Motion made, and Question proposed,
That for the purpose of payments into any Local Taxation Account, the proceeds of any duties on any local taxation licences (including duties for motor cars) which are altered by any Act passed in the present Session shall be deemed to be the proceeds of the duties in the year ending the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and nine."—[Mr. Lloyd-George.]
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I do not wish to put the Committee to the trouble of a Division at this time of the morning on this Resolution, or to make any Amendment, but I do desire to enter a protest against the way in which the Government is working the House and taxing the capacity of Members. It is idle to pretend that we can do our duty by these discussions when we are kept sitting here from three in the afternoon every day this week until 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. We met at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and have been sitting till a quarter to five in the morning, and are asked to be back here to resume the discussion at noon. The Clause we have been discussing since midnight is a very important one, not, indeed, a new tax, but 807 such an addition to a new tax as is entirely novel. The first thing we have to discuss to-morrow is a question which arouses a great deal of feeling and controversy. It is quite unfair to the House, and very bad for the business of the House, that the Governmeit should put this tax upon them.
§ Mr. JOHN GRETTON
Many Members do not know what the Government propose to take to-night. We understand that the Government are going to press this Resolution, and that there are others. We should like to know what we are to be asked to do.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
That is a very reasonable request, and I shall be happy to comply with it. The Resolution which might be regarded as containing debatable matter was the one read from the Chair to-night. The Resolution with regard to Mineral Rights we do not propose to take, nor the Report of the Estate Duties Resolution, nor the Mineral Increment Duty Resolution. The only Resolutions we propose to take to-night are those which are purely formal and enable us to proceed with the discussion to-morrow on the Motor Licences and motor roads. We must get the Report of these to-morrow, otherwise we cannot proceed with the Bill. With regard to what the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Austen Chamberlan) has said, I do not think we have sat very late this week. This morning is very exceptional; it is the only night we have been very late, especially when you compare it with the length of our sittings a month or so ago. We sat sometimes till 7 o'clock.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I suggest that we should take the Report stage of these Resolutions. I do not propose to begin with the very contentious matter to which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) referred.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
The right hon. Gentleman has stated, and I quite agree with him, that we have not sat very late this week, but I take note of the fact that when we sat on after midnight it was on a clause which was objected to by all the Irish representatives. It will be some consolation to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) to know that in America 808 when they want to get through a Tariff Bill they always select these hours.
- 1. Resolved, That, for the purpose of payments into any Local Taxation Account, the proceeds of any duties on any local taxation licences (including duties for motor cars) which are altered by any Act passed in the present Session shall be deemed to be the proceeds of the duties in the year ended the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and nine.
- 2. Resolved, That any duties for motor cars imposed by any Act of the present Session be levied by county councils in England and Wales, and be duties to which Section six of The Finance Act, 1908, applies, and that the amount of the duties so levied be divided between county councils (including the councils of county boroughs) in England and Wales and the Exchequer so as to provide for the payment to each such county council of an amount equal to the proceeds of the duties levied by that council during the year ending the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and nine, in respect of motor cars on which the new duties are imposed, and for the payment of the balance into the Exchequer, and that if in any year the amount of the duties so levied is not sufficient to pay to each such county council the amount required to be paid the deficiency shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.—[Mr. Lloyd-George.]
- 3. Resolved, That all payments made in pursuance of conditions attached to new licences under Section four of the Licensing Act, 1904, shall be paid into the Exchequer.—[Mr. Lloyd-George.]
§ Resolutions to be reported to-morrow (Friday). Committee to sit again tomorrow.
§ ADJOURNMENT.—Resolved, that this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Joseph Pease.]
§ Adjourned accordingly at Thirteen minutes before Five o'clock a.m. (Friday, 24th September)