle part of his speech, in which he tried to argue the question, was, I think, more interesting. His argument came to very little, and when he came to analyse, he was driven down to appeals to economic authorities based upon a somewhat imperfect recollection of some of the economists to whose opinions weight has been given in many quarters of the House.

I will trouble the House only with reference to two able and orthodox political economists, both strong Radicals, Professor Fawcett and Professor Thorold Rogers, and, so far as I remember—I have not taxed my memory very closely upon the matter—they were the only two professional economists who had seats in this House, or had taken much part in our Debates during the 24 years that I have been a Member of this Assembly. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about John Stuart Mill'?"] The hon. Member is wrong in his dates. I do not think that John Stuart Mill sat again after the General Election of 1868. In any case, John Stuart Mill certainly was not in the House in my time. I never had the honour of sitting in the House with him. With the other two economists I have personal and friendly relationship. Both of them declared specifically and strongly against this proposal, which, under cover of economic authority, the Government now choose to bring forward. Nobody could have spoken or written more strongly than the late Professor Fawcett against the honesty of the proposals which the Government are now making. Nobody could have expressed in clearer or more emphatic terms the folly of trying to draw distinction in this matter between different kinds of property where no real distinction exists. And while I do not, I admit, take much interest in these appeals to economic authority or to the various writers who dealt with this subject, if we are to have these appeals to authority let them, at all events, take count of the difference of opinion, if difference of opinion there be, between economists. It is quite certain economists of high authority agree with me. I am by no means sure that any economist of authority agrees with the Government. We have had John Stuart Mill thrown at our heads in these Debates, but I do not believe that John Stuart Mill would approve of this proposal. John Stuart Mill's view has been, as far as I remember—I frankly admit I have not refreshed my memory by any late study of the particular work—but my recollection of John Stuart Mill was that he thought you ought either to appropriate the unearned increment of the land, to take all of it or buy out the landlords. His view was the view of the Prime Minister, that the value of land was increasing, that the increase in its value was regular, normal, continuous, and he suggested that the landlord should be bought out, and that the regular, normal, and continuous increase should be appropriated by the community. That is not the proposal of the Government, nor is it anything like their proposal. The Government proposal is a very different one, and they have defended it, I think, as was pointed out just now by the hon. Member for Preston, without apparently understanding what it is. They think, apparently judging from the speech of the Under-Secretary and other speeches from the Government Benches, that they are not touching the present value of any owner. They seem to think that the owner of building land and site values, wherever they may be, is not going to surfer in the present immediate value of his property on account of the tax they are going to impose. Why, that is grotesque. Of course, he is going to suffer in his property. What you are doing, and really without disguise—you may wrap it round with ambiguous phrases, no practical man will doubt I am saying the exact truth— what you are doing is, you are putting on a tax which will take away the prospective value of land, the prospective value of which is a present worth in the market. Every single man, be he a large or a small owner, from one end of the country to the other, will have a smaller bulk of property in his possession after this Bill passes than he had before. That is undeniable. If you admit that these men hold their property by the same title, legal and moral, as anybody who owns Consols lying at their bankers; if the Government acknowledge that, how can they justify taking a chunk out of the property of these people under the name of taxing the future increment of land? It is perfectly true that the word "future"appears in their arguments, but the loss is immediate. The loss comes now and here on the date of the passing of this Act. It is then the loss will be inflicted. I am afraid I may go further, and say that even the introduction of this Bill, putting out of account all prospect whether it passes or not, the mere fact that a Government of supposed respectable men think it consistent with their views of public morality to make this special attack upon a special class will undoubtedly inflict, has inflicted, and is inflicting a great injury upon the particular owners of a particular class of property. I believe that at the back of the mind of the Government, and at the back of the mind of many supporters of this tax, there is this strange idea that the growth in the value of all land, not merely building land, but of all land, is, in the words of the Prime Minister, "regular, normal, and continuous." But it is not regular, it is not normal, and it is not continuous.

We have had this appeal to economists. There was an eminent economist in this House, Mr. Cobden, who applied this theory of regular, normal, and continuous growth in the value of land to the conduct of his own private affairs. He was so convinced, not merely that building land would rise, and that it would immediately rise in consequence of the Corn Laws, that he invested large sums in the purchase of land in the hope that the labours of the community would add to its value. But the labours of the community did not add to its value, and the result was, not once, but twice, Mr. Cobden's friends had to come to his assistance, and very large sums had to be subscribed by his admirers to extricate him from the financial embarassment due in no small measure to the fact not only that as a matter of abstract speculation, but as a matter of real practical business the growth of urban building land was not" regular, normal, and continuous. "Mr. Cobden's experience extended over many years. He bought the land in the forties, and 20 years or more after that there had to be a second subscription on the part of his friends, and a second time they had to extract him from difficulties due to his belief that the growth of all the land was" regular, normal, and continuous. "I am quoting a practical economist against some of the speculative political economy we have been favoured with by hon. Gentlemen opposite. When any private property has not this continuous rise, when it goes up and down as other property goes up and down, when the purchase has an element of known speculation, when a man backs his opinion against other people's opinion, and says," I think this land will rise, and I am ready to risk my money in it," for the Government to come forward, and, with regard to that kind of transaction, and that alone, to step in and claim all the unearned increment, or a fraction of it, seems absolutely unjustifiable by any authority, economic, moral, political, or fiscal.

I will say this for the Government, that while they make this special attack" upon the pockets of a particular class, they have not imitated the hon. Member for Leicester, who made a violent speech against the class generally. I was sorry to hear the hon. Member's speech, because I happen to have an admiration for the Parliamentary style of that hon. Gentleman, and, when he chooses to argue, no one argues with more lucidity and earnestness appropriate to the occasion. I do not always agree with him, but I admit that no man puts his case, as a rule, with more moderation, compression, or more force; but he could not resist, I regret to say, lapsing into what I consider the worst form of platform attack upon a particular class. I do not know out of what fount of bitterness came his attack upon those who own land, or why he should have made this violent assault upon them. I do not know upon what historical basis it is founded. Does he really think that less public spirit or less liberality has been shown by owners of land than, for instance, by manufacturers, or labour leaders, or any other class of men? I am sorry that he could not deal with a subject, which is, after all, a matter for argument, without making this violent, unnecessary, and wholly unfounded attack upon a particular class, against whom he appears to cherish some strange aversion. So ardent is the flame of hatred which burns in the breast of the hon. Gentleman that he put on one side all the arguments we have ventured to adduce, showing how this clause will affect the small owners, and he was entirely consoled by the satisfactory thought of the happy and consoling reflection that the big owners will be hurt almost as much. I think the hon. Gentleman is quite wrong. I think big owners will be hurt, but when you come to the practical working of this Bill you will find that in inconvenience, as well as in pure cash, it is the small holder who will be hurt more than the big owner.

I will take the example given by the hon. Member for Leicester. He told us he was a feuar in some town in Scotland. I take it that he is not a feuar of the class which is so common in all the big towns in Scotland, in which a flat, or part of a flat, is actually owned in a way practically amounting to a freehold, by an artisan, or by some small owner. Consider the position of that man under this Bill. He owns half a fourth storey in some large house in Edinburgh or Glasgow, and this is a most common case. He will not be hurt in pocket by the unearned increment of that half flat, because in most cases there will be no unearned increment. But will he escape from the oppressive action of this Bill? Not a bit. Whenever anybody dies who has an interest in that land, except the man who owns it, who, being a superior, and has let it out on feu, is not concerned in this Bill at all—when anybody dies with an interest, except the owner, the whole thing will have to be revalued, although there is not the least prospect of the country getting a shilling out of the unearned increment. I have argued this on the lines of justice, but apparently they have no weight with the great mass of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Is there worse finance conceivable than establishing a method which gives very little to the Exchequer in an enormous number of cases, but, in order to get that little, inflicts a material inconvenience amounting to hardship on a large number of people who are not going to pay the tax at all? That is not finance at all. How are you going to justify this perpetual annoyance of small people? They will feel the annoyance more than those who have better means of dealing with it. By what canon is this justifiable? Search through all the catena of economists, and you will not find any man who would not condemn a tax which put enormous inconvenience upon the taxpayer in proportion to what was realised, and, in addition, put an enormous inconvenience upon a number of taxpayers who will not be asked to pay anything. I call that a ludicrous system. It is perfectly unjustifiable, and while I have confined my illustration to a single Scotch artisan holding a flat or a portion of a flat in a large house, everybody knows that in different shapes and forms the same grievance and difficulty arises in every one of the big towns south of the Tweed.

But there is really a more serious aspect of this question than that to which I have referred. The hon. Member for Leicester stated with unanswerable consistency that he liked this tax because it taxed unearned increment, and wherever unearned increment was shown he would like equally to tax it. I call that consistency—in fact, it is the logic of consistency —but is that the doctrine of the Government or is it not? Observe the insecurity in which you put all kinds of property. Take the first kind of property which you are specially taxing. You put on this tax with approval. You advance doctrines which justify you in taking not merely one-fifth of the unearned increment but in taking the other four-fifths. How does that throw insecurity into that form of property. You have a body of people who deliberately say that every analogous case ought to be treated in a similar manner. Is the case of land special or not special? I am not sure that is the view of the Prime Minister. The hon. Member for Leicester does not seem to draw any distinction between property in land and property in other things, and he is quite ready to tax unearned increment in every kind of property when he can get hold of it The Prime Minister is sitting there, and he will be able to contradict me if I am wrong in stating that he sympathised with that idea in a speech that he delivered.


What speech?


The speech that he made at the Holborn Restaurant. From that speech I gathered that he regards only as a question of time whether the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, or his successor, will not appropriate other forms of property in the name of increment as well as land. In the first place, the supporters of this Budget take one kind of property, and one kind of property alone. They accompany their proceedings by obscure hints. The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) says this is only a beginning, and when it is found practicable for a Chancellor of the Exchequer to start on another buccaneering expedition this principle will justify other taxes. That, I say, is giving insecurity to the whole tenure of realised property. Are we sincerely to believe that you can advance these principles in a country like ours, backing them up by action such as is embodied in this Bill, without sooner or later, and, I am afraid, sooner than later, instilling the poison of insecurity into our general system, which must react into every sphere of industry and of human activity, and which will on all possible

occasions do more harm than even inexpedient taxation does, to prevent the growth of industry, that application of capital and the improvements of the condition of mankind which are more necessary in these crowded islands of ours than in any country that the world has ever seen.

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


On a point of Order. When I moved the first Amendment to postpone Clause 1, you ruled that I was out of order in discussing Clause 1 on the proposal to postpone the clause, as we should have ample opportunity to discuss it on the Amendment now before the House. I have not had the opportunity of addressing the House on the present Amendment. Shall I now be in order in discussing Clause 1?


That is not a point of order. The actual question put to me has no connection with the present Amendment. All that I have to consider in accepting the Closure is what are the rights of the minority.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 260; Noes, 114.

Division No. 215] AYES. [8.6 p.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Brocklehurst, W. B. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Brodie, H. C. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Agnew, George William Brooke, Stopford Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Ainsworth, John Stirling Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir T. J. (Cheshire) Dobson, Thomas W.
Aiden, Percy Bryce, J. Annan Duckworth, Sir James
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Buckmaster, Stanley O. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)
Armitage, R. Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Buxton, Rt. Hon Sydney Charles Elibank, Master of
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Byles, William Pollard Esslemont, George Birnie
Astbury, Thomas Meir Cameron, Robert Evans, Sir S. T.
Atherley-Jones, L. Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Everett, R. Lacey
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Cheetham, John Frederick Falconer, J.
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R Fenwick, Charles
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Ferguson, R. C. Munro
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Cleland, J. W. Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Clough, William Fuller, John Michael F.
Barnard, E. B. Cobbold, Felix Thornley Fullerton, Hugh
Barnes, G. N- Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Gibb, James (Harrow)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Gill, A. H.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John
Beck, A. Cecil Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)
Bell, Richard Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Glover, Thomas
Bellairs, Carlyon Crooks, William Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford)
Benn, w. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Crosfield, A. H. Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)
Bennett, E. N. Crossley, William J Greenwood, G (Peterborough)
Berridge, T. H. D. Dalziel, Sir James Henry Griffith, Ellis J.
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)
Boulton, A C. F. Davies, M Vaughan- (Cardigan) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Bowerman, C. W. Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Bramsdon, Sir T. A. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)
Branch, James Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hart-Davies, T.
Brigg, John Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Micklem, Nathaniel Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Middlebrook, William Soares, Ernest J,
Haworth, Arthur A. Mond, A. Spicer, Sir Albert
Helme, Norval Watson Money, L. G. Chiozza Stanger, H. Y.
Hemmerde, Edward George Montague, Hon. E. S. Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.) Morrell, Philip Steadman, W. C.
Henry, Charles S. Morse, L. L. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Strachey, Sir Edward
Hobart, Sir Robert Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Summerbell, T
Hodge, John Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Sutherland, J. E.
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Myer, Horatio Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) Napier, T. B. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Horniman, Emslie John Nicholls, George Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Hudson, Walter Norman, Sir Henry Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Hyde, Clarendon G. Norton, Captain Cecil William Thomasson, Franklin
Idris, T. H. W. Nuttall, Harry Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Jackson, R. S. Parker, James (Halifax) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Jardine, Sir J. Partington, Oswald Tillett, Louis John
Jenkins, J Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Tomkinson, James
Johnson, John (Gateshead) Pearce, William (Limehouse) Toulmin, George
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Philippe, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Kekewich, Sir George Pickersgill, Edward Hare Verney, F. W.
Kelley, George D. Pointer, J. Vivian, Henry
King, Alfred Jones (Knutsford) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Walters, John Tudor
Laidlaw, Robert Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Walton, Joseph
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster) Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Lambert, George Radford, G. H. Wardle, George J
Lamont, Norman Rainy, A. Rolland Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis Raphael, Herbert H. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Lehmann, R. C. Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Rendall, Athelstan Waterlow, D. S
Levy, Sir Maurice Richardson, A. Watt, Henry A
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Weir, James Galloway
Lupton, Arnold Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Lyell, Charles Henry Robinson, S. White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Lynch, H. B. Robson, Sir William Snowdon White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Roe, Sir Thomas Whitehead, Rowland
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Rogers, F. E. Newman Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Rose, Sir Charles Day Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
M'Callum, John M. Rowlands, J. Wiles, Thomas
McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Wills, Arthur Walters
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Maddison, Frederick Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Mallet, Charles E. Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Sears, J. E Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Warkham, Arthur Basil Seely, Colonel Winfrey, R.
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Marnham, F. J. Sherwell, Arthur James Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Mason, A E. W. (Coventry) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Massie, J. Silcock, Thomas Ball TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. Herbert Lewis.
Masterman, C. F. G. Simon, John Allsebrook
Menzies, Sir Walter Snowden, P.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Clive, Percy Archer Hardy, Lawrence (Kent, Ashford)
Ashley, W. W. Clyde, J. Avon Harris, Frederick Leverton
Balcarres, Lord Coates, Major E F. (Lewisham) Harrison-Broadley, H. B.
Baldwin, Stanley Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E. Helmsley, Viscount
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Courthope, G. Loyd Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Craik, Sir Henry Hill, Sir Clement
Banner, John S. Harmood- Cross, Alexander Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Dalrymple, Viscount Houston, Robert Paterson
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Doughty, Sir George Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Kerry, Earl of
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Du Cros, Arthur Keswick, William
Bignold, Sir Arthur Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Kimber, Sir Herry
Bowles, G. Stewart Faber, George Denison (York) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Fell, Arthur Lambton, Hon. Frederick William
Bull, Sir William James Fletcher, J. S. Lane-Fox, G. R.
Burdett-Coutts, W, Forster, Henry William Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Foster, P. S. Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Carlile, E. Hildred Gardner, Ernest Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)
Castlereagh, Viscount Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)
Cave, George Goulding, Edward Alfred Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gretton, John Lowe, Sir Francis William
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Chamberlain, Rt Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Guinness, W. E. (Bury St. Edmunds) MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hamilton, Marquess of M'Arthur, Charles
Magnus, Sir Philip Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Stone, Sir Benjamin
Mason, James F. (Windsor) Remnant, James Farquharton Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Renwick, George Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Ridsdale, E. A. Tuke, Sir John Batty
Moore, William Ronaldshay, Earl of Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Morpeth, Viscount Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Morrison-Bell, Captain Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Newdegate, F. A. Salter, Arthur Clavell Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Oddy, John James Sandys, Col. Thomas Myles Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Younger, George
Peel, Hon. W. R W. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Percy, Earl Smith, F. E. (Liverool, Walton)
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir
Pretyman, E. G. Stanier, Beville Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount
Randles, Sir John Scurrah Starkey, John R. Valentia.
Ratcliffe, Major R. F. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)

Question put, accordingly, "That the clause as amended stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 112.

Division No. 216.] AYES. [8.15 p.m.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Crooks, William Hogan, Michael
Acland, Francis Dyke Crosfield, A. H. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Cross, Alexander Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)
Agnew, George William Crossley, William J. Horniman, Emslie John
Ainsworth, John Stirling Dalziel, Sir James Henry Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Alden, Percy Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Hudson, Walter
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hyde, Clarendon G.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Idris, T. H. W.
Armitage, R. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Jackson, R. S.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Jradine, Sir J.
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Jenkins, J.
Astbury, Thomas Meir Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Atherley-Jones, L. Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Dobson, Thomas W. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Duckworth, Sir James Joyce, Michael
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Kavanagh, Walter M.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Kekewich, Sir George
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Kelley, George D.
Barnard, E. Etibank, Master of Kilbride, Dennis
Barnes, G. N. Esslemont, George Birnie King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Evans, Sir S. T. Laidlaw, Robert
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Falconer, J. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)
Beck, A. Cecil Fenwick, Charles Lambert, George
Bell, Richard Ferguson, R. C. Munro Lamont, Norman
Bellairs, Carlyon Flavin, Michael Joseph Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets. St. Geo.) Flynn, James Christopher Lehmann, R C.
Bennett, E. N Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)
Berridge, T. H. D. Fuller, John Michael F. Levy, Sir Maurice
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Fullerton, Hugh Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Boulton, A. C. F. Gibb, James (Harrow) Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Bowerman, C. W. Gill, A. H. Lundon, T.
Bramsdon, Sir T. A. Ginnell, L. Lupton, Arnold
Branch, James Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Brigg, John Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) Lyell, Charles Henry
Brocklehurst, W. B. Glever, Thomas Lynch, H. B.
Brodie, H. C. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Brooke, Stopford Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Bryce, J. Annan Greenwood, Hamar (York) MacVeagh, Jeremiah {Down, S.)
Buckmaster, Stanley O Griffith, Ellis J. MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)
Burke, E. Haviland- Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) M'Callum, John M.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Maddison, Frederick
Byles, William Pollard Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Mallet, Charles E.
Cameron, Robert Hart-Davies, T. Manfield, Harry (Northants)
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Markham, Arthur Basil
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Cheetham, John Frederick Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Marnham, F. J.
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Haworth, Arthur A. Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hedges, A. Paget Massie, J.
Cleland, J. W. Helme, Norval Watson Masterman, C. F. G.
Clough. William Hemmerde, Edward George Meagher, Michael
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.) Menzies, Sir Walter
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Henry, Charles S. Micklem, Nathaniel
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Middlebrook William
Cornwall,, Sir Edwin A. Higham, John Sharp Molteno, Percy Alport
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hobart, Sir Robert Mond, A.
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Hodge, John Money, L. G. Chiozza
Montague, Hon. E. S. Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Mooney, J. J. Randall, Athelstan Thomasson, Franklin
Morrell, Philip Richardson, A. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Morse, L. L. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Tillett, Louis John
Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Tomkinson, James
Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Robinson, S. Toulmin, George
Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Robson, Sir William Snowdon Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Myer, Horatio Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Nannetti, Joseph P. Roe, Sir Thomas Verney, F. W,
Napier, T. B. Rogers, F. E. Newman Vivian, Henry
Nicholls, George Rose, Sir Charles Day Walters, John Tudor
Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Rowlands, J. Walton, Joseph
Nolan, Joseph Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Norman, Sir Henry Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wardle, George J.
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan.)
Nuttall, Harry Scars, J. E. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Seely Colonel Waterlow, D. S.
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford) Watt, Henry A.
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Sherwell, Arthur James Wedgwood, Josiah C.
O'Doherty, Philip Shipman, Dr. John G. Weir, James Galloway
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Silcock, Thomas Ball White, Sir George.(Norfolk)
O'Kelley, James (Roscommon, N.) Simon, John Allsebrook White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
O'Malley, William Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Whitehead, Rowland
Parker, James (Halifax) Snowden, P. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Partington, Oswald Soames, Arthur Wellesley Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Pearce, Robert (Staff, Leek) Soares, Ernest J. Wiles, Thomas
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Spicer, Sir Albert Wills, Arthur Walters
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Stanger, H. Y. Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Steadman, W. C. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Pointer, J. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Power, Patrick Joseph Strachey, Sir Edward Winfrey, R.
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Summerbell, T. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Sutherland, J E. Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Radford, G. H. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. J. Herbert
Rainy, A. Rolland Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Raphael, Herbert H. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Lewis.
Ashley, W. W. Foster, P. S. Morrison-Bell, Captain
Balcarres, Lord Gardner, Ernest Newdegate, F. A.
Baldwin, Stanley Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Oddy, John James
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gretton, John Peel, Hon. W. R. W.
Banner, John S. Harmood. Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Percy, Earl
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Guinness, W. E. (Bury St. Edmunds) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hamilton, Marquess of Pretyman, E G.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford) Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Bignold, Sir Arthur Harris, Frederick Leverton Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Bowles, G. Stewart Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Bridgeman, W. Clive Helmsley, Viscount Remnant, James Farquharson
Bull, Sir William James Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert Renwick, George
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hill, Sir Clement Ronaldshay, Earl of
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Carlile, E. Hildred Houston, Robert Paterson Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Castlereagh, Viscount Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Cave, George Kerry, Earl of Sandys, Col. Thomas Myles
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Keswick, William Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Kimber, Sir Henry Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Clive, Percy Archer Lane-Fox, G. R. Stanier, Beville
Clyde, J. Avon Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Starkey, John R.
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E. Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Courthope, G. Loyd Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.) Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)
Cox, Harold Lonsdale, John Brownlee Tuke, Sir John Batty
Craik, Sir Henry Lowe, Sir Francis William Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Dalrymple, Viscount Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Doughty, Sir George M'Arthur, Charles Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Magnus, Sir Philip Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Du Cros, Arthur Mason, James F. (Windsor) Younger, George
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Faber, George Denison (York) Middlemore, John Throgmorton TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir
Fell, Arthur Mildmay, Francis Bingham Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount
Fletcher, J. S. Moore, William Valentia.
Forster, Henry William Morpeth, Viscount