§ Order for Committee read.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Montagu)
I desire, on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to move, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they have power to make provision for the amendment of the Law relating to Income Tax (including Supertax), Death Duties, and the National Debt."
I think I can explain this Instruction in a few words—
§ Mr. BUTCHER
On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I want to call your attention to the terms of the Instruction, which proposes to deal with the National Debt Clause, and I submit that part of the Instruction is out of order. I must apologise, Mr. Speaker, for not having drawn your attention to this point, but the honest truth is that it was only brought to my attention two or three minutes ago. The practice on the subject is laid down in Sir Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice, page 482 of the 1906 edition, in which he says:—An Instruction is also out of order if it proposes to enable the Committee on the Bill to introduce Amendments for which a Resolution of the Committee of Ways and Means is required.On a former occasion, you, Mr. Speaker, have ruled that if this Bill is to meet the law as to the National Debt, it ought to be founded on or preceded by a Resolution passed in Committee of Ways and Means. I have looked at the ruling of Mr. Speaker Peel, on which that observation of Sir Erskine May is founded, and it seems to be a case on all fours with this. On the 24th of May, 1894, there was a case in which there were two Instructions upon the Paper before the Finance Bill of that year was considered in Committee. One of them stood in the name 384 of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, and the other in the name of Mr. Grant Lawson. The second Instruction was:—On Order for Committee on Finance Bill being read to move, That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they have power to insert provisions in the Bill to enable existing settlements of property affected by the Bill to be modified.On that occasion, Mr. Speaker said, as regards these two Instructions on the Paper,they are not in order inasmuch as they are not covered by any Resolution adopted by the House in Committee of Ways and Means. The first Instruction raises a charge on property, and that can only be done by Resolution sanctioned in Committee of Ways and Means. The second, dealing with settlements, is not, I think, within the purview of the Bill, and has not been covered by any previous Resolution sanctioned by Committee of Ways and Means.The last observation applies, as regards both its branches, to the present Instruction so far as it concerns the National Debt. In the first instance, as you, Mr. Speaker, have already ruled, this proposal to amend the law as to the National Debt is not within the purview of the Bill. It was not dealt with by any of those Resolutions upon which the Bill was ordered to be brought in, and this alteration of the law is not covered by any previous Resolution sanctioned in Committee of Ways and Means. I submit that the Instruction, so far as it deals with the amendment of the law relating to the National Debt, is out of order, and cannot be put in order by subsequently passing a Resolution dealing with an amendment of the law.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I wish the hon. and learned Gentleman had given me an opportunity of considering the precedents to which he refers, because they are very technical and difficult matters, and it is almost impossible, on the spur of the moment, to give a judgment upon a number of cases which I have not referred to previously. I think the Instruction is in order for this general reason. Clauses dealing with the National Debt have always found a place in the Finance Bill, and not in any other Bill. They have always been there. As I pointed out, the mistake occurred from the Finance Bill having been brought in on the first six Resolutions, and not on the seventh, also which dealt with the National Debt. In the ordinary course of things, the Finance Bill would have been brought in on all those Resolutions. I was asked whether I ought not to rule that the whole Finance Bill should be withdrawn, and I disposed of that point on the last occasion. It seems to me that an Instruction is the 385 proper way of giving the House an opportunity of discussing the National Debt Clause, which always found a place in the Finance Bill, and obviously that is its proper place. I think an Instruction gives the House the opportunity it ought to have, and always has had on former occasions, and it seems to me that it is regular.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
If this method of procedure by Instruction is sanctioned will it be competent for any future Chancellor of the Exchequer who desires authorisation to insert a Clause in the Bill dealing with the National Debt to proceed by means of an Instruction? Will it not follow if that procedure is now authorised that it will be open to any Chancellor of the Exchequer in the future to omit from the Resolutions on which his Finance Bill is founded any one of the Resolutions obtained in Committee of Ways and Means, which have habitually been considered necessary, and which he may find it convenient to dispense with provided he subsequently gets authorisation from the Committee to insert such a Clause by means of an Instruction? In other words, will it not be possible for future Chancellors of the Exchequer to substitute Procedure by Instruction for the hitherto unbroken practice of Resolutions in Committee of Ways and Means?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think it is quite clear that the Resolutions must be passed first. This must be done if it is desired to impose another charge which has not been considered. That has happened before, and it has been necessary to take the charge in a Resolution of that kind after the Bill has been in Committee some time.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Yes, Mr. Speaker, but in that case the House has always gone into Committee of Ways and Means again, and we have discussed the matter in Committee of Ways and Means, and have had not only that opportunity, but an opportunity of discussing it on Report. I do not think we have ever dealt with a case of that kind by an Instruction.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
There could not be an Instruction to insert a Clause which made a charge. There must first be the Resolution in Committee permitting the charge. This National Debt Clause does not impose any fresh charge.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
Are we to understand then that this Instruction is only in 386 order because the House has already arrived at the Resolution necessary for its insertion?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I do not say that. I say it is necessary in order to correct an error, and I will put it in that way. No doubt an error was made in not bringing in the Finance Bill on the seven Resolutions. In order to put the Finance Bill upon a strict and proper basis, I suggested that the Instruction, more or less in its present form, should be moved to regularise the proceedings.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
Might I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the Instruction, as read, might very well authorise the Committee to impose a charge? There is nothing in the Instruction as worded which prevents the Committee from voting a charge, and, therefore, from that point of view, I submit that it is out of order.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is not so. It is necessary to have a Resolution to impose a charge. The Amendments referred to are to reduce the charge, and not to increase it.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The Instruction I have moved gives power to make provision for the amendment of the law relating to Income Tax (including Super-tax), Death Duties, and the National Debt. Without this Instruction the relief to the taxpayer contained in the Finance Bill, and any other proposal for the relief of the taxpayers which any hon. Member may wish the Committee to adopt, would be out of order. For this reason, it does seem to me that there will be no controversy as to the advisability of that part of the Instruction, because it will enable the Committee to discuss, not only new charges upon the taxpayer, but new relief of the taxpayer. With regard to that part of it which deals with the National Debt, as you have just said, it is a matter of practice and precedent always to deal with questions of the National Debt in the Finance Bill, and, if there were no Clause in the Finance Bill dealing with the National Debt, the permanent annual charge would remain at £24,500,000, a sum at which it was fixed in the Finance Bill of 1910. This part of the Finance Bill imposes no new charge upon the taxpayers, but, on the contrary, reduces the charge in respect of the permanent annual charge for the National Debt.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move, to leave out the words "Income Tax (including Super-tax), Death Duties," and to insert instead thereof the words "Customs and Inland Revenue (including Excise)."
This is the first step in the course of procedure by which the right hon. Gentleman announced that he proposes to regularise his original errors in connection with his Budget. So far as I am concerned, I do not propose to offer any opposition to the Instruction, as such, although I should like to join in the caveat which my right hon. Friend the Member for East Worcestershire (Mr. Chamberlain) entered the other evening against the later proposals of the right hon. Gentleman in connection with the Revenue Bill and the proposal to transfer the Local Government Clause from the Finance Bill to the Revenue Bill. I am quite content, so far as that Clause is concerned, to wait and see whether those later stages of the Revenue Bill are ever reached. I must confess that I am profoundly sceptical upon the matter. The object of this Instruction, as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has explained, is to enable the Committee on the Finance Bill to deal with two matters; firstly, the National Debt, and, secondly, the general amendment of the law so far as certain specific taxes, the Income Tax, the Super-tax and the Death Duties, are concerned. I venture to submit that, so far as the Income Tax is concerned, the Instruction is really unnecessary. I merely point that out, because last year we obtained a decision from you that, without any Instruction at all; we had power to move Clauses relating to the general amendment of the law so far as the Income Tax is concerned, that being one of the taxes which is referred to in the Bill. The object of the Amendment is to extend the scope of this Instruction, and to empower the Committee to deal with the general amendment of the law, not merely so far as these particular taxes, the Income Tax, the Super-tax and the Death Duties, are concerned, but also to allow the Committee to deal with any grievance which any Member on behalf of his constituents may bring before it, and which affects them so far as the general taxation is concerned.
Before I deal with the main arguments on the Amendment, I propose to ask the indulgence of the House to say a few words on the first opportunity I have in reply to the attack which the right hon. 388 Gentleman made upon myself the other day, and to which I had no opportunity on that occasion of replying. The right hon. Gentleman reproved me for my temerity in having ventured to claim Mr. Speaker's decision as to the regularity of this proceeding, and he referred to my action as rummaging in the dustbin of ancient precedents. I think that the right hon. Gentleman by now is beginning to recognise that was rather an unfortunate phrase. In the first place, it is not very complimentary to the illustrious predecessors who have occupied the Chair before yourself, because the only logical inference to be drawn from that is that anyone who wishes to find the words of wisdom which have fallen from those illustrious predecessors will have to look for them in the dustbin. I hardly suppose that the right hon. Gentleman could have applied that to yourself, because he would scarcely have referred to your decisions as ancient. In addition, to that, I do think that it is a matter for regret that a Minister, occupying the high position of the right hon. Gentleman, should refer to the whole law and custom of Parliament, that whole fabric which has broadened down from precedent to precedent, and which has formed the model for the Parliaments within His Majesty's Dominions, and has been the envy and admiration of other countries, as if it were garbiage to be found in the dustbin. As the right hon. Gentleman endeavoured to administer to me a rebuke, I do not think that he can take it amiss if I venture to offer to him a suggestion. If only in future he will pay a little more attention to precedents and procedure, there probably will be less of his own financial or other proposals finding their way to the same receptacle to which he has relegated the whole law and custom of Parliament.
The right hon. Gentleman has also made one of those direct pecuniary references to which we are becoming so familiar from him in connection with my constituents. One day it is, "If a constituency elects one man, they will get £15,000." The variant on this occasion was, "If they elect me, it will cost them £17,000." I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that the communications which I have received from my Constituents have not been at all in the category that might have been anticipated from his statement, and that his reputation for accuracy at St. Pancras will remain at a discount until 389 he gives them the name of the ten fortunate landowners who own the whole of the annual value of St. Pancras. I venture to say that if the right hon. Gentleman had started out to devise a statement as far remote from the fact as he could possibly think of he could not have found one more remote than that the change in procedure which has been forced upon him is responsible for the dropping of the temporary Grants to the local authorities, because, so far from that being the fact, he has more time both for temporary and permanent Grants the moment the Clauses dealing with those Grants have been disembarrassed from the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, which apply to them as long as they form an integral part of the Finance Bill.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think the hon. and learned Gentleman is raising matters more or less irrelevant; he is not entitled to go into all these considerations in connection with this Instruction.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I will at once pass to the main point in connection with the Instruction. I base my Amendment to it upon this: I say the Committee ought to be in a position to consider grievances arising in connection with any tax before Ministers are granted the taxes they require for the particular year. I base it upon an old maxim which I find somewhere in my dustbin, "That grievances should come before Supply." What is the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman? He says, "Give me my taxes, give me my Income Tax, my Death Duties, and my Super-tax. I will allow you to discuss any grievances which you may have in connection with these particular taxes, but, so far as any other grievances are concerned, you must postpone them until the Revenue Bill." If we were to assent to that, what would be the position? The moment Ministers had got their taxes, they would allow us to bring up our grievances, but only accordingly as it suited their convenience or otherwise, and at a later stage, when and if the Revenue Bill is ever reached, the right hon. Gentleman might be referring to the exigencies of Parliamentary time, or using some other polite phrase, may put off any representative who wished on behalf of his constituents to bring a crying and urgent grievance before Parliament. I submit to the right hon. Gentle- 390 man that those whom he staves off by referring them to the opportunity afforded by the Revenue Bill have not been encouraged by his procedure last year. Last Session I raised the same objection to the new procedure of separating the Revenue Bill from the Finance Bill, and on that occasion the right hon. Gentleman said, "Wait for the Revenue Bill, and then you will be able to raise your grievances with respect to the Land Value Duties and Customs and Excise." There were many Amendments which had actually been framed for that purpose, but when it came to the point of the Revenue Bill being proceeded with the right hon. Gentleman dropped it.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd George)
I submit that this is not relevant to the discussion. [HON MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] The right of raising points of Order is not quite limited to hon. Members opposite. I want to ask whether it is relevant to consider the question of the postponement of the Revenue Bill of last year on an Instruction of this nature.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I do not think that what happened on the Revenue Bill last year is very relevant, but what the hon. and learned Member said up to that uoint was relevant. He wishes to insert certain words in the Instruction because he says they will give the House an opportunity of moving a series of Amendments dealing with all sorts of questions. That is why he desires to insert these words, and he is entitled to show why he ought, in his opinion, to have the opportunity of doing so.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I do not think the right hon. Gentleman had really appreciated my point. It was that if we are not allowed to move these Amendments on the Finance Bill we may never get a chance of doing so on the Revenue Bill. I only called attention to the fate of the Revenue Bill last year for the purpose of emphasising that point and showing that the same thing might happen again to the Revenue Bill this year. The result would be this. Last year no Member of this House had an opportunity of moving a single Amendment with the object of remedying a single grievance in connection with any other tax except the Income Tax, and unless we ensure such an opportunity on the Finance Bill this year, we may not be able again to raise any of these Amendments, because the Revenue 391 Bill of this year may very easily share the fate of the Revenue Bill of last year. The right hon. Gentleman will remember that when he dropped the Revenue Bill last year, he gave an undertaking to introduce it early in this Session. He introduced it on the 14th May and it was not printed until the 16th June. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman calls that introducing it early, but the fate of the Revenue Bill last year, and the way in which he has kept his promises in regard to it this year, made me feel anxious as to whether we should really get the opportunity we desire at a later stage, and, therefore, I am moving this Instruction to make certain that I shall get that opportunity before Ministers are granted the taxes which they want for the purpose of making good the Supply of the year.
I may point out to the right hon. Gentleman that if he accepts my Amendment he will get the benefit of this Instruction, because, in that case, he can remove the Clauses of the Revenue Bill to the Finance Bill with the exception of Clause 1 which I think is a mere excrescence and can be dealt with in another way. That is the course which is open to the right hon. Gentleman. He may urge that he is prevented taking this course by the question of time; that he is bound to have the Finance Bill through by the 5th August under the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act. But whose fault is it that we have got a Provisional Collection of Taxes Act? It was only because the right hon. Gentleman did not get his Finance Bill through until December, that we had to have such an Act. I only wanted to point out that if want of time is his plea, it is his own fault and nobody else's. He always leaves his Finance Bills until the very last moment. In fact he only missed by three-quarters of an hour, making the whole Income Tax collected since the 5th April illegal. Had the Second Reading been taken after twelve instead of at a quarter past eleven—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That really is not relevant to the Instruction. The hon. Member cannot now review the whole situation.
§ Mr. CASSEL
My object in referring to it was to point out that if the plea of want of time is urged by the right hon. Gentleman, that the difficulty is one of his own creation. We had a precedent set last year. His Finance Act only got the Royal 392 Assent on the 15th August, and if he tells us that time is the only reason why he cannot accept this Amendment, I reply to him that the Finance Act of last year only received the Royal Assent on the 15th August. Of course, it was quite illegal, but then it was a modern precedent set by the right hon. Gentleman. In conclusion, I wish to move this Amendment as a protest against the procedure of separating the Revenue Bill from the Finance Bill. I submit it is right and proper that the whole field of taxation should now be reviewed, to see if any particular grievances on the part of the people who pay the taxes can be removed.
§ Mr. WORTHINGTON EVANS
I beg to second the Amendment. The House realises, of course, that this Instruction is only necessitated in order to get the Government out of a difficulty into which they have put themselves, and the question we have to decide is whether we shall let them get out of that difficulty in the way in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes or whether we shall help them out by another form which, while it gets them out of their difficulty, will enable the House to discuss not merely the subjects which the Chancellor of the Exchequer chooses to allow it to discuss, but also other grievances arising out of other parts of the Budget or financial proposals of the Government which the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not wish us now to discuss, and the Debate upon which he desires to postpone until the Revenue Bill is under consideration. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will very likely say that an opportunity will be given later on for discussing all those grievances which it would be open to us to discuss if the Amendment were passed. But I think the scepticism of my hon. and learned Friend as to the opportunity likely to be given of really discussing the Revenue Bill is well founded. He was quite right in calling the attention of the House to the fate of the Bill of last year, because the House in Committee passed five or six new Clauses, each one of which dealt with a specific grievance of the taxpayer, and then simply because another Clause—Clause 11, I think it was—was not agreed by the House, the Chancellor of the Exchequer withdrew the whole Revenue Bill, at the same time promising that very early in this Session he would reintroduce a Bill containing these Clauses designed to remove the griev- 393 ances of the taxpayer, either in exactly the same form or in a similar form. But as my hon. and learned Friend has pointed out he has delayed the introduction of that Bill so long that now there is no little risk that it may never even be discussed, and all those grievances which could be dealt with on the Revenue Bill, and many others, will be shut out if the Instruction takes the form which the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes, although they would be open for discussion if this Amendment to the Instruction were carried.
For example, if the Amendment were passed, we might consider the grievances of payers of Licence Duty. There is one grievance which the Chancellor of the Exchequer last year said produced the grossest inequity. It was the case in which a man now might have to pay as Licence Duty a greater sum than he receives in rent for the licensed premises which he happens to own. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, referring to that, said it was a gross iniquity, and yet under his very limited Instruction to the Committee it will be impossible to remove one of the grossest iniquities now being suffered by the taxpayer. With regard to Customs, certain hon. Gentlemen opposite last year insisted that we ought to get rid of the protective Sugar Duty, because they looked upon it as contrary to Free Trade principles. I do not agree with them in that, but I should like to say that the principle underlying that duty is extended to other industries, which will be shut out from discussing their grievances if the Instruction is allowed to go through in its present form, although that if my hon. and learned Friend's Amendment is accepted, they may be enabled to discuss these questions and move any Amendment they may think necessary in the law of the country. In either case the Government will be got out of their difficulties whether the Instruction passes in the original form, or whether it passes with the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend added. I ask the House to accept the Amendment because it does give to the taxpayer the right which is his, or was his until this Chancellor of the Exchequer came into power, to have his grievances considered before further taxation is placed upon him.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I regret that the Government cannot see their way to accept this Amendment. The hon. and 394 learned Gentleman (Mr. Cassel) rather suggested that he did not want the words which are inserted in our Instruction about the Income Tax. I am not sure whether he said anything about the Death Duties. I should like to know whether he wishes the Income Tax to remain in. These words were inserted, not because the Government wanted them, but to enable the Opposition, or anybody who has an Amendment to move, to do so. The only words we are concerned in are those with regard to the National Debt. The other words are moved merely in order to enable the Committee to move any Amendments they think fit, with a view to removing any grievance in respect of the taxes which are dealt with in the Budget. The hon. and learned Gentleman travelled rather wide from the issue he has raised, and I must say that for a Gentleman who is anxious about the Rules of Order, I have never seen one who was so disorderly in the course of the short speech he delivered. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] Well, twice he was called to order. Here is a speech he has taken a whole week to prepare. Considering the labour which has been spent upon it, I think it might have been better, at any rate, with all his anxiety, with all this looking up of precedents, for a speech he has taken a week to prepare, he cannot keep inside his own dustbin. The only thing that seems to be relevant, so far as I can see, to every discussion raised by the Opposition is a personal attack upon myself. That seems to be relevant to every Debate they raise. What is the complaint of the hon. and learned Gentleman? It is that I pointed this out: That whereas the Opposition had been pressing the Government, and pressing me specially to make provision year after year for the relief of rates which were pressing upon local authorities, and also to make provision—a cash provision—for housing, the moment I did so, instead of assisting me, they began to seek out precedents in order to trip me up, and did nothing to help me. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order!"] Is that an improper observation to make? I ask the hon. and learned Gentleman, and I know he will give me a candid answer, and I will take it from him—I ask him whether, if a proposal had been made by his own side—I have seen Chancellors of the Exchequer on his own side who have introduced Budgets which were out of order, and the very first Budget introduced after I came into the House by the greatest Chancellor of the 395 Exchequer I have seen on that side, Mr. Goschen, was out of order—he would have taken the same trouble to hunt up precedents in order to make it impossible for his own Chancellor of the Exchequer to get on with a proposal of which he was in favour in the main? If he says he would, I accept his answer.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I would ask the right hon. Gentleman, in the first place, to wait and see. In the next place, I think it would be a most useful service to the country if I can succeed in turning out this Government.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
That is exactly what I am pointing out. Their concern was not about money for the ratepayers; their concern was not about money for building houses, but their concern was about turning the Government out. [HON. MEMBERS: "Chair!"] I am answering an attack made upon me by the hon. and learned Gentleman. He is a Daniel come to judgment, and I am very much obliged to him. I knew he would give a very fair answer. Let me come to the other point which the hon. and learned Member raised. I am not sure whether you, Mr. Speaker, did not indicate to the hon. and learned Gentleman that he was travelling a little beyond the issue when he wanted to inquire who was to blame for the Gibson Bowles Act. I am afraid I cannot pursue that. Then that was the third time the hon. and learned Member was out of order. Under his instruction I am getting a little more careful. Let me go on to something where he was in order. He stated that these taxes will come to an end on the 5th August. That is not what I am advised. However, that is a legal question which I do not feel competent to discuss with a lawyer. I am advised that it is not the 5th of August, but the 5th of September which is the date. It is a legal matter which I do not wish to pursue. In regard to the point whether you ought to have a general Resolution that will enable the Committee to travel far and wide and raise every issue and amend any law which deals with revenue, let me put this: The hon. and learned Gentleman asked, "Whose fault is it?" I put exactly the same question here. What did we find with regard to all our Budgets? That pages of the Amendment Paper were covered with Amendments raising every conceivable issue on every Budget, 396 Budgets which were not taxing Budgets, and Budgets, which were practically a renewal of the charge for the Tea Duty. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] I am coming to the reason why not. It is not for me to suggest, and I would not suggest it if I had not been in Opposition myself, that it was done particularly to consume time. It was becoming a very effective weapon. I remember the Budgets of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Chamberlain) in regard to which I put down Amendments of this kind, and I do not mind saying it was very often done with a view to the consumption of Parliamentary time, which we thought was very badly spent by the Government of the day, and we thought we could better occupy it with topics that we suggested for their consideration. That is what every Opposition does.
The result has been that we have had to plough every year through these pages of Amendments. If they were all discussed it would be impossible to discuss any Bill except the Finance Bill. As my right hon. Friend the Member for the Spen Valley Division (Sir Thomas Whittaker) pointed out, there is the additional difficulty that every Liberal Government has to put its Bills through three times in order to get them through the House of Lords and on to the Statute Book, with the result that there is an additional difficulty in finding time to plough through every year the same Amendments. We believe it to be incumbent upon us to consider the position of the Finance Bill proper, and the Revenue Bill which enables the House of Commons to review now and again those questions which are raised for the decision of Parliament. That is the course we propose to pursue this year. The hon. and learned Gentlemen is very confident that he will never see the Revenue Bill again. I will repeat what he said, "Let him wait and see." If he does see it, and does get his Amendments discussed, I am sure he will get up and say that he is very sorry for the unjust and unfair charges he has brought against His Majesty's Government. I will wait and see whether that apology comes. The hon. and learned Gentleman has complained in reference to an Amendment in which he himself was anxious to bring forward with regard to married women and Income Tax. It is true that I promised the hon. and learned Gentleman an opportunity at an early date of dealing with that. I do not propose that he should wait for 397 the Revenue Bill to do that. I have already told him that I propose that a Resolution should be put down by the Government with a view to enabling him to bring forward his Amendment in any form he desires. That will be on the Finance Bill, so that his fate is not mixed up with that of the Revenue Bill. I am sure he will be very glad to hear that. That will be an opportunity for him to deal with that issue. That is the answer to his point. I think I have dealt with all the points which are relevant to his Amendment to which he was anxious to get an answer. If there is any further point to which he desires an answer, perhaps he will interrupt me now.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Yes, I am quite sure, because Mr. Speaker has already informed the right hon. Gentleman that he cannot proceed with it.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. Mr. Speaker has never informed me that I cannot proceed with the second half of my Bill.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Certainly, and I have already stated the procedure by which we mean to proceed with it.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman has got to admit, for he knows it, that he has got to take it out of this Bill, where it is out of order. That is the whole point raised by my hon. and learned Friend behind me (Mr. Cassel). The Chancellor of the Exchequer's extraordinary ill-temper and ill-taste in dealing with my hon. and learned Friend's speech is due to the fact that in this matter my hon. and learned Friend was right and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was wrong and has lost. The Chancellor of the Exchequer arrogates to himself an authority and power which have not been claimed by any of his predecessors. He repeated to-day the charges which he 398 made the other night against my hon. and learned Friend. What is the Chancellor of the Exchequer's claim in clear language? It is that he is to be above all rules, custom and practice, and that the rules and obligations which, have lain upon and been borne by his predecessors, and to which they have conformed, in order that the business of the House might be managed in an orderly and regular manner, are not to be binding on him, and that it is high treason against the people if anyone ventures to ask that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should comply with the conditions which have been enforced against all his predecessors. I desire in a few words to draw the attention of the House to the real issue raised by the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend and the alternative which he offers to this Instruction. I think I can put what that issue is in almost a sentence. The House is offered an opportunity of reconsidering the results of action which it has already taken. It is offered by my hon. and learned Friend's Amendment an opportunity, before fresh precedents are made, of reverting to the old financial procedure which prevailed until the passage of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Bill. In that year, for the first time, the Finance Bill was divided into two, and the opportunity which until that year had always been given to the House on the Finance Bill to review any grievance connected with taxation was, for the first time, taken away from it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, when speaking a moment ago, a little forgot the excuse which he gave when that was done. He then said, after the passage of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Bill, that it was the passage of that Bill which necessitated the breaking of the Finance Bill up into two.
At any rate, up to that time, and until the Finance Bill was divided into two, the House of Commons has always had an opportunity, which no Government could take away from it, of considering, in connection with the imposition of the taxes for the year, any grievance which hon. Members thought required redress, either in connection with these annual taxes or with any other taxes which were imposed, without limit of time and did not require to be annually renewed. When the Finance Bill was divided into two it followed that the House forwent its great opportunity for the redress of fiscal grievances, or, at any rate, postponed it until the 399 second part of the Finance Bill was reached. But I do not think the House understood, when it took that course, how serious was the inroad it was making upon its own rights and its own power to control the Ministry. As long as the opportunity of the House to secure the redress of grievances occurred upon the Finance Bill, which was necessary to the Government, the House could be quite certain that it would have its opportunity, and until the advent of the right hon. Gentleman it had always had its opportunity in good time and at a propitious period of the Session. But when once the Finance Bill is divided into two and the opportunity for redress of grievances is postponed to the second part, the House has no guarantee, when it votes the taxes, that that second part will ever be proceeded with, that, if it is proceeded with, it will be at a time when proper attention can be given to it, or that if it is taken up again it will even then be carried through to a finish; and before the House rejects the Amendment I think it is pertinent to recall that the only other alternative they will have to discuss, the question which he is now seeking to obtain leave to discuss upon that Bill, will be upon the Revenue Bill, and that we may be confronted again with the same situation this year with which we were confronted last year.
The right hon. Gentleman had then in the Revenue Bill proposed certain concessions which were much desired on this side of the House. The great majority of the House desired to see that Bill passed, and to have these concessions embodied into law. There can, I think, be no dispute about the facts. But by that period of the Session it was possible for a little group of Members to hold up the whole Revenue Bill because they disapproved of some particular Clause, and to produce a state of things in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer quite frankly told us that though he was anxious to fulfil the hopes that he had raised, and to carry through the concessions which he had promised, he was not able to do it at that period of the Session. There is only one way in which the House can secure control for itself. It is by giving itself the opportunity to have these questions discussed on the taxing Finance Bill of the year. That is what my hon. and learned Friend proposes to do, and if the House, with the experience which it has had, deliberately refuses to take that course, and determines again to 400 repeat the process of last year, it will have signed away its power of control over taxation. Do not let any Member of the House think this is merely a question of the convenience of a particular Government at this moment. It is a question whether the House in the future, whatever Government is in power, be it chosen from Gentlemen who now sit on that side or from Gentlemen who now sit on this side, or elsewhere, is going to have its old opportunities of discussion and redress of grievances, or whether reaffirming now, with knowledge of the case and of the results, the step which it allowed to be taken a few years ago, it is going permanently to deprive itself of the opportunity to redress grievances, as the condition of imposing taxation, and to make certain that in every Session, and at a reasonable period of every Session, we shall have an opportunity for such discussion.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I say that if he wishes to lecture my right hon. Friend on the state of his temper he will do well to keep better control of his own. The fact is that the whole Opposition are very hard to please in this matter of the Finance Bill. I must say that the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Cassel) strikes me as not only ungrateful, but as positively quarrelsome. Nothing that the Chancellor of the Exchequer can do in this matter is right. My right hon. Friend introduces his Bill. The hon. and learned Gentleman, I will not say rummaging in the dustbins of ancient precedent, because that phrase offends him, though I do not know why it should. A very distingunished dustman is at present playing on the boards of a London theatre—a debonair dustman. But whether it is out of his own store of knowledge or by rummaging, he discovered that the Finance Bill was out of order. I do not complain of that, and I do not know that anyone on this side has complained. But when Mr. Speaker ruled in favour of the hon. and learned Gentleman solely on the point of procedure—I understand that was the point of Order—Mr. Speaker pointed out a method by which the irregularity might be overcome. My right hon. Friend follows exactly the method pointed out by Mr. Speaker, and again the hon. and learned Gentleman is in a quarrelsome state of mind. Again he raises points of Order and again he moves Amendments.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
I believe the hon. and learned Gentleman himself raised no point of Order to-day. His Friends raised the point of Order. The truth is that the procedure followed to-day tends to show no great desire to save time, about which hon. Members opposite have expressed so much concern. It also shows no desire to get on with the Revenue Bill, for which they are so anxious, and it shows no desire for the discussion of those Grants for local government, which they so ardently desire. In regard to this very Motion and the Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman, so far as I can understand it, the real purpose of my right hon. Friend in putting Income Tax into the Resolution at all is to make it perfectly certain that the hon. and learned Gentleman shall be able to move his Amendment in regard to the incomes of husband and wife. I believe there is considerable doubt whether that Amendment would be in order on the Finance Bill if my right hon. Friend left Income Tax out of his Instruction to-day.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
If the hon. and learned Gentleman is prepared to take that risk I understand my right hon. Friend is ready to leave Income Tax out of the Resolution, if that were the only point. I think it shows signs of ingratitude on the hon. and leargned Gentleman's part that he should object to Income Tax being in this Instruction.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
The effect of the Amendment is to leave out these words. Again, with regard to the Revenue Bill and the local Grants, I am anxious that we should get these Grants in aid of local government, and I am as anxious as the hon. and learned Gentleman that there should be no further postponement of the Revenue Bill. I regard it as absolutely certain that the Revenue Bill cannot again be dropped this year, whatever demands may be necessary on the time of the House, and that is why I appeal to hon. Members who care about the Revenue Bill that there should be no unnecessary waste of the time of the House, which is now very strictly limited. This is the 402 1st of July, and if we are to get full time to discuss the Revenue Bill, the sooner we get rid of all unnecessary discussion and deal with what must be dealt with the better. I am very glad my right hon. Friend proposes to put the Clauses out of the Finance Bill into the Revenue Bill, because it will make it certain that we shall discuss at one and the same time the local Grants and the conditions on which they shall be made. But I, no more than the hon. and learned Gentleman, should acquiesce in the postponement of those Clauses and put them in the Revenue Bill if I had any doubt in my own mind that we shall very soon get on with the Revenue Bill. For that reason, and desiring to get these local Grants, and to get to the discussion of the Revenue Bill, I appeal to the hon. and learned Gentleman not to exercise his ingenuity any more on these points of Order and Amendments, but to let us get on with the real business of the Session.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I should be the last to contest any ruling of the Chair on a question of Order, but at the same time, when your ruling arises on an Amendment or Instruction proposed by the Government, it is legitimate, without in any sense encountering the ruling of the Chair, to discuss the principle that is involved, and I rise solely with a view to securing, if I can, the continuance of technical freedom in regard to the discussion of the Finance Bill. As I understand, the Chair was put in this difficulty by the original phrasing of the Budget—that the Chair was confronted with the fact that there had not been a Resolution in Ways and Means upon one particular matter which the Budget dealt with. Now I gather that in consequence of the Chair being put in that position and confronted with what was undoubtedly a very unusual circumstance, the Government have inferred that as a measure of escape from that difficulty an Instruction can be devised which will rid them of the complications in which they were placed. I have endeavoured to give close attention to the ruling with the view of finding what logic there was for it. Speaking for myself—it may be from the blankest ignorance—I cannot see how this Instruction is in any sense necessary, or how it in any sense advances the position which the Government desire to take. I am the more constrained to say that because I entirely failed to follow the reasoning of the Secretary to the Treasury in moving 403 the Instruction. It is the Secretary to the Treasury to whom we have to look for guidance as to what the effect of this Instruction is.
I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his statement has laid down a far more serious consequence from the adoption of this Instruction. He argued that in the old days, when he was in Opposition, it used to be the constant practice of the Opposition of the day to occupy time by discussing Amendments on the Finance Bill. Granted. How will that be prevented by the invention of the Revenue Bill? I strongly protest against the contention put forward that because the Government choose to divide their proposals into two that in any way limits or fetters Members of this House. The position which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken up is this: "Hitherto we have found long pages of Amendments dealing with questions of finance, and, forsooth, in order to prevent that difficulty in the future, we will endeavour to confine the House by a rigid Instruction from moving those Amendments on the Finance Bill." I do not think that will be the effect. I deny that the fact that the Government choose to bring in a Revenue Bill will fetter or restrict Members as to the moving of Amendments on the Finance Bill, and if we allowed this Instruction to pass without protest the House would be assenting to the position. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will say, "I will stave off Committees or discussions about various extraneous matters, because I will bring in a Revenue Bill under which they will be in order." I say that they will be in order on both Bills, and it will require a ruling from the Chair to convince me that the Chancellor of the Exchequer can restrict Debate as he proposes, and I hope that the House will, until the Chair rules to the contrary, have the same latitude and liberty in dealing with the Finance Bill as before, even if the Government brought in fifty Revenue Bills. It is only by way of illustration that I say the Government in the very first year in which they attempted to confine the House in this matter gave the best proof of the unsoundness of their procedure by dropping a Revenue Bill with regard to which we were told we would have every opportunity for discussion.
I think it is right that we should now find out what this Instruction means. So for, at least as I am concerned, I believe 404 the Instruction is wholly unnecessary. I believe that it does not confer any power on any Member of the House in relation to the moving of any Amendment which he could not move without the Instruction. This is a matter on which we are entitled to claim some guidance. What does the Instruction do? I think this is a matter the importance of which cannot be exaggerated from the point of view of private Members, because if the Instruction be necessary, we can never move Amendments again in Committee unless there is an Instruction. Next year we may be told "You cannot move that Amendment because you have no Instruction. You, in 1914, conceded to the Government the right to move an Instruction. It was by virtue of that Instruction, you were allowed then by the Chairman to move the Amendments you did move." That is a fatal principle for the House to adopt. Nobody can carry an Instruction except by the will of the majority, and is it to depend on that majority whether Amendments can be moved or not? I do not intend to say one word except upon the technical question. I am dealing with that question alone, and I hope I am dealing with it as much in the interest of the Opposition as of the Government. I am dealing with it also from the point of view of independent Members of this House. Let me point out what the Instruction does, and let me respectfully express the opinion, which I shall hold, until I am corrected by authority, that there is no authority in this matter except the Chair. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is no more an authority in this matter than I am. It is for the Chair to lay down the power which he assumes to wield. The Instruction says:—
"That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they have power to make provision for the amendment of the Law relating to Income Tax (including Super-tax), Death Duties, and the National Debt."
I respectfully say that we can do that without an Instruction, and the very best proof that we can do so has just been given by the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras (Mr. Cassel). He was twitted by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Leif Jones) as to the position he would be in as regards the question of Income Tax payable by husband and wife. The hon. Member adopted the view of the Government that the hon. and learned 405 Member for West St. Pancras could not move an Amendment on that question wihout some Instruction having been passed, whereas the hon. and learned Member replied, "I did that last year, and there was no Instruction." But where will we be next year if there is any Instruction passed now? Surely when you turn to Part II. of the Bill you will find there that Income Tax for the year 1914–15 is dealt with, and you will also find that Super-tax is dealt with. Am I to be told that I could not move an amendment in Committee to these Clauses in any respect I please except for this Instruction? Of course, I could. The title of the Bill which, after all, is the main matter is this:—
"A Bill to continue the Duty of Customs on Tea, to reimpose Income Tax and Super-tax, with amendments and modifications, and to amend the law relating to Death Duties, the National Debt, and Grants for local purposes, and for purposes incidental thereto."
Therefore, my right to move Amendments is contained in the title of the Bill itself. I pass to the next part of the Instruction which refers to Death Duties and the National Debt. I must say that, as Mr. Speaker's ruling had reference to the National Debt, the endeavour by this new kind of dog policy to restrict the House might become an extraordinarily inconvenient matter if it were allowed to pass without observation. Therefore, I take the Death Duties which are dealt with in Part III. of the Bill. The subjects to which the Clauses refer are: Amended rates of Estate Duty; abolition of Settlement Estate Duty and of relief in respect of settled property; relief in respect of quick succession where property consists of land or a business; and protection of purchasers and mortgagees of interests in expectancy. Is there any one of these to which I could not move an Amendment in Committee, and to any extent I please, certainly as regards abatements? I have no doubt we should require an Instruction if this were a proposal to raise new taxes. That would be impossible without an Instruction, because nobody but the Government can put down a proposal to raise taxes. But, as I understand, it has been the right of the subject as represented by Members in this House for generations to move always for reductions of duties, and it would be a most unfortunate thing, there- 406 fore, if this Instruction were passed, unless fully and adequately explained by those who have thought it necessary.
I come now to the last item in the Instruction, namely, the National Debt, and here I speak with some doubt, for it was with that matter the ruling of Mr. Speaker was more immediately concerned. Mr. Speaker has ruled that the National Debt requires a special Resolution, and if there was no Resolution in Committee on which to found a Bill, it is a question whether it would be possible to move Amendments in Committee until there is a Resolution. I am inclined to think, speaking on the spur of the moment, that the Instruction is necessary so far as the National Debt Resolution is concerned. I limit myself to saying that I am inclined to think so, but as regards the Death Duties and Income Tax I respectfully think that this Instruction is not merely surplusage, but may become mischievous surplusage. I am pronouncing nothing except from the standpoint of caution. I am asking information. I am raising doubt. I am not pontificating upon anything. The subject is most difficult to understand, but we have not got light from the Government upon it. The Secretary to the Treasury, when he moved the Instruction, could have gone with fullness into its character and into the reasons for proposing it. I did not apprehend him so to do, and I say that this Instruction may have consequences which some of us in other Sessions may see reason to regret. Therefore I personally protest against it.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
I do not intend to go at any length into the question of procedure which has been raised by the hon. and learned Member (Mr. T. M. Healy). I think it is a very important question which has been raised with regard to the first two subjects mentioned in the Instruction. I think an Instruction is necessary for the National Debt. But without venturing to lay down any law in the matter, I think the hon. and learned Member is correct when he says that the Instruction is not necessary in respect of Income Tax and Death Duties. I wish to address myself to the extraordinary arguments given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for rejecting the Amendment moved by my hon. and learned Friend. The argument which he gave was practically this: "If I accept the Amendment, I shall be reverting to the old custom whereby every private Member in the 407 House was at liberty to raise grievances on the Finance Bill just as grievances are discussed in Supply. When we were in Opposition we availed ourselves of this, but now that we are in power we do not like the Opposition to avail themselves of what we ourselves did, and consequently we are going to refuse to accept the Amendment, and we will give perhaps later on an opportunity of doing what we ourselves did, namely, discussing grievances before granting Supply." What is the right hon. Gentleman's reason for taking this position? He says, "Oh, there were pages of Amendments!" He was candid enough to admit that when he was in Opposition he took part in the same procedure, but he says, "It is different now. It is a Radical Government, and we are in a different position with the House of Lords." That is practically the foundation of his argument, and it is always brought up on every occasion by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. What was the real reason why the right hon. Gentleman did not accept the Amendment? It was because, when he became Chancellor of the Exchequer, he took a course which was never attempted by any other Chancellor of the Exchequer, as far as I can remember. Instead of taking the Finance Bill at the proper time he put it off until the end of the Session, and so avoided that discussion which we have a right to claim as an Opposition. And so far from its being the fact that this Opposition put down pages of Amendments which the right hon. Gentleman himself put down when he was in opposition, the very reverse is the fact. I, myself, in consultation with the present Lord Murray, have often and often said, "We will agree that the Debate on the Committee stage of the Finance Bill shall be limited to two or three days, because you are putting it off to such a very late period of the Session, that we should be kept here until September or October if we availed ourselves of the custom of which every Opposition has availed itself." If the right hon. Gentleman will consult Lord Murray he will find that my statement is absolutely correct. Over and over again, owing to the right hon. Gentleman putting off his Budget to such a late date, we were driven at last to say that, for the purpose of saving the House as a whole very great inconvenience, we should allow the right hon. Gentleman to get his 408 Budget in a much shorter time than he ever allowed any Chancellor of the Exchequer on our side to get his Budget.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The hon. Baronet has not given the whole of the bargain, and what he has omitted is rather material from the Opposition point of view. I have never known an arrangement of that kind which did not also involve at least half a dozen concessions to the Opposition. The advantage, indeed, was entirely on their side, because the Government, in order to get their Budget on those occasions, have to make certain concessions to the Opposition.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I was not saying that we got nothing out of it. The right hon. Gentleman knows that in nearly every case his representative got the better of the representative on our side. Still, our particular representative, whoever he was, was not so absolutely foolish as to give everything to the right hon. Gentleman. But that does not touch my point, which was that the right hon. Gentleman as Chancellor of the Exchequer has had a smaller opposition to his Budgets, with exception of the 1909 Budget, than any other Chancellor of the Exchequer, because he has put them off to such a late date that it was impossible without putting the House to very great inconvenience to discuss the Budget in the proper way. And it was because the right hon. Gentleman had done that that the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act was passed, because Mr. Gibson Bowles proceeded to take an action in a Court of Law, which he won, and which necessitated the passing of that Act. I would like hon. Gentlemen opposite to understand really where they are. When we were sitting on that side nothing was more strongly urged by the then Opposition than that financial questions ought to be discussed. I remember the late Lord Wolverhampton coming down, and making a very powerful speech as to the wickedness of the then Government in preventing financial questions being properly discussed. He was cheered by the right hon. Gentleman, who, I think, joined on the attack on the then Government on the ground that financial questions were not adequately discussed. That was one of the great weapons of the Opposition towards the end of the Parliament of 1900. Now when we have the right hon. Gentleman in power we actually find him opposing an Amendment by my hon. and learned Friend which would restore to the 409 House the old facility of discussing everything connected with finance, and we find him doing it for the reason, which I think is a very bad one, that it would save him a little time, and also because the Revenue Bill affords an opportunity on which discussion can take place afterwards. The hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe says that he knows that the Revenue Bill is going to pass. How does he know? Even if the right hon. Gentleman has told him—and I am not making any charge against the veracity of the right hon. Gentleman—how does the hon. and learned Gentleman know that the Revenue Bill is going to pass?
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
I did not say that I knew it. I said that it had been promised by the Government, and I have every reason to believe that they intend to keep their promise.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. and learned Member is not quite so long in the House as I am, but he knows what Governments do, and what value can be attached to promises of that kind. I do not say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in making his promise, deliberately intended to deceive him, but I do say that when we get towards the end of August, and the hon. and learned Member reminds the Chancellor of the Exchequer of his promise, the reply will be, "I am very sorry to say that, though I have taken the very greatest trouble to carry out that promise, yet owing to the conduct of the Opposition, and possibly even to that of the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, I am unable to do it. So much time has been taken up with other matters that I really cannot do it, but I will see that you get a chance next Session." That is how the promise will be carried out.
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
This Amendment, though technical in form, contains the priceless principle of the right of this House to control expenditure, and to control it by being enabled to discuss on the Finance Bill itself, and not on the Revenue Bill, all the main questions relating to the finance of the year. We have been taunted with delaying matters. My hon. and learned Friend has been taunted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer with taking a week to prepare a speech, and rummaging in dustbins and matters of that kind. We wish that the right hon. Gentleman would take a week to prepare his Budgets. If he did, this House would not 410 be reduced constantly to a condition of financial chaos, nor would the City be in the condition of financial confusion in which it is to-day. I think that the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Cork deserved an answer from one of the Law Officers of the Crown. The contention of the right hon. Gentleman in moving this Instruction is that we could not, without that Instruction, discuss matters relating to Income Tax and questions of that kind. The hon. and learned Member, in reply, says, "I do not believe that that is so. I do not believe that that Instruction is necessary so far as Income Tax is concerned, though it may be necessary so far as the National Debt is concerned." I agree with that contention. The real point is that the right hon. Gentleman, with all his authority as Chancellor of the Exchequer, says that unless we pass this Instruction we should not have that free scope for debate which he desires to give us. My hon. and learned Friend says, "I will meet your generosity. If you are going to be generous, be really generous towards us. If you are going to have an entirely new system by which we can only discuss the Finance Bill under Instructions put down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, let us have that Instruction in its most perfect form. It is not a waste of time to discuss an entirely new financial procedure. After all, they will be on this side some day—it may not be just yet—and when that day comes, they will value, as we value, the old forms and the old procedure of this House and the old Rules, which guaranteed that no one, not even a person in the position of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, shall play ducks and drakes with their financial procedure. Therefore, if this is to be a new procedure, as I understand it is, let us make it in the most perfect form."
Surely the Amendment put down by my hon. and learned Friend deserves not only the consideration of the House, but support in the Lobby! If the House wants to put an Instruction down, and if it wants new procedure, let it put that procedure in a form which will enable us to return to the day, as to which you expressed a desire some days ago that we should return to it, when we can discuss all important matters under the Finance Bill, and not have them relegated to the Revenue Bill, the day of which may never appear in the lives of many of us. That is what I contend for, and it is necessary in order to enable us to have full scope for 411 full and impartial inquiry in all financial matters which time constantly brings to our attention. The only way in which we can so protect ourselves is to secure that on the Finance Bill, and not on the Revenue Bill, we should be able to discuss these matters. The right hon. Gentleman rather taunted my hon. and learned Friend by saying, "I do not think that you are really caring so much for strictness in matters of financial procedure as for turning me out." Of course we want to do both. If we turn the right hon. Gentleman out, we have some chance of reverting to the older and better procedure. We give the local authorities a far better chance of obtaining those Grants which are now denied them by Budget No. 2, we shall get money for the local authorities to spend on housing and things of that kind, and so we shall accomplish two good things by the shot directed against the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Sir ARTHUR MARKHAM
The question raised by the hon. and learned Member for Cork is, in my opinion, one of great importance. I would like to ask you whether it is necessary to take your ruling on the question on which the hon. and learned Member did not ask you to rule, whether it is necessary that this Instruction should be moved or not? The hon. and learned Member referred to the title of the Bill. I am not an authority on the procedure of this House, but it would seem from the title of that Bill that it would be in order, in the ordinary course, for any Member to put down Amendments dealing with Income Tax, Supertax, and Death Duties. I would ask you, therefore—I do not know whether I am in order in making this request—why it is necessary for the Government to put down this Instruction to enable the Committee to deal with Income Tax and Death Duties, and why is it not possible for Amendments to be put down without this Instruction having regard to the title of the Bill?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have already explained more than once that I thought that it was necessary to have that part of the Instruction which deals with the National Debt, for the reasons which I have given. With regard to that part of the Instruction which deals with the Income Tax and the Death Duties, I under- 412 stand that the necessity for it arises from the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is anxious to accept an Amendment to the existing law as a result of which a fresh charge may be imposed on certain individuals, and that he is moved to do so by the pressure put upon him by the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras. It is in order to meet the view of the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras that the Chancellor of the Exchequer thought that for greater security, and in order that he might not be met in the Committee with some objection, he should have an Instruction from the House to the Committee dealing with the particular subject which the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras wishes to raise.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
On the point of Order. May I ask you whether that would in any sense dispense the Chancellor of the Exchequer from having a Resolution in Committee? I should say that if he carries his Resolution in Committee he can then move his new Clause without any Instruction, and no Instruction is necessary. I therefore respectfully submit that this Instruction will in no sense dispense from the Resolution in Committee which has been declared to be necessary, and that, therefore, the Instruction as regards the power to move an Amendment is really wholly unnecessary.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I will not say that it is wholly unnecessary, but it is only proposed as a matter of precaution. It is perfectly true that it will be necessary—and I have said so once or twice—to have a Resolution of fresh charges are going to be imposed. To meet the case of the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras this Resolution will be necessary in order to give the Committee full power to deal with the matter. I think, on the whole, and considering the circumstances that the Instruction is desirable, there can be no harm in it, as I do not know what view the Chairman of Ways and Means may take of the Amendments.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Shall we be entitled, Sir, to quote your ruling another year, that there is to be no limitation or restriction where there is no Instruction?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I certainly hope so. My ruling is given to tide over a difficulty, and to help the House.
§ Mr. CASSEL
In reference to myself, I can only say that what I asked the right hon. Gentleman for was a Resolution to enable, and not an Instruction.
§ Mr. GRETTON
There are several difficulties on this point of Order. I understand your ruling, Sir—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up."]—this is a very important matter, and I would like some guidance in regard to it, and I desire, if I may respectfully say so, that it should be considered a little further—I understand your ruling, Sir, to mean, after what you have said, that this is not a ruling on the general principle, but that it is an expression of your opinion as to the means of dealing with a particular difficulty arising out of the peculiar circumstances of this year, and that you do not desire to make it a precedent in any way affecting the rights of Debate in Committee on the Finance Bill which Members had previously.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is so. I never suggested any restriction, nor do I understand that there is any restriction in any way. It is perfectly true that I approved the Instruction in order to get over the difficulty which confronts us.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
One word of explanation. I do not understand that this Instruction is necessary for anything which the Government propose in the Bill, because we have the Resolutions in Ways and Means, excepting so far as the National Debt is concerned. As to all the other proposals, we have got the Resolutions in Committee of Ways and Means adopted by the House. I was advised that it might be necessary in order to enable me to meet the pledge given to the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras to substitute this Instruction for the usual Resolution empowering the Committee to make a general amendment of the law. I was advised that the Instruction was necessary in order to enable the hon. and learned Gentleman to propose an alteration in the general law, and it was entirely in view of that that I moved the Instruction to meet the pledge I have given.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I should not like it to be thought that I have raised any difficulty with regard to something which has been done merely to meet a point raised by me. What I understood the right hon. Gentleman was going to do in order to meet my point was to put down a Resolution and not an Instruction at all.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I do not know what the Amendment of the hon and learned Gentleman is. If it is an Amendment which involves a charge, the Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means might rule that it was necessary to have a Resolution in Committee, but, assuming that it does not involve a charge the Debate might then proceed.
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
May I ask you, Sir, whether this Instruction will enable the Committee to do anything that it could not have done without the Instruction. The hon. and learned Member for Cork noticed that the title of the Bill deals with Income Tax and Death Duties, and surely Amendments on those points could be moved without an Instruction, and, if that be so, is not the Instruction out of order. It is laid down in Sir Erskine May's book:—The principles which guide and limit the system of Instructions on going into Committee may be thus stated:—First, an Instruction must empower the Committee to do something which the Committee is not otherwise empowered to do.I have often heard Instructions ruled out of order, on the ground that they merely empowered the Committee to do something which they already had the power to do. In regard to the title of the Bill, at all events that part of the Instruction which deals with the Income Tax duty, is out of order.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
I think, Sir, your ruling last year is germane to the point we are now considering. It was on a point raised by the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras, who, on the Finance Bill of last year, called attention to the fact that he intended to ask for a new Clause on the question relating to Income Tax between husband and wife, and you, Sir, were asked by my hon. and learned Friend as to whether or not it would be possible for him to move an Amendment in regard to the title, which was not so wide a title as that of the present Bill. You, Sir, observed that my hon. Friend attached too much weight to the title. That does not arise now. The title this year is wider. What you said, Sir, last year was this:—I think the hon. and learned Member attaches too much importance to the title of the Bill. The title is only a summary of the contents. The valid and enacting words are those contained in the different Clauses of the Bill. The hon. Member is entitled under the Standing Order to move any Amendments which are relevant to the contents of the Bill. I will read the Standing Order; it is Number 34:—'It shall be an Instruction to all Committees of the Whole House to which Bills may be committed, that 415 they have power to make such Amendments therein as they shall think fit, provided they be relevant to the subject-matter of the Bill.'If, therefore, the hon. Member's Amendments are relevant to the subject-matter of the Bill.… then he will be entitled to move them. If they are not relevant, he will not be permitted to move them. The Standing Order goes on to say:—'But that if any such Amendments shall not be within the title of the Bill, they do amend the title accordingly, and do report the same specially to the House.'So that if the hon. and learned Member can persuade the Chairman of Ways and Means that his Amendments are relevant to the subject-matter of the Bill, and if he can persuade the Committee to accept them then he can amend the title. I am afraid I cannot give him any assistance in that. I do not think I ought to take upon myself a duty which is by custom and authority placed upon the Chairman of Ways and Means, namely, to decide what Amendments are relevant and what Amendments are not relevant to the subject-matter of the Bill.Therefore you have laid it down. Sir, that under the Standing Order 34 my hon. and learned Friend, having regard to the title of the Bill, would, under the existing title of the Finance Bill, be able to move this very Amendment, and therefore this Instruction is unnecessary, I submit, on this ruling of last year, and is out of order.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If it is being assumed that I am trying to prevent discussion, I confess I do not understand that. I never suggested this Instruction to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, though I certainly approved of it, in regard to that part relating to the National Debt, as being necessary in order to bring that Clause within the purview of the Committee, and also to make it quite certain that an Amendment which may be put down by the hon. and learned Gentleman for St. Pancras could be raised in Committee and discussed. I cannot say for certain whether the Chairman of Ways and Means will or will not rule that the Amendment may be discussed. I have no power in regard to what may be the view of the Chairman of Ways and Means, but I am satisfied that this Instruction, at all events, makes it quite certain that the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras's Amendment, when it is proposed, will be within the power of the Committee to decide. If hon. Members think it is undesirable they can strike it out, and then perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer will fall in with their view, but it seems to me that would imperil their case.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
If I may respectfully say so, what you state to-day, Sir, is not the question of merely whether or not a particular Amendment will be in order, hut what we ask is that hereafter your 416 decision to-day shall not be quoted to make it impossible to move such an Amendment or analogous Amendments on the Finance Bill, unless and until an Instruction has been moved. If that were so, then this House would be in a poorer position than it was last year, when you called attention to Standing Order 34, under which there was power to move an Amendment. We are reluctant, Sir, to accept the Instruction to-day, but the House will be distinctly the poorer if we are to limit or get rid of the wider ruling which you gave last year, and under which Amendments were possible. We should be placed in this position, that, unless and until a particular Instruction had been given out of grace by the particular Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day, we would be unable to move such Amendments as this. It is on these grounds, and as a matter of general practice, that I hope the Instruction will not be held to be necessary to-day, but that the wider ruling of last year will prevail for the use of private Members, on which ever side of the House they may happen to be, in all future years.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I quite understand the point of view of the hon. and learned Member, and I do not think that this Instruction will in any way limit the discretion of the Chairman of Ways and Means in future in accepting Amendments. A special state of circumstances has arisen in connection with the Bill which requires special treatment in order to regulate it. That is really the genesis of what has taken place.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I rise to correct the Chancellor of the Exchequer's history, and to ask him one question. We now understand, in regard to the Instruction, that the only reason for it, from the Government point of view, is that it is necessary to bring into order the part relating to the National Debt, and to enable an Amendment to be moved which might increase the charge. With regard to the Death Duties, is that the case too? Why is there reference to the Death Duties put in? Is it the expectation of the Government that some Amendment will be moved to increase the charge in that respect? Unless there is something of that kind, Mr. Speaker's ruling has no reference to the Death Duties, and it is quite unnecessary with reference to the Income Tax of the year. I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer was wrong when he said it had been the practice of 417 the Opposition for some years past to pile up great numbers of Amendments on the Finance Bill relating to changes in the general law. As regards the Finance Bill of 1909, the proposals of the Government were quite enough to occupy the whole time of the House, without any such procedure on the part of the Opposition. It was not resorted to in 1910, and I do not think it was resorted to in 1911. It is true that in 1912 there was a considerable number of Amendments on the Order Paper, but they could easily have been disposed of during the month of August; but one day the Chancellor of the Exchequer came down and made, without any pressure on our part, a certain number of what, I must admit, were valuable concessions. What happened last year? He brought in a Revenue Bill for the first time, and the procedure he complains of was adopted against the Revenue Bill by his own Friends. One after another they piled up an immense quantity of Amendments, simply because they could not get the whole of their own way on one or two points. The representatives of the Glasgow school set down every Amendment to the Revenue Bill which ingenuity could suggest. What was done last year may easily he done again. What guarantee can the Chancellor of the Exchequer give us that we shall have a chance on the Revenue Bill, because his own Friends entirely deprived us before of that chance simply and solely, as was stated very frankly just now by the hon. Baronet who spoke just now, because they could not get their way on one small point which had become an obsession to them. He must lay the blame on his own Friends that we had not a proper discussion on the subject last year.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
One of the essential reasons we have for this procedure is this: Undoubtedly in the discussions on the Finance Bill on a former occasion, the right hon. Gentleman, in order to get it through, felt obliged to offer certain concessions to meet certain grievances which were brought before him. It is therefore very desirable on the part of those who still think they have grievances to retain the right to raise such questions on this Finance Bill. The right hon. Gentleman gives me a rather deprecatory look because, no doubt, he gave me concessions, for which I may say I am very grateful. What chance would anyone get in the Revenue Bill of raising such questions? No doubt the right hon. Gentleman, if he 418 made a promise to consider questions on the Revenue Bill, would carry that promise out if he could, but I very strongly support the Amendment, knowing perfectly well the advantages that accrued to me from a form of procedure which I would like to see retained.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
I desire to support the Amendment from a non-party point of view. We all recognise that the torpedo launched by the hon. Member for St. Pancras (Mr. Cassel) went straight to its mark, and that the Government battleship has been damaged, and that an attempt is now being made to put it in order. What really concerns hon. Members on both sides is to know how long we are going to be kept in this House, and how much of this Budget which has been called the "Ratepayers' Budget" is going to be passed in the course of the present Session. That is the really important point.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
The Amendment proposes to widen the scope of the Budget, and if adopted we shall have fuller discussions. The country wants longer and fuller discussions, and now that we are paid Members the country may get angry if we do not sit here for a very lengthened period, and put through a good part of this Ratepayers' Budget. If we only put through a comparatively small part, the people will say, "You are not earning your pay; you are paid for the year, and sit only for six months; you should not accept your pay." Therefore, I do suggest in all seriousness to hon. Members opposite that they ought to pass this Ratepayers' Budget if they possibly can, and ought not to mind an Autumn Session or the dog days of August, but should go on and earn their pay. For that reason, I support the Amendment.
§ Mr. MAURICE HEALY
I cannot but think that the House is in some difficulty, first, as to the Instruction, and second as to the Amendment. If I were asked my opinion I would say that the Instruction was unnecessary and that the Amendment was out of order. It appears to me that by putting this Instruction from the Chair, you, Sir, in effect declare that it is necessary, and therefore, that without it, none of those Amendments otherwise would be capable of being moved. The 419 Instruction deals specifically with matters referred to in the title of the Bill, but the Amendment deals with matters which are undoubtedly outside the title of the Bill. Therefore, it appears to me we are in this position, that the Instruction only enables us to do that which we can do without it, while the Amendment seeks to enable us to do that which the Instruction cannot enable us to do, namely, to go outside the title of the Bill. I put it respectfully that the Amendment really reduces the Instruction to an absurdity, and conflicts with the rules of the House by placing on the Order Paper a declaration that in Committee on this Bill we should have the power to move Amendments which are not within the title of the Bill. I submit also that even as regards the National Debt, this Instruction is unnecessary, because even as regards that, it does not dispense with the necessity for a Resolution to enable us to do anything.
§ Mr. DAVID MASON
You ruled, Sir, with regard to the National Debt that this Instruction was necessary. May I recall to your memory that two years ago, the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought forward a Resolution in Committee disposing op a surplus which was opposed by many of us. Some interval elapsed and eventually five millions of that amount went to the reduction of debt, and a million was allocated to the Navy, and half a million to Uganda. That was all done in Committee without any Instruction. May I therefore submit that an Instruction is not necessary for altering the Sinking Fund,
§ but that that can be done and requires to be done by a Resolution.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think if the hon. Member looks it up he will find that on that occasion the Finance Bill was brought in on the National Debt Resolution. The whole difficulty here has arisen from the fact that the Finance Bill was not brought in on that Resolution. I had not the opportunity of looking up the case he refers to, but I think he will find that what I have said is what occurred.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
The Instruction having been moved, is an Amendment to that Instruction which conflicts with the title of the Bill in order? This Amendment proposes that we should be enabled to deal in Committee with Customs and Inland Revenue. That is not within the scope of the Bill, as there is nothing in the Bill about Customs and Inland Revenue.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 185.423
|Division No. 143.]||AYES.||[5.44 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Brady, Patrick Joseph||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)|
|Adamson, William||Brocklehurst, William B.||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Brunner, John F. L.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Bryce, J. Annan||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Dawes, James Arthur|
|Alden, Percy||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||De Forest, Baron|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Buxton, Noel||Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Dillon, John|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Doris, William|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Duffy, William J.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Chancellor, Henry George||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Barnes, George N.||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Duncan, Sir J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Clancy, John Joseph||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Clough, William||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Clynes, John R.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Essex, Sir Richard Walter|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Cotton, William Francis||Falconer, James|
|Black, Arthur W.||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Boland, John Pius||Crooks, William||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Crumley, Patrick||Ffrench, Peter|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Cullinan, John||Field, William|
|Brace, William||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Kean, John||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Gill, A. H.||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Robinson, Sidney|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roche, Augustine (Louth, N.)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Meagher, Michael||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Goldstone, Frank||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Rowlands, James|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Griffith, Rt. Hon. Ellis Jones||Middlebrook, William||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Molloy, Michael||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Hackett, John||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Hancock, John George||Mooney, John J.||Sheeny, David|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Morrell, Philip||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morison, Hector||Shortt, Edward|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Muldoon, John||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Murphy, Martin J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Haslam, Lewis||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Snowden, Philip|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Needham, Christopher T.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Hayward, Evan||Neilson, Francis||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nolan, Joseph||Sutherland, John E.|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Sutton, John E.|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Man., S.)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Taylor. John W. (Durham)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nuttall, Harry||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hinds, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Tennant, Rt. Hon. Harold John|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hodge, John||O'Doherty, Philip||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Hogge, James Myles||O'Donnell, Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Dowd, John||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Malley, William||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Shaughnessy, P. J||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Shee, James John||Webb, Henry|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Outhwaite, R. L.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Parker, James (Halifax)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Joyce, Michael||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Kelly, Edward||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N. W.)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pirie, Duncan V.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|King, Joseph||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Pratt, J. W.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Lardner, James C. R.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Leach, Charles||Pringle, William M. R.||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Radford, George Heynes||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Lundon, Thomas||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Reddy, Michael||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Redmond, William (Clare, E)|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|M'Callum. Sir John M.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Beresford, Lord Charles||Campion, W. R.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Bird, Alfred||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Blair, Reginald||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Cautley, H. S.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Cave, George|
|Banner, Sir John Harmood-||Bowden, G. R. Harland||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)|
|Barnston, Harry||Boyton, James||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Bull, Sir William James||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r., E.)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Burgoyne, A. H.||Clive, Captain Percy Archer|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Butcher, John George||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Currie, George W.||Hunt, Rowland||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Ingleby, Holcombe||Royds, Edmund|
|Dixon, C. H.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Kerry, Earl of||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Du Pre, W. Baring||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Sandys, G. J.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Larmor, Sir J.||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lee, Arthur H.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Lewisham, Viscount||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Fell, Arthur||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Colonel A. R.||Swift, Rigby|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Forster, Henry William||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Mackinder, Halford J.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Macmaster, Donald||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Glazebrock, Captain Philip K.||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Magnus, Sir Philip||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Tickler, T. G.|
|Grant, James Augustus||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Gretton, John||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Touche, George Alexander|
|Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Valentia, Viscount|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Moore, William||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)||Newdegate, F. A.||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Newman, John R. P.||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Nield, Herbert||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Winterton, Earl|
|Henderson Sir A. (St. Geo., Han. Sq.)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Worthington Evans, L.|
|Hills, John Waller||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. S. Stuart-|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Peto, Basil Edward||Younger, Sir George|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Horne, E.||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Cassel and Mr. Mount.|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Randles, Sir John S.|
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to move to leave out the words "and the National Debt."
The effect of this Amendment would be to prevent the Chancellor of the Exchequer tampering with the new Sinking Fund. The right hon. Gentleman for some unknown reason—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Baronet cannot discuss the merits of the Clause. The question is whether the Committee shall have power to discuss it.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I thought I might be allowed to give reasons why I think the Committee ought not to discuss it. Clause 15 in the Finance Bill deals with the National Debt, but that Clause is out of order because there was no Resolution dealing with the National Debt, and this Instruction is necessary if that Clause is to be in order, and a discussion is to take 424 place upon it. The effect of the omission of these words from the Instruction will be to prevent the House from discussing the Clause dealing with the National Debt, and I thought I should be in order in giving reasons why I think the House ought not to discuss the National Debt on this occasion.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the hon. Baronet can give good reasons for not discussing the matter, he will be in order. But, assuming that he does not convince the House, he must not anticipate the discussion of the Clause on its merits, which would take place in Committee.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Without discussing whether the Clause is right or wrong, I will confine myself to pointing out the actual effect of my Amendment. The proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reduce the New Sinking Fund from £24,500,000 to £23,500,000 renders this Instruction necessary, and the effect of 425 my Amendment will be to prevent that from being done. It is very important to consider whether or not the amount of the Sinking Fund should be tampered with on every successive Budget. This is evidently an afterthought of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because when he introduced the Resolutions upon which the Finance Bill is founded, he did not introduce a Resolution dealing with the National Debt. We are entitled to assume that the right hon. Gentleman is thoroughly conversant with the rules of procedure, and that, as he said nothing in his Resolutions about the National Debt, he then considered that the sum devoted to the National Debt should be left alone. We may assume, therefore, that after the Resolutions were passed, and the Bill had been ordered, something occurred which has caused the Chancellor of the Exchequer to introduce these words into the Instruction. I do not see many economists on the other side of the House. I am not sure whether I can include in the ranks of the economists the hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division (Mr. Leif Jones). The hon. Gentleman has moods, but he sometimes enunciates very sound economical doctrines, and I feel sure that in his heart he would like to support the Amendment which I am moving. The hon. Member for Coventry (Mr. D. Mason) really is a financial economist. He has the courage of his opinions, and will no doubt support my Amendment. I hope that all true economists on the other side will support me in restraining the Chancellor of the Exchequer from going into these devious courses. I might address an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman himself. On many occasions he has stated that I have been consistent in endeavouring to ensure that money shall not be wasted, nor extravagant expenditure incurred.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Baronet is apparently making the speech which he would make in Committee if the question were being discussed. He must not anticipate the discussion in Committee.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I was only appealing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support me when I am endeavouring to help him to follow the path of economy, which on these occasions he has sometimes told us he would like to do if he were not pressed by other Members to take the wrong course. However, I think I have 426 made my point perfectly clear. It is quite evident that this Amendment ought to be accepted, for it is in the right direction, and I trust therefore that the right hon. Gentleman will accept it.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
I beg to second the Amendment. If I appreciate the reason why the Instruction is drawn in the present form it is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is endeavouring by means of the Instruction to make good—if he can make good—the mistake which he previously made in having no Resolution at all in reference to the National Debt. Personally I think procedure ought, as far as possible, to follow on all occasions, for this reason: that if the House is to know where it is, or what ought to be its course, it should not have any difficulty placed in its way. This sort of exception, which is mainly due to want of forethought on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, form bad precedents, and ought not to be overlooked by the House. The right hon. Baronet who moved this Amendment has spoken of it as afterthought. If I could imagine that there was either forethought or afterthought in any portion of the matter I would be more content. For my part I believe the Chancellor of the Exchequer is content to go on his own course, on the course which he is minded to take at a particular time, without any thought for this House or Committee, or for those whom he ought to represent, or indeed for those whom he ought to consult! The purpose of this Instruction is to make good the lapse that has occurred by reason of there being no Resolution, and the right course now is to go back and to proceed by Resolution. There is no difficulty whatever in proceeding according to the regular course. On that ground I venture to suggest that this is a proper Amendment. The House ought to take into its hands, and ought to determine that it will have all questions of finance left in its hands, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to be its most trusted servant in following out the proper procedure which has been adopted, and maintained, throughout a long course of years: not because there must be precedents, but because there is good reason for them, namely, that the House ought to confine itself as a primary duty to the regular treatment of finance.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Perhaps it would be convenient to rise now before the Chancellor of the Exchequer to add another argument to those which have been put by my right hon. Friends behind 427 me. The additional reason which I desire to urge in support of the Amendment of my hon. Friend is that any alteration in the provision for the redemption of the National Debt has become unnecessary. The situation has changed since the Chancellor of the Exchequer made his Budget Statement. He then found that after such additional taxation as he was inclined to propose, or thought ought to be proposed for the year, that he was still something like £1,000,000 short of the money required. Accordingly, on the tyrant's plea of necessity, he raided the Sinking Fund for, I think, the third time since this Government has been in office. When I say raided it, I understand this is the third permanent diminution of the amount provided for for which the present Government is responsible, apart from isolated raids on particular sums. I submit that the Government can no longer urge that it is necessary to raid the Sinking Fund at all. The right hon. Gentleman has announced—wrongly, as I think—though that is not the point I can discuss now, or that will be open to us I suppose till we, get into Committee—but he has decided that he will not make the temporary Grants to the local authorities this year which he contemplated in his Budget Statement.
Instead, therefore, of being in great straits, he has more money than he needs already provisionally authorised by the Resolutions which have been before the House. Not only is that the case, but he himself has already revised himself in one particular, because he said the revenue is coming in better than he anticipated. As I said on a previous occasion, and as I repeat now, I think he has very seriously underestimated the yield of another of his taxes, unless—I must guard myself by saying this—unless he is convinced that it will be possible to evade the new tax which he is imposing. Therefore, from both my reason of the certainty in part and the expectation in further degree that taxes will yield more than he at first anticipated, he has now announced that he is going to spend less money, and it becomes quite unnecessary to raise this million at all. There is no reason for interfering with the Sinking Fund, and I submit, therefore, that there is no reason for the Committee passing this Instruction.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think that these matters ought to be dealt with when the Clause comes up for discussion in Com- 428 mittee. The right hon. Gentleman might then be able to show a very good case for striking out the Clause altogether. Under the Instruction the Committee will have power to discuss all these matters, and this seems to be anticipating the Committee discussion.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I respectfully suggest that it would be a disastrous position were the Government to accept the Amendment of the Opposition. Let us take what has already been done. If the Government like to take advantage of it, the Chairman of Committee has been put into a position in which he was never placed before. The House has negatived the proposal of the Member for St. Pancras, that the Committee should have the power to deal with Customs and Inland Revenue, including Excise. The House has directed the Committee that they have not to move any Amendments to the Instruction. Take the Tea Duty. If the Chairman of Committees likes, he is in the most splendid position of his long career, because he can say that the House has decided to negative the proposition that the Customs and Inland Revenue matter can be dealt with in Committee. Similarly if this Amendment is passed, what will be the inevitable result? It will be that the House will have refused the Committee the power to deal with questions arising out of the Finance Bill. It seems, therefore, that this demonstrates, if it could possibly be demonstrated further, the utterly absurd position that the Government have taken up by this Instruction. If we leave out "the National Debt," it means that the Committee will have no power to deal with the National Debt. I certainly think that there never was the absurdity of a position taken up by the Government demonstrated more than in the fact that this House has carried a Resolution refusing to allow an Amendment in the Customs part of the Bill to be moved.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The hon Baronet who moved this Amendment was opposed to treat this Instruction as an Instruction to the Committee to reduce the provision for the National Debt, and the right hon. Gentleman who followed was disposed to do the same thing. That is not the proposal at all. If that were the case, then the Committee simply could not discuss the thing; the House would have already come to its decision. That is 429 not the point of the Instruction, as Mr. Speaker has already pointed out. The point of the Instruction is that it will enable hon. and right hon. Gentlemen to urge the same considerations which they have urged this afternoon. For instance, take the consideration which the right hon. Gentleman has been urging: now that we have reduced our liabilities, that here is a means of getting rid of the need for providing more money. That is the very point which will arise when we get on to the Income Tax question. All we want is for the Committee to take these things into account, so that the House may adjudicate upon them when the Bill is reported.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I desire to support my hon. Friends though on somewhat different grounds, and because the Chancellor of the Exchequer has jumped over the minor forms of the House in pressing this Instruction. The old immemorial form was that any provision of this kind must be based on Resolution. There is very great importance in keeping to these forms. They may be very annoying and exceedingly irksome to the Government. They may be also irksome in the case of private Members promoting a Bill when they find that their Bill is stopped at a point by the necessity of getting a Resolution, which Resolution is to be reported to the House. But these forms have great value, not merely because they are traditional, and not merely because they come down to us, but because they form a real check upon the extravagance of this House and of Governments, and a real opportunity for the House to inform itself as to the financial effect of propositions that are submitted to it. I do not say that this will be a very bad case, but it is a clear breach of established custom, and this Instruction is a way of getting over it. The ordinary course would have been by Resolution—to authorise that the Committee should have the power of reducing the provision for the National Debt. That is, of course, only an indirect way of increasing the charge; but the principle is exactly the same. The ordinary Financial Resolution is necessary when the charge is to be increased, and a similar Resolution authorises the Committee when provision is to be diminished. It is an indirect way of increasing the charge. We have here no Committee Resolution passed, and no Committee Resolution reported. Instead of this a new 430 procedure is suddenly adopted, and by means of an Instruction, thus evading the rules that the wisdom of our ancestors set up for us. On that ground I protest against it. The Government did not look closely at the matter when they were dealing with old traditions of the House, so as to found their Bill upon a Resolution. By the procedure they adopted they ignored the safeguards which the wisdom of our ancestors set up for business of this kind, and it is, therefore, necessary for the House to assert vigilance and impose what check it can upon this exception. Let me express surprise at seeing on the opposite benches the Chief Secretary for Ireland. He seems to be watching these proceedings somewhat closely, and I can only suppose that his vigilant eye is on this £1,000,000 with a view to increasing the "Transferred Sum" which would be necessary owing to the truncation of his original proposals.
§ Mr. GRETTON
The effect of this Amendment would, of course, be that if it is carried the House would have disagreed with the Government, and decided that it is not desirable in Committee to interfere with or to diminish the Sinking Fund, which is devoted to the services of the National Debt, in any way. The procedure which my hon. Friend alluded to has been established in order to prevent Governments bringing in hasty and hurried financial proposals. There is nothing which a Government should be more meticulous in its care than to follow every regulation and rule in connection with its proposals for taxing the subject. These safeguards which have been dispensed with to-day were provided for the express purpose of making the Government and Ministers of the Crown careful in the taxation they propose. As my hon. Friend the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London pointed out, this is a hasty proposal, and I submit that the House would be well advised not to give its assent to the course proposed, and not to allow the Government by the way they have found by this method of Instruction to set aside the old procedure, and the House would be well advised to insist that a Resolution should be brought in in proper form, so that the Finance Bill should be founded upon Resolution discussed in the whole House. We are placed at a great disadvantage on the present occasion. It is quite true there was a Resolution which the House passed, but it was understood 431 to deal with the Revenue Bill, and the House did not know they were dealing with that Finance Bill when that Resolution was passed, because the Finance Bill was brought in and placed upon the Table and ordered to be printed. The Resolution was passed dealing with another matter. My hon. Friend is right in moving his Amendment, and I hope there will be very considerable support for it from private Members, and from others, as this is the only opportunity we have for protesting against this procedure.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I cannot go back on what has been discussed. This is a new Amendment, and if the hon. Member has any point of Order upon that, he can make inquiry.
§ deal only with such questions as would be left in the Instruction to the Committee, and that anything outside this Instruction would be out of order, no matter what the Rules of the House might be.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If this Amendment is passed, it will not be open to the Committee to discuss the question of the National Debt or provision in respect of it
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
By negativing the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras, have we not negatived the right to move Amendments dealing either with Customs or Excise?
§ Mr. POLLOCK
May I submit, Mr. Speaker, that what the House decided was that the words proposed to be left out should stand?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think we had better stick to this question of the National Debt, and not reopen the other. I have given an answer that if the words "and National Debt" are struck out, it would not be open to discuss the question of the National Debt.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 276; Noes, 182.435
|Division No. 144.]||AYES.||[6.20 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Duncan, Sir J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Adamson, William||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Alden, Percy||Chancellor, Henry George||Essex, Sir Richard Walter|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Clancy, John Joseph||Falconer, James|
|Arnold, Sydney||Clough, William||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Clynes, John R.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Ffrench, Peter|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Field, William|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Compton- Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Barnes, George N.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Cotton, William Francis||Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Cowan, W. H.||Gelder, Sir W. A.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Crooks, William||Gill, A. H.|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Crumley, Patrick||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Cullinan, John||Glanville, Harold James|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Black, Arthur W.||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Goldstone, Frank|
|Boland, John Pius||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Greig, Colonel James William|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Griffith, Rt. Hon. Ellis Jones|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Davias M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C (Pembroke)|
|Brace, William||Dawes, James Arthur||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||De Forest, Baron||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Hackett, John|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Hancock, J. G.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Dillon, John||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Donelan, Captain A.||Hardie, J. Keir|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Doris, William||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Duffy, William J.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Buxton, Noel||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Hayward, Evan||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Rowlands, James|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Mooney, John J.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Morrell, Philip||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Hewart, Gordon||Morison, Hector||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Hinds, John||Muldoon, John||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Hodge, John||Murphy, Martin J.||Sheehy, David|
|Hogge, James Myles||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Needham, Christopher T.||Shortt, Edward|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Neilson, Francis||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nolan, Joseph||Smith, H. B. (Lees, Northampton)|
|John, Edward Thomas||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Snowden, Philip|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Nuttall, Harry||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Sutherland, John E.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Doherty, Philip||Sutton, John E.|
|Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Jowett, Frederick William||O'Dowd, John||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Tennant, Rt. Hon. Harold John|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Maliey, William||Thomas, J. H.|
|Kelly, Edward||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Kenyon, Barnet||O'Shee, James John||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Verney, Sir Harry|
|King, Joseph||Outhwaite, R. L.||Waiters, Sir John Tudor|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Wardle, George J.|
|Lardner, James C. R.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Leach, Charles||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Webb, H.|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Lundon, Thomas||Pirie, Duncan V.||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Pratt, J. W.||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Maclean, Donald||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Primrose, Hon, Neil James||Wiles, Thomas|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Pringle, William M. R.||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Radford, George Heynes||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|M'Kean, John||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs, Spalding)||Reddy, Michael||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Meagher, Michael||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Middlebrook, William||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Millar, James Duncan||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Molloy, Michael||Robinson, Sydney||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Boyton, James||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Bull, Sir William James||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Burdett-Coutts, William||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Butcher, John George||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Currie, George W.|
|Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Dalrymple, Viscount|
|Barnston, Harry||Campion, W. R.||Denniss, E. R. B.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Dixon, Charles Harvey|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Cassel, Felix||Du Cros, Arthur Philip|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Castlereagh, Viscount||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Cautley, Henry Strother||Duncannon, Viscount|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Cave, George||Du Pre, W. Baring|
|Bird, Alfred||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Blair, Reginald||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Faber, George D. (Clapham)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.,E.)||Falle, Bertram Godfray|
|Bowden, Major S. Harland||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Fell, Arthur|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Lewisham, Viscount||Sandys, G. J.|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Forster, Henry William||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Smith, Harold (Warrintgon)|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Edgbaston, Birm.)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mackinder, H. J.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Grefton, John||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Swift, Rigby|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Moore, William||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Mount, William Arthur||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Newdegate, F. A.||Tickler, T. G.|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Newman, John R. P.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Henderson, Sir A. (St. Geo., Han. Sq.)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Touche, G. Alexander|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Hills, John Waller||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Ward, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||White, Major G. O. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Perkins, Walter Frank||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Peto, Basil Edward||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Winterton, Earl|
|Hunt, Rowland||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk||Randles, Sir John S.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Ratcliff, R. F.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Rees, Sir J. D.||Worthington Evans, L.|
|Jessel, Captain H. M.||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Joynson-Hicks, William||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Kerry, Earl of||Rothschild, Lionel de||Younger, Sir George|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Royds, Edmund|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||F. Banbury and Mr. Pollock.|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
Bill read a second time, and committed.
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I appeal to the Government to drop this absurd Instruction. There is considerable doubt on all sides as to whether the Instruction has any value. The right hon. Gentleman himself upon a remark from the Chair has shown that the Government does not want this Instruction, and he has distinctly declared that there is nothing in it which is necessary for these financial proposals, and the Opposition do not want it either. Some hon. Members wish to insert Amendments to widen the scope of the Bill, but the result, and the only result of this extraordinary Debate is that the House has made an Amendment declaring that custom is to be discarded. I do not think any assembly has ever before reached a more topsy-turvy or ridiculous position. Nobody can now say either on the demand of the Opposition or for the necessities of the Government this Instruction has the slightest value. What Member of the Opposition can say that he wants this Instruction in its present form, because any Amendment we like can be moved in Committee either in regard to the Death Duties, the 436 National Debt or the Income Tax. Therefore we have been engaged for the last three hours putting upon the Paper a solemn declaration that we may move Amendments on three points, which we could have moved without any Resolution at all. I think the only escape from this ridiculous and absurd position is that the Government should gracefully withdraw their own Instruction.
§ Ordered, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they have power to make provision for the amendment of the Law relating to Income Tax (including Super-tax), Death Duties, and the National Debt."
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ [Mr. WHITLEY in the Chair.]