HC Deb 11 May 1909 vol 4 cc1735-8

"That in the year beginning the first day of January, nineteen hundred and ten, and in every subsequent year, a statement shall be made of the receipts from intoxicating liquor supplied in every club, and of the purchases of intoxicating liquor by the club during the preceding year, and an Excise duty shall be charged at the rate of threepence for every pound of those receipts, or at a rate not exceeding sixpence on every pound of those purchases."

Captain CRAIG

I wish to ask a point of order, before you put the next Resolution. I wish to call your attention to a precedent in 1905 when the question of redistribution was before the House. Mr. Gibson Bowles asked Mr. Speaker for his ruling on a point of order, namely, whether, when a Resolution contains different propositions, it should not be divided, and each proposition put separately. The Resolution, which you are about to put from the chair, is headed, it is true, "Land Value Duties," but on examining the Resolution, it is resolved, in my opinion, into four separate and distinct principles, which are covered in the first instance by paragraph 1, which is a duty, not an annual one, to be paid in certain eventualities, which is on increment on the occasion of the transfer or the grant of land and on death. No. 2 is a duty, also not an annual one, on a benefit accruing to a lessor by reason of the determination of a lease. No. 3 is an annual duty, a different thing altogether from the other two, dealing with the capital site value of land, and then, and it is here that I would ask your ruling, No. 3 deals not with land alone but with the very wide question of ungotten minerals, which has nothing to do with land values. On 13th July, 1905, Mr. Speaker gave his decision on such a question as this. He said:— I have had an opportunity of taking into consideration all the points which were raised on Thursday last. I have come to the conclusion that to take the Resolution which stands in the name of the President of the Local Government Board in the ordinary way, that is en bloc, after the first Amendment has been disposed of, would not afford to the House a sufficient and adequate opportunity for discussing the various matters and principles which are contained in that Resolution. I think, therefore, the Resolution ought to be divided into at least eight and probably nine Resolutions. He then quotes the precedent for the matter, and towards the close says:— Following the precedents of 1858 and 1867, my opinion is that these Resolutions ought to be divided. I hold, in the first instance, that this Question has already been decided by the present Speaker, and that the title of the present Resolution is entirely misleading, and that many Members may possibly desire to vote in favour of one of the great principles which is embodied in paragraph 1, and may desire to vote against 2, 3, or 4 about the mines. As this is put in an omnibus character, it is impossible for any Member to divide the principles in any way, and I ask whether they should not be divided into four separate and distinct Resolutions.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman has put his point of order to me with sufficient precision, and in reply to it I may say that the precedent which he quotes—the ruling by Mr. Speaker—has no bearing upon this particular case. I have not the exact words, because I have not the book, but in that case Mr. Speaker held it would not be fair in an affair of that magnitude to allow one Amendment to be moved which would prevent detailed consideration of the whole of the remainder of the proposals. In this case no such point arises, because in Committee Amendments are reserved, and therefore it is perfectly open to any hon. Member to move the omission of paragraph 1, and so confine the Debate to that, and then of paragraphs 2 and 3, and so on. With regard to the other subsidiary point which the hon. Member mentioned, about ungotten minerals and the capital site value of land, I think in this connection they may well go together. So far as I am concerned I cannot divide the Resolution.


I want to know whether it would be competent for an hon. Member to move an Amendment in the second line to leave out "duties" and insert "duty." That would make the Resolution one referring to the first sub-paragraph only. It would then, of course, be competent for the Government to bring up a second Resolution with regard to No. 2, and the third with regard to No. 3, and so on. I gather that a similar proposition was in order yesterday, and I ask your ruling whether it would be in order to do so to-day?


As far as I can see that would certainly be in order if the hon. Member moved such an Amendment.


I desire to ask whether the decision you have given, that these four separate proposals for taxation are to be put in one Resolution, will govern the form in which these questions will have to be put to the House on Report, and whether, therefore, the House will in the end be forced to agree to all four of these proposals together, though the House might desire to agree with one or more and disagree with the others?


The Rules of the House prescribe that money Resolutions must originate in Committee of Ways and Means, and therefore we must deal with them according to the Rules of Committee of Ways and Means. Of course an Amendment when we pass it goes up to the House for the Report Stage, and what is done with it there must be left to Mr. Speaker.

Motion made, and Question proposed,