HC Deb 22 July 1930 vol 241 cc2026-45

I beg to move, in page 32, line 14, at the end, to insert the words: unless such company be incorporated outside Great Britain and does not carry on business or own property in Great Britain. This is one of a number of Amendments in my name and in the names of several of my hon. Friends, all directed to one point, which has been brought to the attention of the Government by myself and others on more than one occasion. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is prepared to do something in this matter but prefers to do it on the lines suggested by another Amendment, I shall be quite satisfied, but the principle to which this Amendment is directed is one of substantial importance. I am very far from wanting to put any obstacle in the Chancellor's way when he seeks to prevent people avoiding payment of their fair share of taxation by resorting to the medium of companies outside this country, but I am anxious that we should not pass legislation which purports to do something quite impossible and ineffective and which would, at the best, make Parliament appear ridiculous.

But it is worse than that; it might even conceivably be dangerous. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General, I know, would agree that if a man formed a company in Switzerland, or the United States of America, or Canada, or South Africa, and that company did nothing that brought it under the jurisdiction of Parliament—that is to say, was not carrying on business in this country and did not own property in this country—it would be quite impossible to get at that company; and, as I say, it is only making Parliament ridiculous to pass legislation that such a company should be chargeable with Estate Duty and, when called upon to do so, should supply in- formation, and, when it did not supply the information, that all its directors should be liable to penalties. We ought to guard against legislation of that kind.

I go further and say that there is a point of substance beyond that. Perhaps it is not unfair to remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer that what are now the great United States of America were lost to this country by an attempt on the part of this country to tax what was then a British Colony. If these Clauses are passed in their present form, they would purport to enact that a company under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Parliament, and not in any way under the jurisdiction of this Parliament, should be liable under certain circumstances for the payment of Estate Duty under our law, should be liable to supply information, and should be liable to penalties. One can hardly expect that any Government would try to put such a thing into force, but it is highly undesirable that we should even purport to pass legislation affecting companies which are subject to the jurisdiction of our great Dominions overseas and are not subject to the jurisdiction of this Parliament. I believe that I am right in saying—and I shall be interested if the Attorney-General will give me his opinion—that if this Amendment were carried, the Clause would not be in the least degree less effective than it is at the present time. If the Attorney-General could convince me that I am wrong, there might be some grounds for resisting the Amendment in its present form.

I still hold that some Amendment directed to this particular point ought to be made in the Bill. We have two grounds for it, both of them, I think, sufficiently substantial. One is the question of the dignity of this Parliament, and the other is the question of the possibility that awkward situations might arise. It would be possible that a director of a company entirely outside the jurisdiction of this Parliament, who was a foreigner not liable to the laws of this country, might come over here on a temporary visit, and he would be technically under this Clause. It could be enforced by a common informer, and what is more calculated to cause trouble with a foreign country or one of our overseas Dominions than for a subject of that country to come over here, and to be made the victim of a common informer succeeding in enforcing penalties against him in conection with legislation against the company, with which we have nothing to do, and for which we have no business even to attempt legislation.

Captain BOURNE

I beg to second the Amendment.

I do so because I think that this really goes as far as it is possible for this House to go in enforcing the law. I understand that the objection of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to leave out of a later Clause the words "wheresoever incorporated" was that it would be possible to form a company registered abroad which would in fact hold land in this country, and that if a company registered abroad owned property in Great Britain and was not included, the door would be open to a certain amount of evasion. But I suggest that in the case of a holding company with shares which is registered abroad, and whose offices and directors are abroad, it is absolutely impossible for this House to enforce the law, however much we may want to do so. If a man chooses to transfer personal property to a company registered in France, and appoints two of his friends in France to act as directors of that company, there is not a single person who is amenable to any law that we may pass in this House, and it is undesirable that we should put on our Statute Book a law against subjects of another country which we cannot enforce and have no means of enforcing. For that reason, I hope that the Chancellor will accept the Amendment.

I do not defend the position of a man who makes a holding company of his personal property in another country, and if the Chancellor can devise some method of catching that gentleman and compelling him to contribute his fair share of the taxation of his country I should be pleased, but I do not think he will do it under this Clause. It is a pity to put on the Statute Book legislation against foreign subjects which might lead the country of those subjects to pass legislation against our subjects, and which we cannot enforce in a court of law. This Amendment really gives the Chancellor of the Exchequer all he can hope to achieve, and if he accepts it, he will not be in any way worsened.


The wording of this Amendment does not matter very much. We have become quite familiar with the purpose which it is intended to achieve, for the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert) has taken a great interest in this question throughout our protracted debates on these Clauses. His purpose is to exclude foreign companies, and the main reason that he has put forward is the impracticability or the impossibility of bringing such foreign companies within the jurisdiction of our law. No one would defend the case of a foreign company where the company was registered abroad for the deliberate purpose of securing avoidance of Estate Duty. Upon that we all agree. I do not maintain for a moment, if we keep the words of the Clause as they are, that we shall be able to catch every one of these deliberate evasions. In some cases I think we shall, because there roust be many such companies that will have property in this country in one form or another—


But I except those expressly. I am not attempting to shut out foreign companies, except those which are not incorporated in this country and have no property in this country or are not carrying on business in this country. It is only those which the Chancellor cannot get at that I want to shut out, and it is those which it would be dangerous to attempt to attack.


It is quite true that the hon. Member's Amendment is much narrower in its scope than the other proposal he has made, namely, the Amendment to omit the words "wheresoever incorporated." The first of our points is that there may be property in this country. If that property were acquired by the company after the date of the transfer, that case would not be covered by his Amendment.


The right hon. Gentleman is mistaken. At any time when the duty is payable, if there is property in this country, then it can be done. It is not a question of owning property at the time the Act is passed, but at the time the claim arises.


That may be so, but I ask the hon. Gentleman to deal with that point later, and I have no doubt that my hon. and learned Friend will respond. I want to deal with the point that the hon. Member for Watford has repeatedly made. It is that it is no use puting words into an Art of Parliament or laying down powers which will be inoperative and cannot be exercised. At any rate, they can do no harm, and there may be cases where they may be quite effective. It is for that reason that we have put the Clause in the form in which it appears in the Bill. There is this to be said also, that the very fact that we have those powers will, I think, act as a warning to those who might be inclined to evade Death Duties by registration of a company abroad. There is considerable value in the Clause merely from that point of view.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave two arguments. The first was disposed of as soon as he read the Amendment. The Clause provides that Estate Duty shall be payable and that in certain cases it shall be a debt due from the company concerned to His Majesty. The Amendment says that that shall not apply if such company be incorporated outside Great Britain, and does not carry on business or own property in Great Britain; that is to say, if the company so incorporated outside Great Britain own any property in this country it would be liable, or if it carried on business in this country it would be liable. It is only in those two cases that you can enforce the law against the company, so that the Amendment of my hon. Friend does not deprive the revenue authorities of any power to enforce the law in cases where they could otherwise enforce it. Then the Chancellor said, "Let us put this Clause in because it can do no harm." My hon. Friend pointed out the harm which it can do. Beside the company being liable, the directors are liable. The director of one of these companies might be a citizen of the United States or a bank nominee—a bank manager or a lawyer in America. He comes over here in the ordinary course of business, and he is suddenly confronted with a claim from the Crown in respect to a transaction the details of which he knows nothing. That is not only a harm, but a position which is bound to lead us into trouble with our own Dominions and with foreign nations.

It seems to me that again the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be wise to accept a little advice from this side of the House. We have improved his Bill Clause by Clause, notwithstanding his ingratitude, and we want to do it again. He is smiling on this occasion, and I must congratulate him on his smile; it is a fascinating smile. Now that he is in this good humour, cannot he consider this a little more? We are not trying to protect the man who forms a company abroad for the purpose of tax dodging. We are trying to make the Clause a workable Clause and one that will not do harm, because there might easily arise out of this Clause some great scandal through a director of one of these foreign companies being seized over here for debt, and in order to placate the Government of the national whom we had seized we might have to alter the law. We do not want to make that mistake by trying to do something more than is required, something which the Chancellor of the Exchequer can at best recommend by saying that it does no harm, because it is also true to say that it does no good, except, as he says, that it may have some effect in terrorem. At any rate it might do so much harm that the Clause might have to be amended, and we say that he could avoid that by meeting us.


I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to have regard to some of the very serious considerations which are raised by this provision in the Bill. On Clause 36 there is an Amendment standing in my name dealing with very much the same point—In page 34, line 19, after the word "incorporated," to insert the words: which shall in respect of any one or more of the three revenue years prior to the death of the deceased person have been charged to Income Tax, under Case I of Schedule D of the Income Tax Act, 1918. It may be for the convenience of the House that I should do no more than formally move that Amendment, if it should be called later, and deal with the subject now, both from the point of view of this Amendment and of my own. First I would ask the Chancellor to note the curious result that will follow from the adoption of the words as they appear in the Bill. If hon. Members will turn to Sub-section (4) of Clause 32 they will see the first of the obligations put upon companies that come within the purview of this part of the Bill. It is provided there that the income of a company from any source shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Acts. In other words, a company which is in no way subject to the jurisdiction either of Parliament, the British Courts or the Inland Revenue Commissioners is to be required to compute its income in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Acts. Under the Income Tax Acts the Income of a company is computed according to the source whence it arises. If you have a foreign company with an income derived from England, is that domestic income or is it foreign income? If you have a company incorporated in France deriving income from France, is that income to be deemed to be domestic income or foreign income? If the accounts of a foreign company are to be calculated in all respects in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Acts there will be complete topsy-turvydom, because what is domestic income for the purposes of the Income Tax Acts will be foreign income for the purposes of the company, and what is domestic income in the hands of the company will be foreign income for the purposes of the income Tax Acts. It is like Alice in Wonderland.

That is not the end of the story, for, as the Bill stands, by Clause 34 there is to be created a debt due from the company concerned to His Majesty. In the same Clause there is given to this company, which is outside the jurisdiction of Parliament or the Courts, all the powers conferred on accountable persons by the principal Act. How in the world can you give powers conferred by the principal Act on accountable persons when those accountable persons may be outside the jurisdiction? Really, it cannot be done. Here is one more example of the confusion of mind, the change of mind, that has taken place over the preparation of this whole series of Clauses. The internal evidence makes it quite clear that they have undergone many transformations since they were first drafted, and they have passed through many hands in the course of drafting and have been surveyed by many minds directed to entirely different purposes.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General have told us that the main object sought under these Clauses was to deal with companies formed for the express purpose of evading Estate Duties in respect of land. There have been many discussions on the subject, and the companies in question have even been called land companies. We have proceeded in our discussions largely on the footing that we were dealing with land companies, but we do not need to deal with foreign companies if this is a question of land being transferred to foreign companies, because the mere act of the transfer of land or any interest in land to a foreign company involves complete forfeiture, under the Mortmain Acts, with the result that the State would obtain not Death Duties upon the death of the transferor but the whole property upon the completion of the transaction. Therefore, it is perfectly clear that in relation to foreign companies the Bill cannot be directed to land companies, and yet more than once the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General, in attempting to justify this extraordinary series of Clauses, have emphasised the fact that they were framed for the sole purpose of preventing evasion by the formation of land companies, have stated that if the necessity arose for legislation dealing with a different class of transaction they would have to introduce fresh legislation, because this Bill was not aimed at that end.

I say that originally it was not in the mind of anyone that the Bill should extend to land companies. Until the last moment, the last hour before the Bill was presented to the House, it was never intended that this provision should attach to any company except those subject to the jurisdiction of this House and the courts of this country. In Sub-section (4) the Commissioners of Inland Revenue may require any company—and that includes a foreign company—to which this part of the Bill applies to furnish them within a certain period with certain particulars, and in default of doing so they are liable to a fine, and in certain events their directors are to be liable to a further fine. Let me draw the Attorney-General's attention to the concluding provisions of this egregious Clause. The British Parliament is conferring upon the Commissioners in respect of foreign companies powers under Section 53 of the Crown Suits Act and, in Scotland, the Succession Duty Act of 1853. These Acts, which relate solely to those within our jurisdiction, are to be applied to companies and persons abroad. If I may say so without being offensive, that is fantastic, and I do not believe the Government can seriously have realised the implications of the words to which they have set their hands.

The matter goes very much further even than I have indicated. It really is one of the most fundamental Clauses in this Bill, or in any Bill, because this is an attempt on the part of the Parliament of this country to do nothing less than infringe the sovereignty of our Dominions and of foreign States. That is the plain English of it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer shakes his head. He is an old and distinguished Member of this House, and a foremost Member of the Government, and I speak to him with the respect which is due to him, but I say deliberately that he is being misled, or is misleading himself, if he imagines for one moment that anything less than a serious principle of constitutional law is involved in this matter, a serious question of international law and, I would even say, of international relations.


The peace of the world is at stake!


Yes. The internationalists may laugh.


So far as this provision is concerned, this Bill applies to companies throughout the world, irrespective of the jurisdiction to which they are subject. In a debate in Committee the Chancellor of the Exchequer said of an Amendment which I moved in relation to the taxation of the reserves of a company that it would involve an entirely new departure in relation to Income Tax law, and that for that reason, amongst others, he could not accept it. Here we have an entirely new departure, not only in Income Tax law but in the whole legislation of this country. But let me confine myself to the Income Tax law. It has always been a principle of the fiscal legislation of this country that before any tax or duty could be imposed certain conditions precedent should exist. What are those conditions precedent? One of them is that the person sought to be taxed should be physically within the jurisdiction, should be ordinarily resident within the jurisdiction. Another point as regards Income Tax which is germane to the Amendment standing in my name is that, if control of the company registered abroad is exercised here, if the directing minds of the company are in this country, then as the law stands to-day that company is deemed to be carrying on business in this country and as being ordinarily resident in this country. Those are the provisions with regard to Income Tax, and of course income derived from this country is subject to tax whoever may receive it. Take the Estate Duty, and you will find that the same principles apply. Either a person liable to Estate Duty must be domiciled here, or the property in respect of which duty is sought to be charged must be situated in this country. Both in regard to Income Tax and Estate Duty those two fiscal canons with regard to taxation have to be fulfilled, and by this Clause both those fundamental canons of fiscal legislation may be completely disregarded as far as foreign companies are concerned.

8.0 p.m.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has enunciated a new proposition this evening as regards legislation. It is that it matters not what are the words or the formula or the provisions contained in a British Act of Parliament. They are to be considered merely as a caveat to the world at large, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer has stated in terms to night that he knows that his proposal before the House is in large measure in effective. It will be a sorry day when the British Parliament knowingly and consciously incorporates in an Act of Parliament promises known to be nugatory by their authors. The House of Commons, in its long history, as far as I know, has never yet passed a Bill knowing on the authority of the Minister of the Crown at the moment when he placed the proposal before it, that, even if it was intended to be effective, yet in fact it would not and could not be effective.


I notice that right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite have been merely laughing at the points which have been put with regard to this Amendment by the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). I agree with every word and with all the very cogent arguments which have been addressed to the House by the hon. and gallant Member. Like him, and like my hon. Friends behind me, I object to what is sometimes described as "fool" legislation which cannot be enforced. If the Attorney-General is going to address the House, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer indicated that he might, I should like to ask him to tell us categorically whether it is possible to enforce a claim for duty against a company incorporated in the Dominions or some foreign country, which neither carries on business nor has any property in this country If that is not possible, then it is, in my submission, wrong that Parliament should label itself as trying to enforce the impossible.

I want to deal with this question from another point of view. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that he wanted to put this proposal on the Statute Book on the chance of being able to enforce it. May I put this case to the right hon. Gentleman. We all know that probate has to be taken out in this country, even by persons of foreign domicile and residence for the purpose of dealing with estates in this country. Take, for example, a resident in one of the Dominions or in a foreign country who dies domiciled there but in respect of part of whose estate probate has to be taken out in this country. An affidavit has to be sworn as to the estate involved. I suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, if this Clause stands as it is now, he would not merely have the opportunity, but he would be bound to take the opportunity, of demanding that there should be included in that affidavit any transactions of the nature described in these Clauses but carried out by the deceased through the means of a company which had no connection whatever with tax dodging in this country, or anything of the sort, but which was a company incorporated in a foreign State dealing in transactions with the deceased, who was resident in that State, for purposes which had nothing to do with the revenue laws of this country but are the domestic concern of the State in which the transactions took place. If the representatives of the Chancellor of the Exchequer do their duty they will be obliged to insist on the inclusion in the affidavit sworn in this country of all property which would literally come within the words of this Measure.

I do not care how you look at this question; whether you look at it from the point of view of its being a thing which in this country may be considered to be reprehensible, but as to which the machinery is not sufficient to make it amenable to the jurisdiction of this country—in which case I think it is "fool" legislation—or whether in the course of trying to make it amenable you may be obliged to drag in all sorts of other things. In the latter case in order to give effect to the strict letter of the law, the revenue authorities would be obliged to insist on transactions of this sort which take place entirely outside the jurisdiction of this country being brought within the scope of the Revenue Acts of this country. I hope that the Government will accept the Amendment.


Under the present law, there are three exceptions in our legislation in respect of subjects of a foreign nation. One is if they come to reside in this country, the second is if they carry on business here, and the third is if they hold property here. Those are the only cases at the present time in which the State has a right to impose obligations on the subjects of other nations. Russia has tried it, but they have now passed a decree dealing with property outside their jurisdiction, and they have no power to legislate in respect of people outside their own country. I would like to put this case to the Attorney-General. Some 10 years ago an American citizen in America transferred American shares to an American company under such circumstances that if it had taken place in England would have come within the provisions of this Clause. Last year that subject became naturalised in this country and he died. He is a person who has entered into a transaction which comes within the wording of this Clause. At once that American company which received those shares 10 years ago would have become liable to certain obligations, and the officials in this country could have demanded certain information and copies of balance-sheets of profit and loss. Those officials would certainly be told by any ordinary managing director to go to a warm place, but, if that director happened to come to this country, he could be sued and made liable to a penalty not exceeding £500. That is the position, and, if that sort of thing can be done under this Bill, then I think it is a very serious mistake to adopt this Clause.


I do not propose to follow the legal arguments which have been used, because I am quite unable to do so. I should like to tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer the kind of reaction which his speech has produced on the minds of ordinary business men. During these debates I have stated that I am willing at all times to do anything I can to put down tax dodging, but, after listening to the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this Amendment, the position seems to me like two parish councillors squabbling as to where they should put down the next lamp-post in the street. In replying to this Amendment, the Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to me to make the most thin and the weakest defence I have ever heard. [Interruption.] That was the reaction that it had on me, and I am justified in saying so, although the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General may laugh.

It seems to me that in these Clauses the Chancellor of the Exchequer is trying to stop the holes whereby people may escape from certain legal provisions. I claim that we have helped him to do that, but, in view of his words just now, "We want to catch everyone," I would ask him—and this is why I referred to the thinness of his argument—to look at the bigger side of the collection of taxes from the people of this country. Every year £800,000,000 odd is collected—an outstanding example of the way in which the taxpayers have paid up fairly and well during these very burdensome years. I can tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, however much he tries to stop the holes, he will not succeed. His attempts will simply sharpen people's wits to try to find more holes. I am not sure whether the Clauses I have been looking at are in the Bill before or after amendment in Committee, but I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that people have already found a passage through Clauses 10, 12, 29 and 33 through which they can drive a coach and four, and it is futile—


I thought you were helping the Chancellor of the Exchequer to stop it.


The right hon. Gentleman can come to me, but they will find more holes. It is futile to defend such a Clause. I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and it is a fair question to ask, how much does he hope to save by this particular piece of legislation? It is futile for him to go on trying to stop these holes when what happens is simply that more holes are made. I was very much impressed by the arguments of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) and of the late Solicitor-General, and I feel that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General, instead of laughing, should take more dignified notice of this serious matter.


I am sorry that my right hon. Friend and myself, in laughing at our small jokes, annoyed the hon. Member, but I say frankly that I was struck by the remarkable antithesis between the impression which the debate gave him of a dispute between parish councillors as to where a lamp-post should be put and the impression produced upon him by the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan), who seemed to think that Empires and thrones were rocking in the balance. It may be the one or the other, but it cannot be both. Equally, it is sad to think, after all the help which we have received from the hon. Member, and which I gratefully acknowledge, in regard to the drafting of our Clauses, that a coach and four can be so easily driven through them. This I do say, that most certainly a coach and four will be driven through the Clause if we accept this Amendment. I can imagine nothing worse than that this House should put its imprimatur upon the idea that, if anyone wants to get out of this Clause, all that he has to do is to have a foreign company. That is what we should do if we accepted this Amendment.

In the first place, I do not think that the Amendment as drafted would be at all satisfactory. The condition under Clause 34 is that there is to be a debt due from the company concerned. The words of the Amendment are really words which qualify the type of company which has to owe the debt. They would exclude a company incorporated outside Great Britain and not carrying on business or owning property in Great Britain. It seems to me that, as a matter of construction and grammar—on which any Member is entitled to his opinion, as I am to mine—these words as drafted mean that, if a company is incorporated outside the United Kingdom and owns no property here, and the transferor dies, no debt arises. If thereafter that company does acquire property here, a debt would not suddenly arise so long as the property was held here, and such a company would never owe a debt at all, so that, consequently, we should not be able to deal with such a company, even although it owned and acquired a large block of War Loan, or what you will, since it would not be a company which owned property in Great Britain at the material time, that is to say, at the death of the transferor, which would bring it within the Clause.


I hope the Attorney-General will forgive me for interrupting him, but I want to save him from wasting time. This is one of a number of Amendments of the same kind which have been put down, and I expressly stated that I was raising the whole question of principle here. I entirely agree that the words would come in much better in a slightly different form in another place, but I venture to say that the Attorney-General is merely wasting the time of the House if he is opposing this Amendment, which we are discussing as a matter of principle, on mere technical points as to whether the Amendment is properly worded here. What we want from him is an answer to the very specific questions which have been put by several Members on this side of the House, including my hon. and learned Friend the late Solicitor-General.


I was trying to give an answer. The observation which was made by the hon. Member himself, if I remember rightly, was a challenge to me or my right hon. Friend. It was to the effect that, if this Amendment were accepted, we should be in as good a position as we could possibly hope to be in. At the moment I am concerned to show that that statement is wholly inaccurate with regard to a company which has obtained property acquired after the date of transfer. If we accepted this Amendment, we could not deal with such a company at all. It seems to me, as I have said, that the worst thing that we could possibly do would be to advertise, to all those who are minded to tax-dodge, that they had better employ a foreign company.

If I am asked what remedy we have, and what chance of recovery we have against foreign companies, assuming that they never at any material time held any property here, I would answer thus: Those who have studied international law, and particularly the law as between this country and the Dominions, cannot fail to have had their attention attracted to a tendency which is developing very much, and of which, if necessary, I could give many illustrations—the recent Arbitration Bill, which is actually before the House at the present time, will serve as one—namely, the tendency of the Courts of one country to pay regard to the legislation of other countries. Although I say nothing about the state of affairs as it exists to-day, I do say that he would indeed be a bold man who would suppose that a state of affairs will go on for ever in which this country and the Dominions will do nothing to help

each other in the matter of tax-dodging by setting up companies. The sooner that day comes, as far as I am concerned, the better. If I am told that our powers to-day are limited, I would say, more power to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's elbow, and may he in a few years' time have wider powers than he has to-day. I certainly should advise him that it would be fatal to do anything which would put a foreign company altogether outside the purview of this Measure.


I would remind the Attorney-General that one of the established legal principles in this country is that our courts will not recognise or enforce the fiscal legislation of other countries, and, so far as I know, that principle obtains in every one of our Dominions and in every other civilised country in the world. Therefore, the prospect which the Attorney-General held out at the close of his speech, as to an agreement between this country and the Dominions, or between this country and other countries in Europe or elsewhere, is most remote, and one that can never be fulfilled.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 119; Noes, 255.

Division No. 450.] AYES. [8.25 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut. Colonel Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Little, Dr. E. Graham
Albery, Irving James Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey Llewellin, Major J. J.
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Davies, Dr. Vernon Lymington, Viscount
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh) Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Dixey, A. C. Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Makins, Brigadier-General E.
Atholl, Duchess of Eden, Captain Anthony Merriman, Sir F. Boyd
Atkinson, C. Edmondson, Major A. J. Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Everard, W. Lindsay Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Betterton, Sir Henry B. Fermoy, Lord Muirhead, A. J.
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Fielden, E. B. Nathan, Major H. L.
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Ford, Sir P. J. Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Bird, Ernest Roy Forestier-Walker, Sir L. O'Connor, T. J.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Galbraith, J. F. W. O'Neill, Sir H.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Ganzoni, Sir John Pownall, Sir Assheton
Bracken, B. Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Ramsbotham, H.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Glyn, Major R. G. C. Rawson, Sir Cooper
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Greene, W. P. Crawford Reid, David D. (County Down)
Buckingham, Sir H. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Burton, Colonel H. W. Gunston, Captain D. W. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Butler, R. A. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ross, Major Ronald D.
Carver, Major W. H. Hammersley, S. S. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Haslam, Henry C. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Chapman, Sir S. Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)
Christie, J. A. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hurd, Percy A. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Smithers, Waldron
Cohen, Major J. Brunel King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton) Waterhouse, Captain Charles Womersley, W. J.
Thomson, Sir F. Wayland, Sir William A. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Titchfield, Major the Marquess of Wells, Sydney R. Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Todd, Capt. A. J. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Turton, Robert Hugh Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George Sir George Penny and Sir Victor
Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert Withers, Sir John James Warrender.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Groves, Thomas E. Middleton, G.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Grundy, Thomas W. Montague, Frederick
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Morley, Ralph
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.) Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Ammon, Charles George Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Arnott, John Harris, Percy A. Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)
Aske, Sir Robert Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Mort, D. L.
Attlee, Clement Richard Hastings, Dr. Somerville Moses, J. J. H.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Haycock, A. W. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Barr, James Hayday, Arthur Muff, G.
Batey, Joseph Hayes, John Henry Muggeridge, H. T.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Murnin, Hugh
Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Naylor, T. E.
Benson, G. Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Herriotts, J. Noel Baker, P. J.
Birkett, W. Norman Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)
Blindell, James Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Oldfield, J. R.
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Hoffman, P. C. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Bowen, J. W. Hollins, A. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hopkin, Daniel Palin, John Henry
Broad, Francis Alfred Hore-Belisha, Leslie. Paling, Wilfrid
Bromfield, William Horrabin, J. F. Palmer, E. T.
Bromley, J. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Brooke, W. Hunter, Dr. Joseph Perry, S. F.
Brothers, M. Isaacs, George Peters, Dr. Sidney John
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) John, William (Rhondda, West) Phillips, Dr. Marion
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire) Johnston, Thomas Potts, John S.
Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Price, M. P.
Buchanan, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Quibell, D. F. K.
Burgess, F. G. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland) Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston) Raynes, W. R.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Richards, R.
Cameron, A. G. Kelly, W. T. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Kennedy, Thomas Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Charleton, H. C. Kinley, J. Ritson, J.
Clarke, J. S. Kirkwood, D. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Cluse, W. S. Lang, Gordon Romeril, H. G.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Lathan, G. Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Law, Albert (Bolton) Rowson, Guy
Cove, William G. Law, A. (Rosendale) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cowan, D. M. Lawrence, Susan Sanders, W. S.
Daggar, George Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Sawyer, G. F.
Dallas, George Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Scrymgeour, E.
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Leach, W. Scurr, John
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Sexton, James
Day, Harry Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lees, J. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Dukes, C. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Sherwood, G. H.
Duncan, Charles Lloyd, C. Ellis Shield, George William
Ede, James Chuter Logan, David Gilbert Shillaker, J. F.
Edge, Sir William Longbottom, A. W. Shinwell, E.
Edmunds, J. E. Longden, F. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Simmons, C. J.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lowth, Thomas Sinkinson, George
Egan, W. H. Lunn, William Sitch, Charles H.
Elmley, Viscount Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Forgan, Dr. Robert MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Freeman, Peter MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) McElwee, A. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) McEntee, V. L. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston) Snell, Harry
Gill, T. H. McKinlay, A. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Gillett, George M. McShane, John James Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Glassey, A. E. Mansfield, W. Sorensen, R.
Gossling, A. G. March, S. Stamford, Thomas W.
Gould, F. Marcus, M. Stephen, Campbell
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Markham, S. F. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Marley, J. Sullivan, J.
Gray, Milner Marshall, Fred Sutton, J. E.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Mathers, George Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Matters, L. W. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Melville, Sir James Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Messer, Fred Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Thurtle, Ernest Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline). Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Tinker, John Joseph Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Townend, A. E. Wellock, Wilfred Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Welsh, James (Paisley) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Vaughan, D. J. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Viant, S. P. West, F. R. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Walkden, A. G. Westwood, Joseph Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Walker, J. White, H. G. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Wallace, H. W. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Wallhead, Richard C. Wilkinson, Ellen C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Watkins, F. C. Williams, David (Swansea, East) Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. William

Amendments made: In page 32, line 26, leave out the word "of" and insert instead thereof, the words "not exceeding."

In line 35, after the word "may," insert the word "reasonably."—[Mr. P. Snowden.]