HC Deb 07 July 1930 vol 241 cc151-66

Postponed Proceeding resumed on Question, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

Question again proposed.


The proceedings were interrupted by the decision of many hon. Members opposite that a Bill certified by the Lord Privy Seal as one exceptional for the employment of those who were out of work, should not have a Second Reading—[Interruption.] I was pointing out, with reference to the new Clause moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel), that in an individual case it was more unjust to the wise and prudent man who desired the least possible interference with the course of his business or the management of his estate at his death, and who therefore provided for his death and the Estate Duties which resulted from it by an insurance policy, than even then had been put before the Committee. I take a case, according to the Second Schedule of the Bill, of an estate of £100,000, but for the purpose of my illustration I will assume that, as so often happens, the estate turns out to be a little more than the owner of it estimated that it would be.

We will suppose that he dies, and that the estate is valued for probate at £101,000. That would pay Estate Duty at the rate, for £100,000, of 19 per cent., and the Estate Duty due would be £19,190. The owner of such an estate as that would say, "Roughly speaking, my estate is liable to £19,000 Estate Duty. It is my duty to take out a policy for £19,000." Adding the £19,000, as is now done, to the estate of £101,000, you arrive at an aggregate for the estate of £120,000. The duty on that is 20 per cent. By adding the policy that is taken out to provide for Estate Duty (the proceeds of which are handed over to pay the Estate Duty) to the rest of the estate, the estate becomes liable for Estate Duty at 20 per cent. on £120,000, or a total of £24,000. So very nearly £5,000 additional Estate Duty goes to the Treasury, and only £14,000 of the original 219,000 insured remains to pay the Estate Duty.

I say that such a state of things cannot possibly be left to go on, and in my view, whatever other Clauses or Amendments we may divide on, this is a matter of such injustice and so contrary to public policy—public policy which demands that provision should be made for these Estate Duties—that we must press it. The higher Estate Duties are raised the greater the dislocation of business at death, and the greater the impossibility of carrying on an estate, if it is a real estate, without the provision of insurance by a sum adequate to meet the demands of the Treasury on the death of the owner. That seems so obvious that I would like to see what it is that my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham asks for in his new Clause. I have on the Paper two Amendments going rather beyond what my hon. Friend proposes, and I am amazed at his moderation. What he says in effect is that the policy shall not be aggregated with the estate, but shall be assessed for duty separately at half the percentage rate of duty applicable to the remainder of the estate. I should have thought that my hon. Friend would have said that the result of the proceeds of the insurance policy should be taken as a separate estate, and that if any duty were to be charged upon it at all, in the hypothetical case that I have given, the rate appropriate to £19,000 would be charged. My hon. Friend offers the Treasury half of the 19 per cent.; he offers 9½ per cent. to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The proper rate of Estate Duty on that aggregation would be only 8 per cent. My hon. Friend is, therefore, offering the Chancellor more than he is entitled to.

Let me show the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he is getting under this Clause. He would get Estate Duty on £101,000 at 19 per cent.,, that is £19,190. He would get Estate Duty on the proceeds of the policy of £19,000 at 9½ per cent., that is £1,805. The total Estate Duty, with the policy, would be £20,995, instead of £19,190 if the deceased had taken out no policy. So it is still to the advantage of the Treasury to the extent of £1,805. It seems to me that it is obviously in the interest of the Treasury, and it is certainly in the national interest, that people should be encouraged to insure for the payment of Estate Duties. What the Treasury is now saying to the taxpaying public is this. "If you are an imprudent fellow and do not care what happens to your successors, or to the business in which you have been engaged all your life, and if you do not care whether the business is to be carried on with adequate capital when you die, and the property is then worth £100,000, we will charge you only £19,000, but if you insure so as to provide for Estate Duty, we will charge you £24,000, and fine you £5,000." That is the present montrous position and it cannot be left where it is. We have a right to say that the Treasury must make up their minds whether it is in the interest of the taxpayer, of the Treasury and the country, that frugality and thrift, especially applied to the payment of Estate Duties, should, be discouraged. If it is not in their interests they ought to accept the new Clause.


The hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel), who moved this new Clause, claimed that unless it were accepted the Government would not be paying sufficient attention to the question of life insurance, but his speech was very mild compared with the speech to which we have just listened.


I gave you facts.


There are several ways in which a man can put by money for the purpose of saving and leaving his heirs in a position to face the future. One method is by life insurance, but it certainly is not the only method. Let me take, for example, the man who has a business and who, by saving and putting more and more money into the business, is building up his estate for his successors. That is exactly the same kind of thrift as that in the case of the man who has not got a business, or the man who has got a business and does not attempt to increase it by saving, but who puts his money into life assurance. What the two hon. Gentlemen who have moved and seconded the new Clause seem to argue is that the man who saves by means of life insurance is a person much more worthy of consideration than the man who saves by other means. As a matter of fact, the Government already treats a man who saves by life insurance in a more favourable way, because, whereas a man who saves by means of increasing his ordinary investments has to pay the full Income Tax upon what he puts to increasing his capital, the man who saves by means of life insurance is allowed a peculiar form of exemption which is the statutory law of the land with regard to life insurance premiums. Let me quote to hon. Members opposite what was said in 1922 by the very distinguished lawyer who was at that time Solicitor-General, and who will be remembered by those who sat in the late Parliament as one who often made very effective contributions to debate. I refer to Sir Leslie Scott, and I am quite sure no one sitting opposite will deny his integrity and acumen in dealing with such questions. In the Finance Bill debate of 1922, this is what Sir Leslie Scott said: One man may like to save by means of insurance and another by investments of a different kind. Why should one kind of investment be exempted from Death Duties and not another kind of investment? If it be suggested that the policy moneys, which of course, are part of the estate which passes at death, are to be treated as not being a part of the estate, then it is giving a very large exemption from Death Dusties to one particular form of investment"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th June, 1922; col. 2213, Vol. 155.] I commend that very cogent statement to hon. Members opposite. I do not see why you should penalise a man who saves by putting money into his own business. I do not see why you should penalise the man who saves by building up the capital of the nation by direct investments. [Interruption.] An hon. Member says "Neither do we." But if you are singling out one special kind of investment and putting it in a very much more favourable position than all other forms, then to that extent you are penalising other forms of thrift.

What would be the effect of the new Clause upon revenue? Take the case of a man who takes out a very considerable life insurance—so much so that, when he comes to die, his estate of a total of £50,000 consists £30,000 of ordinary estate and £20,000 life insurance policy. What is his position? Under the present law, that man will pay Estate Duty on the whole £50,000; that is to say, at the rate of 14 per cent., but under the proposal of the hon. Member for Farnham we should have to divide the estate into £30,000 on the one hand and £20,000 insurance money on the other. The £30,000 would pay at the rate appropriate to that sum, namely, 10 per cent., and the £20,000 insurance money would pay only half, that is, 5 per cent. So that, instead of levying on the whole estate at 14 per cent., £30,000 would pay 10 per cent. and £20,000 5 per cent. That would involve very considerable loss to the Revenue, and for the reasons I have already explained I cannot for the life of me see why you should single out this particular form of thrift and put it on a pinnacle above all other forms.

Moreover, the hon. Member for Farnham has fixed no limit to the working of the Clause, and supposing the estate had nothing but life insurance money, the effect would be that that man's estate would pay no duty at all. I cannot really think that that is his intention. A man may perfectly well leave £10,000 or £20,000, and yet have no other estate than insurance money for that amount. The Clause would have the effect of bringing no revenue at all to the State from such an estate as that. If you compare the position of that man with another man who has had very little opportunity of saving and has a few thousand pounds invested, I say it is most unfair that the man who had built up a considerable estate and left it at death in insurance money should be in that privileged position as against another man who had never had the chance of doing that and who left a considerable sum. I am afraid that we cannot accept this Clause, because we do not accept the principle which underlies it. I have endeavoured to show that so distinguished a lawyer as Sir Leslie Scott, whose opinions must hold weight on the other side of the Committee, took precisely the same view on this question in the debate on the Finance Bill of 1922 as the present Government do now.


I am bound to say that the speech of the Financial Secretary has made me gasp. It consisted of nothing less from beginning to end than discouragement of, and pouring cold water upon, life insurance. I particularly pointed out, when moving my new Clause, that my reason was divided into two categories2014;that, generally, of thrift, and particularly in relation to Estate Duty. The hon. Gentleman has utterly failed to see the line I took, and which was taken by the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto), which is that we are concerned mostly with life insurance policies as a form of saving for the purpose of finding liquid cash at death. What is the good of the hon. Gentleman talking as he has done, disclosing the danger of a man who has not been in business talking about business? Quite recently I acted as executor for a manufacturer who, except for a life insurance policy, had everything invested in trade. Why, we should have had the factory in ruins about our ears if we had had to take money out of the factory instead, as I am glad to say, of having a good fat life insurance with which to pay the Estate Duty. If that man had followed—if I may say it without offence—the foolish idea of putting all his money into the factory, then as executor I should have had to sell off stock, and, perhaps, buildings, and sacked some of the men and injured the very thing we wished to promote, namely, trade. This man had gradually accumulated £7,000 or £8,000 and instead of putting it into the factory and into stock-in-trade, he had taken out life insurance policies and with that money I and my co-executors were able to pay the money due to the State. What was the good of the money if it had been in the factory and not liquid?

I ask the Committee to note that at the time when Sir Leslie Scott was a Member of this House things were very different. Conditions have altered since then as to the rate of Estate Duty. At that time the rate of Estate Duty which was operative upon a man's estate plus the duty on the life insurance policy, was not nearly as high as it is now, and at that time it would have paid a man to take out a life insurance policy. To-day as my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple has pointed out, it often does not pay a, man to take out a life insurance policy under these conditions, because, when he has paid the premiums and when his estate has paid the increased percentage of duty upon the aggregate amount there is no advantage. The Financial Secretary has overlooked another point. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the help and sympathy of all of us, hopes to find himself in a position soon, to convert a very large amount of Five Per Cent. War Loan. The one thing which the right hon. Gentleman wants in that connection is a large volume of money in, the hands of the people who are likely to go into a Conversion Loan and it is better that there should be a large sum in the hands of the great insurance companies than [Laughter]. I do not know what the hon. Gentleman opposite laughs at. His laugh means nothing. There is nothing behind it. I am sure that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury from their experience know that no people helped Britain in finding the sinews of war more loyally than the insurance companies.


At a price—and a heavy price, which we are paying now.


In reply to that remark, let me quote the case of the great life insurance company for my native city the Norwich Union Company. I may say that I am not a director of that company. Whatever benefit that company got out of helping the Exchequer by finding money for national purposes, it did not go into the hands of shareholders but into the hands of the people whose savings that money represented.


Are the shares of the Prudential Company held in that way?


If one looks at the—


Can I have an answer to my question?


I am afraid we are getting away from the subject.


It is to the advantage of the Treasury to stimulate money being put into life insurance policies, because the life insurance companies are great supporters of national finance. Finally, I submit this point. The Treasury has to make up its mind whether it wants men to take out life policies or not. As I have already pointed out, the cost of Estate Duty is much heavier now than it was when Sir Leslie Scott was in the House. A new condition of affairs has arisen and it no longer pays a man to take out a life insurance policy for the purposes of paying Estate Duty. [HON. MEMBERS: "Since when?"] I shall ask my hon. Friends to go into the Lobby in support of this new Clause if for no other reason than to let the country see that we are taking this matter very seriously, and although we cannot hope to beat the Government on this point, at any rate we intend to sound a note of warning so that those interested in these matters, especially the Treasury, may look into the question. I hope they will recognise the short-sightedness of their policy of discouraging life insurance. I hope it will be seen that to pursue that policy and to follow on the lines indicated by the Financial Secretary, would do a great deal more harm than good to the country.


My hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel) said that the reply of the Financial Secretary made him gasp. I prefer to leave my description of it a blank, because I am afraid it would be ruled out of order, but the hon. Gentleman's reply was so absurd that I feel bound to give a concrete example of the state of things which the new Clause is designed to remedy. We have had the old time-worn excuse of the Treasury, that the Government cannot afford this concession, but do not the Financial Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer realise that by opposing this new Clause, as well as by many of the other actions which they are taking in this Finance Bill, they are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs? They are killing thrift and initiative. A friend of mine who is the head of a very large works employing thousands of men has taken out a life policy to cover his Estate Duty. The whole of his money is invested in that concern, and on his death, if he had not a life policy, part of that business would have to be liquidated to meet the Estate Duty. In that eventuality a number of men would be put out of employment. He has deliberately taken out a policy in these bad times because he wants to stand by the men who are working for him.


Could he not sell his shares to somebody else?


He has no shares. The whole of his money is in the business.


I see—he has no balance.


Remarks such as that from hon. Members on the back benches opposite show the utter futility of those hon. Members in dealing with these questions. They do not understand the first thing about these matters. Here is a public-spirited man who, personally, would much rather retire from business, but if he did so it would mean that his works would be shut up and thousands of men thrown out of work. He has put, all his resources into this business to save the works until better times come and he is taking out a policy of insurance in order to try to prevent the liquidation of any part of the concern when the time comes for the payment of Estate Duty. The Government is penalising this man's thrift and his public spirited attempt to provide against the dismissal of men from employment in the circumstances which I have indicated.


Where is the penalty?


When this particular man has paid Income Tax and Super-tax and the premiums on his policies he has paid 23s. in the £ and he has to live on his capital.


The Financial Secretary to the Treasury said that the proposed new Clause would give special advantages to one form of thrift, namely insurance. From the Treasury point of view I submit that it would pay to give special advantages to that form of thrift. From the payment of Estate Duty point of view, it would pay, because it is the only certainty that you have got. The Financial Secretary suggested that the Estate Duty payer might just as well put his money into his business and make savings in other forms. Those are all liable to the fluctuations of trade, and they are all either more or less—very likely less—realisable at the moment of death, but in a reliable insurance company the money is paid at death, and is liquid; and I defy the hon. Gentleman to point out to me any other form of savings or thrift of which that can be said.

The rest of his speech was devoted to showing that my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel) had omitted, from his perhaps hastily constructed Clause, something which I have in my Clause which would absolutely answer that point, namely, that all that we really ask for, and are entitled to ask for, are special terms for that portion of the insurance, whatever it may be, which

is actually devoted to the payment of Estate Duty. Only two lines lower on the Paper—the hon. Gentleman must have seen it—he will find precisely the words necessary to put into this Clause. Why does he not say he will accept my hon. Friend's Clause, amended by the insertion of those particular words? We should be only too glad to compromise on those terms, but as he has offered no compromise, I hope my hon. Friend will press his Clause to a division.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 117; Noes, 265.

Division No. 416.] AYES. [9.47 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Ford, Sir P. J. Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Alnsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles Forestier-Walker, Sir I. Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Albery, Irving James Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William
Atkinson, C. Galbraith, J. F. W. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Pownall, Sir Assheton
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ramsbotham, H.
Beaumont, M. W. Greene, W. P. Crawford Rawson, Sir Cooper
Betterton, Sir Henry B. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Reid, David D. (County Down)
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Gunston, Captain D. W. Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Bird, Ernest Roy Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Haslam, Henry C. Ross, Major Ronald D.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Briscoe, Richard George Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Salmon, Major I.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Buckingham, Sir H. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Hurd, Percy A. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Carver, Major W. H. King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Smithers, Waldron
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Knox, Sir Alfred Somerset, Thomas
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Leigh, Sir John (Clapham) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Chapman, Sir S. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Little, Dr. E. Graham Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Colfox, Major William Philip Llewellin, Major J. J. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Colman, N. C. D. Long, Major Eric Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Colville, Major D. J. Lymington, viscount Tinne, J. A.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Todd, Capt. A. J.
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Turton, Robert Hugh
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Makins, Brigadier-General E. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey Margesson, Captain H. D. Warrender, Sir Victor
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Marjoribanks, E. C. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Davies, Dr. Vernon Meller, R. J. Wells, Sydney R.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Dawson, Sir Philip Mond, Hon. Henry Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Duckworth, G. A. V. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Womersley, W. J.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Ferguson, Sir John Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Fielden, E. B. Muirhead, A. J. Sir George Penny and Major the
Marquess of Titchfield.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.) Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Benson, G. Buchanan, G.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Bentham, Dr. Ethel Burgess, F. G.
Ammon, Charles George Sevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Burgin, Dr. E. L.
Arnott, John Birkett, W. Norman Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)
Aske, Sir Robert Blindell, James Caine, Derwent Hall-
Attlee, Clement Richard Bowen, J. W. Cameron, A. G.
Ayles, Walter Broad, Francis Alfred Cape, Thomas
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Brockway, A. Fenner Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Brooke, W. Charleton, H. C.
Barr, James Brothers, M. Church, Major A. G.
Batey, Joseph Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Clarke, J. S.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Brown, Ernest (Leith) Cluse, W. S.
Bellamy, Albert Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire) Cocks, Frederick Seymour
Compton, Joseph Knight, Holford Ritson, J.
Cove, William G. Lang, Gordon Romeril, H. G.
Cowan, D. M. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Daggar, George Lathan, G. Rowson, Guy
Dalton, Hugh Law, Albert (Bolton) Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Law, A. (Rosendale) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lawrence, Susan Sanders, W. S.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Sandham, E.
Dickson, T. Lawson, John James Sawyer, G. F.
Dukes, C. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Scott, James
Duncan, Charles Leach, W. Scrymgeour, E.
Ede, James Chuter Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Scurr, John
Edge, Sir William Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Sexton, James
Edmunds, J. E. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lindley, Fred W. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lloyd, C. Ellis Sherwood, G. H.
Egan, W. H. Logan, David Gilbert Shield, George William
Elmley, Viscount Longbottom, A. W. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
England, Colonel A. Longden, F. Shillaker, J. F.
Foot, Isaac Lowth, Thomas Shinwell, E.
Forgan, Dr. Robert Lunn, William Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Freeman, Peter Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Simmons, C. J.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)
Gibbins, Joseph McElwee, A. Sinkinson, George
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) McEntee, V. L. Sitch, Charles H.
Gill, T. H. McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Gillett, George M. McKinlay, A. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Glassey, A. E. Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Smith, H. S. Lees (Keighley)
Gossling, A. G. McShane, John James Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Gould, F. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Mander, Geoffrey le M. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Granville, E. Mansfield, W. Snell, Harry
Gray, Milner March, S. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Marcus, M. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Markham, S. F. Sorensen, R.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middleshro' W.) Marley, J. Stamford, Thomas W.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Marshall, Fred Stephen, Campbell
Groves, Thomas E. Mathers, George Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Grundy, Thomas W. Matters, L. W. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Messer, Fred Strauss, G. R.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Middleton, G. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth. C.) Mills, J. E. Thurtle, Ernest
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Milner, Major J. Tinker, John Joseph
Hardie, George D. Montague, Frederick Townend, A. E.
Harris, Percy A. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Morley, Ralph Turner, B.
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Morris, Rhys Hopkins Vaughan, D. J.
Haycock, A. W. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Viant, S. P.
Hayes, John Henry Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Walkden, A. G.
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Walker, J.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Mort, D. L. Wallace, H. W.
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Moses, J. J. H. Wallhead, Richard C.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Murnin, Hugh Watkins, F. C.
Herriotts, J. Naylor, T. E. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Oldfield, J. R. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Hoffman, P. C. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Wellock, Wilfred
Hollins, A. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Hopkin, Daniel Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) West, F. R.
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Palin, John Henry Westwood, Joseph
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Paling, Wilfrid White, H. G.
Hunter, Dr. Joseph Palmer, E. T. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Isaacs, George Perry, S. F. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Williams, T. (York. Don Valley)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Phillips, Dr. Marion Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Johnston, Thomas Picton-Turbervill, Edith Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Pole, Major D. G. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborno) Potts, John S. Winterlon, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Price, M. P. Wise, E. F.
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston) Rathbone, Eleanor Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Kelly, W. T. Raynes, W. R.
Kennedy, Thomas Richards, R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. William
Kinley, J. Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) Whiteley.
Kirkwood, D. Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)

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


I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

I do not rise to move this Motion because I with to do anything but abridge and expedite the proceedings, but we really must know beyond a peradventure, as President Wilson put it, what are the intentions of the Government, and we must make quite sure that there is no misunderstanding of any sort or kind between the two sides of the Committee. We are trying to get on as quickly as we can, but we have been greatly blocked by the long discussion on the private Bill, and there remain only two hours before 12 o'clock for eight pages of proposed new Clauses. It will be extraordinarily difficult to press that in, but I agree that we must do everything in our power. Where does the Government stand in the matter? Are they prepared to facilitate in any way the clearing of the Order Paper up to the point where the proposed new Clause—(Relief to company reserves)—standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan), appears on the Paper? That new Clause should come on in the early part of Wednesday's debate. That is our wish, and it is the wish of the Government. I do not know whether it is possible to get through the intervening business by 12 o'clock, even by not discussing it. The Government should make it perfectly clear that they will not attempt to discuss that proposed new Clause during the small hours of the morning, if by any chance the present programme falls through; otherwise, we may be quite sure that we shall carry the discussion round to two or three o'clock in the morning. Then there is the question of what is to happen after 7.30 on Wednesday. We had better have it out, because the right hon. Gentleman is always ready to say that we have broken agreements, and so on. There is this important proposed new Clause of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green, and afterwards, the question of the assessment for Death Duties. I am not in a position to guarantee that the matter will be wound up at 7.30 on Wednesday, but we will do our best. We are with the right hon. Gentleman in the hope that the Committee stage should be put out of the way by Wednesday, but let there be no misunderstanding so that he can say that we have broken our word. There is no need for misunderstanding, and we will do the best we can.

10.0 p.m.


With the help that the right hon. Gentleman has offered, I think that we shall have no difficulty at all in getting to the proposed new Clause in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) to-night. The right hon. Gentleman said that there are about eight pages of proposed new Clauses still on the Paper, but they are nut anything like so formidable as might be assumed from the space which they occupy on the Paper; one proposed new Clause alone occupies a page. I do not in the least wish to interfere with the complete discretion of the Chair in the matter, but, judging from precedent, it is hardly likely that every proposed new Clause on the Paper that has not been reached will be called. I think, therefore, that there is no reason at all why the remaining two hours up to 12 o'clock should not be quite sufficient to get to the point that I have indicated. A number of the proposed new Clauses which occupy a considerable space on the Paper ought not to lead to any discussion, because I am prepared to accept them, so that I think that in the next two hours we shall have ample time to get to the point which I have indicated. I am as anxious as the right hon. Gentleman that we shall be free for the discussion of the proposed new Clause in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green at the beginning of the proceedings on Wednesday. As to the finish of the Committee stage, if we work with as much harmony as possible, we ought to get the end by about 7.30 on Wednesday—but I will not say to half-an-hour more or less—so that we may be able to deal with the Lords Amendments to the Coal Mines Bill. I think what I have said will be quite satisfactory to the right hon. Gentleman.


I do not think we can say more than that we will do our very best to facilitate the business. I beg to ask leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.