HC Deb 16 June 1925 vol 185 cc443-52

As from the thirty-first day of August, nineteen hundred and twenty-five, the duties chargeable upon sugar, molasses, glucose, and saccharin, in pursuance of Sections four and five of The Finance Act, 1924, and the First Schedule to that Act, shall cease.


When our proceedings were interrupted I had pointed out to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the very important fact that he was limiting the powers of Parliament in relation to future Budgets because of the 10 years' period he had placed on the Preferential duties for Colonial sugar. I would press for some saving clause in this Bill to protect our interests in that respect. I had referred briefly to the Sugar Duty in last year's Budget, and had indicated that the duty had been reduced from 25s. 8d. to 11s. 8d. per cwt., or from 3¾d. to 1¼d. per 1b. That little sugar egg was given by the Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer last year to the consumers of this country, at a cost approximately of £18,000,000. During the War sugar had been very heavily taxed, and in 1923 the tax was actually 14 times more than it had been in 1923. The working class consumers paid such heavy taxation during the war period that there is a strong argument for further consideration of the duty to-day. In our Debates it has somehow become a regular practice, when a concession is made in regard to one commodity, that that commodity is passed over in the Budgets of future years. I plead for the repeal of the Sugar Duty, rather than that sugar should be passed by because of the remission of duty conceded last year. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to emulate the Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer and to cut out of existence the duty now in operation

The members of the Labour party are against any taxation of this necessity of life. Sugar is used, not merely in tea, but in almost everything that is essential in working-class homes. The burden of the tax is greatest upon the poorest. The old age pensioner to-day pays a duty on sugar in the same proportion as the wealthiest member of the community. The percent- age from their incomes is enormous as compared with that from the incomes of wealthier persons. We should also remember that sugar is used extensively in some of our large industries, not merely in the manufacture of sweets, biscuits and confectionery, but in one very important industry, namely, jam-making. I therefore plead with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reconsider the position. I hope he will look upon the matter from the point of view of equity to all classes of taxpayers and will see that the unemployed—to whose numbers another 40,000 have been added, following upon the 60,000 of last week—are not asked to take an undue share of this burden placed on one of the essentials of life.


I am quite sure the hon. Gentleman, who has made a very closely reasoned speech and one in which he has endeavoured to economise his demand on the time of the Committee, does not expect that I will accede to his request. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] At any rate, I hope he does not, because if he does it will be my melancholy duty to undeceive him. It is not in our power to agree to this proposal. An immense remission was made last year by the right hon. Gentleman the then Chancellor of the Exchequer. That remission was responded to by an increase in consumption, a fact from which all parties in the House may take satisfaction. We are not in a position financially to make a further change in this direction this year. There is one thing, however, about which I can reassure the hon. Gentleman. The preferential arrangements which have been made and the 10 years' guarantee in no way fetter the power of Parliament to effect a reduction in the duty. It is explicitly provided that if the duty should be reduced below the amount at which we have now fixed the preference, the preference should be reduced accordingly. Of course, it might be that if Parliament were in the happy position of being able to reduce the Sugar Duty practically to nothing and at the same time to make an engagement to give a certain guarantee of stability to the Imperial sugar producer, then that would be a position they might wish to consider. Neither contingency comes within the range of practical politics at the present time. We are not in a position to reduce the Sugar Duty this year, nor in the immediate future, below the level where it is likely to affect the preference. In these circumstances, as I understand the hon. Gentleman and his friends would like to testify their abhorrence of indirect taxes of all forms and kinds on this particular duty, I certainly will not stand between them and the most effective expression of their views.

Captain BENN

I desire to state briefly why some of us on these benches intend to support the Amendment. I have explained many times in these Debates that we are not entirely masters of our own particular preferences. I myself do not think that this year a complete abolition of the Sugar Duty is possible. I have said that to my constituents and to anyone who has raised the question with me. At the same time, we think sugar is one thing that should be selected for reduction by the Chancellor in preference to other things. We wish to express that view by going into the Lobby in support of the new Clause. Clause 7 is particularly objectionable, because it stabilises the rate of duty for 10 years, and the right hon. Gentleman has made the, to me, very disappointing announcement that there is no possibility in the next 10 years of abolishing the Sugar Duty.



Captain BENN

Well, in the next few years. I hope, whatever the vicissitudes of Parliamentary fortune may be, there will be some Government that within some reasonable period will make an attempt to get rid of this, the worst of all taxes. For that reason, and because I believe the whole of this Clause 7 tends to rivet these taxes on the necks of our people, and deprive us of our proper liberty of making cur own fiscal arrangements, I shall support this new Clause.


I support the new Clause, on the ground that I consider the Sugar Duty to be a vicious and a bad tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said we were not hoping to succeed with this Clause, but I think we are justified in hoping to succeed to-night, because of the fact that, while he may be confident in the majority that sits behind him, we are equally confident that we shall take into our lobby representatives of the vast ma- jority of the electors of this country, and that is the opinion which ultimately prevails. My hon. Friend the Member for Cannock (Mr. W. M. Adamson) has dealt with a great many of the arguments on this question, but I desire to emphasise the fact that this is a tax which bears with very great hardship on the poorest of the poor. The unemployed, who are suffering so badly at the present time, will have this tax to pay. Many of the larger families with young children who eat sugar, but who are unable to work, will have to bear an undue proportion of this tax. The persons in receipt of old age pensions, and of poor law relief, will have to pay their proportion, and in many cases a very unfair and unjust proportion of this tax, out of their poverty. Although one realises that the remission of this tax would cost money. I think we are further justified in asking for its repeal, because we are conscious of the vast sums of money which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has already made over to those who are really in need. The gifts which have been made to the Super-tax payer and the wealthy Income Tax payer justify us in our position in demanding, so far as we may demand, that some concession shall be made in this Budget to the poorest of the poor people of this land. So far they have received no recognition in this Budget. Their burdens have not been lightened in the slightest degree. Rather have they been increased, and because of the equity of our case and the fact that we believe the vast majority of the electors are with us in this matter, we appeal confidently to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to say that something may be done, and not to hold that non possumus attitude, of saying not only that nothing will be done to-night, but that nothing will be done for years to come. We hope for better things, and I can assure him, as a very humble member of our party, that if the time comes in the near future when the will of the electors outside does prevail and the vote as represented in the country to-day prevails in the Division Lobby here, I hope and trust and believe that it will be the duty of a Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer to remove this duty at the earliest possible opportunity.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 135; Noes, 241.

Division No. 162.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Courtauld, Major J. S. Harland, A.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L. Harrison, G. J. C.
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.) Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim) Harvey, Majors. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Haslam, Henry C.
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Hawke, John Anthony
Atholl, Duchess of Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Atkinson, C. Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.
Banks, Reginald Mitchell Curzon, Captain Viscount Henn, Sir Sydney H.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Dalkeith, Earl of Hennessy, Major J. R. G.
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton) Hilton, Cecil
Bennett, A. J. Dean, Arthur Wellesley Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Drewe, C. Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Duckworth, John Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Edmondson, Major A. J. Holland, Sir Arthur
Blades, Sir George Rowland Edwards, John H. (Accrington) Holt, Capt. H. P.
Blundell, F. N. Elliott, Captain Walter E. Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft. Ellis, R. G. Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Elveden, Viscount Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. England, Colonel A. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Brass, Captain W. Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.) Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Hume, Sir G. H.
Briggs, J. Harold Everard, W. Lindsay Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)
Briscoe, Richard George Fairfax, Captain J. G. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Brittain, Sir Harry Fermoy, Lord Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Fielden, E. B. Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)
Bromley, J. Finburgh, S. Jacob, A. E.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Fleming, D. P. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Forrest, W. Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Buckingham, Sir H. Foster, Sir Harry S. Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Fraser, Captain Ian Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)
Bullock, Captain M. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. King, Captain Henry Douglas
Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Burman, J. B. Galbraith, J. F. W. Lamb, J. Q.
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Ganzoni, Sir John Loder, J. de V.
Campbell, E. T. Gates, Percy Looker, Herbert William
Cassels, J. D. Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Lougher, L.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Gee, Captain R. Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Gibbs. Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Lumley, L. R.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Glyn, Major R. G. C. Lynn, Sir Robert J.
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Gower, Sir Robert McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Chapman, Sir S. Grace, John McLean, Major A.
Charleton, H. C. Grant, J. A. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Chilcott, Sir Warden Greene, W. P. Crawford Macquisten, F. A.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Greenwood, William (Stockport) MacRobert, Alexander M.
Clarry, Reginald George Gretton, Colonel John Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Cobb, Sir Cyril Grotrian, H. Brent Malone, Major P. B.
Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.(Bristol, N.) Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Margesson, Captain D.
Compton, Joseph Gunston, Captain D. W. Marriott, Sir J. A. R.
Conway, Sir W. Martin Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.
Cooper, A. Duff Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Meller, R. J.
Cope, Major William Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Merriman, F. B.
Couper, J. B. Hammersley, S. S. Meyer, Sir Frank
Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Rawson, Alfred Cooper Storry Deans, R.
Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Rees, Sir Beddoe Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Moles, Thomas
Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Reid, D. D. (County Down) Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Remer, J. R. Templeton, W. P.
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Rentoul, G. S. Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Moore, Sir Newton J. Rice, Sir Frederick Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen South)
Morden, Col. W. Grant Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford) Varley, Frank B.
Moreing, Captain A. H. Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P
Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Waddington, R.
Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Rye, F. G. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Murchison, C. K. Salmon, Major I. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Sanders, Sir Robert A. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Sandon, Lord Watts, Dr. T.
Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange) Wells, S. R.
Nuttall, Ellis
Oakley, T. Sexton, James Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W) Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Sheffield, Sir Berkeley Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Oman, Sir Charles William C. Shepperson, E. W. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Pennefather, Sir John Slaney, Major P. Kenyon Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Penny, Frederick George Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C. Wise, Sir Frederic
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Smithers, Waldron Wolmer, Viscount
Perkins, Colonel E. K. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Womersley, W. J.
Perring, William George Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Peto Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe) Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).
Pilcher, G. Sprot, Sir Alexander Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Preston, William Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Radford, E. A. Stanley, Lord (Fylde) Sir Ellis Hume-Williams and
Ramsden, E. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland) Mr. Murrough Wilson
Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Adamson, Rt. Hon. w. (Fife, West) Hardie, George D. Salter, Dr Alfred
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Scrymgeour, E.
Ammon, Charles George Hayday, Arthur Scurr, John
Attlee, Clement Richard Hayes, John Henry Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Barnes, A. Hirst, G. H. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Barr, J. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Sitch, Charles H.
Batey, Joseph Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Smillie, Robert
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. John, William (Rhondda, West) Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Briant, Frank Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Broad, F. A. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Snell, Harry
Bromfield, William Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Stamford, T. W.
Buchanan, G. Kelly, W. T. Stephen, Campbell
Cape, Thomas Kennedy, T. Sutton, J. E.
Clowes, S. Kirkwood, D. Taylor, R. A.
Cluse W. S. Lansbury, George Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Connolly, M. Lawson, John James Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)
Cove, W. G. Livingstone, A. M. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton), E.)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lowth, T. Thurtle, E.
Crawfurd, H. E. Lunn, William Tinker, John Joseph
Crook, C. W. Mackinder, W. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C P
Dalton, Hugh Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Viant, S. P.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) March, S. Wallhead, Richard C.
Day, Colonel Harry Maxton, James Warne, G. H.
Dennison, R. Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Duncan, C. Montague, Frederick Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Dunnico, H. Morris, R. H. Welsh, J. C.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Murnin, H. Westwood, J.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Naylor, T. E. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gibbins, Joseph Oliver, George Harold Whiteley, W.
Gillett, George M. Palin, John Henry Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Gosling, Harry Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Greenall, T. Ponsonby, Arthur Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Potts, John S. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Riley, Ben Windsor, Walter
Groves, T. Ritson, J. Wright, W.
Grundy, T. W. Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell) Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)
Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.) Rose, Frank H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Saklatvala, Shapurji Mr. R. Morrison and Mr. Paling.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)

Bill read a Second time, and committed.

Division No. 163.] AYES. [11.26 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hardie, George D. Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Rose, Frank H.
Ammon, Charles George Hastings, Sir Patrick Salter, Dr. Alfred
Attlee, Clement Richard Hayday, Arthur Scrymgeour, E.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Hayes, John Henry Scurr, John
Barnes, A. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Barr, J. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Sitch, Charles H.
Batey, Joseph Hirst, G. H. Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Broad, F. A. Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Snell, Harry
Bromfield, William Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bromley, J. John, William (Rhondda, West) Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)
Buchanan, G. Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Stamford, T. W.
Cape, Thomas Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Stephen, Campbell
Charleton, H. C. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Sutton, J. E.
Clowes, S. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Taylor, R. A.
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Kelly, W. T. Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Compton, Joseph Kennedy, T. Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Connolly, M. Kirkwood, D. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lawson, John James Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Crawfurd, H. E. Livingstone, A. M. Thurtle, E.
Dalton, Hugh Lunn, William Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Day, Colonel Harry Mackinder, W. Varley, Frank B.
Dennison, R. MacLaren, Andrew Viant, S. P.
Duncan, C. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Dunnico, H. March, S. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Edwards, John H. (Accrington) Maxton, James Welsh, J. C.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Westwood, J.
Forrest, W. Montague, Frederick Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Morris, R. H. Whiteley, W.
Gibbins, Joseph Murnin, H. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Gillett, George M. Naylor, T. E. Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Oliver, George Harold Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Palin, John Henry Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Greenall, T. Paling, W. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Ponsonby, Arthur Windsor, Walter
Groves, T. Potts, John S. Wright, W.
Grundy, T. W. Roes, Sir Beddoe Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Riley, Ben TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Ritson, J. Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Dean, Arthur Wellesley
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Butler, Sir Geoffrey Drewe, C.
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Centr'l) Cassels, J. D. Edmondson, Major A. J.
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Elliott, Captain Walter E.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)
Ashley Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Everard, W. Lindsay
Astor, Mai. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Fairfax, Captain J. G.
Atholl, Duchess of Chapman, Sir S. Fermoy, Lord
Atkinson, C. Charteris, Brigadler-General J. Fielden, E. B.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Chilcott, Sir Warden Finburgh, S.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Christie, J. A. Fleming, D. p.
Barclay-Harvey C. M. Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Foster, Sir Harry S.
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Clarry, Reginald George Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony
Bennett, A. J. Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Galbraith, J. F. W.
Bantinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Collox, Major Wm. Phillips Ganzoni, Sir John
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Conway, Sir W. Martin Gates, Percy
Blades, Sir George Rowland Cooper, A. Duff Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton
Blundell, F. N. Cope, Major William Gee, Captain R.
Boothby, R. J. G. Couper, J. B. Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Courtauld, Major J. S. Glyn, Major R. G. C.
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L. Goft, Sir Park
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim) Gower, Sir Robert
Brass, Captain W. Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Grace, John
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Greene, W. P. Crawford
Briggs, J. Harold Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Greenwood, William (Stockport)
Briscoe, Richard George Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Grotrian, H. Brent
Brittain, Sir Harry Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Curzon, Captain Viscount Gunston, Captain D. W.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Dalkeith, Earl of Hacking, Captain Douglas H.
Buckingham, Sir H. Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)
Bullock, Captain M. Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton) Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)
Hammersley, S. S. Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Sandon, Lord
Harland, A. Mason, Lieut.-Colonel Glyn K. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Harrison, G. J. C. Meller, R. J. Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Merriman, F. B. Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)
Haslam, Henry C. Meyer, Sir Frank Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)
Hawke, John Anthony Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Shepperson, E. W.
Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Moore, Sir Newton J. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Henn, Sir Sydney H. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Smithers, Waldron
Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A. Morden, Colonel Walter Grant Sprot, Sir Alexander
Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Moreing, Captain A. H. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Hilton, Cecil Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. C. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy Murchison, C. K. Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Nail, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph Storry Deans, R.
Holland, Sir Arthur Neville, R. J. Strickland, Sir Gerald
Holt, Captain H. P. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.) Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Nuttall, Ellis Tompleton, W. P.
Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n) O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Oakley, T. Waddington, R.
Iliffe, Sir Edward M. Oman, Sir Charles William C. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Pennefather, Sir John Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Penny, Frederick George Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Jacob, A. E. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Kennedy, A. R. (Preston). Perkins, Colonel E. K. Watts, Dr. T.
Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wells, S. R.
King, Captain Henry Douglas Pilcher, G. Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Power, Sir John Cecil Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Lamb, J. Q. Preston, William Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Loder, J. de V. Radford, E. A. Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)
Looker, Herbert William Rawson, Alfred Cooper Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Lougher, L. Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Reid, D. D. (County Down) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Lumley, L. R. Remer, J. R. Wise, Sir Fredric
Lynn, Sir Robert J. Rentoul, G. S. Womersley, W. J.
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. steel- Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford) Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).
McLean, Major A. Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A. Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Macquisten, F. A. Rye, F. G. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Mac Robert, Alexander M. Salmon, Major I. Sir Harry Barnston and Mr.
Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Frederick Thompson.
Margesson, Captain D. Sanders, Sir Robert A.

I would like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has any statement to make as to how far he would like to go to-night?


I understand, after a good many discussions which have taken place, that the Liberal party are very anxious that the Debate to-morrow shall begin on the proposal that was made to exempt agricultural land from the scope of the increased Death Duties—that that should be the first feature to-morrow, and that was really understood in the conversation which took place across the Table at Question time. Then there is a wish on their part to discuss, I believe, two other new Clauses. The first deals with the question of the Income Tax allowance to a widowed mother, and the second with the exemption of agricultural shows from the scope of the Entertainments Duty. This is subject to these Clauses being discussed after the main Debate has taken place on the points of substance contained in the Clause dealing with the taxation of agricultural land. It is not thought that, after the Debate on agricultural land has taken place these two Clauses will take very long, and we expect to finish the new Clauses by a quarter past eight o'clock. After that we shall get to the consideration of the First Schedule, which we hope will be concluded at a reasonable hour. As far as to-night is concerned there would be a disposition to conclude the Debate after taking certain test questions upon which the Committee wishes to express an opinion, and we should not sit beyond 12.15


Then I understand that, after the progress we may have made during the next three-quarters of an hour, the right hon. Gentleman will report Progress about 12.15.


We wish to make progress with the new Clauses, in order to clear the way for the discussion on agricultural properties and the increased Death Duties to-morrow. Those are the controversial issues which have been challenged, and we shall give every facility for the Opposition to state their views.


Shall I have an opportunity of discussing the New Clause standing in my name, dealing with the widows and orphans?


Of course, I cannot give any guarantee on that point, but I will discuss it with my hon. Friend.

Captain BENN

We have put down a number of proposals in the form of New Clauses, and we were looking forward to doing a public service by moving them tonight. I am aware that this would take a long time. We propose, however, to make a sacrifice, and we shall not move those New Clauses out of a desire not to keep the House sitting too long, providing that the sacrifice is reciprocal and that we are given an opportunity of moving certain New Clauses after the discussion on the Agricultural Land Clause. In view of the importance of the Silk Duties, we shall require an opportunity to press forward our objections to that tax.


I have down on the Order Paper a very important New Clause providing for a lower rate of tax on companies' profits not distributed to shareholders but which are used for the development of the concerns. I recognise the great strain upon the House by the necessity of sitting late night after night, and I shall be glad to fall in with the suggestion not to deal with that Clause to-night if I am afforded an opportunity of dealing with it on the Report stage.


I must point out to the hon. and learned Gentleman that there are other New Clauses on the Paper dealing with the same subject.


It is quite clear, after what the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain Benn) has said, that the question whether there is to be a late sitting to-night or not rests entirely with hon. Members opposite. There are three or four pages of Amendments in the names of hon. Members on that side, and, therefore, if they make the same concession that has been made by us and by the hon. and gallant Member for Leith, then I think we might follow the course the Chancellor of the Exchequer has mentioned; but, if hon. Members opposite will not fall in with that, it is clear that we are in for another very long sitting.


Is all the sacrifice of time to be made by us?


This discussion is really rather irregular. There is no Question before the Committee. The suggestion was thrown out, but it cannot become a Debate.


Of course, there are on the Paper to-night proposals which, if they were discussed, would, without any obstruction, occupy not merely a night but two or three nights. There is no doubt about that. I think it is the wish of the Committee that we should endeavour to keep our business within a reasonable length, and select particular issues upon which controversy is least. I quite agree that there are several Amendments of importance which have been put down by Members on this side of the Committee, and I think one or two of these could be disposed of in the short time that remains, agreeably with other proposals from the other side. The proposed new Clause to which reference has been made by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Sir L. Scott) is one to which I think great importance is attached on the other side of the Committee, and I understand that a proposal has been made by the Opposition that there should be a careful discussion upon it during the Report stage. That covers my hon. and learned Friend's proposition. I feel that if we go forward in the general mood in which the Committee is at the present time, we shall dispose of the principal points in the business before a quarter past 12, and it is only in the event of that failing that we shall be forced to consider the other alternative. I quite agree that, if all the Amendments on one side of the Committee are to be proposed, you can-not demand that none should be proposed from the other side. Very few Amendments have been put forward from this side of the Committee, and there are two or three which I think raise no great controversial issues, and which might be disposed of between now and the time when we should like to bring our proceedings to a close.