§ (1) As from the commencement of this Act the Land Values Duties shall cease to be chargeable, and the obligation of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue under Section twenty-six of the Finance (1909–10) Act. 1910, to cause a valuation to be made of all land in the United Kingdom shall cease.
§ (2) Any Land Value Duty which has been assessed at the date of the commencement of this Act but which is unpaid at that date shall not be collected, and no assessment shall be made in respect of any Land Value Duty which became chargeable before that date.
§ (3) Where any person shows to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue that he or any person of whom he is, in the opinion of the Commissioners, the legal representative, has at any time paid any sum on account of any Land Value Duty he shall, on making an application in that behalf to the Commissioners at any time within six months after the date of the commencement of this Act and in such form as may be prescribed by the Commissioners, be entitled to repayment of the sum so paid.
§ (4) Where an immediate lessor has paid or borne any annual Increment Value Duty and has made a deduction in respect of that duty from the rent payable by him to his lessor, he shall, on obtaining a repayment under this Section of that Duty, refund to the lessor or the representative of the lessor a sum equal to the amount so deducted.
§ (5) In this Section the expression "Land Values Duties" means the Increment Value Duty (including annual Increment Value Duty, Reversion Duty, and Undeveloped Land Duty imposed by Part I of the Finance (19009–10) Act, 1910, but does not include Mineral Rights Duty.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The first two Amendments [to leave out Sub-section (1), and to leave out the words "as from the commencement of this Act, the Land Values Duties shall cease to be chargeable"], are equivalent to negativing the Clause, and therefore can be argued on the question that the Clause stand part. The third Amendment [in Sub-section (1), leave out the words "commencement of this Act," and insert instead thereof the words "thirty-first day of March, nine- 2422 teen hundred and twenty-one"] is not in order. The fourth Amendment [in Sub-section (1), to leave out the word "cease" ("shall cease"), and insert instead thereof the words "continue"] is also negativing the Clause.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
May I ask if you did not consider that the best way to deal with the point raised by this Amendment was to leave out the word "cease" at the end of Sub-section (1), and insert the word "continue," so that the obligation for valuation would continue. Is that not a far more direct way of dealing with the matter than by leaving out all the words in the Sub-section after "Chargeable."
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Member consulted me yesterday at a time when I was extremely busy, and had not the opportunity of examining the matter with care, and I am afraid I did give him that impression, but having gone through these Amendment this morning, there was nothing to justify me in calling on his Amendment instead of this one.
Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
I beg to move in Sub-section (1), to leave out the wordsand the obligation of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue under Section twenty-six of the Finance (1910) Act, 1910, to cause a valuation to be made of all land in the United Kingdom shall cease.This Amendment seeks to continue the Land Duties and also the purpose of the Land Valuation Department.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
That is not the intention of the Amendment. As I understand, it is an Amendment to destroy the Land Values Duties, but to continue the valuation.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment which the hon. Member is now moving is to leave out all the words from the word "chargeable" to the end of Sub-section (1). The effect would be that the obligation of valuation would continue instead of ceasing.
Mr. T. THOMSON
The question of this Amendment is whether the valuation of land shall be continued. The question of the levying of the duties will come up on a subsequent Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That will come up on the question that the Clause stand part. 2423 The Land Valuation Department is not involved in this Amendment, but the obligation to cause a valuation to be made of the land in the United Kingdom.
I think the Committee will all agree that, whatever view we may take of this Amendment, it is one which raises a question of fundamental importance and of principle. Hitherto our discussions, with the exception of that of yesterday, have dealt mainly with the varying incidence of existing taxes. This proposal raises the question of principle as to whether the valuation of land shall be continued, or whether it shall cease. We all recall the famous discussions of 1909–10, and one knows as a political student of what took place then, and of the fact that two elections were fought and the standing of another place was involved. When the cause of reform, as some of us thought, had triumphed, and when we looked to what was proposed as setting up the Magna Charta of land reform for the future, it is with very great regret and misgivings that we to-day come to the time when apparently the spade work of so many years is to be repealed and cast on one side. It is only right to ask what were the causes and reasons for this principle of land valuation being established, and how is it that we are now asked to make a change and abandon it. Hon. Members will remember that the House and the country were much exercised by the way in which large communities were curtailed, cabined, cribbed, confined by the existing land system. It was thought at that time that it was only by a system of land valuation, not ad hoc, but a valuation of the land as it then existed, and by a datum line on which valuations in the future could be based, that there was the probability and possibility of towns, and especially the large industrial areas, being able to secure that land for necessary development at a price which would not cripple or retard the development of those areas. I would ask whether the pictures which were brought before the House and those which have emerged since are applicable to-day, and if that is the reason why this change is being made.
I wish to differentiate between the position of an ordinary rural town and an industrial town, and particularly the 2424 larger town. The problem, I submit, is entirely different when you are dealing with the industrial town. No matter what has happened elsewhere, you find that their growth and development, especially from the health point of view, and on the question of housing and playgrounds and schools, or whatever it may be, has been hampered and hindered, because of the system pertaining to the acquisition of land. What was done in 1909–10 was to lay down a basis of value which could be acted upon when in the years to come municipalities required land for various public purposes. To abolish that now is to go back to the bad old times, and to continue to hamper and restrict the development of our towns. This is a question of general principle, but I propose to recall one or two of the instances which were brought before the attention of the House at the time this valuation was adopted, and which greatly influenced the mind of the country in demanding that change. A committee that was established in connection with the policy that was recommended by the present Prime Minister found that out of 90 towns having a population of nearly nine millions, that in 75 towns with an average population of 112,000 there were great difficulties in securing land at a reasonable price, because this valuation did not exist. In the city of Glasgow a library scheme had to be abandoned because a sum of £5,400 per acre was asked for the land required for that library. In Birmingham, a sum of £2,500 per acre was asked for a favourable site for schools, and a less convenient site for the children for the purposes of education had to be selected. In a Yorkshire town, Rotherham, street improvements had to be paid for at the rate of £5,000 per acre. In Sheffield housing schemes were crippled and £4,000 per acre was asked. Anyone who knows anything of local government in connection with large industrial centres can bring to mind in their own experience difficulties of this nature, and, although the illustrations which I have given may be extreme, yet, on the other hand, they are to be found repeated over and over again in other large towns.
I well remember that the Prime Minister came in 1913 to Middlesbrough, the town which I have the honour to represent. He was speaking of this valuation and he gave illustrations to 2425 us, and we cheered him to the echo, of the inequity and hardship of our present system. He said, "Your manufacturers or shopkeepers extend their premises, and the land assessor comes along and says, 'I have had information laid against you (and these are the Prime Minister's own words) that you have spent money in extending your premises and that you are going to employ hundreds more men. Are you guilty or not guilty?' The manufacturer pleaded guilty, and then the assessor said, 'I must fine you for the rest of your life an extra £100 because of these improvements.'" The Prime Minister talked in that picturesque language which he employs of the case of the Leeds moors, where there was not a single building and not a plough and not a labourer and no useful employment being engaged in, and they said to the landowner, "What are you going to do with this?" and the landowner said, "I am holding this up until the citizens of Leeds require this for their water supply, and I will charge them 800 years' purchase for this land." The Prime Minister said, and we all agreed at that time, that this was a system that should be stopped in the interests of the development of towns and industry, and yet to-day we are asked to reverse that system by this most iniquitous and retrograde Clause of the present Budget. In my own town, where I have been a member of the education authority for sixteen or seventeen years, I asked the education department recently to get out the particulars of the cost of sites required for schools. The sites for schools are more or less on the outskirts of the town, because as the town grows the local authority exercises foresight and takes land which is likely to be required for their purpose. I find that in the last thirty or forty years the price we have had to pay for building sites for our schools has averaged £1,500 per acre. We have been cribbed, cabined and confined in our development because of this excessive price. Surely at a time like this, when you want to increase the amenities of your districts, it is not a time when Parliament should seek to reverse the policy which has helped to improve the growth of our towns.
I want to show how this valuation has helped the development and growth of 2426 our towns. I asked the Minister of Health on Monday what had been the saving to public bodies in acquiring land owing to the assistance rendered by the Valuation Department. He replied that the assistance of the Valuation Department has been called in in cases covering 19,000 acres. It had been called in only where the local authorities and the landowners had agreed upon a price, and the Minister thought the price was excessive and refused to sanction it. In these cases, covering 19,000 acres, the price has been reduced by £71 per acre, amounting. to a saving to the public of £1,400,000, less than was asked and agreed upon by the local authorities. This saving was secured because the valuation of 1909–10 had been made and was utilised in the negotiations. We are told that this system has been an expense to the nation, and has been a terrible mistake. This saving on a small quantity of land of nearly £1,500,000 is not a bad return for the reform that was instituted in 1909–10. It goes further than that, because not merely is it a question of a saving where the price has been disputed by the Minister, but there has been an effect on the whole of the sales that have taken place throughout the country. The landowner knows that it is no use asking £5,000 an acre as in Glasgow, or £4,000 an acre as in Sheffield, or even in my own town £1,500 an acre. He knows that the valuation of 1909–10 is on the books, that it is accessible to the local authorities, and, therefore, in every case where land is required for housing or other purposes we may perfectly assume that almost similar savings have been made. The Minister of Health has told us of the tremendous shortage of houses, and that the number of houses which will be required before the present shortage is made up and the present insanitary houses are pulled down will be something like 1,000,000, which at ten to the acre will require 100,000 acres. If there is a saving of £71 an acre in the price of the land, that means a saving of over £7,000,000 which can be attributed to the reform initiated in 1909–10. A saving of £7,000,000 to the public is not a small instalment of that advantage which is going to assist in the development of our towns.
Therefore we should think twice before we revert to the old policy and before we give up that which required such a tre- 2427 mendous effort to secure. In all our towns there is need for extension and development. We have paid the penalty in the past. We have had our houses crowded thirty, forty and sometimes fifty to the acre. We have had to pay an excessive price for our school sites, our playgrounds, our breathing spaces, and all the things that go to make up the social amenities of our town life. The price we have had to pay is not merely the cash price, but the abnormal death rate, the huge infantile mortality, and the sickness which has reduced our producing capacity and has injured the health and growth of our towns. In my own district the last available figures, 1917–18, show that the infantile death rate was 145 per 1,000, which is three times what it ought to be, and twice what it is in rural areas, and that our ordinary adult death rate is over 22 per thousand as against 8 per thousand or less in places like Letchworth and other garden cities. This is a heavy price to pay, and we cannot afford to go on paying it in the future. Therefore I hope that we shall hesitate before we cast away the sheet anchor for the development of our industrial life in our towns and the improvement of the health and amenities of our people.
A good deal of our legislation in this Session and last Session has been framed with some regard to the social unrest in the country. What is going to be the effect of legislation such as this Clause which repeals the valuation of 1909–10? We have passed two Rent Restriction Acts to prevent profiteering in small cottage property and to prevent the man or woman who wants to let a furnished house from profiteering. They are to be fined if they profiteer to the extent of a few pounds. We have passed two Profiteering Acts dealing with the sale of commodities. We say to the widow or the ex-service man, "You must not make an extra halfpenny profit on your potatoes or your cabbages, and if you repeat the offence we will send you to prison." What a contrast we find when by this Clause we are taking away the means of preventing profiteering on the part of the big landlords, who will be able to profiteer in the price of land to the extent of thousands of pounds, the effect of which will reduce the health of our people and make the whole amenities of 2428 our towns worse, besides hindering the development of our towns. The owner of small cottages are to be driven from pillar to post for profiteering, but you give free scope to the big landowner who wants to make his thousands out of unearned increment which is made by the development of the towns and towards the creation of which increment the owner has done nothing. Why should we throw away the only protection which we have against the huge increment arising in future being exploited for the benefit of a few at the expense of the many? I beg the Committee to think twice before they adopt this Clause. We do not want our industrial towns to be exploited for the benefit, not of the ordinary landowner, but of the land grabber, the land speculator, the man who comes in for the first time and who buys land and holds it for future development. We ought to think twice before we give up that protection which entailed so many sacrifices before we could wrest it from the vested interests which hold on so tenaciously.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not know whether I ought to have called this Amendment. The hon. Member's speech has been more addressed to the Clause itself than to the Amendment, which is of a very limited character.
§ Mr. MYERS
Having regard to the fact that the party with which I am associated have felt it to be their duty to put down a number of Amendments to this Clause I regret the turn of events which has arisen from your ruling. I am not very much struck with the Amendment now before the Committee, but it will at least give us an opportunity of speaking in support of the valuation being continued. I join with my hon. Friend in expressing what we believe to be the very serious disadvantage to the municipalities of the country arising from the present landed system, and from the small contribution of the landowners to the general upkeep of our towns.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That again is the point to which I have referred. If the hon. Member will be good enough to see how the Clause would read supposing this Amendment were carried, he will see that the land value duties are to cease, but that the valuation under the Act of 1909–10 is to continue. That is the only subject before the Committee. I am only 2429 saying this because I should not be able to allow a wide debate on the Motion that the Clause stand part if it is anticipated now.
§ Mr. MYERS
I will keep as near as possible to the reason why the valuation should continue. A good deal can be said for the continuation of the valuation. I have here a report, issued during the current year, of a Select Committee which inquired into land values. That report presented in a voluminous fashion the work which the Land Valuation Department had already accomplished. The figures which I am about to quote are taken from that report. In 1911 the staff of the Department numbered 940 valuers and 488 clerks, a total of 1,428. On the 31st March, 1912, the staff under those heads had increased to 2,829. Over 10,000,000 forms for owners were sent out and 9,600,000 had been returned on that date. The result of that work brings out the following facts: the number of provisional valuations made was 7,784,000, and the maximum area valued was 56,000,000 acres, while the total value of those acres was £5,200,067,000. This was for Great Britain alone. The value of the land held by statutory undertakings was the value at which it was purchased by the company concerned. These figures were up to the 30th September, 1915. The State is entitled to some return for the great volume of work which has been done by the Valuation Department up to the present. Another result of that work is worthy of our consideration. Under this valuation the assessed and ascertained arrears under the Undeveloped Land Duty amount to £320,000; under the Increment Value Duty £120,000, and under the Reversion Duty £80,000, or a total of ascertained and assessed arrears of £520,000, and there is a large volume of unassessed arrears on the reversion duty alone of not less than £500,000.
These arrears have accumulated under the present law and all the advantages which have accrued or should have accrued from this valuation ought to be roped in for the benefit of the State. As a general proposition the valuation should be continued in order that results from it may accrue to either the local or the national Exchequer. Many hon. Members, who are older than I, will remember the visit of Henry George to this country and 2430 his advocacy of the single tax which came down right to our own times. Those of us who interested ourselves in the taxation of land values and did not take the side of the single tax, believed that other forms of wealth should make a contribution to the Exchequer in addition to the wealth coming from land, and we thought that adjustments should be made between the wealth from land and the wealth from other departments of commerce, industry and finance; but if the land valuation ceases then we adopt the policy of the single tax the other way round. We say that commerce, industry and finance must be the one channel from which revenue must be derived; that land should go free while finance, commerce, industry and the like should pay their quota in taxation, local and national.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The question that the Clause stand part will give much more liberty to hon. Members in discussing this subject, but in dealing with this Amendment it is better to adhere to the question which is before the Committee.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
Would that enable us to continue the Debate on the valuation? Personally I attach more importance to the question of valuation than to any other question, and I would like a further opportunity of discussing it.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have spoken to the hon. Member for his own protection, as he cannot go over the same ground twice, and the general question that the Clause stand part gives more opportunity.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I would like to be quite clear. I suppose that the whole question of valuation will be open on the question that the Clause stands part?
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is so, but hon. Members are obviously hampered. What the hon. Member said in the beginning of his speech would be quite in order on the question that the Clause stand part, but half or three-fourths of it is beyond the scope of this Amendment.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
I have no desire to anticipate the general discussion. To myself and those associated with me, this question of the valuation is the vital question. We should, of course, think it desirable if the duties were continued for another year, and an opportunity of discussing that will no doubt arise on subsequent Amendments, but, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been able to announce that, though he was unable to continue those duties, he did propose to continue the valuation—bringing it up to date and making it an effective instrument, available both for national and local purposes—I should, personally, have accepted his decision with fortitude and resignation. It cannot be denied that, owing to legal decisions which have been given, these particular duties are no longer productive of the revenue which was expected from them, and, therefore, if they are to be made effective instruments for collecting revenue, it is necessary that amendment should take place, but that is no reason why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should abandon entirely the policy of the land values of this country which was accepted by the electors at two General Elections—
§ The CHAIRMAN
That again is a question which arises on the question that the Clause stand part of the Bill. We really must not have it raised here. The point here is confined entirely to the maintenance of valuation in the absence of duty.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
Am I not entitled to argue that the valuation should be continued for the purpose of enabling the Government to find some other method of assessing the land values of the country, which should be based upon land valuation? Would it not be more convenient to raise that issue, which to me and those who think with me is the most important issue, at this stage rather than on the question that the Clause stand part? If I am allowed to argue this aspect on the question that the 2432 Clause stand part I have no desire to pursue the matter now, but I submit that that is an issue which I am entitled to put at some stage.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I agree most fully. That is the issue on the Clause standing part. The hon. Member will have an opportunity.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
In that case I will confine myself to one or two points on which I would like information. The Chancellor of the Exchequer indicated in his opening speech that he did intend to continue the Valuation Department in being. One reason for so doing was that the information which would be available would be useful for any subsequent legislation or for the use of local authorities in the event of a change in the system of local rates. My own view is that you cannot fully carry that out if this Amendment is not carried, but I would like some information from him as to what is proposed under his scheme. He has stated, I believe, on several occasions that it is still intended to ask, upon each occasion when property changes hands, that information should still be called for and supplied. He has been asked on several occasions to drop that on the ground that it would not be useful. So far he has resisted. I would like to have his assurance that he intends to adhere to the decision to ask for these particulars, but I should like to ask him, if he ceases to have this statutory power, under what statutory power can he demand these particulars? Will it in future be optional on the part of those who are engaged in purchasing or disposing of property to give the particulars or has he a statutory right to demand them, and does he still intend to demand them?
There is another point which may be raised conveniently now. On a Select Committee which enquired into this matter I asked at the first sitting that we should be furnished with the totals of the various valuations so far as they had already taken place. There was no objection on the part of any Members of the Committee to that information being given. Even the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman), who differs from me in most matters, put no obstacles in the way, but the Chairman of the Committee, the late Sir Thomas Whittaker, told me afterwards that he had 2433 been told that the information could not be given because there had been to statistics kept. As I understand, we have spent something like £2,000,000 on preparing this valuation, and yet, through not engaging a number of clerks to add up the figures, the Government themselves and everybody else are in perfect ignorance of what the totals are. That is a most unsatisfactory state of things. I imagine that even if the Amendment were not carried it would be competent to the right hon. Gentleman to give instructions for these totals to be taken. It is a penny wise and pound foolish policy to have gone to all this trouble and not to be able to be put in possession of the information. If the totals are taken they should be taken for areas as well as for the whole country, because the assessment committees throughout the country at present are engaged in re-assessing, and it would be of the utmost value to them if they could be supplied with the statistical information which is available in the offices of the district valuers, but the district valuers at present dare not give them the information, even if the totals have been taken, and in a great many cases the totals are not available. I would like information and an assurance from the right hon. Gentleman in regard to these two points which I have mentioned.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)
If the hon. Member who has just spoken would be good enough to put down a question as to the totals of the values disclosed by the valuation I will look into the matter, and in course of time will supply him with the information. I am not prepared to answer off-hand whether the valuation has reached a point where any information that could be given could form the basis of argument from any side of the question. So much is still in dispute, so much of the valuation is declared by the Courts to have been made on a wrong basis, and so much is not agreed and therefore not finally settled, that I am doubtful about it. The ruling of the Chair leaves the issue very narrow. I shall endeavour to state what that issue is. It is not, as the hon. Member who moved the Amendment seemed to suppose, whether we should have information as to the true value of land in this country, or whether we should be able to 2434 continue, by means of the Valuation Department, to assist other Government Departments when making purchases on behalf of the public or local authorities when making similar purchases. It is simply and solely whether the particular valuations provided in the Act are to continue, on the assumption that the fiscal purposes which the valuations are intended to serve are no longer in existence, that is say, whether valuations made with a view to the collection of particular taxes should continue when there are no such taxes, and when the valuations would therefore be absolutely useless. Let me say at once that I am in agreement with the hon. Member on the wider basis of policy which was the foundation of his speech.
I do not believe there is a man in this House who does not admit that it has been a scandal in the past that a public authority desiring to purchase land for a public purpose has often been notoriously at a disadvantage compared with a private person buying in the same way. I am as anxious as he to see that when a public authority purchases—whether the Government or a local authority— they shall pay a fair price and no more. Accordingly, I am anxious that we should have, and the Government desire that we should have, the knowledge that would enable us to check the price asked, to check by reference to the general stream of transactions a particular proposal which may be under our notice at any given moment. But the valuations prescribed by the part of the Statute we are repealing are not really important; they are not even useful valuations. To a very large extent they are valuations of metaphysical transactions arrived at by elaborate mathematical calculations that nobody but an expert can make, and as to which the layman may doubt sometimes whether the expert himself even understands them. For the purpose the hon. Member has in mind these valuations are not useful. You want to know for that purpose the value of articles which are bought and sold, not the value of abstractions that never pass, which are never offered for sale and are never bid for by a purchaser. What you want is the real value of the article as it passes from day to day. For that purpose the valuation we do away with is of no use. It was useful only as a means of arriving at the basis of a tax 2435 which this Clause repeals. The question whether the tax should be repealed or not cannot of course be raised now on this Amendment. It has to be raised on the Clause itself.
What is there, for the purpose the hon. Member has in mind, in the Act of 1909–10? It is the obligation that wherever the sale of land or the transfer of interest in land takes place, the particulars of it shall be made known to the Valuation Department and recorded at Somerset House. That is the part of the Act which has been invaluable in assisting public authorities. Those are the provisions which have led to the saving in the purchase of land, in the price paid, as described by the Minister of Health in the answer given to a question to which reference has been made. Those are the particulars which we still propose to require to have supplied to the Valuation Department. The Valuation Department, as I have had occasion to say, has a great deal of work to do wholly unconnected with the levy of the land duty, and, accordingly, though the strength of the Department must be readjusted, and has been readjusted as the work has fallen off, and is now being, or is going to be, examined by the Select Committee on National Expenditure with a view to seeing whether it is superabundant or not, yet, whatever the strength of the Department ought to be, the Department itself shall be maintained and we propose to maintain it. By the provisions of the Bill as it stands we preserve our right to obtain, and the obligation of the party to supply to it, these particulars. The hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Raffan) asked whether we had a right to exact the particulars or whether they would be a voluntary contribution. That part of the original Act which is pertinent to this matter, and which remains after the repeals included in the Schedule of the Finance Bill, will read:It shall be the duty of the transferor or lessor, on the occasion of any transfer on sale of the fee simple of any land or of any interest in land or on the grant of any lease of any land for a term exceeding fourteen years, to present to the Commissioners, in accordance with regulations made by them, the instrument by means of which the transfer or the lease is effected or agreed to be effected or reasonable particulars thereof, and, if the transferor or lessor fails to comply 2436 with this provision, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds, but any person aggrieved by any conviction or order of a Court of Summary Jurisdiction under this provision may appeal therefrom to a Court of Quarter Sessions.It then proceeds:Any such instrument shall not, for the purposes of Section fourteen of the Stamp Act, 1891, and notwithstanding anything in Section twelve of that Act, be deemed to be duly stamped unless it is stamped with a stamp denoting that all particulars have been delivered to the Commissioners.If the hon. Member wishes to see it I have here a copy of the Clause, distinguishing the words repealed and the words left, but what I have read will be sufficient, I think, to satisfy him and I hope the Committee, that we retain full power to obtain those particulars which are really valuable. The valuation itself having relation only to arriving at a particular tax we now propose to abandon for reasons to be discussed later.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I do not think we can divide on this ment without some further observations. In drawing up his Budget and in dropping this valuation the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to be acting on the theory that the present Government is going to last for an indefinite time, that if this Government falls the new party of the fused Coalition will remain in power for a generation or two. It is because I and a few hon. Members do not share that view that I think we are justified in resisting as strenuously as we can the dropping of this valuation. After all, the land question in this country is not going to remain as it was in the past. It is not a parochial question. The land question to-day is a world question. There are democratic forces that have arisen out of the events of the last few years which are challenging the whole question of land tenure, not only in this but in every other country.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I was unfortunately called away for a few minutes and did not know it had already been said. Without a doubt we shall have to see legislation in the near future or else have a big upset in the whole of the 2437 social conditions of this country. It is because we believe that this is an attempt to block that legislation and to put artificial delays in our way when we come to power, that we feel constrained to divide on this Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 194; Noes, 80.2439
|Division No. 209.]||AYES.||[5.15 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C.||Murchison, C. K.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Gardiner, James||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)|
|Amery, Lieut.-Col. Leopold C. M. S.||Gardner, Ernest||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Glyn, Major Ralph||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W)||Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)|
|Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (Lon'derry, N.)||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Pennefather, De Fonblanque|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Greig, Colonel James William||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gretton, Colonel John||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart.(Gr'nw'h)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Preston, W. R.|
|Bennett, Thomas Jewell||Hailwood, Augustine||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin||Purchase, H. G.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Bigland, Alfred||Haslam, Lewis||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Remer, J. R.|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Renwick, George|
|Briggs, Harold||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Rogers, Sir Hallewell|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.)||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hopkins, John W. W.||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hudson, R. M.||Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Hunter-Weston, Lieut-Gen. Sir A. G.||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Hurd, Percy A.||Stevens, Marshall|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Jesson, C.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Carter, R. A. D. (Man., Withington)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sugden, W. H.|
|Casey, T. W.||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey)||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William||Sykes, Sir Charles (Huddersfield)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Kidd, James||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Knights, Capt. H. N. (C'berwell, N.)||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Waddington, R.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||Lloyd, George Buller||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Wigan, Brig.-General John Tyson|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Lorden, John William||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wilson, Capt. A. S. (Holderness)|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Donald, Thompson||M'Guffin, Samuel||Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Duncannon, Viscount||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Edwards, Allen C. (East Ham, S.)||Macmaster, Donald||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Wood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||Macquisten, F. A.||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Mitchell, William Lane|
|FltzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||Molson, Major John Elsdale||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Foreman, Henry||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Lord E. Talbot and Mr Dudley Ward.|
|Forrest, Walter||Morrison, Hugh|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D.||Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Breese, Major Charles E.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)|
|Barnes Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Cape, Thomas|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lunn, William||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Edwards, John H. (Glam., Neath)||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Finney, Samuel||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Spencer, George A.|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Mills, John Edmund||Spoor, B. G.|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Taylor, J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Murray, Lieut.-Colonel A. (Aberdeen)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Myers, Thomas||Tootill, Robert|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Wallace, J.|
|Hallas, Eldred||O'Grady, Captain James||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Hancock, John George||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.|
|Hayward, Major Evan||Rattan, Peter Wilson||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Hinds, John||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)||Wignall, James|
|Hirst, G. H.||Rendall, Athelstan||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Hogge, James Myles||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Irving, Dan||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Johnstone, Joseph||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)||Young, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)|
|Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rodger, A. K.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Rose, Frank H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Royce, William Stapleton||Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. G. Thorne.|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Sexton, James|
§ Mr. HOGGE
I beg to move, to leave out Sub-sections (2), (3), and (4).
In view of your ruling, Sir, and of the fact that we can at a later stage discuss all those Amendments in the form of arguments on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," I do not propose to detain the Committee at any length at this time, but to go as promptly as possible to a Division on this Amendment. This Amendment is quite simple in its purpose. There is a certain amount of revenue due to the State as a result of the imposition of these taxes, and this Clause says that that money shall not be collected and that where it has been collected it shall be returned to those taxpayers who demand it back. We maintain that what money there is to come to the Exchequer from this tax ought to be collected and should not be remitted. We hear so much about the need for money and for economy that it seems peculiar that the Government should come forward with this proposal. I should have thought that the people who owed this tax would be glad to pay it as a token of gratitude to the Government for favours in advance. We shall certainly divide against this waste of public money.
I think this is a perfectly unheard-of proposal. Even if it is suggested that the duty should come to an end by this Bill, I am really at a loss to understand why the Government should make these proposals, and I suggest that before we go to a Division we should have some explanation from the Government why they propose something which, I repeat, is 2440 perfectly unheard of in our Parliamentary annals.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am rather anxious to get to the real discussion, which I think hon. Members opposite also desire, and therefore I will reply as briefly as I can on this Amendment. The proposals are, that we should not collect uncollected duty and that we repay those which have been collected upon demand by the taxpayer. The reason for not collecting the uncollected duty is that in any case a considerable part of it could not be collected owing to various circumstances, but that no part of it could be collected without a considerable amount of new legislation, and it really is not worth while to go through all the trouble in this House and elsewhere and all the expense for the sake of the revenue involved. As regards the reason for repayment, that has arisen really out of a statement—I almost call it a pledge, and I think it amounts to that—made by my predecessor, Mr. McKenna, when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. In April, 1916, in answer to a question addressed to him by a Member of Parliament, whether, in consideration of the fact that many persons had paid in respect of these assessments, it was intended either to demand payment of those who had been served with demands, but who had not paid, or to refund payments made to those who had paid, Mr. McKenna said there would be no eventual discrimination. That, I think, is an undertaking which I ought to observe. But there is another reason. I think it would be contrary to public policy that a man who had paid promptly, and had had no dispute, should suffer by reason of 2441 his prompt payment, whereas a man who had disputed the assessment—it might be on frivolous grounds—should escape payment by reason of his delay. It may be that at some time or another the House will repeal certain taxes. I am not sure that the House may not some time or another, as I hope it will, bring the Excess Profits Duty to an end, but the very worst thing we can do is to teach taxpayers that if they can withhold payment long enough, when we bring the duty to an end, then those who have paid will suffer, and those who have not paid will go scot free. I think that would be contrary to public policy, and, therefore, there should be no discrimination. I think it is particularly important that those who pay promptly should not be worse off than those who do not.
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
I want to know what is the amount of arrears, what is the estimated amount of repayment, and also an explanation of the right hon. Gentleman's words when he said that there would be expenses in litigation, and so on, in collecting the money. I understand the amount which we are asked now to surrender is round about £500,000, although we know the Treasury is extremely short of money, and it has been necessary to put very harmful taxes on the people of this country. Of course, I do not take the view of the right hon. Gentleman. I think it is simply a case of dancing on a corpse. The Land Value Taxes have been repealed, and now the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends are brandishing tomahawks, and this is their warsong. We, of course, will record our votes—and I hope the Prime Minister will be with us, at any rate in spirit—in the "No" Lobby.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I can answer the hon. and gallant Gentleman's question. The arrears of duty assessed and uncollected amount to £541,000. Much of it has been assessed on a basis which has been judicially declared to be inaccurate, and could not be collected. A good deal of it dates back to the years 1910, 1911 and 1912, and we could not collect that. As to the unassessed arrears, the same argument as to the impossibility of collection applies with greater force, but I cannot give any estimate of what they might be. The total amount which is actualy paid is £21,329,000.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
What we undertake to do is to repay it on the demand of the taxpayer. A good deal of it is paid in very trifling sums, like 30s. I do not expect there will be any demand for the repayment of those small sums.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Has any estimate been made by the Treasury officials? I am sure it has been made, but has the right hon. Gentleman got the figures of what it will cost? Would it be possible to give some approximate estimate?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I cannot do that. Some of it cannot be collected under any circumstances, and very little of it can be collected without new legislation.
§ Mr. SPENCER
Are we to understand that the amount to be remitted, added to the uncollected arrears, is about £22,000,000?
§ Mr. RAFFAN
I do want the Committee to realise what the right hon. Gentleman is doing. He said that if next year the Excess Profits Duty comes to an end, he does not wish to put in a worse position the person who pays as against the person who delays paying. Suppose the commercial community acted as the Land Union have done with regard to these taxes; suppose the Federation of British Industries made a levy upon their members and spent large sums of money in going to the Courts to find that, owing to faults in drafting, the Excess Profits Duty is bad, will the right hon. Gentleman come next year and say that all the Excess Profits are to be paid back to everybody who has paid? That is the difference with a Government like this, which is under the heel of the Land Union and landowners of this country. The commercial community would never hope for this favour. If the co-operators of this country discover that as regards the £75,000, which the right hon. Gentleman is to collect from them as the result of the decision yesterday, there is some fault with the drafting, will the right hon. Gentleman refund to the co-operators all the money they have paid? He knows he will not. If the trade unions of the country find there is grave objection on the part of their members to pay Income 2443 Tax on wages, and they find some flaw in the method of collection, and the Courts so decide, what will the right hon. Gentleman do? He knows very well he will bring in legislation to make it possible for them to collect these sums, and the trade unionists and the co-operators and the commercial community will have to pay. Why should there not be legislation by consent so that these sums might be collected? The right hon. Gentleman, who was so adept in getting £75,000 from the co-operators yesterday, is flinging away £2,000,000 to-day because the Government dare not stand up and defy the landowning industry. Has the right
§ hon. Gentleman studied the literature of the Land Union, who have sent out a passionate appeal to those who have supported them in the past not to desert them now, and they have said they will stand by them in any emergency? You may be sure the Land Union soon will print forms and suggest that those who have rebates should be generous and give subscriptions to the organisation. Whatever the Committee do, I hope they will reject this proposal.
§ Question put, "That Sub-sections (2), (3), and (4) stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 193; Noes, 89.2445
|Division No. 210.]||AYES.||[5.42 p.m|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Forrest, Walter||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Ganzonl, Captain Francis John C.||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.|
|Amery, Lieut.-Col. Leopold C. M. S.||Gardner, Ernest||Macleod, J. Mackintosh|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Gibbs, Col. George A.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Gilmour, Lieut-Colonel John||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Glyn, Major Ralph||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome|
|Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (Lon'derry, N.)||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W)||Mitchell, William Lane|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Molson, Major John Elsdale|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Greig, Colonel James William||Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Gretton, Colonel John||Morrison, Hugh|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.|
|Bennett, Thomas Jewell||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Murchison, C. K.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hailwood, Augustine||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Briggs, Harold||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Haslam, Lewis||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.|
|Bruton, Sir James||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Palmer, Charles Frederick (Wrekin)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E.||Pennefather, De Fonblanque|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Hope, Sir H. Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.)||Perring, William George|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hopkins, John W. W.||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Prescott, Major W. H.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Hudson, R. M.||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm.,W.)||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Hunter-Weston, Lieut-Gen. Sir A. G.||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Hurd, Percy A.||Remer, J. R.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Jephcott, A. R.||Renwick, George|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Rogers, Sir Hallewell|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Smithers, Sir Alfred W.|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Davison, Sir W. (Kensington, S.)||Kidd, James||Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Donald, Thompson||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Stevens, Marshall|
|Edwards, John H. (Glam., Neath)||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Stewart, Gershom|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lloyd, George Butler||Sugden, W. H.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Sykes, Sir Charles (Huddersfield)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Lorden, John William||Terrell, George, (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Foreman, Henry||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Waddington, R.||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.||Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.||Wolmer, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Weston, Colonel John W.||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.|
|White, lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)|
|Wigan, Brig.-General John Tyson||Wood, Major S. Hill. (High Peak)|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D.||Hallas, Eldred||Rodger, A. K.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Hancock, John George||Rose, Frank H.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Hayward, Major Evan||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hinds, John||Sexton, James|
|Barrand, A. R.||Hirst, G. H.||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Hogge, James Myles||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Irving, Dan||Spencer, George A.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Johnstone, Joseph||Spoor, B. C.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Taylor, J.|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Lunn, William||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Briant, Frank||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Thomas, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Mills, John Edmund||Tootill, Robert|
|Cape, Thomas||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Wallace, J.|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Murray, Lieut.-Colonel A. (Aberdeen)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Casey, T. W.||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.|
|Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||Myers, Thomas||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Wignall, James|
|Finney, Samuel||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Galbraith, James||O'Grady, Captain James||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Gardiner, James||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wintringham, T.|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Rae, H. Norman||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)||Young, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)|
|Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)||Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. G. Thorne.|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
On a point of Order, Mr. Whitley. May I know why you have skipped over the Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Member for the Spen Valley (Mr. Myers), which deal with certain individual Land Duties which it is proposed to admit? It seems to me that it is perfectly in order now to move that the Land Values Duties, which include Increment Value Duty and the Undeveloped Land Duty, should be omitted. These are the two on which I desire to enter an emphatic protest. Do I understand from you that it is not in order to move that the Increment Value Duty and the others should be omitted?
§ The CHAIRMAN
No, that is not the case at all. I referred earlier to the struggle of hon. Members to get to the main business, and I am endeavouring to assist the Committee in this matter. For that purpose, I have not selected these Amendments which raise side issues. Anything that the hon. and gallant Gentleman desires to say can be quite as well said upon the question I am now about to put.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
But I desire on each of these Duties that the vote of the Committee should be recorded. I am quite content to make short speeches, and leave the main arguments to be put forward on the main question. Some of us think the feeling of the House should be recorded, especially in view of recent Divisions which have gone strongly against the Government. We desire to record the votes of those who are against these Duties.
§ Mr. HOGGE
I think, perhaps, you misunderstand the feeling on these Benches if you think we are at all desirous of challenging your ruling. We agree with you. We have been trying, as I feel sure you will have observed from the Chair, to limit our speeches on Amendments in order to get on to the wider questions. But is it not a somewhat different thing when we say that we wish, through the lobby, without speeches, to have put on the Records of the House our objections to these specific Duties? That is really all we are asking: that you 2447 should allow us to have these Divisions on the understanding that hon. Members on this side are not prepared to put up speeches, but deal later with the wider aspects of the case?
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
That is the only object we have in view, Mr. Whitley—that on these three Duties, the Increment Value Duty, the Reversion Duty and the Undeveloped Land Duty, we should have Divisions, being content to have no speeches till later.
§ I will therefore put the question on the first Amendment after it has been formally moved.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 198; Noes, 82.2449
|Division No. 211.]||AYES.||[5.55 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W)||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Mitchell, William Lane|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Molson, Major John Elsdale|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Greig, Colonel James William||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gretton, Colonel John||Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Morrison, Hugh|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. E.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Murchison, C. K.|
|Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (Lon'derry, N.)||Hallwood, Augustine||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Harris, Sir Henry Percy||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Bennett, Thomas Jewell||Haslam, Lewis||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark|
|Bigland, Alfred||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Pearce, Sir William|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E.||Pennefather, De Fonblanque|
|Briggs, Harold||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Hope, Sir H. Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.)||Perring, William George|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hopkins, John W. W.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Prescott, Major W. H.|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Hudson, R. M.||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Hume-Williams, Sir W Ellis||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Cautley, Henry S.||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.||Remer, J. R.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Hurd, Percy A.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Renwick, George|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)||Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Rodger, A. K.|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Jesson, C.||Rogers, Sir Hallewell|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips.||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Lianelly)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey)||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William||Smithers, Sir Alfred W.|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Kiley, James D.||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||King, Commander Henry Douglas||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster)||Stevens, Marshall|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Sugden, W. H.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Lloyd, George Butler||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.||Terrell, George, (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Townley, M. G.|
|Foreman, Henry||Lorden, John William||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Waddington, R.|
|Forrest, Walter||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.||Ward, Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C.||M'Guffin, Samuel||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Gardner, Ernest||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Macleod, J. Mackintosh||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.|
|Glyn, Major Ralph||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Wigan, Brig.-General John Tyson||Wolmer, Viscount||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Wild, Sir Ernest Edward||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)||Younger, Sir George|
|Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)||Wood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wilson-Fox, Henry||Yeo, Sir Alfred William||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D.||Hallas, Eldred||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Hancock, John George||Rose, Frank H.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Hayward, Major Evan||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hinds, John||Sexton, James|
|Barrand, A. R.||Hirst, G. H.||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hogge, James Myles||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Irving, Dan||Spencer, George A.|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Johnstone, Joseph||Spoor, B. G.|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Taylor, J.|
|Briant, Frank||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lunn, William||Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Tootill, Robert|
|Casey, T. W.||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Wallace, J.|
|Edwards, Allen C. (East Ham, S.)||Mills, John Edmund||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Waterson, A. E.|
|Edwards, John H. (Glam., Neath)||Murray, Lieut.-Colonel A. (Aberdeen)||Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.|
|Finney, Samuel||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Myers, Thomas||Wignall, James|
|Gardiner, James||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||O'Grady, Captain James||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wintringham, T.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Young, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. G. Thorne and Mr. T. Griffiths.|
§ Question put, "That the words pro2450
§ posed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 213; Noes, 91.2451
|Division No, 212.]||AYES.||[6.0 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Glyn, Major Ralph|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)||Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W)|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Coats, Sir Stuart||Greenwood, William (Stockport)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Greig, Colonel James William|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Gretton, Colonel John|
|Balfour, Sir R. (Glasgow, Partick)||Colfax, Major Wm. Phillips||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Gwynne, Rupert S.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (Lon'derry, N.)||Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||Hallwood, Augustine|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin|
|Bellairs, Commander Canyon W.||Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Harris, Sir Henry Percy|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart.(Gr'nw'h)||Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Haslam, Lewis|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Duncannon, Viscount||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Briggs, Harold||Elliot, Capt. Waiter E. (Lanark)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Hope, Sir H. (Stirling &Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.)|
|Bruton, Sir James||Falcon, Captain Michael||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Fell, Sir Arthur||Hopkins, John W. W.|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Foreman, Henry||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Forestier-Walker, L.||Hudson, R. M.|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Forrest, Walter||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Gange, E. Stanley||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C.||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Cautley, Henry S.||Gardner, Ernest||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Murchison, C. K.||Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)|
|Jesson, C.||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Jodrell, Neville Paul||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Stevens, Marshall|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Sewart, Gershom|
|Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Lianelly)||Nield, Sir Herbert||Sugden, W. H.|
|Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey)||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.||Terrell, George, (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|King, Commander Henry Douglas||Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Pearce, Sir William||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Knights, Capt. H. N. (C'berwell, N.)||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Waddington, R.|
|Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Perkins, Walter Frank||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Perring, William George||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Lloyd, George Butler||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.|
|Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Prescott, Major W. H.||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.||Wigan, Brig.-General John Tyson|
|Lorden, John William||Pulley, Charles Thornton||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Purchase, H. G.||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|M'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.||Wilson, Lieut.- Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Remer, J. R.||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Remnant, Sir James||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Macleod, J. Mackintosh||Renwick, George||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Richardson, Sir Albion (Camberwell)||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)|
|Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Wood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Marriott, John Arthur Ransome||Rodger, A. K.||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Mitchell, William Lane||Rogers, Sir Hallewell||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Molson, Major John Elsdale||Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)||Young, Sir Frederick W. Swindon)|
|Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Younger, Sir George|
|Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Morris, Richard||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Morrison, Hugh||Smithers, Sir Alfred W.||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Hallas, Eldred||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Hancock, John George||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hayward, Major Evan||Rose, Frank H.|
|Barrand, A. R.||Hinds, John||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Hirst, G. H.||Sexton, James|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hogge, James Myles||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bottomley, Horatio W.||Irving, Dan||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Johnstone, Joseph||Spencer, George A.|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Spoor, B. G.|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Taylor, J.|
|Briant, Frank||Lunn, William||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)|
|Cape, Thomas||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Tillett, Benjamin|
|Casey, T. W.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Tootill, Robert|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Mills, John Edmund||Wallace, J.|
|Edwards, Allen C. (East Ham, S.)||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Murray, Lieut.-Colonel A. (Aberdeen)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Edwards, John H. (Glam., Neath)||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.|
|Fildes, Henry||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Finney, Samuel||Myers, Thomas||Wignall, James|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Gardiner, James||O'Grady, Captain James||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wintringham, T.|
|Glanville, Harold James||Rae, H. Norman||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)||Young, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. G. Thorne.|
§ Question put, "That the words pro-2452
§ posed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 220; Noes, 90.2453
|Division No. 213.]||AYES.||[6.15 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Balfour, Sir R. (Glasgow, Partick)|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Barnston, Major Harry|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (Lon'derry, N.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Harris, Sir Henry Percy||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Haslam, Lewis||Palmer, Major Godfrey Mark|
|Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Pearce, Sir William|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Pennefather, De Fonblanque|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Perring, William George|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hope, Sir H. Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.)||Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)|
|Briggs, Harold||Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)||Prescott, Major W. H.|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hopkins, John W. W.||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Raper, A. Baldwin|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hudson, R. M.||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Raw, Lieut.-Colonel N.|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Remer, J. R.|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Hurd, Percy A.||Renwick, George|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Richardson, Sir Albion (Camberwell)|
|Cautley, Henry S.||Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Rogers, Sir Hallewell|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Jephcott, A. R.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Jesson, C.||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey)||Smithers, Sir Alfred W.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Kidd, James||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||King, Commander Henry Douglas||Stevens, Marshall|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stewart, Gershom|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Knights, Capt. H. N. (C'berwell, N.)||Sugden, W. H.|
|Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Terrell, George, (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Lloyd, George Butler||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell-(M'yhl)|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lorden, John William||Waddington, R.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.|
|Fildes, Henry||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||Macleod, J. Mackintosh||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Foreman, Henry||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Wigan, Brig.-General John Tyson|
|Forrest, Walter||Macquisten, F. A.||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C.||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Mitchell, William Lane||Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Wilson-Fox, Henry|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Glyn, Major Ralph||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Morden, Colonel H. Grant||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Wood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Morison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Morris, Richard||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Morrison, Hugh||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.||Younger, Sir George|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Murchison, C. K.|
|Gwynne, Rupert S.||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.|
|Hallwood, Augustine||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D.||Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Galbraith, Samuel|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Briant, Frank||Gardiner, James|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Gilbert, James Daniel|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Cape, Thomas||Glanville, Harold James|
|Barrand, A. R.||Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Casey, T. W.||Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Grundy, T. W.|
|Bottomley, Horatio W.||Edwards, John H. (Glam., Neath)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Entwistle, Major C. F.||Hallas, Eldred|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Finney, Samuel||Hancock, John George|
|Hayday, Arthur||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Hayward, Major Evan||O'Grady, Captain James||Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)|
|Hinds, John||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Rattan, Peter Wilson||Tlllett, Benjamin|
|Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Rees, Capt. J. Tudor-(Barnstaple)||Tootill, Robert|
|Hogge, James Myles||Rendall, Athelstan||Wallace, J.|
|Irving, Dan||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Johnstone, Joseph||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (merioneth)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.|
|Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Lunn, William||Rodger, A. K.||Wignall, James|
|Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Rose, Frank H.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Royce, William Stapleton||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Sexton, James||Wintringham, T.|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Mills, John Edmund||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Morgan, Major D. Watts||Sitch, Charles H.||Young, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)|
|Murray, Lieut.-Colonel A. (Aberdeen)||Spencer, George A.|
|Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Spoor, B. G.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Myers, Thomas||Taylor, J.||Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. G. Thorne.|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
I rise to oppose this Motion. We have now come to the conclusion of this part of the Finance Bill. There have been many discussions of very great interest and on a great variety of subjects, and I am sure the Chancellor of the Exchequer is glad, at least, that he seems to be approaching the end of this stage of his labours. I am afraid the temptation I hold out to him will not be sufficient, when I suggest that he might now conclude the Committee Stage of the Bill by dropping this Clause, which really is the most obnoxious Clause in the measure, one more calculated to arouse party passions, and one which has brought into the Division Lobby against him a greater body of aggressive opinion than any other Clause of the Bill. My appeal to the right hon. Gentleman falls on deaf ears, and I will therefore address it to the Committee, and ask it to reject the Clause. It is essential, if we are to consider this question properly, that we should carry our minds back to the circumstances under which this legislation was embodied in the 1909–10 Budget. The Committee really cannot adequately grapple with the question if it merely considers the phraseology of the Clause in that Finance Bill or the immediate circumstances under which that Bill was passed. It is also necessary to consider the policy which that Finance Act has enshrined and the causes which led to its being placed on the Statute Book.
The great social fact in connection with our industrial prodominance was the aggregation of our people in the towns— 2456 in the great cities and in the large mining communities, marked as that aggregation was by a diminution in the number of those who lived in the country. As that diminution took place, and as the growth of population in industrial centres proceeded, it became evident to all concerned that one effect was, that as these communities developed the value of the land rose proportionately with the increase of population, and with the enterprise and effort on the part of the citizen. The more an energetic community welcomed expenditure on local needs the higher rose land values, and those values went, not to the community that created them entirely, not a fraction of them passed to the community, but they all passed into the hands of the men who owned the land of the country. That appeared to many social observers to be a grave monopoly. Every political economist from the time of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Professor Marshall has suggested that there is no tax which a community might more properly employ than a tax upon the land values which the community itself has created. There were innumerable Royal Commissions and Select Committees in regard to this matter, and as far back as 1885 a Royal Commission recommended that there should be such a levy on land values, bearing in mind the fact that enormous sums, running into many millions, created by the community, passed into private hands, the community receiving no levy from it whatever.
There was the additional disadvantage that the system was such that the owner of the land found his greatest advantage in keeping the land out of use as long as possible, because the longer he held it 2457 the greater became the demand of the community and the greater was the price which he was able ultimately to obtain. That had this obvious disadvantage, that the price of land being forced up in that way, it was impossible for those dealing with the housing of our people to provide gardens for working people, or, in the great cities, to provide the ordinary workman with a cottage of his own, with the result that there was terrible crowding and terrible congestion, and in all large cities, in the working-class districts the death rate among the children, deprived, as they were, of sunshine and fresh air, was twice as high as the infantile mortality in the districts where the richer people lived and where they were not crowded so closely together. It was no wonder there was a rising tide of indignation against a system of this kind, and there can be no doubt whatever the effect was the legislation ultimately placed on the Statute Book.
The great agitation conducted by the present Prime Minister, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer, prior to the passing of the 1909–10 Budget, had its root in this desire, that those who mere obtaining these large social values for themselves should be called upon to make a contribution to the public revenue. The Prime Minister pointed out again and again how, in his view, those who were able to obtain for themselves these social values had done nothing to earn them. In picturesque language he spoke of the case of London, and he asked what the great London landowners had clone which entitled them to the millions of ground rents they were able annually to apply to their own purposes. He said these great London landowners had done nothing by the exercise of their enterprise or by their own expenditure to create these values. London was a swamp, and the landowners did not even create that, and upon that theory he based his scheme that there should be legislation with regard to this matter. In order to show that I am not misrepresenting what the Prime Minister said, let me give a very brief quotation from a speech which he delivered in Carnarvon in December, 1919, in connection with the agitation with reference to this point. He was then in the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. I would 2458 ask the Committee to consider whether, if we had had to-day a Chancellor of the Exchequer animated by the sentiments which animated the present Prime Minister in 1909, we should have been presented with such a Budget or such a Clause as this. What did the present Prime Minister say? He said:We say the country has need of money, and we are looking out for someone to tax.So far the position of both Chancellors is the same. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say:We do not want to tax food; we will tax no man's raiment; we will not tax the house that shelters him and his family. What shall we tax? We do not want to tax industry; we do not want to tax enterprise; we do not want to tax commerce. What shall we tax? We will tax the man who is getting something he never earned, that he never produced, and that by no law of justice or fairness ought ever to belong to him.Holding those views, he endeavoured to give legislative effect to them in the Budget of 1909–10. I admit at once that, in my view, his legislative achievement did not fully realise the anticipations he had held out to the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Hon. Members cheer, but why was that so? It was because from the start there was such a rally on the part of the landlord class and those whom they could influence against that Budget, that, even before the Budget was introduced, compromise had begun. Instead of having the direct tax upon land values which the country had been led to expect, we had these taxes which we are discussing to-day—the Increment Value Duty, the Reversion Duty, and the Undeveloped Land Duty. In my view these were compromises, and the reason, very largely, why it is possible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to come down and forcibly propose to repeal the Land Values Duties to-day is the fact that, as we are finding out in connection with so many matters, compromise inevitably results in such a hotch-potch that there is no satisfactory policy at all. There was no doubt the initial disadvantage that it was necessary, for the purpose of piloting the Bill through the House of Commons and endeavouring to get it through another place, to make concession after concession, and so we had the Budget in the form it was ultimately passed. 2459 I was going to say, so far so good, but it is, rather, so far so bad. I have already indicated what followed. The landowners of the country formed themselves into an organisation which sought to repeal the Budget and get rid of the valuation and of any levy on Land Values. So far as they were content with public agitation, one has no complaint to make. They had every right to make an appeal on the ground of reason and argument to their fellow countrymen. That appeal, however, did not fall on very fruitful ground. Whenever elections took place on this issue, whether general elections or bye-elections, the Land Union cut a sorry figure. At the election in January, 1910, and again in December, 1910, large majorities of the people of this country expressed their approval of the proposal embodied in the Budget, that there should be a levy on Land Values. Even subsequently, when the Courts had begun to give decisions, and it was evident that the duties were not of the full effect that was expected in regard to production of revenue, the candidates who were most successful in a whole series of by-elections were those who declared that the work already done ought not to be scrapped, but that we should go forward and make an effective levy on Land Values.
The Land Union raised a large fund. They employed the very best legal advice in the country, and they endeavoured, so far as they could, to find such errors in draftsmanship as would enable them to bring actions which would make these taxes inoperative. It has, of course, to be admitted, with regard to the Undeveloped Land Duty, that so long as the Scrutton judgment remains, and no legislative action is taken for the purpose of altering the law as it emerges as the result of that decision, practically no Undeveloped Land Duty at all is being collected. With regard to the Reversion Duty, the result of the Camden case has been that, until legislation takes place, a very small amount can be collected. In the case of the Increment Duty there is, I believe, still a substantial yield, but we had the Lumsden case, and that is one action in connection with these taxes of which I express no disapproval. It established that the Increment Duty was not solely a land value duty, but partly a tax on builders' profits.
2460 So far as it is a tax on builders' profits, it was not intended by the House of Commons, and should not be carried through. Apart from the cases coming under that judgment, I believe there is still a fairly substantial yield from the Increment Duty. In the main, however, it is perfectly true that, for these reasons, the yield has been disappointing. Our hope that the result of the Undeveloped Land Duty would be to bring land into the market, and so assist housing and relieve congestion in towns, has not been realised, because the tax is not operative.
What the Chancellor now says is, "You have here nothing but so much wreckage. What you have to do is merely to get rid of it and have a perfectly clear field again." That may seem plausible, but I should like to point out that it was not the view of the author of the duties in 1914. Every one of these legal decisions had been given before War broke out in August, 1914, and the position as the right hon. Gentleman describes it to-day existed then. What was the view of his chief then? Had he come to the conclusion which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has reached to-day, that, because these difficulties had arisen, it was necessary to get rid entirely of this policy? No; on the contrary, the Prime Minister then said that what was to be done when these difficulties had arisen was to take fresh steps by way of legislation to see that the levy upon land values, which the people of this country desired, should take place, and that there should be amending legislation for this purpose. I will give a few short quotations to establish that, because I think it is important. Although this Budget has been presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he serves under a Prime Minister who passed the Budget of 1909–10, and he has informed the House that the Prime Minister is an assenting party to his action. It is quite true that in 1912 these difficulties had not fully developed, but they had developed partially. What was the view of the Prime Minister then? What he then said was:You have got to free the land, the land that is to this very hour shackled with the chains of feudalism.That is as true now, in 1920, as it was in 1912. What was the Prime Minister's view as to what should be done? Was 2461 it his view that we should go back? No! He said:This Bill is a beginning, and with God's help it is but a beginning.In 1913 the Prime Minister had begun his land campaign. Did he seek to begin it upon entirely new lines? Had he come to the conclusion then that what was necessary was land legislation on other lines, that the proposal for a levy by way of land values taxation should be dropped, and that the valuation should be dropped? On the contrary, what he proposed then was, apparently, to strengthen his valuation. He said at Swindon:We will have a valuation of the land of the Kingdom. We propose to hand over the whole of that machinery of valuation to the new Ministry of Lands.Apparently the passion for creating new Ministries is not entirely new. I do not associate myself, of course, with the proposal for that Ministry, because I think that, if the proposal for the taxation of land values is carried far enough, the land question will be solved without recourse to all this administrative machinery and expenditure upon new Ministries. At any rate, the view of the Prime Minister was not that the valuation should be abandoned, but that it should be strengthened, and, in his view, for the purpose of strengthening it, it was necessary to have this Ministry of Lands. That was in October, 1913. In January, 1914—if I may be allowed a personal reference—I was acting as honorary secretary to a group of 185 Members of the House of Commons, known as the Land Values Group. On their instructions I wrote to the then Prime Minister pointing out that, in their view, it was essential, if the land campaign was to serve any useful purpose, that attention should be directed to the question of the taxation and rating of land values. The Prime Minister replied to me, and amongst other things he said:You may depend upon it that the Government definitely intend to utilise the valuation which they are putting there at great expense. There is no intention of shirking the issue; of that I can assure you.That was in January, 1914. In February he went a step further. Speaking at Glasgow, he then stated what the Government proposed to do, and practically all these legal decisions had then been given which, the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, make wreckage of his proposals.
2462 So far from saying that that was a reason for clearing the rubbish out of the way and having nothing more to do with it, he said that what the Government proposed to do was to go a step further and to have a valuation which would be applicable not merely to a levy upon land values for Imperial purposes but to institute a system of rating of land values and to provide a system of valuation which would be satisfactory for that purpose. He said:The valuation under the Act of 1909 secures for the first time a real valuation of the land and of the structures thereon separately, and I can assure you we mean to make use of that valuation. I cannot imagine there being any doubt in anyone's mind on the subject. I wonder why they think we have that valuation unless we meant to use it.I should like to make clear that I am not misrepresenting the Prime Minister, and I want to make it perfectly clear that he had in his mind a system of rating of land values for local purposes, and he proposed to take the necessary steps to secure that, and that was done after all these legal decisions had been given. He said:We want new rating. I do not profess to know your rating system in Scotland, but I know the rating system in England and Wales very well, and certainly in England and Wales we want first a complete change in the methods of our valuation for assessment purposes. They are crude, inefficient and open at the present moment to a grave suspicion of partiality.Then there is the phrase I have read about the valuation securing for the first time a real valuation which was meant to be used:Now the Government have already, through the chief, Mr. Asquith, accepted the principle of the rating of land values, and they intend to give effect to it by legislation.I am very glad the right hon. Gentleman is here, and very glad he corroborates that statement entirely.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
It was in a special sense the policy of the then Chancellor of the Exchequer and he identified himself thoroughly with it and became very largely its chief spokesman. In May, 1914, three months before the outbreak of the War, he repeated that statement:We are of the opinion that a national system of valuation for local taxation must 2463 be set up, a system which is fair and more equitable and more impartial between classes and localities than the present. We do intend that the taxation of site values shall henceforth form an integral part of the system of local taxation. That was what I meant by broadening the basis of taxation.That was the position when the War broke out. I should like the Chancellor of the Exchequer to address himself to the question, what alteration the War has made which in his view renders it desirable that the right hon. Gentleman who voiced these sentiments and held these views should now come to the House of Commons and propose to abandon valuation, to abandon every one of these duties, to pay back every penny of duty that anyone has ever paid and to collect nothing in the way of arrears. It may be that the right hon. Gentleman thinks that in some way or other the War has so altered things as to justify him in taking that course. I shall be interested to hear the right hon. Gentleman explain why in his view it has done so. In my view the War has given a threefold reinforcement to the claim for the taxation of land values. In the first place the need of revenue is infinitely greater, as every speech delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the passing of this Finance Bill through Committee has shown. When we come to this stage that the right hon. Gentleman is obliged to invoke the party Whips, as he did yesterday, to secure for him £75,000 from the co-operative societies, which the obvious sense of the Committee left to a free vote was to reject, I think one is entitled to say if it was necessary to look round for someone to tax, as the Prime Minister said it was in 1910, it is infinitely more necessary to find sources of revenue now. The need of revenue is greater. That is the first change that the War has made.
Then the fund available is larger. The land values of this country have increased. We do not get the figures because the valuation has not been kept up in such a way that the figures are available. But I think it is no exaggeration to say that if you are dealing with the land values of great cities like London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow, land values have doubled during the period of the War. Figures are being quoted in connection with transactions in London during the past few months which have never been heard of 2464 before. I remember a number of years ago when a little strip of land was sold in the city of London at the rate of £1,000,000 an acre, there were paragraphs in all the newspapers of the country about it. But the other day there was a transaction in which two strips of land were sold at a value of £5,000,000 an acre. I do not suggest, of course, that that is an average value even in the city, but you have transactions such as Devonshire House, where land is sold at the rate of over £1,000,000 an acre, and you have these transactions taking place all over the city of London, and I think it is no exaggeration to say that the fund available upon which taxation could come by a levy upon land values is infinitely greater to-day, probably, at least double the fund available in 1914. There is a third change that the War has made. The manhood of this country has been engaged from 1914 onwards fighting the battle of this country. They were appealed to by a recruiting poster, which pointed out to them the beauties of the land, and underneath was the legend, "Is not this a land worth fighting for? "The men of this land thought it was a land worth fighting for, and in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, in every field of battle, they performed prodigies of valour. When these men come back I think they are entitled to say that at least some share of the value which they created and which they fought to defend should go to the common people. In my view, these are the changes which have come about as the result of the War. So far from being any justification for abolishing the valuation and abolishing these duties, in my view they give a triple reinforcement to the policy which the Prime Minister advocated in 1914. I think we are entitled to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if in his view there can be any reason except purely political motives for the action which he has taken.
We are told, of course, the yield from these duties is small and the effect of them upon social conditions is negligible. I do not dispute either of these propositions, but what I suggest the right hon. Gentleman should do is what all his predecessors have done from 1914: keep these duties upon the statute book as the expression of the desire of the people of this country, manifested at two general elec- 2465 tions, that there should be a levy upon land values. Keep the valuation, bring it up to date, make it a really effective instrument, and then utilise the year which lies before you for making such inquiries as are necessary into the working of a real system of land values taxation—such a system as those to be found in Canada, in Australia, and in a great many of our Colonies. The right hon. Gentleman complained in his Budget speech that the Select Committee upon Land Values which he set up had not been able to give him very much assistance. I do not know how far he was kept informed as to the action which was taken at the sittings of that Committee, but the reason why the Select Committee on Land Values did not give him substantial assistance was that the Government neglected to give them the opportunity of so doing. The Committee was set up to consider the question of the abolition, the retention, or the alteration of these duties. At the very outset I and those who were acting with me asked whether it was permissible under the terms of reference to make an investigation as to the system of land taxation and valuation in the Colonies and other countries and to bring in a recommendation for an alteration of these duties and to substitute in their place a direct tax upon land values. I make no complaint as to the ruling of our chairman. He ruled that under the terms of reference it was not permissible, and then the Committee decided to ask the Government to extend their terms of reference to allow that to be done. I see a distinguished member of the Committee opposite who does not share my political views. I think he will agree that I am correct in my narrative. We met. I think, about once a fortnight for nearly two months—we were called to meet—but we could get no reply from the Government of any kind, either refusing to extend the terms of reference or granting our request, and we were ultimately compelled to bring in this Report, which, of course, gives no assistance to the Government, because those of us who thought the only proper method of dealing with this matter was to bring in a real levy upon land values were not, of course, interested in such patchwork proposals as trying to build these duties up again.
I do not suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that he should set up a Select 2466 Committee again. It may be that this is a general objection to Select Committees, but a Select Committee which consisted on the one hand of the hon. and gallant Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) and those who had for many years been associated with him in the campaign of the Land Union, and those who like myself hold very strong views on this matter, is, of course, a Committee which is not very likely to agree. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that he should stick to the valuation and bring it up to date, stick to the duties for this year. and himself take the necessary steps to investigate what has been done in the Colonies, especially in Australia, and try to devise between now and next year a system which will give us a real levy upon the land values of the country. If the appeal I make to him is an appeal which reaches only deaf ears, then one can only appeal to the Committee itself. If the Committee decides not only that these duties are to be sacrificed, but that the valuation which is the basis of any sound system of land values taxation is also to go, all I have to say to them is that those who think this is the end of this movement are doubly mistaken. There is no movement which has so profoundly touched the hearts of the people of this country as the movement for the reassertion of the rights of the people in the land, and although the right hon. Gentleman, who has, like the Leader of the House, fought these duties tenaciously, step by step and inch by inch, now has the satisfaction of seeing his policy carried through, I am quite certain that his action is only stirring up again a sentiment upon this question. Before many years are over we will have another Chancellor of the Exchequer—
§ Mr. RAFFAN
Who, although he could not be a more industrious or a more conscientious one, will on this matter be in greater accord with the sentiments of the vast majority of the people of this country and will give us in place of these paltry land values a real tax upon land values which will amount to a reassertion of the rights of the people to the land that God has given them.
§ Mr. MYERS
I think I shall be reechoing the sentiment of every Member in this House when I say we all pay a 2467 tribute to the hon. Member who has just sat down, not only for his excellent and, in my view, unanswerable speech, but for the long period of sacrifice, energy, and enthusiasm which he has given to this question, both inside and outside the House. I feel that very little I can say will go in the direction of emphasising the case he has presented, but there are one or two points of detail to which I may. refer. I daresay that Parliamentary experience and records could be drawn upon during this last half-century or so for numerous Parliamentary and political contradictions, and the probability is that they will be produced, but in the whole history of Parliamentary procedure it would be very difficult to find a contradiction as glaring as the one which is under discussion to-night. Everything that has been said by the hon. Member through the quotations he has read to us as to the position in 1910 could be reasserted to-day with infinitely greater emphasis. The needs are greater, the demand is much more pressing, and the general situation in the country demands that something of the sort claimed then should be carried out now. Earlier in the Debate I referred to the Report of the Select Committee upon Land Values, and endeavoured to point out the tremendous work that had been done in the direction of forming a large staff, the energy and experience put into this particular Department, the tremendous number of documents sent out, the numbers returned, the decisions .arrived at, and the information collected.
We have always asserted, like the hon. Member who has just sat down, that increasing land values are due absolutely to social developments, that land values are a social product, and ought to go back into the common fund, for the benefit of the community as a whole, never mind when or at what point. That is the general position upon which we stand. Now facts have been disclosed by the valuation, which embraces 56,000,000 acres of land in the United Kingdom. The land in North London was found to be worth£5,197 per acre, in South London £1,005 per acre, in South Lancashire £474 per acre, in North Lancashire £359, the West Riding of Yorkshire £201. Against that we have to put the average for Great Britain, £94 per acre, and the average for Scotland, £26 per acre. In the value of the land in these industrial and city areas that I have 2468 referred to there is obviously a value which is the result of the growth of the community and the activities of the community, and we say that, in some form or another, those values ought to be appropriated by the community.
I am a municipal representative, and 16 years of municipal administration is an experience which teaches one something, particularly in this direction. At the outbreak of the war the local rates paid to the great rating authorities in England and Wales amounted to £70,000,000 a year. I understand, though I have not seen the figures, that the Minister of Health stated in reply to a written question the other day that that figure has now reached £100,000,000 a year. That is a great burden on the local authorities of the country. The people who come under the jurisdiction of these local authorities are subjected to all the influences which are surrounding our national life. They have been called upon to pay heavier national taxation, increases in the cost of living fall upon all of them, and, in addition to that, the extra demands that are being made upon them by the local authorities have jumped up from £70,000,000 a year to £100,000,000. Instances innumerable could be produced to show how in the development of towns, local rates have gone in one direction and the real proceeds of the value of the land has gone in another. In my immediate neighbourhood agricultural land is let at £1 and £1 10s. per acre. I have watched the district develop, houses and factories galore have been erected, and there is great difficulty in purchasing land—the land is taken largely on lease—and I know innumerable instances where agricultural land which was occupied as farming land and the rent of which was about £1 or £1 10s. per acre has been let for building land at 6d. a yard, which is £120 an acre; and the responsibility the landowner had for the local rates has instantly been removed from him. As soon as a house has been erected upon that site, the responsibility for the local rates has gone on to the bricks and mortar, and the landlord has walked away with the ground rent in his pocket and with no responsibilities to the locality. The Ministry of Health and the various public authorities in the country can tell us the amount of money that has to be paid for land for housing schemes.
Here, again, we have had agricultural land let at £1 or £1 10s. an acre sold for 2469 our housing schemes at from £200 to £500 or £600 per acre. This increment of £500 an acre is taken by the landlord, and the responsibility for the local rates is pushed on to the people who occupy the premises If we could take that land value which has come from social development in the industrial towns of the land a tremendous development could be made in municipal enterprises, and something of this sort will have to be done in the future, because the Government cannot continue putting Acts of Parliament on the Statute Book which call upon the municipalities to do this, that and the other, and call upon the local authorities to provide the greater portion of the money; and if these great steps in the direction of social re-construction have got to be carried out. and carried out in the national interest, though applied locally, then it is the business of the State to find some revenue for that work.
§ Sir WATSON RUTHERFORD
On a point of Order. For our guidance in this debate I should like to ask whether a disquisition on the rating of land has anything to do with the subject of the Increment Tax and the Undeveloped Land Duty, because if so we are going to have a general discussion which will probably last a very long time. The present point, as I take it, is as to whether this particular tax should be retained or not.
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN (Sir E. Cornwall)
This is a proposal to repeal the Land Values Duty, and I think that opens up a rather large subject. I do not know what may be said in the future, but, so far, I do not think I have heard anything going beyond the subject.
§ Mr. MYERS
In addition to all the responsibilities thrown upon the owners and occupiers of dwellings, we have also the penalty which is imposed upon local authorities in other directions. There is not a local authority in the country requiring a school or any other public building which has not to pay toll to the ground landlord in excess of the value of the land for the public service it desires to put into operation. I am a believer in the doctrine that the entire increment of land should come to the community. The late Herbert Spencer, reactionary though he was in his later days, made a very definite pronounce- 2470 ment on this matter. He said, "The right of mankind at large to the earth's surface is still valid, all deeds, laws and customs notwithstanding." I agree with that declaration. I have advocated that doctrine, and I hope to do so again, and until the time comes when the community at large can secure for itself that heritage and rightful possession which I think it ought to secure of the income arising from these duties for public use and for public purposes.
I think also, on other grounds, these duties and this valuation ought to be retained until some alternative source of revenue is found. The country to-day cannot afford to let go by the board any source of revenue. Obviously these Land Duties and this policy were put into operation for the purpose of raising revenue. We have been told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the revenue from this source has been £1,329,000, and that there is a sum of £541,000 owing in ascertained arrears. That is a sum of nearly £2,000,000, and if the tax were to be continued, that sum or more would be yielded. If there are any imperfections in these taxes or in their application, they should be removed by the Government, but I strongly suggest that they should be retained until some alternative method is found. Many have asked the question why these are being surrendered, and why this contradiction of policy as between now and 1910? I hope that the observation I am about to make will not be considered offensive, because it is not used in that spirit, and I make it because I conscientiously believe it, and that is that it is a surrender on the part of the present Prime Minister for the Tory support he has got in this House and the country. That is the sole reason, in my judgment, why this contradiction of policy is before the House. I wonder what the country is going to say upon this question if these duties are not continued, and if the arrears are not reaped in. We have had concessions amounting to nearly £2,000,000, and there was a concession of nearly £400,000 to the liquor interest, and a surrender on the question of a war wealth levy. What is the country going to say on this point when it puts against it the tax upon our co-operative societies, the tax upon the consumable commodities of the country and upon the breakfast 2471 table? It is going to say what it is entitled to say, that it is class legislation of the most pronounced character.
§ Mr. ASQUITH
I expressed my opinion upon this proposal when, nearly three months ago, the Budget was first introduced, and I am not going to repeat at any length what I said then. There is the less occasion for going over the ground, so far as I am concerned, in detail, since my hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Mr. Raffan) has in a most able and brilliant speech, for such it was, stolen, as I am frank enough to confess, any little stock of dialectical thunder I may have had in reserve for the purpose. I do not grudge him at all what he has done, since he has made much better use of it than I could have done. But I must call the attention of the Committee to what I believe to be an almost unique situation. This Clause proposes to abolish the land duties, to cancel the arrears, and to suspend the whole process of valuation. It is not often in our legislative history that we directly reverse a policy which has been deliberately pursued by preceding Parliaments. That is a very rare event, but I believe it to be without precedent that a reversal such as that should take place at the instance of a Government, the head of which was the author of the policy which it is proposed to reverse. I know, at any rate, from my own experience and my reading of Parliamentary history, of no precedent or example for such a course being pursued. I am speaking within the recollection of many who were Members of Parliament in 1909 when it was proposed, and in 1910–11 when this policy was enacted. They will bear me out when I say that never was there a policy which had less the character of improvisation about it. We have seen a great many improvisations of recent years, and they have become the stock-in-trade of politicians and even of the Government. But the policy embodied in the famous Budget of 1909 was a policy deliberately conceived and subject, as I know well, to an amount of Cabinet deliberation which has hardly ever been applied to any specific political topic. It was debated in this House with a minuteness of discussion and acrimony of spirit and with an enthusiasm both in support and in antagonism which I cannot recall. It was passed by large majorities 2472 here in the House of Commons and rejected by the House of Lords, with the result that we were confronted with the gravest constitutional crisis of our time. What followed? We dissolved Parliament, we went to the country, and we got a majority.
§ Mr. ASQUITH
We got a majority quite big enough, not only upon this particular issue, to bring the House of Lords to its knees and to carry the Parliament Act also. I should be quite content myself, if I were ever to assume a responsibility of that kind again of leading this House, with such a majority as that which we had in the year 1910. We appealed twice to the country in the same year, and with the same result. Was there ever in our Parliamentary history a process by which with more deliberation in Parliament, and with more public discussion on the platform and in the country, a system of taxation was brought into existence and passed into law? None. I am not going—my hon. Friend (Mr. Raffan) has amply performed that task—to indulge in the alluring luxury of quotation. I will only cite, to show the view taken at the time, from a publication entitled "The Budget, the Land, and the People, the new land value taxes explained and illustrated. A complete guide to the great question of the day," issued by the Budget League, a very powerful propagandist organisation with which I am not ashamed to say I was connected, and which had for its principal organiser my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Sir H. Norman). This publication had the advantage of a preface by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I am going to read one sentence with which the preface started.The land value taxes of the Budget of 1909 mark a new departure in the fiscal policy of our country. After a few years' experience they will, I hope, be as familiar and accepted a part of the apparatus of the tax-gatherer as the death duties, once so strange and so strenuously opposed.That is what we all believed and proclaimed on platforms, and what, so far as we can judge by the verdict of the constituencies, the country also believed. I am not surprised that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Leader of the House look upon this Clause with a light heart. They would be 2473 less than human did they not regard it with equanimity. I will go further and say they would be more than human if it did not rouse in their bosoms a faint, decently repressed, emotion of exhilaration. When I survey the Treasury Bench at this moment I understand the absence, and I deeply deplore it, of the Prime Minister, for there never was an occasion when the House of Commons needed his presence more; but he is, as we know, engaged elsewhere in discharging Imperial functions. But I have looked and I have scanned that Bench and in vain for persons whose public duties do not require them to leave these shores, or even, so far as I know, these precincts, and where are they? I refer to my old colleagues who perambulated the country in my company and in the company of the present Prime Minister, preaching the pure gospel which is laid down in the little volume from which I have quoted. Where are they? I think the House would be glad to hear from them, and it would be much more appropriate than from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, some of the reasons which have led them in 1920 to jettison, I do not suggest, as my hon. Friend did, that party considerations have had anything to do with it, but I want to know, in the atmosphere of the temple of pure reason, what reasons have led them to jettison in the year 1920 duties which they and I agreed in 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, and 1913 were essential to a just and equitable system of taxation. As my hon. Friend pointed out just now, it is not as if this was a passing gust or wave of enthusiasm which swept off its legs the Liberal party or the constituencies of the country in 1909–10. On the contrary, up to the very outbreak of the War we were preaching the same doctrine, we were proclaiming the same faith. All the legal decisions which have been referred to; which whittled down and emasculated, as we thought, the intentions and effect of the legislation of 1909–10, had been already pronounced. They had been weighed and adjusted by the Government and their advisers. In the year 1914, some months before the outbreak of the War, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, the authorised exponent of the financial policy of the Government, said—it was in the month of January—on the question of the rating and taxation of land values: 2474You may depend upon it that the Government definitely intend to utilise the valuation, which they are putting through at great expense, for this purpose.In the following month there is an allusion to myself.
The Government have already, through their Chief"—That is me.
§ Mr. ASQUITH
I was trying not to be egotistical—accepted the principle—not merely the principle of these land taxes which are to be found in the Act of 1909—of the rating of site values, and intend to give effect to it by legislation.What has happened to make this declaration, deliberately made—this again was not improvised, it was the result of Cabinet decision—an obsolete and negligible thing. which has no longer any weight or sanction?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
The right hon. Gentleman forgot the people who put him into power. That is what happened.
§ Mr. ASQUITH
I am always interested in the remarks of my hon. and gallant Friend, but I fail to see the relevance of that remark. I have not changed my view. I still believe, as my Chancellor of the Exchequer said in February, 1914, in the necessity, first of all, of the valuation, and next, as a consequence of that valuation, and as a proper purpose to which it should be applied, the taxing for public purposes, both imperial and local, of the site values of land. Further it has always been to me one of the great recommendations of the valuation and the taxation of land that land may be acquired by the community for public purposes at the same rate and upon the same terms upon which it was taxed. The converse is even more true, that it should be taxed and rated at the same price at which the owner is willing to sell it to the community, when the community wants to purchase it. I have not changed my views upon that by a hair's breadth.
§ Mr. ASQUITH
We were doing it; we were on the point of doing it, in the spring of 1914—as I have shown by the passage I have quoted—by legislation. Then came the War in August of that year which rendered such legislation impossible. If it is suggested that the War and the consequences of the War have made, or ought to have made, any logical difference in the position, I find myself totally unable to accept that view. The War has not altered the rules of justice between the different classes who ought to contribute to the revenue and expenditure of the country. The War has certainly not diminished the value of land. The War has certainly not in any way impaired the importance both of discovering new sources of taxation and of not abandoning those sources which are already at your disposal. So far as the experience of the War is relevant to the matter at all, it appears to me to enforce rather than to impair the arguments which were used in 1914. I should like an explanation of the change of view. I do not expect it from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I do not ask him for it. He is perfectly consistent. He has been one of the doughty and resolute opponents of these duties from the beginning. I do not expect from him, but I should like to know from some of those who were ardent prophets, apostles and evangelists, some of them even displaying the energy of Boanerges himself, in the great crusade of 1909–10, what are the relevant considerations which made them not only acquiesce in, but become active parties to the repeal of these duties and the abolition of the valuation, after the experience we have had during the last five or six years. I remain impenitent. There is no reason whatever to change the views which I expressed in the Government of which I was the head of these taxes and valuations, regarding which we took very great risks in our endeavour to carry them into effect. I shall vote for the omission of this Clause.
§ Mr CHAMBERLAIN
We have listened to two very interesting speeches. One was made by the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Raffan), in regard to which my right hon. Friend (Mr. Asquith) paid a deserved compliment. In that compliment those who differ from what he said may be permitted to join. We have also had the speech of my right hon. Friend.
2476 The hon. Member for Leigh spoke with all the fervour and conviction of a prophet and with all the prophet's disregard of ordinary mundane conditions. My right hon. Friend never speaks with the fervour of the prophet, and on this occasion he is certainly the merriest mourner at a funeral that I have ever known. Indeed, I think I may say that the opponents of the Government in this matter are divided into two classes, which can be very clearly distinguished upon the opposite Benches. There are the followers of the prophet, men of deep and passionate conviction, who believe that they and their teachers have found a solution of all human ills, and that if we swallow their pill there will be no more earth. There is also a small but active body represented by my right hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, whose principle interest in the Debate is the opportunity which it gives to them for baiting the Prime Minister.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not wonder that my right hon. Friend regrets the absence of the Prime Minister. Bear-baiting in the absence of the bear is not a very merry sport. Nor am I going to spend much time in offering apologies for my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has great qualities which all of us who have watched him in this House and still more those who have watched him in council recognise, and he has other qualities which those of us who at one time or another have been in opposition have been not slow to characterise with less condemnation. He is human, but he has one great quality not given to every man, and that is that in middle-age and after middle-age he can still learn. He is no coward who fears to own a change of mind or to admit altered conditions, and he is no pedant who refuses to alter any views which he first took up when a case was first presented to him. I trust the Committee will give some consideration to the condition of these taxes and the results which legislation has produced, and, if so, they will see that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and his Government are right to repeal them, and that never was time or energy more lamentably spent than all the time and energy which my right hon. Friend (Mr. Asquith) says he and his colleagues devoted to the preparation and elaboration of these taxes. May 2477 I say before I deal with the taxes themselves, that it seems to me that the affection of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Asquith) for the taxes grows as the taxes approach their mournful end. I do not remember any note of enthusiasm or fervour in his early speeches on the subject. He told us a great deal about what passed in the Cabinet. Of course, I was not a member of the Cabinet, but rumours did reach us, and we never understood that my right hon. Friend was an early or enthusiastic convert to the principle of these taxes.
§ Mr. ASQUITH
I would ask my right hon. Friend to apply to the Prime Minister and ask his views on that.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Of course, I am speaking of something which I cannot know of my personal knowledge, and if the rumours that reached us were not correct and if my right hon. Friend says that, I shall say no more about it. I would ask the Committee to consider this as a business proposition. I wonder how many Members of the Committee have read the Memorandum presented by the Deputy-Chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue on behalf of that Board to the Committee which was set up to examine this matter. That report was drawn up for the official information of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and was presented to me as one of the first matters which I must consider when I took office last year. It is a document drawn up, not by party politicians, not by people who were accustomed to take or do take any share in our party strife, but by officials whose business it was to make these taxes work, and he said that they are not workable in their present condition. It is a cold and damning document; an absolutely damning document. I do not want to trouble the Committee with too many quotations, but I would call attention to a few. Hon. Members will understand that I am omitting words in reading. It is on page 16. He says:The general difficulties which have been encountered by the Board in connection with the work of valuation may be summarised as follows:(a) The necessity of assessing and collecting the Land Values Duties simultaneously with the process of making the valuation, thus diverting the time and energies of the staff from the work of valuation to work in connection with the duties,2478(b) The unusual nature of the values which have to be ascertained under the Statute, values of a completely new character with which neither expert valuers nor the public were familiar.Values which nobody had ever had to deal with, hypothetical values for the purpose of the tax not entering into any transaction of a common kind.
Having referred to the prolonged and organised opposition which was offered by the public, they say:Further, there were difficulties of a technical character which experience has shown to be inherent in the provisions of the Act itself.On page 17, Section 11, they say:The complexity of the duties, especially of the increment value duty, is such that it is impossible for the taxpayer, except in the simplest cases, to form even an approximate estimate of the duty he will be called upon to pay, and even when he has received his assessment it is impossible in very many cases for him to grasp how it is computed without incurring the expense of employing expert assistance.They go on to the Undeveloped Land Duty:Since February, 1914, its assessment and collection has been suspended in consequence of the judicial decision which laid down that the basis adopted was wrong, and which directed a basis which is not capable of practical application as being the basis.That is not all. My right hon. Friend dwells lovingly on the great purposes for which he cherishes these taxes. He wants the land to be developed and not held up against the public. He wants the public to buy land at a fair price. So do we, so do the Government of which I am a representative, and the Government, in this House of Commons, have proved it, not by mere observations in Debate, but by the passage of the Land Acquisition Bill for the acquisition of land at a fair and just price. What help do you get out of these things? Undeveloped land duty was to fall upon land that was ripe for building and which the owner was wrongfully holding up in the expectation of a greater profit. In so far as that duty has been operative, it has failed to achieve its object, namely, to tax land which was ripe for building, but was held up for other purposes. On the contrary, in practice, the tax has not fallen upon land which was ripe for building to any great degree. It has fallen on land which has a building value, but 2479 was not ripe for building, and which nobody at the time could be found to build upon. It is exactly what we said would happen and what my right hon. Friend denied. Facts are stubborn things. It is all very well to be a prophet, but it is not worth while to prophesy as to results which happen so quickly afterwards that you live to see the falsification of your own prophecies. The expectation which the right hon. Gentleman held out, and which he used as a justification for the tax to-day, has been absolutely falsified. Next, apart from these drawbacks, the duty has proved most difficult and expensive to administer. Experience has shown that a tax of this character does not lend itself to work as a centralised tax. That is the undeveloped land duty.
Coming to increment value duty, we are again taxing what nobody wants to tax; what we said it would tax; what the right hon. Gentleman said it would not tax. But he promised to amend it, but the Bill was never able to be got through.
Apart from other difficulties, administration—says the Board in paragraph 18—was further rendered difficult because in the case of a very large number of assessments it is necessary to make difficult mathematical calculations and apportionments both of the increment value duty which arose and of duty paid or deemed to have been paid on previous occasions and to apply highly scientific principles for ascertaining the amount of duty payable.They go on to say:As time elapses constant apportionments and reapportionments and calculations of previous apportionments are applied, and add still further complications. Cumulatively the effect of all these difficulties is overwhelming. The charge upon minerals is one which, except in a limited number of cases, produces most inequitable results and yields no visible revenue, and drastic amendments are necessary if it is to be rendered workable.Finally, come to the Reversion Duty, whereThe duty is largely in abeyance in consequence of the decision of the Court, and further legislation will be required to make it work.When I hear my right hon. Friend describe and dwell upon the unparalleled, almost unexampled, care which they gave to the preparation of this measure in these long Debates and 2480 contrast it with the hasty improvisation of a later Government, I think that, after all, there is something to be said for hasty improvisation by practical men instead of long Debates by men of theory producing something which has no relation to practice and is unworkable.
That is the case against these duties. From top to bottom they are unworkable. You cannot make them workable without an immense mass of new legislation. You have got to alter and change and alter again. Why are they what they are? I grant that as they were introduced they might have been workable and might have produced a revenue. But they ceased to be workable and to have a chance of producing a reasonable revenue in proportion to the cost of collection because of the concessions and Amendments which were made in the passage of the Bill through this House. But do you suppose that those were made by the Government of which the right hon. Gentleman was a Member or by my right hon. Friend the present Prime Minister out of love of the Opposition, or with the intention or belief that they would ruin the taxes? Nothing of the kind. They were wrung from them by their sense of justice, because they could not sit on this Bench silently and let the case, which from different quarters was put to them, go by default, and simply vote it down without giving any argument against it. Their sense of justice did not allow them to permit the injustices which the Amendments were intended to remedy. The consequence is—and I call attention to it because it is the inevitable result of trying to apply these simple theories drawn from the circumstances of new countries to the complicated conditions of a country with an old-established civilisation in a thickly-populated land—was that in trying to prevent the injustices which would have arisen from the original proposal they made their proposals unworkable or non-revenue producing.
In those circumstances what are we to do? I think I have got work enough on my hands in this Budget. I was not encouraged—I should not have been encouraged in any circumstances—to undertake the immense work of revision. amounting to a complete re-casting of the taxes, the repeal of the old taxes and the provision of new taxes, in the present 2481 year, even if I thought it desirable. I thought, and my colleagues agreed, that in the circumstances the right thing was to recognise facts, to admit failures, and to act like sensible men, rather than to be afraid of the taunts of gentlemen whose consistency is shocked by political or personal antagonism, or moved by that prophetic fervour which is admirable in the individual, but dangerous in the polity of the State. My right hon. Friend wanted an explanation of the Prime Minister. I have given as much explanation as I think the circumstances require or the Committee expect. But has my right hon. Friend himself nothing to explain? I wish he had quoted from himself. He said:I now come to the final charge against this tax—that was the Undeveloped Land Duty.
The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Balfour) having made it before, repeated it this evening. He said that this was not a fiscal proposal in any sense at all, on the ground that the yield of the tax would be less, or certainly would not exceed probably this year the actual cost of valuation. I do not assent to the right hon. Gentleman's proposition. I defend this tax and all the taxes contained in this Finance Bill as fiscal instruments, and if anyone can demonstrate to me that they are not I shall agree that they ought to be excised from the Bill. I shall agree that they shall be excised if anyone can show that they will not be useful, profitable, and fruit-bearing for fiscal purposes."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 10th August, 1909, col. 318, Vol. 9.]
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
That judgment declares the law but does not alter it. I wish that the late Prime Minister had quoted that to the House and justified it in relation to its present attitude. What are the facts? The taxes have yielded £1,300,000 in the course of the years they have been imposed. There is duty assessed, but much of it assessed on a wrong basis, to the extent of another £500,000. That is a maximum yield to date of something below the figure of £1,800,000. The cost of the valuation and collection which was estimated by my right hon. Friend's (Mr. Asquith's) Government at £2,000,000 in all, has been £5,000,000. We have spent £5,000,000 to obtain a valuation which is useless for every other purpose in life.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The cost of valuation and collection from the inception has been four times the revenue earned.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Behold the prophet! I did not interrupt my hon. Friend, but with his permission I am going on to say what he would probably call more nonsense. It is all nonsense which does not agree with his sense. I have given the history up to date. What of the future? Suppose we legislate to reverse every judgment which has gone against the claims of the Crown. Suppose we have everything our own way. What do you suppose is the annual r venue that you might conceivably expect to get? I am told that the possible yield may be about £600,000 a year, probably rather less, and the probable annual cost for collecting these duties, apart from other duties attached to the men employed in the Department, would be £400,000. You have an annual cost of collection £400,000, and an annual revenue of £600,000. That is a net advantage to the whole body of taxpayers of £200,000, or less, I should think, than would be spent by the individual taxpayer in providing the infomation required by the Inland Revenue or in checking the calculations on which the Inland Revenue sought to assess you. I call upon my right hon. Friend (Mr. Asquith) for an explanation. I call upon him for more. I call upon him for action. He said he would agree that these taxes should be excised if anyone could show that they would not be useful, profitable, and fruit-bearing for fiscal purposes. I call upon him to fulfil his undertaking and to support me in the Lobby.
If these duties are repealed we now have the assurance from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the effect will be to make a saving of £400,000 a year in the Department. I gather that he is going to get rid of these Duties. He has made up his mind, and all the evidence goes to show that he has a sufficient majority to get his way. We do not blame him or wonder at it. It is extremely natural that he should desire to repeal these duties. He has said nothing that is not perfectly consistent with his attitude from the beginning, and he is entitled to a very natural triumph. One is rather surprised that the right hon. 2483 Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) is not here to share that triumph. If we are not all fox hunters we are sufficiently "sports" to understand that we are beaten on this point. The Chancellor is going to get rid of the duties, and he has told us that he will save £400,000 a year by doing so. I am rather amazed to get that figure from him, because he probably does not know that I spent five or six years of my life in trying to make this valuation and I know something of the Department. Moreover, I was on the Select Committee, whose report I have in my hand. I am very surprised to learn that the effect of throwing over the Duties is to make a saving of £400,000 a year in the Department.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I did not say it would make a saving of £400,000 a year on the present expenses of the Department. What I did say was that to collect a duty which might produce £600,000 a cost of £400,000 would be involved.
This question about figures is rather unfortunate, because I am sure that a large part of the right hon. Gentleman's argument was that these taxes are not worth collecting, that they were very costly, that they entailed a great burden on the taxpayer, and that they produced very little result to the revenue. That is a proper attitude for the Chancellor to take. His business is to get revenue with the least annoyance, with the least amount of work, and with a view to the greatest possible return. I certainly gathered that his argument was that if we go on with these taxes, and if we get all our own way, the most we can get is a revenue of £600,000 a year, and that it will cost £400,000 to get it. It seems to me that the argument then is that if we do not go on with the taxes and do not get the £600,000 a year we ought to save the £400,000. We have at last really got to a saving.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
You have to provide for the new work that will be required, but the cost of collecting the taxes would be that. You cannot stand idle doing nothing. The reductions in the Valuation Department have been enormous.
I am disappointed with the Chancellor's statement. I look upon him as one of the fairest Members 2484 of the House and as one whose arguments may be taken most explicitly, but in his last argument I fear that he was rather misleading us in stressing the point of the cost of this tax, if he now tells us that he is not going to save this amount, that he is going to get rid of these duties, but, at the same time, the staff that would be employed to collect the duties must be retained. If that is so, it is not quite fair to put the whole cost of the staff against the cost of the duties.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I have tried to be frank and fair. I never said that, starting from the position in which we are to-day, you could make a saving of £400,000. In the position in which we are to-day you could not collect the taxes. The difference between having them to collect and not having them to collect is £400,000 a year.
The difference between having them and not having them is £400,000, but that £400,000 is not going to be saved; some portion of it is to be spent.
I want to address myself to some of the difficulties. It is not a simple matter of expense; it is not that the tax is a small tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has a number of taxes which produce no greater amounts than these duties. The tax on films, I believe,. is bringing in an even smaller amount than these land taxes, but he is not abandoning them on that account. In regard to the Tea Duty, the right hon. Gentleman said he was not prepared to throw away money for an economic theory. He is throwing away a certain amount of money here, because during the years the taxes were imposed they have brought in something like £1,300,000. The arguments that have been addressed by the Chancellor against the duties have not been addressed against the principles of the duties as such, but against the difficulties of applying them. One remark able thing about the action of the Government in this case is that, just at a time when they are converted to the principle of increment value, they are throwing it over in these duties. Those hon. Members who were in the House when the Indemnity Bill was introduced will re- 2485 member the speech of the Solicitor-General. One finds that the Government has adopted the principle of increment value in dealing with rum, but that the principle is thrown overboard in dealing with land. In the controversy on the Budget it was said against us that we attempted to deal with the land as if it was a special kind of commodity to which special principles could be applied, and when we said that land acquired a particular value given to it by the community we were told that that value pertained to a great many other articles as well. The Government seem now to have arrived at the position that, while there is a value given to a great many commodities by the demand of the community, they must throw that principle overboard with regard to land. What was the whole basis for the increment value taxes? It was that land acquired a special value owing to the needs and demands of the community. in the speech to which I am referring the Solicitor-General said:When you talk of market price, are you talking of something that is a genuine market price, or are you talking of something to which a fictitious value has been given by the needs of the community?That was a case in which a quantity of rum was requisitioned by the Government and. the owners of the rum wished to have the market price. The point of the Government's case in refusing it was that the price was caused by the demand of the community. I think the price that was wanted was 50s. a gallon, and the Government, I think, actually paid between 20s. and 30s., and they contended that the whole of the difference in price was due to the soldiers' demand. That was the whole basis upon which the Increment Value Duty was imposed in the Budget, and it seems a strange thing, at a time when the Government has adopted this principle and is applying it on a huge scale under the Indemnity Act in respect of a great many commodities which have been requisitioned by them, that they should be abandoning the principle in the particular case of land with which we are now dealing. It seems to suggest that in the counsels of the Government the influence of the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) is on the increase and that of the hon. Member for the Ayr Burghs (Sir G. Younger) is on the wane. When they take increment value off the land 2486 and put it on to rum, it seems to suggest that the landowners have got the better of the brewers in their influence upon the Government. If it is true that the general principle of increment values has been adopted, it is also true that the practice in applying these taxes is largely adopted now. What was suggested at the time of the Lumsden case was that the Increment Value Duty was taxing the builders' profit, and that was looked upon as something which they ought not to do, but the situation is very different in these days. We have not got the same views about taxing profits as in the days of the Lumsden judgment. A great outcry at that time was made about taxing builders' profits, but to-day, under Excess Profits Duty, we are taxing everybody's profits, and therefore it seems to me a strange thing that, even if Increment Value Duty, under present Conditions, has the effect of taxing profits in this particular direction, we should be abandoning it at a time when we are extending the principle of taxing profits in all directions. If in 1913 there had been any effort made to reverse the Lumsden judgment on the ground that it was taxing profits instead of increment, there would have been a great deal of opposition, but the point of view has been so changed by the War that if the Government had brought forward legislation to reverse that judgment and so enabled Increment Value Duty to be collected, they would have met with very little opposition at all at the present time.
Then there is the Reversion Duty, in which there was a judgment which turned on a very simple point. The whole question was whether the value was to be taken as a deferred value or as the actual value, and a comparatively small alteration would have been required to make that tax effective. In regard to the Undeveloped Land Tax, it is generally believed that very great difficulty would be felt in bringing agricultural valuations up-to-date. The real position there is that the Scrutton Judgment turned on a very simple point, as to whether, in deriving the assessable site value of land, you were to deduct the grass or not. The Commissioners took the view that you were not to deduct the grass growing on the land, and the Court took the view that you were. If these duties had been looked at purely from the point of view 2487 of the present financial position and the necessity for getting in all the revenue possible, the Government would have found it comparatively easy to introduce a small Bill with a few simple Clauses, and that Bill could have been passed almost by consent, the effect of which would have been to have restarted the whole machinery of these duties. I think, in proof of that assertion, one need only point to the passage of the Land Acquisition Bill, in which, so far as it went, was embodied one of the principles the maintenance of which by the Courts held up the Increment Value Duty. The two main causes of stopping the collection of Increment Value Duty were the Lumsden Judgment, under which it was held that builders' profits might be taxed, and the Plymouth Case, which was a judgment in which it was held that you had to take into account the special needs of special purchasers. That position, that you had to take into account the special needs of a special purchaser, was abandoned by the Government in the Land Acquisition Bill, and we have in that Bill a Clause laying it down that in determining the market value of land for public purposes you are not to take into account the special need of the special purchaser.
I make that point simply to enforce my argument that the difficulties that have been presented by the Chancellor were not so great as were made out by him and that the amount of legislation that would have been required in order to make these duties really effective was not considerable, would not have been complicated, and would, under present circumstances, have met with a very large measure of consent. Those who have read this report, which has been referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer will perhaps realise that the machinery of these duties was a plant of two units, that all over the country you had the valuations going on, and in London you had the assessments being made. The real difficulty and the real congestion, so far as there were difficulty and congestion, was not in the making of the valuation, or even in the task of coming to an agreement with the people concerned. The real congestion took place in making the assessment, and what has broken down has not been the valuation machinery, but the assessment machinery, and I think that, to a very 2488 considerable extent, does prejudice the report on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer relied so much.
In his Report one of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue set out the general difficulties encountered by the Board in connection with the work of valuation. The first was the necessity of assessing and collecting the duties simultaneously with the process of making the valuation. The difficulties were not by any means insurmountable, and I think the proof of that can be seen by referring to the progress of the valuation which accompanies the Report. If those figures are examined, I think they show that, so far as the original valuation was concerned, by the end of September, 1915, the percentage of the valuations that were made amounted to within two or three per cent. of the whole amount that was required, so that at the end of 1915 the number of provisional valuations that had to be settled were only two or three per cent. of the whole quantity. On page 50 there is a table showing the number of provisional valuations which had become final on or before 30th June, 1914, and it shows that in the whole of Great Britain 5,752,687 valuations had been served, and that out of that number no less than 5,000,000 had become final, and that there only remained about 11 per cent. of valuations which were still to become final. That does not necessarily involve that they were under dispute. The progress of the valuation shows that they were being served at a very considerable rate at the latter end of the period, and I have not the slightest doubt that of those valuation, 671,794, which were not final, probably 400,000 or 500,000 were not final, as the period had not elapsed during which they had to run, so that really the position as regards these duties was that if it had not been for the War the valuation would in all likelihood have been entirely completed at the end of 1915. I cannot help thinking that if that had taken place, a very great improvement would have been made in the progress of assessment which has taken place in London.
Unfortunately for those who support the valuation and duties, one of the effects of the War undoubtedly was to impede the progress of valuation. Another effect was that in respect of the new taxes—the great increase in Income Tax and the Excess Profits Duty—it put a strain upon 2489 the Commissioners of Inland Revenue which, I think, made them rather anxious to get rid of these particular taxes. They did feel them to be a burden, and that the work thrown upon them was not commensurate with the returns the duties were bringing in. That was undoubtedly the case, and their feeling was a very natural one. But what I suggest is that now the War is over, and we are settling down, more or less, to a settled fiscal policy, when every £100,000 which can be retained is required, when the work of valuation is practically complete and some portion of the staff can be put on to the work of assessment, these taxes might have been retained at least for another year or so, until some alternative could have been found either to put in their place or the machinery improved. While we cannot accuse the Chancellor of the Exchequer of any inconsistency so far as his attitude towards these taxes is concerned—he thought they were bad at the start, and he thinks they are bad at the finish—yet, from the standpoint of doing away with revenue without providing an alternative, I do not think he is taking up the same attitude with regard to this tax as he does with regard to other taxes in the Budget. When he was pressed to do away with the Excess Profits Duty, how did he meet it? He said it was a bad tax. I am not sure that, in his opinion, it is not a worse tax than the Land Values Tax. But when he is pressed to. do away with the Excess Profits Duty, his answer is, "Give me an alternative, and I will do away with it."
In days like these it is generally agreed that taxes are not only to be put upon wealth, but also upon industry. It was the strong argument of the Leader of the House last night, when the Government was faced with a crisis over the Corporation Profits Tax, after the striking speech made by the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman). One would have thought that the Chancellor, in going into this matter, would have said: "Here is an amount of revenue required; is there not some alternative to the proposal to withdraw these taxes?" The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman), last night, in dealing with the Corporation Profits Duty, suggested to the co-operative societies that they might find some alternative to that tax. He said to them: "Accept the present proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and come to him between the 2490 Committee and the Report stage with some alternative method of being taxed." I think the Chancellor might have put that doctrine into force in this case, and might have suggested to the owners of land that, seeing they derived certain benefits from the community in which: they lived, that they might be prepared, if they did not like the present taxes, to suggest an alternative method of raising. the money.
It is from points of view of that kind that we feel that these duties that are-being abandoned without proper consideration as to the position. It is quite sound that the Chancellor should be guided partly by personal considerations, but mostly by the consideration of the revenue to be obtained. At the same time we cannot entirely ignore the effect which a tax will have upon the general community. You cannot divide the government of a country into watertight compartments and deal simply with big questions from a narrow and limited field of vision. On that ground the Chancellor does not seem to have arranged this tax the same way as he has done the rest of his Budget. The tax, he complained, was a complicated tax, difficult to understand, and part of his argument was the irritation and annoyance which this tax gave to those upon whom it was imposed. That is certainly something to be taken into account. But there is another side to that. Here the right hon. Gentleman is going to throw away a probable £314,000 to placate perhaps 4,000 people, and is going to endeavour to get hold of another £l175,000 while irritating something like 4,000,000 of people. So that from that point of view, we think we are entitled to feel that some amount of sectional consideration, it may be class bias, has come into this particular tax.
I cannot help feeling that when the people of this country hear that in the Budget, where enormous taxes are being imposed upon the working classes and a sum of £350,000,000 is taken from theme in direct taxation, and where some of the commonest articles of diet—tea, sugar and the rest—are bearing a very heavy burden, that in a budget like this, where the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not only remitting the present taxes of the owners of land, but is actually reimbursing the taxes that have been paid in the past, they will be disappointed,. to say the least. Indeed, already it has 2491 produced a very bad impression, indeed, upon the community. The Chancellor suggested that it would be an unfair thing to allow people who had paid their taxes cheerfully and willingly to bear the burden of them, while those who had been dilatory and reluctant were allowed to escape. That, on the face of it, seems to be a fair thing. But when he followed that up by telling us that a great deal of this was paid in very small sums, and that it was very unlikely that these small sums would be claimed, what it really amounts to is this, that the benefit of this reduction is going into the pockets of people who can very well afford to do without it. This money, so far as it is returned at all, will be returned in large sums to those people who in the past have undoubtedly reaped most largely from the growth of society and the development of prosperity in the communities in which they held land which they subsequently sold. From all these points of view it appears to me, and not at all from the party point of view—for I do not think the right hon. Gentleman is open to the criticism which might be very rightly and justly urged against some of his colleagues—and I do not think his action has been challenged on the ground that he has not got a fairly impartial mind and detachment as between the various taxes imposed in his Budget—but in considering this proposal he has allowed himself to be swayed by other considerations than those applying to the taxes which form the main part of his Budget. He has conferred a benefit upon those who did not need it, and he has increased the burden upon those who are already heavily burdened.
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
We have listened to several speeches from the other side of the House, some in favour of retaining these taxes, others against. I am going to follow the line adopted by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, who in a very excellent and enthusiastic speech appealed to the Chancellor to retain these taxes until such times as some alternative proposal has been put forward to replace it. I am going to appeal as a Welshman to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to try to keep this child of the Prime Minister alive. I have vivid recollections of the elections which took place in Wales in 1910. I am just thinking of my hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. 2492 Towyn Jones) on the Benches opposite. In those days every little village, every hamlet, every Nonconformist chapel in Wales was filled with leaflets urging the people to sing "God gave the land to the People." I believe the hon. Gentleman opposite joined in the song himself. It was sung in the day schools by the children, and by others. I am not saying what I do offensively, but if these land value taxes are repealed I am afraid that it would cast a grave reflection on the political reputation of the Prime Minister in so far as Wales is concerned. There is no doubt about that. We fought two elections on the land question in 1910, and the votes at the election were given in favour of it. Now the votes given during that period have been flouted by a combination of Liberal and Tory Coalitionists so far as the Government is concerned.
I think we are all bound to admit that the Act was badly drafted. It was intended to be a blessing to the people of this country, but it proved to be a blessing to lawyers instead. That, however, is no reason why this Act should be repealed at the present time. We think the Government ought to wait until such time as they can put forward some alternative proposal. The Increment Duty is 20 per cent. on the capital value of the land, the Reversion Duty is 10 per cent. on the expiration of a lease, that is a tax to be put on undeveloped land, and a 5 per cent. duty on minerals. I know that the Parliamentary Secretary is a business man and I would like to ask him, does he know of any concern that pays its way during the first 12 months or two years? It does not.
This business has not paid its way, but with the increased value of land to-day and with the increased increment in the value of land as a result of the exorbitant prices that have been charged in London and other cities it would pay the Chancellor to retain these taxes during the next 12 months, and collect them, and that would add to the revenue instead of being a loss. The Chancellor of the Exchequer suggested some time ago that if anybody could suggest to him a channel or source from which he could get £50,000 he would gladly act upon that suggestion. Here is the suggestion. In consequence of the exorbitant price of land the Government would be able to draw a very magnificent sum in so far 2493 as the increment value of land is concerned. Leases are running out day after day and week after week. The proposal of the reversion duty of this 10 per cent. is one of the very finest things that has ever been introduced into this country.
I will give one illustration. I am taking the house that I live in. I pay a ground rent of £l3 10s. per annum on a 99 years' lease. Probably I shall not live for the 99 years, but if I do there will be paid ground rent to the extent of £350. It states in the lease that when it expires the house is to be handed back to the landlord in good repair and in good condition, after receiving £350. After a period of 99 years the house goes back to someone not yet born. Those to whom the house will go have not even contributed a brick towards the construction of the house, and that is one of the greatest injustices that can be imposed upon the working classes of this country who have endeavoured to build a little home for themselves.
I come now to the machinery set up in the Valuation Department, and the money which has been spent upon it. You had a chief valuer for this country and for Scotland, you had second and third-class valuers, draughtsmen, assistants, and hundreds of clerks carrying out the work of that Department. You had enormous bills for stationery, draughtsmen's instruments to pay for, and thousands of books and ordnance sheets. What is going to become of all the statistics and information that was gathered by this Department, which is a sort of 20th century Domesday Book? What is going to become of all that if the Act is repealed? Unless the Prime Minister has completely changed his mind and forgotten his Limehouse speech, I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will listen to this appeal and keep this tax for another twelve months, or until such time as some new Act or other provision has been made in order to replace these Acts.
I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that every home in the land understands the land question, and the people are going to resent the repeal of these Acts. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said across the Floor of the House that he was going to refund the money that had already been collected, because Mr. McKenna had given a pledge in this House that that should be done. I want to point out that that is one of the chief causes why Mr. McKenna 2494 lost his seat. I want to say this, that the Division lists for to-night will be scrutinised in the country, and there will be a good many other Members who will lose their seats. This question is one of the utmost importance. We derive everything from the land, all the necessities of life come from it, we get our coal from it, we get from it the clay and stones needed for building houses: Indeed every individual in this House to-day is himself a part of the land. I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to postpone this proposal for 12 months. The child is not yet dead. It will not die until the Division bell has rung, and then we will have its funeral procession through the lobbies. I am appealing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to save the life of this child, and at the same time to save the political reputation of the Prime Minister, so that we may eventually solve this great land question which lies at the root of all the social evils we suffer from in this country.
§ 9 0. P.M.
I am one of the Members who in the year 1909 tramped unceasingly through the lobbies of this House day and night in support of the present Prime Minister in order that these duties might be placed on the Statute Book. I can well understand the attitude towards this tax of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and of other right hon. Gentlemen on that Bench, for if I recollect rightly they were among the strongest opponents of the duties in those days. I am glad to see at least one Liberal Minister has the courage to be present on that Bench. The hon. Gentleman who last spoke (Major Barnes) referred to the land songs that were sung in the year 1909–10 and I venture to say that at that time there was no greater land reformer who stepped out of Wales than the hon. Gentleman now sitting there (Mr. Towyn Jones). Everyone sang those land songs in those days and the hon. Gentleman was among the loudest of the singers. It would be very interesting to hear hon. Gentlemen, who at that time supported the taxes, now state the reasons why they are determined to acquiesce in their omission from this Bill
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a passage with the right hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. Asquith), said that after the first Election of 1910 the party which proposed these taxes lost over a hundred seats. I would venture to remind the 2495 Government that, so far as Scotland is concerned, that was not the case. We went to the country holding sixty or sixty-one seats out of seventy, and we came back, after a contest, in which we had clearly and fully explained this tax to the Scottish people, with exactly the same number of seats as we held before the Election. That, I suggest, is a very material point to be borne in mind. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his speech, appeared to me to make out a very good case not for the omission of these Land Duties, but for their revision. Many Bills have been passed through this House that have proved in certain respects to be unworkable. The right hon. Gentleman will remember the battles we had in the year 1911 over the National Insurance Act. I would like to ask how many Acts have since been passed amending that Act—two or three at least. I suggest in all seriousness that if in certain respects these Land Duties have have proved unworkable for the reasons stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, namely, the concessions that were made to the Opposition when they were going through the House—it was the duty of the Government to come down to the House with legislation in order to improve the machinery for the collection of the duties. The hon. Gentleman who last spoke suggested that the duties should not be cut out of the Bill, and that at least a period of 12 months should be given in which further consideration could be devoted to the matter. That is another alternative that is open to the Government. What are the real facts of the case? They are, of course, that the Prime Minister, in this respect, has given way to the views of other Members of his Cabinet who opposed this tax in the year 1909, who disliked them then and who dislike them now. He has given way to those views, and it is for that reason that we are asked to pass this Clause. The right hon. Gentleman quoted from the Report of the Select Committee on Land Values, and in doing so referred to the opinion of the Chairman of the Inland Revenue Committee. I wish the Chancellor of the Exchequer had turned over a few pages and quoted the opinion of Mr. Harper, the Chief Valuer of the Board of Inland Revenue. If I may be permitted to do so, I will give a few 2496 quotations from the evidence put forward by that gentleman, as they are very material to the point we are discussing. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that this Department, which had been set up by the Land Valuation Department, was useless for every other purpose in life. What does Mr. Harper say on that point of the utility of the Department for other purposes?The experience and information gained by the staff during the progress of the original valuation has been of considerable advantage in connection with other duties. they have had to discharge.Then Mr. Harper goes on—and this is of much importance in considering the reasons why neither the Department nor this Duty should be dropped:The original valuation now forms a reliable record of practically all real poverty in Great Britain. It is not an ordinary valuation such as might have been obtained by payment of appropriate fees to a large number of practising surveyors working independently. It is a detailed analysis of values made by a single co-ordinated staff. It could not have been prepared except by a staff specially trained for the work. It can afford information not merely of the values of individual poverties and of the distribution of value over various areas, but also of the constitution of each of the different values with details of the way in which they are built up. The difficulties referred to in previous paragraphs, while increasing the time and cost involved in the work, have compelled the recording of a great quantity of detail in a thorough manner, and all that is now necessary is to keep the records up to date and revise the values from time to time.That is what the Government do not propose to do. They propose to scrap the whole thing. In regard to the future, what did Mr. Harper say? Presumably we can take his evidence as being that of a gentleman with great experience and great knowledge, and this is what he says with particular reference to the observations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer:—The future value and utility of the work done in the original valuation will largely depend upon the maintenance of the existing organisation and the machinery under which particulars of conveyances, leases, etc., of land are presented to the Inland Revenue Department.I venture to say that this Department has saved the Government, and the country, and the taxpayer millions of pounds more than it has cost in its maintenance and upkeep. Turning to Table "D," Estate Duty Valuations (England 2497 and Wales), at the end of this evidence, I see that, up to the end of March, 1919, the increase due to this official valuation under the Land Valuation Department amounts to £41,338,383. I do not wish to weary the Committee with arguments which have already been placed before them in favour of the retention of these Duties, but I very deeply regret that the Government has put these Clauses in the Bill. I believe, and I think my right hon. Friend will agree with me, that in Scotland, at any rate, there are no two opinions on this matter. In Scotland the vast bulk of people of all parties and of all opinions look upon these Duties, and upon the Land Valuation Department, as the beginning of a fiscal instrument which in years to come would provide very largely for the financial necessities of the State. It is no argument to say that, because these Duties are not now bringing in more than a few hundred thousand pounds to the revenue, they could not bring in more in future. If the machinery is revised and the necessary legislation introduced to make the Duties effective, they could very easily be increased. We know, of course, that that would not meet the views of some Members of the Government, but it ought to meet the views of the Prime Minister, under whose standard and banner many of us have fought for these Land Duties. I must say that I have given up all hope of anything in the nature of land reform from this Government. I do not propose to travel outside the scope of this Debate, but I merely say, and I hope that at any rate some hon. Members opposite will agree with me, that we have had a succession of Bills none of which have fulfilled our hopes and expectations. There was the Land Acquisition Bill, which was disembowelled in another place, feeble enough as it was here. There is the Agriculture Bill, which is now being discussed upstairs, and there are other Bills of a like nature. I venture to say that throughout many parts of Scotland this action of the Government will be deeply deplored, and that in days to come those Members of the Government who happen to represent Scottish constituencies and have to explain their attitude to their constituents, will have one of the hardest tasks that has ever faced them in the whole course of their lives.
§ Mr. JOHN MURRAY
I have sat through this Debate with a deep sense of bereavement, feeling, as a great many more hon. Members must feel, that I have been assisting at the death of an old friend. Something seems to be dead, but something seems also to be alive. I should like to hazard to the Committee my idea of what it is that is dead, and of what it is that remains alive and will have to be dealt with, either by this House of Parliament or by some subsequent House. In my opinion, what is dead and is going to be buried to-night is a number of false theories of taxation. First of all, I would mention the theory that we heard a few moments ago from the Front Opposition Bench that everything comes from the land, that we come from the land, that we are the land, and that, therefore, presumably, all taxation ought to rest upon the land. The fallacy is in supposing, in the first instance, that taxes are placed upon commodities instead of upon people; but let us examine it a little more closely. Is it the land that we really need? We do not live by land; nobody can eat land. What we eat is bread. Shall we put the tax upon bread, or shall we not rather put it upon the person, because taxes rest upon persons and not upon things? Shall we pass it on to the baker? To argue so, in a matter of taxation, seems to me to be nothing more or less than rhetorical sentimentality. If the land is so important, if bread is so important, if the baker is so all-important, we may resort to one of two alternatives. We may pass on all our taxation to the baker, or we may make a god of the baker, make him the lord of creation, and free him entirely from taxation. Taxation seems to me to be entirely distinct from sentimental reverence or partiality for any caste among men or any kind of commodity. I hope that that false theory, which goes back about 150 years, is going to be well buried to-night.
One theory is that taxation does not suffer by being mixed up with other motives. With the Unearned Increment Tax I have great sympathy. I believe in it as a tax. But those who imposed it, while believing in it as a tax, believed in it also as something entirely different, namely, as a great engine for altering the social face of the country. It was a great way of getting at the land in the 2499 interest of the community. Therefore, you had a political motive mixed up with the taxing motive, and the result has been to ruin the tax as a means of raising money. Another phase of this taxation, with which, personally, I have no sympathy, is the tax upon undeveloped land. That tax has a double aspect, and was initiated for two reasons—firstly, as a means of raising money, and, secondly, because it was thought to be a means of bringing land into the market which ought to be brought into the market. There, again, there is a confusion of ideas, a mixing up of two motives, and the net result has been that neither has the land been brought into the market nor has the money been raised. Those are three theories—or rather one theory and two exemplifications—which, it appears to me, are going to be well buried to-night
I am glad to say that that is not the whole of the story. There are things which are very much alive to-night. The first is the interest of all communities in the land on which they stand and in its rising values. The second is the grievance, whether great or small, of a man who desires to use land for a factory or a dwelling and cannot get it because the landlord will not sell at his price. My question to the Government, supporting them, as I do, in the burial of these false theories, is, what are they going to do in substitution for the duties which are to be repealed to-night, and what are they going to do for the community and its just claims to the values which it creates for the land on which it stands? And what are they going to do for the man who needs land and cannot get it? As to the first point there are many answers. Some people say nationalise, and some say municipalise. If I might venture a suggestion it would be neither to municipalise nor to nationalise, but to put it to the owners of landed property in towns that they are in an exceptionally favourable position, and that they ought to live up to it. They ought to conceive of the land as being a great and primal need of the community and as a thing that ought to be at the service of the community upon some terms of co-operative holding. I suggest the trustification, under a new set of conditions to be established by legislation, of land in municipalities. Secondly, as to the single man who cannot get land to build on and 2500 whose hard case was going to be relieved by this plausible and spurious duty upon undeveloped land, why should he be in a worse case than a public body which, when it needs land for a good purpose, can have a valuation made and settle it in a court of law? The grievance of that man, so far as it exists, is not a taxation grievance at all. It is not a grievance or a difficulty which can be met by any method of taxation. Taxation is a détour, and in my opinion a cynical détour at that. If there is a grievance, if there is someone who wants a piece of land and there is a landowner who is holding it up, let the matter be brought to court and settled in judicial fashion, and let it be kept entirely away from questions of taxation, for our experience since the Budget of 1909 has been that if you mix up taxation with other motives and other purposes, political or social—and this has a big application quite apart from the taxation of land values—that taxation will not be successful.
§ Mr. SPENCER
One has listened tonight with mixed feelings to the case which has been put by the right hon. Gentleman on behalf of the Government. One can very readily understand the attitude that he and some of his Friends are taking up to-night, because, at least, they have been insistent in their constant opposition to these taxes. The opposition to taxation of land values is based upon principles and upon questions of expediency. To-night the Chancellor of the Exchequer says that he is opposed to this form of taxation because it is unfruitful. It does the maximum of harm and gives him the minimum return, so far as money is concerned. But one needs to remind him that he has not been guided right through this Budget and the Finance Bill by the question of fruitfulness. If he had, he would never have pressed the question of the Corporation Tax upon the co-operative societies, because, so far as they are concerned, it is going to yield less than he is going to give up to the great landlords under this Clause. You cannot judge the value of the Land Taxes by their return to the Exchequer. I have not an extensive knowledge of theory, but I have some immediate practical knowledge, and I have some knowledge of the operation of this tax when it came into force. A good many hon. Members upon these Benches have received 2501 part of their training on local authorities, and they have had some experience in the purchase of land. I distinctly remember that before the 1909 Act was passed, in the district on which I served on the education committee, we were paying about 7s. a yard for land to build schools upon; but as soon as ever the 1909 Act was passed, and we required land again in close proximity to the land we paid 7s. a yard for, we could get it for 2s. So that the fruitfulness of these Clauses cannot exactly be judged in the immediate returns to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. They must be looked at from a wider point of view, and from that wider point of view—from the point of view of the general public—these taxes have been very fruitful indeed.
Again, in looking at the question from the point of view of fruitfulness, one has not to allow one's mind to dwell upon the immediate return to the Exchequer, but one has to consider to what extent this source is capable of yielding revenue. This is a source whence the Chancellor of the Exchequer can derive almost unlimited revenue if he will take the trouble to derive it. In the "Times" of 9th June there was a report of a sale which had taken place at 36 and 38, Cornhill. In one instance £430 was paid per annum for the site and in another instance £285. It worked out per annum in the first case at £323,000 per acre, and in the second place at £270,000 per acre. That would realise, if capitalised at 5 per cent. £6,500,000 per acre. When we are approaching this question from the point of view of its fruitfulness, we have not to ask ourselves how much is it yielding now, but how much is that source whence the tax has come capable of yielding. The value of land has been derived not from anything the landlord has done, not because of any contribution that he has made, but simply because of the fact that the public are there, and it is out of the labour and energy and industry of the people that this land has derived its value. In considering this question of fruitfulness the Chancellor of the Exchequer should not allow his mind to rest merely upon the £200,000 he is going to derive, but he ought to extend his consideration to the possibility of the source whence he can derive infinitely more than that £200,000. That is one consideration. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer went on to say that to make this tax of any value 2502 would require very complicated legislation. Why should be not have that complex legislation? If the source whence you derive this revenue is capable of yielding revenue, and if the tax is a just tax, then however complicated legislation may be, that legislation certainly ought to be got. I have an impression in my mind that if legislation of a complex character were required to impose bur. dens upon the labouring classes it would be readily passed through this House. If it is necessary to pass complex legislation to derive the revenue that is essential, surely the House of Commons would be prepared to pass such legislation. However, I venture to think this House of Commons would do no such thing, because the Report from whch the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself has been reading indicates that there is very great opposition to this tax by the people from whom these few hundred thousand pounds have been derived, and I venture to say the opposition is not based upon the fact that they have had to pay these few hundreds of thousands, but upon the fact that the landlord when selling his land has been faced by the valuation which has been made, and wants that valuation swept entirely aside. Therefore, by propaganda and the use of all the agencies he could bring into play, the landlord has been using all the powers he has got to make this tax as unpopular amongst his section as he possibly could. The Report from which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been quoting goes on to say:Organised opposition to the valuation has been extended also to the assessment and collection of the duty. The smooth administration of taxation must to a great extent depend upon the consent of the public to bear the tax imposed upon it. In the case of Land Values Duty such consent has never been apparent on the part of the bulk of the taxpayers affected.That is to say, that so far as they are concerned there has been strong opposition to this form of taxation. A little booklet which the Land Union has circulated—and I think that without any offence I may say that the Land Union is the mouthpiece of the great landlords of this country—says that it is unfair to impose taxation upon land values. I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer attempted to defend the removal of the tax from that point of view, but they do, and they say that the land has to bear Estate Duty and Legacy Duty and Succes- 2503 sion Duty, and Income Tax also, and that for these reasons it ought not to bear the further imposition which the 1910 Act imposed upon it. The statement that it does bear Estate Duty and Legacy Duty and Succession Duty is not true. They are not based upon the land as land, but are based upon the fact that a person has died and the person who is going to succeed has this immense fortune handed over to him, and he has got to pay, not because it is land, but because it is a fortune. Therefore, when the Land Union say they are having to pay these things, they cannot say they are having to pay because it is land, because it is not so, and the deduction is entirely wrong. On the other hand, they say the imposition of this tax has retarded building, and that we are suffering to-day from the imposition of this tax. Housing should never depend at all upon private enterprise. It is not true to say that housing has been impeded because of this tax. It has been impeded because people can derive a greater advantage by investing their money in other directions. Housing should be made a question of public consideration rather than a question of private consideration. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking this afternoon, said he opposed this tax and this valuation because it was a fictitious valuation, not a valuation based upon something which approximated to reality. He called it, I think, a metaphysical valuation, and he wanted a valuation based upon the fact of the exchange of the article, from one day to another. That valuation would set entirely on one side any benefit the public could hope to derive from a genuine valuation. On this side of the House we want a policy which will fix once and for all the value of the land, and, then, whatever increment is derived from that land should pass to the community. Why do we on this side believe in the taxation of land values? In the first place, we believe in it because a great deal of the land of this country which actually belongs to the people, has by the use of the legislative machinery of this House and of another place been taken from the people. In many instances for land which is supposed to be possessed by men belonging to this House or the other House, they can show no legal title. I have been associated with a co-operative stores, which in three 2504 instances has had to purchase land from the lord of the manor, who was a very Noble Member of the other House, and in each of those three instances no title deed whatever has been forthcoming from the supposed possessor of the land. We have had to take the signature of the chief agent, who has stated that to his knowledge the land had been in possession of the Noble Duke for more than 20 years, that being the only title deed they had to the land at all. We say this land is the property of the community, and if it was taken wrongfully and unjustly when our forefathers were comparatively ignorant and asleep, it is not wrong now to impose a tax upon it, and it would be right and virtuous to take it back again and give it to the people to whom it belongs. The next reason why we believe in the taxation of land values is concerned with the increment value. I have a case where land was sold recently in London at a figure which, if capitalised, would come out at £6,500,000 per acre. Where has all that value come from, year by year? It has come from the industry of the people employed there. That is a source that is capable of yielding a great deal of revenue, and it is a source that certainly ought to be taxed. Machinery should be put in force in order to derive more taxation from this source. The Prime Minister stated years ago that the annual increment of London amounted to £10,000,000, and that of Glasgow to £2,000,000. There is a great source of revenue. Instead of scrapping the machinery the Chancellor should make it effective in order to get more money and to enable the people to get hold of parcels of land for building, smallholdings, and agricultural purposes. You are losing a sum of £1,300,000 and not collecting arrears of £500,000, and at the same time you impose a tax of £175,000 on the co-operative societies, and the other day a Minister told us they had no money to increase unemployment benefit beyond that 15s. I ask the Chancellor to retain the money received, collect the arrears, and make this machinery more permanent and productive, and if he adheres to his present attitude, let him go to the co-operative societies and say, "In view of what we are doing for the landlord, we will revise the Budget and free you from the imposition of the Corporation Tax."
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
The first thing to be done in speaking in this Debate is to congratulate the Land Union. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Paisley (Mr. Asquith) remarked to-day that, this reversal of a considered policy of one Government by another in the matter of taxation was unique. That is not so. In my researches I found that in 1418 Parliament even in that day passed a Land Tax. So horrified was the Land Union of that day at the imposition of that tax that in the following year it was not only repealed, but it was ordered that the record of it should be expunged from the records of this House. They were more thorough in that day, but not much less thorough than is the Land Union now that it has got the whip hand of the Government of the country. They have been consistent throughout. These taxes were not popular with the Land Union, which means the great vested interests of the landlords of this country. They were only introduced one day when the great protagonist of the Land Union, and I think its author, the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman), rose in his place and remarked, with authority, as it turned out, that the taxes would not lead to any surplus, and that they would be wrecked. Addressing the present Prime Minister he said:I venture to state to the right hon. Gentleman across the Floor of the House that I shall absolutely refuse to make any such valuation at all.And he stuck to his promise, and by influencing the rest of his kind they have wrecked the valuation and taxes. He was replied to by the present Prime Minister in these words:The hon. and gallant Member says that he for his part will not send in any declaration of value at all. If that is to be the attitude of the landlords in the Kingdom, then I agree that the valuation will be a much more costly valuation, and in that case all that will have to be done will be to send a valuer at once to the landlord's property.That was a right threat, but unfortunately it was not carried out, and Form 4 has not been answered to this day. When we are told that these taxes are a failure we must not forego our tribute to the Land Union for their capacity to make good the threats of their representative in this House by refusing to act upon an Act of Parliament by which they broke that Act of Parliament. This is a lesson which we on these Benches will be slow to forget.
2506 It is possible to refuse to work Acts of Parliament. We have in this Session a Mines Bill and an Unemployment Bill, and we have threats that those Bills will not be worked, and I am quite confident that the great unions who say that they will not work those Bills will be as powerful to do so as was the Land Union to break the Land Values taxes. We ought to understand how it is that for the first time in our modern history we have seen a vested interest too strong for the Government of the country. In the first place, we must admit that the Government of that day which introduced these taxes was pushed into them from outside, and was not heartily in cooperation with the spirit that introduced the taxes. They were forced, and they had very strong opposition to these taxes in their own party. Little surprise need be expressed at the fact that, as these taxes went through this House, they were whittled away, amended out of all recognition, and, finally, rendered unworkable by the process of giving way to the vested interests. That has had a large share in the wreckage of these taxes. Another reason why they failed, and why they are now being repealed, is that they were a compromise intended to please the people outside who were asking for taxation of land values, and at the same time to satisfy the landlord interests in this House. Take the Increment Duty. This is an admirable case in point. It was a compromise which was finally put into the Budget by Mr. McKenna. He was always an opponent of the taxation of land values, and, therefore, he invented this Increment Tax as a compromise. The Increment Tax never had the support of the people who wished to tax land values. For my part, I am heartily glad to be rid of that tax; but it was based upon the fundamental view that land values are in an entirely different category from what we call capital; that land values are the creation of the community. No one put this view better than the present Prime Minister. In defending the Increment Duty, which we are repealing to-day, and which was a tax of 20 per cent. on any increase in the value of land, he said:We are taxing the owner of this kind of property not upon something which he has created by his own capital or by his industry, enterprise, or foresight, but entirely upon that part which is created by 2507 the enterprise or industry of the community as a whole.That is the fundamental distinction between land values and any other sort of property. The value of any piece of land anywhere is in fact the exact measure of the benefits conferred upon the owner of that particular plot of land by the community. I do not think one could better illustrate the profound distinction between land values and capital than by the illustration which I am about to give. Suppose you went to some hard-headed business man who has no theories but who knows how to make money, and you said to him, "Here is a little village. In 10 years it will be a great city. In 10 years the railway will have replaced the coach. In 10 years electric light will have replaced the candle. In 10 years this little village will be a city, full of all those inventions and economies which so enormously increase the productive power of labour. In 10 years, will the interest on capital be any higher? He will say, "No." He will say, "The interest on capital will be exactly what it is to-day. In fact, if there is a larger supply of capital than there is now, interest on capital will be lower." Then you say, "in 10 years will the wages of common labour be any higher?" He will say "No. The wages of the common labourer in the big city will not be any higher than in the little village. In fact, the labourer will be lucky if he does not find that the growth of the village into the city has produced more competition among his kind and has actually driven down his wages." "What then," you say to your hard-headed business man, "will be higher?" He will tell you at once that the value of the land will be higher, and he will say, "Go and get yourself a piece of land for your own possession." And if you act on his advice you need do nothing more. You may sit down and fold your hands. You. may go up in a balloon or down a hole in the earth, and in 10 years' time you will be a rich man. At the end of 10 years your wealth will have accumulated, and among the public buildings in that town which has sprung from the village will be the union workhouse.
That is what happens whenever civilisation develops. Competition prevents capital or labour getting any higher wage or any higher return, but land goes 2508 on rising in value as the community increases in number and increases industrially, and the owner of the land reaps the benefits which should go to the whole community. There you see the distinction between land and any other form of capital, and that distinction is at the bottom of the opposition of the landlord interest to-day. They know perfectly well that, in so far as the Chancellor of the Exchequer puts taxes upon income or upon capital, those taxes, sooner or later, are transferred from the person upon whom they are originally levied and on to the backs of the community. If you tax anything that is produced by man, the production of that article is restricted, the price, therefore, rises, and the consumer pays the tax. If you tax wheat, your bread will cost you more. If you tax boots, your boots will cost you more. The more you tax capital, the more your capital will cost you. But there is a profound difference between any taxes such as those, taxes which are almost welcomed by the capital interests of this country, because they know that they can pass them on, and a tax on land values or upon any form of monopoly. They know quite well that a tax on land values is the only tax that cannot be shifted. Let me prove that from the Debates of 10 years ago. The right hon. Member for the Gorbals Division of Glasgow (Mr. Barnes), then the Member for the Black-friars Division, made the position perfectly clear. He said:I am glad to have had from the leader of the Opposition an admission of the fact that this tax would diminish the selling price of land, because it is a conclusive answer to many who still say with regard to the proposition for a tax on land that the landlord is going to shunt it on to somebody else. The landlords know better than that. They know that they are not going to shunt it on to anybody else, and that is the true inwardness of their opposition to the taxation of land values.That is perfectly true. The real reason of the success of the Land Union has been that these taxes cannot be shifted by the landlord on to the tenant or on to anybody else. They definitely injure the vested interests in land monopoly throughout the country. The same may be said of any other tax upon a monopoly. Any taxes upon monopoly are paid by the monopoly owner, because the monopoly 2509 owner is already getting out of the community all that the community can pay. Therefore, the tax cannot be shifted and the monopoly owner pays the tax. There you have the grounds of the opposition to these land values taxes. These taxes were resented not on account of the amount of money that would definitely be transferred from the pocket of the landowner to the community—restored, rather, by the landowner to the community—but they were resented because they might lead up to taxes which would definitely break their monopoly, force land on to the market, and force them to sell land at slaughter prices to anybody who wanted to get it. With these Budget taxes I was looking forward to the creation of new industry in this country. I hoped to see landlords employing commercial travellers, just as manufacturers employ them travelling round the country offering goods for sale, offering the land which they have to sell. We did not succeed in breaking the land monopoly. Instead of that they have done their best to break the community.
The tax that more nearly fulfilled our wishes on these Benches was the ½d. on undeveloped land. That tax was never put into operation at all because the law courts upset anything that the then Chancellor of the Exchequer could manage to get through the House, but that tax certainly, if it had been imposed, would have forced land on to the market and brought the land everywhere round towns down in price. That would have been a crime from the point of view of the landlord, but an unmitigated blessing from the point of view of the community, because, after all, cheap land is what we most want in this country. Cheap land means greater production. Every time I see right hon. Members opposite going about the country preaching to the working classes that they ought to produce more, I wish the working classes would ask them to give them a chance to produce more, because production must depend first upon access to land. Unless you can get access to your raw material you can produce nothing; as long as they do their best, as they do in the repeal of these duties, to keep up the value of land and to increase it as long as that is their main policy it is obvious that there is less chance of production to those who want to get land to produce wealth for the whole of the community.
2510 Right hon. Gentlemen prevent others from getting the raw material which is essential to them. Little wonder, we are told, that the working classses will not work hard or produce all that they might produce at the present time. If there is only just enough work to go round human nature and common sense tell the worker that he must share that small amount of work that is available out equally among the number, so that one man working too hard does not mean that another man shall lack work altogether, but that will only continue so long as there is only just enough work to go round. If once we could throw open all the raw materials of the world to the workers of the world there would then be endless opportunities for producing wealth, and production would increase and prices come down.
I do not know how I can make clear to this Committee that if they want to increase employment and prevent unemployment the only way to do it is to give a fair chance to the worker. The only sort of work that is worth doing is useful productive work. There is no use employing the people to dig up farm colonies with spades when they can do it more economically with ploughs. That is only making useless work for people. There is no good employing people to sweep the streets by hand when there is more economical machinery for doing it. It only means useless work. The only thing worth doing is to increase useful productive work. Every sort of useful work you can think of is taking some part in the conversion of land or raw materials into something that is required. It begins by the application of labour to land and raw material. Neither capital, nor organisation, nor labour will get the work unless they can get raw materials. Just that sort of work which we want to increase depends on access to land. It depends on making land a little more accessible to labour. One of the ways in which one can increase that sort of work is by making land more accessible than at the present time. That is by making it cheaper. Every time land falls in price the opportunities for production increase, and, speaking of land generally, I mean minerals, clay pits, sand pits, building land, every sort of natural product. If those products are made more accessible to labour, 2511 that is made cheaper, then there are opportunities for more work to be done. Naturally the people who own these raw materials, who own nature, object very strongly to what they owe being brought down in price. Even though—it is only natural, too—it must be of inestimable value to the whole community both in order to absorb the unemployed and get things produced cheaper, even though the interests of the whole community are in favour of cheap land and raw material, the owners of land and raw materials will strongly oppose it.
We are not all philanthropists, but it is the business of this House to look at the question from the point of view of public interest, and we cannot have a clearer example of the opposition between the public interest and the vested interest. It is the interest of the vested interest, the landlord, who owns all the raw materials, to keep the prices up, and it is the interest of the whole community to get those prices down, and is your legislation to be directed towards assisting vested interests to keep up the price of what they own or bring it down? Any sort of tax levied on land values will not only bring the price of land down, but enable this country to produce more. I submit that it is a case where the owner's interest must give way to the interests of the community if we are to get through the critical times in which we are at present. We shall have unemployment before a year's time far worse than ever before. At present we are taking no steps to meet that except by putting our hands in our pockts to provide a fund to keep these people when out of work. Nobody wants to see them out of work or kept out of benefits. What we want to see is that they should get employment quickly and access to raw material to start work.
I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer—quite hopelessly, because the present Government must do what the Land Union tell them—that he should scrap these very unsubstantial, unsatisfactory Land Duties and replace them by something that is seriously meant, something that will not only bring in revenue, but, above all, will bring down the value of the land. I am not concerned with the revenue side so much as I am with the cheapening of land. It seems to be far 2512 more important to provide opportunities for employment than to provide revenue, and everything we can do to cheapen raw material is far more important to everyone in this country than to make provision of revenue for State purposes. We suggest that there should be a real valuation of the land of this country. We do not expect that we can ever get a satisfactory result from the present valuation. That valuation has been destroyed by the action of the landlords through the Court, who are naturally enabled by the intricacies of the original Act to make the working of that Act far more difficult. What we shall do when we do resurrect these taxes will be to have a fresh valuation, and next time a landlord's valuation, such as the valuation in Australia, for instance. Every landlord will be asked to send in the value and the plan of his property, and anyone who does not send them in will be held to have surrendered his rights to that property. That will deal with the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) and his like, who refuse to send in valuation. The valuation will be on lines almost similar to the valuation passed in Australia about 18 years ago.
We shall use that valuation for two purposes. In the first place we shall use it for a general tax, which will enable a certain amount of revenue to come in. We take Schedule A of the Income Tax, which is the Income Tax based upon all landed property and at the rate of 6s in the — now brings in something like £30,000,000 a year. That is a tax which at present is levied upon the annual value of property, land and houses together. We shall not levy any additional burden on property owners, but we shall base it, not upon the annual value of land and buildings together, but upon the land value of each man's property. Some men will pay more, some will pay less, and some will pay exactly the same, but they will pay upon the land value and not upon the building or improvement value. The same burden will fall upon property owners as a whole, but all those who have improved their property by putting up buildings or factories or who have made two blades of grass grow where one grew before, will find that their burden will be lighter because they will have had above the average of improvements effected upon their property. On the other hand, those 2513 who have starved their land of capital, who have allowed it to run down, whose house property is falling to ruin, will find that their burden will be enormously increased. In that way there will be an incentive to people to improve their property and a distinct incentive to the bad landlords to clear out and let someone else get their land and use it instead of allowing it to lie idle.
I am sorry the landlords in this House do not like that. They are not likely to like it. I am quite aware that many of them think that the only way to get round it is to laugh at it, but we know perfectly well that they who laugh at it to-day will smile on the other sides of their faces a little later on. It is not necessary to deal with Limehouse speeches in order to deal with landlords. The ordinary elector in this country is perfectly alive to the fact that by the repeal of these duties and by this Budget they have been "done" by the landlord, and they are not likely permanently to put up with that state of affairs. You may be in this House in a majority now, but it will not be very long. I have dealt with the general tax. We also propose to use the valuation in order that local taxation may be put on a sound foundation. Everyone knows that at the present time the landlords and the farmers escape the payment of their proper contribution to the rates. Agricultural farms all over the country are assessed far below their proper value, many of them at one third of their value, whereas the small holder and the allotment holder alongside are assessed at the full value of their property. In that way small-holdings and allotments are prevented, in that way any improvement in agriculture is harassed and stopped. What we propose is to use a new valuation as the new assessment upon which local taxes as well as this Imperial Tax can be raised. All local rates can just as well be based upon land value as upon the present annual value. Property will be contributing exactly the same sum year by year to the local rates, but there again the people who improve their property will benefit, and those who do not improve it will suffer. That is what we want.
The man who builds upon his land finds now that his assessment for rates increases with every house he puts up. But across the road there may be an idle 2514 piece of land used for empty tins and dead cats, and the owner of that property pays practically nothing to the local rates. What we ask is that the owners of those two pieces of property, whether they use them or not, should make the same contribution to the rates, and thereby induce the man who is not using his land either to build or to sell to someone else who will build. In that way you will force the landowners to use their property to the advantage of the community. You will also make it easier for public authorities and private individuals to acquire the land they find necessary for their improvements. I am quite convinced that it will be impossible to do without some form of purchase. Not only the Labour party but the Liberal party are in favour of a combined system of rating and purchase which will enable the land monopoly in the hands of the present landlords to be completely broken. The only thing I can hope for is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he has finally destroyed that which the Prime Minister created, will as soon as possible vacate his seat and allow another Government to occupy the Treasury Bench. Until then it is quite hopeless to suppose that we shall get any real land reform. We shall have many measures tricked out in order to catch votes, but I can assure the Chancellor that he will not catch the votes of the people who cast them in 1910. The people of this country are far better educated on this question of the land than are most right hon. and hon. Members of this House. It comes home to them. The man who wants works and sees a building site lying idle, the man who wants a house and sees a site used for dead cats and empty tins, the manufacturer who wants to increase his factory and finds that the landlord is asking £1,000 an acre for a bit of land, realise the land problem of this country. They know that unless we solve that question the whole of our social legislation will fall to the ground. I know, too, and I think all those old Members of Parliament who went through the 1910 elections know, that there is nothing that appeals to the electors better than a sound economic attack upon the landed interests of this country.
§ Mr. C. WHITE
I do not think it is possible to introduce any further argu- 2515 ments into this Debate, nor do I think it will be very much use. I want to refer briefly to what has transpired since the inauguration of this campaign some years ago. I am not well acquainted with the procedure of this House. I do not know whether it would have been possible, at the beginning of this Debate, to have moved to report Progress. I certainly should have done so had it not been that the Leader of my party had made a promise that a certain step should be taken. I should have moved to report Progress so that the Prime Minister could have been here himself to have explained his attitude in this matter. Surely it is not respectful to bury the child without the presence of the father. At any rate, an explanation is due to those men and women who, at his bidding, fired by his religious fervour, by his perorations, carefully prepared, but called impromptu perorations—I remember many of them—went out, many of us who could not sing very much, singing the Land Song with our unmusical voices. It all seems so unreal now, that we can scarcely credit that those days have gone until we get another Government on those Benches. The Prime Minister was then delighted in being called a robber of hen-roosts, but he now stands convicted by his silence of deserving some such a name as that. At any rate, if he does not deserve that, he does deserve to be called a man who deceived some of us in the years that are past.
I spent my last shilling to go to Bedford when this campaign was inaugurated, and I remember the right hon. Gentleman who has just gone out of the House—he must have had an inspiration—now Minister for the Overseas Trade Department (Mr. Kellaway), supporting his chief. He was actually the chairman at his meetings, and he made a most brilliant speech in support of the very proposals which we are going to bury and destroy to-night. I wonder what part he is taking in this Debate to-day; I wonder which lobby he is going into. I seem to think I saw him walking out of the "Aye" Lobby this afternoon, after one of the Divisions, and my mind went back to those days at Bedford when the Prime Minister inaugurated this compaign. I also remember that the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour 2516 (Dr. Macnamara) was a very brilliant speaker that day, advocating these things which are to be destroyed without any explanation from these Gentlemen who were so to the front then in encouraging us to hope that at last we were going to break this land monopoly. The Minister for War (Mr. Churchill), too, was one of the chief advocates of it, and he was not a simple crusader like oneself; he was one of the chief men, as indeed he must be if he is in any movement. We minor lights were tramping the country for many months advocating these land reforms and the breaking up of this monopoly which has been so eloquently described by my hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Wedgwood). We felt somewhat the inspiration, I believe, of the Prime Minister, and we felt that we were fighting for a noble cause. I was assaulted in many of the villages where I went by men paid by the landowners of this country to drive me out of the village when I went to explain the faith I had learned from the Prime Minister—and not a word of explanation from him to-day or from his Government colleagues who were supporting him on that occasion. It reminds me of the distinguished father of the Chancellor of the Exchequer who, many years ago, when fighting vested interests, as we- are fighting them to-day, said this, pointing to the men who were advocating Protection in those days:A merciful Providence fashioned them hollow,On purpose that they might their principles swallow.I make no apology for quoting those words, which were used by the father of the right hon. Gentleman. who to-day is assisting in the obsequies of this Land Tax. The Prime Minister to-day, in my opinion, at any rate, by his silence is shedding the last semblance of Liberalism by his action, or inaction, in this matter. The day will come when Members opposite will regret, as we regret, the faith that we placed in him in those days that are past. In my simplicity I always thought that the Budget was an instrument for raising money. I find that I am not altogether right in that, because this does raise money on the one hand from sources from which it has no business to raise money, but it gives it away with the other hand, and it gives it away in a manner that it ought not to do. It is going to give nearly £2,000,000 back to 2517 those people, members of the Land Union, who are the Government to-day, at any rate, whatever they are at any other time. They have had their way, and they have had their say. The other day I got a letter and a little book from them, asking me to subscribe to their funds. I can promise them that the subscription will not be a very large one. The audacity of these people in sending on these things! A good deal has been quoted about the Land Union to-night, but I notice they are anticipating, as they have every cause for anticipating, what is going to happen to-night in the House of Commons. This is what they say:Repayment of the Land Values Duties. The Land Union will advise members claiming repayment of these Duties, and assist them as to methods of claiming repayment.Before it is decided by this House what is to be done, they issue a book telling us how it is to be done, and then ask some of us to send on subscriptions for them to be able to do it. There is no question of Parliament not sanctioning the Budget proposal. The Land Union to-day, whatever they are at any other time, are the masters of the Government. I want to say, with all seriousness, that the return of these taxes is the most scandalous, the most amazing, the most impudent proposition ever put before any Government. We are told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-day that it has been done largely because Mr. McKenna promised it should be done. I notice how Members of the Government look up their Official Reports for many years past to see if they can make a small debating point by quoting what some Minister said at one time or another. I wonder they do not follow the advice of Mr. McKenna in very many more important matters. I should like to hear Mr. McKenna's explanation of this. I think it would somewhat differ from that given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer this afternoon. Although I do not doubt his integrity, veracity, and honesty of purpose, I think Mr. McKenna would have some further explanation about that.
I am under no delusion as to what is going to happen here to-night The Government will carry their proposal—there is no doubt about that! There are quite sufficient registering machines here for them to do that without inquiring about 2518 the why or the wherefor. But a day will come when justice will assert itself, and when we shall have another Government across there, and there will be this much about it: it cannot be worse than that which has gone before. Until then we must fight on. But just as surely as light follows darkness, we who in 1909 and 1910 fought, and up till now, although we relaxed our efforts during the War, must continue. We shall go on, not led by the crusader who has deceived us, but by men who are prepared to stand by until justice is done, and the land monopoly of this country is broken.
§ Mr. HOGGE
We have had a long and interesting Debate; obviously, I think, not too long, because the subject we are discussing is a subject which involved the country in two General Elections and a conflict between this House and the House of Lords. To dismiss that important decision, even with a Division in the Lobbies—the result of which is always assured—is to attempt to turn our backs on something which is of very serious import to many of us who sit on this side of the House. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer twitted the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Paisley (Mr. Asquith) on the fact that he was a very merry mourner on this particular occasion. After all, there are those of us on this side who quite confidently believe that this is not our funeral, and that the Government, which is a Government of coalition, is attempting by a policy of collusion between the various interests of which it is made up to destroy the results of the progressive propaganda that we have attempted to push in past years, and which we have succeeded in obtaining by the legitimate means at our disposal. I notice that the Minister of Overseas Trade has come back. When the Chancellor has finished talking to the Minister I trust I may have his attention for a few minutes. I am sorry to ask this privilege from the right hon. Gentleman, but, after all, he is the only Liberal who has appeared on that Bench this afternoon. [HON. MEMBERS: "No," "a Tory," and "Fisher."] He is an importation. The right hon. Gentleman was brought in as an educationist in the same way as other men were brought in as business men to make up a Government. But my right hon. Friend opposite(Mr. Kellaway) fought as we fought, just 2519 as he sung himself hoarse on land platforms in the old days. Therefore I trust the Chancellor will allow me to address a few remarks to him. We who were his old colleagues in the days before he was of the higher rank that he now occupies, in the days when, with some of us below the Gangway, he was much more interested in the casualties of motor omnibuses in London than he was in the high questions of policy in which he is now interested—we want to know from him, as the only remnant of Liberalism left in the Committee to-night, if he will explain the position of the Liberal portion of the Coalition on these land taxes. I think that we arc doing the Prime Minister an injustice by discussing this question in his absence, and I do not know that the proper method would be to report progress in order that the Prime Minister could return from Spa in order to make out a much better case than has been made out by Members of the Front Bench for repealing these taxes. If the Prime Minister cannot be present, why cannot we have the presence and the speech of the hon. Member for Argyle-shire (Sir William Sutherland). He is the one Member of this House who devilled assiduously for years on the subject of the land, and he published books at the request of the Prime Minister which never sold, and he knows as much about the land as the Prime Minister has forgotten. Why should we not have some explanation? The only explanation given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer is that these taxes and this system of valuation is not a business proposition. I will quote from the same Report as was quoted by the right hon. Gentleman, namely, the Report of the Select Committee on Land Values. The right hon. Gentleman tried by his quotations to convince the House that as a business proposition the system of Land Valuation had entirely failed. I turn to page 46 of the evidence before this Select Committee, and what do I find? It says:The experience and information gained by the staff during the progress of the original valuation has been of considerable advantage in connection with other duties they have had to discharge.One of the most important of these duties is the determination of the principal value of real property and leaseholds passing on death. The results of the work of the 2520 Valuation Office are shown in the accompanying Table D.With regard to improved results, the Report says:But with the completion of the original valuation and the accumulating records of sales and leases at their command, district valuers have been able to produce results above the average shown by the table for the whole period of nine years, notwithstanding that during the War they were working under instructions to valuers No. 961, which authorised them to accept returns made by executors in cases where there was no reason to doubt the substantial accuracy of the value returned where consistency was not primarily involved and where the duty at stake was not large.Executors sometimes approach the district valuer with a view to agreeing values before making a return, and in these cases the official records do not show in figures the effect of the district valuer's influence, as the increases have been obtained before the accounts are lodged. In a case last June a district valuer obtained in this way an increase over the executors' figures of 32 per cent.If there were time, and if it were not that I do not desire to interrupt the proceedings of the House, I could read paragraph after paragraph on pages 46 and 47 of the Report, showing the results of the existence of the Department which he is going to scrap. On page 60 of the same Report will be found Table D, which gives a very instructive set of figures which the Chancellor of the Exchequer probably overlooked in trying to establish his case that the system had failed to produce the anticipated results. What do I find? In the period from 31st March, 1911, to 31st March, 1919—the number of cases dealt with was 318,623, and the valuation as brought in by the accounting firms was £715,000,000, as against a valuation certified by the Department of £756,000,000—an increase due to the official valuation of £41,388,000. I am reminded that that duty has actually been paid, and is in the possession of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In other words, in nine years, owing to this system of valuation, the increase to the Exchequer has been over £41,000,000, and yet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in trying to establish a point against the right hon. Member for Paisley, says the valuation is of no use and ought to be scrapped.
What was the point made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer? It was that because certain things had occurred from 2521 the imposition of these taxes, the value of the system had been rendered nugatory. Who rendered it nugatory? The Law Courts of this land. Those of us who are Scottish Members know perfectly well how the decisions of the Law Courts have vitiated the whole system of getting men on to the land in Scotland. If it had not been for the decisions of the Law Courts, Scotland would have been re-populated in many parts. What often happens as a result of law decisions? You get legislation brought into this House to put those decisions right and to make it possible for an Act passed by Parliament to be operative among the people in whose interest it was passed. Why did not the right hon. Gentleman face that problem and use the machinery which he has to hand to make his system effective? He twits the Prime Minister whom, by the bye, he serves. He told us this afternoon that the Prime Minister had certain qualities which he admired—those were qualities which he approved—and certain other qualities not so good, and they were the qualities with which he disagreed. After all, the right hon. Gentleman ought to remember that the whole reputation of the Prime Minister is staked upon these taxes. The Prime Minister has made many speeches. [HON. MEMBERS: "Lime-house!"] He made one at Limehouse. There are a great many people who did not like his Limehouse speech, but the only difference between that and his speeches now is in the vocabulary. I am not going to quote the Prime Minister's speeches; I am going to take a much more matured reflection of the Prime Minister. I suppose we all have in our libraries—no doubt even the Chancellor of the Exchequer has in his library—the famous volume known as "The People's Budget." I see that the Leader of the House is amused. I have heard him often on the subject of the People's Budget before it was published. Here we have, not only the Prime Minister's speeches, but his matured opinion, written down in a preface. Here is what he says, after thinking the matter over—and we know, of
course, that that is a final decision in. every case with the Prime Minister:
The greatest provision for all unemployment, in my judgment, is contained in the Land Clauses of the Budget. Those provisions must have the effect of eventually destroying the selfish and stupid monopoly which now so egregiously mismanages the land. Only the business community of this country, and those who have been associated with it all their lives, can fully appreciate the extent to which the present ownership of land hampers and embarrasses trade and industry. Ask any man with a growing business in town or village in this country, and he will tell you more than all the theorists and agitators in Europe about the mischief done by the unintelligent greed of some of the land-owning class. It is not merely that extravagant prices are demanded and impossible conditions imposed, 'but what a business man minds even more is that an atmosphere of uncertainty is created by the powers of incessant interference and imposition reserved for the landlord and his agents. The Budget strikes the first real blow at this mechanism of extortion and petty persecution. No class of the community will have greater reason to feel joy at the triumph of the Budget than the men engaged in putting their best energy of mind and moral into the building up of the commercial greatness of our nation.
That was what the Budget was based upon, and that is what we are deserting to-night. The Prime Minister, speaking, as he did, frequently on this subject, and speaking with the Leader of the House in his mind at that time, said further:
I say more than that. I cannot conceive of a more shabby opposition.
The Prime Minister, with the consent of the people who deserted with him to that Bench, has surrendered the one just tax that can be imposed upon any community; and he has surrendered it to those who led at that time the "shabby opposition."
§ Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 207; Noes, 53.2523
|Division No. 214.]||AYES.||[10.45 p.m.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Barnston, Major Harry||Blake, Sir Francis Douglas|
|Amery, Lieut.-Col. Leopold C. M. S.||Barrand, A. R.||Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Barrie, Rt. Hon. H. T. (L'derry, N.)||Bottomley, Horatio W.|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Betterton, Henry B.||Bridgeman, William Clive|
|Briggs, Harold||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Perring, William George|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Haslam, Lewis||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Bruton, Sir James||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Herbert Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Remer, J. R.|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Richardson, Sir Albion (Camberwell)|
|Campbell, J. D. C.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Hopkins, John W. W.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Casey, T. W.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rogers, Sir Hallewell|
|Cautley, Henry S.||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Cayzer, Major Herbert Robin||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W)||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Jephcott, A. R.||Seddon, J. A.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Jesson, C.||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Johnson, Sir Stanley||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Smithers, Sir Alfred W.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Cope, Major Wm.||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Courthope, Major George L.||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||King, Commander Henry Douglas||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||Knights, Capt. H. N. (C'berwell, N.)||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Stephenson, Colonel H. K.|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Stevens, Marshall|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Elveden, Viscount||Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Lorden, John William||Sugden, W. H.|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Lort-Williams, J.||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Taylor, J.|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Fildes, Henry||Lyle, C. E. Leonard||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||Macleod, J. Mackintosh||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Macquisten, F. A.||Waddington, R.|
|Forrest, Walter||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Wallace, J.|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Manville, Edward||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Matthews, David||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Gange, E. Stanley||Meysey-Thompson, Lieut.-Col. E. C.||Waring, Major Walter|
|Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C.||Mitchell, William Lane||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Goff, Sir R. Park||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Whitla, Sir William|
|Grant, James A.||Morrison, Hugh||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Mount, William Arthur||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tevistock)|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)||Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Nall, Major Joseph||Wills, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Gilbert|
|Gregory, Holman||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Gwynne, Rupert S.||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.|
|Hallwood, Augustine||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hancock, John George||Perkins, Walter Frank||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hartshorn, Vernon||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Hayday, Arthur||Rose, Frank H.|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Hayward, Major Evan||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hinds, John||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Hogge, James Myles||Spencer, George A.|
|Briant, Frank||Johnstone, Joseph||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Cape, Thomas||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Waterson, A. E.|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr||Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Kiley, James D.||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Lunn, William||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Finney, Samuel||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Myers, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, T. W.||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Mr. G. Thorne and Mr. Neil Maclean.|
|Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."2526
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 190; Noes, 68.2527
|Division No. 215.]||AYES.||[10.55 p.m.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Grant, James A.||Neal, Arthur|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Amery, Lleut.-Col. Leopold C. M. S.||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Gregory, Holman||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Gretton, Colonel John||Ormsby-Gore, Captain Hon. W.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Pease, Rt. Hon Herbert Pike|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Perring, William George|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Hailwood, Augustine||Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Haslam, Lewis||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Pulley, Charles Thornton|
|Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry. S.)||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Herbert Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Remer, J. R.|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Richardson, Sir Albion (Camberwell)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Rogers, Sir Hallewell|
|Briggs, Harold||Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Hopkins, John W. W.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Seddon, J. A.|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Smithers, Sir Alfred W.|
|Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Jephcott, A. R.||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Jesson, C.||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)|
|Cautley, Henry S.||Johnson, Sir Stanley||Starkey, Captain John R.|
|Cayzer, Major Herbert Robin||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Stevens, Marshall|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A.(Birm.,W.)||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||King, Commander Henry Douglas||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Knights, Capt. H. N. (C'berwell, N.)||Sugden, W. H.|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Lorden, John William||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Cope, Major Wm.||Lort-Williams, J.||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Courthope, Major George L.||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Waddington, R.|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Lyle, C. E. Leonard||Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Warren, Lieut.-Col. Sir Alfred H.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Weston, Colonel John W.|
|Elveden, Viscount||Macleod, J. Mackintosh||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Macquisten, F. A.||Whitla, Sir William|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Manville, Edward||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Matthews, David||Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||Meysey-Thompson, Lieut.-Col. E. C.||Wills, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Gilbert|
|Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||Mitchell, William Lane||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Forrest, Walter||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Morrison, Hugh|
|Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C.||Mount, William Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Murchison, C. K.||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)|
|Goff, Sir R. Park||Nall, Major Joseph|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Cape, Thomas||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Barrand, A. R.||Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Grundy, T. W.|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Casey, T. W.||Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)|
|Bell, James Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hancock, John George|
|Bottomley, Horatio W.||Entwistle, Major C. F.||Hartshorn, Vernon|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Finney, Samuel||Hayday, Arthur|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Gilbert, James Daniel||Hayward, Major Evan|
|Briant, Frank||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Hinds, John|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Hirst, G. H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Hogge, James Myles|
|Johnstone, Joseph||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wallace, J.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Kiley, James D.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.|
|Lunn, William||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Rose, Frank H.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John||Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Morgan, Major D. Watts||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Murray, Lieut.-Colonel A. (Aberdeen)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Spencer, George A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Myers, Thomas||Taylor, J.||Mr. G. Thorne and Mr. Tyson Wilson.|
Question put, and agreed to.