§ Considered in Committee.
§ [Mr. WRITLEY in the Chair.]
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel) rose to move,
§ That it is expedient, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to amend the provision for the government of Ireland.—
§ To authorise the payment in each year out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom into the Irish Exchequer or to any body or person in the stead of the Irish Exchequer—
- (a) of a fixed sum based on the cost at the time of the passing of the said Act of the branches of government to be administered thereunder by the Irish Government and, in the case of the future transfer of any other branches of government to the Irish Government, of further sums based on the saving to the Exchequer of the United Kingdom resulting from the transfer; the he amount of the said fixed sum and any such further sums to be determined in manner provided by the said Act, with power to make payments on account of those sums pending that determination; and
- (b) of a sum of five hundred thousand pounds, diminishing in each year after the third year of payment by the sum of fifty thousand pounds, until it is reduced to the sum of two hundred thousand pounds; and
- (c) of sums equal to the proceeds of any taxes imposed by the Irish Parliament in pursuance of the powers given by the said Act, the amount of those proceeds to be determined in manner provided by the said Act:
§ And to authorise such Customs Duties to be charged on articles brought into Great Britain from Ireland or into Ireland from Great Britain, and such alterations 122 of drawbacks or allowances to be made in respect of those articles, as may be provided for by the said Act, in cases where any Customs or Excise Duty levied in Great Britain is levied at a different rate from that at which the duty is levied in Ireland, or where any Customs or Excise Duty is levied in Great Britain and not levied in Ireland, or levied in Ireland and not levied in Great Britain:
§ And to authorise the payment out of the Consolidated Fund or out of moneys provided by Parliament of any salaries, pensions, superannuation allowances, gratuities, or compensation, for the payment of which to or on behalf of any judges or Irish officers, or officers or constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary or of the Dublin Metropolitan Police force, provision may be made in pursuance of the said Act, and also of any sums for the payment of which out of the Consolidated Fund or out of moneys provided by Parliament provision may be made by the said Act in the event of the failure of the Irish Government to make any such payment.
§ The Financial Resolution of the Bill which I had the honour to move several days ago having come to an untimely end in view of a misadventure, it now becomes my duty to propose another alternative Resolution to the Committee. It is clear that this new Resolution bears certain family resemblances to the other Resolution which was previously before the Committee, yet it has certain distinctive features of its own which clearly differentiate it from the Resolution previously considered. The second paragraph dealing with Customs is the same as the previous Resolution; the third, dealing with the payment of pensions and salaries, is identical with that of the Resolution previously moved, but the first paragraph, which was the subject of amendment at the hands of the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir Frederick Banbury), a few days ago, is now in a completely different shape, and offers that substantial difference which is necessary to differentiate it from the previous Resolution. There were two courses which might have been adopted to effect this substantial change in the Resolution. It might have been so drafted on this occasion as to require some alterations to have been made in the Bill which the previous Resolution did not require; or, secondly, the Resolution might be so drafted as to prevent alterations 123 being made in the Bill which the previous Resolution would have allowed. In view of all the circumstances of the case, the Government thought the proper course was the second of these alternatives, to ask the House not to make such alterations in the Resolution as would involve any alteration at all in the Bill as it has been introduced and hitherto considered, but to make such alterations in the Resolution as would prevent modifications of the Bill which would have been allowed had the previous Resolution become operative. That, therefore, is the purpose of the Resolution which I now beg to move. The first paragraph limits the amount which may be granted out of the Consolidated Fund for the purposes of the Government of Ireland. Specific allowances are set out in Clause 14 of the Bill, roughly speaking, the sum based upon the cost, at the time of the passing of the Act, of the Irish services transferred to the Irish Government, together with the sum which is allowed to them as surplus and, further, the proceeds of any tax which may be imposed by the Irish Parliament. Under the former Resolution it was quite open to the Committee on the Bill in the Committee stage to have enlarged, if they so wished, the amount under the heads of revenue that might be transferred to the Irish Government. Since it was necessary for me upon a previous occasion to occupy the attention of the Committee at considerable length in elucidating some of the financial provisions of the Bill, the Committee will not expect, and still less desire, that I should occupy its time upon this occasion. I therefore beg to move.
§ Mr. MILDMAY
It will be admitted that the financial provisions of this Bill are very startling, and no provisions are more startling than those relating to Customs and Excise. The Postmaster General rightly said the week before last, that the provisions relating to Customs and Excise were the most important part of the Resolution, and, notwithstanding what the Prime Minister called a misadventure, notwithstanding the alteration of the Resolution, they continue to be the most important part of it. It was said with truth, more than once, that this Bill is illiberal, but in no way is it more illiberal than the way in which it deals with the fiscal future of Ireland. Hitherto we have all, whether Tariff Reformers, Protectionists, Free Traders, or free importers, been animated by one desire to get rid of fiscal 124 barriers within the Empire, and it is scarcely to be believed that this Government should itself, for the first time, set up such barriers within these islands. It seems to be the irony of fate that this Government and its supporters should be ready to curtail and hamper the free flow of trade, not between this country and foreign nations, but between one part of the United Kingdom and another. The Government have, indeed, swallowed their principles in this respect. They profess to set up an ideal federal system, but internal Free Trade has been the aim of every confederation in the world, as may be seen not only in the case of Australia, Canada, South Africa, but also in the case of Germany and the United States of America. The United States have been ready to fight for it. It was not the War of Independence, but the attainment of fiscal unity that made the United States a nation. What is the most recent lesson we have had? What is the latest federation? The Balkan States say, or apparently they will say—because we have not heard them finally upon the subject—"Let us preserve our respective nationalities in the future, but let us have a Customs union, because a Customs union means strength and prosperity." There are indications that Austria at one moment had in mind the forcing of Servia into a Customs union with herself. Every single federation in the world recognises the necessity of uniformity in its Customs Duties. The Postmaster-General, in the Debate upon the original Resolution, said he was prepared to concede all this, and admitted every confederacy upheld fiscal unity, but he said the circumstances in Ireland were entirely different. Where is the difference? The only difference I can see is that this is to be the only federation in which one of the constituent parts is unable to stand alone from the financial point of view. Surely that is the strongest possible argument against Home Rule in this case. It is the strongest possible argument against Home Rule that a common purse and amalgamation of financial resources are absolutely necessary for Ireland if she is to prosper. She cannot prosper without fiscal unity. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City (Mr. Balfour) said some time ago, it was on fiscal unity that the German Empire and the United States of America were built, and we must remember that the Prime Minister himself 125 has told us this is only the beginning of a federal system, which is to be extended to Scotland and Wales. We shall then have, within the limits of these islands, four different sets of Customs and Excise and four separate examinations and searches by Custom House officials. Besides this, we have had the illuminating suggestion from the First Lord of the Admiralty that this country is to be cut up into ten different Parliaments, and I wish to know if each of them is to have control of its own Customs and Excise. No one, so far, has been able to make head or tail of that speech, or the motives which prompted it, but, incidentally, let me say that it seems to me that the First Lord of the Admiralty was clever enough to realise what all level-headed men have long since recognised, that this Home Rule is ridiculous, illogical, and impossible, and so he put forward this extraordinary suggestion with a view to killing this Bill quite quietly and painlessly. Meantime it seems to me almost pathetic that this Radical Government, which has obtained power by parading and upholding Free Trade, should now be forced by their allies to destroy Free Trade within the limits of these islands. It seems as though some hon. Gentlemen opposite are under the influence of some soporific and that it is necessary to say to them, "Wake up! are you realising that in supporting these financial proposals you are swallowing the principles of a lifetime?" I cannot understand their position.
I was walking down to the House of Commons the other day and another hon. Member was walking down in front of me. He was not personally known to me. He was a strong Radical who has been a long time in this House, and a consistent supporter of the Front Bench policy. Here was my chance. I said to myself, "Here is a typical Liberal; perhaps he can tell me by what process of reasoning he reconciles himself to a financial policy so wholly at variance with the principles of the Liberal party." I caught him up, and after a few words about the weather, I said, "Tell me, Mr. So-and-So, do you quite like these provisions with regard to Customs and Excise?" "Like them!" he answered, "I do not like them any more than I like the arrangements about the Post Office, but in these days we cannot give effect to our views." That was enough for me, and I said no more. How any hon. Gentleman opposite can reconcile silent acquiescence under these circumstances 126 with any sense of duty to his constituents or with any sense of honour beats me altogether. We all know, and there is no secret about it, that a number of hon. Gentlemen opposite are grumbling and growling at being called upon to support a financial policy diametrically opposed to the pledges given to their constituencies. Are they going to do more than grumble and growl? One hon. Gentleman opposite who commands the respect of all hon. Members of this House, the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Cathcart Wason), to his credit, has done more, because he has been asking—Whether one is not absolutely bound by the unwritten pledges be has given his Constituents?I should have thought that there can only be one answer to that question. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland went on to say:—I have asked myself, will you pledge yourself to vote against giving Ireland control over Customs and Excise, while such powers are not given to England, Scotland, or Wales, or will you grant to Ireland the self-government of the various States of the United States, of the Provinces of Canada and South Africa, and of the States of Australia, and will you oppose the grant to Ireland of the absolute independence of Canada. Australia, and South Africa? I confess that if I had been asked those questions at an election I would have answered to every one of them that I was against giving the Irish any control over finance. As far as I know, the matter was never alluded to by any Minister in an election address. What I want to put specifically before the Government is this: If the Irish Parliament did what they are fairly entitled to do, how can we go back to our constituents and ask them to renew a vote of confidence?No, they cannot go back and ask for that vote of confidence if they choose to betray their constituents in that way. The First Lord of the Admiralty told us in this House that it was the purity of his Free Trade principles which impelled him to cross the floor of the House. We all know that he made great sacrifices in so doing, and he was ready to change his opinion on every other matter in order that he might be true to his Free Trade ideals. Is the right hon. Gentleman quite comfortable under the present circumstances? What about the sixty or ninety hon. Members who sent in a memorial to the Government expressing their disagreement with the provisions dealing with Customs and Excise? Are they going to be true to their principles and uphold what they know to be right, or are they going to swallow their principles and respond to the crack of the whip? Even now, as late as this, the Government do not seem to have made up their mind whether or not these multitudinous Parliaments are to be of the same nature or have the same powers. It seems that they are living from hand to mouth 127 from day to day, dependent upon the whim of the Nationalist Members, who seem to have made up their mind that the powers to be given to the Irish Parliament shall be exceptional powers, such as will be inapplicable to any other part of the United Kingdom. Here we knock up against the oft-repeated but wholly untenable proposition advanced by the Government that under this Bill they are taking the first step towards the setting up of a federal system in these islands, a pretence which has been so often demolished that I really wonder that the Government have the face to persist in it. It is quite ridiculous to pretend that the Government can set up a sound system of federal finance if they give these extraordinary powers to one constituent part of that federated system. Throughout the whole world you find no single instance justifying such action as that. Every central Parliament jealously reserves to itself the sole power to deal with Customs, and knowing this, a good many hon. Gentlemen opposite have quieted their consciences by persuading themselves that this is merely a provisional arrangement, and that when the time comes to revise it, then it will be possible to bring about a rational and defensible system of federal finance. But will that be possible? These important powers, once given, it will be difficult to take away. The fact of the matter is that in your weakness and dependence upon the Irish Nationalist Members you are going out of your way to ask for difficulties in the future. In conclusion, I would point out that a common Customs boundary with identical duties and unrestricted internal Free Trade is of all unifying influences the most binding and the most welding together. We want to strengthen and not weaken our union with Ireland. Let us not then go out of our way to sow the seeds of disintegration by raising up tariff walls within these islands.
Mr. MURRAY MACDONALD
The hon. Member who has just sat down opposes this Resolution, and the provisions of the Bill which are founded upon it, because powers are to be given to the Irish Parliament to deal with Customs and Excise. There are three considerations bearing on this subject which appear to me to be fundamental. The first is that the expenditure upon existing Irish services is in excess of the revenue derived from Irish sources; the second is that that 128 expenditure is beyond the requirements of the country; and the third is that if the Irish Parliament is to have any real incentive to effect a reduction in that expenditure it must have power to make a reduction in taxation. I propose to say a word or two on each of these points. The Bill, as a whole, distributes powers which are now exercised exclusively by the Parliament of the United Kingdom between that Parliament and the Irish Parliament which it is proposed to set up under it. So far as the general legislative and administrative powers are concerned, the distribution is easy. It is already marked out by existing differences in law and administration between Ireland and the other countries of the Union. The Union within the region of general law and administration has never been, and it was never intended to be, a complete Union. Within the region of finance, however, the conditions are altogether different. Within that region the Union has been for at least fifty-four years practically absolutely complete. No demarcation between the interests common to the United Kingdom and the interests peculiar to Ireland exists within that region. All our taxes, however, are not equally closely identified with the common interests of the three countries. So far as I can judge, there is only one portion of our tax system which is in its general character absolutely identified with those common interests, and that is the portion which deals with the duties of Customs and Excise. These duties ought to be unquestionably, in their genera character, at any rate, common to the three countries of the United Kingdom. It would then have been natural, Then the Government was attempting to determine the lines of its financial provisions, that it should have reserved to this Parliament exclusive control over Customs and Excise, while giving to the Irish Parliament such powers over other portions of our tax system as would have enabled that Parliament to obtain the revenues required to meet its expenditure; but that distribution of power, which, as I have said, would have been the natural distribution, and which is the distribution of power which has actually been made by every other Federation in the world, was made impossible in the case of Ireland because of the fact to which I have referred, that the expenditure on Irish services for which the Irish Parliament was to be made responsible by the Bill was actually in 129 excess of all the revenues derived from Irish sources. That is the first of the points that I think have to be borne in mind when we are attempting to form a judgment with regard to the scheme of the Government as a whole; that there is an excess of expenditure on Irish services beyond the yield of Irish revenues.
I pass now to the second point, that the present expenditure is in excess of the requirements of the country. That is a point which can hardly be disputed; but, if it is, I should like to take as a standard of comparison the expenditure on the services in Scotland. The populations of the two countries are much the same, but the economic resources of Scotland are very considerably greater than those of Ireland, and we might not unreasonably have anticipated that the expenditure on Civil government in Scotland would have been proportionately greater. That, however, is very far from the case. Last year the cost of Civil government in Scotland amounted to £5,778,000; the cost of Civil government in Ireland was £9,799,000, or more than £4,000,000 in excess of the cost in Scotland. Of course, I shall probably be told that the charges in the case of Ireland are not for precisely the same services as are the charges in the case of Scotland, and that is no doubt true. None the less, allowing for the fact that there are charges included in the Irish accounts that have no place at all in the Scotch accounts, it is still true to say that the cost of Irish government is very considerably in excess of the same cost for Scotch government. The excess of expenditure has been partly due to the fact that we have been maintaining, and are still maintaining, in Ireland a Government that has not had behind it the goodwill of the people of Ireland, and a Government so maintained must always be a costly Government. It is due partly, also, to the terms of the financial partnership between Great Britain and Ireland. The population of Great Britain is overwhelmingly urban and industrial in its character, while the population of Ireland is equally overwhelmingly rural and agricultural. The resources of Great Britain are overwhelmingly greater than the resources of Ireland, and the needs of Great Britain, the needs of a population urban and industrial in its character, are always necessarily greater than the needs of a population rural and agricultural; and yet the terms of the financial partnership between the two countries are such as to force upon the United Kingdom Parliament, in distributing 130 the common resources of the three countries, an absolute equality of treatment as between the three countries. A partnership that involves an equality of treatment of this kind, an equality that takes no regard at all to the needs of the separate countries, must necessarily be the cause of extravagance in administration. But it is not merely that. I believe it to be bad for Ireland that she should have a right to demand absolute equality of treatment with Great Britain in the distribution of their common resources without any regard at all to her real requirements. That, in my view, would have a demoralising effect on the people of Ireland. My second point is, therefore, that there is an excess of expenditure on Ireland beyond the requirements of that country. I pass now to the third point, and that is that if the Irish Parliament is to have any real incentive to effect a reduction in that excessive expenditure, it must have power given to it to reduce taxation. What is the extent of the power to be given? The hon. Member in the speech which he has just delivered confined himself to an attack on the proposal to give the Irish Parliament power to reduce or to vary the Customs and Excise. He did not, however, address himself to the real difficulty of the position—the question of what power you are going to give the Irish Parliament to vary taxation, if you are going to exclude them from the power to vary Customs and Excise. No distribution of pecuniary power that would at once provide the Imperial Parliament with a revenue from Ireland to meet the Imperial expenditure and also provide a revenue to meet Irish expenditure is possible.
The Government appear to have had four alternatives to choose from. The first was to continue the present system of equal taxation—equal and indiscriminate taxation — throughout the United Kingdom and to hand over the yield of the taxes so imposed in Ireland to the Irish Exchequer—in fact to retain the existing system and to hand over to the Irish Exchequer the total yield of the taxes in Ireland. A fatal objection to that is that it would force Ireland to frame estimates of expenditure to meet the yield of taxes levied to satisfy British needs, and with no regard at all to Irish needs. To adopt that alternative would be to continue the present system of equal and indiscriminate taxation, and equal and indiscriminate expenditure, 131 and it would destroy all sense of responsibility on the part of the Irish Parliament and make Home Rule, in any real sense of the word, impossible. The second alternative was to go to the other extreme and give to Ireland complete fiscal autonomy. But that, I believe, would sever the Union, and it would certainly give to the Irish the essential attributes of a Sovereign and independent people. I do not believe the Irish desire that, neither do I think it would be to their advantage to obtain it, and I therefore put it aside as equally unacceptable to them and to us.
The third alternative was to adopt the proposals of the Committee on Irish finance. Those proposals were to give to the Irish Parliament complete fiscal autonomy, subject only to the reservation that they were not to have power to interfere with the commercial policy of the United Kingdom. Those proposals were open to very much the same objection as the proposals to give complete fiscal autonomy, with no reservation of any kind at all. They cut too deeply into the Union and they also gave to the Irish Parliament power to determine what was to be the contribution from the Irish people to the Imperial Exchequer after the balance between revenue and expenditure in that country had been reached, a power which I do not think that Parliament ought to have. Then I come to the fourth alternative, the one actually adopted by the Government and embodied in this Bill; it combines the first and third alternatives, to which I have referred, without their bad effect. Under it the Imperial Parliament will reserve to itself practically the sole power to propose and collect all taxes, and will continue the present system of equal and indiscriminate taxation throughout the United Kingdom, while the Irish Parliament would have power to vary the taxation so imposed in order that it may adjust its own revenue to its own expenditure. By the reserved power the supreme Sovereign authority of the United Kingdom is secured in the three respects most essential to its exercise. In the first place, that Parliament would have the sole power to determine the commercial policy of the people of the United Kingdom in their relations to the people of other countries. In the second place, it would have the sole power of determining what shall be a fair contribution from Ireland to Imperial expenditure after the balance between 132 revenue and expenditure has been reached, and, in the third place, even before that balance of revenue and expenditure has been reached, and before, a regular normal contribution from Ireland to Imperial expenditure became due, in case of emergency, such as a war, the Imperial Parliament will have the power to exact such a contribution.
This last point has not hitherto been referred to in the course of these Debates, and I had better perhaps dwell upon it for a moment. Let me assume that war breaks out in the interval between the passage of the Bill and the time when Ireland should pay a normal contribution to the Imperial expenditure. Suppose, in order to meet the cost of that war, an addition is made to Imperial taxation, Ireland will then bear its fair share with England and Scotland of that added burden. Suppose, for example, the Income-Tax is doubled. Assume that the yield at the old rate was a million and a half sterling. At the double rate it would be three millions sterling. The second million and a half will go to the Imperial Exchequer to meet the cost of the war. Or may I put it more generally? Suppose the yield of taxed revenue in Ireland in a year of normal taxation is ten millions sterling, and that of this sum six millions is transferred, whilst four millions is reserved to-the Imperial Exchequer? Suppose, to-meet the cost of the war, the taxed revenue in Ireland is raised to twelve-millions, the Transferred Sum continuing the same, the Imperial Exchequer will retain six millions instead of four millions. I may be told that the Irish Parliament could reduce the rates of taxation so as to keep the yield still at ten millions. That, of course, is true, but the Transferred Sum will then be reduced to four millions, while six millions will still be retained by the Imperial Exchequer. So much for the powers reserved under the provisions of the Bill to the Imperial Parliament.
I pass to consider the delegated powers—the powers to vary the rates of taxation. Under these powers the Irish Parliament may indefinitely reduce the rates of all the taxes, except certain Stamp Duties, and it may indefinitely increase-all taxes except Income Tax, Death Duties, and Customs Duties, other than duties on beer and spirits. The main objection to these powers is concerned with their extension to Customs and Excise. Allow them to vary the rates of 133 these duties and you allow them to break up the fiscal unity of the realm and to create Customs barriers between Great Britain and Ireland! That is true; but it is very easy to exaggerate both its importance and its effect. In the first place, fiscal unity is not essential to political unity, and it was not so regarded by the framers of the Union themselves. For many years after the Union was formed there were separate Exchequers and Customs Houses between Great Britain and Ireland, and down to 1858 there were different Excise Duties levied in Ireland from the Excise Duties levied in cither England or Scotland. Not only was that the case, but down to 1855—that is to say, for practically 150 years after the Union between England and Scotland, different Excise Duties continued to be levied in those two countries, and no one ever thought that that difference was injurious to the interests of the Union. When a complete equalisation of those duties was finally effected in 1858, it was not effected for the purpose of drawing closer together the bonds between the three countries; it was effected for the simple purpose of securing a balance between revenue and expenditure, and for no other purpose whatsoever. It is not true that complete fiscal unity is essential to political unity.
In the second place, the powers to vary the duties of Customs and Excise under the restrictions imposed in Clauses 15 and 10 will not in the slightest degree affect the existing conditions of trade between Great Britain and Ireland, or between either of them and foreign countries. That is obviously true in regard to commodities not subject to fiscal duties, but it is also true in regard to commodities that are subject to those duties. The producers of these commodities in Great Britain will continue to compete in Irish markets with the Irish producers of the same commodities on precisely the same equal terms as they compete at this moment; the producers of these commodities in Ireland will, after the passage of this Bill, compete with the British producers of the same commodities in the British markets on precisely equal terms, and the producers in both countries will continue to compete in the markets of the world, as they do now, on precisely equal terms. Fiscal barriers between countries are always costly and they are always inconvenient, but they are not hindrances to trade unless commodities passing through them from without are made subject to 134 burdens from which the same commodities within them are free. As a matter of fact, under this Bill commodities will pass through these Customs barriers from without, and continue to be subject to precisely the same duties as are imposed on the same commodities within the barriers. My own belief is that the setting up of Customs Houses will, as I have said, be costly, but it will be mainly an inconvenience to the passengers passing between the two countries, and will not, in the slightest degree, affect the trade between the two countries, and it will certainly not affect the conditions under which that trade has been carried on. They are, however, as I have said, costly and inconvenient, and nothing but the urgent requirements of Irish finance under any scheme of Home Rule would justify us in setting them up. This justification, in my view, exists.
Prevent the Irish Parliament from varying the rates of Customs and Excise, and you necessarily confine it to the variation of the rates of direct taxes. Let us see how this will work. I have tried to show that, judged by the standard of expenditure in Scotland, expenditure on existing' services in Ireland is in excess of the real requirements of the country, and that if the Irish Parliament is to have any real incentive to reduce its expenditure, it should have power to make a corresponding reduction in taxation. The proposal of those who object to extending the power of reduction to Customs and Excise is that the power should be limited to direct taxation. The total yield of the tax revenue last year in Ireland was £9,349,000, of which £2,794,000 was contributed by direct taxation, and £6,555,000 by indirect taxation. Let me assume, for the sake of argument, that the excessive expenditure on existing Irish services amounts to a sum of £2,000,000 a year. I regard that as a very moderate assumption. If in making these reductions the Irish Parliament is to be confined to making corresponding reductions in direct taxation, direct taxes as a source of revenue would practically entirely disappear from the Irish Budget. That would be nothing less than a monstrous injustice to the indirect taxpayers of the country, and an injustice of which no Parliament alive to its responsibilities would be guilty. Nor ought it to be forgotten in this connection that direct taxation falls on Ireland very lightly, while indirect taxation falls heavily, and that under the operation of the Land Purchase Acts direct taxation is in future unquestionably going to fall still more lightly on 135 Ireland than it does at the present moment. If there is to be reduction of taxation at all, it ought to be a reduction within the sphere of indirect taxation, and not within that of direct taxation.
There is one other point in that connection which I think ought to be borne in mind. For the first six years after the passing of the Bill the Imperial Exchequer is to bear the cost of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and a sum of about £100,000 a year is to be handed over, when the Bill comes into operation, to the Irish Exchequer to pay the present cost to the Imperial Exchequer of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Force. The probabilities are that the cost both of the Royal Irish Constabulary and of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Force will be transferred from the Irish Exchequer to the local authorities. That would mean that the Irish Exchequer would have paid over to it from the Imperial Exchequer a sum in round figures of £1,500,000 every year, for which it would have no charges imposed upon it after the passing of the Bill. If that is true, and undoubtedly it is true, the Irish Parliament, having transferred the cost of the Constabulary and of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Force to the local authorities, ought, at any rate, to have the responsibility of determining for itself whether or not the taxpayers of the country are to have a reduction in the rates of taxation corresponding to the added burden imposed upon the local rates to meet the cost of the police. Surely they ought to have the responsibility of determining whether they should make that reduction or frame estimates of expenditure corresponding to the money which is to come from the Imperial Exchequer. All that, however, is a subsidiary point at the moment, and may perhaps better be discussed on the Clauses of the Bill. The one point to which I wish to bring the Committee, if I can, is that you cannot impose upon the Irish Parliament the responsibility of adjusting its revenue to its expenditure without giving it the power to vary the rates of both indirect and direct taxation, and that it is quite impossible, under the existing conditions of finance in Ireland, that you can confine them to the power to vary direct taxation alone, for so to confine them would be to perpetrate a gross injustice on the indirect taxpayers of the country. I believe that the finance scheme of the Govern- 136 ment, both as shadowed forth in this Resolution and as embodied in the Clauses of the Bill, is a sound scheme consistent both with the interests of the United Kingdom and with the interests of Ireland, and in that belief I shall without hesitation vote for this Resolution.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
Both the hon. Members who have preceded me have dealt principally with the question of Customs and Excise. I want to draw-attention to the plan of the Government generally as compared with the Report of the Committee which the Government appointed. The plan of the Government, according to the Committee's Report, is an unsound financial one. The Committee presided over by Sir Henry Primrose went very carefully into the whole circumstances of the case, and they came unanimously, I think, to the conclusion that what is called the contract system, which is the system which the Government have adopted, of handing over a lump sum with certain deductions every year to the Irish Parliament, was unsound in finance because, they said in principle, the Government that raises the taxes ought to have the spending of them. That was the groundwork of their Report. In paragraph 36 they say:—We come now to the really crucial question on which we have been invited to advise. We have discussed the several proposals relating to it that have been made on previous analogous occasions and we have stated certain general principles and considerations which in our Opinion must govern any settlement of the kind. After carefully reviewing all these we have come to the conclusion that there is only one way in which all the requirements of the situation can satisfactorily be met, and that is by conferring upon the Irish Government full powers over raising revenue as well as over expenditure in Ireland, subject only (a) to such reservations as may he necessary to guard against the raising of tariff questions that might prejudice relations with foreign Powers or trade and commerce between the two Kingdoms, and also (b) to such provisional arrangements as at first starting, may be required to balance the Irish Budget.The Government rejected that proposal. Why? We have pressed them for their reasons, and we can only come to our own conclusions as to what those reasons were. I think there can be no possibility of doubt that that Report was rejected by Nationalist Members on the sole ground that the Government must bear the burden of the reserved services. The plan of the Government is that a certain sum, called the Transferred Sum, to cover the Irish services, less various deductions, should be paid over every year, but that the reserved services, which are estimated at something like £5,500,000, should be borne by the taxpayers in this country. It was that 137 burden and the increase of that burden, especially the increase of old age pensions, national insurance, and land purchase, which led the Nationalist Members to persuade the Government not to follow the Report of the Primrose Committee. The position will be this: The Irish Parliament will have a certain sum, and a certain sum only, to meet their national services. There will be forty-two of these Gentlemen in this House. What will their business be? It will be to urge their demands on the Government of the day, whichever party is in power, to press for more money to meet the increased burdens which they will incur. There will be increased burdens. Take the question of education. Educationists press now for more money for Irish education, and, I believe, quite lightly, and they tell us that at least £500,000 more is required for national education in Ireland. Where is that £500,000 to come from? It can come from nowhere but the Irish taxpayers' pockets. The Irish Members, unless they press for it in this House, will be precluded from getting more money for these services. Now take it from the point of view of the British taxpayer. May I take the reserved services one by one. Old age pensions. Is that going to increase in Ireland? The Primrose Committee say yes. They tell us in their Report that the probability is that an increase will be asked on the present pension scale—an accruing charge of from £250,000 to £300,000 a year, and they estimate the total cost of old age pensions in the financial year 1913–14 at £3,000,000. That is an increased burden which the Government are not providing for.
Now, as to deductions from the Transferred sum. The Irish Nationalists cannot be under any delusion as to what is to be deducted from the Transferred Sum. There are certain contingent liabilities to which they are liable. For instance, under Clause 17 any loss through discontinuance of an Imperial tax; Clause 18, charges under the Land Purchase Act; Clause 20, the Irish Church Temporalities Fund. Then they have to pay towards the salary of the Lord Lieutenant £5,000 a year; they have to pay, according to Clause 32, the salaries and pensions of all existing judges and Civil servants, super-annuations for existing Irish unestab-lished Civil servants under Clause 33, and under Clauses 35 and 37 they have to pay pensions to the constabulary after a period of six years. These pensions alone amount to £400,000 a year. Of course, that is a 138 charge which will not come into operation until after six years, but all these matters have to be deducted from the Transferred Sum, and it will leave a very much less sum than the £6,000,000 a year to go towards the Irish services, and that diminished sum will be a cause of irritation and friction between this Parliament and the Irish Parliament. They will not be satisfied, and their Members will be here with the sole duty, apparently, to demand more money. What other duties are they here for? They will not be here for our own purposes, although they will be able to vote and speak on all British questions. Their main duty will be to look after their Irish constituencies. Take the question of insurance. In the Government White Paper National Insurance and Labour Exchanges are only put down at £191,000 a year. What do the Nationalist Members say themselves? Professor Kettle, who was a Member of the House, in the "English Review" of January of this year, puts the cost of national insurance in Ireland at at least £700,000 a year when the scheme gets into operation. That is a matter for which no provision has been made, and therefore another extra charge on the British taxpayer. On the whole, I think it is fair to estimate that the deficiency which the English Exchequer will have to bear will probably be nearer £3,000,000 a year than the estimate of £2,000,000. In addition to that, do not let us forget that all this time the Irish people will not be paying one penny towards our Imperial expenses for the National Debt, for the services of the Navy and the Army and the Civil Service. They will be having all these absolutely free.
True it is that the deficiency, and therefore the non-payment of any Imperial contributions, has arisen from the increase of expenditure in Ireland. There is no doubt about that. If you take the year 1895–6 and the fifteen years following that, the result is that whereas fifteen years ago, if you treat Ireland as a separate country— which for this purpose I do not want to do—she had a surplus of contribution of about £2,000,000 a year, that surplus has now become a deficit of £1,500,000 by reason of the extra expenditure which has been made by this country on Ireland for the amelioration of Ireland and for the great benefit of the Irish people. The increase since 1895 of expenditure in Ireland amounts to about £5,500,000, and I should like the Committee to notice how 139 that increase of expenditure has arisen. The Post Office takes £600,000 more than it did fifteen years ago, because we have paid attention to the requirements of the Irish people. Letters are delivered now to the cottages, which was not done before. That is not a burden; it is a benefit to Ireland. Then take the question of the Department of Agriculture. The increase there for the last fifteen years is £365,000. We are very glad to do it, but it has been a very great benefit to the Irish tenants and their trade has increased immensely in proportion. The Land Commission shows an increase of £350,000. Everybody will admit the great benefit that land purchase has been to Ireland, and we hope it may continue. Education has increased £600,000; but the principal thing which has caused it is the old age pensions. They stand at £2,400,000. Then there is the Irish Development Grant of £185,000. I quote these figures for this reason. It is claimed in the Financial Report of Sir Henry Primrose that Ireland has suffered by means of her connection with this country. I say Ireland has been benefited enormously by this expenditure. These items of expenditure could not possibly have been incurred if Ireland had had a free and independent Parliament. She could not afford it. She has got these benefits simply through her connection with this country. Ireland would stand to lose immensely if she severed her connection financially with this country.
I should like to put this point. It is said truly that taxation and representation ought always to go together, but representation ought at the same time to be coupled with a financial contribution. Under the conditions of this Bill the Irish people are to have representation in this House, but there is going to be no financial contribution. A fixed payment is going to be made, subject to reductions, by the Imperial Exchequer. We are to pay a deficit of about £2,000,000 a year, while no Imperial contribution is to be paid such as was provided for in both of Mr. Gladstone's Bills. Under this Bill we on this side of the House are afraid that there is going to be no settlement of this Irish question. It is simply the beginning, the first blow, which will lead to the final thrust home for the separation of Ireland from the United Kingdom. That is a position which, from the point of view of national safety, we can never 140 allow, and that being so, we must not allow the posts to be taken for the final assault to be made on the position. I hold in my hand a very able paper which I heard read in the spring of this year. It is by Arthur Warren Samuels, K.C., and I should like to quote a few sentences towards the end of the paper on the effect which he thinks this Bill will have if it becomes law. Mr. Samuels is a very able man. He says:Under this Home Rule scheme Ireland will not be contributing a pound note to the National Debt, Civil List, Army or Navy, and yet the day that inaugurates this system of Home Utile finance will inaugurate an era of detestation and revolt by Ireland against Great Britain, the bitterness of which has been as yet unparalleled. No people would submit to a financial slavery such as this will appear to be, when they will be compelled to see their taxes gathered to pay for the continuing social development of the country of the tax gatherers, while their own country's development is arrested, and they are left with means for Irish services which the Prime Minister himself stated in introducing the Bill L are barely sufficient to make two ends meet.While we are connected with Ireland both financially and in other ways—I speak as a humble Member of my party— I am willing to go on paying a deficit so as to keep Ireland one with us under the same Government, but if we assist, or if the Government assist, her to go from us, we are not willing to go on paying this money. Our Leader has stated in this House that the land purchase sums will not be forthcoming if Ireland wishes to separate herself financially from this country, and make herself a separate nation. The taxpayers of this nation will not consent to pay money and have no control as to how that money is to be spent, while at the same time Gentlemen from Ireland come here to vote how your money is to be spent. It is not a reasonable proposition, and it is one which I believe will be rightly condemned by the electors of this country.
§ Mr. CLANCY
The hon. Gentleman (Mr. S. Roberts) made an extraordinary statement towards the close of his speech. He indicated that the British taxpayer was paying for the deficiencies on Irish land purchase. It is absolutely untrue that a single penny has ever been paid by the British taxpayer for Irish deficiencies on land purchase.
§ Mr. CLANCY
The British taxpayer is not advancing the moneys, and the annuities that will be paid will be paid by the Irish land purchaser, and any deficiencies in their annuities will be paid by the ratepayers and taxpayers of Ireland. But I really do not think it right to argue further with the hon. Gentleman, because, so far as I understood him towards the end of his speech, his argument was that he desired to make out a case for the better financial treatment of Ireland. I am not the person to find fault with any offer made, especially by a Member on the Unionist side, in that direction. I am only too glad to know that such a view prevails on this side of the House, and I hope that in order to give some effect to it hon. Members will cease to proclaim on British platforms that Ireland is getting too generous treatment on this question. I desire to intervene in the Debate only for one particular purpose. It has been stated in the course of the Debate that on this question up to the present moment not a single representative body in all Ireland has expressed approval of the finance of this Bill, and I think it was even said that not one of the Irish Nationalist representatives had expressed approval of that scheme either. I feel that this statement ought not to go unchallenged. It is, in fact, entirely unwarranted. As everyone knows, in the spring of this year an unprecedentedly large Convention was held in Dublin. I suppose nearly three-fourths, or five-sixths, of all the public bodies in Ireland were represented at that Convention, over which my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) presided. He made a speech explanatory of the provisions of this Bill, and especially of the financial provisions. A perfectly free discussion ensued. [Laughter.] One of the Members for Belfast, who was not there, laughs at that statement, but I say it is true. Not a single objection was raised at that Convention to the financial scheme of this Bill, and as a matter of fact the provisions of this Bill as a whole were approved of without one dissentient voice. I venture to say that in the face of this fact it is ridiculous to assert that no body representative of local opinion in Ireland has expressed approval of this financial scheme.
As to the Irish Nationalist majority in this House, the assertion that they have not approved of it is equally unwarranted. I am a very insignificant person myself, 142 but when I spoke on the Second Reading of this Bill I did so at the request of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Waterford, and on behalf of the party with which I act, and therefore perhaps I may be allowed without egotism to quote what I said on that occasion. I said:—I think it is due to Ministers and their British supporters, no less than to Ireland itself, that those who have formed an opinion favourable to the scheme should openly and boldly express it. For my own part I have no hesitation whatever in saying that the scheme as a whole is not only a simple scheme, though an ingenious one, but it would be absolute folly for Ireland to reject it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th May, 1912, col. 293, Vol. XXXVIII.]If these words were deficient in anything it certainly was not in clearness. One distinguished Member of the so-called Secret Committee—I mean the Primrose Committee—whose opinions have acquired sacrosanct attention in certain quarters, the Bishop of Ross, has even gone further in approval of the scheme than I have ventured to do. He said:—In finance Ireland is treated with much generosity. Under the former Bills she should pay out of her own taxes for all her own services, and contribute towards the maintenance of the Army and Navy, and other Imperial services from £2,500,000 to £3,500,000 a year. Under the new Bill Ireland will have the expenditure for her own benefit of every penny of taxation raised in Ireland for many years to come. Even the small increase of the taxes created by the much-denounced Lloyd George Budget will now be spent in Ireland and for Ireland. Moreover, for some years to come Great Britain will contribute a sum of £2,000,000 a year to make tip the deficit between Irish revenue and Irish expenditure. Mr. Gladstone retained to the Imperial Parliament the imposition of all duties of Customs and Excise, but the new Bill, while it does not confer on Ireland full power in this regard, goes much further in all respects, and in practice gives unlimited control over the duties on beer and spirits.So much, I think, is not only fair but honest to say to the Government and to their British supporters in this House. I think it would be a pitiful performance, or absence of performance, if we sat silent here, and by our silence implied that these criticisms made upon them, specially from the Irish Nationalist point of view, were in any way well founded. I for one do not say I have spoken too often on the subject in this House to be misunderstood— that this is an ideal settlement; that it is the settlement which we would ask if we were in command of the British majority in this House, and if we were in command of the British Treasury. I could not say that, in view of the long-continued injustice in financial matters to which Ireland has been subjected for the last 120 years. I could not deny what I have said on a dozen occasions at least in the past. As matters stand, taking a common-sense view, and recognising the limitations put upon our powers, I say in respect of this 143 scheme, which gives us less than strict justice would entitle us to, that we can, nevertheless, give it our whole-hearted support, and that we do. We therefore cordially accept this scheme in its main outline, and we repudiate the allegation that was made here in the presence of this House a week ago that from top to bottom this scheme is bad from the point of view of Ireland. We say that from top to bottom it is quite the reverse. But the point has been made that this scheme must be unjust to Ireland, because, forsooth, its basis is not the revenue collected in Ireland, but the true revenue. I confess I am not able to follow the argument to be deduced from that supposition if the supposition is well founded. I do not know what is proposed or suggested by those who say that there is really no deficit; whether, for instance, we are at once to begin to pay an enormous financial contribution to the Empire. That has not been elucidated, and therefore I do not dwell upon it any further. I should imagine, under these circumstances, if there were no deficit, that we should have to pay not only the swollen estimate, for Irish services, which the needs of England have produced, but we should have to pay also the financial contribution to which I have referred.
I know what would be said on the platforms of England before this Bill passed, and I know what would be done in England after it became law. We have been left in no doubt on that subject at all, and on this point I may quote the only high financial authority on the Front Opposition Bench, the right lion. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire (Mr. Austen Chamberlain). I have here a book—I am giving it an advertisement, I suppose—entitled "The Case Against Home Rule." One of the principal articles in it is by the right hon. Gentleman to whom I have referred, and I find in this article the following very interesting statement:—To credit Ireland with the full amount of the duties collected in Ireland, as was done by Mr. Gladstone in 1886, and as is now proposed in some quarters, would in effect, amount to a gift by the British Exchequer of £1,750,000 per year, and there is obviously no security that the Irish Exchequer could rely on this boon being continued for more than a short time. There would be nothing to prevent the British spirit merchant removing his spirits to this country in bond, and paying the duty here instead of in Ireland. It is obvious that the Treasury would be compelled to grant facilities for this purpose. The present system is merely one of book-keeping and administrative convenience; but the removal of this sum from the British Exchequer to which it properly belongs, would have to be made good 144 from other British sources, There would be every inducement for the British merchant to effect such slight changes of method as would transfer the whole of this sum from the Irish to the British Exchequer. Having regard to the fact that on the other sources of revenue the collections in Ireland will, it is estimated, fall short of the actual contributions by nearly £200,000, and that these are in the main direct taxes paid by the individuals concerned, it is not unlikely that any scheme which gave to Ireland the full benefit of any revenues she collected would be in a short time converted from a gain of £1,700,000, to a loss of more than £200,000 to the Irish taxpayer.Here we have an exact statement of the consequence of basing this scheme upon, the collected revenue, and also a statement of what would happen if it were so-based and passed by this House. It would be said that over and above every other burden placed on the shoulders of the British taxpayer, there would be added by reason of this process of basing the scheme of finance on collected revenue, a gain of £1,750,000 a year at the expense of the British taxpayer, and in the next place it would be said that we had been warned that if we were successful, an effort—for that is the sum and substance of it—would be at once made to get this particular burden from British shoulders, and put the whole sum on the shoulders of the Irish taxpayer. Let me add this consideration. In what a position it would place the Irish Parliament, a position of ignoble servitude and subjection to a comparatively small number of people who probably do not number a hundred in the whole country, namely, the brewers and distillers of Ireland. Consider what might happen. The Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer, Financial Minister, or whatever he is to be called, might think it advisable either to increase or to retain the duty on spirits or beer. He might find it necessary at least to maintain duties as they are. But fifty or sixty gentlemen might wait on him, and say, "See, here, Sir, you will not do this, because, if you do, we will make you bankrupt, because duties which have hitherto been paid in Dublin, Belfast, or Cork henceforth we will pay in Liverpool, Glasgow, or London." They could take action of this sort in order to bring the Irish Government to their knees, although 99 per cent, of the population of Ireland might be against any reduction at all. But it is also said, independently of the consequences of taking true and not collected revenue as the basis of this scheme, that this deficit does not exist, because the classification of expenditure, as well as of revenue in Ireland is grossly wrong. In other words it is said that charges are-made on Ireland which are really Imperial 145 in their nature, and are put to the debit of Ireland. For the sake of argument, let it be so. Under this Bill Ireland will have its revenue. There are no figures in the Bill except those relating to the surplus.
§ Mr. CLANCY
I observe that the Leader of the Unionist party actually cheered that, as if it were a defect in the Bill.
§ Sir E. CARSON
There were no ironical cheers. I cheered the fact that there were no figures in the Bill, and therefore it must be for the benefit of Ireland.
§ Mr. CLANCY
I am getting, I am glad to say, increasing support from the high and dry and uncompromising opponents of this Bill. Besides the fact that there are no figures in the Bill, except the figures relating to surplus—the estimates of revenue and expenditure which have been furnished to the House in a White Paper by the Government are only estimates, and are not part of the Bill—we have the fact that the system now being set up is not to be stereotyped. Whether Ireland is debited with expenditure with which she ought not to be debited, or is not credited with the revenue which she really contributes, the Exchequer Board will have the opportunity and the jurisdiction and the duty to inquire into this matter. It is one of the points on which they will have to come to a determination, and on that Board, or on any Board of the kind, for the first time in Anglo-Irish history, Ireland will, on this occasion at least, have a representation of two out of five. But on that point the right hon. Gentleman the financial leader of the Opposition had two comments to make on the last occasion on which the subject was discussed. First he said, I think, that the Joint Exchequer Board would never be able to do this particular work. Such a statement was to me very strange, coining from the right hon. Gentleman who, in the very article from which I have already quoted, said that the Treasury Returns were substantially accurate. I want to know if the officials of the Treasury can make accurate returns on this matter, what is there in reason to prevent the Exchequer Board, who will be supplied with every possible requirement for the purpose, from coining to a proper conclusion upon a similar question?
146 5.0 P.M.
The other comment which the right hon. Gentleman made was this, that Ireland would not accept the verdict, if it was against her, of such a body, and that there would be constant friction between Ireland and Great Britain in the working of the scheme. Here, again—and I beg to draw the attention of the Committee to the fact—we come across the old and the only argument against Home Rule for Ireland, the argument based upon the supposition that the Irish people are a set of rogues or fools who have these qualities so thoroughly ingrained in their nature that out of their nature they cannot be got. Wages Boards have been set up in this country, and they have been found to work well, but, forsooth, Ireland would not accept the verdict of a body like this Joint Exchequer Board, though it would be partly Ireland's own Board, and the only result of the working of the whole body would be to set the two nations continually by the ears. The prophecy is based upon an utterly false conception of the Irish character, because notwithstanding the idea of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and those who sit around him, the Irish nation are not a nation of either rogues or fools. When the intervention of this Board has taken place, and when they have declared, after three years, that a deficit has ceased to exist, a revision of the financial arrangement will be possible, and new financial provisions will be-made by this Parliament, and not by the Irish Parliament. In the meanwhile we shall have our services, whether they are reserved services or not, provided for. If we can effect economies in those services, we will benefit by the economies, and we shall have a surplus out of which we would be able to do more material good for Ireland than if this Parliament expended the money, because you could not convert a single man to loyalist views in Ireland. These being the terms of this financial settlement, I say once more on behalf, not only of myself—which matters little—but on behalf of the party with which I act, that we accept the scheme, and we shall endeavour honestly and loyally to carry it out.
Mr. CATHCART WASON
The hon. Gentleman in his concluding sentences pointed out that in the future Irishmen would spend the money well and suitably for the development of their country, and I am sure that appeals to every hon. Member on this side of the House, and 147 probably most hon. Members on the other side as well. I am sure that reason is one which, perhaps more than any other, has induced the electors of England, Scotland, and Wales, to give unqualified support to the principle of Home Rule as we understood it. The hon. Member who has just sat down has dealt with the intricacies of Irish finance. I will not follow him into them for one moment, especially as we have had several long speeches already on Irish finance. We have had a long and an illuminating speech from the hon. Member for Falkirk Burghs (Mr. Murray Macdonald), of which I confess I could not understand a single word. With what happened 100 or 150 years ago we have no concern whatever. We want to deal with the hard facts before us at the present moment, and to deal with the subject from that point of view, and that point of view alone. I thought I was practically a whole-hearted supporter of this Bill and I believe to a very great extent I am. But there is a difference apparently on this side of the House amongst a certain number of my hon. Friends with reference to this question. I thought we were all in one camp, that we were all following the lead which was given to us by the late respected Leader of the Liberal party (Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman) in his election address, when he told us that if the Irish people desired the management of their own affairs he preferred to meet it by a scheme of devolution for the three Kingdoms alike. That has been the keystone of Liberalism since 1910. It has been repeated almost word for word by the present Prime Minister and practically by every Minister who has addressed the country on this large and important question.
Not so many years after that speech the Liberal League was formed, under the guidance of notable and distinguished Gentlemen, many of whom are now in the Government of this country. Their object was, I understand, to show the electors of Great Britain that it was quite possible to grant to Irishmen a full measure of self-government without in any way whatever affecting the well-being of the people of this country. They were to show that the Liberalism of this country could produce a scheme of self-government for Ireland which would go far to meet her wishes. That proposal brought a great access of strength to the Liberal party, and after 148 the election of 1906–7 the Liberal party came back with a very large majority on this point. We all knew that Home Rule was coming. Some time before the election of 1910 there was a rumour with reference to smuggling a Home Rule Bill through this House, and the present Chief Secretary then said that Home Rule was one of the questions which ought to be left to the judgment of the whole people. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] In reply to those who cheer, I would point out that we have had two elections, and that the people of the country have returned us because we are in favour of Home Rule.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is making a speech which is more applicable to the Third Reading of the Bill than to the Financial Resolution which is before the Committee.
Mr. CATHCART WASON
It is the question of the Customs to which I wish particularly to direct my attention. I was going to show by way of illustration that the Chief Secretary had pointed out that it was impossible to smuggle a Bill through the House. With all respect, what I want to come to is this, that this is a new scheme of Customs which was never before the country at large. If I cannot develop that argument I will not attempt to go further. [HON. MEMBERS: "Go on."] The point I wish to make is that this matter was discussed on thousands of Liberal platforms all through the country, and I believe that there is not a single representative in this House, except the right hon. Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) who is really a whole-hearted supporter of this proposal for handing over the Customs to the Irish Parliament. My right hon. Friend the Member for Islington went so far on the question of Customs, as to write a valuable pamphlet, a costly pamphlet for me, because I had to write another showing the folly of his position. In that pamphlet he pointed out that under this scheme the Irish people would not get any preference for butter and eggs, and the products of that country. The only reason put forward for introducing this question of Customs into the Bill is that the proposal is only a little one. That argument is excessively dangerous; in fact, you may go so far as to say that the less a thing is the worse it is; the smaller the microbe the more dangerous to life. It is the beginning, I think, of a very great evil. We have had the broad lines of Home Rule put before us, but the Customs and Excise were never thought of. Whilst we cannot 149 adopt the suggestion of the other side, I and those who agree with me on this question have no intention whatever of voting against the Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] No, because this is not the only important part of the Clause, nor is it the most important part, and certainly when we come to Clause 15 we will then be entitled to vote as we please; but, on this point, we are perfectly consistent in voting with the Government on the question, without incurring any reproach from hon. Members opposite. I sincerely trust some good will come out of these debates, and that there will be a satisfactory result from the proceedings in Committee.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Members from Ireland in discussing this Bill are in rather a difficult position, for the reason that we attach such supreme importance to the recognition of Irish nationality, and to the application of almost any measure of self-government in our own country, that we are unwilling to endanger the Bill to any extent by criticism of its details. I would, however, say that the fact of our being, so to speak, in a cleft stick, so that we cannot with safety criticise the Bill, would be a bad reason for taking advantage of our position and making the Bill other than a safe, good, and workable one. I respectfully submit that there is a minimum of financial provision, below which this Bill would be dangerous, not alone to Ireland but to this country. That minimum of financial provision I think is marked by efficiency of Government. Provided we get means for carrying on the work of the country among the Departments which have been too long and grossly neglected—provided we get means enough for carrying on those essential works for the progress of the country and for recovering ground lost in the past under the rule of this Parliament, we are not going to carp at almost any of the details in the Bill. But are we getting sufficient financial provision for that purpose? With all respect, I think it is extremely questionable. The common remark in town and country throughout Ireland at the present time is that Home Rule will be a great thing provided we get all the money shown by the Financial Relations Commission to be due to us in order to enable us to carry out the development and improvement and revival of Irish industries. Are we getting that in this Bill? Certainly we are not. Less than that is not justice, but it would be rash to stick out for abstract justice provided we got a 150 working sufficiency. The Financial Relations Commission is the authority, and the only authority, on the relations between the two countries. We sometimes hear thoughtless, and perhaps indifferent people, express surprise at what they call the mystery of the backward condition of Ireland as compared with Great Britain. The Reports of the Financial Relations Commission show clearly that there is no mystery whatever in that state of things. Any country, and especially any agricultural country, linked with an industrial country, can be exhausted by excessive taxation, and that is Ireland's condition; its resources have been exhausted. There is no disputing that fact.
There would be no utility whatever in the Financial Relations Commission, and it would have been a piece of wholly undue extravagance unless those Reports were availed of for gathering the information necessary in an adjustment of the relations between Great Britain and Ireland. This Bill furnishes the opportunity for making that use of those Reports. It is not so much a question of Customs or of Excise, it is a question of adjusting the financial relations of the past now that a new start is about to be made. This Bill affords such an occasion, and it affords the British nation a grand opportunity for setting this matter right once for all. The only other consideration, great consideration, that seems to me relevant in the case is, after what is due to Ireland, what is necessary to be done in Ireland. It is admitted on all hands that industries and trade are backward in Ireland; that the condition of education is starved in Ireland; that the arterial drainage of the country has been long and seriously neglected, and that over the greater part of the country industries are to-day at a standstill. To put all those things on a proper footing we would require to have all the money found to be due to Ireland in respect of over-taxation, or we would require, if not all that money, at least a very large proportion of it. There may be a difficulty in arriving precisely at what that would amount to, but you are setting up, under this Bill, a Joint Exchequer Board for precisely similar work in the future, and I would suggest to the Committee and to the Postmaster-General that the duties of this Joint Exchequer Board ought to be extended, not only to the future, but to the past, and that this £500,000 per year, which one Clause of this Resolution provides to be given to 151 Ireland, should continue to be given until the Joint Exchequer Board had ascertained that the balance in respect of the past had all been made good. That would be simple justice; nobody can question it, nor does any party or Member of this House who has any acquaintance with Ireland, no matter what Bench he may occupy, question the necessity and the desirability of carrying out all the improvements I have ventured to suggest. On the last occasion on which one of those expensive works was under Debate in this House, the Unionists Members from Ireland spoke as strongly in support of financial aid for the arterial drainage of the country as Members from these Benches upon which I sit.
The necessity for these works is urgent, and is admitted by all; but they are works, every one of them of a modest and unpretentious character. There is nothing in them that can ever cause trouble, foreign or domestic. There is nothing in them that any section of this House, or any section of the country can apprehend difficulty arising from. To pass a Bill of this kind, and at the same time by its narrow financial provisions disappoint every substantial hope that has been born in Ireland as to what was to happen as the result of this Home Rule Bill, would be a great mistake. Yet, as I said before, even in face of that no Nationalist can take any action to endanger the Bill or to endanger this Resolution, but I think that this is an occasion on which the policy of what has been called the tight fit ought not to be practised. It is an occasion when the wealthiest nation in the world ought not to take advantage of the difficult position of the nation she has helped to make the poorest. It is an occasion when the triumphant nation ought not to take advantage of the nation that she has within her power. The suggestion that we should not claim full restitution of the excessive taxation of Ireland in the past if we want it, because forsooth, a disproportionate number of people are now getting old age pensions in Ireland is an unworthy suggestion, because those old age pensions are proof positive and indisputable, that the Government of Ireland in the past has been bad since it has resulted in driving the strong, and the healthy, and the vigorous people out of the country, and left in it the weak, and the feeble, and the dependent. You are now only reaping the result of your own government in the 152 past, and since no case is made out for imposing any special financial hardship upon Scotland or any other country in connection with old age pensions, so none whatever should be made in respect of Ireland, especially on an occasion like this, when the evil mentioned is the result of your own policy.
A wholly delusive source of revenue and suggested solution of this problem is the alleged prosperity of Ireland at the present time. This cry of Ireland's prosperity-is a manufactured cry; it is exaggerated beyond the recognition of anybody acquainted with the facts in Ireland. It reminds me strongly of a ballad popular in Ireland some twenty years ago describing the experiences of the gentleman who-is now7 Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture when he saw, as the ballad said, "Cassidy's daughter wearing shoes" when she ought to have gone barefooted. The policy of the tight fit, explained by the Chief Secretary at Bristol, is the policy of taxing Ireland because the country girls wear shoes, although the money that they have paid for them may in many cases have been obtained from friends in America. Surely the tight-fit policy that leads to such results as that is hardly worthy of the wealthiest Empire in the world. There is another suggestion, that the Irish Parliament and Government can effect large economies. That suggestion is composed of a mockery of Ireland and of censure upon the British Government of Ireland. If economies are possible in the government of Ireland, why has not this British Parliament effected them with all its-power? There are, as a matter of fact, very few Departments of expenditure, except the police, in which economies can be effected at the present time in Ireland. That arises, not from anything we have done, because we have not had the power, but from what the British Parliament has done. The situation which has brought about the garrison of landlords, which it first planted in the country and then tried to remove by a very expensive method, and various other things of that sort, are projects which cannot be dropped at once and without ceremony until they are completed. Nobody wants to drop them. Moreover, the Bill secures the position of all existing servants of the Government. We all know that the tendency of government at the present time in every progressive country is necessarily to increase expenditure with the object of keeping pace with commercial and business rivals. Is Ireland not to adopt a similar policy? Is it anybody's 153 wish that she should not do so, that she should remain stagnant, and that things should remain as they are? Can such a policy be adopted and economies still effected? I believe firmly, and everyone acquainted with the condition of Ireland must believe, that it will be absolutely impossible to reduce the total of the expenditure on the government of Ireland for at least ten years. The real difficulty with which the Irish Government will be confronted will be that of resisting new, reasonable, and legitimate claims for further expenditure. I do not see how those claims can possibly be resisted after such a long era of neglect of the many Departments of government and the development of the country. For those reasons I cannot on any account join in the laudation of the financial provision in this Bill, especially for the immediate future. I call it paltry and utterly inadequate, and I seriously ask the Government to consider whether the Resolution cannot be widened to some extent, for at least ten years, in respect of past excessive taxation, in order to allow the new Irish Government to get upon its feet and to give it a fair chance in making a fresh start. In any case, whether that can can be done or not, we on these benches would be almost bound to support the Bill and this proposal, even if they were more defective and more cramped than they are.
§ Mr. JAMES MASON
I have always thought that one of the principal arguments put forward in favour of Home Rule, and one of the few arguments, it seemed to me, to have anything in them, was that economies would be effected in the government of Ireland. It is somewhat refreshing to hear from the hon. Member who has just spoken that that, at any rate, is one of the results that we must not expect.
§ Mr. J. MASON
If economy is not to be expected, and I agree that there are considerable reasons for believing that that is the fact, it seems to me that a great deal of the case for Home Rule has been given away. But the hon. Gentleman will forgive me for not following him along those lines, as the object I have in rising is to endeavour to ascertain where we stand in regard to one or two subjects of importance in the finance of this measure. The Irish Parliament is to have certain powers over Customs and Excise Duties, limited both in kind and in amount. I take it 154 that those limitations are looked upon as a safeguard against any attempt on the part of the Irish Parliament to make use of these possible variations for the purposes of protection against British trade. That is a provision which one would naturally expect from a Government whose principles are all on the other side. I want to ascertain how we stand with regard to other ways of effecting such protection, which seem to me to be open to the Irish Parliament under this Bill. As far as I can understand, it is open to the Irish Parliament to effect this object in two ways: firstly, by means of bounties; secondly, by means of monopolies; that is to say, by an indirect encouragement of certain trades, or by the creation of absolute monopolies, created not by means of prohibitive taxes, but by means of the prohibition of the entry of such articles into the country. Without going into the question of whether monopolies are beneficial or the contrary, I want to ascertain whether or not the Irish Parliament will have these powers. It is of interest to note that in the original Bill of 1886 bounties were forbidden; but in the Bill of 1893 there was a provision for premiums, which seem to me very much of the same nature as bounties, being granted upon an exported commodity.
The Postmaster-General was interrogated some time ago with a view to ascertaining whether this Bill was to include that provision or not. On 8th May the right hon. Gentleman was asked whether the Excise on such commodities as tobacco could be returned to the producer, and his answer was that it would be ultra vires of the Irish Parliament, but that it was a matter which would probably have to be decided in a Court of Law. That left the matter somewhat uncertain. On 15th May he said that there was no provision preventing the Irish Parliament from making Grants to particular industries. If that be so, evidently bounties will be possible. That is to say, bounties will be possible by the fact that the Irish Parliament will have power to return money to certain industries—not the exact money which they took in the shape of Excise, but by way of indirect grants to those industries. If bounties are possible, I think we have to consider the question whether they are desirable. Certainly, I should not consider myself capable of forming an independent opinion on that subject. I should much prefer to quote the words of an eminent statesman of the 155 party opposite. Lord Morley, in an article in the "Nineteenth Century" many years ago, wrote:—There can be little doubt that, given the chance, Ireland would imitate the example of the United States, Canada, Victoria, and most other countries in the world by erecting a protective tariff against woollen cloth and other manufactured articles. Home Rule, therefore, in the shape that finds favour with the National party, means a protective tariff and the intro-duction of bounties and other financial measures which to Englishmen are an abomination.It may be said that to grant bounties will cost money. That money could easily be found either by fresh taxation or by using the enormous powers of borrowing on the Transferred Sum provided for in this Bill. The latter course might have a very serious effect on the services for which the money was originally transferred. If the Irish Parliament think it desirable to raise money by means of loans on the Transferred Sum, there is a very good chance of the services for which that sum is transferred not being carried out. I believe it to be quite possible for the Irish Parliament to economise by stopping such services as old age pensions. What is much more probable is that they would run into debt on the carrying out of those services, because they would know perfectly well that the credit of the two countries was so closely blended that it would be impossible for this country to allow the Irish Parliament to become bankrupt. That means that the responsibility of the British Parliament is a very large one and quite unlimited.
Then with regard to the question of monopolies. Monopolies, which are in existence in many countries, are created in two ways. The easiest way, and the one in which they are usually created, is by putting a prohibitive tariff on certain articles, which has the effect of creating a monopoly of those articles in the country. That would be ultra vires in this case; it is specially provided for. But there is nothing, as far as I can see, to prevent the adoption of the other method, which is simply to prohibit the entry of certain articles into the country, and to make even the possession of those articles in large quantities a misdemeanour. The monopolies most commonly known are the tobacco monopoly in France, which was first introduced under Napoleon in 1811, and the matches monopoly, which was put in its present form about 1872. But I propose to take the case of Spain, because the case there is clearer, and the monopolies have been distinctly created by the method 156 of which I am speaking. The creation of the monopolies in Spain has been such a very valuable source of revenue to the Spanish Government that I cannot help thinking it will not be overlooked by the Irish Parliament. The Spanish revenue in 1905 was roughly about 1,000,000,000 pesetas, of which from twenty-five to thirty go to the pound sterling. Of that total revenue, over 20 per cent., or 227,000,000 pesetas, was derived from the monopolies which the Spanish Government have created. The principal monopolies are tobacco, matches, explosives, lotteries, and a few other things. In the case of matches the monopoly in its present form dates from 1892. Under its terms, not only the importation, but the possession of more than half a gross of wax matches or twenty-five strips of wooden matches is a misdemeanour punishable by Spanish law. It is obvious therefore that there is here the means for the creation of monopolies without any question of tariff and without the limitations of Customs Duties. It seems tome this would make it possible for the Irish Parliament to create monopolies in the way I have suggested. Explosives as a monopoly exist in a slightly different degree and way. They are a concession to a particular company. That company alone has the right to import the explosives or to manufacture them. Nobody else is allowed to touch either their importation or their manufacture.
Very much the same kind of arrangement exists in the case of tobacco. I should like to point out that tobacco is a very old monopoly in Spain. Tobacco was first made into a monopoly about 1636, and it has been, on and off, kept a monopoly. Sometimes the conditions have been removed, and then again they have been re-imposed. In its present form it is the sort of monopoly I have described—that is to say, no one is allowed to import tobacco except the State group, that is, the State concessionaires. I need not go further into the example of Spain. I need only say a word or two about the possible application of this principle in Ireland. It seems to me that it would be a very reasonable thing on the part of the Irish Parliament to attempt to raise revenue and at the same time increase the industries of Ireland by such machinery as this. I am not criticising the desirability of it. I think, probably, it would be a very desirable thing for the Irish to do; but what I do think is necessary is, when we are told that these financial provisions are 157 restrictive in various ways, that we should know how we stand in regard to methods such as I have described which might be adopted by the Irish party. For instance, take the case of home-grown tobacco.
It would be open to the Irish Parliament to do a great deal both in the way of revenue and in the way of encouraging that industry by means of such monopolies. It would be possible for them to force the consumption of Irish tobacco upon their fellow countrymen to a very great extent. It would be possible for them to keep up the price by the creation of a monopoly. In that way that industry would be enabled to stand a very considerable amount of taxation. The same thing might be applied to such a concern as Guinness brewery—which is a practical monopoly at the present time—if it was made into a real monopoly and protected against all kinds of competition. There might there be a very considerable source of revenue, and it might seriously affect the general question. There are numbers of other articles which it is not necessary to go into in this connection. There are a great many articles which could be manufactured in Ireland in which the introduction of the monopoly system might be of very great benefit to that country. It would be a greater benefit for this reason: that the Irishman, having created these monopolistic industries in particular articles in his own country, and forbidding the entry of competitive articles, would always have a perfectly free dumping ground in this country to get rid of the excess. That would have a considerable effect upon us, and that is one of the ways in which it seems to me we are interested. We are interested very much in this matter from the point of view of seeing how far our industries in this country would be interfered with by having an Irish Parliament establish markets for certain industries, and also by having the excess dumped into this country in competition with our own.
I am going to anticipate one objection which I think may be raised, and that is that, the Bill provides that the Irish Parliament shall not have power to interfere with external trade. It may be put forward that the creation of these monopolies would interfere with external trade; but I am not quite sure whether in some of the cases which I have enumerated it would interfere with external trade at all. Take the case again of the tobacco indtistry—of home-grown tobacco. I profess I do not know whether there is any external trade at present in home-grown 158 tobacco; whether its cultivation has Assuming there is reached such a stage, not a demand, it is obvious that a monopoly might be created in anticipation of that trade before it comes into being. Therefore the creation of a monopoly in the first instance would not interfere with external trade because no external trade-exists. We should have it shown to us that this point is sufficiently safeguarded— that there is a safeguard against the introduction of such power if it is not desirable to give it. Only one word about another branch of the finances of this Bill. In Clause 14 provision is made in the Transferred Sum for certain Irish services. In a later Clause of the Bill provision is made that the Irish Government may raise loans on the security of this Transferred Sum.
I want to raise the question as to the nature of the supposition that loans are raised on the security of the Transferred Sum, and that therefore some considerable portion of the Transferred Sum is given in payment of interest on these loans. What is to be the position in regard to the services for which the sum is transferred? I think it is advisable to-explain what is going to happen in such a case, because in a later Sub-section of Clause 23, by which loans are permitted, we go on to make—most gratuitously— these Irish loans issue trustee securities. I want to know whether, in the event of money having to go in interest on the loans, the services for which this money is transferred are not to be carried out, or whether they are to be carried out by your transmitted sum, or by further taxation, or whether ultimately from the very fact that our credit is so connected with Ireland, and also that we give a guarantee which is enormously increased by the fact that we make these loans into trustee, securities, we are not creating for ourselves an unlimited liability for all the debts which Ireland may choose to incur, and for all the money which she may choose to expend both on these services and any others? It seems to me that our liability is one which is not fully realised. I fully believe it is a very open one; that we are practically putting it into the power of the Irish Parliament to come down upon us to make up their deficiency to any extent they like; and that we do not realise that our credit is so bound up with that of Ireland that we cannot afford in our own interests, unless the two countries are completely separated, to contemplate the bankruptcy of the Irish Government.
§ Mr. MUNRO-FERGUSON
It has been a very pleasant thing to follow the impartial inquiry into the result of Protection by a supporter of Protection. One is almost reminded of a certain person dealing with sin. I agree with the evils, or with some of them, which my hon. Friend opposite anticipates. I had intended to reserve any remarks I had to make on Customs until we came to Clause 15, which I am going to oppose, and also to Clause 16; but as the Debate has turned so much upon the Customs, I think that anything I have to say to the Government had better be said now. It is obvious that financial provision must be made for the Irish Parliament. So far from opposing any provision for the Irish Parliament, I lay great stress on the need for adequate provision for the Irish services. I think there can be no greater folly that we could commit under this Bill than by trying to starve the Irish Parliament. I believe in making full and adequate provision. If it can be shown that the provision is not enough, I for one would willingly add to it. For that reason I entirely disapprove of the financial Amendment moved the other day by the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London. What I say is, let the transmitted sum required for Irish services be as much as the necessities of the case require. I do not think that that provision need involve the power to vary the Customs. That provision has not been made in other Trish Home Rule Bills which I have been acquainted with. It certainly was not put before the country by any speaker who supported Home Rule that I happen to know. It was not mentioned by the lion, and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford, representing the Irish party. In fact, in one of his speeches, he excluded the very powers that are to be given.
As a strong federalist for the Parliamentary institutions of the United Kingdom, I have inquired with interest whether there is any precedent anywhere else for the power to vary the Customs or to have separate Customs under a federalist system. There is certainly no example within or outside the British Empire. In fact, one of the great incentives to union through a federal system elsewhere has been to get rid of the evil of different Customs, and to have one Customs area. We see it in British North America, to take a leading example. I do not know really whether the Customs Duties of the United Kingdom—if it is necessary to have Customs Duties—should be chosen, or 160 whether it would not be to adopt the principle of British North America rather than the principle of this Bill. I wait for any reason. I have heard very little reason for the provision for varying the Customs. Again, as a federalist, I regret this provision because I think it will hamper the future progress of devolution. I am sure if any Home Ruler speaking in Glasgow at the last election had forecasted the right of search of anyone passing between Glasgow and Belfast it would not have commended the Home Rule Bill. I admit that the thing could be done. I believe, even within my own time, you were searched at Berwick and had to pay duty on a bottle of whisky as you crossed the Tweed. But it was not found to be a convenient arrangement and the thing was dropped, and I very much doubt whether a system of search between any part of Ireland and Great Britain will popularise the idea of federal institutions and the grant of a large measure of devolution by this House. That is one reason why I object to this proposal from the point of view of extending devolution to my own country and to other parts of the United Kingdom. It is on the question of devolution that I am a very strong supporter of Home Rule. I have a suggestion to make. Why should not this rate of varying the Customs in Ireland be valued, and let us see what is the difference going to be worth? I would quite willingly vote that sum as an addition to the Transferred Sum. I am glad to see the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) in his place, because I hold very strongly that the sum total that is being voted under the Financial Resolutions should not be reduced. I have stated my personal prejudice in favour of voting for a larger sum if the need can be shown to be necessary. I think the greatest mistake would be to starve the Irish Government at a start, but I think that this proposal is an entirely novel proposal, and is one which will not commend devolution to this House or to this country, and that it would be well to value what this power of varying the Customs is to Ireland, and to add it to the transmitted sum. That is a suggestion which I make for the consideration of His Majesty's Government.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman, the Postmaster-General, said that having claimed the 161 attention of the Committee at considerable length on the first Financial Resolution he would be brief on this occasion. I will not venture to make such a bold confession, but I did occupy a great deal of time on that occasion, and I shall try to be brief to-day. Hon. Members on the other side of the House must not be ungrateful to the author of the misadventure, which has given them time for further consideration of the financial proposals of this Bill. The Debate from the beginning—I speak of the Debate as one—has been of a curious and unusual kind. Generally, in this House, discussion consists in an exchange of our views between one side and another, at least I hope so, but no one could have listened to the Debates on this Financial Resolution without becoming aware that Gentlemen who speak from the other side are either arguing, like the hon. Member for Falkirk, only to convince themselves, or, like the Postmaster-General or the Chancellor of the Exchequer the other night, only to convince reluctant supporters who sit behind them. I do not believe that there is in any quarter of the House a single Member who will pretend that upon its merits he likes the financial scheme of this Bill, except the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr. Lough), who often occupies a distinguished and unique position—
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I do not believe there is a single Member who would say that on its merits and regarded by itself he likes the financial arrangements embodied in this Bill. If there be such a man he has hitherto been silent.
§ Mr. DAVID MASON
I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but in the original Debate, in reply to the right hon. Gentleman's observations when the first Resolution was introduced, I specifically took up the very point he referred to, and said there were dozens of Members on this side who endorsed it.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I really congratulate hon. Gentlemen. They are more fortunate than I supposed, for out of a party of 300 odd they have some dozen who really like the proposals. But as I am obliged to correct myself, I think I had better do it handsomely. I think I was wrong in saying the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington is in favour 162 of it, for, if I am not mistaken, he explained he would go a great deal further.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Upon the financial proposals of the Bill? The right hon. Gentleman has written and spoken on the financial relations between Great Britain and Ireland more than most of us. It is quite obvious that the Government are aware, and Members of the party opposite are aware, that these financial proposals are not popular. The right hon. Gentleman who immediately preceded me in Debate said that if any Glasgow Liberal Member explained to his constituents at the last election that the powers over Customs and Excise contained in this Bill were going to be given to the Irish Parliament, it would not have tended to commend the Bill to his constituents. The hon. Member for the Orkneys told us with even greater frankness what he would have said if the question was specifically put to him before the last election, and that he would have answered, as the great bulk of hon. Members on the opposite side must have answered, that they contemplated nothing of the kind, and I think they would have gone on to say that any rumour to the contrary was a calumny circulated by their opponents. Why are we face to face with this difficult question? Hon. Members justify it as a necessity simply because they want Home Rule. That is the old dilemma on which my hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) dilated the other day and which is constantly presented to us in these discussions, namely, that the thing is bad in itself, that the solution is not a happy one, but if you want Home Rule you must take it, because there is no other way of granting Home Rule. That is the argument of the Government. The whole difficulty arises cut of their separatist treatment of Ireland. It arises because, to repeat the words the Postmaster-General used the other day the outstanding basic fact of the situation was that Ireland now has a large deficit and cannot pay her way. Let me observe two things on that. In the first place, the deficit is the creation of the Liberal Government.
It is the happy distinction between Liberal legislation for Ireland and Unionist legislation for Ireland that Liberal legislation created a deficit while Unionist legislation increased prosperity and brought a heightened 163 revenue. Let me say one thing more which is really of much greater importance. As long as you treat the United Kingdom as a United Kingdom, the exact proportion of revenue received from any part of it, and the exact proportion returned to it in some form of local service, is wholly immaterial. It really does pot concern the taxpayer; it does not concern the Chancellor of the Exchequer; it is not the basis upon which either the collection of our revenue or our expenditure is ever considered in this House; and I hope, as long as we are in the United Kingdom, it never will be. Hut the moment you separate the interests in different Parliaments, the moment you separate the management and responsibilities into two Kingdoms, you create this deficit an effective force, and you cannot ignore it any longer. My hon. Friends and I upon this side of the House have been taxed with a spirit of petty meanness, spite, and revenge, because we have said if Home, Rule is passed Ireland cannot have the same claims in future upon the British Exchequer which she has had in the past. She cannot claim to be treated as England or Scotland will continue to be treated unless Scotland is to have her separate Legislature. If she demands separation, she must be ready to take the necessary consequences of separation. If she claims the right to manage her own affairs without any interference or control by us, she must assume the burden of her responsibilities, if not to the Empire at large, to the United Kingdom in particular, at least for those responsibilities which arise out of the Government of her own concerns. Of course, the moment you undertake to separate the two countries, as is done by this Bill, you separate financial interests as you separate others. The moment you do that, Englishmen have a right to demand, and Scotchmen, too, that whatever Members of the present House of Commons may do, their constituents in future will see that the first consideration of a British Minister shall be for British interests, and that the first use of British credit shall be to promote British interests, and that in the future you cannot have that assistance from the wealthier portions of the United Kingdom rendered to Ireland, which has been the starting-point of a new prosperity, and which is the great hope, even now, for her future.
What is the position in regard to the future? I suppose it is common ground 164 that the expenditure of our country is not likely to diminish. The portion of that expenditure on the defensive services of the Empire is really beyond our control, or, at least, the standard which dictates what we do is not in our hands, but in the hands of other people. There is a side of the expenditure which is within our control as far as these things are within human control at all. But is it not common ground with every man who thinks about the trend of public opinion at the present time that the social requirements which are calling for attention on all hands, whatever the exact solution may be, must involve, and will involve, increasing expenditure to the country. What are you going to do when you have this demand for new expenditure, increasing expenditure for the defensive forces, increased expenditure for social reform? What would you have done if the Home Rule Bill had been in operation at the time of the famous Budget of the Chancellor of the Exchequer? Let me illustrate the possibility of that view by-reference to the past which affords a concrete case, but do not let anybody think it is unlikely that such demands by the Chancellor of the Exchequer may not arise again, and that the Government, I hope-not in exactly the same way, may have to make equally big demands. What would happen then if the Home Rule Bill was in force? Would your taxes have been applied by this Parliament to the United Kingdom as a whole or to England and Scotland only? I wonder what answer I can have from any hon. Gentleman sitting opposite to that question. [An HON. MEMBER: "None."] You hand over Ireland and allow her to have the conduct of her own social reforms. I presume if you had had Home Rule before you would not have extended the Insurance Act to the Irish people, and it you had extended your taxes to Ireland which pay for the growth of the Navy and for insurance, you would have Ireland in revolt against that injustice; and if you did not extend the taxes to Ireland, then not merely in regard to the present but in regard to the future, all burdens for the defence of the United Kingdom are to be left on our shoulders, and Ireland is not going to share them. If you are going to endeavour to find out which tax pays for the Navy and which pays for insurance, then you undertake a task which is really impossible, and which has never been achieved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
165 Therefore you are landed in extra double confusion, and that is my root objection to the whole of these Financial Resolutions. It is not that I think Ireland comes well out of the business, or that I am jealous of anything she may receive; it is not that I should be insensible to the attraction of "cutting our losses" if we could, and still more of being free once and for all of Irish questions in this House, and of the influence on our debates and proceedings of Irish votes which are used not on the merits of a particular issue, but often in order to secure some ulterior purpose; it is not that I am insensible to all that, but because I am convinced that instead of "cutting your losses" you will increase them; and instead of laying the foundations of peace you will be laying the foundations of fresh trouble. It is for these reasons that I am opposed root and branch to the solution put forward by the Government; and nowhere in this Bill is friction more certain to arise than over the financial Clauses. The hon. Member for Dublin County (Mr. Clancy) made some reference to a previous speech of mine, and said that we imputed certain motives to the Irish people, but we did nothing of the kind. If I were an Irishman and an Irish patriot, and I was asked if I would take this Bill or these financial provisions for my country and pledge myself and my country to support and carry out those provisions I would not for a moment consent, "whether I was a Nationalist or a Unionist. [An Hon. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Because if I were a Unionist I should say that in this scheme you have all the disadvantages of separation without the possible hope of peace, and if I were a Nationalist I should say that to offer us a Bill like this so cabined and confined in satisfaction of a Nationalist aspiration was an insult instead of a satisfaction. [Laughter.] I notice the smiling faces of hon. Members opposite, and if I interpret them rightly, I suppose they mean that I am contradicting myself and that I am answering my own argument, [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] They will never understand our attitude towards this Bill until they realise that again and again on Clause after Clause they are constantly confronted with this dilemma: "If you mean Union, you are giving too much; and if you mean Nationalism, you are giving too little."
I do not want to weary the Committee by attempting to go over the ground which I have trod before, but I cannot wholly avoid the same ground. My hon. Friend 166 the Member for Windsor (Mr. James Mason) developed an argument as to protection of Irish industries under this Bill which has already found a place in our Debates. I can quite understand the desire of the Irish people to be able to deal with their own industries in their own way. If they have an indefeasible right as a nation to control their own trade, which we have no right to dispute in the greater nation of the United Kingdom, I do not see how you can resist that claim to deal with their own trade. If there is one question more than another on which Irish opinion has constantly been hostile to the prevalent, opinion in this House it has been the question of our fiscal and commercial policy. There is no doubt that given a Parliament really representing the national aspirations of Ireland, and translating them into legislation according to the national will, it will protect Irish industries. You may think it is the wrong way, but they think it is the right way, and if you mean to allow them to manage their own affairs, if you say you cannot on the ground of Liberal principles refuse their claim to manage their affairs, you have no right to refuse their claim to settle their commercial policy as they will. But if you were free to give them that power, it would not commend you to Scottish constituencies any more than to the English, and therefore you pretend in your Bill that you refuse it. But do you really deprive them of that power? I think there is no answer to the case put by the hon. Member for Windsor. You give them the power to deal with Customs within the limits prescribed in this Bill, but you must bear in mind that the Customs Duties in force in Great Britain will not always be limited to the comparatively few articles now on the list.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd George)
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I wonder whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer's cheer reveals the real inwardness of these proposals. I should not be surprised, considering how this Government plays with the great interests committed to its care, if in framing these provisions of the Irish Bill they really have not had in mind all the arguments they have addressed to us for the benefit of the House, and that really hon. Members opposite believe that they will be putting in 167 a fresh obstacle in the way of Tariff Reform by giving this power to the Irish Parliament. Tariff Reform is coming, and the powers of the Irish Parliament, if this Bill is carried and if they remain unaltered, would then be much greater than they are under the present limited scale of dutiable articles. But, taking those powers as given by the Bill, and combining them with the use of bounties as allowed by the Bill, enforcing them if need be by the employment of duties and State monopolies as suggested by my hon. Friend, you can make as complete a system of Protection in Ireland as anybody wishes to. You can destroy, if you like, the Irish trade, and you can destroy the English trade with Ireland, and at any rate British trade with Ireland would henceforth be at the mercy of the Irish Parliament. And this is done in the name of a federal system! Was there ever such a preposterous claim made? What is our position? I am speaking now of the position of Englishmen and Scotchmen, for after all we ought to consider sometimes, even with regard to this Bill and this Resolution, our position. For the sake of establishing a Parliament, over which we have no effective control, and in order to enable the Irish people to manage as they please their own affairs, and the affairs of our kinsmen in the North of Ireland, we are to pay an annual subsidy to keep their Parliament in existence. What is the reason for which we are asked to do this? We are told that the administration of Ireland at the present time is more costly than the country can afford, and that we have saddled her with the burden of old age pensions and the Insurance Act, with which she would never have saddled herself. I do not remember that any Nationalist Members from Ireland asked us not to saddle Ireland with those burdens.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I was not thinking of the small party with which the hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork is connected, but of the larger party of Nationalist Members who sit behind him.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
It often happens that hon. Members who say 168 they are very sick of things vote for them. They did not ask to be saved from these burdens. I did suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer when contemplating Home Rule that it might be well to consider the effect of Home Rule upon these questions, but that suggestion was not received amicably by the right hon. Gentleman at the time. If it be true that we have saddled Ireland in this way with an expenditure not necessary to her requirements, and which she did not want, and which she is likely to retrench in the future, why are we to go on paying this money in perpetuity. By all means let us relieve Ireland of legislation she does not want and quit her and ourselves at the same time of onerous obligations distasteful to both parties which the Government have thrust upon her. What possible justification can there be for saying we separated because your rate of expenditure is too high for us, but you shall continue to contribute to us for all time as if we have always to live in the way we have lived with you. Some of us might be inclined to stretch logic aid reason in order to maintain old age pensions for the aged poor of Ireland, but observe, that there is no guarantee that although we pay the money the old age pensioner in Ireland will get his pension.
We are to pay on the basis of services now rendered, but we have no guarantee that those services will continue to be rendered. The Irish Government may make its economies just on the expenditure on those things which we of all others would desire to see carried on. We shall not have a word to say, but we are to be compelled by the Government scheme to continue to contribute the money which the Irish Parliament diverts from the purposes for which we intended it to any other purposes which strike their fancy. These seem to me insuperable objections to the scheme of finance established by the Government. I do not dwell again on all the intricacies of finance, on the mutual interaction of the Budgets of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this House and of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Dublin; on the way in which one will wait upon the other, and on the way in which the whole of the calculations as to the fairness of the scheme of taxation of the one may be upset by something which the other has done; but I say, whether you judge it by its details or whether you take it on the broad lines of equity and justice, 169 the scheme of finance embodied in this Resolution is unsound. There is not a man in this House now to defend the finance of the Bill of 1886, or of the Bill of 1893 as introduced, or of the Bill of 1893 as it was afterwards amended. We have had a faint approval of the finance of the present Bill from the hon. and learned Member for Dublin.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
We have had from the hon. and learned Member for Dublin a thorough approval—
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. and learned Gentleman gives point to my observation that the approval of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin is more thorough in this House than it is in Ireland.
§ Mr. CLANCY
It is quite untrue. I have spoken in this House and in Ireland in practically the same terms. I said the details of the Bill were one thing and the principle another, and I thoroughly approved of the main outlines of the Bill.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
The hon. and learned Gentleman in Ireland said the finance of the Bill required amendment.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I am quite content to leave that discussion where it stands. I will only say, if the acceptance of the Bill by hon. Gentlemen on those benches be as complete as any Member of the Government could desire, and if their intention to make these provisions work be as thorough as that of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, it is not the folly of the Irish people on which I count to make the provisions unworkable; it is the inherent impracticability of the provisions themselves. No man could work these provisions. No two Parliaments could agree on this basis. You fly in the face of all the experience of the world and you reverse the common progress of the world. Everywhere else, as States have become more highly organised, distinctions of Customs boundaries are wiped out, Customs Houses are destroyed, peoples are brought together; and you, the Tree Trade party, you who abhor Customs 170 and all about them, by your spokesman, the hon. Member for Falkirk Burghs (Mr. Murray Macdonald), are now, in order to support this Bill and this Resolution, forced to argue that Customs Houses are no hindrance to trade and are an aid to union.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Properly applied they are; the proper way to apply them is not by dividing up the United Kingdom, but by trying to unite more thoroughly a not sufficiently united Empire.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I heard the last speech of the right hon. Gentleman on this subject and I have heard most of his speech on the present occasion, and I must say when a right hon. Gentleman so ingenious in debate is unable to use any fresh argument against this scheme and is unable to produce any better arguments than those he has submitted to the Committee on this occasion and on the last, I think it is a complete vindication of the financial scheme of the Government. The right hon. Gentleman has argued on assumptions which we, as Home Rulers, cannot accept. He has argued on the assumption that this is a complete scheme of separation, that in future Ireland will be a separate entity, and that the Imperial Parliament will have no control over Ireland. If you accept all those assumptions, then I agree there might be some basis for his criticism of the fianance of the Bill, but all those go to the very root of the problem. If you assume we have no control over Ireland at all, that Ireland can go her own way, and that neither in defence nor anything else will the Imperial Parliament have anything to say, then I think it is conceivable this might be a bad bargain for the Imperial Parliament; but it is not our assumption. Our assumption, on the contrary, is that Ireland will be more bound to the Empire than she has ever been. The right hon. Gentleman talks about friction over the Financial Clauses Has there never been any friction between the Imperial Parliament and Ireland on the question of finance I Indeed, he referred to the Budget of 1909. I had nothing but friction with Irish Members on that financial scheme, and that was in an Imperial Parliament.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon, they did not. They voted against essential parts of that scheme.
Mr. LLOYD GEORE
No, that was in 1909. At any rate, no one who was present in that Parliament can deny—I am painfully conscious of it—that there was a good deal of friction between the Imperial Parliament and the Irish Members on the question of finance in 1909.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The hon. and learned Gentleman is prepared to deny a good deal that is accepted by most people on both sides of the House. Not only that, but in 1885, if my recollection is correct, the Irish Members threw out a Government upon the question of finance. There has been endless friction on financial questions between Irish Members and the Imperial Parliament. We have had one or two Commissions investigating questions of finance between the Imperial Parliament and Ireland, and that in a United Kingdom. All I can say is the financial relations between England and Ireland cannot possibly be worse than they have been in the past. Irish Members are perfectly convinced the Imperial Parliament has robbed them of hundreds of millions in the course of the last hundred years. I should like to know whether the hon. Baronet, who smiles, is prepared to say in Ireland that the Imperial Parliament has not extracted too much money from Ireland?
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
I have said time after time that the Imperial Parliament has not taxed Irishmen to a greater extent than any other individual taxpayer.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I accept the hon. Baronet's statement. All I know is that whenever there is any demand upon the Imperial Exchequer from Ireland I have always found the Ulster Members joining with the Irish Members below the Gangway in making appeals for more. I have never noticed the slightest distinction between the two parties whenever a question of finance conies up.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
After all, you may call it friction or you may call it a deputation, but it really comes to the same 172 thing. It is a demand for more cash from one portion of the United Kingdom. You may say in the past it has been friendly representation to the British Exchequer to find a little more money, and in future it is going to be friction; but it is really the same thing; it is the natural desire of human nature to get as much of the good things of life as you can possibly seize upon. Irishmen have been constantly pressing the Imperial Parliament for more money. I do not mean to say they will not do exactly the same thing in future, but there wall be this difference: there are 103 Irish Members at the present moment; there will be forty-two in future. That is a substantial difference. The right hon. Gentleman said he is quite willing British credit should be pledged so long as Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom. Afterwards, no more money for Ireland! You can spend money in Uganda; you can lend money there; you can guarantee a loan for the Transvaal with the consent of every party in this House—
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
My right hon. Friend points out you can present £30,000,000 to the Transvaal, a self-governing community, but not a penny to Ireland! I should like to know this. Is it the theory of the right hon. Gentleman that there will be no more, recruits from Ireland for the British Army, and that Ireland is not to contribute anything to the strength of the Empire? What is his theory about it? The whole question of defence is reserved to the Imperial Parliament exactly as it is reserved to the Imperial Parliament in Germany. Ireland will be just as subject to the Imperial Parliament in questions of defence as she is now. When he is expecting Irishmen to lay down their lives for the Empire, ha says, "Not a penny shall go from the Imperial Parliament in the way of credit towards development" Will it not be as much to the interests of this Empire to develop Ireland as it will be to develop Uganda? Will it not be just as much to the interest of this Empire—commercial, trading, industrial, military, naval, and every Imperial consideration— to have a strong prosperous Ireland, as it will be to have, a strong prosperous West India, South Africa, or any other corner of the Empire? Much more. Really I do not think it worthy of the right hon. Gentleman to talk in this way about Ireland, purely because she gets exactly the 173 same powers which have been delegated already to every other part of this Empire where you have white people resident. Why should there be any difference at all? I know the right hon. Gentleman says that that is an admission you are giving the powers he is talking about. Why should there be any distinction made in this case? However be may use it as a menace now, under the stress of party feeling, I know the right hon. Gentleman would be the first man to throw over that idea should the time come for Ireland to ask the assistance of this country.
The right hon. Gentleman asks what would have happened in such a case as the Home Rule Budget of 1909. I have no hesitation in giving my views on that point. There was cash to be raised for the benefit of the whole of the United Kingdom. It was for Imperial defence; it was for old age pensions, from which Ireland has derived as much benefit as, or even more than, the rest, of the United Kingdom, and I have no hesitation in saying that the Imperial Parliament had a right to do as it did. If it were a question of war, I should say that Ireland should be just as liable to contribute her share towards conducting a great Imperial enterprise as England, Wales, and Scotland. At the same time, if the expenditure were for a purely British, and not an Irish, purpose, it would be a gross injustice, under these conditions, to levy a duty in Ireland for that specific purpose. That is my view with regard to that matter. The right hon. Gentleman suggests that somehow or other this is an infringement of Free Trade. Perhaps he will point out where it is an infringement. He may be a very orthodox exponent of Tariff Reform, but we cannot accept his dicta with regard to Free, Trade. He is not the best authority on that. I again ask how does this infringe Free Trade principles? If there were power vested in Ireland——[An HON. MEMBER: "What about the bounties?"] Bounties are dealt with in a totally different part of the Bill. I am dealing with the Customs, and I say if there were powers vested in Ireland to raise any Customs Duty against any British product, if there were power to impose a protective duty, it would be different. But there is no power of that kind, and I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to point out a single Clause or line in these financial provisions that will enable Ireland to raise any duty as against British or foreign products. How, then, 174 can it be an infringement of Free Trade principles?
The right hon. Gentleman incidentally revealed why these financial provisions are really opposed by him and his party. He does not believe that they are too generous. On the contrary, a great part of his argument was devoted to the criticism which, if it meant anything, meant that they wore not generous enough from the Home Rule point of view. He revealed in a Hash his belief that somehow or other they will prove a barrier to Tariff Reform. It is not that he thinks they will interfere with Free Trade. That is no concern of the right, hon. Gentleman. I do him no injustice if I say he would not worry about these Clauses if he found embedded somewhere in them the germ of Protection. But what he is really afraid of is that somehow or other these Clauses may be used in a way which would be prejudicial to the great cause of Tariff Reform. That is really what the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends are afraid of. But that is a very different thing to interference with Free Trade. That is only part of the inconsistency, which we are getting quite accustomed to, in the discussion on these Clauses. First, they are too generous to Ireland; that is an argument intended for British consumption. In the next place, they starve Ireland; that is intended for Irish consumption. There is an appeal to hon. Members on this side that they injure Free Trade. There is an appeal to hon. Members behind him not to allow these Clauses to go through because they will interfere with Tariff Reform. That is the kind of criticism to which these Clauses are subjected.
I have listened to the Debate with the greatest care. Criticism has been directed to the question of reduction, a question which would be much better discussed when we come to the actual Clauses—for this is purely an enabling Resolution for us to enter into Committee on the Clauses themselves—and the question of reduction we can discuss on its merits when we come to that particular Clause. On the question of the power to raise some sort, of revenue by means of Customs, the right hon. Gentleman, and a good many other hon. Gentlemen speaking on that side, have said that this is contrary to the whole drift of what happens in other countries. But in other countries you had States and provinces which had power to raise Customs barriers against each other, and the first 175 thing they did with the view of establishing some sort of unity, was to pull down those barriers. Those were Customs barriers which enabled one State to levy protective tariffs against an adjoining State, and, of course, they were destructive of trade. They prevented commerce and trade relations between different parts of the Empire. They were hostile, inimical, and fatal to real union between the States. But this is a very different thing. This does not enable Ireland to levy Customs Duties as against England. It is purely a proposal to enable her to deal within her own boundaries, and to raise duties on commodities which she is consuming, commodities such as we have Customs Duties levied upon in this country. That is not raising a fiscal barrier between one part of the country and another. It is even less than is done by the Octroi Duty in France, and I do not see anything in the arguments of the right lion. Gentleman on that point.
I think I have dealt with all the points he raised. If there are any which I have omitted, I shall be glad to be informed of them, for I am here to answer him. I took very careful notes of what he said, and I thought I had dealt with his points seriatim. I will say, after listening for two days to the discussion which has taken place upon the Financial Resolutions, that there has been a good deal of repetition of the same sort of argument. I am quite conscious that, in replying to the right hon. Gentleman, I have been using arguments I have used before. But they are arguments I have been bound to use in reply to similar speeches made by others. It resolves itself into a very small question after all. If you are going to give Ireland power to raise revenues for her development, is there, I would ask, any other practicable method except this of doing so? Remember she is a poor country. Her methods of raising revenue are limited. If it were a rich country, the problem would be a different one, for revenue for the purposes of development might possibly be raised by direct taxation. But you cannot do it in the case of Ireland. I would ask lion. Members opposite to put themselves in the position of a Finance Minister for Ireland deprived of this power. If they will do that, I am sure they will come to the conclusion that, with resources so limited, it will be quite impossible for years to come for any Finance Minister to do what every Finance Minister for Ireland would 176 wish to do in the way of developing the resources of the country. It is a problem which faces every poor country. The money has to be raised from the bulk of the people by some tax of this kind. A tax in the nature of a house tax would be very expensive to collect.
§ Mr. JAMES MASON
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us if monopolies would be possible under this Bill?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
That is a question which should undoubtedly be raised on Clause 2. I cannot, of course, enter into any argument with regard to the effect of that Clause, but, in our judgment, it would be impossible under it to establish monopolies of the kind suggested by the hon. Gentleman. It has, however, nothing to do with this financial provision, and it is only out of courtesy to the hon. Gentleman that I am stating that it would be absolutely impossible to establish monopolies. I am advised by my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General that Clause 2 is a complete barrier to the establishment of anything of the kind, but if the right hon. Gentleman can in due course prove that it is not then undoubtedly the question will have to come up for consideration. I repeat that this provision affords the only effective method by which an Irish Finance Minister could raise financial revenue for the purposes of development.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I am quite content to leave the criticism of this Clause where it has been left by my right hon. Friend, and I shall devote myself almost exclusively to dealing with the defence which has just been made by the right hon. Gentleman. He began by accusing my right hon. Friend of repeating old arguments. The right hon. Gentleman, to denim justice, and I always do my opponents justice, though they may not think it justice, is very resourceful, yet he began his speech this afternoon with precisely the same words as he used in answer to my right hon. Friend on a previous occasion. He said that the attack on the Bill had been very ineffective. I am sorry I must repeat the answer I gave to him on that occasion. I did not think it a strong answer, but I will again say that, if the attack was as futile as the defence, it was indeed ineffective. I have said that the right hon. Gentleman is very resourceful, but I do not think anyone ever gave away his whole case so completely as he has done in the short speech which he has just 177 made. My right hon. Friend had talked about friction, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, "Does anybody deny there is not friction now?" Of course nobody does. There is friction always between the two sides of the House; there is friction between different parties in the House, but does the right hon. Gentleman really pretend that the friction within this House can be as effective against this House as friction in a Parliament which is independent of us and is carried on without regard to us? The right hon. Gentleman went a good deal further. He took us back to ancient history, which was very interesting. He said that hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway gave him a great deal of trouble about the Budget of 1909. He told us that they voted against it. I do not think they did that always. I think they abstained, and that is a great difference, as the Committee fully understands. At that time the right hon. Gentleman could go on with his Budget in spite of the hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. The position was renewed at the end of the last election. There was friction then; we all know that. It took a month to settle it. The Budget, we were told by an enterprising colleague of the right hon. Gentleman, was to be rammed through without the change of a comma. We waited a month, and we never even had a smell of it. He was going on allaying the friction. He allayed the friction, and this Bill, with all its absurdities, is the price he paid to allay it.
Let me point out another way in which the right hon. Gentleman gave away his case. My right hon. Friend has pointed out, as many of us have done, that, without any ill-will to Ireland, if Ireland chooses to demand that she shall manage her own affairs—without saying anything incidentally about managing ours—she must pay for the privilege. We are told that is very unfair, but the very Commission the right hon. Gentleman set up—the Primrose Commission—stated in a distinct sentence that, of course, Ireland must realise that that was the price she must pay for her national settlement. We said that inevitably, if this is done, Ireland must realise that, whatever she is gaining in other ways, she is losing economically. Nobody can doubt it. The whole tendency in legislation, in Budgets, and in everything else has been, and I believe will continue to be, that a bigger part of the revenue than used to be, the case is derived from special sources, but that it is 178 spent in regard to the whole population. That inevitably means that so long as a poor district is part of a richer country, it gets its share of that benefit, and that so long as Ireland is a partner with the United Kingdom, and she pays the same taxes and the individuals pay the same taxes, we do not consider whether she is a paying or a losing proposition. We look upon her as a part of ourselves, and will do our best to make her prosperous in precisely the same way we would make Scotland or Wales prosperous under the same conditions. Then the right hon. Gentleman says, "Look at what it means. After this Bill is passed, heaps of money to-Uganda, loans to the Transvaal, and every-where, but not a penny to Ireland." He gave away his case in two directions by that admission. He pointed out that what he was giving to Ireland for all practical purposes is the same that is enjoyed now by Canada and Australia and South Africa. All that we have said in regard to that has been, not that we will give nothing to Ireland, but that if the interests are separate we shall think first of Great Britain and second of Ireland. We never suggested, and would never dream of not treating Ireland at least as well as any Colony, but do we pay old age pensions to Uganda? Can anyone suggest that there is any sane reason why, if Ireland chooses to set up for herself, we should continue indefinitely to pay old age pensions not only to the people of Great Britain, but to the people of Ireland as well?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Of course we pay them now. We pay them also for the Orkneys and Shetlands, and shall continue to do so so long as they are a part of the United Kingdom. Let me take another point raised by the right hon. Gentleman in which, I think, he has given away the whole of the Home Rule case as we understand it. He was asked by my right hon. Friend, "What would you have done in regard to the Budget of 1909 if this Home Rule Bill had passed?" He told us that he would have taxed Ireland under that Budget. Where are we? We thought we were giving Home Rule to Ireland, and that Ireland was going to manage her own affairs, and that except to the limited extent to which these financial provisions still keep us financially together, the two countries were to be independent. Nothing of the kind. Any Chancellor of the Exchequer is to put any taxation he pleases on Ireland in regard to any social reform 179 be pleases. If they are to be taxed in that, way, what earthly right have you to reduce their numbers in this House? Why, Mr. Speaker, the Bill is changing every day. We never heard anything like that before, and I am sure that the hon. Members from Ireland must be glad of the little relief we gave them last Monday and for the opportunity they now have of knowing that they are going to be subject to precisely the same taxation that the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes for the rest of the United Kingdom, while they are to have only one-third of their present Members in order to express their views here. I really think that my right hon. Friend did not exaggerate in his criticism that there is not a man in this House who likes these provisions in themselves or does not regard them as absurd. Before I come to the Customs, upon which I wish to speak specially, I should like to look at one or two of these provisions. I think the Primrose Commission says this—I am not sure; I saw it somewhere, and I think it is in that Report—that collecting taxes is unpopular. Naturally. And it surely follows that if Great Britain wishes to be on good terms with Ireland the last thing we should set about doing is collecting the taxes. What do we do? Under this Bill we are to have a Parliament under which we may discover that nothing is to be changed in regard to Budgets, but we may discover that we, as a Parliament, are to have only this connection with Ireland, that the Irish Executive is to be the beneficial gentleman who hands out all the gifts and the British Government is to go there in the guise of the tax collector and the policeman. That is to be our connection, and no other; and that is to make for that close unity which is said to be so sure to come about after this Bill passes.
The right hon. Gentleman, speaking the other night, met the criticism of my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester (Mr. Worthington-Evans) in a most extraordinary way—in a way almost as wonderful as what he said this evening. Speaking before me, and after my hon. Friend, he dealt with this case. My hon. Friend had pointed out, as others had done before him, that under this amazing proposal, if the Tea Duty is taken off by the Irish Parliament, the Irish Parliament loses the money, but that if it is taken off by the English Chancellor of the Exchequer the Irish people get the benefit of the reduction and the English and Scotch people 180 pay for the whole of it. What is the answer of the right hon. Gentleman? "It is perfectly true, but that is an additional inducement to take it off. I am the Chancellor of the British Exchequer, but does anyone suggest because I am going to take off a burden from Ireland, that would not make me more anxious to take it off in England?" If he takes it off in that way, he benefits the Irish people, it is true, but he adds a burden of £500,000 to the British taxpayers. The right hon. Gentleman says that is an additional inducement to do it. He is the guardian of the British Exchequer. He is a very generous guardian, but I would not advise hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway to trust to him too much. His generosity does not, like the rain, fall on the just and the unjust. He takes good care that the stream should be directed only towards the just—from peerages downwards—and so long as these people are necessary to him, so long as their votes keep him in office, they can rely upon being given anything they ask for, be it £500,000 or £10,000,000. But I would warn them that he was perfectly right when said that my right hon. Friend will be the last to do anything unfair to Ireland, and that if the time ever comes when these hon. Gentlemen commit the crime of voting against the Chancellor of the Exchequer's party, then the generosity will stop and there will be no more half millions going about. I wish to refer to the question of Customs and the provisions with regard to them. I really think that of all the parts of the Bill they are the most extraordinary. The right hon. Gentleman repeated again his statement that there is nothing protective in this arrangement. I read a message from Sir Thomas Pittar, who was Chairman of the Customs for a long time, and whose name is well-known to the House, and after consideration he has authorised me to read to the House the message of his opinion about Protection:—I notice that Mr. Samuel stated on Thursday that the Trish Parliament would not have the power of setting up any system of protection under the Home Rule Bill. I have carefully read Clauses 15 and 16 and the Government Amendments thereto, hut I am still strongly of opinion that there are various methods of protection which under the Bill as amended would certainly be open to the Irish Government, and which it is impossible to suppose would be neglected under the pressure to which they would be subjected by the Irish manufacturers.(1) The Irish market would be secured to Irish tobacco manufacturers by making the difference between the duty on imported tobacco manufactured and that on raw leaf disproportionately large.This can be done in several different ways—
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Whether that was protected or not, it affected the whole of the United Kingdom and did not distinguish between different parts of it. I will continue the sentence I was reading—This can be done in several different ways. The British market would be secured to the same manufacturer by the Irish Government allowing Irish manufacturers considerable relaxation of the burdensome revenue on manufactures, and possibly by relaxation of the moisture regulation.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The Irish Government will have nothing to say to it. They do not collect the revenue or impose any restrictions.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Let me finish the sentence, and I will deal with that—By such means, the Irish manufacturer could put the goods on the British market on terms with which the British manufacturer could not compete. I see nothing in the Bill forbidding internal bounties on manufactures. By such bounties, in conjunction with export bounties, Continental Governments built up their great sugar industries.This is the point to which the right hon. Gentleman refers.In the foregoing observations respecting revenue restrictions, I am assuming that the Irish Government will have control over the bonded warehouses and bonded and unbonded factories of Ireland.That is the point. Does the right hon. Gentleman say they will not?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Every man in the House, except the right hon. Gentleman, knew that the collection of Irish revenues is retained in the hands of the Imperial Parliament, and everything relating to the collection of Irish revenue.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The right hon. Gentleman really says it is the intention of the Government that when questions as to the method in which the tobacco industry is being conducted in Ireland arise in the Irish Parliament, the Executive Government of Ireland will say: "We have absolutely nothing to say to that. The Custom House and the Excise officials are appointed by the British Exchequer. We have to submit, and we have nothing to say whatever about it." What about Clause 40? Everybody knows that, the right hon. Gentleman says. Nobody in Ireland supposes that when they profess to be giving them this latitude in regard to Customs they are to have the right to vary Excise, but they are to have nothing whatever to say as to the way in which these duties 182 are carried out in Ireland. I do not believe for a moment that that would be assented to by hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, and if they accept the Bill as it stands, it is because they know the Bill does not carry out that proposal. We admit that Protection may be given by bounties, and that is the worst form that Protection can take.
I wish the House would really consider what the effect of these Custom House barriers between Ireland, England, and Scotland is, without regard to the other methods of Protection to which I have referred. The right hon. Gentleman says no Free Trader has ever said that Custom House barriers are against Free Trade. The right hon. Gentleman has many great qualities, but a good memory is not one of them. If he looks back on speeches of man after man on that bench, and I think on his own speeches, he will find that over and over again one of the charges made against Tariff Reformers was that they were going to restrict trade, not merely by the duty, but by the restrictions which Custom House arrangements involve. They all said it, and now they are reduced to saying that it will be rather an advantage to trade than otherwise. Just consider what it means. I have pointed out before, and I cannot help pointing out again, that the powers which they give deal precisely with the kind of articles which are likely to be smuggled. They deal with articles which are of small bulk and of great value—the one thing where smuggling is possible. If you take any articles where the bulk in proportion to the value is large, it will not pay anyone to smuggle, but when you have an article like whisky or tobacco, where in the one case the duty is, I think, nine or ten times, and in the other eight times the value of the commodity, the temptation to smuggle is irresistible, and it is precisely on these articles that the Irish Parliament is to have the right to vary the duty. What will be the effect? The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Munro-Ferguson) spoke of what would be the effect on Glasgow. I will tell you what the effect is. Every ship of any kind that goes between Ireland and any part of the United Kingdom will be subjected to precisely the same delay and precisely the same examination to which any foreign-going ship is subjected to-day, and at present the whole thing is done as coastwise trade, and there is no more restriction than there is coming by rail between Glasgow and London. That is one thing. Take another. For the reason I have given, the 183 great value in proportion to the bulk, it would pay every consumer in the United Kingdom to get the whole of his tobacco and tea from Ireland by parcel post. You must, therefore, open every parcel which comes between Ireland and England. More than that, there is a great traffic between Glasgow and Belfast. There are excursions every day in the summer time where people go and return the same day. Under this Bill inevitably they will be subjected to precisely the same delay. Every passenger must be examined in the same way in which he is examined now at Dover or Calais for fear he is bringing back tobacco or tea in the bag he carries with him or in his pocket. Every restriction is the same.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
What happens between the Channel Islands and England now? The duties are extremely small on these very articles, and no inconvenience is felt.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
There is precisely the examination which I have named. There must be. Really, hon. Gentlemen opposite must use a little common sense. Under this Bill there will be the power—and they mean to use the power or they would not insist on it—to make the variation of these things as great or greater than exists now between France and Great Britain. If the restrictions are necessary between France and Great Britain, why in the world will they not be necessary if the revenue is to be protected between Ireland and Great Britain? I cannot understand for the life of me why the Government are persisting in this and why the Irishmen want it. If they do not want Protection—and I would remind the Committee that Lord Morley pointed out that inevitably if they got a Parliament they would want it, and Mr. Parnell—and they still say they stand where Parnell did—put Protection as one of the clear rights of the Irish people—if they do not want Protection, why do they insist on this method of raising revenue? The right hon. Gentleman speaks as though here was an inexhaustible method of bringing in revenue—as if it was the one method open to them. They have given us no figures. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Munro-Ferguson) suggested, very wisely, that some money value should be put on this power. They have given us no figures to indicate that any great amount of revenue could be got from it. On the contrary, the ground on which it was advocated in Ireland is that they will reduce the duties on tea and tobacco. 184 They cannot get revenue if they do that, and on everything else except Excise and Customs the increase is limited to 10 per cent. It is therefore a bagatelle.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
If the right hon. Gentleman will take time some day to look at the Primrose Commission, he will find that these are facts. He may accept the facts, even though they come from a body appointed by themselves. The amount of revenue in Ireland derived from spirits between 1896 and 1911 was £1,000,000 less than it would have been in proportion to the rate of duty if there had been no falling off in the consumption on account of duty. It shows clearly what he himself found, that you cannot indefinitely raise the rate without diminishing the product which the revenue enjoys, and he himself when he was going through the Budget was constantly faced with this dilemma. At one minute he was saying, "We will get more revenue," and when he found he was getting less he said, "At all events we will get temperance." I doubt the temperance, and the additional revenue, in proportion to the damage to the trade, is very small. The point I am making about that is this: that if any examination is made—and I challenge the right hon. Gentleman or the Government to put on the Paper some estimate of the possible additional yield of revenue from that source—it is impossible that there can be any material addition to revenue from that cause. The right hon. Gentleman, when he speaks about the impossibility of their raising it in any other way, about a house tax being so costly and all the rest of it, he forgets this little particular which is very important. Under his Bill it does not matter in the least how much it costs to collect for the Irish Government. They get the whole of the tax, and we have the whole of the cost of collection.
Remember this. Every Chancellor of the Exchequer is receiving every year proposals for additional revenue of all kinds. Why does he not accept them? In some cases because they would be absurd, but in many cases because the product of the tax would be out of all proportion to the cost of collection. That difficulty does not exist in Ireland. Whatever they get is theirs; whatever it costs is ours. Therefore they will have no difficulty in raising any amount of revenue under such a delightful provision from their point of view. I do not expect hon. Gentlemen 185 opposite to vote against the Government. That is too much to expect; they know perfectly well that to do so means expelling them from this House, and that is too much to ask of anyone. But I do suggest that these seventy British Members, or whatever the number is, who hate this whole proposal, have a method of dealing with the Government and of getting them to abandon it. I would far rather, if I ever believed Home Rule was to be carried, give Ireland an additional £500,000 than have this constant nuisance in the trade between the two countries. This is what I would suggest to these Gentlemen: Let them tell the Government that really they cannot stand this: Let them say to the Government, "After all we are as numerous as the Nationalist Members for Ireland," and let them say to the Government this, and I think they would say it with great effect, for it is something which Mr. Gladstone never forgot, and which the present Government have always forgotten, that if these Gentlemen are necessary to them, and we know they are, they are also necessary to these Gentlemen below the Gangway. The give ought not to be all on one side and the take on the other. Let the right hon. Gentleman for once screw his courage, or his chief's courage to the point of doing what is right because it is right.
§ Mr. LOUGH
The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bonar Law) commenced his very interesting speech by saying that hon. Members on this side are making a very ineffective defence in dealing with the bad attack upon the financial provisions of this Bill. I do not think we have ever had a worse example of a bad attack than in the speech just delivered. I was amazed at the bad points, one after another, which the right hon. Gentleman made. It struck me at one time that he had not made himself familiar with the details of the Bill. He told us, for about the third time, what would happen if the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Great Britain took off the Tea Duty. He said that Ireland would get the benefit, and that Great Britain would pay the cost. Nothing of the kind. The right hon. Gentleman forgets that the Chancellor of the Exchequer here retains the full right to tax Ireland, and that he will, in taking off a tax, consider the revenue he, will then derive from it. However, I will not follow the right hon. Gentleman further in regard to that matter. I want to take a fresh point. The right hon. Gentleman developed his 186 argument against the Irish Custom House proposed in this Bill, and evidently he was borrowing ideas from my right hon. Friend the Member for the Leith Burghs (Mr. Munro-Ferguson). "Give them another half-million," he said, "and do not let them have their Custom House in the form in which it appears in the Bill." The mistake which he and all the Gentlemen behind him make is that they can imagine no utility in a Custom House, but that of imposing protection and doing harm to a neighbour. And it is this rudimentary form of ignorance, with regard to this great matter, that brands all the argument of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, and especially, of those on the Front Bench, as an absurdity. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I am trying to answer the right hon. Gentleman. To listen to him you would imagine that a country in which the principles of Free Trade were absolutely followed could not possibly have a Custom House, that it would be a useless detail, an impediment, the fifth wheel to the coach. That is the argument on which all his speech was based.
What is the truth? Where do you find the best Custom House in the world? In Great Britain. What is the single Free Trade country in the world? Great Britain. Why is it that Great Britain has developed a Custom House, the most complete and exact, and the most interesting that any country has developed while she is an absolutely Free Trade country? The reason is this: She finds that there are merits in a Custom House which, it may be, have not been dreamt of by hon. Gentlemen opposite, who think of introducing their principles of political economy into the State. The destruction of the Irish Custom House was the cruellest blow to Irish industry ever struck in the relations between the two countries. What happened when you destroyed the Irish Custom House? None of those evils which hon. Gentlemen opposite talk about. What occurred was that all knowledge of the products of industry, of imports to and exports from Ireland, and of what she might do, disappeared from the ken of mankind. That was the result of destroying the Custom House, and ever since any experiment this House attempts with regard to Ireland and her commerce becomes possible, because there is no Custom House. Every cruel blow becomes possible because there is no Custom House and no means of studying the effect Customs have on the country. [Indica- 187 tions of dissent.] I am treating the argument of the right hon. Gentleman with the greatest respect and trying to answer what has been said. I am going to say something to my hon. Friends around me who are enmeshed in the same fallacy. They say, why should Ireland have this? Scotland does not ask it. The reason is that Scotland has a Custom House to-day working perfectly, and all that Ireland asks to get under the Bill is an institution equal to the Scottish Custom House of to-day.
§ Sir E. CARSON
May I ask if the right hon. Gentleman means to say that there are no Custom Houses in Ireland?
§ Mr. LOUGH
Quite easy to answer. It is a rudimentary question. For all effective purposes—and I will explain it to the House in one moment—there is no Custom House whatever in Ireland. Let us begin with the question, what is a Custom House? A Custom House is an organisation in the State which enables a country to measure its traffic with other countries.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that such arrangements were made seven years ago, and that full details are given in the Trade Returns?
§ Mr. LOUGH
Really one interruption from the Front Bench is worse than the last. Does the right hon. Gentleman think that I do not know all about that? Why it was I who got out of his Friends the information to which he refers, and I am taking fully into account everything I say. Will the right hon. Gentleman permit me to develop my argument in my own way? Unless you give such facilities as the Bill proposes to give, the Irish people must continue in the dark and grinding ignorance in which they have been enmeshed for the last ninety years with regard to all that affects their economic progress. I shall prove that to the House. All the books are here, and yon have only to go to the Library to see them. Seven years ago some facts were given. The whole export trade of Ireland is over £60,000,000 a year, which is more than the trade of Scotland. The export trade of Scotland is £47,000,000 and the import trade is £46,000,000. A Blue Book in the Library shows the imports and exports of Scotland regularly recorded and the value of the goods. The book shows not only the figures for the whole country, but for every particular port in the country, and 188 that is the reason why these ports in Scotland have developed such extraordinary wealth. We have places like Inverness, and the Leith Burghs from which my right hon. Friend comes. We find that Leith, a magnificent port, has developed great wealth. Let me give the figures with regard to Leith as shown in the Blue Book and contrast them with the figures relating to Belfast, of which the right hon. Gentleman thinks he knows something. The exports detailed with regard to Leith amount to £7,500,000, and the imports to £15,000,000. Everything is recorded daily and weekly. These imports are largely eggs, to which I will come in a moment. Belfast is a far greater port than Leith, but the whole export trade of Belfast is recorded as £427,000. What nonsense! About six ships leave the port every day, and my own belief is that the exports from Belfast exceed £20,000,000. Nobody knows anything about that. All they know about is this £427,000. I think I have proved my case. Scotland enjoys a perfect Custom House system without which no accurate knowledge of the trade carried on can be obtained, and I have shown that Ireland is deprived of that system.
I want to carry this argument one step further. This House is for ever pointing to Ireland with contempt as a place in which no trade can be carried on, and which ought not to aspire to commerce. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I say it is the general argument. Then they point to Great Britain and say, "Here is an island blessed by Providence; that is the place for commerce." I believe the whole thing is an utter fallacy, and it is because this House has deprived Ireland of institutions fundamental to her commerce that Ireland is starving. [Laughter.] It is all very-well for hon. Gentlemen to laugh. Why is it that Great Britain is always increasing in prosperity and wealth? [An HON. MEMBER: "Not because of the Custom House."] I am speaking of the Custom House at the moment, but there are other institutions. She has got whatever institutions are necessary to her development as a civilised commercial nation. That is what Great Britain has, and good use she has made of them. Ireland is deprived of every one of these institutions. The Leader of the Opposition asked if I did not know that seven years ago all this information was given. The information given seven years ago was really worse than giving Ireland no information at all. I will describe it to you exactly. It is a 189 point to which I want to direct the attention of this Committee. Those hon. Gentlemen opposite who are attacking the Bill do not realise the fact that this Bill is following out and going very little beyond the principles that they themselves set up in Ireland. For instance, here is a Custom House. My right hon. Friends here are only making effective what hon. Gentlemen did badly when in office. The right hon. Gentleman said that his Government gave this information in 1904, and he turns round and attacks the present Government as a sort of political scoundrels because they are trying to make the information complete and perfect. I will tell you what was done by the Government which was in office seven years ago, for I have fought this battle for a long time. In 1904 we got this concession made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London. He said, "We will give you a Return." It was prepared by an exceedingly clever man—I think it was Mr. Adam —but whoever it was, I do not say a word against him, because his name will be remembered in Ireland as the one who dragged the country out of the awful pit into which it had sunk.
§ Mr. LOUGH
They got permission from hon. Gentlemen opposite, and I thank them for it, because they in a sense are responsible for the Custom House which is now being established. My right hon. Friends are doing nothing but carrying out what they started. They gave permission for these facts to be recorded, and they will find the result of Mr. Coyne's labours in the books which have been published. Mr. Coyne said, "I have got authority from the Government to inquire about exports and imports." Everybody laughed at him. The Custom House would not help him, and importers and exporters would not help him. He went roaming up and down the land, a lost figure, like one of those old saints in Ireland in the early days, of whom hon. Members may have heard. He persevered, and, partly by inquiries, partly by extracts from Blue Books, and by every mean, underhand, indirect method, he got the information together twenty-one months after it would be of use to anyone. So we get this book promised to us, and it becomes the basis for inaccurate gossip between myself and the Leader of the Opposition, as it is here to-night. We know that there is an element of truth in 190 the book, but I say here, solemnly, there could not be a book which is a greater insult to a civilised nation and more useless for the purpose for which it is intended. My right hon. Friends propose simply to give the statutory authority which any other civilised nation enjoys, so that when a ship comes in they may say, "What goods have you got on board?" and they may ask, what are the exports and what are the imports, and what is coming in and what is going out. In London to-morrow morning when I come down to the market there will be a paper there. It is not a nice paper to look at, but everything that has come into London to-day up to a certain hour will be published there to-morrow morning for the benefits of all persons engaged in that trade.
I say that in every town in Ireland, in Limerick, Dundalk, Sligo, in all these lost towns, there, again, hon. Gentlemen opposite cannot tell me why the population is decreasing and why there is no commerce. I tell you because there are no facilities, for commerce. They have no right to stop the ship and say, "What have you on board?" Mr. Coyne comes along eighteen months afterwards and says, "I will get it from the Board of Agriculture." There can be no prosperity, no commerce in any country whore this fundamental, rudimentary information is denied. However hon. Gentlemen in this House may mock at me or the Leader of the Opposition may do so for saying it, I say that in these days, when a slight thing is enough to turn away the stream of commerce, if you deprive a nation of these particulars, then you cannot be surprised if that nation is poor and degraded. I may give one or two illustrations of the result. Ireland is well known as a country that produces a great deal of butter. Will it be believed that during that season of the year when butter is most dear, and it would be really profitable to produce butter, Ireland produces no butter at all, and becomes dependent on wise and well-informed countries like Denmark for all the butter which our people eat? But no one can tell what butter comes into Ireland nor to whom it comes, nor where it comes from, nor what is paid for it. Therefore, even in that particular industry of butter, fundamental as it is to Ireland, Ireland has got no information enabling her to carry on her trade side by side with other nations.
The provision within the Bill which the Government have introduced is not a one— 191 sided provision. The information which will be given in the Bill will be as helpful to Scotland as it is to Ireland. In Leith to which I have referred, the largest import is eggs. Great quantities also come from Ireland. But the people in Leith know nothing about what comes from Ireland, and the market may be deluged with Irish eggs while they know nothing about it. Irish eggs are also sent to Glasgow, and they know nothing about them there, though all the facts are known about every other country in the world. Surely the Leader of the Opposition loves Ireland, and I would ask: "Why do you insist, because you love Ireland, in putting her to such a disadvantage as this with regard to her trade?" When this information is given, and you give just the same facilities to Ireland—that is all the Bill provides for— as you do to Denmark or any other country, then you will do more to promote the wealth and development of Ireland than has been done in this House since 1825, when the Custom House was closed. I want to answer the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition in another way. No hon. Gentleman opposite can speak about this question without talking about Protection. I hope I have said enough to satisfy the Committee that Protection is hardly raised at all. I want to go a step further. It is not for me to say what the Leader of the Irish party will allow to be put into the Bill, but everybody knows enough about the Bill to say that any Clause which the Government wish to put in with regard to there being no Protection the Irish Members will agree to. The hon. and learned Member for Water-ford, as has been truly said by some of my hon. Friends here, to begin with, did not ask for a Custom House. The Custom House is put in the Bill because there was such ah uprising of feeling in Ireland that no Bill would have been passed through the House without putting a Custom House into it. I have called attention already to a Clause in the Bill which speaks of Ireland not being allowed to interfere with foreign trade. I am promised an Amendment on that point, and I am glad to take the opportunity of reminding the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General that I look to him to fulfil his promise, and that Ireland will be allowed to do what every other nation does, to look after her trade with foreign countries.
The reason we have been to some disadvantage with regard to this great matter 192 is that the Government chose, and quite rightly, to put the argument on one basis only. The argument they put forward was that such a large revenue was raised in Ireland by Customs Duties and indirect taxes that if a Parliament had no control over those duties the Parliament would have no power at all. That argument stands perfectly good, but will the Committee allow me to bring it one step further? In the case of two countries so different as Great Britain, on one side, and Ireland, on the other, there can be no more formidable weapon of oppression than that one country should be able to select the articles subject to duty, while the other has no option in the matter. What is the reason that on the same articles 74 per cent, of the Irish revenue is paid in indirect taxes and only 44 per cent. of the British revenue? Many hon. Gentlemen appear not to understand. The reason is that the articles are selected by Great Britain and Great Britain selects the articles which will fall lightly on her own people and which will hit the Irish a terrible blow.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I will mention some. There is no cider tax in this country: the eider is largely used and made here; and the alcohol in beer, which is the favourite drink in this country, is not taxed one-fourth to the extent of the alcohol in whisky, which is drunk in Ireland. Supposing we took the case of other countries, say England and France, and tried to tax the same articles in the two countries, see what a failure we would make. The French would not mind what tax we put on tea, because they drink very little tea and they would get off lightly. If a tax were to be put on coffee, the English would say, "Tax it as much as you like: we use none." A tax on wine would tax the French; a tax on beer would hit the English. The question of the selection of the article and the amount of the tax is fundamental in the case of two communities so different as Great Britain and Ireland. So you have got these two countries differing in all these respects, and now we have got this most moderate measure, guarded here with safeguards so that nothing can be done to the prejudice of this country, and we have got this particular provision with regard to the Custom House borrowed from the Front Opposition Bench, and yet those Gentlemen who did it themselves in 1904 appear to be willing to cut the throats of 193 my poor right hon. Friends. Now I will say a word to encourage my right hon. Friends. I want them to persevere with their great task in pressing through these Financial Clauses. I have been in this House for over twenty years, and those Financial Clauses appeal to me as no item of legislation ever appealed to me since I have been in this House.
The only taunt that we hear from the Front Opposition Bench is that the Financial system of 1886 failed and the system of 1893 failed, and then they go on to say that this one will also fail. The one of 1886 failed because no study was given to the question, and there was no study of the question in 1893, but why my right hon. Friends will succeed now is because the Chief Secretary is a modest man and a learned man, and he says with regard to the Financial Clauses, "Bring in the best and the wisest suggestions that have been threshed out during the last twenty years." We have been doing nothing for twenty years but examining this question. We have had two Royal Commissions, and the representatives of the Front Bench opposite, who were much better than hon. Gentlemen behind think they were with regard to this matter, when they came into office continued the Royal Commission on Financial Relations, and on account of the assistance which they gave us we have had this accumulation of facts every year. And I say that if we had the right hon. Gentlemen opposite in office tomorrow we would make a bargain with them, and they would bring in a Home Rule Bill which would be no less advanced in its provisions than the Home Rule Bill of the right hon. Gentleman. I think the financial scheme of the Bill is excellent. It is founded upon a splendid principle, a perfect principle, which is that we should take an account between the two countries. That is a magnificent principle. The Irish have been fighting it for many years, and they could not get it. I say in all seriousness, I am glad to have lived to see the day when so great a concession has been made to Ireland. Look at these words with which Clause 14 commences: "There shall be in Ireland an Irish Exchequer"—well may the people of Ireland throw up their hats!—"and an Irish Consolidated Fund separate from those of the United Kingdom."
These are the greatest words of emancipation that were ever spoken to any nation. This House passed laws in 1817 by which the Custom House was abolished. 194 In 1825 Sir Robert Peel exalted the glories of the British Consolidated Fund, and I firmly believe that if Mr. Gladstone, of whom I do not desire to speak disrespectfully, and Sir William Harcourt knew of such a Clause as that which I have just read out those great statesmen would almost turn in their graves. But this poor despised country has triumphed. She has made her case. She has fought it before the tribunals, and she is going to get justice at last. I only wish to say one word with regard to the controversy which unhappily arose between my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the hon. Member for Cork City the other night. It pains me very much to see friends of a great cause ever differing with one another, and I believe that the difference was largely misunderstanding. Undoubtedly the hon. Member for Cork used rather too strong an expression. He said that the Financial Clauses were rotten to the core. They are not rotten to the core, but his argument did not go so far as that statement. They are most excellent. All his argument went to was that Ireland ought to get a little fairer treatment. I think that Ireland will have to get a little fairer treatment before the Bill is quite through.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I am discussing it now, and perhaps, if the hon. Member opposite listens to me, the discussion will be much more useful than any long speech which he might make if he got the chance. If he will look at the Clause, he will see that all the future loss under the Land Purchase Act is to be deducted from the Transferred Sum coming to Ireland. I cannot understand how that harmonises with the provision in the Bill that land purchase is to be reserved service; I do not ask my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give me an answer now, but I put this forward. I say that this question of land purchase under these Financial Clauses is capable of a certain division. We ought to hold the Irish Parliament responsible for everything which the Irish tenants have agreed to pay. But we hold the Westminster Parliament responsible for the bonus to the landlords, and all 195 the cost of putting the measure through. This Parliament has never yet subscribed a single penny towards that great matter. The mistake my hon. Friends make about it is that they always speak of land purchase as having been put through at the cost of Great Britain. Ireland has found all the cost, and will continue to find it. This buying out of the landlords was not an Irish matter, but a British matter. I was reading, in a most interesting book published the other day, the life of the Duke of Ormonde, an account of the Adventurers Act that was passed in 1641, whereby 2,500,000 acres of land in Ireland was given to anybody who could go and destroy the people in that country. Ireland remembers all these matters as if they were yesterday. I think the House of Commons ought to be liberal as regards finance and as regards land purchase, in view of the burden which is imposed upon Ireland. As to the general structure of these Clauses, they reflect the greatest ingenuity on the framers. I do not know whether all the credit is due to the Postmaster-General, who explained most lucidly to the House these provisions, but I should say much credit is also due to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who will always be able to say that he was Chancellor of the Exchequer when these extraordinary, far-reaching, and I believe well-devised measures were adopted in the British House of Commons. While admitting that these provisions need amendment, I firmly believe that they constitute one of the greatest triumphs in which British statesmen have ever had the opportunity of taking part.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I have put down certain Amendments on the Paper, but as I do not wish to limit the discussion I do not propose to move them, and will only shortly state their effect. Before doing so, however, I desire to say a few words in regard to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, which I am sure every Member of this House enjoyed very much. The right hon. Gentleman has given us a most instructive address on the subject of Custom Houses, and it seems to me that he loves Custom Houses for their own sake. Even if there were to be no difference at all in duties, the right hon. Gentleman would still be in favour of Custom Houses. He also told us that if Ireland had what Scotland possesses he would be quite satisfied.
§ Mr. CASSEL
The right hon. Gentleman referred to Scotland, and I am dealing now with what he said, namely, that if Ireland could have what Scotland possesses he would be quite satisfied. It may be due to my ignorance or want of knowledge, if I am mistaken, but so far as I am aware Ireland and Scotland are now in precisely the same position. So far as Custom Houses are concerned there is not one iota of difference between Scotland and Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman, therefore, ought to be satisfied with the present position of Ireland. Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that in every federation in the world in which Custom Houses have been got rid of, they should now be again set up so that the different States of the United States of America, or the different provinces of Canada, should each have its Custom Houses? The right hon. Gentleman's argument, if it be of any good at all, should carry him as far as that. I think his statement that he desires Ireland to have what Scotland possesses carries with it its own condemnation. The right hon. Gentleman, referring to the general provisions of the Bill, said they were founded on most excellent principles, and that the Financial Clauses had been drawn in such a way that he himself could not have drawn them better. But that seems to me to be in strong contrast with the right hon. Gentleman's pamphlet which he has kindly sent to every Member of this House.
§ Mr. CASSEL
The right hon. Gentleman in his pamphlet condemned in anticipation the very principles on which these Clauses are founded. He said:—The aim therefore should be to find the course which will enable the nation most quickly to develop self-reliance, and to learn again that labour is the only true source of Health. One method is to throw the whole burden—taxation, expenditure, development—as quickly as may be on the people of Ireland, and the other is for Great Britain still to levy and collect the taxes and hand over a sum that may be fixed from time to time. The latter seems to me to be a system that can only stereotype the evils which it should be our aim to get rid of.The right hon. Gentleman on another Amendment told us that the Irish Parliament could not possibly be a success unless the Bill was altered.
§ Mr. CASSEL
The right hon. Gentleman told us that the Irish Parliament could not possibly be a success and yet he tells us in his pamphlet that the principle on which the Financial Clauses are founded can only stereotype evils which it should be our aim to get rid of. I am beginning to wonder if the right hon. Gentleman is going to vote in favour of the Third Reading of this Bill, because if it sets up a Parliament which will only prove a failure, and if the Financial Clauses are framed on principles which will stereotype existing evils, it seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman pieces a severe strain on his party loyalty when he supports a Bill of such a description. I come to the subjects raised by the Amendments which stand in my name upon the Paper, and I put them shortly in this way: It is not only the case under the Bill that the Parliament of Great Britain hands over two millions a year to the Irish Exchequer without any control over its expenditure, but, over and above that, the Irish Members have always said that expenditure in Ireland at this moment is grossly excessive. I think the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) went so far as to say that it was double what it ought to be, and that it could be reduced to half if only Ireland had her own Parliament. If that be so, surely it is a gross injustice to the British taxpayer that you should force him to continue paying on this high and excessive scale when Ireland has been granted the right to manage her own affairs. You actually go so far as to say that the Irish Parliament can use the money which it saves in reducing taxation in Ireland while there was still a deficit.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked whether there was any point with which he had omitted to deal, and this is one with which he did not deal, and the slightest degree, and I put it to him in this way: How can it possibly be fair to allow the Irish Parliament or the Executive to reduce Imperial taxation with the savings which they have effected before they make good the deficit. Take the case of the Royal Irish Constabulary. That force now costs £1,300,000, and the right hon. Gentle- 198 man the Member for Islington told us that this is as much as the cost of the Bulgarian Army. We are told that that expenditure will be got rid of to a large extent when the Royal Irish Constabulary are taken over. Supposing they are able to reduce the cost to £680,000, which is half the expenditure—the right hon. Gentleman will correct me if I am wrong—my interpretation of the Bill is that this saving of £680,000 could be applied in taking off the whole duty on sugar and reducing the duty on tea 1½d. I think that would be just enough to do it. The duty on sugar in Ireland produces £283,000, and the duty on tea produces £583,000. It seems to me that if you save £680,000 on the police, the Irish Parliament would take the whole of the duty on sugar and reduce the duty on tea 1½d., or a little more than 1d. They would be able to do it, simply owing to the fact that the British taxpayer is still continuing to pay for the police on a high scale, while the Irish were only paying on the low scale. The British taxpayer would be still taxed on his own tea and his own sugar, while having to send that sum over to the Irish Exchequer.
I put it to the right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General, who has to deal with this Department on a business basis, whether such a transaction as that, from the business point of view, can be justified? You say that you are setting up an Irish Parliament or an Irish Administration for the purpose of reducing expenditure in perpetuity, and yet you are going to saddle the British taxpayer with this expenditure, although it is no longer required for the purpose of relieving the Irish taxpayer, who will be already relieved in connection with Imperial taxation to which the rest of the United Kingdom will still remain liable. The answer which the right hon. Gentleman may make to me is that unless there be such an arrangement, there will be no sufficient inducement to the Irish Parliament to save. If the right hon. Gentleman makes that answer, I submit that it is not in accordance with any principle of morality or honesty. It surely should be a sufficient inducement to save, in order to pay your debts and to become self-supporting. Irishmen have constantly said themselves: We want our freedom and we want to pay for it. Professor Oldham, a great authority on Irish finance, has said that also. We hear them constantly saying that they deeply regret the fact, but to take them at their word, will they get up in this 199 House and say that there is not sufficient inducement to them to economise in order to get rid of the deficit when the whole arrangement will have to be reconsidered? I am bound to say that the arrangement is one which could scarcely be brought forward by anybody who approached this question from a proper financial point of view. We are to be asked to go on paying to Ireland twice what the service costs them because they will tell us, unless we do so, they will not reduce what the service costs. Then when you do go on paying twice the cost of the service they can apply the difference to taking the duties off sugar and reducing the duty on tea to three halfpence.
What would be the position of the British taxpayer if in Ireland there was no Sugar Duty and the Tea Duty was reduced to a penny halfpenny, while in England they remained the same, and while at that very time the British taxpayer was asked to pay for the services by the saving on which the Irish Government was enabled to reduce those duties? The financial provisions of this Bill are complicated and involved, but I think that the moment that fact becomes plain to the British taxpayer he will have no more to do with this proposal. The Irish Parliament, for instance, might-repeal the Insurance Act and apply the saving to those same duties on tea and sugar, while the British taxpayer would still have to pay what the Exchequer Board would say the Insurance Act would have cost if it had been in operation in Ireland, and for ever. The prospect as to the deficit being made good looks to me to be very remote. Whether it can be made good depends, on the one hand, on the increase in the revenue derived from Imperial taxes in Ireland and on the other in the increase in the cost of reserved services. From the best consideration I have been able to give the matter, based on the materials supplied by the Government and from the series of questions and answers by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I have come to the conclusion that the increase in the cost of reserved services is likely to be greater, and much greater, than the increase in the cost of Revenue derived from Imperial Taxes in Ireland. I think on the right hon. Gentleman's own showing there are very large increases on land purchase and insurance, and there must be large increases in the cost of collection of the taxes, and I am confident those will more 200 than counterbalance any problematical increase in the revenue from Imperial taxes. I think my interpretation of the Bill is correct, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman, if he follows, if it is so. The paying of the deficit depends on how much the growth in Imperial revenue derived in Ireland exceeds the growth in the cost of the reserved services. Does the right hon. Gentleman seriously suggest that the cost of insurance is not going to increase beyond the estimate?
§ Mr. CASSEL
The right hon. Gentleman suggested one possible decrease of £200,000 on old age pensions, but the Committee he appointed does not agree with that.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Since the hon. Member asks me, he has omitted to take into account the surplus of £500,000 that is to be reduced to £300,000.
§ Mr. CASSEL
That seems to me much more than swallowed up by an increase, on land purchase, which the right hon. Gentleman himself puts at £450,000. Therefore the prospect of the removal of the deficit appears to me to be remote. I say that if the Irish Parliament and Irish Executive is able to make a saving, that before they apply it in the reduction of Imperial taxation they ought to apply it to wiping out the deficit. I pass to the other questions. The first is as to how the Imperial Parliament will be hampered in dealing with the question of taxation, a subject with which the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not deal. Supposing that the expenditure in armaments diminishes, and the right hon. Gentleman opposite would not I feel certain say that that is beyond the bounds of possibility, and suppose that the British Government decide to give relief in taxation, is the benefit of that reduction to be given to the Irish taxpayer as well as to the British taxpayer? Why should it be given to the Irish taxpayer, who contributes nothing whatever to the Imperial expenditure I On the other hand, if the right hon. Gentleman does not give it, he is in this dilemma, that he has a different Income Tax in Ireland and in Great Britain, which at once destroys the whole system on which the tax is maintained, namely, taxation at the source. He has told us that for that reason he has found it impossible to have different rates of Income Tax for Ireland 201 and Great Britain, and he has, I think, introduced an Amendment for the purpose of preventing the Irish Parliament varying the tax. Let me assume that the expenditure on the Navy and on armaments increases to a large extent, what is the right hon. Gentleman going to do then? If additional duties are imposed, are they going to be made to apply to Ireland or not? The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave us no answer to this question, which is at the root of the whole financial proposals of this Bill. We do not know where we stand, and, whether we are Irish or English Members, we ought to know where we stand before we go any further. Would the right hon. Gentleman, or would he not, impose additional taxation on Ireland? I am assuming, not a war, but a largo increase in the expenditure on the defences of the country. Until we get an answer to this question I do not know how to deal with it. The Committee is utterly in the dark. Supposing there is a diminution in drinking in this country, and in consequence a loss of revenue which the right hon. Gentleman wants to make good. Is he going to make it good by taxation applying to Great Britain alone, or to both Great Britain and Ireland At every turn there will arise questions which will prove hopelessly embarrassing, and it will be difficult for anyone to deal justly as between the two countries. It will be almost impossible, where there are a number of conflicting causes, to say to what particular cause a particular loss of revenue or increase of expenditure is to be attributed.
Why the British taxpayer should pay the cost of collecting taxes which the Irish Parliament imposes passes my comprehension. If you ask a man to collect your debts for you, he does not pay the cost of collection. You who received the money which he collects pay for its collection. But the Irish Parliament is to impose taxes and to receive the proceeds, while the British taxpayers are to be called upon to pay the cost of collecting them. On the principle put forward by the right hon. Gentleman that the Irish Parliament will not make any savings unless they can reduce taxation, they will not care how much it costs the British taxpayer to collect taxes so long as they themselves get the proceeds. For instance, last year in Ireland the Increment Duty produced £34, the Reversion Duty £123, and the Undeveloped Land Duty nothing. With regard to these duties, it might be worth the while of the Irish Parliament to 202 receive the £157 which they produced, and leave the British taxpayer to pay the thousands of pounds which it cost to collect them. On the face of it, the proposal is absurd. This particular point is not vital to the Bill itself, and I cannot see why the right hon. Gentleman cannot make the measure conform to ordinary business principles. There is one further matter with regard to the Customs. It has been said that hon. Members opposite are afraid that this is the thin end of the wedge. We have the hammer provided in the Bill to drive that wedge in. Clause 26 (2) provides that the presentation of a report showing that revenue and expenditure balance—
"shall be taken to be a ground for the revision by the Parliament of the United Kingdom of the financial provisions of this Act, with a view to securing a proper contribution from Irish revenues towards the common expenditure of the United Kingdom, and extending the powers of the Irish Parliament and the Irish Government with respect to the imposition and collection of taxation."
To what extension does that refer except that of their powers of levying Customs Duties? I submit that the Irish Members will point with justice to this Sub-section, and say that it was intended to give them even greater powers with regard to Customs and Excise than they have under the Bill. From whatever point of view, whether English, Irish, or federal, one regards the financial proposals of this Bill, they are most unsatisfactory.
§ Sir JOHN LONSDALE
The defeat of the Government the other day has produced one result upon which we on this side are entitled to congratulate ourselves and the country, and that is that it has given us a further opportunity for considering the financial proposals of this Bill. The time allotted for discussing the Financial Clauses of the Bill was so ridiculously inadequate that even now, with this additional day or two, the time is altogether too short. We are asked by this Resolution to declare that it is expedient to authorise the payment out of public funds of the money which is necessary to give vitality to this Bill. As trustees of the taxpayers it is our obvious duty to satisfy ourselves as to the soundness of the financial proposals placed before us by the Government. I wish therefore to look at the Bill as a business proposition: first of all, from the point of view of the general taxpayer, and, in the next place, from the 203 point of view of an Irishman who desires to see his country contented and prosperous. It is most important that we should ascertain what is the total liability which this measure will impose on the taxpayers of the United Kingdom. The Government have tried to minimise as much as possible the amount of the subsidy which the people of Great Britain will have to pay to Ireland every year if this Bill should ever become law.
It is the duty of those of us who are opposed to the Bill to see that this matter is put before the country as clearly as possible. Therefore, at the risk of some repetition I wish to state the conclusions at which I have arrived. In calculating the total liability of the British taxpayer under this Bill, we take first the amount known as the Transferred Sum. That represents the total cost of the public services which are to be transferred to the Irish Parliament. One of the curious points about the Bill is that we do not know exactly what that amount will be. We are asked to authorise an expenditure, the amount of which is to be decided, not by ourselves as representing the taxpayers, but by a body of five officials who, as far as I can understand the Bill, are to occupy a position superior to Parliament. The Government estimated that the amount of the Transferred Sum at first will be £6,127,000. That includes a Grant of £500,000, which is intended to meet the additional cost of the new Irish Government. In addition to that we are to hand over to the Irish Parliament the whole of the postal revenue derived in Ireland, which now amounts to £1,354,000, and the fee stamps, which bring in a revenue of £81,000: that is to say, we are giving up revenue from Ireland and making payments to Ireland amounting altogether to about £7,500,000. It must be remembered that over the expenditure of this vast sum of money this House has given up every vestige of control. The British taxpayer will still remain liable for the maintenance of Irish services which are for the present withheld from the control of the Irish Parliament. Irish old age pensions will have to be paid by the British taxpayer. Land purchase will continue to be financed from the same source. The cost of National Insurance, Labour Exchanges, and the Royal Irish Constabulary will also be met from the British Exchequer. The cost of the collection of the taxes in Ireland, as has already been pointed out to-night, will 204 also fall upon the general taxpayer. We get this result, so far as we can ascertain at the present moment. We shall have to provide out of the British Exchequer a total of nearly £12,500,000 a year to be spent in Ireland, and except in regard to £5,000,000 of this sum this House will have no voice whatever in the spending of the money. The cost of the reserved services must undoubtedly increase. The Primrose Committee anticipated that old age pensions will in a short time amount to £3,000,000 a year. That represents an increase of £300,000 a year. The Postmaster-General, in the course of his speech, admitted, I think, that the changes in the Land Purchase Acts will mean an increase of £450,000 a year. The cost of national insurance will also increase. The Postmaster-General puts the amount at £300,000; in all probability it will be considerably more. On these three items alone we get an increased expenditure in Ireland of more than £1,000,000 a year.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
That is a calculation which I have myself made; it is not perhaps, admitted by you. The total amount which the British taxpayer will have to pay for Irish services will in the near future approach £14,000,000 a year.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
The British Exchequer. The sum it will have to pay in the course of a few years will be something like £14,000,000.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Does the hon. Gentleman suggest that that comes out of the British taxpayers' pocket, and is to be put into the Irish taxpayers' pocket?
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, I will explain. The next question is, How much can we expect to receive from Ireland towards this enormous expenditure? Let me assume that the revenue from Ireland at first is nearly £11,000,000. You have a deficit at once of about £1,500,000 a year. If you can count upon maintaining the Irish revenue at the amount of £11,000,000, you would still have to face a growing deficit, which will amount to nearly £3,000,000 a year in the near future. The anticipation of the Postmaster-General 205 that the Irish revenue will increase by £200,000 a year is, as he himself has admitted, an over-sanguine estimate. In my opinion there is only too much reason to anticipate that under Home Rule the Irish revenue will diminish rather than increase. The falling off, I think, will be very considerable, for you are bound to take into consideration the determination which has been expressed by the loyalists of Ulster that they will refuse to pay taxes in support of an Irish Parliament. Even if you overcome their resistance, it will cost you an enormous sum of money, and you will drive out of Ireland a large number of the most prosperous section of the people who contribute more largely to the revenue than those who will probably be left. Apart altogether from the loss which must ensue if you attempt to force this Bill upon Ulster, there are other causes which will prevent a reduction of revenue under Home Rule. There is the power which you propose to give to the Irish Parliament to increase the taxes imposed by this House.
I really think the Government do not appreciate the effect which the exercise of this power is likely to have upon this new Irish Executive. It seems to me clear that if the Irish Government increases any of the indirect taxes, and the result is a diminution of the consumption of the article or articles upon which the taxes are levied, the Imperial Exchequer may have to suffer a very considerable loss of revenue. The Government have the opinion of their own Committee, that an increase of taxation to cover the Irish deficit cannot be contemplated. People in Ireland will have to pay all the British taxes and be also super-taxed by the Irish Parliament. The consequence will be that people of independent means will leave the country. That double system of taxation will also be very detrimental to business, and this will undoubtedly react upon other matters. Have the Government considered at all the difficulty which they will experience in getting the taxes under this Bill? They will depend entirely upon the Irish Government for the exercise of the power to compel payment of the taxes. Do they imagine that the Irish people will willingly pay taxes to their tax collectors, or that the Government will be very eager to use their powers of compulsion? The cost of the collection of the revenue in Ireland already amounts to £300,000 a year. It has been pointed out this evening that the Bill proposes to set up Customs 206 barriers between Great Britain and When we take into account the increased difficulties in collecting the revenue I think we are perfectly justified in trebling the cost of collection under Home Rule. The British taxpayer therefore has to face under this Bill a deficit in Ireland owing to the growth of expenditure and the loss of revenue. This will amount to four or five millions a year as time goes on. In addition Great Britain will have to pay Ireland's share of the cost of Imperial defence and the interest on the National Debt. These will amount to several millions more. This is what the Chief Secretary has been pleased to call "cutting the loss." I want to look at this question from the point of view of the Irish taxpayer. The Irish Government will receive from the British Exchequer a stereotyped sum, the amount of which is estimated at a little over £6,000,000 a year. This amount is subject to possible deductions. One of those deductions is one of which we are still without any information from the Government, and that is the liability which lies in connection with the Irish Church Temporalities Bill. This is referred to at great length in the Report of the Primrose Committee. It says:—Certain Irish services are at present being financed out of the surplus of the Irish Church Temporalities Fund, and amongst those is a subsidy of £70,000 per annum for the Department of Agriculture, for technical education and other purposes. We have had it in evidence that by 1915, the condition of the Fund will be such that it will not be able to provide in subsequent years for an annuity so large as £70,000.It is provided in this Bill that any deficiency in these funds shall be made good by deductions from the transferred funds. That undoubtedly is a contingency which the Irish Government will have to face. The Irish Government will also have revenue from the postal service in Ireland, and they are to receive payment from the Imperial Government for the performance of duties in connection with the reserve services. That is set out in Clause 40 referred to to-night in the course of the speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The revenues of the Irish Government apart from any new taxation that may be imposed is assumed by the Government to be £7,562,000. Out of that amount they would have to finance the Irish services and defray the Post Office in Ireland which together will amount to £7,062,000. In addition to that they will have to meet the cost of setting up the new Government and it will, as the Chief Secretary has 207 said, indeed be a tight fit if the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer is to make both ends meet with the means at his disposal. He will certainly have no fund available for those improvements and developments so urgently demanded and to which reference is made so frequently in this House by hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, for example, education, arterial drainage, increased harbour facilities, and many other matters. Education alone will entail a very large expenditure. The Commissioners of National Education state that automatic increases in the existing payment of teachers will require an additional sum of £50,000 in 1915–16, rising to £100,000 in 1918–19. The Board of Education reform and developments urgently needed will amount to another £250,000 a year, and in addition to this the Education Commissioners declare that a further sum of £930,000 should be provided to enable teachers' salaries to be paid monthly and to improve the National schools, many of which are still in a disgraceful condition.
What I want to know is: Where is this money to come from? The Irish Government will seek to get it all from the British Exchequer, but they will not be able to get one penny more than the fixed sum. If they want to improve education they will either have to cut down expenditure or they will have to impose a Super-tax upon the Irish people; they will have either to increase local taxation, or they will have to cut down expenditure and starve education, which is already starved to a far greater extent than the demand for education in Ireland requires. With regard to the transferred services, economies will be practically impossible. Even the most enthusiastic advocates of economy have come to the conclusion that only infinitesimal economies can be effected out of the services that pass under the control of the Irish Parliament. This is what the General Council of the Irish County Councils, which is almost an entirely Nationalist body, have to say on that subject:—In any event, and even under tile most favourable conditions the sum available by the Irish Parliament under this scheme for the development of the country's resources would seem to ns quite inadequate for the purpose, and we are unable to suggest, any effective economies in these transferred services.That is the opinion of this Nationalist body, consisting of men who have considerable experience in local government. The Nationalist Members in the House, with one or two exceptions, have been singularly silent upon this question of 208 finance. All expressions of opinion have been, I suppose, discouraged by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. In the words of the hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Devlin)—We put freedom before finance.But there is a very strong feeling in Ireland now growing up outside the ranks of the Unionist party that Nationalist politicians have sacrificed the interests of the country for a mere shadow. The fear which is beginning to assume large proportions in the minds of the Irish people, is the fear that under this Bill they are going to be much more heavily burdened with taxation than they are at the present time. As was remarked by a speaker the other day, they have tasted the Radical whips and they do not like the experience, and they shrink still more from the application of the Nationalist scorpions. They will have to pay British taxes and on the top of these they will be required to pay Irish super taxes. Under this Bill Ireland will be driven to choose between two courses, both of which will inevitably lead to disaster. On the one hand, if Ireland tries to live within the income allowed by Great Britain she cannot progress, and must fall from stagnation to decay. On the other hand, if the Irish Parliament attempts to raise additional revenue by any means of new taxes which must be borne by the Irish people and the Irish people alone, a blow will be struck at Irish commerce which must react upon wages and the conditions of labour generally throughout Ireland. Therefore, the immediate prospect before the Irish people in regard to this Bill is one of extreme gravity, and there is nothing in the financial proposals of this Bill to suggest even a glimmer of hope of any improvement later on In fact the Bill points directly to the opposite course.
If the British Parliament chooses to pay such a large annual subsidy to Ireland, it will screw of course every penny out of the Irish taxpayer. And, if contrary to ail expectation, Ireland should grow more prosperous under this double load, what has she to look forward to? This is what I think awaits Ireland under the Bill. Under Clause 26 there is to be a revision of the financial relations of the Bill so as to secure in the years to come a proper contribution from Irish revenues towards the common expenditure of the United Kingdom, and an extending of the powers of the Irish Parliament in respect to the imposition and collection of taxes. This 209 is an appalling prospect for the Irish people. There are to be British taxes, Irish taxes, and Imperial taxes upon the top. Is it not evident that this Bill cannot lead to a final settlement of the Irish question1? Is it not certain that the financial proposals of this measure will open up a more bitter phase in the relations between Great Britain and Ireland than anything we have experienced in the last quarter of a century? In view of the considerations which I have ventured to lay before the Committee, I say that if the Prime Minister's optimism has survived the shocks of recent events it is something more than credulous; it is little short of criminal. This Bill on its financial side must prove the ruin of Ireland, and on this ground alone the people of Ulster are more than justified in their determination to oppose it by every means in their power.
§ Mr. PIRIE
The restrictions under which the Debate on this question took place prevented me from making clear my attitude upon the Resolution which is now before the House. I think hon. Members who support this proposal ought at least to give some consideration to those who hold an opposite view and who hold just as honest convictions as they do as to their country's rights. I think they ought to give to an hon. Member placed in that situation the same generosity as I do to them upon this question. I would remind the Committee that it is almost impossible for everyone to see eye to eye on these questions. I do not think this House is any the worse if an hon. Member honestly differs and has honest convictions on questions which come before the House, nor is he to be blamed if he gives full vent to his views and does his best to give effect to what he thinks is the right course to take. I have always maintained consistently since the Debate on this important measure was started that it has been impossible for individual Members, especially those representing Scotland, to do full justice to the protection of the financial interests of Scotland in view of the limitations placed upon debate. That fact is somewhat proved by the usefulness of today's Debate, because had it not been for an accident we should not have had the chance of having several important questions brought up which have been referred to to-day in speeches by Scotch Members. Undoubtedly had we been speaking under the time-table those speeches would not have been delivered. Surely the object of 210 debate is to enlighten the country on the measures before this House.
I have more than once protested in this House that the information necessary to enable the House to come to proper decisions, especially on financial questions, has been withheld from the House. In this respect I allude to the evidence given before the Committee on Irish finance which, upon every maxim of fairness and justice, ought to have been made public. I am quite aware' that some of the evidence was taken under the pledge of secrecy, but the request made was for the publication of that evidence in regard to which there was no pledge of secrecy and to the publication of which the witnesses have no objection. I cannot help thinking that the refusal to publish that necessary information must engender in the minds of the public a suspicion that something is being concealed from the taxpayers which they ought to know. In the ordinary mind that doubt and suspicion has been strengthened by the systematic obscurity with which the Prime Minister addresses every question for further enlightenment on this subject. We are told that we are discussing the first step in a still larger measure of federation, and we are in almost complete ignorance as to what the ultimate steps are to be. It is for these reasons that I find it impossible for me to give a vote in favour of the Resolutions now before us. I am to-day going to look at this question from a purely Scottish point of view to start with. As the discussion on this measure goes on and as progress is made I confess that the hope I had that Scotland was going to get either a present or a future quid pro quo for the sacrifices demanded becomes more and more a phantom. It is much more evident, as the discussion goes on, that Scotland runs a very great risk of being treated as a mere pawn in this game. Holding these views, I feel more than confident that I was only representing the best interests of my country in acting as I did last week. Let us look at the position of Scotland and Ireland at the present moment. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have put the question to us from the British taxpayers' point of view, and I wish to put it before the Committee from the point of view of the Scottish taxpayer. On any fair basis of comparison the taxable capacity of Ireland man for man is not much smaller than that of Scotland. The Income Tax test shows that it is growing more rapidly. 211 During the ten years ended 31st March, 1910, there was a gross increase of 92½ millions sterling in the incomes assessed under Schedule D.
The rate of increase in Ireland was, strange to say, the largest of the three kingdoms. While Scotland gained only 13.9 per cent, and England 20.2 per cent., the Irish gain was 30.4 per cent. These are incontrovertible facts which, in justice to the taxpayers of my country, I cannot ignore. Take another aspect of the question. Take the local requirements of the two countries. Scotland contributes for local requirements close on £20,000,000 per annum, and she gets back for her own local requirements £8,000,000. What does Ireland get? Ireland contributes £11,600,000, and she gets back all that, with the exception of £300,000, so that she gets £11,300,000. Take Imperial expenditure as a comparison between the two countries. Scotland contributes £12,000,000, whereas Ireland, if you please, draws a net surplus of £1,500,000 from the Imperial purse for the same object. I might add with regard to old age pensions that for the year 1910–11 we received a little over £1,000,000 in Scotland, whereas Ireland received £2,400,000. Therefore I do not think I am wrong in saying that we must look at this question from the point of view of the Scottish taxpayer. May I also point out that on the top of all this Great Britain is asked to pay a bonus of £2,000,000 a year. I do not grudge this money, and I wish to treat Ireland with generosity, but I must have some say in the matter of the protection of Scottish taxpayers in regard to the way in which this finance shall be raised. I would remind the House that even the hon. Member for North-West Meath (Mr. Ginnell) characterrised the present financial proposals, generous as I think they are, as being paltry and inadequate, and we remember that some Irish Members have left the House because they are not satisfied and want more. The main reason I voted as I did last week was because of my absolute objection to the proposal concerning the Customs and Excise Duties. Just as my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Cathcart Wason) quoted Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's idea of what Home Rule should be, as I say emphatically that before the last two elections the country-had no knowledge whatever that it was going to be asked to vote on this question of Customs and Excise Duties. 212 Speaking at Belford in December, 1910, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir E. Grey) said:—No difficulty could arise in the collection of Ireland's contribution to the Imperial Exchequer, because Imperial taxation, including the Customs, would remain under the control of the Imperial Parliament alone.What did the hon. Member for Tyneside (Mr. J. M. Robertson), the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, say I Speaking at the National Liberal Club in January, 1912:—He argued in favour of Ireland sending representatives to the Imperial Parliament to deal with National affairs, but if they were going to give Ireland complete control of her Customs they could have no federal state whatever. He favoured autonomy in Ireland in all matters except Customs and Excise, but in those there should be unity.Again, the same Minister at Tyneside, on 15th January, 1912, said:—There must therefore always be a Central Parliament controlling the common interests and common concerns (which embraced the fiscal arrangements I of all sections of the Kingdom. His notion of Home Rule had always been Federal Home Hide all round. That meant that Ireland and all the component countries in the Kingdom must remain within the operation of the common Customs Unties."—"Glasgow Herald," 16th January, 1912.I quite allow he was not a Minister then. I have already quoted one Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and I will now quote another. The President of the Board of Agriculture (Mr. Runciman), speaking at Newcastle, on 18th January, 1912, said:—So far as Customs was concerned, they could not grant to Ireland the power to erect a tariff against us, any more than that we could have the power to erect a tariff against Ireland.I quite agree it is not exactly the same thing, but these are significant utterances showing the country had no idea that in any way whatever would there be a proposal of any sort to tamper with Customs and Excise Duties. What does the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) himself say? In October, 1910, in "McClure's Magazine," he quoted what Ireland wanted, and said:—Leaving to the Imperial Parliament, the management, just as at present, of all Imperial affairs, Customs and Imperial taxation.Let us consider for a moment what would be the result of the present proposal. There would surely be an immediate demand on the part of the Irish taxpayer for a reduction of the taxes on tea, sugar, tobacco, and spirits. What would the Irish taxpayer say? He would say: "Well, my old age pension is provided for, my National Insurance is provided for, and my land purchase is provided for by the British taxpayer. All this does not pay us what Great Britain ought; it does not pay us back 213 what is owed to us by the English and Scottish taxpayer. We will free these necessities and luxuries from taxation, and we are entitled to do it." I cannot do better than quote the manifesto issued by my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland in this respect. Speaking of the poor Orkney and Shetland taxpayers, as I speak of the Scottish taxpayer, he says:—Our own people, just as poor, just as deserving an the Irish, will feel bitterly the injustice of Ireland enjoying untaxed tea, sugar, tobacco, drink, while (hey are compelled to pay existing, if nut higher, duties. The proposal outs into the very vitals of any federal system which has been so powerfully advocated by His Majesty's Ministers.I do not wish, as I said at the beginning, to deal ungenerously with Ireland. I have always been a Home Ruler, and I trust I shall always be one to the end of my days, but I do beg the Government to reconsider these proposals. I think there are many other alternatives. My right hon. Friend the Member for Leith Burghs (Mr. Munro-Ferguson) suggested one to-day. He suggested that the finances of this proposal should be valued, and some compensation given. I think there as the possibility of increasing the borrowing powers given to Ireland. I think we might possibly give her greater freedom to raise revenue of her own. We might possibly give her greater powers of local taxation. I do bog the Government, if they wish for the permanent success of this measure, to drop this proposal. What do the Liberal papers themselves say of it? The "Manchester Guardian" a few days ago said:—The present plan is a half measure that bristles with difficulties.It is with a view of saving the Government from difficulties that I make these suggestions. As far as I am concerned, I have made my protest both as regards the limitation of the time of the Debate and as regards the withholding of information which I think the House ought to have. I object strongly to this question of Customs and Excise, and I am unable to separate it from the other parts of the financial provisions of this Resolution. Having made my protest, I am going to abstain from voting on this Resolution, keeping to myself full liberty to vote against Clause 16 when it comes up, unless the Government see fit to change it.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
The hon. Member has made a most interesting speech, and I am sure a great many Members on this side of the House agree with what he has said. I am quite sure if other 214 hon. Members on that side of the House really spoke with conviction they would express the same sentiments as the hon. Member who has just sat down. If there were no other reason why this Resolution should be opposed it should, in my humble opinion, be opposed for the reason that it breaks up the Customs Union between Great Britain and Ireland. It seems to me this Resolution is the most retrograde, indeed the most unscrupulous step, which the Government has yet taken in their proceedings upon the Government of Ireland Bill. When the Anglo-Union was passed there were three Customs Laws for the United Kingdom. In fact, the Irish Board with its separate Customs, had no less, I believe, than between 1,500 and 2,000 different heads of duties, and the confusion and complication were so great that no efficient discipline, could be maintained; corruption and waste were rampant, and intolerable trouble was caused to the mercantile community. Since that time the whole system has been unified; but now the Government are proposing to undo this great reform, and the power of varying the Customs will necessarily lead to the old complication and the old duplication of tariffs. All the progress of a century which, I think, has made our Customs administration the model of the world will disappear, and, as simplicity disappears, so will also control over the administration and economy of administration. Another result will also inevitably follow. An Irish Customs Board will have to be created, and from that Board there will flow legions of standing orders and bureaucratic regulations perfectly maddening to our merchants.
We have heard a great deal from the Postmaster-General during the last few-months about the Colonial model. I think that the most striking example before ns has been the Customs Union in South Africa. There the situation was perfectly intolerable; you had Custom Houses on all the borders of various States, and the different States used to retaliate on one another. The system resulted in the loss of a great deal of temper, as well as of business, and the tariffs in South Africa were used to bring all kinds of pressure to bear upon different States. I may cite one instance. There was a dispute between Natal and Cape Colony on a matter of railways. The Cape clapped a duty on Natal, with the result that, eventually she agreed to what the Cape wanted. But it 215 caused a great deal of ill-feeling which lasted a long time. The duties in South Africa were also imposed in order to benefit one section of the Union at the expense of another. They were imposed, too, for political purposes. The duty on Transvaal tea was very high because the townsmen drank tea; the duty on coffee and sugar in the Transvaal was low because the Boer farmers drank coffee with sugar, and this was a political move for the benefit of the agricultural districts at the expense of the towns. It is conceivable that the same sort of thing may happen in Ireland under the concessions proposed in this Bill with regard to Customs. Moreover, these differences in duties in South Africa led to an orgie of smuggling which entailed a great loss of revenue as well as great expense.
The same thing might well occur in Ireland under the provisions of this Bill. Everybody in South Africa got tired of the strain caused by separate tariffs. The Cape and the Orange Free State consequently decided to enter a Customs Union in 1889, Natal joined in 1898, and the Transvaal joined in 1903. There we have a very recent instance of the effect of Customs unification in one of our great Dominions. Curiously enough, as hon. Members are aware, it was the Customs unification which led eventually to the political union of South Africa. But the Government are taking an exactly opposite step; they are disintegrating the Customs Union, and will thereby tend to bring about the political separation of Great Britain and Ireland. This setting up of a separate Customs tariff will, to my mind, do more than any other single act to make the separation between Great Britain and Ireland effectual, complete, and real. It will bring home to the people of each country, in the course of a very few weeks, the actual severance that has taken place. It will bring home to the passenger who happens to cross the Irish Channel the fact that the interests of the two countries are no longer identical but are, very often, divergent. Squadrons of Customs House officers will meet the passengers when they land after crossing the Irish Channel, in the same way that we are accustomed when we are travelling abroad. Their luggage will be liable to be searched, and they will be called upon to state if they have anything to declare, and the British traveller will, in this way, be made to feel that he is in a foreign country. The Irish traveller 216 who comes over here will have the consolation of knowing that he will still have some representatives in the Imperial Parliament to look after his interests. The Irishman who comes over to Great Britain will have forty two representatives at Westminster to inquire into his grievances in this respect. But the British traveller who goes across the Irish Channel to Ireland will have no commercial representatives in the Dublin Parliament to ventilate his grievances. Under the Bill it is not clear whether there will be an Irish Office in London or merely an Agent-General such as our self-governing Colonies have, and certainly the Angel of Discord could not possibly have planted more seeds of future trouble than this proposal imports into this Bill.
To my mind a far more serious thing is that under this Bill the Government are setting up a protective policy which may be used against this country. I do not think there is any doubt about that whatsoever, quite apart from the question of giving internal bounties. This is a most interesting point. Under this Bill the Irish Parliament, so far as I can see, could raise the duty on manufactured tobacco while leaving the duty on the raw material as it stands at present. It could even reduce the duty on the raw material. Now the duty on the raw leaf is 5s 3s. 8d., on imported foreign cigarettes it is 5s. 8d., and the difference between the two sums is supposed to represent the exact balance necessary in order to avoid Protection. It is supposed to cover pretty nearly the various expenses of revenue restrictions to which British and Irish manufactured cigarettes are subject. These expenses come under three heads; you have, first, the waste of leaf in the process of manufacture, as the duty has to be paid before the manufacture begins. Secondly, you have the expensive character of the buildings in which the manufacture is carried on; and, thirdly, you have the loss of weight in the manufactured article. If Ireland wishes to protect her manufactures she can easily do it under this Bill, which allows the Irish Parliament to vary the existing duties. What, therefore, is to prevent her from lowering the duty on raw material by, say, 10 per cent., and raising the duty on imported cigarettes also by 10 per cent.? The gap at present is 2s. as between the two, and is in order to cover the revenue restrictions and place British and Irish cigarettes on an equality with foreign cigarettes. The 217 Irish Parliament will make a gap, not of 2s., but of 3s., and this additional shilling will be quite sufficient to prevent the British manufacturer from selling British-made cigarettes in Ireland.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
May I ask whether the hon. Member has observed the Amendment which has been on the Paper for a considerable time dealing with this particular point, and which makes it quite clear that the Irish Parliament is not to be allowed to exercise its powers of variation except "so as to vary equally the rate of the duty as a whole without discriminating in that variation between any persons, articles, or property liable to the duty or otherwise altering the provisions with respect to the duty"?
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
Does not that Amendment refer to the drawback? It refers to the separate duties on different articles. I am talking about variations between the duty on manufactured articles and that on the raw material, and it seems to me that there is absolutely nothing in the Bill to prevent the Irish Parliament from increasing the gap between the duty on the raw material and that on the manufactured article. What would be the position if the gap was increased to 3s. I The Irish manufacturer would in the future pay the reduced duty on his raw leaf, and so be able to sell his cigarettes cheaper to the Irish consumer than he did before, while the Irish consumer of the British cigarettes would have to pay 1s. more per 1b. for the British cigarettes he consumed. I should like to point out to the Postmaster-General that this difference would be greater in the case of cigars, because the prices are much larger to begin with, the duty on raw leaf being 3s. 8d., and the duty on the imported foreign cigar being as much as 7s. This kind of protection would not matter so much if it were the avowed policy of the Government, but it is not. The Government pretend that protection is anathema to them in every particular, yet they are going to set up the possibility, indeed, the certainty of it under the provisions of their Bill. It is all the more serious as an enormously preponderating proportion of Ireland's commerce is with Great Britain. If you give Ireland a power of protection against Great Britain which Great Britain does not possess against Ireland, you are giving her a weapon which will practically be used against Great Britain alone. Great Britain, perhaps, could afford to allow 218 Ireland to put on a protectionist tariff against her if Great Britain could recoup herself against the outside world, but apparently the Bill, so far as I can see, will give Ireland a power of putting on a protectionist tariff against Great Britain, but will not give Great Britain a single jot of protection against the legion of her hungry foreign competitors.
The real reason for this power of differentiation of Customs under the Bill is quite clear. The main object is to secure that, notwithstanding the complete fiscal separation of Customs, Ireland shall still enjoy the same advantages in British markets as she does under full Union, political and fiscal. In fact, the Bill as drawn specially safeguards Irish manufactured tobacco. It is drawn in general terms so as to apply to all goods entitled to drawback, but, in point of fact, there are no drawback goods of any real financial importance to Ireland except tobacco, and tobacco manufacture is certainly of first-class importance to the revenue of Ireland. She sends a considerable quantity of manufactured tobacco to Scotland as well as to England, and if she is treated on the importation into Great Britain in respect to these manufactures as a foreign importer, her tobacco industry would suffer a very severe blow. I should like to remind the Committee that at the present moment Irish manufacturers pay an Import Duty of 3s. 8d. a 1b. on the raw leaf, and are free to distribute the products throughout the whole of the United Kingdom. If they export their manufacture to foreign countries, they receive back again in drawback the Duty they have paid, the drawback being estimated to cover the amount of the raw material used in the process of manufacture. The principal rates of drawbacks are for cigars 4s. 2d. per 1b., and for cigarettes 4s. 1d. per 1b. The rates on foreign manufactured tobacco are much higher. In the case of cigars it is 7s., against the drawback of 4s. 2d., and in the case of cigarettes 5s. 8d., as against a drawback of 4s. 1d. The point is that the Bill provides, notwithstanding the fact that Great Britain and Ireland are to treat each other as foreign countries with regard to Customs Duties, but that with respect to articles entitled to drawback Great Britain is not to charge the full foreign import rates on manufactured tobacco, but only the drawback rates when Irish manufactured tobacco is imported into Great Britain, that is to say, not 7s., but 219 only 4s. 2d. in the case of cigars, and not 5s. 8d., but 4s. 1d. in the case of cigarettes. In other words, Ireland is to enjoy a preferential rate a; against foreign cigars of 2s. 2d., as against foreign cigarettes of 1s. 7d. To my mind that is an enormously important concession.
Naturally, Ireland does not want to pay a foreign Import Duty on her manufactured tobacco that she sends into Great Britain. She wants to retain advantages of full union with Great Britain, notwithstanding the fact that Great Britain is to suffer all the inconveniences of turning her coasting trade into a foreign trade, and notwithstanding all the expense and inconvenience she will have to suffer in turning a cross-channel trade into a foreign trade, with all the extra trouble and administration that that will entail. In fact Ireland, a country with about four and a half millions of very poor people, wishes to enjoy the benefits of fiscal independence, but is not willing to part with the great market in Great Britain of about forty millions of comparatively rich people. Hon. Members below the Gangway may say, "You have no cause to complain, for if we ask you to charge only drawback rates on our goods imported into Great Britain, we are also willing that you shall also only pay drawback rates when you send goods into Ireland." But there is really in this case absolutely no reciprocity of benefit. The four and a-half millions of comparatively poor customers in Ireland form no real quid pro quo for the forty millions of comparatively rich people in Great Britain. It is quite clear to my mind that we are to have all the inconvenience, all the disadvantage, and all the expense of this revolutionary upheaval of our fiscal system without any compensating advantages whatever. If hon. Members below the Gangway want to turn the trade between Great Britain and Ireland into a foreign trade, let it be so altogether, and let them pay foreign import rates as other foreign traders do at the present moment. If hon. Members below the Gangway demand Customs separation, let it be a real Customs separation, with all its advantages and disadvantages. I do not see why we should upset the whole of our fiscal system, and that they should have all the advantages and be shielded from all the disadvantages of such a proceeding.
Under the Bill, if the Irish Parliament reduces a Customs Duty and the proceeds 220 diminish, the Transferred Sum is to be docked by the amount of the diminution. I should like to ask the Postmaster-General how any reliable estimate can possibly be made of the reduction of the proceeds due to an alteration in the tax. It will be enormously difficult. The right hon. Gentleman probably knows that when Sir Stafford Northcote raised the Tobacco Duty some years ago the Customs increase of revenue began to fall off, and at the time the fall was generally attributed to the effect of the extra tax. Later on Mr. Goschen took off the extra Duty, and the revenue immediately began to rise, and at the time the increase was attributed to the remission of the tax. But as a matter of fact the real reason leaked out afterwards, and it was quite different. It was due to a measure which formed part of the same Budget—that is to say, the limitations imposed on the degree of moisture which was allowed to be put into tobacco. People no longer paid duty on water, but on raw leaf, and this was the real reason of the rise in revenue. I believe, under the Bill, in the same way it will be absolutely impossible to determine how much of the reduction is due to a diminution of the tax. You may have a very prosperous year in which all parties participate, with cheap money and active commerce, and if this happens to coincide with a period of the incidence of an increased tax, how can you possibly determine how much is due to the increase of duty and how much is due to the general prosperity? I just put that question, and I should very much like the Postmaster-General to give us some idea as to how he proposes to make an estimate.
One word more in regard to what the hon. Member opposite said at the beginning of his speech. Even the Government's own supporters, and I believe there are dozens of them, are disgusted at the procedure of the Government in regard to these Customs provisions of the Bill. The hon. Member (Mr. J. M. Henderson) the other day complained that he and his Friends had not only been gagged, but had been blinded. Just look for a moment at the way the Government have treated the demand put forward from all sides of the House for the production of the evidence given before the Committee on Irish Finance. The Government are trying to force through a revolution. Surely the utmost they can do is to hide nothing from the electorate, and to show the House whether they base their provisions 221 upon the best possible advice. The Report of the Committee on Irish Finance was only dragged out of them with extreme difficulty and after many efforts had been made from various quarters of the House, and when it was published it turned out that the Government had not followed a single one of the pieces of advice given in that Report. They were then pressed for the evidence, and a large majority of the House has signed memorials asking them to produce them. I feel that the Government would have served their own purpose better, and would probably have conciliated their own side more, if they had been perfectly candid with the House and had produced the evidence when they were asked to do so by so many Members. I still hope there may be some chance of their doing it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has spoken with a quite different voice from the Prime Minister, and I shall certainly not give up hope yet that, if a few more signatures are produced, the Government will see their way to produce the evidence and show us on what advice they have founded the provisions of the Bill.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
The hon. Member will forgive me if I do not attempt to follow him into all the mysteries of the tobacco trade and what might happen to it under the Bill when it becomes law. I will only say I think the point he makes of the possible differentiation and the widening of the gap from 2s. to 3s., or even further, was really covered by the Amendment which my right hon. Friend has on the Paper. Or, if it is not, and if there is really anything in the point he makes, I feel confident an Amendment will be put down by the Government, who have certainly no intention of turning this into an instrument of protection for Ireland. But it is really impossible for anyone who has followed the Debate closely, as I have, not to be struck by the extreme anxiety displayed by hon. Gentlemen opposite lest there should be anything in the nature of possible Protection in this Bill. Speech after speech has been made proclaiming the possibility of Protection being found in the Bill, and speech after speech exposing the inconvenience which will be suffered by people going to Ireland if that should be the case. The Leader of the Opposition drew really an affecting picture of the examinations, the delays, the troubles to travellers, the interference with trade, and, to use his own words, the constant nuisance which is going to be the 222 result of the setting up of this system. I know the right hon. Gentleman was once-a Free Trader, but I understand he has abandoned that position. We know that he comes to us fresh from the Albert Hall meeting, at which the Referendum was-abandoned.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
If the hon. Member-would like to know exactly what I think, I should like to see the largest possible area of complete Free Trade, and if France or Germany were willing to have Free Trade with us, I would have it with them to-morrow. I wish restrictions only where restrictions are imposed against us.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
That, of course, is w new position. We understand now that the right hon. Gentleman's real object is Free Trade and that such Protection as he advocates is a mere means to that desirable end. We have been taught to believe from recent speeches that supporters of the Government have not shown any great zeal to-support the Financial Clauses of the Bill or the Financial Resolution, and that is the real reason why I wish to join in this-Debate. I think it is quite natural that where there are small differences of opinion among the supporters of a measure, those Members who feel a desire to criticise the Clauses of the Bill should* be more vocal than those who are content with the Clauses as they are to be found, and you will always find that those who-differ are more apt to get up and speak than those who are in hearty agreement with the Government. I am quite confident that if we all upon this side could join in the Debate the Government would find no lack of support for the Clauses they have brought in. I have mainly risen for the purpose of congratulating the Government that when they had to recommit the Resolution and to frame a new Resolution, they had not adopted the course of framing it so that it would be necessary to modify the Financial Clauses of the Bill, but they have altered their Resolution so that it should still be able to take the Financial Clauses of the Bill without any alteration at all. I say that because I believe that the financial scheme as set out in the Bill is far and away the best scheme which has ever been presented to this House for dealing with the financial situation—far better than the scheme put forward in 1886 or 1893—that they have profited by the knowledge we have gained in regard to Irish finance in relation to this county, and that they have produced a scheme which has defied the criticism of the other side for 223 several days and which stands now practically untouched in its provisions.
There is considerable confusion, it seems to me, in the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite. I do not know now whether they think that Ireland and Great Britain ought to be treated as separate financial entities. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) talked last week about the county of Norfolk. I start from the position that Ireland and Great Britain must, if you are to do justice to Ireland, be treated as separate financial entities, and that I believe is the conclusion reached by all the financial authorities who have been considering the problem for the last thirty years. It is quite true that in the Commission of 1864 Mr. Lowe and Sir Stafford Northcote refused to accept that provision, but Mr. Goschen accepted it. It was part of the reference to his Committee. It was accepted by the Childers Commission, and you really cannot deal with the question unless you start from the point of view-that you are going to treat Great Britain and Ireland for the purpose of finance as separate entities. Of course, I can understand how hon. Members who are opposed to Home Rule should be induced to say that the individual taxpayer in Ireland does not pay more than the individual taxpayer in Norfolk or West Ham, and that no injustice is done to him. But that is wilfully to shut their eyes to the Report of the different Commissions which have inquired into the financial relations of Great Britain and Ireland. It is only by refusing to treat them as separate financial entities that you can conceal the injustice you are doing to Ireland under the present system. It is perfectly clear that identity of taxation does not mean equality of burden. [An HON. MEMBER: "We pay more than our share."] That is an admission of my argument. What is our share? Unless you distinguish, how can you say what our share is and what Ireland's share is?
It you treat them as separate financial entities, then we may turn to the construction of the balance-sheet as between Great Britain and Ireland. When you come to that there are two points of view. The Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom and the Treasury of the United Kingdom say, "We must put down to Irish expenditure all the expenditure which exists because of Ireland, and which would not exist if Ireland were not there." That is reasonable enough from the point of view of the United Kingdom, but it is 224 very unreasonable from the point of view of Ireland, which has not consented to the expenditure. In Ireland a great deal of the expenditure is made against the wishes of the Irish people, and a large part is made, not for Irish purposes, but for the purposes of the government of this country. It is quite natural that hon. Members from Ireland should object strongly, for instance, to have included in the expenditure of Ireland the large amount of the Local Government Grant. It is natural that they should object to the inclusion in the Irish balance-sheet of the bonus for buying out the Irish landlords, and it is still more natural that they should object to the enormous expenditure on the Irish constabulary. Though it seems that in striking our balance-sheet we must include these items, nevertheless, when you come to draw deductions from them, you ought never to forget that you include on the expenditure side a large number of items the Irish object to have included. There is another point where we have been criticised, and that is as to whether you should take the revenue of Ireland to be what the Treasury calls the "true revenue," or the collected revenue. For my own part, I think the Government, are quite right in making the "true revenue" the basis of any financial proposal they may have to make. It is, of course, a very attractive proposal, in the first instance, to say that Ireland should be credited with the collected revenue. It makes the amount look very much larger. It is largely derived from the tax on Irish whisky, and it is through the merits and the goodness of Irish whisky that this large revenue is derived. But whisky revenue is a very precarious one to depend upon.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
I have made a life study of the subject, and my conclusion is that it is a very precarious commodity to depend upon for revenue. The hon. Member knows that my opinion is that the loss individuals or nations have to do with it the better. The danger is that the £1,500,000 which is paid by the consumers in this country who delight in the merits of Irish whisky might not be collected in Ireland, and if the collected revenues were made the basis of the Government's proposal, it would be in the power of the liquor trade, the distillers, not to pay that 225 revenue in Ireland but in this country. They could bring the whisky over here in bond, and thereby diminish the revenue of Ireland by something like £1,500,000. That would be a very dangerous position for Ireland, and I think it is better to take the true revenue as the basis of the proposal, even though we admit that we do not know exactly what the true revenue is. It is perfectly true that the Primrose Commission found that we could not ascertain what the true revenue is, but it is also said—and this is the answer to the criticism of the hon. Member for North-East Cork—that although it is not the exact amount of the true revenue, it is Tory near the true revenue. The margin is very small indeed.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Can the hon. Member state what object distillers would have in doing such an extraordinary thing?
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
Yes, it is always the desire of the liquor trade to show that they are very heavily burdened. [An HON. MEMBER: "They are."] Well, the taxes are fairly heavy now. [An HON. MEMBER: "Unfairly heavy."] I think when the Exchequers are separate it would be to their advantage to show that Great Britain has a large revenue from whisky, and they would have the temptation to pay the taxes in this country rather than in Ireland. More than that, even if they did not do that, there would be the possibility of their being able to bring pressure on the Irish Parliament in regard to the reduction of the duty, or other matters in which they might desire to bring pressure, by the threat that if their feeling was disregarded they would be able to transfer that sum of £1,500,000 over to this country. That would be a large loss to the Irish revenue. It seems to me that it does not matter very much on either side what we include or do not include as long as we are careful as to the way we draw up the balance-sheet. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) said last week that if the 1893 Bill had passed Ireland would be bankrupt. It is a most extraordinary statement. He advanced no argument to justify it. If the 1893 Bill had passed the probability is that Ireland would have been preserved from the deficit which we at present find. It is not an Irish Parliament which has inflicted this deficit on Ireland. It is the Government of this country which has turned a surplus of £5,000,000 of a few years ago into the 226 deficit with which we are dealing at the present time. Up to that time Ireland paid her contribution to the Imperial expenditure. While Irish revenue has been increasing, it has not been increasing like Irish expenditure, and so far from it being true that Ireland would have been bankrupt if the 1893 Bill had passed, Ireland would have managed her own finances, we cannot doubt, with greater care than you have shown in the management of them. If she is in bankruptcy now it is you who have brought the bankruptcy upon her, and it is for us to get her out of the condition in which you have sunk her.
I need not go over the reasons why the deficit exists to-day. Our expenditure has been made with an eye to the necessities of our own country, and not with an eye to the necessities of Ireland. She has paid the penalty of being yoked with a rich country, of having her expenditure on the scale of the rich country, and Ireland, our poor relation, has suffered in consequence. When we are dealing with this we ought not to forget that it is we who brought this financial ruin upon Ireland, and that it is reacting upon us now. No one who has studied the history of the matter can deny the fact that we have taken too much money out of Ireland during the last 100 years. We are paying the penalty now. If Ireland is less productive now than she should be, it is because over-taxation in the past has prevented the accumulation of capital. You cannot do that year after year for 100 years with impunity. Ireland is a poor country to-day because she has been so overtaxed for the last 100 years. Then when you come to approach this question, how to deal with the financial side of the Home Rule Bill, I put the past on one side, and if I do so it is very much to the British advantage that I should do so. I ask right hon. Gentlemen opposite to remember the history of Irish finance and not to lose sight of it, when they criticise the provisions we are trying to make to enable Ireland to start on her own expenditure. Leaving the past on one side, the questions I ask myself are not whether for a few years we may have to pay back to Ireland some of the money we have received from her, but rather, will the scheme of the Bill work, will it enable Ireland to pay her own way, when she has control of her own affairs, and is there a possibility under the Bill of an expanding revenue to meet the necessity of the development of Ireland, and are the clauses such as will enable Ireland by and by to take her place along with other parts of 227 the United Kingdom, in contributing to the common expenditure of the United Kingdom?
Tried by those questions I think the Clauses of the Bill are satisfactory. They have been criticised for being what is called complicated. I think that the complications are a great deal more in the words than the fact. There is a great deal of complication in all the revenue Acts of this country. I challenge any hon. Member who is not in the habit of studying the finances of the country to take any Revenue Act he pleases, and he will find it full of complications and full of difficulties, which in the actual workings turn out to be simple enough. My criticism of the scheme would be that it is not over-generous to Ireland. I do not think that we have given her any great margin to play with at the beginning. The sum of £500,000, diminishing soon to £200,000 a year, is not a great margin considering what the needs of Ireland may be in the near future. It has been said and I believe it to be true that Ireland can make economies. I think that Ireland will do so, but it is a great deal easier to launch a country on reckless expenditure than to save money once the country has got into the habit of such expenditure. My right hon. Friend in his speech last week thought that the country districts would be very economical. Of course, country districts are very economical in the matter of rates, where they are called upon to spend their own money; but I do not think that he has found that the country districts of this country are slow to call on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make grants towards their own necessities; and the poor districts of Ireland are greatly in need of expenditure and are not likely to lead the Irish Government in the way of economy. Therefore it becomes necessary if your scheme is to hold water to give to Ireland power of taxation.
We have been criticised because we do not go the whole length of the Primrose Report and give to Ireland complete powers of taxation. That is a claim which cannot really be made honestly by those who think that our measure means federation between this country and Ireland. To give complete control of taxation to Ireland would end by bringing about something like complete separation, and the Government has no wish to do that 228 because separation, whatever the Opposition may say, is not the object which we have in view by our Home Rule Bill, and if you are going to give powers of taxation at all you must give to Ireland power to vary the Customs Duties. That is where I differ from hon. Friends around me who have allowed themselves this afternoon to deny to Ireland this power of dealing with the Customs. It is no doubt much pleasanter to say, "This is fiscal unity, and we wish this ring should include Ireland. We are all the same and there is no power to vary the Customs," but we are dealing with a practical problem. You must start Ireland with a view to enabling her to pay her way, and if you accept that position, then I put it to right hon. Gentlemen opposite that you will not enable an Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer to draw up a balance-sheet if you do not give him some control of the Customs by which he may be able to raise revenue. I have no fear that it is going to lead to Protection, about which hon. Members opposite are so anxious. They might at least credit us-with being sincere Free Traders, and I am sure that if they can show some hole in the Bill by which Protection can creep into this system to be set up in Ireland, they will find us only too ready to help them in stopping up the hole. Hon. Members have tried now for three days' full Debate to do this, and none of them have been able to point to any possibility, except one hon. Member, who has referred to tobacco, as to which I admit I am not able fully to answer him. But I do say that if a gap exists, the Government will be ready to stop that gap.
The next question is, assuming that this is a sound arrangement for Ireland, how is it going to affect the United Kingdom, and is there any reason why we should object from our point of view I We are told that it is going to cause a great deal of friction. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has already pointed out that there is plenty of friction between us and Ireland on financial matters now and this Bill is not going to create friction, but, as I believe, will diminish it. I have a great deal of faith in the Joint Exchequer Board about which hon. Members opposite are so distrustful. They say that you are going to have two Irish members and three British members, and that Ireland will be in a permanent minority, and therefore, permanently dissatisfied. That is not so. I take it you are going to have two representatives of Ireland and two 229 representatives of Great Britain and an impartial chairman. I do not know why hon. Gentlemen opposite should assume that it is impossible to find such a thing as an impartial chairman for a Board dealing as between Ireland and England. I believe it is so far from being impossible that it is very easy to find an impartial chairman. Nowhere is it so easy to find impartiality as in dealing with finance. I happen to sit on one of the Finance Committees, the Public Accounts Committee. This Committee consists of Members of both sides of the House, and perpetually deals with the spending of money by the Government of the day. I challenge any hon. Member who sits on that Committee to say that he has ever seen the smallest spark of party feeling in approaching any question with which they had to deal. I believe the same would be the experience of the Joint Exchequer Board, constituted of Irish and British representatives, sitting under a chairman of judicial standing, and it does seem to me that with such a body you would secure impartial treatment of questions as between the two countries. This safeguard, which has been spoken of a good deal in the course of the Debate, is of less importance to us from the point of view of Irish revenue and expenditure, which form so small a proportion of the total revenue and expenditure of the United Kingdom. While it is a very large matter for Ireland, it is a very small matter to us. It seems to me that in all their arguments in regard to the proposals of the Bill the Opposition have been exaggerating the possible dangers to this country.
One very curious circumstance was mentioned over and over again, namely, the possible reduction of the Tea Duty by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. They said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer here would not be able to take twopence off the Tea Duty in future, because, if he did so, Ireland would get the benefit to the extent of some £200,000, which would be a loss to the British taxpayer, and that the loss has to be made good by the British taxpayer. That was said by the right hon. Member for East Worcestershire. There is no loss to be made good. Where is the loss of which hon. Members opposite speak? The Chancellor of the Exchequer can take 2d. off the Tea Duty. If he finds that he has a realised surplus of two and a half million pounds, he says; "I will relieve the British taxpayer of £2,300,000, and the Irish taxpayer to the extent of 230 £200,000." Are we to be told that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not take off that amount of duty because of the relief which will be given to Ireland? It is not a very generous attitude, that we cannot reduce any tax lest we give some benefit to the Irish taxpayer. Are we to be told that the British Exchequer are going to be such curmudgeons as not to take off taxation because Ireland might derive some advantage? I do not believe for a moment that would be their attitude. The scheme has defied the criticism of the Opposition for three days, and I believe it will not interfere in any degree with the stability of our own system of taxation and finance. It will enable Ireland to find her own revenue, to regulate her own expenditure, to meet the increasing needs of the country, and ultimately to emerge from the financial difficulties into which we have plunged her, and to pay her fair share of the common expenditure of the United Kingdom.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to move, at the end of paragraph (c) ["provided by the said Act"], to add the words "Provided that the payments in connection with all Irish services, whether reserved or not, shall not involve any charge upon the British taxpayer."
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has misinterpreted the feeling of the Opposition with regard to the rights to be given to Ireland under this Bill. What we say is that the Members of the Government and their supporters during the last five or six years have refused to put a duty against a foreign nation which puts a duty against us, and which is detrimental to this country, and now they, come down and say that if Ireland, hitherto regarded as part of this country, puts on a duty against us in this country, then that is all right. It is because we hold that hon. Members are inconsistent in the view that they take that we have alluded to the question of Protection. The hon. Member for Aberdeen, who I do not see in his place, dealt with the subject to which I have just alluded, and he said that no one in this country knew that if a Home Rule Bill was brought in the power over Irish Customs would be given to the Nationalist party, and he read a quotation from the speech of the hon. Member for the Tyneside Division of Northumberland (Mr. Robertson), in which he said he could not support a policy of that description. Some hon. Member 231 interrupted, and said, "Oh, he was not a Member of the Government then." Is it the principle of the supporters of the Government that when you are a private Member you can say one thing, and that when you come into office you change the state of things, and you cannot be held responsible for the opinions you expressed as a private Member. I do not think that any criticism which has been made on the other side of the House can meet the objection of the hon. Member who interjected those words. With regard to the Resolution, it is better than that which was before us last week, though nevertheless it is not a good one. It is better because it recognises that it is not safe to give a blank cheque to the present Government, and it puts a limit to their powers of spending money. Let us consider for a moment what this Resolution actually does. What it does is to say that for the privilege of giving Home Rule to Ireland the English taxpayer is to pay £2,000,000, and not only that, but hon. Members below the Gangway are to sit in this House and direct his affairs, and he has to pay £2,000,000 to Ireland for her use, without having any control over the expenditure. I was unfortunate enough not to hear the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but I am told he asked how was it possible that with regard to people like the Irish, who have shed their blood for this great Imperial nation, we should be so mean-spirited as to grudge them a small sum.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I was replying to the right hon. Member for East Worcestershire, who rather indicated that if Home Rule were passed there would be no more grants to Ireland by the Imperial Parliament. I denied that that would be the case, and I said how could other parts of the United Kingdom expect Irishmen to fight for us in our Army and Navy, if we made no further grants?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
As long as Ireland remains a part of the United Kingdom we are prepared to do anything for her, and we would do more for her than if she separated herself from this country. That brings me to a narrower point: I have said that the Resolution is a better one than that of last week, but I think it still requires amendment. That is an Amendment which can be understood by everybody either inside this House or outside of it, and the object of it is that the British taxpayer shall not be 232 compelled to put his hand into his pocket in order to support hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway when they live in Ireland and govern Ireland themselves. It must be remembered that every other Home Rule Bill provided that Ireland should contribute something to the English revenue. The Home Rule Bill of 1886 provided that a sum of £1,700,000 was to be contributed by Ireland to England. The Home Rule Bill of 1893 first proposed that the whole of the Customs Duties, rather ironical when one remembers what we are discussing now-, should be transferred from Ireland to England. That was the first proposal of the Bill of 1893. The second proposal of the Bill of 1893 was that a third of the gross Irish revenue, plus the Irish share in miscellaneous revenue, should go to the United Kingdom. We have been told over and over again that the people of this country were aware at the last election that Home Rule was going to be brought forward. I do not admit they were, but if they were aware, they must have founded their knowledge on the two Bills which had preceded this present Bill, and therefore they must have thought that in granting Home Rule to Ireland that they were going to receive some pecuniary benefit. The ordinary man in the street said no doubt that he was in favour of Home Rule, for, after all, Irishmen have been a great deal of trouble in the House of Commons and in the government of this country; and, after all, if they wish to govern themselves, why should they not do so I It will not cost us anything; we are going possibly to get something back. It may be that we shall have to pay for its share, and of the Navy and of the Army which is going to protect Ireland, but we are willing to do so. But I defy any hon. Member to get up and say that the ordinary elector understood at the last election that not only would he have to pay for the Irish proportion of the Army and Navy for the defence of this country, and for the Irish proportion of the National Debt, which has not yet been alluded to but which, nevertheless, remains, but that in addition to that that he would have to pay a sum of something like £2,000,000 per year. Let me point out to hon. Members that if they vote against my Amendment they are going to vote that their constituents shall put their hands in their pockets and pay £2,000,000 per year. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] An hon. Member says no, but I may tell him my belief is that it will be not £2,000,000 per year but £3,000,000 per year; but, as I do not 233 wish to exaggerate, I put the sum as £2,000,000, which is the sum in the balance-sheet of the White Paper issued a short time ago. They will be asked to pay that for what? For something they do not in the least care about and for which many of them have a very great detestation. In last Monday's "Times" I read a report of a speech made by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) at York. I have not seen any contradiction of that summary in the "Times," and therefore I take it that it is correct. If the report is not correct, I will, of course, at once accept a statement from the hon. and learned Member to that effect. The hon. and learned Member first of all said that I had moved an Amendment which was not serious. At any rate, it has cost them the loss of a fortnight's Parliamentary time. The hon. and learned Member went on to say that it was not arguable. I think he said that because he had no arguments to meet the case. Then he continued:—It is ridiculous and untrue to say that the English people are being asked to finance and subsidise Home Rule.If that is correct, I shall be in the fortunate position of finding the hon. and learned Member in the Lobby in support of this Amendment, because that is exactly what it proposes. The hon. and learned Member must back up his opinion by supporting me when I endeavour to put in black and white that which he himself has stated. I do not for a moment suppose that it is one of those statements which are made for consumption in England, and not to be repeated in Ireland or in foreign parts. I take it as accurately representing the hon. and learned Member's feelings not only then, but now. He went on to say:—It is the ambition of the Nationalist party, as speedily as possible, not only to pay their way, but to pay their fair share of Imperial expenditure.The hon. and learned Member goes beyond what I am asking the Committee to do. I simply ask the Committee to say that the English taxpayer is not to pay the £2,000,000. I suggest that he shall pay the Irish share of Imperial defence, but nothing more, and that purely Irish affairs shall be financed out of Irish pockets. I hope that Nationalist Members will note that I am more generous than the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. I have been moved by the sentiments of the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the shedding of blood and all that sort of thing; and I am prepared to pay out of my own pocket, and to ask other unfortunate English taxpayers to pay out of their 234 pockets, for Imperial defence, so long as Irishmen themselves pay for their own affairs. But I find a little rift within the lute. The hon. Member for North Dublin (Mr. Clancy) said that the financial proposals are not ideal. I listened in the hope that he would echo the sentiments of his Leader. Not at all. He was not for giving up anything. As far as I could make out, though he did not actually say so, he would like a little more. At any rate, he would take what was offered, and nothing else. Under these circumstances, I am afraid that that control which for so many years the hon. and learned Member for Waterford has exercised over his party has failed at the last moment. I do not wish to detain the Committee at length, especially as my point is so simple. It must be remembered that simple points are often very efficacious—especially upon platforms. The hon. Member for Stoke, I see, agrees with that statement. I do not envy the hon. Gentleman his position when he gets on to a platform, and is asked by an elector whether or not he voted that he (the elector), out of his hard-earned wages, should finance hon. Members below the Gangway on this side over whose affairs he had no control, whilst at the same time they sent Members to control the affairs of that elector in England? The hon. Gentleman the Member for Stoke will have to answer "Yes."
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not know what explanation the hon. Member will give. The only true explanation will be that he did it to keep himself and his Friends in office, and to earn his £400 a year. I beg to move my Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have given a considerable amount of thought to the Amendment. It seems to me to come perilously near a plain negative to the Motion before the Committee. I hope, if I allow it, it will not be taken as a precedent.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)
The hon. Baronet said that this is a simple Amendment, and I presume that he is the simple Mover of it. He was the Mover of a simple Amendment which undoubtedly was the cause of the eventual loss of a considerable amount of Parliamentary time, upon which feat certainly he is entitled to pride himself, and no one will grudge him the elation. The proposal which the hon. Baronet has put before us 235 to-day is really almost as inequitable and unjust as the proposal which he put before us on that historic Monday. I do not intend to go back on what happened then. My right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General explained very clearly why it was that that Amendment was quite impossible. I do wish to deal with the proposal that is put before us now by the right hon. Baronet. In a word, what is amounts to, as he has so very lucidly explained, is that he wants to prevent the payment of one and a half millions, which would represent the deficit which at present exists for the year 1912–13, and the half-million which is to be added as surplus. What he said in effect is this—it is just as well that we should understand, and more particularly that our constituents should understand—"What you are proposing at the present moment is not that the British taxpayer should put his hand in his pocket in order to pay out £2,000,000 to buy Home Rule for Ireland." The proposal is a very different one, and I do hope that if hon. Members follow the lead which has been given by the hon. Baronet and go to their constituents and explain what these proposals are, they will not put the matter in the form of the hon. Baronet—[HON. MEMBERS: "It is quite true."] I hear hon. Members say, "It is quite true." My submission is that it is quite untrue. I will point out why. If the statement was made in the way it was by the hon. Baronet, it will really be a misrepresentation of the situation. I am quite sure that is the last thing the hon. Baronet wishes to do. The position at present is that there is a definite deficit of £1,515,000. Whether you give Home Rule to Ireland or not, that deficit has got to be found. Does any one doubt that proposition? Of course no one will doubt it. Therefore it amounts to this, that by granting Home Rule to Ireland we are not granting one and a half millions of the British taxpayers money, but we are granting something which the taxpayer will have to find whether Home Rule is given or not. The only addition made is the half million which is granted for the starting of Home Rule. If the hon. Baronet is going down to the constituencies, I will not say to his own constituents, for they understand finance too well to be mistaken, but if he is going down to other constituencies I hope he will tell them what the addition will be to the deficit if we do not grant Home Rule, for we have 236 heard from the Front Bench opposite that the deficit in the future will be a very much larger sum than one and a half millions, and I hope it will be clearly stated that we shall be saving something in the future by granting Home Rule to Ireland. [HON. MEMBERS: "Cutting your losses."] Cutting your losses means saving something. We are dealing at present with finance, and I do not want to travel into other questions. What is the position that would result from the hon. Baronet's proposal? It would be this. It would mean that by taxation in this country we have brought Ireland to a condition that there is a deficit of one and a half millions, and that we are to hand over to Ireland the control of her own affairs, with this deficit, which is to be found somewhere or other out of the pockets of the Irish taxpayer. You could not make a more unjust or inequitable proposal than that. And why? Because the deficit has been created by this Parliament imposing upon Ireland taxes which have brought about this deficit, and then you are to cut Ireland adrift and say to her: she must manage her own affairs. The least you can do in these circumstances is to put Ireland in the same position as when she was controlled from here. That is the view I should have thought which would have struck everybody who addressed themselves to the subject from an impartial standpoint. I understand the position of hon. Gentlemen, who say, "We do not want to give Ireland Home Rule at all." Of course, on that basis, they do not want to give any money. But if you argue Home Rule and consider the scheme upon the basis of Home Rule, you cannot start Ireland with a deficit of one and a half millions, which would amount to the imposition of 30 per cent, of new taxation upon the Irish people, who can so ill bear it. What is the alternative? You must either do that or say with regard to the reserve services that you will hand over less money for these reserve services, and in what respect is it suggested that you should cut down the payments for the reserve services. Is it with regard to old age pensions or land purchase, or insurance or the constabulary. All these, are matters which are reserve services under the Bill, and if you do not deal with it in the way I first suggested—that is, to leave Ireland with a deficit which will amount to new taxation up to 30 per cent., you will have to hand over £2,000,000 of the sums for reserve services. Would anyone advocate that as a serious proposition? That 237 is not the hon. Baronet's way of putting it, but he will allow me to point out that unless you raise this money and leave the deficit to be dealt with, the only other way is by reducing the payment for reserved services. The consequence would be that, in any event, what the hon. Baronet proposes is to do away with the £2,000,000 we are proposing in order to meet the deficit and leave a small sum to start with. I do not propose to travel into all the arguments which the hon. Baronet put forward, but I would like to make this one observation with reference to what he said about 1886 or 1893. We have learned a great deal since 1886 and 1893. At that time Ireland had a surplus, and at present she has a deficit. That makes a material change in the situation, and you cannot deal with it in the same way. I quite understand the Amendment of the hon. Baronet, if it is meant as a wrecking Amendment, to break down the scheme of finance in the Home Rule Bill so that it would become an unworkable measure. Of course the hon. Baronet is quite entitled to move it with that object, but from any other point of view it would be quite intolerable under any Home Rule Bill, and it would be as unjust and inequitable a proposal, if you admit that you must grant Home Rule, as you could possibly put before the Committee.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
The Attorney-General has made a very able and dialectical criticism of this Amendment, but its value depends upon the point of view from which it was delivered. What was that point of view? It was from the point of view of a statesman who supports this Home Rule Bill. The right hon. Gentleman disclosed what that involves, namely, that when the authors and framers of this Bill are addressing an English audience you say, "We are going to 'cut the loss,'" and when you are addressing an Irish audience you say, "In consequence of the hardships of the past and our lack of understanding your difficulties, when we set you up to govern yourselves it is only due to you that a contribution of £2,000,000 a year should be made." The dialectical difficulty is on your side. By what right do you claim to speak in that voice to the English electors and when you cross the Channel to say to the Irish electors, "We are not doing only what is just, but we are being generous in the bargain." That is clever, but you are not doing justice either to the English or the Irish 238 taxpayer. When the Attorney-General was concluding his speech he said that this Amendment must wreck any Home Rule Bill. Would it wreck any Home Rule Bill which gave to Ireland the same position which Canada occupies in the Empire? Of course it would not. Do you not see that you are not entitled to answer dialectically our Amendment if you put up a plan which we consider absurd as an addition to the many Constitutions of the Empire? It is ridiculous to attempt to give self-government to Ireland and deny what every other self-governing country possessed, namely, a tariff revenue. It is inconceivable that if hon. Members who really represent Ireland had their way they would start to govern a country with a population and economic conditions like theirs without asking that Ireland should have what every country at all approaching its size, population, and economic conditions demands, and necessarily demands, namely, a tariff revenue. Every poor agricultural country in the world has always had a tariff revenue, and that you deny to Ireland. Why? Because your majority breaks up unless you placate your Free Trade supporters.
Speaking from the Olympic heights of the framers of the Bill, the right hon. Gentleman derided my hon. Friend's Amendment. He said, "You must see this Amendment is absurd." It is absurd as an Amendment to this Bill, because it reduces your Bill to an absurdity. It is our old friend reductio ad absurdum. It does not require much reduction; the absurdity is there in the plan. There is the absurdity of telling the English you are going to out your loss and of telling the Irish they are going to prosper under this finance. You shuffle those statements together very ingeniously, and sometimes, with a broad touch, say it is our fault that taxation in Ireland is heavy. Of course taxation is very much heavier now than it was a short time ago. It is quite true, but do let us discriminate. Leave out taxation on the Army and Navy. My hon. Friend has not suggested, even if this Bill passes, that the taxpayers of this part of the United Kingdom should not continue to pay for those Imperial services. He does not ask you to alter that. Although we are now paying in taxation for Imperial services as much as we paid in the middle of the South African war, he is quite prepared that the taxpayers on this side of St. George's Channel should continue to 239 contribute their share towards the services of the Army, Navy, and the National Debt. That has gone. Look at the next set of taxes. Look at the Imperial expenditure on Local Services. The increase upon them in Ireland and in Great Britain has been very great since the beginning of the century. I think there has been an increase of 75 per cent. "But," you may say, "we are going on under our precious Bill dealing with these reserved services. Leave them out of account." Take the services not reserved under this Bill. Since the beginning of the century there has been an increase of 26 per cent, in Ireland on the non-reserved services. You are now paying £126 for every £100 you paid at the beginning of the century on the services Ireland is to finance herself. That is the speech you have to make in Ireland. Under this Bill, if you give this £2,000,000—it comes down a certain extent in a few years—instead of an increase of 26 per cent, the only further increase the Irish could have would be about £2 15s. Would they like the prospect if you explained it to them? No. You tell the English you are cutting the loss, and you tell the Irish you are dealing generously with them, and you are really restricting the expenditure which has been prodigally given to Ireland in the past. How are these services to be financed? Not by a tariff. How? Broadly speaking, you only leave them three possible sources of revenue: To tax the land, to put on heavy Excise Duties; and, if they please, to put a whacking tax upon income.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
You allow them the power of taxing those persons who own large amounts of capital, it being notorious I suppose that there are many more people in Ireland with a great deal of realisable money than for example in the City of London. Is not that the Budget which Ireland repudiated over again, the land taxes, the liquor taxes, and the taxes on capital? Every Nationalist Member said, "We do not like that Budget with those three features in it, but we will swallow it in order to get Home Rule." You give them Home Rule: they cannot digest it, and they say, "Re-enact the Budget over again."
§ Sir J. D. REES
I should like to know what was the authority of the hon. 240 Member for the Rushcliffe Division of Nottingham (Mr. Leif Jones) for speaking on behalf of the Government. What was his; platform I By what authority did he undertake on behalf of the Government that if there was Protection in the Bill an Amendment should be introduced to remove it.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
I spoke with no authority but with the knowledge that this is a Free Trade Government.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Which has abjured Free Trade in Ireland, in order to carry out a corrupt understanding. But I did not rise to deal with that point. The hon. Member said that Ireland is to start as a separate financial entity. But if I understand the matter aright it is characteristic of financial entities to be financially independent. For instance, India is a financial entity, and so is the United Kingdom. But India has no transferred sum granted her by the taxpayers of the United Kingdom. If Ireland wishes to cut the painter, and is determined to be cut adrift from the British Parliament, it should not at the same time make this claim on the British taxpayer. For that reason I rise to support the Amendment of the hon. Baronet, which I consider to be a very serious Amendment indeed, differing, as I do, in that respect from the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. The one man of whom this House takes no account is the British taxpayer. The hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division said that there was no party feeling in finance. Let the hon. Gentleman consider the administration of the Exchequer under the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he will find party pervades all his finance. Tax after tax is heaped on the British taxpayer. Only to-day I put a question to the Prime Minister, and the right hon. Gentleman admitted it would be competent for the Irish Parliament, under this Bill, to give a bounty to Irish lace which would enable it to compete with advantage with the lace of the United Kingdom in general and of Nottingham in particular. The hon. Member laughs. I was too polite to laugh at the hon. Gentleman, although he gave me occasion for it right through his speech, and not only in the portions I have quoted. I have, with complete courtesy to the hon. Member, quoted two of his statements to which I take the strongest objection. I maintain that if the British Parliament is not good enough for the people of Ireland and they want a 241 Parliament of their own, the least they can do it to pay for it out of their own pockets, and not come down, as they always do, upon the British taxpayer. I quoted the answer of the Prime Minister to-day, which bears out my contention. For my part, I shall support my hon. Friend in the Lobby, and I sincerely hope that the result of this Amendment may be as satisfactory as that which he moved upon a previous occasion. The hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division said that in this country duties upon alcoholic liquors were already fairly heavy. I should like to amend that phrase, and say they are unfairly heavy. There was little in the speech of the hon. Member which could not be met with a direct negative. In reference to the financial entity, the statements he made were exactly contrary to the facts. How can he possibly hold that Ireland is to start as a new financial entity if it is not to be financially independent? How can there be any independence when the taxpayers of this country are to pay? It it argued that the deficit which exists at present in the Irish account is due to the extra taxation that has lately been imposed upon this country. That is true, but when the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his zeal for inventing new taxes, brought in the insurance tax after old age pensions, did hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway raise any objection to the imposition of that tax? Not at all. They claimed exemption from its medical benefits—if those things can be called benefits from which it is a benefit to be exempted. They are also exempted from prosecution when they fail to pay that tax. If the account, in consequence of their own action, shows for the moment any deficit on balance, then a claim is made against this country for the payment of the amount out of the British taxpayers' pockets. I submit that is not fair treatment of the British taxpayer. The one man who never gets fair treatment here is the British taxpayer. Of all the taxpayers in the country the English taxpayer pays the most, and he is the man who is least regarded in this House. Who is there ever to speak for the British taxpayer except the hon. Baronet—I had nearly called him hon. and gallant, and he is that. [HON. MEMBERS: "Rees."] I am very glad hon. Gentlemen agree in something. They care for nothing except to get £400 a year.
§ Sir J. D. REES
The hon. Member suggests that I draw some £600 a year. I think he should be made to get up and substantiate his statement.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Will the hon. Gentleman be good enough—I think I have reminded him of the point before—to address his remarks to me, instead of to the other end of the House?
§ Sir J. D. REES
With great respect. I was addressing you when an hon. Member, who frequently, I may say habitually, interrupts speakers, from a place outside the House, made a statement which I submit he should get tip and substantiate, or in a gentlemanlike manner get up and withdraw.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member-was certainly turning to the other end of the House. If he will turn towards me when he is speaking I shall be able to deaf with any interruption and obtain him a hearing, but when he is turning away I cannot even follow his own remarks.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I submit that I was addressing you. If I turned my face away for a moment I must express my regret, and can only plead in my defence that right hon. Gentlemen upon the Front Bench are under the necessity, or at any rate follow the practice of turning from the Chair and addressing that part of the House, whereas I made a statement which was quite inoffensive and absolutely correct, which was met by an offensive interruption by a Gentleman who habitually interrupts speeches which I submit he, subject to the same discipline as other Members of the House, should get up and substantiate or withdraw. I object extremely to these interruptions.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must request the hon. Member for West Ham, if he is not able to listen, to retire from the House.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is for me to-judge. The hon. Member when he comes in to listen to a debate ought to be able, to listen with patience to what is said.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
The reason I interrupted was simply because he was throwing his dirty insinuations about £400 a year.
Mr. STANLEY WILSON
May I ask for your ruling as to whether "dirty insinuation" is a Parliamentary expression?
§ Sir J. D. REES
I understand it is a matter of taste, and exceedingly bad taste. I am quite prepared to leave the question there, and am really very sorry
§ that any remark I made should have led to any unpleasantness. I would bring my remarks to a conclusion by ending where I began, and that is by saying I think the hon. Baronet performs a great public service in championing the cause of the British taxpayer who is habitually oppressed by the Government, and his greatest oppressor is the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 208; Noes, 323.247
|Division No. 312.]||AYES||[11.2 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Denniss, E. R. B.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Duke, Henry Edward||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. A.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Astor, Waldorf||Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Baird, J. L.||Fell, Arthur||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Fleming, Valentine||Macmaster, Donald|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Fletcher, John Samuel||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Forster, Henry William||Malcolm, Ian|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Gloucs., E.)||Foster, Philip Staveley||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gardner, Ernest||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gilmour, Captain J.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Goldman, Charles Sydney||Moore, William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Goldsmith, Frank||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Bird, Alfred||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mount, William Arthur|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith||Greene, Walter Raymond||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Gretton, John||Newman, John R. P.|
|Boyton, James||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Haddock, George Bahr||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Butcher, John George||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Peel, Captain R. F.|
|Campion, W. R.||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Harris, Henry Percy||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Cassel, Felix||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Quilter, Sir W. E. C.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Cave, George||Hickman, Col, Thomas E.||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Cecil, Lord Robert (Herts, Hitchin)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesa[...])|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Royds, Edmund|
|Chambers, James||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Home, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Horner, Andrew Long||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Hunt, Rowland||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Ingleby, Holcombe||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Jessell, Captain Herbert M.||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l., Walton)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stanier, Beville|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Kerry, Earl of||Stanley, Major Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Keswick, Henry||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Larmor, Sir J.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Croft, Henry Page||Lewisham, Viscount||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lloyd, G. A.||Swift, Rigby|
|Sykes, Hark (Hull, Central)||Valentia, Viscount||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Talbot, Lord Edmund||Walrond, Hon. Lionel||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Terrell, George (Wilts., N.W.)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)||Weigall, Capt. A. G.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)||Wheler, Granville C. H.||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Thomson, W. Mitchell (Down, N.)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Thynne, Lord Alexander||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud||Younger, Sir George|
|Tobin, Alfred Aspinall||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Touche, George Alexander||Wolmer, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir|
|Tryon, Captain George Clement||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)||F. Banbury and Mr. Remnant.|
|Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Dickinson, W. H.||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Dillon, John||John, Edward Thomas|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Donelan, Captain A.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Adamson, William||Doris, William||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Duffy, William||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Jones, W. S. Glyn (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles Peter (Stroud)||Elverston, Sir Harold||Joyce, Michael|
|Armitage, Robert||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Keating, Matthew|
|Arnold, Sydney||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Essex, Richard Walter||Kelly, Edward|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Esslemont, George Birnie||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Falconer, James||Kilbride, Denis|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Farrell, James Patrick||King, Joseph|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Ffrench, Peter||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Field, William||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Barton, William||Fitzgibbon, John||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Leach, Charles|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||France, G. A.||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bentham, G. J.||Gill, Alfred Henry||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Ginnell, Laurence||Lundon, Thomas|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Black, Arthur W.||Glanville, Harold James||Lynch, Arthur Alfred|
|Boland, John Pius||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Goldstone, Frank||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||McGhee, Richard|
|Brace, William||Greig, Colonel James William||Maclean, Donald|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Griffith, Ellis Jones||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Bryce, J, Annan||Guest, Hon. Frederick (Dorset, E.)||Macveagh, Jeremiah|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hackett, John||M'Kean, John|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hancock, J. G.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Manfield, Harry|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hardle, J. Keir||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Martin, Joseph|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Meagher, Michael|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Clough, William||Hayden, John Patrick||Millar, James Duncan|
|Clynes, John R.||Hay ward, Evan||Molloy, Michael|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Hazleton, Richard||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Mooney, John J.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hemmerde, Edward George||Morgan, George Hay|
|Cotton, William Francis||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morison, Hector|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Henry, Sir Charles||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Muldoon, John|
|Crumley, Patrick||Higham, John Sharp||Munro, Robert|
|Cullinan, John||Hinds, John||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. C. E. H.||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Hodge, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hogge, James Myles||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Neilson, Francis|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Holt, Richard Durning||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|De Forest, Baron||Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Delany, William||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Nuttall, Harry|
|Devlin, Joseph||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Wadsworth, J.|
|O'Dowd, John||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Ogden, Fred||Robinson, Sidney||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Roch, Walter F.||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|O'Malley, William||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wardle, George J.|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Rose, Sir Charles Day||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|O'Shee, James John||Rowlands, James||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Rowntree, Arnold||Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Watt, Henry A.|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Webb, H.|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston}|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Rotherham)||Samuel, J. (Stockton)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Scanlan, Thomas||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Pointer, Joseph||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Pollard, Sir George H.||Seely, Rt. Hon. Col. J. E. B.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Sheehy, David||Wiles, Thomas|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Sherwell, Arthur James||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Shortt, Edward||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Radford, George Heynes||Smyth, Thomas F.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Rattan, Peter Wilson||Snowden, Philip||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, W.)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Reddy, Michael||Sutherland, John E.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Sutton, John E.||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Richards, Thomas||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
§ Main Question again proposed. Debate arising,
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."248
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 322; Noes, 206.251
|Division No. 313.]||AYES.||[11.13 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Brocklehurst, William B.||De Forest, Baron|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Brunner, John F. L.||Delany, William|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bryce, J. Annan||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Adamson, William||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Devlin, Joseph|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Burke, E. Haviland-||Dickinson, W. H.|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Doris, William|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Duffy, William J.|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles Peter (Stroud)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Armitage, Robert||Cawtey, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid),|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Chancellor, Henry George||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Chappie, Dr. William Allen||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Esmonds, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Clancy, John Joseph||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Clough, William||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Clynes, John R.||Falconer, James|
|Barnes, G. N.||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Barton, William||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinsen.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Ffrench, Peter|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Field, William|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Cotton, William Francis||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Bentham, G. J.||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||France, Gerald Ashburner|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Crumley, Patrick||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd|
|Black, Arthur W.||Cullinan, John||Gill, Alfred Henry|
|Boland, John Pius||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Ginnell, Laurence|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Glanville, Harold James|
|Brace, William||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Dawes, J. A.||Goldstone, Frank|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Greig, Colonel James William||M'Kean, John M.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robinson, Sidney|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Manfield, Harry||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Hackett, John||Martin, Joseph||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Hancock, J. G.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Rowlands, James|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Meagher, Michael||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Menzies, Sir Waiter||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Millar, James Duncan||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Molloy, Michael||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Scott, A. McCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Mooney, John J.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Morgan, George Hay||Sheehy, David|
|Hayward, Evan||Morison, Hector||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Hazleton, Richard||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Shortt, Edward|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Muldoon, John||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Munro, Robert||Smith, Albert (Lancs, Clitheroe)|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Snowden, Philip|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Needham, Christopher T.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Men. S.)||Nellson, Francis||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hinds, John||Nolan, Joseph||Sutherland, John E.|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Sutton, John E.|
|Hodge, John||Nuttall, Harry||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hogge, James Myles||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Doherty, Philip||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Donnell, Thomas||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Dowd, John||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Ogden, Fred||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Wadsworth, J.|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Malley, William||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Shee, James John||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wardle, George J.|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn (Stepney)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Jowett, Frederick William||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Joyce, Michael||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Keating, Matthew||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Webb, H.|
|Kelly, Edward||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pointer, Joseph||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pollard, Sir George H.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|King, Joseph||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Power, Patrick Joseph||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Whyte, A. F.|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Price, Sir R. J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)||Pringle, William M. R.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Leach, Charles||Radford, George Heynes||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Lundon, Thomas||Rea, Walter (Scarborough)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Reddy, Michael||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Macdonald. J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|McGhee, Richard||Rendall, Atheistan||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Maclean, Donald||Richards, Thomas||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Baird, John Lawrence||Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Balcarres, Lord||Barrie, H. T.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Baldwin, Stanley||Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Goulding, Edward Alfred||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gretton, John||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bird, Alfred||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col Dennis Fortescue||Haddock, George Bahr||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Boyton, James||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Quilter, Sir W. E. C.|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Harris, Henry Percy||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Butcher, John George||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Royds, Edmund|
|Campion, W. R.||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cassel, Felix||Hoare, Samuel George Gurney||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cave, George||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Home, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Horner, Andrew Long||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r)||Hunt, Rowland||Stanier, Beville|
|Chambers, J.||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Stanley, Major Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Ingleby, Holcombe||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Clyde, James Avon||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stewart, Gershom|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Kerry, Earl of||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Keswick, Henry||Swift, Rigby|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Larmor, Sir J.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lewisham, Viscount||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lloyd, George Ambrose||Thomson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thomson, W. Mitchell (Down, N.)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Cripps, Sir C. A.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Croft, H. P.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Touche, George Alexander|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C (Droitwich)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Mackinder, Halford J.||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Macmaster, Donald||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Fell, Arthur||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Malcolm, Ian||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Fisher, Rt Hon. W. Hayes||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fleming, Valentine||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Forster, Henry William||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||Moore, William||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Gardner, Ernest||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Mount, William Arthur||Younger, Sir George|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Goldman, Charles Sydney||Newman, John R. P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Marquess|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Newton, Harry Kottingham||of Tullibardine and Mr. Remnant.|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
§ Main Question put accordingly.252
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 318; Noes, 207.255
|Division No. 314.]||AYES.||[11.26 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Arnold, Sydney||Beck, Arthur Cecil|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Bentham, G. J.|
|Adamson, William||Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Bethell, Sir John Henry|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Black, Arthur W.|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Boland, John Pius|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Barnes, G. N.||Booth, Frederick Handel|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Bowerman, C. W.|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Barton, William||Brace, William|
|Armitage, Robert||Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Brady, Patrick Joseph|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Hayden, John Patrick||Nuttall, Harry|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Hayward, Evan||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hazleton, Richard||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Helme, Sir Nerval Watson||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||O'Dowd, John|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Higham, John Sharp||Ogden, Fred|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hinds, John||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hodge, John||O'Malley, William|
|Cawley, H. T. (Heywood)||Hogge, James Myles||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Chappie, Dr. William Allen||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Shee, James John|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Clough, William||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Clynes, John R.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||John, Edward Thomas||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Craig, Herbert James (Tynemouth)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, W. S. Glyn (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jowett, Frederick William||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Cullinan, John||Joyce, Michael||Priestley, Sir A. (Grantham)|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Keating, Matthew||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Radford, George Heynes|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Kelly, Edward||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Dawes, James Arthur||King, Joseph||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields?|
|De Forest, Baron||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Delany, William||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Reddy, Michael|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leach, Charles||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Doris, William||Levy, Sir Maurice||Richards, Thomas|
|Duffy, William J.||Lewis, John Herbert||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lundon, Thomas||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lyell, C. H.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macdonald J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Maclean, Donald||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Falconer, James||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Macpherson, James Ian||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rowlands, James|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Kean, John||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Field, William||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Fitzgibbon, John||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Manfield, Harry||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Scanlan, Thomas|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Gill, A. H.||Martin, J.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Sheehy, David|
|Glanville, Harold James||Meagher, Michael||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Shortt, Edward|
|Goldstone, Frank||Menzies, Sir Walter||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Millar, James Duncan||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Greig, Col. James William||Molloy, Michael||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Molteno, Percy Alport||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Snowden, Philip|
|Guest, Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Mooney, John J.||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Morgan, George Kay||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hackett, John||Morison, Hector||Sutherland, John E.|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Sutton, John E.|
|Hancock, John George||Muldoon, John||Taylor, John W. (Durham,)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Munro, R,||Tennant, Harold John|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Thomas, James Henry|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Needham, Christopher||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Nellson, Francis||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Nolan, Joseph||Wadsworth, J.|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Walters, Sir John Tudor||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Walton, Sir Joseph||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Whltehouse, John Howard||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas||Winfrey, Richard|
|Wardle, George J.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Wiles, Thomas||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Watt, Henry A.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Webb, H.||Williamson, Sir Archibald||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fleming, Valentine||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Fletcher, John Samuel||Newman, John R. P.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Forster, Henry William||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Foster, Philip Staveley||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Gardner, Ernest||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goldman, Charles Sydney||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Goldsmith, Frank||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Peel, Captain R. F.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Greene, W. R.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barrie, H. T.||Gretton, John||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S. Edmund)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Haddock, George Bahr||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bird, Alfred||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Royds, Edmund|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith||Harris, Henry Percy||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Boyton, James||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Butcher, John George||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Stanier, Beville|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Cassel, Felix||Home, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Horner, Andrew Long||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hunt, Rowland||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.)|
|Cave, George||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Swift, Rigby|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chambers, James||Keswick, Henry||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Thomson, W. Mitchell (Down, North)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Larmor, Sir J.||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Clyde, James Avon||Lewisham, Viscount||Touche, George Alexander|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Lloyd, George Ambrose||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Welgall, Captain A. G.|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Wheler, Granville, C. H.|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Macmaster, Donald||Wolmer, viscount|
|Croft, Henry Page||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Malcolm, Ian||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Fell, Arthur||Moore, William||Younger, Sir George|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Earl of|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward||Mount, William Arthur||Kerry and Captain Gilmour.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ That it is expedient, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to amend the provision for the Government of Ireland,—
§ To authorise the payment in each year-out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom into the Irish Exchequer or to any body or person in the stead of the Irish Exchequer—
- (a) of a fixed sum based on the cost at the time of the passing of the said Act of the branches of government to be administered thereunder by the Irish Government and, in the case of the future transfer of any other branches of government to the Irish Government, of further sums based on the saving to the Exchequer of the United Kingdom resulting from the transfer; the amount of the said fixed sum and any such further sums to be determined in manner provided by the said Act, with power to make payments on account of those sums pending that determination; and
- (b) of a sum of five hundred thousand pounds, diminishing in each year after the third year of payment by the sum of fifty thousand pounds, until it is reduced to the sum of two hundred thousand pounds; and
- (c) of sums equal to the proceeds of any taxes imposed by the Irish Parliament in pursuance of the powers given by the said Act, the amount of those proceeds to be determined in manner provided by the said Act: And to authorise such Customs Duties to be charged on articles brought into Great Britain from Ireland or into Ireland from Great Britain, and such alterations of drawbacks or allowances to be made in respect of those articles, as may be provided for by the said Act, in cases where any Customs or Excise Duty levied in Great Britain is levied at a different rate from that at which the duty is levied in Ireland, or where any Customs or Excise Duty is levied in Great Britain and not levied in Ireland, or levied in Ireland and not levied in Great Britain:
§ And to authorise the payment out of the Consolidated Fund or out of moneys provided by Parliament of any salaries, pensions, superannuation allowances, gratuities, or compensation, for the payment of which to or on behalf of any judges or 258 Irish officers, or officers or constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary or of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Force, provision may be made in pursuance of the said Act, and also of any sums for the payment of which out of the Consolidated Fund or out of moneys provided by Parliament provision may be made by the said Act in the event of the failure of the Irish Government to make any such payment.
§ Resolution to be reported To-morrow (Wednesday).