HC Deb 28 February 1910 vol 14 cc659-73

Considered in Committee.

Resolved, "That Mr. J. H. Whitley do take the Chair as Deputy-Chairman."—[The Prime Minister.]


[Mr. J. H. WHITLEY, Deputy-Chairman, in the Chair.]

Motion made, and Question proposed,

8.0 P.M.

"That it is expedient:

  1. (1) To authorise the Treasury to borrow any sums which they have power to borrow under the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Act, 1909, and the Appropriation Act, 1909, and any sums which may be required for the payment of Treasury bills already issued under those Acts, or hereafter issued, by the issue of Treasury bills, the date of the payment of which shall be a date not later than the thirtieth day of September, nineteen hundred and ten, instead of the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and ten.
  2. (2) To authorise the suspension in part of the New Sinking Fund for the financial year ending the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and ten."


I am surprised that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has not condescended to inform the House what is the meaning of this Resolution. Fortunately, knowing the customs of the House and of the Government, I obtained from the authorities a copy of the Resolution, and I venture to say that there is not a single man in this House, except myself and the right hon. Gentleman opposite, who really knows what is in this Resolution. It does two things. First of all, it authorises the Government to borrow any sum of money, which they were authorised to borrow under the Consolidated Fund Bill of 1909. Then it authorises them to borrow, in addition, sums of money which may be required for the payment of Treasury bills of the 1909 issue. Then it does what I think is a very important thing—it suspends the Sinking Fund for the year 1909–1910 altogether, and I hope to be able to say a few words upon that later on. I think I am right in saying that the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill of 1909 empowered the Government to borrow up to seventy-five millions of money. That is a very large sum of money, and I think this House should pause before they give such enormous powers to the Front Bench opposite as to borrow such a sum. But I understand this Resolution goes very much further than the seventy-five millions, because it apparently perpetuates the powers granted under the Consolidated Fund Bill, 1909, and it goes very much further, and enables the Treasury not only to borrow seventy-five millions, but to use the powers under which they have already borrowed under that Act. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell the Committee the extent to which those powers have been used.


£29,800,000, or in round figures £30,000,000.


That £30,000,000 under the Consolidated Fund (No. 2 Bill) of 1909 will have to be perpetuated, as it was only authorised to be borrowed for a certain time, so that under this Bill not only the £75,000,000 are to be authorised but the £30,000,000, which should have been repaid. Therefore what really takes place under this Resolution is that the Government has power to borrow £105,000,000, or, rather, to continue the £30,000,000 already borrowed under the Act, and to extend it to £105,000,000 instead of the £75,000,000, which they were authorised to borrow when the Act was introduced. That seems to me to be a very large power to come down and ask this Committee to give them, and I think, in view of the fact that the Government are deliberately omitting to collect taxes to the amount of £25,000,000, they are asking too much. It is quite correct to say that the Government are borrowing their own money, and the taxpayer is paying interest for the people who have not yet paid their taxes in order that they may borrow their own money. I have paid my Income Tax—or, rather, a large portion of it—and I am afraid that I am rather foolish in so doing; but why, when some of us have paid our taxes, should other taxpayers be let off? The Radical papers say that large sums of money will have to be borrowed to carry on the business of the country, as a considerable amount of increased expenditure would have to be paid, and the Government come down and propose to perpetuate a system which they themselves and their financial supporters formally denounced.

At the end of the Resolution it authorises the suspension in part of the new Sinking Fund for the financial year ending the 31st March, 1910. That, I believe, is a novel proposition without precedent in a Resolution of this kind. We have already sanctioned the suspension of the Sinking Fund by, I think, three and a half millions, but, as my hon. Friend below me points out very appositely, if you are going to do this, it has the result of perpetuating a part of the last year's Budget, and that is taken at a time when there is no Nationalist Member in the House, and many other Members who champion the veto before the Budget, are absent. I trust this proposal is not brought forward in the hope that it will elude the vigilance of the hon. Gentlemen, and I should like to ask whether it is possible to introduce into a financial Resolution part of a defunct Budget, and if that can be done why a Resolution that the Income Tax should be collected should not also be included? I should be inclined to propose an Amendment if I were in order, but I cannot, of course, as a private Member, propose a charge, but if I could move such a proposal I would do so, and it is only a technical rule which prevents me. Why should the Government ask the House to authorise the suspension of the Sinking Fund in part, and why do they not tell us how much is going to be suspended? Three and a half millions was the amount which the Government in the last Parliament determined to suspend, as first of all, if I recollect correctly, they asked for the suspension of three millions, and then, finding that their new taxes were bringing in so little, they found that they would require more money, and asked for the suspension of another half million, but this Resolution does not mention any sum.

The new Sinking Fund amounts to seven or eight millions, I think, and under this any part of it may be suspended provided only, say, £10 is left. If the Government say in the Resolution "in part," and leave £10, they may suspend the whole of the rest of it, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman if he would state to the Committee how much he proposes to take. I think I shall have to move an Amendment—at any rate limiting the amount which he proposes to take—and I think that could be done by adding on the words "not exceeding" so much at the end of the Resolution. Before I do that, however, I should like to hear a word of explanation from the right hon. Gentleman upon this matter, and I want to point out to him the very serious effect a proposal of this sort will have at the present moment upon the financial state of the country. The total abolition of the Sinking Fund, which is possible under this Resolution, coming at a time when the right hon. Gentleman is going to borrow money, and at a time when he is going to renew the War Loan, the suspension of the Sinking Fund in this wholesale manner must act upon the price of securities. The Sinking Fund is one of the factors which helps to keep the price of securities at something like a fair level in the market at the present moment, and as no doubt there will be a considerable deficit in the next financial year, there is nothing to protect those securities if it is part of the plan of the Government to totally suspend the Sinking Fund. Such a course must have a very bad effect on the finances of the country at the present moment. I hope I have made my remarks clear to the right hon. Gentleman, but I will tell him that I mean to move an Amendment later on unless I can get some satisfactory reply.


I am sorry to find myself, on my first day in this House, still confronted by what I consider to be an invasion, although a customary one, of a Standing Order in these words, "When any Motion is made for a charge in this House it shall not be immediately proceeded upon but adjourned to a further day and then taken in Committee." I have always considered the reason of that to be that the House shall be possessed of the proposals which are made, and then shall have a day or two to think over them, but, as a matter of fact, now that we are in Committee, we have no means of knowing the exact form of the question which will be put from the Chair by the only certain method of knowing anything—that is by seeing it in black and white. We have to rely upon what we can catch when you, Sir, read it from the Chair. But I submit that this system, at least, should have this alleviation: that slips containing the Resolution might, without any infringement of usage, be printed and distributed to those three or four Members who take some interest in finance. I do not see, so far as I can catch from your reading, that there is any limit whatever to the borrowing powers given by this Resolution. I do not see that there is any limit whatever to the amount of the Sinking Fund that may be diverted from its purpose. If that be so, I think the Resolution is couched in the most improper form. No Resolution ought to be put in Committee of the House unless there is some limit to the engagements it incurs, and I hope some limit may be introduced upon this occasion. I presume that the Sinking Fund for the year, or, rather, the balance of permanent fixed charge which would go to form the new Sinking Fund, would be something like £8,000,000. Are you going to take the whole of that £8,000,000? If you are it is a very serious matter, and it will seriously affect the price of the debt. I observe that this is called a Temporary Borrowing Bill, but it enables the Government to borrow funds which are not to be repaid, as I understand, till 30th December.




That certainly is a little better, but even that is rather a long time to make a temporary overdraft for, but still it is better than 30th December. The hon. Baronet rather complains of any Resolution or Bill of this sort being introduced at all. I am afraid that some measure of this kind has become quite inevitable. Had it not been for the action taken in the other House this Bill would not have been necessary, nor would a great many other things be required which will have to be done. The Government find themselves no doubt in a very difficult situation. I myself am sorry for this Bill. I believe the £21,000,000 for which this will provide might have been, and would better have been, obtained by enforcing the payment of the arrears of Income Tax. But still it is very difficult for a private Member to speak with confidence on these matters, because in order to be quite certain of what one is saying one must have at hand information which is only possessed by the Government. I regret the Bill, and I regret that it will increase once more that debt which they so admirably and so largely diminished; but I recognise that the emergency is pressing and that almost any expedient might be adopted in the difficult position in which they are placed.


I thought the amount of the borrowing was excessive, but I did not say that they ought not to borrow it. I admit that they are in a very difficult position, and that something must be done to get the Government out of it; but what I objected to was the indefinite manner in which they ask for power to suspend practically the whole of the Sinking Fund. That is what I am going to move an Amendment to.


The hon. Baronet, in opening the Debate, rather took exception to my hesitation to enter upon a discussion at this stage of these proceedings, but in so waiting until the later stage of these proposals to discuss the matter fully, I was only following the precedent which was observed, I think, in the case of the Cunard agreement, and also of an earlier proposal which dealt with the capital account, both in the year 1904, under the auspices of the late Government. Therefore, if I so hesitated, I did it, not because I was unwilling to enter upon the discussion or afford to the house any information, but rather because I wished to follow the usual practice and custom of the House in these matters, and it is very dangerous indeed to depart from precedent in these very delicate matters of finance. This Resolution, if carried, will enable the House to borrow money under the two Acts which are mentioned, namely, the Consolidated (No. 2) Bill and the Appropriation Bill, and if the hon. Baronet will compare these two Bills he will see that the extreme amount which, in some extreme case not contemplated by us, might be borrowed under this Resolution in subsequent Bills would be limited to the sum of £126,000,000. That is the power of borrowing already possessed at this moment by the Government. There is no proposal to extend these powers or to do anything unwonted or unprecedented, but merely to continue, for the convenience of the market in which the hon. Baronet is interested, and for the safety of the Exchequer, the powers which would expire on 31st March unless they were renewed and prolonged by the Resolution now before the House. The date to which they are prolonged is 30th September, that is to say six months, and that is not an unusual currency to give to Treasury Bills. It is a reasonable and proper length of time. There is a point raised by the hon. Member (Mr. Bowles), and repeated, I think, without full cognisance of the fact by the hon. Baronet, namely, that the credit of this country has sunk lower than the credit of France.


I did not say so. I said I was glad my attention had been called to the fact.


The statement is not accurate, because I find by comparison of the prices to-day that the yield of Consols is £3 1s. 2d., and the yield of French Rentes is £3 1s. 3d., so that—if you are going into minute particulars it is as well to be accurate—there is an equality, and not an inferiority, and even a slight superiority in the credit of Great Britain at this moment, which is, after all, well worth noting. There is a reason why we should get this Resolution at no distant date and the Bills with which the Resolution is connected at as early a date as possible. We have Bills falling due to the amount of £4,500,000. I am not sure that we need renew the, whole of that. We have Bills falling due on 10th March, and unless we get this Resolution through in reasonable time before that, we shall have some difficulty in raising the money; in fact it would be impossible to raise the money except on three weeks' bills, and that, as the right hon. Baronet knows, is an undesirable course for the Exchequer to pursue.

Then as to the amount of the Sinking Fund which it is proposed to reduce, the hon. Baronet made an extraordinary statement, and, coming from him, it is a very strange statement to be made, for he is usually so accurate. He suggested that the Resolution revives or continues the Finance Bill of last year. It has nothing to do with the Finance Bill of last year at all. The amount of the Sinking Fund is not dealt with by the Finance Bill of that year. It is dealt with by the Finance Act of 1905, and any subsequent alteration in the amount set aside for the Sinking Fund is merely an augmentation or decrease for the particular year to which it refers. The Sinking Fund as a whole and the permanent amount is settled by the provisions of the Act of 1905. It is entirely governed by the provisions of that Act, which fixes the Sinking Fund at £28,000,000. It is quite clear that in a time of financial stress and difficulty you could not profitably, to the market or to the country, insist upon paying off debt on the one hand and creating fresh and new debt on the other hand. It is, therefore, very much better to reduce the provision for the Sinking Fund by all except the amount which we must provide in order to meet statutory obligations, and we propose by the Bill to be introduced at a later date to suspend the payment for this year for the Sinking Fund by everything except the amount of £1,000,000, which is due for what are called in the City the lottery bonds. They are Exchequer bonds which were raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire when Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Austen Chamberlain), and which have to be drawn. The amount so suspended will not be £8,000,000, but £6,300,000, making a total of £7,300,000, less the £1,000,000 to which I have already alluded.

I think that is an adequate explanation of the Resolutions as they at present stand. The whole of the subject can, and will, be discussed in the usual course, namely, on the Second Reading of the Bill, following the two precedents I have quoted to the House.


moved, at the end of the Question, to add the words, "Such suspension of the Sinking Fund not to exceed £3,500,000."

I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. He has made an important announcement in a clear and courteous manner. He is going practically to suspend the whole of the Sinking Fund. I venture to say most humbly to the right hon. Gentleman that he has not realised the vast importance of what this Resolution is going to do. The right hon. Gentleman tells me that I am wrong in thinking that the Budget had anything to do with the Sinking Fund or the suspension or alteration of the Sinking Fund.


What I said was that the Resolutions were not necessarily connected with the provisions in the Budget. If there had been no Budget last year, and if it had been proposed to vary the Sinking Fund, some alteration would have had to be made this year in order not to come into collision with the Act of 1905.


It is difficult to find out actually everything that takes place on a Resolution of this sort, which, as the hon. Member for King's Lynn (Mr. Bowles) has pointed out, has not been printed, and which is concealed in your desk, and which can only be obtained from that desk. I will not go into that again. We went into it in last Parliament, and read quotations from speeches by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hobhouse) and others, in which they strongly denounced that practice when they were in Opposition. However that may be, it is impossible to make oneself accurately informed of all that is in a Resolution of this sort, having heard it for the first time only five or six minutes ago. Although it is quite true that the Chancellor of the Exchequer fixed the amount of the service of the Debt any sum which may be over after the payment of the interest on the debt constitutes a new Sinking Fund, it is quite true that that was fixed at £28,000,000 in 1905, but it was varied by the Prime Minister in 1906 or 1907.


Only for the year.


Exactly. But it was varied again in the Budget of last year


Only for the year.


Only for the year, but in the Budget powers were taken to vary the sum set aside for the service of the debt. I am sure my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Mr. G. D. Faber) will agree with me that the proposal of the Government to suspend the whole of the Sinking Fund, with the exception of £1,000,000, is one of very great gravity, and a very bad thing for the finance of the country. The right hon. Gentleman says the Government are only providing for the renewal until the end of September next of short bonds in existence now, and which would become due at the end of March. What I am afraid of is that the Government are getting into a bad habit. They are always helping themselves by borrowing. That is a bad course, whether in private life or anywhere else. A man goes to a money-lender and takes a short bill. When that is due he says exactly what the right hon. Gentleman said: "It is so very nice to renew for six months more; there is no further trouble, and when that time is up we shall see whether something will not turn up; whether the House of Lords will not be abolished, or something else happen, to enable us to pay off the bill." I am afraid that when September comes we shall have the same answer. While all this is going on the Sinking Fund will be abolished altogether. Does the right hon. Gentleman think when you are borrowing money that you must not repay your debt at the same time. Those were his very words. As the Government are going to borrow money for a very long time, if they remain in office, the repayment of debt will be delayed for a very long time, and, therefore, this project which was sprung on an empty House is of a very serious nature.

The object of my Amendment is to put the Government in exactly the same position that they would have been in if the Budget had passed. I think that is a very patriotic thing to do on the part of a Member of the Opposition. As one who took a certain part in opposing the Budget last year, I should be quite prepared to deal with the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Healy) if he said that I was now helping to keep the Government in office. I am quite prepared to admit that the finances of the country must go on, and I do not wish to add to the embarrassment of the Government—not out of consideration for them, but out of consideration for the taxpayers. And, therefore, I desire to do my best to preserve the finances of the country in as efficient a manner as it is possible after they have been administered by such an extremely bad set of administrators as the present. I trust that the right hon. Gentleman will consider seriously my Amendment, in view of the great merit that was claimed by the Prime Minister in 1906–07 for the share he had taken in paying off debts, a share that was really owing to the exertions of the Unionist party in the preceding Parliament, because all that the right hon. Gentleman did was to take the taxes and to use the surplus in paying off just as if his predecessors had remained in office. I am sure if he were in the House now he would be inclined to vote with me on this subject. I am sure he would not wish to throw over all his protestations, and do away with all the good that he had done by practically abolishing the Sinking Fund. I therefore beg to move my Amendment.


This subject is one that interests me enormously. I am under some disadvantage as I did not hear the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, but I understand that it is proposed to suspend the Sinking Fund altogether. If it were merely proposed to borrow money temporarily out of the Sinking Fund there might be a great deal to be said for that in the exceptional circumstances of the case, but to suspend the Sinking Fund altogether gives rise to a much more serious consideration. It is worth while to remind the Radical party of their past in this matter. Ever since the days of the late Mr. Gladstone they have always been against any tampering with the Sinking Fund. Ever since I have been in this House any proposal to touch the Sinking Fund was to the Radical party always like a red rag to a bull. Circumstances appear to alter cases, and what was absolutely wrong when the Conservative Government was in office now becomes right, when the immaculate present party are in control, not of the power, but of the simulacrum of power in this House.

So it was we saw last year that the new Sinking Fund of twenty-eight million pounds a year established under the Act of Parliament of 1875 was reduced to twenty-five million pounds. Some of us said at the time that appetite grows by what it feeds on; so it was not altogether a surprise, though it came on us with an unpleasant shock on the 22nd October last, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer came down and said that the three million pounds he had spoken of in his Budget speech were not sufficient and he must have a half million more. That was three and a half millions altogether off the twenty-eight millions. Now we learn that that is by no means sufficient and that the whole of the twenty-eight million pounds which remains after performing the services of the National Debt—I think it comes to something between eight million and ten million pounds—is to be taken away by the Government and used for the financial purposes of the year, except one million pounds. To fling that at an empty House during dinner-hour is not, I think, treating with respect and consideration that portion of the House which is interested in finance.

On 7th May, 1908, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, the present Prime Minister, announced to the House of Commons in his Budget speech that there were £14,411,000 applicable to the reduction of the debt. It was made up in this way: The surplus applicable under the old Sinking Fund produced £4,726,000, and the new Sinking Fund £9,785,000, or £14,411,000 in all. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer made his Budget speech last year, that memorable Budget speech, in which he introduced the People's Budget on 29th April, last year, it turned out, from what he said, that the £14,411,000, which the present Prime Minister referred to in his Budget speech in 1908, had not been applied to the reduction of the Debt. The custom, as I understand it, although the matter is not without complication, is that, when a certain sum has been realised at the end of the financial year, either out of the old Sinking Fund or the new Sinking Fund, that sum becomes applicable to the reduction of the Debt during the

succeeding year. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer did not apply the whole of that sum, which I think he ought to have done, to the reduction of the Debt. No less a sum than £5,750,000, which remained—


The hon. Member is travelling wide from the matter before the House, which is a Resolution put from the Chair as to borrowing to meet the present emergency.


I feel somewhat at a disadvantage, as I came in after the speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman. I thought I was at liberty to go into the manner in which the Sinking Fund had been dealt with during the last year. If that is outside the scope of the Resolution, then I shall not for a moment attempt to argue the point. I understand your ruling in the matter to be that I am limited merely to this question, whether it is a right, fair, and proper proceeding to suspend the Sinking Fund for the present financial year. On that matter I have said all I have got to say. I think the proceeding is novel and dangerous. I should like to know whether that is your ruling, Sir, before I resume my seat?


That does seem to me to be the only subject before the Committee.


Before I sit down I only wish to reiterate that I consider this startling and novel proceeding is not called for by the exigencies of the case, and it would have been much better to have borrowed the money required for the service of the financial year rather than suspend the Sinking Fund, which may form a startling precedent leading up to still more startling innovations in the future.

Question put: "That those words be there added."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 95; Noes, 186.

Division No. 3.] AYES. [8.50 p.m.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Adam, Major William A. Boyton, James Courthope, George Loyd
Archer-Shee, Major Martin Brassey, Capt. R. (Oxon, Banbury) Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)
Attenborough, Walter Annis Brotherton, Edward Allen Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)
Baird, John Lawrence Bull, Sir William James Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Carlile, Edward Hildred Croft, Henry Page
Balcarres, Lord Cave, George Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)
Baldwin, Stanley Clyde, James Avon Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S. (Glasgow, E.)
Barnston, Harry Coates, Major Edward F. Dixon, Charles Harvey (Boston)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter Peto, Basil Edward
Duke, Henry Edward Hills, John Walter (Durham) Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Dunn, Sir W. H. (Southwark, W.) Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Hope, Harry (Bute) Rawson, Col. Richard H.
Fell, Arthur Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Rutherford, William Watson
Fleming, Valentine Horne, William E. (Surrey, Guildford) Sanders, Robert Arthur
Fletcher, John Samuel Horner, Andrew Long Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)
Forster, Henry William Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East) Stanier, Beville
Foster, John K. (Coventry) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Strauss, Arthur
Gardner, Ernest Kirkwood, John H. M. Talbot, Lord Edmund
Gastrell, Major W. Houghton Knight, Capt. Eric Ayshford Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Gilmour, Captain John Knott, James Tobin, Alfred Aspinall
Geoch, Henry Cubitt Llewelyn, Major Venables Tullibardine, Marquess of
Gordon, John Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Valentia, Viscount
Grant, James Augustus Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsay) Verrall, George Henry
Gretton, John Mackinder, Halford J. Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Macmaster, Donald Wheler, Granville C. H.
Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) M'Arthur, Charles White, Major G. D. (Lanc. Southport)
Hamersley, Alfred St. George Magnus, Sir Philip Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry) Morpeth, Viscount Worthington-Evans, L. (Colchester)
Harris, F. L. (Tower Hamlets, Stepney) Mount, William Arthur
Henderson, H. G. H. (Berkshire) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir F. Banbury and Mr. G. D. Faber.
Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)
Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury) Perkins, Walter Frank
Abraham, William Grenfell, Cecil Alfred Parker, James (Halifax)
Addison, Dr. Christopher Guest, Capt. Hon. Frederick E. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Agnew, George William Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton) Pointer, Joseph
Alden, Percy Hancock, John George Polland, Sir George H.
Allen, Charles Peter Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Anderson, Andrew Macbeth Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)
Barclay, Sir Thomas Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Barnes, George N. Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Pringle, William M. R.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Radford, George Heynes
Beale, William Phipson Haworth, Arthur A. Raffan, Peter Wilson
Bentham, George Jackson Hayward, Evan Rea, Walter Russell
Black, Arthur W. Helme, Norval Watson Rees, John David
Bowerman, Charles W. Higham, John Sharp Rendall, Athelstan
Brace, William Hindle, Frederick George Richards, Thomas
Brigg, Sir John Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Brocklehurst, William B. Hodge, John Roberts, George H. (Norwich)
Brunner, John F. L. Hooper, Arthur George Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich) Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Hudson, Walter Robinson, Sidney
Buxton, C. R. (Devon, Mid) Hughes, Spencer Leigh Roe, Sir Thomas
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.) Johnson, William Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Byles, William Pollard Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Schwann, Sir Charles E.
Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood) Jowett, Frederick William Seddon, James A.
Chapple, Dr. William Allen King, Joseph (Somerset, N.) Shackleton, David James
Clough, William Lambert, George Shaw, Sir Charles Edward
Clynes, John R. Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis Sherwell, Arthur James
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Lewis, John Herbert Shortt, Edward
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Simon, John Allsebrook
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich) Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Spicer, Sir Albert
Crosfield, Arthur H. Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Summers, James Woolley
Crossley, William J. M'Curdy, Charles Albert Sutton, John E.
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) M'Laren, F. W. S. (Linc., Spalding) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Mallet, Charles Edward Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Marks, George Croydon Thomas, James Henry (Derby)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Martin, Joseph Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) Masterman, C. F. G. Toulmin, George
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Menzies, Sir Walter Twist, Henry
Edwards, Enoch Middlebrook, William Verney, Frederick William
Elverston, Harold Millar, James Duncan Vivian, Henry
Esslemont, George Birnie Molteno, Percy Alport Wadsworth, John
Evans, Sir S. T. (Glamorgan, M.) Mond, Alfred Moritz Walker, H. de R. (Leicester)
Fenwick, Charles Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Walsh, Stephen
Ferens, Thomas Robinson Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
France, Geraid Ashburner Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C. Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Furness, Sir Christopher Muspratt, Max Wardle, George J.
Gelder, Sir William Alfred Neilson, Francis Waterlow, David Sydney
Gibson, James Puckering Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Watt, Henry A.
Gill, Alfred Henry Nuttall, Harry Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Glanville, Harold James Ogden, Fred White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Glover, Thomas O'Grady, James White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Palmer, Godfrey Mark White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)
Whitehouse, John Howard Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen) Wing, Thomas Henry
Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P. Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.) Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)
Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.) Young, William (Perth, East)
Wilkie, Alexander Wilson, John (Durham, Mid) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Williams, Aneurin (Plymouth) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Williams, John (Glamorgan) Wilson, T. F. (Lanark, N. E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Fuller and Mr. Gulland.
Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported to-morrow.