§ As amended, considered.
§ NEW CLAUSE.—(Extension of 4 and Geo. 5, c. 76, to Property passing to Certain Collaterals.)
§ The Death Duties (Killed in War) Act, 1914 (which extends as respects the present War the relief from Death Duties given by Section fourteen of The Finance Finance Act, 1900), shall have effect, and shall be deemed always to have had effect, as though the references therein to lineal ancestors included references to brothers and sisters and the descendants of brothers and sisters of the deceased.—[Mr. Bonar Law.]
§ Brought up, read the first and second time, and added to the Bill.2412
§ NEW CLAUSE.—(Basis of Charge where Non-Resident is Chargeable in Name of Agent in Respect of Profits Arising from the Sale, of Foreign Goods.)
§ Where a non-resident person is chargeable to Income Tax in the name of any branch, manager, agent, factor, or receiver in respect of any profits or gains arising from the sale of goods or produce manufactured or produced out of the United Kingdom by the non-resident person, the person in whose name the nonresident person is so chargeable may, if he thinks fit, apply to the Commissioners by whom the assessment is made or, in case of an appeal, to the General or Special Commissioners, to have the assessment to Income Tax in respect of those profits or gains made or amended on the basis of the profits which might reasonably be expected to have been earned by a merchant or, where the goods are retailed by or on behalf of the manufacturer or producer, by a retailer of the goods sold, who had bought from the manufacturer or producer direct, and, on proof to the satisfaction of the Commissioners concerned of the amount of the profits on the basis aforesaid, the assessment shall be made or amended accordingly.—[Mr. Bonar Law.]
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed. "That the Clause be read a second time." —[Mr. Bonar Law.]
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)
It is not the aim of the Clause to get more out of the taxpayer, but to relieve him. At present anyone who manufactures goods abroad or in our Dominions and sells through agents is liable to tax on his manufacturing profits. It has been represented to me very strongly on behalf of the Dominions that this is a hardship and on principle it seems to me right that we should only get tax in this case on the profits made in this country. This Clause is put in to secure that object.
§ Question put, and agreed to. Clause accordingly read a second time, and added to the Bill.
§ NEW CLAUSE.—(Provision for Dealing with Small Amounts of Government Stock belonging to Deceased Persons.)
§ (1) Where the bank have reason to believe that any person in whose name any war stock of an amount not exceeding in the aggregate one hundred pounds in nominal value or in actual value, whichever is the less, is standing 2413 has died the bank may, in such manner as may be prescribed by Regulations made under Section one of The War Loan (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1915, transfer the stock from the books of the bank to the Post Office Stock Register established under that Act, and may in such manner as may be so prescribed remit any dividends accrued thereon to the Postmaster-General to be dealt with in the same manner as if the stock had been inscribed in the said register at the time when they accrued due.
§ (2) Where the bank have reason to believe that any person in whose name any Government stock of a nominal amount not exceeding in the aggregate five hundred pounds is standing has died in actual military service, and that he was a person resident in some part of His Majesty's Dominions outside the British Islands, the bank may on an application in that behalf made under this Section by the proper authority and on an undertaking by the proper authority to answer for any Death Duties leviable in respect of the stock and any dividends accrued thereon, and to deal with the stock or the proceeds of sale thereof and any dividends thereon in accordance with the provisions of this Section, hold the stock together with any dividends which have accrued, or which may thereafter accrue there on at the disposal of the proper authority, and thereupon the stock shall become transfer able by, and any dividends thereon shall become payable to, the proper authority as if that authority were the legal personal representative of the deceased person.
§ (3) Where any stock is transferred or where any dividends are remitted or paid under or in pursuance of this Section, the transfer, remittance, or payment, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have been properly made and the bank shall be discharged from all liability in respect of the stock transferred and the dividends remitted or paid.
§ (4) Where any stock is held at the disposal of or any dividends thereon are paid to the proper authority under or in pursuance of this Section, that authority may, after making provision for the payment of any Death Duties leviable in respect of the stock and of the dividends, transfer the stock or any part of the stock to, or pay the proceeds of sale thereof or any part of those proceeds, to any person who, in the opinion of the proper authority, establishes a valid claim to the said stock or the proceeds of sale or any part thereof, and the receipt of any person la whom payment is made under or in pursuance of this Sub-section shall be a good discharge to the proper authority for the sum paid and any stock transferred to any person under or in pursuance of this Sub-section shall be deemed to have been properly transferred', and the proper authority shall be discharged from all liability in respect of the sum paid or the stock transferred.
§ (5) For the purposes of this Section— The expression "the bank" means the Bank of England or the Bank of Ireland, as the case may be;
- The expression "proper authority" means the High Commissioner or agent in London of the Dominion or Colony in which the deceased person was resident, or any other person recognised by the Treasury as being in relation to the deceased person the proper authority for the purposes of this Section;
- The expression "Government stock" means any stock or bonds which art for the time being transferable in the books of the bank under The National Debt Act, 1870, or by deed under Section seventeen ol The Finance Act, 1911;
- The expression "war stock" means any Government stock issued in connection with any loan raised for the purposes of the present War;
- The expression "Death Duties" has the same meaning as in Sub-section (3) of Section thirteen of The Finance Act, 1894;
- A person shall be deemed to have died in actual military service if he was a person to whom at the time of his death the provisions of Section eleven of The Wills Act, 1837, as amended by The Wills (Soldiers and Sailors) Act, 1918, applied or would have applied if he had been domiciled in England.—[Mr. Bonar Law.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time."
The object of this Clause will, I am sure, commend itself to every one. The purpose of it is to save those who are now fighting for us from law expenses and to provide that where the amount does not exceed £100 it should be dealt with by the Postmaster-General. As regards the latter part of the Clause, Dominion soldiers have been afraid to invest in War Loan because of the difficulties which would arise in getting possession of the money by their relatives if they were killed. This has been represented to me so strongly by the High Commissioner of Canada that he said that unless the Amendment were made it would interfere with subscription to loans by Canadian soldiers. The whole of it is to save unnecessary legal expenses and the length of the Clause is required in order to make sure that this protection is adequately given.
§ Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.
§ NEW CLAUSE.—(Extension of Relief to Clergymen or Ministers of Religion in Respect of Dwelling-houses.)
§ Where a clergyman or minister of any religious denomination is in the occupation of a dwelling-house, but pays no rent there for, he shall for the purposes of Section twenty-eight of The Finance Act, 1907 (which allows deductions by clergymen and ministers in respect of dwelling-houses), be deemed to pay a rent equal to the annual value of the dwelling-house as assessed to Income Tax under Schedule A, and that Section shall have effect accordingly.—[Mr. Gulland.]
§ Brought up, read the first time; read a second time, and added to the Bill.2415
§ NEW CLAUSE.—(Exclusion of ex-Service Men's Pension from Income Tax.)
§ In the case of a discharged or demobilised member of the armed forces of the Crown, including an officer, any disability pension awarded to him shall be excluded from his statement of income for the purpose of Income 'Tax; and this provision shall remain in force till twelve months after the declaration of peace.— [Colonel Ashley.]
§ Brought up, and road the first time.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
I beg to move,That the Clause be read a second time."This Clause ought to commend itself to every impartial and clear-minded men of the House of Commons. I wish to remove from the hand of the Income Tax authorities disability pensions which have been granted to soldiers, sailors, and members of the Royal Air Force. I am entirely in favour of Income Tax being paid on pensions which are purely deferred pay. I am entirely in favour of a civilian, whether he be an ex-sailor or soldier, or whoever he is, paying Income Tax according to his means and according to scale on any pension he receives from the Government or from any source whatever. But it is a perfect outrage that the Exchequer should exact Income Tax on money which is given to a man for disability incurred in the country's service. If a man loses an arm or leg the State says his earning power has been diminished by so much, let us say, £500. If they gave him the £500 in a lump sum he would pay nothing, but if, for the convenience of the State, or to enable him to live in the same way as he did before he incurred this injury, he is given a pension, they extract Income Tax from him. I can conceive nothing meaner than to give blood money to a soldier, and then to take back 1s., 2s., or 3s. for Income Tax. It is a matter which is felt very severely by ex-Service men, and I am sure the hon. Member (Mr. Hogge), who knows so much about ex-Service men, and has done so much in their interests, will agree with me that this is a very burning subject. It is not so much the amount of money that is taken from them, but they feel that it is mean for the State to give with one hand and to take back part of the money with the other. The Chancellor of the Exchequer may say it means a large sum of money. What sum of money is involved I have not the remotest idea, but justice is justice, and if the State has laid down through the House of Commons, and by means of a Government Department, 2416 that a certain amount of money should be paid to a man because he has been wounded or because he has lost his health in the service of the State, in fairness, the State has no right to take back any part of it. This is only to last for twelve months after the declaration of peace. No one knows how long the War may last, no one knows how many disability pensions will be payable at the end of the War, and no one knows what our finances may be, therefore, though strongly advocating this measure, I feel that we must have some regard to financial considerations and must automatically bring this to an end at a given time, so that a fresh Parliament may be able to review the case, to continue it if they think fit, or to revoke it. There will be no injustice to the ex-Service man in this, because twelve months after the declaration of peace, and probably long before, he will have an opportunity of casting his vote, and the House of Commons which will review this subject will be fully representative of the men affected. I ask the right hon. Gentleman's favourable consideration to what, in his own heart, I am sure he feels is only a fair thing to a man who has suffered for his country.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. HOGGE
I should like to be allowed to second this. I have an Amendment later on to the structure of the Bill which raises a wider point, but probably the hon. and gallant Gentleman has put the request at a point where the Leader of the House might reasonably make a concession. If a man has lost an arm or leg in the present War he gets a disability pension. For the purpose of Income Tax the Leader of the House adds that to any earnings he may make and calls it earned income. I should like him to tell the House what argument he can use for any man engaging in work by which he loses his leg, his arm, his eyesight, his speech, or his hearing, and regards that as an industry in which he earns income. It has only to be put in that way to the House and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer first to see the inhumanity of assessing a disability pension as earned income. If you assessed the pension in any other way there might be a reasonable excuse for adding the pension to what a man earns, but to say that a man who has lost his leg or his eyesight in this War has earned income by that sacrifice for 2417 his country is monstrous. All that this new Clause asks is that for the purpose of assessing pensions for Income Tax, whatever other proposals the Chancellor of the Exchequer may make he should not continue the practice of regarding these pensions as earned income. As I have differed frequently from the hon. and gallant Gentleman on other soldiers' questions, I am glad to take this opportunity of supporting him in this proposal, which is narrower than my own, but which I should be willing to accept in lieu of the larger Amendment I should make in the structure of the Bill.
§ Colonel Sir HAMAR GREENWOOD
I support this Clause. The assessing of disability pension as earned income is one of the many shabby pages in the history of the treatment of soldiers and sailors in this country. At the present moment the soldiers and sailors of this country who have borne the chief brunt of this great War up to the present are the worst paid and the worst pensioned of all the soldiers serving under our Flag or under the American flag. Very large numbers of men only pay tax because the pension is added to whatever other income is made, and that brings them within the Income Tax law. The men get their disability pensions granted to them not on a generous scale but on the lowest possible scale which the Treasury can grant them.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I submit that, what I am saying is absolutely in accordance with the fact. It is the duty of the Treasury to expend money for pensions or any other purpose with a close fist, but to treat pensions in this way has this result, that in some cases a man who gets a disability pension is worse off than if he had no disability pension. Those men who are now enjoying a small disability pension have the pensions assessed to them independent of what will be the increase in Income Tax, and unless you raise the scale of the disability pension as you raise the Income Tax the man with a disability pension is worse off each succeeding year, because it is obvious that the Income Tax will grow year after year for many years to come. I know the difficulties of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and everybody in the House admits that no one could have more sympathy with the case of these men, who 2418 stand in the first class as deserving of the best consideration. I know his sympathies, and I know something about his financial difficulties; and I know this, that everyone of the Allied countries now borrows money from the United States. The only country in the world that can lend money is the United States. If there is one loan that the Americans would more gladly grant than another in connection with this War it would be a loan of money to do something to equalise to some extent the disability pensions that are paid in such a niggardly way to our own gallant soldiers and sailors. The right hon. Gentleman has to borrow money from the United States. If he did it in this case it would not be a large amount, although I have not been able to work out to my own satisfaction what would be the exact amount required. I hope that the policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be in accord with his sympathies, and that this most deserving class of heroic men will get justice from the House of Commons.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
This is the kind of Amendment which must inevitably put any Chancellor of the Exchequer in a difficult position. My hon. and gallant Friend who spoke last said the Treasury gave the smallest pensions possible, and that it was the duty of the Treasury to save money where they could. Of course, that is true. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer, after all, is a member of the Government like any other Member, and when the question comes up as to what pension or allowance should be given to soldiers, I have always taken the view that because I happened to be Chancellor of the Exchequer that should not make any difference in the policy which, in regard to that matter, I should take if I held any other office in the Government. I do not think that when you are dealing with the War and what you are to give to your soldiers and sailors that the office one holds should influence one in regard to the question of the generosity with which these men should be treated. That has been my view throughout, and I think the House will give me credit for it, for they will remember that the first scale of separation allowance was increased on a Motion by me that a Select Committee should be appointed to revise the scale. I approach this matter with a desire to do whatever the finances of the country justify with a view to treating these men as 2419 fairly as we can. I hope this Amendment will not be pressed by the House, because it is quite obvious that the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot resist the general feeling of the House in favour of an Amendment if it be generally held that he is treating these men, who are risking and giving their lives, less generously than they ought to be treated. You cannot do that. Therefore, I hope the House will agree with me that you ought not to press this Amendment at the present time. Let me give my j reasons for that.
The whole structure of the Income Tax Acts is based on the ability to pay as represented by income. That is the whole basis of it, and you cannot start on any other. Take the case which is put as a great hardship, of two men working together, and doing the same work. One gets an income which is entirely the result of his work, and the other gets an additional income owing to his disability pension. If you start on the basis of what the Income Tax law must be, one is better able to pay than the other, and if you depart from it, you depart from the whole principle of the law.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I do not follow the hon. Member's point about that. By calling it "earned income" the man is taxed on the lowest possible scale. On any other system he would pay n. higher amount. Carry the point a little further. We have altered the Warrant for pensions frequently. They are paid, or ought to be paid, on the idea that we are giving adequate pensions, taking into account the whole conditions and including the liability that a man is to be taxed on his income the same as other people. The whole basis of the Warrant is on that footing. If more should be given, I think it would be a very bad principle to give more by altering the whole basis of the Income Tax. It ought to be done by giving bigger pensions. I say at once that if it were possible for me to accept this Amendment I should obviously be bound to add to it the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for East Edinburgh.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Even though the hon. Member withdraws it the acceptance 2420 of this Amendment would make that absolutely essential. It is quite clear that if a man who has been wounded and gets a pension on that ground is to be free from Income Tax, still more the widow of the man who has died should be free from Income Tax on what has been given on account of her husband's death. It is quite obvious that all these things would have to be included, and it would mean a considerable amount of money. I discussed this matter with my advisers. I had a feeling, as I am sure every hon. Member has a feeling, that I should like to grant this, that it is exceptional, and that these men have done something that other people have not done. If it were reasonable I would certainly do it; but I do not think it is. I think it would start a principle which would do an amount of harm out of all proportion to the advantage that would be derived. That is my view. It would be very unequal and, I think, unfair, for this reason: If a man has a disability pension and is not able to get employment, or he gets employment so badly paid that he does not come within the Income Tax scale, then this concession which the House would give out of sympathy for this class of man would relieve a class which needs it less, that is to say, those who have the larger income, whereas the other class would not get anything out of the concession. I hope that what I have said will convince the House that however strong our feelings may be in regard to giving anything for these men which is in reason, this is not the right way to give more to our soldiers. If the Amendment be carried to a Division, it must not be regarded that those who vote against it are less in sympathy with these men than those who vote for it; they vote against it because they feel that it is impossible to grant it.
§ Sir E. CARSON
With a good deal of what my right hon. Friend has said I entirely sympathise. I think we must be careful that we are not led away into doing what is in any way an injustice towards others in our sympathy towards any particular class; but at the same time I am disappointed with the speech of my right hon. Friend. I think he made out a case for doing something for these men, something which would really relieve them from the burden which this Amendment tries to ameliorate. This Amendment refers simply to disability pension. That is really not income at all; 2421 it is something that we pay to a man for an injury that he has received in service to his country. It is not in the nature of deferred pay, as pensions generally are. If you were to give him a capital sum for the injury he has received instead of an annual sum, as is given by what is called a disability pension, would anybody for a moment suggest that anything ought to be deducted from the capital sum either towards Income Tax or in any other way, to raise revenue?
§ Sir E. CARSON
To tell a man who has lost an arm or a leg: "You can get what employment you can, and, in assessing you for Income Tax, we will add the amount we have given to you for the loss of your arm or your leg as earned income as something you have earned in the nature of wages," is about as mean a proposition as this House could make. At the same time if my right hon. Friend will announce to the House that he will have the position of these men reviewed to see if something can be done for them by means of an increase that would in effect save them from having to make this contribution, it would certainly be a better way of doing it. But, after all, we can only plead for these men as the opportunity arises, and unless we can get some pledge or promise that their cases are going to be reconsidered, I hope my hon. Friend will go to a Division.
§ Mr. HOLT
I was very pleased indeed to listen to the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because he has delivered arguments identical with those I have delivered in the House on many occasions. I venture to say he is quite right. Nothing whatever should be given to people by way of relief from taxation. If these pensions are not adequate they should be increased in a straightforward manner, and let us know what we are doing. These surreptitious reliefs, as the right hon. Gentleman pointed out, operate very unfairly. In this particular case it might relieve a man from paying Super-tax. I am very glad the right hon. Gentleman took the line he did. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Trinity College (Sir Edward Carson) was entirely wrong when he said that if a man had a lump sum he would escape Income Tax. The income on a lump sum would have had 2422 to pay Income Tax in the same way as any other investment a man might possess.
§ Sir E. CARSON
May I ask the hon. Gentleman, as he accuses me of such a degree of weakness in my law, if a man had £100 and spent it would he pay the tax on his furniture?
§ Mr. HOLT
The right hon. Gentleman assumes that a man takes a lump sum and squanders it right away. It is paid him in order that he may derive income from it in order to maintain himself. The disability pension is a payment made to him with the idea that you are going to compensate him for the loss of earning power. It ought to be made on the basis that it is to take the place of what he would have earned. In that case it is subject to precisely the same law in regard to taxation as the money he would have earned. The Chancellor is right in maintaining the view that exemption from taxation will not be given as a reward for public services which should be paid for by an adequate grant or pension as the case may be.
§ Mr. J. MASON
I regard this special case of exemption from Income Tax as an extremely dangerous way of dealing with the matter, and I quite agree it would be far better to increase a disability pension than grant special cases for exemption from Income Tax. The worst feature of the suggestion is that the very poor man who is unable to earn anything, and with the disability pension gets a total of less than £120 a year, gains absolutely nothing by such a concession, whereas the man who earns something considerable gets in addition the relief that is suggested. That instance alone shows that this is a wrong way.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
The disability pension is supposed to show a loss of income. What we object to is that where a man works hard and manages to get 2423 above the Income Tax limit he should have a part of what is given to him taken away by the State.
§ Sir H. NIELD
I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer must be feeling very uncomfortable in having the support of the hon. Member for Hexham (Mr. Holt) supplemented by the last speaker. It is not a question of pedantry. Pedantry has often carried hon. Members belonging to the school to which the hon. Member for Hexham belongs into difficulties. This is a human question, and not merely a question for the officials of the' Treasury. The right hon. Gentleman talked of the sympathy he had. Those of us who have had any experience of trying to get consideration, know the cloven foot of the Treasury comes in without any bowels of compassion and draws tight lines from which they will not deviate lest they should lose their reputation as custodians of the public purse. Some of us could show gross examples of dereliction and extravagance on the part of the Treasury, but we will not go into that now. These pensions are often reviewed; there is a hall-keeper near here who was at Mons and has been wounded three or four times in heroic service. His pension was reviewed constantly and was cut down and down because a public authority has taken mercy on him and given him a reasonable income to maintain his wife and children; and because of the generosity of the municipality the authority has cut that pension down until it is now Ss. a week. I think that is illustrative of many cases. Although the Treasury makes grants which arc enormous in the total amount, they do in particular cases reach a very refined point. A man may succeed in getting a snug billet, say, as a butler or personal servant to a country gentleman. It may not last long. His employer may die suddenly and yet the man finds his pension cut down because of the salary he has been receiving, which may be out of proportion to his market value as a disabled man. As these pensions are revisable it seems to me an unjust thing—not merely hard but unjust—that the State should 2424 take from a man a sum in Income Tax when but for the pension he would not be chargeable. It could be met surely by prescribing that inasmuch as these pensions do not, save in exceptional cases, amount to more than, say, £70\ a year [HON. MEMBERS: '"Less!"] Not that? I suppose the average pension would be something in the neighbourhood of 15s. or 16s. a week.
§ Sir H. NIELD
£40 a year says my hon Friend, who knows a great deal about this subject. There is power now under one of the Acts, when the income comes close up to a margin where a high rate of duty would be payable, not to regard the last pound as turning the scale and making the higher duty chargeable. Something of that sort might be adopted here and £40, or the average pension, should be deducted from the amount on the Income Tax return paper. I can hardly imagine that the sympathetic gentlemen at the Pensions Office, when taking into account the pensions, would consider the liability to Income Tax. The Chancellor says they take it into account. Of course they do not know what the man's possible earnings may be in a year or two hence, and they are not over generous in assessing those earnings of which he makes a return. I think it is a real grievance, and the sooner the Government realise the feeling there is about taking from the pensions of those disabled in the War a sum of money in Income Tax, the sooner they will reconsider their opinion, though it may be too late so far as the effect is concerned. I can speak personally of the very wide and deep sympathy with these men on the grounds of insufficiency. The public realise, of course, that the expenses of this War are such as not to justify unlimited generosity, but here is a matter which is absolutely unjustified, and I sincerely hope that before this Bill leaves the House means will be found that within the small limits of the average pension no man's income shall be chargeable to the tax which would not have been chargeable but for the small pension.
§ Sir C. HENRY
I am very much concerned at some remarks that have just fallen from my hon. Friend. He led the House to infer that in the event of the pension being reduced account was taken 2425 of a man's earnings. I would like my right hon. Friend to give some assurance on that point.
§ Sir C. HENRY
It will influence me very much how I vote on this question. I take it my hon. and learned Friend is entirely misinformed when he states that when revision takes place those responsible take into any account what the man's earning capacity may be. I have the assurance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that such is not the case.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I do not profess to know intimately the rules of the Pensions Warrant, but that very point was discussed when the Warrant was first formed and we were unanimous in deciding against that principle
§ Sir C. HENRY
In these circumstances I do not intend to support this Amendment. The argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is absolutely sound and justified. In dealing with Income Tax it should be dealt with entirely independently of such matters, and if pensions have to be revised on the upward scale it ought to be taken into consideration then that Income Tax may be payable on those pensions. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will persist in the attitude he has adopted.
§ General McCALMONT
I wish to reinforce the arguments which have been advanced on behalf of disabled soldiers and sailors, and I would like to remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, with the approval of the Ministry of Pensions, there is at this moment an appeal being made in America to provide funds to help Irish disabled soldiers to get a living. I think that is a statement which is very relevant to this issue, because it is not a good thing that it should be imagined, rightly or wrongly, that we are neglecting our duty to disabled soldiers. I hope that before the Debate ends we shall at least receive some assurance from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that something is going to be 2426 done which will put these men in a more-satisfactory position than that which they now occupy. This is an illustration of the difficulties which are now being felt in parts of Ireland in dealing with disabled soldiers, and I am certain that the present advertisement in America, and the fact that it is being said that these men are having their pensions taxed by the British Treasury, are very poor testimony to British justice.
§ Mr. D. MASON
May I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman, in support of what has just been said—for I think it would be an unfortunate thing to go to a Division on such a subject as this—to give the House some assurance that in regard to these pensions, which are reviewed every six months, this point will be kept in view? I think that would meet the sense of the House, and meet the situation.
§ Colonel YATE
I think this Debate has shown a general consensus of opinion as to the inadequacy of the disablement pension, and I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will give us some assurance that what is asked for by the hon. Member for Trinity College, and various other Members who have spoken, will be considered sympathetically, not only in the case of the men, but more especially in the case of the officers, whose pension, I think it is generally acknowledged, is far from adequate. Unless we get some assurance from the Chancellor that the matter will be taken up and reconsidered, I certainly, for one, will vote for the Amendment, and take advantage of the opportunity which now presents itself.
§ Mr. R. McNEILL
What has fallen from my hon. and gallant Friend behind me does not seem quite relevant to the point which we have been discussing. The question whether or not the pensions are adequate is quite a different point from that which was dealt with by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is one of these Amendments in regard to which it is easy to excite compassion; it is easy to get up in this House and to express sympathy with disabled and wounded soldiers, no doubt genuine sympathy, because disabled soldiers are deserving of all our sympathy, and we can all express sympathy with very little responsibility. The "Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible for two things. 2427 He is a member of the Government, and he is responsible for seeing that these pensions are adequate, but as Chancellor of the Exchequer he is also responsible for keeping the finance of the country in proper order. I think the tendency in these cases, even in those who feel in their inmost hearts that the argument of the Chancellor is justified, is to remain silent in their scats rather than to rise and oppose the Amendment, and thereby incur any odium there might be in standing up and apparently being out of sympathy with the demands made on behalf of disabled men. It is only for
|Division No. 55.]||AYES.||[4.37 p.m.|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Strauss, Arthur (paddington, North)|
|Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Maden, Sir John Henry||Sutherland, John E.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Croft, Brig.-Gen. Henry Page||Millar, James Duncan||Tickler, T. G.|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Morrell, Philip||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Essex, sir Richard Walter||Nield, Sir Herbert||Wiles, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Gilbert, J. D.||Outhwaite, R. L.||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Hogge, John Myles||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Pringle, William M. R.||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Rowlands, James|
|Jones, W. Kennedy (Hornsey)||Smallwood, Edward||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.— Colonal Ashley and Colonel Sir H. Greenwood|
|King, Joseph||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Hamersley, Lt.-Col. Alfred St. George||Pearce, Sir William (Limehouse)|
|Ainsworth, Sir John Stirling||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Lawrence||Peel, Major Hon. G. (Spalding)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Harmood-Banner, Sir J. S.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Archdale, Lieut. E. M.||Haslam, Lewis||Philipps, Sir Owen (Chester)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir F. G.||Henry, Sir Charles (Shropshire)||Pulley, C. T.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. George N.||Hermon-Hodge, Sir R. T.||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Barnett, Captain R. W,||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Hew ins, William Albert S.||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, E.)|
|Beach, William F. H.||Holt, Richard Duraing||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Bird, Alfred||Hope, Lieut-Col. J. A. (Midlothian)||Robertson, Rt. Hon. J. M.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rutherford, Col. Sir J. (Lanes., Darwen)|
|Boyton, Sir James||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Brassey, H. L. C.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Samuels, Arthur W.|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hunter, Major Sir Charles Rodk.||Scott, MacCullum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Cautley, H. s.||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Hon. F. S. (York)||Shaw, Hon. A.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Kellaway, Frederick George||Somervell, William Henry|
|Coats, Sir Stuart A. (Wimbledon)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Spear, Sir John W.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S.Molton)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Stirling, Lieut.-Col. Archibald|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Layland-Barratt, Sir F.||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Levy, Sir Maurice||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Dalrymple, Hon. H. H.||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lonsdale, James R.||Wardle, George J.|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Dougherty, Rt. Hon. Sir J. B.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Watson, John B. (Stockton)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Wedgwood, Lt.-Commander Josiah C.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram Godfray||Macmaster, Donald||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Fleming, Sir John||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Williams, Col. Sir Robert (Dorset. W.)|
|Foster, Philip Staveley||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Wilson, Capt. A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Morgan, George Hay||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Gastrell, Lieut.-Col. Sir W. Houghton||Morison, Hector||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Gibbs, Col. George Abraham||Morton, Sir Alpheus Cleophas||Wood, Sir John (Stalybridge)|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Col. John||Newman, Major J. R. P. (Enfield)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Goddard, Rt. Hon. Sir Danial Ford||Newman, Sir Robert (Exeter)||Younger, Sir George|
|Goulding, Sir Edward Altred||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Lord Edmund Talbot and Mr. Pratt.|
|Greig, Colonel J. W||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Gretton, John||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar|
§ that reason that I have got up to say that, having listened to the Debate, think the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given a perfectly sound answer— [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"]—to the demand put forward in this Amendment Whether or not the pensions are adequate is another point, but, so far as this particular issue is concerned, at all events if the proposal goes to a Division, I an prepared to support the Government.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 40; Noes. 118.