§ Motion made and Question proposed: "That the Customs duty now charged on tea shall continue to be charged until the first day of July, nineteen hundred and ten, that is to say:—
§ Tea, the pound … … fivepence."
§ —[The Chancellor of the Exchequer.]1057
§ Mr. A. J. BALFOUR
I wish to make a correction of some figures that I gave on Monday last with regard to the effect of the new duties on the profits of Messrs. Whitbread's brewery. The misstatement which I have to correct was made through no fault of mine, and it tended rather against the force of my argument than the reverse. I first gave the figure showing the amount of burden upon that particular firm arising out of the old licence duties on public-houses' and brewers' licenses as they now exist. I then gave figures purporting to show the position which that firm would stand in after the new Bill came into operation, on the double hypothesis that the price of beer would not be increased and that the number of public-houses would not be diminished. But, as a matter of fact, I understated the latter amount, because I thought that the second set of figures I gave showed the total amount that would have to be paid in future, whereas it only showed the additional amount to be paid in future. Let me correct the figures. The present amount payable in licence duty by that firm is £16,700. The amount in future to be paid in licence duty will be £58,900. The increase of the licence duty, therefore, will be £42,000. Add the increase of the amount of the new brewer's licence, which is £9,500, and you arrive at the total additional taxation of £51,700. If you deduct from that the amount at present divided among the ordinary shareholders, namely, about £28,500, you will see that under the new duties, on the hypothesis I have mentioned, £23,000 more will be required by the State than is at present divided among the ordinary shareholders of this company.
§ Mr. HENRY CHAPLIN
May I be permitted to preface what I wish to say tonight by a reference, which shall be very brief, to the Debate which was commenced last night by my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford, in a speech which I think everyone will agree was one of great ability? It was met later in the evening by the Chancellor of the Exchequer with all the appearance of a generous desire to give it full and fair consideration. My hon. Friend, I think, showed a complete knowledge of his subject, and, whether they agreed with him or not, I think all those who heard him must have admitted that it was an able and admirably reasoned argument in support of his views. How was it met by the learned Attorney-General on behalf of the Government? The hon. and learned Gentleman got rather 1058 into trouble, I think, by his attempts to criticise the speech of my hon. Friend, and he was somewhat interfered with by some very embarrassing observations and interpositions by the Member for Chelmsford himself, by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean, and by my hon. Friend the Member for Oswestry, who practically brought his observations on the point with which he was dealing to an immediate close. He proceeded, which was much more convenient, to reply to an alternative Budget, as he described it, which was not before the House, and in the course of the observations he made he alluded to what he described as Free Trade finance, inveighing against taxation on the necessaries of life, especially bread. I was under the impression, and I am still, that we are here to discuss the Budget which is before us, and not a Budget which is not before us. Therefore, all that I find it necessary to say on this occasion is this: Whenever the time comes, as it will come, that such a Budget is before us—and probably it will be sooner perhaps than some hon. Gentlemen opposite expect—I will remind the hon. and learned Gentleman, in the first place, that there are, I am speaking entirely from recollection, some £15,000,000 or £16,000,000 of taxation on what he would call the necessaries of life, and for which he and his party are responsible at this moment. I will freely undertake to say this, in the second place, that whenever a Budget is introduced which commends itself to the Tariff Reformers on this side of the House, the price of the loaf will be infinitely less than it has been now for some considerable time under your system—which it is a regular imposition to call Free Trade, and which you on that side of the House will persist in lauding as Free Trade, although there is not a single Gentleman on the benches opposite who has ever yet at tempted to meet and answer the challenge which I and others have put to them over and over again in this House and elsewhere, and that is, to name to us any one considerable country in the world with which our trade is free at the present moment. I am not going, however, to be inveigled by the Attorney-General into a discussion on this subject; there will be plenty of opportunities, I hope, in the near future. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he spoke again, seemed to think that, because certain provisions of his Budget which he enumerated had not yet been, as he thought, effectually criticised, and because with regard to these 1059 provisions and some others which he named, my hon. Friend had not dealt with them specifically, therefore it must be assumed that three-fourths of this great Budget of his were approved. Really and truly that is one of those daring and buoyant assumptions on the part of the right hon. Gentleman to which we are becoming accustomed. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to forget both the character and the dimensions of the Budget which he has submitted to Parliament when he referred to the fact that there appeared to be very little criticism. How could it be otherwise? How is it possible that all the provisions of the Budget which he has submitted could have been criticised by hon. Members up to this time? Did he expect my right hon. Friend to speak for nearly five hours on Monday, as the right hon. Gentleman himself did on Thursday? Why we have had the introduction of the Budget and two days' Debate, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has spoken twice, has occupied nearly seven hours of the time. I have no complaint whatever of that. I think it is a tribute to the powers and ability of the right hon. Gentleman. Two other Ministers have spoken besides, but how long they spoke I really do not know. Seven other Members spoke on Monday, eight more, including one for only five minutes, the Noble Lord behind me, spoke yesterday. There are at least, I should say, an enormous number, and at least 50 more Members at the present time burning to pick the provisions of the right hon. Gentleman's Budget to pieces, and many of them perfectly well able and very well entitled to do so. But I understand you want to closure this part of our proceedings to-night. Really the right hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. He cannot first close the mouths of his opponents, and turn round to the country and say, "See what a Budget I have got, see how the City, see how all the local Press throughout the country, how kindly and warmly they approve of it," because in his humble opinion the provisions have not been effectually criticised. He mentioned the Navy, old age pensions, the deserving pauper, the Development Grant, industrial assurance, stamps, tobacco, and many other things. It so happened that I was about to catch your eye last night when the right hon. Gentleman courteously conveyed to me that he desired to speak himself after the then speaker sat down. Therefore, perhaps, I 1060 may be permitted to try and supply a few of the omissions on this occasion to what the right hon. Gentleman referred in his speech last night.
Before I do that, there is something else that I desire to speak of, and it appears to me to be of the greatest importance. The Committee will remember that in the closing sentences of his statement on Thursday last, which taxed so severely the powers of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I am quite sure of this: that in his strenuous task we, on all sides of the House, gave him our complete and entire sympathy, he described the proposals which he had just submitted to the Committee as a "War Budget." In one sense I entirely agree with him, because, before he sat down, I had come to the conclusion myself, after carefully hearing the various items of the new taxation which he announced, that this Budget was the first real serious step in advance towards that war, with which we have been threatened now for a very considerable time by the more advanced Members of the Socialist party against the possession by individuals of any property at all.
It is not too much to say of this Budget that it is the most important reinforcement that ever has been afforded by any English Government up to the present time to the more extreme views of the more extreme Members of the Socialist party in this country, whose aim and object it is not denied is to transfer the possession of all kinds of property whatever to the collective ownership of the community as a whole. Those are very grave and very serious considerations, and are all the more grave when we know that they receive the enthusiastic support of the Socialist party in this country, and that it is to this party that this Government, and deserting for that purpose even former Irish allies, have surrendered at discretion, so far, at all events, as their Budget is concerned. It makes it the more incumbent upon Members of this House, in my humble opinion, wherever they may sit, and in whatever quarter of this House, if they are opposed to the views and the aims of the extreme Socialist party in this country, to resist and to fight it by every means within their power.
I come to the actual Budget of the right hon. Gentleman. He stated on the introduction of the Budget that the two most important items, as regards expenditure, at all events, were the Navy and old age pensions. I entirely agree with him. It 1061 adds greatly to my regret that I was compelled by advice which I could not ignore to be absent from the country at the time of the great controversy on naval affairs which aroused such a manifestation of feeling not only in this country, but throughout the Empire as a whole. Though absent, I did my best to carefully watch all that went on. I read with the keenest admiration and interest of the splendid fight which was made by my right hon. Friend and his supporters, and I have followed, I think, almost every word that was said on the subject. So far as I am concerned, apart from all other objections to this Budget, they are innumerable, and this is the answer to the right hon. Gentleman, who assumed last night that we were all of us prepared to support and approve of his proposals in his Budget. So far as only the Navy is concerned, I shall be prepared to offer the most uncompromising opposition to this Budget on the ground of the inadequate provision it makes for the Navy, and on that ground alone. I notice that the Prime Minister, speaking the other day at Glasgow, maintained that the sole issue between himself and his Cabinet and the Opposition in reference to their proposal's regarding the Navy was this: Whether the Government should bind themselves to build the four extra ships at once or leave the question to be determined later in the year; and he repeated the emphatic assurance which he said that both he and the Foreign Minister had already given, that if the necessity should arise they would be prepared to exercise at once the powers which they had asked of the House of Commons. Then he made this addition, which was received, I observe, with loud and prolonged cheering by his audience:—If you believe that that assurance is honestly given in good faith by the Government, what more do you want?It is not a question of good faith. I should be the last person in the world to accuse the right hon. Gentleman of want of good faith, either in this or in any other matter under the sun. Nor does that quite strictly represent what is the question at issue. So far as I have been able to follow it, the question is perfectly simple. It is this: Has not that necessity of which he speaks arisen already? Is it or is it not true that we are confronted with it at this moment? To that question, of course, the right hon. Gentleman says "No," while all of us on this side, I believe, say "Yes." That is the question at issue. The right hon. Gentleman must 1062 forgive me for saying this. He must remember that his judgment and his assurances on this point are already discounted.
The right hon. Gentleman is going a little far in discussing the Navy. The question of the Navy only arises in so far as it affects the finance in the Budget. He is now dealing with the question whether we ought or ought not to build more ships.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
Of course, I instantly bow to your decision; but in justice to myself I wish to remind you that what I have been endeavouring to say just now was in reply to a direct challenge given to this side of the House. But, of course, as you have ruled that it is out of order, I will pass from this question altogether, and deal with other parts of the Budget. I am rather sorry, because I had very little more to say, and I had hoped that I might have been able to influence in some degree the ultimate decision even of the Prime Minister himself.
I will go now to the question of old age pensions. I gathered from the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Thursday night, when he dealt with the question of old age pensions, that the views of His Majesty's Government had undergone some considerable modification since they dealt with this question last year in the first instance. I was not surprised, for we on this side of the House have always maintained that that question had never been half thought out or considered; and three parts of it, the House must remember, were never discussed in this Assembly at all. This is no adverse criticism, nor is it intended to be, on the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was brought into this matter very late in the day; and, if I may presume to say so, I think one of the wisest things he ever did in his life was to go to Germany, as he afterwards did, and thoroughly sift and examine into this question and into the system in vogue in Germany on the spot. The Committee will remember that last Session the Prime Minister, in introducing his scheme, canvassed and discussed the position in Germany, and dismissed both Germany and the experience to be derived from her system in the most unceremonious fashion as utterly impracticable, inapplicable, and impossible in this country. But on Thursday night we heard from the right hon. Gentleman, with the greatest possible pleasure, a most elaborate and, what seemed to me, a most well-deserved encomium on the system in Germany, which 1063 he described as a superb system. Of course, if such a scheme could either now or hereafter be introduced into this country, or engrafted on to the present scheme, it would make a most enormous diminution in the system of old age pensions in this country. I venture to say that this is a matter deserving the most serious and careful attention of this House. That declaration was followed by this most emphatic declaration of the right hon. Gentleman:—We are pledged, and definitely pledged by the speeches of the Prime Minister in and out of Parliament, to a considerable supplementing of our old age pension scheme.Then he asked how this was to be done. After considering the position of this country, after examining with great care the position in Germany, in Belgium, and in other foreign countries, and after considering how anything could be done in his own country, the right hon. Gentleman went on to make a statement of so much importance that I am going to ask the House to allow me to quote it. It was as follows:—All I am in a position now to say is that, at any rate, in any scheme which we may finally adopt we shall be guided by these leading principles or considerations.They are four in all, and I am going to take the first three to begin with.The first is that no plan can hope to be really comprehensive or conclusive which does not include an element of compulsion. The second is that for financial as well as for other reasons, success is unattainable in the near future, except on the basis of a direct contribution from the classes more immediately concerned. The third is that there must be a State contribution substantial enough to enable those whose means are too limited and precarious to sustain adequate premiums to overcome that difficulty without throwing undue risks on other contributors.That is the German system, and nothing else than the German system, which the Prime Minister would not hear of for a moment last year, but to which apparently—
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd-George)
The right hon. Gentleman is quite wrong. The German system would not answer the four conditions I laid down, for the simple reason that it involves practically working through the agency of friendly societies.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
The first three conditions I said were the German system and 1064 nothing else. As far as I am concerned I am only too delighted to think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has come to that conclusion. Now I will go on, with his permission, to the fourth principle, because I have a word to say on that point, which is not an unimportant one either. The right hon. Gentleman's fourth condition was this:—That in this country, where benefit and provident societies represent such a triumph of organisation of patience and self-government, as probably no other country has ever witnessed, no scheme would be profitable, no scheme would be tolerable, which would do the least damage to those highly beneficent organisations.No statement in the world could be more satisfactory to me or to my Friends on this side of the House, because, as the right hon. Gentleman will remember, I was engaged for some weeks before the second reading of the Old Age Pension Bill in pressing him most earnestly to give us the information which he admitted had been received from these societies as to the probable effect of his proposals. That information was kept back from us until after the second reading, and was handed to me on the Bench here just after the second reading had been closured. All I can say is that, in the speech which I made on the second reading, I spent at least a quarter of an hour in pressing on the right hon. Gentleman the supreme and absolute importance of safeguarding the rights of these societies, which own capital to the amount of upwards of £450,000,000, but to which pressure at that time, as far as I know, he paid not the slightest attention. So much on the question of old age pensions. So far as I am concerned, if only the right hon. Gentleman acts up to the views which I understood him to put forward in his Budget speech, if he means that, sooner or later, this is to be the harbinger of a great modification in the views of the Government on the question of old age pensions, and that they really mean to endeavour to mould into their scheme a contributory system in the future, I can only say that no one in the world will be better pleased than myself. I shall, however, after the sort of semi-disclaimer which the right hon. Gentleman has made to-night, carefully watch whether there is anything genuine in it or not. I hope I am not speaking too long. I pass for a moment from the question of old age pensions to the next question with which he tells us the Government are pledged to deal in a comprehensive scheme—namely, the problem of unemployment. We are to-have a scheme of insurance against unem- 1065 ployment, and that is one of the schemes which we are supposed entirely to approve, because it has not been criticised hitherto. How is it possible that we can approve of a system of insurance against unemployment when all that we know of it at present is—this is what the right hon. Gentleman tells us:—That it bristles with difficulties";No doubt it does. That we all know:—the Poor Law Commission put forward no definite scheme of their own, and that in consequence the Board of Trade has been engaged for the past six months in an endeavour to frame a scheme for itself. That the scheme"—Whatever it may be, is to have a trade basis (whatever considerations there may be in that)—that any insurance scheme of the kind must necessarily require contributions from both employer and employed, as well as a state grant and guarantees.And then we are told that the necessary Bill to establish this scheme of insurance, which we have failed to criticise during these Debates, cannot possibly be introduced or dealt with at all during this Session. That is not a very hopeful prospect, so far as the Government scheme is concerned, for unemployment. If nothing can be done for unemployment under the Government Budget this year, I am afraid there is a very great deal in this Budget which will very largely increase unemployment. The new and the heavy burdens on property, taken together, cannot possibly fail to have any other effect; and, apart from all other objections to these proposals, they are absolutely certain to lead to a great diminution of employment in all parts of the country, and especially where income is derived from agricultural land which is so enormously burdened already. Reductions will have to be made all over the country in the scale of living on the part of people who are not enormously rich. How are they to be made? Where will they have to be made? Why, it is obvious these reductions are always made in their establishments, in their houses, stables, gardens, and upon their estates. People in self-defence—from no other motive except a desire to avoid having an overdrawn account, or possibly the danger of being in the Bankruptcy Court—will make these inevitable reductions. What consolation do you suppose it is going to be to active workers of 40 to 50 years of age to tell them that they are to have, when they arrive at the age of 70, a pension of 5s. per week, when it is in exchange for the 15s. or 20s. per week which they are getting at the present? I can- 1066 not, I must confess, understand how it is that all these considerations appear to have so entirely escaped the attention of His Majesty's Government.
I pass for a few moments to another question which, according to the right hon. Gentleman, has been neglected. I refer to the Development Grant, which is so closely connected with the question of unemployment. Here let me say for myself that I am only discussing some of the objects to which that grant is to be devoted. I am not considering on this occasion the source from which it comes or the character of the Grant, which seems to me, I confess, to be to us, to say the very least, most questionable in the extreme. I am not going into that question now. It has been dealt with before, and no doubt it will be dealt with again. I listened to that part of the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer with the greatest possible interest, because he had a great deal to say on the question of agriculture greatly to my pleasure and rather, I must own, to my surprise. I did not know how keen was the interest which the right hon. Gentleman had in the success of that pursuit. He spoke a number of things—I am going to give his own words—that struck me very much. He spoke firstly of what he described as:—The short-sighted and niggardly parsimony"—That was a delightful expression with which I most cordially agree.with which we deal out small sums of money for the encouragement of agriculture in our country compared with foreign states.Secondly he referred to theenormous quantity of agricultural and dairy produce and fruit which we import, and which,he said very trulycan be raised in our own land.That reminds me of an occasion when the Conservative Government was in difficulties with regard to a surplus which they did not quite know how to dispose of, and which went afterwards by the name of the Wheel and Van Tax. One of the very best friends agriculture ever had in this country was the late Lord Goschen. He placed an enormous sum at my disposal to get rid of—[MINISTERIAL laughter]—there is such a bad habit in this House sometimes of not waiting for the completion of a sentence—in order to get rid of those baneful cattle diseases in this country which was inflicting such enormous losses not only upon agriculturists, but upon the community at 1067 large. In this matter, with the then Mr. Goschen's assistance, I was entirely successful. On the other occasion I speak of I suggested that he should place at the disposal of the Agricultural Department a very considerable sum of money for the purpose of giving education upon questions of dairy produce. I undertook to say that if I got what I wanted that in a very few years I would be successful in killing the trade in Denmark, so far as this country was concerned. So we should.
The right hon. Gentleman went on to speak of:—Scientific research in agriculture, improvement of stock, encouragement of co-operation, the improvement of rural transport, better access to rural markets.All these are most admirable things. They read to me at once, when I heard his speech, like exactly what they were: a chapter out of the Report of what the Prime Minister described the other day as:—That mysterious body, the Agricultural Committee of the Tariff Commission.They are taken apparently bodily from that Report. They coincide remarkably. Perhaps I may be permitted to mention, in reply to the Prime Minister, that that Committee was composed entirely of men who were prominent and well known in agricultural circles in all parts of the kingdom, and its chairman was the humble individual who now has the honour of addressing this House. We sat for two years or more. We examined, orally or otherwise, over 2,000 different witnesses. We sat in Ireland as well as in England. In Ireland, moreover, we got some extremely interesting information with regard to the cultivation of tobacco—another omitted subject on which we were challenged, and on which I will have a word to say. We made our Report two years ago. It was published. It had a great reception everywhere. Where the mystery comes in which the right hon. Gentleman speaks of, I own I do not quite perceive. Be that as it may, I was so much impressed by this part of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman that I began to think of that well-known old saying about the Whigs. If I might paraphrase it and apply it to the Tariff Reformers, I would say:—The right hon. Gentleman caught the Protectionists bathing and he ran away with their clothes.That I suspect very much is what has been done. However, I cannot go into the numerous details which this part of the 1068 Budget of the right hon. Gentleman will raise. But there is one subject on which I think I would like to say a word or two on this occasion, and that is on the improvement of stock. I have been associated for a great number of years with another Commission, that is, the Commission for the Improvement of the Breed of Horses. Foreign countries, as the right hon. Gentleman very properly pointed out, for this purpose estimate hundreds of thousands of pounds, but with that "niggardly parsimony" on the part of the Government of England, what do you suppose we have here? A miserable pittance of less than £5,000 a year. So far as our funds have permitted I believe we have done very considerable work, but, of course, the money is hopelessly inadequate. It is a mere trifle for the work with which we have to deal. Over and over again we have appealed to the Government of the day to give us assistance. We made a further appeal two years ago to Lord Carrington, who had taken a prominent part in raising this question. Neither from him, nor from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, nor any other Member of the Government, have we up till now had the courtesy of a reply. After the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the other night I shall endeavour to do my best to again press the Government for help for that Commission—
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I replied that if they communicated with me and waited for the Budget I would see if I could not make some provision. I have made that provision.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
Not for us. We have never been told so. Lord Carrington and every single Member of the Royal Commission attended a great conference on this question, and we placed before him all the information in our power. I wish now to say just one or two words on another subject, namely, afforestation, which the right hon. Gentleman stated was raised directly by the question of this Development Grant. With all diffidence and respect to the Royal Commission which dealt with that question I want to say a word of warning on the subject. I do most earnestly hope no large sums may be spent in that direction until there is a most 1069 thorough and complete experiment made. I am in no way opposed to afforestation. For a Government with plenty of money, for a Government with a surplus, I think they would do well and wisely to make experiments and even larger experiments in that direction, but if it is held, or thought that by afforestation great opportunities for increased employment is to be obtained, I believe the whole thing is doomed to the most complete and absolute disappointment. The very localities which are assigned by the Commission themselves absolutely preclude such expectations. We are told there are 9,000,000 acres of land suitable for afforestation. Where is it? We are told there are 500,000 acres in Ireland and 6,000,000 in Scotland, and as I have looked through the appendix I have discovered that the great bulk of that land is in the Highlands of Scotland. How on earth is afforestation in the Highlands of Scotland going to provide any employment for the unemployed in the large towns? There are numerous difficulties in the way. The long journey by train to begin with, and at the end of that journey there is the transport to the desired locality which may be 10, 20, and even more miles from the Highland line. That will be a matter of very great difficulty, but suppose you surmount it, how are you going to house and feed them in the localities where habitations are exceedingly scarce, and where you will have great distances to go in order to procure food? Why, the mere statement of these difficulties ought to be enough to dissipate and destroy the hopes and the aspirations which have been expressed as to afforestation as a means of finding employment on a large scale for the thousands of people unemployed now.
Now I want to say just one single word on two other points. If little or nothing has been done for unemployment by means of afforestation there are other expedients in relation to the matter upon which successful and well-approved experiments have already been made which might have very good results. The growth of sugar beet is one. The right hon. Gentleman told us he was most anxious to encourage agriculture and to secure that the country should produce a great deal more of what it wants than it does. Here is an opportunity for him, but if he will avail himself of it, he must entirely change the policy of the Government. Let me give him an instance that has come to my own knowledge of where a most promising 1070 start in this new industry, after every arrangement was made, was brought to nought and stopped and destroyed by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in this House. In the Sleaford Division of Lincolnshire, the Constituency which I used to represent, a number of farmers and others came together and raised money, and formed an association for the growing of sugar-beet, and they got an offer of land absolutely suited for their purpose. They had got the means of providing the manufactory required, everything was ready to proceed, the contracts were ready to be signed—it was a very fortunate thing they were not signed, because, just as everything was ready, the Foreign Minister made a speech in this House with regard to the Sugar Convention, and the whole of that promising industry was brought to wreck at once, and every contract made had to be cancelled. Necessarily so, because if they had proceeded, it would have probably meant nothing to them but bankruptcy. That is one of the results of the particular form of policy to which this Government has been pledged for, as it seems to me, a great deal too long. Let me now come to the question of tobacco. While this "mysterious body" was sitting in Dublin, we received, to my great satisfaction, some most interesting evidence as to the possibility of the cultivation of tobacco in Ireland. It can be grown in England as well, in particular circumstances. Let me say this with regard to tobacco in Ireland. I will give the evidence of one very well-known man, who has 25 years' experience, who is a member of the Irish Board of Agriculture, of the Council of the Royal Dublin Society, is a member of the county council, chairman of the County Meath Agricultural and Technical Instruction Committee, is a member of the executive committee of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, and president of the county Meath and other agricultural societies. That, at all events, shows he is a man with some record behind him. He stated in his evidence before us that he was for seven years experimenting in growing tobacco, with not less than 20 acres of land. The Department of Agriculture considered that less than 20 acres would not be a commercial experiment. He said:—For three years I have been experimenting for the Department, and the small experiments I made were so promising that the Department extended them to other counties so that the result would not rest with my experience alone. Professor Harper, of the University of 1071 Kentucky, who came over to superintend the curing, said the soil was perfect and the climate more suitable than that of Kentucky. It requires much labour during the winter for the process of stripping and sorting. What does he say as to the results? One thousand pounds is the average crop, and 3s. duty per pound is £150. A temporary concession has been made of 1s. per pound refunded to the grower. I anticipate £50 15s. per acre net profit, including the revenue paid.Personally I never had anything to do with the growth of tobacco, and it is not a subject on which I could give any personal experience or evidence or personal opinion, but it must be well worthy the consideration of His Majesty's Government to see if there is anything in it. If by this means you could do something in Ireland which would increase the resources of that country and provide a vast amount of employment, surely it is madness in a Budget like this to begin the regeneration of Ireland by putting a heavy duty upon tobacco. I have nothing more to say except this. I end where I began. I have dealt with a number of small and minor questions, which it appears to me as in the framing of a great Budget like this, which deals with such a vast number of questions, require some consideration. I have also endeavoured, and wish to endeavour, once more to impress on this Committee the dangers which I apprehend from this Budget. I call it most unjust. I call it even a dangerous Budget, and it is especially dangerous on two particular grounds. It is dangerous first for the undoubted encouragement it gives, and must give, to the aims and aspirations of the extreme Socialist party, but it is still more dangerous yet from what it does not give to the nation, and that is the means of providing without one moment's further delay an adequate fleet for its protection. [An HON. MEMBER: "We have it."] You think the fleet is adequate, but from all the evidence we have had before us we think it is not, and in support of our opinion and against yours we point to what you have admitted yourselves. Fatal mistakes you have made before. We know, of course, that we are perfectly powerless to overcome the serried ranks of the overwhelming majority which sits behind the present Government, but small as our minority may be, we are not in the slightest degree dismayed. Vote us down as much as you please, if you will; we shall continue to fight to the end, and we shall fight sooner or later with ultimate success, you may be certain, because, although you have this great majority here I pray you to remember this, that there is a tribunal higher than Parliament, a 1072 tribunal greater than the greatest of majorities that ever were known; that tribunal is the will of the people, a tribunal to which you dare not appeal, because you know it is with us.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
The Chancellor of the Exchequer last year, in reply to certain statements which I made in the course of the Debate, said that the suggestions I had put forward might be useful for some future Chancellor of the Exchequer. I want to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman upon being a very apt pupil, and for not having waited to allow a future Chancellor of the Exchequer to begin to put those suggestions into practice. The speech of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down began with the usual statement that this Budget is a surrender to the extreme Socialist party. I expected that statement would have been followed up by pointing out in what details and particulars this Budget is of a predatory character, but instead of that the right hon. Gentleman devoted the whole body of his speech to talking about old age pensions, the Navy, agricultural development, and the possibilities of growing tobacco in Ireland, and not a word did he say about the scheme of the Budget itself. True, the right hon. Gentleman returned to the subject in his peroration, but I would remind him that an hon. Member in this House once said that a peroration provided a favourable opportunity for stating those things which you were unable to prove. The peroration of the right hon. Gentleman was a mere rehash of the only thing the Opposition are able to say in condemnation of this Budget. I am not concerned to prove whether this Budget is Socialism or whether it is not. Those who raise the cry of the bogey of Socialism against this Budget appear to think that they can condemn and kill a thing simply by calling it names, but it does not matter whether this Budget is Socialism or not. The question we have to consider is whether it is a good Budget or a bad Budget, whether it is necessary, and whether its proposals are just. Are they equitable? I want to attempt to answer the two questions, are the Budget proposals necessary, and are they just? The greater part of the increased revenue proposed under this Budget is required for the purposes of social reform in order to meet the large obligations incurred last year by the Old Age Pensions Act. The House admitted last year, by passing that Act, that 1073 such a thing was necessary, and therefore the money has to be found. The £15,000,000 or £16,000,000 which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is proposing to raise by this Budget will, to the extent of 80 per cent., be required for the purposes of social referm. But, altogether apart from Socialism, I hold the opinion that the purpose of social reform is to bring about a better distribution of the wealth of this country. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech said that every question was at bottom a financial question. I think there are few differences of opinion between parties in this House as to the need of reform. All parties would be perfectly willing to amend the Old Age Pensions Act, reduce the age limit, and abolish the poor law disqualification if it could be done without costing money. Therefore, all questions of reform resolve themselves into the question of finding the money.
Having settled that point, the next question that arises is, Who ought to find the money, and upon whom shall the taxation be placed? Social reform is for the purpose of bettering the condition of the poor. It follows, therefore, that it would not be just to lay the cost of carrying out these schemes of social reform upon the poor themselves, and therefore it must follow that if these so-called reforms are really going to be reforms, if they are going to raise the condition of the poorer part of our population, they must add something to the means of those people; they must add to their resources, and they must raise their standard of living. The extreme Socialist school, to whom the right hon. Gentleman referred in his exordium and peroration, but which he forgot to deal with in the body of his speech, are charged with wanting to make the rich poorer and the poor richer. I have never denied that that is my purpose. My object is to make the rich poorer and the poor richer, because there is no other way under heaven by which you can make the poor better off except by making somebody poorer than they are. [Cries of "Oh, oh."] That is my theory of social reform. Beyond that there is a subject which I do not know that I should be in order in referring to, the question of the morality of a rich class. The Leader of the Opposition said he was prepared to defend before any audience the proposition that the existence of a very rich class in the community was a benefit to that community. I do not want to throw challenges about, but if the right hon. Gentleman is prepared to debate 1074 that question before any audience in the country, I am perfectly willing to meet him. I maintain that the existence of a rich class of the community is not only a curse but a great danger to the country. May I support that contention by the authority of a man whose authority will be received with respect, if not with conviction, by the Leader of the Opposition himself—I refer to the late Professor Cairns. He said:—It cannot be too often repeated that no public advantage whatever arises from the existence of a rich and an idle class.[OPPOSITION cheers.] I was waiting for those cheers, because the fact is that the rich class in this country is becoming every year to a greater extent an idle class. You have only to refer to the annual Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to find that there is an alarming increase in the amount of income returned to the Commissioners each year represented by the income derived from profits and from dividends. It is income of that character which in law is described as "unearned income." Before this disgression, which I was led into by the cheers of hon. Members above the Gangway, I was dealing with the point as to whether the proposals of this Budget were necessary, and as to whether it was necessary to raise this money for social reform. We are raising money for old age pensions, but a great many other social reforms are very urgently needed. There is, for instance, the question of unemployment. More money is wanted for the better housing of the people and for the better education of the people, and I can assure hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway that if we at any rate have any influence in moulding future Budgets this is not the last word on those lines. This is not the extent of the taxation which will have to be laid in future on unearned incomes and upon property, and it is not the last tribute which the idle rich classes of this country will be called upon to pay in dealing with the problem of poverty for which their riches are responsible.
I come now to my second point, as to whether the proposals of this Budget are just. I do not very often appeal to orthodoxy to support heterodoxy, but I am quite prepared to do so when it suits my purpose. I am going to appeal to the orthodox canons of taxation. It is laid down in theory and accepted by everybody that a person should be called upon to pay according to his ability to pay, and in proportion to the benefit he enjoys from the 1075 protection of the State. Let us see if the proposals of this Budget fulfil these two orthodox canons of taxation. Before dealing with this point may I just digress for one moment to point out that these canons of taxation are not embodied in taxation as it is levied at the present time. I am not in a critical mood this afternoon, otherwise I should have something to say about the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not done something to relieve what I consider to be the excessive burden levied upon the working classes of the country at the present time. It is a burden of taxation which is altogether beyond their ability to pay, and altogether beyond the benefits they receive from their connection with the State. The Leader of the Opposition in a speech two days ago pointed out that the danger of democratic government in the past had been that democracies had placed heavy taxation upon others than themselves. The fact of the matter is that there has never been a democratic Government in the history of the world, and we are just beginning to evolve a democratic Government in this country. We are beginning to see what the democracy is going to do to right wrong and set things right. The right hon. Gentleman when he made that charge must have been reasoning from his own experience and from what has been the invariable practice of his own class. It has always been the practice of a class Government in the past to relieve themselves as far as possible of taxation and to place the burden of taxation upon the backs of the people. If proof of that is wanted I will give it. I have taken the trouble to make a total of the amount of Customs and Excise revenue paid by the people of this country from the beginning of the nineteenth century up to the year 1884, and I find in those 84 years that the proportion paid in Customs and in Excise by the working people of this country amount to two-thirds of the whole. I wish to point out that during those 84 years, or, at least, 50 of those years, the working people of this country were in a condition of poverty the like of which has never been experienced by any working-class people in any country in the world. During those years how was the taxation levied? Did the rich tax themselves out of their abundance? No. On the contrary, they taxed the poverty and the starvation of the people by a tax upon the necessaries of life. At one time, as is well known, taxes were put on no less 1076 than 1,200 separate articles. Why, even the very light from Heaven was taxed in order to relieve the rich, and the rapidly growing richer landlord and capitalist classes of this country from bearing their fair share of the burdens of taxation. During those 84 years the Government levied in taxation from the working people 3,458 million pounds, while the taxation raised during the same period from all other sources—such as stamps, Post Office, land tax, and inhabited house duty—was less than 2,000 million pounds. It does not do to talk about the democrarcy placing taxes on people to relieve themselves. There is a long leeway to be made up. It is only since 1899, when the Boer War took place, that there has been anything approaching to equality between direct and indirect taxation. In 1899, that is ten years ago, the amount raised by Customs and Excise duties was £50,000,000; income tax paid only £18,000,000; and estate duty contributed £14,000,000, so that the rich used the legislative power which they had acquired by imposing 50 millions of taxation a year on the poor, and contributing only £32,000,000 from their own abundance. During the last ten years there has been a change in the right direction, but during last year, according to the official figures issued about a week ago the rich people are getting richer. It is perfectly true that last year direct taxation produced £15,000,000 more. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in this Budget, is taking 25 per cent. of these new taxes indirectly by an increase on spirits and tobacco. I cannot justify that. I cannot justify the disproportion of taxation paid by the working people. The right hon. Gentleman this year could not see his way to relieve the duty on tea or on sugar owing to the needs of the revenue. The right hon. Gentleman last year made a speech which I had hoped would have materialised this year owing to the democratic nature of his Budget. I am glad to say that he has done so to some extent. He said on that occasion that the first charges on the national sources ought to be the maintenance above want of all those who are giving their labour to the cultivation of the wealth of the country. Last Thursday he said that every class of the community ought to contribute towards the national means. He cannot reconcile those two statements. He had said that the first charge on the National sources should be made to give a decent standard of living to every citizen.
1077 We have a number of citizens who have certainly not a decent standard of living. Do you want proof? I will give you proof. The President of the Board of Trade said at the National Liberal Club just 12 months ago, after he had returned from Africa, that:—The condition of the poor in our great cities is much worse than that of naked savages in some parts of Africa.Then how can you defend the levying of taxation in a civilised community on people whose condition is worse than that of naked savages? It cannot be defended on the ability of the poor to pay taxes—an ability which was always small and is now getting rapidly less. A White Paper issued a few days ago showed what the increase of incomes was. I want to give the figures in relation to the wages of the working man. I have taken the figures with regard to the working man from the Monthly Return of the Board of Trade. At the beginning of this year the wages of the working people were £2,000,000 less than their wages were ten years ago. Last year the Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that a few people paid income tax. They are very few after all. Sir Henry Primrose has said in his evidence that there were about a million people with incomes over £160 a year. These people, it was said, had taken last year £50,000,000 more than the previous year, and that the working people, the wealth producers of this country, were £2,000,000 worse off than they were ten years ago. I submit, therefore, that if we conform to the accepted canons, taxes should be levied in proportion to the ability to pay. It is upon the rich, and not upon the poor, that new taxes should be imposed. Rich people will pay 75 per cent. of the new taxes, and it is because that has been done that I support this Budget. I am not going to deal with the details of the Budget, but I will follow the example of the Leader of the Opposition and deal with it on broad and general principles. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to put a super-tax on all incomes over £5,000 a year and give an abatement up to £3,000. Therefore, while a man with an income of £1 a week, with a wife and three children to support, is taxed 2s. in the pound, a man with an income of £5,000 a year, including the additional 2d., will pay an income tax of 1s. 4½d. in the pound. It ought to be remembered that there is no increase in the income tax of those who earn under £2,000 a year. They will pay 9d. in the pound—that is to say, they will pay 6d. in the pound less 1078 than they had to pay under a Tory Government seven years ago.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Yes, there was a war then against the Boers, and there is now a much more justifiable war against poverty at home—a war much more justifiable than the one that was carried on for enriching Jewish financiers abroad and at home. A man with £2,000 paid 9d. in the £ under a Tory Government which professed to have such a horror of Socialism and such a regard for the rights of property. Let us now take an income of £20,000. The man who receives such an income is going to pay in taxation £425 a year. You intend to take £425 a year from a man who does not earn the £20,000 which he receives. He gains it by his power to exploit society. That £20,000 is received under the protection of laws which he and his own class have made for their own enrichment. That is not an excessive burden to pay for the enjoyment of that amount which he receives under the protection of the State. [An HON. MEMBER: "Death duties."] He does not pay death duties. I shall come to death duties in a moment, but they are paid by those who enjoy estates which are not the result of their own work. A man with an income of £20,000 is going to pay an income tax of 1s. 7d. in the £. That is moderation compared with the income tax levied in the 17th century. The income tax then was levied not only on land but on all incomes. It is perfectly true that the landlords evaded the payment of the tax after a year or two. There is at the present moment an accumulation of land tax arrears under an Act of Parliament which has never been repealed due from the landlords to the extent of £4,000,000,000. I have sometimes been asked how those arrears should be acquired. I do not recommend the plan which I am now going to suggest. I would ask the landlords to pay up their arrears, and if they did not I would put men in possession. An income tax of 4s. in the £ was levied on incomes, but what did Pitt do? Pitt imposed an income tax of 2s. on all incomes over £60 a year, and after a century of an accumulation of marvellous wealth hon. Members have the audacity to complain of an income tax of 1s. 7d. in the £ on incomes of £20,000 a year. I think the Leader of the Opposition talked about capital taking wings and flying away.
Where? Are you going to take it to Germany? The proposals put forward a 1079 few months ago by the German Chancellor in regard to income tax were these: He proposed that incomes between £60 and £150 should be taxed 5 per cent.; between £150 and £525, 10 per cent.; between £525 and £1,200, 15 per cent.; £l,750 and over, 25 per cent. Are you going to take your capital to Germany? Now I come to the estate duties, and the only criticism I have to offer is that the duties upon millionaires are far too low. I can congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on having had the courage to raise the duties on smaller estates. Some years ago I had occasion to make elaborate calculations as to the possible yield of the estate duties, and I found it was only possible to get any large increased receipts by increasing the rates on small estates. Millionaires are not very numerous in proportion to those who leave small sums, and, therefore, it is by taxation of estates between £100,000 and £750,000 that you are likely to get the largest addition to the revenue from this source. I will now deal with the possibility of evasion of this tax. Well, I am not in the confidence of men who have £20,000 a year or £50,000 a year, but I understand from some hon. Members that these people say they will take steps to evade this tax. What do you think about the morality of a thing like that? Is it honest? You admit that these people are to be called upon to pay their just and moral dues, and some think they are going to violate every moral law and to act false to those things that they repeat in the State Church every Sunday. I do not want to be offensive at all, but the only thing that I can say about capital leaving the country, to evade the possibility of paying the tax is that it is simply so much nonsense.
The right hon. Gentleman said the wealth of this country was not invested to any great extent in very large estates, castles, etc. He seemed to think it was invested in scrip. He seemed to think that all a man had to do to transfer his capital was to sign his name to a piece of paper. You can send all the paper out of the country to-day, and the country would not be a penny the poorer. The capital of the country consists in its land, in its railways, in its mines, and in its factories. You cannot send these out of the country. I sometimes think it would be a good thing if we could see the landlords leaving the country with the land on their backs, provided they would leave 1080 the country for ever. Now I come to the proposal in regard to land, and I do not know, speaking as a Socialist, that I am altogether in agreement with my Friends who attach great importance to the taxation of land values. I am in favour of it as a financial reformer. I believe it will do a good deal to stimulate industry, especially the building trade of the country. The right hon. Gentleman the leader of the Opposition said it was not the fact that a great deal of land was being held up outside our large centres of population. I used to think so myself some years ago, but I have made a good many inquiries into the matter, and I am inclined to think that the amount of land which is so held up is much more than is generally imagined. They adopted an increment tax in one of the German States, and it was estimated that the increment tax for the first year would produce about £l,000. To the surprise of everyone, in the first year it produced more than 10 times that amount. I want now to put a direct question to the right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen sitting above the Gangway. They will remember the instance given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to land values increasing in Woolwich. There is not a Member of this House who could not of his own knowledge give another parallel to that case. There is not a town in the country where the site value has not trebled and quadrupled in the last five years. The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave an illustration of land formerly worth £15,000, which is now worth £1,000,000.
I want to ask hon. Members whether they agree that increment is the result of individual effort, or whether it is not due to social causes—due to the industrial development of the district and to the expenditure of public money? It is not due to individual effort. They cannot deny that it is the result of the enterprise and the energy and the presence of the population. If this value of land has been created by the community, is it not just, is it not right, that it ought to belong to the community? Are they opposing the principle of the community receiving some part of this social increment? We understand they are prepared to maintain that the individual landowner has a right by every means under the protection of the law to enrich himself out of the labouring community. If the private landowner has the right to do that, have not the community the right of protecting themselves 1081 against this robbery? That is what the Bill to some extent proposes to do. Take this social increment. I am perfectly willing to say, "We will let bygones be bygones; but we will be wiser in future," and we will say to the landlords, "Thus far you have gone, but no further." Let them enjoy the fruit of their past robbery; but I should have gone further than the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and said that every penny of the future increment on land should go to the use and enjoyment of the community. The Chancellor of the Exchequer still proposes to allow 80 per cent. of what is admitted to be socially created wealth to be appropriated by private individuals. The only correct description that I can give to that is that it is compounding a felony.
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition referred to the theories associated with and advocated by one of the greatest men of the last century. I mean Henry George, and he said that Henry George's proposals were to take the land from the landowner. Henry George proposed nothing of the sort. Henry George was the strongest opponent of land nationalisation that ever existed. The only thing he proposed to do was to take the economic rent of the land, the social increment of the land, and to leave the landowners to do the best they could. Now the Leader of the Opposition said if he had to describe proposals of that kind he would be compelled to use terms not altogether Parliamentary. I can get the right hon. Gentleman out of that difficulty. I would suggest to him that when he described proposals of that character he should say they are proposals to adopt the same methods to get the land for the people as those who now have the land adopted when they stole the land from the people. But really I wonder if the right hon. Gentleman knows anything at all about the history of the land system of this country. I would like to recommend the right hon. Gentleman a course of study in the history of English land, and I would suggest to him to begin his study with the story of one Robert Cecil who lived in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and I think the Noble Lord behind me might study that too with some benefit. The right hon. Gentleman will discover how the Cecil family became possessed of their estates—how they became possessed of the beautiful estate of Hatfield, and the incidents which lead up to the acquisition of land in Liverpool which is now bringing the family probably 1082 tens of thousands a year as the result of the tribute they are able to levy on the industry of that great city.
In regard to this land plan, I want to know whether the right hon. Gentleman proposes to include deer forests as land—undeveloped land—land which may be put to better purposes, and whether he proposes to put his undeveloped land tax of ½d. in the £ on this? I am opposed on principle to all forms of indirect taxation, but I think the tax upon liquor stands in a somewhat different category. The tax might be levied for the raising of revenue or for a moral purpose. I think both these ideas operate in the case of the tax on liquor. Now if this heavy increase in the duty on spirits will have the effect of lessening the consumption of spirits, I shall be much better pleased to see that result than I should be to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer announce 12 months hence that he has made a large revenue from it. I do not know that this increase will bring to the revenue all that is expected. I was in my Constituency the other day, and I heard of the case of a man who went into a public-house on Friday evening in order to get his usual glass of whisky, and he was charged a halfpenny more than usual. Well, I cannot repeat in Parliament the words which he used when told of the extra charge, and therefore I cannot make an exact repetition of the story. The man wanted to know what that was for. "Oh, there is a tax upon it," said the publican. "They put a tax upon it at four o'clock this afternoon." "Well," he said, "you may take your whisky, I shall not have any more whisky," and the man went straight out to a temperance mission-room and there he asked for a pledge card. I have only just one other word to say about the taxing of whisky, and that is to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer why he did not put an increased tax on wine, because the tax on wine is not at all in proportion to the tax on the more popular drinks, especially spirits.
I want to say a word or two about the tax on tobacco, which I shall oppose, because, as I said, I was opposed on principle to any form of indirect taxation. I am especially opposed to the tobacco tax for a number of reasons. In the first place there is no other article so heavily taxed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer expects this year to get 16 millions from the taxation of it, and I do not think it is fair that one article should be selected in order to bear such an enormous proportion of the 1083 taxes as that which is laid upon that article. Another objection that I have is that it does not conform to that orthodox canon of taxation, that it does not tax every man in accordance with his ability to pay. No man is compelled to smoke, and to lay a heavy tax upon one article is to single out a special class for special taxation, and it is taxing them, not according to their ability to pay, not according to the benefit that they get from the State, but according to their vices or their virtues, whichever way you may like to put it. I oppose the duty upon tobacco also because it falls so injuriously upon those who consume the cheaper kind of tobacco, and I oppose it for this further reason: that this increase is going to take out of the pockets of the consumer a great deal more than it is going to bring into the Exchequer of the country. That also, I think, is a bit of orthodoxy, because I am quoting from Adam Smith, whose views ought to be accepted in a House like this. To-day I happened to buy a 3d. packet of cigarettes, for which I was charged 3½d. I took the trouble to weigh those cigarettes, and I found that they did not weigh half-an-ounce, so that it is not a half-penny an ounce that is going to be paid by the consumer, it is more than a penny an ounce, and the same thing will apply to the cheaper kinds of tobacco, twist and so on. For all these reasons, and many others, I am going to vote against the tobacco duty. There is another point about which I must say a word, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer is carrying out what has been a fad of mine for a number of years past, and that is, the development of the main roads of the country. I made a speech in the earlier part of the winter in the country, in which I advocated the expenditure of ten or fifteen million pounds for this purpose, and I may tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he is likely to receive support in regard to it from a quarter which does not generally support him, the "Spectator" newspaper, because that journal, criticising my speech, said:—That for the first time in history a Socialist had given birth to a sensible suggestion.I hold a very strong opinion about it, and I venture to say that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had this year undertaken to revise the relations between local and Imperial taxation he would have done a greater service in the cause of social reform than he has even by the proposal that he has made. This is a question which 1084 will have to be dealt with. Local expenditure is continually increasing for services which are not local, but national, and the question ought to be attended to. That is all I am going to say. My hon. Friend the Member for the Blackfriars Division, who has already spoken from these benches on behalf of the Labour party, said that we shall give a general support to this Budget. That we shall do; we shall support it with the qualifications and reserves that I have mentioned, and I conclude by expressing a hope that everything that we anticipate in embarking upon such proposals as these will be realised, and that the surplus which will be at the disposal of the right hon. Gentleman next year will be used for those social reforms which are long overdue, and which will add greatly to the happiness and contentment of the people.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
If I intervene at this stage of the Debate it is with a double apology—first upon the ground that I think that perhaps an undue part of the time which has been allowed for this preliminary discussion has been occupied by Members of the two front Benches, and next upon the ground, which I hope the House will accept, that owing to a public engagement of long standing, in regard to which I am not easily able to make default, I must speak now or not at all upon this occasion; and I hope it will not be regarded as any want of courtesy if I do not hear all that is said in the way of reply. There will be, on the second reading of the Finance Bill, ample opportunity for hon. Members in all quarters of the House to express their views upon the measure. Our discussion this afternoon was opened by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon, who I am sorry for the moment not to see in his place, and had he been here, I should like to express to him the pleasure with which all of us on both sides of the House listened to his speech. The right hon. Gentleman is one of "the old guard" of the House of Commons. It used to be said of Napoleon's old guard that it did not surrender, it died. I am glad to say that the right hon. Gentleman, while he will never surrender, still lives, and he gives us a vivid presentation—a most useful lesson to some of the younger among us—of the activity and vigorousness of a political career which has been spent for 40 years in the sight of this House, with the general admiration of the assembly. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for 1085 Wimbledon pointed to a distinction and I was very glad that he did so, between what he called the actual and the ideal Budget, meaning by the actual Budget, I imagine, the proposals which are really submitted to Parliament by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and by the ideal Budget those proposals as they present themselves to the imagination, either of friend or foe, either in an exaggerated or distorted form, appearing not what they actually are, but in an idealised or better form, in the view of those who think they may be better than they actually are. I am glad the right hon. Gentleman made that distinction, because it appeared to me that the exordium and also the peroration of his speech were full of lightning and thunder, directed entirely against an ideal Budget, which has not been submitted to the House. I am glad to see the right hon. Gentleman in his place, because I was venturing to criticise some part of his remarks, particularly his distinction between the ideal Budget and the actual Budget. I was saying when he came in that it appeared that both his exordium and peroration were directed against an ideal Budget which has never been submitted to the House, and, so far as I know, is not likely to be submitted to the House, a Budget which he said was a war Budget, in which war was he said to be waged against the possession of any property by any individual. Let me take the actual Budget; the right hon. Gentleman proved himself to be one of the mildest and most mealy-mouthed of critics. What did he say with regard to the Navy? All he had to say was that we were not making sufficient provision for the safety of the State. As regards old age pensions he was fully in sympathy with our objects.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
I have just heard of what the right hon. Gentleman said and I much regret that I was not present. In reply to what he now states, I said I was prepared to offer the most uncompromising opposition to the Budget on the ground that it made inadequate provision for the Navy, and on that ground alone.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
That is exactly what I said. The right hon. Gentleman thinks that we are not spending enough money on the Navy; not that we are spending too much, but we are not spending enough. As regards the old age pensions again, he does not think we are proceeding on the right lines; he thinks we ought to have adopted or assimilated the German system, but he does not in the least quarrel with our objects, nor, so far 1086 as I can make out, does he complain that the money we are asking from Parliament is an excessive sum. And then when he came to the Development Grant, the right hon. Gentleman passed from the tones of candid friendship and measured and critical sympathy almost to the level of parental, or at any rate grand parental pride. He told us that this Development Grant took its origin, and, perhaps, its ultimate source was in the proposals and suggestions of what he said I had described as a mysterious body.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
No. What I approved was some of the objects to which it was to be devoted, but certainly not its origin or the source from which it came, which, on the contrary, I condemned.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Again I do not think that there is any real or substantial difference between the right hon. Gentleman and myself, although I am using rather more compendious language than he is in the habit of employing. As I understood this proposal took its origin in the suggestions of what I have described, I will never venture to use the epithet in future as a mysterious body, the agricultural Committee of the Tariff Commission, over which the right hon. Gentleman himself presides; and he then applied a celebrated metaphor, which goes back to the days of Disraeli and Peel. The right hon. Gentleman the chairman of the Agricultural Committee of the Tariff Commission says, that while he was bathing in the still waters of Tariff Reform my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, lurking, I suppose, somewhere on the banks, probably on a bird's nesting expedition, suddenly came across the right hon. Gentleman's clothes, and my right hon. Friend, being as everybody knows of a predatory disposition, at once took possession of them, and ran away with them, and we may assume in the privacy of his own home he tried them on and appeared in them here on Budget night. Could you have a better or a more cogent reason for the Development Grant?
Having listened with a good deal of care to the course of this Debate I think there is a good deal of common ground between the two sides of the House. No one on either side, so far as I have ascertained, disputes the necessity of making provision for the £16,000,000, or if you deduct the contribution that is going to be made from the Sinking Fund and take only the amount to be raised from taxation the 1087 £13,000,000, of additional expenses which my right hon. Friend has to provide. That necessity is due to three factors, one of them of a negative, the other two of a positive character. The negative factor is the growing inelasticity—I might almost say the stagnation or even the retrogression—of that part of our revenue which is derived from taxes upon alcohol. The two positive factors consist first of all of the provisions for old age pensions and next in the need for adding, and adding largely, for purposes of national defence, to our expenditure upon the Navy. As to each of these three factors, I do not believe any critic of this Budget or any hon. Gentleman in any quarter of the House will quarrel with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In regard to the shrinkage of the revenue from alcohol, you may like it or dislike it. You may put it down in part to the reduction of the facilities for drinking and in part—and in the larger part, I believe—to the change in the habits of the people. You may differ as to whether it is likely to be transient or permanent but it is a fact which every Chancellor of the Exchequer, in whatever quarter of the House he may sit, must reckon with. As regards old age pensions, I have quoted the acknowledgments which were made by the right hon. Gentleman this afternoon that the provision which we are asking from Parliament was certainly not excessive, if indeed it was adequate to the necessities of the case. It may be said, and it has been said, that, granted all that, the provision which my right hon. Friend is asking the House to make need not have been as great as it is if we, and I in particular, had exercised a more prudent stewardship of the national finances during the last three years. I wish someone would formulate that proposition in a shape in which we could bring it to a test. Is it suggested that I or any other Chancellor of the Exchequer, I do not care who he is, ought during these three years to have taken more in the shape of taxation out of the pockets of the taxpayer of the country than was necessary for the national services of the year, among which, of course, I include the provision of an ample or even a generous new Sinking Fund for the reduction of the principal of the debt? Has anyone ever, either in principle or in practice, after providing for the services of the year and after making broad and liberal provision for the reduction of the capital liabilities of the nation, said you are justi- 1088 fied in imposing taxes merely for the sake of laying up some kind of reserve fund for the future? No one has ever done it in this country, and I am certain no Chancellor of the Exchequer is likely to.
But, as was pointed out by my right hon. Friend in the Budget speech, out of the total provision which is needed for old age pensions—eight and three-quarter millions—almost the whole, not less certainly than eight and a half millions, are represented by taxes which have been remitted and by interest upon the debt permanently reduced during the last three years. To put the same proposition in other words, the British taxpayer now, in the year 1909, is not called upon to provide more, so far as this head of expenditure is concerned, with the old age pensions, than he was required to provide without old age pensions three or four years ago. That is called improvident finance. Of course, it may be said, and if it were true it would be a relevant criticism, that the taxes which were remitted during the time I was Chancellor of the Exchequer compare favourably with the taxes which my right hon. Friend and successor is now about to impose, on the ground that they were less objectionable in principle and less irritating in their incidence, or were more fruitful in their relative yield. Let us see whether that is so. First of all, I will deal with indirect taxes. I was responsible for the remission of the export duty on coal. You may call that a direct or an indirect tax, and economists might quarrel as to which category it would fall in. Would any Chancellor of the Exchequer now seek to re-impose it? That was a tax as experience showed, quite clearly anticipated experience, which fell with considerable weight upon one of the most important industries of this country. I do not believe anyone who is acquainted with the actual conduct of trade will say that, putting side by side the retention or the reimposition of an export duty upon coal with the taxes which my right hon. Friend suggests we should impose, not upon an academic or an ideal value, but upon the actual market value of the right to raise undeveloped minerals—I do not believe there is anyone comparing the effect of these two impositions from the point of view of the trade or of the public interest who would hesitate to prefer the latter to the former.
What were the other taxes which were remitted? We reduced the duty upon tea from 6d. to 5d., and we reduced the duty upon sugar by more than a half. Do you 1089 suggest that the reimposition of these duties, the raising of the duty upon tea and sugar to their old level, would be a better or a fairer way of dealing with that part of our financial proposals which consists of indirect taxation than the taxes which the right hon. Gentleman proposes upon spirits and tobacco? There is all the difference in the world. The first two that we have partially got rid of are taxes upon prime and indispensable necessaries of life. The two which my right hon. Friend is proposing to raise—I do not say they do not hit the poor, I think they do—but they are taxes at any rate upon superfluities or upon simple luxuries which do not fall into the same category as sugar or tea. That is a consideration which I commend to the attention of the hon. Member for Waterford. He says this Budget, so far as indirect taxation is concerned, bears hardly upon Ireland. In a sense that is true. It bears hardly upon any portion of the kingdom in which the proportion of poor people is relatively high. As compared with the taxes of which we have got rid, or which we have reduced, let the hon. Gentleman and his Friends reflect which of the two they would prefer in the interests of the Irish people.
I have been speaking of indirect taxation. Now I come to the income tax. I said, I think in my first Budget speech, that I could not defend in time of peace the retention of the income tax at as high a rate as 1s. in the £ with the anomalies and injustices which then accompanied its incidence. Do not let me be quoted as having said anything else. That was my statement. I have often seen it quoted without these qualifying words. That was my opinion then and it is my opinion now.
I think the income tax in the shape in which we succeeded to it, which made no discrimination whatever between permanent and precarious incomes, between that which a man inherited and that which he earned for himself, was a tax the retention of which at as high a rate as 1s. it was impossible to justify. We have got rid of that. When the Leader of the Opposition two nights ago, speaking of the income tax proposals of my right hon. Friend, quoted Mr. Gladstone and Sir Robert Peel, and invoked their authority against the retention of the tax in time of peace at so high a rate as 1s. 2d. in the £, it ought to have been stated that both Sir Robert Peel and Mr. Gladstone regarded the income tax merely as a temporary expedient. He himself acknowledges that it must now be regarded as part of the permanent fiscal 1090 machinery of the State, and that no Chancellor of the Exchequer, on whatever side he sits or whatever his fiscal opinions in regard to tariff may be, can possibly dispense with it, and that being so we, having laid the foundation of justice and of a fair discrimination and of an equitable distribution of the income tax as between different classes of incomes, can with a far freer hand than any of our predecessors approach such proposals as my right hon. Friend has put forward to increase its actual amount. The Leader of the Opposition said we have surrounded the income tax with new complexities. We have, I quite agree, but they are complexities in the interests of justice. [An HON. MEMBER: "In the interests of votes."] Sometimes, though not always, the two things coincide. Let me point out what those complexities are which we are introducing. In the first place we have discriminated between earned and unearned incomes, with the result that as regards all earned incomes which do not exceed £2,000, in the main, even under this Budget, the income tax will not exceed 9d. in the £. In the next place, as regards the increase from 1s. to 1s. 2d., my right hon. Friend does not apply that increase to earned incomes unless they exceed £3,000. In the third place my right hon. Friend has introduced, and I think with general approval—I have not heard one word of adverse criticism during the whole course of these Debates on this part of the scheme—a new form of abatement which as regards all incomes, whether earned or unearned, which do not exceed £500 a year, will allow a deduction to be made from the taxable amount in respect of children under 16 years of age.
And lastly, as regards the super-tax, it is a curious thing that we have not heard one word of argument during the whole of this highly critical Debate against its principle. It shows the very great advance of opinion in the last three years. As regards the super-tax, which is not impugned on the ground of principle in any quarter of the House, my right hon. Friend does not begin his extra sixpence until he reaches incomes of £5,000, and then only in respect of the excess over £3,000. Can anyone say, so far, of these direct taxes that there is anything in the proposals of the Budget which is not consonant with sound finance and natural development?
I come now to one or two general and specific charges which have been made. First of all, there was the general charge which was formulated—I need not say 1091 with very great plausibility and force—by the Leader of the Opposition that the effect of our proposals as a whole will be to frighten away capital from this country. On what basis is that general charge founded? I am speaking of the proposals of the Budget. I will pass in review one after another. First of all, upon the land taxes, which are perhaps the most crucial of the provisions in regard to the taxation which we are putting forward, I will select as an instance the tax on the increment of value. Is that or is it not an unjust tax? Does anyone in this country or in any part of the world where population is highly aggregated dispute the fact that the owner of land, and particularly of urban land, acquires for his property an enhanced value, not due to any effort or to any expenditure of his own which has contributed to it, but which is partly the effect of the improvements made at the public expense and for the benefit of the local community, and partly the effect of general social causes, such as the growth and shifting distribution of population? It is impossible to dispute that proposition, and if there be such an enhancement of value arising from causes of that kind to which, ex hypothesi, the landlord contributes nothing—and so far as he contributes anything my right hon. Friend makes full allowance—is it or is it not fair that the community, hard pressed for resources, both for national defence and social reform, should take a portion of it? I have never heard any answer to that, and I wait to hear an answer to that simple proposition. The Leader of the Opposition says, and my right hon. Friend admits, that there is an unearned increment in other forms of property as well as land. I do not deny it. I quite agree that the effect of social progress, changes in demand, changes in taste and fashion, coupled with artificial restrictions, such as in works of art, may give to a commodity, and even to a particular class of commodity, a value which has not been contributed to in any degree by their owners or possessors. I quite agree; but you have got this broad distinction between isolated and what I may call sporadic cases like that and the case of land, that they are capricious, occasional, casual, and comparatively rare. In the case of land, and particularly urban land, you are dealing with a thing which is normal, progressive, and regular. [Laughter.] Well, if it were not 1092 so, the increment would not accrue, and, therefore, it would not be taxed. I say you are dealing with a process which is substantially both normal and progressive, and, what is much more important, you are dealing with a kind of property in regard to the use and disposition of which social and economic interests of the highest value depend. It is there where the importance of dealing with this matter, so far as it affects land especially, comes in. I do not think anybody can dispute that. I do not think even the Leader of the Opposition, in spite of all that he said about the case of Glasgow and so on, disputed that. To say that the putting of a tax of this kind on the increased value of land, which is due to social causes—a tax which, under our proposals, starts at the datum line of the present value, and does not go back in the least on the past, and is only instituted, and is only payable, when the increase or enhanced value has been actually realised upon transfer or death—is in the least degree oppressive, and is contrary to any economic principle or rule of justice, is to state what is not justified. It will certainly have the effect, if we may judge by experience elsewhere no less than by abstract economic reasoning, of relieving the very state of things which exists in a community such as Glasgow, where, as the right hon. Gentleman told us, the actual space needed for the annual additional population does not exceed 40 acres, and where there are 120,000 people living in one-room tenements. You have got to consider both these things—not only the fiscal effects of a tax of this kind, but whether it will not have as an indirect social and economic consequence the gradual spreading out of the building area and the relief of this most deplorable condition of congestion which exists in almost all the large cities.
I pass from that to the attacks on the estate duties. As regards the estate duties, my right hon. Friend makes no difference either at the top or the bottom of the scale—in other words, he does not exact a larger tax from the lower grades, nor does he impose a higher tax upon the more valuable properties. His scale is open to criticism to which we shall be glad to listen with a perfectly open mind in the Committee stage of the Finance Bill. My right hon. Friend's proposal simply consists in making no addition or alteration either at the top or the bottom, but in increasing, as we think, by reasonable and 1093 progressive steps the amount—the relatively insufficient amount—which the State now exacts from intermediate properties.
I come lastly to the liquor duties, including licences. I am not going into all the different accounts" of Messrs. Whitbread, or Messrs. Buxton, and the rest of them, because for one thing I think it is obviously plain that if the state of the case which they represent is likely to correspond to the real facts, the matter will be set right at the expense of the consumer. There is not the least fear of these Gentlemen carrying on their business at a permanent loss, and I do not think the result would be a bad thing from the social point of view, though it might not be altogether convenient to the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, partly from a consolidation of licences—that is to say, from getting rid of a number of superfluous licences—and partly by a rise in the price to the consumer of the articles sold the consumption were diminished. I am not in the least anxious, therefore, as to the future stability and prosperity of the great brewing industry. These are expedients by which, it is said, we will drive capital away from this country. I want to ask one question. Where is capital going to fly to? Where is the capital which is driven away by these spoliatory proposals of my right hon. Friend going to find a resting place and breeding ground where it will be more secure than in this country? The fact is that it is not quite so mobile as the Leader of the Opposition seemed to suggest, but give it the utmost measure of volatility which you like to conceive, and assume—which I confess I see no ground for assuming in the prices of market securities in this country at the present moment—but assume that the present Budget is calculated to produce a scare, where is capital going to find that sheltered security in the future which is denied to it in this country?—I venture to say that it may go north and south, east and west, it may traverse the whole civilised world, but wherever it goes it will find itself confronted by a Finance Minister not less necessitous than my right hon. Friend, and not more disposed than he is to give it moderate and even generous treatment. Where is this scare expatriated capital to go? Where is it going to find a rest for the sole of its foot? Is it in Germany, which is in the full enjoyment of a recently constructed scientific tariff, and where the Finance Minister has to face a situation beside which that which confronts my right hon. Friend 1094 is almost child's play? Is it going to France, where my distinguished friend, Mons. Caillaux, one of the most eminent financiers in Europe, is whetting the income tax and making it ready for future eventualities? Is it going to the United States of America? [An HON. MEMBER: "Yes."] They are just as much engaged there in rigging up a new tariff, simultaneously with the operation, as the right hon. Gentleman reminded us, in many States and Municipalities of taxation on land values. [An HON. MEMBER: "The overcrowding is worse."] If that is so, it is not due to the taxation of land values. In the United States of America, while they are engaged, as they are, in building up a new tariff, they are confronted with a deficit far more formidable than anything we have to face here, and which yet has to be met and will have to be dealt with. The truth is, as I ventured to point out a short time ago, there is no civilised country in the world which does not at this moment find itself under the double stress of taking its place in the race of armaments and of providing for social reform, under the necessity of developing new sources or discovering new means of taxation, and tapping new reservoirs of fiscal strength. There is no country in the world where, if all the proposals of my right hon. Friend were carried into law, capital would be less exposed to the chance of spoliation and insecurity than in this Free Trade country which its favoured home.
I will only make one further observation. It is in reference to a question that was put with great force yesterday in his learned speech by my right hon. Friend the Attorney-General—a question which was not relished by hon. Gentlemen opposite. They became very restive and uncomfortable, and one hon. Gentleman went so far as to ask you, Sir, to rule my right hon. Friend out of order. The question was this? This money has got to be found. You do not dispute it. Does anyone contend that we ought to find more than we actually ask you to grant? This money has got to be found. Here are our proposals as to the way of finding it. What are yours? I am not asking—it would be foolish to ask—an Opposition not yet under the yoke of responsibilities of office, to produce the details of a Budget such as is submitted to the Committee of Ways and Means. Nothing of the kind. But can you give, are you now prepared to give to the country some general indication of the way in which this large sum of money is to be met? 1095 It will not do to take refuge in vague formulæ which can be compressed into half a sheet, or less than half a sheet, of notepaper. What the country wants to know, and what they will have a right to demand, is this. Here are £16,000,000 to be provided. Next year the sum may be considerably larger. How do you propose to provide it? You say all these proposals of ours—the increase of the income tax, the increase of the death duties, the new land taxes, the taxes upon licences, the increase on the duties on spirits and tobacco—take those altogether, apart from any specific criticism upon them individually and in detail—you say that they constitute a Budget of spoliation and confiscation. What is your Budget? Is it too indecent, or would it wound the susceptibilities of hon. Gentlemen too much? Shall I be charged with going too far back into the dusty records of ancient history if I remind you that in the year 1903, not quite six years ago, we had a very definite adumbration of what the alternative Budget was to be? It was to be taxes on corn, on meat, and on dairy produce. Are those the taxes which you are going to submit to the country?
One other thing I may point out in passing incidentally. The result of the imposition of these taxes on corn, meat, and dairy produce was to enable the Chancellor of the Exchequer at that time to remit part of the tea tax and half of the sugar tax. We have managed to do that without these duties either on corn or meat or dairy produce. Do these duties still form, or are they going to form, part of your programme? Are you going to do what I see one of the most eminent and distinguished Tariff Reformers, Lord Milner, says in a speech made only last night after your criticism of this Budget? It is headed "A Better Way," and is in that most unimpeachable organ, the "Morning Post."The better way of taxing the rich and the less rich, is to place an import all round duty on all foreign imported articles excepting only those which you require us the raw material of those great export industries which compete in foreign markets.Is that your programme—an import duty upon all foreign imported articles unless they come within this vague, elastic, undefined, and indefinable class of raw material? The duty on corn, on meat, and on dairy produce is on the prime necessities of life of the great population. Will you join issues with us? If you will we shall be glad to meet you. In the mean- 1096 time I venture to say that we can commend this Budget to you, because it is adequate, not only to the necessities of this year, but for the prospective necessities of the years to follow. They meet those necessities without deviating one hair's breadth from either the principles or practices of Free Trade and without imposing an ounce of an additional burden upon the necessities of life of the people of this country.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman, in the concluding passages of his speech, finished with a rhetorical question which, I think, is almost always asked, and which it is almost compulsory on Ministers to ask on such occasions: "If you do not like our proposals, what are your proposals?" I am not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. and learned colleague yesterday should catch at that or any other excuse for discussing any Budget except their own, and calling any attention to any proposals except those which are now before the Committee. In the early portion of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, after very generously alluding—for which all of us on this side of the House are grateful—to my right hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon, he followed the example of the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday, and took credit to the Government for the general acceptance of the Budget. The Chancellor of the Exchequer cited a great number of matters which he said had hardly been discussed or had scarcely been criticised. That is a little hard measure to mete out to us. The Government announced that they would close this Debate to-night. They give us a very limited time for dealing with these matters. If in the course of that limited time, with the vast amount of material with which we have to cope, we omitted any subject of criticism they at once assume general satisfaction. We said nothing of the tobacco duty. The hon. Member for Blackburn said something about that, and with what he said about that, and about that alone, I am very much in agreement. I think that that is one of the worst indirect taxes which the right hon. Gentleman could have chosen to increase. The right hon. Gentleman says that the stamp duties have escaped without criticism. That is not true. I criticised one of them at once the first night of the Debate. But there is a great deal more to be said, and a great deal more which we shall have to say when we come 1097 to deal with these matters, and I especially protest against it being supposed that because of the short time allowed we confine ourselves to the broad proposal and the great features of this Budget that therefore all else meets with our approval and our acquiescence.
I think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer's congratulations on the reception of his Budget were altogether premature. I do not refer to what has been going on out of doors. I am speaking of what has become apparent in our discussions in this House. For myself I can only say that I do not accept the Chancellor's estimates. I believe he has under-estimated in some cases grossly—so grossly that I think it is intentional. I believe that he has over-estimated in others; and particularly that he has overestimated as to the ultimate effect of certain of the penalising taxes. I am unable to accept his estimates, and I am wholly unable, and my Friends around me are unable, to comprehend his measure or to disentangle from his long statement any of the principles upon which he has constructed this Budget. It is not of any detail of the Budget alone that I have to complain. It is not of this or that tax alone that I have to complain. It is of the Budget as a whole, and of the effect it will have upon our financial position as a great nation, and upon our industrial development and our agricultural life. Take our financial position in the first instance. It has been a commonplace of right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite even to-day to say that financial resources are as important in war as military and naval resources; and they habitually employ that argument in order to justify themselves in making inadequate military or naval preparations. What are the financial resources they are leaving to us now? The President of the Board of Trade declared that Customs duties broke in your hand if you tried to raise them in war. Like most statements made by the President of the Board of Trade, that was a rather gross exaggeration, but it had an element of truth in it, and it is just because in time of war you cannot rely upon an unlimited power of increase in your indirect taxes that every great financier, from whichever side the House he has been chosen, before the right hon. Gentleman, has sought to keep certain direct taxes, and notably the income tax, low in his proposals, in order that the country might have a great reserve in which to draw in time of war. The country had in 1098 the old days two such reserves—a high Sinking Fund and a low income tax. The right hon. Gentleman lowers the Sinking Fund and increases the income tax. He thus cuts off a piece at each end of the resources which he has, and leaves us the weaker for any emergency which we may hereafter have to meet. It has been said that the Budget is, at any rate, a triumph of Free Trade finance. What are the principles of Free Trade finance? What are the principles of right hon. Gentlemen opposite and the party which they represent? The first of their principles—and it is very intimately associated with the whole genesis and continuance of Free Trade finance until recent years—was a small expenditure, and loudly did they advocate on every platform during the later years of our administration the necessity and the urgency for retrenchment. It was not merely in their platform speeches, it was in their addresses. Take the Prime Minister himself. He said:—The contraction of public credit, the checking of industrial enterprise, the increase in unemployment and in actual poverty which we have witnessed during the last few years.Has it grown less under your fostering care?These are the direct and inevitable result of inefficient administration and improvident finance.Take the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. What did he tell his constituents? He said it would be necessary to arrest the spendthrift increase of expenditure. What arrest have they made in this? What have they done to lessen an expenditure which they declared to be unnecessary and disastrous to the country, and which they held out in address after address—for I can quote from many more than those I have selected—that it would be their first duty to reduce. Then they urged that an increased effort must be made to reduce debt. I read again the other day a very interesting speech delivered in this House in the year 1899—when Lord St. Aldwyn proposed a reduction of the Sinking Fund—by the present Lord Courtney, then Member for Bodmin. Lord Courtney warned this House—and hon. Gentlemen opposite would do well to take the warning to heart—that our commercial supremacy had passed, that we were face to face with a new state of things, that competition must become increasingly difficult year by year as the years rolled by, and that that was going to make our position as an industrial nation difficult, especially in view of the burdens with which our country was loaded. He 1099 said there was a danger of our becoming a rentière nation, and of our losing our industry and our productive trade. What was his remedy? It was, while we had yet time, to use every penny that we could afford to reduce the weight of the debt so that the burdens of taxation might in time decrease rather than grow, and that industry might be set more free from the competition which it had to meet.
What have the Government done? Are they making, have they made, any extra effort to reduce the debt? They have wiped off by their debt reductions an annuity of a little over one million. They have added a new charge of nine millions. They reduce the new Sinking Fund by three millions a year; they abolish the old Sinking Fund altogether—a proposal that I do not think any financial Minister who has held the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer could hitherto have been induced to make but which would have caused especial horror to those great Liberal financiers whose legitimate successor the right hon. Gentleman claims to be. When we criticise this great addition to our expenditure, this new nine millions for old age pensions, which are just as much debt on the taxpayers of the future as the one million you have relieved, we are asked, "Do you then challenge the grant of old age pensions?" We challenged your scheme, which we thought a very bad scheme, and which you now admit to be a wholly imperfect and imperfectible scheme. We challenged the reckless and improvident finance with which it was accompanied. We challenged the abandonment of half the sugar duty at the very moment when that money was needed more than ever, and needed for the special benefit of the people who contributed the greater proportion of it. The right hon. Gentleman is not entitled to say that we are estopped from criticism of their finance this year because we would not vote against the only old age pension provision which they would submit to the House and because we have no power to turn it into a better, more workable, and less costly scheme.
As I have spoken of the destruction of the old Sinking Fund, I would like to say another word on that matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he agreed with the criticism which had come from this side of the House that it would be a monstrous thing if the control of that money were taken out of the hands of 1100 Parliament; that that was not his idea at all; and that this annual expenditure would be provided for by annual votes of this House and the control of Parliament would be retained. The control of Parliament will be retained over the expenditure of the money, but Parliament will have no control whatever over the feeding of the Development Grant. It has often been suggested before now that a Chancellor of the Exchequer has deliberately put his estimates too low in order to have the satisfaction of declaring a realised surplus. He had no very great temptation to do that, because after all the most that happened was that he had to spend so much more in paying off the debt. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer will in many cases have the very greatest temptation to juggle with his estimates under the new circumstances in order to finance some scheme which he has not yet disclosed to the House perhaps, but which is a pet project of his own or of his colleagues who sit with him in the Government, and the House of Commons will not have that check or control over the estimates of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the future which has been accorded by the existence of the old Sinking Fund.
I pass from that to the third of the great principles which have been proclaimed from those benches. Let us see how that is applied by the present Government. You are to have taxation for revenue only. Does anybody pretend that the Cabinet when they considered this Budget sat down to look only for revenue, and that in choosing many of the taxes which they selected they were not animated by a desire to "get home," as the hon. Member for Waterford said, on those who had opposed them in the past, to carry ulterior political or social objects of their own quite apart from the fiscal merits of the imposts which they were going to impose? It cannot be pretended for a moment that the licence duties selected and the taxes on the trade generally are imposed for the purpose of revenue only. The Postmaster-General very naïvely said we tried to get at the same result last year in a better manner, but we failed. But what was their object last year? Was it revenue? We sometimes thought so; we sometimes thought that they were much more anxious to bleed the publican and the brewer than to promote temperance. Apparently now the Postmaster-General agrees. Revenue was the object last year; revenue is the object this year, with the addition in each case of the destruc- 1101 tion of the means of livelihood of a certain number of those engaged in this trade. Take the taxes on land. Is it pretended that the Government went naïvely to work looking for the best taxes from the revenue point of view, and that it is a happy accident that those best taxes happen to hit the landowners of this country exceedingly heavily, and that, incidentally, as the President of the Board of Trade and other Ministers have said, it will cheapen the price of land—otherwise, it will depreciate the value of the property of a great class of our citizens. The fact of the principles, all principles, have been thrown to the wind. You are back at the simple hen-roost policy which the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced last year:—I am looking at what henroosts I can rob, which will be easiest to get, and where I shall be the least punished.That is the courageous spirit in which His Majesty's Ministers have framed their Budget. There was yet another principle, or at any rate a canon of finance which has hitherto been common, at least I believe, to the finance Ministers of all parties, and which is certainly professed by right hon. Gentlemen opposite—it is that in apportioning your taxes you should have regard to ability to pay. Is it pretended that they had regard to ability to pay, either in respect of their taxes upon land or of their taxes on the drink trade taken as a whole? My right hon. Friend has quoted figures, and other figures have appeared in the Press; which show the gigantic burden which the Government propose to place upon this particular trade, and that, mark you, at a time when the trade is notoriously depressed. Hitherto it has been the rule of Ministers that you should not put an additional tax on a commodity for revenue purposes, at any rate, with the hope of getting revenue from it, at a time when the consumption of that commodity is falling. The consumption of this commodity began to fall something like nine or ten years ago. It was attributed at first by Lord St. Aldwyn to the absence of the Army in South Africa. Other temporary causes were suggested from time to time, and I remember I was rather laughed at when I said in my first Budget statement that it was due to a change in the habits of the people, and that we could look in future less to this source of revenue than we have done in the past. They agree now that it is due to a change in the habits of the people. The consumption is declining: they clap on an extra 1102 tax. What principle has ever been enunciated in support of that? Take a trade which is doing badly—in the words of the Prime Minister, which is "in a position of stagnation or even retrogression,"—and then you put upon it duties or taxes in one form or another which would go near to really prosperous and go-ahead industry. Note that while hon. Gentlemen in the licensing discussions were in the habit of talking with scorn of the brewers who had taken large sums out of their breweries and foisted those breweries on the public, the Government proposals are going to hit those brewers hardest who retained all the ordinary shares in their own hands and took all the risks and put only the preferential balance into the hands of the public. Does the ability to pay apply to the land tax, to the estate duties, to the death succession duties, to transfer stamps, to income tax, to the reversion tax, and the increment of every kind under every name recurring in every portion of the right hon. Gentleman's Budget speech with which he proposes to load the possessions of the wealthy. I think he said there would be no criticism of the estate duties. There is a good deal of criticism to come. The Prime Minister said just now that his right hon. Friend had left the scale where it was at the bottom and at the top. Yes, and he has screwed up the scale at all the intervening points on all the middle property. He is going to charge, if my memory serves me rightly, an estate of £100,000 with the scale of duty which Sir William Harcourt thought should be the maximum for the millionaire and multi-millionaires. Is that measuring the burden by ability to pay?
The Chancellor objected to my right hon. Friend for taking out the estate duties in the form of income tax. How else should they be taken out? Sir William Harcourt who was the author of the duties, how did he defend himself against the tax from this side? When it was alleged you were putting on the heir a burden which he cannot meet when he comes into the estate and which will cripple him and his estate, he said a prudent man will insure. What is that but charging himself an annual sum in order to meet a capital liability when that capital liability falls due. That annual sum which he has to pay in insurance or which he has to put by is the addition which the estate duties make, and there is no other way with which you can fairly calculate the burden of an estate than by measuring the death duties in income tax over the estimated length of possession of the recipient or heir of the estate. Let me 1103 say that I shall have to revert to this point later. This is the more important because it affects not merely the capital of the individual, but the capital of the State. The right hon. Gentleman says that it is absurd to treat it as income tax, that it is portion of the corpus of the property and must be paid away on the inheritance in order to satisfy the tax gatherer, and he says the man who receives an estate of £100,000 must sell £10,000 to pay the tax gatherer. The right hon. Gentleman said that he generally understated the figures, and I think in this case he understated a very good deal. Then he said the man takes his £90,000 and makes £990,000 out of it if he can. He is a happy man who can be certain of carrying out that kind of operation. If all his property is in personality, but is not in good investment, it he has great business knowledge, and if he has no other occupation which requires his time, and if he can give his whole time, he might do so. How can you apply that to land? Let him sell a chunk of his land to pay for the duties, and then how is he in his lifetime to replace the chunk which he has taken out of the corpus of the estate? He cannot do it. That is why those duties upon the land press so heavily unless you measure them according to the capacity of the man to replace within his lifetime that which he has paid on his succession, or to save in his lifetime that which will become payable by his successor. If you do not do it you will not merely break up the estate, you will not merely destroy the great body, I will not say of the very big estates, but of the middle estates of the country, but you eat down through them all, and in the case of personal estate put high duties on the accumulated capital of the country—money which is used for the development of the resources of the country and the promotion of its industries.
These operations of the Budget make nothing less, in my belief, when they get to work, than a revolution in our rural economy—a revolution, I am sorry to say, for the worse, and not for the better. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister said we had not spoken about the super-tax or that we had not criticised its theoretic justice. I do not know that anyone has ever criticised the theoretic justice of a super-tax if it has due regard to all the other taxes, but it is a peculiarity of this Government that they treat each tax separately, and they never bring the whole 1104 burdens of a man into comparison altogether. What everyone has said about the super-tax, from Mr. Gladstone onwards, is that the difficulty of fixing any rule by which you should decide what is fair and sound is itself a grave objection to the tax, and, in fact, to all graduated taxation. A still greater objection is that involved in the collection of the super-tax; in the inquisition to which it necessarily gives rise—an inquisition which, be it remembered, will not affect the man of £5,000 a year, but will affect three, four, or five men who have not £5,000 per year for everyone you catch who has. It is open to yet another criticism, and that is that the multiplication of burdens upon capital and wealth as such do make wealth discontented with its position, do cause it to feel that it suffers under injustice, that it pays not merely its fair share but something that is more than its fair share of the burdens of the nation, and do make the possessors of it seek methods by which they can remove from the purview of the tax gatherer the income which is now so heavily burdened. There is not the slightest doubt about the fact, and the Inland Revenue Board have admitted it, that the income tax payer, and especially the wealthiest, could remove if they wish to do so a great deal of their property beyond your ken outside your reach, and could deprive you not only of the super-tax of 6d. but of the original income tax of 1s. 2d. which you already get.
Let me return to the land. What are the underlying principles of the Government's treatment of land? The land we were told by the late Prime Minister, I think, the land is too much the luxury of the rich. Add to its burdens and will you make it more the playground of the poor? Land they tell you is in too few hands, and what is their remedy? Double the stamp duty on every transfer from one owner to the other. I am well aware that the Government are very far from desiring to encourage the creation of small ownerships in England. The First Comsioner of Works devoted some time of his speech last Session to declaring his animosity to the creation of small holdings and his desire rather to prevent them than to facilitate their spread. But, having considered their process of creating an enormous number of small holders in Ireland, amounting to 100 million and which they are trying to convert into 180 millions—at that very moment they are proposing to double the stamp on the transfers 1105 of the property. That stamp duty will have to go just as much as preference to German beer, which could not exist for five minutes after my right hon. Friend had mentioned it. The Government base their proposals for taxes on land not on the suggestion that they are doing the same by land as by other forms of property, but on the ground that land is different from all other forms of property. So it is in some ways. Every form of property has its own peculiarities; every form of property has its own obligations. They are more uniformly observed in the case of land than in other forms of property. Land has no peculiarities which should expose it to special fiscal imposts except that peculiarity of immobility which makes it no doubt a convenient object for the raids of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The President of the Board of Trade said:—We on this side of the House have always asserted a different position with regard to the taxation of land than in regard to the taxation of other classes of property.Always is like never, it is a long time. I suppose the right hon. Gentleman meant ever since he had become a Member of the party. There was no such distinction maintained by the older Liberals. On the contrary, if there was a distinction which was embodied in our Acts, whether passed by one side or the other, between land and other forms of property, it was to regard property in land as being specially secured, just as with property in a Government sense, and which the Government was specially bound to protect. All that again is thrown to the wind in the present Budget, and new principles and worse principles are applied. Now take the case of urban land. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer based a good deal of his proposal on what was in fact a general indictment of the leasehold system. That has been the view taken as well by other Members of this party. I do not agree with him as to the general working of the system. I believe it has been very convenient and a good system which brought capital locked up in land into co-operation with capital in money for the mutual advantage and development of our country at large.
It has worked well, and it is not the big estates which are the worst estates, as everybody knows, whether they be urban or not. The right hon. Gentleman contrasted the urban landlords very unfavourably with their country colleagues. I was glad of the contrast for the sake of the country landlord, who, almost for the first time, had justice done to him from that I 1106 bench. But I thought it unjust to the town landlords. I need go no further than my own City of Birmingham to find great landlords who have always generously recognised their responsibilities to the town from which a portion of their wealth comes, who have been foremost when any big subscriptions for the benefit of the town were raised, who have given parks and open spaces to the town, who have so managed their property as to make half the amenities of the town, and undoubtedly enormously to increase the healthiness of the town itself.
What does the right hon. Gentleman propose in regard to the urban landlords? You are to tax their reversions; you are to tax their undeveloped land—and in that connection you are to tax ungotten minerals, too—and you are to tax unearned incomes. I want to devote a little attention to each of these proposals. I am sure that we suffer very much from the lack of definition which we have hitherto had of the terms used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and of his meaning. He has placed both us and himself in a quite unnecessarily difficult position by refusing to answer at question time, questions put to him in the ordinary way, without any malice or any desire to do anything that is not proper. I take a particular question. Some friends of mine on the benches behind me asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he proposed to tax reversions belonging to municipal corporations. He replied that that was one of those questions which could not be satisfactorily dealt with by question and answer across the floor of the House, which needed explanation, and eventually he said he would explain it in debate. I ventured to remind him of his promise last night, and he gave me all the information I wanted. The question was: Are you going to tax reversions of property belonging to municipal corporations? What was the answer that could not be given across the floor of the House? It was: "We are not." I really suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that that kind of prudery which affects him at question time is out of place where these great interests are concerned, and that he would serve the interests of his own Budget as well as the convenience of the House by being a little more communicative at that time, and not grudging us an answer to a question which requires a simple affirmative or negative. These proposals of the Government are very obscure, and they have been quite insufficiently defined. They are not only ob- 1107 scure; they are worse than obscure; they are unjust, and I think their injustice comes in part from the obscurity which prevails in the mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. Take, as an illustration, his references last night to the tax on ungotten minerals. How did he define it? He said that he knew a common in Wales which was worth nothing until a capitalist came along, sunk a shaft, risked his money, and developed the coal beds underneath, and now the owner of that common is drawing great royalties from it. That may be right or wrong, but what on earth has it to do with a tax which is not a tax on gotten minerals or on mining royalties, but a tax on ungotten minerals? Is it not perfectly clear that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is burning with a fierce indignation against what he conceives to be an injustice, that he has prepared a great hot plaster to clap on the man who is perpetrating that injustice, and then, through mere confusion of thought, has stuck it upon somebody else's back?
That is not all. Look, again, at what he says about reversions. I will omit some words, but none that are material:—My proposal is a 10 per cent. reversion duty upon the amount, if any, by which the total value of the land at the time the lease falls in, exceeds the value of the consideration for the granting of the lease.What conception has he of the consideration for the granting of the lease? As I gather, what he intends to tax is not that at all, but something quite different. He intends to take one-tenth of the difference between the capital value of the land with what is on it at the end of the lease, and the capital value at the beginning of the lease. But what he says is something entirely different. If he embodied in his Budget what he has embodied in his Budget statement, those very things which he wishes to get at would escape payment altogether. He says that a landlord lets his land on a 99 years' building lease, with a condition that a house of so much value shall be put upon it, that it shall not occupy more than a certain proportion of the ground, and so on; and then at the end of the lease, without having spent a penny, the landlord will have the house in good tenantable repair. That, he thinks, is a windfall for the landlord, something to which the landlord is not entitled, and which, therefore, he may as well take because he is not less unentitled to it than anybody else. But that that house shall be handed over in good tenantable condition is part of the consideration for the 1108 lease. I defy any lawyer, even a Government lawyer, to put any other interpretation upon the words. Those two instances show such confusion of thought in the mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that I have some faint hope that when we really get to the discussion of this subject we shall be able to persuade him that he is doing things which he does not want to do, and leaving undone things which he does want to do; that he is talking about one thing, and taxing another; that he is meaning to place a burden on one set of shoulders, and really throwing it on another.
But the confusion does not cease there. What I am going to say now applies both to reversions and to unearned increment. He said: "Our proposal is to take the unearned increment for those who make it." Is that the right hon. Gentleman's proposal? That is a proposal which has merits and demerits of its own, but it is not the Budget proposal. The Budget proposal is to take one-fifth of the increment, not for those who made it, but for other people who did not make it. And the right hon. Gentleman sees that when he comes to deal with the great municipal corporations. He does not propose to tax them, because he says it is the townspeople who created that wealth. But if the townspeople created the wealth for the corporation, they created it for the landlord, and if anyone is entitled to have it it is the townspeople. Why should the increment made by great improvement schemes in Birmingham, made by the growth of the city, which the Government has done nothing to foster, which they will not do anything to promote—all they have contributed to the growth of Birmingham has been to close the Government factory, though for that I am grateful, because it was on the borders of my own Constituency, and a Government factory is a thing which no Member would wish to have in his constituency, but that is all that they have done to promote the prosperity or growth of Birmingham—why should that go to the Government? What right have they to the unearned increment made by the Birmingham citizens? If there is to be an unearned increment tax at all, let it go here, as it goes in all the countries which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has cited as precedents, to the towns which make it, and to the communities which create it; but let not the Chancellor of the Exchequer rob our henroosts and leave us with our great burden of local indebtedness.
1109 I part company with the Government upon the distinction which they endeavour to draw between unearned increment in land and unearned increment in all other commodities. There may be unearned increment, as we have had it admitted today, in almost everything—in works of art, in stocks and shares, even in the remuneration of lawyers. The fortunes which are made depend not alone on the brilliancy of the individual, but on the wealth, activity, and industry of the community in which he lives, because if he lives in a rich community his prospects will be very much better than if he lives in a poor one. How does the Government defend this distinction? The President of the Board of Trade attempted a defence which I really thought was curious, and which seems to me to underlie the whole speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He said that to invest money in land was "a sterile operation." I wonder whether it ever occurs to him to consider the case of such towns as Barrow or Eastbourne. How much money did the predecessors of the present Duke spend in Eastbourne before he saw a penny back? How much of what they spent has still not earned its proper increment? How are you going to distinguish and divide the increment which is due to their exertions from the increment which you attribute to other causes? I do not believe that in either of those towns there would have been any development or any increment at all but for the exertions of the great landed proprietors who did so much to make them. You will fine the landowner who has already performed such an operation, because it is quite certain that you cannot separate what may be due to other causes from what is due to the landlord's sacrifices. You cannot say to-morrow when you take your valuation that the increment due to the Duke's expenditure has come to an end, and that the valuation then taken closes the book and starts afresh. His account is still running, but you are going to loot it. I say that to talk of investment in land as a sterile operation when you have great examples like that, and multiplied instances on a smaller scale throughout the country, is to talk nonsense, and pernicious nonsense. But is it really less nonsense to go on and say that, in contrast to the sterile operation of putting your money into land, the purchase of a block of shares is a stimulating and judicious economic investment? In the first place, we all know that a great many such transactions are 1110 purely gambling. In the second place, we know that a great many do not stimulate anything, and are certainly not judicious or economic. Probably at one time or another all of us have fallen victims to experiments of that kind. Can you say that these operations as a class give a stimulus which is not given by the investment of money in land? If the right hon. Gentleman says that the men who made the Canadian Pacific Railway, and who risked their all in critical times to build it, and to make the development of that great country possible—that they made a judicious and economic investment, that they stimulated the growth and development of their country—I agree with him. I add only that they were most daring men, and took the greatest risks that any men could take of a financial character. Is it stimulating the growth of Canada—that is my illustration of the judicious and economic investment—if I bought Canadian Pacifies which stood at 60 12 years ago, and hold them till they stand as they did two or three years ago, at 200? What have I done to earn it? I have done nothing, except sit upon my shares. That is the worst you can say of the landlord who holds his land. Notice that it is just that kind of investment which has at one time or another been the very form of investment which is most unpopular with the present House of Commons. What has done more to stimulate our development in the last century than the railways? What is more unpopular, what is less certain of fair treatment at the hands of the House of Commons? Do we not know that the hon. Gentlemen who sit below the Gangway propose to apply, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been a little longer their pupil—to use the words of the hon. Member for Blackburn—propose to apply the same principles which the Chancellor of the Exchequer reserves for land to other forms of capital which for the moment escape him.
I do not like to weary the House, but it is only by illustrations that you can bring out the effects of the tax, which, stated in general terms, has much that is attractive, and appears to the great mass of the people, at all events, harmless. We heard a little from the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the case of Woolwich. Land appreciated enormously in price because the Government made the place, made the industry, and brought the people there. The landlord contributed nothing in consequence. Well, the landlord contributed his income 1111 tax, and if he died he contributed his death duties. He contributed in the same proportion as other taxpayers were contributing. Is that the whole? I do not blame one Government more than another. All Governments must take some blame. That they should have put down a great factory there without any forethought as to the space that would be required for the housing of the working people they were going to attract, or of alternative employment in the neighbourhod if there should be slackness at any time in their factory—all these things are calamitous. But our carelessness in these matters as a nation must bear the blame. But now follow up the case. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in taking the case of Woolwich, applied the information of 10 or 20 years ago taken from a speech by Colonel Hughes, who has many years ceased to be a Member of this House. What is the position of Woolwich to-day? Thousands of houses vacant, workmen scattered through the Colonies and to different parts of the country! What is the value of that land now? Obviously it is greatly reduced. "Value it at that," said the Chancellor of the Exchequer, "and if it ever rises I take toll of the rise." I do not know what happened in Woolwich, but the case has occurred again and again in different parts of the country. Suppose the landlord, of whom the right hon. Gentleman spoke, sold out at the top price. The present possessor bought at a high price, yet his property is to be valued at the low price to-day, and if there are future increments for which he has already paid—capital which he is out of pocket—if he sees any chance of recovering, he is not to have that chance. For the Chancellor of the Exchequer says: "You have no right to it whatever; give me one fifth." I will not pursue these matters further to-day. I shall have to recur to them later.
I come for a few moments to the taxes on undeveloped land. If I rightly understand the position of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it is that the owner of building land, who has not already covered it with buildings, is a person of the same nefarious turn of mind as the speculator who deliberately sets himself to make a corner in wheat; that he is engaged in an unjust, iniquitous operation which you will penalise, and in a position from which you must drag him by taxation and fiscal measures. I confess I really think that is not so. There are around all our towns 1112 hundreds of thousands of acres for sale at reasonable prices, which nobody would deny are reasonable prices, which cannot be all marketed at once. I may wish to dispose of my land: my neighbour will have to wait. What is certain is that we cannot dispose of our land together. To treat all that land as if it were marketable at any given moment is to inflict a great injustice. What is the object of the Government in so doing? Their object, openly avowed by the President of the Board of Trade, I think by my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General, and by implication by the Prime Minister—is to make land cheap. It is an aphorism they are very fond of repeating that you cannot tax things into cheapness. Yet they deliberately set themselves to tax down the values of this land. Well, now, what is going to be the result? They can only do that by glutting the market. If the landowner can afford to hold he will hold in spite, of the tax. He will hold for a higher price in order to recoup himself. But the general effect will be to force all their land into the market. The market will be glutted for the moment, and land will be cheap. So it will—for the moment. But for how long? What will follow? A new power comes in to discount the new burdens, and there will be a lesser price for land in consequence. You will have ruined the old possessor A, and you will have made a fortune for the new speculator B. Who will be the better for it? Will the townspeople be better housed? Will the new speculators go in and deal more kindly with their tenants, or more generously with their property than the old landlords you drove out, and are you going by this extreme pressure to encourage the best building or the worst? Are you going to multiply mutual societies, or to make a paradise for the speculative builder?Cui bono?
In this connection let me say a word about the market gardener. My right hon. Friend said that you would have to levy these taxes on land around all our great towns, and occupied by market gardeners. You have been desirous of increasing their number. Will you increase their number by taxing their land as building land? You make the position impossible. You have not told us what you are going to do where such land is already leased. Suppose the owner of urban land has leased a portion of it for a term of years under the Allotments Act, instead of covering it at once with buildings? Are you going 1113 to fine him for not having developed his land? Are you going to tax him on the money he does not get? Because he has done the very thing that you expressly hoped he would do. Are you going to make him worse off than if he neglected his land? It is not only the market gardener, or the small holder, you are going to tax. You are going to tax every recreation ground and cricket field in the neighbourhood of our big towns. I am talking—and I do not care about the great play fields of renown, where matches are played for vast sums of gate money. If you like to put a tax on them I do not mind. But you are going to tax every little club which has been formed with difficulty, and whose membership consist of clerks or lads engaged in the factories, and who with difficulty have got a field somewhere not too far removed from their work in order to spend their Saturday afternoons playing football or cricket. I say you are going to tax these clubs. I suppose the hon. Member will reply: "We place no tax on them." No, but you tax the ground landlord for not turning them out; for not giving them notice to quit. Every allotment holder, every market gardener, every cricket club with its bit of land coming within the scope of your definition of undeveloped urban land is to get notice to quit from the Government as soon as the landlord can use the land for building purposes. I say that in framing these taxes you have no regard for the ability of property, or the possible charges it has to meet.
It is just the same with licences, you deliberately set yourselves to tax their value down, not merely to tax their value down, but to tax them out of existence. And that, after admitting by your Bill of last year that they had a moral, if not a legal, claim, if you deprive them of their property. Was I not right in saying, as I did on the first night of the Budget Debate, that taxes framed in this spirit, and calculated to have these effects, are not taxation; they are spoliation? Look for a moment at the cumulative effect of the whole system of taxation embodied in this Budget. What is it? It is an attack on capital wherever you can find it. It is a deliberate determination to put as much as you can of the charges of the State on the cumulative capacity of capital wherever you can reach it. It is admitted by the President of the Board of Trade. But he admits something more. He admits that not only was that their object in the present Bill, but that they are going to 1114 carry it a great deal further. "We are resolved," he says, "that in the end the entire public charge shall be defrayed from the profits of accumulated capital—"
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
Yes (column 851, Official Report):—We, on the other hand, regard that tendency as of deep-seated social significance We are resolved that it shall be arrested as far as we are concerned, and that, in the ultimate future, by our exertion, the entire public charge shall be defrayed from the profits of accumulated capital by the taxation of those indulgences—those popular indulgences which cannot be said in any way to affect the physical condition of the land.I did not quote the sentence about the physical condition of the land, because I do not profess to understand it.
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
I accept that correction, but that has nothing to do with my point. The question is not whether by putting on this or that indirect tax, whether this or that indirect tax would affect the physical condition of labour, it is the determination expressed by the President of the Board of Trade that all the expenditure of the country—the entire public charge—should be defrayed by the profits of accumulated capital.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
My right hon. Friend is not here—I am not complaining that the right hon. Gentleman has quoted him in his absence—but that is not what he said. What he did say he said in my hearing, and it was that taxation should be divided in his judgment between the profits of accumulated capital and the luxuries of all parties. That is practically what he said.
§ Mr. A. CHAMBERLAIN
I cannot discuss a speech which is not reported, and of which my recollection differs largely from that of the right hon. Gentleman. I only take it as it stands in the Official Report, which is the only way I can take it. Whether the President of the Board of Trade used these words or did not use them, they are really what the Government are intending to do, with this qualification that the right hon. Gentleman spoke of—getting it from the profits of accumulated capital, and what the Government mean to do is to take it by chunks out of accumulated capital. Who suffers by that? Individuals first, but the nation afterwards, 1115 and the nation, and perhaps the working classes of the nation, not less than the individuals. Capital is the parent of industry. It is more important to industries and to every form of industrial development in these days than it ever has been in the history of the world, and this is the moment you choose wherever you find invested or accumulated capital to strike it with this heavy and intolerable burden. I am not here to deny that there may be dangers in very great fortunes without any obligations attached to them, but it is not these very great fortunes with no obligations which you have struck at in this Budget—it is the smaller men, many of whom have very large obligations which they very nobly discharge.
I heard the hon. Member for Blackburn to-day say that in his opinion there was no possible way of making the poor people better except by making someone else worse, and he had just described the Chancellor of the Exchequer as a very apt pupil. That is the spirit in which this Budget has been framed, and I only wonder why the Government keep up the farce of quarrelling with their socialistic allies. Why did they run a candidate at Sheffield only to be beaten? Surely the difference between them is not such as to justify them in this apparent hostility. There is a difference. I must make that admission I owe it not altogether to them, but to hon. Gentlemen below the gangway. The Socialists policy was expounded by in hon. Member of the Labour party in an early debate of this Session. He frankly avowed, and the Government now follow with their policy—he frankly avowed it was his intention first to tax down property, and he said it was his further proposal to purchase the remained. That is what the Government are doing. They will tax down a man's property and take his property away from him, but they will not purchase it. If you want to get unearned increment by the land, speculate for yourselves? Take it good and bad, and there will be no injustice to anyone, but do not run your speculation with other people's money? Do not pocket the proceeds without taking the risk, and, above all do not burden as you do by this Budget other industries in the country, and above all the greatest industries in the country with charges that they can ill bear or cannot bear, and which must react disastrously upon the whole economy of our people.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I must ask the indulgence of the House in an effort, in I hope a very short space of time, to reply to some at least of the wide field of criticism which the right hon. Gentleman has covered in his argument, and to remove one or two misunderstandings which may still exist after this lengthy Debate ["Oh! Oh!"] as to the proposals of the Government. It is a Debate which has lasted three days, and a Debate which I think the Committee will agree has been very interesting to everyone who has heard it. It has been free almost altogether from the wild talk that is going on outside concerning the Government proposals, advancing arguments, some of which everyone realises in this House ought to be met, others of which cannot be met, not from any desire to shirk an answer, but from the fact that the details of the Bill are not at present presented and that it is perfectly impossible to go through the mass of detail which arises in this discussion. The House will do me the honour to believe that nothing would give me greater pleasure at this moment than to attempt to reply to some of the special questions in connection with land, of which I have made a particular study, of which have been advanced in this discussion. The best reply to these questions will be found in the Finance Bill. I think I can honestly say that there is not one of those suggestions which have been made which have not been fully considered, and which will not be met in detail when discussed across the floor of the House, and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer assures me his only desire is to place this Bill as speedily as possible in the hands of Members of the House. I make no apology because it will be for the general convenience if I state I will very quickly put aside one or two points which have been bandied across the floor of the House and concerning which there is really little more to be said on this side of the House now, or perhaps at any other time. I am not referring to points in the proposal of my right hon. Friend. I am referring rather to terminology. What is to be gained, for example, by calling this a Budget of Socialism? The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, in his opening speech, informed us that this was a Budget framed upon the principle of Mr. Henry George. Mr. Henry George spent the most of his life fighting Socialism, and I am doubtful which would be the more amazed, if they could hear this Debate and consider what we are discussing, one of the historic 1117 leaders of Socialism to hear this described as a Socialistic Budget, or Mr. Henry George to hear it described as a "Henry George" Budget. Again, there is the charge of the abandonment of retrenchment, which ever since I have taken any kind of interest in political affairs I have heard advanced alternately by one side against the other. There is no secrecy or uncertainty on the question of the money which is to be provided by these Budget proposals. I have heard no question in the three days' Debate of any kind of particular extravagance on the part of the Government, or any charge of not having rigorously scrutinised the various Estimates provided for the public service. The money which is to be provided depends entirely upon expenditure. The only complaint, on the one hand is it is not enough, and ought to be greater, and the other that it was practically expected from the Debates of last year. Time after time I remember standing up in the old age pensions Debates and endeavouring to gather together such arguments as I could advance against Amendments moved from the Front Bench opposite, and others supported by the Front Bench urging enormous extension of the expenditure. I acknowledge that the Noble Lord the Member for Marylebone has a perfect right to criticise us. He opposed the Old Age Pensions Bill all through; he divided against it with 13 other stalwarts, and he now says, "Look at the result." But I think we have a right to claim that those who accepted the scheme in the House, took credit for it in the country, refused to accept the idea that there is any notion of either modifying or abolishing it, and made larger demands when it was passing through the House, should recognise that the real criticism of the Bill must not come because of the amount of money which has to be met in expenditure upon it, but on the nature of the proposals that are to be made as to its extension. May I, in the name of the Government, absolutely repudiate, as I think was repudiated earlier in the Debates, the idea that this Budget is filled with the desire to attack certain classes. The object of the Budget is to raise the revenues of the country. I have heard no alternative suggested that will press less hardly upon the country. I am not dealing with Tariff Reform, I leave that out of consideration. What I say is, I have heard no suggestion of an alternative that might be provided by a Free Trade Government which might be more just to the poor 1118 which would press less hardly upon the people. The right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken referred to the confession, as he termed it, of the Postmaster-General that the Government was going to hit back with the desire of injuring the licensed trade. Of course it is a confession of nothing of the sort. It is a confession that part of the monopoly value given by the State which the Licensing Bill of last year intended, after a considerable space of time to resume possession of for the benefit of the community, will be resumed possession of immediately by an increase of the licensing duties. Hon. Members have a right to demand an explanation of all the various collateral advantages or disadvantages of any particular kind of tax. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition asked whether this was philanthropy or finance, and mocked at the idea of so adjusting taxation as to cause a greater or less demand of various kinds of luxuries. Ever since taxation first was it has been clearly recognised that when money has to be raised it is a consideration what the effect of the raising of that money will be on the people. In some of the Budgets of Mr. Gladstone and many great Chancellors of the Exchequer there has been an attempt to modify the drinking habits of the people, by raising taxes on beverages which have a less or a greater amount of alcohol in them, altogether apart from the score of philanthropy on the one hand, or the charge of attacking some particular interest on the other.
The right hon. Gentleman responded to a challenge of my right hon. Friend in connection with the very small amount we heard in this Debate concerning the modification of the income tax, which includes the super-tax proposal. The great bulk of this Debate has been devoted to the land proposals of the Government, and I wonder how many times I have heard the argument and how many landowners have said to me that while they recognise the justice of a super-tax on all incomes what they object to is a tax upon one particular kind of income. There is one point with which I profoundly disagree. I have no sympathy with the argument advanced from the other side of the House as to the inquisition which the super-tax is supposed to necessitate. The Noble Lord the Member for Marylebone made that his only charge against the super-tax. His charge was not so much that it was not right, but that it was taking it out of the people in a singularly unpleasant fashion. In the case 1119 of the very modest income, which in past times I have been able to earn as a journalist and as a rather unsuccessful writer of books, long before the relief was given to earned income, I was subjected year after year to this most objectionable and offensive form of inquisition, and if some millions of people have been able to endure that inquisition and declare with some attempt at arriving at the truth the amount of their income, what right have we to think that the proposal contained in this Budget will prove unjust or onerous to a large number of people who happen to have rather more income than other people?
By far the largest bulk of the discussion which I have listened to during the last three days has been devoted to the land proposals of the Government, and yet I believe—and I am speaking now sincerely—the more these land proposals are discussed and fully understood in all their bearings the more they will commend themselves for their moderation, for their justice, and for their suitability to meet this particular problem of a large national deficit. I know it has been said that if you touch the land you must provoke a storm, but a very large amount of that storm is due to a complete misconception of what the Government propose to do. Let me take briefly the three land proposals of the Government. The first is the increment tax. The land of the country is to be valued at the present time, and the Government do not take one halfpenny of that value under the increment tax. All future improvements in any particular part of that land made by the owner will remain excluded from the increment tax, and all the Government sets itself to do is, if there be any increase in the value of that land, of that general increase from time to time estimated from the time of death or transfer, the modest amount of one-fifth increase over and above every halfpenny of its present value will go to the National Exchequer. That is a proposal which, given the necessity of raising revenue, no fair-minded jury of any class of the community in any civilised place in the world could declare was a predatory proposal aimed deliberately against the owners of a particular form of property. It is an association of the people of this country with the increase in the value of their own land. It may not be only an advantage in providing revenue, but in the mere effect of that association in the treatment in 1120 future land may receive from successive Governments, when the people know that of the increase which the activities of the community make for the first time one-fifth will come back to the National Exchequer.
The second tax has been called the development tax. There I would venture to ask those who have criticised it to make up their minds on which of the two lines they intend to stand in this matter. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Chelmsford dismissed the tax as entirely impracticable, and as setting up an impossibility in valuation. The right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken told us that the undeveloped land tax should rightly belong to the municipality. As everyone knows, again and again it has been recommended by Conservative Ministers, by writers, and Royal Commissions that a tax upon vacant land should be levied in the interests of the municipality. In face of that fact, what becomes of the argument that it is impossible as a practical proposal? When the late Sir William Harcourt was bringing in his death-duty proposals, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach definitely made a challenge to him, and he said:—We will gladly agree with you dealing with urban land because we think that it is a perfectly appropriate subject for taxation, but we ask you to exempt agricultural land.Now, my right hon. Friend has exempted the agriculturist. What we are dealing with is the increased value which all admit is put upon the land by an increase in the rural population. I think it will be well to make clear the point whether this tax is going to cheapen land or not. The hon. Member for Chelmsford said it would not make land cheaper, and it would merely mean that the owner would pay the tax. I think it is approprite the owner should pay the tax because it is an extraordinary light tax. If a man has seen his land grow in value from agricultural land worth £50 an acre to land which is worth £500 an acre, it is not too much to ask him to contribute £l per year of that value, and it would take a good many of those contributions before the £500 was entirely exhausted. The Leader of the Opposition thinks this proposal will cheapen land and promote building, which will have the effect of dispossessing the market gardener on the one hand, and on the other hand will persuade the people to come into the new houses and increase urban overcrowding. All social reformers advocate this tax, including a member of the Tariff Reform Commission, Mr. Charles 1121 Booth, who advocates this tax with enthusiasm. Almost all the great social reformers think this tax will cheapen land, and we wish it to cheapen land. If you cheapen land in the outskirts of a city or town you will enable houses to be built and let at less rent for the poor people, or you may enable a bit of a garden to be given where there is nothing but a house at the present time. I wish, however, to concentrate my attention upon revenue rather than upon collateral effects. Social reformers tell us that there is nothing more likely to deal effectively with the problem of overcrowding in the great urban centres than the imposition of a not immoderate tax upon the monopoly value of land in the neighbourhood of a town.
The last of the taxes which the Government provide is one which is called the reversion duty. There, I think, the right hon. Gentleman, in his criticism of what I think was a Committee point, will be more reassured when he sees the full proposals of the Government as to how they interpret capital value in the one place or the other. In this case what is it that the Government provide? From some of the statements made on the other side of the House one would think we had defined unearned increment and then grabbed the whole of it from private persons. In the case of the value placed upon urban sites under the leasehold system, when they fall in on their conclusion, and, therefore, when the money is available to the landlord, the Government propose that one-tenth of that shall go to the community which has very largely assisted in creating that value. It is only a few days ago, in the course of a most interesting Debate on local taxation in this House, that an hon. Member opposite, in repudiating the suggestion that ground rents should be taxed asserted that there was very much more to be said in favour of the reversion at death, because there could be found a very suitable time for taking some proportion of the amount of the tax if the community was in need of money. I have one more word to add, and I think the House will agree, that, however clumsily I have performed my task, I have attempted more exposition than controversy.
I was more interested in some of the general conclusions as to the influence of such finances on the larger life of the country advanced by the Leader of the Opposition than by some of the more detailed discussion as to whether or not somebody should pay for somebody else. Before we come to details, that is the real 1122 question for the House of Commons. We must look at this Budget in its historic perspective, and see whether its general benefit will be, not for one class, but for the general community. I was impressed, as every hon. Member must have been impressed, by the right hon. Gentleman's conclusion as to the temptations which may fall upon the democracy to shift the whole burdens of taxation on a few members of the community—that is, to make the wealthy a kind of milch cow. My hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn stated that the prinicple of this Budget had been attacked because of the fear that if we cannot make the poor pay it will make the rich poorer. That is not the belief of the Government. When there is a national deficiency we must take a certain portion from the rich and from the poor, and if you do not take it from the rich the hon. Gentleman believes you must take it from the poor. An hon. Gentleman stated that no more taxes should be imposed upon the working classes. I utterly disagree from that proposition. When we are to have an increase in naval expenditure which is demanded by the people of this country, I can imagine nothing more fatal to the working classes than to ask them to believe that that increase can go on to inordinate dimensions without they themselves contributing to that expenditure. Our position all through is to put, not unjust burden upon those who have the greatest ability to pay, but to put them on the luxuries of the people. If that is one danger before any civilised nation, may I venture to call the attention of the Committee to another and a still greater danger. Social disturbance and social tumult are not peculiar to the British Islands. It would be more correct to say that we have been fortunately free up to now of the more advanced injury which threatens modern civilisation in other countries. I make no reference to the doctrine of Ransom once so eloquently advocated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. The doctrine of Ransom is not the doctrine on which this Budget has been devised. It is, if I may say so, not altogether wise for those who have enormous capacity in wealth, leisure and stored-up capital—those who are not the weak ones of the community, but are very strong in this country—to say that they would make a sharp barrier against all the desires of the people for the betterment of their condition unless the expenditure for the realisation of those desires came from the people themselves. [An 1123 HON. MEMBER: "Who says that?"] I ask if that is so? The hon. Gentleman opposite cannot destroy this Budget. I should be exceedingly doubtful if it would be a wise thing to attempt it. There is no other alternative. It does not make a larger claim on behalf of the lives of the people than could be otherwise made without doing undue injustice to other classes. It may establish a greater security for those who enjoy wealth, while it may operate to the removal of those great social diseases which are now more prevalent than they ever were.
§ Mr. STEPHEN GWYNN
I do not think that Ireland in the course of these Debates has occupied more than an hour. I now rise to put what I have to say on behalf of Ireland. If the hon. Member for Wimbledon was in his place I would thank him for having mentioned Ireland in to-night's Debate. When I think of these Debates I come to the conclusion that Ireland might not ever have existed. I wish to be brief in what I have to say at the short time at my disposal. It is short, if not sweet. In so far as this Budget affects Ireland, the representatives of that country will find it their duty to oppose it. So far as it is coherent, it is our desire to support it; but the case of Ireland is a distinct case. It is wholly distinct, and wholly separate. The case of Ireland is the case of the Colonies, which you do not tax. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that the present contribution was 6½ per cent. of the total revenue raised, and that he has only taxed us to the extent of 4½ per cent. So far, so good.
§ But that is not our point. Our point is that Ireland is over-taxed, and over-taxed beyond the amount which can be reasonably expected of her to pay. When the Prime Minister tells us that the taxes on tobacco and on liquor must be accepted because there is no extra tax on tea and sugar, we demur. That is no answer to us. We ask if you are going to tax tobacco as a luxury, tax that tobacco which is a luxury. You differentiate between wines and licences, and why not between tobaccos. Something is needed to make existence livable. Men will not live simply on milk, potatoes, and tea. Tobacco conies next. In these particular cases the people never think of whisky. Everybody knows that tens of thousands of people in Irish cottage homes never buy meat, but they buy tobacco. Hon. Members opposite laugh, but it is no laughing matter. Ireland, as I Say, is over-taxed. It is over-taxed on your own principles. You have brought indirect taxation to a minimum. In Ireland you have increased indirect taxation. Before this Budget was introduced indirect taxation in Ireland amounted to 72½ per cent., but after this Budget it will amount to 80 per cent. The plain moral is that, on your own principles, you are raising a larger amount of money from Ireland by indirect taxation. If anybody raised that—
§ Question put: "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 308; Noes, 201.1127
|Division No. 83.]||AYES.||[8.15 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Berridge, T. H. D.||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Cleland, J. W.|
|Agnew, George William||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Clough, William|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Black, Arthur W.||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)|
|Alden, Percy||Boulton, A. C. F.||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Bowerman, C. W.||Corbett, C H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)|
|Armitage, R.||Brace, William||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Bramsdon, T. A.||Cory, Sir Clifford John|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Branch, James||Cowan, W. H.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Brigg, John||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Bright, J. A.||Crosfield, A. H.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Crossley, William J.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Brooke, Stopford||Dalziel, Sir James Henry|
|Barker, Sir John||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Bryce, J. Annan||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Beale, W. P.||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Byles, William Pollard||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.|
|Bell, Richard||Cameron, Robert||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Duckworth, Sir James|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)|
|Bennett, E. N.||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Lewis, John Herbert||Rowlands, J.|
|Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lupton, Arnold||Samuel S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Erskine, David C.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Essex, R. W.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Sears, J. E.|
|Falconer, J.||Macpherson, J. T.||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Callum, John M.||Seely, Colonel|
|Ferens, T. R.||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Shackleton, David James|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Findlay, Alexander||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Maddison, Frederick||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Mallett, Charles E.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Gill, A. H.||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Massie, J.||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Masterman, C. F. G.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Grant, Corrie||Menzies, Walter||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Gulland, John W.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Summerbell, T.|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Hall, Frederick||Morrell, Philip||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Morse, L. L.||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Myer, Horatio||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Napier, T. B.||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Harwood, George||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nicholls, George||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Tillett, Louis John|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Norman, Sir Henry||Tomkinson, James|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Toulmin, George|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Nuttall, Harry||Verney, F. W.|
|Henderson, J. McD. (Ab'deen, W.)||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Vivian, Henry|
|Henry, Charles S.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Partington, Oswald||Walters, John Tudor|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Walton, Joseph|
|Higham, John Sharp||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Waring, Walter|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Holden, E. Hopkinson||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Pollard, Dr. G. H.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Hooper, H. G.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Price, C.E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Hyde, Clarendon G.||Pullar, Sir Robert||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Radford, G. H.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Jackson, R. S.||Rainy, A. Holland||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Raphael, Herbert H.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Jenkins, J.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Rees, J. D.||Williams, A. Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Rendall, Althelstan||Williamson, A.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Kekewich, Sir George||Richardson, A.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Lambert, George||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Winfrey, R.|
|Lamont, Norman||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Wodehouse, Lord|
|Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Robinson, S.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon.|
|Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Roe, Sir Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and the Master of Elibank.|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Rose, Charles Day|
|Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Ashley, W. W.||Banbury, Sir Frederick George|
|Ambrose, Robert||Balcarres, Lord||Banner, John S. Harmood-|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Baldwin, Stanley||Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.)||Barnes, G. N.|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Heaton, John Henniker||O'Malley, William|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Helmsley, Viscount||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Bertram, Julius||Hill, Sir Clement||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hills, J. W.||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Boland, John||Hodge, John||Percy, Earl|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hogan, Michael||Philips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hudson, Walter||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hunt, Rowland||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Jowett, F. W.||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Joyce, Michael||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kavanagh, Walter M.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cave, George||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Kerry, Earl of||Renwick, George|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Keswick, William||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Kettle, Thomas Michael||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Channing, Sir Frederick Allston||Kilbride, Denis||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kimber, Sir Henry||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Clark, George Smith||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Clynes, J. R.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Craig, Captain James (Down E.)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Crooks, William||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Delany, William||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Snowden, P.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Arthur, Charles||Stanier, Beville|
|Du Cros, Arthur||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Duffy, William J.||M'Iver, Sir Lewis||Starkey, John R.|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||M'Kean, John||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Magnus, Sir Philip||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Meagher, Michael||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fell, Arthur||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Ffrench, Peter||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Mooney, J. J.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Forster, Henry William||Morrison-Bell, Capt.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Gardner, Ernest||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Ginnell, L.||Newdegate, F. A. N.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whitbread, S. Howard|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Gretton, John||Nolan, Joseph||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Guinness, W. E. (Bury St. Edmunds)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Haddock, George B.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Winterton, Earl|
|Halpin, J.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Oddy, John James||Younger, George|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||O'Dowd, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Hart-Davies, T.||O'Grady, J.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Hazleton, Richard||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
§ Question put accordingly: "That the Customs Duty on Tea now charged shall continue to be charged until the 31st of1128
§ March, 1910; that is to say, Tea per pound fivepence."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 332; Noes, 179.1131
|Division No. 84.]||AYES.||[8.28 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Bellairs, Carlyon|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St Geo.)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Barker, Sir John||Bennett, E. N.|
|Agnew, George William||Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Berridge, T. H. D.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Bertram, Julius|
|Alden, Percy||Barnard, E. B.||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Barnes, G. N.||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)|
|Armitage, R.||Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Beale, W. P.||Black, Arthur W.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Beauchamp, E.||Boulton, A. C. F.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Beck, A. Cecil||Bowerman, C. W.|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Bell, Richard||Brace, William|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Harwood, George||Norton, Captain Cecil William|
|Branch, James||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Brigg, John||Haworth, Arthur A.||Nuttall, Harry|
|Bright, J. A.||Hedges, A. Paget||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Grady, J.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Hemmerde, Edward George||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Partington, Oswald|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Henry, Charles S.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)>|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Higham, John Sharp||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Hobart, Sir Robert||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Byles, William Pollard||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Cameron, Robert||Hodge, John||Pollard, Dr. G. H.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Holland, Sir William Henry||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Holt, Richard Durning||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Hooper, A. G.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Priestley, W, E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pullar, Sir Robert|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hudson, Walter||Radford, G. H.|
|Cleland, J. W.||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Clough, William||Hyde, Clarendon G.||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Clynes, J. R.||Illingworth, Percy H.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.||Jackson, R. S.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Jardine, Sir J.||Rees, J. D.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Jenkins, J.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Richardson, A.|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Crooks, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Jowett, F. W.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Crossley, William J.||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Kekewich, Sir George||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Robinson, S.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lambert, George||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lamont, Norman||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)||Rose, Charles Day|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Rowlands, J.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lehmann, R. C.||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Lever, A. Levey (Essex, Harwich)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lewis, John Herbert||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lupton, Arnold||Sears, J. E.|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Erskine, David C.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Seely, Colonel|
|Essex, R. W.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Shackleton, David James|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||Macpherson, J. T.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Falconer, J.||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Ferens, T. R.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||M'Micking, Major G.||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Findlay, Alexander||Maddison, Frederick||Snowden, P.|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Mallet, Charles E.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Freeman-Thomas, Freeman||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Gibbs, James (Harrow)||Massie, J.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Gill, A. H.||Masterman, C. F. G.||Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)|
|Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.)||Menzies, Walter||Steadman, W. C.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Micklem, Nathaniel||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Grant, Corrie||Mond, A.||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Summerbell, T.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Gulland, John W.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Morrell, Philip||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Hall, Frederick||Morse, L. L.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Myer, Horatio||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Napier, T. B.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Nicholls, George||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Tillett, Louis John|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Norman, Sir Henry||Tomkinson, James|
|Toulmin, George||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Weir, James Galloway||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Verney, F. W.||Whitbread, S. Howard||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Vivian, Henry||White, Sir George (Norfolk)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Walsh, Stephen||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Walters, John Tudor||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Walton, Joseph||Whitehead, Rowland||Winfrey, R.|
|Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)||Wodehouse, Lord|
|Wardle, George J.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Waring, Walter||Wiles, Thomas||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and the Master of Elibank.|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Williams, A. Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Waterlow, D. S.||Williamson, A.|
|Watt, Henry A.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Haddock, George B.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Halpin, J.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Hamilton, Marquess of||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Oddy, John James|
|Balcarres, Lord||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Hay, Hon. Claude George||O'Dowd, John|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hazleton, Richard||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Heaton, John Henniker||O'Malley, William|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)||Helmsley, Viscount||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hill, Sir Clement||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hills, J. W.||Peel, Hon. W. Robert Wellesley|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hogan, Michael||Percy, Earl|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Philips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Boland, John||Houston, Robert Paterson||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hunt, Rowland||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Bull, Sir William James||Joyce, Michael||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Kavanagh, Walter M.||Randies, Sir John Scurrah|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Kerry, Earl of||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Keswick, William||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kettle, Thomas Michael||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cave, George||Kilbride, Denis||Renwick, George|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc's.)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Clark, George Smith||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Delany, William||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Stanier, Beville|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon||M'Arthur, Charles||Starkey, John R.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh)|
|Du Cros, Arthur||M'Iver, Sir Lewis||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Duffy, William J.||M'Kean, John||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Markham, Arthur Basil||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Meagher, Michael||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Fell, Arthur||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Mooney, J. J.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Forster, Henry William||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Winterton, Earl|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Ginnell, L.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Newdegate, F. A. M.||Younger, George|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Gretton, John||Nolan, Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Guinness, W. E. (Bury St. Edmunds)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|