§ As from the first day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-one, the Customs Duties on motor spirit imported into Great Britain or Ireland and the Excise Duty on licences to be taken out annually by dealers in motor spirit shall cease to be chargeable.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The first Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Sir W. Joynson-Hicks) to insert at the beginning the words "Unless Parliament otherwise decides" is unnecessary, and the other Amendments in one way or another involve a charge. The question of the Petrol Tax and Motor Car Tax can be discussed on the Motion "That the Clause stand part."
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
In this case I am not proposing any reduction of taxation, but merely a different mode of taxation. The new proposals of the Government are to raise a certain amount of money, between £7,000,000 and £8,000,000, for road purposes by taxation not upon petrol and by motor car licences but upon the horse-power of motor cars. Those who hold the same view as I do are of opinion that it is very much better and fairer to all concerned that the taxation should be as in past years on the petrol, because petrol is the only means we can find which gives some sort of ratio between the taxation and the use of the roads. At the outset I desire to expose one fallacy. I understand that a very large number of county councils and town councils have been writing to Members of this House and telling them that if my Amendment were carried and the horse-power method removed, there would be no taxation of motorists for road purposes. I had a letter from one of my own local authorities, and this apparently emanates from one of the great associations which alarmed the road authorities to this effect. Let me say quite clearly and openly that that is absolutely without any shadow of foundation in fact. We propose, and I am authorised to speak in this matter on behalf not merely of pleasure motorists, but a large number or, indeed, all the motor trade organisations, and we are prepared and willing at the present juncture to pay to the 1315 general taxation of this country for the purpose of the roads this sum of £8,000,000, and no Amendment is going to alter that fact. If the Committee agree with me that the tax should be as it is now, partly on petrol and partly on motor licences then it would be, I take it, for my right hon. Friend the Minister to confer with the motoring organisations between now and Report stage and settle with them the scale of taxation, which could be perfectly easily done, which would produce £8,000,000 sterling for the purposes of the roads. I deny at once and in toto the idea that an Amendment is being moved for the purpose of getting out of the taxation needed for the maintenance and improvement of our roads. On general principles a special tax on any particular form of traffic is not a good tax, but we consent to it for the particular purposes of the moment, because the general funds of the country cannot support a grant-in-aid, which is absolutely necessary for the treatment of the roads to meet the enormous additional traffic. Why do we think this method of taxation is fairer? In the first place, I would remind the Committee of what no less an authority than the Prime Minister of this country said when the taxation of motors was first suggested. Speaking in October, 1909, the Prime Minister said:To get any sort of criterion by which you are to get a contribution in proportion to the amount of damage done, you must introduce two elements (that is, horse-power taxation and Petrol Duty). I cannot imagine a fairer way of doing it than that which we propose.That is the present system. The Secretary of State for India, when he was Financial Secretary to the Treasury in 1915, when there was again a proposal to increase the amount of taxation put upon the motoring community saidIt must have been obvious from the corespondence in the Press, and the communications received that it is very difficult to devise a scale of licence duties which shall be equitable.That is the line which the Government took for the last 11 years, and they have had this taxation of a combination of licence duty and petrol duty as the fairest criterion of the amount of traffic. It was not until my right hon. Friend came into office that the Government took up the idea that horse-power taxation 1316 of motor cars was a better method. The Committee will remember that he founded his policy when the Bill was brought in in March of this year almost entirely on the report of a Departmental Committee which reported very strongly in favour of taxation by horse-power. That Committee, of which Sir Henry Maybury was Chairman, and on which there sat a representative of the Government Departments and of the motor organisations, reported with two or three exceptions in favour of horse-power taxation. I asked the right hon. Gentleman from time to time whether that Committee was not more or less ordered, though I will not say that but call it directed by him, to find in favour of the petrol scheme of taxation being abolished. He told me I was entirely wrong. The Minister of Transport on 20th April, in reply to my remarks, saidI was asked 'Were the Committee told that the Petrol Tax must go?' Certainly not, they arrived at their decision after careful consideration." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th April, 1920, col. 304, Vol. 128.]Speaking on 27th April, the Minister of Transport said:I was not at the Committee, and no instruction was given by me to the Committee; or heard in this House.—[OFFICE REPORT, 27th April, 1920, col. 1133, Vol. 128.]7.0 P.M.
It is perfectly clear that my right hon. Friend flourished that Report before the House and said he could not go behind it. Will the Committee believe me when I say that I have been able to find out that this very Committee which had reported in favour of horse-power taxation had two months before sent in an Interim Report to the right hon. Gentleman absolutely and entirely in favour of continuing the tax on petrol? I have got the Report here. I have no doubt it was merely overlooked by the Minister in his speech. I subsequently asked him to publish it, but owing to the expense of printing he asked me not to press for it being printed, but he gave me permission to make such use as I liked of it. I cannot give any better arguments than were contained in this, I will not say, suppressed Report, but this overlooked Report, which ought to have been given to the House at the same time as the other Report was published. This Report is signed by General Maybury on behalf of the whole 1317 of this very excellent Committee, and it says:We have carefully considered three possible bases of taxation, namely:
- (a) Taxation proportionate to user.
- (b) Taxation of the vehicle.
- (c) A combination of both principles…We consider that the taxation of motor spirit is the most practical method of charging proportionate to user … A tax on motor spirit would appear to be reasonably fair when applied to user, and also when regard is had to weight and speed, and thus to the amount which may be assumed to be taken out of the road. … The Commitee have carefully considered whether there is any practical alternative and are unable to suggest any, beyond a graduated licence duty on all classes of vehicles. The objections to such a system of taxation are, however, greater, in the Committee's view, than the objections to the Petrol Tax.They go on:We think that a revenue of £4,000,000 per annum from a flat rate of 4d. per gallon may be considered a conservative estimate in two years' time. We are of opinion that the remission of Excise Duty on home-produced spirit should be continued, for the following reasons:This is my right hon. Friend's own Committee reporting, and they add:
- (a) Difficulties and cost of collection.
- (b) The necessity in the national interests of encouraging home-produced spirit.
- (c) The fact that for some years to come the total of home-produced spirit is not likely to exceed 20 per cent. of the total consumption."We have come to the conclusion that road vehicles propelled by steam, electricity, or any power other than petrol should be specially taxed.They summarise their recommendations as follows:(1) Taxation of motor spirit should be continued.(2) A flat rate per gallon should be levied on all imported motor spirit used by mechanical road vehicles of every description.I think the House and the country ought to be made acquainted with that Report, which this Committee, after full consideration, made to the Minister without any direction on his part. The Minister told us that the Committee had not been directed to throw over the petrol tax, but when he got this Report in favour of the petrol tax and against the scheme which even at that time was, I suppose, floating in his mind, he wrote to Sir Henry Maybury, his own servant, the head of one of his own Departments, as follows: 1318I have received your Report on the deliberations of your Committee, and I would like to convey through you my thanks to them for the very business like way in which this intricate problem has been tackled. … I have been looking at the figures from May to October of this year, and I see that full rate duty spirit has risen from 6,000,000 to 10,000,000 gallons a month, but that there is, practically speaking, no rise in the half-duty rate.This is where the right hon. Gentleman has gone wrong, for he jumped to the conclusion that there was something being done by the users of commercial vehicles to evade the payment of petrol duty. He goes on:It is no use, however, adopting a basis of taxation which is not going to be fruitful and is not really going to represent a tax on road users according to their use of the road, if they are going to use the road and evade the tax. … I would also like to consider what possibility there is of ensuring that any reduction in the Petrol Tax will inure to the benefit of the consumer.The great organisations have agreed that if the petrol tax were reduced by 6d., they would reduce the cost of petrol by 7d. Since they made that offer to my right hon. Friend, they have put 8d. on to the cost of petrol. My right hon. Friend goes on in his letter:If my suspicion is right—that a tax on petrol no longer accurately represents the amount of road user of mechanically propelled vehicles—some other method of taxation will have to be devised.He sent the Report back to the Committee. If his figures had been right, that the rise in the commercial petrol was not in proportion to the fully duty-paid petrol, then there would be something in his case, but what are the facts? They have come out in answer to questions in this House, from which it appears that during that particular period the War Office and the Ministry of Munitions placed on the market the whole of their accumulated stocks of benzole, and naturally the commercial community bought these duty-free stocks of benzole. They were quickly used up during these four or five months, and as soon as the benzole stocks had been used up, the increase in the use of commercial petrol went on as merrily as before, and my right hon. Friend's figures, though right but for this explanation, are totally wrong at the present day. In other words, there is no real evasion of the petrol duty by the 1319 commercial vehicle users of this country, and the proceeds of the tax are growing so rapidly that I do not think it will be very long before even on a basis of 4d. they would easily get more than half the amount which they require for the purposes of this tax. I submit that the First Report of the Committee is more worthy of the respect of this House than the Second Report, and that the original report was the report which they made when they were free to discuss the matter amongst themselves, without being biassed by the views of my right hon. Friend. Of course, Sir Henry Maybury was bound to take the report back when he received a letter of that kind from the Minister, and I am not blaming Sir Henry at all. The Committee reported on the assumption made by the right hon. Gentleman that there was petrol evasion by the commercial motor users, and so they reported that the only possible thing was a horsepower tax. I submit that there is no such evasion of any kind. I want to put it to this Committee that it is unfair that the user and the owner of private cars, or indeed of commercial cars, should be so charged.
I have had endless letters from places like laundries and shops with two or three commercial cars, who use them from time to time—some are in dock, some in use, some are used for short mileage—and they say it will increase their tax enormously if they have to pay £20 per car on a car of 20 h.p. rather than pay on the amount of petrol they are using. They do not object to paying in accordance with the use of their cars, and they say that if their business is good and they have enough business to run half-a-dozen cars all day long, they will be paying according to the amount of damage they do to the roads. My right hon. Friend told us that the only organisation which was opposed to his tax was the Automobile Association, of which I have the honour to be chairman, and he rather discounted us because, although we have 130,000 members, we are only so-called pleasure cars. I object to the term pleasure cars, because of the user of cars by business men included in the membership of the Association, and there is a comparatively small number of cars used exclusively for joy rides; but since my right hon. Friend's views and 1320 proposals have become known, a very different state of things has taken place throughout the country. I am authorised to-day not to speak merely for pleasure users, but for the great building organisations, the great motor trade organisations, of this country, who have come to the conclusion, and whose members are arriving at the conclusion day by day, that this tax will seriously injure the motor building trade. It is not only the Automobile Association, but I have here letters from many other organisations. The Society of Motor Manufacturers is unanimously against this tax. The Association of British Motor Manufacturers, Limited, writes under date of 1st July as follows:Replying to your letter of the 28th June, I write to say that the opinion of this Association has all along been that the taxation of motor fuel is the only fair as well as the most practical way of taxing motor vehicles.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
It is from the Association of British Motor Manufacturers, Ltd., and it is signed by Mr. H. Underdown, the President of the Association. The letter goes on:… as well as the most practical way of taxing motor vehicles, in that it is a method of taxation as nearly as possible proportionate to the user of the roads…. This Association represents all the leading British private and commercial vehicle manufacturers.The Motor Trade Association write on the 29th June:The Management Committee and Council of the Motor Trade Association desire me to express to you our strong protest against the proposed new method of motor taxation. We consider that the proposed method of horse-power taxation will have, and, in fact, already is having, a seriously bad effect on the motor industry.The Motor Agents' Union write on the 25th June:On behalf of the members of the Motor Agents' Union, numbering at the present time, 3,000 of the leading motor car dealers of the United Kingdom, I desire to protest against any method of taxing motor vehicles, both private and commercial, by any means other than on the amount of fuel used for their propulsion.There are letters also from the Agents' Section, Limited, the British Cycle and Motor Cycle Manufacturers' and Traders' Union, Limited, and the Agricultural Engineers' Association, 1321 all putting forward the same views. In other words, all these people whose commercial prosperity is bound up in the continuance of the prosperity of our road transport. It is not merely pleasure motors, but it is the whole organisation of mechanically-propelled transport of the Kingdom, and with the railways crowded, as my right hon. Friend tells us, with more traffic than they can carry, it is absolutely essential, in the interests of commerce, that motor traffic and motor organisation should be encouraged as much as possible. I think I have put forward the main facts of the case, and I do ask the Committee to agree with me, and those hon. Friends of mine who have put down an Amendment to leave out the Clause, that we should strike out of this Bill Clause 11, which does away with the old petrol duty, and if we succeed in striking it out, then we can discuss a scale of taxation on petrol, which would be fair, and probably an increase on the present licences on motor cars.
I should like to refer to a statement made by Sir Henry Maybury some months ago, that it would be necessary to put a tax of 1s. a gallon on petrol to produce this sum needed. An hon. Member behind me says 1s. 3d. I will not discuss such an absurd figure, but will use Sir Henry Maybury's figure of ls. We have asked him to state his reason in writing, and to receive a deputation to discuss it with him, and he has refused both requests. The importation of petrol to-day is 160,000,000 gallons per annum. Next year, Sir Henry Maybury says, there will be 750,000 motor vehicles on the roads. I should say the importation will be very nearly 200,000,000 gallons of petrol. That, at one shilling, would mean £10,000,000 a year. Add to that the existing licence duties, and reasonable taxation on steam and electric vehicles, and you get £13,000,000 or £14,000,000 a year, which is nearly double what my right hon. Friend is asking. A flat rate of 4½d. on petrol, with a reasonable increase of the existing licence duties, and taxation on steam cars and electric cars, would provide the £8,000,000, and if my hon. Friend behind thinks 4½d. not enough, I will give him another ½d. We are not trying to get out of our taxation, but we are only asking that we who have got to pay should be allowed to say in which way we pay.
1322 Finally, I want to appeal to those 95 Members of this House who put down the Amendment, jointly with myself, to leave out the Clause. I do hope that Members who have gone to that length will not run away merely at the threat of the Government Whips. This is not a question of confidence in the Government. It is not fair for my right hon. Friend opposite, if he is going to do so, to say that if this Clause is deleted, the Government will have to go. We are his supporters. Most of the Members who are opposed to this Clause are supporters of the Coalition, and we do not want to turn out the Government on an insignificant question of this kind, but we do say that we, as supporters of the Government, are entitled to come to the Government and say that we prefer taxation this way instead of that way, and it is not fair to hold a threat over us of putting on the Government Whips. I therefore appeal to my right hon. Friend to allow his own supporters to vote as they think right in this matter, and I appeal to those Members who have testified that they think it is right to leave out the Clause, not to be intimidated even by my right hon. Friend, but to carry their object by voting, if necessary, in the Division Lobby to-night.
§ Commander Viscount CURZON
I should like, as far as I can, to reinforce everything that has been said by my hon. Friend who has preceded me in this Debate. I should like to make clear that I speak, not as representing any motor organisation, such as my hon. Friend represents, but merely as a private user of motor cars—a user who has had a good deal of experience. I do not wish to get out of paying any of the taxation that is required for motor cars towards paying for roads. We who use motor cars want to have good roads. I say "we who use motor cars." I do not speak only for the users of private motor cars. I had a conversation only yesterday with a gentleman who is connected with the London General Omnibus Company, and he told me that his company are willing and anxious to pay for good roads, because they are so essential to the upkeep of their vehicles, and, as we who use the roads know, some have got into a deplorable condition and are rapidly deteriorating as a result of the War. We do not want to get out of paying for the roads, but what we do want 1323 is to have a say in how the money is to be raised from us. The right hon. Gentleman proposes to impose a tax upon horse power. I think, personally, that is the worst possible form of tax. The three main factors which wear away the roads—I am sure I shall be borne out in this by hon. Members who have experience of county councils, and so on—are the mileage run by car, the amount of its horse power, and the speed at which it travels. All those things mean an expenditure of fuel. The greater horse power, the greater speed, and the greater mileage, all mean an increase in the amount of fuel used, and, therefore, if you had a tax on fuel, be it petrol, benzol, or even paraffin, if you could use it and tax it, you would pay, at any rate, in accordance with the ratio in which you used the roads. The right hon. Gentleman's proposals bear no relation to this whatever.
The right hon. Gentleman is the fortunate possessor of a car—I will not mention the name, because I do not want to give it an advertisement—of 40-horsepower, and if one looks at the table prepared by the Ministry of Transport on the taxation of motor vehicles, it will be seen that if a 40-horse-power car runs 10,000 miles on the proposed basis of taxation, it will come off £9 3s. 4d. better than if it paid according to the old rate. I am perfectly certain that it is not the wish and the intention of this House that people who own 40-horse-power cars should get off lighter in these days of taxation. I have here an advertisement of another make of car which is advertised in these terms: "When the new Budget taxes are in force, it will be still cheaper to run your 35-horsepower—" I will not give the name of the car, but that is how the car is actually advertised. I maintain that is not at all what this House wants. The principle I have heard so ably enforced in this Debate already is that the tax should be paid by those who are best able to pay it, and if you can afford to run a 40-horse-power car, I maintain that you should pay a fairer share of the taxation. It is true that when the mileage is reduced to 2,500, according to the Ministry of Transport's own table, you pay more. But that is exactly what you do not want to do, because if you are not 1324 using the roads so much, why should you pay for others who do?
I maintain that to put the tax on horse-power is thoroughly bad, and I do hope the Minister of Transport will be able to reconsider this matter. He has shown so far no sign of being ready to consider the opinion of really nine out of ten motorists in this matter. The great argument alleged against a fuel tax is the difficulty of rebates, which render collection so expensive. New proposals which have been submitted, I believe, to the right hon. Gentleman proposed to do away with all the rebates as far as possible, and it has been worked out more or less that the cost was about £64,000 a year. But if you do away with the rebates, in the words of one of two Members of his own Committee on taxation, you very largely do away with the objection. Mr. Rees Jeffreys, for instance, who was on the Committee, said the abolition of rebates would go a long way to remove the objection to the petrol tax and remove the cost of collection. It is now proposed to allow a rebate of 25 per cent. on cars built before 1913. I therefore think the question of rebate cannot really have been the cause of the right hon. Gentleman wishing to impose taxation on horse-power.
I am told—I do not know with what truth—that one great section of motor vehicle users, mainly, commercial motor vehicle users, are very anxious to have the horse-power tax. That may be so, but I have had a conversation with one or two large users of commercial motor vehicles, and they are quite doubtful as to whether they are really enthusiastically in favour of it, because if you take the case of, say, a motor omnibus which pays £84 under the Government proposal for taxation by horse-power, it may be laid up for repairs for a long period, and not be able to earn any money. Therefore, that would be certain dead loss to the firm, whereas if the tax were paid according to the fuel used, it would pay according to the amount it used the road. I do hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give some consideration to what, I am sure, is the majority opinion of motor users in this country. We do not want to get out of paying money, and we want to see that we get good roads, but it is only a question of how we pay the money, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to 1325 make some concession to motorists in this matter.
§ Mr. TURTON
The hon. Baronet (Sir W. Joynson-Hicks) alluded to a circular, which he intimated was sent out by some association, in which I gather there appeared a phrase that motor owners would be contributing nothing to the upkeep of the roads unless this Clause were passed. I happen to have the honour to be Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of the County Councils' Association, and I can only say on behalf of that association that I know of no such circular having been sent out. I shall be glad if the hon. Gentleman will repudiate at once, on behalf of the County Councils' Association, that they sent forth any such document.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I quite accept my hon. Friend's statement. A large number of letters have been received—I have seen several in the House to-day to the same effect—and somebody told me that they emanated from some central association.
§ Mr. TURTON
It is far too important a question to deal with a side issue of this nature as to whether some association has sent out something one way or the other. On behalf of the County Councils' Association, who are responsible as highway authorities for the main roads of the country, we are bound—and we are unanimous in this matter—that we must see we receive adequate contribution for the upkeep of the roads.
It is perfectly certain that it is idle for us to-day to go to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and ask for any more grants-in-aid. But we have been even in the past far too heavily rated. Rates have been borne in the past principally by the farmer, and those who have used the roads have practically paid no share or adequate compensation towards the upkeep of those roads. But the time has come when that must cease. Therefore we welcome this Clause which the hon. Baronet opposite and the Noble Lord have just suggested should be rejected. We welcome it. I am speaking now on behalf of the County Councils' Association of England and Wales. The hon. Baronet has made an offer which I frankly admit was not in our mind at the time that this question was discussed by the County Councils' Association. I want 1326 to be perfectly frank and fair to the hon. Baronet. He has intimated that he and his friends are willing to pay some share towards the upkeep of the roads. I understood him to go so far as to intimate to the Committee that he is prepared to find an equal amount from a petrol tax if this vehicle tax is put to one side.
§ Mr. TURTON
That is a very fair offer; but might I point out to the Committee that neither the hon. Baronet nor the Noble Lord who followed gave the slightest indication how this money would be raised! We know perfectly well that a mixture will very soon be forthcoming in which petrol will bear a very small part. For the moment the matter is one for our individual opinion; but I would not admit, on behalf of the County Councils' Association—though we have had this talk of a guarantee—that if you had a tax on petrol you would raise the amount which is absolutely necessary for the roads to be kept in repair. We will follow with some interest the views of the 92 Members of the party, and will be interested to hear what they have to say, and equally interested to see whether they will stand to their guns, or, like some hon. Members on other occasions, sign documents to this House, and, under the influence of the Whip, go into another Lobby. Our point of view, at any rate, is this: that this is the only real method by which we can get that sum which we say is necessary for the upkeep of the roads. The farming community, especially, have got tired of paying for the upkeep of roads for the benefit of those who use them, and do not contribute towards that upkeep. The thing now has got to breaking point. The incidence of local taxation is so unjust at the present time that, speaking as one who has considerable influence in my own county council—that of the North Riding of Yorkshire—I can say that motorists will find that these roads are not going to be kept up in the future as in the past until funds are forthcoming from those who use them. I can only say this: if there is a straightforward offer of £8,000,000 per annum from a petrol tax, then that is so much to the good. Although I have no right to speak in this matter for those for whom I am speaking generally—the County Councils' Association—I do say that we scarcely believe 1327 any such guarantee will be, or can be, forthcoming. Therefore I welcome the suggestion in the Budget, and we shall certainly vote for the retention of the Clause.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
The imposition of this additional tax, and the method of it, is a matter of expediency. It is in order to raise a sum about which there is no dispute, namely, a net 8¼ millions or 8½ millions per year. I think the Report is 8¼, but it works out really at a little bit more. The motorists have agreed-and I am not talking of the motorists for whom, perhaps, my hon. Friend opposite principally spoke, but for those who use motor vehicles generally on the road. I am thinking not alone of pleasure cars, but those used for business purposes. Motorists generally have agreed that owing to the existing state of the finances of the country, although they hope they will be relieved at a later date, they are prepared now to accept a tax which puts upon them a very considerable burden in the maintenance of the roads. A Departmental Committee was appointed. It was a very representative Committee. The hon. Baronet (Sir W. Joynson-Hicks) endeavoured to convey to this Committee that that Departmental Committee was forced by me, in some extraordinary way that I am supposed to have, to report something that they in their heart of hearts disliked. I should like to read the names of those who are on that Committee. Sir Thomas Berridge, representing the Royal Automobile Club; Mr. Shrapnell-Smith, Commercial Motor Users' Association; Major Stenson Cooke, Automobile Association and Motor Union; Mr. F. L. D. Elliott, representing the Police Authorities; Mr. C. W. Tindall, Agriculture; Sir Harcourt Clare, of the Local Authorities; Mr. F. Pick, London and Provincial Omnibus Owners' Association; Mr. W. Rees Jeffreys, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders; and Mr. Pascoe, Board of Customs and Excise.
We had there a very representative body of men. They presented an interim Report, which the hon. Baronet has read. To this I replied. This, I think, I may describe as a very mild and rather reasonable reply. There is no question about that. I merely made an observation—a very mild one—upon the Report, and in point of fact I had no further communication with the Com- 1328 mittee. I think they made this Interim Report after a very preliminary consideration. They considered the matter further, and came to their conclusion, after taking evidence—for they had taken no evidence up to that time. They desired, and I frankly desired, at that time the best form of motor tax to cover the user of the roads. I thought petrol was a good way. I went into the figures, and I merely made the comment to which the hon. Baronet has drawn attention, which was that the half-rate spirit was not going to pay. After taking evidence the Committee came to the conclusion that the suggested petrol tax was impossible. Major Stenson Cooke dissented from the Report. Apart from that the Report was agreed to unanimously with the exception of one or Members who safe-guarded points that they wished to have further explored. But they signed the Report. They still felt it might be possible now or in the future that some other means could be adopted.
The principal difficulty in basing the tax upon the alternative which is suggested, namely, the petrol tax, is that while motor spirit supplied basis upon which you are going to levy a tax that—the evidence given showed it—it is impossible to say what motor spirit is. If we could put it on motor spirit, and we knew that motor spirit was a fair index of the user of the roads, there would be a great deal to be said for putting the tax on that way. But no one can say what motor spirit is. Petrol has been adopted by the speakers officially. We have heard nothing but petrol this evening, nothing but tax on petrol. It is not the only motor spirit. There are many other ways of getting an internal combustion engine to run and to work. There is to-day in London a large fleet of busses, I think Tillings, and I am told, and I believe it to be the fact, that they are not run on a single gallon of petrol. They are run on kerosene oil and benzol.
Throughout the country, with the increased price of petrol, the brains of the industry are being devoted to find some other means of carburation which will enable them to use other motor spirits which you cannot tax. If you take the petrol users and the case of the motorists for whom the hon. Gentleman opposite spoke, you will find they are thinking of the Automobile Association principally. In this discussion to-night what have we 1329 heard? We have heard that these people will be prepared to tax themselves, and a petrol tax or a horse-power tax is the only thing that interests them. They are not interested in the seating capacity and weight of vehicles which are not taxed on horse-power at all. They are not interested in commercial vehicles. Not a word is said about that aspect of the subject. Not a word except about the horsepower of the pleasure vehicles.
Steam is increasing enormously. There is no tax on the fuel there. Electric vehicles around our urban areas are increasing enormously. There is no tax on fuel there. You have got mixtures of various kinds, and new fuels coming into the market, and the whole brains of the industry is trying to find fuel that cannot be taxed in the way that petrol is taxed. The hon. Baronet made a great point of the fact of my observation on the Committee's Report, and he invited an explanation; but it is for the Committee to give him an explanation. I pointed out that half-rate spirit was falling. The hon. Baronet said what about the temporary increase in the amount of benzol, and other substitutes put upon the market. But has petrol consumption increased during the last few months? I think there is no hon. Member of this House who has gone about the roads of the country who would not say that the number of motor vehicles is increasing enormously everywhere. Therefore, you would suspect that there would be an enormous increase in the use of petrol—the petrol which pays duty. Let me give some figures. For November of last year the figure was 12,600,000 gallons: December, 11,150,000; January, 13,615,000; February, 12,063,000; March, 13,500,000. There is there no great increase in petrol consumption. There is the answer to the hon. Baronet. It is common knowledge. Every Member if this House knows about it.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
Pleasure motoring, after all, is not the only thing. That is one of my complaints. The hon. Members who have spoken have only pleasure motoring in mind. I am thinking of commercial motoring. There is no increase in the use of petrol. Yet you have only 1330 got to look at the roads and see the number of vehicles upon them. Petrol is no index to these. I have to find some other means of raising the money, and because it is not a true index I cannot accept it, and it will be less and less a true index as months go by. A great complaint is made against the vehicle tax. The proposals of those who think with the hon. Baronet and his Friends reached me only this morning, and I ask the Committee to consider what the opponents of a vehicle tax propose. They propose a 4½d. flat rate for petrol, and that means that they are proposing to relieve pleasure motorists of £1,000,000 taxation and at the same time they wish to add to the taxation of the commercial motor owners. Then they proceed to put on a vehicle tax which I myself proposed for another class of vehicle. The only thing they wished to do is to save the private car owner by putting him on a petrol tax and then they give us this horrible collection of licences and taxation of vehicles, and we have all the evils of both systems, and they say that they will raise £7,250,000 gross, not net, and Heaven only knows what the cost of collection will be.
The tax which I recommend produces a net income, and it is very economical as far as administration is concerned. It will produce £8,250,000 net after we have paid the £600,000 of our hypothecated revenue to the local authorities. My hon. Friend who moved this Motion told the Committee, in a very impressive way, of all the great authorities who were behind this proposal. Surely I am right in saying that the greatest authority of all which is going to pay for the use of the road is the Association that represents the road users most of all. I have here a Report of the Standing Joint Committee of Mechanical Road Transport Associations which consists of the Commercial Motor Users' Association, the Electrical Vehicle Committee of Great Britain, the Furniture Warehousemen and Removers' Association, the London and Provincial Omnibus Owners' Association, the National Motor Cyclists' Fuel Union, the National Traction Engine Owners' and Users' Association, the National Union of Horse and Motor Vehicle Owners' Associations, the Showmen's Guild, and the Steam Cultivation Development Association. They are the most representative body of road users we have got, and they are all 1331 strongly in favour of this tax. So much so that to-day Mr. Shrapnel Smith, in a letter dated the 5th of July, says:Dear Sir Eric Geddes,I write as Chairman of the Standing Joint Committee of Mechanical Road Transport Associations—the only 'grouped' section of road users with a Joint Committee going back to 1912—to inform you that this Committee has by resolution re-affirmed its decision that the proposed vehicle tax basis is in all the obtaining circumstances preferable to a continuance of the Petrol Tax alone on a flat basis, or conjointly with the vehicle tax.I claim that I have got there in my support the most representative body of road users, and, after all, they are the people we have to consider the most. They are not private owners, or those who exceed the speed limit. They say they supported this proposal because they realised that it was the only practical tax, and they are a very representative body. The hon. Baronet opposite said that he had the motor manufacturers with him. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders appointed a member to this meek and milk Committee which is supposed to do whatever the Minister says. On this Committee was Mr. Rees Jeffreys, the accredited representative and spokesman of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. I believe he is still on the Committee and still their representative; at any rate, they have not told me that he no longer represents their views, and he signed the Report without qualification.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
At any rate, he is the official representative of the Society of Motor Manufacturers. This proposal is also supported by the omnibus industry and the agricultural industry as well. You cannot tax fairly and bring everybody in on petrol alone, which would increase the cost of collection ridiculously and squander the tax. The alternative suggestion which has been made will not produce the money required, even in the gross. We have in favour of this tax the local authorities, who, after all, are interested in seeing that the money will be forthcoming. The manufacturers, the commercial motor users, and the Royal Automobile Club support this tax, and simply because 1332 there is one association that does not support it we have had all this Debate urging us to reconsider the tax. In the opinion of the Government this tax, as put forward, is the fairest way in ratio. It has been agreed to by the Committee as the fairest way, and it is the only economical way of raising the money at the present time, and for these reasons I commend it to the Committee.
§ Mr. BILLING
After the very handsome testimonial which the Transport Minister has read to the House from Mr. Shrapnell-Smith, I suppose there is nothing more to be said. Who is Mr. Shrapnell-Smith? He is a gentleman deeply interested in commercial motors. If every Minister is going to have a testimonial which reads, "Dear Sir—We have tried your taxation, since when we have tried no other," then the function of critics here will disappear altogether. I thank the right hon. Gentleman for making the first three-quarters of my speech for me, because he has not only proved the fallacy of a taxation on horsepower, but he also devoted the greater part of his speech to showing the fallacy of taxation of fuel. Neither fuel nor horse-power has any relationship to the destruction of the roads. Fuel has less relation to this matter than any other part of a vehicle which could be more easily taxed. For the last ten years I have advocated the taxation of that part of the vehicle which actually wears the roads, and if the right. hon. Gentleman would only consider the taxation of tyres which destroy the roads it would be a better plan. The amount of use of a motor-car and the amount of employment of the motor-car on the roads should be the basis of the tax. It is grossly unfair that the owner of a 40 horse-power car who runs his car, perhaps, 30,000 miles a year should pay only £40, while the owner of a small light car, for example, a Ford, should pay £23 for a car which he uses only occasionally at week-ends. The incidence of the tax is grossly unfair. All the commercial users are supporting this proposal because they are getting off more lightly. The commercial users are getting off at the expense of the private users, who are getting very little consideration.
It is the small private user, the motorcyclist, the man with his bicycle and sidecar who tries to get away for week-ends, 1333 the man who uses his car for relaxation, these are the users who ought to be considered, and they are a class of users who are by no means limited to the wealthy. All our working classes now are beginning to take advantage of the open road in this way as their incomes are increasing, and it is unfair that they should have to bear the burden of this taxation. There is a spirit of arrogance introduced by the hon. Member who spoke before the Minister who said that he would drive us all off the roads by making them impossible to ride upon. Does he think the motor-car drivers or the owners of horseless carriages are a class apart from the general public? Every county has its own motor-car users and the residents of one county enjoy the facilities and the roads of another county, and therefore it is an equal exchange.
You have only to see a horse vehicle turn round in the road to see the amount of damage the iron tyres do. I think it is quite feasible to tax motor cars by a tax on the tyres. If a tax of 2s. or 3s. is put upon tyres the revenue might be raised in this way. I would tax iron tyres as well, but I do not think they ought to be used on the road at all. There is no occasion for iron tyres; there is very little occasion for solid tyres. In America, by the employment of pneumatic tyres for motor buses and large lorries, there is an enormous saving to the country generally. We want a little more intelligence on the part of our taxing authorities. They are too prone to take what they think is the shortest cut, with the result that they embark on most unjust and most unfair taxation. Of course those who are going to use the roads most are going to destroy them most, and they are the very people who are applauding this tax. The owner of the higher power car, the wealthy man who really uses his car every day to and from his business, and perhaps two or three hundred miles each week-end will get off practically scot free. It is the owner of the Rolls Royce who will escape the burden which the poor man, the owner of the Ford, is going to pay. The right hon. Gentleman, I hoped, when he spoke, was going to tell us something to prove the justice of his proposal, but he simply said to us, "There it is, take it or leave it." I hope we shall get an opportunity of going to a division before dinner, so that we may by a substan- 1334 tial vote prove to the Ministry the mistake that is being made.
§ Major-General Sir J. DAVIDSON
I want to endorse the remarks of the Minister of Transport. It is obvious to me that the hon. Baronet (Sir W. Joynson-Hicks) made a most unfair accusation against the Committee. The Committee's first report was based on very little information, but then they called in expert evidence and changed their front altogether. There was no coercion put on them. It was the further investigation which they conducted which showed that no proper standard could be laid down for the taxation of fuel. How are you going to tax benzol?
§ Sir J. DAVIDSON
You do not drive a car with whisky. It seems to me an extraordinary thing that commercial motor users and omnibus associations should both agree on this proposal. I wish to say I entirely support the proposals of the Minister.
§ Major PRESCOTT
A considerable portion of the speeches has been devoted to criticising the Report and Recommendations of the Departmental Committee on the Taxation of Motor Petrol. Having read that Report, I must say I regard it as a most fair and impartial Report. Any hon. Member reading it must inevitably come to the conclusion that the Members of that Committee dealt with a very difficult problem in a very honest way. There seems to be general unanimity in this House, and I am very glad of it, as to the immediate necessity of finding something like seven or eight millions sterling for the restoration and reconstruction of miles of highways in the country. After four years of war, it will be found that the main roads of the country were never in need of greater repair than they are at prseent. Speaking as a road engineer who has been engaged for something like 30 years in road construction, I am in a position to say there are hundreds of miles of roads the foundations of which have absolutely collapsed. The whole fabric of construction has gone. The Automobile Association and the Motor Union contend that the Motor Spirit Duty is the only sound and equitable basis of taxation. I would like to point out that, if the existing 1335 method of taxation continues, and if we are to raise this seven or eight millions for road purposes, the net revenue required by the Minister of Transport to carry out this work, it will mean that the light motor car users will have to pay a very severe tax of ls. 3d. per gallon on petrol, as against 6d. at the present time. Such a charge as that would be disastrous to the motoring community. Unless this single tax system recommended by the Departmental Committee is adopted, I see no hope of raising the money needed for the repair of the highways of the country.
I should like to mention in this connection a point which has a very important bearing on the question of taxation. It is the matter of the classifying of the roads of the country. Unless we can get this seven or eight millions of money the classification proposals of the Ministry of Transport must inevitably be abandoned. It is no use classifying the roads of the country if the Ministry is not provided with the necessary funds to make grants on an agreed basis to the various road authorities. May I remind the House that the Departmental Committee on Local Taxation, in their Report of the 3rd March, 1914, recommended that, as a necessary preliminary to any alteration in the system of the distribution of Imperial revenues for local taxation, the roads of the country should be classified. In consequence of that Report the late Road Board was invited by the Treasury to prepare a classification scheme on such lines that it could be used as a basis for grants from the Exchequer towards the cost of the maintenance of the roads. The Road Board complied with that request. They issued a circular to all the highway authorities in the administrative counties of England and Wales, and I believe they received replies from something like 1,567 highway authorities. A. preliminary classification was arranged, but that was interrupted by the outbreak of war. The final classification of these roads is now being proceeded with under the new Ministry of Transport Act of last year. Again, all the county councils are sending in classification schemes for themselves and the various highway authorities in their areas in connection with main and secondary roads, and the Government Roads Advisory Committee, of which I 1336 have the honour to be a member, will be meeting very shortly to prepare a permanent classification. That great work of classification must of necessity be abandoned unless this £8,000,000 is found. The Automobile Association favour the retention of the spirit duty, and are against the substitution of any alternative method of taxation. There are, however, serious difficulties in the way of collecting this duty. The hon. Baronet (Sir W. Joynson-Hicks) said something about raising £10,000,000 in connection with petrol. I think he forgot all about the leakage that takes place. In the case of the owners of great commercial undertakings, which have large fleets of motor cars, and participate in the allowance for leakage, what happens is a matter of common knowledge. Nine out of ten of those owners have pleasure cars as well, and they help themselves to petrol from the common stock. In that way the Road Fund loses a considerable amount of money.
The Motor Spirit Duty fails to cover all liquid fuels, and the Departmental Committee point out the disadvantages of the present system. They say that the users of paraffin, benzol, shale spirit, gas, and other substitutes for traction purposes, escape taxation, and vehicles propelled by steam and electricity also escape. They also point out that fraudulent practices are very difficult to detect, so that the Road Fund is thus deprived of a large source of revenue. In my view the pleasure motorist has nothing to complain of under this new scheme of taxation. The pleasure motor cars are asked to pay, in the bulk, not more than £400,000 beyond what they are paying now, while commercial vehicles are to find the difference between the£800,000 which they pay under the present method of taxation by the Petrol Duty, and £3,500,000 which they will be called upon to pay under the proposed new tax. That represents an increase of something like 10 per cent. for the pleasure motors, whilst for the commercial motor user it represents an increase of well over 300 per cent. Those are facts which I think the hon. Baronet will find it difficult, if not impossible, to refute. I fail to understand why it is alleged that an excessive burden is being placed upon the pleasure motor. [HON. MEMBERS: "Divide, divide!"] I hope hon. Members will extend some courtesy to me. I do not 1337 very often trouble the Committee. In my view, the greater burden will fall on the commercial motor users whose elected representatives are cordially supporting this new method of taxation.
Mr. J. W. WILSON
I congratulate the Government on the abolition of the Petrol Tax. As a permanent tax it has many great disadvantages. It has been proved to be a bad index. I do not discuss whether the figures laid down for small horse-power and large horse-power are fair; that can come up and can be rectified later. From a British manufacturing point of view, anything like a permanent import tax on petrol, plus an excise tax on all motor spirits, would be disastrous. We know, in chemical industry, how difficult it has been to get progress with any product requiring alcohol, as compared with the product which German manufacturers have made, because of the difficulty we have always had with regard to getting alcohol free from duty. With this spirit any amount of development is possible, and to keep excise officers in all the factories of the country for the sake of keeping it as an index to the use of roads by vehicles seems to me to be hampering the trade of the country in a disastrous manner, and continuing a tax which is most inimical, because this class of tax, namely, an import duty, plus an excise duty, is the most expensive to collect.
§ Mr. CHARLES WHITE
I want to support the Government for the third time since I have been in this House. I take it that the meaning of this Clause is that the users of the roads by motor vehicles shall pay in some degree commensurately with the damage they do to the roads. To my mind this new tax is the only fair way in which that can be done. I have been a member of a county council or local authority ever since 1890, and I know
something of the damage that is done to the roads, and of the difficulty the county councils have in raising the money to keep those roads in anything like a good state of repair. Only this morning I received a letter from the Clerk of the Derbyshire County Council, of which I was for some years a member. He writes:
I understand that the Finance Bill will be taken in Committee of the House of Commons early next week, and I am authorised by the Chairman of our Highways Committee to communicate with you, drawing your special attention to the fact that, unless some such provision is made as is foreshadowed in the Bill for the taxation of mechanically propelled vehicles, there will probably be a very large diminution in the anticpated grant which will be received by local authorities in connection with the proper upkeep of roads. This, of course, under present circumstances, when the use of the roads by heavy motor vehicles increases almost daily, is a very serious matter, and I therefore venture to hope that you will bear this point in mind when the matter is under consideration by the Committee. The cost to local authorities in connection with the upkeep of roads at the present time is increasing to an alarming extent, and, unless such provision as is foreshadowed is made, it will be practically impossible for local authorities to keep the roads in proper order; and it is for this reason that I ventured to approach you on the subject.
I feel sorry for those motor owners whose only relaxation is a little drive at the week-end. My relaxation is walking at the week-end, and helping to pay for the upkeep of the roads which are used largely by those motor owners. I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on having included this tax in his Budget, and, for the third time only since I have been in this House, I am going to support the Government in the Division Lobby.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 228; Noes 43.1339
|Division No. 188.]||AYES.||[8.18 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Blair, Reginald||Carter, R. A. D. (Man., Withington)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Casey, T. W.|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Borwick, Major G. O.||Cayzer, Major Herbert Robin|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Chadwick, Sir Robert|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)|
|Atkey, A. R.||Bowles, Colonel H. F.||Child, Brigadier-General Sir Hill|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Breese, Major Charles E.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Briggs, Harold||Coates, Major Sir Edward F.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Broad, Thomas Tucker||Coats, Sir Stuart|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Bromfield, William||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Bruton, Sir James||Courthope, Major George L.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities).|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Butcher, Sir John George||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Campbell, J. D. G.||Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)|
|Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland||Carr, W. Theodore||Dean, Lieut.-Commander P. I.|
|Dennis, J. W. (Birmingham, Deritend)||Johnstone, Joseph||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Donald, Thompson||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Edgar, Clifford B.||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Kelly, Edward J. (Donegal, East)||Scott, A. M.(Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Farquharson, Major A. C.||Kenyon, Barnet||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool Exchange)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Kidd, James||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Shaw William T. (Forfar)|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||Lawson, John J.||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Foreman, Henry||Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Simm, M. T.|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tlngd'n)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Lonsdale, James Rolston||Spoor, B. C.|
|Gange, E. Stanley||Lunn, William||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Gardiner, James||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. G. F.|
|Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge)||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Stephenson, Colonel H. K.|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Macmaster, Donald||Stewart, Gershom|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Glanville, Harold James||Magnus, Sir Philip||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Mallalieu, F. W.||Sugden, W. H.|
|Green, Albert (Derby)||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Martin, Captain A. E.||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Matthews, David||Swan, J. E.|
|Gregory, Holman||Middlebrook, Sir William||Sykes, Sir Charles (Huddersfield)|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Taylor, J.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Mount, William Arthur||Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Murchison, C. K.||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh)||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Thomson, T.(Middlesbrough, West)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Myers, Thomas||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Hallas, Eldred||Nall, Major Joseph||Tootill, Robert|
|Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Neal, Arthur||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Turton, E. R.|
|Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedf., Luton)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Waddington, R.|
|Haslam, Lewis||Nield, Sir Herbert||Wallace, J.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Perkins, Walter Frank||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pickering, Lieut.-Colonel Emil W.||Waterson, A. E.|
|Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Pilditch, Sir Philip||White, Charles F.(Derby, Western)|
|Hinds, John||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Whitla, Sir William|
|Hirst, G. H.||Pollock, Sir Ernest M.||Wignall, James|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Prescott, Major W. H.||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Holmes, J. Stanley||Rae, H. Norman||Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Hood, Joseph||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Williamson, Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald|
|Hope,Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.)||Ramsden, G. T.||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Randles, Sir John S.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Reid, D. D.||Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Remer, J. R.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.||Renwick, George||Woolcock, William James U.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Richardson, Sir Albion (Camberwell)||Worsford, D. T. Cato|
|Inskip, Thomas Walker H.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Irving, Dan||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Younger, Sir George|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Robertson, John|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Jesson, C.||Rodger, A. K.||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Parker.|
|Johnson, Sir Stanley||Royden, Sir Thomas|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Gritten, W. G. Howard||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Hayward, Major Evan||Raper, A. Baldwin|
|Billing, Noel Pemberton-||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs. Stretford)|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E.||Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Seddon, J. A.|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Hopkins, John W. W.||Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.|
|Clough, Robert||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)|
|Cope, Major Wm.||Kiley, James D.||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Cory, Sir C. J. (Cornwall, St. Ives)||Lister, Sir R. Ashton|
|Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||Lloyd, George Butler||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Captain Ganzoni and Viscount|
|Gould, James C.||Lorden, John William||Curzon.|
|Greer, Harry||Lort-Williams, J.|
Question put, and agreed to.