HC Deb 12 May 1909 vol 4 cc1831-903

"That on and after the thirtieth day of April, nineteen hundred and nine, the following duties be charged in respect of land:

  1. (i) A duty on any increment value accruing after the said date at the rate of one pound for every full five pounds of that value, the duty to be taken on the occasion of the transfer, or the grant of a lease of the land, and on the occasion of the death of any person where the property passing on his death comprises any such land, and in the case of land belonging to a body corporate or unincorporate on such periodical occasions as Parliament may determine;
  2. (ii) A duty on the value of any benefit accruing to a lessor by reason of the determination of a lease at the rate of one pound for every ten pounds of that value;
  3. (iii) An annual duty in respect of the capital site value of land which has not been developed for building or 1832 other purposes, and the capital value of ungotten minerals, at the rate of one halfpenny for every pound of that value."


The supporters of this Resolution are in the habit of repeating, with unnecessary iteration, that land is different from other things. Who ever challenged that proposition? Of course, land is different from other things. It is necessary for human life, and it is fixed in a geographical position. Those conditions make it different from other things; and these conditions make it necessary that property in land should be treated differently from other things. It always has been so treated, and always will be to the world's end. There is this fundamental difference: that if a man owns a piece of land, he is always liable to the risk of that piece of land being taken away from him if the public require it. If he owns a picture or a pair of trousers he is not liable in that way.

Mr. J. D. REES

What about Mr. O'Brien?


My hon. Friend reminds me that there are occasions on which a man may have his trousers removed and another pair substituted. I hope there is no danger that that will occur to the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. But passing from that, it does seem to me that I have named the fundamental difference between land and other forms of property. The State has a supreme interest in the ownership of land, and may resume, therefore, possession of a piece of land when it is required in the public interest. But does that underlying and perpetual distinction between land and other forms of property justify a special tax on incomes derived from landed property? Land, with all its advantages and disadvantages, produces a certain income. Why should that income be taxed at a much higher rate than income derived from other forms of property? That is a proposition which the occupants of the Treasury Bench have not, so far as I know, attempted to justify.

Let me take a simple illustration. A workman or artisan saves money. He may invest his savings either in shares in a cotton mill or in cottage property. Why should a man who has invested his savings in cottage property pay a higher tax than the man who has put his money into a cotton mill? Take another common case. A man hesitates between investing his money in a safe investment like Consols or in ground rents. At present both those investments are regarded as safe. I will ask why should a man who chooses to invest in ground rents rather than in Consols be taxed at a higher rate? That again is a proposition which, I submit, right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench have not yet attempted to answer. All they have done is to tell us, and I am not sure whether I am quoting their words or the words of some hon. Gentleman opposite, that the ownership of land is a burden on the community, that the landowner draws his rent from the wealth of the community, and that, therefore, he is a burden upon it. But does not that statement equally apply to a man who draws his dividends from Consols? Is not a man who receives his income from Consols just as much a burden upon the community? Consols represent money gone long ago—thrown away in gunpowder, and therefore he is a burden upon the community every bit as much as if not more so than the land-owner, for whom the community is taxed to provide an income. If we are to tax the land-owner because it is contended he is taking wealth out of the community, for the very same reason you must tax the man who has invested his money in Consols, and who is drawing his income every year from the taxation of the country. We have not got to that yet, but perhaps the suggestion of the hon. Member for Blackburn that that should be made a feature of next year's Budget will be followed. Now, the right hon. Gentleman the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer, in attempting to justify this proposal for the differential taxation of land, for that is what this scheme amounts to, appealed to the authority of John Stuart Mill, who, he said, had been in favour of taxing unearned increment. I think Mill made a good many mistakes, and evidently the right hon. Gentleman agrees with me, or I imagine he would accept the authority of Mill with regard to the graduation of income tax, a thing to which Mill strongly objected. Personally, I think Mill was wrong on both points, and if I am challenged I will add that in my opinion he is one of the most overrated authorities on political economy who has ever been quoted. I have never been able to understand why he should have obtained during his lifetime such an extraordinary reputation, and still less can I understand why that reputation continues to be preserved. Mill made this tremendous mistake: He did not realise that if we are going to tax the unearned increment we shall be confiscating part of the present value, a thing which he denounced as unjust. Mill's proposition was that under no circumstances must you deprive the land-owner of the present value of his land. The present value of any piece of land depends on the anticipation of its future value. Every man in buying land takes into account the chance that it may fall in value as well as the hope that it may rise. He will gain if it rises in value, but he runs a risk of a depreciation in its present value, and the Government by adopting this policy will, in other words, be confiscating part of the present value. Another point Mill clearly overlooked was that we should have to supplement our taxation on unearned increment by compensation for unearned decrement. The Chancellor of the Exchequer mentioned what happened at Woolwich, where he said that, owing to the Government setting up an arsenal there, the value of land had risen in the neighbourhood. But supposing the number of people employed in the Arsenal was reduced, would not that bring about a reduction in the value of land in the neighbourhood, and if it did, what would happen? Were the landowners to be compensated because they were deprived of the opportunity of letting their land? [Cries of "Oh, oh."] Of course, I do not suggest that that should be done. I want to leave things alone.

But the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade went a little further in attempting to justify taxation on unearned increment^ and he used this curious comparison. He said that unearned increment derived from land arose from a wholly sterile operation, whereas an investment in a block of shares was not withholding something from a community, but was stimulating by judicious and economical investment. Surely there is confusion with regard to that in the mind of my right hon. Friend. If, with all respect, I may be allowed to say so, he has confused the process of holding up with the process of realisation. A man does not derive anything by holding back his land. He derives his income by realising the value of it: the holding back is a purely negative process, and he gets no more out of it than a man gets by holding back the value of any investment. In each case he only gets a profit on realisation. It is the demand of the market at the time of realisation that creates the wealth. As a matter of fact land-owners do not get wealthy by holding back the land for a long time. Fortunes have been made no doubt in land speculation, but they have been made by buying land intelligently in the neighbourhood of large towns, developing it as rapidly as possible, and selling it as quickly as purchasers can be found. That is how men make money in land. The reason why they cannot make money by holding back the land is simply because they are losing more than they gain in the compound interest which they forego, and I venture to say that any man who buys land with the idea of a rise may find at the end of 20 or 25 years he would have been better off if he had invested his money in Consols, and reinvested the interest every year. If that is not so, why is it that everybody does not invest in land? If it is a certain yield of magnificent profit why do not men sell all their other investments and put all their money into land? Now, it is argued that there is some particular vice in holding back land. It is argued that you are holding back something which the whole community wants. But what is held back? It is a particular piece of land. What is the loss to the community? It amounts to this, it simply has to use some other piece of land. [Cries of "Oh, oh."] Do hon. Members suggest that the whole of the land of this country is held in one hand, or that one person can hold back all the land? We know perfectly well that if one man holds back his land, that is the opportunity for another land-owner to sell his. That is what is happening. [An HON. MEMBER: "He sells it at a higher price."] No doubt, but do not other persons in other forms of business hold back property for a higher price? Have people never heard of cotton being held back, of Lancashire mill-owners buying cotton and waiting for a favourable turn in the market before selling it? Which is the greater evil, the holding back of a particular piece of land, or the holding back of a large supply of cotton which may bring great industries to a standstill? Has not labour ever held back for a higher price? Sometimes, no doubt, working men are perfectly justified in holding back their labour, because the price offered for it is unfair; but there are other occasions when even their own leaders condemn them for doing this, and when they deliberately hold back their labour and so inflict untold misery, not only on their own families, but on thousands of people outside.

Another great difficulty is that there are other forms of unearned increment besides the unearned increment on land. The Prime Minister dealt with this point the other day, but I do not think he completely grasped the arguments of those who are opposed to this selection of the unearned increment on land for penal taxation. He spoke as though the only other instances of unearned increment were the increment on old wines and pictures. I readily rule those out of consideration, but that is not the point after all. Our point is that the whole community gets unearned increment by the advance in wealth of the whole country. Let me take an illustration. Suppose a doctor settles down in a new country—in some little Colonial town, where there is a very small population. He has to work pretty hard, and he cannot get much money in, but as the town grows in population he finds he gets more patients, and that they can afford to pay higher fees. That is increment which is realised by the growth of the general community, and that is the sort of thing which is going on in other professions. The hon. Member for Dulwich perhaps put the matter in a better way when he asked what is the prairie value of the Lord Advocate on the top of a Scotch mountain? Now I should like to take up a point raised by the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil with regard to agricultural labour. I contend that exactly the same cause which has raised the value of property of urban land-owners has raised the wages of the agricultural labourer; it is the trend towards the towns which has made land dear in the towns, and has simultaneously made labour dear in the country. The labourer used, 50 years ago, to be able to find no other means of employment except on a farm, and then at what rate of wages the farmer would offer him. Now he can get employment on railways, and in the big towns, and consequently unless the farmer will offer him a higher wage he will drift off into the big towns. But he does not work in the big town any harder than he did 50 years ago. He works less hard, and he has no responsibility for any of the great improvements which have made his lot easier in life. He has not joined trade unions, in order to try to co-operate with his fellows to improve his lot. He has simply waited for the wealth of the community to bring about an improvement, relatively, in his lot. What does the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil say with regard to that. I took his words down, and I am sorry they are not reported in the Official Report to-day. [See continuation of Official Report, 11th May.] He said: "The labourer is producing his share of the nation's wealth, whereas the landlord quâ landlord does nothing." Quite so, but what is the conclusion he draws from that? Why, that since the labourer is doing his work and the landlord quâ landlord has done nothing, that the landlord has no right to anything at all. [Cheers.] Hon. Members below the Gangway opposite cheer that, that is their doctrine, and it is also the doctrine of the Treasury Bench. I contend that even they are wrong, because they have forgotten that a good many landowners are very poor people, and they have forgotten also, what I think ought to be their ideal, that we should so organise taxation that we should tax the wealth of the rich while exempting the necessities of the poor.

I want to come to a practical point. [Ironical cheers.] Surely it is desirable to deal with theoretical as well as practical points. The proposal of the Government is, as far as I understand it, that a valuation of all the land in the country should be made at once, to-day or to-morrow, or as soon as the Bill passes. That is on the assumption, that if it is found that any increment accrues which is not due to the work of the land-owner himself, that is to be specially taxed. I think the Government in making that proposal, must have acted upon the hypothesis that land is always rising in value, beginning with the year one, and going on through the other years, but as a matter of fact land fluctuates up and down like everything else, and I should like to know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken into account the fact that in London, at any rate, a great deal of land is very much depressed, and is worth much less now than it was 20 years ago. Take the case of a piece of land bought 20 years ago for £100,000. It is worth to-day perhaps £80,000; 10 years hence, when it comes into taxation, it will be revalued, and valued perhaps at £90,000. The actual purchaser has made a loss of £10,000, but "you are going to tax him upon the difference between £80,000 and £90,000, as if he had made a profit, and that is what you call taxing unearned increment. Then in regard to the costs of this valuation. It is important to bear in mind that the whole land of the country must be valued, not only merely urban land, but the whole of the land of the country, including what is called agricultural land, must be valued, because we do not know how soon it will be urban land, and be liable to the new tax. Moreover, it must be valued on an entirely new principle. I am not surprised that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was unable the other day to give us any estimate of what this valuation was going to cost. The right hon. Gentleman is going to take £50,000 this year for it, but he refused, wisely, I think, to say what his estimate of the cost will be. It seems to me that it is a most extraordinary proposal to commit this country to an absolutely unknown expenditure for the valuation of all the land in England—an expenditure which may be hundreds of thousands of pounds, but which is more likely to be' millions. ["Oh."] I say deliberately it is more likely to be millions, because it is difficult enough and expensive enough to value property to-day as it is—to value ordinary property sent to the valuer for him to value the thing as it is; but the new problem which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to set his valuers is not to value the land as it is, but as it is not. He is going to strip the land, in imagination, of everything that human labour has done upon it, and then, when he has reduced it to some vague thing, called prairie value, he is going to ask a valuer to put a price upon it. How can any valuer do that, and how can you check the valuer? Now valuers are checked by the consciousness that the things they are valuing come occasionally into the market, and therefore the valuers guess is checked by any changes in the market. There is that constant check upon the valuer now, but that check will be withdrawn, because the particular thing which the Chancellor of the Exchequer wants to value does not exist in reality at all—it is a figment of his brain.

How are the costs of the land-owner to be met? Because he will have to fight these cases, and quite rightly. He is justified, when he is asked to pay a new tax, in inquiring on what basis he is going to pay the tax. But that is not the difficulty. The scheme provides that the landlord is not to pay taxes upon the value of the improvements which he has made himself. How is that value to be ascertained? That is almost as difficult as the primary problem, because the landlord will have an entirely different conception of the value of the improvements he has made to what the Treasury officials will have. They will be wanting to write it down and he will be wanting to write it up, and we shall have not only numerous cases for official valuations and private valuations, but, in addition, an absolutely stupendous expenditure for litigation. I now come to the reversion of the lease, and I must confess that when I first saw that proposal I was very much drawn to it, but on thinking it over it seems to me that it is quite as impracticable as the rest of the scheme. What the Chancellor of the Exchequer has forgotten is this: That persons, in making contracts, take into account the reversionary value when the lease falls in. That is done every day, and I venture to think if he were to buy a piece of leasehold property to-day, he would, in deciding what price he could afford to pay, calculate, if he could, what was likely to be the value of the reversion accruing to it. Everybody does that as a matter of business. Therefore, if you now suddenly impose this tax, you are doing what the Government have pledged themselves not to do: you are virtually going back on existing contracts. After all, what is a reversion? In effect it is nothing more nor less than a deferred annuity. Men are at liberty to buy deferred annuities from insurance companies. Why also not to buy deferred annuities from the land-owner. I cannot see that there is any essential difference between buying a piece of land with a prospect of getting a higher value at a future date than there is in discounting a bill. These two commercial transactions are the same. In each case a man buys something to-day in order to get a higher value in the future. Coming to the halfpenny tax on unde- veloped land, my first objection to that is that it is bad finance. It is bad finance because, if the tax has the effect which the Chancellor of the Exchequer contemplates, and forces land into the market, then it will cease to bring in revenue, and I am one of those old-fashioned people who think you should impose taxes for the purpose of bringing in revenue. At any rate, that is sound Free Trade doctrine. It seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman has put himself in the position of his opponents across the floor of the House. They are always thinking that in some mysterious way they can get revenue and Protection at the same time. I suppose, like most of us, they feel, indeed, a natural temptation to think that you can keep your cake and eat it too, but I would recommend them to follow the example of hon. Members below the Gangway opposite, whose maxim is, to keep their own cake and eat other peoples. May I ask my right hon. Friend if he has yet thought out—I do not wish to press him too soon—any definition of "undeveloped land." He must clearly take into account agricultural land, because he is going to bring within his net all land worth more than £50 an acre, and a good deal of land in this country is worth more than £50 an acre, for purely agricultural purposes. What is to prevent a person who is afraid of this tax on undeveloped land, putting up a number of cheap sheds, or shanties, and saying he is using the land for building purposes, and it is no longer undeveloped. What is his definition of a house Would it keep out sheds and shanties and let in an hotel? As a matter of fact, directly he tries to put this tax into force, I believe, instead of bringing land into the market, he will bring land out of the market, and keep it out of the market. I know myself a case of a land-owner who, a few weeks ago, was spending a good deal of money in building roads upon his estate, but he has stopped that, because he does not want his land taxed as undeveloped building land.

This tax does not only apply to people who have inherited their land, but to people who are buying land in the ordinary way of business. I have a letter which, I think, was sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and is from the master builders of Bradford. They say they "most respectfully desire to point out that it is the usual practice in this district for builders to purchase the freehold of land for the express purpose of erecting buildings thereon (not for the purpose of keeping for increased value), therefore it is the raw material just as much as warp and weft for the manufacturer, and we humbly pray that nothing shall be done by your next Budget, 'or any other means,' to injure this class, which is made up of men who are not wealthy, having every penny which they possess spent in land for the purpose of trade, and, in many cases the land is heavily mortgaged." Are these men to be deprived of the profits of their industry in order to give effect to this theoretical tax? Let me give another case which those who favour a tax on land values would have jumped at if it had come into their hands. I make them a present of it. It is the case of a piece of land, about four acres in extent, situated close to the Manchester Ship Canal Company's docks. Here, some hon. Members would say, is a piece of land earning nothing at all at the present moment, being deliberately held up, no doubt, by some grasping nobleman. As a matter of fact, the land happens to belong to a widow, and I much regret to have to mention the widow in this House, because we have been almost forbidden to do so. But she happens to be a widow, and is largely supported by two sons, who are clerks earning small salaries. The income of the little property left her just about suffices to pay the interest on the mortgage, which her husband had to raise on this land, of £9,500. She is anxious to get rid of the land, and as a matter of fact it was put up for auction, and the only reserve put upon it was the actual figure of the mortgage, and there was not a single bid even approaching that price. How can anybody say that that land is being held up, and who is to pay the tax?—this woman or her two sons or the mortgagee? [An HON. MEMBER: "The mortgagee."] That brings me to the question what is to happen to the mortgagees: Are they also to be taxed? If not, the margin will very soon disappear. A mortgage is enterprise, my hon. Friend points out, but if you hold a freehold that is a crime.

Let me ask, still pressing for a definition, whether Holland Park, which has already been mentioned, is to be treated as a piece of undeveloped land. I have often had the pleasure of passing Holland Park, and whenever I pass it I look through those railings, and I feel to myself that I enjoy that park almost as much as the man who owns the freehold. Hon. Members laugh at that. Are they at all sure it is not the fact? Do they know whether he lives there? It is a great lung for the whole of London, for all of us to gaze at as we go by. I suppose hon. Members who laugh would prefer to see it covered with a lot of houses with high walls in front shutting out all its beauty from the public. That is what would follow if you put a heavy tax upon this land, and compelled the landowner to sell. I am sorry he has already sold so much as he has sold. I wish the-park had been kept more open, and that more of it remained as a lung for London. At any rate let us preserve the open spaces-we have in London. Do not let us force the owners to cover them with bricks and mortar. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us somewhat tardily that at any rate he is not going to subject corporation land to this new tax. I am very glad he has arrived at that conclusion. It is a very important conclusion, because the worst holders back of land are the corporations of our great towns, including the London County Council and Glasgow. The London County Council has been holding back land in the Strand for many years. Corporations are to be exempted because presumably their wealth is used for public purposes. But how about the case of the Dulwich College estates? The whole of that property is being used for public purposes. It is being used for almost the identical purpose for which the County Council now spends about five millions a year—on public education. Are these estates to be exempt from this tax or not? That is a question to which I hope we shall have an answer. And how about the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge? Are their estates to be exempt? Are they not doing as much public work as any municipality in the Kingdom? Are the estates of the Scotch Church to be exempted or not? The clergy of the Scotch Church are not so very wealthy that we should propose to put a special tax on their narrow incomes. Or to take another case which would perhaps more appeal to that section of the House. How about the friendly societies? I do not know whether the experience of hon. Members opposite-has been the same as mine, but I have had a great many letters from friendly societies expressing the hope that in any tax upon land values the property of friendly societies will be exempted. Is that property to be exempted or not? I think there is a great case equitably and a greater case politically for exempting them. Supposing you exempt the property of friendly societies on the ground that they are great corporations making provision for old age and sickness, by what justice will you tax the private individual who has made exactly similar provision for himself?

I pass to another argument on which the President of the Board of Trade laid great stress the other day: the housing problem, Dealing with the argument with regard to Glasgow, which required 40 or 50 acres a year to expand, he said, "What does that matter when we are faced with the fact that there are so many thousand people in Glasgow living in one room?" Quite so. But he forgot to mention that in Glasgow only two or three years ago there were no fewer than 14,000 empty houses holding accommodation for 50,000 people. That is not confined to Glasgow. That same phenomenon can be witnessed in almost every big town in the United Kingdom, including London. The London County Council bought a great estate at Tottenham with the deliberate idea of providing accommodation for the working classes, who were supposed to be unable to find houses for themselves. They had that estate seven years. It comprised 225 acres, and they have only developed £8 of it. Why? Because there is no demand for more. Only yesterday I was visiting a building estate in the South of London, comparatively well developed, belonging to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and they have laid it out with special care for the benefit of persons belonging to the working classes. They designed these houses with every regard to the pleasure of the eye as well as to practical convenience. They have given them little gardens in many cases, and they have made special provision for their comfort in numbers of ways which are not regarded in the ordinary commercial building estate, and yet on this model estate, in the very heart of South London, 12 per cent, of the houses are empty. In face of facts like these is it not absurd to talk of requiring to develop land in order to make more houses? Incidentally, if by these artificial means you did succeed in multiplying the London houses, it would not only be the land-owner whom you would be hitting, you would also be hitting all the persons who had invested their money in building. As to the theory that you are going to get rid of the problem of overcrowding in large towns by means of taxing land values, do lion. Members know what has happened in New York? They are fond of telling us that in New York they have taxation of land values. I daresay they have, but also—I take this from the Tenement Houses Department report of the State of New York—there were no fewer than 350,000 rooms in Greater New York without any daylight whatsoever. Is that your testimonial to taxing land values? Now one word with regard to ungotten minerals. Frankly, I am puzzled to know how the Chancellor of the Exchequer intends to get at the value of these ungotten minerals. It seems to me it would be quite as intelligent and probably much more lucrative to tax bachelors on the potential value of their ungotten children.

I have now briefly touched on the main proposition of the right hon. Gentleman. I think the whole of this crusade against the land-owning classes—if one can call a thing a class which combines members of almost every class in the whole community—arises from the very common error of only seeing things immediately under our nose and observing the particular evils which occur in particular cases, owing undoubtedly to the abuse by land-owners in particular cases of the great powers they possess. I think the land-owners have not quite sufficiently realised the harm that one injudicious or vicious land-owner can do. I have referred more than once to the action taken by some land-owners in deliberately annexing property which is not theirs—roadside strips and rights of way which belong to the public. I hold most strongly that public property is quite as sacred as private property, and I say deliberately, carefully weighing my words, that a land-owner who knowingly appropriates to his own use a roadside strip or a right of way which is the property of the public is just as much a thief as any pickpocket in the dock. I am inclined to think that if land-owners themselves took a rather more active part than they have done in the past in preventing these abuses of power by people who are really subject to a trust, there would be less of that outcry against landlords than there is in many quarters. But allowing all this, allowing that many land-owners have abused their powers, is that any argument for putting a special tax upon all incomes derived from land, for that is what we are asked to do? That tax would not correct the particular evils we are complaining of. Take, for example, the case of the very common complaint that land-owners are reserving much too much land for the pleasure of sport—land which ought to be cul- tivated. I think that complaint is perfectly justified, and I am inclined to think this island is too small for any considerable portion of it to be given up to sport. But this tax would not touch that evil in the least. If you want to get rid of grouse moors and game preserves you must tax them. You must not put a tax upon the value of the land, because very often the land will command a higher value when let for this purpose than when let for agricultural purposes. So this patent taxation would do the very opposite of what you want it to do.

But, generally, I contend that no abuses in our land-owning system, and there are many, will justify the imposition of a tax which must fall both on the good landlord and on the bad, both on the rich and on the poor landlord. I contend further that we are doing, or should be doing, grave injustice if we were to try and reverse the principles on which not only this country but all civilised countries have hitherto proceeded, the principle that land is interchangeable with all other forms of wealth. Up to the present, for centuries, these forms of wealth have been treated as interchangeable. A man has known that if he likes to invest his money in land he is free to do so, and he will not be subject to special attacks for doing so. But now that is to be reversed, and we are to reverse another principle which is equally precious, and towards which we have been working with remarkable progress during the last generation—the principle that the heaviest burden of taxation should be laid upon the broadest shoulders. That principle is now to be cancelled, and instead of making your taxation bear upon a man according to his means to pay, it is now proposed to pick out particular individuals, and because they have gone so far as actually to invest their savings in the soil of their country to hunt them down as if they were the enemies of mankind.


The very able speech to which the House has just listened must convince many hon. Members who have not perhaps before realised it, that this question is not one, as they so fondly seem to suppose, which only touches a few favoured individuals in the community, but that it touches a very much larger class. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War yesterday told us that we were not dealing under this Resolution mainly with agricultural land, and that, therefore, the grievance of the agricultural owner was not raised. Would the right hon. Gentleman really tell us, or does he believe, that agricultural owners are not being touched by this taxation, and that capital will not steadily be drafted from the agricultural districts and out of the hands of agricultural owners through the effect not only of this Resolution, but of the other Resolutions we are to discuss later on dealing with the income tax and the death duties. Everybody knows that the effect of this and the other taxes must be to diminish the wealth and the capital which exists in the agricultural districts and the power of agriculturists to develop the properties they have. The landed class is supposed to be a small one, but hon. Gentlemen opposite will realise more after to-day that it is a larger class than is sometimes supposed.

I should like to take the various duties proposed in the Resolution and show how they affect different classes. The first duty which is suggested in the first part of the Resolution is that with respect to the increment value which the right hon. Gentleman is going to levy every time a transfer, or a death, or a lease takes place The tax, being to the extent of 20 per cent., will after five transfers take the whole increment which has accrued. [Cries of "No."] I hold that that will be the effect of the tax, though hon. Gentle men opposite may think that it will not take the whole of the increment. That of itself is bad enough, but when it is added to death duties of from 10 to 15 per cent, and to a succession duty of 10 per cent., then I say these duties together make the burden on estates infinitely harder than they ought to be. In calculating the death duties these extra duties ought to be included, and not excluded from the calculation. There is no other landed property in the world that pays taxation both on its income and on its capital value, and I challenge hon. Gentlemen opposite to tell me of any nation which levies on the capital value and on the income derived from it taxation comparing in any sense with the taxation proposed under this Budget. We are approaching more nearly by these proposals to the cherished idea of certain hon. Members below the Gangway of complete nationalisation of the land than anything we have seen, and is it to be wondered that Socialist newspapers and speakers should claim the right hon. Gentleman as an apt pupil who has done as well as could be expected in introducing his first Budget. I should like to know who would wish to be a land-owner in the neighbourhood of a town if these proposals are adopted. There are large tracks of agricultural land in the neighbourhood of towns which must remain for many years agricultural land. That land is undeveloped. There are improvements needed on these estates in the way of buildings, but what agricultural landowner who has to pay this taxation is going to develop that agricultural land in order actually by his own action to increase the value of the land, and thereby increase the taxation he will have to pay upon it. The President of the Board of Trade had told us that he is going to introduce a Bill to improve the milk supply. That will involve expenditure on the part of landlords in providing improved buildings. Does anybody expect that such action as this would be taken in regard to property in the neighbourhood of a town when such taxation as this is hanging over them, with the chance of even heavier taxation in the near future? I would mention the case of the market gardener. It has come to be an accepted fact that the market gardener, like the widow, is to be taken as the victim of Liberal legislation, and it is almost like a platitude to mention him in connection with these matters. But I think hon. Gentlemen opposite will find that there are a great many who are interested in the development of agriculture in this nation, and also who are specially anxious to bring the inhabitants of the great towns into the country. That being so, and as it is important that the market gardeners should be in a position to provide for the population the necessary supplies, hon. Members will see what a great hindrance will be placed upon them by setting up such legislation as is foreshadowed in the Budget.

Another thing which we are always told by hon. Gentlemen opposite is that it is most necessary that the transfer of land should be made easier and less expensive than it is now. We have been told that many of the evils from which the country is suffering are due to the difficulties in connection with the transfer of land. Is the right hon. Gentleman going to make it easier to transfer land when at every transfer he is going to levy these heavy taxes? I think hon. Gentlemen will find that the transfer of land, if these proposals are carried out, will be made infinitely more difficult and more costly. The proposals in the first and second parts of the Resolution are innocence itself as compared with those contained in the third part. In the third part it is proposed to tax a man on what he actually has not got. On what principle of taxation ever recognised by the Liberal party, or by any other party, in this country is that to be justified? I wish to know how the increment is going to be proved, and how it is fair to charge under one lump sum upon renewal of leases. I think it would be fairer—and I would make this suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman—to spread such taxation and payments over a series of years, and not to charge them in one lump sum.


What period would you recommend?


I was referring to the increment under a lease, and I recommend the spreading of the payments over a series of years. As regards the proposal in the second part of the Resolution, the duty, of course, would eventually be paid by the lessee. There is no question that in the end the present system of leasing will be altered so that the lessee will have to pay the taxation. That will involve considerable injustice and a distinct breach of existing contracts, because, as the House has been told time after time, these leases have been entered upon under certain conditions which are implied by or contained in the covenants which have been made. These proposals surely are contrary to anything ever expected to be brought forward in this House. But the most unjust tax is that contained in the third part of the Resolution, and it is justified by the right hon. Gentleman by the argument that it is necessary to-bring more land into the market, and to induce men to sell who at present are not willing to sell. The principle involved here is, of course, that a man should sell his land in order to provide for the revenue. I should say that this is far more a system of taxation for retaliation than for revenue. I do not know whether in this matter, as in some others, we are beginning to see the light of day in regard to our fiscal arrangements, and whether the principle of retaliation is beginning to obtain with the Government in this matter as in others. It is constantly asserted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he does not wish to act in these matters in a vindictive spirit towards certain classes. I think hon. Members would be more inclined to accept that statement if some of the proposals in the Budget were very much modified. The assurance which the right hon. Gentleman has made so frequently that this tax will fall upon those who are particularly free from taxation now is one which, judging from the correspondence which we receive in regard to the proposals, is not in any sense proved. I should like to read one of many letters I have been receiving from people who are going to be affected by this taxation. It is not a letter from a duke or a millionaire. It is from a working man, and he says:— Out of my own wages, not great, I saved some £300 nearly, and with it bought some so-called building land a few years back. I can neither let this nor sell it, though I would do so at a loss, it has gone down in value so much. I evidently made a bad bargain; at that I am not whimpering. But now I am actually to pay a 'fine' of ½d. in the £ on its value (another Budget may make it 1d. or more) because it is undeveloped. I have no money to develop it, and I should be apparently better off if I had deliberately thrown my money in the gutter; there would be then no tax to pay. If the value of this land is nil, and therefore no tax payable, and in years to come I do sell it for what I paid or less, I shall then have to pay the Government 20 per cent, of what I get, and that after my money has been lying idle all that time. That is only one sample of the instances which are being brought before me, and I am perfectly certain that hon. Gentlemen on the other side are receiving letters of a similar nature from people who are as little able to pay. How does the right hon. Gentleman define development in the case of land? Is agricultural improvement going to be regarded as development, and, if it is, to what extent is it to be development? Is it to be by intensive culture, or is the right hon. Gentleman going to be content with the mere ploughing up of grass? Is the production of pigs going to be included in the development of the land, and, if so, how many pigsties per acre will constitute the amount of development which will bring the land under the tax? Is poultry farming to be development, and, if so, how many poultry will it be necessary to keep to make up a certain amount of development? How many hen-houses have to be put up to enable the right hon. Gentleman to say that the land is being developed? There must be a border line to show what is development, and what is not. If an owner values the land at too low a price, is he to be subject to payment of arrears? I wish to know what statute of limitations there is with respect to the valuation of an estate? Hon. Members know how difficult it will be to give a precise definition of the value of a particular piece of land, because so far the right hon. Gentleman has not told us what the unit of valuation is to be. How long after a landlord has made a good sale or a lucky bargain will exempt him from payment of arrears if the Excise should 20 or 30 years afterwards say, "You did not give a fair valuation of your land, and we will come down on you for the taxation which you ought to have paid since the valuation was given."

If the proposals dealing with land are remarkable, the proposals dealing with un-gotten minerals are even more remarkable. You tax the mine-owner on his ungotten minerals as capital, and when he has got the mineral you make him pay income tax on it as income. Which is the mineral to be? While under the ground it is to be capital, and when it is out of the ground it is to be treated as income tax. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman can have it both ways, but the unfortunate owner is to be taxed if he puts his value too high: by a halfpenny on the amount which his minerals are supposed to be over a £50 minimum, and if he values it too low, he is going to be taxed 20 per cent, on the development value which is going to accrue afterwards. Is the right hon. Member going to tax minerals and building land on the same piece of ground? Is he going to tax the same piece of ground as having a mineral value and a building value? It is perfectly obvious that land cannot be said to have a building value if you are going to develop minerals underneath, and equally if it is to have a building value that you will have no chance of developing the minerals underneath. The Royal Commission which sat on the question of minerals in this country some years ago, I believe, stated that there were 8,000 square miles of productive coal measures, 5,500 of which were not worked; but of these 5,500 only 3,000 were workable owing to the depth which you would have to go to get such minerals as are there out of them. Who is going to prove in a case of this sort when does a mineral become ungotten, when does it leave the region of speculation and come into the margin of expectancy and come into the taxation of the right hon. Gentleman? Is not it perfectly obvious that under new developments of machinery minerals are got at a much lower depth than ever they were got before? And in the process of further invention of mining machinery it may be possible that a greater development may arise. By what possible means can you say a mineral becomes ungotten, and when does it cease to be a mere speculation and become more or less what you propose to tax?

Then as to the determination of value. In the case of land there will be in some cases a standard of value by sales which have taken place and by offers which have been made, but in the case of these underground minerals it will be perfectly impossible in a great many cases to determine what the actual value is going to be. There is no justification for this taxation on minerals on the same ground as in favour of taxation of wholly undeveloped land, because, at any rate, I never heard and I do not think any hon. Gentleman in this House ever heard, of any owner on a large scale obstructing the development of minerals. You cannot say that an owner on a large scale is wishing to hold up any minerals in order to keep the public from the inestimable value of enjoying them. There is no justification for this taxation at all. There may be cases in which, for the sake of saving some fine mansion or beautiful park it is infinitely more in the interests of the community that the development of minerals in these places should be arrested. There may be a few cases of that sort, but I defy the right hon. Gentleman to show any large number of instances in which owners are holding up their minerals, and thereby obstructing the proper development of the mining industry. I am reminded by my hon. Friend that the Royal Commission itself reported that there was no instance that could be proved which came before them. The Government have not, I am thankful to say, developed the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme to the full extent. They have not endeavoured to separate the value of the building from the land to the extent that the hon. Gentleman proposes, which, to my mind, and could be easily proved, means the absolute ruin of many agricultural districts, but they have done enough, whether they say they are taxing land, whether agricultural or not, to shake the credit and capital of what is so necessary to develop and maintain the agricultural industry of this country. They have dealt a blow at the whole; for you cannot deal a blow at one part of the land only which will not be felt by every department of agriculture. Hon. Gentlemen will realise in a very short time that this will affect not one class, but all classes, and when they have tried to put some six new taxes upon one class of property they are thereby hitting every development of every branch of property, and to those who represent agricultural as well as those who represent urban constituencies this argument will be brought home before long. I hope during the course of these Budget discussions we shall have some considerable development in view of the light which will be brought to the minds of a great many hon. Gentlemen, but I have no hesitation myself in opposing to the full the proposals as put before us in these Resolutions, whatever the future may show in the Finance Bill.


I think there are no opponents of taxation of land value that I like better to hear and better to answer than the hon. Member who has just spoken and the previous speaker, the hon. Member for Preston. I like answering them because I feel that if our cause is right they must be answered, and they are dangerous unless they are answered. My hon. Friend the Member for Preston started his speech by putting his finger on the one point which it is essential that all who are in favour of the taxation of land values should satisfy themselves upon. He said: "Is it just to select one particular form of property for taxation?" It is because I can believe it can be proved to be just to select one particular so-called form of property for taxation that I am in favour of the taxation of land values. He says that increment, and it has been said on both sides of the House over and over again, accrues from every other form of property as well as land, and he gave us the example of a small village in which there was a village doctor, and the village developed into a populous neighbourhood, and he said as the value of the land in that village, growing into a populous neighbourhood, increases so also it increases the wages and the reward of his labour to the village doctor. It does nothing of the sort. As soon as the village increases in size the doctor finds himself immediately in competition with another village doctor. In the same way the professional man, as the small town grows into a large town, does not find that the bulk of the population enhances his earnings. He finds that a new professional man comes along competing with him. There is free competition between the medical men or the professional men, and the wages fall to the normal level. In the same way with the shopkeeper. Of course, to a certain extent, the shopkeeper who has got a freehold of a lot in the market place gets the benefit of an increase in the population of that market town, but if he is merely a leaseholder and can be rackrented, he would find himself again in competition with all the other shopkeepers in the place —more shopkeepers, more doctors, and more professional men tending to keep down the increase of wages of that particular form of labour.

The same principle does not apply to the people who own the land round the growing town or in the village which is growing into a flourishing village. That is the reason why the unearned increment for land differs fundamentally from the return on capital or the reward of labour. My hon. Friend said the agricultural labourer got an increment equivalent, or to some extent equivalent, to the increment of land value, and that the growth of wealth and population of the community pushed up his earnings just as it pushed up the land values. It does nothing of the sort. So long as three men compete for one job, and are anxious to get that job, and must get it or walk the streets, those three men will undercut, and continue to undercut, each other until wages come down. There is the strongest competition in the labour market, but the owner of land is in a different position. He is entitled to say, "The supply of land such as mine is limited, and when the growth of the community forces up this land for me, I am perfectly entitled"—and he is perfectly entitled—"to get the best possible price I can for my land and the best possible rents." But the rents and the land values there are created entirely by the growth of the community. My hon. Friend then went back to an old illustration which he gave us two or three years ago. He said if a man invested his money in land 25 years ago, or, as he took it previously, 250 years ago, if he invested £100 in land in the City of London 250 years ago, and another man invested £100 in some form of capital enterprise 250 years ago, that now that capital would have increased to so many millions, and the land value would only have increased to so many hundred thousand. That illustration is entirely inapplicable. He has taken into consideration land which is not used and capital which is used. Every year that £100, which is invested, say, in Consols, is bringing him in rents which are reinvested, and so increasing what we call the unearned increment of the capital. Every year the land is lying absolutely idle. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] He is assuming that. He is assuming that the increase in the value of the land is no greater than the increase in the value of the capital, that if it had been capital the value of the land would have increased to £100,000, and the value of the capital would have increased to several millions.


What I really did say was that the man would make a better bargain by investing his money in Consols and getting the capital interest than he would make by investing his money in land and waiting for 200 years.


Of course that is so; but suppose that the man instead of letting his land lie idle had used his land all along and got what rents he could, then he would obviously have accumulated at the end of the 200 years not only the million that he would have got from Consols, but he would have the land over and above; or suppose, on the other hand, that both capital and land had lain idle, suppose he put the £100 into his trousers' pocket, then at the end of the 250 years he would still have had £100 in gold, while if he had invested it in land he would have had land worth £100,000.

If both capital and the land are idle, the increment goes on for the land. There is no increment on capital. If you consider them both in use, then the interest on capital is no greater than the rent that could have been got for the land. Two hundred and fifty years ago the man who invested his money in land in the City of London bought the privilege to say whether anybody else could use that piece of land or not. Hon. Members opposite say that we attach some mysterious connection between licences and land values. Of course there is a very great distinction between the two; but supposing that 250 years ago this man who had purchased land in the City of London purchased also the exclusive right to supply liquor on that piece of land, and that way he would have acquired another privilege, which, as the population increased and London developed, would become more and more valuable. In both cases there is a privilege involved—the privilege of saying whether people shall live on that land, and the privilege of saying whether people shall drink on that land. He might have got another privilege—the same privilege as the Duke of Bedford has—of saying that there shall be no market within a certain number of miles of his particular piece of ground. There, too, you would have got a privilege which, as the population increased and the town developed, would have become of enormous value. Another form of privilege. Supposing a Tariff Reform Government came into power in this country, and that they put a protective tariff around certain industries or bolstered up certain industries in this country. Supposing that under the protecting wings of a tariff an industry, such as the silk industry, were to spring into being, as we all know that once you get a tariff protecting any industry into existence you will have every succeeding five years an increase of the tariff. We will suppose that the tariff protecting this industry was in this case a 5 per cent, tariff. In five years it would become a 10 per cent, tariff, five years later 15 per cent., and five years later again 20 per cent. Everybody will see that under this protective tariff that industry would be perfectly well able to flourish at the expense of the rest of the community. Under that protective tariff we will assume that the widow or the orphan of the market gardener invest their money in this particular business—that they pay good money for a share in this protected industry. Will my Friend at the end of the 20 years remain a Free Trader, anxious to remove that protective tariff and to deprive these people of what is not property, but what is a privilege created by the law? I believe honestly that if that came to pass my hon. Friend would not be a Free Trader any longer. He would say that the widow and the orphan of the market gardener had invested their money, that it was a business protected by the law, that they had not only invested in this business protected by a tariff, but also that they had been led to assume that the tariff was to increase by 5 per cent, every five years. But observe what this Government does as to the land. They do not say that the privilege shall not increase every year; they say that it shall not increase by 5 per cent, every five years, but only by 4 per cent.; they are only taking one-fifth of the unearned increment on the land.

The more I see of politics the more I become convinced that the whole of politics is one perpetual struggle between the vested interests and the public interests, or, if I may be permitted to say so, between privilege and justice. I quite see the Conservative point of view, and I quite appreciate my hon. Friend's point of view. I think there is a great deal to be said for their position. If the State has persistently allowed some privilege to exist and to be bolstered up, there is a great deal to be said for the position that it must go on. But I do not think that is the Liberal point of view. I am quite confident that the Liberal point of view on every question should be not the immediate abolition of privilege by any harsh measures, but to effect its gradual destruction. That is obvious enough in the case of protected industries, and it is obvious enough in the case of the vested interest which the licensed trade has been permitted to build up. It is as obvious to me also in the case of land, the privilege in connection with which has been allowed to go up for centuries. I want to deal with another point of my hon. Friend on which I believe I am a Free Trader and he is a Protectionist. He said there are now so many unoccupied houses in London, or wherever it may be, that it is ridiculous to say that we want to have more built. There are two ways of filling those houses which are now empty in London or in other great towns. There is the Protectionist way, and it is my hon. Friend's way. The Protectionist would say, "We will not build any more houses, because there are houses empty. If you refuse to build any more houses the people will be forced to take the houses which are empty, and those houses will be filled." There is a great deal to be said for that point of view. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nobody said it."] You are complaining that there are houses empty at present, and therefore no more ought to be built. You can fill those houses if you allow the population to increase and build no more. Or you can build more houses in another way, by allowing free expansion in the building trade and free competition in houses, so that the price in the house trade will drop. It has been said over and over again in "The Spectator," and also by my hon. Friend, that Free Trade believes that taxation should not be used to create a preference between one form of property or another, or to create any preference between different categories of property. I quite agree that taxation should not be used to do anything of the sort; but with our present system of taxation there is this difficulty. Our present system of taxation exempts from taxes and rates all land that is not used, whereas taxes and rates are put on those who do use the land.


Where is the exemption? What does the hon. Gentleman mean by land not used being exempted from rates?


Land not used is exempted from rates; that is exactly what I mean.


What does the hon. Gentleman mean by that?


Empty houses.


They are not land.


Does not unused land pay death duties on the capital value?


It is exempted from rates, and it is exempted from income tax as far as I know. It is that exemption of which I complain. If taxation were levied uniformly on all owners of land, not only would you not be penalising the good owner of land, but you would be absolutely killing bad owners of property. That is what we are pressing for. We feel that taxation should not suddenly penalise a particular form of property. All we are asking is that you should cease the present differentiation which is bad for industry and bad for good developing landlords. I do not think it is really necessary to go into the rest of my hon. Friend's observations about the difficulties of the valuation of land, apart from buildings, machinery, and other things. After all, has it not been done in every agricultural country, in urban areas, and in every Continent, by all Englishmen, Germans, Frenchmen, and Americans? I am sure in South Africa I had a good deal to do myself with valuation, and my only difficulty in making separate valuations of land and buildings on a capital basis was that the owners of property came to me afterwards and complained that I had valued them too low. They would say, "I know there is a rate of 3d. in the pound on capital value, but do remember I want to sell my land or mortgage my land, and if you put it down too low in your book I will not get a good price for my land." Moreover, I should like to quote an authority which hon. Members opposite approve of—Mr. T. C. Horse-fall, of Manchester. He pointed out in his excellent book the example of Germany, and how in Cologne, under the old system, that is, under the annual value system, there were in one year 2,703 appeals against over 21,000 assessments. Under the new system of rating, that is, the selling value or capital value, there were only 174 appeals, that is to say, there was a fall in appeals, and therefore a fall in litigation, in the case of Cologne, from 2,703 to 174. It is obvious as a matter of fact it is much easier to value property on its capital value than on its annual value, because there is a great deal of property which is owned, by the occupier. Where it is not owned by the occupier, and where it is rated, you find that the rentals by no means represent the proper rateable value. In dealing with some of the taxes proposed by the Government, I agree with my hon. Friend opposite that the increase of the tax is a drawback to the market value of land. I am conscious that we approach this question from the point of view of our agitation in the country, which is somewhat different from that of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He sees land primarily as a source of revenue. We have perpetually driven home this land question from another point of view. We have always advocated this land question not as a new source of revenue but as a change in the standard of taxation on property on such lines as to induce owners to make use of their property, and not to penalise those people who do not develop their land. While we quite agree that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has had to approach this problem from a different point of view, we are extremely grateful for those occasions where our views have happened to coincide with his necessities. So far as the transfer duty is concerned by the increase from 10s. per cent, to £l per cent., you are not making a freer market; you are making it more difficult to get land instead of less difficult. We want to make it easier for people. So far as the transfer duty is concerned, I find myself entirely in sympathy with those people who would like to see the whole transfer duty abolished.

So far as the taxes on unearned incomes are concerned, how far does that tax tend, as at present intended to be levied, towards increasing the free market in land, towards making it easier for the man who wants land to get the land to use? I am afraid, as at present levied, it must have to a certain extent the same effect as the transfer fee. It would tend to restrict the sale. I would earnestly impress upon the Chancellor and upon the Government the importance of making this unearned increment tax not a tax dependent on the sale, but a tax which shall be periodic in its imposition. But if you insist on keeping the sale basis, then the tax should be so graduated that when the previous sale was a long time ago it should be at a higher rate, and if the sales succeed themselves rapidly it should be at a low rate. You want to prevent the man holding the land for a long time. Therefore I think your tax should be graduated on the basis that the longer a man holds it the greater the tax should be.

Let me come to the one ewe-lamb of the Chancellor's Budget—the part we pin our faith to and on which the Budget, I think, will stand or fall. That is the halfpenny tax upon undeveloped land and undeveloped building. It is that tax which seems to me to be of infinitely more importance than the whole of the rest of the Budget. In that tax the kernel of the solution of the unemployed difficuly lay. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I shall quite prove what I say. We want, in order to reduce our unemployment, to increase productive work. We do not want to make wealth for people; it is on productive work we must concentrate our attention. I think everybody will agree with that. What is productive work? All productive work from the economist point of view consists in the application of labour to land and raw material. At every stage of productive work it is the land which is one of the factors in that process. For instance, productive work takes the clay and turns it into cups and saucers. It takes agricultural land and turns it into bread and butter. It takes the coal from the ground and turns it into coal gas or coal in kitchen grates. Those are all examples of productive work. From the economist point of view every form of productive work consists in the transfer of land and raw materials into the finished article where you want it and when you want it. [An HON. MEMBER: "Iron and 'Dreadnoughts.'"] Yes, even "Dreadnoughts." The iron is got from the soil mixed with limestone. The coal is got from the land and the furnace is standing on the land, so that at every stage of the process the land is one of the items.

Therefore I say, if you want to increase productive work the one obvious way to do it is to make it easy for labour and capital to apply themselves to the land easier than it is at present. Are you not making it easier by taxing undeveloped land which is held out of the market? I think the real centre or kernel of this land question is the connection between shortage of work and shortage of land. If there is shortage of work it is because labour is unable to apply itself to the raw material. I wish I could make the House see it as clearly as I see it. I see on one side, as it were, a stone wall or a brick wall, and on one side is the man able, anxious and willing to work. On the other side of the wall is the raw material which alone he can work, and in between them there is this wall. I want that wall lowered so that the man who wants to work shall be able to get over it easier without being charged a high price. The man on that wall is able to prevent that man working. He is able to create unemployment and in countless cases does create unemployment. Let me give one example of how I think the tax on undeveloped minerals will help employment in this country. The House will remember some years ago there was a great strike in North Wales at Bethesda Quarries. For three years 2,800 quarrymen were deprived of access to those great quarries. I am not going into the merits of the question of whether Lord Penrhyn or the men were right. I only want the House to see that those men were deprived of access to the raw materials and therefore unemployed. Now, because those men were unemployed and not working the slates, the people who worked the railway which runs down from Bethesda to Port Penrhyn were also unemployed.


Is it suggested the present tax would have opened those slate quarries?


I am coming to that. The people who worked the railway were also thrown out of employment. Port Penrhyn clerks were also out of work. The foremen in the different works were thrown out of employment by the prevention of your primary quarrying trade having access to the land. The retail shopkeepers in Bethesda and Port Penrhyn were not able to make their bit of profit selling goods, and because the retail shopkeepers were not able to sell their goods all over the country the woollen trades in the West Biding, the drapery and hardware trades, had people who were thrown out of work because they were not able to satisfy the wants of the people in Bethesda, who were out of work and could not buy the materials. I am only trying to show how the prohibition of one of the primary opportunities of having access to the land affects the whole trade of the community. If you collected all those people out of work you would have a perfectly genuine and perfectly typical unemployed demonstration. That is one illustration of how under our present system that state of things is encouraged.

Directly Lord Penrhyn closed down his quarries he went to the assessment committee, and got the assessment reduced by £14,600. In other words he had his rates remitted, because in the exercise of his perfectly legitimate powers he created that mass of unemployment. Now, at any rate, when this ½d. tax upon undeveloped land is being levied he will have that ½d. tax to pay whether he works the quarry or not. [An HON. MEMBER: "Whether he works it or not?"] Yes, whether the quarry is worked or not. It will be independent of the output of the quarry, and it will be independent of the assessment for rates or income tax. If the quarry is not working that tax will be paid; if it is working it will be paid.


Is that so?


I am not the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but whether it is working or not that tax, I believe, will have to be paid. This tax which is proposed is exactly similar to the dead rent tax which the owner of minerals charge to mineral lessees at present. When the owner of mineral lands leases his land at present to a lessee he charges not only a royalty dependent on the number of tons of coal or iron got up, but he charges also a dead rent. He charges that dead rent with this intention: he says if I only charge a royalty, the lessee may not sink his pits at once. He may not develop the property immediately. He may wait perhaps some years for the price of coal to go up. In order to prevent that state of things he charges a dead rent tax, which has to be paid by the occupier whether the pit is worked or not, whether there is a large output or a small output. He taxes it so as to secure a large output, and it has the desired effect. It is a perfectly legitimate and a perfectly sound system of ensuring the rapid development of mineral property. We want to deal with the landlords on exactly the same principles as they deal with their lessees. We want to put a dead rent tax on them similar in character to the dead rent tax which they put on their lessees, simply with the same object, to secure the rapid and full development of mineral properties.

I think, therefore, that the half-penny tax, by inducing the owners of land, of mineral land and of building land, to develop their property more quickly, will tend to absorb unemployment and will tend to absorb the unemployed more than any other part of the Budget. My only regret is that in this undeveloped tax agricultural land has been left out, and that agricultural land has not received the same treatment as mineral and building land. Hon. Friends opposite have asked over and over again: what is undeveloped land? I will tell them my definition of what undeveloped land is. My definition of undeveloped land is all land whose capital value is more than 25 years' purchase of the present annual rent, that is to say, all land for which the owner is not getting at present a commercial rent, all land which, if exchanged for other forms of property, is bringing in less than it would if invested in other forms of property.


Does the hon. Member apply that to allotments in the neighbourhood of towns?


Certainly, if in the case of allotments the price has gone up to £500 per acre, showing a demand on the part of the community for building land, then I say that land is undeveloped.


It would tax them out of existence.


I regret that agricultural land is not being forced into the market in the same way as building land and mineral land. I recall the Chancellor of the Excequer's recollection to a noble speech he made at Liverpool only five months ago, when he pointed out that the land of this country was frozen up under the old feudal system. He said that he waited for the springtime when the thaw would set in, and when the people and the children of the people would enter into the inheritance that has been given to them. The springtime is not coming through this Budget, but it is coming later on, and I think that in this Budget we are laying the foundations for a reform, which will be of infinite benefit to the people of this country.

I am not going to sit down without pointing out to hon. Members what the completion of my policy really is. It is only honest. I know hon. Members opposite think me a terrible robber. What we want to do is to place the taxes on property at a standard which shall ensure their rapid development. We are not anxious, I am not anxious, I do not think any of my land-tax friends are anxious to extract an unfair tribute from property. What we want to do is to ensure that the land of this country which is absolutely essential to every form of industry shall be put to its commercial use, and in the best possible way. I would like to illustrate my position by an allegory by Count Leo Tolstoy. That is a name which commands respect on every side of the House. Count Leo Tolstoy says: "I saw all mankind as a herd of cattle, bulls and eows and calves, all inside a wire fenced-in enclosure. Out- side the enclosure there is beautiful green pasture and plenty to eat; inside the enclosure there is not quite grass enough for the cattle, and consequently the cattle are goring each other and trampling each other under foot in their ettorts to get what little grass there is. I saw the owner of that herd of cattle, who was a good-natured, well-meaning man, come to the cattle; when he saw their condition he was sorry for them, and bethought him what he could do to improve their lot. He put up beautiful, well-drained, and well-ventilated cowsheds, so that the cattle should have shelter at night; he screwed knobs on to the ends of their horns, so that they should not gore each other so fiercely in the struggle for existence; and he ringed off one part of the enclosure and reserved it for the old bulls and old cows, so that at the end of their life they might escape the struggle for existence and be sure of grass. Because the calves were being killed off, dying of starvation, and not growing up into serviceable cattle, he arranged that they should all have a pint of milk for breakfast every morning, so that, although none of them got enough, yet they all had something to keep them alive. In fact, the owner of that herd of cattle did everything he could think of to improve their conditions. But when," said Tolstoy, "I asked why he did not do the one obvious thing, pull down the fence and let the cattle get out, he replied, 'Because if I did that, I should no longer be able to milk them.'" That is the real answer. Fortunately the cattle breed more quickly than the owners, and some day they will put their heads together and break that fence down.


Before the Chancellor of the Exchequer replies, I wish to put some questions in order to find out what is the true nature of this Resolution. My hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford yesterday put some very specific questions to the representatives of the Government, and he was answered by the 'Secretary of State for War, who spoke for some 35 minutes, in the course of which scarcely a word of the Budget Resolution was made intelligible to the House. As I desire to be very brief, the hon. Member who has just spoken will not think me disrespectful if I do not follow him in his speech. But I am perfectly content to say with regard to the abstractions in which he largely moved that I am in agreement with what the hon. Member for Preston stated, and I do not think anything that has passed since has shaken me in that conviction or requires from me any further devolopment of the points, then so admirably put. I wish to ask, from a strictly practical point of view, what is the real meaning of the Resolution? My hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford, speaking yesterday of the increment tax upon land, asked what the unit of valuation was to be. We have not had any reply, although we have been debating the matter for five or six hours since. Unless it should by any possibility be said that the question was not intelligible, let me give the simplest illustration of it. Suppose I have a house and five acres of land; that two or three of those acres of land intervene between the house and the road; that the property has been bought all at once, and that some geologist informs the local authority that there are ungotten minerals underneath the house; and that a tax which I am not able to pay, except by selling something, is levied upon me—that h to say, that a sudden demand is made upon me for money, and I have to sell a portion of the five acres. I sell two acres next the road at the price, say, of £300 an acre. Are the Revenue officers entitled to take those two acres and to say that, as I gave only £200 an acre, they may tax me on the increment, or may I say,. "It is true, if you take those two acres, that I may have made a profit upon them; but I am entitled to look at my property as a whole; and although those two acres; have been sold at a profit, the remaining three acres and the house itself have been depreciated. In other words, I have lost the privacy and amenities of my house by selling the two acres which separated it from the road, and there is on the estate as a whole an actual loss." It is really astounding that, after the extremely lucid way in which this question-was put by the hon. Member for Chelmsford, who was replied to by a master of law, that simple problem has never been solved, and all this time we have been debating in the air. What can be the reason? The first suggestion I make is that the Government have not thought out their proposal at all, and do not know. If they do know, why do they not tell us? I suppose they are averse to telling us that a man should be taxed upon the unearned increment of his property when, in point of fact, on the property as a whole, he is not a gainer by increment, but a loser by decrement. One would imagine that the right hon. Gentlemen opposite looked upon land as an objectionable thing which ought to be taxed. But you do not put the impost on land—you put it on the owner; and if you can show that the owner of the land, so far from, on the whole, having made money by a process of unearned increment, has actually lost, by what pretence of justice can you put any such tax upon him? That is the first point to which I wish the Chancellor of the Exchequer to pay special attention.

Then take another case which I will give in order to raise a point of extreme importance which has not yet been answered by the Government. A few years ago a friend of mine gave £10,000 for some building land. It was valued with extraordinary precautions by three or four first-rate valuers, and there was also a measure of value for the property in some actually adjacent land which had been sold for £500 an acre, and this property was bought at the same rate. But one of those curious set-backs occurred which are quite familiar to everybody in the habit of dealing in land, and although the adjacent property went off extremely well, my friend has been in possession of his property ever since, and not a single builder has ever approached him with a view to buying the land. The House will readily appreciate that, as all the interest and outgoings have been charged upon the £10,000 for five or six years, my friend's capital account now stands at a debit of £12,000. This gentleman is really not an offender against the public; but what does this unearned increment tax propose to do for him? It is proposed to draw a line at this moment, and to inquire from him—I believe that is the ironical proposal—what the value of the property is. How does he know? I do not doubt myself that it is not worth more than £5,000, and if the Government pursue their plan they will enter as the basis of valuation upon which the betterment charge is to be made the present value of the property at £5,000, and would write off a loss of £7,000. If the property goes up to £6,000, or £7,000, or £8,000, or £9,000, my friend will still be a loser upon the whole transaction; but on this proposed admirable principle of equity he, although a loser to the extent of £3,000 or £4,000, is to be charged one-fifth of the rise above the £5,000. Does any rational man justify such a tax as that? Is it possible to justify taking a loser and taxing him as a gainer? I do not put this point from the point of view of one who owns land himself, but I have had in Hampstead an experience which is very familiar to the Local Government Board—an experience as president of a garden suburb which many Members have seen. Let me briefly describe the objects of that suburb. We start a company; we limit the dividend to 5 per cent.; we limit by statute the number of houses to be put to the acre; we make it a special object in the development of the suburb of preserving open spaces and all objects of natural beauty so far as is consistent with the development of the estate. So highly is this enterprise, and others which preceded it, valued in the eyes of the Government that a colleague of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the President of the Local Government Board, has introduced a Bill for housing and town planning, and I shall show in a moment that the tax which the right hon. Gentleman is proposing to levy is directly in conflict with the objects of that Housing and Town Planning Bill. Now, according to this, how will the taxation act? Let me keep the two cases separate in my mind. How will the tax on increment on value affect a certain enterprise like this, one which has the goodwill of all sections of this House? The whole of the financial basis upon which this very laborious and somewhat risky enterprise—all building enterprises have many elements of risk—is founded, may be altered when we have such a tax as this. But much more so if we have a tax upon undeveloped land. Let the Chancellor of the Exchequer think this out, if he will, with me for a moment. The whole object of the thing is not to reproduce on the suburbs of London the melancholy rows of houses that are sometimes seen, and that are 50 houses to the acre. Our object is to put only some 12, and generally eight, houses on the acre, and to provide open spaces, lawn tennis grounds, recreation grounds, and so forth. That is the very essence of the thing. Such suburbs are coming into vogue now, and are creeping up around our big towns, and not only are they admirable in themselves, but they furnish absolute lungs for the congested populations within the congested areas of London You are going to tax these. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] Yes, but I will not reply to the hon. Friend who contradicts me, for I suppose nobody knows for a certainty what the proposals are. The Government keep our interest alive day after day as to the precise nature of the torture they are going to inflict upon the owners of property. Day by day they keep themselves off the Front Bench, and information is withheld from the House in consequence.

What is undeveloped land? The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his Budget speech, gave us some clue. Land, he said, which was not put to its best commercial advantage. Is that right? Apparently the Chancellor of the Exchequer has changed his mind since he made the Budget speech. So for a moment I will take that out. It is obvious that if the land in these open spaces, in this garden suburb, are to be developed to the best advantage financially, why of course they will be used at once for building houses upon. The very object for which this whole enterprise was started, and the very object for which the Housing and Town Planning Bill was brought forward by this Government, and upon which we have spent month after month upstairs and elsewhere in Debate—that very object will be frustrated. Manifestly you could not in such an enterprise as this do other than mete out the same justice as to anyone else. May I recur to the illustration I gave of the five acres? If two acres can be sold profitably for building land, manifestly, according to this precious provision, they ought to be sold, or if not sold they ought to be taxed. See what a monstrous injustice will arise! You would as the rating authority, and as the revenue authority, under Schedule A continue to tax this house, which I have mentioned, as if it still had the privacy and enjoyment of the five acres. Yes, you would still do that, and the public authorities, the rating and the revenue authorities, would get the value of the assessment as if this house had not depreciated. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in another aspect, says: "Oh, no, although we are taxing you as if your house was still private, the two acres ought to have been built upon." In other words, they seek first to have a tax because you have not built, then they wish to retain the full tax as if you had not built. Do I make that clear? Five acres, and the house. A certain value attaching to the house by its privacy, and standing in five acres of land. The Government say: "Two acres of this is building land; if you will not build upon that we will tax you."

Meantime, as I have not built upon these two acres, and as I have retained the privacy of the house, I shall be still taxed upon the full value of the five acres. Is that tenable? Can any man of sense, I will not say justice, get up and say in this House that these provisions are tenable? What do you think it is going to cost to put these precious provisions into force? I have summed up this Bill. I do not go to Germany, because I know that the state of things there and here is entirely different. There are things in the way of officialism which the German people submit to which are not existing here, and which I do not think would be readily or easily created here. One experience from this country is worth twenty from Germany. The London County Council, a body of great wealth and great experience, and of very strong radical opinion in reference to this subject, for over twenty years has been endeavouring to put a betterment into force. The hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras will correct me if I am wrong, but I think I am right in what I am going to say. About 15 years ago, at the time of the Tower Bridge improvement, an Act of Parliament was passed which prescribed that an initial valuation should be made of certain houses within what was called the betterment area—that is to say, the area which might be expected to be bettered from making the improvements. The initial valuation had to be made of sites—that is, land alone—and then of sites and houses. You then had data from which to start. The improvement would then take place. After the improvement had taken place, and there had been time for its effects to be appreciated, there was to be a second valuation, and then there would be assessed how much the houses and sites in the bettered area had been bettered. A percentage was then to be levied by way of tax upon the betterment area. That is exactly the scheme of the Government, though I must say it was put forward and elaborated with far greater knowledge by the County Council. At all events, we have seen no proof to the contrary at present.


You had better wait.


Then I will withdraw that. What does the right hon. Gentleman think will be the result of the Resolution? There will be no result. The expense of the initial valuation of the London County Council was so heavy that the County Council, although bold in a matter of business, having spent all this money upon the initial valuation, which could be of no good to anybody actually, could not go on with a second valuation, which was to get at the value. I think those are the facts.


That is not quite accurate, according to my information. I had hoped for an opportunity to bring before the House the facts in this case.


I cannot say what the whole of the facts are. I am quite certain that my statement of the initial valuation is accurate. I am certain that that initial valuation was very costly. These I give to the House on my own responsibility. I am not aware precisely what the result has been, but I am informed that no second valuation has ever taken place. However, whatever that result, it has been such as not to tempt the County Council to make a betterment charge upon any area upon which they have been engaged. What does the Chancellor of the Exchequer propose to do? He proposes to put upon the unfortunate owner of land the task of making this valuation himself. That is part of the absurdity. Anyone with the slightest experience in matters of this kind knows that it is difficult for a skilled man, and certainly for an unskilled man, to make a valuation. It is a matter to a large extent of conjecture and speculation. The position of the unfortunate owner reminds me rather of what takes place at Wimbledon when the marksman is firing at the running stag. The marksman is fined 10s. if he hits the stag behind. But in this case the analogy would be that the owner would be fined 10s. if he hit it behind, or in front, or anywhere excepting the middle. If he hits the bullseye in the very middle he is penalised. If the landowner values his land too high he will have to pay a tax at that height. If he values it too low, when the betterment charge, the increment charge, comes to be levied, the difference will be greater, and he will have to pay a greater tax upon that. Therefore the owner who is ignorant exactly of the value of his land is called upon at his own expense, as I understand it, to make his valuation, and to make it with such accuracy that if he falls below he is fined, and if he goes above he is fined. Has anybody ever heard of such a thing? The right hon. and learned Gentleman reminds me of the last point with which I have to trouble the Committee. This has been put forward by genuine enthusiasts who have quoted Tolstoy and other great visionary social reformers to us. This is relied upon as a very splendid social movement.

The effect of it would be that although an enormous burden would, I believe, be cast upon the owners of property, the money would not go into the Exchequer that would be sweated off these people. Where would it go? It would go into the pocket of the lawyers and the surveyors. I say so without any doubt. Let any man fairly address himself to this question and he will see what the result will be. Take, for instance, a man who has laid out £100,000 in buying land for the purpose of developing an estate. With roads and other initial expenditure he will probably lay out another £100,000. That is £200,000 in all. If anything goes wrong, if there is any movement of population, if a railway is opened, or if an electric tram is started so as to appreciate the neighbourhood, if there is one of those mysterious changes which very often occur—we have only to mention South Kensington—any unforeseen change that takes place—this man who laid out this immense sum of money may find himself with enormous and heavy charges which result from that capital which had been running against him for years, and, as in the case put by the hon. Member for Preston, he would very likely do far better if he had laid out his money and accumulated it at compound interest. Supposing things get better and he comes before a valuer—an Excise man—who may affirm that he has made unearned increment, and suppose he denies it; surely that is a very difficult problem indeed; it would require, I think, the accutest and most experienced of us to give even an approximate answer to it.

Let me put to the House one or two of the questions that would be asked. What ought to be the reward for a man who invests his money at such risk? That is a pretty difficult question to begin with. How much ought he have to spend in the enterprise at all? Was he wise in doing so? Were the expenses he entered upon judicious? All these are questions which a very junior member of the Bar would be able to argue and argue effectively for many hours. Are these cases to be proceeded with all over the country? Do the Government really look forward to such a consummation as that? Do they wish to turn every collector of revenue into a valuer and arbitrator to discuss these questions, or if not to discuss them to settle them after discussion? The bare idea is preposterous.


Hear, hear!


I am glad the right hon. Gentleman cheers that. Let us see what the results are. If he does not investigate these things, and by persons competent to investigate them, then, of course, in many cases in which there is a difference between the owner and the State he will throw the greatest grievance upon the owner, because the owner has a right to say that in such a difficult problem as this no taxation should be taken out of him until it is proved, and proved by competent men that that taxation is properly leviable. It is not properly levied, and it cannot be shown to be properly leviable unless you have competent persons to adjudicate upon the matter. Surely that is so.

With regard to ungotten minerals I should point out that there we have absolutely no answer to the questions which have been put by my hon. Friends. I heard of a case of an hon. Friend of mine. For a long time he believed there were minerals under his estate; for a long time he shrank from the great speculative risks which was necessarily to be run before he bored and investigated to see if there was coal in payable quantities on his estate or not. Ultimately he did sink for coal, and developed a very narrow profit. Coal was found, and found in the adjacent fields of his neighbour also. Supposing that coal, after he had bored for it at immense expense, was found to exist, but not in payable quantities, it would then be ungotten minerals if he left it in the land. Would he have to pay under these conditions? I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer that question. I think it would be a monstrous injustice that he should have to pay, he would have undertaken great risks and great expense in ascertaining that there was coal on his estate. If it was payable coal it would be a great advantage to the whole neighbourhood; if it was not payable then he would have incurred the cost, and on one reading of this Resolution he would have been liable for the tax which would be levied upon him on ungotten minerals. I should like that question to be answered, and to be made perfectly clear. I think I know where this desire for taxing ungotten minerals was obtained. I know that railway companies taking the property compulsorily from owners who believe there is some mineral underneath, have to face claims sometimes for ungotten minerals and prospective value. I suppose that is the precedent on which the Government have drawn. I should like to point out that I believe no case can be quoted where taxation is based upon so careless and so speculative an enterprising data as that in which it is proposed to tax ungotten minerals in this Resolution.


The speech we have just heard illustrated, I think, probably better than any speech we have heard in the course of these proceedings, the real futility of discussing details of a Bill before it is introduced. The right hon. Gentleman compared us to novelists who have constantly something surprising in store for the public. May I compare him with a critic who insists on criticising a novel before it is even published. I would even go further, and compare him to one who has sued for an injunction in order to prevent a novel from being published so that he may have a whole fortnight in which to criticise it in advance. There could not have been a possible, a better, illustration. The right hon. Gentleman will discover it himself when he sees the Bill. Take his elaborate criticism of the destructive effects of our proposal on garden cities. There was not a single word in it relevant, not a single word of it had reference to our proposals. On the contrary, the right hon. Gentleman was good enough to assume that for the first time I have been informed on this subject by himself. Will be believe me when I tell him I have had all this in my mind before, and not only me but my colleagues, and that that is one of the things we particularly wanted to guard against? That view we take very strongly. I agree with him there is nothing, I think, more undesirable than the present system of dismal, dreary houses, without any sort of amenities at all—hardly a courtyard. I agree that very admirable work is being done by the garden cities in developing houses for the working men on some more rational plan. Does he really believe that we are going to introduce a Bill which is destructive of one of the best features of the housing development in this country? All that he has got to do is just to confine himself to the general principles embodied in the Resolution, which will simply enable us to introduce the Bill dealing with taxation upon these general lines, and I think it may be assumed that we have all these problems in our minds.

There is not a single proposal which he elaborated with great ingenuity that we have not in our mind, and have guarded against, and what applies to the right hon. Gentleman applies also to the difficulties found by my hon. Friend the Member for Preston. I have no doubt that when he sees the Bill he will be able to find cause for fresh criticism. He very kindly informed the House that when he first heard my plan he really thought the third part of it—[An HON. MEMBER:" The second part of it."] Yes, the second part of it, a very good one; but luckily, having thought it out, he was able to console himself by finding some objection even to that. I have no doubt he would be able, with his critical and essentially analytical mind, to find difficulties in every conceivable scheme, but the particular difficulties which he found to-day are really not in the Bill. I can give him a case in point. Take the case of a man who ten years ago bought land for £100,000. It falls to £80,000 in two or three years, and then goes back to £90,000. That man will have lost £10,000. Perhaps the hon. Member will be surprised that that is a case we have thought of and provided against, and that is really why I rather deprecate criticism, and I think quite fairly. I think it is one of the greatest anomalies from the view of procedure that we should have not merely a second reading Debate, but a Committee discussion upon a Bill which cannot be introduced until the whole of these Resolutions are approved. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire must congratulate himself upon some decision or other in this connection which would have a bearing upon some financial Bill which he is preparing in advance. I think he must shudder at the prospect if every one of the 1,500 duties he contemplates is to be criticised in this sort of microscopic way before we have ever seen them. That is why I ask the Committee rather to confine itself to general principles than to go into those minute discussions on machinery. Most of the criticism of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. George's was directed to machinery.


We wanted to know what the tax was.


We told the right hon. Gentleman over and over again what the tax was. I shall tell him again if necessary, but I shall only tell him the general principles unless he enables me to get the Resolution upon which to found the Bill, which will contain the whole machinery for carrying it out. I will take Another case which the right hon. Gentleman gave. First of all, he criticised us be- cause he said we were going in for a costly valuation, and he said that whoever else made money out of this the lawyers and surveyors certainly would. Then he went on to build up a great argument upon the assumption that all the valuations would be made by Excise officers. My answer to that is if he will just wait he will see that both those criticisms are absolutely irrelevant.


Who will do it?


The Noble Lord will know as soon as he sees the Bill. He will then get the whole machinery, and then he can bring his well-known powers of criticism to bear upon it. I only want to show that most of these criticisms have no reference to our proposals. The right hon. Gentleman asks: "Why do you not give us an elaborate detailed account of every one of your proposals?" I know exactly what would happen if we did that. Supposing I anwered the questions which have been put to me by the right hon. Gentleman opposite? Probably another hon. Member would ask what would happen in such and such a case. I might answer that, and then a third hon. Member might ask what is the machinery for such and such a case? The discussion has lasted a very long time already, but the natural result of taking that course would be that our discussions would never come to an end. [An HON. MEMBER: "You have the closure."] Yes, but I do not want to apply that if it is possible to do without it. I have been the victim of the closure so often myself that it is a very painful process for me to apply it. I will confine myself to answering the criticisms which have been directed to the general principles of these taxes, and in doing so I think I am acting quite in accordance with precedent.

What are the criticisms? They have been confined to two points. The first is that it is unjust to single out a special kind of property, and apply to it a special tax; and the second is that it is impracticable to impose the tax. I will deal in the first place with the first proposition that it is unjust to select this special kind of property for this kind of tax. I am not going to refer so much to other countries, because the fact that they do it is no proof that it is just or unjust. Nevertheless, I think it is relevant when it comes to a question of practicability, although it is not relevant as to whether it is fair or equitable. I rather deprecate the assumption which underlies this criticism. I mean the assumption that we are taking somebody's property away from them. We are simply imposing a tax, and what is that tax? It is a tax of one halfpenny in the £ on the capital value, and amounts to a tax of one four-hundred-and-eightieth part. This is not the only country in which you have a property tax. In other countries there are taxes imposed upon capital value, and why should it be confiscation the moment you introduce the principle of a tax upon capital value in this country? That is all we are doing. We are simply imposing a tax of one four-hundred-and-eightieth part upon one particular kind of property.

The only question is whether it is fair. That is a proper question to put to me, and I think I ought to answer it. Is it fair to single out this particular kind of property, and impose a tax of this kind upon that class of property when you are exempting every other kind of property in the Kingdom? I think it is for this reason. We are simply imposing a tax on a kind of property which is created not by the investment of its owner, not by his industry or his enterprise. [OPPOSITION cries of "Why?"] I will give the reason why, but I desire first to state my proposition. We are taxing the owner of this kind of property not upon something which he has created by his own capital or by his own industry, enterprise or foresight, but entirely upon that part which is created by the enterprise or industry of the community. If the owner invests money in agricultural land we do not tax it, because that is an investment. [OPPOSITION cries of "Yes, you do."] Hon. Members opposite may take it from me that our intention is not to impose this halfpenny tax upon agricultural land. Whether our proposals actually carry out that intention or not is a matter for criticism in Committee; but for the moment hon. Members must accept that as our principle. The community is in need of £16,000,000 for defence, for security, and for social purposes which are well known to all hon. Members of this House. I ask, under these circumstances, is it unfair that you should impose a tax of one four-hundred-and-eightieth part upon property which is created by the industry of the community itself? I do not think it is. The right hon. Gentleman has put forward cases of ground landlords who have spent a good deal of money, and he mentioned one case where £100,000 had been spent upon improvements on his property to bring it up to the point of being valuable land. I think that ought to be considered, and it would be necessary to the principle of our tax to impose this tax upon that property. Our principle is that you should tax on the part of the property which is created by the community, and not by somebody else.


When a man has put that amount of money into a building enterprise which is admittedly risky, what would be a proper remuneration for his risk?


I understand the right hon. Gentleman fully realises that we are deducting all expenditure by the land-owner upon the property spent with a view of making it fit for building sites.


Within what period?


I am afraid if I begin to give answers to these questions I should have to use all sorts of arguments even when they would not serve my purpose for the moment. I will take the case of a mine. In this instance—and I will make this concession to the right hon. Gentleman—a mine-owner spends a lot of money in developing his property. For the moment I think the right hon. Gentleman had better set this point on one side until he sees the provisions of the Bill. For the present I am taking the ordinary case of the mining royalty owner. I will deal first with the justice of taxing minerals where there has been no expenditure by the owner to develop the property. What is the ordinary case? It is the case of a rather barren waste piece of land not very valuable from an agricultural point of view. Somebody else spends money for developing it, and it is often a very speculative and risky enterprise, and there have been huge fortunes lost in opening up these lands, but not by the land-owner. But the land-owner comes in at this point. The Member for Mansfield corrected me in one particular, and it is a very important one. He pointed out that in most of these cases the land-owner demands ten times more than the real value of the surface for agricultural purposes. Supposing the operation is a success, what happens? The mine is open and the land-owner gets hundreds of thousands of pounds in the shape of royalties. If the mines close down for any purpose the land-owner continues to receive his dead rent. If the mines close down in consequence of labour troubles, or because trade is bad and the price of coal is not high enough to make it profitable for the colliery-owner to go on working the mine, the land-owner still insists upon having that dead rent. Let us look for a moment at the position of the three parties concerned in the mines. First of all there is the miner, secondly the colliery proprietor who has to sink his capital in the mine, and thirdly there is the land-owner. We all know what the miner gets. We all know that the miner is taxed upon his tobacco and spirits, and that is his contribution to this £16,000,000. The colliery proprietor has invested large sums in developing the property, and what does he do? He pays his extra 2d. upon the income tax, and I hope he will pay under the super-tax, and he deserves to. But he has to pay more than that, because, under a Bill carried by the late Government, he is liable to pay compensation to all miners who are injured in the mine, if there is an explosion which ruins his property. Now, what does the mining royalty owner do? He has risked nothing. He has made no investments and no industry, and there is purely the industry which the hon. and gallant Member says is a very hard one, namely, that of receiving. What is his contribution towards accidents, sickness, or death in the mines? The colliery owner, under the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, bears the whole of that burden, and there is no contribution from the royalty owner. As a matter of fairness and equity, is it unfair to ask that man, who has risked nothing, when we are getting up a fund, to provide for the sickness of those miners, for death, for widows and orphans, and old age, to contribute one halfpenny in the pound?


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he proposes, under those circumstances, to tax the gotten minerals? The proposal in the Budget is ungotten minerals.


The right hon. Gentleman seems to think that he has made a great discovery. How could you get the freehold interest on the capital value of a mine except by a tax on ungotten minerals? I do not know any other way. The right hon. Gentleman may have a better way of doing it. That is what I am getting at. I think it perfectly fair that we should call upon the freeholder to make his contribution towards the expenditure of the nation.


What about the income tax?


Obviously he pays the income tax in common with the rest of the community.


On capital?


I know I am rather boring the House. I did cut out four or five pages from my Budget speech, on this subject which I should like to have delivered. It is quite clear that whatever I am taxing I am certainly taxing the patience of the House. Let me take the case of a leaseholder. Everybody knows from his own experience that in an industrial community you have to get houses for the workpeople near the works. Probably it is very poor land. It may be not. worth more than 4s. or 5s. an acre; but, as a rule, there is a ground rent of £2 a house. Land which used to produce 5s. an acre produces £50 an acre or more, and I say, as a matter of fair play and: equity, that when we are getting up a fund for old age pensions for workmen, including the very workmen who built the houses and made the land valuable, we should remember that the increase from 5s. to £50 should pay a contribution of ½d. as a. pension to these poor old people. I know that hon. Gentlemen opposite do not accept that proposition. But if it was put to them in their private capacity I believe not only would they repudiate the idea of not taxing in such a case, but I should be surprised if they would not propose an increase of the taxation. The increment is; exactly on the same basis. I hope the hon. Gentlemen opposite will confine themselves to the general principle of the increment tax. What is it? Looked at from a practical point of view we find that it is-done in other countries. It is a perfectly just tax. It is an increased tax due to the enterprise of the community. Why should' the community, when the State is in need of money, not pay it? If we take it from-beer, we should have to put it on agricultural land. It is purely a question of the distribution of burdens. We are not creating burdens, we are distributing them. If I could not get £500,000 this year from a particular tax, I should have to get it by distributing the taxes amongst hon. Gentlemen on both sides of this House who are interested in other property. On the whole, it is fair to make a distribution on men who are making something out of the enterprise of the community. Judging by Colonial experience, it is a Colonial preference.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the increment-applies to land which has buildings on it?


The increment goes on all round. Take the ordinary transaction, as the letting of a house. The right hon. Gentleman must wait, he will have to wait for a fortnight. He will not have to pay for a fortnight.


I shall have to wait.


Yes; the tax will not be proposed before the next fortnight, but I wish here to refer to the experience of other countries. The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the imposition of an increment tax as something so grotesque and so insane that it never before entered the mind of man until some novelist began to think about it. If he will refer to the experience of other countries he will find that it has been a great success. I believe that the Conservative party in Germany have proposed to extend it to imperial taxation, following the example of one of the greatest commercial cities in the world—that is, Frankfurt, and other cities like Hamburg and Cologne and two or three others. It has been such a great success in the great commercial cities of the Continent that they are extending it with practically unanimous assent of the inhabitants. So much for the practicability of the experience of other countries. Now let us refer to our own. I will confine myself to the taxing of ungotten minerals and building land. I will confine myself to two points. The land agent for an estate marks out the land. He says this is agricultural land, which is worth so much an acre, and this is building land, which is worth so much. That is done by the land agent in every case, and he values ungotten minerals. He does not value the royalty, but what he does regard is the landlord's interest in that particular point.


According to the market price of the day.


A Daniel come to judgment! The market value is, of course, what we are asking for; we are not asking for anything more. Whenever building land and ungotten mineral land come into the market— —


Will the right hon. Gentleman excuse me if I say that he is wrong in that statement. No mineral land is assessed, either for estate duty or income tax, unless a shaft has been opened.


Where the land is leased you value it, but you are supposed to value it in the other case as well. They are supposed to do it by the law of the land, and if it has not been done it means the land-owner has escaped the duty imposed by Act of Parliament. That is a very serious charge.


What I am saying is this, that since the death duties came into force in 1891 the practice has been, with the knowledge of the office over which the right hon. Gentleman now presides, only to tax the value of minerals in mines which have been opened. I say that if that has been done with the consent of the Revenue Department, which the right hon. Gentleman presides over, it is because it is impossible, and been found to be impossible, to put a tax on a mine which has not been opened and to estimate what the value is. It is not a question of the landowner escaping the tax.


If it has not been done it is purely and simply because the Revenue officials have been under the impression in every estate which has passed that there has been no market value for the ungotten minerals, and if there is no market value then there is no tax. Let me take another point. The right hon. Gentleman said it could not be valued, but it is valued for the purposes of compensation. [Mr. LYTTELTON: "NO."] There is never any difficulty in getting at it in such cases, and I can assure the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. George's, Hanover-square (Mr. Lyttelton) that the Government of which he was a member did it. I will give him the case in a moment and I think he will admit that his interruption is a little premature. Whenever there is a Lands Clauses case it is so easy to value. The expertness of the valuers depends entirely on the Act of Parliament they are working under. If the case comes under the Finance Act they cannot value either building land or ungotten minerals. But the moment you get a case under the Lands Clauses Act for compensation then their intellect mellows. It is undeveloped land under the Finance Act, but it is fully developed land under the Lands Clauses Act. Take the case of Rosyth. That is a case of considerable interest at the present moment. Its revelance is not merely naval. It is fiscal also. The case of Rosyth was a case in which the late Government gave £100,000 for the site. How did they value it? It had an agricultural value, as they discovered. It also had a mineral value. [Cries of "No."] I think the hon. Member for the Chelmsford division is quite right in warning his Friends not to pin themselves to their repudiation, as this matter was carried through by the hon. and gallant Member who only last night said it was impossible to value in these cases. Six years ago he was an extraordinarily clever man.


I never made any such statement as that it was impossible to value any property. I made an entirely different statement. If the right hon. Gentleman wants to know, the valuation at Rosyth was made by a professional valuer in Edinburgh whose name stands very high amongst Scottish valuers. My statement was not that it was impossible to value a property, but that it was impossible to put a value to-day upon something which had no uniform value, and which you had to compare subsequently with a bit you sold which had not been separately valued.


I beg the hon. and gallant Member's pardon. We are talking about ungotten minerals, and how we are to value them. At any rate, it is, a consolation to know that there is at least one Scotchman who can do it. I have no doubt it will be possible to find men in South Wales who can do it, and I should not be a bit surprised if men of other nationalities could also do it. What happened was, there was no mine on this property, but there were minerals, and for the purpose of valuing them, for a Government bargain, you pay compensation, getting the value fixed by a valuer of high standing.


There never was a valuation of the minerals. In this case there was a large property in which there was a probability that minerals existed. What happened was this. The owner said: "There may be minerals, it is impossible to say." I think this is a point which is very germane to the discussion. In this case you have two free agents—a buyer and a seller. One wants to sell the property, the other wants to buy it. The owner of the property says, "There may be minerals here under my property, and I am not prepared to sell them to you unless you are willing to give me something for them." He is a perfectly free agent in the matter. The purchaser, too, is a perfectly free agent. It is open for him to say whether he will take the property or not on those terms. But in this case of Rosyth a definite valuation is to be imposed upon the property as a certainty. A tax is to be paid by the owner, whether there turns out to be minerals or not.


I am very much obliged to the hon. Gentleman; he has let the Committee see what there is in this. It is not merely the fact of their being, minerals underneath the property. Because of the mere possibility that there may be minerals, and because there is a possible chance of minerals being there, the Government said that that possibility was worth £17,000. If it is good enough for the landlord to demand £17,000 from the public under such circumstances, is it not equally good enough to justify the Government proposal to put a valuation on the same possibility? This throws a light upon a good many more things. In this case there was an allowance of 50 per cent, for compulsory sale. These are the official figures which I have had given me.


They are wrong.


Well, they are-the figures given me officially. Then for destroying the amenities of the House there was another allowance of £15,000. But putting that all on one side, you have the fact that for minerals which have never been tested a charge of £17,250 was imposed upon the State. Surely it is absurd in view of that fact to say that you cannot value them for the purposes of taxation. I say it is a just tax, a fair tax, and a perfectly practical tax.


The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down began his speech with the usual sterotyped exordium which we have heard several times in the course of this Debate. He began by telling us that he does not mean to enlighten us upon any of those points about which we ask information, and upon which we need enlightenment. After all how is it possible to consider and discuss general principles unless we are liberty, at the same time, to discuss the application of those principles, and yet the moment you begin to show that not only are the principles wrong in themselves, but that the application of them is absolutely impossible, then the right hon. Gentleman gets up and says, "Wait till you see the Bill." When the right hon. Gentleman completed that stereotyped prelude which we have so often heard he indulged in those rhetorical flights in which he so especially excels, and then I think he was betrayed into certain inaccuracies. At any rate that was so on one or two points which struck me. Let us take the eloquent passage in which he alluded to those who on this side of the House he suggested were unwilling to contribute even ½d. in the £ as a pension for the poor old men who had helped to build the houses on and to create the wealth of these estates. I understood from that that this halfpenny in the £ is to be a tax not merely on undeveloped land, but on developed land—land on which houses have been built by these poor workmen to whose pensions were asked to contribute.


I certainly did not intend to convey that impression. Let me say at once that there is no intention of imposing his tax upon land built upon. Certainly not.


I am very glad to have that explanation from the right hon. Gentleman, but then we are to understand that a beautiful passage in his speech really amounts to nothing at all. It was very eloquent, and no doubt will appeal in future very much to the electors of Wales. I should like to refer to a speech which was made by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, and his speech was really perhaps the most extraordinary that we have heard in this extraordinary Debate. The hon. Member really struck me as being almost alone in his views, because he combines all the doctrinaire theory of the old Radical party, yet I do not understand that he is prepared to go so far as the Socialists who sit below the Gangway Therefore, I look upon the hon. Member as quite, or almost unique in his views, and on that ground we always listen to him with the greatest possible interest. He set out in the beginning of his remarks to prove that the ion. Member for Preston was wrong in a great many of his facts, and he seemed to think in the course of his speech that he lad proved the hon. Member wrong, because he stated as a fact that he was wrong, but I never found that he supported that statement by any argument whatever, except in one particular instance, and that was that in a village which grew in population there ultimately came competition between professional men, and thereby the wages of those professional men were decreased by that competition, and, therefore, they gained nothing by the increase of the population. But surely that would not be the case. To take that one particular instance to show that there are other trades and other professions which have increment besides the land, it is infinitely clear that the result would be that owing to the action of the community the incomes of both those two professional men would increase. At all events, so far as my experience goes, it is by no means the case that where there are a limited number of professional men in a district they cut the throats of each other, but it is more probable that they would take advantage of the community end conspire together to keep up the prices. At all events, that is what barristers and solicitors have hitherto combined to do. I think the hon. Member, indeed I think everybody who has yet approached this question, has absolutely failed to show that there is such a difference between land and other property as would justify exceptional treatment as regards taxation. I quite agree, I absolutely agree, with what fell from the hon. Member for Preston, there is a difference in land to this extent, that if a particular piece of land is required by the community at large, then the community should be able to purchase it. That is the case now, and the Lands Clauses Acts have just been referred to. I think those are very proper Acts, and I think it is absolutely essential in any civilised community that any particular piece of land required for public purposes should be acquired, of course at a fair price. That point about the fair price was one which the hon. Member for Preston did not mention, but I am sure he meant it.

That is one point; but otherwise it is absurd to say that land differs from any other forms of property. I think it has been far too frequently forgotten in the course of this Debate that land is exceptionally heavily burdened. Look at the position of local taxation alone; look how land and real property pay already nearly the whole of it—at all events, they pay 80 per cent, of the enormous revenue which is already raised for local purposes—the bulk of that falls upon the land already. Then land when realised already pays its fair share, and more than its fair share, I think, in the shape of income tax. For instance, if land is being developed, and when leases fall in, and when the income of the owner is increased, the income tax is increased. Again, the death duties must be borne in mind, and it is most essential to justify this tax that it should be proved that land is an exceptional form of property as regards taxation, and therefore it is justifiable to tax it more than any other kinds of property. This par- ticular increment tax, it seems to me, is a double tax. It is a tax on the income when it is realised, and this is the double part of the tax; it is not only a tax upon increment, but also upon capital value at death. Therefore it is another form really of a death tax, which certainly has to be paid at death, and which is also paid on transfer and on granting leases. The same result would be arrived at if an additional death duty was put upon land over and above other property. Supposing a death tax was being brought in, if it was proposed to put an additional duty on land and exempt other forms of capital, I think the injustice of it would become apparent to the whole House at once. It is merely because the same effect is being arrived at in a different way that it has the plausibility of appearance that hon. Members think it has. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has argued that it is quite easy in all these cases to arrive at a valuation. I wonder how it is easy to arrive at a valuation of the income tax. It seems to me that although at the second period, if I may so describe it, when the tax is collected, that although at that time the tax may be more or less definitely ascertained by what the property fetches in the market, the value in the first instance, when it is first valued for an increment account, is absolutely indeterminable. Therefore, you have in the first case, an absolutely artificial valuation, which is inapplicable; and, in the other case, you have the market value, and yet the unfortunate owner is to be asked to pay the difference between the two, one being calculated on the market information, and the other on the opinion of the valuer, which may be right or wrong, but which probably will be, in a great many cases, wrong, because there was no adequate means of deciding what the adequate value of that particular bit of land will be, because it cannot go into the market. What will be the result of this tax? It seems to me that, so far from having the result anticipated by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme of leading the cattle into Elysium fields, it will have the opposite effect. It will stop all the development of land; it will stop all speculative development of land or make it go slower.

Who is going to buy a big estate outside a town, put money into it, and develop it, if they know that they have no hope of gain but only a prospect of suffering loss? I said "no hope of gain," but, of course, that is an exaggeration. I do not mean to say "no hope of gain," but they will not have sufficient encouragement of gain, but a more than sufficient discouragement in the way of loss. What compensates a man for risking his capital in what has been admitted to be this very speculative enterprise? It is because, if it comes off, it is probably a big plum, and he will make a good thing out of it; but, if you are going to deduct, first, 5 per cent., then 20 percent., and then 50 per cent., and if hon. Members are going to end by taking it all it follows that nobody who is not a lunatic will buy this property and put his money into the development of it. Therefore, hon. Members will find that it will be difficult to get building land developed. It will never be developed in advance, towns will live from hand to mouth, and, except when it is absolutely necessary, only will a certain amount of building land be taken in. I want to know, but I suppose we shall have to wait until we see the Bill—like we have had to wait on so many occasions—I want to know how the improvements which are due to the community and the improvements which are due to the owners, are going to be distinguished? It is a most essential and crucial point. The Chancellor of the Exchequer every time he gets up to speak assures us that he does not mean to take a single thing which belongs to the owner, or is due to his developments. How is he going to ascertain? Is he going to take the owner's word for it, or to make an elaborate investigation. Is he going to set up an ad hoc inquiry, or is he going to allow land-owners to employ valuers to see. It is difficult to know whether this tax is practicable or not, until we know what the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to do with it. I should like to put another point before the Committee on this increment tax, and that is, that, taking the argument, which I strongly deny, for granted, that the increment is due to the community. Well, what community is it due to? Is it due to the community in that particular place where you propose to deal with the land in this way, or is it due to the general development of civilisation as a whole? I think hon. Members opposite would say that it is due to the general march of progress in that particular district which has made that particular bit of land valuable. Then, on your own principle, why does not the tax go to that district? It does not go there, it goes into the pockets of the Imperial Exchequer, which has had nothing whatever to do with improving the value of that particular bit of land. Take another case. Imagine that in this town, which we are considering, where this land is going to be taxed, a large factory owner comes and sets up his factory. He employs a great many more hands than he did before; he leases a great deal of property all about the town and so increases the value of the surrounding part of the town, and as a fact it is due to one large factory in that particular town, and owing to his coming there, that there is a great deal of the surrounding property improved. On your principle that the increment should go to the community which has earned it, the produce of that tax ought to go to the owner of that factory who has caused all that improvement in the value of the land. In that particular case you can trace the improvement from one direct cause, and yet by your tax you are giving it to a community which has had nothing whatever to do with creating that value at all. That seems to me to be an absurd proposition, and goes to show how ridiculous it is to say that there is any such thing as unearned increment which is properly subject to a tax.


Does the Noble Lord mean to say that the protection of the Empire has nothing to do with the value of the land? This tax is to protect the Empire and to buy the eight "Dreadnoughts."


Certainly, and it is sometimes done inadequately, but that has nothing whatever to do with the difference between one field and another. The difference is the difference of value between one particular bit of land which is equally protected by the fleet and another. It is impossible to say that there is any particular unearned increment which is properly the subject of a tax. Of course, there is unearned increment. No one will deny that a big trader doing business, say with America on wheat, profits and has profited enormously by the general advance of the community in the matter of communications. He gets a tremendous improvement owing to the fact of there being a cable or a telephone. That is unearned increment to him, and that applies to almost every industry which you can conceive. They all get an unearned increment by the general progress and the inventions which are the product of the community, but there is no particular unearned increment which refers to land, and which is therefore more particularly the subject of a tax, and therefore I think even on theoretical grounds the principle of this particular tax on unearned increment in the future absolutely breaks down.

I should like to say a word about undeveloped land. That again is a double tax, and a more unfair double tax than any of the others, because it is a tax not on the realised income, but on the anticipated income. The land may be there, but as long as it is undeveloped—I do not know what undeveloped means, we have not heard yet—we may take it it is not bringing in any revenue to its owner. Then on what principle is it going to be taxed? Is it to be on the principle that you are going to compel him to make it bring in a revenue? If it is he is open to two things—either he will develop the land, that is build on it, or else he will sell it and allow someone else to build on it and take the risk of paying the tax. Which is he most likely to do? If he thinks the land is not ripe for development he is most likely to sell it rather than to risk building on it a lot of empty houses which will probably never be filled. Therefore, he will probably get out of the land as soon as he can and sell it. Hon. Members opposite may think that would be an advantage, but my contention is that the moment that land is sold and passes to the hands of the next owner the punitive effect of your tax will disappear in this sense, that it will no longer have the same effect upon the new owner as upon the old owner in inducing him to sell it or develop it, because naturally the new owner, in buying the land, will take into consideration the taxes which are put upon it. He will say, "If I buy this land and keep it for another 20 years, I shall have in the course of time to pay so much. The capital value of that sum to-day is so much, and I will deduct that amount from the price which I am prepared to give." Therefore, the new owner will come into the land practically as if the tax did not exist upon it, and the tax will be paid by the present owner, and no one else. So, if he sells it the whole practical effect of the undeveloped land tax will have disappeared; entirely. It is a severe burden upon the existing owner, and will not have any of those social reforming effects which hon. Members are so sanguine in anticipating for it.

How is the Chancellor going to decide upon what land should pay the Undeveloped tax? There may be land in close proximity to a town which at one time might have been considered to be very valuable building land, but the course of events has made the whole town move out in an opposite direction, and therefore, though there might be a great possibility of the land being built on, every practical man would know it was not a likely speculation. In that case is he going to tax it as undeveloped land? Is he because the capital value does not exceed £50 going to tax the owner when he is getting only agricultural value from it, although he cannot develop it, and though he knows perfectly well that even if he puts it up for sale or puts it out on lease probably no one would ever buy it or be prepared to take it? That would be a monstrous injustice, and it only shows how a scheme of this sort may be plausible in appearance, but when its real effects are considered is absolutely unworkable and unjust in practice. Then what is he going to do about land which is called accommodation land? There is plenty of accommodation land near small market towns and villages which is let at 50s. an acre. Fifty shillings an acre at 20 years' purchase comes to £50 capital value. Is that going to be taxed as undeveloped land? No sane man would want to build on it. Everyone might be very well housed, yet because, in the parlance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it is undeveloped the owner has to pay ½d. in the £ on some hypothetical value. It is that very kind of land which is being acquired, and has been acquired, for small holdings. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is going to put in a provision to exempt them, but if so hitherto he has given us an inadequate explanation of his proposals, and if the border-line is to be land of the capital value of £50, he has included a great deal of agricultural land which ought not to be called undeveloped land. It really does not matter to us what the Chancellor of the Exchequer's principles are or whether he wants to include it or not. All we have to consider is whether he does.

I do not think it is necessary for us on this side to argue against the general proposition which is put forward by the Socialist party and which is so ardently supported by some hon. Members as to the ownership of land. I do not think it is necessary to answer such a speech as that of the hon. Member for Blackburn, because it is so transparently absurd to say that all the land in the country has been robbed from the people. It is really a proposition which can hardly be argued because of its manifest absurdity and its want of being based on any reason. Those who support that view rever give any reasons for saying so. They allude vaguely to the past. They quote very inaccurate history as a rule, and they try to make out that everyone who owns land in the country to-day has either been some robber who has filched it from the people who originally held it in common or else that it has been given to him for some corrupt service. They never seem to contemplate the fact that 90 per cent, of the land of the country has changed hands by sale over and over again since those dim historic days, and, therefore, the right to the land remains exactly the same as the right to any other kind of property. I do not think I could do better than quote what the late Sir William Harcourt said about that. He said at Oxford:— I shall not discuss with you the unearned increment on the land. That is to my idea so illogical, so unreasonable, so perfectly unjust, and so absolutely philosophical, that it does not require refutation. Neither shall I inquire into the nature and origin of property in land. I am content to assume that a man's right to his land depends on the same principle as your right to the coat on your back, namely, that you have paid for it.


rose in his place and claimed to move: "That the Question be now put."

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 120.

Division No.98.] AYES. [7.45 P.m.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Barran, Sir John Nicholson Brocklehurst, W. B.
Acland, Francis Dyke Beale, W. P. Brodie, H. C.
Agnew, George William Beauchamp, E. Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)
Alden, Percy Bellairs, Carlyon Bryce, J. Annan
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Burke, E. Haviland.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Bennett, E. N. Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Berridge, T. H. D. Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles
Ashton, Thomas Gair Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Byles, William Pollard
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Cameron, Robert
Astbury, John Meir Boulton, A. C. F. Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Brace, William Cawley, Sir Frederick
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Branch, James Cheetham, John Frederick
Barker, Sir John Brigg, John Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Bright, J. A. Clancy, John Joseph
Cleland, J. W. Horniman, Emslie John Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Clough, William Horridge, Thomas Gardner Philips, John (Longford, S.)
Clynes, J. R. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Hudson, Walter Pirie, Duncan V.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hutton, Alfred Eddison Pollard, Dr. G. H.
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Hyde, Clarendon G. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Illingworth, Percy H. Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Jackson, R. S. Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Jardine, Sir J. Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Cowan, W. H. Jenkins, J. Rainy, A. Rolland
Crooks, William Johnson, John (Gateshead) Raphael, Herbert H.
Crosfield, A. H. Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Crossley, William J. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Dalziel, Sir James Henry Joyce, Michael Reddy, M.
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Kavanagh, Walter M. Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Kearley, Sir Hudson E. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Kilbride, Denis Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Robinson, S.
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lambert, George Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lamont, Norman Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Dillon, John Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Dobson, Thomas W. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Roche, John (Galway, East)
Donelan, Captain A. Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis Rogers, F. E. Newman
Duckworth, Sir James Lehmann, R. C Rose, Charles Day
Duffy, William J. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Rowlands, J.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Levy, Sir Maurice Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Lupton, Arnold Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Lyell, Charles Henry Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Erskine, David C. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Seely, Colonel
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)
Essex, R. W. Maclean, Donald Sheehy, David
Esslemont, George Birnie Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Sherwell, Arthur James
Evans, Sir Samuel T. Macpherson, J T. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Everett, R. Lacey MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Silcock, Thomas Ball
Falconer, J. M'Callum, John M. Simon, John Allsebrook
Fenwick, Charles M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Sloan, Thomas Henry
Ferguson, R. C. Munro M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Ffrench, Peter Maddison, Frederick Smyth, Thomas F. (Leltrim, S.)
Findlay, Alexander Mallet, Charles E. Snowden, P.
Flynn, James Christopher Markham, Arthur Basil Soares, Ernest J.
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)
Fuller, John Michael F. Marnham, F. J. Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Fullerton, Hugh Massie, J. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Gibb, James (Harrow) Masterman, C. F. G. Strachey, Sir Edward
Gill, A. H. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Summerbell, T.
Ginnell, L. Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.) Sutherland, J. E.
Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) Menzies, Walter Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Glover, Thomas Micklem, Nathaniel Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Middlebrook, William Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Mond, A. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Montague, Hon. E. S. Thomasson, Franklin
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Tomkinson, James
Griffith, Ellis J. Morrell, Philip Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Morse, L. L. Verney, F. W.
Gulland, John W. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Walsh, Stephen
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Muldoon, John Walters, John Tudor
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Walton, Joseph
Halpin, J. Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Wardle, George J,
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tdyvil) Myer, Horatio Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Hart-Davies, T. Napier, T. B. Watt, Henry A.
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Nicholls, George White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Nolan, Joseph White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Hayden, John Patrick Norton, Capt. Cecil William White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Hazleton, Richard Nussey, Thomas Willans Wilkie, Alexander
Hedges, A. Paget Nuttall, Harry Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Hemmerde, Edward George O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Williams, A. Osmond (Merioneth)
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Henry, Charles S. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) O'Doherty, Philip Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Higham, John Sharp O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Hobart, Sir Robert O'Malley, William Winfrey, R.
Hobhouse, Charles E. H. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Yoxall, James Henry
Hodge, John Parker, James (Halifax)
Hogan, Michael Partington, Oswald TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. J. Herbert Lewis.
Hooper, H. G. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Gordon, J. Parkes, Ebenezer
Anstruther-Gray, Major Goulding, Edward Alfred Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Baldwin, Stanley Gretton, John Peel, Hon. W. R. W.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Percy, Earl
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Haddock, George B. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hamilton, Marquess of Pretyman, E. G.
Barnes, G. N. Harris, Frederick Leverton Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Helmsley, Viscount Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hill, Sir Clement Remnant, James Farquharson
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Renton, Leslie
Brotherton, Edward Allen Houston, Robert Paterson Renwick, George
Bull, Sir William James Hunt, Rowland Ronaldshay, Earl of
Burdett-Coutts, W. Jowett, F. W. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Butcher, Samuel Henry Joynson-Hicks, William Salter, Arthur Clavell
Carlile, E. Hildred Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Sandys, col. Thos. Myles
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Kerry, Earl of Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Castlereagh, Viscount Keswick, William Seddon, J.
Cave, George Kimber, Sir Henry Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Lane-Fox, G. R. Stanier, Beville
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Starkey, John R.
Clark, George Smith Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lowe, Sir Francis William Thorne, William (West Ham)
Craik, Sir Henry Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Tuke, Sir John Batty
Curran, Peter Francis MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Dickson, Rt Hon. C. Scott. M'Arthur, Charles Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon M'Calmont, Col. James Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Doughty, Sir George Magnus, Sir Philip Whitbread, S. Howard
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Marks, H. H. (Kent) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Du Cros, Arthur Mason, James F. (Windsor) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Middlemore, John Throgmorton Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Faber, George Denison (York) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Moore, William Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Fell, Arthur Morpeth, Viscount Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart.
Fletcher, J. S. Morrison-Bell, Captain Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Forster, Henry William Newdegate, F. A.
Gardner, Ernest Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Acland-Hood and Lord Balcarres.
Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) O'Shee, James John

Question put accordingly, "That on and after the thirtieth day of April, nineteen hundred and nine, the following duties be charged in respect of land:—

(i) A duty on any increment value accruing after the said date at the rate of one pound for every full five pounds of that value, the duty to be taken on the occasion of the transfer, or the grant of a lease of the land, and on the occasion of the death of any person where the property passing on his death comprises any such land, and in the case of land belonging to a body corporate or unincorporate on such

periodical occasions as Parliament may determine;

(ii) A duty on the value of any benefit accruing to a lessor by reason of the determination of a lease at the rate of one pound for every ten pounds of that value;

(iii) An annual duty in respect of the capital site value of land which has not been developed for building or other purposes, and the capital value of ungotten minerals, at the rate of one halfpenny for every pound of that value."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 330; Noes, 120.

Division No. 99.] AYES. [7.55 P.m.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Boulton, A. C. F.
Acland, Francis Dyke Barker, Sir John Brace, William
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Bramsdon, T. A.
Agnew, George William Barnes, G. N. Branch, James
Ainsworth, John Stirling Barran, Sir John Nicholson Brigg, John
Alden, Percy Beale, W. P. Bright, J. A.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Beauchamp, E. Brockiehurst, W. B.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Brodie, H. C.
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Bennett, E. N. Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Berridge, T. H. D. Bryce, J. Annan
Astbury, John Meir Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Burke, E. Haviland.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Bottomley, Horatio Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles
Byles, William Pollard Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Muldoon, John
Cameron, Robert Healy, Maurice (Cork) Murphy, John (Kerry, East)
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Healy, Timothy Michael Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)
Cawley, Sir Frederick Hedges, A. Paget Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Hemmerde, Edward George Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)
Cheetham, John Frederick Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Myer, Horatio
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.) Napier, T. B.
Clancy, John Joseph Henry, Charles S. Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Cleland, J. W. Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Nicholls, George
Clough, William Higham, John Sharp Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)
Clynes, J. R. Hobart, Sir Robert Nolan, Joseph
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hodge, John Nugent, Sir Walter Richard
Collins, Sir Win. J. (S. Pancras, W.) Hogan, Michael Nussey, Thomas Willans
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Hooper, A. G. Nuttall, Harry
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Horniman, Emslie John O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Cowan, W. H. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Hudson, Walter O'Doherty, Philip
Crooks, William Hutton, Alfred Eddison O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Crosfield, A. H. Hyde, Clarendon G. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Crossley, William J. Illingworth, Percy H. O'Malley, William
Curran, Peter Francis Jackson, R. S. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Dalziel, Sir James Henry Jardine, Sir J. O'Shee, James John
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Jenkins, J. Parker, James (Halifax)
Davies, M. Vaughan. (Cardigan) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Partington, Oswald
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Jowett, F. W. Philips, John (Longford, S.)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Joyce, Michael Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kavanagh, Walter M. Pirie, Duncan V.
Dillon, John Kearley, Sir Hudson E. Pollard, Dr. G. H.
Dobson, Thomas W. Kilbride, Denis Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Donelan, Captain A. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Power, Patrick Joseph
Duckworth, Sir James Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Duffy, William J. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lambert, George Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Lamont, Norman Radford, G. H.
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Rainy, A. Rolland
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Raphael, Herbert H.
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Elibank, Master of Lehmann, R. C. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Erskine, David C. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Reddy, M.
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Levy, Sir Maurice Rendall, Athelstan
Essex, R. W. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Esslement, George Birnie Lupton, Arnold Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Evans, Sir Samuel T. Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Falconer, James Lyell, Charles Henry Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Fenwick, Charles Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Ferens, T. R. Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Robinson, S.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Mackarness, Frederic C. Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Ffrench, Peter Maclean, Donald Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Findlay, Alexander Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Flynn, James Christopher MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Roche, John (Galway, East)
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Macpherson, J. T. Roe, Sir Thomas
Fuller, John Michael F. MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E) Rogers, F. E. Newman
Fullerton, Hugh M'Callum, John M. Rose, Charles Day
Gibb, James (Harrow) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Rowlands, J.
Gill, A. H. M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Ginnell, L. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) Maddison, Frederick Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Glover, Thomas Mallet, Charles E. Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Markham, Arthur Basil Schwann, Sir ,C. E. (Manchester)
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Seddon, J.
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Marnham, F. J. Seely, Colonel
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Massie, J. Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Masterman, C. F. G. Sheehy, David
Griffith, Ellis J. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrlm, N.) Sherwell, Arthur James
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Gulland, John W. Menzies, Walter Silcock, Thomas Ball
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Micklem, Nathaniel Simon, John Allsebrook
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Middlebrook, William Sloan, Thomas Henry
Halpin, J. Molteno, Percy Alport Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) Mond, A. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S)
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Money, L. G. Chiozza Snowden, P.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Montagu, Hon. E. S. Soares, Ernest J.
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Mooney, J. J. Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)
Hart-Davies, T. Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Morrell, Philip Strachey, Sir Edward
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Morse, L. L. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Hayden, John Patrick Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Summerbell, T. Walters, John Tudor Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Sutherland, J. E. Walton, Joseph Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wardle, George J. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Thomasson, Franklin Watt, Henry A. Winfrey R.
Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) Wedgwood, Josiah C. Yoxall, James Henry
Thorne, William (West Ham) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Tomkinson, James White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Trevelyan, Charles Philips Whitley, John Henry (Halifax) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. Herbert Roberts.
Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander Wilkie, Alexander
Verney, F. W. Williams, W. Liewelyn (Carmarthen)
Walsh, Stephen Williams, A. Osmond (Merioneth)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Forster, Henry William Morrison-Bell, Captain
Anstruther-Gray, Major Gardner, Ernest Newdegate, F. A. N.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Baldwin, Stanley Gordon, J. Parkes, Ebenezer
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gretton, John Peel, Hon. W. R. W.
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Percy, Earl
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Haddock, George B. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hamilton, Marquess of Pretyman, E. G.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Harris, Frederick Leverton Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Bridgeman, W. Clive Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Brotherton, Edward Allen Helmsley, Viscount Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Bull, Sir William James Hill, Sir Clement Remnant, James Farquharson
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Renton, Leslie
Butcher, Samuel Henry Houston, Robert Paterson Renwick, George
Carlile, E. Hildred Hunt, Rowland Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Joynson-Hicks, William Ronaldshay, Earl of
Castlereagh, Viscount Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Cave, George Kerry, Earl of Salter, Arthur Clavell
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Keswick, William Sandys, Col. Thos. Myles
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Kettle, Thomas Michael Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Kimber, Sir Henry Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Clark, George Smith Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Lane-Fox, G. R. Stanier, Beville
Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E. Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Starkey, John R.
Cox, Harold Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Craik, Sir Henry Lowe, Sir Francis William Tuke, Sir John Batty
Dalrymple, Viscount Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott. MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon M'Arthur, Charles Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Doughty, Sir George M'Calmont, Colonel James Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Magnus, Sir Philip Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Du Cros, Arthur Marks, H. H. (Kent) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Mason, James F. (Windsor) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart.
Everett, R. Lacey Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Faber, George Denison (York) Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Mildmay, Francis Bingham TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A. Acland-Hood and Lord Balcarres.
Fell, Arthur Moore, William
Fletcher, J. S. Morpeth, Viscount

I beg to move that you do now report progress and ask leave to sit again. I make that Motion alike as a protest against entering at this moment and at this time upon a new Resolution and as a protest against the way in which the Government are conducting their business. I do not think it would be possible to show less courtesy or consideration to the House of Commons than is shown by the present Government. What has happened? We had a Budget statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer about a fortnight ago. We have been asking for information as to what, not the details of his proposals were, not what was the machinery of his proposals, but what the proposals themselves were, what he meant to tax and whom he meant to tax. It was only between half-past six and seven o'clock to-night that the Committee learned for the first time, absolutely for the first time, what the intentions of the Government were as regards minerals and what they meant by ungotten minerals. They meant minerals which were in process of being got. And then the Chancellor of the Exchequer made the astounding statement which, as he tells us, was intended to have been included in his Budget speech, but that he left out six pages. How many other pages did he leave out, and why have we never been allowed to have in the course of the discussion, until the moment before he moves the Closure, the information which he had himself intended to give to the House on the Budget night? And what becomes of the excuses and the shifts to which he has resorted every day at Question time to evade answering the plainest questions or giving to the House such information as no Chancellor has hitherto refused? It has been the desire of other Chancellors [Some interruption] when the Government do not closure they might at least keep silence. They allow us a very short time to discuss measures or methods, and I think that at least subordinate Members of the Government might have the courtesy to allow us to use to the best advantage the little time their superiors give us. I say that the action of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in withholding deliberately from the House until the last moment information as to what his tax was and upon whom it was to fall, and then closuring the debate before there was an opportunity to reply to

the new explanation reduces our proceedings to a farce, and I say it would be, if possible, a bigger farce still to enter now, or at 11 o'clock to-night, on an entirely new Resolution so important as the one that stands next on the Paper, and I, therefore, beg to move to report Progress.

Motion made and Question proposed: "That the Chairman do now report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."



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

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 106; Noes, 302.

Division No. 100.] AYES. [8.15 p.m.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Baldwin, Stanley Gordon, J. Oddy, John James
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lond.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Parkes, Ebenezer
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gretton, John Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Peel, Hon. W. R. W.
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Hamilton, Marquess of Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Harris, Frederick Leverton Pretyman, E. G.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Bignold, Sir Arthur Helmsley, Viscount Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hill, Sir Clement Remnant, James Farquharson
Brotherton, Edward Allen Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Renwick, George
Bull, Sir William James Houston, Robert Paterson Ronaldshay, Earl of
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hunt, Rowland Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Carlile, E. Hildred Joynson-Hicks, William Salter, Arthur Clavell
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Castlereagh, Viscount Kerry, Earl of Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Cave, George Kimber, Sir Henry Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Stanier, Beville
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Lane-Fox, G. R. Starkey, John R.
Clark, George Smith Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Clive, Percy Archer Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Thorne, William (West Ham)
Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E. Lowe, Sir Francis William Tuke, Sir John Batty
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Craik, Sir Henry MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Dalrymple, Viscount M'Calmont, Colonel James Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott- Magnus, Sir Philip Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Marks, H. H. (Kent) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Mason, James F. (Windsor) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Du Cros, Arthur Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Middlemore, John Throgmorton Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Faber, George Denison (York) Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Fell, Arthur Moore, William
Fletcher, J. S. Morpeth, Viscount TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir A. Acland-Hood and Lord Balcarres.
Forster, Henry William Morrison-Bell, Captain
Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Newdegate, F. A. N.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Ashton, Thomas Gair Barran, Sir John Nicholson
Acland, Francis Dyke Astbury, John Meir Barry, E. (Cork, S.)
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Beale, W. P.
Agnew, George William Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Beauchamp, E.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Belioc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Barker, Sir John Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Bennett, E. N.
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Barnes, G. N. Berridge, T. H. D.
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Muldoon, John
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) Murphy, John (Kerry, East)
Boulton, A. C. F. Hart-Davies, T. Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)
Brace, William Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)
Bramsdon, T. A. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)
Branch, James Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Myer, Horatio
Brigg, John Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. Napier, T. B.
Bright, J. A. Hazleton, Richard Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Healy, Maurice (Cork) Nicholls, George
Brodie, H. C. Healy, Timothy Michael Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Hedges, A. Paget Nolan, Joseph
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Hemmerde, Edward George Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Bryce, J. Annan Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Nugent, Sir Walter Richard
Burke, E. Haviland- Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.) Nussey, Thomas Willans
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Henry, Charles S. Nuttall, Harry
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)
Byles, William Pollard Higham, John Sharp O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Cameron, Robert Hobart, Sir Robert O'Doherty, Philip
Cawley, Sir Frederick Hobhouse, Charles E. H. O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Hodge, John O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Cheetham, John Frederick Hogan, Michael O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Clancy, John Joseph Hooper, A. G. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Cleland, J. W. Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) O'Malley, William
Clynes, J. R. Horniman, Emslie John O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Shee, James John
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Parker, James (Halifax)
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Hudson, Walter Partington, Oswald
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hutton, Alfred Eddison Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hyde, Clarendon G. Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Jackson, R. S. Philips, John (Longford, S.)
Cowan, W. H. Jardine, Sir J. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Jenkins, J. Pirie, Duncan V.
Crean, Eugene Johnson, John (Gateshead) Pollard, Dr. G. H.
Crooks, William Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Crosfield, A. H. Jones, Leif (Appleby) Power, Patrick Joseph
Crossley, William J. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Curran, Peter Francis Joyce, Michael Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)
Dalziel, Sir James Henry Kilbride, Denis Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Radford, G. H.
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster) Rainy, A. Rolland
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Raphael, Herbert H.
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lambert, George Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Lamont, Norman Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Reddy, M.
Dobson, Thomas W. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Rendall, Athelstan
Donelan, Captain A. Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis Richards, Thomas (W. Monmouth)
Duckworth, Sir James Lehmann, R. C. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Duffy, William J. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Levy, Sir Maurice Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Lupton, Arnold Robinson, S.
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Lyell, Charles Henry Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Elibank, Master of Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Roche, John (Galway, East)
Essex, R. W. Mackarness, Frederic C. Roe, Sir Thomas
Esslemont, George Birnie Maclean, Donald Rogers, F. E. Newman
Evans, Sir Samuel T. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Rose, Charles Day
Everett, R. Lacey MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Rowlands, J.
Falconer, James Macpherson, J. T. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Fenwick, Charles MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Ferens, T. R. MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E) Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Ferguson, R. C. Munro M'Callum, John M. Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Findlay, Alexander M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Seely, Colonel
Flynn, James Christopher M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Maddison, Frederick Sheehy, David
Fuller, John Michael F. Markham, Arthur Basil Sherwell, Arthur James
Fullerton, Hugh Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Gibb, James (Harrow) Marnham, F. J. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Gilhooly, James Massie, J. Simon, John Allsebrook
Gill, A. H. Masterman, C. F. G. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Glover, Thomas Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.) Snowden, P.
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Menzies, Walter Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Micklem, Nathaniel Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Middlebrook, William Strachey, Sir Edward
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Molteno, Percy Alport Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Griffith, Ellis J. Mond, A. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Gulland, John W. Montagu, Hon. E. S. Summerbell, T.
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Mooney, J. J. Sutherland, J. E.
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Halpin, J. Morse, L. L. Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Thomasson, Franklin Watt, Henry A. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) Wedgwood, Josiah C. Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, W.)
Tomkinson, James White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Trevelyan, Charles Philips White, Patrick (Meath, North) Winfrey R.
Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander Whitley, John Henry (Halifax) Yoxall, James Henry
Walsh, Stephen Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Walton, Joseph Wilkie, Alexander
Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton) Williams, J. (Glamorgan) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Mr. J. Herbert Lewis.
Wardle, George J. Williams, A. Osmond (Merioneth)
Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)

Question, "That the Question be now put," put, and agreed to.

And it being after a Quarter-past Eight of the clock, further Proceeding was postponed, without Question put, in pursuance of Standing Order No. 4.