For the purpose of calculating the annual profits or gains arising or accruing from any trade, profession, employment, or vocation, there shall be deducted in each of the three accounting periods following the sixth day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty, any sums which, to the satisfaction of the Commissioners by whom the assessment is made, can be proved to have been expended upon the purchase, installation, erection, or improvement of plant or machinery with a view to the reconditioning, re-equipment, modernisation, or improvement of such plant or machinery: Provided always that if recourse is had to the benefits conferred by this section, no claim shall be entertained by the Commissioners in respect of the diminished value by reason of wear and tear of the said plant and machinery to the extent of any deduction allowed here-under.—[Dr. Burgin.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Dr. BURGIN
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
This Clause is described as one providing relief to money expended on plant or machinery. It may be that the suggestion of incorporating into Income Tax law a provision depending in some measure on the purpose for which profits are spent, is unusual and contrary to the stream. We are, however, living in times of very great difficulty, and I, for one, do not hesitate to endeavour to apply a courageous remedy to what I believe to be a difficult position. This is, unblushingly, a purely temporary expedient. It is put forward in the belief—in the sincere belief, may I say to the Chancellor of the Exchequer—that it would do something to help employment in this country. The Committee will not grudge time spent in discussing a proposal from any quarter of the House which has behind it a desire to help employment in depressed industries.
The method suggested is that money expended on plant or machinery—words which, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said, cover almost everything 478 other than buildings—should be allowed to be deducted from profits in calculating Income Tax. I deal with the question of excluding buildings immediately. Those who framed the Clause were impressed with the fact that you could not very well give relief to everybody who erected a new factory in the year 1930–31 or 1931–32. That would be a wholly haphazard method of giving benefit. This Clause is not aimed at providing subsidies or benefits on a capricious scale; its object may be summed up in one word, "acceleration." It is intended to have as a result large expenditure on re-equipment, renovation and modernisation of plant and machinery; and, in order to bring about a large increase of orders, and, after all, industry is more interested in orders than in tariffs or taxes, the suggestion is made in this proposed new Clause that any person—it is not limited to companies—any business or any person to whom Schedule D applies should, to the extent to which he expends money on plant or machinery, be entitled, in the next three accounting-periods, to quote the wording of the Clause on the Paper, to claim a deduction against his profits, when made, to the extent of that money which is so expended.
I have said that the Clause on the Paper refers to three accounting periods. It may well be that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would prefer that the matter should be dealt with for one year, and that, as each Finance Bill comes before the country, the process should be repeated or not according to the experiment of the earlier year. That is a matter of machinery. I am not attempting, in the Clause that I am now moving, to legislate in the actual words in which the Clause is put down, so much as to introduce, expound and debate the idea, which is widely held, that, if you can induce the placing of orders in a slack time of the year, in industries which 479 themselves are slack, you will achieve double employment, by providing employment in the industries in which those orders are placed and by helping the industries which place them, by re-equipping their plant, more seriously to compete with their rivals.
I should not like it to be said for a moment that I am making any charge whatever of inefficiency against British industries. Wherever you have a craftsman working with an out-of-date tool, it is a misuse of talent and a waste of time and, if there is inefficiency in industry caused by plant not being up-to-date, that is inefficiency which can be remedied by ordering new plant. We wish to provide a stimulus, an inducement, an acceleration of the placing of those orders. If I understand anything of the iron and steel industries, they are suffering from the fact that such orders, as they are, are on differing specifications for relatively small amounts. What an advantage it would be to industries of that kind to have large and substantial orders placed on relatively uniform or defined specifications so that there might be something approaching mass production! The whole idea is singularly attractive. As was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) in discussing the previous Amendment, it may well be that the language chosen does but reflect the idea and does not provide in apt terms the way in which it should be introduced into an Act of Parliament. That is one of the privileges that a private Member has, that he can introduce an idea into a Clause on the Paper and provoke a discussion whether or not his words are of sufficient aptitude and precision to be embodied as they stand in an Act of Parliament.
Some of the points that naturally occur to anyone who has any experience of Income Tax practice and of industry combined are these. You are talking of profits. You are using language applicable to Schedule D. You are talking of Income Tax. How will proposals of that kind affect a really depressed industry? If you are dealing with Income Tax, obviously you will never help an industry which is not going to make profits at all. 480 Let that be quite clearly stated. A deduction against profits for the purposes of Income Tax presupposes that there are going to be in the near future profits against which the deduction can be made. So I say at once that this Clause is not intended to be a subsidy of 4s. 6d. in the £ to every industry to expend money on plant. That is not the object at all. One would hesitate, in the concluding stages of the Finance Bill, to dare to put forward a Clause which had the effect of introducing an enormous commitment of that kind to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Nothing of the kind. I am suggesting that, in an industry in which there are profits at present, or in which it is hoped within the period allowed for the re-equipment of the plant there may be some prospect of profits in the near future, you say to that industry, "Take your courage in your hands. Place your orders, bring your machinery up to date, re-equip yourself, compete with the world and, if you do, and make profits, you shall be allowed, as against those profits, first of all a deduction for the amount you have expended on modernising and equipping your plant and machinery." I make that point quite clear, that it is not intended to be a universal subsidy to industry. It is a permission to industry to deduct from profits money which it expends.
May I take another point? How are you to deal with the individual, the industry or the concern which would normally, in the ordinary course of things, be renovating a considerable section of its plant in the next three years? Are you to give it a purely unexpected present? Are you to say to it, "You have had the good luck to postpone the renovation of your plant until 1930. You are, therefore, to be given some additional benefit, but your neighbour who did it in 1929 is to be denied it." I am not suggesting that. I should be quite prepared to accept the suggestion that the relief for which one is asking—again I plead that it is an idea—should be limited to the excess above an average. If you say, "Above an average expenditure in how many years?" I should say we are living in difficult times and that a short period of years would make an unfair average but, if you make your base sufficiently long, if you make an average of five years, one might well be 481 content to say this relief for which I am asking should apply only to cases above the average expenditure for some such period of time. I mention that merely to show that one is not taking money out of the taxpayers' pocket and giving it to certain specialised recipients. If the Clause errs by making that possible, it is an error that must be corrected in the Clause. It is not a vice inherent in the idea. The idea is simply that we are going to accelerate orders for certain things because you believe that, by those orders being placed, you will help both the industry that wants them placed and the one that places the orders.
It may be said that plant and machinery are difficult words. They are words that are defined in the Income Tax Acts. I have been sorely troubled, in thinking over the Clause, as to what one is to do with one of our most depressed industries—agriculture—in which the percentage of plant is relatively small. If you go to a depressed farmer and offer him an abatement of his Income Tax in respect of a tractor and a new hoe, you will not get as good a reception as if you offered to deduct tax on the various forms of farm buildings that he is putting up. Whether or not it would be possible, as a matter of definition, to say that plant should include agricultural buildings is a matter of technical consideration for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his advisers, and one would accept their answer. If it enormously swells the amount that this relief would call for, one would not ask for it, because it would be impossible. If, on the other hand, it were possible in some way to assimilate agricultural buildings, which really take the place of plant in that industry, it would be an attractive proposal to have agricultural buildings included.
Now I come to the natural question, What would this cost? It is extremely difficult for anyone who has not access to the information in the hands of the Department even to hazard a figure as to the cost of a proposal essentially somewhat vague in its terms such as this, but from questions and answers across the Floor of the House, I understand that an expenditure of this kind might not be at all out of the way, and that a sum, such as suggested by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for 482 Epping, of possibly £5,000,000 or so might be the amount in the course of a twelve-month. But those, again, are matters on which I, at any rate, have no detailed information. I desire to put forward this idea that, if you can provide some inducement to accelerate orders, you may be very greatly assisting industry at a time of depression. You must bear in mind, in thinking of the period over which the Clause is to apply, that for plant of any value you cannot place your order to-day for delivery to-morrow. A considerable time must inevitably elapse between placing your order and the delivery of the plant. Therefore, it is clear that, in asking for the accounting period of 1930, one must make clear to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that one is not asking for any relief in respect of expenditure already made. There is nothing in the nature of retroactive effect in what I am suggesting. One is talking of a forward effect, and if, in that forward effect, you have to make a discount because of the lag between the placing of the order and the delivery of the plant, it is only fair, in calculating the cost, that we should make some allowance for the probable expenditure on plant which could be brought into the accounting year ending March, 1931.
Such is the Clause that I put forward. Plant and machinery, expend your money, deduct your cost from your calculation of profits. That calculation of profits under ordinary Income Tax law will enable you to carry forward from year to year that debit to profit and loss until, under ordinary Income Tax practice, the period has expired within which you are entitled to relief. Such is the proposal of this new Clause. It is an emergency proposal having in mind merely the fact that to alter unemployment yon must provide employment, that the industries in which you want to provide employment are precisely those which depend on plant and machinery, and that the people who will place orders for plant and machinery must be stimulated.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
In the House of Commons, as on every-day experience, expectations are often not realised. I understand that, in the last few days, in places where Members congregate, the main topic of conversation has been the crisis which would eventuate this afternoon. 483 I am afraid, after the hon. Member's speech in submitting this Clause, there can be no crisis. He has abandoned the Clause altogether, and he has told us three times that he is not submitting a Clause to the House of Commons but an idea and an ideal. It is very difficult indeed to discuss ideals and, while I have every sympathy with what he has described as the purpose of the Clause, whatever may be its shortcomings, I am afraid that the suggestions he has made for improving the situation are not likely to be beneficial if carried. He said he was unblushingly putting forward this proposal as a temporary expedient, that it would not subsidise in any capricious way, that it would bring in a large number of orders and that it could be dealt with in one year. The abandonment of the Clause by the hon. Member, and I assume by those who were supporting him, has relieved me from the necessity of dealing in much detail with his actual proposal, but, as he at times raised points embodied in the Clause, it is necessary that I should deal with them.
What does the Clause do? It proposes that for three years the whole of the capital cost of all plant and machinery purchased for reconditioning and for improvement and modernisation, shall be allowed as a deduction from Income fax. That, I think, is a fair way of putting the purpose of the Clause. There is no limitation in it, although I rather gathered at one point, that the hon. Member seemed to suggest it. Of course, there could be no question here in regard to factory buildings, and moreover the hon. Member raised the question of the inclusion of agriculture, but as that is not proposed in the Clause I need not deal with it. Apart from this, there is no limitation, for it would be impossible to exclude from the Clause anything that was in fact plant and machinery. I will deal with that point a little more fully later on, that is with the universality of the relief that would be given under the proposals as embodied in this Clause.
The hon. Gentleman says that he has made this proposal because he believes that it will encourage the scrapping of old plant and re-equipment. I think that that is a most desirable and most necessary object at the present time. We may 484 differ as to the best means by which that purpose is to be achieved, but there can be no doubt as to the desirability of doing what we can to attain that object. I said a moment ago that there can be no limitation, because the terms of the Amendment are quite definite. It does not say merely industries It has left nothing out—trades, industries, professions. Then in framing the Amendment, after the phrase had got so far, afraid that possibly they were leaving something out, they added "or vocation." I do not know what is the meaning of "vocation" in this connection; whether it differs from a profession or a trade.
Trade depression to-day is in productive industries, but the subsidy—because it is a subsidy, as I will show later, a bare-faced subsidy, or may I use the word of the hon. Gentleman himself, an "unblushing" subsidy—would apply to the equipment of, for example, an ice cream vendor. [Interruption.] Yes. It would apply to the whole equipment of a factory, and it would apply to that of every trader, and those trades would get the most which were the most prosperous. Indeed, it would apply to banks. Every new counter put in would, to the extent of more than one-fifth of the cost, be paid for by the general taxpayer. It would apply to brewers. Every new vat which was put into a brewery would be provided to the extent of nearly one-quarter out of the pockets of the general taxpayer. The hon. Gentleman, it is true, has put this proposal before the Committee as an idea, but he asks us to translate that idea into a practical scheme.
Let me, in a little more detail, show how the Clause works. At the present time there is a wear and tear annual allowance to cover the replacement of plant worn out. It means that during the life of the plant the State are giving employers or firms an exemption from tax on sums which, if accumulated, will be sufficient at the end of the life of the machine to replace it without cost to the firm. That is the present law. There are two ways of dealing with this wear and tear point, but the statement which I have made just now applies to nearly all cases. But there is a second way, and that is, to allow a lump sum upon the renewal of the plant. Take the case of a doctor. The doctor buys a motor car which is the plant for his work, 485 and it is recognised as such in the Income Tax law. Therefore, if he spends a sum upon replacing that motor car he is allowed to deduct the capital cost of the replacement. What would happen under this proposal? Suppose that that doctor is a very wealthy doctor in receipt of an income on which he pays a high rate of Super-tax, and suppose that he buys a Rolls Royce car to supersede a worn-out car which cost £800 originally. He pays £2,000 for the new car. He is entitled to deduct £800 as the cost of renewal. What happens under the Clause? He will be allowed to deduct not £800, but £2,000, and on this additional £1,200 he will get relief not at 4s. 6d. in the £, but at the tax which he pays. If he be paying the highest Surtax, the general taxpayer will contribute in all £1,200 to the cost of that doctor's new car.
The hon. Member—and that is the most important point which he made—says that this proposal will stimulate new orders in industry. Plans are not made on one day and carried out the next. Schemes of re-equipment take a long time to mature, and therefore practically nothing in the way of additional orders due to this relief would come into the accounting period of this year. But under the Clause all expenditure which has been made this year would come for relief of Income Tax—the schemes that have already been carried out, money which has already been spent. The hon. Gentleman said that there was nothing of a retrospective character in the Clause. He made the suggestion in his speech that the period might be limited to one year instead of three years. If we did that future orders would not get one penny of relief, and the whole of the money would go to pay for expenditure which has already been incurred and which has already provided employment. The hon. Member gave an estimate of cost, and at the same time he said that it was not such an ambitious proposal as the one to which reference was made in a previous debate, which was the exemption from Income Tax of all company reserves. It goes a very long way.
I do not in the least complain because the hon. Member has not the resources at his command to get a proper estimate of the cost but the cost would not be £5,000,000 a year, as he says. The cost, 486 at the lowest estimate, would be £30,000,000 a year. [Interruption.] Do not be impatient. The hon. Member who moved this new Clause admitted that the expenditure incurred this year would not result in additional employment. We should get this year, mark you, no relief of unemployment, but they would get £30,000,000—a sheer gift to these concerns out of the pockets of the general taxpayer without the reduction of a single one in the number of the unemployed. What is going to happen next year? Suppose the scheme goes on for three years. I want to make this point clear, that under the Amendment it is not only the excess over the average but it is the whole of the expenditure. The hon. Member agrees. Therefore we should have to continue in succeeding years to give the relief upon what they would have spent in any circumstances. Suppose that this stimulated orders to the extent of £50,000,000 next year, to that £50,000,000 the State would contribute £11,000,000. But in addition to that we should pay the £30,000,000 and therefore in order to get £50,000,000 worth more orders the State—that is the taxpayer—would contribute £41,000,000.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The hon. Member said that the cost would be £5,000,000. Suppose that there was an increase of orders, the cost, he admits, would be greatly increased. Suppose that it doubled the rate of new orders. For this £100,000,000, the State would contribute. £52,000,000. It would be £30,000,000 next year without one man being put into employment. I ask the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), is he prepared to face next year an increase of taxation to the extent of £30,000,000? Mat would mean an increase of over 6d. in the pound on the Income Tax, and the effect of that on these industries would be to wipe away 10 times over any benefit that might have accrued from such a proposal as this.
The right hon. Gentleman said that the subsidy was not going to be given capriciously. But whether there be caprice or not, the certain result would be that the greater part would go to 487 those prosperous industries which had ample reserves and which were not in the least hampered for new capital for the purchase of their plant. Only 25 per cent. of it would go to the distressed or depressed industries—coal, textiles, shipping and engineering. A proposal of this sort would not in the least help the cotton trade. They have no reserves to call upon, and anything that they could get from such relief would not touch the fringe of the re-equipment problem with which they are faced. There is, of course, the possibility that some indirect result might accrue to the engineering trade, because if orders were given, the enginering trade to that extent would profit by them. I have said, in contradiction to what the hon. Member said, that the fatal objection to this new Clause is that it is non-selective in its character. It has all the evils of the De-rating Act. I am waiting to hear from the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs all those resources of rhetoric, sarcasm and invective that he hurled against the De-rating Act. This is worse than the De-rating Act. The De-rating Act gave something to both the just and the unjust, but this Clause selects only the unjust and leaves the deserving Lazarus still begging at the door.
Let me deal with what I may call administrative difficulties, and they are serious difficulties. Take the case of what is going to happen in the event of a purchase. "A" sells to "B." "A" has already been allowed a lump sum deduction in regard to the whole cost of the plant. In the latter part of the Clause provision is made for that so long as the plant remains in the same hands. What is to be the position of "B" who buys it? Is he going to be able to claim depreciation during the life of that machine. If he does, what would happen would be this—that we should be paying depreciation on that machine twice over, giving 4s. 6d. in the pound for ordinary wear and tear although we had given 4s. 6d. at the outset on the total cost. Take the case of a new company. Suppose a new company wants a factory. What would they do? I know what I should do if this Clause were the law and if I were engaged in an enterprise of this sort. I should not 488 build a new factory. I should boy some dud factory and scrap it and then I should be entitled to the full relief of every penny that had been spent in the re-equipment and modernising of that factory.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that if I dreamt that there was the slightest possibility of the House of Commons ever giving such an opportunity to the tax grabber, I certainly should not have given that illustration. I have spoken of the difficulty of making deductions for savings in Income Tax returns. The tax should be charged on what a man earns without regard to how he spends it. The proposal in the new Clause violates that fundamental principle of Income Tax law. The right hon. Gentleman opposite on one occasion, dealing, I believe, with the same point, referred to an experience of his in connection with Excess Profit Duty. He admitted that what he did had been a violation of our general taxation canons; he had tried it as a wartime Measure, but he said, "There was very little I got in the way of excess profits."
Having made these criticisms of the proposals I want to say that it is opposed to the whole principle and practice of Income Tax law, a practice which has been built up over generations and is the admiration of every country in the world. We ought not to make any breaches in that law unless they are of a temporary character, of an urgent character and will be beneficial. I have shown already the extent of the benefit if it were carried out on the lines of this proposal.
The hon. Member suggested limiting it to one year. I think he will realise how absurd that would be, from what I have said. Could we limit it to one year? Could we limit it to three years? I am sure that we could not. Having once made that breach in the Income Tax law, it would grow, as the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) said, until the whole edifice was undermined. Take all our experience. The experience of political agitation of the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs goes 489 back to the first Agricultural Rate Relief Act. He knows how that was rigorously opposed by the Liberals. They were going to repeal it when they got into power, but they did not. I remember very well that the attack on the Agricultural Rating Act was the stock-in-trade of Liberal criticism and attack upon the Tory Government of that time. That Act was not repealed. On the contrary, Government after Government had to extend the principle until agricultural land to-day does not contribute one penny to local taxation. Take the De-rating Act. Is it going to be easy to repeal that? [HON. MEMBERS: "Try it!"] Once you have created a vested interest, it is very difficult to get rid of it, especially when large financial variations in the revenue and taxation of the country are necessary if that is done.
Although I have urged these things as cautions to be observed if we are to make any change, if a thing can be proved to be desirable and beneficial I do not say that it should not be considered, but we should have to be very careful. I do not rule out the possibility of doing something on any lines, if it is a sound scheme and if it can be defended. During the past 12 months there has been an impression abroad that I have been a stumbling-block to the expenditure of public money. I have never opposed a single scheme—not one—put forward on behalf of unemployment. If my right hon. Friend the late Lord Privy Seal were here he would confirm that. [HON. MEMBERRS: "What about the late Chancellor of the Duchy?"] I never had any communication from the late Chancellor of the Duchy during the last 12 months. [An HON. MEMBER: "What a cordial Government!"] I am sure that my hon. Friend the Minister of Transport will say that I have been helpful to him in all his schemes.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I have opposed, and I shall oppose, any expenditure of public money unless I think it is desirable and necessary, and that the expenditure will be beneficial. I am not going to be any party to the shovelling out of public money which will serve no better purpose than putting men to dig holes and to fill 490 them up again. The idea in the new Clause put into concrete form is quite impossible, it is full of injustices and anomalies and it would not conform to the dictum and condition that I have just laid down—no ladling out of public money unless we are going to get a return for it, sooner or later. While I have to oppose the Clause, I do not say that my mind is closed. [Interruption.] The right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), an hour ago, for about the fiftieth time during the Committee stage of this Bill, got up and advised me to make a concession. Whenever during the Committee stage of this Bill I have made concessions and accepted Amendments, every concession I have made has been received on that side of the House by taunts and jeers. I have not closed my mind to this or to any other proposal which is put forward professing to be a contribution to the solution of the grave problem of unemployment. I realise that the hon. Member and his friends who have put dawn this proposal have not had expert advice or official knowledge at their disposal, but I recognise that it is an honest and a sincere attempt to make a contribution to the solution of this problem. In its present form, however, it is quite unacceptable, and if I reject it I am quite ready to consider any proposal put forward for the same purpose and in the same spirit.
§ 6.0 p.m.
Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
If the whole tone of the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been of the same character as the first 99 per cent., I confess that I should have been in absolute despair of ever securing his support to any practical proposal for dealing with the problem of unemployment. I shall point out later that the figures he has advanced are perfectly fantastic. If the facts were anything approximating to those figures there would be nothing for my hon. Friend to do but to apologise for ever having brought forward such a Clause. But I am much more concerned with the last few sentences of his speech. I am concerned with something being done to help in the solution of the problem of unemployment which is growing in gravity week by week. The figures to day are very startling, and there is no Member of this House who will venture to predict that they will not exceed 2,000,000 491 in the course of the next few months. We are simply putting forward what we conceive to be a contribution to the solution of that problem.
Let me say why it has been advanced at this stage. There has been a good deal of foolish talk about crises and plots to defeat the Government. Neither I nor any of my hon. Friends have the slightest desire to defeat the Government, and I doubt very much whether hon. Members above the Gangway are any more anxious to defeat the Government. There is a good deal of general disquiet and great anxiety and, I am afraid, a general lack of confidence, but, on the other hand, I cannot see any substitute that would give confidence. The country is very perplexed, but it is not exceedingly anxious for a crisis. If anything can be done by any form of co-operation to assist, without provoking controversies and crises—which will not help in a solution—that is what we are trying to seek. The only reason we are putting forward this proposal now instead of later is that this Budget will leave the House in the course of a week or so, and there will be no other Budget until a year hence.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
There are other ways by which that object may be achieved, and, indeed, I doubt very much whether this proposal is appropriate to a Budget discussion.
Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
It is bound to be a revenue proposal whenever it comes forward, which means that you must introduce something in the nature of a supplementary Budget. Therefore, I think this is an appropriate occasion on which to discuss it. I am going to discuss only the proposal which has been put forward. If the right hon. Gentleman says that the Clause in its present form goes beyond that—I am not so much concerned with that as I am with the actual suggestion put forward—and that some Amendment is required to ensure that, I would certainly accept it, or even propose it. What is the proposal? It is a proposal that you should strike the average of the money which has been spent during four or five years on replacement of machinery. That is the 492 proposal; and that is the proposal which I am pressing upon the consideration a the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I hope he will not consider it in a controversial spirit.
The proposal is that you should first ascertain the average amount expended year to year in replacement and then offer an inducement to firms to anticipate orders and spend above that average in order to provide employment in re-equipment. What does that mean? The right hon. Gentleman says that it would mean £30,000,000 or £40,000,000. Does he realise what that amount means? It means that the orders would be £200,000,000. If you are going to have £200,000,000 worth of orders it would help to solve the problem of unemployment; but if the right hon. Gentleman takes the products of all the engineering firms in the kingdom, including the Rolls-Royce for the country doctor and for the ice-cream merchant, taking them all, the whole of the engineering products of this kingdom, according to the census of production, is £224,000,000. That is the total product for every purpose—plant, machinery, tramways, boilers, everything. At the present moment you have about 758,000 insured in the engineering trades and 100,000 out of work. That means that 658,000 are engaged in turning out this £224,000,000 worth of products. Suppose you were able to offer an inducement which would put the whole of the 100,000 in work, it would mean that the total you could add, if you employed every workless engineer, would be £32,000,000 worth. That is all that would happen.
I do not anticipate all that success from this proposal, but if you do get that success, I should have thought that a proposal to allow Income Tax upon that excess which would provide employment for an extra 100,000 men was a proposal which the Government should consider. What does it mean? It means something like 4s. in the £; the 6d. more or less would cover the annual depreciation which the Government are allowing at the present moment. That means £6,000,000 to £7,000,000 a year, and that £6,000,000 would provide for that excess of £32,000,000, which would give employment to all your engineers who are out of work 493 at the moment. That is the whole of the proposal that is put forward. I am not so much concerned to answer the arguments of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to put, forward a plea, and this is my only opportunity of doing so. Does the right hon. Gentleman forget that since he has been in his present office, if he does what we understand the Government propose to do, he will have borrowed over £30,000,000 to pay allowances for unemployment? The Government, I understand, have already announced their intention, having already added £10,000,000 to the loan, to add another £20,000,000. Will that go beyond three or four months? Are the Government quite sure that in a year's time the amount they will borrow will not come pretty near £100,000,000?
Here is a proposal which, if it fails, will cost the Treasury nothing, and if it succeeds will cost them only £6,000,000 or £7,000,000, and will provide employment for 100,000 engineers who are out of work. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to go to these extravagant illustrations which are on the fringe of the great problem, and to say that this will apply to the ice-cream merchant. If the ice-cream merchant has to pay Income Tax at the rate of 4s. 6d. in the £, he will be in a very big way of business, and, if he can employ engineers—I do not know what his plant and equipment may be—why should be not employ them? There are two things you can do. You can first accelerate and anticipate orders. In doing so you will also expedite the process of rationalisation, to which the Government themselves are committed, and which the two reports they have produced recommend as one of the most urgent and important steps in the way of the recovery of our export trade. You will help to accelerate the process of rationalisation and anticipate work, which will enable you, to a certain extent, to employ people during what is going to be a very black winter.
Nobody can tell when the turn will come. I have seen anticipations that probably next year we may have a recovery, and I have seen others, on good authority, which say that it will take a long time. If we are going to get a recovery in the autumn of 1931 it is important that we should be able to bridge the interval between now and then. I 494 should have thought that a proposal of this kind, which will not cost the Exchequer anything if it does not succeed, and can only cost them £1 remission for every £5 of work produced, and taking the whole production, will not cost them more than £7,000,000, would receive the consideration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I ask him to get away from that attitude of mind in which he turns down every proposal of this kind. I am really rather in despair about the right hon. Gentleman generally. He is concerned more than I am with the interests of his own party, but I am perfectly certain that behind them are millions of men who are profoundly disappointed with the efforts which have been made. That is not confined to their supporters.
The country would like to see the present Government grapple with this problem with boldness, with enterprise and even with a certain amount of audacity—they would. The country is in that condition when it wants something done. That is the only reason why people are listening to Lord Beaver-brook. They say, "Here is the only man, at any rate, who is proposing something." Believe me—I am speaking in all seriousness—that unless something is done definitely by the Government of the day, the country will grasp at the first silly straw that is offered to prevent it from sinking. I am not really in a mood to provoke crises or to try to defeat the Government; I am rather in a mood to appeal to them, because no one wants to turn them out. [Interruption.] I do not want to provoke controversy. On the whole I think that people are not anxious for a political crisis at this moment. At any rate we who are sitting on the Liberal benches are not. Therefore, I am exercising my right as a Member of Parliament.
Let me say at once, and I am bound to say it, that I find very stupid paragraphs in the newspapers, which imply that the moment I responded to an invitation by the Government to collaborate with them, I ceased to have any independent right to express my opinion at all. I am certain that that is not the view of the Government, and I am sure that it is not mine. The comments go to the extent of complaining that I even expressed a certain criticism about India. If collaboration means that, I am, to 495 use an Indian phrase, a non-co-operator. We must, and I am bound to, exercise not merely my right but my duty and obligations as a Member of Parliament here when the opportunity comes. I went the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to treat this as a challenge to him, as an attack upon him, or as a criticism of the Government, but as a real and genuine effort to make a suggestion, which, as ha knows, I have not made for the first time across the Floor of the House—a real and genuine suggestion, one out of the many contributions which we hope to make before the next Session begins, towards solving a problem of deep and deepening gravity to the country.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I do not think it is necessary for any protracted debate to take place upon this new Clause, because the issue has been laid very clearly before the Committee by the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) in the extremely moderate and weighty speech which he has just delivered. The first of the broad issues was already stated by me to be an alteration of the emphasis of the Budget to give a greater measure of relief to industry, even if the process of debt redemption may have to be temporarily slowed down. The other aspect, which has been put forward by the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, the Leader of the Liberal party in this House, is that this is upon the whole one of the safest and surest methods of reviving industry and relieving unemployment. All sorts of schemes are put forward to relieve unemployment, some wise and some foolish, and, as has been pointed out, immense sums are being disbursed, not to prevent the evil of unemployment, but merely to mitigate its consequences to individuals. Here, for an expenditure which I have always been advised would not exceed £7,000,000 a year, undoubtedly a stimulus and encouragement would be imparted over the whole of our industrial enterprise. Of course, it is quite true that the actual money value is not the whole of the stimulus. What industry wants to feel at the present time is that the Government and the Chancellor of the Exchequer wish to come to its aid, wish it well, are anxious that enterprises should be launched and that a stimulus should 496 be imparted to our production. That the desire which industry expresses at the present time.
I do not think there is very much in the argument that firms which do not make profits, and consequently do not pay Income Tax, will not derive benefit. If they do not have to pay Income Tax they do not suffer the evil from which we now ask that the firms which do make profits should in this respect be relieved. The Chancellor of the Exchequer speaks as if a remission of taxation was a burden to the taxpayer; he speaks of it as if he was throwing a great burden on the taxpayer. But if this expenditure does not exceed £5,000,000 or £6,000,000 a year, the mere removal of the extra provision which he has made for the Sinking Fund this year, over and above the German reparations, and over and above the great advantages in the purchase of Treasury Bills—if that £7,000,000 does not exceed it, or practically balances it, no burden whatever is thrown on the taxpayer or on the country. All that happens is that one form of vital initiative which now is singularly under depression and arrest in this island will be relieved from the break or drag which is preventing its full expansion.
The right hon. Gentleman was very scornful of the Amendment. He used a lot of words, taken from his harsh vocabulary, to describe the new Clause in scathing terms. "Ill-considered" and "absurd"—those were the terms which rang in our ears. The Liberal party are responsible for the Amendment, and I believe that they have not put it down without prolonged and careful consideration of its terms on the merits. They have given a great deal of study and attention to this aspect, and it is a proposal which, so far as unemployment is concerned, I am bound to say seems much freer from objections than some others that have come from that quarter. But, at any rate, I see no sort of inconsistency in an Opposition party putting forward a proposal, the purpose and intention of which are quite clearly expressed, and, at the same time, offering to accept from the Government a reasonable measure of amendment of the actual terms or drafting of the Clause. That seems to me to be an absolutely natural, simple and straightforward way of approaching the matter.
497 The right hon. Gentleman has met these proposals with a dead weight of resistance, in an uncompromising spirit. He has received the requests adressed to him with a dull and stern negation. If he had wished to meet the Committee in any way, to meet those who have put this new Clause on the Paper, he could quite easily have said, "I cannot accept it in this form, but I will engage to give a relief which will not be less than £7,000,000 a year to productive industry, and before the Report stage is reached I will place on the Paper a Clause which will embody this purpose in terms which are acceptable to the Administration and in harmony with the requirements of the Statute." The right hon. Gentleman has not chosen to do that. He
§ meets us with a steady "No." In those circumstances, while I agree entirely with the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, and while we have not the slightest desire to relieve the Government from a single hour of the agony and humiliation that they are condemned increasingly to suffer, nevertheless, if Parliament is to take part in the shaping of legislation, it is inevitable that when proposals are put forward which commend themselves to large numbers of Members, those Members should not shrink from giving their vote in accordance with their honest opinion.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 275; Noes, 277.501
|Division No. 424.]||AYES.||[6.27 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)|
|Albery, Irving James||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Chapman, Sir S.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Christie, J. A.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Glassey, A. E.|
|Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast. W.)||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Grace, John|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Colfox, Major William Philip||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Colman, N. C. D.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Colville, Major D. J.||Gray, Milner|
|Atkinson, C.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Baillie-Hamilton. Hon. Charles W.||Cowan, D. M.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Cranborne, Viscount||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Croft, Brigadler-General Sir H.||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Balniel, Lord||Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Berry, Sir George||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Dalkelth, Earl of||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Dalrymple-White. Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Hanbury, C.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Harbord, A.|
|Blindell, James||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Dawson, Sir Philip||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Boyce, H. L.||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Bracken, B.||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Elmley, Viscount||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||England, Colonel A.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Buchan, John||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)||Hunter, Dr. Joseph|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Ferguson, Sir John||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.|
|Butler, R. A.||Fermoy, Lord||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Fielden, E. B.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Foot, Isaac||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Ford, Sir P. J.||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Frece, Sir Walter de||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Ganzoni, Sir John||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||O'Neill, Sir H.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Llewellin, Major J. J.||Peake, Capt. Osbert||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Penny, Sir George||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)|
|Long, Major Hon. Eric||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Lymington, Viscount||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|McConnell, Sir Joseph||Power, Sir John Cecil||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Purbrick, R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Ramsbotham, H.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Train, J.|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Remer, John R.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Margesson, Captain H. D.||Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Marjoribanks, E. C.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Mornsey)|
|Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor|
|Meller, R. J.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Ross, Major Ronald D.||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Mond, Hon. Henry||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Salmon, Major I.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Morden, Col. W. Grant||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Savery, S. S.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Muirhead, A. J.||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Nathan, Major H. L.||Skelton, A. N.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavist'k)|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Smithers, Waldron|
|O'Connor, T. J.||Somerset, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Major-General Sir Robert Hutchison|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||and Major Owen.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Charleton, H. C.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Chater, Daniel||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Church, Major A. G.||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Clarke, J. S.||Hardie, George D.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Cluse, W. S.||Harris, Percy A.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Ammon, Charles George||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Angell, Norman||Compton, Joseph||Haycock, A. W.|
|Arnott, John||Cove, William G.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Daggar, George||Henderson, night Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Dallas, George||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Ayles, Walter||Dalton, Hugh||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Day, Harry||Herriotts, J.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Barr, James||Dickson, T.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Batey, Joseph||Dukes, C.||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Bellamy, Albert||Duncan, Charles||Hollins, A.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Ede, James Chuter||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Edge, Sir William||Horrabin, J. F.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Edmunds, J. E.||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Benson, G.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Isaacs, George|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Egan, W. H.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Forgan, Dr. Robert||Johnston, Thomas|
|Bowen, J. W.||Freeman, Peter||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Gibbins, Joseph||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)|
|Brooke, W.||Gill, T. H.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Brothers, M.||Gillett, George M.||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Gossling, A. G.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Gould, F.||Kinley, J.|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Buchanan, G.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Knight, Holford|
|Burgess, F. G.,||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Lang, Gordon|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lathan, G.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Groves, Thomas E.||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Cape, Thomas||Grundy, Thomas W.||Law, A. (Rosendale)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Lawson, John James||Noel Baker, P. J.||Snell, Harry|
|Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Oldfield, J. R.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Leach, W.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Palin, John Henry||Sorensen, R.|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Palmer, E. T.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Perry, S. F.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Strauss, G. R.|
|Longbottom, A, W.||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Sullivan, J.|
|Longden, F.||Pole, Major D. G.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Lowth, Thomas||Potts, John S.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Lunn, William||Price, M. P.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Quibell, D. J. K.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Rathbone, Eleanor||Thurtle, Ernest|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Raynes, W. R.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|McElwee, A.||Richards, R.||Toole, Joseph|
|McEntee, V. L.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Tout, W. J.|
|McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Townend, A. E.|
|McKinlay, A.||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Ritson, J.||Turner, B.|
|McShane, John James||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)||Viant, S. P.|
|Mansfield, W.||Romeril, H. G.||Walker, J.|
|March, S.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Marcus, M.||Rowson, Guy||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Markham, S. F.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Watkins, F. C.|
|Marley, J.||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Marshall, F.||Sanders, W. S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Mathers, George||Sandham, E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Matters, L. W.||Sawyer, G. F.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Maxton, James||Scrymgecur, E.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Melville, Sir James||Scurr, John||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Messer, Fred||Sexton, James||West, F. R.|
|Middleton, G.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Mills, J. E.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Milner, Major J.||Sherwood, G. H.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Montague, Frederick||Shield, George William||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Morley, Ralph||Shillaker, J. F.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Shinwell, E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wilson C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Mort, D. L.||Simmons, C. J.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Moses, J. J. H.||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Sinkinson, George||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Sitch, Charles H.||Wise, E. F.|
|Muff, G.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Murnin, Hugh||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Tom (Pontetract)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Paling.|