§ Postponed proceeding resumed on Question, "That the Bill be now read a second time." Question again proposed. Debate continued.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I was referring to the Sugar Tax, and I was calling attention to the speeches of Members of the present Government. I was just beginning to deal 718 with the opinions that were held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this matter when he was a private Member of this House. Speaking in 1904, he said that he did not think under the conditions that they ought to continue the tax on sugar as a permanent burden. He said:—It is a burden on the poorer class of the people, because sugar is an essential part of their daily food.719 The last part of the right hon. Gentleman's observations I especially commend to his recollection now. He said:—I protest against the tax because it is a heavy burden on the poorest of the poor, and because it is necessitated by no great national emergency but by the extravagance and the mismanagement of the Government.If the Sugar Tax was necessitated seven or eight years ago by the extravagance and mismanagement of the Government, may I ask if its continuance for all these years may not in some measure be due also to the extravagance and mismanagement of the successors to the Government then in office? The Home Secretary, too, held opinions on this question when he was an unofficial Member of this House. He not only expressed his own opinion, but he ventured to pledge the Liberal party when they assumed the responsibility of office. He said:—If the Liberals get into office there will be such economies as to permit of the Sugar Duty being done away with.And the Home Secretary four years after that spoke in favour of the total repeal of the tax. Another Gentleman who holds Cabinet rank, the Secretary for Scotland, was even more definite as to what his attitude on the repeal of the Sugar Tax would be. He said in the General Election:—I strongly oppose the Sugar Duty, and will if I have the opportunity, vote for its abolition.10.0 P.M.
I see the right hon. Gentleman in his place. We are going to give him an opportunity to-night to vote for the abolition of the Sugar Tax. Believing as I do that the right hon. Gentleman holds the same opinions in office as he does out of office, have no doubt whatever that we shall not be disappointed in having the pleasure of seeing him in the Lobby to support the Amendment. The President of the Board of Trade also expressed his views on this matter when a Motion was before the House for the reduction of the Sugar Tax, but that was not good enough for the present President of the Board of Trade. He would have no half-way house. He said:—I regret I am not able to agree with the hon. Gentleman to reduce the tax by one-half. I object to the tax entirely.We will see whether the right hon. Gentleman holds the same opinions in office that he did out of it. And so I might go through the whole list. The President of the Board of Education also made a speech in which 720 he expressed his opinion on the tax. He said:—I have always voted against the imposition of the tax on sugar, and I intend to do so in future.Two hon. Members who now occupy positions as Whips of the party also declared what their action would be in the new Parliament in the event of the question of the repeal of the Sugar Tax being raised. The hon. Member for Dumfries said:—I am strongly in sympathy with you in regard to the tax on sugar.That was in reply to a question as to, whether he was in favour of the abolition of the Sugar Tax. The Liberal Whip went to one of the divisions of Wiltshire and said:—I shall certainly give my vote to secure the repeal of the tax on sugar.I shall look with a good deal of curiosity to see whether these two Gentlemen carry out their pledges to-night, or whether as Government Whips they will vote for the continuance of the tax on sugar. So much for the views of the Government as to the continuance or the abolition of the Sugar Tax. As to the Tea Duty, no man knows better the iniquity of the Tea Tax than does the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I remember one speech when he was a private Member of the House, and the Unionist party were in power, in which he described the Tea Duty as being "an instrument to promote the stewing of tea." In submitting a demand for the abolition of a tax which would involve a loss of revenue of a little over £10,000,000, it is of course our duty to suggest what I might describe as a compensating revenue. The Amendment which is down in my name, and the names of one or two of my colleagues, suggests an alternative source of revenue. It demands the abolition of food taxes, and suggests that the loss of revenue involved by their remission should be made up by "increasing the direct taxes on unearned incomes and large estates." The time makes certainly opportune and necessary the abolition of taxes upon food. Everybody admits, and I am not going to labour the point, that there has been in recent years a very considerable increase in the cost of living. The great increase in the cost of living has borne very heavily upon the working people. It may be that there is not many much that Parliament can do immediately to relieve this additional hardship upon the working classes in their endeavour to make ends meet. Parliament, at any rate, can do something 721 by the abolition of the food taxes to relieve the cost of living on the working-classes to the amount of £10,000,000. The cost of living has been increasing without a corresponding increase in wages, and that is an additional reason why the Government should at once relieve the cost of living to the working-classes to the extent by which it would be relieved by the abolition of food taxes. I come to the suggestion in regard to compensating revenue. The Budget of 1909 carried out certain suggestions to a very moderate extent which had been advocated by the Labour and Socialist party of this country for a good many years. It increased the rate of Death Duty on large estates, and increased in a certain grade of incomes the amount of the Income Tax, and imposed for the first time a Super-tax, a feature which I have always regarded as being the best in the new proposals of that Budget, although I think, as I said then, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer could have arranged the details much better than he did, so that he might have received a much larger return than he has received from the Super-tax.
I went through the Debates of the year 1909. I am not going to deal with the Land Taxes. I never attached much importance to Land Taxes as a revenue-raising proposal. I think the chief value of the land taxation proposals of the Budget is that they give us the opportunity to carry out a valuation of the land of the country. I think when that valuation is completed it may be very useful as a means of carrying out certain land reforms which I believe will be found more effectual than any land reform by means of such taxation. I refer more particularly to the increase of taxation on wealth in the form of the Super-tax and increased Death Duties. What were the objections urged from the opposite side against those proposals? They were mainly that the taxation of wealth would be the taxation of the industry of the country, and that the consequences of the imposition of those proposed new taxes would be to lessen profits, lessen employment, and to bring about general stagnation of the industry of the country. What has happened? We are receiving, on the estimate of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, during the coming year 30 per cent. more from Income Tax than the yield from that tax the year before the Budget, and we are receiving in Death Duties this year no less than 40 per cent. more yield than in 722 1908. What, I ask again, has been the effect of this increased abstraction of wealth from incomes and from estates. As we have been told this afternoon, we are enjoying a period of unparalleled trade prosperity. At the time those taxes were imposed the figure for unemployment stood at almost the highest on record. It averaged nearly 9 per cent. of all the trade union membership of the country. To-day it has touched a record figure at the other end. In those three years there has been an unparalleled increase in our imports and exports. Foreign trade for last year was 35 per cent. higher than it was the year before the imposition of those Budget taxes.
What lesson and what moral are we to draw from this? I certainly am not going to claim that the taxes that were imposed in that Budget are responsible for this extraordinary expansion of trade subsequently. I do not say that the increase of employment is due to the fact that a tax was levied upon incomes of over £5,000 per year, but, at any rate, we are justified in drawing this conclusion, that if those. Budget taxes are not responsible for the good trade, at any rate their imposition has not been a disadvantage to the expansion of trade. It has not checked development, and, as a matter of fact, such taxation never could, especially if the revenue derived from such taxation were used for what I may call developmental purposes, either materially or for the development of character and their enhancement of the good of the people. I believe that the advancement in trade and in general prosperity, and in moral and social welfare, would have been far greater than it has if such a large proportion of the increased taxation had not been spent so unproductively upon "Dreadnoughts" and other armaments. I believe that the increased prosperity of the country is to some extent due to the fact that the. £13,000,000 we now spend in old age pensions has been abstracted from the spending power of the rich and is not given over to luxuries, as it would have been if left on their hands, but is given to the working people, and has been used to encourage the staple trades of the country. The more we decrease the spending power of the rich, and transfer the spending power to the masses of the people the more we shall encourage every trade in the country which ought to be encouraged. Have profits declined as a result of taxation? Profits have not declined. They were 723 never so high as they are to-day. The gross assessment to Income Tax has increased by £63,000,000 in three years. What is the moral and lesson of that? The lesson is to continue the same line of policy, and to be encouraged by the success of what we have done. We have by no means reached the limit of the taxable capacity of the rich. The rich are paying, I believe, about £20,000,000 per year more in Income Tax and Death Duties than they did three or four years ago, but they are far better able to-day to pay another £20,000,000 than they were to pay an additional £20,000,000 three years ago. I find that that sentiment is applauded from the Treasury Bench. Therefore I ask if that be the case and if they agree, why do they not do it? If the rich are well able to pay an additional £20,000,000, why does not the Government relieve the working people of that £10,000,000 on food taxes, and find a compensating revenue by that additional taxation? I shall expect an answer to that question when some Member on the Treasury Bench replies.
I would suggest, therefore, that they should place an additional tax upon incomes of, say, over £5,000 a year. When I was referring to the fact that I thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer might have arranged the details of his Super-tax better and more remuneratively, I had in mind that he ought to have graduated the tax. At present it is uniform on all incomes over £5,000 a year. I do not think that a Super-tax of 6d. is enough on incomes of £20,000, £40,000, £50,000 or £100,000 a year. I do not think that an Income Tax of 1s. 8d. in the £ is a sufficient payment by a person enjoying an income like that for the advantages and benefits derived from the government of the country. There was a time in the history of the country when people with incomes of £60 a year had to pay a higher tax than is imposed by the combined Income Tax and Super-tax to-day. The combined Income Tax and Super-tax is not quite 1s. 8d., because there is the remission on the first £3,000, but we may take it at 1s. 8d. About the beginning of the nineteenth century a tax of 2s. in the £ was imposed upon incomes of £60 a year. It may be, and no doubt will be said that that was a time of war. My answer would be that this is a time of war. We are proposing additional taxation to repel, not a foreign foe, but a foe which is here in our midst, and which unless it is 724 destroyed is going to make this great Empire fall as the great Empires of the past have fallen; because no Empire can continue to exist if it allows the canker of poverty to continue as the canker of poverty is wearing out the national life of this country to-day. I would suggest also an increase in the rate of duties upon estates, especially upon those estates falling within the higher ranges. There is, of course, from one point of view, a heavy tax laid upon the estates of millionaires to-day. It is possible by combined Succession Duty, Legacy Duty, and Estate Duty for an estate of £1,000,000 or more to pay 25 per cent. in duties. That seems a lot if you look at it from one point of view. Suppose a man leaves £4,000,000, and he has to pay duties of £1,000,000 on the estate. A million pounds does look a lot. But I do not think that that is the way we ought to look at it. We ought not to concentrate our attention on what the estate is. We ought to look at what is left. After £1,000,000 has been taken from an estate of £4,000,000, £3,000,000 still remain, and I venture to submit that it is not good for society that any individual should have the power to bequeath £3,000,000 to anybody he thinks fit. The State has no right, in my opinion, to give this special power to continue to levy an unearned tribute on the community. Therefore a Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he looked at it from the point of view of social well-being, would be absolutely merciless in the taxation of large fortunes of that character.
You cannot dissociate social policy from taxation, and any Chancellor of the Exchequer in levying taxation ought to have two purposes in view. He ought to have in view the raising of revenue to meet absolutely necessary expenditure, but he ought also to keep constantly in mind the social effect of the taxation which he imposes. I think it is his duty to use what the Prime Minister once described as "the potent weapon of taxation" to bring about a better distribution of wealth in the country, because the existence of a rich class is one of the greatest dangers to the stability and welfare of the nation. I read in the paper a day or two ago that the Liberal party is in need of a programme. I see that the Liberal Press attribute the misfortunes of Liberal candidates at recent by-elections to the fact that Liberal candidates do not quite know where they are—or where their party is. They are waiting for something a little 725 more definite about the new land crusade. I understand that they are quite assured that when they do get to know what the next Liberal programme is to be the fortunes of the Liberal party will revive in the constituencies. I have no right to suggest a, programme to the Liberal party, but may I venture to do so? Let them take the programme I have been submitting just now. Let them bring forward the earnest of their belief by this year abolishing the food taxes and get a compensating revenue by taxing the rich. Let them go to the country and say, "Return us to power once more; we intend to continue this policy; we intend to continue this policy until no unfair or unjust burden of taxation rests upon the working people of this country! We are determined to use the weapon of taxation in order to redress or to reduce the grave inequality of wealth and poverty." I am quite sure that there is a new programme the Liberal party can have which would appeal with power to a large body of the public opinion in this country which is anxious to do something to mitigate the hardships of the poor, and who recognise that that can only be done at the expense of those who are abnormally and dangerously rich. In support of the Amendment which stands in my name on the Paper I submit these views and commend them to the earnest consideration of the House.
§ Mr. GOLDSTONE
It is my privilege on behalf of my colleagues to second the Amendment which has been so brilliantly moved by the hon. Member for Blackburn. I think it will be generally accepted in the House that, however much there may be disagreement in some quarters with the views expressed, that at least the speech is creditable to the House of Commons and a brilliant performance. I venture to suggest to the leaders of the Liberal party on the Treasury Bench that some of the suggestions made by my hon. Friend will give them the opportunity of reviving the point in their own programmes, without going further afield for anything more in that direction. For many years past it has been an accepted canon of the Liberal party that they would establish a free breakfast table. They have stood for this on many platforms, and this is really in effect the Amendment which my hon. Friend has moved. In accepting this principle of a free breakfast table they will at the same time revive another old canon of their 726 principles, that taxation is based upon the ability of the taxpayer in the first instance to meet the demand which is made upon him for his contribution to the State, and they will meet the second portion of the same principle in taxing for the protection that they enjoy those in the receipt of large incomes. What can you expect from men whose wages are even below the level of subsistence, who are not able to meet even the smallest amount of subvention without eating into the miserable pittance which is to provide the wherewithal in the shape of subsistence for themselves and their families? It is generally accepted that the level of subsistence for a family of five, below which a proper state of dignity and decency cannot be maintained, is about 23s. 8d. per week. Probably as that was fixed some two years ago by an eminent authority on these matters it would be fair to suggest that the present minimum subsistence level as represented in wages for a family of two adults and three children is not less than 25s. per week. But we are told there are not less than 30 per cent. of our adults in receipt of wages less than that amount; that is to say, we have between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 of adult workers taking in wages per week less than the amount which is generally accepted as the subsistence level of wages. And if you multiply that number, as you are entitled to do, by four of five you get a population of somewhere about 12,000,000 who have to be maintained at wages less than the subsistence level. And the effect is you take from those people and from their allowance, which after all is but a starvation allowance under your system of indirect taxation, and you make them pay not only the tax, but you make them pay the interest on the tax, which has to be paid when some of those articles, and particularly tea, is taken out of bond.
Let me give an actual illustration of how the thing works out in practice. We may imagine £1,000 worth of tea imported by a merchant at 10d. per pound. He pays 5d. per pound taxes. To that £1,000, on which, of course, he expects profit, he adds £500, which means an outlay of £1,500, and not only does he expect profit on the £1,000 outlay on tea in the first instance, but he anticipates profit on the £500 in addition. Looking at the figures, you will find my sum in arithmetic is correctly worked out. If he anticipates, as I dare say he may, and does in actual 727 practice, 25 per cent, of profit on £500, which is the amount of the tax, there is an additional amount of £125 to be added to the £500, and the whole £625 is passed on to the consumer, for, whatever may be said on Tariff Reform platforms, we know in practice that these taxes are passed, on without fail. But if the State takes this toll on tea, it naturally has to pay the cost of collection, and I suppose a fair estimate of the cost of collection would be 10 per cent., so that the State takes not £500 of taxes, but an amount equivalent to £450, but the consumers have to pay something like £625 for the State to receive £450. Such a method of taxation as that means that the poor in particular have to pay something like 50 per cent. in addition to the amount the State receives in taxation which they are called upon to meet. I want to draw the attention of the House to this fact, that in the early days of the imposition of this tax it was without doubt a tax upon the luxuries of the rich. Tea, in the days of the imposition of the Tea Duty, was a tax on those who were in receipt of good incomes. Only those who received large amounts in the shape of rents, and so forth, could then afford the prices charged for tea, and a very considerable element in the case was the high duty imposed. Taxation in those days was a question of the taxation of the rich. As time has gone on we have gradually transferred the greater part of this taxation to the shoulders of the poor, just as we have done with the bulk of our indirect taxation, which has been made a charge upon the poor. It is said that it is well that we should have this type of taxation, because it is only in this way that we can disguise what we are actually drawing from the taxpayers of the country. That may be defensible in a new country, which is, so to speak, at a low level of development, when you may put a tax on goods at the ports because you have a difficulty in getting your taxation from other sources; but surely, in this country, we have now got to that stage of development of our principles of taxation when we may let our people understand by direct means what are the duties as well as the privileges of citizenship! An indirect form of taxation, while at the same time it is vexatious and inefficient represents, as a matter of fact, a low level in the development of taxation, and we should bring it home to all our citizens who cry 728 for "Dreadnoughts," and will not wait, and drive it into the intelligence of those who cry for huge armaments that they have to foot the Bill. Let them be taught to foot the Bill by paying in the real efficient way of direct taxation. I commend this Resolution to the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London. To-night he told us that he could support a certain Instruction because it represented the views of the majority of the citizens of London.
§ Mr. GOLDSTONE
I thought the hon. Baronet would agree that if you relieve the majority of our people from the onus of paying something which it is difficult for them to meet you would surely be acting in their interests. I venture to say that the majority of the people of this country would be found in favour of this proposal if we could have a straight vote on the Amendment, which is submitted from these benches to-night. It is really the democracy whose views we are supporting when we bring forward such a Resolution as this. My hon. Friend has put the case very clearly, and all I wish to do is to commend to the Chancellor of the Exchequer some of the alternatives which he has suggested for raising taxation to reduce the amount which the taxpaying portion of the working classes are at present called upon to pay. The point the hon. Gentleman made with regard to old age pensions is equally true with regard to the spending power of the working classes as represented in wages. If we can increase the effective amount they have at their disposal, as we could by reducing the amount of indirect taxation, we should increase their spending power in the direction of purchasing more commodities at reduced prices, or widen the area of their purchases by including other articles. The effect of that would be to stimulate industries which would provide the commodities, which it would be their pleasure to go and purchase in the local shops. I think we have shown sufficient reason for this Amendment, which ought to receive a considerable amount of support in this House.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I only rise to ask the Labour party, as they have brought forward this Motion to-night, why it is that in the past they have consistently voted for the retention of food taxes as part of our fiscal system.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I will just read to the House a few votes of hon. Members of the Labour party on the question of food taxes during the past few years. On 25th July, 1910, my Noble Friend the Member for Maidstone (Viscount Castlereagh) moved an Amendment to reduce the Tea Duty from 5d. to 4d. Four Members of the Labour party voted for that Amendment, and fourteen against it. A similar Amendment was moved by Mr. H. S. Foster on 23rd November, 1910. No Labour Member voted for it; ten Labour Members voted against it. On 22nd May, 1911, the hon. Member for the Faversham Division (Mr. Wheler) moved to reduce the duty on tea grown within the British Empire from 5d. to 4d. That is the tea which is consumed by the poor people of this country. Twenty-four Labour Members voted against it, and not a single Labour Member voted for it. On 24th June, 1912, my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall (Mr. Cooper) moved an exactly similar Amendment. Not a single Labour Member voted for it; twenty-five Labour Members voted against it. My hon. Friend the Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell) on 26th July moved a similar Amendment, not a single Labour Member voted for cheap tea; nineteen Labour Members voted against it. My hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, moved an Amendment on the same date to reduce the duty on tea of the value of from 1s. to 2s. per 1b. to 4d., and on tea of the value of 1s. or less, to 3d., that is to say, on tea consumed by the poorest classes of the community. Five Labour Members voted for it, and seventeen Labour Members voted against it. Therefore, I think we are justified in saying that this Motion which the Labour party have brought forward to-night is a window dressing and electioneering Motion. It is an organised sham fight, such as the Labour party love. Whenever there is the slightest prospect of the Government being defeated by a Conservative Motion on this question, the majority of the Labour party are invariably found in the Lobby in supporting a high Tea Duty. On this occasion they have adopted the plan of not taking a 730 straight issue on the question, but of coupling their proposal for a reduction of the food taxes with various measures which they know would be repudiated by the majority of the House of Commons. We of the Conservative party have frequently put forward proposals to reduce the food taxes—I have read out some of the instances to-night—and on those occasions the Labour party have always been found to be against us. To-night by devising a Motion which they know the majority of this House will refuse and which, therefore, cannot possibly put the Government in any difficulty, they have come forward to make a great sham fight display in order to give their adherents in the constituencies something to point to to justify their presence in this House. They are getting tired of the taunt that they are only servile followers of the Government. But that is what they are, because they only dare vote for a reduction of the food taxes when they know there is not the slightest chance of the Government being put in a minority.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
When a proposal is made to reduce the taxation in a time of high expenditure by a sum of £10,000,000 sterling it is perfectly fair that the proposers should be asked to say what taxes they would impose instead. The Noble Lord who has just spoken complained that my hon. Friends below the Gangway were only engaging in a sham fight. I cannot imagine anything cheaper than this moving of the reduction of the taxation and then going down to the constituencies and taking credit for it by saying, "Look at the taxes we propose to abolish!" and never having the courage at the same time to suggest an alternative. The Noble Lord has not the courage to get up and say what he proposes to substitute for the ten millions of which the Exchequer would be deprived by this Motion.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Then, I take it, the Noble Lord would put at least 20 per cent. on foreign manufactured goods, because the 10 per cent. which his leaders propose to put on would not bring in anything like £10,000,000. Thus we have a new policy from Lancashire—a tariff of 20 per cent. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] That shocks some hon. Members opposite, but I venture to say that without at least a tariff of 17 per cent. on foreign 731 manufactured goods you would not get £10,000,000. That is the new policy of Lancashire as stated by the Noble Lord. My hon. Friend, in proposing this Motion, did, however, say how he proposed to make good the taxation he desired to get rid of. It is necessary either to reduce the expenditure or to find new sources of taxation.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I do not think I should get much support from the Noble Lord if I proposed that. As far as the Motion itself is concerned, I have every sympathy with that. The hon. Member has referred to the fact that I have from time to time spoken and voted for the reduction of these taxes. I have nothing to withdraw. There is no statement of mine which he has quoted that I desire to withdraw. To my statements I adhere, and I ask my hon. Friends to remember that since the present Government came into office we have reduced by five millions at least the yield of the taxes we denounced when out of office. That is a very substantial contribution towards carrying out the policy we proclaimed. There is no doubt at all that there are very grave objections to taxes on the articles of food consumed by the bulk of the people. There is the objection, which my hon. Friend pointed out in very forcible and eloquent language, that it falls upon the very poorest of the population, those who have hardly the means to provide the necessaries of life for themselves and their children. There is also the very great objection that those who are earning the lowest wages pay more in proportion to their income than those earning higher wages. That, I admit, is bad in principle. But when my hon. Friend goes to the extent of saying that he would exempt a very considerable proportion of the population, including, as I shall show, men earning not £1, not £1 10s., but £3 a week, from any contribution towards Imperial taxation, there I cannot follow him. Let me put the other side of the case. Unless you have these taxes, or some substitutes, which might be in the form of direct taxation, the result would be that a very considerable proportion of the population, even those earning higher wages, would be altogether exempt from taxes. My hon. Friend said that for the moment he did not propose that we should get rid 732 of the whole £60,000,000 of taxes, but only £10,000,000. We must be thankful for small mercies. He objected in principle to taxes on spirits and beer.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Yes. But he does not propose that we should get rid of them at the present moment. Let the House realise what would happen if this Amendment were carried. A man who does not smoke, a man who is a teetotaler would contribute nothing towards the Imperial expenditure of this country—not one penny. He would get his share of the pensions when the time comes, the contribution towards insurance, and there would be the education of his children. I am avoiding all reference to the Army and Navy. My hon. Friend did not consider they were a boon so far as the working classes are concerned, so I leave them out for the moment. But take all the other services which are as much for the benefit of the working classes as they are for any other class—pensions, insurance, and education especially—that man would contribute nothing towards them, although he would have a share in them. He would be contributing nothing in the form of direct taxes to the Government, although he would have a share in declaring the policy through the election of Members of Parliament. I do not think that my hon. Friend himself would accent the whole responsibility for that principle. I doubt very much whether he would lay down the principle that men earning from £2 10s. to £3 a week should not contribute.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I agree, but I do not think my hon. Friend quite realised that that is the effect of his Amendment. I cannot see by what other taxes or other method men of that type contribute to the revenue of the country. That man would not contribute through spirits, through beer, or through tobacco. I have taken the case of probably something like 500,000 or, it may be, 1,000,000 of the working class voters of this country, who are teetotalers, possibly non-smokers, who may be earning £2 10s. or £3 a week, and who, so long as they were under the Income Tax limit, would not be contributing one penny to the Imperial taxation of this country.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
But surely that is paid by the landlord. If my hon. Friend refers to Schedule A, that is a tax which I think never enters into rent. Rates are a different matter.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
No. I think my hon. Friend's economics are wrong there. I think he will find that most economists are of opinion that as far as that Schedule of Income Tax is concerned the landlord pays it. It is a different matter when you come to rates. A very considerable class would be paying nothing if the Amendment were carried in its present form, and my hon. Friend admits that is not his notion. He does not want to except all this class. It would be monstrous that the better paid class of artisan should have very considerable power in fashioning the policy of the State and directing expenditure, whilst not called upon to pay a penny towards the expenditure. My hon. Friend says taxes on commodities of this kind affect consumption. That is true. May I point out what has happened in regard to spirits. He claimed that under the Budget of 1909 the contribution of the working classes to the expenditure of the State has gone up by £9,000,000. In that he included the increased 3s. 9d. on spirits. It had such an effect in restricting consumption that the working classes are probably spending no more now on spirits than they did before. The only difference is that they are paying less to the publican and more to the Exchequer. The expenditure of the working classes in this respect is no greater than it was before the Budget. They are only getting less spirits. Undoubtedly taxation has had the same effect on tea. In an address to a society that inquires into these matters, a lecturer, whose name I forget, the other day pointed out how very difficult it is really to know what the effect of these taxes is upon consumption. He comes to the conclusion that on the whole it has had the effect of restricting the consumption of tea amongst the poorer classes of the population and to that extent the lower wage portion of the population are not paying as large a proportion of their income as they would otherwise have done. What they do is to reduce the quantity of tea they consume. Is my hon. Friend quite sure that is doing them so much harm?
734 I am putting that quite seriously because it is the real difference between a tax upon tea and a tax upon bread. Any tax which would have the effect of restricting the consumption of bread by the working classes would be an unmixed evil. I do not think that a tax which would have the effect of restricting the quantity of tea consumed would be altogether an unmixed evil. Having seen a good deal recently of those who are organising the campaign against consumption in different parts of the country they tell me that the excessive consumption of tea amongst labourers, miners, and others, has a very disastrous effect in regard to the spread of tuberculosis. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] That is undoubtedly the case. I do not know that anyone who has inquired into the matter will deny that for a moment. I am not putting this as an argument in favour of increasing the tax upon tea, but I want to point out the serious difference between a tax upon bread and a tax upon tea. When you come to the question of the tax upon sugar, I believe the same argument does not quite apply, although medical men say that there might be an excessive consumption of sugar. I have indicated what the Government have already done in the matter of reducing these taxes. If food taxes had been levied at the rates at which they were levied when the present Government came into office, their yield would have been about £15,000,000 this year. It was 10,000,000. That is a reduction of £5,000,000 upon the amount at which we found them.
My hon. Friend says, "Why do you not abolish them altogether?" I now come to the reason why. He quoted from a speech of mine and asked whether I did not propose to carry out what I said. I put the objection to the Sugar Tax not altogether upon the inherent objection to the tax, but upon the object for which the money was spent. I remember perfectly well that I stated I was not objecting to the tax upon sugar if the money were to be applied exclusively to providing pensions for the aged poor. I said that when the late Government was in power. My hon. Friend has pointed out what the food taxes amount to. I think I am entitled to repeat what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sherwell) that since then £20,000,000 has been allotted for purposes which are exclusively working class in their application. Old-age pensions—£13,000,000. That is spent purely 735 for the working class. For insurance and labour exchanges something like £7,000,000 is spent, making together £20,000,000. It will be more next year. What I mean is an annual expenditure. I think it was £10,000,000 only in 1909. It is now about £20,000,000. That amount is expended upon purely working-class purposes. I would ask my hon. Friend in those conditions whether it is quite fair so to arrange the finances of this country that no portion of the burden of this £20,000,000 should fall upon the working classes at all? [An HON. MEMBER: "Yes."] One hon. Member thinks so, but I hope that he stands alone. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]] I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford would exclude the working classes altogether—so long as they do not drink or smoke—from taxation, even if they were earning £120, £130, or £140 a year, but I believe that the vast majority of his party would not support him in a proposition of that kind. There is another fact which I would like to impress on my hon. Friend. The taxation of food in this country is less than that of any other great civilised country in the world. The taxation of food in this country is £10,000,000. In the United States of America according to the latest figures I have been able to procure it is £114,000,000; in France it is £16,000,000; in Germany it is £30,000,000. Some of the taxes on food in those countries are so imposed that the duties have to be paid twice over, because they are so arranged that the commodities which are taxed are commodities which are produced in the home market, and the prices are increased almost by the amount of the taxes which are imposed on the foreign importer, so that the £30,000,000 which is raised by German taxes on food does not really represent the whole burden imposed upon the food of the working classes in Germany.
The real question is this: If the working classes are not to contribute by means of taxes on food, I ask my hon. Friend what is his suggestion as to the way in which they should contribute. He is asking us at one stroke to take away £10,000,000 as the burden of taxation upon the working classes. That is equivalent to an addition of 2½d. to the Income Tax—that means an Income Tax of is 6d. My hon. Friend not merely proposes to reduce the burden of taxation on the working classes, but he has great schemes in his 736 mind for the improvement of their condition with the aid of the State. With many of them I heartily sympathise. He would spend more money on their education, he would spend more money on the improvement of their condition in every respect, and he would spend more money in relieving the burden of local taxation in order to increase the efficiency of municipalities. Where is he going to find all the money? My hon. Friend below the Gangway says, "From the same quarter. Increase your charge on the big estates; increase your Income Tax." He begins by wiping off £10,000,000 of taxation, and he increases the Income Tax to 1s. 6d. He will go on piling increases on the Income Tax—starting from that basis. But any attempt to immediately impose a great additional burden on any tax of that kind would inevitably break down the machinery. It would be unwise, it would be especially unwise from his point of view. He is looking forward to developing his ideas, but if he does it by immediately piling these fresh burdens on the State taxes, he defeats his own purpose. The way in which the Government is dealing with the matter is by far the best from his point of view. We have reduced the burden of taxation upon food by 30 to 40 per cent. Although the general expenditure of the country has gone up by 30 per cent. or 40 per cent., we have actually reduced the burden of the taxes on food by about £5,000,000 a year. If my hon. Friend were in the position in which I am now, he would not make such a proposal. It is perfectly right that it should be ventilated, and that it should be pressed upon the attention of the Government.
In fact, it would be perfectly wrong if it were not, because it has had the effect already, first of all, of reducing the taxation on tea by over a million, and on sugar by over £3,500,000. What he is asking tonight is to take £10,000,000 of taxation off a very considerable proportion of the population of this country who have great political power, and to leave them without any taxation at all. If he were in the position I am in now, if he were a Member of the Government, and his hon. Friends alongside of him were his colleagues, he would not make a proposal of that kind. He would take into account the fact that those things have to be done and that you must not leave a class which has got great political power and control over expenditure without any share of responsibility. He would also take into account that he 737 would want his Income Tax and Death Duties for other great social schemes of amelioration which he urges in common with a great many other hon. Members of this House. That is what the Government are doing. I am not here to say that food duties are a permanent instrument of taxation in this country—quite the reverse. I do not believe it is possible to keep up these taxes. I can quite see, whatever may be the views of hon. Gentlemen opposite about food taxes, that they take opportunity whenever they find it of doing any damage to a Government which they dislike, but I do solemnly appeal to the House and to the right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite on this ground: If they say that the whole of these taxes are to be wiped out and that a great portion of the community are to be left with no taxation at all, and with all the powers they possess at present of directing expenditure and of increasing it, that is to be done at the very moment when every party in the State is suggesting new forms of taxation for the benefit of particular classes whom we are now called on to leave out of taxation altogether. That is a responsibility at which I should have thought the hon. Gentleman opposite would have hesitated. The right hon. Gentleman who sits opposite knows perfectly well that under no conditions could he raise those ten millions by taxation under any proposal which has ever emanated from his own party. There is only one way in which he could raise it, and that is by putting a tax upon other food which is much more essential to the life of the people. I do not agree with the right hon. Gentleman opposite. A tax on bread is much more vitally important to the people in this country than a tax upon tea, but I need not argue that for a moment—that is out of his programme. If he wipes out those ten millions where is he going to raise the new?
My hon. Friend said he would tax millionaires and large estates and would increase the Income Tax; but what would the right hon. Gentleman do, because the 10 per cent. on manufactured goods is not merely to wipe out the tax on tea and the tax on sugar, but it is also going to wipe out half the rates of this country as well, and it is also to keep foreign articles out. That is, it is a tax upon goods which are not to come to this country at all to be taxed, and this tax upon goods which are not to come to our shores is going to be a substitute for the 738 farmers for the 10 per cent. which has been promised on their cattle and corn. And after paying half the rates it is also going to pay this ten millions for tea and sugar. There is not a right hon. Gentleman opposite who does not know that it is preposterous and impossible, and that it is a proposition that would not materialise. I ask hon. Members opposite that, before they vote for the abolition of taxes amounting to £10,000,000, they should be clear in their minds as to what they are doing. There is only one way in which you can really get the working classes to contribute fairly and that is undoubtedly the method adopted in the Insurance Act, where the tax falls upon the man who is actually earning wages at the time. I would like to see the Chancellor of the Exchequer who would go out of his way to propose that. I have made one proposal of the kind, and it will last one Parliament. It is a perfectly straightforward tax, and I agree that if right hon. Gentlemen opposite proposed to put that as a substitute for the present taxes there would be something to say. But this is a proposal which would leave a large section of the community without any taxation, while they have power to increase the burden. That is a proposition which, with all the sympathy in the world—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] The right hon. Gentleman opposite rather sneers at that. May I remind him that that sympathy has already materialised to the extent of £5,000,000 a year by the proposals of this Government? We have reduced by £5,000,000 the taxes upon food imposed by the Government supported by hon. Members opposite. [Interruption.] I have no objection to interruptions when they are relevant—
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I was answering an interruption of the right hon. Gentleman, who sneered at the expression of sympathy as if it were purely a verbal expression, whereas we have already reduced the food taxation by £5,000,000. But we cannot by a single vote in the course of a single year, when burdens are so heavy, reduce it by another £10,000,000. For that reason, I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. HUNT
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the taxation on food in this country was less than in any other 739 country in the world. I say that that statement is not true. The right hon. Gentleman, I suppose, will not deny that the taxes on food, drink, and tobacco for the working people is higher in this country than in any other great country in the world. Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The taxation on drink is higher in this country than in any other country except the United States. The taxation on food is lower here than in any other country in the world.
§ Mr. HUNT
Does the right hon. Gentleman remember telling the House that the import taxation per head on all classes in this country was 15s. 3d., whilst in Germany it was only 9s. 7d.? Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that in Germany they tax luxuries and manufactured goods and get money in that way? Has the right hon. Gentleman yet succeeded in understanding that all the food that is grown in this country is very heavily taxed—about 15 per cent.? We produce all our milk here, and about half of our meat. The right hon. Gentleman in saying that the taxation of food in this country was less than in any other country was simply saying what was not true. In Canada the taxation of agricultural land compared with this country is hardly anything at all. If you tax land you must tax what it produces. In that country on comparatively expensive agricultural land the whole of the Imperial and local taxation is only from 2d. to 6d. an acre—I believe in some parts only ½d Is the food they grow there more heavily taxed than in this country when we remember that they grow their own food in Canada? These are the sort of things the Chancellor of the Exchequer says and people in the country are fools enough to believe it. I submit that our people are very heavily taxed indeed.
The right hon. Gentleman says that the taxation of tea does not matter so much. I have heard Liberals get up and say that the taxation of tea injures working people just as much as the taxation of bread. But it would not be a tax on bread; it would be a duty. That distinction was made by the Premier of Australia; it is a distinction that Radical politicians do not seem able to understand. The hon. Member who seconded the Amendment brought up the question of the free breakfast table. I should have thought that this was the last question he would have referred to. The 740 Liberals have promised a free breakfast table for the last forty years. The Labour party have been asking for it for about the same time. I suppose they will go on voting for the Government and telling the people in this country "we are all for a free breakfast table." The hon. Member opposite told us that under our present system of taxation 12,000,000 of people are living on starvation wages. The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave us no hope of less taxes or better wages. As far as I can see neither the Labour party nor the Liberal party can give the working people of this country any hope whatever. We are still to go on with millions of our people drawing starvation wages. That is the Liberal message to the people as shown by this Debate to-night. The Chancellor of the Exchequer talks about taking off £5,000,000 of taxation, but he has added £40,000,000. Does he say the working people do not pay any of that? Do not they pay rates and have not real wages gone down? The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that since this Government came into power real wages have gone down and the working people are worse off now. The labour people know perfectly well and the hon. Member for Blackburn knows that the people are worse off now under this system of taxation than when the late Unionist Government were in power, and the people of the country are beginning to find it out and it is getting very awkward for the Government. It is not only that we have continual strikes—and I see in the papers to-day that there is beginning to be a very serious strike in the black country—but these strikes are the result of the people being worse off than before. Owing to the extravagance of the Government local and Imperial taxes have increased so much and wages have increased comparatively little that the people are worse off.
These are the facts of the case, and I do not see how they can be altered until you alter the whole system of the taxation of this country. The right hon. Gentleman says "how are we going to take the burden off the working classes?" He has no objection to the taxation of the rich. I dare say that is perfectly true. Under his present system we know the Income Tax is very high. The present Prime Minister said the Income Tax is not only a tax upon profits but a tax upon wages. Now the Chancellor of the Exchequer goes on putting the whole of his import taxes upon the necessaries and simple comforts of the poor and he refuses to put any 741 taxation at all upon most of the luxuries of the rich. I ask him is there any sense in that system? I will give him an example to show how he can get revenue, and at the same time provide work for our people. I am sorry that it is rather a hackneyed example, but it is one that points out how, by putting an import tax on a luxury of the rich, you can get both revenue and provide the people with more work and wages. Instead of importing as you do now £4,000,000 worth of motor cars into this country, you should put a tax of 20 per cent. on them. If the result was that we made £2,000,000 worth here, the £2,000,000 worth imported would provide 20 per cent. in taxation, and the £2,000,000 worth made here would provide 12 per cent. to our revenue, and you would provide the people of this country with £1,000,000 in wages which are now paid to the working people of other countries, and at the same time you would obtain a contribution to the revenue of £640,000. That sum is not to be despised, and you could do that with all the luxuries of the rich which the working people do not use. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says we have no way of getting the money. I will quote the statement made by Mr. Andrew Carnegie in America. He said:—The system of import taxation in America and Great Britain is very different, to the enormous advantage of the great mass of the American people. We do put on heavy taxation in America, but we take the greatest care to put as much as we can on the luxuries of the rich and the things which the working people do not buy, and we get £45,000,000 on things which the poor do not buy and it cannot possibly hurt them. In England you put the whole of your taxation on food, drink, and tobacco, and the working people and the poor pay the greater part of it.The hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Snowden) admits that the poor pay the greatest part of the taxation on food, drink and tobacco, and I know that he is not a hide-bound Cobdenite like some right hon. Gentlemen opposite. We are not only justified, but we are bound to put it to the right hon. Gentleman that things are not right in this country, and that the land is being neglected. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am a landlord and I know something about it. I have had a great deal to do with agricultural workers for at least thirty-five years. I know a great many of them intimately, and what they want is a chance of rising and an opportunity of getting a bit of land of their own.
A good many hon. Members opposite do not know anything at all about land, and I tell them that as long as you continue this system and put 742 such heavy taxation on everything that you grow in this country and allow the produce from abroad to come here absolutely untaxed, paying nothing at all; as long as you protect the foreigner against your own people, you cannot expect the small holder and the small farmer to be able to make a satisfactory living. British men and women cannot contend against a system so absolutely unfair as the system that you call by the name of Free Trade. If it were Free Trade there might be something to be said for it, but everybody knows it is not; everybody knows that the name is absolutely humbug. How can it be Free Trade when you tax your own stuff heavily and let the foreigner not only send his things in here free but also have enormous advantages on the railways? Now you have put an extra tax on the farmers who produce the food by your Insurance Act. You keep piling the taxes on to the land, and yet you expect the farmers to be able to grow your food. I really believe a great many hon. Members opposite think that we could not grow most of the wheat that is eaten in this country at reasonable prices. We could grow most of the wheat that we require to eat in this country if we had a reasonable tariff at about 35s. to 40s. per quarter. The loaf would be about 5½d. and you would get your rural population back. Do not make any mistake about it! No country can prosper if you allow your agriculture to go to ruin.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Unfortunately, two and a half hours have been taken off the Debate to-night by the consideration of a Private Bill, and the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Snowden) only moved his Amendment at ten o'clock. If, therefore, there is a general desire to carry the discussion on, I do not think I could resist it. I am entirely in the hands of the House in that respect.
§ Mr. G. H. ROBERTS
I think, having regard to the importance of the issue raised by my hon. Friends, that we are entitled to have reasonable time to discuss them. It has been charged against us that we have simply put this Motion down for the purpose of what is called window-dressing. We have put it down for the purpose of making perfectly clear our attitude on taxation generally. The Motion did not come on until late at night. The time, as the Chancellor of the 743 Exchequer expressed it, has been cut into by the consideration of a Private Bill, and there are several Members of the party responsible for the Motion who are very anxious to take part in the Debate. It has been urged upon us that a late sitting is not agreeable and that it is for the general convenience of the majority of the House that the Debate should go over to another
§ day. On the understanding that reasonable time will be given for the further consideration of the Motion and that a Division will be taken, we of the Labour party are prepared to support the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate.
§ Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 259; Noes, 201.747
|Division No. 97.]||AYES.||[11.40 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Field, William||M'Kean, John|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Fitzgibbon, John||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Furness, Stephen||Manfield, Harry|
|Alden, Percy||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Gill, A. H.||Martin, Joseph|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Glanville, H. J.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Goldstone, Frank||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Meagher, Michael|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Molloy, Michael|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.|
|Barnes, George N.||Hackett, John||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Barton, William||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Mooney, John J.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Morrell, Philip|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||HarmsWorth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Morison, Hector|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Muldoon, John|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Munro, R.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Murphy, Martin J.|
|Boland, John Plus||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Neilson, Francis|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Joseph|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Hayward, Evan||Norton, Captain Cecil William|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Hazleton, Richard||Nuttall, Harry|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Higham, John Sharp||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hinds, John||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hodge, John||O'Dowd, John|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Hogge, James Myles||O'Grady, James|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Malley, William|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Clough, William||John, Edward Thomas||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Clynes, John R.||Jones, Rt.Hon. Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Shee, James John|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Craig, Herbert.J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Joyce, Michael||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Crooks, William||Keating, Matthew||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kellaway, Frederick George||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Cullinan, John||Kelly, Edward||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||King. Joseph||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S.Molton)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Delany, William||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Reddy, Michael|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Leach, Charles||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Levy, Sir Maurice||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lewis, John Herbert||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Doris, William||Lundon, Thomas||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Duffy, William J.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lynch, A. A.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Maclean, Donald||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Robinson, Sidney|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Falconer, James||Macpherson, James Ian||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Rowlands, James|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Tennant, Harold John||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Thomas, J. H.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Toulmin, Sir George||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Wiles, Thomas|
|Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.||Verney, Sir Harry||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Sheehy, David||Wadsworth, J.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Shortt, Edward||Walters, Sir John Tudor||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Walton, Sir Joseph||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)||Wardle, George J.||Wing, Thomas|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)||Waring, Walter||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Snowden, Philip||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Watt, Henry Anderson||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Sutherland, John E.||Webb, H.|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||MacCaw, Wm. J MacGeagh|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Fell, Arthur||Macmaster, Donald|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.|
|Astor, Waldorl||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Forster, Henry William||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Baker, Sir Randall L. (Dorset, N.)||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Malcolm, Ian|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gibbs, George Abraham||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gilmour, Captain John||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Goldsmith, Frank||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Barnston, Harry||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mount, William Arthur|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)||Grant, J. A.||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gretton, John||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Nield, Herbert|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Haddock, George Bahr||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Bird, Alfred||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Blair, Reginald||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F,|
|Boyton, James||Hamilton, C. C. (Altrincham)||Perkins, Walter F|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Harris, Henry Percy||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Butcher, John George||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hoare, S. J. G.||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Cassel, Felix||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Cator, John||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r., E.)||Hunt, Rowland||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Sandys, G. J.|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Ingleby, Holcombe||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Jowett, F. W.||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pool, Walton)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Joynson-Hicks, William||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Kerry, Earl of||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Keswick, Henry||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Craig, Sir Henry||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Croft, H. P.||Larmor, Sir J.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Swift, Rigby|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Denison-Pender, J.||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Dickson, Rt, Hon. C. Scott||Lewisham, Viscount||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Dixon, C. H.||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Thorne, William (West Ham)||Weigall, Captain A. G.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Thynne, Lord A.||Weston, Colonel J. W.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Touche, George Alexander||Wheler, Granville C. H.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Tryon, Captain George Clement||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Valentia, Viscount||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)||Younger, Sir George|
|Walker, Col. William Hall||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Walrond, Hon. Lionel||Wolmer, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)||Evelyn Cecil and Mr. Samuel Roberts.|