§ 20. "That there shall be transferred to the Exchequer from the Road Fund a sum equal to the cash balance and investments which were on the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-seven, standing to the credit of that Fund."
§ Seventh Resolution read a Second time.
§ Mr. DALTON
I beg to move, in line 8, to leave out "8s. 10d.," and to insert instead thereof "8s. 4d."
In regard to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposals for an increase of the Tobacco Duty, some of us, in listening to the right hon. Gentleman's Budget speech, perhaps had a vain hope that the additional three million pounds or more 847 which he hopes to obtain would have come out of the large monopoly profits of the tobacco trusts. We may have entertained that hope, particularly in view of the statement which the Chancellor of the Exchequer made in his speech in regard to this increase. He said:I have no reason to believe that the whole increase of this tax will be passed on to the consumer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th April, 1927; col. 93, Vol. 205.]That remark was greeted by some of my friends behind me with cries of "Rubbish," which it would appear, in the light of later events, were completely justified. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!" and "Yes!"]. I will give reasons in a moment which I hope will convince hon. Members on the other side of the House that those cries were justified. I do not know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer was in communication with the tobacco trade before introducing this increase in the Tobacco Duty. I hope he will be able, when replying to this Amendment, to tell us about the undertakings, if any, which had been given to him at an earlier stage that the tobacco manufacturers would bear the greater part of this increase, and not pass it on to the public.
With regard to pipe tobacco, it would appear that the inrceased duty has in practically every case been passed on to the consumer to the extent of one halfpenny per ounce. I know that the pipe tobacco which I smoke has gone up in price, and I have yet to learn of any pipe tobacco which has not gone up in price. With regard to cigarettes, I am told—I do not smoke them myself—by those who smoke them that they are having to pay more than before for their supplies. The only exception which I am able to discover from the passing on of the increased duty to the consumer, is the case of Havana cigars. I read that Havana cigars are to remain at the same price as before. It seems to me that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been able to make a specially advantageous bargain for the consumer of Havana cigars. I wish he had been able to extend it, as he held out a promise of doing in his Budget speech, to other classes of consumers of less expensive smoking materials.
I do not propose to go into details with regard to the enormous profits made 848 by the tobacco trusts, but it would be fair to remark that their profits are such that they could perfectly well have afforded to pay the whole of the increase of £3,400,000 which is to be raised by the increased duty upon tobacco. The tobacco trusts are one of the few groups of producers which are still charging wartime prices, or above, for the goods which they sell. Even before this increased duty, there had been no reduction in the price of tobacco from the maximum height reached in war time, and it does raise the presumption that tobacco companies are very well able to bear some increased burden. Our complaint, as I have already said, is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not succeeded in making arrangements whereby the burden of this increased charge falls upon them as distinct from the consumer.
If I may go back for a moment to the past history of this duty to show the enormous increases that have taken place in the War and post-War duty, I would like to remind the House that the main Tobacco Duty, which is to-day 8s. 2d. in the lb., was, before the War, only 3s. 8d., and went up in 1917 to 6s. 5d., and in 1918 to 8s. 2d., when Preference was introduced, and was extended in July, 1925, to a quarter of the duty, at which it still remains. Under this proposal of the Chancellor, the main duty will be 8s. 10d., and the preferential rate 6s. 7½d. This is another example of the continual increase of duty even compared with the War period. Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the War period did not think it possible to increase the Tobacco Duty to anything like the height to which the right hon. Gentleman now proposes to raise it, and the preferential rate of 6s. 7½d. is higher than the main rate on foreign tobacco in 1917. It is well known that, in regard to tobacco, the proportion of the price paid by the consumer which goes in taxation is abnormally high. Even in the case of a cheap tobacco it is more than 50 per cent. The Colwyn Committee, who made their investigation before this proposed increase, offered this comment, which, I think, is worth quoting:The tobacco duty is a considerable tax on the average or normal consumer of small means. Per head of population (including children and other non-smokers), it is now about 24s. per annum.849 It is, of course, very much more per consumer;The duty borne by the normal consumer with an income of £150 to £200 ranges between, perhaps, £3 10s. and £5.Working that out in terms of Income Tax, it means that the Tobacco Duty on such an income is equivalent to an Income Tax of 6d. in the £ on incomes of £150 to £200 a year, and the proposed increase is going to add an equivalent of a further Income Tax of in the £ on such incomes. This Tobacco Duty, like all other indirect taxes, falls most heavily on those who are least able to pay it, while upon the people with the greatest capacity to pay taxation, the burden is exceedingly small. The Colwyn Committee have made available both with regard to this tax and other indirect taxes a great deal of new and interesting information. On page 94 they give a very interesting table showing the Tobacco Duty paid at the old rates by people with varying grades of income, taking the average of heavy and light smokers together so as to get a typical case. It is shown by this table that the Tobacco Duty payable on an income of £100 a year, in an average case, is £2 15s.; on an income of £200, £4 15s.; on an income of £500, £5, and so on, rising, in the case of an income of £50,000, to only £10 4s. a year. In other words, the person with an income of £50,000 a year pays only twice as much in Tobacco Duty as the person with £500 a year. That is a quotation from the Colwyn Committee's own Report. Putting it in terms of Income Tax, we see that a person with £100 a year, or £2 a week, would pay the equivalent of 6½d. in the £ Income Tax for Tobacco Duty; £500 a year, 2½d.; £2,000 a year, 1d.; £5,000 a year, ½d.; and £50,000 a year, 1/20d.
It is perfectly evident from those figures that the burden of the Tobacco Duty falls in the most unjust manner upon one section of the community as compared with another. If you had still in operation those direct taxes which the Chancellor has reduced in previous Budgets—the Super-tax and Income Tax—on the higher level, there might be some slight and plausible case, for raising a million or two by a tax on an article so widely consumed as tobacco; but when we take the reduction in the Super-tax and Income Tax, which 850 fall more or less according to the ability to pay, in conjunction with the proposal to increase this tax, which falls exactly in inverse proportion to ability to pay, we find that the trend of taxation under the present Chancellor of the Exchequer is to put the heaviest burden on the weakest backs and the lightest burden on the broadest backs. If we desire to get one more illustration of the lesson which is being continually driven home from the benches behind me and upon platforms outside, we have not got to go further than this particular proposal.
As the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not here at the very beginning of my remarks may I venture to repeat what I then said, that I hope he will give the House some justification for this statement he made in his Budget speech:I may add that I have no reason to believe the whole increase of this tax will be passed on to the consumer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th April, 1927; cot 93, Vol. 205.]I wish to know, in the first place, whether he thinks that statement can be justified in the light of the increases which have taken place; and, secondly, whether he had negotiations with the tobacco trade before the Budget, and whether they gave any undertaking that they would not pass on the duty to the extent it has been passed on? Further, has he considered at all the possibility of so arranging this taxation that it might fall upon them, and not upon the general body of consumers?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I beg to second the Amendment.
In supplementing the statement already made, I would refer to the partial promise that the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave when making his Budget statement, that there was no reason to doubt that the tobacco companies, who were making such fabulous profits, would at least bear a portion of the increased taxation that be proposed. It is evident already all over the country that not only are retailers compelling consumers to pay the full 8d. of extra taxation, but in many eases we have evidence that where consumers purchase their tobacco in very small quantities, such as half an ounce at a time, they are actually being called upon to pay even more than 8d. a pound extra. So that, notwithstanding the promise that the tobacco companies had pre 851 viously made, the large tobacco firms are apparently bearing no portion of this increased taxation, and the retailers are going to demand certain extra profit for the money that they are compelled to hand over to the Treasury. On examination of the figures between 1913 and 1927 and; the tremendous increases in taxation that tobacco smokers have been called upon to pay, I think even the Chancellor of the Exchequer would feel disposed to say that we have reached a point when the smoker has already paid far more than his normal proportion of taxation to meet any extraordinary period of financial depression.
In 1913–14 the normal taxation was 3s. 8d. per pound. By 1917–18 it had grown to 6s. 5d. per pound, or an increase of 2d. per ounce for all kinds of tobacco. By 1918–19 the duty had reached 8s. 2d. per pound, or an increase of 3½d. per ounce of tobacco. The proposals in the present Budget carry the sum to 8s. 10d. or a taxation of 4d. per ounce upon that kind of tobacco which before the War was purchased at 3d. per ounce or 3½d. per ounce maximum. Therefore, from the point of view of the consumer of the poorest quality of tobacco, the increase in the proportion of taxation has been well over 100 per cent. since 1913–14. But the total figures, rising as they have done from £18,283,000 in 1913–14 to £53,500,000 in 1926–27, indicate the colossal increase in the taxation of tobacco, which taxation after all is largely borne by the people whose only enjoyment is to smoke occasionally. In dealing with this Tobacco Duty perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself has overlooked the fact that not only must the consumer considered when increases in taxation are imposed but that there are 440,000 people who have purchased licences to retail tobacco and who are hound to be affected in a certain small measure by this taxation while wages are so low. The 440,000 retailers will find that the relative sums received for tobacco will decrease, and unless they do on a universal scale what has been done in a few instances already, that is, charge more than the 8d. per pound now imposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, so that they shall obtain some extra sum for the collection of this increased taxation, their normal profits are bound to be reduced.
852 I have a letter here from one of my constituents, stating that a meeting has already been held and a protest carried against the price that retailers are now charging for tobacco. The letter also states that the retailers have intimated to the local consumers of tobacco that they cannot be expected to handle pounds per week extra unless, they are to receive some remuneration for the collection of the taxation that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is imposing. I suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the proportion of taxation upon the poorer qualities of tobacco as compared with the proportion of taxation on the better qualities is one further instance of the incidence of taxation falling heaviest on the shoulders of those who are least able to bear it. Something was said yesterday by the hon. Member for Ilford (Sir F. Wise) of the proportions of direct and indirect taxation to-day compared with the proportions in 1913–14. I would remind the House that, while the proportions have changed very considerably, other changes have taken place which tend to cancel out the adverse effect that they may have had upon the direct Income Tax payers. While the proportion of direct and indirect taxation has certainly changed, the amount of money paid by the nation in interest on the National Debt service has also changed considerably. While in 1913–14 we were called upon to pay only £19,000,000 interest for National Debt services, in 1926–27 we were called upon to pay well over £300,000,000 for the same purpose. People who are called upon to pay direct taxation are very largely the people who are the recipients of that increased interest.
One must come down to the man with £2 per week to know the real evil of any increase in indirect taxation. While it may not be the most desirable thing to cultivate the habit of smoking, the habit has been cultivated; it is here and it undoubtedly does form the only luxury that a very large proportion of the lower paid workers of this country enjoy. It seems to me that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is imposing further upon the poorer section of the community and limiting their few privileges, and to that extent one is fully justified in opposing this new imposition. I would also remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer that his proposal may have some disastrous con 853 sequences in some of our Poor Law institutions. I was once a member of a board of guardians who used to provide the aged inmates with an ounce of tobacco per week. When the guardians were in a very pleasant frame of mind a few years ago they sympathised still more with the aged people who had spent 50, 60 or more years of their lives in arduous toil, and they agreed to increase the allowance of tobacco by allocating to each inmate who was a smoker two ounces a week. This increased taxation is going to be a further addition to the charges of Poor Law guardians, who are already too heavily burdened as a result of the actions of this Government. It seems to me that the consequences, or some of them, are not realised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I would like to supplement the question put by my hon. Friend who so ably moved the Amendment, by asking the Chancellor to justify, if he can, this further imposition on the poorest section of the community. From every conceivable point of view, notwithstanding the present financial position of the country, I cannot see any sort of justification at all for this increase in the tobacco duty over and above the point at which it has stood since 1918, when the yield was increased from £18,000,000 to £53,000,000, and now the Chancellor of the Exchequer is budgeting for £56,500,000 from that source. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said yesterday that he had no desire or intention to impose any further burdens upon the community, but obviously this is a burden upon the community and it will be felt by the poorest section of the people. For these reasons I support this Amendment.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It will not be in order during the remainder of this Debate to have a discussion on the relative merits of direct and indirect taxation which by custom is confined to the first Resolution dealing with tea.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Ronald McNeill)
; The hon. Member who has just concluded his speech and the hon. Member who moved this Amendment have asked for some explanation and justification of certain words which were used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his financial statement upon the introduction of the Budget. I must say that I am rather surprised that the hon. Mem 854 ber for Peckham (Mr. Dalton) should have blundered as he did on the question of prices, because I understand the hon. Member is regarded by the members of the Labour party as an authority on economic questions, and one would have expected that he, at all events, would have been very cautious in regard to his facts, and that he would have been more accurate in his statement regarding existing conditions. The words used by my right hon. Friend on the occasion referred to were very cautious words, and he said:I have no reason to believe that the whole increase of this tax will be passed on to the consumer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th April, 1927; col. 93, Vol. 205.]
§ Mr. McNEILL
Even supposing that the whole of the duty were being passed on to the consumer, is there anything in that upon which to reproach the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Government? Has anybody ever suggested that in the case of indirect taxation the tax is not supposed to be passed on to the consumer? I always understood that that was the case. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Naturally, hon. Members opposite cheer that sentiment. I know perfectly well that they are opposed to all forms of indirect taxation, and that is quite a consistent doctrine for them to adopt. The proposal the Government is now making in this connection is made upon a perfectly well-recognised system of indirect taxation. I know that Members opposite are opposed to indirect taxation in every shape and form, but, even if it were true that the whole of this duty was being passed on to the consumer, there would be nothing in that of which we on these benches need feel in the least ashamed or disappointed about.
Reference has been made to the large profits which have been earned by a number of big tobacco companies, and that is quite true; but I should like to point out that those profits are already being taxed through other methods by direct taxation. On the really important point with reference to this duty the hon. Member for Peckham in his speech has gone hopelessly astray, and I will give the evidence. The hon. Member challenged 855 my right hon. Friend to offer any justification of the words he had used which he said had been contradicted by the facts, but that is not so. They are absolutely being supported by the facts, and as the hon. Member for Peckham has made that statement, perhaps the House will allow me to give some details of the movement of tobacco prices, as indicated by the chief companies. First of all, I would like to say that if an excuse is to be found for the blunder which has been made by the hon. Member opposite it may be owing to the fact that he himself has told us he is not a consumer of cigarettes. I do not know whether the particular brand which the hon. Member smokes is the higher grade Havana cigars or pipe tobacco, but, at all events, he is not a cigarette smoker, and no doubt that accounts for the mistake he has made. As a matter of fact, cigarette smoking accounts for between 70 and 80 per cent. of the consumption of tobacco, and if the prices of cigarettes rise or fall, as the case may be, that is the best indication of the effect upon the price of popularly smoked tobacco.
I will deal first of all with the case of the Imperial Tobacco Company. They have issued a statement to the effect that they are making no change in the price or quality of their cigarettes. [An Hon. MEMBER: "They can make them smaller!"] I anticipated that interruption, but I am sure those who have that apprehension will be very much relieved and reassured when I say that since that first declaration was made the Imperial Tobacco Company have made a further statement under the influence of competition that their cigarettes not only will be unaltered in price and quality but will remain unaltered in every respect. That is the very satisfactory result of competition which was naturally anticipated. Before the second declaration was made by that company, another rival concern, Messrs. Carreras, who naturally wanted to take first place in this respect, announced that the price of their brands of cigarettes would not be changed, and they guaranteed that there would be no change in size, weight, or quality. There you have the two largest producers and manufacturers of the most popularly smoked tobacco in this country absolutely turning down the speech which has been 856 made this afternoon by the hon. Member for Peckham. Therefore, without going any further, and I could give other instances, those two companies fully justified the cautious hopes expressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he said that he hoped the whole of the duty would not be passed on to the consumer.
In point of fact, what the hon. Member opposite has suggested would be the right course to take with regard to these duties is the course that the Government are taking, namely, that the greater part of the duty, as far as popularly smoked tobacco is concerned, will be paid out of the profits of these two great companies. Let me go a little further. It is not only these two great companies, but I find that Messrs. Godfrey Phillips, Limited, the Abdulla Company, Limited, Messrs. Cavanders, Limited, Messrs. Milhoff and Company, Limited, and associated companies, have all announced that there would be no increase in the retail prices of their cigarettes, and no deviation from the present high standard of quality. I will not weary the House by going into them all, but I have a number of others, all of whom make practically the same announcement, that they are not going to make any addition to their prices, and that the quality and quantity of the goods they sell will be the same as they have been before. I submit to the House that that is a complete answer to the suggestions that have been made, and a complete justification of what was said by my right hon. Friend.
The hon. Member for Peckham was guilty of another inaccuracy, though not, perhaps, quite so serious, and of less consequence. He was speaking about the preferential rate on the basic grade of tobacco under the proposals of this Budget. I admit he was not basing any great argument upon it, but he mentioned the preferential rate, and his figure was 2d. wrong. Instead of the preferential rate of 6s. 9½d., he said it was 6s. 7½d. I only mention that to show that, although we all have a great admiration for the hon. Member, we certainly cannot trust his accuracy.
I could say a good deal about pipe tobacco. I have already shown that there is no change either in 857 the price or in the quality of tobacco in that form in which it is smoked to the extent of 70 per cent. of the consumption and over 60 per cent. of the revenue derived. What is the reason why we have to resist this Amendment? It is a very simple one. The real reason is the same which might be given for every one of the Resolutions which have been or will be before the House—that certain revenue has got to be found during this present year, and the revenue to be derived from an increased duty upon tobacco is one which we cannot possibly surrender. The Amendment would have this effect, that it would deprive the Revenue during the coming year of two millions of money, because, if the hon. Member's proposal were carried—other Members want to keep it at the old level, while the hon. Member and his friends are willing to give us an addition of 2d. on the duty hitherto in force—it would involve a loss to the Revenue of £2,000,000, and I do not think the Hens, if it has grasped the general financial situation, will consider it possible to accept any Amendment which would involve so much loss of revenue as that.
I am relieved from the necessity of following the hon. Member into his disquisition on indirect and direct taxation, by the information from the Chair that that would be out of order; and I am glad that that is so, because I think we have had that particular form of Debate almost ad nauseam, and I de not think it would really assist us at all in coming to a conclusion on these specific proposals one by one to have the general policy of taxation argued at great length. In these circumstances, I think the House will regard the proposal we are making in this particular Resolution as a reasonable one for raising a considerable revenue; and, although I have no doubt that much will be said, in the Debate which will follow, from different points of view on all sides of the House, I confidently hope and believe that the large majority of the House will see the reasonableness of what we are doing, and will support the Government by carrying this Resolution.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The right hon. Gentleman concluded by saying that no doubt, in the Debate which would follow his speech, expressions of opinion upon the proposed increase in the Tobacco Duty would be given from all quarters of the 858 House. When he sat down, however, I saw no disposition on the part of hon. Members behind him to rise in defence of this proposal. [HON. MEMBERS: "You were called!"] I should have been delighted to wait and see that enthusiasm in favour of this proposal which was suggested by the right hon. Gentleman. At any rate, we had no exhibition, in the Debates yesterday upon many of the Resolutions that we discussed, of an anxiety on the part of the usual supporters of the Government to give their support to those proposals.
I can quite understand why the Chancellor of the Exchequer left to the Financial Secretary the difficult task of defending this proposal. It might be noted that, on the two occasions when the Resolutions discussed have been of a more important character, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has delegated the duty of defending them to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. I do not know whether it is the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to intervene later in the Debate, but if so, I hope he will attempt to do what the Financial Secretary has utterly failed to do, and that is to offer a single reason in support of this proposed addition to taxation. I have the highest admiration for the ability and the debating skill of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, but I say quite sincerely that I have never known him fail so miserably to bring forward even a plausible defence as he has done to-day, and I am quite sure he must be feeling exceptionally uncomfortable.
What, indeed, was the case put forward by my hon. Friends against this increase? They pointed out that this proposed increase was an addition to an already very heavy duty upon an article which may not be a necessary, but which has become, shall I say, a necessity—perhaps that is the more correct word—to a very large number of the people of this country, and not merely, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed out in his Budget speech, to men but in an increasing degree to women. I incline to think that one reason that has influenced him to put an additional duty upon tobacco is the fact he mentioned in his Budget speech, that women are consuming tobacco to a greater extent than they did formerly. It seems to me an obsession with the Chancellor of the Exche 859 quer to find ways and means of putting additional taxation upon women. I am really surprised at it. I know he was not a defender of women's rights and a supported of women's suffrage in the past but he has altered his views. In those days he believed in opposition to women's enfranchisement just as he believed in the multiplication table. Now he is a great supporter of the extension of the franchise to women and is a member of a Government which is going to enfranchise all women over 21 years of age. Has it never occurred to him what political and electoral implications there may be in this proposal to increase the taxation upon cigarettes that these women who are shortly to be enfranchised will have to pay? It may, as a matter of fact, be a determining factor with them.
What is the case put forward by my hon. Friends against this increase of the Tobacco Duty? In the first place, they pointed out that tobacco being, as I think they very properly described it, a poor man's comfort, already bears a very heavy duty indeed. I am not quite sure, but I believe, with the possible exception of the Spirit Duty, tobacco is far more heavily taxed than any other commodity. I did not quite follow some of the figures that were given by my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment in regard to the proportion of the duty to the retail price of the article. I find it, difficult from the figures of the duty upon tobacco, to calculate what is the exact proportion of the duty to the retail price of the article. My hon. Friend said that, according to the Colwyn Committee, it was something like 60 per cent. It says here that the duty on manufactured tobacco is to be 11s. 2½d. a lb. That is something just over 8d. an ounce. I do not smoke pipe tobacco, but I understand that tobacco will be retailed at from 10d. to 1s. an ounce. If you take it at 10d., I make it out that something like 17/20ths of the retail price of tobacco is duty. That is to say, when these new duties become operative, out of every 20 puffs of tobacco the working man blows, three are for his own enjoyment and 17 for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. How can a heavy duty like that be justified? Then the Financial Secretary conveniently ignored what was the main burden of the argument of both my hon. Friends, namely, that the opera 860 tion of the Tobacco Duty weighs far more heavily upon those who cannot afford to smoke expensive tobaccos and have to confine themselves to cheap tobacco. It is a sort of ad valorem tax. The poorer the man the heavier the burden. I know the Chancellor will say this is an optional tax and the smoker need not pay it unless he wishes, but there can be no such thing as, a justification of an optional tax, because revenue is supposed to pay for national expenditure, and everyone is supposed to benefit from national expenditure, and therefore contribution to national expenditure ought not to be optional. It should be compulsory, and its incidence should be so arranged that everyone will contribute in proportion to his means and as far as possible in proportion to the benefit he receives from the expenditure of the State. Therefore, this Tobacco Duty does not conform to that very fundamental condition of sound taxation.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)
I wish the right hon. Gentleman would elaborate that most interesting doctrine a little more. How does he apply it, for instance, to the Beer and Spirits Duties?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I have always said the duties upon beer and spirits stand in a special category. [Laughter.] Hon. Members laugh, and by laughing they simply, along with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, show how incapable they are of understanding a difficult and delicate point. The original purpose of the taxation of liquor was not so much for revenue purposes, but because it was a monopoly licensed by the State, and I look upon the taxation upon liquor as being very largely a payment to the State of the price of the monopoly that is enjoyed by the trade.
To get back to tobacco. I was dealing with the contention of my hon. Friend that the poor man pays a far larger proportion of the Tobacco Duty than those who can afford the more expensive tobaccos. Another argument is that a tax of this sort penalises a man according to his taste. Because one man happens to have a particular taste, or happens to spend some part of his means in a particular way, he is taxed, when a man who has not got that taste and chooses to spend the same amount of 861 money on some other article which is not taxed escapes taxation altogether. That is utterly indefensible and I should like to hear the Financial Secretary or the Chancellor make an attempt to reply to that argument.
§ Mr. McNEILL rose—
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Really, I have taken a quarter-of-an hour already, and I have not yet got to what there was of substance in the right hon. Gentleman's speech. The right hon. Gentleman devoted a great part of his speech to the charge that had been made against the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that he believed that not the whole of this duty would be passed to the consumer, and there was a strange inconsistency in what he said. He began by saying that the purpose of such taxation was that the consumer should pay, and then he devoted the greater part of the rest of his speech to trying to prove that the consumer was not paying at all. I suppose that it is his contention—and I shall show in a moment that it is not correct or true—that the great bulk of this increased duty on tobacco is not being passed on to the consumer. Who is paying it? Somebody is paying it. Well, the right hon. Gentleman says that the tobacco trade is paying it. Is it the purpose, in imposing indirect taxation that it shall fall, not upon the people who are supposed to be deriving some benefit from the expenditure, but upon a small number of people who happen to be in the trade, and therefore cannot possibly escape the payment of the duty? That, I am quite sure, he would not attempt to defend for a single moment. The fact of the matter is that the right hon. Gentleman is trying to make the best of both worlds, and that he cannot have.
I now come to the other part of his speech, in which he attempted to prove that this duty was not being paid by the consumer. I wonder if I should be in order in relating an incident that happened this morning. A friend of mine went into a tobacco shop for three ounces of St. Bruno. He threw down the usual half-crown. The tobacconist said, "Here, I want three halfpence more." What is that for?" asked my friend. "For Winston Churchill," replied the tobacconist. Then my friend said, "Damn 862 Winston Churchill." I should like the right hon. Gentleman to use his argumentative gifts upon my friend who had that experience this morning and to try to convince him whether it is the consumer or the tobacco trade that is paying.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
My right hon. Friend might overlook my friend's language and deal with the fact. He spent the whole of his time, when dealing with this point, in trying to prove, in the case of cigarettes, that the increased duty had not been passed on to the consumer, but, while he read certain advertisements, he did not read other advertisements, half-page advertisements, which appeared in the Press the morning following the introduction of the Budget, and which told a different story. I would like to remind the House that this promise on the part of people of proprietary brands of cigarettes, well-known brands of cigarettes, applied only to packet cigarettes, namely, cigarettes in 6d. and 1s. packets, and the reason they have not increased the price of those small packets is perfectly clear. It was too small to permit them to put on the 6d. packet and 1d. on the is packet. But we had these large advertisements in the newspapers following the introduction of the Budget announcing that an increase of 2d. per 100 had been made in the price of cigarettes when bought in larger quantities. I smoke cigarettes, I am shamed to say, and I am paying 1s. 8d. per 1,000 more now than I did before the introduction of the Budget, or 2d. per 100 more. May I give the House of Commons a practical example? There has been no change in form, the right hon. Gentleman says. Here we have two cigarettes (exhibited), and that is the change that has taken place. There is one-eighth of an inch taken off the cigarette. That is how they can put it on the price. You can depend upon it that they will find ways and means of recouping themselves at the expense of the consumer. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman one more question. Although the price of cigarettes may not have been increased to the consumer, has the price been increased to the wholesale dealers? The right hon. Gentleman does not know. 863 He had better make some inquiry into that question.
Now let us come to pipe tobacco. The right hon. Gentleman said that he could say a great deal about pipe tobacco, but he did not find it agreeable to say that great deal. About the increase in the price of pipe tobacco there can be no doubt whatever.
I need not add to the arguments which have been advanced by my hon. Friends in support of this Amendment. They have not been met; indeed, they were ignored by the right hon. Gentleman. There has so far been no defence whatever of this proposed duty. May I say this, in reply to the right hon. Gentleman's argument about there having been no increase in the price of cigarettes? He referred to the Chairman of Godfrey Phillips. Did he see the speech of the Chairman of Godfrey Phillips made the day after the introduction of the Budget? [Interruption.] He did. Then he remembers that, speaking to the shareholders, the Chairman said: "You can make up your minds that we shall pass on the duty to the consumer wherever we possibly can. [Interruption.] Certainly I am not objecting, but, as I said before, you cannot have it both ways, and that is what the Treasury Bench are trying to do. I need not at this stage say more. I shall be interested to hear the defence of this impost made by hon. Members opposite. I can imagine Members for agricultural constituencies going down and addressing public meetings of farm labourers, who are earning 30s. and 32s. per week, and dilating to these men upon the blessings that are being showered upon them by this Tory Government, chief among which is this increase of ½d. per ounce upon what practically is the only comfort that these working-men have. I wish them joy in doing that. We shall, of course, carry this Amendment to a division. I hardly expect that we shall defeat the Government, but, although we shall not defeat the Government, this action on their part will be one addition to the indictment which they are piling up against themselves, and sentence will be passed upon them when the electors of the country next get an opportunity.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
I would like to say just one word regarding that humorous 864 story which the right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) told of a friend of his who went to buy three ounces of St. Bruno tobacco. I think the proper comment, when his friend was charged this extra 1½d. and he asked what it was for, would have been, not that "It is for Winston Churchill," but "It is for Mr. Cook." He is the cause of this demand on the poorer classes. I would like just to make one further comment on the ex-Chancellor's speech. I should have hoped that a right hon. Gentleman who had been in charge of the country's finances would have taken a somewhat broader view of this question of the increase in the Tobacco Duty than he did. It would have been enlightening, not only to the House but also to the country, if he had reminded us that out of that £38,000,000 deficit—all due to the general strike and the upheaval in the coal trade, or, let us say, in simpler words, due to Mr. Cook—the Chancellor of the Exchequer is raising under £6,000,000 by taxation altogether, and out of that £6,000,000, £3,000,000 comes from this one duty on tobacco, and of that £3,000,000 a very much larger part than the Chancellor of the Exchequer dared to anticipate when making his Budget statement is not being borne by the consumer at all. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer always seemed to be so anxious to put a further tax on women. In spite of what the right hon. Gentleman said, there is not a question in anybody's mind after the statement of the Financial Secretary, in which he quoted the largest firms in the country dealing in cigarettes, who have all pledged themselves to the public that there is to be no alteration in shape, form, or quality of the cigarettes that they supply, or in price, and, as women are practically exclusively smokers of cigarettes, it is abundantly clear that the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this case is not putting any additional tax upon his lady friends at all. There is one question in relation to cigarette and pipe tobacco which has not been wholly or satisfactorily dealt with in this Debate. The Financial Secretary told us that from 70 per cent. to 80 per cent. of the tobacco smoked in this country was in the form of cigarettes. It is no part of the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to 865 try to reform public taste, but I do think that it is unfortunate that that great part of the smoking which is done by the people of this country of both sexes escapes practically without any increase at all, while, as the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) said —my information agrees with his—the very cheapest form of pipe tobacco will not only pay the whole duty but that which is sold in the smallest quantities will pay more than the whole duty. That is a very unfortunate development. I am quite sure that it would be beyond human wisdom in putting a tax on an article of consumption of this sort to foresee exactly how it will be borne, and in what proportion, by the people.
I would like to call the Chancellor of the Exchequer's attention to the facts as they are put before me by members of the retail trade. They are these. What was known before the War as 3d. shag—or similar quality—now cost 8d. an ounce. In order to meet popular demand a still cheaper form of pipe tobacco, presumably inferior to what was known as 3d. shag, is sold at 7d. per ounce. The poorest people who want to economise their smoking can now obtain half an ounce of this 7d. tobacco at 3½d., but the trade has not yet devised means of selling them half an ounce of 7½d. tobacco at 3¾d., because the farthing is not generally current. Therefore, unless they devise means of working down the price, not yet hit upon, in regard to half ounces of their cheap tobacco, the poor man will have to pay 4d., which is double the increase in the duty. That is very unfortunate. I feel bound to draw my right hon. Friend's attention to it—I did not know that attention was going to be called to it by hon. Members opposite—and I hope that his advisers will be able to devise some means of dealing with this unexpected incidence of the tax upon the very cheapest kind of tobacco bought by the poor.
I would like to say just one thing further, and it is, that after all, it is not to be expected that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, though he has got the country out of an extraordinarily difficult situation during the last financial year, will be able to raise the necessary revenue without causing the slightest hardship to anybody. I have found among my working class friends quite a different spirit from 866 that which the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to anticipate. As we seem to be telling familiar stories this afternoon, I must admit that I was at one end of a cross-cut saw and my friend at the other only two days ago. He commented on the effect of the increase in the duty on tobacco, and his comment was "While we must not grumble, I shall have to take a pull," meaning that he was not going to smoke quite as much as before. I am sorry he should have been deprived of even a puff of his pipe tobacco, but he fully realises—as I believe, the great majority of his class realise—whom he has really got to thank for the present trouble, and why he has got to pay more for his tobacco, when he looks a little further than the right hon. Gentleman's friend who went to buy three ounces of St. Bruno tobacco. The country as a whole, I think, has got off extremely lightly in face of the difficulties imposed upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer and upon the country by the incidents engineered by the extreme Labour agitators last year.
§ Mr. WIGGINS
I rise to support the Amendment to the proposal to increase the Tobacco Duty. I want, first of all, to congratulate the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon what, apparently at first sight, was very excellent information given to him when he was framing the Budget when he told the House that he had reason to believe that a great deal of the taxation would not be passed on to the consumer. At first sight that appears to be correct, but I am convinced in my own mind that it will not be very long before the manufacturers will take steps to pass a great deal, if not all, of that extra tax on to the consumer. If the consumer does not pay in that way, the manufacturer will make so much less profit and pay so much less Income Tax that someone else will have to make up the deficiency. If we are to have indirect taxation, I think that tobacco, as a means of raising revenue, is a good subject. We have heard it talked about in days gone by as a luxury; then it became a necessity to some people. Let us look at it, if you like, from the point of view of a comfort to working men. I am in a very invidious position to-day, for while I am a very heavy consumer of pipe tobacco, I am not, under this proposal, going to pay any increased 867 taxation. The firm from whom I purchase my tobacco are not imposing any extra charge on me, and the consequence is that while this Budget is not going to cost me any more, I still oppose this tax because it inflicts an additional burden upon the poorer people of the country, especially upon pipe smokers.
You will find that this halfpenny an ounce, except in the one form mentioned, will be passed on to the consumer. In many cases more than a halfpenny is being passed on, and in consequence a larger percentage of the tax is being paid by the poorer section of the community, which is absolutely wrong. This happens in every part of our taxation which is based on poundage. The lower the value of the article, the higher the percentage of tax. In this case the cheaper the tobacco, the higher the tax to be paid by the consumer, which is absolutely wrong. It is certainly wrong that I, smoking a fairly good tobacco, am going to escape taxation, while the poor man is to pay. I am told that, apart from the difference in size of certain cigarettes, as pointed out by the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, a particular brand of cigarette is being charged to the wholesaler at an additional rate of 2s. per thousand owing to the tax, with a provision that he is not to charge more to the consumer. The consumer is not going to pay in that case, but the retailer is. Although the retailer may have made big profits before or he may not, it, at any rate, seems to me that it is not fair for tobacco manufacturers who have made huge profits to pass the tax on to the man who has to retail tobacco across the counter. I do not know whether it is correct or not, but I am told that the additional price charged varies from is. 6d. to 2s. per thousand. If that be so, it is infinitely worse that the tax should be juggled with in this manner than that it should be placed upon the consumer, when everyone would have to pay and know what he would have to pay in consequence of this extra imposition. As an income Tax payer, if this amount of money has to be raised, I say it ought not to be placed upon the comfort of the working man, but that it should be placed upon Income Tax payers, so that non-smokers should not avoid their just proportion. I must protest, and I shall vote against this 868 Resolution, because I believe it is absolutely unfair to the poorer section of the community.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
I must say that I do not like the suggestion which the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer makes against these big tobacco manufacturers when he manipulates two cigarettes and shows the different length of them. He has not told us whether they are quite the same cigarettes, or the same brand, or what they are, or whether he bought them. I should like to have them in my own hands. It is quite possible that when he takes such a cock-eyed view of things in general he may think that the cigarettes may not be perfectly genuine. The working man knows perfectly well who is causing these disturbances. He knows that he has to thank Mr. Cook, the Trade Union Congress, and the present state of the law—which, happily, is now going to be altered—which allows these preposterous goings on in the country. I am exceedingly sorry to see the Tobacco Duty raised, and still wore indignant to see that the Whisky Duty eras not been lowered. I shall claim the support of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) when I come to move a reduction in the Whisky Duty for the purpose of raising additional revenue, because it has already reached an uneconomic stage. This Tobacco Duty is undoubtedly the fruits of the labour disturbances that we have had. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, seeing the enormous development in the use of tobacco—the use of this commodity is always going on and on—realises that there is some money to be got out of it, and that is what the Chancellor of the Exchequer looks for. What I object to is that other luxuries and comforts of the working classes and of all classes—because I submit that the consumption of liquors are the comforts of all classes of the normally constituted masses of mankind—are being taxed to such an extent that they are becoming uneconomic. You cannot say the Tobacco Duty is uneconomic, because its consumption is going up by leaps and bounds, and both sexes are making use of it.
It has occurred to me that the explanation in respect of no increase in the price of cigarettes is this. There is a con 869 siderable concession made in respect of the tobacco produced from our own Dependencies. In the great Colony of Rhodesia, with which I am intimately acquainted, there is produced the finest tobacco that is grown throughout the world; and this is more and more being used and gets the benefit of Imperial preference. I am satisfied that these big companies, by their enormous organisations and the gigantic nature of their output, are able to supply tobacco at cheaper prices than they would be if its production was more distributed. I am not in favour of combines in any shape or description, but I think that if they are centred more and more in Rhodesia, Nyasaland and other places where they grow magnificent tobacco, they will be able to manufacture tobacco at a very moderate price. That is how they are going to meet the difficulty. The result of this increase in the duty will be automatically to drive the cigarette-producing companies more and more to our fellow-countrymen abroad for their supplies.
Tobacco has always been used for developing our Empire. In the old Virginia days, before we had the split with America over another commodity, which occupied a great deal of yesterday's Debate, namely, tea, tobacco was used for the purpose of devoloping our Colonies, and now it will be more and more used, and I prophesy that in the course of a comparatively short time the main source of tobacco supply for the citizens of this country, and for many other parts of the world where manufactured tobacco is sent, will be our own Colonies. This will enormously strengthen the industries of this country, because it is well known and admitted by all but the most pig-headed Free Traders, who are now, happily, becoming relics of the past, that our own Colonies are our best customers and producers of commodities. The ultimate result of this duty, therefore, will be to strengthen the position of the working classes and really to assist them, because it will lead to the development of the Colonial system.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
We have heard a new argument for Preference from the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten). I did not expect to find this form of argument 870 trotted out by him on this occasion. He also referred to his intention of moving a reduction in the Whisky Duty. Will he tell us how that will help the Empire? Is he going to hang that on to Imperial Preference and the Tory Imperialism of the present day?
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
There is no other whisky than Scotch whisky, and the hon. and gallant Member in travelling round the world ought to have found out that it is one of the greatest exports of this country.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
The hon. and learned Member has never been to Canada, or he would have sampled what is known as rye whisky. Perhaps, with one eye on his constituents, he would not call that whisky, but the Canadians call it whisky, I am told. However, those who excuse themselves accuse themselves, and the continual harping by hon. Members opposite on Mr. Cook and the Trade Union Congress and the unhappy events of last year, as an excuse for the increase of taxation this year, is really the self accusation by the present Government of their incompetence to govern. It is no use the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) following the usual practice of these days and going out directly after making his speech. The hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire made the same excuse, and we had the same yesterday from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The excuse that it is all due to the troubles of last year will not go down with anyone with any sense at all. The Government are responsible for what happens in the country. When trade increases, they say, "Look what wonderful people we are," but when trade falls off and our revenue declines, they say, "Blame the Opposition!" They cannot have the best of both worlds.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Is not the hon. and gallant Member aware that the government of this country is carried on by His Majesty's Government and by the Opposition—that it is a joint affair?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. James Hope)
These high constitutional questions are not relevant to tobacco.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I, in opposition, gave certain advice to the Government last year, which they did not 871 take. Hence the trouble. However, I wish to say a few words to reinforce what was said by the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Wiggins), who pointed out that the expensive tobaccos are escaping the increased duty and that the poor man's shag is paying the increased duty and a, bit over. I only rose to point out another anomaly, and that is the case of the cigar smoker. Some of the cigars come from the Empire, so this will interest the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire. Cigars are falling off in consumption, and they are now really only smoked by wealthy people and a few poor people, like myself, with very refined tastes. I cannot smoke the cheaper cigarettes. I can only smoke a very limited range of tobaccos and cigars. I am happy, personally, with the hon. Member for Oldham, that the chairman of the Association of Cigar Importers has issued the usual pronouncement in the newspapers to the effect that cigars are not going up in price. Therefore, the very limited range of poor but fastidious smokers, like myself, will escape this impost, which will be paid by the producers, or importers, or retailers, as the case may be—no doubt, the retailers. I am not going to pay it, and similarly the wealthy man who smokes cigars after and before breakfast, and all day long, and half the night will be paying no extra tax at all, but the poor wretch earning 30s. or 28s. a week as a stonebreaker, hedger, ditcher, or agricultural labourer will have to pay an extra farthing for his half ounce of shag every time he buys it. I am told he is actually paying a halfpenny, but it ought to be a farthing. That is grossly unfair. It is the unfairest thing I have ever seen in a Budget, and I think this is the eighth Budget at which I have assisted in Parliament. How can the right hon. Gentleman defend it? Your cigar smoker who was paying 2s., 2s. 6d., or 3s. for his cigars before the Budget is paving no more now, while your poor wretch on 30s. a week is paying an extra halfpenny on his half-ounce of shag, the little screw of shag he buys at the village inn. It almost reduces me to speechlessness with indignation.
Now I am going to take up the cudgels for the pipe smoker as against the cigarette smoker. I am going out against the cigarette smoker. I regret that the incidence of this tax is going 872 to fall in such a way that the pipe smoker is to be penalised and the cigarette smoker is, in many cases, though not in all, to escape. I base myself on medical evidence. The doctors inform us that people who must smoke, those who smoke heavily and injure their health, as is sometimes the case, should smoke, if possible, pipes or cigars, and there is a general consensus of medical opinion against excessive cigarette smoking, yet in this Budget and its results a very large group of cigarette smokers will pay no extra tax, and a very large group of pipe smokers will pay an extra tax. That is bad statesmanship on the part of the Exchequer.
As for the increase of smoking among women, I do not object to that in the least. I object to cigarette smoking in excess by both sexes and by the whole country, and I am not afraid to say so, and I do not care whom I offend by saying so. The statesmanship or lack of it, that imposes an extra tax on the healthier form of smoke indulged in by the pipe smoker, and that apparently lets off the cigarette smoker, is questionable and foolish. If we looked at the health of the community—and I am only basing myself on medical evidence and not on prejudice at all, for I do not mind a bit who smokes cigarettes or other kinds of tobacco in other forms—we should have put the extra impost on the cigarette smokers and not have had any extra impost on the pipe smokers. One further result is going to be that the men who buy tobacco and roll their own cigarettes will, I suppose, be driven to the proprietary brands of cigarettes instead, and I do not think that is a very good thing either, from the point of view of health; and I have medical evidence to support that. I have attempted to put some new arguments before the House and not to go over the ground covered by other speakers, and, needless to say, I shall have no hesitation in supporting the Amendment.
I wish to put a question to my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. I take it, of course, that the 8s. 10d. is the new full duty on tobacco which governs the whole scale. Previously, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, the preferential rate for Imperial tobacco was three-quarters of the full rate, but this 873 year that is changed, and the extra 8d. which brings the standard rate from 8s. 2d. to 8s. 10d. has been added en bloc to the preferential rate. Therefore, the new preferential rate for Imperial tobacco will not be three-quarters of the new standard full rate, but it will be the old preferential rate plus 8d., and, as a matter of fact, while I am no very great mathematician myself, I have worked out one or two of these figures, and I find, for example, that while the duty on a tobacco under the old full rate of 8s. 2d. was 6s. 1½d. on the preferential rate, this year it will be 6s. 9½d., whereas, if it was three-quarters of the standard rate as before, it should be 6s. 7½d. That is to say, that the duty on Imperial tobacco would be 2d. less than it is now proposed to be.
Perhaps my right hon. Friend could, in the course of the Debate, or at some other time, elucidate why, if there is a fixed proportion existing between Imperial tobacco and other tobacco, the duty is now increased as a, flat rate. In the higher items in the Memorandum it is not even at the 8d. rate, because the increase on snuff, for example, is from 11s. 10½d. previously to 12s. 10d. now, which means an increase, not of 8d., but of 11½d. on the full rate. Taking snuff again—I am afraid it is technical, but I hope my right lion Friend will see what I am driving at—to keep the original proportion between Empire and foreign tobacco at the three-quarters rate instead of the flat rate increase of 8d. on the original standard rate, the new preferential duty would be 9s. 7½d. instead of 9s. 10⅜d. I raise this, because, as a matter of fact, everyone in this House, probably, is aware of the tremendous increase which is taking place very rapidly throughout the country in the consumption of Imperial tobacco. Only last week-end a tobacconist in my constituency told me that in the last three years the change in demand had been quite out of all recognition, and that now—and this is one of the things that appeals to people with comparatively small means—three out of every four customers demand Empire tobacco. Therefore, anything which might retard progress in growing tobacco in our Dominions would be very unfortunate if it were due to an oversight and not to some particular item of policy with which I, at any rate, am not acquainted.
§ Mr. R. McNEILL
I hope the House will permit me to reply to the question put by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crook-shank) at once. If my hon. and gallant Friend will look at what was said last year when the Finance Bill was under discussion, and at the Finance Act itself, he will find that the stabilisation of Imperial Preference was put upon this footing, that in the case of specific duties the Preference should be stabilised at the actual amounts of the difference then between the preferential and the full rates. It is only in the case of ad valorem duties that the Preference was stabilised at the existing proportions, and if my hon. and gallant Friend will look at the figures of the present proposals, he will see that the exact amounts by which the Preference was below the figures of last year are preserved throughout. The basic rate of the Preference is 2s. 0½d. on unmanufactured tobacco, which was exactly the same, though the figures are different, last year. It is the exact amount of Preference on the same grade as last year, and in the same way he will find that carried all through. It is a specific duty, not an ad valorem duty.
§ Mr. KELLY
I must confess to some surprise to learn that the Government of this country have to rely on a newspaper advertisement as an answer to the arguments put forward from this side of the House. We have not had one single word of assurance from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, or from any of the companies concerned in the tobacco industry, yet the right hon. Gentleman asks the House of Commons and the country to believe that an advertisement written by some capable advertiser will lead the people to believe that they are purchasing something better than the articles they really receive; and we are to accept that as an assurance that the tobacco companies will not pass on the duty to the cigarette smokers. The Financial Secretary has a much greater regard for the two great tobacco companies than I have. Having had to deal with them in connection with their employés, and knowing how difficult it is to secure adequate wages for the people employed in the tobacco industry, I am not prepared to accept the 875 assurance of a newspaper advertisement that this duty is not to be passed on. We have been told more than once that all the burdens we have to bear at the moment are due to the dispute of last year. It is a wonderful shelter for the Government, who had every opportunity of straightening matters out, but, owing to their incapacity, or some other fault, were unable to cope with the situation. We have never had any explanation from any Member of the Government as to how the burden that has to be met now is due to the dispute last year. All the Government have done is to try and make the people of this country believe that the reason they are being asked to pay extra for their tobacco is because the coal owners locked out their workmen last year—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
That may be relevant on Second Reading but it cannot be relevant on the Tobacco Duty.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member is perfectly in order, if the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has said that this duty is due to the coal strike of last year, to controvert that view, but he cannot go beyond that.
§ Mr. KELLY
I accept, of course, your ruling, but I may say that the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) and the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten) had nothing else to say upon the Tobacco Duty except to refer to Mr. Cook, who is held responsible for all the difficulties we have to face at the moment. I suggest that this duty on tobacco is just another example of the methods adopted by the present Government. In each of the last three Budgets they have imposed burdens upon the poorest members of the community. They have done it this year. They knew full 876 well that this duty would be passed on, and that it would have to be paid by people who are already very heavily burdened by tobacco duties which have been previously imposed. They knew full well that it would have to be paid by people whose wages are so low that they are unable to maintain anything like an adequate standard of life. Yet even with this knowledge in their possession, with the knowledge that many of the poorest cannot pay the present prices, the Government are imposing this new duty. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) told us of an incident which took place in a tobacco shop this morning. I was in the North of England last week-end and I heard some shop assistants expressing the wish that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary had been working with them in their shops during the week when they had to impose an additional ½d. per ounce on tobacco. I wish there could be that change of occupation for a period.
This duty is being passed on. We are asked to depend on the philanthropy, and everything else, of the Imperial Tobacco Company and the American Tobacco Company. I shall be prepared to accept their word when they are prepared to pay adequate wages to the people in their employ. Those who do not pay adequate wages to their workpeople are the people who can be depended upon to impose every burden they can on other members of the community. One of these companies last year had a profit of £8,000,000, and the other company had a profit of £6,000,000, yet they refused an advance in wages to the people in their employ which would have cost at the most only £750,000. They would not find this sum out of all their millions for their work-people, and the Financial Secretary asks us to accept a newspaper advertisement; not a promise made to him or to the Government, but a statement made by some smart advertising agent who puts up the kind of thing he expects the people to believe.
The Tea Duty was described yesterday as the meanest duty of all, but I think this Tobacco Duty can be ranked with it. It is very evident that the people of the country cannot look to this Government for any easement of their burdens. They can only expect the im 877 position of every possible burden which can be placed upon them. And the Government are imposing this new duty on the people from whom last year they took away unemployment benefit and the funds which they had collected in their insurance societies. The Government dare not impose this new duty on their friends. The hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Wiggins) suggested that it might have been imposed on the Income Tax payer. The Government dare not look in that direction. They hope to make that section of the community believe that they are their friends, but as far as the vast bulk of the working people of the country are concerned they intend to make them pay every penny they can. That is the policy behind this new duty on tobacco.
§ Major Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
I do not propose to examine the question as to whether tobacco is a luxury or a necessity. Provided a man can have a certain minimum of food and water, and shelter and clothing, everything over and above that may be regarded as a luxury, but to the ordinary man in the street, although tobacco may be a luxury, it is one of those luxuries which it is very difficult for the ordinary man or woman to do without and, therefore, a duty on this, particular article is undoubtedly one the incidence of which mainly falls on the working masses of the people of the country who at the present time are very hard hit in various directions. The Chancellor of the Exchequer distinctly stated during the Budget Debate last year, when he was considering the possibility of an industrial disturbance, that if it did occur it would have to be paid for by taxation which would fall on the direct and indirect taxpayer, yet we find that in his proposals this year the greater part of it is to be found by taxes upon the indirect taxpayer. I should like to protest against the gross injustice done to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by the Financial Secretary, and I was surprised that no hon. Member on the other side of the House protested against it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget Statement—and the Financial Secretary quoted him—said:I have no reason to believe that the whole increase of this tax will be passed on to the consumer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th April, 1927; col. 93, Vol. 205.]878 We remember the circumstances in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer made that statement. He was calculating how he could get the money necessary to balance his Budget this year. He proposed various methods, various ingenious methods, one after another in a long category; and then he came to tobacco. Immediately like the practised speaker he is he felt a shiver going down the spines of the serried ranks behind him and in answer to that feeling he turned round to the Committee and said:I have no reason to believe that the whole increase of this tax will be passed on to the consumer.5.0 p.m.
Now the Financial Secretary in those circumstances asks us to believe that if the whole of the duty is passed on to the consumer we should have no cause of complaint against the Chancellor of the Exchequer! If that happens we shall have the greatest cause of complaint against the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he grossly misled the Committee. I do not believe that the Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke in an empty way think the Chancellor of the Exchequer honestly intended us to believe that he had solid reasons to suppose that this duty would not be passed on and that he meant us to give full weight to the words he spoke on that occasion. I think we are entitled now to ask him to make his words good. The right hon. Gentleman made out that these tobacco companies were not raising their prices. First of all he tried to rule out cigarettes, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) has dealt with that argument, showing that the size of cigarettes is now being reduced. He produced cigarettes for us to see, and, further, Messrs. Godfrey Phillips, Limited, have informed the country that they do propose to increase their charges in the autumn. Therefore, even as regards cigarettes, the case which the right hon. Gentleman tried to make out is shown to be falsified and his facts are shown to be wrong. The advice which has been given by the Treasury officials is fallacious, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman, having heard the facts from so many Members, having been shown the cigarettes—so there can be no mistake about that—and having heard the quotation from the proceedings of the annual meeting of a great tobacco company, will perhaps consent to the 879 adjournment of the Debate while he is making further inquiries. At any rate, I hope that between now and the Debate on the Finance Bill he will make further inquiries in the light of the facts which have been brought out in this Debate. Before I pass from the right hon. Gentleman's remarks, I would say how much we welcome the expression he gave to the view that the whole of the duty is always passed on to the consumer.
§ Mr. McNEILL
What I said was that it was the theory on which it was supposed to be based; but the hon. Baronet must also remember that the wholesalers are included in this question of consumers. Whether the increase all reaches the ultimate consumer is a matter which varies with the circumstances. But that is the theory of indirect taxation.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
It will not be put on to the consumer if the wholesaler is patriotic enough and philanthropic enough to bear the burden, and the Government hope it will not be passed on to the consumer. So much of this argument as dealt with cigarettes has been shown by various speakers to be completely fallacious, and the data upon which the right hon. Gentleman depended has been shown to be wrong. The remaining 30 per cent. of the tobacco is pipe tobacco. As to that, the right hon. Gentleman agrees that smokers of pipe tobacco will have to pay the increase; there can be no possible shadow of doubt about that. I am surprised, I must say, to hear that only 30 per cent. of tobacco is pipe tobacco. This question affects very directly those of us who represent rural constituencies. There, at any rate, the great bulk of the tobacco smoked is pipe tobacco, and it is in the rural districts—where there is so much hardship at the present time, with agriculture depressed, and where, we understood, the Government were going to do something to help rural life: as they claim, though I do not say that on this side of the House we had much expectation that they would give help—that one of the principal little luxuries which country people enjoy, pipe tobacco, will be increased in price. The Chan 880 cellor of the Exchequer's argument applied only to cigarettes, but there can be no question about a rise in the price of the pipe tobacco.
I am not impressed by all the extracts read out by the right hon. Gentleman from the reports of the tobacco companies announcing what their intentions are in regard to the price of tobacco. During the 1924 Budget, when we had discussions on the McKenna Duties, the motor car companies all brought out manifestos about what they were going to do and the amount of unemployment which was going to be caused. In some cases they actually threw men out of work, although two or three weeks later they were bringing those men back into the factories, even getting more men, because they could not deal with the orders flowing in. That is how propaganda to influence public opinion is organised by the great interests which expect taxation to be put on on their behalf. It is easy for them to give these assurances, and then, as one company has frankly stated it will do, to put up prices in the autumn. I have very little doubt, and I do not believe there are many Members who have any doubt, that in the autumn, when public attention is shifted from this issue, the great bulk of the companies will raise prices of all kinds of tobacco. This increase will fall most heavily on just those kinds of tobacco used by the poorer sections of the population, especially in the countryside. It will not fall only on tobacco that is smoked; some is chewed; and it is on the smoking and chewing tobaccos of the heavier and coarser kinds that this tax will fall most heavily. For this reason I hope all those Members who, as I do, represent rural constituencies will vote against this duty.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
There seems to be a great difference of opinion between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury as to who is going to pay this sum of £3,000,000. I heard the Financial Secretary say that 70 per cent. of it would be paid by the tobacco companies—he said they would pay it in effect by not increasing prices. I have been a cigarette smoker a few years, and I remember a number of increases in the duty on tobacco, and I have never yet known a single case where the tobacco duty was not passed on to the consumer. In many 881 cases even more than the increased duty was passed on, because the duty was increased by such an amount that the actual sum could not be added to the price; they have had to place twice the amount of the increased duty on the price of the tobacco. Those of us who have memories remember those things. It is not as though this was the first occasion on which the price of tobacco was raised. Before the War the tobacco of the average working man was 3d. an ounce; if he smoked fourpenny tobacco he was supposed to be one of the "nuts." Now the cost of those tobaccos is approximately 9d. and 1s. an ounce; and yet the Chancellor of the Exchequer is now going to take another £3,000,000 from the tobacco smokers of this country. It may be said that a halfpenny an ounce is not much. It does not amount to much to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I do not know whether he smokes tobacco or cigars. I would be delighted if some of those who think that a halfpenny an ounce is an infinitesimal sum, and not worth considering, would come down for a month to living on £2 a week, as so many hundreds of thousands of people in this country do. When they had to pay the increased price for their tobacco they would start wondering where the extra 2d. was to come from. I wish some of the hon. Members opposite had had to consider ways and means to know where all these little increases of expenditure are to come from.
In working-class families on a Friday night now it is not a case of reckoning up what they are going to get, but of reckoning up what they are going to do without, and it is a generally accepted fact amongst workmen—I have passed my whole life amongst them—that practically the only luxury of scores and hundreds of thousands of men is their chewing tobacco or their smoking tobacco, and that is going to cost them 2d. a week more. The extra £3,000,000 going to the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be received mainly from the working classes. I wish to enter my protest against it. I think it is about time some of the more expensive forms of luxury were taxed instead of the working man's tobacco having an extra ½d. an ounce put on it. I wonder what it is going to mean on the price of a cigar. [HoN. MEMBERS: "Nothing!"] Nothing on a cigar, but a halfpenny an ounce on twist. It is not 882 fair and I shall tell people in my own constituency and in other constituencies that I think it is not fair. Why should this increase be put on the tobacco of the poor, which was 3d. an ounce in pre-War days and is now 9d., or was 4d. an ounce and has now been increased to 1s.? Because I think this is unfair and is going to mean an extra burden of 2d. or 3d. a week to men with 35s. and £2 a week, I enter my protest against it here, as I shall do in the country.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I am afraid the Financial Secretary has not made out a very good case in connection with this duty. I am wondering whether he had the conduct of the negotiations with the people in the tobacco trade and misled the Chancellor of the Exchequer in connection with this duty, because it was perfectly evident when the Chancellor made his statement in Committee that he suggested that this duty was practically not going to fall on the consumer at all, but that the profits of the tobacco companies were going to be responsible.
§ Mr. CHURCHILLindicated dissent.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
The Chancellor of the Exchequer shakes his head and states that was not his intention.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I never said it was not my intention. I said it was not what I said. The hon. Gentleman really ought to see the actual words which were used, to which I adhere, and not place on them a construction which they cannot possibly bear.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
The Chancellor of the Exchequer's exact words have been read out twice to-day. It has been said that words are used to conceal thoughts. I do not know whether those words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer were used for that purpose or not, but the impression in the Committee and the impression throughout the country was that the great tobacco combine, out of its profits, was going to have to provide this duty, and that it was not going to be a burden on the people. When some time previously the Chancellor of the Exchequer restricted the withdrawal of tobacco from bond it was pointed out in the Press that any increase of duty was not going to be an additional burden on the people, and statements were made with 883 regard to the wonderful profits made in the industry, and how the Chancellor of the Exchequer was simply turning to this wealthy combine, to this combine that was adding wealth to wealth, to get them to bear a share of the burdens of the day. That is the general impression there was throughout the country, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will go across the street into one of the tobacco shops there and buy some of this tobacco and ask the man, "Why is there this increase in price? "—[Interruption]—I should expect him to disguise himself a little, or he might send his Parliamentary Secretary; he could depend on his word. If he went into the shop, the shopkeeper would say—[Interruption]. I hope I am not offending the Financial Secretary to the Treasury; at any rate, I do not think he has any book near at hand. If the Parliamentary Secretary to the Chancellor will go into a shop and make inquiries, the man behind the counter will tell him that anything the Chancellor has said on this matter is all nonsense, and that the tax is to be passed on to the public. I speak from experience because that is what the man behind the counter said to me when I asked him if they were increasing the price. He said, "Of course the price will be increased," and it is no use the Chancellor of the Exchequer shaking his head or the Financial Secretary looking at me in that heart-broken manner. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has to bear his responsibility for the impression which was created throughout the country.
§ Mr. CHURCHILLindicated dissent.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Then all the rest of the country is wrong and the Chancellor is right; but we will have to examine his words more carefully in the future to see exactly what he means. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury indicated that he could say a lot regarding pipe tobacco, but he would not say it. The right hon. Gentleman reminded me of a character of Dickens, Mr. Winkle, who was always going to skate but never did it, and when, at last, he was forced to do it, he cut an ignominious figure. The Financial Secretary, having told us that he could say a lot on this subject, never got any further, and possibly it is just as well.
884 There was an extraordinary amount of simplicity in the right hon. Gentleman's attitude when he expressed the view that the hon. Member who spoke from the front Opposition Bench was not as expert at economics as some people in the House seemed to suppose. The Financial Secretary said that the theory was that a tax was always passed on to the consumer and that nobody would suggest anything else. Hon. Members must have short memories. I can recall the Tariff Reformers going on quite the other tack, and suggesting that the foreigners would pay the taxes which were to be imposed under their proposals. I am sorry if I interrupt the conversation which is going on on the Front Bench opposite. I was only pointing out that the Financial Secretary "got away with it" in his statement that the people of the country were not led to expect that the tax would not be passed on to them.
He then proceeded to create the impression that it would not be passed on to them in so far as cigarettes are concerned. He read some advertisements as a proof that the tax was not going to be passed on in connection with cigarettes. I did not believe that even the Financial Secretary was simple enough to believe everything he read in the advertisement pages of newspapers or magazines. I am glad to notice that the right hon. Gentleman seems to agree with me, but evidently in this case he does believe the newspaper advertisements. It was not sufficient for him to have placed before him the two cigarettes taken from the case of the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer in order to demonstrate that one was about an eighth of an inch shorter than the other. Evidently the right hon. Gentleman was not prepared to believe his own eyes, but preferred to believe the newspaper advertisements. He cannot have it both ways. He says any general tax will go to the consumer. Then he tries to tell us that this tax is not going to the consumer. He knows it is going to the consumer, and the probability is that not only will there be a large tax on the consumer but the Imperial Tobacco Co. will take advantage of the shortening of the cigarette just to take a little bit of commission on the tax. That seems to be the way in which it is going to work out, and I join in protesting against the burden which is 885 being placed on the working class. When the Chancellor was unfolding his statement in Committee, and when he came to the critical point he said all his difficulties would be settled by putting 6d. on the Income Tax. It was interesting then to look round the faces of his supporters. Some turned white, and some green.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I was going to suggest that too much tobacco smoking might have been responsible for the change in the coloration of hon. Members opposite on that occasion. However, the Chancellor could not contemplate doing anything like that, and so he is putting a halfpenny an ounce on to the tobacco which is consumed by the working men. If you take a workman smoking two ounces a week, that is 1d. a week, which is being placed as an additional burden on the working men.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
He may save it. There are people who have all sorts of schemes for other people, including the restriction of the population and matters like that, but I am dealing here with the Tobacco Duty, and not with birth control or anything like that. That comes to 4s. 4d. in the year. The Budget on which the Chancellor is congratulating himself puts upon the ordinary working man an additional burden of 4s. 4d. for which there is no sound reason. The condition of the working class is hard enough without any additional burdens, and I should like to hear what justification can be offered for this increase in the taxation of the workers by those who shudder at the prospect of an increase in the Income Tax. I am glad to see that the Prime Minister has arrived. Perhaps I am unduly suspicious but I was developing a theory that there was a split in the Cabinet over this matter. The Prime Minister is notorious as a pipe smoker, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is notorious for the large cigars he smokes. Some of us thought he possibly got them in order to advertise some firm, and that consequently he was not so much concerned about this matter. But one did think that the Prime Minister would use his influence to protect the working men of the country who 886 follow his good example in using a pipe instead of cigarettes or cigars. Evidently the Prime Minister has very little power over the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer suggested to the Financial Secretary that arguments ought to be produced that would satisfy the man who bought St. Bruno tobacco, and the Financial Secretary was shocked at the suggestion that he should argue with a man who used the words "damn the Chancellor." The right hon. Gentleman ought to remember his own history. It would be better to talk with a man, than to throw a book at him, and I am reminded that no less a person than the Home Secretary has used the word "damn."
§ Mr. STEPHEN
The Financial Secretary to-day interrupted the Debate and said he could not possibly argue with a man who used such language with regard to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I suggest that one of his own colleagues used similar language on a certain occasion. The working man who is having this burden imposed on him has some justification for using strong language, and so I would like the Financial Secretary to reconsider his refusal to give arguments in this matter to men who use words of that kind. I hope we are going to get same reasons from the other side in support of this duty. We have had no reasons so far. We have had pious expressions of opinion from the Financial Secretary, and a touching tribute to his faith in the truthfulness of advertisement, but that is all. I hope we are going to hear some defence of this proposal, and I hope some little consideration will be shown for the people who are least able to bear taxation.
§ Mr. TOWNEND
I am glad that the Prime Minister is in his place, because I want to point out that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken upon himself to repudiate the statement of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on the question of whether this duty is to be passed on to the consumer or not. There seems to be a disposition on the part of the Financial Secretary to run away from the position he took up a short time ago. We have been challenged to 887 produce the exact words that were used by the Financial Secretary. I want to remind him of what he said on the second day of the Budget discussion, and I would like him to pay attention to the words. After making reference to the small addition put upon the Tobacco Duty, he said:I am very happy to be able to inform the Committee, if they have not already seen it announced in the Press, that we now know that that addition to the Tobacco Duty would not have any effect upon the price of the popularly consumed tobacco, as two of the largest organisations of producers of tobacco have already announced that they will make no difference in price, and therefore it is quite clear, as we anticipated, that the competition amongst themselves"—I hope the House will note this, because this was the alternative to an increased price to the consumer:will compel the various producers of tobacco to go on supplying the public at the old price, notwithstanding this small addition to the duty."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th April, 1927; col. 287, Vol. 205.]I would like to direct the attention of the Prime Minister to this point, because the quarrel between the Financial Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer must be settled if the interests of the Conservative party are to be served. Just before the Prime Minister entered the House, the Chancellor of the Exchequer when challenged with this statement having been made, very definitely shook his head. He entirely repudiated any share of responsibility for the making of that statement. I want to remind the Financial Secretary to the Treasury that there was no dubiety about the statement, because a remark which I made on the same occasion was never challenged. After the speech made by the Financial Secretary on that occasion, I said:I am sure that the public will be gratified, when reading the speech of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury this evening, to know that so far as the duty on tobacco is concerned it will not, on this occasion, be Passed on to the consumer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th April, 1927; col. 297, Vol. 205.)Perhaps the Financial Secretary will remember that statement having been made in his hearing without its being challenged in any shape or form. Therefore, when we have from him, as we have had this afternoon, a totally different attitude—
§ Mr. McNIELL indicated dissent.
§ Mr. TOWNEND
The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. Only a few minutes ago he specifically stated that this indirect taxation was imposed with the deliberate intention that the consumer would be expected to pay it, and that the usual procedure of passing it on to the consumer would ensue. He cannot say one day that the manufacturer of the article is going to meet the duty out of his profits, and come along now and tell us that this additional duty is to be paid by the consumer, and then expect us to pay very much attention to any statement which he may make in any shape or form on any subject whatsoever. We, on these benches, are placed in a very difficult position. We are trying to be just and fair to the Conservative Government when we are attacking them, as we are bound to do, in the country for this and other reasons, but it is difficult when we do not know what they mean. We are entitled to know exactly upon what basis they have applied this duty, and we are entitled to know from them who they expect will pay the duty.
There is another aspect of the question which is very serious. In the development of this duty there has been an attempt to apply the principle of equity in previous Budgets; but if ever there was a charge of a tax being iniquitous, it certainly applies to the application and the incidence of this particular tax. According to the figures which have been supplied to me, the size of the Tobacco Duty since 1914 has been increased 2¼ times. That, coupled with the statement already made that the bulk of the proposed new increase is to be shared by 30 per cent. of tobacco smokers, forces us to a further analysis. We have been informed that cigar smokers are absolved from the effect of this duty, and that the smokers of expensive tobacco are absolved. The attention of the Government has been directed to the fact that the 30 per cent. of tobacco smokers by whom the bulk of the increased duty will be borne are the least able to bear it. They are the people who smoke coarse tobacco. That means that not only has the Tobacco Duty been increased generally 2¼ times since 1914, but with the proposed increased duty the effect upon the man who smokes coarse tobacco is that he pays something like 10 times as much as he was compelled to pay in 1914.
889 It would hardly be fair to criticise the Government in the application of this duty, inasmuch as revenue has to be raised, if one did not endeavour to suggest some kind of alternative. I am glad that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has returned to the House. I would like to inform him that while he has been absent the statement of the Financial Secretary, which he repudiated, has been proved by the definite words having been read out in the presence of the Financial Secretary, and they have not been challenged, namely, that this duty would not be passed on to the consumer and that it was the intention that it should be met by the manufacturers of tobacco. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has indicated that he does not share that point of view which was enunciated by the Financial Secretary on the second day of the Budget Debate. The alternative which I suggest is reasonable. The Chancellor of the Exchequer wants certain roosts to rob. He managed it very successfully last year in certain directions, and he has repeated it this year as far as the Road Fund is concerned. Without touching the consumer, if he were to intercept the profits that are being made by certain tobacco firms he would find very easily that he could obtain the money which he seeks to obtain by the increase of one halfpenny per ounce on the tobacco of those who are least able to bear it. I have particulars of the British American Tobacco Company. I do not know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer can get at them or not.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL indicated dissent.
§ Mr. TOWNEND
The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. It is conceivable then that he can get at the Imperial Tobacco Company. He does not shake his head now. Since 1914, while the increased duties have been applied and the man who smokes coarse tobacco has had to pay—he always has to carry the heavy burden—the profits of this particular tobacco company have increased over and over again every year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer does not deny that it is possible to consult with this company. Perhaps he might be able to make some amicable arrangement. With his persuasive ability, I have no doubt that he would be able to reconcile any difficulties 890 as between himself and the firm. Here is a nice little nest egg for him. In 1914 this company had a profit of £3,268,000. In 1919 the profits had increased to £4,500,000, in 1922 to £7,000,000—these are all clear profits to the shareholders, in 1925 to £8,800,000, and in 1926 to £8,968,000. In the meantime the dividends had increased progressively. The dividends increased from 15 per cent. until last year they were 24 per cent., free of tax. Is there anything fair in allowing these accumulations of huge profits and dividends to that extent, with 24 per cent. dividends, free of tax, on the invested capital, while, on the other hand, the Chancellor of the Exchequer suggests that he is entitled to tax the man with 30s. or 35s. a week to the extent of one halfpenny every time he buys an ounce of shag tobacco?
It has been pointed out that those who smoke cigars—they are the 24 per cent. dividend receivers—and those who smoke the expensive pipe tobaccos are absolved from payment of this increased tax, whilst the increased revenue is to be found by those who are the least able to bear the expense. While that happens, the people who are able to afford it avoid the tax. We know the difficulties of the average worker, particularly the lower-paid worker, in making his weekly budget balance. There is a difficulty every Friday night or Saturday in deciding what the family have to do without and what they must have. It is the people with very small incomes who are affected. We claim that they are taxed to the fullest possible extent which they are able to bear, and we ask that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will consider the alternative which has been suggested, namely, that he should endeavour to obtain the increase which attaches to this additional duty, if possible, from other sources, and, if need be, obtain it by the application of a tax upon the present tax-free dividends which are paid, and in that way be able to overcome the grievance of which we complain.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I do not wish to detain the House more than a few minutes, but there are one or two points to which I would like to draw attention. We have listened to-day to an exposure of the inconsistency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the speech which he 891 delivered to the Committee and his speech this afternoon. One effect of the position into which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has drifted has been to strike his own supporters dumb. Not a single Member of his own party has the courage now to rise in his place and defend the policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. My hon. Friend who has just sat down quoted the remarks of the Chancellor that two of the largest fims had promised him that this tax would not be passed on to the consumer. We have had ample evidence to-day that the Chancellor has been misled. I understand the Financial Secretary, and not the Chancellor, is to blame, but, whoever it is, the Department is really at fault, and it is due to the House that one or other of the right hon. Gentlemen should rise in his place now and give us an assurance that, if those two great firms have misled the Treasury, the Treasury has some means of dealing with them. I submit that it is a serious thing for large combines, large powerful corporations like these, to use their power and influence to mislead the right hon. Gentleman who is responsible for the financial affairs of this country. Indeed, I submit that more damage might well be done in that way than is done by certain members of the working class who, for sedition, are clapped into prison. I do hope the Chancellor will feel that it is his duty to tell us what steps he proposes to take in the event of promises made to him, and on the strength of which he framed his Budget, being departed from by these rich corporations.
There is soother point to which I would like to draw the right hon. Gentlemen's attention. In the case of direct taxation, the collectors are under the direct supervision of the State. They can be dealt with, their remuneration can be fixed and their duties can be controlled. When it comes to indirect taxation, you are on quite a different footing. The collectors of these taxes are completely independent of State control. We have no guarantee, unless the Chancellor be prepared to give it to us now, that the increase in prices which has already taken place will be the last increase in the price of these commodities during the next 12 months. We have every reason to believe that when the atmosphere has cleared, when people have ceased to think about the 892 present action of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, these combines may return to the charge, and impose even greater burdens on the people. They will do so on the ground that the cost of pruduction has been raised, and that it is necessary, in order to maintain the fabulous fortunes they have been making out of national necessities, to put up the price further. I suggest that if the Chancellor imposes indirect taxation such as we are dealing with here, and leaves that taxation to be collected by the manufaturers, he is in duty bound to see that these manufacturers do not collect from the people more than they pay to him. I think that is very seldom done, and that an examination of indirect taxation would show that not merely is the tax passed on to the consumer, but that the usual overhead charges of running a concern are added to the tax, and collected by the manufacturer or whoever controls the commodity. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see that the combines which have misled him will not go further and make a profit out of the tax he is proposing to-day.
The right hon. Gentleman tried to make the House believe that there was a great necessity for imposing this burden. It is demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that the burden will fall mainly on the working classes. The Chancellor knows that in imposing this tax immediately following upon his conduct of last year, he is really robbing the poor with both hands. He first of all robs them through their incomes. There was the attack on the miners, regarding which he adds insult to injury by blaming the miners for the necessity of imposing the tax. There was first an attack on the incomes of the miners, and now, having diminished the incomes of the miners, he proceeds to impose this additional burden on them it is all very well for some hon. Members to sneer and say that it is only 4s. 2d. or 8s. 4d., according to the tobacco consumed, but to a person with a low wage 4s. 2d. or 8s. 4d. is a substantial sum, however little it may be to people who pay Super-tax. I submit that there was no need at all to go to these impoverished people for this £3,000,000.
The Chancellor, yesterday, in reply to the right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden), said that we on this side 893 had by our Amendments abandoned most of the sources of revenue; but may I remind him that there is one source of revenue which we have not proposed to abolish, and that is the revenue from Super-tax? There is, as I pointed out in the discussion on the Budget, £364,000,000 going to some 97,000 people of this country in excess of £2,000 a year each. Surely if the Chancellor had been at all anxious to find the £3,000,000 without putting his hand in the pockets of the poor, he could have taken that sum out of the £364,000,000 a year which is now going to that small number of people? They would not have missed a meal. They would not have lost a smoke; they would not have diminished the consumption of high-priced cigars or high-priced wines by a single shilling. They would never have felt the burden, and no one could rise in this House without
§ blushing to claim that that burden was in any sense an imposition upon the people who were asked to bear it. I submit, therefore, that this tax is entirely unjustified, that the Chancellor has been induced to impose it under false pretences by rich corporations, and that it is the next chapter, one might say, in the great serial story of how His Majesty's present Government rob the poor, and it is a proposal which, if adopted by this House, will be no credit to Parliament.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 258; Noes, 149.897
|Division No. 92.]||AYES.||[5.55 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Clarry, Reginald George||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Clayton, G. C.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Albery, Irving James||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cooper, A. Duff||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Cope, Major William||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W||Couper, J. B.||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Atkinson, C.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Herbert, S. (York, N.R, Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hills. Major John Waller|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Galnsbro)||Hilton, Cecil|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hohler Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Holt, capt. H. P.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Berry, Sir George||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hopkins, J. W.W.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Drewe, C.||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Duckworth, John||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh' n)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Braithwalte, Major A. N.||Ellis, R. G.||Huntingfield, Lord|
|Brass, Captain W.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Everard, W. Lindsay||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Fermoy, Lord||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Finburgh, S.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William|
|Burman, J. B.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Kidd, J. (Linllthgow)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Frece, Sir Walter de||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Gadle, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Campbell, E. T.||Gates, Percy||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Goff, Sir Park||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Gower, Sir Robert||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt.R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Grace, John||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Looker, Herbert William|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Lougher, Lewis|
|Christie, J. A.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Lumley, L. R.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Lynn, Sir R. J|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Power, Sir John Cecil||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Maclntyre, Ian||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Tasker, R. lnigo.|
|McLean, Major A.||Preston, William||Templeton, W. P.|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Radford, E. A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Raine, W.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Mac Robert, Alexander M.||Ramsden, E.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. steel-||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Tinne, J. A.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Reid, D.D. (County Down)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Remer, J. R.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Remnant, Sir James||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Rentoul, G. S.||Waddington, R.|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Meller, R. J.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Ropner, Major L.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Rye, F. G.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Salmon, Major I.||Wells, S. R.|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Moreing, Captain A. H.||Sandeman, N. Stewart||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Morrison H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Sandon, Lord||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Savery, S. S.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Nicholson, Col.Rt.Hon.W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Shepperson, E. W.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,C.)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Smithers Waldron||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Perring, Sir William George||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden,E.)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Pilcher, G.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Pilditch, Sir Philip||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Major Sir George Hennessy and Mr.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife,West)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Murnin, H.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Greenall, T.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Owen, Major G.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Palin, John Henry|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Paling, W.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston)||Groves, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Baker, Walter||Grundy, T. W.||Pethick-Lawrence. F. W.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abirtillery)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Barnes, A.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Potts, John S.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Handie, George D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Harris, Percy A.||Riley, Ben|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F.O.(W.Bromwich)|
|Bromfield, William||Hayday, Arthur||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks,W.R.,Ellano)|
|Bromley, J.||Hayes, John Henry||Rose, Frank H.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hirst, G. H.||Scurr, John|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sexton, James|
|Cape, Thomas||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Clowes, S.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Cluse, W. S.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Connolly, M.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Cove, W. G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smlllie, Robert|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Kennedy, T.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kirkwood, D.||Snell, Harry|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lansbury, George||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Dennison, R.||Lawson, John James||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Duncan, C.||Lee, F.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Dunnico, H.||Lunn, William||Stamford, T. W.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Mackinder, W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Sullivan, J.|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||March, S.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Montague, Frederick||Taylor, R. A.|
|Gillett, George M.||Morris, R. H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Gosling, Harry||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mosley, Oswald||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Thurtle, Ernest||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Tinker, John Joseph||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Wilson. C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Townend, A. E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Wellock, Wilfred||Windsor, Walter|
|Varley, Frank B.||Westwood, J.||Wright, W.|
|Viant, S. P.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Wallhead, Richard C.||Wiggins, William Martin||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)||Whiteley.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That '8s. 10d.' stand part of the Resolution."898
§ The House divided: Ayes, 256; Noes, 154.899
|Division No. 93.]||AYES.||[6.5 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Knox, sir Alfred|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Albery, Irving James||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Drewe, C.||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Ellis, R. G.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent,Dover)||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Looker, Herbert William|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Everard, W. Lindsay||Lougher, Lewis|
|Atkinson, C.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lumley, L. R.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Fermoy, Lord||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Finburgh, S.||Maclntyre, Ian|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||McLean, Major A.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Fraser, Captain Ian||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Berry, Sir George||Frece, Sir Walter de||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Gates, Percy||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Matone, Major P. B.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Gower, Sir Robert||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Grace, John||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Braithwalte, Major A. N.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Meller, R. J.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Grotrian, H. Brent||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon B. M.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexnam)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Colonel J. C. T.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'v)||Hartington, Marquess of||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Morrison H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Burman, J. B.||Haslam, Henry C.||Murchison, Sir Kenneth|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hawke, John Anthony||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Nicholson.Col.Rt.Hon.W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Herbert, S,(York.N.R.,Scar. & Wh'by)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hills, Major John Waller||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hilton, Cecil||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Cayzer, sir C. (Chester, City)||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Penny, Frederick George|
|Cayzer,Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Holt, Capt H. P.||Parkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hope, Capt A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Perring, Sir William George|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hope Sir Harry (Forfar)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Pilcher, G.|
|Christie, J. A.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Pliditch, Sir Philip|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hume, Sir G. H.||Preston, William|
|Clayton, G. C.||Huntingfield, Lord||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hurd, Percy A.||Radford, E. A.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hurst, Gerald B.||Raine, W.|
|Couper, J. B.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Ramsden, E.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jacob, A. E.||Remer, J. R.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Jephcott, A. R.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Lindsay, Gainsbro)||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y,Ch'ts'y)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset,Yeovil)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rye, F. G.|
|Salmon, Major I.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murrey Fraser||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Tasker, R. Inigo.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Templeton, W. P.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Sandon, Lord||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Savery, S. S.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie||Tinne, J. A.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Womersley, W. J.|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Waddington, R.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,C.)||Wallace, Captain D. E.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. Kingston-on-Hull)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Smithers, Waldron||Warrender, Sir Victor||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden,E.)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Major Cope and Mr. F. C. Thomson.|
|Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Wells, S. R.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Mertnyr Tydvil)||Sexton, James|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardie, George D.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Ammon, Charles George||Harris, Percy A.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hayday, Arthur||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Baker, Walter||Hayes, John Henry||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Smillie, Robert|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Broad, F. A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Bromfield, William||John William (Rhondda, West)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kelly, W. T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kennedy, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kirkwood, D.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Clowes, S.||Lansbury, George||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton. E.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawrence, Susan||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Thurtie, Ernest|
|Connolly, M.||Lee, F.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||Lunn, William||Townend, A. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Mackinder, W.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Viant, S. P.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||March, S.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dennison, R.||Morris, R. H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Duckworth, John||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan. Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Duncan, C.||Mosley, Oswald||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Dunnico, H.||Murnin, H.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Naylor, T. E.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Fenby, T. D.||Owen, Major G.||Westwood, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Paling, W.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams. C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gillett, George M.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Gosling, Harry||Potts, John S.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Purcell, A. A.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercilffe)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, R. J.(Jarrow)|
|Greenall, T.||Riley, Ben||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Wright, W.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Rose, Frank H,||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Groves, T.||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Scrymgeour, E.||Whiteley.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Scurr, John|
§ Mr. CHURCHILL rose in his place, and claimed, "That the Main Question be now put."
§ Question put accordingly, "That this900
§ House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution"
§ The House divided: Ayes, 261: Noes,158.903
|Division No.94.]||AYES.||[6.15 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Finburgh, S.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Meller, R. J.|
|Albery, Irving James||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Applin, Colonel R.V.K.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gates, Percy||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Atkinson, C.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gower, Sir Robert||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Grace, John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Murchison, Sir Kenneth|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Berry, Sir George||Grotrian, H. Brent||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Nicholson, Col. Rt.Hn.W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Nuttall, Eills|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hartington, Marquess of||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Haslam, Henry C.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hawke, John Anthony||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Herbert, S.(York,N.R., Scar, & Wh'by)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hills, Major John Walter||Preston, William|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen, H.C. (Berks,Newb'y)||Hilton, Cecil||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Radford, E. A.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Raine, W.|
|Burman, J. B.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Ramsden, E.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whlteh'n)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Huntingfield, Lord||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Hurd, Percy A.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Hurst, Gerald B.||Rye, F. G.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Ladywood)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Jacob, A. E.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Christle, J. A.||Jephcott, A. R.||Sandon, Lord|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Savery, S. S.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kidd. J. (Linlithgow)||Sheffield, sir Berkeley|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Cope. Major William||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Couper, J. B.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne,C.)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Lamb, J. Q.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Lister, Cunllffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden,E.)|
|Crookehank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)||Looker, Herbert William||Streatfeild, Captain S.R.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Lougher, Lewis||Stuart, Crichton, Lord C.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Luce. Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Daizlel, Sir Davison||Lumley, L. R.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Davidson, Majar-General Sir John H.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Tasker, R. Inlgo.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Templeton, W. P.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Maclntyre, Ian||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||McLean, Major A.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Drewe, C.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Ellis, R. G.||McNelll, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Macqulsten, F. A.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Waddington, R.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Malone, Major P. B.||Ward. Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Fermoy, Lord||Margesson, Captain D.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)||Wood, Sir S. Hon. (High Peak)|
|Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Wells, S. R.||Wise, Sir Fredric||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple||Wolmer, Viscount||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Willams, Herbert G. (Reading)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Major Sir|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Scurr, John|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Sexton, James|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hardie, George D.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Harris, Percy A.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Baker, Walter||Hayday, Arthur||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sinclair, Major sir A. (Caithness)|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.||Smillie, Robert|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Briant, Frank||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snell, Harry|
|Broad, F. A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kelly, W. T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Buchanan, G.||Kennedy, T.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Cape, Thomas||Kirkwood, D.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lansbury, George||Taylor, R. A.|
|Clowes, S.||Lawrence, Susan||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawson, John James||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lee, F.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Connolly, M.||Lowth, T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Cove, W. G.||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Mackinder, W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Montague, Frederick||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Dennison, R.||Morris, R. H.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Duckworth, John||Morrison. R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Duncan, C.||Mosley, Oswald||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dunnico, H.||Murnin, H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Edwards. C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Naylor, T. E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Owen, Major G.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Fenby, T. D.||Palln, John Henry||Westwood, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Paling, W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gillett, George M.||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Gosling, Harry||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Atlefcliffe)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Riley, Ben||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenall, T.||Ritson, J.||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Wright, W.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Robinson, W. C.(Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Rose, Frank H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Groves, T.||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Mr. ayes and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Scrymgeour, E.|
§ Mr. HARDIE
On a point of Order. I wish to ask whether it would be in order for me to raise the question of moisture in tobacco. I would also like to know if it is quite fair to allow the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Closure this Debate in the way he has done.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member cannot criticize the decision of the House, or the action of the Chair. There will however, be another opportunity of raising the point referred to by the hon. Member.
§ Eighth Resolution read a Second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ Mr. HARDIE
On this Resolution I regret that we have not had the advantage of the advice of those who are more directly connected with the trade, and who sit on the other side of the House. We have had very little information upon this subject, and what we have had has been third, fourth, or fifth hand. I hope 905 the Front Bench have not silenced all their spokesmen on this subject. I want to deal with the question of moisture in tobacco, and I understand that this is the only opportunity we shall have of raising it. I was talking to my tobacconist this morning, and he told me that they were reducing not only the length but the circumference of the cigarettes and were adding more moisture. He told me that there had been a big addition of moisture to cigarettes. Of course when it comes to tobacco the same thing holds good, because the more moisture a man can get into the tobacco the less tax he has to pay and the greater is the profit. I thought that this question would most certainly have been dealt with by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he certainly ought to try to prevent this foul practice which is going on. When I purchased my tobacco I said, "Why this increase in price?" and the tobacconist said, "On account of the tax." I informed him that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had told the House of Commons that the tax was not going to be passed on to the consumer, and he replied, "Who would believe the Chancellor of the Exchequer?" I should have thought the right hon. Gentleman would have tried to retrieve that very bad opinion held about him outside this House. I thought he would have been ready to deal with this question of moisture, because what is now being done in this matter is no protection to the public at all.
It is the same principle as that which I pointed out yesterday in regard to the Stamp Duty. Care should be taken whenever we put on a duty to see that we have some form of protection for the consumer. In this case there is no protection given at all and no regulation, and nothing can be done in this direction after the tobacco comes out of bond. There is nothing then left that comes under direct control. On the question of moisture in bulk, why is it that you do not fix a percentage of moisture in sales? Why have you not described to us what is the percentage of moisture in tobacco when it is sent out from the manufacturer to the wholesaler? Why do you not tell us how much of that evaporates by resting on the shelves of the wholesaler for so many days or weeks? Why is it that you do not tell us—[Interruptian.] If 906 the Chancellor of the Exchequer says he has nothing to do with the question of moisture in tobacco, why is he asking for a duty on it? You say you are trying to exempt, but you are not exempting it, because it is contained in the tobacco. I had hoped that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would now give the whole of the consumers his guarantee, whatever they may think it worth outside, that he is going to take every step to see that this practice is stopped.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Might I ask a question before the right hon. Gentleman replies to my hon. Friend Can he tell us how much money is represented by this Eighth Resolution, and also, if he has the figures, how much tobacco is now grown in Great Britain, and whether this applies to the tobacco which I believe was being grown in Ireland—whether it is still being grown in Ireland and is subject to the same tax?
§ Mr. McNEILL
In reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy), the quantities grown in this country are, of course, very small. I think the provisional return for yast year was 7,000 lb. weight, and £2,100 in revenue. The hon. and gallant Gentleman will, therefore, see that it is a very trifling matter in relation to the whole Tobacco Duty. In reply to the hon. Member for Springburn (Mr. Hardie), it appears to me that he is rather under a misapprehension as regards the question of moisture. It is technical matter, of course, concerning the manufacturer, but, as I understand it, in the process of manufacture a certain quantity of moisture is unavoidable, and I think not only unavoidable, but probably desirable. It would spoil the tobacco to eliminate moisture entirely. But, of course, the object of the duty is to tax tobacco, not to tax water, and, consequently, the duty rises with the elimination of moisture, because, in the 100 lb., there is then more tobacco, and, therefore, it is a more dutiable article. As regards the retailer, the hon. Member will have heard the remark of my right hon. Friend, which I think was very much to the point, that he is not concerned with that matter. Even if it were proper for the taxing authority to constitute themselves a censor of the purity of the articles sold by the retailer, if they went out of their way in order to see that 907 proper weight and quality were given, I am not sure that they would have—in fact, I am certain they would not have—any machinery for doing it. It may be an arguable question whether such a duty should be undertaken by the Government or not, but certainly it would not be a matter for the Department which is concerned with levying and collecting this duty; and, of course, it is equally obvious that, if the moisture in the shop to which the hon. Gentleman referred is very largely eliminated, there is then more tobacco to the pound which the purchaser receives.
§ Mr. McNEILL
I think the hon. Member suggests that there might be adulteration of the article by water. I have heard of the same thing taking place in the case of milk and other articles. That may be so, but it is not my business to suggest what, if any, is the proper machinery for getting rid of adulteration. Adulteration is one thing, and taxation is another. I do not think the hon. Gentleman has suggested any reason against the particular duty which is imposed by this Resolution.
Can the right hon. Gentleman give some information with regard to Irish-grown tobacco? I think he missed that.
§ Mr. McNEILL
I presume that in 1922–23 the Irish-grown tobacco was included, because I see from the Return that the figure is very much larger than in the year 1926–27. I am afraid I have not authoritatively any explanation of that, but my own explanation would be that the earlier and much higher figure included tobacco grown in the Free State.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
The right hon. Gentleman does not appear quite to have apprehended the point in this matter, as I understand it. When tobacco comes into this country, I understand it contains moisture to the extent of 10 per cent., and to that extent the right hon. Gentleman taxes water.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL indicated dissent.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
The point is this: The moisture is contained in the tobacco. 908 When the tobacco comes into the country, according to expert advice published in the newspapers, it contains some 10 per cent. of water, and the right hon. Gentleman taxes the 10 per cent. of water contained in the tobacco.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will be able to explain that point. There is a further point that I might put to him before he replies, as I hope he will, to elucidate this matter. In the process of manufacture, as I further understand, an extra 20 per cent. of moisture is added, and, when the tobacco is actually sold over the counter, it contains, as the right hon. Gentleman has quite rightly explained, some 30 per cent. of moisture in order to make it fit for smoking. The great companies have stated that they are handing on the tax to the consumer, and the point I want to get at is whether more than the tax which they pay to the Exchequer is actually handed on to the consumer. They pay 8d. per lb. on the tobacco that they import, containing some 10 per cent. of moisture, or ½d. per ounce of tobacco which they import. But the 16 ounces of tobacco on which they pay that 8d. becomes 19 ounces, or slightly more, in the process of manufacture, by the addition of water. Are they then charging the consumer, not 8d., but 9½d., in the process of handing on ½d. per ounce when they come to sell the tobacco over the counter? That seems to be the process. If they are charging to the consumer an extra ½d. for each ounce of tobacco because they have been charged by the Exchequer ½d. for each ounce of tobacco they import, they are in fact making a large profit out of the process of being taxed, because, out of 16 ounces which they import, they manufacture 19 ounces by the addition of moisture.
This Resolution does not deal with importing at all. The House has disposed of the question of imported tobacco. This Resolution deals only with home-grown tobacco.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
Then I merely address the same argument to home-grown tobacco; fie general point arises equally well on the particular case of home-grown tobacco. I was wrong in referring to imports when discussing an Excise duty, but the same point arises. Out of 16 909 ounces of tobacco which are taxed by the Exchequer, the companies, in the process of manufacture, produce 19 ounces, and they hand on the tax of ½d. in respect of each of those 19 ounces which they sell. Therefore, in return for a tax of 8d. which they have paid to the Exchequer, they make the consumer pay a tax of some 9½d. and I reckon that it means an extra profit to the companies of some £637,000 a year. If we reckon that the tax of 8d. brings in £3,400,000, that means that each penny of tax brings in £425,000, and, therefore, the extra 1½d. which they make on each lb. of tobacco they sell, owing to the excuse of the tax which is imposed upon them, means an extra profit of some £637,000 a year. I should be very glad if the right hon. Gentleman could meet that point, as it seems at least anomalous that taxation should be an excuse for the making of yet larger profits by the tobacco companies. With all respect, I would submit that this point has not been met at all in the Debate, and that the general case from these benches has not been met owing to the arbitrary action of the Government in closuring the last discussion.
§ Commander WILLIAMS
I do not wish to go into the rather exciting figures which have just been mentioned, because I do not think it would really be very profitable for the House to do so at the present moment. If one looks into the figures, and remembers what we were told a few minutes ago as to the total amount of home-grown tobacco, I think it will be seen that it would not be possible to make hundreds of thousands of pounds profit. Even the most ingenious mathematician could hardly do that. My reason for rising is to raise the question why this Excise duty is necessary at all. Here you have a little industry which is not doing very much, which in fact is almost non-existent in this country, and the right hon. Gentleman comes along and puts on this Excise duty, which, as far as I understand it, might quite easily be left off entirely; it only involves a very small amount of money. I do think that, with a Conservative Government and with a Chancellor of the Exchequer who has had some experience of enforcing in this country tariffs of a very mild nature, he might go just a little further, at any rate as far as this one small industry is concerned. If he is going to give no concession to our party anywhere 910 else throughout the Budget, I think he might at any rate not enforce this increased tax by means of this Excise duty. After all, we have seen—and I only give it as an illustration—a very wonderful thing happening in this country during the last few years. By means of giving a preference in the first instance, and eventually a subsidy, to home-grown sugar, an industry has been developed Which is doing a great deal to absorb unemployment at the present time. Surely, with that illustration before him, the Chancellor of the Exchequer might give some small consideration to this very minor industry, even though he may not particularly relish the product when it is actually produced as home-grown tobacco.
§ Mr. McNEILL
With reference to what has been said by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Torquay (Commander Williams), I do not think I can allow myself to be drawn into a debate on the question of Free Trade and Protection, which really is involved in the point that he has raised; but I would point out to my hon. and gallant Friend that the rate at which this Excise Duty is levied gives a margin over the preferential rate to Empire products, and, consequently, I hope he will see, by his own demonstration, that that margin will be sufficient to give opportunities for any expansion of which this particular trade is capable in this country. Whether the climate and soil here are ever likely to make this a large tobacco-producing country, I really do not know. With regard to the remarks of the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Mosley), I am not prepared to deal with the particular point as regards figures which he laid before the House, but again I would say, in reference to that, that, although I agree that it is an interesting point, the actual amount involved is in any case so infinitesimal that really its importance is not equal to its interest. As to the hon. Member's idea with regard to moisture, upon which he built up the argument he addressed to the House, so far as my knowledge of the matter goes it is a misapprehension. He spoke about moisture in certain proportions being added. As far as I understand, there was never any addition of moisture, though I will not say it is never done; but the main thing is that the tobacco leaf has natural moisture in it. Hon. Members do not seem to be aware of that 911 fact. It is a question, not of adding so much moisture but of eliminating so much moisture, and it is in reference to that elimination of the moisture that there is a variation of the duty.
§ Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 267; Noes, 147.913
|Division No. 95.]||AYES.||16.46 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Drewe, C.||Locker-Lampson. G. (Wood Green)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Duckworth John||Looker, Herbert William|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Laugher, Lewis|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Ellis, R. G.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||England, Colonel A.||Lumley, L. R.|
|Apsley, Lord||Erskine Lord (Somerset Weston-s.-M.)||Lynn, Sir Robert J.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Astor, Maj. Hn.John J. (Kent, Dover)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Atkinson, C.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Maclntyre, Ian|
|Ballour, George (Hampstead)||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||McLean, Major A.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Fermoy, Lord||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Finburgh, S.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Barnett, Major sir Richard||Ford, Sir P. J.||Macnuisten, F. A.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Mac Robert, Alexander M.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Berry, Sir George||Fraser, Captain Ian||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Frece, Sir Walter de||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Blundell, F. N||Ganzonl, Sir John||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Gates, Percy||Meller, R. J.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Goff, Sir Park||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Braithwalte, Major A. N.||Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Grace, John||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Sallsbury)|
|Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hanbury, C.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hartington, Marquess of||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Oman, sir Charles William C.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Haslam, Henry C.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Hawke, John Anthony||Perring, Sir William George|
|Campbell, E. T.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Casseis, J. D.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Pilcher, G.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester. City)||Herbert,S.(York, N.H..Scar. & Wh'by)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt.R.(Prtsmth.S.)||Hills, Major John Walter||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Hilton, Cecil||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Preston, William|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St.Marylebone)||Price, Major C. W M.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Radford, E. A.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Raine, W.|
|Christle, J. A.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Ramsden, E.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Reid, D. D (County Down)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Moisley)||Remer, J. R.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Cope, Major William||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Couper, J. B.||Hurd, Percy A.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Jackson. Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jacob, A. E.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Jephcott, A. R.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Galnsbro)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Rye, F. G.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Lamb, J.Q||Sandon, Lord|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Savery, S. S.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Tasker, R. Inigo.||Wells, S. R.|
|Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Templeton, W. P.||White, Lieut.-Cot. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Smith, R. w. (Aberd'n & Klnc'dine, C.)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Smithers, Waldron||Tinne, J. A.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Somervllie, A. A. (Windsor)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Stanley, Lord (Fyide)||Waddington, R.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Storry-Deans, R.||Wallace, Captain D. E.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Strauss, E. A.||Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Warrender, Sir Victor||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Watts, Dr. T.||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Mr. Penny.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall. F. (York. W. R., Normanton)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Sexton, James|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hardie, George D.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Harris, Percy A.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baker, Walter||Hayday, Arthur||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smillie, Robert|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, H.B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Snell, Harry|
|Briant, Frank||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snowden, Rt Hon. Philip|
|Broad, F. A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Bromfield, William||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sullivan, J.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kennedy, T.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Cape, Thomas||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kirkwood, D.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Clowes, S.||Lansbury, George||Thorne, W. (West Ham, plalstow)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawrence, Susan||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Connolly, M.||Lee, F.||Townend, A. E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lowth, T.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lunn, William||Varley, Frank B.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Viant, S. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||March, S.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Morris, R. H.||Watson. W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dennison, R.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Duncan, C.||Mosley, Oswald||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Dunnico, H.||Murnin, H.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Fenby, T. D.||Naylor, T. E.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Owen, Major G.||Westwood, J.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Paling, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gillett, George M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gosling, Harry||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Graham. D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin.,Cent.)||Potts, John S.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenall, T.||Purcell, A. A.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Riley, Ben||Wright, W.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ritson, J.|
|Groves, T.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, T. W.||Robinson, W. C.(Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Hayes.|
Ninth Resolution read a Second time.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ Mr. GILLETT
In one sense it may seem suitable that after discussing 914 tobacco we should pass on to matches, but at the same time I think it is a, little hard, after penalising smokers under the Tobacco Duties, to ask them to make a contribution in regard to matches. In his Budget speech, the right hon. Gentleman said:Proceeding upon our ascent step by step and crag by crag, I now come to matches.915 It may be that, having arrived at that dizzy height, he got slightly giddy and hardly realised what he was doing by making the smoker pay both in his tobacco and his matches. It has also been suggested that the pipe smoker is going to suffer rather more than the cigar smoker. If I am to believe that the Chancellor is especially fond of cigars, it may be that that made him indifferent to the sufferings of the pipe smoker, who, many of us must have noticed, uses an enormous amount of matches when he smokes all day long. I think many Members must have been surprised to find that about £3,500,000 comes from Customs and Excise imposed upon matches. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his hunt for revenue, came to matches, but in hunting he was not alone, because he distinctly stated that he found another interest also hunting, and, together with it, he has devised the scheme which is now before the House. He said in his Budget speech:The British match industry has submitted to me a plan which combines an increase in the Match Duty with an alteration of its basis, which they assure me will be more satisfactory to them in relation to foreign competition than is the existing scheme.''—[OFFICIAL, REPORT, 11th April, 1927; col. 90, Vol. 205.]7.0 p.m.
It, therefore, follows that the Chancellor, looking for revenue, found a trade looking for protective duties, and we have the result before us this evening. I hope before we come to a Division on this question that we may have a little further explanation of a rather technical point. Anyone who looks without any special knowledge of the match industry at the figures presented in the financial statement, must have felt that it was difficult to know what is the result of this proposal. I should like to ask whether it means that the more expensive matches are going to have a heavy tax placed upon them, and whether we may take it that these smaller boxes necessarily represent a more expensive kind of match, and how far that is likely to have any effect upon the way in which the extra sum, amounting to about £600,000, is likely to be distributed. I do not know whether Members have noticed the figures given in the White Paper. They may possibly explain the demand of the 916 trade for this protective duty. They show that the estimate for the Customs duty from matches last year was £1,700,000, but the approximate receipts were over £2,100,000. The Excise duty was estimated at £1,600,000, but the receipts fell short and amounted only to £1,455,000. Under the new proposals the estimates are £2,500,000 from the Customs and £1,600,000 from the Excise duty. It would have been interesting to know what is the actual condition of the match industry. Taking the imports of matches during the last three years, we and that in 1924 the safety matches imported were, speaking in tens of thousands, 4,000,000, while other matches numbered 2,000,000. In 1925, safety matches had risen by about half-a-million to 4,500,000, while other matches remained the same. In 1926, safety matches had risen to over 6,000,000, while other matches had fallen to 1,600,000. Comparing 1926 with 1925, the imports increased, therefore, from 6,500,000 to over 7,700,000.
It would be interesting to know how far the Financial Secretary looks upon this proposal as being a protective measure for the match industry. If we are not simply to look upon it as a way of raising a little more money, we ought to place it in the category of a Safeguarding Duty. I wonder if the trade have really come to the Treasury and said that they are suffering from the competition from abroad and have asked the Treasury to help them by giving further protection. I wonder how far the rather complicated scales of duties proposed have as their guiding point, not the raising of revenue, but the protection which the Financial Secretary wishes to give to the match trade. Unless we have much fuller information than was provided in the White Paper and in the Budget speech, it is impossible to know how far we are meeting a purely financial question and how far a protective duty which the Government are imposing. Whatever may be the dispute about the Tobacco Duty, there is no doubt whatever that this new duty is going to be placed upon the consumer. Nobody imagines that this arrangement, which is so satisfactory to the British match industry, means that they are going to bear the burden of the extra duty. The Financial Secretary will 917 agree with me that it is the general theory, when you impose a duty of this kind, that it will fall upon the consumer, although he wished us to think in certain cases that would not be so. He will, however, agree that in this case there is no question whatever that the amount is going to fall in some way upon the consumer. It may not affect the price of a box of matches, but that difficulty can be got over by reducing the number of matches or in some other way. We come back again in this proposal, as in so many others, to the original question as to how far this system of raising money is the most satisfactory for the country. Every time one of these proposals comes before us we have this question as to the effect it will have in the form of indirect taxation. There is no doubt that matches are used by everyone and that this tax affects the poorest as well as the well-off.
It may be thought that these things are of little importance, but the policy of the Government in constantly bringing in these new proposals, in which some interference is going to take place or some duty is going to be imposed upon trade, shows that the Government do not realise sufficiently that every new proposal of this kind is going to affect the direction of industry and is really a hindrance, for a time at any rate, to industry, because it directs it into some other channel. I take it that is the object of the Financial Secretary in making this proposal, as he would only be too glad to see the match industry at home develop and the import of matches decrease. Yet this is an attempt to divert industry from one channel into another. The Government should consider that every one of these new proposals means a diversion of trade and that what trade now wants is an opportunity to flow along its usual channels without too much interference from outside sources. While the Financial Secretary can truly say that this new burden of £600,000 will not be felt very much by the consumer, he should remember the burden on the poorer section of the population. Every increase of this kind, however minute it is, adds to the burden imposed upon them. I see that a penny on 12 boxes of matches means a change of .05 in the index number. It is small, but it is the principle that matters. You 918 increase matches and you also increase the duty on tobacco, while in addition there are the duties on sugar, tea and other commodities. By these duties you pile up liabilities upon the poorer section of the population. That is the fundamental objection to this proposal. It may be small and insignificant, but it represents an enormously important principle and one on which we on these benches will continue to protest. We believe that the principle is fundamentally unsound and that the more you throw the burden on those least able to bear it the harder it becomes for them to face the difficulties and problems of life. That is the reason why these proposals are so objectionable. I hope that, before the Debate closes, the Financial Secretary will answer some of the points I have raised so that we may know what the proposal actually involves, what the effect is likely to be, how far it is a protective proposal, and how far financial, and what is the difference between the proposed gradings suggested in this Resolution. In that way, the House will know on what it is actually voting. We on these benches will, at any rate, not be prepared to agree to anything which, to however small an extent, is going to impose a further burden upon the poorer section of the population.
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
It will help us In future Debates on this subject if at the beginning the Financial Secretary will clear up the technical points on which my hon. Friend has asked for information. In order that he may do so, may I put to him the actual issue on which we want an explanation from the Government. I understand that the position at the present time is that the ordinary standard box of matches is supposed to contain 50 matches and the public expect ordinarily to pay about 1d. for that standard box. But I have been told that a number of manufacturers, not only foreign manufacturers but British manufacturers, are introducing a system of reducing the number in the box to 45, 40 and even 36 and are still charging 1d. The public are not in the habit of counting the number of matches in the boxes and, therefore, they are, in fact, buying matches and boxes under false pretences. The Government's proposal, I understand, is so to adjust the new scale of taxation that a box of under 50 matches will be taxed at a higher rate 919 than a box with the standard number, so that this practice will be discouraged. If that be so, we would like the Financial Secretary to tell us clearly whether the policy of this new scale is a slight degree of Protection or is to give a certain security to the public. According to his answer, of course, the line of our Debates will be largely determined.
Still, quite apart from what his answer may be, we shall oppose this new duty upon the same ground as we have opposed the Tobacco Duty and the general system of which this new duty forms a part. Although the amount of taxation raised is not so great, the case against an increase in the Match Duty is fundamentally far more powerful than the case against an increase in the Tobacco Duty. There is practically no article of ordinary popular use whose price has been raised so much in comparison with its price before the War as matches. The price of an ordinary box of matches now is a penny; before the War boxes of 50 matches used to be sold for six a penny. That means that the price of matches has risen about 1,200 per cent., far out of proportion to any other article of ordinary popular use. Who is paying this increased price? There is no doubt who is going to pay it. I want to go into it quite fairly, and I believe it is clear that now, for the first few weeks or months, this new impost will be shared between the retailer and the public at large. It is quite clear that the class of the community who do not intend to pay it are the great match manufacturers. I see that Messrs. Bryant and May stated on 12th April, immediately after the Budget, that the price of a dozen boxes of matches was to be raised by a halfpenny. Now this new duty amounts broadly to a halfpenny on a dozen boxes. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!] Oh, yes.
Look at the position to which that leads us. There will be an increase of a halfpenny on a dozen boxes. The ordinary retailer sells matches either in dozens or, in most cases, in single boxes. Where he sells in dozens he can pass on the price, but where he sells in single boxes at a penny he cannot immediately pass on the price, therefore, he will, to that extent, bear the charge in the first instance. I have a letter from a retailer calculating that he will pay in increased 920 cost as a result of this about £24 a year. But that will only be the effect in the first instance. After a certain time has elapsed, there is no doubt whatever that this increased duty will finally be paid by the general public. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] And for this reason, that the cost of manufacturing matches has been steadily falling for years and the time was about to arrive, as the manufacturers themselves have told us, when, instead of matches being a penny a box, the ordinary standard price was going to be two boxes for 1½d., and thus we should have come back, to some extent, to the position we were in before the War. This new duty is going to prevent the decrease in the price of matches which the public was about to secure and is going to maintain matches at their present excessive exorbitant price and to maintain them at that price for an indefinite period of time.
When one says that the public is going to pay, whom does one mean? Once again, in this case, the public means—so far as the vast majority are concerned—the poorer sections of the State. Matches are very much in the same position as tobacco. A man with two or three pounds per week has to spend on matches a sum which is comparable with the amount spent by a man with a thousand a year; therefore, as the tax is now imposed upon the box, he will pay—the ordinary man with two or three pounds per week—during the year as much towards this new duty as the man with a thousand or ten thousand pounds a year. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I remember that the match manufacturers made an appeal to this House not very long ago, and I turned up the letter which they sent to us. In that letter—sent on behalf of Messrs. Bryant and May and other firms—they stated that from their experience and knowledge five-sixths of the consumption of matches in this country came from the working classes. What does this mean? It means once again, even in this small new tax, that automatically the Chancellor of the Exchequer follows the line that everyone of his Budgets has hitherto pursued. Once again, almost unconsciously by force of habit, he selects just that kind of duty which will fall mainly upon the great mass of the poorer sections of the people and which will only fall to an inappreci 921 able extent on his own friends. Once more he has succeeded, even in this new and restricted sphere, in slightly altering the balance of taxation so that the wealthiest families in the country shall once more bear a slightly diminished proportion of that which the nation as a whole has to pay.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
I think the country should be grateful to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for raising the question of this Match Tax. I do not think that this House should grudge an hour or two, or even more, discussing this tax, because rarely in the history of our financial arrangements could so much money have been raised by Parliament with so little public discussion. It may not be in the memory of the House that this is a War tax. I have been through the records, and I find that the total number of lines in the OFFICIAL REPORT devoted to the discussion of this tax amounts to 63. Since this taxation was first imposed in 1916 the revenue of the country has benefited to the tune of more than £30,000,000 from a tax the discussion of which has not occupied more than six or seven minutes of Parliamentary time. I think that at the present moment the country is entitled to understand a little more about this Match Tax than it does. I do not agree with the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith) that this is on a line with tobacco. I stick to Three Nuns. I consumed none yesterday, none to-day, and I shall consume none to-morrow. Tobacco is a luxury, but matches are a necessity to the housewife, the child, the fisherman. I was in a fishing village the other day, and was very interested to find that even children were making doggerel rhymes about matches. Here is one which Messrs. Bryant and May would perhaps like to put on their hoardings:I am only a little ruby,A match of low degree;Yet I kindly light the lanternTo guide sailors on the sea.Matches are a necessary of life, and the Treasury, having raised more than £30,000,000 since the first introduction of the tax, ought to give this tax very serious consideration during the Debates on the present Budget. I propose to refresh the memory of the House as to the beginning of the tax. Hon. Members on 922 these benches may be interested to know that it is another McKenna Duty; not a Protective duty, but a McKenna Duty. It was introduced by Mr. McKenna on the 4th April, 1916, in the following speech:Undaunted by the example of Mr. Lowe"—because matches, I understand, have always been regarded as a trap for Chancellors of the Exchequer since Mr. Lowe came to grief on the suggestion to get a little profit out of light—Undaunted by the example of Mr. Lowe, I ask the Committee to assent to a duty on matches which ought to bring in as much as £2,000,000. The suggested rate is 3s. 6d. Customs duty and 3s. 4d. Excise duty for ever 10,000 matches, or a governing duty of 4d. per 1,000."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th April, 1916; col. 1059, Vol. 81.]That is the only reference in the Budget Debate of 1916 to the tax, and the tax went through. Mr. McKenna was rather ambitious in his forecast, for in the first year the total was £1,029,000; in the second year it rose to £1,242,000; and in the third year it went up to £2,027,000, and that was because the late Mr. Bonar Law had set a precedent for the present Chancellor of the Exchequer. He also had a consultation with the match industry, and he and the match industry came to the conclusion that, by a mere readjustment, more money could be paid over to the Treasury and more satisfaction given to the industry. It may not be remembered by the House that one of the minor horrors of the War was a Match and Tobacco Controller. Happily now, he has lost his job. Who he was, I do not know, but at that time he controlled matches to such an extent that the women of the country were almost unable to find matches, with the result that there was a great deal of discussion in the homes of the people about matches, just as there is now a great deal of discussion going on. Mr. Bonar Law, having met the match manufacturers, altered the duty, with the result that in the following year the revenue mounted to £3,398,000. It has continued over the £3,000,000 level ever since, until last year the total reached £3,579,000. Now the Chancellor of the Exchequer comes along with a proposal to put another £600,000 to that, so that next year the match consumers, the housewives, the children, the industrialists, the smokers and all who 923 use matches will be mulcted to the tune of £4,200,000 on the necessities of the life of the people.
I would like to ask certain questions, because if the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Treasury officials are meeting the manufacturers, I would like them to give us some information as to what the industry says about the product. I am assured by women who use matches that they are very dissatisfied with the quality of the British matches. There is a problem now being propounded in many households as to whether the womenfolk are not very well advised, not only on account of the lower cost, but on account of the quality, to buy Swedish matches rather than British matches. Women ask, "When is a match not a match?" And the answer is, "When it is a British match with a stick that breaks." I am not an authority on the matter, but housewives to whom I have spoken inform me that they have been driven to buy Swedish matches, not because they desire to do so, but because the quality of the stick of the Swedish match is much superior to the quality of the stick of the British match. I would like to ask three questions of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. What was the number of the firms who sent representatives to the Treasury to make this new arrangement involving the people in an extra charge of £600,000? I do not know what the facts are, so I do not join with the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Gillett) in the suggestion that it may have a Protective effect, and from the figures I have before me giving the comparative amounts of Customs and Excise in the last 12 years I rather think not. At any rate, the House is entitled to know why the arrangement is made, the number of firms affected, what kind of discrimination there is to. be under this new arrangement as between the imported product and the home-made product.
The House is entitled to know what kind of effect the duty is going to have as between the aristocratic match—the wax vesta—and the democratic match bought by the ordinary man in the street —the man who, I agree, is paying more and more under the Conservative Government's administration in indirect taxation. The hon. Member for Streatham 924 (Sir W. Mitchell) smiles. I hope the hon. Member for Streatham will go and explain to his constituents exactly what the effect of this tax and other taxes will be. If a number of unemployed were taken off the unemployment roll, put in uniforms with brass buttons, placed at the doors of grocers and tobacco shops and empowered for six months to collect the tax on matches at the counter—it might lead to a great deal of confusion—the hon. Member for Streatham would find that it would be a powerful means of educating the public in his constituency as to the vicious practices of the Conservative Government with regard to indirect taxation. I do not like to suggest it, but I am sure that if the right hon. Gentleman the Financial Secretary to the Treasury could be made a general of such forces, he would make a magnificent object in uniform collecting these taxes in command of his squad, because he would have a most handsome appearance, and the ladies might like to pay the taxes in such circumstances.
I would like to understand exactly why the alterations were made. The full rate of the existing duty is, on any number in a box not exceeding 80, per standard gross of 10,000 matches, 5s. 2d., and on any number in a box in excess of 80, per standard gross of 10,000 matches, 3s. 5d. The change will mean that we are to pay on containers, and there are four classes of duty, one on containers of not more than 10 matches, per thousand containers, 6s. 2d.; on containers containing more than 10 but not more than 20 matches, per thousand containers, 12s. 4d.; on containers containing more than 20 up to 50 matches, per 144 containers, 4s. 4d.; and the final one, for every 25 matches or part of 25 over 50 in a container, per 144 containers, 2s. 2d Then we have on the Excise an entirely different scale. There is a scale of 5s. and 3s. 4d. at present, but that will rise under the full new scale to 6s., I2s., 4s. 2d, and 2s. 1d. I think the House is entitled to understand what is the proposed incidence of this change, what the effect is likely to be as between the home and foreign made article, whether the match industry of this country is proposing at the expense of the consumer to raise any addition to the £600,000 to be raised by the Chancellor, and the number of firms which are contained in the statement of 925 the right hon Gentleman that the British match industry has submitted to him a plan which combines an increase in the Match Duty with an alteration in the Excise. Since the House has had so little information in the last 12 years about the working of this tax, and since there is so much talk about the style of match and so much concern among housewives because of these continual petty increases in taxation, which eat into their housekeeping money, I hope we shall have a very full statement from the Government before this tax is once more granted, as it has been granted without debate ever since Mr. McKenna introduced it in 1916.
§ Major HILLS
The hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Gillett) asked if this tax was a protective tax, and the answer is "No" and "Yes." The tax is not protective as far as the duty goes, for the Excise duty is only 2d. less than the Customs duty, the latter being 6s. 2d. and the former 6s. The reason for that difference is that when the duty was imposed in 1916 matches were untaxed, and the House will realise that when a tax is imposed on a manufactured article certain Excise precautions have to be taken to prevent the article from escaping the tax. You have to have an Excise officer there, and certain structural rearrangements and staff alterations have to be made, and so the small concession of 2d. upon the Excise duty as compared with the Customs duty was made in 1916, I think by Mr. McKenna, to meet the expense. So as far as the tax goes, it has no protective effect at all, but the change is protective, and rightly so, in the way, as was clearly explained by the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith), that it does protect the public against being sold a box with 35 matches in it when the buyer expects a box of 50 matches.
At present there is a large import of matches from certain foreign countries, chiefly Belgium and Finland, containing 45, or 40, or 35 matches, but the box has the same appearance as one containing 50 matches. It is true the contents are marked on the box, but in very small print, and the mark is mixed up with the name of the match and of the manufacturer. Very many of these boxes are sold for 1d. each, and the buyer thinks he is going to get 50 matches, but he gets only about 35 or 40. The change of the duty 926 will not prevent boxes of any size being sent in, but it will prevent that fraud on the public.
The hon. Member for Keighley asked who was going to pay the duty, and, of course, we all want to know that. The Excise duty is raised from 5s. to 6s. per standard gross of 10,000 matches, but the standard gross is a term used only for taxation purposes. Matches are not sold in standard grosses, but in grosses of 50 matches in a box, and 50 times 144 is not 10,000, but 7,200, and a 1s. tax on 10,000 means a tax of 7½d. upon 7,200 matches. Therefore, the figure that the hon. Member gave the House of Bryant and May's new price of ½d. per dozen increase is 6d. a gross, so that the manufacturers are taking 1½d. of the tax. The next person concerned is the importer of foreign matches. He will follow the same course and will take 1½d. of the tax. Then you have the wholesaler and the retailer. The box of matches that is sold at 1d. will still be sold at 1d., and the dozen sold for 10½d. Or 11d. will still be sold at that price, but, of course, the price is increased by ½d. a dozen. The tax has got to fall somewhere, and I think it will be divided between the manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retailer, and to a certain small extent, the public, but not to a very large extent, because competition in the match trade is very keen, competition between the retailers is very keen, and a great many shops sell matches. Tobacconists and sweet shops, as well as the regular shops that deal in that sort of article, sell matches, and so I do not think a substantial amount of this tax will be passed on to the public.
If it be thought that it falls heavily on the retailer, let it not be forgotten that he is no worse off than he was in 1925, for the price was lowered in 1925, and he paid before 1925 exactly the same amount as he will pay now, so that I do not think that man is much to be pitied. The hon. Member for Keighley quoted the pre-War price, but he did not tell the House that matches were then untaxed and that now the tax will be 6s. per 10,000 matches. I should like to see matches sold as cheaply as they were in pre-War times, but if the hon. Member reckons out the tax, I think he will see the reason for the increased price. The hon. Member quite naturally made a strong point that the cost ought not to be passed on to the 927 poorer section of the public, and the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) made the same point. I have given reasons for thinking that, though some will be passed on, a large amount will not be passed on, and may I point out the compensation it is to the smaller consumer who is specially liable to be deceived by being given a box of 35 matches when he expects one of 50 matches, so that to that extent that man is protected.
Before I forget, may I join issue with the hon. Member for Leith in his criticisms on British matches, and assure him that there are many British matches of which the sticks will not break, and if he will do me the honour of accepting a box from me, I will give him one. In fact, British matches are as good as any in the world. The last question asked was as to why the alteration was made. It was suggested because of the facts that the hon. Member for Keighley has given to the House, because of the sale of what are called the low count matches, of 35 and 40 to the box, in the same sort of boxes as those containing 50, at the same price, namely, 1d., and I am quite sure, from the speech that he made and from the general view that anyone must take of such a proceeding, that as far as that goes he will support the change. I know that there is £600,000 extra taxation, and no one likes that, but a very large amount of it will fall on the importer, the manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retailer, and I do not think that a very large amount will fall on the public.
§ Mr. McNEILL
I understand that one or two hon. Members opposite are as anxious as we are not to prolong unduly the Debate on this Resolution, and there for I shall occupy the time of the House for only a few minutes. It is quite unnecessary for me to say very much, because almost all the points that have been raised have been covered by thy hon. and gallant Member for Ripon (Major Hills). He speaks with great knowledge of the trade, and as far as I was able to follow his speech as it went along, he has covered the ground in almost exactly the same terms I should have endeavoured to do myself. The hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Gillett), who opened the Debate on this Resolution, quoted a statement made by the 928 Chancellor of the Exchequer when introducing the Budget, that in regard to this particular proposal he had been in communication with the trade, and the hon. Member, and also other hon. Members, considered that there is something to apologise for in having communications of that kind. I should have thought it was the most natural and proper course for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take, in order to get all the information possible from the people concerned as to what the effect would be if he carried out such a proposal.
Having quoted that statement, the hon. Member asked me whether the main purpose of this proposal was for revenue or for protection, and he said that the trade would not be likely to acquiesce in any proposals which were not for their benefit and that, therefore, this proposal is mainly protective. The answer, of course, is that Protection in the ordinary sense of the word has nothing whatever to do with it. The object of the Resolution is to obtain an additional revenue of something over £500,000 during the present year, and, as the hon. and gallant Member for Ripon has quite correctly pointed out, there is no Protection here because the Excise duty and the Customs duty are exactly the same, with the negligible difference of 2d., which has always been given in favour of the home producer in order to cover certain definite costs which are imposed upon him because he is dealing with a dutiable article. Therefore, there is no question whatever of Protection in that sense of the word. At the same time, the hon. Member on the Front Opposition Bench is quite right in saying that we have reason to believe, and it is confirmed by the trade, that it will have a protective influence, important to the manufacturer and producer in this country but also quite as important to the consumer.
Matches are rather peculiar articles in this respect, that there is hardly a commodity in which it is more difficult for the ordinary person to know whether he is really getting his money's worth. You cannot judge a box of matches by weight, and you are not going to turn out a box of matches in order to count whether there are 40 or 50 in the box. Therefore, it is a commodity in which the consumer may be easily deceived. 929 We believe, and the trade assure us that our belief is correct, that the change of basis, combined with the rate introduced in this Resolution, will have the effect of making it in the interests of the producers themselves, in order to minimise the weight of the duty, to put as near as possible the maximum number of matches in a box up to the next step in the taxation. Experience will tell us whether that anticipation is right or not, but if we are disappointed in that respect it will be for some future Chancellor of the Exchequer, or my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a future Budget to deal with it.
The hon. Member also said that he and his friends were going to oppose this Resolution, and all other Resolutions, not on the merits of the case at all—they do net consider the merits—but because of the inherent opposition which he and his friends have towards the whole system of indirect taxation. On that ground it is quite unnecessary to follow him. We have already had a very full discussion upon it. It is, of course, important, and I do not in the least complain of the attention that has been given to the question, as to where this particular duty is going to fall. That is important, and with regard to that, without going into a general discussion as to the merits of direct and indirect taxation, let me say this, as what I said on a former Resolution seems to have been misunderstood. Surely this is common ground and elementary, that in indirect taxation the tendency is to pass it on by one interest after another, so far as they can possibly pass it on, and therefore, the ultimate seat of payment will be the ultimate consumer, the actual consumer.
But it is not always possible to pass it on so far. There are various interests who have to handle it in the meantime. In the case of an imported article there is the importer, and the wholesale merchant, down to the retailer, and at every one of these stages the ordinary operation of the duty is interfered with by the introduction of competition. In this particular case there is very keen competition long before it gets to the ultimate consumer, or even the retailer, and, therefore, it is not possible, however much they may desire, for the wholesale dealers to pass on the whole of the duty 930 to the ultimate consumer. Our experience up to the present moment, which, of course, is only for a limited period, shows that process is at work. We have compared the new prices issued by some of the largest wholesale manufacturers with the actual prices of sale, with the result that while the price to the ultimate consumer has risen it has risen very much less than the full amount of the duty, and the largest part of the duty at present is being paid by the manufacturers and wholesale dealers.
§ Mr. HARRIS
May I ask a question in the interest of the street traders and street match sellers? I am told that a well-known Belgian match was retailed before the new duty was imposed at 4s. 4d. per gross wholesale, and that after the imposition of the extra duty it was raised to 6s. 2d. per gross wholesale. Does the Financial Secretary think that the extra price is justified by the duty?
§ Mr. McNEILL
I was about to say that while what I have said is true as regards British matches, it is not true, as far as we have been able to ascertain, with regard to foreign matches, and the whole of the duty, and a fraction more than the duty, is being passed on in the case of foreign matches. But foreign matches will obviously come under the operation of keen competition from British matches, and I have not the slightest doubt that if they attempt to go on passing on more than the duty, or even the full amount of the duty, that competition will compel them to change. I do not want to delay the House any further, and I merely say in conclusion that what we are doing in this regard appears to me to be a positive benefit, or likely to be a positive benefit, to the British consumer.
§ Mr. McNEILL
I am sorry I cannot allow myself to be interrupted at this late hour. I do not wish to be discourteous, and I hope the hon. Member will not think that I am discourteous. We hope to derive more than half a million pounds during the present year from the duty now proposed. I do not think anything that has been said has shown that it is an unreasonable duty, apart from the objection on principle to indirect taxation in any shape or form which, of course, is 931 no answer to a proposal of this sort. I hope the House will not delay in coming to a decision, and that it will support the Government in the proposal.
§ Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 243; Noes,141.933
|Division No. 96.]||AYES.||[7.58 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Fanshawe, Commander G. D||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Fermoy, Lord||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Finburgh, S.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Apsley, Lord||Ford, Sir P. J.||Margesson, Capt. D.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Willrid W.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Atkinson, C.||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Meller, R. J.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Ganzonl, Sir John||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Gates, Percy||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Barnston, Major sir Harry||Goff, Sir Park||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Gower, Sir Robert||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Grace, John||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Berry, Sir George||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Penny, Frederick George|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Grotrian, H. Brent||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Braithwalte, Major A. N.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hanbury, C.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Philipson, Mabel|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hartlngton, Marquess of||Pilditcn, Sir Philip|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Haslam, Henry C.||Preston, William|
|Burman, J. B.||Hawke, John Anthony||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Radford, E. A.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Ralne, W.|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ramsden, E.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Herbert, S. (York, N.R.,Scar. & Wh'by)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hills, Major John Waller||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Cayzer,Maj. Sir Herbt.R.(Prtsmth.S.)||Hilton, Cecil||Remer, J. R.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Christie, J. A.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Colfox, Major William Phillips||Hurd, Percy A.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cope, Major William||Jacob, A. E.||Rye, F. G.|
|Couper, J. B.||Jephcott, A. R.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putnty)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Kennedy, A. R.(Preston)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Crooke, J. Smedlty (Deritend)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Sandon, Lord|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Galnsbro)||Lamb, J. Q.||Savery, S. S.|
|Cunllffe, Sir Herbert||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. sir Philip||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davidson,J.(Hertf'd,Hemel Hempst'd)||Looker, Herbert William||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J.H.||Lougher, Lewis||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Lumley, L. R.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Drewe, C.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Duckworth, John||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F.(Will'sden,E.)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Macintyre, Ian||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Ellis, R. G.||McLean, Major A.||Stuart, Crichton, Lord C.|
|England, Colonel A.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Macquisten, F. A.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Warrender, Sir Victor||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Thomson, Rt. Hon. sir W. Mitchell-||Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Tinne, J. A.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Watts, Dr. T.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Wells, S. R.|
|Waddington, R.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wallace, Captain D. E.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)||Captain Lord Stanley and Captain|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Sexton, James|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hardie, George D.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Harney, E. A.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston)||Harris, Percy A.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Baker, Walter||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hayday, Arthur||Smillie, Robert|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayes, John Henry||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Snell, Harry|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, G. H.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Briant, Frank||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Broad, F. A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montroce)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromley, J.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Taylor, R. A.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kelly, W. T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Clowes, S.||Kennedy, T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Townend, A. E.|
|Connolly, M.||Kirkwood, D.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lansbury, George||Viant, S. P|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawrence, Susan||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lee, F.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lowth, T.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda.)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lunn, William||Webb Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Mackinder, W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Dennison, R.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Westwood, J.|
|Duncan, C.||March, S.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Dunnico, H.||Montague, Frederick||Whiteley, W.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morris, R. H.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Fenby, T. D.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Murnin, H.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Owen, Major G.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gillett, George M.||Palin, John Henry||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Gosling, Harry||Paling, W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wright, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grenfel, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Riley, Ben||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. A.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ritson, J.||Barnes|
|Groves, T.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Scurr, John|
Tenth Resolution read a Second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I wish to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury for one word of explanation of why the Excise duty differs in amount from the Customs duty? Surely we are not supposed to be giving any protection? The amount is so small—it comes to 2d. on 1,000 containers of matches, for example—that there would hardly be protection, and why, therefore, should we complicate matters by having different rates for the Excise and for the Customs?
§ Mr. McNEILL
This is a small margin which has always existed, and which is intended to cover the costs to which the home manufacturer is put owing to his dealing in a dutiable article, and having to submit to the Regulations of the Excise Department, and the holding up for a certain time of his capital when his material is dutiable.
§ Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 241; Noes, 134.937
|Division No. 97.]||AYES.||[8.10 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Perring, Sir William George|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Goff, Sir Park||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Gower, Sir Robert||Pilcher, G.|
|Apsley, Lord||Grace, John||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Atkinson, C.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Preston, William|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Grotrian, H. Brent||Radford, E. A.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Raine, W.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Ramsden, E.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hanbury, C.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hartington, Marquess of||Remer, J. R.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Blundell, F. N.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Haslam, Henry C.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hawke, John Anthony||Rice, sir Frederick|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Herbert, S.(York, N. R.,Scar. & Wh'by)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hills, Major John Walter||Ropner, Major L.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hilton, Cecil||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hogg, Rt. Hon.Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Rye, F. G.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sandon, Lord|
|Campbell, E. T.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustavt D.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Savery, S. S.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Hurd, Percy A.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Jacob, A. E.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Jephcott, A. R.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n t & Kinc'dlne,'C.)|
|Christie, J. A.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Kidd, J. (Linllthgow)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Somerville, A. A.(Windsor)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Clayton, G. C.||Lamb, J. Q.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F.(Will'sden,E.)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Lanc Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Strauss, E. A.|
|Cope, Major William||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Steatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Couper, J. B.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Stuart, Crichtori-, Lord C.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Looker, Herbert William||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Lougher, Lewis||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Templeton, W. P.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lumley, L. R.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Galnsbro)||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Cunilffe, Sir Herbert||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davidson,J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Maclntyre, Ian||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||McLean, Major A.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovll)||Macmillan, Captain H.||Waddington, R.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Drewe, C.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Duckworth John||Malone, Major P. B.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Meller, R. J.||Wells, S. R.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Merriman, F. B.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|England, Colonel A.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||wise, Sir Fredric|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fermoy, Lord||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Finburgh, S.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Newton, Sir D. G. C (Cambridge)|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Captain Lord Stanley and Captain|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Penny, Frederick George||Margesson.|
|Gates, Percy||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Sexton, James|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hardie, George D.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Harney, E. A.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hayday, Arthur||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baker, Walter||Hayes, John Henry||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smillie, Robert|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Briant, Frank||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Broad, F. A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Taylor, R. A.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kelly, W, T.||Thome, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Clowes, S.||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Connolly, M.||Kirkwood, D.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||Lansbury, George||Townend, A. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawrence, Susan||Varley, Frank B.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lee, F.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lowth, T.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lunn, William||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Mackinder, W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dennison, R.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Duncan, C.||March, S.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Dunnico, H.||Montague, Frederick||West wood, J.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedweilty)||Morris, R. H.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Whiteley, W.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Murnin, H.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gardner, J. P.||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Owen, Major G.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Gillett, George M||Palin, John Henry||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gosling, Harry||Paling, W.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Pethick- Lawrence, F. W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenall, T.||Potts John S.||Wright, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Riley, Ben||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Groves, T.||Ritson, J.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. A.|
|Grundy. T. W.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks,W.R.,Elland)||Barnes.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Scurr, John|
§ It being a quarter past Eight of the Clock, further Proceeding was postponed without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No.4.