§ (1) The annual value of any premises for the purposes of any duty charged in the First Schedule to this Act shall be 1099 determined in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the annual value of premises is determined for the purpose of a publican's licence, and in the determination of that value the duty on the licence is not to be allowed as a deduction.
§ (2) It shall be the duty of the Commissioners, as soon as may be, to prepare, and to keep corrected, a register as respects all fully licensed premises and beer-houses respectively of the amount which would be payable as compensation in respect of the premises under Sub-section (1) of Section two of the Licensing Act, 1904, if the premises were premises in respect of which compensation was payable under that Act, and of the sum which is to be treated for the purposes of this Act as the annual equivalent of that amount (in this Act referred to as the annual compensation value). That amount and sum shall be certified respectively by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.
§ In estimating for that purpose the value as licensed premises of hotels or other premises used for purposes to which the holding of a licence is merely auxiliary, no increased value arising from profits not derived from the sale of intoxicating liquor shall be taken into consideration.
§ (3) The licence holder and any person interested in licensed premises shall, if required by the Commissioners, make a return in such form and containing such particulars as the Commissioners may require for the purpose of the ascertainment under this Section of the annual value or the annual compensation value of the premises, and if any person fails to make such a return within the time, not being less than thirty days, specified in the return, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds.
§ Amendment made: In Sub-section (2), after the word "respectively" ["shall be certified respectively by"], insert the words "for the purposes of this Act."—[Mr. G. Cave.]
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Samuel Evans, for the Chancellor of the Exchequer)
moved, at the end of Subsection (2), to insert the words "and any such certificate shall be subject to the like appeal as that to which the determination of the Inland Revenue Commissioners of the amount to be paid for compensation under Sub-section (2) of Section 2 of the Licensing Act, 1904, is for the time being subject."
1100 This Amendment deals with the subject of appeal from the Inland Revenue Commissioners as to the amount of compensation value. The same matter was dealt with in the Amendment which appears on the Paper in the name of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University (Sir E. Carson). We had some discussion about this on Friday, and I gather that the reason the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not move his Amendment is that he is satisfied with the Amendment which I now move. The effect of the Amendment is to give the same right of appeal from the decision and the certificates of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue fixing the amount of compensation value for the purpose of this Clause, for the purposes of this Act, as is now given on the question of compensation value in the Act of 1904. That, of course, will not include any proceedings at quarter sessions. Quarter sessions only act in this way, that when the amount of compensation which is to be given in respect of a licence is agreed on between the parties it goes to quarter sessions for their approval. If the quarter sessions approve, well and good, and if they do not the matter must be taken to the Commissioners to decide.
§ Mr. G. D. FABER (York)
This Amendment would have been very much more valuable but for the words which were included in the Clause by the Amendment proposed by the Government on Friday last. That Amendment was to the effect-that compensation value shall be determined in accordance with regulations made by the Treasury. I need hardly point out to the Committee that when the matter reaches the Court of Appeal it may have practically been decided. The rules laid down by the Treasury may lay down, seriatim, in black and white, a hard-and-fast scale by which you are to evolve the annual compensation value. The party aggrieved appeals to the Court of Appeal, which will find itself cribbed, cabined, and confined, gagged and bound, by the provision of the rules themselves. They will not be able to go behind the rules, and will say, "We cannot go into the matter; here are rules made by the Treasury laying down the scale by which the annual compensation is to be arrived at." Therefore it appears to me that, for shop-window purposes, the Government are giving an appeal, while they are taking away with the other hand any indulgence they are giving by deciding to have the regulations. 1101 That is what I mean when I say that this Amendment would have been very much more valuable, more vitally valuable, but for the words which were introduced into this Clause on Friday afternoon. Although I should accept the Amendment, as it is better to have something than nothing, the panties may discover when they go to the Court of Appeal that it has no power.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
We understood on Friday last that the Government were prepared to accept an Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Trinity College (Sir E. Carson), who wanted a decision as if there had been litigation. The extraordinary thing is that the amount is to be ascertained in England for the purpose of compensation by a fight in court. Nobody can determine what the result of that fight might be. It might be the result of different expressions of opinion by valuers, or of different views expressed by judges. However, it was to be an appeal decided upon a fight. But the right hon. Gentleman is not going to move his Amendment. Let us see what is the nature of the proposal of the Government. This valuation is in future, according to the statement of the Prime Minister, to apply to every hotel in Ireland, as well as to five public-houses of over £500 valuation. I imagine that as regards a portion of their premises—the house and buildings—under Clause 30 they will have an appeal as at present, namely, first to the county court judge, and secondly, on a case stated on a point of law, to the High Court. There is now brought in for the purposes of the Irish hotel-keeper an element which does not exist in Ireland, namely, the right to compensation for disturbance. What is the appeal proposed by the Government? It is that "any such certificate shall be subject to the like appeal as that to which the determination of the Inland Revenue Commissioners of the amount to be paid for compensation under Sub-section (2) of Section 2 of The Licensing Act, 1904, is for the time being subject." Does that give the Irish hotel-keeper an appeal? The Irish hotel-keeper at present does not know this law. The Irish Courts are not seised of it; they have no jurisdiction under the Licensing Act of 1904. Therefore this Amendment gives the Irish hotel-keeper, quoad the certificate of the Inland Revenue Commissioners, no appeal at all. Until this Bill passes the Commissioners have no power whatever to issue certificates in Ireland. I should like the Solicitor-General to make a statement of fact as to whether this Clause gives the 1102 Irish hotel-keeper an appeal. In my opinion it does not.
There is another matter of great importance. This proposal is to apply not only to hotel-keepers but also to five publicans. In all Ireland five publicans are to get an appeal under this Clause—for the curious reason, as I understand it, that there is somewhere a £500 clause which will admit them to an appeal. Where that clause is, and how the £500 has been arrived at, I am in a state of ante-baptismal ignorance. The importance of this matter to us is vital. If principles are to be laid down as regards publicans of £500 valuation, must not the proposal necessarily hit the publican of £499, £400, £300, £200 or £100 valuation, and right down to the smallest man? Hitherto the Commissioners have had absolutely no jurisdiction in our country. They live in London, and, as I understand it, this is a local jurisdiction. I leave on one side for the moment, the burning trouble of the Treasury rules, which are to be brought in in a Clause which we have not yet seen, and which, of course, is to illuminate this dark transaction. I want to know whether any publican in Ireland is safe in admitting the jurisdiction of these Commissioners under a Bill to be developed in a clause we have not yet seen, when as regards the higher class of publicans the Commissioners will have laid down these rules? The Prime Minister spoke of this as an alternative system. Will these £500 publicans have a choice between remaining as they are—which I take it they would gladly do—and accepting the position in which this Clause would place them? If these £500 men are to have an alternative, why should not the man of £400? If the £500 man is to have this advantage—the Prime Minister contended that it was an advantage—why should not the £400, £300, or £200 men have it also? Personally, I do not believe he is getting an advantage. On the contrary, I believe he is being disadvantaged by this Clause. At all events, let us see where we are, because, at present, we are only groping in the dark in clauses that we cannot clearly understand. Where are these five publicans situated? Are they mixed traders? The Government must know their names and places of business, because they are to have such a fine mesh that out of 20,000 publicans affected by the Bill they can tell there are five to whom this Clause will apply. I should like to know where these men are, and to have their verdict on the advantages which the Prime Minister said they were to derive from this Clause.
I think the hon. and learned Member is taking a rather wide view of the Amendment. He is really going back on what the Committee have already passed.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I wanted to show that the ingredients which the appeals will affect will undoubtedly come up on this Clause. In deference to your ruling, however, I will simply ask to whom will these appeals lie, and will the hotel-keepers and the five publicans have the existing appeal to the county court judge, and, on a point of law, to the High Court? Further, I would ask under what authority will they get it? It is all very fine to say that this Sub-section gives them the right of appeal, but if it gives them the right of appeal at all it gives them that right of appeal which has been settled under the Act of 1894. It cannot give them the right of appeal which they had under the Irish Valuation Acts. I respectfully ask for information. I am not a bit ashamed to confessing my besotted ignorance in regard to this new ingredient that is being introduced into our law. The Government alone possess the knowledge of what their intentions are. I respectfully say that if their intention is to reserve the old right of appeal for the purpose of appealing against the Commissioners this Clause does not do it. The right of appeal which we have is a right of appeal from the valuation under the Commissioner of Excise to the Commissioner of Valuation, and later, curiously enough, from the Commissioner of Valuation to himself. Then, if he insists upon his own valuation—which frequently he does not in the light of new facts—you have an appeal from his final and corrected judgment to the county court judge. If still dissatisfied you can get a case stated for the High Court. There is nothing like that in England. In introducing this new and novel proposal the least that may be done as regards hotel-keepers and these five publicans is to deprive them of a right which already exists.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
If I rightly understand the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken, he has grave doubts whether this Sub-section as now worded gives any right of appeal in Ireland at all. I will not pretend to express an opinion upon a point of Irish law. But there seems to me to be an even greater primary question involved, namely, 1104 whether the right of appeal which the Government now propose to allow in Ireland is worth having: Whether there is virtue in it or whether it is a mere substantive shadow of a name? The matter is of much greater consequence than might appear upon the cursory reading of this Bill. As the hon. and learned Gentleman has pointed out, in the immediate future this Sub-section of the Clause is of a most limited application. In the case of Ireland it refers to five men, besides the owners of hotels.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I said the Government said it affected five men. I did not say it affected five men.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
It is not worth quarrelling over. [An HON. MEMBER: "Six."] Whether it is five or six, that is its utmost limit in Ireland. In England it refers to a rather larger number of people; in London to a considerable number; and, in the country, to a less proportion. It is one of the mysteries of this legislation that this new Clause—not a Section of the Bill, but a Subsection of the Clause—is intended to be the foundation that the Government intend at some future time for the whole of a new Finance Bill, and the scheme of valuation which we set up here is eventually intended by the Government, when they have got their valuation made, to supersede the whole assessment and valuation for public-houses throughout the United Kingdom existing at the present time. It is, therefore, not the interests of possibly five or six in Ii eland, or a small number in the rest of the United Kingdom, but every licence holder who is involved in the Subsection which we are now discussing, and in the merits of the appeal which the Government are professing to admit into the Sub-section. Undoubtedly, in the first instance, the Government had no intention of allowing any aggrieved taxpayer any appeal from the assessment under this Clause. The Government was to make that assessment, and once they had made it there remained nothing for the licence holder to do but to pay. Whether the assessment was just or unjust, whether it was made impartially or not, whether it bore any resemblance to the facts of the case or not, it was a pure work of imagination on the part of a Government grasping for money or thirsting for revenge. That was their first intention. They then undertook, as a concession to 1105 the criticism that came from this side of the House, to introduce a right of appeal, and they put down an appeal in the words of the Amendment which we are now discussing, and which I frankly admit appeared to me on the Paper to give such an appeal as the parties concerned had a right to ask for, and such an appeal as I for one would have thankfully accepted. Yes, but the Government did not leave the matter there. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for York (Mr. Faber) has already pointed out, even before they introduced their appeal they introduced another Amendment which takes away all virtue from the appeal. What is it you may appeal about? The object of an appeal is to give a person who thinks he is over-assessed, and therefore over-taxed, the opportunity of bringing his case before the courts. How is the assessment made? You calculate, first, the compensation value of his licence. If he is aggrieved by that calculation he can take you into court, and obtain a decision as to whether your process is just or not; and he has no further grievance in respect of that. But then, for the purpose of taxation, you are to deduce from his compensation value the annual equivalent. Again, the licence holder may take the Treasury into court upon that matter. But here comes the rub! How is the annual equivalent to be deduced from the compensation value? It is determined in accordance with regulations made by the Treasury. What is the value of the appeal? By introducing these words, as the Government did in the early hours of Friday morning, they have absolutely destroyed the virtue of the appeal which they professed to grant, and have reduced this Amendment, which has been heralded as a great concession and safeguard, a great provision in the interests of justice and law, to a perfect farce and nullity. The hon. And learned Gentleman, speaking of what was allowed by the existing law of valuation in Ireland, described one of the provisions that seemed to indicate the national character—
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
But it takes its shape when it gets to Ireland. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that the appeal in Ireland was from the Commissioner of Valuation to the Commis- 1106 sioner of Valuation. Under the provision introduced by the Government in this Sub-section every appeal in the United Kingdom will lie from the Treasury to the Treasury, and the independence, the impartiality and the justice of the courts will be reduced to an absolute nullity by the words which the Government have put in. What is the use of giving me an appeal as to the valuation for compensation of my premises? Suppose you assess me at £10,000, and I claim that is too high. Suppose I am successful in the courts and the compensation value is reduced from £10,000 to £8,000, what is the use of that appeal to me? You get back upon me by your rule in calculating this, which must be done in accordance with the Treasury Regulations. If the court were proposing to reduce the anuual equivalent in proportion to the reduction that they had made in the compensation value the Treasury counsel would step in and say, "You are not proceeding according to the Treasury Regulations, and, therefore, you are acting ultra vires; these are not matters for the court, but for the Treasury." The Treasury is to say what the individual taxpayer is to pay under a statute passed by Act of Parliament. And when I say the Treasury, I do not mean what the hon. and learned Member for Louth (Mr. T. M. Healy) seemed to think I did, the permanent officials of the Treasury. I have been Chancellor of the Exchequer myself, and I would much sooner trust matters of that kind to the permanent officials, acting in a semi-judicial sense, and to their discretion, than to the Minister of the day, acting under purely Executive functions, which he will be, in spite of this right of appeal which this Amendment professes to give. It will be the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day and one or two of the Parliamentary Whips acting by the request and instruction of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He will say what is to be the regulation on which the annual equivalent is calculated, and, therefore, what is to be the tax which any man has got to pay. Under these circumstances, I lose all interest m this right of appeal. It appears to me it is absolutely farcical and nugatory, and it does not matter whether it exits or not in Ireland, or any other place, because the tax will be what the Chancellor of the Exchequer makes it.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Samuel Evans)
I am sorry that the appeal which we have given in accordance with 1107 the pledges made on Friday and in response to requests from the other side, is not regarded as satisfactory, and I am sorry that that appeal does not seem to commend itself as of any value to the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. He has not told us, however, whether he would be willing to have the right of appeal which we have now given withdrawn altogether.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
If the hon. and learned Gentleman cares about my opinion upon that subject, I shall give it to him. I do not care a rap for the Amendment unless the right of appeal extends to the determination of the annual equivalent.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
It will extend both to the full compensation value and the annual equivalent which is to be deduced, to use the words of the right hon. Gentleman, by Treasury Regulations. I will assume for the moment that the right hon. Gentleman still likes to have this appeal, and I will deal with the matter from that point of view. I am not as familiar with the law in Ireland as the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North Louth, and he is not quite as familiar with the law in England as I am, or ought to be, although he has the advantage of being a member of both Bars, and I am only a member of the Bar of England. I will ask the hon. and learned Gentleman to follow me now, and see whether I cannot satisfy him. He dealt with this matter for the purposes of this Amendment as dealing only with an appeal in the case of six houses in Ireland. I will deal with it entirely apart from these houses. It will undoubtedly affect immediately the six houses in Ireland, but this Section goes very much further. It proposes that a register should be made according to valuation in the three Kingdoms, so that that valuation may, if Parliament so thinks fit and right, be made the basis of taxation in the future.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
Yes, I have never concealed that, and it would be no use for me to try and conceal it, nor has it been concealed by the Prime Minister. I prefer to deal with this in the broadest possible aspect. What is proposed to be done? It is proposed to have a valuation, not of the licenced premises, but of the licence value, and in order that that may not be mis- 1108 understood I will explain the matter further. The licence value is what we call here "the annual compensation value." I think the words "annual licence value" makes a better phrase. There was an Amendment put upon the Paper by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Clavell Salter) to substitute for the words "compensation value" the words "licence value." He said he would not move that Amendment.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
My hon. and learned Friend is not here, but I am within the recollection of those who were present on Friday morning when I say that when called upon to move my hon. and learned Friend said he had been perfectly ready to move that term when you were discussing your licence value, but, as the Government refused to make it licence value he would not put that in.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
That is the substance of the matter, and it will do for the purposes of my statement. So long as we understand what it means it is all right. "Annual licence value" means the difference in the value of the premises on which intoxicating liquors are sold as licensed premises from their value if the licence did not exist. That is the basis of the Act of 1904. Now for the purposes of getting that value we think the best bodies are the Commissioners of Excise. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for North Louth asked me how this would work in Ireland. This is not an appeal from the valuation of the premises. I do not want any confusion made between the valuation of the premises for parochial purposes or for local government purposes, and for Excise purposes. Now the Commissioners of Excise are the persons who determine this licensing value under the Act of 1904 in England, and the basis upon which the appeal is given, as my hon. and learned Friend will see, is Sub-section (2) of Section 2: "The amount to be so paid shall, if an amount is agreed upon by the persons appearing to Quarter Sessions to be interested in the licensed premises, and is approved by Quarter Sessions, be that amount, and in default of such agreement and approval shall be determined by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue in the same manner and subject to the like appeals of the High Court as on the valuation of an estate for the purposes of Estate Duty."
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
"And the amount shall be divided among the persons interested in the licensed premises."
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
"Provided that in the case of the licence holder regard shall be had not only to his legal interest in the premises or trade fixtures, but also to his conduct, and to the length of time during which he has been the holder of the licence, and the holder of a licence if a tenant (notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary) in no case receive a less amount than he would be entitled to as a tenant from year to year of the licensed premises."
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
We are now dealing with the process of appeal in Ireland. As I am informed, there is now an appeal from the Commissioners of Inland Revenue in cases affecting Estate Duty to the High Court in Ireland, and it is precisely the same kind of appeal that will be given upon the acceptance of this Amendment. It is perfectly true we do not in this particular Section provide for an appeal, and there is no provision making it applicable to Scotland or England, but I said on Friday that immediately we conceded the appeal in this case, if it is applicable to Ireland or Scotland, you must have a provision in the Definition Clause or in Section 38, stating what the Court of Appeal is to be in Ireland. Is not that perfectly clear? There is now in Ireland an appeal from the Commissioners in the case of Estate Duties, and exactly upon the same grounds you will have an appeal from the assessment of the Licence Duty, and all that will be necessary, so far as Ireland is concerned, is to add in this Section or, perhaps better still, to put it into the Definition Clause, that so far as concerns Ireland the High Courts of Justice shall be the High Courts in Ireland. May I say a word or two about the regulations? To discuss this matter would be to go back upon the decision the Committee came to last week. I only want to say a few words about it. The appeal, as I have said, is from the decision of the total compensation value and also as to the decision upon the annual equivalent. The Section says annual equivalent must be annual equivalent; it cannot be anything else. If the Commissioners brought in something else that would not be the annual equivalent which would be understood according to law.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
We put a question on Friday which has not been answered. You find the total compensation value. We want to know how is the annual valuation to be found from the total valuation? I ask would it be by rate of interest which is the value of a sum of money? The annual value of a sum of money is the interest you get from it. We never have been given an answer.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
It is the actual converse case of the total compensation value and the annual value, whether the devisor is 10 or 10½ or 11. I think it may be well left to the Commissioners of Excise, according to the regulations made by the Treasury. I want to remind the right hon. Gentleman and those who act with him what they did in their Act of 1904, possibly they have forgotten. They made elaborate rules and issued them for various purposes, such as the division of the compensation value between the parties.
I must remind the hon. and learned Gentleman that if he opens up that question it is only fair to allow others to follow in the same footsteps.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
Very well, Sir, I will take that warning from you, and I shall stick to the ruling of the Chair, although the matter was raised on the other side. I will wait for a complete argument upon it until we come to some portion of the Bill where the matter might be discussed. This Section deals only with the question of appeal. I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcester is far beside the mark when he said the appeal is of no value. Hon. Members on the other side have asked for it. We think it is a valuable concession, and I trust that by the observations I have made I have satisfied my hon. and learned Friend for North Louth so far as Ireland is concerned.
§ Mr. A. J. BALFOUR
moved, after the word "certificate" in the proposed Amendment, to insert the words "including the amount of the annual compensation value determined by regulations as aforesaid."
The Attorney-General dealt with the case of Ireland, but I do not profess to be acquainted with that branch of the subject. I think, however, I can make my point perfectly clear. I rise to bring to a point and to a direct issue what is really the most important question connected 1111 with this Bill. I shall venture to do so if it is in order by way of this Amendment to the Amendment which raises the matter quite clearly. The object and effect of this Amendment will be quite patent to the Committee. We think that the appeal promised by the Government is quite illusory for this reason, that, while there is an appeal on the capital sum, there is no appeal upon the translation of that capital sum into the annual amount to be determined for taxation. So that this House is not determining what shall be the taxation upon a publican's licence, because it is leaving that matter absolutely to the Treasury to determine what is to be the taxation upon a publican's licence, and that wholly irrespective of any appeal which can be made on the capital sum under the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the High Court. The total sum called the compensation value is subject to appeal, but that is not the basis of taxation. What is the basis of taxation is the translation of the capital sum to the annual sum, and under the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that is not open to any appeal at all. The total compensation value of any public-house may be fixed say at £1,000. The annual sum is open to appeal, and it is open to the High Court to say that it is too little or too great. What is not open to appeal is the translation of that sum to the taxable annual value. We think your appeal upon the gross capital sum is quite ineffectual and a mere phrase, giving the idea that there is an appeal while the substantial sum upon which the taxation is to be levied has to be decided at the discretion of a public Department acting under rules of its own construction. Put quite simply that is the object of the Amendment which I venture to move. I think it raises in a perfectly clear and a concrete form the difficulty we feel in admitting that the appeal which has been granted is a substantial one. I do not wish to underrate its value as far as it goes. But no one can pretend that it is a real protection to the licence holder so long as it leaves untouched the actual annual sum upon which the licence holder has to pay his annual taxation to the British Exchequer.
There was one observation which fell from the learned Solicitor-General before you, Mr. Emmott, intervened, which makes me put this question. He said that the compensation value is arrived at by 1112 taking so many years' purchase of the annual value as determined under the Kennedy judgment. Why cannot the Government start with that as the basis? I cannot understand why they first get hold of the annual value, then reduce it to the annual capital value, and then reduce it again to the annual value under rules of their own invention. That seems to me to be a most roundabout process for arriving at the basis upon which the licence holder is to be taxed. There may be reasons for it, but that is not, after all, the main point I am raising. You demand that there ought to be an appeal, and that that appeal must be of a kind which will protect the licence holder from arbitrary exaction on the part of the Treasury. If that contention be granted, then it is perfectly vain to tell us that the interests of the licence holder are adequately safeguarded by giving an appeal upon the capital sum when you will leave absolutely open to the uncontrolled action of the Department the duty of determining how you are to translate that capital sum into the real sum, which is to form the basis of the taxation under this Bill. That is the case put in a nutshell, and, if the Solicitor-General can either accept the Amendment I have suggested, or at any rate tell us why he does not, and what are the grounds of policy which induce him to refuse in this quite unjustifiable manner the right of appeal which he claims to have given—if he will do that, I am sure we shall be grateful. In the meantime, I beg to move my Amendment.
§ The CHANCELLOR Of the DUCHY of LANCASTER (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
Both sides are anxious that there should be a really effective appeal from the under-controlled decisions of a Government Department. The question is whether the course suggested by the Leader of the Opposition is the best to effect that object. Let me answer the right hon. Gentleman's inquiry as to why we find it necessary to convert what is the annual sum into a capital sum and then reconvert it into an annual sum again. I made a few remarks on this point the other day, but perhaps the right hon. Gentleman was not present. My explanation was that you have to convert two annual sums into capital sums. You have to take the value of the building and the nominal value of the licence and multiply one by a certain number of years' purchase and the other by a different number. That was clearly pointed out by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East 1113 Worcestershire (Mr. Austen Chamberlain), and it is only in that way that you can get at the value of the building as a whole plus the licence. It is the existence of the building that makes it necessary to adopt this roundabout course. That is the reason why that process has to be gone through. May I point out that the Bill as it stands, with the Amendment accepted on Friday, is to this effect:—
"That amount and its annual equivalent shall be certified respectively by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue."
To this it is proposed to add:—
"And any such certificate shall be subject to the like appeal as that to which the determination of the Inland Revenue Commissioners of the amount to be paid for compensation under Sub-section two of Section two of the Licensing Act, 1904, is for the time being subject."
If you have an appeal not only on the capital sum, but on the annual equivalent, it must really be the annual equivalent of that capital sum. It is perfectly true that the actual form of the regulations made by the Treasury would not be within the cognisance of the court. I should be very interested to know if the Leader of the Opposition can give me any precedent in all our legislation of regulations made by a Government Department which have been laid upon the Table of the House, and subject to the scrutiny of the House, thereby getting Parliamentary sanction, being taken into the Law Court and made a subject of litigation? That is what I understand is now proposed. I understand what is suggested is that regulations that have been made by the Treasury and placed upon the Table of this House for the necessary number of days, and liable to rejection upon an Address, should be open to challenge in the courts.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
What is the object of the regulations? Why cannot the courts determine what is the equivalent value of a total compensation value which they themselves determine? Why must the courts be bound by Treasury Regulations?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The Bill, as it originally stood, contained no reference to Treasury Regulations. [OPPOSITION cheers.] There is no sinister intention on our part in inserting those regulations. The Bill was criticised from many quarters, and it was urged that there was no indication of any kind as to the method by which 1114 the annual sum should be converted into the capital sum. Upon this matter circumstances differ. When you are dealing with a hotel or with the custom of Scotland, Ireland, or England, circumstances must necessarily differ, and if you put all these different conditions into the Bill you will have to have a very elaborate code, full of detail. Consequently it was thought that it would meet the objection to the Clause if we provided that Treasury Regulations should be provided for this purpose which would be subject to the scrutiny of Parliament. I still think that course is the best. If, however, the Leader of the Opposition and his Friends, really hold the view that this appeal is in fact, worthless, because the Treasury will, have to make regulations for converting the capital sum to an annual sum, and for the translation of the capital sum into the annual sum, between now and the Report stage, the Government will consider whether it is desirable to go back to the ordinary position in the Bill, leaving out the Treasury Regulations and leaving the matter to the Commissioners, thereby giving unfettered control to the courts. I confess, from the point of view of those who are specially interested in the liquor trade, and from the point of view of Parliament and good legislation, it would be better to permit the Treasury to lay down general rules which would be published and laid upon the Table of the House and open to scrutiny, than to enable them to adopt rules of their own to convert the capital sum into the annual sum and allow that to be made the subject of litigation. If the right hon. Gentleman really attaches importance to that matter I will undertake that this point, shall be carefully considered, and perhaps the hon. Member for Kingston (Mr. Cave) will consult us in order that we may arrive at what is the common desire of both sides, namely, that there should be a really workable, fair and equitable arrangement, and that there should be adequate control over the Government Departments in this matter.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
We are all obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his statement. He has put a question to me as to what we desire. I have had no opportunity of consulting with my hon. Friends, and I cannot make up my mind until I have formed some opinion as to what these Treasury Regulations are likely to be, what is the shape they are going to take, and what is the kind of arrangement contemplated. The right hon. Gentleman has told us that circumstances differ as between 1115 England, Ireland and Scotland, and as between hotels and public-houses in different localities. I should be very glad indeed if the right hon. Gentleman could give us, not the details of these regulations, but an idea of what sort of regulations they are to be and what they are to effect. What kind of things are they to say, and what is it to which the assent of Parliament is to be asked? The right hon. Gentleman says they are to be laid on the Table of both Houses of Parliament, and that they would have a say in the matter. On what are the Houses to be asked to decide? I am extremely puzzled to know what would be the blank form of such regulations, leaving out the particular complications. What kind of questions will be dealt with, and how will they be dealt with?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The right hon. Gentleman has probably read the Kennedy judgment, and is aware of some of the elaborate calculations with which that judgment deals. There would have to be somewhat similar rules applicable to different classes of houses in the Treasury Regulations. There is surely no objection to rules made under an Act of Parliament being elaborate. The Home Secretary, for example, had power to make rules under the Act of 1904. Those rules cover 50 or 60 pages, and deal with the most elaborate procedure. The difference between them and the rules we propose to make is simply that those rules were subject to no control whatever, and were not laid upon the Table of the House, while Ave propose that the rules to be made under this Bill should be laid upon the Table of the House. It is impossible, in the course of Debate, to give even a sketch of the series of mathematical forms which I dare say would be necessary.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I quite agree that they would be elaborate, though these are not regulations of the same kind as those under the Act of 1904. I never complained of their being elaborate, but what are they going to do? The right hon. Gentleman says the treatment of England is to be different from the treatment of Scotland. How is that kind of difference to be embodied in a rule? I am utterly puzzled to know how in these regulations we shall see, on the face of them, that Ireland is to be treated differently from England and Scotland differently from England. How is it to be done? Has the right hon. Gentleman formed the vaguest idea?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The object of the rule is simply to convert the capital sum into the annual sum, and it depends upon the number of years' purchase.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Are you going to lay down the number of years' purchase by these regulations?
§ Mr. ALFRED LYTTELTON
Anybody who knows anything about these cases knows that the number of years' purchase which is applicable depends upon the actual circumstances of the individual trade and the house in which it is carried on. If it is a house with a good reputation, it will have a larger number of years' purchase; but, if it is a bad house with a bad reputation, it will have a much less number of years' purchase. It would be monstrously unjust to say, for instance, that all classes of beer-houses should have eight or ten years' purchase applied to them, because some ought to have much more and some less. If the right hon. Gentleman is going to discuss the matter in private with us afterwards, we had better start with the proposition that it is absolutely impossible to say of a class that they shall have a certain number of years' purchase.
§ Mr. G. CAVE
We shall save a good deal of discussion and be able to respond to the important statement made by the right hon. Gentleman if he would respond to the invitation I addressed to him on Friday to lay these regulations on the Table of the House before the Report stage. I repeated that request at Question time, and asked if it could be done, and was told it could not. I do not understand why. There must be ample time to draft these regulations before the Report stage. The Government, of course, have considered them fully in principle, so that they will be able to give instructions at once for them to be drafted. May I point out the real distinction between these rules and the rules under the Act of 1904? Those rules were pure procedure rules, and, if the rules under this Section were confined to procedure, I do not suppose any objection would be taken, but the proposal is that they should be rules of substance and should really lay down principles under which the capital value is to be translated into terms of annual value. They must, in fact, lay down what number of years' 1117 purchase or what percentage of capital value shall be the annual value in different cases. Instead of being mere procedure rules, they are taxing rules. Rules and not a Statute will determine what a man is to pay. That is not the right way to tax people. If these are to be really taxing rules, they ought to be in the Schedule of the Bill, or, failing that, they ought to be in some way before the House, so that we may legislate with full knowledge as to what we are doing. Unless you do that there is no effective appeal. You give in terms an appeal, but you will be bound by these rules; and, that being so, the court will have no power to decide the appeal on its merits. It is an important subject, and, I fancy, the right hon. Gentleman must really think we are right. I suggest that he should meet us and accept the Amendment, or that he should lay the draft of the rules upon the Table of the House.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
It is to be very much regretted that there is no one on the Government Bench with complete authority to deal with the very important question raised by my hon. and right hon. Friends. We are left without any answer to the extremely reasonable suggestion of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Cave) that the regulations be laid upon the Table of the House before the Report stage, so that at least we should know precisely what the proposals of the Government are. We are not told whether any modification of the uncompromising reply given at Question time to the request that they should be scheduled is possible. All the right hon. Gentleman has been able to say is that between now and the Report stage the question shall be considered whether or not the Amendment which the Government inserted in the Clause last Friday should be preserved. I have never suggested, and do not now suggest, that it is not the intention of the Government to supply an adequate and effective right of appeal. It would hardly lie in my mouth to say so, because the Amendment by which the Government have attempted to safeguard this appeal is almost precisely similar to an early Amendment I placed on the Paper. Two suggestions have been made to the right hon. Gentleman: First, that it should be left entirely to the courts, and, secondly, that the rules should be inserted in the Bill, or, if not inserted in the Bill, that we should have full leisure to consider them before the Report stage. He says they cannot put them in the Bill, 1118 because circumstances differ so greatly. I presume circumstances do not differ so much that it is impossible to reduce them to the form of a code, because, after all, that is what they are going to do. Either they can be reduced to the form of a code or they cannot. If they cannot, then the matter ought to be left to the courts; and, if they can, it is unarguable that the House should be allowed to know what they are before they pass them.
Supposing an appellant appeals to the Law Courts from the Commissioners and protests against the method by which the annual value in his case is arrived at, what would be said by the Attorney-General arguing the matter on behalf of the Crown? He would say, "You are not at liberty to argue on the merits whether that is the right way of arriving at the annual value. You are precluded from doing that by the Act, which says that the function of the court shall be that of deciding whether the regulations made by the Treasury have been rightly construed. The one and only duty of the court will be to decide if the officials have rightly construed the regulations made by the Treasury. It is idle in that case to pretend that an effective appeal has been secured. I would suggest that the Government, before they come down to the House of Commons, give a little more consideration to the effect of an Amendment they have already drafted and of Amendments they are about to draft. The whole of this confusion and repetition is caused by the fact that the Government have not in the least appreciated the effect of the Amendment they introduced on Friday, as compared with the Amendment they have put down to day, and it only illustrates the slovenliness which has marked their conduct of the Bill. The Government has actually come down with an appellant clause and appellant machinery, which applies to Ireland and Scotland, when there is no such judicial arrangements in either country; and, until the attention of the Solicitor General is called to it by the hon. and learned Member for Louth (Mr. T. M. Healy), they have not even considered it.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
If the hon. Gentleman has considered it, it is quite inexcusable that his Amendment should not be on the Paper. The Government knew when they put down this appeal that it was quite inadequate to deal with the case of Scotland or Ireland, and not a single 1119 Irish or Scotch Member has had an opportunity of discussing the adequacy of these arrangements. It is because of this slovenliness that our progress is so slow.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
With regard to the suggestion as to the appeals in Ireland and Scotland, all that is necessary is that in Clause 38 words should be added to the effect that in the case of Ireland the appeal shall be to the High Court of Justice in Ireland, and, in the case of Scotland, it shall be to the Court of Session.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
That would not do. In England it is done by rule, and in Ireland there is no power to make a rule.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
I will deal with them when we come to the Clause. But, having regard to the statement made by my right hon. Friend that we are prepared to consider this matter before the Report stage, with a view to ensuring an effective appeal, I do think the Committee should be satisfied. It surely cannot be suggested that we are offering an appeal which is not intended to be effective. At the same time, I agree it is a reasonable request that, if possible, the form of regulation shall be laid on the Table of the House. I will convey to the proper quarter the desire that an indication shall be given of the kind of regulation that will have to be made, so that the Opposition may be in the position to argue whether they prefer there shall be any regulations laid down or that the appeal shall be left entirely with the Commissioners.
§ Sir E. CARSON
The objection I have is to the whole method in which this appeal is raised. We have challenged the Government to give us one solitary concrete instance, in any way they like, in order to show how they are going to work out this annual compensation value. We only ask for one instance; let it be in England, Ireland, or Scotland, or anywhere you like—even in London. But no Minister has yet told us, and I doubt if anyone can tell us, how this compensation value, under the Act of 1904, is to be resolved into its constituent parts, so that one may ascertain the annual value. Cannot you give us one instance? We have been asking for this since Friday last. When you take the total sum of the compensation value, the annual value of that is what the sum will produce. Anything else must be altogether artificial, and it 1120 is the artificial part you want to leave to the Treasury in framing the regulations. To that I entirely object. I say it is the function of this House. It is absurd to tell us you cannot have a process of valuation prescribed in a section or a series of sections in an Act of Parliament, but that you can put it in rules and regulations. The Solicitor-General has told us it will be difficult, but may I remind him of the cases where the annual value of premises is left to the rating authority to decide. There you have the market value regulating it, and what is the market value but the annual value calculated on the total compensation value under the Licensing Act. I think we ought to insist on having this information before we arrive at the Report Stage. I do not suppose that anybody, whatever may have been the case heretofore, who is being taxed, can have much confidence in the Treasury. When you go round calling the people you propose to tax swindlers and blackmailers, I do not think you are likely to create much confidence in the Treasury officials who are going to make these regulations. Of course, I know that when the Chancellor of the Exchequer instructs his subordinates at the Treasury to frame these regulations he will say that it must be done perfectly fairly, and he will add: "Do not let it operate on your mind that I have been calling them blackmailers and swindlers. Be careful that that does not operate on your mind." But, after all, this kind of talk in the country cannot be indulged in by great men without creating a little want of confidence in the persons who are going to be taxed, and I submit that now is the moment when we are entitled to get from the Treasury Bench a concrete instance with regard to England, Ireland, and Scotland, or any one of those countries, of the process by which compensation value is to be reduced to annual value.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I would like to ask have the Government considered what they are doing at the present time in Dublin, and on what principle they are acting? In Belfast they have added the whole of the licence value to the ordinary valuation. I want to know under this system of appeal which is now to be granted if it is to be an appeal on the decision of the Commissioners between the value of the house as a shell and its value as a licensed house? At this moment your Commissioners in Belfast have put the knapsack on to the Belfast publican, and 1121 have added the whole of the licence value to the value of the house as a shell. That is introducing a new principle. It is another element which has not yet been taken into account. The law of England was altered in 1904, but the law of Ireland was not altered. The law of England ante to 1904 was applied to Ireland—in Belfast—and is now being applied to Dublin. The hon. and learned Member for Trinity College has asked for a concrete instance. All I ask for is that we should have a copy of the instructions given to the Treasury officials with regard to these valuations which are now being carried out in Dublin in the case of public-houses. What has been done in the case of Belfast? Before the Griffith's valuation, when the public -house was valued it was valued in the same way as the baker's shop; but, as a result of the changes which have been introduced in the last four or five years, where formerly a house in Belfast was only valued at £50, it is now being valued at £200 or £250, and this increased value is due to the fact that the English principle is being applied to Belfast. That same principle is at the present moment being applied to Dublin. Having regard to the very important statement made by the Solicitor-General, whose fairness I desire to acknowledge, I wish to ask is this the proposition of the Government, that every public-house in Ireland is now to be placed in this position. There is to be added to Griffith's valuation another valuation, namely, the value of the licensed premises upon the English basis of compensation.
The Leader of the Opposition has been, to some extent, twitting us as if we were getting from the Government something in the nature of a favour; I tell him we are getting instead something in the nature of a scourge owing to the extraordinary application of this Section. The Chancellor of the Exchequer came down to this House with this offer knowing that it did not give us an appeal. Now, he says, I will give an appeal for the purposes of the Estate Duty. The Estate Duty appeal, of course, includes the valuation of public-houses already made in Belfast; and at the present moment being made in Dublin. The whole question we are thrashing out at this moment could be settled if the Government would read out the instructions they have given to their valuers in Dublin with regard to the valuation of public-houses. Let it be remembered it is not a mere valuation for the purpose of the Licence Duty. It is also a valuation 1122 for the purpose of Income Tax, for the 1s. or 1s. 2d. tax paid as House Duty in Ireland. It is a double valuation. While I admit the hon. and learned Gentleman has treated the Committee most fairly, and while I also admit it is a most difficult question to deal with, I do appeal to him to cut down the operations of this Clause, which, I had supposed, was to be confined to six public-houses and all the hotels, whereas it is to apply to every public-house throughout the length and breadth of Ireland, I suggest to him that it would be a sensible thing to drop Ireland out of the section altogether. What have we to do in Ireland with your system of compensation and appeal? We have our own system already; it is a most comfortable system. You have only to go into the county court in case you have a quarrel with the Commissioners of Valuation, and the county court judge will fix a value at quarter sessions. But now, under this provision, an appellant will have to go to Dublin and wrestle with the Government there, in the High Courts, after having done so in the county court in regard to Griffith's Valuation. I appeal to the Government to confine the operation of this Clause to England only, and not to ask us in Ireland to embark on an unknown sea. At any rate, in the two great cities from which you get revenue in Ireland, Dublin and Belfast, this is unnecessary. You have extracted the last farthing out of Belfast and in Dublin you will get every shilling. under your existing system of valuation. I venture to think that the Government have not considered this question sufficiently, and I hope they will do so.
§ Mr. J. S. ARKWRIGHT
I really do wish the Government would take some steps which would enable the ordinary private Members of this House to follow with some possibility of understanding the proceedings upon this Finance Bill. As I understand the position it is this, and I think we are entitled to complain at the present impasse at which we have arrived upon still wider grounds than grounds which have already arisen. As I understand it, it is this. The first chapter of these great Treasury Regulations was that they did not exist, that they were not contemplated. Then affairs and circumstances which arose brought these Treasury Regulations into existence. Then, as I understand it, an appeal was asked for, and we extracted from the Government the right 1123 of appeal. It was asked for by those hon. Members who sit on this side of the House, and that was the result of it. This afternoon the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster tells us that everybody on both sides of the House earnestly desires that appeal, but he then says the Bill will be sufficiently safeguarded under these Treasury Regulations, which eventually in the ordinary course will be laid upon the Table of this House. He then admits that that appeal is not, in his opinion, sufficient by giving a pledge that he will consider whether or not the whole business shall be gone back upon, and the Treasury Regulations and everything cut and dried before the Report stage. I believe I am perfectly right in that I understand that to be his pledge; that is, in every sense of the word, except that the right hon. Gentleman is not entitled to pledge himself, and he qualifies his position in that way by saying that he does promise us that, but we must not regard it as a pledge. I do complain of this. It is almost impossible for the ordinary man to understand where we are and what we are talking about. I do not suggest for a moment that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is responsible, but it is the whole condition of things in which we are attempting to legislate which places him in a position in which I, for one, am sorry to see him this afternoon.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
The hon. and learned Solicitor-General has been so conciliatory, affable, kind and considerate this afternoon that it is a shame to keep on worrying him; but I must put to him that what he suggested about draft regulations being submitted is absolutely out of the case. He would not say even that the draft regulations would be submitted, but a draft of a draft. He said it would be impossible to draft the regulations, but some indication would be laid before the House. That surely is not an offer with which we can be satisfied. And even if he did put the draft regulations before the House, I submit it would not be enough, because these in future can be altered at will, and it will simply be necessary for the Treasury, finding that their original draft is not operating in their interests and bringing in the necessary amount of revenue, to change it. Again, if the courts, under this appeal, give some decision hostile to the Treasury, they can again change the draft, so as to get round the decision of the courts, and I think it is absolutely essential that the Government 1124 should do one of two things, either obtain the whole of these regulations together, or leave the matter to the interpretation of the court, and put in another schedule in the Bill. There are so many schedules in the Bill that I do not think one fresh little one can make any difference, and if they are going to adopt this procedure, I think it ought to be set forth in black and white. I do submit that one of these alternatives, and only one of them, can be satisfactory. There is one other point in regard to this Bill that I should like to call attention to. I believe a case may arise when these words do not cover the desired case. The Sub-section says, the register shall be calculated on the amount which would be payable as compensation in respect of the premises under the Licensing Act of 1904. Supposing that is ascertained and taxation is levied upon it, and in the course of a few years one of these houses actually does come into compensation under the Act of 1904, and the compensation award is a good deal lower than the amount of the capital sum upon that register?
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
I do not want to interrupt the hon. Member, but I would ask whether he is dealing with the Amendment before the Committee?
He certainly has said very little about the Amendment in his previous observations, but I hoped he was coming to the Amendment.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I am very unwilling to prolong the Debate which arises, after all, out of an attempt of the Government to meet the wishes of the critics of the Bill, and, I think, after what the right hon. Gentleman has said, by far the best course would be for me to withdraw my Amendment. As I understand the matter, the case now stands thus. The Government have brought in a clause which they think gives an appeal We point out that it does not give the appeal we want upon the one thing necessary to the appellant, namely, an appeal as to the amount on which he has to pay his tax. That is our view. Whether that would be absolutely secured by my Amendment is no doubt arguable, but the Government have promised to consider whether they cannot give an appeal in the full sense that we desire. I quite realise that it may be difficult for them to draft regulations and make concessions substantially in the course of the Committee discussion; and 1125 it may also be rather difficult to deal with the matter, as the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is not present. For these reasons, I am glad, to recognise the difficulty in which the Government are, and to consent to postpone the discussion till a later period, but that is not all that they want. I understand that they have not given a pledge, but have given a clear expression of a wish to lay upon the Table of the House some kind of dummy regulations, or something to show the sort of thing contemplated by the regulations. I understood that that was not a promise but an indication of a wish.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
I did not say to lay anything on the Table of the House, but to give an indication.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
Perhaps that would be the more convenient course. But I hope the hon. and learned Gentleman will give us time for us to consider the matter before we come to the actual discussion on the Report stage of the final views of the Government. Then, there was one other appeal which was made to him by my right hon. Friend near me which I hope he will consider. It was for a single concrete example of this proposal, whatever it is—the case of the Pack Horse Inn, or some particular inn taken at random to represent—a representative case to show how this system of taxation would actually work out in that case. That, so far as I remember, is the question which we have ventured to lay before the Government, and as the Government have shown themselves to be in a conciliatory spirit, I am anxious that this Debate shall not be prolonged, and, by the leave of the Committee, I withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment to proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. MAURICE HEALY
I rise to speak again upon the general subject of the appeal. In view of the assurances which the hon. and learned Solicitor-General has given us, that he means this appeal to be an effective appeal, I will take the liberty of submitting to him that, as this matter stands, this appeal cannot in the vast majority of cases, be in Ireland anything like an effective appeal. I would even say that it cannot be an effective appeal in England, but that I recognise in England the matter is complicated by the Act of 1904, and, of course, in any case, my concern is with Ireland and not England. Why do I think that this cannot be an effective 1126 appeal in Ireland? I say, because an appeal to the High Court, when you are dealing with premises valued at £5, £10, or even £20, is an appeal, the existence of which is perfectly illusory. We have heard in the course of these Debates that there are something like 7,500 public-houses in the United Kingdom which are paying the minimum duty, and about 7,000 of them exist in Ireland. There are, therefore, in Ireland at least 7,000 public-houses which are valued, roughly, at under £10, and I ask the right hon. Gentleman to say how can he think that the offer to the Irish publican, whose valuation is under £10, of an appeal to the High Court is an effective appeal?
There was a reason for the procedure established by the English Act of 1904. As I understand, the procedure under that Act is this. You have, in the first place, not litigation but a kind of conference at quarter sessions, where the parties say they are agreed amongst themselves, and where they can agree to a sum which quarter sessions agree to, the matter goes forward, but if there is failure in that agreement then you go to the Commissioners, and from the Commissioners you go to the High Court. That is a most admirable and proper proceeding in England, because you are litigating about large capital sums. It is most proper that when you are dealing with large sums of money that you should have the right, and perhaps even the obligation and necessity, of going even ultimately, or even directly, to the High Court of Justice, but under this process, which this Bill sets up, you are not dealing with large capital sums at all. The right hon. Gentleman says that the register that this Clause sets up is something different in kind from the ordinary rate book. I say, however, it is nothing but an Imperial rate book in regard to public-houses. The register, or so-called register, is an Imperial rate book for public-houses, or for assessing the publican's duty, which is the same thing. In no case that I am aware of, either in England or in Ireland, unless you appeal against the rate, is the appeal to the High Court. If you are making your rate-hook for any purpose, either in England or in Ireland, it is first paid by some local body, and your appeal is always to quarter sessions, and necessarily so, because you are dealing with small sums and comparatively small interests. The annual cost, of course, is very substantial when you consider the country as a whole. But in some individual cases the annual cost is not a large 1127 amount, and consequently when you are making the rate-book for any purpose your appeal is always to quarter sessions. It may be somewhat of a paradox to say that even in England the proper appeal in this case would be to quarter sessions. That may be a paradox, because under the Act of 1904 you have a kind of appeal from quarter sessions to the Commissioners, and you may say it would be an absurdity to reverse the process in this Bill and give your appeal from the Commissioners to quarter sessions. But even in England I think that would be a wise and a sensible proceeding, and I know of no reason why it should not be adopted. But whatever you do in England, why in Ireland should you not give us an appeal to quarter sessions?
Let me come to the Finance Act, which is the basis of the proposed appeal in this case. When you make your appeal under the Finance Act, if you are dealing with an estate under £15,000, you may go to the county court. I refer the right hon. Gentleman to Section 10 of the Finance Act, which provides that—
"Where the value as alleged by the Commissioners of the property in respect of which a dispute arises does not exceed £10,000, the appeal under this Section may be to the county court for the county or place where the applicant resides."
If the appeal under the Finance Act was taken by the Government as their model for the appeal which this Clause gives us, why do they not reproduce some analogous provision to the Sub-section of the Finance Act which I have read? Will they give us in Ireland, at any rate in small cases, some limit of valuation? If the county court is a good enough tribunal for the purpose of Estate Duty, when you are dealing with a £10,000 estate, can anyone say that the same tribunal is not a perfectly good tribunal when you are dealing with the annual valuation of a public-house which may not exceed £5, £10, £15, or £20 per annum? I further call attention to the fact that the Government are deliberately changing the law. In Ireland at present we have this quarter sessions appeal. Why cannot it be preserved to us? What is the necessity of bringing in the High Court? Assuming that there are some high reasons of State for departing from the existing system of valuing public-houses for the purpose of this duty, and that it is necessary to enter into this recondite question of compensation value which can 1128 have no bearing on the general interests of publicans in Ireland, what is the necessity of driving us to the High Court? I, therefore, confidently appeal to right hon. Gentlemen, as they have deliberately chosen the Finance Act as their model, that they will at any rate give us the benefit of the Finance Act. The Finance Act gives an appeal to the county court when you are dealing with as large an estate as £10,000, and when you are dealing with the 7,000 small public-houses in Ireland, which are at present paying £4 10s. a year, you should not make it necessary for those publicans to go to the High Court to question the value of the Commissioners.
§ Mr. E. A. GOULDING
I think it is most important that we should get from the Government how they estimate this annual equivalent. Only last week a direct question was put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Arkwright) to this effect. He asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer:—Whether, with a view to elucidating the operation of the new valuation proposals in Clause 30, Sub-section (2) of the Finance Bill, he would ascertain from the Commissioners referred to in that Clause what sum would be treated by them as the annual equivalent of the sum of £1,497 15s. adjudged by Mr. Justice Kennedy to be the sum payable as compensation under Sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the Licensing Act, 1904?The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied:—As the whole question of the annual compensation value will come up shortly for discussion, I scarcely think it is necessary for me to enter into it beforehand in the manner suggested by the hon. Member.Here the Government had ample notice of what the Opposition would require in this case. They have got all the figures and all the facts, and all they have to do is to tell us on that sum of £1,400 odd what is their annual equivalent. Certainly we are entitled to it, and as the Solicitor-General says he himself wants to clear up the position, the easiest way in which he can clear it up is, with all these figures at his hand, to get it from the Treasury and state the simple case, and the difficulty will be solved, and those who are interested in the question will know how the facts lie.
§ Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
moved, after the words last inserted, to insert the words "with the substitution, as respects Scotland, of the judges of the Court of Session named for the purpose of hearing appeals under the Valuation of Land 1129 (Scotland) Acts, and, as respects Ireland, of the High Court of Justice of Ireland, for the High Court."
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Of course, this appeal is better than nothing, but I am entirely dissatisfied, and I think the appeal should be, at least in the case of the smaller public-houses, to the county court.
§ Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
moved, at the end of Sub-section (2), to insert: "Any regulations made under this Section shall be laid before each House of Parliament for a period of not less than 30 days during the Session of Parliament, and if either House before the expiration of that period presents an Address to His Majesty against such regulations or any part thereof, no further proceedings shall be taken thereon, but without prejudice to the making of any new draft regulation."
These words were on the Paper on Friday, when, owing to the abrupt termination of our proceedings, the Amendment was not proceeded with. There was some understanding that the Chancellor of the Duchy would introduce a clause dealing with the same subject. I should not have moved this Amendment if I had found this Clause upon the Paper, but in the usual slovenly manner in which the Government conduct their business the Clause was not put down, and I do not know when it is proposed to be put down. But I think the words I suggest will come in far more opportunely, and it is all-important that they should be inserted. It is obvious that there is a certain amount of uncertainty and vagueness as to what these Treasury Regulations are going to be, and it is possible that the appeal, which has been extracted out of the Government by the same process as a dentist extracts teeth, may be rendered absolutely null and void by the regulations which the Treasury are going to impose. The words are not in a novel form; they are in various Statutes. I do not doubt the word of the Government when they say they will put down a clause, but the hon. Member (Mr. T. M. Healy) said the Irish party had been misled and deceived by the Government on Friday. If it is possible for the Government to mislead and deceive so astute a party as hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway it is possible that they will mislead and deceive the guileless and unsuspecting party to which I belong.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
As the Committee is now aware, this is a somewhat-lengthy Bill, and in parts of it there are requirements for regulations to be made. When the matter was discussed upon the Land Clauses it was understood that there should be one general clause inserted in the later part of the Bill which would cover all cases of regulations to be made under its authority. That was the Clause to which I referred the other day. The Noble Lord used the word "slovenly," but nothing could be more slovenly than to insert here a sub-section applying to the regulations to be made under this Clause and to have in another part of the Bill a general clause applying to all the other regulations. The Government cannot, of course, accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I agree that as we are to have a new clause it would be undesirable to press this particular Amendment at this point—all the more undesirable because of what has taken place to-day. Of course, if there are to be no regulations provided for here, when we come to the Report Stage, and if the Treasury Regulations are to be taken out of this Clause, then we do not want the appeal under the Treasury Regulations in this place. My Noble Friend put down his Amendment before this discussion took place, and for the moment the regulations stand. The review of these regulations by Parliament is important, and that question is germane to the Clause. I think it really would assist the Committee if the Government would tell us a little more fully as to the new Clause. It is a misfortune that the promised Clause does not appear on the Paper. I had hoped that it might be before the Committee to-day. I will not say that it is still up the sleeve of the Government. I do not think it is even in their mind. They have not attended to the matter at all. At any rate they have not brought the Clause before the Committee. Can the Chancellor of the Duchy tell us whether the general Clause which the Government propose to put down as a new clause at the end of a Bill will cover the ground of my Noble Friend's Amendment? If he is able to tell us that it will give for all the regulations under the Bill what my Noble Friend asks in respect of these particular regulations, then I am satisfied. In that case I would urge my Noble Friend not to press this Amendment further.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I am afraid I am not in a position to state the precise 1131 terms of the Clause which is not yet on the Paper, but its adequacy or inadequacy does not affect this Clause. The new Clause will affect all the regulations to be made on matters throughout the Bill, many of which are of far greater importance than this. As the regulations contemplated in this Clause may never see the light, I should say that this is a peculiarly unsuitable occasion on which to state the terms of the proposal.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
The two right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench seem to have no authority to say anything whatever on the Bill. I asked the Chancellor of the Duchy a plain question, namely, if he could give some indication whether the Clause to be moved on behalf of the Government later on will be based on the same lines as the Amendment I have proposed. I certainly think I am entitled to an answer on that point. In view of the unsatisfactory answer given by the right hon. Gentleman I must press the Amendment.
§ Mr. G. D. FABER (York)
It was probably through inadvertence that the Chancellor of the Duchy did not reply to a question asked by my right hon. Friend the Member for East Worcestershire. It was whether these regulations will be laid before both Houses of Parliament? I wish to know whether, when the new Clause which has been foreshadowed dealing with all the regulations under the Bill is incorporated in the Bill the regulations will be laid on the Table of both Houses of Parliament, or only on the Table of this House?
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I understand that the Government do not really object to the words of the Amendment, but that they oppose the Amendment on two grounds. One is that the Amendment may be unnecessary, and the other is that it might not suit the regulations to be made under the new Clause to be proposed at the end of the Bill. At present we are entirely in the dark as to what the regulations are to be, and therefore I think the simplest thing would be to pass the regulations as applying to this Clause. If the regulations were dropped then the provision about their lying on the Table of both Houses of Parliament would also be dropped. If
§ they are found to be inconsistent with the general regulations under the new Clause they can be dropped out. I think in the circumstances my Noble Friend has no option but to go to a Division on the Amendment. No objection has been taken to the Amendment by the Government, and I hope he will persevere in it.
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
If the Government would give us an assurance not as to what the regulations will contain, but as to some points they shall not contain, I think that would go far to satisfy hon. Members on this side of the House. The regulations ought not to specify the number of years' purchase—
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
I think it does. If we could be assured that the regulations would not specify the number of years' purchase and certain other matters I think that would go a long way towards meeting our difficulty in regard to the regulations. If we could be assured also that the regulations would be laid before both Houses of Parliament, I think that would satisfy us in point of form. I wish to ask a question on a point of Order arising out of the difference between the regulations as adumbrated by the right hon. Gentleman and the terms of the Kennedy judgment. The Kennedy judgment laid down the principle which ought to be applied in certain denned cases as to the number of years' purchase, and so on. If these regulations are going to lay down principles which would take away from the Commissioners and the Court of Appeal the power of adjudicating on questions of valuation, that would mean relegating to the Treasury the right of taxation which is a right inherent in this House. I wish to know whether it would be in order to make regulations which would have that effect?
The hon. Member's point of order does not arise now at all. The first question he addressed to the Government is not in order. The second is.
§ Question put: "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 89; Noes, 185.1135
|Division No. 604.]||AYES.||[5.40 p.m.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Balcarres, Lord||Banner, John S. Harmood-|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Baldwin, Stanley||Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Beckett Hon. Gervase|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hamilton, Marquess of||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Renton, Leslie|
|Bull, Sir William James||Helmsley, Viscount||Renwick, George|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hill, Sir Clement||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hunt, Rowland||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Jackson, R. S.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cave, George||Joynson-Hicks, William||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Moore, William||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Morpeth, Viscount||Winterton, Earl|
|Fell, Arthur||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Newdegate, F. A.||Young, Samuel|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Younger, George|
|Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Percy, Earl||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Viscount|
|Gretton, John||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Castlereagh and Mr. Watson Rutherford.|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edmunds)||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Falconer, J.||Massie, J.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Findlay, Alexander||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Fullerton, Hugh||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Alden, Percy||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Glendinning, R. G.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Glover, Thomas||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Morrell, Philip|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Gulland, John W.||Morse, L. L.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Barker, Sir John||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Hart-Davies, T.||Myer, Horatio|
|Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nichells, George|
|Beale, W. P.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Haworth, Arthur A.||Nuttall, Harry|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Hazleton, Richard||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Hedges, A. Paget||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Higham, John Sharp||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Malley, William|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hogan, Michael||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Partington, Oswald|
|Branch, James||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Bright, J. A.||Hudson, Walter||Perks, Sir Robert William|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Jardine, Sir J.||Pointer, J.|
|Bums, Rt. Hon. John||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Radford, G. H.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Joyce, Michael||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Byles, William Pollard||Keating, M.||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Kekewich, Sir George||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)|
|Clough, William||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rees, J. D.|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Laidlaw, Robert||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Lamont, Norman||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lehmann, R. C.||Robinson, S.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lewis, John Herbert||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Crean, Eugene||Lupton, Arnold||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Crossley, William J.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Rowlands, J.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lynch, A.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Elibank, Master of||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Seely, Colonel|
|Erskine, David C.||M'Callum, John M.||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||M'Micking, Major G.||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Maddison, Frederick||Snowden, P.|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Scares, Ernest J.||Verney, F. W.||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Stanger, H. Y.||Walsh, Stephen||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Waring, Walter||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Summerbell, T.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Waterlow, D. S.||Winfrey, R.|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Watt, Henry A.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Tomkinson, James||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Toulmin, George||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. CAVE
had put down an Amendment to leave out the second paragraph of Subsection (2).
I put down this Amendment in order to get your ruling on a point of Order. In the next Clause I intend to move to exempt from the new duties hotels and other premises in the same position as those to which this paragraph refers. What I wish to know is whether if this paragraph is passed I shall be too late on the following Clause to move to exempt hotels altogether, or can it be done better on Clause 31?
§ Mr. MAURICE HEALY
moved, "in paragraph 2 of Sub-section (2), to omit the words 'to which the holding of a licence is merely auxiliary,' and to insert instead thereof the words 'other than the sale of intoxicating liquor.'"
In moving this Amendment, I wish to extract a statement as to the effect of this Clause, and as to the position of hotels and restaurants. The Government have thought lit necessary to enact that in the case of hotels when you estimate the value as licensed premises, you are not to take into consideration the profits derived otherwise than by the sale of intoxicating liquor, and they make the same enactment in the case of any other kind of premises used for purposes to which the holding of a licence is merely auxiliary. These words do not at all make the Clause applicable to the case of what are called "mixed business houses." Take what is a very common case in Ireland, a shop and a public-house carried on in the same premises. For the purpose of the licence the whole of the premises are all included. If it is necessary in the case of hotels to enact that when you are finding the licence value of the hotel you are not to take into consideration the profits not made by the sale of intoxicating liquor, why is it not equally necessary in the case of premises on which a licensed business and another business are carried on, but in which the licence is 1136 not in any sense auxiliary to the said business? In Ireland when you arrive at the annual compensation value of the "mixed premises" only the value as licensed premises is to be taken into consideration; but it appears to me that under this Clause, as it stands at the present moment, the Government will be unable to carry out that pledge, because in carrying this Clause into effect they will be bound to confine it to the case of hotels and cases in which the licence is in some way auxiliary to the other business carried on.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I do not think that the insertion of the words proposed, by the hon. Gentleman would really make any difference in the effect of the Clause, because you can only, as I understand the law, take into account, for the purpose of ascertaining either the monopoly value or the compensation value under the Act of 1904, the profits derived from the sale of intoxicating liquor. I doubt very much whether this paragraph is needed at all. Speaking personally, I think it would be better to omit the paragraph, but I think if we retain the paragraph the hon. Gentleman is right. That is, inasmuch as you specifically mention the case of hotels and the case of premises in which the sale of intoxicating liquor is merely auxiliary, if you have one of these mixed businesses which stand on precisely the same footing you would in some way or another take into account the profits derived from other sources, and therefore I should be disposed to accept the hon. Gentleman's Amendment. I do not think that it makes any difference one way or another, and I do not think if the paragraph were omitted from the Clause it would make any difference.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand a part of the Clause," put, and negatived.
§ Mr. STAVELEY-HILL
moved to leave out Sub-section (3).
I consider this Sub-section is far too inquisitorial in its terms and 1137 its requirements. A return has got to be made by the licensee. We are not told what sort of a return has got to be made. I venture to think if that return has to be made there should be some plan in the Bill in the form of a schedule or some other way to show what that return ought to be, because it is asking a great deal of the publican to order him to make a return in the manner in which I believe it is required by this Sub-section. It is one thing if a return had to be made under the Act of 1904, when the licence had been extinguished, but it is quite another thing to ask for a return to be made from a going concern. If you extend it from the licensed trade and apply it to other trades of the country, see what will happen. A trader would at once say he did not see why in common fairness to himself he should make any returns by which the details of his business would be made known to other persons. Looking down this Sub-section at the penalties, I find we once more meet with our old friend that we have met before in the Land Clauses—the 30 days has once more made its appearance. But it is not so much the question of the period of 30 days that I complain of, but it is that here in this Sub-section, in the case of publicans you are going to use summary conviction as the means of punishing them, whereas, under Clause 16 of the land portion of the Finance Bill these matters were placed under the control of the High Court. Why, if a publican does not make this return which it would be very difficult to make within the specified time, is he to be taken before the magistrates and treated almost as a criminal? Why should not he be treated in exactly the same way as under Clause 16 of the land portion of the Bill you treat failure to make a return there? Another point to which I would draw attention in this Sub-section is the word "return" again in line 40. That would seem to me to be a word put in by mistake. Something has been left out, "requisition" or "requirement," perhaps. I object to this Sub-section on the grounds which I have named, namely, that I think it is inquisitorial and unrequired, and unfair to the publican, who would be punished by the imposition of a penalty which is undoubtedly harsh. If a return is to be made I hope the Government will in some way specify in what form it is to be made, so that those who have to make it will have some idea of what they are to do.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
I hope the hon. Member will not press his Amendment to a Sub-section dealing with machinery, which is not only in the interests of the officials of the Revenue, but is also in the interests of the licence holder whose premises have to be valued. We are not now dealing with the details of the requirements which may be made by the Commissioners. The question is whether there should be in the Clause a provision of this sort, so that the Commissioners shall be able properly to perform the functions imposed upon them. Therefore, some provision of this kind is necessary.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I do not think that the Solicitor-General has dealt adequately with the gravamen of my hon. Friend's objection. The point shortly is this. Under Sub-section (3) you are giving the Commissioners power, absolutely unlimited by any restrictive words of any kind at all, to go-to any licensed victualler for this return. They may specify any form which they choose, and they may demand any particulars, without any limitation of any description. If a man refuses to give those particulars, he is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £20. Is there a single trade or industry in respect of which the Government would dare to make such a proposal except that of the licensed victuallers? Every Member of the Committee knows that except for the purpose of carrying out the Lord Advocate's suggestion of imposing swingeing duties, no such proposal would ever be tolerated in respect of any trade save that of the licensed victuallers. If it is submitted that there must be some form of return, then, if the Government put in the Schedule the form of that return required, it would do something to secure some reasonable protection for the person who has to make the return. If the Government really do mean, as I hope they do, that they do not wish to make the operation of this Sub-section oppressive in practice, nothing can be simpler than for them to prepare a form of the particulars to be given to the Commissioners, and if the Government give such an assurance I am quite sure it will make the discussion of this particular Amendment very much shorter than it is likely otherwise to be. What is the position of the licensed victualler on whom the Commissioners descend for a return? Apparently we are rapidly passing to the day in which every man's business is to 1139 be taken away from the law courts and to be given to various Commissioners. Under this Section the Commissioners, having gone to an unfortunate man to ask him for a return, he will have to disclose most of the private details of his business. Of course, the Solicitor-General makes no reply at all to the very just observation made by my hon. Friend that there was no objection to admitting this, or a similar return, in the case of any licence which was actually being taken away or where compensation was actually being paid. But here the Government are not taking the licence away, and there is no compensation, and, therefore, they are making a vexatious and oppressive demand. In other words, they are compelling the man to give the Commissioners information of a most serious kind, which must become public. To ask for a return of that kind without any explanation, without any limitation, appears to me to be making a draft on the confidence of the Committee greater than any we have been asked to meet. As my hon. Friend pointed out, when a similar case arose in reference to the Land Clauses of this Bill, the view was reached after discussion that it was not necessary to treat failure to make a return of this kind as an offence which would subject a man to be called before the criminal courts. I am not familiar with all the taxing Statutes, or with the powers which may be given to impose a penalty in case of a failure to make a return of this kind. I think I am right in saying that the proposals which are made here are infinitely more drastic than any rules in force in case of the Income Tax.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I speak under correction on that point. I say that as far as the Land Clauses were concerned the point which my hon. Friend has raised was conceded. To the Sub-section in its present form I entertain the strongest objection, and if no reasonable explanation is forthcoming I certainly hope that my hon. Friend will divide the Committee.
§ Sir E. CARSON
The Committee will not forget that this is a Clause which is not to have any taxing force whatsoever as regards the vast bulk of licence holders of this country. It has already been stated by the Prime Minister that, as regards the vast bulk of licence-holders—that is, all except hotels, and, I believe, valuations over £500—this Section is not 1140 to have any force whatsoever until some new Act is passed. That seems to me to have a very material bearing on the Amendment of my hon. Friend. Let the Committee consider the position in which the publican is being placed. I am not speaking of the case of hotels or of licences over £500; I take all the other publicans in the country, and look at the position in which you place them. The Revenue officers may at any time go down and see the publican and say: "We want you to make a return in the form which we now dictate, although we admit there is no necessity for it, or no immediate use to which it can be put." Not only that, but if the publican asks what they want the return for, they may say: "That is nothing to you; it is in the Act of Parliament; you must give it to us; it is not going to affect you in any way, but you must make the return, and, if you do not, you will be fined £20." The Revenue officers are to keep this return as a correct register. Shortly after, something or other is heard about the man's business. The Revenue officer finds that the neighbourhood, or, to use the doctrine of the party opposite, finds that the community has made the man's premises more valuable, and he says to himself: "I must correct this register." Down he goes again to the publican, without limitation and without objection. That seems to me an almost impossible position in which to put a man who is carrying on a business. For my own part, although the Solicitor-General says that machinery of this kind is necessary, I do not see why it should be necessary at all. It seems to me that a register of this kind will have no legal effect. I hope my hon. Friend will go to a Division, unless we are promised that this Clause will be confined, as it ought to be confined, to hotels and valuations over £500. If it is to be used, not as a taxing Clause, as, admittedly, it will not be used as regards the bulk of holders of licences, and if it is to be used merely as an inquisitorial Clause, without any fiscal result whatever, then I think it ought to be divided against in order that we may make some feeble protest against including in a so-called Finance Bill Clauses which have no result financially.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Supposing, under this demand for a return, the capital matter involves the answer "Yes" or "No." Then you have to consider Clause 73, which says: "If any person for the purpose of obtaining any allowance, rebate 1141 or repayment in respect of any duty under this Act, either for himself or for any other person, knowingly makes any false statement or false representation, he shall be liable under summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months with hard labour." So that there is an absolute power of imprisonment given in respect of making a false statement in this return. It might consist in the simple answer "Yes" or "No." Therefore this Sub-section with which we are dealing must be considered as read with Section 73, showing the very important consequences involved. It really seems to me that the persons this Bill affects will be called upon to spend most of the remainder of their lives in making returns. It seems to be one of the unfortunate consequences of this kind of legislation. It is stated that it will require a new Act to carry out many of the purposes of this Bill. Why, then, can we not leave these penal clauses and auxiliary provisions over until the new Act comes into force? You are to get from these persons this particular form of return, and yet we are told that Irish publicans are absolutely free under this Section. It is stated that this Section does not apply to them at all; but the Bill will no sooner be passed than every publican in Ireland will have to make a return showing the entire contents of his till, showing how much beer he has sold or how much porter or how much whisky, or, perhaps, even the number of his family, or whether he has ever been vaccinated—I do not know, because there is not any limitation. The rules under the English Act are very carefully prepared, and here I find at the back of them a number of forms which are made applicable. Surely the least we might have in the case of a return, for the making of a false statement in which a man might get six months' imprisonment, is to have some form. Let us take this case. A man may be asked when were you licensed, and also the date of the transfer. He may say, "I got my licence by transfer on 1st July," but it turned out, in fact, that be got his licence on 1st March. That is a false statement under the letter of a section for which the man might get six months' imprisonment. [The SOLICITOR-GENERAL expressed dissent.] The hon. and learned Gentleman says no, but let me put this to him. You may say he would have paid the whole of his Licence Duty, but there are many cases in which the full Licence Duty is not payable, because the house is vacant. In the 1142 case of a house that is taken in October and that has been vacant for three months before, only nine months' licence is required by the Excise people. I would respectfully ask that the Government should put a schedule into this Bill showing what these publicans are to return, and I would ask why apply it to publicans who will not be taxed? We have had great value out of the learned Solicitor-General to-day, so to speak. The other day when we asked for information he treated us almost as severely as if we were Welsh Members looking for disestablishment. He is most conciliatory to-day, and I am sure nobody enjoys it more than I do. He has stated very frankly that this Section will not apply to publicans in England, Ireland or Scotland. But, although the taxes are not to be extracted from them, they are to make this return. But let us know what they are to make a return of, and what kind of particulars you are going to get from them. The filling up of Income Tax returns is sufficiently onerous, but it is a little hard in the case of these small, humble men carrying on various kinds of business that they should be asked to make these returns with the tremendous consequences of six months' imprisonment which might ensue.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
With reference to what the hon. and learned Gentleman has said, I would suggest that sometimes speeches from the other side become ferocious, and there is a tendency, if not to become as ferocious as that, to become as ferocious as one can. If he purrs gently then I purr gently too. The false return described in Clause 73 is a very different thing from an inaccurate return, and therefore the observations of the hon. and learned Gentleman as to Clause 73 have no foundation. What hardship is there in asking people for the purpose of making this register to give certain information, which the Commissioners require to have in order to keep the register? It may be that it is to the interest of the people themselves. If such a register is to be kept it should be made on accurate information. Those people have information which may be got elsewhere, but when they have got it why should they not give it? An observation is made with regard to the inquisitorial character of the return, but that observation might be made with a good deal more strength as to the Income Tax return.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
If you are going to have that register I think it is not an unreasonable or unfair request, and that it is not a harsh proceeding.
§ Mr. REMNANT
You recognised it to be a case of hardship in the land valuation, and why should you not recognise it to be so here?
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
I am now arguing against the proposal to omit the Subsection altogether. I have said if you are to bring any cogent arguments to bear on the Clause this is not the time to do it, and my answer is that you must, in the interests of the publican, have some machinery of this kind. Therefore I ask to have this Clause or something like it.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
Would the Solicitor-General shorten the discussion by agreeing that the forms of these requisitions should be stated in the Schedule? We should then know exactly where we are, and those men would know that they were not going to be exposed to any other general inquisitions which are detestable in any trade. If such an assurance was given I am sure, as far as my hon. Friends are concerned, that the whole discussion would drop.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
I would suggest to make it appear in the Section that the person is only to be liable to a penalty if he knowingly or wilfully fails to make this return. The words, as drawn, are: "If any person fails to make such return he is to be liable." Surely that is too severe.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
I put that as an additional reason to the suggestion that we ought to have a form in the Schedule. In the Land Clauses part of the Bill it was agreed that the penalty should only be recoverable in the High Court, while in this ease the penalty is to be recoverable on summary conviction and the licence holder is to be liable.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I wish to ask for some information as to what occurs to the returns which the publicans or licence holders will be required to make. They go into a register, and who will have an access to that register? Will anybody have access to the register? This is really a very material matter to the particular point raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University 1144 (Sir E. Carson), even assuming it would be necessary for the purpose of your tax to have this inquisition, where the results of the inquisition are the basis for your tax. Of course, the great bulk of the licence holders will be wholly unaffected by this particular Clause. To ask them to make detailed statements as to their business, their profits, the character of their business, by their advancing or declining, and so forth, and to have the results of those inquiries consigned to a register, and to have that register open to their competitors, their landlords, and the people they are tied to in such a case as that, it might add very much to the hardship. I see the Solicitor-General shaking his head, and I would be glad if he would answer.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The man makes a return, and thereupon the Commissioners draw a deduction. Are the Commissioners bound to communicate to him the result at which they arrive? Can he know what it is? Of course, if they are trying to collect a tax they are bound to communicate to him that the tax is so much, that they have assessed it so much. The great bulk of the people are not going to be taxed under this Clause, and where is the obligation on the Commissioners to impart to the person who is not a taxpayer for the purpose of this section, the use which they make of the register. It is not in the Bill. Those returns the Commissioners receive, and from which they make a register, will be useless both to the Commissioner and to everybody else until another Act is passed, unless for the purpose of making another Bill. But meanwhile where is the provision in this Bill which will give the people the knowledge of what they have been assessed at?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
There is no such provision, and it will be totally unnecessary. The moment anybody tries to tax them they can appeal, and it is an essential foundation of that appeal that they should be informed what is the value on which they are going to be taxed in the meantime.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I speak subject to correction on a point of law but supposing the assessments are made of 1145 their compensation value, and of their annual equivalent, and that they know nothing about it for a couple of years, does the right of appeal still exist?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
As long as you put it in force for the purpose of taxation the right of appeal at once arises.
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
The main reason why some of us object to this Clause is not that it is not in itself a taxing clause, but that it would have the effect of making people connected with 90,000 houses responsible for sending returns of the widest possible description. There is not a word in the whole Sub-section limiting the number of times the returns may be required. The Commissioners, if they took it into their heads to do so, could ask for several returns during the year. Moreover, the Sub-section applies not only to the licence holder, but to any person interested in the licensed premises. Those are the widest possible words, and would include individuals such as mortgagees and lessors, who are not concerned at all in the conduct of the business. Further, the returns are to include such particulars as the Commissioners may require. They may possibly include weekly or monthly purchases or sales of 20 or 30 different articles of consumption, and, in the case of a man who brews his own beer, be may have to state the quantity of beer be brewed himself and how much he bought from somebody else. Not only is the wording of the Sub-section so wide, but it is entirely unnecessary, because Subsection (1) states distinctly how the annual value is to be arrived at, and there is no reason why such a Sub-section as this should be inserted. It is obviously put in with the object of leading up to some subsequent taxation. It is because the Subsection is so wide, so inquisitorial, and so drastic that we object to it as it stands.
§ Mr. G. D. FABER
Under Sub-section (3) a return is to be made by the parties interested in the licensed premises for the purpose of the ascertainment not of the gross compensation value, but only of the annual compensation value. I should have thought, if the Government intended to make the matter complete, that they ought to have had information from the licence holder or from the person interested in the 1146 licensed premises not only in regard to the annual compensation value, but in regard to the gross value as well. Perhaps the Solicitor-General will tell me why there is that apparent hiatus. I should also like to emphasise what has been said by my hon. Friend (Mr. Watson Rutherford). It is clear that under the Sub-section it is not to be one return once for all of the annual compensation value, but it may be demanded as often as the Commissioners think fit. Both the gross compensation value and the annual compensation value vary with the varying conditions of the licensed house, and it will be an almost intolerable burden if, whenever it suits the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, a return of this drastic character may be required.
§ Mr. J. M. HENDERSON
Under the Licensing Act of 1904 there is a sum added to the compensation value for what is called "conversion" and for fixtures. Would these items have to be taken into account in the present case?
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
The return is to be made of the particulars required for the purpose of ascertaining the annual compensation value of the premises. Therefore I suggest that the question of the hon. Member opposite as to the ingredients of the annual value is relevant.
If the hon. Member for Aberdeen had been asking about what the hon. and learned Gentleman calls the ingredients of the annual value I should not have said he was out of order. This is not a question of the certificate and the register, but of the return that will have to be made by the licence holder.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The right of appeal which the Government have put into this Clause is the same appeal as under the Licensing Act of 1904, which, again, is the appeal of the Finance Act, 1894. It is, therefore, to the Finance Act of 1894 that we have to go. Clause 10 there says:—
"Any person aggrieved … by the amount of the duty claimed by the Commissioners, whether on the ground of the value of any property or the rate charged, 1147 or otherwise, may, on payment of, or giving security … for the duty … appeal to the High Court within the time and in the manner and on the conditions directed by rules of Court …"
That is the right of appeal we have got here. Do not these rules of court say that an appeal against valuation or assessment must be made within a certain time after that valuation or assessment is made? I am led to believe that they do. In this case the difficulty arises because in regard to the great bulk of the people affected by this statute the valuations will be made long before they are taxed. Will they not, therefore, when they are referred back to the Act of 1894 and to the rules of Court made under that Act, be debarred from appealing against the assessment?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
What is the appeal section of the Act of 1894? "Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioners with respect to the repayment of any excess of duty paid, or by the amount of duty claimed by the Commissioners, whether on the ground of the value of any property, or the rate charged, or otherwise, may … appeal …"Therefore the right of appeal does not arise except when duty is claimed. When the duty is claimed an appeal can be entered either on the ground that the valuation is excessive or that the amount charged is inappropriate. Therefore, under this Sub-section, following the Act of 1894 exactly, the right of appeal will only arise when the duty is claimed. There is no such thing under the Act of 1894 as an appeal from a valuation except and until duty is payable on the basis of that valuation.
§ Mr. REMNANT
When I interrupted the Solicitor-General just now I had not the precise form before me. In Clause 16, dealing with returns of the value of land, when attention was called to the very words introduced in this Sub-section, namely, "returns in such form, and containing such particulars as the Commissioners may require," the Chancellor of the Exchequer agreed that to give such a roving inquiry might lead to abuses, and the Government deleted the whole of the words. If this Act is to be run on business lines there ought to be no difficulty in drawing up a proper form giving the necessary particulars to enable the Commissioners to arrive at a proper conclusion. If it was considered 1148 wrong in the case of land, it will be equally wrong to give these officials power to make inquisitorial demands upon licence holders, and it will be imposing an irksome burden, which, I am sure, the Prime Minister, would wish to avoid. I hope, therefore, the Government will see their way to introduce into the Schedule a definite form which we can discuss; if they do that, a considerable grievance will be removed. In Clause 16, dealing with land, some words were deleted on representations made from this side, and it is only necessary, I think, that this should be brought to the Prime Minister's notice, to show that what was applicable then is applicable in this case. He will doubtless agree on the need for a more definite form.
§ Mr. JOHN GRETTON
It is quite clear that some sort of care will have to be taken by the Government with reference to this matter, in order that they may lay down a form of rules and the sort of in formation which they require. It must be remembered that this Sub-section was intended not only to apply to premises such as fully-licensed houses, but to certain classes of beer-houses and hotels, to which the Compensation Act of 1904 really applies. It has also to apply to that very large class of licences known as grocers' licences, which do not come under that Act. There is no means of knowing on what principle it is proposed to proceed to assess the annual compensation value of that class of premises. There is another matter. In reply to the right hon. Gentle man the Member for Worcestershire (Mr. Austen Chamberlain), the Prime Minister said that this information which is to be obtained is not to be imparted to the per sons concerned. The man proposed to be taxed is not to be told at all till the tax collector goes to his door what the tax is. It necessarily follows that the only possible way, if the Prime Minister really meant that—
§ Mr. J. GRETTON
This Sub-section is a most objectionable sub-section—an inquisitorial and fishing sub-section. From the Government's own point of view, it is a mistake to have the information collected before they want to use it. Before they levy the tax a very great proportion of it will be out of date.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
The words in Subsection (3), "any person interested in licensed premises," seem extraordinarily 1149 wide. Strictly and literally, every shareholder in a brewery company will come under that definition. It may be said that it will not be interpreted in that way, but I can conceive instances in which I suppose it really would be. Suppose a man had a mortgage on licensed premises. He would be required, I take it, to state the amount of that mortgage, what the valuation was, and so on. Again, I can imagine it would be likely that some houses have different ties; that every person supplying the different articles tied may be accounted a person interested in the premises. If that is not what is meant, there ought to be some better definition, so that people might not be afraid of inquisitorial requests which may damage their business, position, and credit. I would like to ask the Solicitor-General to say who is in the mind of the Government in these words.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
This is a most offensive Sub-section, for you must ask a man if he ever has been convicted, or if his licence has ever been endorsed. It is perfectly plain, from any consideration of the Act of 1894—which has provided in the case of the licence holder that "regard shall be had not only to his legal interests in the premises …. but also to his conduct …."—that the value of the licence must depend upon whether a man's conduct in the premises is good or bad. Let us take a case of a man whose licence has been twice endorsed. Will anyone contend that the value of the licence, hanging, as it were, on a thread, is of the same value as that of a licence where there has been no endorsement at all? I respectfully suggest that this Sub-section must necessarily involve some inquisition as to character if it is left in the wide way in which it now stands. Inquiry must also be made into the character of the convictions. It is novel, and also very curious, to watch the tenderness with which the landowner is treated and the tenderness with which the publican is treated! The penalty for the landowner can only be recovered in the High Court of Justice, and it is a penalty prescribed by the Income Tax Act. But the publican is to be at once haled before the magistrate if he fails to make this return, and he is to be
§ liable to a £20 penalty. It appears to me to be plain that the punishment that is to be enforced for the offence should be stamped upon the face of the Subjection, and those concerned would see for what—for refusing to do, or for doing what they ought not—they would be punished. It seems to me to enable these Commissioners to go about and say, "I will make every one of you publicans make a return in any shape or form I please, and I will fine you £20 if you do not," is to practically hand over legislative powers to gentlemen of whom, at any rate in Ireland, we have had no jurisdiction. The case of the Income Tax is wholly different. If you do not make a full return the State loses a sum of money. Here you are dealing with a hypothetical thing. The publican is to be asked a number of questions as to his conduct, his length of tenure, etc.; and the worst of it is that I cannot see any provision by which, when this matter comes up on appeal, the Government would not throw down the return that the man has already made. It is inevitable that it should be so. Supposing a Commissioner rates a man at, say, £1,000 on the man's own return. The Commissioners will perhaps be asked on appeal by the judges, "How was this made?" The solicitor for the Inland Revenue will produce out of his bag the return, and the return will be trotted out in the face of the public, and perhaps the fact that the man has been convicted and his licence endorsed—which have been forgotten. The market value of his place in the open market will be thereby enormously decreased. It is one thing to extract revenue from subjects; it is another thing to torture them. Why not lay upon every publican a given sum, as you do on motorists? Let a man know what he is going to pay. It is this uncertainty in these returns which seems to me to be inflicting a needless indignity.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 186; Noes, 105.1153
|Division No. 605.]||AYES.||[6.55 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Beale, W. P.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Beauchamp, E.|
|Alden, Percy||Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Barker, Sir John||Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Barnard, E. B.||Berridge, T. H. D.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Hudson, Walter||Rees, J. D.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Jackson, R. S.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Branch, James||Jardine, Sir J.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Bright, J. A.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Robinson, S.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Jowett, F. W.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Kekewich, Sir George||Roc, Sir Thomas|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Laidlaw, Robert||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Byles, William Pollard||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Rowlands, J.|
|Charming, Sir Francis Allston||Lambert, George||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Cleland, J. W.||Lamont, Norman||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Clough, William||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Lehman R. C.||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Seely, Colonel|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Lupton, Arnold||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Snowden, P.|
|Crossley, William J.||M'Callum, John M.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||M'Micking, Major G.||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. pancras, N.)||Maddison, Frederick||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Summerbell, T.|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Massie, J.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Elibank, Master of||Molteno, Percy Alport||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Erskine, David C.||Mond, A.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Tomkinson, James|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Toulmin, George|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Morrell, Philip||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Findlay, Alexander||Morse, L. L.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Verney, F. W.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Glendinning, R. G.||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Waring, Walter|
|Glover, Thomas||Myer, Horatio||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Nicholls, George||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Gulland, John W.||Norman, Sir Henry||Watt, Henry A.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Nussey, Sir Willans||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Nuttall, Harry||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Partington, Oswald||Williams, Sir Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Harwood, George||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Perks, Sir Robert William||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Pointer, J.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Radford, G. H.||Winfrey, R.|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Rainy, A. Holland||Wood, T. McKinnon|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Mealy, Maurice (Cork)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Clive, Percy Archer||Healy, Timothy Michael|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Clyde, J. Avon||Helmsley, Viscount|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Hill, Sir Clement|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Courthope, G. Loyd||Hunt, Rowland|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Keswick, William|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Doughty, Sir George||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Faber, George Denison (York)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Fell, Arthur||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Fletcher, J. S.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Gretton, John||Marks, H. H. (Kent)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Cave, George||Hamilton, Marquess of||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Moore, William|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Renwick, George||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Morrison-Bell, Captain||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Newdegate, F. A.||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Oddy, John James||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Peel, Hon. W. R. W.||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Percy, Earl||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Winterton, Earl|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Pretyman, E. G.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Young, Samuel|
|Randles, Sir John Scurrah||Starkey, John R.||Younger, George|
|Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A.|
|Renton, Leslie||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)||Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the "Clause."1154
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 199; Noes, 1091155
|Division No. 606.]||AYES.||[7.5 p.m.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Glendinning, R. G.||Myer, Horatio|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Glover, Thomas||Nicholls, George|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Alden, Percy||Gulland, John W.||Nussey, Sir Willans|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hart-Davies, T.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Harwood, George||O'Malley, William|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Haworth, Arthur A.||Partington, Oswald|
|Barker, Sir John||Hazleton, Richard||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Hedges, A. Paget||Perks, Sir Robert William|
|Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Beale, W. P.||Higham, John Sharp||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Beauchamp, E.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Pointer, J.|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Hogan, Michael||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Holland, Sir William Henry||Radford, G. H.|
|Berridge, T. H.D.||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Hudson, Walter||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Jackson, R. S.||Rees, J. D.|
|Branch, James||Jardine, Sir J.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Bright, J. A.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Jowett, F. W.||Robinson, S.|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Joyce, Michael||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Kekewich, Sir George||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Byles, William Pollard||Laidlaw, Robert||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Cleland, J. W.||Lambert, George||Rowlands, J.|
|Clough, William||Lamont, Norman||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Lehmann, R. C.||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Lewis, John Herbert||Seely, Colonel|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Lupton, Arnold||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Crossley, William J.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Callum, John M.||Snowden, P.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||M'Micking, Major G.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Maddison, Frederick||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Massie, J.||Summerbell, T.|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Micklem, Nathaniel||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Elibank, Master of||Mond, A.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Erskine, David C.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Tomkinson, James|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||Morrell, Philip||Toulmin, George|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Morse, L. L.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Findlay, Alexander||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Verney, F. W.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Waring, Walter||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Winfrey, R.|
|Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Williams, Sir Osmond (Merioneth)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Waterlow, D. S.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Watt, Henry A.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|White, Sir George (Norfolk)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)||Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex, F.||Faber, George Denison (York)||Oddy, John James|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Fell, Arthur||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fletcher, J. S.||Percy, Ear|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Randies, Sir John Scurrah|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gretton, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)||Guinness, Hon. B. (Haggerston)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Hamilton, Marquess of||Renton, Leslie|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Renwick, George|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Healy, Timothy Michael||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Helmsley, Viscount||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hill, Sir Clement||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hunt, Rowland||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Joynson-Hicks, William||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Starkey, John R.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Keswick, William||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Winterton, Earl|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Young, Samuel|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Moore, William||Younger, George|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Doughty, Sir George||Morrison-Bell, Captain||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Newdegate, F. A.||Staveley-Hill and Mr. Arkwright.|
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
moved to omit from Sub-section (3) the words "in such form and containing such particulars as the Commissioners may require for," and to insert instead thereof the words "the form prescribed in the—Schedule to this Act, and giving the particulars therein named, or such of them as the Commissioners may require." I would ask the Solicitor-General, who has shown himself not. unconciliatory this afternoon, to carefully consider this point. Great apprehension is entertained in the licensed trade as to what this Sub-section means. The Solicitor-General, in reply to some observations I made on the last Amendment, thought it was absolutely necessary that there should be a return of some kind. The apprehension felt is that by asking for a return there will be a considerable trespass upon the reasonable and legitimate privacy of the publican's business. All the Government want is a return giving them certain information with regard to that business, and I am quite sure the Solicitor-General will say he does not wish 1156 to push this inquisition beyond the point, of supplying the Commissioners with all that is necessary. If that is the view of the Government they might avoid discussion by saying they will put into a schedule the specific information required. I deprecate as much as the Solicitor-General the charges against the Commissioners that they will enter upon their functions with any desire to usurp duties which the Government did not intend them to discharge. I do not make myself a party to any charge that as a body of men the Commissioners are likely to be oppressive towards the people with whom they will have to deal. Nobody who has had experience of public officials and especially of public officials of the subordinate ranks, will be unaware that there is a very great danger in committing to them functions which are indefinite in their character. What is the real difficulty in the Government accepting this Amendment and ordering that the information shall be conveyed in the form of a schedule? I think it is quite practicable 1157 to specify with sufficient clearness in the form of a schedule the information required. Information infinitely more detailed is asked of every one of us in connection with taxation purposes, and no difficulty has been experienced in drafting forms for that purpose, and there is none of that feeling that a man does not know what he is going to be asked. Let me indicate for the Solicitor-General's approval the kind of information which I conceive he might reasonably ask for for the purposes of this return. He might ask whether the trade was an on or an off trade, whether it was a tied house, what were the expenses, what is the amount of trade done, the barrellage of beer, the quality of the beer, whether Burton or local, or what is the specific gravity? In the case of whisky you might ask what the trade in barrellage was, and other relevant questions for the purposes of the return dealing with such questions as the assessment of the house under the poor rate, and other matters. The Government might also require to know whether there was any mortgage on the premises, whether any fine had been paid at the time the licensee entered into possession of the premises, and what was the rent paid by him? I do not pretend that the inquiries I have suggested exhaust the list which might legitimately be asked, but I claim that I have at any rate shown that there is no difficulty at all in the matter if the Government only desire to obtain such information as will make it possible to prepare a reliable return. All that I wish to secure is that in framing the return those who have to furnish the Commissioners with this information shall be satisfied that they are not going to be made the victims of a roving commission. There is no desire to protract the discussion of this Clause, but we do desire to alleviate the anxieties of the people concerned, and we think there is a wider roving commission being given in this case than in any other instance. There is no difficulty in drafting such a Schedule as I have suggested, which might be made more complete, and would no doubt carry out the Government's intention with a minimum of friction and with complete success. I beg to move.
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
In substance I am entirely in agreement with the hon. 1158 and learned Member in reference to the inquiries which he says are necessary for the proper ascertainment of the annual value of any licensed premises. The only question is whether it is more convenient to leave the matter at large, and allow the Commissioners to make any inquiries they please when they have to ascertain the compensation value; or whether it is better to put into the Bill a statutory form of Schedule. I think if such a form is required at all it should not be a statutory form, but should be made under a rule similar to the forms which are many in number and diverse in character provided for under Section 6 of the Act of 1904. Speaking for myself, I do not think there will be any other matters which the Commissioners will require to know than those which have already been referred to by the hon. and learned Member. I do not think they will need to inquire with regard to the mortgage. We never intended to ask such questions as what the particulars were between the mortgagor and the mortgagee. Those questions will not be necessary at all in my opinion in order to ascertain the actual value. I want to make a suggestion which I think will meet the point of the hon. and learned Gentleman. We have already got quite enough schedules in the Bill, and if there is to be another form provided for, it should be done under rule. The suggestion I make is that in order to make it perfectly clear that no unnecessary or immaterial question should be asked, we should put in after the words "may require," the words "such particulars as the Commissioners may require, and as may be material for the purpose of ascertaining the value." I make that suggestion, and I think it will meet the case.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I fully recognise the spirit in which the Solicitor-General has made this offer. I wish to point out, however, that the insertion of the words "as the Commissioners may require, and as may be material," would not add anything to the direction at present given to the Commissioners. We should be putting in words which would not enable the licensed victualler to resist in any way irrelevant questions. Two courses have been suggested. One is that the form of the requisition should be inserted in the Schedule, and the other is that it should be done by rule. I think that it should be in the Schedule, though I should prefer it done by rule rather than that it should not be done at all. Of course if the 1159 Solicitor-General sees an insuperable objection to adding another Schedule to the Bill, then I must accept the other alternative.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
It is not that I object to adding another Schedule. My reason is that if this proposal takes the shape of a statutory form you cannot alter it, whereas you can make qualifications if it is done by rule.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I was able myself in a few moments to indicate all the points which the Solicitor-General very reasonably thought might be necessary, and I cannot doubt that if he were to consult his expert advisers they would be able at very short notice to draft a list so exhaustive that it would be impossible almost to suggest additional subjects. I should be prepared, as far as I am concerned, if the Solicitor-General thought it convenient, to leave this point over until the Report stage, and this would allow the Government to decide whether it should take the form of a Schedule or be provided for by rule. If the Solicitor-General will undertake to do that I will withdraw my Amendment.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
I thought I had clearly indicated that I could not accept the statutory form of the Schedule. I will, however, undertake to consider the suggestion which he has made, although I think the offer I have just made is a better one. What I suggested is not merely a guide to the Commissioners, but it is also a protection to the publican against being prosecuted for not making a return of any kind. I am quite prepared, however, to consider whether it would be advisable, as this form is of an inquisitorial character, to put it in the form of a schedule. I may point out, however, that at present, in order to ascertain the compensation value, the Commissioners are able to ask any question they like in any way. I recognise, however, that there is a distinction between the two cases.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
After the Solicitor-General's statement and the spirit in which it has been made, I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. ARKWRIGHT
moved, in Sub-section (3), after the word "the" ["specified in the return"] to insert the words, "notice requiring the."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir HENRY KIMBER
moved, at the end of the Clause, to insert the words, "(4) The licence holder shall be informed of the factors and method of calculation by which such compensation value and annual compensation value, respectively, are arrived at, and he shall be entitled to show cause against the same and against the amount proposed to be registered and certified."
This is an Amendment which I hope the Government will be able to accept for three reasons. In the first place, it does not attempt to defeat any of the objects of the Bill; secondly, its object is clear; and, thirdly, it is necessary in order to enable the taxpayer to exercise those options which are placed before him. We have already passed a section which enables the Government to demand any particulars they like from the taxpayer. On principle I claim that when you demand anything from a man he is entitled to know the reason why and the grounds on which the claim is made out. That is essential on the grounds of fairness. The object of this Amendment is to secure for the licence holder the same right that the Government are enabled by force to exact from the taxpayer under the machinery afforded by this Bill. The first information a licence holder receives that a claim is going to be made upon him is that he is informed that he has to pay so much money which has been certified by the Commissioners to be due. He does not know how the demand upon him is made out. One set of Commissioners have to prepare the register, and they have to keep that register; and another set of Commissioners have to certify what is contained in that register. Here I may incidentally point out that the appeal which has been moved and inserted in the Bill by the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not cover several points. I do not want to discuss the merits of that Clause now, because, I am afraid, it would be out of order. I did not raise this point when the Clause I referred to was under discussion, because of the promise made by the Solicitor-General that an approved form of appeal clause would be considered on Report in order to meet those points. There are two points in particular which that does not cover, and which makes it all the more necessary that the licence holder should know how he has been dealt with by these two sets of Commissioners. It is quite possible under the form of appeal 1161 given that the only question put before the Court of Appeal would be whether the certificate made by the second set of Commissioners need do more than certify that the other Commissioners have prepared a register in which so much money was set against a particular licence holder. After the place in which the Government inserted the power of appeal we have inserted a paragraph which introduces a new ingredient in the case between the licence holder, the taxpayer, and the Government, and that is that the value of the premises other than those parts of it which are used for liquor purposes shall not be taken into consideration in the making of that certificate or in ascertaining the amount to be taxed. That paragraph relates to the question of what is the value of the other part of the premises of the licence holder, which is a very material consideration regarding all hotels in which the major part of the premises are used for purposes other than the sale of liquor.
I may just inform the Committee of a remarkable circumstance which shows how important that is to the licence holder. In Committee on the Budget Resolution I brought before the attention of the Committee and the Chancellor of the Exchequer some figures, the accuracy of which could not be challenged, regarding nine or ten of the principal hotels in the country, some in London and others in the provinces. I pointed out that there was nothing to guide the taxpayer as to the principles and materials on which he is going to be taxed. I showed that in some cases he would be taxed half the rateable value. The Chancellor of the Exchequer met that by saying that if the liquor trade did not exceed one-third it should be reduced by one-half, and that they would give the licence holder the option of being taxed on the compensation value. There is no monopoly value in the case of hotels. A great hotel gets its licence on some terms or other. It does not get any monopoly, and compensation has to bear upon monopoly.
The hon. Member is in order in discussing the question of compensation value, but not in discussing the whole question of hotels.
§ Sir H. KIMBER
I am endeavouring to show why it is reasonable the taxpayer should have this information. My Amendment does not attack any of the principles of the Bill. It merely says the Government shall be bound to give to the taxpayer information as to what they are doing. Why should they not? The Exchequer comes down and says, "We claim £1,000 from you for this Licence Duty." I say, "How do you make it out?" There is a complicated procedure, and you have to go through two processes. First of all, you have to ascertain what is the value of the trade, and show what the compensation ought to be in that case, and then you have to reduce that again to an annual compensation value. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said it could not be so much as the figures the hon. Member for York (Mr. G. D. Faber) and myself gave him, and to prove it he said he would place at our disposal one of the experts of the Treasury to meet a valuer of our own. I am connected in a fiduciary relation with an institution, and I accepted that offer. The Treasury expert came and certified that the value of the trade done in liquor was so much, but he did not say what the compensation value would be, either the capital or the annual compensation value. He merely gave a figure. I asked him how it was arrived at. He replied, "Oh, we are not permitted to tell." I was, however, able by an arithmetical deduction from the figures I did know, to ascertain how this gentleman had arrived at his figures, and, will the House believe me when I say that in estimating the value of the liquor trade, he had omitted to charge that trade with any proportion, even 1 per cent., of the general expenses of the whole of the premises. It is an establishment which has 750 beds. The gross receipts of the institution were £201,000 in a year, the gross working expenses, salaries, rates, taxes, and repairs amounted to £91,000, and the liquor trade was £36,000. It is a fact that the profit made on the sale of liquor in that institution and in many others of a similar kind is absorbed by the general expenses. These institutions are really an element in the world's civilisation. They are the homes of many people, they are the entertainment houses of our foreign friends, and they are a great commercial unit in our daily life; and the liquor trade, good as it is and with all the amenities with which it is surrounded must be carried on solely for the purposes of the other and larger part of the establishment. The 1163 Government have admitted that the in creased value o£ the trade which is attributable to that part of the hotel which is for purposes—
It seems to me the hon. Member is now discussing a matter which can come up on the next clause.
§ Sir H. KIMBER
I have the infirmity of not being able to sit up all night, and even when I have been here I have been unsuccessful in catching your eye. I do not complain, and I know you are always fair, but I rather despair of getting in opportunity if I wanted to speak on the next clause. I should, therefore, like, if I am not out of order, to persevere now.
If the hon. Member's real object is to deal with the question of hotels and give actual instances, then I think it would be very much better dealt with on the next clause.
§ Sir H. KIMBER
The only object I have is to secure that this will be taken into consideration, and I hope I shall get a favourable nod from the Prime Minister. The man who is going to be taxed should be supplied with sufficient information to enable him to exercise the option given him. He has two options, and he cannot exercise either until he has this information.
The hon. Member is still dealing with hotels, and I find he has an Amendment down to the next clause dealing with the matter from the point of view of hotels.
I have looked into it, and have no doubt an Amendment dealing with what the hon. Member desires will be in order on the next clause.
The hon. Member runs some risk if this is negatived of the Amendment on the next Clause being out of order.
§ Sir H. KIMBER
I have considerable hopes from the favourable expression en the Prime Minister's countenance.
I have pointed out that possibly, if it is negatived now, it will not be in order on the next clause, when the hon. Member ought to move it.
§ Mr. J. GRETTON
May I point out that this Amendment is not confined entirely to hotels. There are on-licences, beer licences, off-licences, and any licence affected by the Bill.
§ Mr. GRETTON
Would it be in order ho discuss these other classes of licences in connection with a clause dealing with hotels only?
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
We shall not try to force the hon. Member to a Division, so as to preclude him from moving his Amendment and making his speech on the next clause if he wishes.
§ Sir SAMUEL EVANS
I hope, after what I have said, we shall not have a long discussion on this Amendment, and I am pretty certain the hon. Gentleman, without sitting up to a late hour, will have an opportunity of making the rest of his speech, and of repeating what he has already said if he wishes on the next clause. We shall not endeavour to force the Committee to a decision on this so as to compel him to run any risk of his being unable to move his Amendment on the next clause. This Amendment is divided into two parts. The hon. Member, in the first place, asks that the licence holder shall be informed of the factors and methods of calculation. So far as I am aware, there is no precedent at all for requiring factors and methods of calculation to be given. I might say that, by reason of the questions asked by the Commissioners, and by general experience, those interested in the trade will have, a pretty shrewd notion of how the valuers set about the valuation of the property. It is quite a new thing that the methods of calculation shall be given. As to the second part of the Amendment, the hon. Member wants a licence holder to have an opportunity of showing cause against the valuation or calculation, or the amount proposed to be registered. I think the promise given by the Prime Minister earlier in the evening is sufficient. We have no objection 1165 at all to the Information being given before the date it is proposed to place it on the register. I hope that under these circumstances the Amendment will be withdrawn.
§ Mr. YOUNGER
We are now proposing an entirely new principle in valuation for the purposes of licensing. It has already been decided by the Committee that there shall be Treasury Regulations to deal with this important and complicated matter. One of those regulations I should imagine would need to be the fixing of some kind of standard. Each case will be dealt with according to the number of years' purchase, and the figure will go up or down according to that standard of value. Surely it is not unreasonable to ask that the man should be informed whether he is to be charged 12, 15, or 20 years' purchase? This I repeat is an entirely new principle, and, therefore, I urge that we are entitled to the information we are asking for.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The right hon. Gentleman has rather forgotten what the scope of the Treasury Regulations may be. They are for a specific purpose, for the purpose of translating the compensation value gross sum into an annual value. I would point out there is no precedent in any statute requiring any rating or technical authority to give information as to the process of reasoning by which it arrives at a particular result.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Since 1904 we have gone on the lines of the Kennedy judgment, which must be assumed to be the guiding authority until it is upset by some other decision. But I shall be quite prepared to consider this question before the Report stage with a view to seeing if it is possible to give the information asked for.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I have here a copy of the rules under which these appeals are made at the present moment under the Finance Act of 1894, and it is perfectly clear that, for the purposes of the present Bill, these rules will have to be modified, because the very first thing laid down is that the appellant shall state specifically the several grounds on which he claims that the decision of the Commissioners is erroneous, and how can he do that if you do not give him the data upon which the Commissioners have founded their decision?
§ Sir HENRY KIMBER
In deference to what you have said, and in view of the benevolent assurances of the Government, I withdraw this Amendment, hoping that I shall have an opportunity on the next Clause of raising my point.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I do not think we can part with this Clause without one word. It appears to me to be the very microcosm of the charms and beauties of the Government's proposal. It really contains in an exaggerated form almost every one of the uncertainties and injustices which characterise the general method of legislation in this Finance Bill. Could anything in the world be more absurd than applying to England, Scotland, and Ireland a power of appeal which is applicable to England alone, remembering that the machinery of that power of appeal cannot be extended to Scotland or Ireland in any rational form whatever so as to produce the results the Government desire. Could anything be more absurd than their method of arriving at what they call the annual compensation value by starting with the annual value, capitalising that annual value, and then undoing the process which they have laboriously gone through, and turning the capital value again into a different annual value. I do not believe that in any legislation there could be a more absurd method of taxing any section of His Majesty's subjects than this journey into the wider-ness for the purpose of journeying back again nominally over the same course, but probably over some different course, so as ultimately to arrive at an annual value based upon another annual value which is altogether different. In the whole history of fiscal legislation there never was so grotesque a method adopted. Will anybody pretend—have the Government itself pretended in the course of these Debates?—that this Clause provides a just method of arriving at the sums on which licence holders in this country are to be taxed? They have not even pretended that is so. They are, in regard to the vast majority of the licences in England and Scotland, starting a plan based on the annual rateable value. They have distinctly told us that it is unjust; they have admitted it is unjust. They have told us that in London 1167 the assessment is up to the level of the true rateable values. They have told us it is the same in Scotland. They have added it is not the same in the great part of provincial England. Therefore you are going to bring in a Bill which taxes the great mass of licence holders in London and in Scotland on the one hand, but in other parts of England you are going to proceed nominally on the same plan, although really on a different one. I do not care which plan you say is just. They cannot both be just. By the admission of the Government themselves, the system on which the licences in May are going to be taxed—a system which they acknowledge to be unjust—will not right itself. It will require new legislation to right it. It is going to put all licences on a system which they think is a better system—a system based on the annual compensation value. But that is admittedly unjust and indefensible. Yet, although it is so, under their scheme the Government mean to get nine-tenths of the money which they are going to squeeze out of this particular interest until some new Bill is brought in by some subsequent Government—possibly it may be the same Government, possibly it may be another. The scheme is indefensible, yet by it you are going to squeeze out of existence a considerable proportion of those who are taxed. I do not see how this is to be justified. But let us take the alternative. When this new legislation comes in, when either this Government or some subsequent Government extends the proposal of this Bill and places all licences upon the basis of what they call the annual compensation value, arrived at in the absurd manner I have referred to, is that going to be just? I do not know whether the Prime Minister was here when the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Herbert Samuel) made a speech the other day, in reply to an hon. Member, who pointed out that, under this plan, people were being taxed who ought not to be taxed. The Government themselves admitted that they ought not to be taxed on the goodwill, on something which is not taxed under rateable value—something which is beyond and outside that—something which is of the nature of goodwill, although it may not include everything in goodwill. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster admitted that that was unjust, and said that though it might be unjust in itself, it might not be unfair as 1168 between different members of the trade. He said if the growth of the tax was found to be too high, it would be too high for everybody, but the tax would be properly and equally distributed between the different members of the trade. That was the defence of the Government for a new and more perfect scheme, which is substituted for an imperfect and unjust scheme, which is the one on which the taxation is to be levied until the new legislation comes into force. I think that is most erroneous and most unfair, because it is all very well to say that it is equal as between the various members of the trade, but you must bear in mind that if you say a man's taxable property is worth so much, and it really is less, it is no defence to say that, after all, other people's property is also rated at too high a value for taxing purposes. It is an unjust position and it puts a man who is in this trade into a wrong position with, regard to other members of the community. It puts him in an invidious and unjust position, which I think is wholly indefensible.
But let us turn from that to the last commentary that I shall trouble the Committee with upon this Clause. It has been pointed out by my Friends, in the course of this Debate, that you are turning all the machinery of this Bill into the machinery of Commissioners and valuations, to which every citizen is to be subjected in a measure never dreamed of by previous Administrations. You are going to turn all this machinery on to the members of this trade in particular, not for the purpose of raising taxation at all—you are going to have a valuation, which may not be costly, but which will be inconvenient, and a valuation carried on under penalties—you are going to apply that to a great body of the taxable community, whom you are not going to tax under this Bill, and in whose case you need no valuation at all. You are going to put into this Budget a Valuation Bill which you admit is for another Budget. Was ever such a thing perpetrated? Is this another way of carrying out that Finance Bill, which should deal with finance alone? The greater number of the provisions are provisions tacked on to this Bill without having anything whatever to do with recent finance, or with the finance of this year, or the finance of any year. There are provisions in this Budget Bill which can have no effect and no operation until this or some other Chancellor brings 1169 in a new Bill, and extending the provisions as to valuation to the classes whom it is not proposed to tax is an absolutely novel proceeding. It is indefensible and has not been contained in any other scheme I have ever heard of.
If you confined your valuation to the hotels and to the licensed premises over £500 in value, your plan would, indeed, have been subject to criticism, but it would be relevant to the finance of the year—it would be relevant to the money which you are going to raise under this Bill. The proposals which the Government are making have no reference to that, and it is contended by their authors that they have no relevancy to the money to be raised, either in this year or any other year, and by their own admissions they require another Bill to make them operative. That is by the admission of the Government, and that will be as much "tacking" as any Bill I ever heard of and upon which that particular criticism has ever been passed. I think this Clause is almost a masterpiece in its absurdity, in its injustice, and in its indefensible character. In the opinion of the framers of the Clause it has an effect that is irrelevant to the whole of the other clauses of the Bill, and this makes it almost unique in our financial legislation. We have had many speeches, not, indeed, from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has been taking a little needful repose, but from the Chancellor of the Duchy, who has been left in charge of this unfortunate measure. That right hon. Gentleman has never attempted in one of the speeches he has made to meet the particular criticism to the particular difficulties which I ventured to press in some of the few words which I addressed to the Committee. I shall certainly divide against the Clause, which, I think, reaches the high-water mark of ineptitude and injustice in this matter.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I shall follow the right hon. Gentleman's example in one respect, that is, I shall be very brief, because I think after the very long discussion which this Clause has received it is time we came to a decision upon it. I should be the last person to fail in admiration of the dialectical resources of the right hon. Gentleman, or to accuse him of repetition; but I do not think it is the first time that we have had a description to the effect that a clause of this Bill has reached the height of injustice and absurdity. The right hon. Gentleman told us 1170 just now, I think, that this Clause was a masterpiece, that it is unique in the history of our legislation, and I tremble as to what epithets still remain in his copious vocabulary when there are 30 clauses of the Bill which are open to the same argument. Now we have reached only Clause 30 we are told that it is the masterpiece. [An HON. MEMBER: "Up to now."] Perhaps that is the explanation. Very well, we will wait and see, but in the meantime let me very briefly say what I can in answer to the specific charges of the right hon. Gentleman. His charge of absurdity against this Clause is based, first of all, on the fact that it applied to Scotland and Ireland, and then on the method of dealing with the problem of decentralising the annual value of the public-house. I should have thought that the first of these objections would not have bulked very largely in the right hon. Gentleman's, mind, but, after all, we have simply taken the machinery and the definition of which he is the author, and that he himself is responsible for, and which he himself applied to our licensing system, in so far as-the circumstances are analagous. We apply it for a particular purpose, we apply it in so far, and only in so far, as the circumstances are analagous, to the solution of a similar problem in the sister Kingdom. As to the decentralisation and the proceeding which the Clause contemplates in that respect, may I remind the right hon. Gentleman that it is necessary under the law, as at present authoritatively interpreted, to take a liberal number of years' purchase to the different factors in the licensed premises as compared with the same premises without the licence. Any-body who has read the Kennedy judgment knows that you do take a certain number of years' purchase, and it is simply a problem of multiplying the factor—which may be in dispute, but when you have arrived at that factor—of multiplying it by a generally ascertained and universally admitted multiple.
§ Sir E. CARSON
Is it not the fact that it is the annual factor which you have to come to, and therefore why you have to go back is what we do not understand?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Yes, there are two factors, the rent and the trade, and one multiplies that in order to arrive at the compensation value of the premises licensed. That is quite a minor point, which is really only a point of the machinery of the Clause. You multiply it by different multiples to arrive, at the com- 1171 pensation value of the premises licensed, as compared with them unlicensed. But when the right hon. Gentleman comes to the more serious part of his charge, that this Clause is a unique monument of injustice, let us see on what basis that accusation rests. In the first place, he says, that as regards the current year you perpetuate, you continue the tax upon a valuation, which you yourselves admit that you know to be inaccurate and unjust. In a sense that is no doubt perfectly true. We do think that the annual rateable value is not a satisfactory basis on which to found your Licensing Duties, but it is a basis which has existed in this country for something like 120 years. It has never excited any serious criticism before, certainly it never led to any attempt at reform during the time that the right hon. Gentleman and his friends were in office, and when they brought in their Licensing Bill, and really to say because we are continuing for one year longer a system which has been in existence for over 100 years that we are the authors of some new injustice is, in the right hon. Gentleman's own language, a monstrous absurdity. Not only is it not true, but we are merely continuing in this respect what exists already, and we very much mitigate in the present year the injustice of the existing system. Under the existing system, as I pointed out, and there has been no attempt to answer, you are taxing the lower class of the public-houses on this very footing. It may be a little more, or a little less, but it is something like 50 per cent. of their annual rateable value, and nobody has attempted to defend that system on the ground of justice. It is a system on which you take a very large proportion of the rateable value from the lower class of house, and those over £50 in an ascending scale of injustice, escape their fair share of the burden.
Justice, I know, is a relative thing, and cannot be obtained in a complicated matter of this kind in the course of one year. Admitting that justice is relative, yet, so far as we can, we are trying to bring our system into greater conformity with justice, and I claim that under the provisions of this Clause that is exactly what we have done. Then the right hon. Gentleman goes on to attack our alternative. I agree it cannot come into force from the nature of the case, save under exceptional circumstances, in the course of twelve months, but is it not a fair system? I do not understand his criticism 1172 upon it. Let me say exactly what it is. We cannot bring it into force at once, but the object of the institution of this register is to ascertain the compensation value of the premises—what is the annual compensation value, of the different licensed premises to which this machinery should be set to work. With regard to the subject value of the licensed premises, we say it should be neither more nor less, and should not differ in dimension or quantity, from the same subject value, for which under the right hon. Gentleman's Act, when the licence is determined the person who owns the licence obtains compensation. Does the right hon. Gentleman say that it is unjust? Where does the injustice come in? If that is the sum a man would receive if his licence came to an end through no fault of his own—a sum which he would receive because in the opinion of an impartial tribunal it represents the difference between the value of the premises licensed and unlicensed—why should not that same sum, translated from a capital to an annual figure, represent the basis on which he should contribute? That is a simple proposition. Where does the injustice come in? The right hon. Gentleman said something about goodwill. The goodwill in the only sense in which it is relevant to an argument of this kind does not enter into the matter at all. In other words, when you are ascertaining the difference between the value of the premises licensed and the same premises unlicensed you would be introducing an immaterial and irrelevant consideration if you took into account the personal efforts, the personal skill, and the personal labour of the licence-holder.
§ Mr. YOUNGER
Might I ask this simple question: One of the elements in valuing that sum is the element of profit. Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest for a moment that personal goodwill does not enter into profit?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Certainly, Mr. Justice Kennedy says so. He says you must not have regard to the personality of the particular licence-holder with whom you are dealing.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I am telling the hon. Gentleman what is the law as laid down by the courts. There is no practical difficulty in its application, and, the 1173 law being so laid down, anyone who introduces this element of personal goodwill into a valuation of this kind would be violating the law, and he would beet right on appeal. I think I have dealt with all the right hon. Gentleman's points except the last, which seems to me a reminiscence of what we heard some weeks ago under the discussion of the Land Clauses, that we are introducing here machinery which would not be immediately productive, and, therefore, which did not form a proper part of a Finance Bill for the fiscal arrangements for the year. I have dealt with the argument before in relation to other clauses, and I will only repeat now that it is an argument which, pressed to its logical conclusion, is absolutely fatal to the effective control of the House of Commons over the finances of the nation. You cannot through the very nature of things, if you take more than a hand to mouth view of your responsibilities and duties, enter upon the task of effective fiscal legislation without looking forward into the future and considering something more than the prospects of the immediate 12 months which lie before you. The machinery here will be immediately useful, as the right hon. Gentleman admits, for two very important purposes, and the licence holders of public-houses of more than £500 in value will agree with me in welcoming this alteration which is given them now at once. They ought to if they do not. But at any rate that is not the question. The point is that it is capable of being immediately utilised, and it is a concession on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer which involves the sacrifice of some hundreds of thousands of pounds of revenue.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I never knew the traders agree with regard to the numerous indulgences and generosities in our legislation in the last two years, sometimes in our original proposals, but more often perhaps in the form of concessions largely intended to disarm hostility. We have in the hon. Gentleman the mildest man who ever represented a great interest of this kind, and he is always perfectly fair, and, so far, I am sure, as his natural inclinations are not manacled and fettered by other associations, he will agree with me that this is a very generous, and I might almost say, a magnanimous, concession. At any rate, that is the point of view of the relevance and congruity of this 1174 machinery to the financial arrangements of the year. It is enough to say, first, that it is immediately utilisable for this purpose, and next that it is an essential preliminary which could not be gone through in a shorter time, laying a more equitable foundation for the whole of your Licence Duties in the future.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I am sure the Prime Minister was in his best form in treating the subject as a joke and in speaking of the great benefits he had conferred and was going to confer on the licensing trade. It will be an interesting thing for the licensing trade to-morrow morning, when they hear the views of the Prime Minister, to go back through the legislation attempted by the right hon. Gentleman last year and the legislation he is attempting now, and try to find out what it is that he has so jocularly referred to as being the beneficial concession he proposed to make. As regards this so-called concession of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, we discussed it on Friday and during a portion of this afternoon, and we asked the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give one concrete case illustrate what the concesion was, but we have never got an answer. We asked them, taking for instance the figures in the Kennedy judgment compared with the valuation of the premises, "Do, in Heaven's name, tell us what will be the difference, upon the assumption of those figures, which were real figures, between the valuation as it at present stands and the valuation as it would stand when you have worked out this miraculous sum in which you are to ascertain what is the annual value of the compensation fixed under the Act of 1904?"
We have defied the Government over and over again to tell us in pounds, shillings and pence what is the difference. We are now discussing, and, no doubt, going to pass the Clause by the majority which the right hon. Gentleman possesses, and down to the present moment we have been unable to ascertain what ought to be the simple figures, and still the Prime Minister, with that good humour which characterises him in all these discussions when he is conscious that he is carrying out a vindictive policy, goes on and says, "This is a great concession"; but, he says, "Really, Gentlemen, while it is a great concession neither I nor any of my colleagues nor any of our subordinates at the Treasury have really been able to work out in figures what the concession is and what will be the result of it to the trade." It is idle to talk, under these circumstances, of whether 1175 it is a concession or not. I do not myself know whether it is a concession. I know the Chancellor of the Exchequer is always sure about everything. When he says the proportion of the drink to the other matter consumed in the hotel is a third, or a half, or more or less it is all equally fair, and he is equally sure to be right. This is a matter that I am trying to work out, and I have not been able to work it out, and I do not know how you are going to work out the particular sum, which you have to work out before you can get at the figure that is necessary to make any comparison between the valuation and the method that you are going to adopt under the so-called concession, contained in the second Sub-section. The matter of valuation which was referred to by my right hon. Friend was disposed of by the Prime Minister in the same airy fashion, if I may say so. I have lost count since this Budget has been under discussion of the number of valuations that are going to take place. I really do not know how many there are, but I think the number will be enormous. It is admitted that the incidence of taxation on the present method of taxing on valuation is unfair in many cases. The Prime Minister says, "That is a matter that has been going on for 150 years, and why complain of if now? It makes a great difference if you are to pay 10 per cent. on the valuation of 150 per cent. The Prime Minister seems to think that the grievance is the same no matter what the magnitude of the amount you have to pay. It is the amount that constitutes the grievance, and the right hon. Gentleman leaves out of consideration the burden that is to be put on the taxpayer. You sure making a new valuation under the first Sub-section. How are you to ascertain the valuation required under that Section? This necessitates in the ease of every licensed house in the Kingdom a revaluation, because you will have to go into the figures and ascertain what has been allowed as a reduction for rating purposes, and what money has been expended on House licences. I do not see how that is to be ascertained, and I do not suppose that anybody knows. It seems to me that if you have to go through forms of that kind you will have a very difficult matter to inquire into as regards every public-house in the Kingdom. That is a process which must involve a certain amount of expense to every licence holder, and that is to be over in a year. While that matter is going on—and here another 1176 hardship comes in—the licence holder is at the same time confronted with the second valuation. The Revenue authorities will come down and make inquiries, about his trade, and they will go through all the procedure as if the licence was to be taken away. That will necessitate the employment of professional men. All that is to be done, although nothing is to be based upon it; nothing is to come to the-revenue. We have never got the slightest information as to what this system of valuation and registration is to cost the country, or what it is going to cost the trade which you are taxing. The truth of the matter is that the Government approached this. Bill originally, as they approach it in the-country in their speeches, by pretending that everybody concerned in it is a duke.
It does not matter, it is only dukes who are concerned, and they go on piling up these expenses as if they were dealing solely with millionaires. When they go down to the country they always pretend that it is a matter affecting dukes and brewers, and all the vast sham and pretence goes on in the country. But another sham and pretence goes on in this House. You are dealing here with a large number of people who in the first place hold small interests, and when you talk about brewers you leave out of account the fact that there are thousands of shareholders in breweries, and you treat them all as if they were millionaires. No justification has or can be shown by the Government for this Clause. If you are determined to put on these duties, you have not in the slightest degree improved the position by anything you mean to enact by this Clause. You are putting people to expense in relation to a matter which cannot affect the revenue this year. Looked at from the constitutional point of view, or in any other way, you are inflicting gross hardship on the parties who come within the purview of this Section. It is certainly a Section we are bound to protest against as well as we can, even though our numbers are small in the House. When the proposal comes to be understood in the country, it will be resented by all those on whom these burdens will fall.
§ Mr. H. BELLOC
I think it will not be-without advantage in this Debate if I present to the Committee a concrete case-which comes in perfectly good faith from a man who has always supported Liberal principles. I think when I put the case it will not be without effect. It will, of course, be entirely without effect on the 1177 voting on either side. The argument of the Government is that when anything in the nature of monopoly is created by the State, the State has the right to have the value of that monopoly restored to it. That is a very sound democratic principle as old as human society. I could wish that in this English society it were generally applied. I wonder why this particular monopoly should have been chosen when so many have been left untouched. But there is a principle universal also in all human society, which is this. When you recover for the community the value of a monopoly you will recover it by such degrees that it shall not have the effect of confiscation, against the particular individual. Monopolies, even the most unjust monopolies, when they pass over a certain period of time, acquire in the ordinary morals and in the ordinary conventions of citizens of the State the force of property. If, indeed, the argument is you are to confiscate, I could say to you that there are many things which you had better begin to confiscate before you begin to confiscate property of this sort, property so divided, which has been regarded as absolute property by so many thousands of people. There is the one formula, which is a simple one, by which monopoly can be recovered. It should be recovered by the difference of credit obtainable by the community as compared with the individual. It is that which governs the purchase of Irish land, and it is that which always governs in any just state of society the recovery of a monopoly from the individual for the State. The State can borrow money more cheaply than a private individual, and on the difference between this credit and the credit of the private individual depends your power of repurchasing private monopoly for the public use. That is the formula which always obtains if justice prevails. The Prime Minister, in his reply to the Leader of the Opposition, pointed out that we were not committing an injustice if we passed this series of laws, and this Clause in particular, with the principles underlying it, because we were obtaining what the Leader of the Opposition himself had on previous occasions claimed for the State, the monopoly value.
And now I will give the concrete case of which I have spoken in my Constituency. It is a case of one of those men whose cases, I confess, to me, with my political principles, and I should imagine to any man of—I use the fatal word "democratic"—sympathy, must appeal. He is 1178 a man with a small inherited capital, which he minded well, which he inherited from his father, and which he hopes to leave to his successors. This man has pursued with great decency and success a particular trade, the management of what, I believe, under the peculiar provisions of the Finance Bill cannot be called a hotel. I daresay he sells a decimal too much of liquor as against food; but, at any rate, it is called a hotel; it is used as a hotel, and in every way it is properly conducted. What are you doing with this man? I have the figures. This man is paying £50 compensation duty, a new levy which he had not to pay before the trade was attacked by his friends. He is paying—you will understand why I do not give his name and address—in Income Tax about £30; he is paying in general rates of the premises, and all added together, £137. To those general imposts you are by this Bill in this particular case adding a tax of £237 10s. a year. From that I cannot get away. How can I leave that man, whose father, and his father before him, were Liberals, said who has always constantly supported—
The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Cald-well)
These remarks would apply to Clause 29, which has been passed. We have already passed the Clause which raises the tax, and are now dealing only with the method of valuation.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
Is not the hon. Gentleman in order, having regard to the direct object of the valuation, as explained by the Prime Minister and by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is to remodel the taxation of these houses?
We have added to the duties under Clause 29, and we are now at Clause 30, which deals with the valuation and the mode of the valuation. Therefore the hon. Gentleman's remarks must be limited to that. I may also say that the hon. Member must take care not to make a second reading speech.
§ Sir E. CARSON
On a point of Order. Is not the amount of the levy of the tax affected by the valuation? Will it not depend entirely on what the mode of valuation is?
The speech had reference to the amount of the duties and the effect of the duty. The only question here is the mode of ascertaining the valuation, and that mode of ascertaining the valuation does not raise the question of the amount of the duties.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
With great respect, you again misunderstood what I meant. I quite agree that the rate of the tax was settled by Clause 29, but I submit that while the rate of the tax was settled by Clause 29, the amount of the tax will be, and must naturally be, affected by what you put on the valuation.
To a certain extent that is so; but you are dealing here with the mode of valuation as affecting the amount, and the remarks should be limited to that.
§ Mr. BELLOC
May I ask if two right hon. Gentlemen—one the Leader of the House and the other the Leader of the Opposition—used from the Front bench a particular argument, and if the Prime Minister in particular says, "This is the argument used, and it cannot be replied to," may not I reply to that?
If the hon. Member had been in this House as long as I have been, he would find this, that there is a certain amount of latitude which is generally allowed to the Leader of the House and to the Leader of the Opposition which is not expected in general discussion. That is quite understood.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
Are we to understand that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, and possibly some favoured other Members of the House, are permitted to indulge in irrelevance of Debate?
§ Mr. BELLOC
I bow to your ruling. I have obtained a very valuable ruling from you. This is not a second reading speech. This is an exposure of the sort of thing of which people complain. As a matter of personal explanation, I say that so far from making a second reading speech, I have spoken as I habitually do, at shorter length than most Members. Since my argument may not be pursued, I will not pursue it. I will not bring forward that concrete case. I will wind up by saying, with regard to this particular Clause 30, that—like so many of its brethren—it is a fatal thing in the Bill so far as democratic sentiment is concerned. I am speaking without party politics entirely. It is one of these things which, to the 1180 ordinary voter, will be a stumbling-block. When I see the way in which Debate is treated in these matters, I am not quite certain that this, or those very much more valuable, more drastic, and more just portions of the Budget which we support, can pass into law.
§ Mr. CLAVELL SALTER
I have no intention of going back, in the matters which have formed a subject of discussion on the Clause; but I do desire to call the attention of the Committee to this fact: That, in my supposition, the Committee is called upon to vote upon this Clause in complete darkness as to the practical effect which it will have. I am dealing with the valuation, which is the subject of this Clause, the sole justification of which has been that it is to be made the basis of fresh taxation. I say nothing about the cost of the valuation either to the taxpayer or to the State, but I should like to-place before the Committee certain figures which have been given to me, and which I have every reason to believe are accurate, as an attempt to show how entirely in the dark we are as to the practical results of the application of this proposal. The figures I have relate to a large concern, an exceptionally powerful and well managed and successful business concern—a brewery company having a large number of houses in the Northern part of England. The annual value of their houses is £86,670. I have also the figures relating to their trade, and I have endeavoured—it must, no doubt, be considerably a matter of estimate, and can only be very approximate—to ascertain how that concern will stand under the new basis to be applied to all licensed houses. Their present duty is something like £17,000 a year. Under the Bill as it stands this concern will have to pay over £43,000 a year. But what will they have to pay under the new basis? I have endeavoured, to ascertain as nearly as I can what they will pay, to get from the gross annual value the approximate annual value. I have deducted one-sixth, which, I think, those familiar with those matters will agree is ample, and which is borne out by the actual facts with regard to these houses. I thus get something over £72,000 a year, and I capitalise that at 18 years, although 20 years is taken to-be the more usual figure. That gives me a total of £1,300,000 as representing the licence value of the premises. I then turn to the trade. The trade is 326,000 barrels a year at 10s. That gives £168,000 a year profit on beer, and I capitalise that 1181 at ten years, which gives me £1,680,000. The spirit trade is £10,000 a year, and that capitalised at ten years gives me £100,000. We have got three items. We have the compensation value of £1,300,000 for licensed premises; we have £1,680,000 for the beer trade, and we have £100,000 for the spirit trade, a total of £3,080,000. From that I have to deduct—and this is the most difficult step in the matter—the unlicensed value of the premises. That obviously must be a matter of considerable conjecture; but I think it would be safe if I take one public-house with another, having regard to the fact that the cost of alterations to convert the houses to other purposes would not be more than 50 per cent. of the value which the property bears as licensed property. Any hon. Member can form his own opinion. Estimating that to be about the right amount, I have allowed for the unlicensed value £650,000, and deducting that from the total of over £3,000,000, I get a net total of £2,430,000 a-s the actual lump sum of compensation value. How is that to be dealt with? Here is the process of what the Prime Minister calls decapitalisation. I must confess that to me it is a novel process. We are all very familiar with the converse case of capitalising the annual value; it is the commonest thing in the world. But this process of decapitalisation is one which I do not know whether hon. Members have considered very carefully. I have taken the annual equivalent by the simple process of dividing by 10 and by 20. Divided by 10, and assuming the duty is to be paid on half the annual compensation value—
§ Mr. SALTER
Quite so. I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. Why do I make that assumption? What assumption are we to make? One must make some assumption in order to find out what effect this is going to have on a given business concern.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I would suggest to the hon. and learned Gentleman that he should assume the rate of taxation would be so framed as, in the words of the Government, to impose no substantial increased burden upon the trade.
§ Mr. SALTER
It is better to have that stated in the House than nothing. I wish we had it in the Bill, as the hon. and learned Member said. I am not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman rather flinches 1182 from these figures. Suppose that it is to be half the annual compensation value, instead of, as at present, half the annual value, that would give, at ten years, art annual duty of £121,500, instead of £17,000, and at twenty years £60,750, instead of what the concern now pays, £17,000. This concern, which is an; exceedingly prosperous and powerful one, is better able to stand the pressure of taxation. In the ordinary course of trade it distributes among its ordinary shareholders 10 per cent., or about £100,000. I confess I should have thought that to a concern which is paying £100, £17 is not unduly light taxation for Licence Duty alone, besides all the other burdens which the trade bears; but upon that basis £17 was altered to £43, and it is to be altered later again to something between £60,000! and £121,000. The first figure would much more than half wipe out the ordinary share payments, and the second figure would obviously obliterate them altogether. The right hon. Gentleman asked why I assume they are going to pay one-half. Why assume anything? That is just my point. We are completely in the dark, the trade is completely in the dark, and whatever may be the ultimate result in practice the system is to be carried out under the guidance of rules which will have the force of statutes, and which will be carried out without appeal to any court.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I greatly regret that we were not favoured with the presence of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister during the whole of the time this Clause has been under discussion. I must certainly pay him this compliment: that every time fair arguments were addressed to him he yielded. I am not decrying his. colleagues on the fact, but they were so-fettered to this Clause that they did not know the intention of the Government, and were not in a position to deal with the Amendments or the arguments brought before the Committee. I greatly regret it, too, because the other Members of the Government thought they were bound, and that they were anchored to the fanatical principles which laid down that this was not a Budget Bill at all, but a Bill for the obliteration of the publicans. I think this is a Bill for raising taxes, and that that is its prime duty. My only anxiety in regard to this matter is this, that the publican should get the same fair play and the same amount of justice as any other member of the community. He is already the-subject-matter of a very large taxation, 1183 which this Bill enormously increases, thus decreasing his profits and trade. There are now laid upon him under this Bill, and especially in these Clauses, burdens which no man can exaggerate or can see the length and breadth of. There is a maxim which says, "it is better that the law should be certain than that it should be just," and I think nowhere is that maxim so applicable as to a taxing statute, and this is especially the case in regard to taxation affecting a trade which necessarily, and, perhaps, indeed justly, arouses so many prejudices, because we all know that for generations a body of virtuous men, a body of public-spirited and disinterested men, have in the public interest and in the general interest made this trade the object of constant attack, and this Bill is the spearhead of that attack, and these Clauses represent all that Liberal principles can do in the nature of giving effect to those ideas.
Therefore I examined these Clauses, and I tried to find out what is the revenge and what is the vindication of public principle that you are going to exact from the vendor of this particular form of stimulant, and again and again and again we have applied the probe to the principles of this Clause to see if we could discover them. Concrete cases have been given by the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Salter) and the hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Belloc). I wish to ask, dealing solely with Ireland, what method of valuation will be proposed or pursued, and what will be the result in each case? We do not in Ireland regard the publican with horror in this way as an individual. He has been with us in all our fights, at the head of the Land League, he is generous in his subscriptions, he is a sound Nationalist, and he is a Liberal, and he fought the Liberal battle in Ireland for a century. Very well, that man is not our enemy, he is our friend; and in addition to that I want to take this case: When he is dying he very often leaves his means for public purposes. I take the case of a man who has just endowed the new University with the value of his public-house, which he has left to trustees. That man—or rather the solicitors on his death—paid Estate or Probate Duty, or whatever it is called, and they paid the Government as the value of this house 9,000 sovereigns. He was a Dublin publican, and I looked at Thom's Directory just now to find out the valuation of this house which will go for education. Since this Budget was brought in that place cannot be sold; it 1184 cannot be realised. They tried to put it up to auction, but it was no use, and why? Because of the uncertainty of this taxation and of the burden which it will have to bear. What is that man's valuation for the purposes of trade? You may tell me it is small—it is only £92, and it is small; but what are the Government doing in Dublin just now? They are engaged in a system of revaluation under which the whole of the goodwill and the fact that the Government were paid by the executors £9,000 for those premises will be taken into account. What will that valuation turn out to be now? I dare not give the figure. That valuation will be for the purposes of local rating, and then will come along the new Domesday Book, the Commissioners of Excise with a register as provided in this Bill, and the Commissioner of Valuation. The first thing he will do under the new valuation will be to serve a form on the executors asking how much they paid on the death of the man. He will be told £9,000, and the Commissioner will say, "Oh, Lord, what a plum!" Can anyone imagine the result of the charity, and I venture to say instead of being valued at this £92 it will be valued in future upon hundreds and hundreds of pounds. You may tell me that is just, but remember that is to be done under a Bill which has increased the taxation upon the materials of his business and necessarily diminish their consumption, so that with the diminished trade he is called upon to pay increased taxation. We have been endeavouring for two or three nights to get from the Government what it is that this Irish publican will in future have to take into account which he never had to take into account before. We began by showing that Griffith's valuation included rent, included taxes, included insurance, and included all the other elements which go to local rating, and what a hypothetical tenant would pay. We asked what is the new ingredient under this new valuation that has been created by this Section. The answer we got, I venture to think, is the most astonishing answer ever given by a serious Ministry to inquiring men, namely, that this new Licensing Bill should apply, does not exist in Ireland at all, namely, the right of this man to compensation for disturbance. Was there ever such a thing out of "Alice in Wonderland"? Neither in Ireland nor Scotland was it ever pretended that this new Licensing Bill should apply, and you have given the English publican 1185 an endowment, which I venture to say the Irish publican will be only too glad to get, and you are valuing, and necessarily valuing the English publican, upon this new system of endowment, namely, his rights under the Act of 1904, and then you offer to the Irish publican the Barmecidal feast of the right to compensation which does not exist. I say we were well-founded when at the beginning of this Debate we maintained that it was never intended that this Section should apply to Ireland. What is more, I believe that if we could examine and cross-examine the draftsman he would avow that he never intended it. ["No."] Of course I must accept the contradiction; but, if that be so, why did you not deal with the Irish case? Why did you not say that this element of value which exists in England shall not be taken into account in Ireland? Why did you not say that the Irish publican shall have a right of appeal? I do not say that propositions which have been put before the Ministry have not been fairly met; but does not that strengthen my argument when I say that in drafting the Clause you never thought there was such a country as Ireland? Why did you give the English publican the right of compensation under the Act of 1904? You gave it for the purposes; of abolition. You said to each of these publicans, "The law provides that you shall be abolished, that you shall be paid off." But with regard to Ireland, it was admitted in every court to which the principle was taken that the Irish publican had an absolute right of renewal, and that he could not be put to death on payment of compensation as the English publican can. The English publican is, so to speak, under Mr. Gladstone's Land Act of 1870; lie can be evicted, but he must be compensated; whereas the Irish publican is, so to speak, under the Gladstone Act of 1881; his licence cannot be put an end to except for misconduct. How will the wizards at, I suppose, Somerset House, who are dealing with England and valuing English public-houses on this basis, be able to say that as regards Ireland such a method of valuation can be fairly applied?
Let me remind the House that the amount of the Englishman's compensation is arived at only after litigation. The English publican is put an end to or evicted on the basis that he will fight in the open courts to ascertain by valuers and judges how much he is to get. But that is not this case. You substitute for a litigated valuation an imaginary valua- 1186 tion; and here is one of the elements that is to enter into it. I could understand its entering into a litigated valuation "provided that in the case of a licence holder regard shall be had not only to his legal interest in the premises or trade fixtures, but also to his conduct and the length of time he has been in occupation." For the first time you introduce conduct as an element of valuation. The worse your conduct the less your valuation. All, the rapscallions will get off cheap. The only way I can understand conduct entering into the case is on the question of endorsement. It is not the house that is endorsed, but the licence. I am dealing only with the Irish law. When a new man comes in he comes in clear of the old endorsement. Now, for the first time, he is to be subjected to a method of valuation which takes his conduct into account. Supposing a Government comes into power which desires to enforce the Coercion Act. Men may perhaps be sent; to gaol under that Act, or they may refuse the police refreshments. For the first time you import the political element. As I have said, these publicans have been, to a large extent, the leaders of popular movements, and if a man's conduct is to be taken into consideration in the amount of his valuation you have hit upon a very pretty method for Imperial purposes of fining a man without bringing him into court.
The only other observation I propose to make is with reference to Belfast. For the purposes of valuation every publican in; Belfast is already paying every shilling that you can extract from him.
§ Mr. EDMUND LAMB (Leominster)
rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put"; but the. Deputy-Chairman withheld his assent, and declined then to put the Question.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I am much obliged to the hon. Member. It would be a great relief to me if his Motion were accepted. Take the case of a, publican sitting at a low rent—say, £50 a year—under a lease, and, perhaps, valued at no more. The Commissioners of valuation may assess him at £200 or £300. That process has been gone through in Belfast. The matter has been taken up to the High Court. Although that man is paying Imperial taxes and local taxes upon that new valuation, you propose, in addition, to establish an Imperial register for the purpose of clapping upon him fresh Imperial taxation. Your instructions to the valuers in Dublin 1187 at present are to take this extra element into account. This Clause is most unjust to the licence holders of Ireland. With regard to the Amendment in the first Sub-section, applying Griffith's valuation, its effect has been entirely misunderstood. The first Sub-section only applies publican's valuations to other valuations in the well within the mark that the Amendment did not affect the Clause as a whole is misconceived. It is inapplicable to the circumstances of the country; and
§ at a time when you are imposing enormous taxation upon the commodities which these men in Ireland are selling you could not have hit upon a less expedient or a less expedient or a less just moment in which to impose this additional taxation.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 183; Noes, 83.1189
|Division No. 607.]||AYES.||[9.18 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Gulland, John W.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Agnew, George William||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Radford, G. H.|
|Alden, Percy||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Hart-Davies, T.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)|
|Allen, Charles P (Stroud)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Harwood, George||Rees, J. D.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Haworth, Arthur A.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Hedges, A. Paget||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Henry, Charles S.||Robinson, S.|
|Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Higham, John Sharp||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Beale, W. P.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Beauchamp, E.||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Rowlands, J.|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Hudson, Walter||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Hutton, Afred Eddison||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Bethell, T. H. (Essex, Maldon)||Jardine, Sir J.||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Seely, Colonel|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Branch, James||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Bright, J. A.||Jowett, Michael||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Kekewich, Sir George||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Laidlaw, Robert||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Lambert, George||Snowden, P.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Lamont, Norman||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Byles, William Pollard||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Lehmann, R. C.||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Cleland, J. W.||Lewis, John Herbert||Summerbell, T.|
|Clough, William||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth).||Lyell, Charles Henry||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Lynch, H. B.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Tomkinson, James|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Toulmin, George|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||M'Callum, John M.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Maddison, Frederick||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Verney, F. W.|
|Crossley, William J.||Massie, J.||Walsh, Stephen|
|Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Micklem, Nathaniel||Waring, Walter|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Mond, A.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S).||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Morse, L. L.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Duckworth, Sir James||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Elibank, Master of||Myer, Horatio||Wiles, Thomas|
|Erskine, David C.||Nicholls, George||Williams, Sir Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Nussey, Sir Willans||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||Nuttall, Harry||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Winfrey, R.|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Glendinning, R. G.||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Glover, Thomas||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Pointer, J.||Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Fell, Arthur||Morrison-Bell, Captain|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fletcher, J. S.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Grayson, Albert Victor||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gretton, John||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Guinness, Hon, R. (Haggerston)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edm'ds.)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hamilton, Marquess of||Renwick, George|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Healy, Timothy Michael||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hill, Sir Clement||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hills, J. W.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Joynson-Hicks, William||Starkey, John R.|
|Cave, George||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lonsdale, John Browniee||Winterton, Earl|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Young, Samuel|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Younger, George|
|Doughty, Sir George||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A.|
|Du Cros, Arthur||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Moore, William|
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."1190
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 193; Noes, 84.1191
|Division No. 608.]||AYES.||[9.25 p.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Agnew, George William||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)|
|Alden, Percy||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lambert, George|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Lamont, Norman|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Dobsen, Thomas W.||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Duckworth, Sir James||Lehmann, R. C.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Elibank, Master of||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Erskine, David C.||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David|
|Barker, Sir John||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lupton, Arnold|
|Barnard, E. B.||Evans, Sir S. T.||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes|
|Barnes, G. N.||Everett, R. Lacey||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Barran, Sir John Nicholson||Findlay, Alexander||Lynch, H. B.|
|Beale, W. P.||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Fullerton, Hugh||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Glendinning, R. G.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Glover, Thomas||M'Callum, John M.|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Maddison, Frederick|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Gulland, John W.||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Massie, J.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Mond, A.|
|Branch, James||Hart-Davies, T.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Bright, J. A.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Harwood, George||Morse, L. L.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Haworth, Arthur A.||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Hedges, A. Paget||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Myer, Horatio|
|Byles, William Pollard||Henry, Charles S.||Nicholls, George|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Higham, John Sharp||Nussey, Sir Willans|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hogan, Michael||Nuttall, Harry|
|Cleland, J. W.||Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Clough, William||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hudson, Walter||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Partington, Oswald|
|Corbett A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Jardine, Sir J.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pearson, w. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Crossley, William J.||Jowett, F. W.||Pointer, J.|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Seely, Colonel||Verney, F. W.|
|Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Radford, G. H.||Sherwell, Arthur James||Waring, Walter|
|Raphael, Herbert H.||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)||Silcock, Thomas Ball||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Simon, John Allsebrook||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Rees, J. D.||Sloan, Thomas Henry||Watt, Henry A.|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Snowden, P.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Ridsdale, E. A.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Soares, Ernest J.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)||Stanger, H. Y.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Williams, Sir Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Robinson, S.||Summerbell, T.||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Rogers, F. E. Newman||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Rose, Sir Charles Day||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Winfrey, R.|
|Rowlands, J.||Tomkinson, James||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Toulmin, George|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Fletcher, J. S.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Grayson, Albert Victor||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gretton, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edm'ds.)||Renwick, George|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Hamilton, Marquess of||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Healy, Timothy Michael||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hill, Sir Clement||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hills, J. W.||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Starkey, John R.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Joynson-Hicks, William||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Winterton, Earl|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Young, Samuel|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Younger, George|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Doughty, Sir George||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A, Akers-||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Du Cros, Arthur||Moore, William||Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Morrison-Bell, Captain|
|Fell, Arthur||Parkes, Ebenezer|