HC Deb 17 June 1930 vol 240 cc151-370
The CHAIRMAN

The Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for East Lewisham (Sir A. Pownall)—in page 16, line 10, to leave out Sub-section (1)—would negative the Clause, and, therefore, I do not select it.

Captain BOURNE

I beg to move, in page 16, line 11, after the word "any," to insert the word "incorporated."

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

I have been given to understand, Mr. Young, that you were proposing to take together this Amendment and the next three—(1) in page 16, line 11, to leave out the words "body of persons, whether incorporated or not," and to insert instead thereof the words "public company"; (2) to leave out the words "body of persons, whether incorporated or not," and to insert instead thereof the words "company or corporation"; and (3) to leave out the words "whether incorporated or not."

The CHAIRMAN

The point is that, if the present Amendment falls, the others fall with it.

Captain BOURNE

In that case, am I not entitled to discuss the four Amendments as one? I think they are consequential.

The CHAIRMAN

These four Amendments are consequential.

Mr. SNOWDEN

The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Burgin) and two of his political colleagues—in page 16, line 11, to leave out the words "body of persons, whether incorporated or not," and to insert instead thereof the words "company or corporation"—is somewhat different from the others, and, with a slight alteration, I think I might be prepared to accept it. I should not like any Ruling to prevent my taking that course.

The CHAIRMAN

If the right hon. Gentleman wants to accept that Amendment, I will select it.

Captain BOURNE

It is a little difficult to understand precisely what is the meaning of Sub-section (1) of Clause 18 as it is drafted, and I gather from the last remark of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he himself is becoming a little doubtful as to what exactly the Sub-section means. It reads as follows: The special commissioners may cause to be served upon any body of persons, whether incorporated or not, a notice requiring them to deliver to those commissioners within a specified time a copy, certified in such manner as may be specified, of the whole of, or any specified class of entries in, any register containing the names of the holders of any securities issued by them. It seems to me that the whole of this Sub-section turns upon the meaning of a body of persons, and how a body of persons which has not at any rate some corporate existence can issue shares, or, if it does issue shares, can be in a position to make such a return as the right hon. Gentleman obviously requires. I can understand a corporation, a company, or an incorporated body—which would probably include either a company, or a corporation, or a body incorporated by Royal Charter which has the right to issue securities—being in a position to render a list of those securities to the Special Commissioners if they so desire, but I am very puzzled when the right hon. Gentleman says: any body of persons whether incorporated or not. There are, I believe, in the City, certain bodies known as issuing houses, which underwrite loans and take certain responsibilities for issuing Government loans to the public. In many cases, I understand, such bodies are not incorporated, and are not companies in any sense of the word, and I very much doubt whether, if a notice of the type described in this Sub-section were served on one of these issuing houses, they would be in a position to supply this information. I do not see how the right hon. Gentleman can possibly hope to obtain the information that he wishes to get, namely, as I understand this Sub-section, information as to who are the holders of specific securities issued by a definite body, whether a corporation, a public company, a private company, or even a body incorporated by Royal Charter. I cannot understand how he is going to get that information from any body except the body whose shares are actually held, and which has a register of shareholders or stock-holders. Each of these bodies is obliged to keep a stock or share register, and can supply the necessary information, but when the right hon. Gentleman speaks of a body of persons whether incorporated or not, who on earth does he think he is going to deal with? I do not think it would be possible to ask for this information from trustees, because they do not issue securities, but conceivably, under this Clause as it is drafted, the Special Commissioners might send a request to a, house that issued securities, for information as to what had happened to those securities. They, however, would not know, because they do not keep a register of the shares when once they have been sold. I feel that this Clause, objectionable as it is in many ways, is purely nonsensical and could not possibly be put into operation. I conclude that the right hon. Gentleman's object is to get information as to shares issued by private companies, about which we shall have more to say at a later stage. Otherwise, I cannot see whom he wishes to get at. Under the Clause as it stands, he has power to require trustees to give particulars of shares that they hold in trust for the benefit of other people. He has power to ask the secretary of any company to give him information about holdings. But I am extraordinarily doubtful what power he wants to take, or why he wishes to take it, and we are entitled to a full explanation as to the exact effect if it is granted. It is too vague to put into an Act of Parliament.

The right hon. Gentleman has said that he is not a lawyer. He may believe that certain words in an Act of Parliament will bear a meaning which is quite suitable, but the courts of law have frequently placed on words in an Act of Parliament a meaning which was not in the mind of the Minister or of the House of Commons, and it has caused the utmost confusion in the law subsequently. When you come to deal with a Finance Act, an Act which affects not only the money but the business and the activities of hundreds of thousands of His Majesty's subjects, it is up to us to see that no language is inserted which is not absolutely clear, so that there can be no reasonable doubt as to how the judges will interpret it. We cannot attempt to foretell what the judges may do, but it is our business to simplify the language and make it as clear as we can, so that any possibility of litigation arising out of a phrase like "any body of persons, whether incorporated or not" may be reduced to a minimum.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

This is one of a number of Amendments on the Paper in the names of the hon. and gallant Gentleman and the right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench. Their next Amendment is to leave out the words "body of persons whether incorporated or not" and to insert the words "public company." The main point of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's speech was that there should be no necessity for including the words "whether incorporated or not." I gather that he has no objection to leaving in the word "incorporated." The reason why the words "or not" were inserted is this. This power, of course, can only apply to a body of persons who own a register of securities, and it was thought possible that there might be some body of persons holding a register of securities who would not come within the legal interpretation of an incorporated body and the words "or not" were put in as a precaution. It may be an unnecessary precaution, and I am not very particular about them, and I am prepared to leave out the words "body of persons, whether incorporated or not" and to substitute the words "body corporate." That is following a phrase in Clause 11. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will be satisfied with what I now offer, he will probably be willing to withdraw his Amendment.

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

I should like to ask what we are doing here. Let me read the first three lines: The special commissioners may cause to be served upon any body of persons, whether incorporated or not, a notice requiring them to deliver"— What is the Clause driving at? I am quite at a loss to understand precisely what it means. We should be allowed to know exactly the motive underlying it before we deal with the Amendments. [Interruption.] The right hon. Gentleman gives vent to some expression of impatience, but we are entitled to know what the Clause driving at before we can deal with the details. Presumably it is cast in order to, allow the revenue authorities to check the returns for Surtax. Is it a fact that any companies which have to lodge a register have refused to any clerk of the Revenue Department permission to make a copy? Why, therefore, do we have this Clause, which compels these companies that lodge registers at Somerset House on payment of a small fee to send in a return of their shares, instead of our being satisfied by a clerk from the revenue calling to make a copy of it? I gather from the Chancellor that there are certain companies which do not lodge registers there. I understand that statutory companies and companies which hold a charter are not compelled to lodge these returns. The Clause, if I understand it rightly, is by a side wind going to compel railway companies and chartered companies, like the Chartered Bank of India, to lodge their list of proprietors on payment of a prescribed fee so that the Inland Revenue authorities can say, "Look at these names. Mr. Snooks has sent in a return for Sur-tax. Let us see if he has included a certain amount of money which he holds as shares in these statutory companies?" It is a petty, trumpery way of getting at Sur-tax returns. What is more, if you are going to allow the Revenue authorities under the first three lines of the Clause to get in these returns, see how the Chancellor of the Exchequer will stultify himself. What is he going to do about the bonds to bearer of the 5 per cent. War Loan, or, say, the new Reparations loan? This clause won't catch them.

The CHAIRMAN

We cannot widen the discussion. I would point out this is an Amendment leaving out certain words and that the words "body corporate" should be inserted.

Mr. SAMUEL

I am totally against the Clause as it stands in the first three lines.

Mr. ERNEST BROWN

Would it not be much better to dispose of the rather narrow point with which we are now dealing, and allow the hon. Gentleman to deal with the other point on the question, "That the Clause stand part"?

The CHAIRMAN

I assume the hon. Gentleman will do that.

Mr. SAMUEL

I will, of course, obey the Chairman's Ruling. The point I am making is to show that the first three lines are petty and trumpery, and will not carry the revenue to the length which the Chancellor wants to go. I warn the Committee and the country that if these three lines are imported into our legislation, even with the words which are proposed by my hon. Friend, sooner or later it will be found that you will not get the information as to Surtax which you require, and the country will have to adopt a further Clause to broaden out the oppressively inquisitional policy now laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The CHAIRMAN

I would ask the hon. Member to look at the Amendment.

Mr. SAMUEL

For this reason, if I can go on at a later period and deal with the general aspect of the question, I will confine myself to saying that. I think if we allow the Clause, even as proposed to be amended by the words suggested by the hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Burgin), we should have a very full explanation of where this Clause takes us before we accept the gift which the Chancellor offers us to omit the words: body of persons, whether incorporated or not and to insert the words "company or corporation." I warn my hon. Friends behind me that there is a trap in this Clause, and we ought not to go very much further until we have had it thoroughly well examined by every Member on this side.

Major NATHAN

The arguments advanced by the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne) on the Amendment standing in his name and that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth (Sir A. Steel-Maitland) are very much the same in principle as those underlying the Amendment standing in the names of myself and some of my hon. Friends, which, I understand, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with slight modification, is prepared to accept.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

indicated assent.

Major NATHAN

As far as my friends and I are concerned, not only do we accept the forms of words which the Chancellor has suggested, but they seem in all the circumstances more apt than the words which appear on the Order Paper, that is if the object of the Clause means what I believe it means. What I say is without prejudice to any argument I may feel called upon to advance later on the Clause. I should like to address myself to one point raised in the discussion between the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because I am not at all sure that there may not be a little misunderstanding as to what is meant by the term "issue." I have been at some pains to look into this matter, because it seems to me that the draftsman of the Clause has not had a completely clear conception of the technical meaning of that term. I think the cases make it clear, and they will be familiar to the Attorney-General, that the term "issue" can only be applicable to a body corporate, whether it be a company under the Companies Act or a chartered company, or any other kind of body corporate. In these circumstances, the use of the term "issue" should not be in reference to a body of persons which is unincorporated. I do not believe that the term "issuing house" would be covered here, because it is quite the usual thing to refer to a business firm in the City as an issuing house when it is not a house which acts for the purpose of making an issue, but only acts as the agent for those who are issuing. In view of what the Chancellor said, I do not wish to labour the point any further than to say that, as I understand it, the term "body corporate" is wider than the term first proposed, and includes chartered companies, and even municipalities.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

That is so.

Major NATHAN

It includes bodies of that kind, such as foreign banks, and so on, and I would adopt that form of wording.

Mr. SMITHERS

I want to raise a point with reference to the Amendment and to the Chancellor's suggested alteration. Should I be in order in pursuing it on these lines, seeing that the Chancellor's suggested alteration is not before the Committee? May we be allowed to speak on that? The Clause says that the special commissioners may cause a notice to be served upon any body of persons and, if the new words are inserted, it would be "company or corporation." The notice requires them to deliver a copy of the entries, according to the last words of Sub-section (1), "issued by them." I venture to say that that Subsection (1) in actual practice would not be welcome, and I will tell the Chancellor why. Take the case of certain classes of businesses, such as the banks—one of the "Big Five," which is a company or corporation. Many companies and corporations take a block of shares from some registered company, whether it be a railway or any other commercial undertaking, and put them into their vaults, and issue against these securities deposit receipts. I will illustrate the point by giving one particular example, which is a very big one. The Westminster Bank in London has in its vaults thousands of shares of the Canadian Pacific Railway of Canada, and against them they issue receipts.

The CHAIRMAN

We must keep to the Amendment. The question is not, as the hon. Member puts it, that the words "company or corporation" should be put in, but that the words "body corporate" should be inserted, and he must confine himself to the Amendment.

Mr. SMITHERS

This is really a point of substance which it is difficult to put.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member is now raising the whole question, "That the Clause stand part."

Sir D. HERBERT

On that point of Order. If we are to be ruled out from discussing this question now on the Amendment suggested by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, shall we have an opportunity of discussing it again? I was under the impression that we were to discuss both Amendments, including that suggested by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but if we are to confine ourselves to the Amendment which has actually been moved, then we must ask to be at liberty to discuss the other Amendment when it is moved.

The CHAIRMAN

The only Amendment before the Committee is that which liars been moved by the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford. The Chancellor of the Exchequer suggested that the words "of persons whether incorporated or not" should come out, and the word "corporate" should be inserted. In the meantime, we are dealing with the question of incorporated or not incorporated.

Sir D. HERBERT

I understand that we shall not be debarred from discussing this Amendment when proposed?

The CHAIRMAN

Certainly not, unless you discuss it now. We are dealing only with the words "incorporated or body corporate."

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

Might I suggest that we are in the dark about this Clause? Would you, Mr. Young, allow a roaming discussion over the whole Clause?

The CHAIRMAN

No; we tried that on the last Clause, and were not successful.

Mr. SMITHERS

May I put this point? This Amendment happens to cover the type of business with which I am familiar, and I happen to know all the technicalities of the case. It is a real point of substance, and, if the Clause is passed, even with the Chancellor's words, it may be unworkable, and we shall have passed a Clause which is sheer nonsense. I want to try and stop that. Would you, Mr. Young, tell me when I can raise this point of the deposited receipts and securities? On which Amendment can I raise it—on the Amendment itself or on the Motion, "That the Clause stand part"? Would it be in order then?

Sir D. HERBERT

Is this Amendment not the best way?

The CHAIRMAN

This Amendment is purely dealing with the word "corporate."

Mr. SMITHERS

The point is—

The CHAIRMAN

The Question before the Committee is the inclusion of the word "incorporated" and the omission of the words body of persons, whether incorporated or not.

Mr. SMITHERS

If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to put certain duties upon the body corporate, I want to show to the Committee that that body cannot carry them out. Is not this the time to raise the question? The Westminster Bank is a body corporate. May I have a ruling on the point?

The CHAIRMAN

At the moment, it would be a better plan to keep to the Amendment which is before the Committee, namely, in page 16, line 11, after the word "any" to insert the word "incorporated."

Mr. SMITHERS

The Westminster Bank, being a corporate body, will have certain duties placed upon it which it cannot perform. I should like to be allowed to continue my illustration. This is a very common thing and happens every day. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company of Canada has many millions of capital, and the Westminster Bank, for the convenience of its clients, has many thousands of shares in its vaults, and against these shares it issues Westminster Bank certificates. These certificates are so numerous that there is a market for them. They differ slightly in price from the ordinary Canadian Pacific shares and they command a market. The Westminster Bank does this sort of thing for the convenience of clients, and it appeals very largely to foreign holders, because the Westminster Bank collects the dividends and carries out other services for them.

Mr. DENMAN

On a point of Order. May I point out that the argument of the hon. Member is in no way related to the specific Amendment, which is whether a body is to be incorporated or not?

The CHAIRMAN

I must draw the attention of the hon. Member to the fact that he must only discuss the Amendment to insert the word "incorporated," and the subsequent Amendment which is consequential.

Mr. SMITHERS

I am doing my best.

The CHAIRMAN

We cannot discuss the operations of the Midland Bank or any other bank.

Mr. SMITHERS

I have not mentioned the Midland Bank, but the Westminster Bank.

The CHAIRMAN

Nor any other bank.

Mr. SMITHERS

I really desire to keep within your Ruling. This is a point of real substance.

The CHAIRMAN

I take it that all points which are put to me are points of real substance. I must ask the hon. Member not to continue to widen the discussion on this particular Amendment in the way he is doing.

Mr. SMITHERS

I will sit down now. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] It is all very well for hon. Members opposite to jeer. I will sit down now, reserving the right to bring up this point on a later Amendment, when I hope I shall be given an opportunity of developing my argument.

Sir JOHN WITHERS

I think that every hon. Member will agree that the real difficulty is the use of the word "incorporated" and the words "issuing-house." If we could know exactly what "issuing-house" means—perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer could give a definition later on—it would clear up the matter.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

In reply to the query put by the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Sir J. Withers), I think that the explanation was given rightly by the hon. and gallant Member for North - East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). The issuing-house, I understand, is not the house which issues the shares.

Mr. SMITHERS

On a point of Order. Is the right hon. Gentleman replying to the arguments which I have put forward?

Mr. SNOWDEN

I am replying to the point which was put by the hon. Member for Cambridge University. I was saying that the issuing house acts as an agent of the company. It is not the issuing house which issues the shares; it is the company which issues the shares. The issuing house does not have a register of the shareholders. That can only be in the custody of the company or the corporation. That, I think is the correct construction to be placed upon the words "issuing house."

Mr. C. WILLIAMS

I wish to raise a point which arises out of the Amendment of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne). I would ask whether the word "incorporated" is not the best word to fit in here? I do not propose to touch upon the Amendment which the Chancellor of the Exchequer foreshadowed just now as an Amendment which he might be able to accept in lieu of the Amendment which is upon the Paper, but which is not going to be moved by hon. Members below the Gangway. When that Amendment is brought forward, I shall desire to discuss it. I have listened with great care and attention to the speeches on this Amendment. What really amazed me was that, after the extraordinarily clear explanation by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Oxford as to why these words should be brought in, the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not refer at all to the Amendment, but passed on to some other Amendment. That fact immediately caused me to think that probably the words we propose are best. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer leaves a thing alone, there is likely to be something pretty good in it.

I am desirous in this case of getting inserted only those words which will most efficiently represent the opinion of the House of Commons. The words proposed on this side of the Committee would show that the intention of the Committee was that any body of persons, whether incorporated or joined together in a company, should come under this particular Sub-section. I am convinced that whatever promise or semi-promise there may be with regard to the future, we shall be well advised to accept the words in our Amendments. They are clear and good English. Do the Government object to them? They have not given any reply as far as this Amendment is concerned. I ask them to say what objection they have to this extremely simple word which we wish to insert in this Amendment which, I think, will carry out the meaning of the Committee as a whole. For that reason, I do say that I shall be sorry if this Amendment is dropped and if we do not get a chance to put it into the Bill. I think it would help to clarify the Clause, and that is one of the main objects of this Committee.

Question, "That the word 'incorporated' be there inserted," put, and negatived.

Major NATHAN

I beg to move, in page 16, line 11, to leave out the words "of persons whether incorporated or not," and to insert instead thereof the word "corporate."

I understood that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was to move this Amendment.

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

Here, again, I think we ought to have a clear understanding where this is leading. The type of company or corporation Which you have just mentioned would include a bank, as my hon. Friend has pointed out, in regard to the Canadian Pacific shares. I hope hon. Gentlemen on my side of the House will realise where this Clause is taking them. If a bank, as is very often the case, holds large numbers, perhaps thousands, of shares in its name, under this Clause the revenue authorities in future will be able to go to that bank and do what I believe has never been done before, namely, compel the bank to give the list of customers of the thousands of shares.

The CHAIRMAN

We are not discussing the Clause. The Clause will be discussed in due course.

Mr. SAMUEL

I quite agree. I am not going to disobey your Ruling, but I want to point out that by putting in these words "company or corporate body"—

The CHAIRMAN

We are not putting in those words. We are only putting in the word "corporate."

Mr. SAMUEL

But if you put in the word "corporate," you then get a bank covered. If we accept the words that the Chairman has used, we get a bank included, and henceforth no bank will be able to retain—[Interruption.]

Mr. DENMAN

On a point of Order. By the words as they stand, clearly a bank is included. "Incorporated or not" includes the bank. Altering this Clause to include the word "corporate" does not exclude or include the bank.

Mr. SMITHERS

We shall have to take out the word "of."

The CHAIRMAN

Perhaps the hon. Member will allow me to conduct the business.

Mr. SAMUEL

I will content myself with having raised my protest and having drawn the attention of the Committee to what these words mean.

Mr. ALBERY

I have listened most intently to the discussion of this Clause, but I must confess, with the best will in the world, that I am unable to understand its meaning and why this particular word is better than the other words. I think the Committee ought thoroughly to understand the change and why it is being made. I hope the learned Attorney-General will give an explanation of this change before it is made.

Mr. C. WILLIAMS

I. quite agree with my hon. Friend above the Gangway in his appeal for some attempt to be made to clarify the reasons as to why these new words have to be adopted. Earlier in the evening on another Amendment in which some of us did not join, we were told that a proposed form of words was better, but we were not told really why they were better. We were told that the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not accept the Amendment, but he would accept the next Amendment if an Amendment to it was put in. In the first place, it is most confusing to the Committee as a whole that on an occasion such as this we should have a manuscript Amendment, or something which virtually is a manuscript Amendment. I think my hon. Friend below the Gangway is perfectly justified in objecting. It has been extraordinarily difficult to follow through the various speeches which we have heard the different varieties of the use of the words "corporation," "corporate," or "incorporate" and other words of that kind. May I ask the Government, for the sake of clarity, that some expression should be given as to what is really meant on this occasion. That is all that is wanted. Let the Government through the Law Officer—and I see he is dying to be at it—give us a simple explanation of what is actually meant by the words as now accepted.

We have never had that clear explanation, and I think it is only due to the Committee that before we accept the form of words, which, as has been pointed out by a considerable number of Members, must affect the welfare of thousands of big industries in this country, we should know precisely and exactly where we stand. I am the last person in the world to say anything to prolong the agony of this discussion, and I can only say that I am making a request to the Government which, in their own interest they will be wise to carry out. If the Attorney-General would give us a simple explanation of this matter it would be particularly valuable from the purely legal point of view. It would also be very interesting to know how he is able to accept half an Amendment from the benches below the Gangway. It looks as if this Amendment has been used as a sort of stepping stone from the half way house below the Gangway to the full position of hon. Members opposite.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member must really deal with the Amendment before the Committee.

Mr. WILLIAMS

That is what I am endeavouring to do. I was trying to find out exactly what the Amendment means, because so far we have had no explanation at all. I suspect that it has only one object in view and that is the increased incorporation of certain bodies in different parts of this House.

Mr. SMITHERS

When you were putting the question just now, Mr. Chairman, I ventured to point out that the word "of" should also come out, and you requested me to allow you to conduct the business of the Committee. May I point out respectfully that the Amendment if carried in its present form will mean nonsense, because you have put the question to leave out the words: persons whether incorporated or not.

The CHAIRMAN

Let me read to the hon. Member the Amendment which we are discussing. The Clause if the Amendment is carried will read in this way— The special commissioners may cause to be served upon any body corporate a notice requiring them and so on—

Mr. SMITHERS

As you put the question, it would read: A body of corporate

The CHAIRMAN

I read out the words exactly as they were sent to me, and I pointed out to the Committee that the word "body" was not proposed to be left out. I am not responsible in any way for what the hon. Member understands.

Mr. SMITHERS

In all sincerity I am only trying to put matters right. If you leave out the word "of" the Amendment makes sense, but, as I heard you put the Question, you did not leave out the word "of."

The CHAIRMAN

I am not responsible for what the hon. Member hears. I distinctly read out the Amendment in the correct form, and the hon. Member has no right to question the way in which the Question was put.

Sir D. HERBERT

I think the word "of" must come out.

The CHAIRMAN

It is either my accent or the hearing of hon. Members, but I put the Question to leave out the words: of persons whether incorporated or not and to insert the word corporate.

Amendment agreed to.

Sir D. HERBERT

I beg to move, in page 16, line 13, after the word "time, to insert the words "being not less than twenty-one days."

10.0 p.m.

I am not particular as to the number of days. The whole point is that when you get a body corporate which is required to furnish a copy of the register within a specified time that the specified time should be something which is not less than a reasonable period. The request may come at a time when the Stock Exchange is closed and it may be a matter of great inconvenience to produce the copy within a very short period. This information, I presume, is wanted for the purposes of revenue proceedings——

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

Perhaps it will save time if I say that I am prepared to accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Captain BOURNE

I beg to move, in page 16, to leave out from the word "copy" in line 13, to the word "any" in line 15, and to insert instead thereof the word "of."

The effect of this Amendment is quite clear. My reason for moving this Amendment is to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he means by the words: any specified class of entries. If you take a big public company like a railway company the number of entries in the register is perfectly enormous. They run into many hundreds of thousands of names. What does the Chancellor of the Exchequer mean by "any specified class of entries." Does he want all the entries beginning with "J" or all the entries in the name of Smith. If they have to take out the definite class of people who own stock of over £5,000 it is going to take an enormous amount of work and trouble on the part of clerks and accountants. The Government are entitled to have a copy of the register but if they are going to ask for any specified class of entry to be taken out it will mean an enormous amount of labour to these companies and it is a task which I do not think they should be asked to fulfil. If the Inland Revenue had permission to go through the register themselves they could pick out such names as they required. That is the business of Somerset House. I do not see why we should impose on the taxpayer the duty which is really the duty of the Inland Revenue. When the Inland Revenue have got a copy of the register any investigations which they wish to make they can make for themselves. This is an attempt to push on to the taxpayer more of the work of the Inland Revenue.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

If the Amendment were carried it would have precisely the opposite effect to that which the hon. and gallant Member apparently wants to secure. If the words that he proposes to leave out were deleted the Special Commissioners would have to ask for a complete copy of the register. The reason for the inclusion in the Clause of the words "as may be specified" is that the Commissioners need not ask for a complete copy, but for any particular part of it which might be of service for the purpose that they have in view. It must be remembered that this power is sought in order to check the income for Super-tax. It would be obviously absurd for the Special Commissioners to ask a railway company, which might have a hundred thousand registered shareholders, to give a complete copy of the register of holdings. It is very unlikely that the Special Commissioners would use their powers to ask for returns of holdings beyond a certain amount. The purpose of the words of the Clause is to lessen the trouble of the companies and not to increase it. After this explanation I hope that the hon. and gallant Member will not press the Amendment.

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

I think the words of the Clause are extremely clumsy, and between now and Report they should be improved. Why does the Clause not refer to "any specified section" instead of "any specified class"? A company might have debenture, preference and deferred "classes" of shareholders. The Clause is confusing classes or types of securities with a section of the register so far as it refers to names. I do not know at what the Chancellor of the Exchequer is aiming. He wants to get a section of the register which contains all the names beginning with, say, the letter "B."

Mr. SNOWDEN

No.

Mr. SAMUEL

Then does he mean that he wants a section of pages out of the register with a certain number of names? In that case the word "class" is not applicable. I suggest that what the right hon. Gentleman means is a specified section of the names. I suggest that the words should be "specified section" instead of "specified class," or they might, be changed to "entries of specified classes of securities." In any case the right hon. Gentleman should tell us exactly what he means. Up to the present his explanation has left us entirely in confusion.

Major NATHAN

Frankly, I confess to have been surprised and disappointed at the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He has told us for the first time in this debate upon this Clause what is the object operating in his mind as to this Clause. He has told us in terms that his object is to check the Surtax returns. In other words this is an inquisitorial Clause of the Bill. It is a Clause which is designed to give, and will have the effect of giving, to the Inland Revenue Special Commissioners certain powers which so far, over a period of almost 100 years, Parliament has denied to them. Never once in the whole course of fiscal legislation in this country has it been suggested by any Government that the taxpayer should be called upon to disclose his books to the Inland Revenue. Even to-day, though most companies present their accounts to the Tax Inspector, there is no obligation upon them to do so, and were they to refuse to do so the tax inspector is powerless to compel production. What has happened in this country in the past, in contrast to what has happened in Continental countries where there has been a heavy Income Tax imposed, has been, speaking broadly, that here the taxpayer has run with and not against the taxing authorities.

I regard this Clause as of serious import, because it erects a barrier between the Inland Revenue authorities and the taxpayer, and it means that the Inland Revenue Commissioners are authorised by Act of Parliament to say, not, "I accept your return as being prima facie a correct return," but "I refuse to accept your return as being anything but prima facie a false return." In considering the Amendment before the Committee it is material to hear in mind the position of the special commissioners as things are. In the first place, let it not be forgotten that the taxpayer, when he puts his signature to an income Tax or Sur-tax return, is making a declaration in respect of which, if it be false, he is liable to all the penalties for perjury. It is perhaps too little recognised, and it is well that it should be known, that an Income Tax or Sur-tax return has about it all the solemnity of an affidavit. Throughout the length and breadth of the land in all sorts of legal proceedings, and proceedings in which it is desired to impress upon a man the solemnity of his actions, either affidavits or statutory declarations are accepted, as a matter of course, as prima facie evidence of the facts to which they purport to relate. Here, for the first time, in this taxing Measure it is proposed to take the contrary view.

Let the Committee remember the penalties under the Act relating to perjury and under the Income Tax Acts, to which anyone is liable for making a false return. He may have to pay triple duty, not merely on the tax which he has evaded, but on the whole of the tax for which he is liable. I do not believe that except here and there and now and then there is any wilful refusal to make accurate returns. Just consider where this proposal takes us. If the words "of the whole of the register" are left as they stand, you will have this very odd situation as pointed out by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the special commissioners may ask for the complete register of any company however large, and there are some companies within my knowledge in which the number of shareholders is 170,000, and I am now informed of another one in which the number is little short of 300,000. The right hon. Gentleman said that the object is to check the Sur-tax returns. I have already indicated the checks now in existence which seem not only ample but effective for this purpose. If the right hon. Gentleman refers to Table 63 in the 72nd Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, he will observe that the total number of Surtax taxpayers in this country is just over 95,000; whereas in the case of one particular company it may be necessary under this proposal to ask for a return of 290,000 names involving an enormous amount of work, involving the power on the part of the Inland Revenue to investigate the details of every one of those entries, and unnecessarily involving a vast expenditure upon additional staff either by the Inland Revenue or by the companies who have to make these copies. "But," the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, "We may not want to ask for a copy of the whole register. We may only wish to ask for a specified class of entries in any register." What does that mean? Look at the last words of the Clause. 'Entry' means, in relation to any register, so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. Under the provision, as it stands in the Bill, the special commissioners have only two alternatives before them. They can either ask for a copy of the whole register, or they can ask for a specified class of entries. In the first place, they get the 298,000 names, or it may be more in some cases, with all the particulars, involving all the waste of unproductive labour that would be involved in making those returns, or they ask for particulars as regards an individual. I wonder if the Chancellor of the Exchequer has ever considered how this will actually work out in practice. Let me tell him—I think it will surprise him—how, if I understand it correctly, as I have taken care to try to do, I believe it will work out. I will use no names except my own. I believe that under this Bill, unless the Special Commissioners ask for the whole of the return, which I am assuming for the moment they will not do, they can only ask for the register as far as it relates to the securities held by any one person, and I assume for the moment that that refers to myself.

Assume that the Special Commissioners have reason to believe—they have no grounds or evidence of it—that my Super-tax return is incorrect, and they may think, though they have no grounds for it at all, that I hold shares in, let me say, the British-American Tobacco Company. I have in fact no shares in that company. I say that in case an inquiry should be made under this Clause. The Special Commissioners send a notice to the Company, and they say, "Under Section 18 of the Finance Act we ask you to make us a return of the entry in relation to your register in so far as it relates to the securities held by Nathan." The registrar of the British-American Tobacco Company says to himself and his colleagues, "I have had an inquiry from the Special Commissioners under Section 18 about Nathan, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the object of that Section was to prevent false Super-tax returns. There is something rather funny about that, but they have asked for it, and they must have it." He sends for a clerk to make out the entry so far as it relates to the securities held by Nathan. There is no right under this Bill to ask for any class of securities. [Interruption.] Sub-section (1) of the Clause says that the Special Commissioners may cause to be served a notice to deliver a copy of the whole of any register containing the names of the holders of any securities issued by them, or any specified class of entries. What does "entry" mean? 'entry' means in relation to any register so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. The Chancellor of the Exchequer shakes his head. I do him the justice of believing that he is trying to follow my point, and he will do me the justice of believing that I am not speaking just for the sake of occupying the time of the Committee, but that this is a point which I believe requires to be cleared up. In other words, unless the whole register is to be asked for, what are to be asked for are particulars, it may be in regard to several classes of shares, but particulars with regard to an individual, and they have to choose between saying to the company, "Produce a copy of your whole register," or, "Produce a copy of your register so far as it relates, in all your classes of shares or debentures, to Nathan." I am not speaking without having sought very eminent advice on this point, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will seek the advice of the Attorney-General, he will find, I believe, that the interpretation that I am giving, however much it may not be meant, is the only interpretation which will be given by a court of justice to the words to which I have directed the attention of the Committee. I have occasion to be concerned in matters of this kind in every-day life, and we are told time after time in the law courts, "It does not matter what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in the House of Commons, we are here to interpret the actual words that Parliament has enshrined in the Statute Book."

I am always willing to accept the views of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but, having given this matter the study which I have, I feel that I have no alternative save to ask him with the utmost respect to make further inquiries into the matter. The point which I wish to impress upon the attention of the Committee, because I think that it is vital, is this. I was putting the case of myself and the American Tobacco Company. Immediately it gets round in any company like the American Tobacco Company that certain inquiries are being made, and notices are being served about Nathan, they begin to talk inside the office; letters are written, and they pass through the letter book and are seen by all kinds and grades of clerks and officials of the company. It gets round to one's personal friends. You do not hear a whisper yourself; it does not come to you, but it comes to other people. They hear that inquiry is being made about Nathan's holdings, and it goes round that there is something fishy about my Super-tax return. It goes down to my constituency. They hear something rather odd about me, and a question is asked at a meeting; a question has only to be asked at a meeting to be believed by half the constituency, however ill-founded it may be. Some inquiry is made, and it is found that an office boy in the American Tobacco Company saw a letter written by the Inland Revenue about Nathan.

You find your circle of political, professional and social friends easing off from you, and you do not know what it is about, but it is because the Special Commissioners have made inquiries. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite laugh, but I am sure that they will do me the justice of following the point which I am putting. There is nothing more valuable and important to a man who is in Parliamentary life, in however humble a capacity, or who is in professional or social life, than that his reputation should be maintained. The reason I oppose this Clause is because I believe that it will strike—I will not say a deliberate blow—but it will strike, or will be capable of striking, a damaging blow at the reputation of those who know nothing about what is going on, who are unable to defend themselves, and who will only be in a position to deny the implications which may turn out to be false when it is too late.

Sir D. HERBERT

On a point of Order. I did not hear the Amendment put and whether it was put from the Chair or not I am not sure, but I understand that it is intended to call on the next Amendment which stands in my name, and if that is so this Amendment should, of course, be put in such a form as to safeguard my Amendment.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I can assure the hon. Member that, I had that point in mind, and I will safeguard his Amendment.

Captain Sir WILLIAM BRASS

I have very great sympathy with the remarks made and the points so ably put by the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). This is a very important Clause. I wish to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is meant by the words: certified in such manner as may be specified. Are we to understand that a certain form is to be sent out to these companies by the Commissioners of Income Tax, asking for particulars of the shareholdings in their companies of any individual, whoever he may be? The Clause gives the Commissioners the power to try to find out from the companies concerned something which they think they have not found out by the direct requests which they have made to the individual taxpayer. If the Commissioners do not think that an individual taxpayer has made a proper return—though they may have no reason at all for the assumption, may only think they would like to find out a little more—they can say to the company, "Under Clause 18 of the Finance Act of 1930 we have power to ask you to give this information." This particular Clause would produce a condition of things which would put a premium against an individual having all his money in one company, because, as the hon. and gallant Member has already reminded us, such a demand on the part of the Commissioners would immediately create suspicion amongst the whole staff of the company from whom the return was asked. Without, any reason at all, it may be, the Commissioners would, in effect, be accusing this particular individual of sending in a false return of Income Tax.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer hag told us that he is inserting this Clause because he suspects that certain people are not making proper returns for Super-tax, but here he is not putting the onus on the individual, he is not saying to the individual, "Let me know the number of shares which you hold in these various companies," but is asking somebody else to supply that information. He is asking the company for the information, is saying to the company, "You are to be responsible for giving us this information because, in our estimation, somebody else is not playing the game." It is possible that companies may have to set up special staffs in order to supply the returns which are requested. As the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green has said, this is a most inquisitorial Clause, and one which ought to be resisted as much as possible on all sides of the House, because we are really giving the Commissioners powers which they ought not to have. At the present moment the Commissioners have a perfect right to ask an individual to prove that his return is correct if they suspect that he has not made a proper return, but it is not fair to say to a company which has had nothing to do with the return made out, "You must give us the information we want behind the back of the individual who has sent in this return."

At the present time, we are trying to get back to a condition of more employment in this country and to increase the prosperity of our trade. Do you suppose, Mr. Dunnico, that an inquisitorial Clause of this kind which is going to increase the cost of the staff of those companies which have to get out those returns in a manner specified later on in the Bill that nobody seems to understand is one which will not inflict hardship upon those companies? When those returns, have been checked and have been found to be correct, what happens? Exactly what has been described by the hon. and gallant Member for North East Bethnal Green, namely, that a suspicion has been aroused in every company in which that particular individual holds shares. The secretary of the company is responsible for making those returns, and he is liable to a penalty of £50 if he does not give all the information required. I think it is a very serious matter to give new powers of this kind to the Commissioners, and I hope the Committee will see fit to accept this Amendment.

Sir A. POWNALL

In support of my view that this Clause will work unfairly, I would like to mention a case which was brought to my notice of an individual who was liable to Surtax, who held some ordinary shares in Messrs. Lever Brothers, and who was asked to give full particulars of his investments. He did so, and a few days later he had notice about some other shares which he held in Lever Brothers, but it turned out that they were held in joint names for other people. That is a case that came to my notice, and it shows that, in regard to the Surtax, the Special Commissioners have all the powers which they require. In this case Lever Brothers were asked to produce a different category of shares, and this individual was asked to reconcile the ordinary shares which he had returned with the preference shares in his name. I think that shows that the powers which are now asked for are not required.

I have another special reason for opposing this Clause. As a member of the Royal Commission which considered this question, I had the privilege of investigating the powers of the Special Commissioners, and I came away filled with admiration of the way in which they discharged a very difficult task. I think we owe them a deep debt of gratitude, although I do not disguise the fact that there are certain individuals who try to avoid the payment of a tax which they ought to pay. It seems to me, speaking from recent experience, and having had the opportunity of probing into their affairs, that the powers which they already have are sufficient. While I should not be prepared to deny them any powers that they could really show to be necessary, I do not think that these particular words are justified, and, therefore, if the question is pressed to a Division, I shall certainly vote against them.

Mr. ATKINSON

There are two or three objections that I want to urge against this Clause. I do not think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer appreciates the point made by the Mover of the Amendment. It is one thing to ask for something which is a copy, but it is another thing to put upon a body corporate the duty of selecting. The Chancellor of the Exchequer indicated, I thought—I could not hear him very well—that it was intended to ask for a return of all holders of more than a certain amount. Suppose that a railway company with 280,000 shareholders is asked to make a return of all shareholders holding more than 1,000 shares. As we know, a shareholder's name may be entered in a great number of places in the register, and you put upon some secretary or clerk the obligation of going through an endless list of names for the purpose of picking out those who hold a certain number of shares. If he makes a mistake and omits one, he becomes liable to a penalty of £50 because he has not made a true return. If it were merely a matter of making a copy, I suppose that what would be done in practice would be to photograph the register, which could be done with absolute accuracy and a considerable amount of speed; but once you put upon the body corporate the duty of selecting, you are putting upon them a very serious obligation, and one which entails a great deal of expense and trouble.

The Committee will notice that there is no limit whatever to the number of times that this register may be asked for. As we know, the register of a big company must be constantly changing. On a Monday a request may be made for a copy of the register, and the following week the Commissioners would be entitled to ask for another copy if they thought fit. They can ask for it as often as they like. Think of the expense. I have calculated that it would cost about £70,000 to get a copy of the register of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, which has some 280,000 shareholders. It is going to be a very expensive matter. The Commissioners can ask for these copies as often as they like, and, unless they ask for them pretty constantly, one does not see how they are going to keep in very close touch with these matters. There are a great many large companies in the country, and, if this Clause is going to be effective, it will be terribly expensive in its operation.

I do not quite follow the criticism of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). He suggested that an inquiry could be made about a particular person, but I am not quite sure about that. I do not pretend to know what a "specified class of entries" is, or what it means, but I can quite understand that, if a railway or any other company were asked to make a return about Mr. So-and-So of So-and-So, they might say that that was not a class of entries and decline to give the answer. But suppose that the company were asked to make a return of all shares held by anybody of the name of Nathan, that clearly would be a class, and they would be bound to do it.

Mr. E. BROWN

The hon. and learned Gentleman is speaking as a lawyer. May I, as a layman, put this point to him? Will he explain to the Committee what is meant by the interpretation in Sub-section (5), which reads as follows: In this section the expression 'security' includes shares, stock, debentures and debenture stock and the expression 'entry' means, in relation to any register, so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. What is the meaning of the words "any one person," if they have not the meaning put upon them by my hon. and gallant Friend?

Mr. ATKINSON

That is an entry. The statement in the register "H. L. Nathan, 1,000 shares," is an entry, but I cannot, for my part, see that it is a class of entries. I think, however, that the hon. and gallant Member's point remains good in this way: If a railway company were asked to make a return of all shares held by people of the name of H. L. Nathan, that would be a class. I do not think, if they specify a particular person or address, that is a class, but the Commissioners have only to make it "persons of the name of H. L. Nathan" and that becomes a class. I may be wrong. It really indicates the difficulty of interpreting these Clauses. [Interruption.] Lawyers like these doubtful Clauses. It is the one thing that keeps them alive.

We constantly get rather ragged in the courts by judges saying, "Why cannot somebody in the House of Commons point out how difficult it is to interpret the words of this or that Clause?" I do not envy the court which has to interpret these words "specified class of entries." If what the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated is the real object, you are putting on the companies a very onerous burden. I should not like to have the duty put upon me of going to a register of two or three hundred thousand names and selecting those of a particular shareholder at the rate of 5s. a hundred. It is going to put very great expense on the company. You may have done it one week and you may be called upon to do it the next week, and again the third week. There is no limit to the number of occasions on which this can be done. If it is done to get some small amount of Super-tax out of a particular individual, at a very great cost to the State, the Clause is not really going to help the Exchequer and it is putting a burden on companies which ought not to be put upon them without great consideration, and at the same time it is setting up a form of back-door inquisition which is contrary to the whole spirit of the Income Tax Acts. You cannot call upon an individual to produce his securities on oath. If you do not go that far, why should you go behind his back and get the information from the company? There is this curious point, that the entry is limited to securities held by any one person. That excludes joint entries. Can this Clause be evaded by a man entering his own shareholdings in his own name and that of his wife? Certainly trustee entries are excluded. May I point out another thing which is not germane to the Amendment. We have now adopted the expression "body corporate" and the word "then" ought to be altered to "it" in the third line of the Clause.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir William Jowitt)

There is, I think, a certain amount of misapprehension in the minds of the Committee about the Clause, and some misapprehension as to the existing powers and the way in which they are used. It is, unfortunately, the fact that there are certain people who send in their tax returns, and occasionally forget to put in all their holdings. The result of such delinquency is that the other taxpayers have to bear the burden. Therefore, all sections of the House are clearly desirous of doing everything in their power to see that the revenue authorities have reasonable powers to see that the returns sent in are accurate and full. At the present time the position is that every taxpayer can be called upon to furnish a full and detailed list of the securities he possesses. That power is given under Section 22 of the Finance Act, 1922. What happens is that the authorities get returns sent in simply showing the gross sum of the interest on investments, and they want each particular investment shown and exactly how much is received from it. There is at the present time a most useful check on these returns which is availed of as a matter of everyday practice, and which results in a great many inaccuracies and forgotten information being brought to light. Broadly speaking, the returns of public companies registered at Somerset House can be inspected and the Inland Revenue authorities exercise their powers under Section 22 of the Finance Act, 1922, by getting the taxpayer to return a full and detailed list of securities while, at the same time, having a staff whose duty it is to investigate from time to time at Somerset House, and very often find ing a discrepancy between the returns at Somerset House and the returns shown by the taxpayer on his list.

At the present moment there is this inadequacy which we want to remedy. The difficulty is, first, that the registers at Somerset House do not extend to debentures, and there is no means of finding out from Somerset House the details in regard to debentures or debenture stocks. Secondly—and perhaps more seriously—with regard to statutory companies, these are not required to keep registers at Somerset House at all. Consequently with regard to them there is a very big gap, and the Inland Revenue authorities therefore desire, in regard to debentures in all companies and with regard to holdings in statutory companies, to be armed with exactly the same powers as they possess to-day in regard to the ordinary taxpayers whose holdings are registered at Somerset House. That is the position which this Clause is designed to meet.

One or two objections have been raised in regard to the terminology of the Clause. I think the Committee has, to a certain, but not unreasonable, extent, to trust the Inland Revenue authorities to exercise their powers reasonably. On the whole, I think all sections of the Committee will agree—and we have had testimonials paid to them—that they do try fairly to exercise their powers. The natural course is not to require the full and complete register, but extracts from the registers, so that you may keep down their work, and ask them to confine themselves to the apparently larger interests, so that they need not be fogged up by whole masses of entries applying to small people with regard to whose returns there is really no point in checking. Therefore, in this Clause we give power to apply for either the whole or any specified class of entries. I entirely agree with what the last speaker said, that obviously if you ask for a return for the individual you are not asking for a specified class of entry. Possibly, again, I think I would agree that if you could imagine the Revenue authorities being so foolish as to make the request for all persons whose names appeared, that would not be a specified class, but we must assume that the Inland Revenue authorities will act with a modicum of common sense and will, in selecting classes, specify classes by reason of the fact that the classes they want are the larger holders in order that they may check the returns.

That really deals with the main objection to the Clause. This power is not a new power. With regard to debenture holders and holders of debenture stock, there already exists, under Section 73 of the Companies Act, 1929, similar power. Any shareholder in a company has the right to require, or a debenture holder may on payment of a fee obtain, a copy of the company's register of debentures. Under the Local Loans Act, 1875, there is power also to obtain a copy of the register of securities issued by local authorities. So that that power already exists. It is suggested that the fee is inadequate, but the fee is the same as is provided under Section 43 of the recent Rating and Valuation Act. We are really following precedent in keeping to the fee which the last Government selected as being proper. Therefore, for that reason I hope that the Committee will realise the reasonableness of the position.

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

The learned Attorney-General is dealing broadly with objections expressed with regard to the matter by hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. If the hon. and learned Gentleman had been in the Committee when the Chancellor of the Exchequer put in the words "body corporate" he would realise that something has happened to which he has not referred. A body corporate is a bank, and hitherto the Revenue has not compelled the banks to disclose the business of their customers. This Clause, with the words "body corporate" put in, will have this effect. Is the Attorney-General going to compel corporate bodies like banks to disclose what securities they hold for their customers?

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL

The hon. Member, if he looks at the Clause, will see that the register, of which we are going to ask for a copy, is a register containing the names of the holders of any securities issued by them. I was here when the Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed out that the issuing house does not issue securities in the ordinary way. A bank holding securities for customers does not issue those securities.

Mr. SMITHERS

It does.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL

If the hon. Member will allow me, it does not. There may be exceptional cases where a bank issues equivalent securities, but that is a different matter altogether. If I am asked to say whether the bank has to disclose details relating to its customers' business, it is clear that, anyone reading the Clause will see that it is not the case, and that it relates exclusively to registers containing securities issued by them. Therefore, the point which the hon. Member has in mind is one about which he need not really concern himself either by warning me or the Committee.

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

The effect of this Clause will be that there will be numbers of people who are perfectly honest taxpayers but who do not wish to have their affairs disclosed, by means of a condition of this kind, behind their backs, who will say to their bank, "We will put our shares into the name of the London and Middlesex Bank"—to use a fictitious name. The bank will thereupon appear as the holder of so many hundred thousand shares, say, in the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. The Revenue goes to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway for a copy of the register and finds that the London and Middlesex Bank holds perhaps 5,000,000 shares in its own name. The right hon. Gentleman will at once be checkmated and his Clause will not be worth the paper upon which it is printed.

11.0 p.m.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Of course, that is the case. This Clause gives the Chancellor and the revenue authorities more power than they have at present. It extends with regard to debentures and debenture stock and statutory companies the power that already exists with regard to ordinary companies, but does not exist with regard to statutory companies and debenture stocks. I quite agree that the Clause does not go the whole way. It only justifies the register being produced in regard to shares issued by the particular company.

Mr. SAMUEL

And therefore not those held in trust by the bank. [Interruption.] But it is our privilege to scrutinise legislation in order that it shall contain no flaws. The share-register of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway will contain the name of the London and Middlesex Bank holding 50,000 or 500,000 shares which are held in trust for the customers of the bank. Unless the hon. and learned Attorney-General tells me here and now that he is not going to compel the London and Middlesex Bank to disclose to the revenue for whom these shares are being held in a lump sum on the register, then I say this Clause is a trap and not worth the paper it is written on; it is merely the sly prelude of later inquisitional methods.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

May I also point out with regard to what the hon. and learned Attorney-General has said that it does not meet the chief objection that has been urged. He has referred to these people who, through carelessness or otherwise, do not return the whole list of their securities. Everyone will understand the desire of the Inland Revenue authorities to be able to find out what amount of Income Tax is due from people, and will agree that proper and reasonable facilities ought to be enjoyed by the Inland Revenue authorities for that purpose. The Inland Revenue authorities have got, first of all, the list furnished by the Income Taxpayers themselves, and then the register or ordinary shareholders and preference shareholders which they can consult through their files at Somerset House in order to check—not a complete check, but a very useful one—the returns given for Income Tax purposes. The trouble is that where these powers are incomplete is that they have not the same facilities in the case of debenture holders and with regard to statutory companies. There might be a good and a legitimate case to give the Inland Revenue authorities powers with regard to debentures and statutory companies analogous to what they already possess in regard to other shares. But what is really asked are powers of a different kind, both in regard to debentures and statutory companies and also in regard to existing shareholders. At present, they can go to Somerset House and get a complete list of shareholders, but, if I am right, they cannot demand a specified class of entries as defined by the last Sub-section with regard to existing preference and ordinary shares. They are asking for power to ask for a specified class of entry to be got out from a very long list of shareholders, whether the ordinary shares or debentures. It is a new thing and may be very burden- some. We are all apt to grumble at the Inland Revenue authorities, but they have their difficulties and on the whole are reasonable people. No one wants to increase their difficulties. But when all is said and done they are only mortal, and if the onus of getting their information is placed upon someone else the temptation to get their information at a cheap rate is very great indeed. In addition, if they make a perfectly natural and human mistake they are not liable to a fine of £50 a day. If it is less trouble to a company to furnish a list as a whole instead of making a copy of a certain class of entry, then let the company have the choice. The Inland Revenue should not have the power to demand it. We object to this compulsory power, which is quite a new demand on the part of the Commissioners.

Mr. BIRKETT

The learned Attorney-General dealt with this matter in a very attractive way but left the objections which have been raised quite unanswered and because he dealt with it in a very attractive manner it is important that the Committee should realise the great advance in the powers of the Revenue authorities which this rather innocent looking provision involves. The Attorney-General treated this matter as though it was a slight and necessary extension of the powers which the Commissioners ought to possess. That is altogether misleading. The Special Commissioners in respect of this matter have no powers at all beyond an ordinary member of the public, and when the Attorney General says that there are just a few gaps which it is highly necessary to close and that this is but a small extension of the powers which they now possess, that is not strictly accurate. Under cover of a rather attractive manner of presenting the case the Attorney-General is disguising the fact that this is quite a revolutionary proposal which is being introduced. The record is at Somerset House and may be inspected, and the powers which are given the Special Commissioners by the Finance Act of 1922 may be properly used in that regard But what is now being asked for is that instead of that merely accidental matter there should be delivered into the hands of the Revenue authorities so far-reaching a power as the power enshrined here. It is by no means a slight extension of existing powers, but is entirely revolutionary.

The learned Attorney-General quoted the Companies Act of 1929, Section 3, Sub-sections (1) to (5). What analogy that bears to this power I cannot see. Sub-section (2) of Section 73 says: Every registered holder of debentures and every holder of shares in a company may require a copy of the register of the holders of debentures of the company, or any part thereof, on payment of sixpence of every hundred words required to be copied. How that can be brought to support the claim that the Special Commissioners shall have power to go to any particular company and say, "We desire a specified class of entries to be given by you, I cannot conceive. It has not the slightest relevance to it. Therefore, the position remains in this way so far as that is concerned: most serious objections have been raised by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) and by other hon. Members to what is, after all, a revolutionary Clause, an inquisitorial Clause and a Clause which this Committee ought by no means to accept. The defence put forward by the Attorney-General, attractive as it may be in its form, suggesting that this is merely a slight extension, has no real bearing on the facts.

My second point is this: Anybody who resists a Clause of this nature would in certain quarters be open to the criticism that he is protecting the tax evader. I am certain that in every quarter of the House there is not the smallest desire to assist anyone in any way to evade a just and proper duty. But what it is important the Committee should realise—and I think they do realise after this debate—is that you must not, in order to hit the tax evader, hit, and hit very hardly, a large number of innocent citizens and innocent taxpayers, and that by attempting to deal with one evil you may possibly do very much greater injury. The whole point of the matter is this: This Clause is a Clause which seeks to give to the Special Commissioners power, the like of which they have never had. It is not enough to say that they have certain powers now under the Finance Act and other Statutes, and that this is a small extension. In reality it is one of the most far-reaching proposals which this Committee has ever had to consider with regard to the power of the Commissioners.

With regard to the construction of the Clause, I am sorry to differ from the Attorney-General, but I cannot, with very great respect to him, agree that the legal interpretation of the Clause which he has given is really quite sound. It is very difficult indeed to say exactly what the words mean. Yet it is very important that we should seek to realise what is the true meaning of the words before we part with them. The governing words are the words in Sub-section (5), and I ask what earthly meaning they can have other than put upon them by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North-East Bethnal Green? The words are: 'Entry' means, in relation to any register, so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. What in the world is the point of those words unless they do really refer to "one person"? That is to say, what the Clause seeks to do is to give some power to the Special Commissioners to obtain entries relating to one individual—leaving aside the nature of the entries for the moment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, no doubt, will differ from me, but what I am seeking to show is that the insertion of a, precise definition in Sub-section (5) of "entry," as the part of the register relating to the securities "held by any one person," is the governing fact. As my hon. and gallant Friend says that it gives power to go to a company and ask about the entry of any one person and to my mind that governs the whole of the rest of the words. If we go back to Sub-section (1) we find the words "a copy of the whole of any register." That is quite plain, and the only other matter there mentioned is "or any specified class of entries in any register." It is quite clear that there will be power to say either, "Let us have the whole of the register" or "Let us have a specified class of entries in the register," and the word "entries," although here it is in the plural, means so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. The fact that it is in the plural makes no difference at all.

The ATTORNEY - GENERAL

A "class" consists of a number of per- sons. There must be more than person to form a "class."

Mr. BIRKETT

Of course. Then you do not need these words at all. If that is the right interpretation—and it is very interesting to know what is passing in other people's minds about it—it would be quite enough to say, "any specified class of securities" and stop there. But if those other words are put in, and if a special definition of "entry" is given, then at any rate, putting it on the lowest possible ground, my hon. and gallant Friend is entitled to say that in the minds of 99 persons out of 100 the Clause bears the meaning which he gave to it. It is very important indeed that there should be no ambiguity about the matter, and I submit that the interpretation is governed at all stages by these words "securities held by any one person." The points made by my hon. and gallant Friend as to the dangers of a Clause like this cannot be over-emphasised. It is a very serious Clause and I hope that the Committee will reject it.

Major LLEWELLIN

It seems to me that nobody on the Committee would object if there were a Clause in the Bill, giving the Special Commissioners the same powers with regard to debenture stock and statutory companies, as they already have of inspection. What is objected to, first of all, is putting upon public companies the necessity of doing something which the tax collecting authority ought to do, and secondly, of doing that same thing with regard to a particular class of entries, which must mean a great deal more highly skilled work than merely copying down the whole of anything in a register. I think the learned Attorney-General was wrong in his interpretation of the effect of this Clause when he said that what we wanted was to demand a class of larger holdings. I do not see why that should be so at all, because it seems to me to affect a man's Super-tax return even if he has quite a small holding in a company. A small holding of £500 may just top a certain limit of Super-tax. As the hon. and learned Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett) pointed out in regard to the word "entry," if one remembers the provisions of the Interpretation Act, 1889, the singular word includes the plural, and where we read the word "entry" we have to read the word "entries." We are here giving the Commissioners power to demand a specified class of entries; that is, a specified class of "securities held by any one person." That is all the power that is being given, because the word "entry" is quite clearly defined in the Clause, and that, I submit, must be the reading that the Courts would bold of this Clause. In this case it would be far better, because of the discrimination against individual persons, if this Clause could be withdrawn, and if we could give the Special Commissioners power to go and search in this respect as in any other, without telling anybody for whose name they might be looking. It is a most dangerous principle to be introduced that a demand may be made with respect to one particular person by the Inland Revenue Department. Those of us who have envelopes sent us by the Income Tax authorities know that they are all most carefully and properly marked "Private and confidential," and it is that idea of getting the taxpayer acting with the Commissioners and not having his affairs broadcast at large that is helping the Inland Revenue authorities. If you get this principle by which they may go behind a man's back and publish to the world possibly false information against him, you are introducing a new factor. Therefore, I hope these words will be cut out.

Mr. CHURCHILL

Surely the learned Attorney-General is not going to leave matters in the position in which they stood when the hon. and learned Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett) sat down. I have rarely heard a speech more precisely directed to the object under debate, more harmoniously attuned to the character of Committee discussion, than the excellent statement which he has made. It seemed to me that there could hardly be a more damaging speech from the point of view of the Attorney-General himself. Not only were his facts traversed, not only was his legal authority impugned, and even controverted, but these sharp arrows were planted in his person by his distinguished legal successor in his old primacy on the Liberal benches. I congratulate the Liberal party on having so rapidly filled the gap. I do not often quote Latin to the Committee, but I will say on this occasion: Uno avulso, non deficit alter. On the removal of one, another is not wanting. Someone has taken the hon. and learned Gentleman's place who, although not possessing the advantages of official information, has been able to answer him in fact and law and leave him sprawling, a pitiable object. Is he going to sit there silent? You cannot carry on very long in the House of Commons by failing to answer important, serious and difficult questions. The Chancellor of the Exchequer for two hours to-day refused to answer a question which nothing in the public interest withheld him from answering, the answer to which he knew perfectly well. He refused to answer, but sat there stone-walling the discussion.

In the same way the Attorney-General, bankrupt in argument, scores off, if I may use a fairly popular expression, in a way which we rarely see one Member deal with another in these debates, and he thinks that he is going to get out of it by sitting there smiling. I am glad to see him smile. I have several times been minded to say to those who take part in these Budget debates, "Cheer up!" and it would be a great thing if he smiled and took a buoyant and happy view of life. In spite of all the awful things he may have done, there is no need to go about as if he had seen Banquo's ghost. But this is not a laughing matter; this is not a moment to smile. Having been selected by the Socialist party to give them the strong legal and intellectual guidance which they so particularly require, the hon. and learned Gentleman makes an exhibition of himself and is put on the broad of his back by the hon. and learned Gentleman below the Gangway, and sits still, without making the slightest attempt at a Parliamentary answer. The only contribution of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a capacious yawn.

There is another serious aspect to this Clause. It is typical of half-a-dozen that are put into this Bill. The Chancellor is coming forward to demand £50,000,000 or £60,000,000, it may be, of additional revenue from a small class of the taxpayers, a class which he has deliberately narrowed to the smallest possible capacity. The British direct taxpayers are without their equal in the world. No country produces revenue as we have done. Now, added to this very heavy burden, which the right hon. Gentleman argues the necessities of the case demand, are a whole series of petty, vexatious inquisitorial points designed, in my judgment, not to add to the revenue, but to gratify the feelings of personal irritation and spite which the Chancellor has against this class. In the end this may be a very dangerous policy. An enormous revenue is raised by the direct taxpayer. Any one who knows the workings of the Inland Revenue knows perfectly well that the success of any Budget we have seen in recent times or that we may see in the immediate future depends for its yield of revenue on the good will and the loyal co-operation of the mass of the taxpayers. You may devise this dodge and that inquisition; you may invent this new process and stiffen up that particular guard; but if in the process of doing that you have rendered the heavy new burdens odious to the great mass of those taxpayers, believe me for every pound that you save you will lose ten.

Mr. E. BROWN

The right hon. Gentleman said the Attorney-General had left a gap on these benches which has been admirably filled by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett), but he himself left a gap on these benches, and I am not going to say that gap can be filled. The right hon. Gentleman has been described as an unsinkable politician; he always manages to fill his own gaps, wherever they are. Nobody can take his place. But I rise not for the purpose of replying to that point, but in order to bring the debate back to the point of substance made by the hon. and gallant Member for North East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). We ought to have a reply from the Government on that point. The right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) really is unsinkable. He mentioned the sum of £60,000,000. I wonder he dare ever let that figure cross his lips. I recall a back bench member rising at 2 o'clock one morning in the session of 1927 to say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was taking £60,000,000 from the taxpayers. He and the learned Attorney General of that day denied the interpretation put upon the proceeding by the back bench member, but it was found that the ex- perts on the Treasury bench were wrong and that the layman was right.

We are entitled to know whether the Government are doing in this Clause what they say they are doing. As a layman I have been made profoundly uneasy by the course of this discussion. Further, we are entitled to ask whether the powers which the Government are asking for are excessive powers. As I read Clause 18 I think the Attorney-General has fallen into a false emphasis. Compare Sub-section (1) with Sub-section (5). The real antithesis is not between the whole of the register and a class of securities, but between the whole of the register and a class of persons, a single class.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL

No.

Mr. BROWN

The Attorney-General says "No." Perhaps he will tell us why. I hope he will answer a simple layman's question in a simple manner and say whether the antithesis is not between the whole of the register and one person. Why do the drafting authorities want Sub-section (5)? If that Sub-section has no reference to one person why do they give an interpretation of the word "entry" construed in terms of securities and not in terms of persons? This is a very important point which has not been met by the Attorney-General. We have to choose between the opinion of three eminent K.C.'s who hold varying opinions, and there seems to me to be a far larger measure of agreement between the honourable and learned Member for Altrincham (Mr. Atkinson) and the hon. and learned Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett) than between the two eminent authorities who have been named, and the Attorney-General, on the point that Sub-section (5) must have some relation to persons rather than to securities. Surely if the Clause really gives the Government power to do what is claimed by the Attorney-General, that is, to deal with a certain class of securities, it ought to say so without any regard whatever to persons.

Let us consider for a moment what is intended if the interpretation really means one person. We have been told that the register contains the names of 280,000 persons. Supposing you have for every person on the register an entry of 20 words, you have 5,600,000 words, and if the register has 200 to a page it will be 28,000 pages in length. Consider the amount of research involved for one person. If that be so, then I am bound to agree with the hon. and gallant Member for North East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) that this is not the kind of power which Parliament should sanction in order to deal with tax evasion, and if the Government really require more power to deal with tax evasion they should ask for it in a direct manner. If, on the other hand, the Attorney General's construction is accurate, I think we are entitled to ask for a simple and straightforward answer as to why the Government construe the word "entry" as applying to one person. If we get an answer to that question then we shall be in a better position to make up our minds. Personally, I feel that these words are very dangerous.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL

I am glad to hear from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) that I have got a smiling countenance to-day, but as I listened to the right hon. Gentleman's persiflage I could not help smiling. I will not repeat the right hon. Gentleman's Latin quotations, but when I was listening to them I was reminded of the old Latin phrase Timeo Danaos. I find myself in a certain amount of agreement on this point with the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Altrincham (Mr. Atkinson). It is not very difficult to understand the meaning of the words of the whole of, or any specified class of entries. The specified class must consist of a number of units which have to be paid for at the rate of 5s. in respect of each 100 entries. Take, for example, Sub-section (5) which defines what "security" means: In this section the expression 'security' includes shares, stork, debentures and debenture stock. To make the point clear the following words are added: and the expression 'entry' means, in relation to any register so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. You ask for a specified class if you ask for the name of some particular person.

Mr. LEIF JONES

The Attorney-General in one part of his speech substi- tuted, for the word "entries" in Sub-section (1), the expression "a specified class of units," "units" being the plural of "unit." So far, it is easy to understand, but I want to ask the Attorney-General what is the plural of the word "entry" lower down. There is a definition of "entry," but not of "entries." Let us try to substitute for the word "entries" in Sub-section (1) the definition given lower down. Sub-section (5) reads: so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. What is the plural of that? Does it mean so much as relates to the securities held by any two persons? I really do not know what is meant now by the expression. I suggest that it is entirely ungrammatical, and will require re-wording by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General is not usually lacking in clarity, but I do not know yet what this means or how it is going to work.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL

The word "class" necessarily imports the plural. You cannot speak of a class of one unit; you get the idea of plurality from the word "class." I agree that whether you speak of "entry" or "entries" is a matter of no importance. It has been said, and rightly, that the one would in-chide the other. But it is manifest from the words "class of entries" that you must be dealing with something which is not a mere unit, but a plural.

Mr. JONES

Should not the word "entry" be substituted for "entries' in Sub-section (1)? I really do not know now.

Mr. ALBERY

There are three things that appear to be quite clear. The first is that no Member of the Committee wishes in any way to hinder the very legitimate object of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in preventing tax evasion. The second is that there appears to be fairly unanimous agreement that the Clause is inquisitorial and in some directions almost revolutionary. The third is that there is distinct disagreement amongst those to whom the Committee naturally look for legal guidance in the very difficult phraseology and the Clause. I do not think, after this long Debate, there are many laymen who can honestly say they can make up their minds as to who is right, the Attorney-General or the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett). Furthermore a Clause of this kind should in no case be introduced unless there is very strong justification for it. I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is really not looking for his tax evasion in the wrong place. I can hardly conceive that to any person in his senses who deliberately wanted to evade taxation would do it by means of shares or debentures registered in his name—evidence against him, I suppose, for all time, at any time liable to discovery. There is no need, nor is it reasonable to mention the many other methods by which shareholders could own other kinds of shares where that kind of evidence would not be available. I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will not postpone the Clause and give it further consideration? He cannot fairly ask the Committee to come to a decision on it this evening.

Dr. BURGIN

I, like others on this side, am seriously troubled to find a meaning for the words "specified class of entry." I have listened with the greatest attention to the explanations that the Attorney-General has given, and I have followed them as far as I can, but I still cannot find a meaning. An entry is something that relates to an individual. Entries, presumably, would mean something that related to more than one individual. The mere fact that there is a difference of opinion as to the meaning of the plural of a singular which is defined shows that we are in some difficulty. Let me see if I can really follow it. The special commissioners are to have power to ask for a copy of the whole of the register. The Attorney-General says there is not the slightest difficulty when that happens. If the special commissioners ask for the copy of an entry, there is clearly no difficulty, because the word "entry" is defined. An entry is everything relating to a given person, but what is a class of entry? You cannot have a class of one person. The word "class" could be substituted by the word "number." I want to ask the Attorney-General whether line 15 would, in his view, be exactly the same if the word "number" were inserted instead of the word "class"?

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL

No.

Dr. BURGIN

So it is not the whole register, or any specified number of entries in the register. That is not the point. Therefore it means something more than mere plurality. What does it mean? If the special commissioners are to ask for the entries relating to A, B and C, that would be entries relating to specified persons. Is that what it means? Unlike the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) I have had three shots with the arrow but have not hit the mark. It does not relate, then, to several entries relating to the same person, it does not relate to entries relating to different persons, and it does not relate to a separate number of entries. I confess that I should not like to leave the Clause there not knowing in the least what it does mean.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL

It applies to entries over £500.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

We are really passing from one difficulty to another. I have listened to the very interesting speech just made, and I understood the Attorney-General to say that the Revenue authorities could ask for the whole register or specify a class of entries, which means the kind of people who own, say, 500 but not exceeding 1,000 shares. That is an illustration. Each one owns different kinds of shares. Apparently the authorities have got those two alternatives only—the register or the class. Supposing the authorities have some doubt in regard to a particular individual, are they debarred from asking for a list of the holdings of that individual? Is that so? Is it confined either to the whole register or to a class, or have they the power to ask for the holding of a particular individual?

Mr. STUART BEVAN

I am loth to make confusion worse confounded and I only propose to deal with the construction of the Clause. With the arguments which have been advanced from this side of the House against the policy of the Clause I am in complete agreement. I do not desire to add one word to the very cogent arguments adduced against it. Let us look for a moment at the construction of the Clause. As I read it, it fails of its purpose because while it gives powers to the Commissioners to demand a copy of the whole register or of a specified class of entries, they are to have no power to demand an entry relating to one particular holding which may be suspect. It is a cumbrous and expensive way, if this inquisition is to be chosen at all, to make an inquiry and gather information as to the holding of an individual taxpayer, that the Commissioners have to elect either to have a complete copy of the whole register or a specified class. That is the first objection. When one takes the wording of the Clause, if a Clause of this kind at all is desirable—which I stoutly contest—then it ought to be a business-like Clause. There is no means by which the holding of a particular shareholder in a company can be ascertained otherwise than by the cumbrous method of obtaining a copy of the whole register or a copy of a specified class of holding. The Attorney-General in an endeavour to throw light upon the Clause, which is as obscure as any Clause can be, referred to Sub-section (5) and he threw a new light—if light it can be called—upon it by stating that an entry in his view means, as the Clause says, in relation to any register, so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. He expressed the view that the 5s. per hundred entries was to be 5s. possibly in respect of 400 entries, because "entry" was an omnibus word which involved a search into four different registers of the companies—the share register, the stock register, the debenture register and the debenture stock register, all of which had to be paid for as one. A good many views have been expressed as to the inadequacy of the fee of 5s. per hundred entries.

If it is to be five shillings for every 400 entries, the matter becomes even more burdensome than it appears at first sight, and, it is an intolerable burden to throw upon a limited company to maintain a staff even at such a pitiable remuneration. A large staff is to be employed to be at the call of the Commissioners from time to time, nay, from day to day, to supply such information as the Commissioners want, at the rate of five shillings for every 400 entries. Apart altogether from the policy of the Clause, to which I am entirely antagonistic, as are many hon. Members on this side of the Committee, I submit that it is an unworkable Clause, and that it does not attain the end desired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and those who are advising him in this matter. The sooner it is dropped the better.

Mr. HASLAM

Although the speech of my hon. and learned friend the Member for Holborn (Mr. S. Bevan) was, to some extent, reassuring as to the position, yet there are many of us who would like to know whether this Clause gives to the Revenue authorities the power to make inquisitorial inquiries behind the back of an individual taxpayer without his knowing anything about the matter? That is a question in regard to which we have not had a clear answer from the learned Attorney-General. The hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan), earlier in the evening, gave a distinct and vivid picture of what might happen to an individual if he were pursued in this way. It is worthy of note that the learned Attorney-General, when he came to reply, did not deny that that kind of thing might happen. He merely said that he hoped that the Revenue authorities would not be so foolish as to conduct such an inquiry. That is no reply. It is no reason why the Committee should give to the Revenue authorities such large and revolutionary powers. We want a further assurance from the Government that they do not intend to use, or do not require such powers, and that they will, if necessary, insert words which will protect the individual from being pursued in this way. There is no need to pursue the individual in the way suggested. Surely, it is a most un-English way of doing things. If the Revenue authorities suspect that an individual has made a false return they can tackle him directly. They can write to him and ask him for evidence relating to his return. I believe that in certain cases they call upon the individual to produce his share certificates as evidence. Therefore, it is not very difficult for them to tackle the individual and make him responsible. To proceed by making an inquiry behind his back is an action which the Committee, I am sure, does not desire to see taken. Cannot the learned Attorney-General undertake to put a further provision in the Clause, or to agree to the Amendment of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne), and leave out the reference to these specified portions of the register altogether?

12 m.

Mr. B. GARDNER

It is not often that I trouble the Committee, but I wish to remind hon. members opposite that this Clause, or the intention of the Clause, is only a matter of common justice. Every wage earner who earns over £3 a week has to suffer these inquisitions into his means. The authorities do not take his word. Employers have to make returns; they are under penalties, if they fail to make returns, the Income Tax authorities and I welcome this Clause because it is doing justice to all classes.

Mr. SMITHERS

I wish to raise what I think is an important point arising out of the remark by the learned Attorney-General earlier in the evening on this question. We have followed the Chancellor in putting in the words "body corporate," which term, I presume, includes a bank. Now the learned Attorney-General said that the Special Commissioners, following the words of the Clause, may "serve a notice" regarding certain securities. I want to call attention to the last words of that Subsection "issued by them." He said that that meant the registered company, or the parent company, who issued the securities. About two hours ago I put forward a typical case—and there are many others—of the Westminster Bank, one of the big five banks of London, which takes over a large block of Canadian Pacific Railway shares, and issues against them Westminster Bank certificates. [Interruption.] I should be grateful to have the attention of the learned Attorney-General, because I am putting this point to him and I am venturing to differ from him. The practice of the Westminster Bank has for many years been to take into their treasury a block of Canadian Pacific shares and to issue against them Westminster Bank certificates. They do so for the convenience of their clients and it happens to be an acceptable arrangement to a good many foreign holders. The Westminster Bank is a "body corporate," and these securities are "issued by them," and bear on their face the name of the people to whom they are issued. By signing an open form of transfer at the bank they can be turned into various securities. I hope that the Attorney-General will tell me whether the Special Commissioners may serve a notice on the Westminster Bank asking them to give a return of the Canadian Pacific shares—taking this as a typical case—held by them.

In the case of the Inland Revenue authorities requiring particulars of the holdings of 10,000 shares it may be that one shareholder has bought 200 shares at one time and 800 at another. These two entries may be several thousands apart on the register, and the search will entail a great deal of time and labour. It is most unfair to make the secretary of a company liable to these heavy penalties in the case of a mistake. If the Special Commissioners require particulars of the holding of 10,000 shares, will the copy supplied by the secretary or representative of the company be taken as proof that the individual does in fact hold those shares? The question of nominee shares arises. He may hold these shares in his own name but on behalf of eight or ten other people. Will the entry made by the secretary of a company be taken as proof of the holding of these shares or will the individual have an opportunity of proving that none of them belong to him. In my opinion this Clause is useless and unworkable. It may easily arise that a man has sold his shares cum dividend and that he has sold them before the books are closed. The Income Tax authorities come down upon him for making a false return. What is the position of that man?

How do the Income Tax authorities hope to trace that? I hope that these questions will be answered. The Clause as it stands will only create further difficulties in the carrying on of business. These continual pin-pricks make it more difficult to carry on business and to bring business to London. It is this kind of venomous legislation which is being put upon the backs of what on the whole are the most loyal payers of Income Tax and Super-tax that the world has ever seen. It will force people to take every possible means of getting their shares registered, quite legally, in a way that will enable them to avoid this kind of inquisition. Knowing the character of the British people and the way in which they meet their liabilities, I am sure Chat the cost of working this Clause will be greater than the amount of any evasion of the Tax.

Mr. SNOWDEN rose in his place and claimed to move "That the Question be now put"; but the Chairman withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.

Marquess of HARTINGTON

I am sorry to detain the Committee, but there are one or two features of the Clause which are still not clear. The Clause is one which will vitally affect the interests of every company in the country, and we ought not to vote on it until we understand quite clearly what we are doing. In the absence of any definition the words "class of entries" to the ordinary layman will mean any particular part of the Register, that is the part of the Register referring to debenture holders or preference shareholders or ordinary shareholders or deferred shareholders. Later in the Clause there is a definition. 'Entry' means so much of any register as relates to the securities held by any one person. That definition makes it of vital importance that the word "specified" should be quite clearly defined. Otherwise the Special Commissioners will receive powers which will enable them to do the most extraordinary things. In the absence of some definition or limitation of "specified" it seems to me that the Special Commissioners might require a company to furnish particulars of the holdings of, say, the red-headed shareholders, or the bald-headed shareholders, or those shareholders against whom the Commissioners in the past have proceeded in Income Tax cases. The word "specified" might mean anything. I agree with what has been said as to the injustice of compelling companies to make a copy of the registers at the rate of only five shillings for every 400 entries. The Clause might compel a company to make an exhaustive search of registers and to carry out the work of many weeks, and in the end the company's remuneration might amount to a small fraction over a halfpenny. Unless we know what the word "specified" means, it is impossible to pass the Clause in its present form.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 215; Noes, 160.

Division No. 355.] AYES. [12.15 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hopkin, Daniel Potts, John S.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Horrabin, J. F. Price, M. P.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Quibell, D. J. K.
Alpass, J. H. Isaacs, George Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Ammon, Charles George Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Raynes, W. R.
Arnott, John John, William (Rhondda, West) Richards, R.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Johnston, Thomas Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Barnes, Alfred John Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Ritson, J.
Bellamy, Albert Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Benson, G. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Romeril, H. G.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Kelly, W. T. Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Kennedy, Thomas Rowson, Guy
Bowen, J. W. Kinley, J. Salter, Dr. Alfred
Broad, Francis Alfred Kirkwood, D. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Brockway, A. Fenner Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Sanders, W. S.
Bromfield, William Lathan, G. Sandham, E.
Brothers, M. Law, Albert (Bolton) Sawyer, G. F.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Law, A. (Rosendale) Scurr, John
Buchanan, G. Lawrence, Susan Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Burgess, F. G. Lawson, John James Shield, George William
Caine, Derwent Hall- Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Leach, W. Shillaker, J. F.
Charleton, H. C. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Simmons, C. J.
Church, Major A. G. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Sinkinson, George
Clarke, J. S. Lees, J. Sitch, Charles H.
Cluse, W. S. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lindley, Fred W. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Compton, Joseph Lloyd, C. Ellis Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Cove, William G. Logan, David Gilbert Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Daggar, George Longbottom, A. W. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Dallas, George Longden, F. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Dalton, Hugh Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lunn, William Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Dickson, T. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Sorensen, R.
Dukes, C. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Stamford, Thomas W.
Ede, James Chuter MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Stephen, Campbell
Edmunds, J. E. McElwee, A. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) McEntee, V. L. Strauss, G. R.
Egan, W. H. MacLaren, Andrew Sutton, J. E.
Freeman, Peter McShane, John James Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Mansfield, W. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Gibbins, Joseph Markham, S. F. Thurtle, Ernest
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Marley, J. Tinker, John Joseph
Gill, T. H. Marshall, F. Tout, W. J.
Gillett, George M. Mathers, George Townend, A. E.
Gossling, A. G. Messer, Fred Vaughan, D. J.
Gould, F. Middleton, G. Viant, S. P.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mills, J. E. Walker, J.
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Milner, Major J. Wallace, H. W.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Montague, Frederick Watkins, F. C.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Groves, Thomas E. Morley, Ralph Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Grundy, Thomas W. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Wellock, Wilfred
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mort, D. L. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Moses, J. J. H. Westwood, Joseph
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Hardie, George D. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Harris, Percy A. Muff, G. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Muggeridge, H. T. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Haycock, A. W. Murnin, Hugh Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Hayday, Arthur Naylor, T. E. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Hayes, John Henry Noel Baker, P. J. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Oldfield, J. R. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Palin, John Henry Wise, E. F.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Paling, Wilfrid Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Herriotts, J. Palmer, E. T.
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Phillips, Dr. Marion Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Hollins, A. Picton-Turbervill, Edith Charles Edwards.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Aske, Sir Robert Atkinson, C.
Albery, Irving James Atholl, Duchess of Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Beaumont, M. W. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Glassey, A. E. Peake, Captain Osbert
Bird, Ernest Roy Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Penny, Sir George
Birkett, W. Norman Granville, E. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Blindell, James Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Pybus, Percy John
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Gray, Milner Ramshotham, H.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Greene, W. P. Crawford Rathbone, Eleanor
Bracken, B. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Remer, John R.
Brass, Captain Sir William Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)
Briscoe, Richard George Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Gunston, Captain D. W. Rothschild, J. de
Buckingham, Sir H. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Hartington, Marquess of Salmon, Major I.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Haslam, Henry C. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Colfox, Major William Philip Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Savery, S. S.
Colman, N. C. D. Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Colville, Major D. J. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Hunter, Dr. Joseph Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cowan, D. M. Iveagh, Countess of Smithers, Waldron
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Jones, Sir G. W. K. (Stoke New'gton) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey Lamb, Sir J. Q. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Leighton, Major B. E. P. Train, J.
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Llewellin, Major J. J. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Lung, Major Eric Turton, Robert Hugh
Dawson, Sir Philip Lymington, Viscount Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Duckworth, G. A. V. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Dudgeon, Major C. R. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Warrender, Sir Victor
Edge, Sir William Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Edmondson, Major A. J. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Wayland, Sir William A.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Marjoribanks, E. C. Wells, Sydney R.
Elmley, Viscount Meller, R. J. White, H. G.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Morris, Rhys Hopkins Womersley, W. J.
Ferguson, Sir John Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Fielden, E. B. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Muirhead, A. J.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Nathan, Major H. L. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Galbraith, J. F. W. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Captain Margesson and Captain
Ganzoni, Sir John Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Wallace.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William

Question put accordingly, "That the word 'certified' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 212; Noes, 158.

Division No. 356.] AYES. [12.25 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Clarke, J. S. Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin, Cent.)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Cluse, W. S. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Cocks, Frederick Seymour Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Alpass, J. H. Compton, Joseph Groves, Thomas E.
Ammon, Charles George Cove, William G. Grundy, Thomas W.
Arnott, John Daggar, George Hall, F. (York. W. R., Normanton)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Dallas, George Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Barnes, Alfred John Dalton, Hugh Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Denman, Hon. R. D. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)
Bellamy, Albert Dickson, T. Hardie, George D.
Benson, G. Dukes, C. Harris, Percy A.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Ede, James Chuter Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Edmunds, J. E. Haycock, A. W.
Bowen, J. W. Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Hayday, Arthur
Broad, Francis Alfred Egan, W. H. Hayes, John Henry
Brockway, A. Fenner Freeman, Peter Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)
Bromfield, William Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)
Brothers, M. Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Gibbins, Joseph Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)
Buchanan, G. Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Herriotts, J.
Burgess, F. G. Gill, T. H. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Caine, Derwent Hall- Gillett, George M. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Gossling, A. G. Hollins, A.
Charleton, H. C. Gould, F. Hopkin, Daniel
Church, Major A. G. Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Horrabin, J. F.
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Mills, J. E. Sitch, Charles H.
Isaacs, George Milner, Major J. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Montague, Frederick Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Johnston, Thomas Morley, Ralph Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Mort, D. L. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Moses, J. J. H. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Kelly, W. T. Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Sorensen, R.
Kennedy, Thomas Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Stamford, Thomas W.
Kinley, J. Muff, G. Stephen, Campbell
Kirkwood, D. Muggeridge, H. T. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Murnin, Hugh Strauss, G. R.
Lathan, G. Naylor, T. E. Sutton, J. E.
Law, Albert (Bolton) Noel Baker, P. J. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Law, A. (Rosendale) Oldfield, J. R. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Lawrence, Susan Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Lawson, John James Palin, John Henry Thurtle, Ernest
Lawther, W. (Barnard Cattle) Paling, Wilfrid Tinker, John Joseph
Leach, W. Palmer, E. T. Tout, W. J.
Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Townend, A. E.
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Phillips, Dr. Marion Vaughan, D. J.
Lees, J. Picton-Turbervill, Edith Walker, J.
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Potts, John S. Wallace, H. W.
Lindley, Fred W. Price, M. P. Watkins, F. C.
Lloyd, C. Ellis Quibell, D. J. K. Watson, W. M. (Duntermilne)
Logan, David Gilbert Raynes, W. R. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Longbottom, A. W. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wellock, Wilfred
Longden, F. Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Ritson, J. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Lunn, William Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Westwood, Joseph
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Romeril, H. G. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Rosbotham, D. S. T. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Rowson, Guy Williams, David (Swansea, East)
McElwee, A. Salter, Dr. Alfred Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
McEntee, V. L. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
MacLaren, Andrew Sanders, W. S. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
McShane, John James Sandham, E. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Sawyer, G. F. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Mansfield, W. Scurr, John Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Markham, S. F. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Wise, E. F.
Marley, J. Shield, George William Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Marshall, F. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Mathers, George Shillaker, J. F. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.-
Messer, Fred Simmons, C. J. Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Middleton, G. Sinkinson, George Charles Edwards.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Gunston, Captain D. W.
Albery, Irving James Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.
Aske, Sir Robert Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)
Atholl, Duchess of Davies, Dr. Vernon Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)
Atkinson, C. Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Hartington, Marquess of
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Dawson, Sir Philip Haslam, Henry C.
Beaumont, M. W. Duckworth, G. A. V. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Dudgeon, Major C. R. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.
Bird, Ernest Roy Edge, Sir William Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)
Birkett, W. Norman Edmondson, Major A. J. Hore-Belisha, Leslie.
Blindell, James Elliot, Major Walter E. Hunter, Dr. Joseph
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Elmley, Viscount Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.
Bracken, B. Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Iveagh, Countess of
Brass, Captain Sir William Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)
Briscoe, Richard George Falle, Sir Bertram G. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Ferguson, Sir John Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Fielden, E. B. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)
Buckingham, Sir H. Fison, F. G. Clavering King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Galbraith, J. F. W. Lamb, Sir J. Q.
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Ganzoni, Sir John Lane Fox, Cot. Rt. Hon. George R.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Llewellin, Major J. J.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Long, Major Eric
Cobb, Sir Cyril Glassey, A. E. Lymington, Viscount
Colfox, Major William Philip Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Colman, N. C. D. Granville, E. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.
Colville, Major D. J. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Gray, Milner Makins, Brigadier-General E.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Greene, W. P. Crawford Marjoribanks, E. C.
Cowan, D. M. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Meller, R. J.
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Merriman, Sir F. Boyd
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Train, J.
Muirhead, A. J. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Nathan, Major H. L. Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Turton, Robert Hugh
Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Salmon, Major I. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
O'Connor, T. J. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart Warrender, Sir Victor
Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Savery, S. S. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome Wayland, Sir William A.
Peake, Capt. Osbert Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam) Wells, Sydney R.
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) White, H. G.
Pybus, Percy John Smith-Carington, Neville W. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Smithers, Waldron Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Ramsbotham, H. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East) Womersley, W. J.
Rathbone, Eleanor Southby, Commander A. R. J. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Remer, John R. Spender-Clay, Colonel H. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Captain Sir George Bowyer and Sir
Rothschild, J. de Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) George Penny.
The CHAIRMAN

Sir Dennis Herbert——

Mr. CHURCHILL

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

I rise for the purpose of asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give us some inkling at this stage of the intentions which the Government have formed with regard to the further course of our business to-night and of their submissions in the matter. [An HON. MEMBER: "Speak up!"] I conclude with the Motion to Report Progress and ask leave to sit again, and I repeat that for the benefit of my hon. Friend who has just returned from the cricket match. We have not found it easy to make progress to-day because the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not made many helpful answers to the arguments that have been used. He prefers to sit there stonewalling the Debate and rising in his place at intervals to move the Closure. Sometimes he has risen when the Chairman has been unable to accept the Closure, thus showing that he has been unable to judge the sense of the Committee with the same instinct and propriety as the Chairman. What does he intend to do? How far does he wish to go? We have disposed of one Clause and made good progress with a second. They will not add to the revenue nor help to solve the financial problems of the country. All they will do is to work out certain special ideas that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his friends have on these subjects. I will give the right hon. Gentleman an opportunity at this stage, before I comment further on the situation, to tell us what his intentions are.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

We have been in Committee now for nine hours, and we have got one Clause. I can answer the right hon. Gentleman in one sentence. This sitting will continue until we have reached Clause 27.

Mr. CHURCHILL

It always makes the thorny path of public business the easier when we are guided by the right hon. Gentleman. I will counsel him, if he is really going to embark on such a lengthy and laborious procedure, to begin his labours—for he is only at the very beginning of them—in rather a better temper than he has just exhibited. The spectacle of rage and malice which was exhibited to us when he rose just now reminds me of an impression I have sometimes seen when walking through a munitions factory and the great glare of a furnace suddenly comes on one.

Dr. MORGAN

Get on !

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member is outside the House.

Mr. CHURCHILL

All I can say is that the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer are preposterous He asks us to deal with the immense series of Clauses that lie between us and Clause 27.

Mr. J. WILSON

We have to have them at some time.

Mr. KIRKWOOD

You are getting supporters on this side. Go ahead!

Mr. CHURCHILL

I cannot conceive any course less calculated to facilitate progress. Some of these Clauses are of great importance and complexity. Others are not of such importance, but they are none the less irritating and have been added needlessly to encumber the financial provisions. The whole attitude which the right hon. Gentleman has adopted is one calculated to delay the course of public business. From beginning to end of this Budget he has tried to ride roughshod over the Rouse. How, I should like to know, could any Opposition receive the kind of announcement he has made to us? After all, we have our Parliamentary rights as well as he and his friends. He is a Minister in a minority Government dependent on the precarious political co-operation he receives from that bench. He uses tones of arrogance which I have never heard employed in a Government in a majority. He says we are to deal with all these clauses.

Take Clause 19 (Provisions as to collection of tax where appeal pending against assessment). That Clause is one of these little, petty pinpricks to the taxpayer at the time when the right hon. Gentleman is casting this heavy new burden on him. Take Clause 20 (Amendment of law relating to summary recovery of income tax) and Clause 21 (Limitation on amount of sur-tax payable in respect of total income of individual dying within year of assessment). That Clause is one on which, I dare say, there will not be very much trouble. Clause 22 (Valuation for purposes of Schedules A and B to be made quinquennially in Great Britain.) [HON. MEMBERS: "Agreed."] Why should you begin saying "Agreed"? After all, we have been told we are sitting all night. We cannot have at one moment violent threats by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ill-use the House and squeals for mercy from his followers. Clause 23 (Provisions for expediting in England valuations and assessments for years of revaluation). This is a most serious and complicated Clause affecting the valuation and its relations to the Treasury valuation. Clause 24 (Parishes for purposes of assessment in England.) That perhaps is not a very lengthy Clause, but look at Clause 25 (Appointment of general commissioners in Scotland.) That raises the Scotch aspect of our affairs. That, I should have thought in the best of circumstances difficult to dispose of by the Scottish Members, who take their Parliamentary duties most seriously and have never been known in this House to lack the capacity to state an important case with due prolixity. That is a Clause which might take some considerable time.

Clause 26 (Annual value of property in London for purposes of income tax.) That is a Clause raising questions of difficulty; and finally there is Clause 27 (Provisions with respect to returns, copies of valuation lists and tax assessments in London.) The right hon. Gentleman intends to keep the Committee all through this hot night in order to secure this immense mass of tangled and complicated business. He is trying to carry his Budget not by argument and reason, not by tactful and careful guidance of the Committee, but by sheer brute force. He has his army marshalled behind him. Their bridges and their boats are burned behind them. They cannot escape for some hours. He is using these unfortunates, with their backs to the wall, as it were, to try to press this immense mass of legislation through. I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer seriously to consider whether he should proceed in this course of action. After all, there is this present Clause 18, a very important Clause.

Would it not be better to finish that Clause as quickly as possible and then let the House adjourn? What is the reason we are to have this prolonged sitting? A Committee of the House has just reported against these late sittings. Why does the right hon. Gentleman wish to keep us up? We did not put these Clauses down. They are not necessary in any way. They are merely put in in order to make it funny. The right hon. Gentleman proposes that we should sit for all hours of the night on this subject. I am willing to begin this discussion in a most amicable manner, and I have met the right hon. Gentleman in a very fair and friendly manner. If he will wind up his proceedings at Clause 18, which might easily be disposed of in less than an hour or an hour and a half, then we can all return refreshed on Thursday. There is enough material in this great mass of business which he is trying to force through to keep the Committee until three o'clock to-morrow, and in that case another allotted day of Supply is destroyed, because, if the Committee sits until three o'clock, the House can never meet on that day and the Government will have lost the whole of their allotted Supply day. There is a supreme remedy which is provided for Oppositions who are ill-treated in the matter of legislation. I do not know whether the Liberal party will approve of this method of forcing business through. The Finance Bill is a Measure which, from their point of view, has a singular significance, because it is by means of a Finance Bill that a tariff will be carried. No doubt the Government, by overloading the House with petty matters and pressing the debates into all hours of the night, are trying to make a case for a guillotine on the Budget.

The CHAIRMAN

That is hardly relevant to the point before us at the moment.

Mr. CHURCHILL

With great respect, I thought that an analysis of the motives and the reasons which have actuated the Leader of the House in pressing this business on Parliament were as much within the ambit of your previous tolerance as what I have already said. But I pass from that, simply pointing out that every step which the right hon. Gentleman has taken in the course of the Budget discussions is consistent with a plan leading up to a guillotine closure. We see paragraphs announcing so in his party official organ, indicating that the ordinary procedure of this House may be swept away in order that he and his friends may carry out their healing process.

But the Budget stands by itself, and once a precedent is set up of a guillotine closure, and it is being prepared beforehand by these all-night sittings, then be sure that if the Liberal party were to support such a procedure, they would destroy the main opportunity they would have of preventing the passage of a tariff Bill, which certainly could only be carried under the application of a guillotine closure.

I have pressed the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider his decision, but I gather we are to have no further word from him, and that we are to go on until this vast mass of business has been disposed of. I gather that is so. I did not expect the Chancellor of the Exchequer to answer. If he sets us this hard task, if he forces us to proceed to examine all the details of this Bill, we will not shrink from the task. We will meet him in the discussions, and we will only hope that the contributions which will be made to our legislation will be such as to render it at least innocuous, and that the contribution which we make to the education of the right hon. Gentleman will carry his command of patience and of good temper one step further than it has yet done.

Question put, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 103; Noes, 219.

Division No. 357.] AYES. [12.53 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Elliot, Major Walter E. Llewellin, Major J. J.
Albery, Irving James Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.) Long, Major Eric
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Fielden, E. B. Lymington, Viscount
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Fison, F. G. Clavering Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Beaumont, M. W. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.
Bird, Ernest Roy Ganzoni, Sir John Marjoribanks, E. C.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.
Bracken, B. Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Brass, Captain Sir William Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Briscoe, Richard George Greene, W. P. Crawford Muirhead, A. J.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Buckingham, Sir H. Gunston, Captain D. W. O'Connor, T. J.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.) Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Peake, Capt. Osbert
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Penny, Sir George
Colfox, Major William Philip Hartington, Marquess of Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Colville, Major D. J. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Ramsbotham, H.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Haslam, Henry C. Remer, John R.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Davies, Dr. Vernon Iveagh, Countess of Ruggles-Brise, Lieut-Colonel E. A.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Salmon, Major I.
Dawson, Sir Philip King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Duckworth, G. A. V. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewert
Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome Stanley, Lord (Fylde) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Shillaker, J. F. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland) Womersley, W. J.
Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam) Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Smith-Carington, Neville W. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Smithers, Waldron Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Somerville, D. G. (Willesdon, East) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert Captain Wallace and Sir Victor
Southby, Commander A. R. J. Waterhouse, Captain Charles Warrender.
Spender-Clay, Colonel H. Wells, Sydney R.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Nathan, Major H. L.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Noel Baker, P. J.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Herriotts, J. Oldfield, J. R.
Alpass, J. H. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Ammon, Charles George Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Arnott, John Hollins, A. Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Aske, Sir Robert Hopkin, Daniel Palin, John Henry
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Hore-Belisha, Leslie Paling, Wilfrid
Barnes, Alfred John Horrabin, J. F. Palmer, E. T.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Bellamy, Albert Hunter, Dr. Joseph Phillips, Dr. Marion
Benson, G. Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Potts, John S.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) John, William (Rhondda, West) Price, M. P.
Birkett, W. Norman Johnston, Thomas Pybus, Percy John
Blindell, James Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Quibell, D. J. K.
Bowen, J. W. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Broad, Francis Alfred Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Rathbone, Eleanor
Brockway, A. Fenner Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Raynes, W. R.
Bromfield, William Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Brothers, M. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Kelly, W. T. Ritson, J.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Kennedy, Thomas Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Buchanan, G. Kinley, J. Romeril, H. G.
Burgess, F. G. Kirkwood, D. Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Rothschild, J. de
Caine, Derwent Hall- Lathan, G. Rowson, Guy
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Law, Albert (Bolton) Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Charleton, H. C. Law, A. (Rosendale) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Clarke, J. S. Lawrence, Susan Sanders, W. S.
Cluse, W. S. Lawson, John James Sawyer, G. F.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Scurr, John
Compton, Joseph Leach, W. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Cove, William G. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Shield, George William
Daggar, George Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Dallas, George Lees, J. Shillaker, J. F.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Simmons, C. J.
Dickson, T. Lindley, Fred W. Sinkinson, George
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lloyd, C. Ellis Sitch, Charles H.
Dukes, C. Logan, David Gilbert Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Ede, James Chuter Longbottam, A. W. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Edge, Sir William Longden, F. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Edmunds, J. E. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lunn, William Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Egan, W. H. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Elmley, Viscount MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Freeman, Peter MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Sorensen, R.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham. Upton) McElwee, A. Stamford, Thomas W.
Gibbins, Joseph McEntee, V. L. Stephen, Campbell
Gibson H. M. (Lancs. Mossley) McShane, John James Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Gill, T. H. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Strauss, G. R.
Glassey, A. E. Mansfield, W. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Gossling, A. G. Marley, J. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Gould, F. Marshall, F. Thurtle, Ernest
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mathers, George Tinker, John Joseph
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Messer, Fred Tout, W. J.
Granville, E. Middleton, G. Townend, A. E.
Gray, Milner Mills, J. E. Vaughan, D. J.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Milner, Major J. Wallace, H. W.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Montague, Frederick Watkins, F. C.
Groves, Thomas E. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Grundy, Thomas W. Morley, Ralph Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Morris, Rhys Hopkins Wellock, Wilfred
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Mort, D. L. Westwood, Joseph
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Moses, J. J. H. White, H. G.
Harris, Percy A. Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Haycock, A. W. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Hayday, Arthur Muff, G. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hayes, John Henry Muggeridge, H. T. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Murnin, Hugh Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Wilson, J. (Oldham) Wise, E. F. Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow) Young, R. S. (Islington, North) Charles Edwards.
Sir D. HERBERT

I beg to move, in page 16, line 13, to leave out the words: in such manner as may be specified", and to insert instead thereof the words: by the signature of a duly authorised agent of that body". 1 a.m.

The Amendment I put on the Paper requires alteration to the form in which I now move it, as a result of one of the Amendments made in the earlier part of the Clause. If on this occasion the Chancellor of the Exchequer is also prepared to accept my Amendment, it will not be necessary for me to speak on it. The Clause provides that the copies which are to be furnished at the instance of the Special Commissioners are to be "certified in such manner as may be specified." I suppose that means as specified by the Commissioners. A much more usual and a more convenient course would have been to state the manner in which the copies were to be certified, namely, that they should be certified by the signature of the responsible officer concerned. The Amendment I put down was that they should be certified by the signature of one of those persons or their duly authorised agent. These words were put down when we were supposed to be dealing with a body of persons. That body of persons has been altered into a corporate body. I am not one of those who consider it possible by any manner of means that the Special Commissioners are likely to be unreasonable. If they would not act unreasonably, in what other manner, except by the duly authorised agents, will these lists be certified? In what other manner could the Commissioners require them to be certified? I will tell the Financial Secretary one way in which they might be required to be certified if they were peculiarly suspected. They might require them to be notarially certified. That would cost a great deal more than the 5s. a hundred that is the authorised payment under this Clause as it stands and my previous Amendment having been accepted so readily, I think this is also a reasonable one.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I quite appreciate the spirit in which the hon. Gentleman has moved this Amendment, and I quite realise that his only wish is to make the Clause work in the most harmonious way. But in point of fact I think that the words in the Clause as they stand are preferable to the words which the hon. Member has proposed. Even in the modified form in which he has put them forward in the Amendment, I still think that our words are better. The intention of the Clause is that the appropriate officer shall make the certification, and what we think is that the Special Commissioners will be the best judge in each particular case as to who the officer shall be.

There will, of course, be a number of different bodies who will have to make these certificates for corporations, railway companies and companies incorporated under the Companies Act, and in each of these cases somewhat different persons will be the appropriate officers to make the certification. Our opinion is that it would be better to leave it in the hands of the special commissioners to suggest the appropriate officer rather than to attempt to decide in advance, whether in the form of an amendment to the Clause or otherwise.

Sir D. HERBERT

Would the hon. Gentleman accept the words "certified by such officers as might be satisfactory to the Commissioners?"

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I think myself that the words in the Clause are best. We need not imagine that the Special Commissioners will propose some quite unreasonable person. We had better leave it as it is.

Lord E. PERCY

I would ask the hon. Gentleman why he does not say: certified by such officer as, in the opinion of the Special Commissioners, is the appropriate officer? The answer of the hon. Gentleman is that we do not expect the Special Commissioners to do anything unreasonable. Then why give them the power? This is the sort of sloppy legislation that is continually drifting, and giving wide powers because we will not give ourselves the trouble of thinking what powers a public official really ought to have. Never in any previous Parliament have we had so many wide and sloppily- drawn Clauses giving powers to various classes of people. If the government wants to do the perfectly simple and obviously proper thing, why cannot it say exactly what is meant?

The CHAIRMAN

Sir Basil Peto.

Captain CROOKSHANK

I will preface my remarks by thanking you, Mr. Young, for the honour you have conferred upon me. I take it as a high compliment and apologize to the hon. Baronet, the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto), that even for one moment I stepped into his shoes. I would like to reinforce the point that has been put by the noble Lord. The answer of the Financial Secretary has nothing whatever to do with the words of this Clause. The words we are proposing to leave out are "in such manner as may be specified," but his answer is about appropriate officers. Well an "appropriate officer" is not a "manner" whatever else he is. Who is going to do the specifying? The Special Commissioners, I understand the Financial Secretary saying they are the best judges, they may be good judges, but I would not go so far as to say that they are necessarily the best, because that would be taking away the competence of Parliament, which is the best judge.

The hon. Gentleman, the Financial Secretary, was not at all responsive. It is our business to try to get words into these Acts of Parliament to signify our intention. If he means that the appropriate officers are to make the certification, why in the world does he not say so? There is nothing in this Sub-section about any officer at all, appropriate or otherwise. It certainly pays "in such manner as may be specified." I think the certification is going to be done by the Special Commissioners "in such manner"; that might mean that they might quite well say it has to be on foolscap paper instead of typewritten or in handwriting instead of copper-plate, the Financial Secretary is only concerned with that very narrow bureaucratic technique of the people in Government offices, of which I have had very considerable experience, who would not look at a file of papers sent to them because the bow tying them up was on the bottom instead of at the side. That is the sort of thing which is meant by "in such manner". It has nothing to do with people.

Really the Financial Secretary must discriminate between things and persons. He says, "Leave the choice of the appropriate officers to the Special Commissioners," but we do not want to leave it to anyone when we are passing an Act of Parliament. In all the many hours of discussion we have had no one knows in this Committee really what is meant by the Government and lawyers have all given different verdicts, and the laymen have followed not far behind. Let the Financial Secretary be good enough to tell us what is meant by "in like manner." Do not let him talk about officers. I expect his remarks were all out of order on this Amendment, but he has been treated with great latitude by the Chairman. I hope he will explain what it is that the bureaucratic powers who are behind this Clause have in mind.

Major NATHAN

The extraordinary thing is that in this one Clause there should be in three successive lines the word "specified." We are to have copies delivered within a specified time, certified in such manner as may be specified, of the whole of or any specified class of entries. We have already spent three hours discussing that meaning of the word "specified." I challenge my memory as to whether the word "specified" any such context as this has appeared in legislation. Let me pursue the matter a little further, because there is a procedure of certification under the Companies Act, 1929, and I wish to ask the Financial Secretary whether he has in mind the certification under the Companies' Forms Order of 1929 made by the Board of Trade under date 7th October, 1929, in which several methods, alternative methods, in circumstances to which that order was applicable, are laid down for certification, such as the certification of a true copy by a notary public, or the certification of a true copy on oath by an officer having authority to administer an oath? I do not believe for a minute that that is what the hon. Gentleman has in mind. I think the Financial Secretary overlooks the change that has taken place in the form of this Clause since it first came before the Committee. The Clause now relates only to bodies corporate and the position with regard to all bodies corporate is perfectly well known. They all have their proper officer—their clerk or secretary is the proper person to make a certificate. If the hon. Gentleman will look at Subsection (4), line 22, he will find that it refers to the clerk and secretary of the body in question, or, if there is no clerk or Secretary, the person who performs the duties of clerk or secretary. Why then the use of the words "in such manner as may be specified"?

Sir W. BRASS

It seems to me that there are two points we have to consider. One was made by my hon. and gallant Friend below the Gangway. When I asked the learned Attorney-General what was meant by the words "certified in such manner as may be specified," I did not get any reply. I hope that the Financial Secretary will presently tell us exactly what is meant by these words. Do we understand by them that a special form might be provided by the Commissioners and sent to the Companies in a specially arranged way and filled in by them in a specified manner? The other point is this: I suggest that the words should be left out rather than any words be added. If these words were left out, the Clause would read:— The Special Commissioners may cause to be served upon any corporate body … requiring them to deliver to the Commissioners within a specified time a copy of the whole of, or any specfied class of entries.

The CHAIRMAN

That cannot be done now. The word "certified" stands part.

Sir W. BRASS

We cannot do that now. We must deal with the Amendment as it stands. That being the case, it turns now on the question of the person who shall do the certifying. I would suggest that the secretary or the clerk who is referred to in Sub-section (4), who is to be responsible and who, if he does not do it in a proper manner, is to be fined £50, should be the person to do this certifying. I cannot see why the Financial Secretary should not accept this very reasonable Amendment. All these various concerns have clerks or secretaries who can perfectly well do the certifying for them. I do not see any argument in the remarks of the Financial Secretary that the words that have been suggested should not be accepted. He has brought nothing new forward but has merely, in effect, told the Committee that he thinks the words in the Bill are better than those suggested in the Amendment, without giving any reason.

Sir D. HERBERT

When I moved this Amendment I did not say very much about it, and I was surprised that it was not accepted.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

The hon. Member made a suggestion earlier that I should accept certain alternative words. If he remembers the exact words and will repeat them, I should like to have an opportunity of considering them. I think they were something like "by such an appropriate official as the commissioners shall approve." If he can recall the words, perhaps he will repeat them.

Sir D. HERBERT

I am afraid I can not recall them. Very likely I can recall some of them. I want the Clause to specify the kind of way in which it can be certified. As long as that is a reasonable way, I do not mind about the form of words. I suggest by a duly authorised agent of that body recognised as such by the commissioners, that is, if the Financial Secretary insists on having such words put in. I think, however, my original words are best: by the signature of one of those persons or their duly authorised agent. I do not take much real interest in trying to polish up this Clause, because I think the whole Clause is a mistake. It says that it is to be done in a specified way. Why not say how it is to be done? We have had enough in this country of leaving things to be dealt with by bureaucrats, and this is one case which we ought to settle. What is the Financial Secretary's defence? It is that the Special Commissioners will know best who is the person who ought to certify. Are they really the people who know best the individuals in the office of the Southern Railway or any other railway company? Do they know best the employés of the Wakefield Corporation?

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

: I can probably now satisfy the hon. Member by this form of words, which, I think, meets all the legitimate cases—in place of the words "in such manner as may be specified" to substitute the words "by a duly authorised officer of such body." I think that that meets the suggestion put forward, and if the hon. Member will withdraw his Amendment, I shall be happy to move the appropriate Amendment in the form I have suggested.

Sir D. HERBERT

On that understanding, I will ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I beg to move, in page 16, line 13, to leave out the words: in such manner as may be specified, and to insert instead thereof the words: by a duly authorised officer of such body.

Hon. MEMBERS

"Signature!"

The CHAIRMAN

I have put the Question, and read the Amendment. Why should hon. Members say something else?

Sir KINGSLEY WOOD

I should like to say a word on that.

The CHAIRMAN

Major Davies.

Major DAVIES

I think the matter is getting clarified, but is not quite clear yet. If the Financial Secretary considers for a moment, he will appreciate that the word "signature" is necessary. I should like to say a word in connection with the Amendment that has now been approved by the Government front Bench, because the Financial Secretary, in spite of the usual benevolence of his methods, seems to have betrayed a disagreeably suspicious nature over this Amendment. He has done the right thing in giving way on this Amendment. The information which it is properly desired by the Special Commissioners to obtain is not in the nature of an ordinary copyist's work. It entails an original piece of work, because it constitutes a correct interpretation of a demand and therefore a selection from an existing list. There is a considerable responsibility in producing that selection. It must be accurate, which is its whole point. The Special Commissioners are desiring to check errors on the part of taxpayers. The whole reason for their making this demand is that they may have accurate information. That accurate information is contained admittedly in the records of the company or body corporate, but its presentation to the Commissioners depends on the ability, accuracy and work of some particular official. If he fails in those respects, then the body corporate for which he is acting will be liable for these heavy penalties of as such as £50 at a time, and the number of times on which they may be fined is apparently unlimited. We are putting on the representative, whoever he may be, of the body corporate, an original work, not a mere copyist's work, and the responsibility for the accuracy attached to it. That shows how important it is that we should have very definitely expressed who is to do the work and in what form it is to be done, and not leave the decision to anyone, not even the present Financial Secretary, in whom we have the most supreme confidence, but who may not be always filling that position. While it is not in Order for me to move a further manuscript Amendment to the form which the Financial Secretary has consented to submit to the Committee, I do not consider it as satisfactory in regard to the word "specified." Everyone believes it means "specified by the Commissioners," but it does not say so.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

The word "specified" has gone.

Major DAVIES

"Certified" is the word to which I was referring. The Financial Secretary has put forward certain words, but I would ask him to give this matter further consideration, and I am sure he will agree that for grammatical accuracy the word "signature" is desirable as an Amendment to his Amendment, and for those reasons I hope that he will be able to agree that that is a satisfactory and a clearer way of conveying into the Bill what is evidently his intention.

Sir K. WOOD

I would like to make one observation on this matter, although I must disagree with my hon. Friend behind me. I think the word "certified" does imply the signature of the duly authorised agent. The word "certification" is generally used in this connection, and I do not think it necessary to have the word "signature." We are entitled to complain of the long time the Financial Secretary has been in arriving at what ought to be a very plain and simple Amendment to this Clause. The matter was very clearly and concisely stated by the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert), yet the Financial Secretary has taken nearly an hour in coming to a conclusion on a matter of not very great importance. The Government ought to have more consideration for the Committee than to spend nearly an hour on an Amendment of this character. It is not the way we should expect business to be conducted in this House. It is a matter about which we must make some comment. We have an important Bill, and the Financial Secretary takes three quarters of an hour to come to a conclusion on a very straightforward matter. It ought not to have taken him all that time. He has impeded the progress of the Mil by this long delay. I hope that if the Financial Secretary does not feel equal to dealing with these matters, we shall not any longer be delayed by the Members of the Government in the way we have been.

Mr. E. BROWN

I would like to remind the right hon. Gentleman of a little verse which I would paraphrase for him. The verse runs There is no expeditious road To pack and label men for God, And save them by the barrel load. I would paraphrase it in these words: There is no expeditious road To pack and label men for tax, And tax them by the barrel load.

Major COLFOX

I would like to thank the Financial Secretary for the concession he has made and at the same time point out to the Committee how much better progress is made in the absence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer than when he is present.

The CHAIRMAN

I do not see that that has anything to do with the Amendment.

Major COLFOX

If that is so, then I shall not pursue it, but that seemed to me the cause of having got the concession. In any case, it always seems to me that it is of the utmost importance that all acts of Parliament, especially Finance Acts, should be drafted in a very clear and specific manner. There should be no room for any doubt or any question of interpretation or for other authorities—in this case it is the Commissioners of Income Tax—to amplify and supplement the Act of Parliament. All the powers that are required should be explicitly laid down in the Act of Parliament and should not be left to be specified by the Commissioners or any other body. By doing what we are asked to do to-day, handing over to the Commissioners the power under an act of Parliament of making regulations of a very important nature, we are handing over to them our own responsibility and duty to legislate carefully and with due deliberation without unnecessary hurry and rush.

By leaving to the Commissioners the power to specify first one thing, then another, and then a third, we are, in fact, failing in the work for which we are elected, namely, to legislate carefully and in detail and, therefore, although the concession made by the Financial Secretary is a good one, it does not go far enough, although it does make the Clause more definite than it was before. It is undoubtedly a slight improvement. We were told by the Financial Secretary in an earlier speech that, in fact, the words of the Clause "in such manner as may be specified" really mean "by such persons as may be specified". I should like to ask advice on the matter, because it always seems to me that the interpretation that lawyers put upon words is frequently not the same as the interpretation which those words naturally sand normally bear. I can see no meaning in the words "in such manner as may be specified."

The CHAIRMAN

Is there any use in discussing words which the Committee wish to take out?

Major COLFOX

I see the force of your point, and I will content myself by thanking the Financial Secretary for the concession he has made.

Commander SOUTHBY

I have been interested in the arguments presented on this side in this matter, but I should like to have some expression of opinion from the front bench opposite regarding the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Yeovil (Major Davies), who tried to persuade us that a thing that is put down as specified and not certified has a meaning which the ordinary layman does not understand it to mean. Yet when we ask that it should be made quite plain, and that we should put "signature" in there is complete silence on the part of the Attorney-General who only by a shake of the head signified to those of us who sit here that it would not be necessary to put in the word "signature." His argument was reinforced by the right hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood), but, there again, that is only an expression of opinion by another member of the legal profession. Could not we have something more than a nod? It may be as good as a wink to hon. Members opposite, but we would like a little more argument as to why the word "signature" is not necessary in this Clause which is specific in everything except saying what the Clause means.

I see the Clause begins with "Special Commissioners," and goes on with "specified" several times over, yet when we ask to have it made clear, not for the legal gentlemen who sit in the House but

for the ordinary layman who has to suffer under this Clause eventually, we are told it is quite clear, and that such and such a thing is not necessary; that "specified" means one thing and "certified" another. Could we not have an explanation of just why it is not necessary to put in the word "signature"? I am glad the Financial Secretary has accepted in substance the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend, but it seems to me as a layman that it would be better if we had the word "signature" here. If it is unnecessary, perhaps we will be allowed to have the reasons.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put,"

The Committee divided: Ayes, 202; Noes, 76.

Division No. 358.] AYES. [1.55 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Gill, T. H. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Glassey, A. E. Lees, J.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Gossling, A. G. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Alpass, J. H. Gould, F. Lindley, Fred W.
Ammon, Charles George Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lloyd, C. Ellis
Arnott, John Granville, E. Logan, David Gilbert
Aske, Sir Robert Gray, Milner Longbottom, A. W.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Longden, F.
Barnes, Alfred John Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Lovat-Fraser, J. A.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Groves, Thomas E. Lunn, William
Bellamy, Albert Grundy, Thomas W. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Benson, G. Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) McElwee, A.
Bowen, J. W. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) McEntee, V. L.
Broad, Francis Alfred Harris, Percy A. McShane, John James
Brockway, A. Fenner Haycock, A. W. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Bromfield, William Hayday, Arthur Mansfield, W.
Brothers, M. Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff. S.) Marley, J.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Marshall, F.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mathers, George
Buchanan, G. Herriotts, J. Messer, Fred
Burgess, F. G. Hirst, G. H. (York, W. R., Wentworth) Middleton, G.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Mills, J. E.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Hollins, A. Milner, Major J.
Charleton, H. C. Hopkin, Daniel Montague, Frederick
Church, Major A. G. Horrabin, J. F. Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Clarke, J. S. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Morley, Ralph
Cluse, W. S. Isaacs, George Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Mart, D. L.
Compton, Joseph John, William (Rhondda, West) Moses, J. J. H.
Cove, William G. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Daggar, George Jones, Morgan (Caerphllly) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Dallas, George Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Muff, G.
Dalton, Hugh Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Muggeridge, H. T.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Murnin, Hugh
Dukes, C. Kelly, W. T. Nathan, Major H. L.
Ede, James Chuter Kennedy, Thomas Noel Baker, P. J.
Edmunds, J. E. Kinley, J. Oldfield, J. R.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Kirkwood, D. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Egan, W. H. Lathan, G. Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Elmley, Viscount Law, Albert (Bolton) Palin, John Henry
Freeman, Peter Law, A. (Rosendale) Palmer, E. T.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Lawrence, Susan Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Gibbins, Joseph Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Phillips, Dr. Marion
Picton-Turbervill, Edith Simmons, C. J. Vaughan, D. J.
Potts, John S. Sinkinson, George Wallace, H. W.
Price, M. P. Siteh, Charles H. Watkins, F. C.
Quibell, D. J. K. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Ramsay, T. B. Wlison Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Raynes, W. R. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Wellock, Wilfred
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Westwood, Joseph
Ritson, J. Smith, W. R. (Norwich) White, H. G.
Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Romeril, H. G. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Sorensen, R. Williams, David (Swansea. East)
Rowson, Guy Stamford, Thomas W. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Stephen, Campbell Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Sander, W. S. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Sawyer, G. F. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Scurr, John Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Thurtle, Ernest Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Shield, George William Tinker, John Joseph Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Tout, W. J.
Shillaker, J. F. Townend, A. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Mr. Hayes and Mr. Paling.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Hartington, Marquess of Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Beaumont, M. W. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Bird, Ernest Roy Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Brass, Captain Sir William King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Briscoe, Richard George Lamb, Sir J. Q. Smithers, Waldron
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Colfox, Major William Philip Llewellin, Major J. J. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Colville, Major D. J. Long, Major Eric Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lymington, Viscount Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Marjoribanks, E. C. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Dawson, Sir Philip Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Duckworth, G. A. V. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Edmondson, Major A. J. Mulrhead, A. J. Warrender, Sir Victor
Elliot, Major Walter E. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Ganzoni, Sir John O'Connor, T. J. Wells, Sydney R.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Womersley, W. J.
Greene, W. P. Crawford Ramsbotham, H. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Gunston, Captain D. W. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Salmon, Major I. Captain Sir George Bowyer and Sir
Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) George Penny.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

Question, "That words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," put accordingly, and negatived.

The CHAIRMAN

The next Amendment I select is on page 2277. Sir Henry Buckingham. Mr. Ramsbotham, Mr. Womersley.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

I beg to move——

Mr. RAMSBOTHAM rose——

The CHAIRMAN

I called the hon. Member, and he did not rise.

Hon. MEMBERS

He did rise.

The CHAIRMAN

I called the hon. Member and he did not rise. The next hon. Member was proceeding before the hon. Member rose.

Mr. RAMSBOTHAM

I rose in my place the moment you called my name.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member would have proceeded if he had risen. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen will please keep order.

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

I must with great respect——

The CHAIRMAN

I understand that the hon. Member has risen to a point of Order.

Mr. SAMUEL

The point of Order I would like to put to you is that I myself saw the hon. Member rise. [Interruption.]

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley) has an Amendment on the Paper, and I call upon him now.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

The hon. Gentleman did rise. Both you and I, Mr. Young, can make a mistake. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] I have to obey the Chair and not any rabble on the other side.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member must not call hon. Members on the other side of the House, a "rabble." They should leave it to me. I ask the hon. Member to address the Committee upon the Amendment.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

You did not call me to Order, but dozens of voices across the floor did.

The CHAIRMAN

I call upon the hon. Member to move his Amendment.

Mr. THURTLE

May I ask whether you, Mr. Young, are going to allow the expression "rabble" to pass as a Parliamentary expression? If it is not Parliamentary, ought not the hon. Member to withdraw it?

The CHAIRMAN

I do not think it is a Parliamentary expression, but I am not sure about it, so I thought I would leave it to the hon. Member.

Mr. E. BROWN

Was not the word "rabble" used frequently in this House as long ago as the Long Parliament?

The CHAIRMAN

My memory does not go so far back as the Long Parliament.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

I am willing to withdraw it, although it is a perfectly good English word.

I beg to move in page 16, line 19, to leave out the words: five shillings in respect of each one hundred entries, and to insert instead thereof the words sixpence or such less sum as such body of persons may prescribe for every one hundred words or fractional part thereof required to be copied. In moving this Amendment, my object is that at any rate the Special Commissioners shall have no greater privilege than was granted by the House to the shareholdres of companies under the Companies Act. It was reasonable that the sum of money paid should be sufficient in view of the work entailed in carrying out the orders of the Special Commissioners. I am, like many hon. Members, utterly opposed to this Clause as it stands, but I am trying to look for something in the shape of an Amendment that will make a bad Clause a little less bad. As the hon. Gentleman has accepted one or two Amendments from this side, perhaps we shall have an early intimation that he is prepared to accept this. This is a very reasonable Amendment. It has not been put down in any way to cause obstruction. Many members, if the Committee were allowed a free vote, would vote against the Clause altogether.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

Judging from recent experience, the acceptance of this Amendment would not be likely to shorten the discussion. Apart from that, I cannot accept the Amendment. I think if the hon. Member had been thoroughly conversant with what is likely to happen, and if he had been anxious that the remuneration should be larger, he would not have moved this Amendment, because under it the remuneration is, in a large number of cases, less than it would be if the original words remained. Section 98 of the Companies Act, 1929, provides that any member or other person may require a copy of the register on payment of sixpence, or such less sum as that company may prescribe for every 100 words. The hon. Member has taken the words of his Amendment from that Clause. A Clause in an Act which was passed not long ago by this House—the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925—follows very much the same lines in regard to getting copies of documents. For these reasons, it is a perfectly simple matter. We cannot accept the Amendment.

Sir K. WOOD

I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will reconsider this matter. I want to make one observation on his first statement. We are asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider these Amendments on their merits, not on the question of whether after an Amendment has been accepted, discussion has ceased. That is a new method of dealing with Amendments. I do not think the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has any complaint. I have had some experience of accepting Amendments, some five years, and I do not know that I ever complained that after I accepted an Amendment the discussion was continued for a reasonable time afterwards.

With regard to this proposal, I do suggest that the Chancellor should, at any rate, reconsider the amount which is to be paid under Clause 2 at the rate of five shillings in respect of each 100 entries. I suggest that this is a new provision. It is putting, for the first time, an obligation upon not only companies but upon municipal corporations. If we wipe out companies altogether—which would not be an extraordinary thing to do for the present Government; in many respects they have done their best, and they are not very successful at the moment—but if you rule them out altogether, there is still the corporations, and I do not think anyone will say that the town clerks of any of the boroughs would say that the rate of five shillings in respect of each 100 entries was a reasonable amount. I should like to know whether there has been any consideration of this point. Also, dealing with a document of this character is a matter of rather more than simply copying out. People will be under a penalty if it is not a true and proper record of the particular entry, either in the Corporation's book or in the books of a particular company, and I would suggest to the members of the Committee that they should not regard it simply as a copying matter. It is much more than that. The official who could devote himself to this particular task might very well occupy a very considerable portion of his time in dealing with that particular matter.

I would suggest that the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Financial Secretary should look at this matter again and make some suggestion himself as to what is to be done. It is a matter which obviously requires further consideration. I did not quite follow what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said as to how this particular Amendment would work out in practice. I understand that what he said was that in some cases it would not be as good as the Clause which is now before the Committee and that in certain other cases it would be better. All we are endeavouring to urge upon the Committee is that this particular item of remuneration should be improved. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is able to tell us in what particular respect it can be done we will put our amendment in proper shape.

Mr. RAMSBOTHAM

Perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer will forgive me if I give one or two figures. The ordinary entry in a share register is esti- mated at about ten words, and ten entries are usually reckoned to be worth sixpence under the section of the Companies' Act to which reference has been made. The Chancellor of the Exchequer leaves out of account the question of joint accounts and trustee holdings which figure very largely in Municipal stocks. In this case the number of words of an entry was from 25 to 30; therefore, 100 entries is going to run to 2,000 or 3,000 words. It is not quite so small a point as the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to make out. There is another point in the case of allotment sheets and the number of words in an entry is very much larger. One other point I would like to put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer is that there is no provision made for a minimum fee. The whole matter is not as simple as the Chancellor thinks, and I venture to hope that before the Amendment is disposed of we shall have some explanation.

Sir D. HERBERT

Owing to the remarkable way in which this Clause has been drawn, I frankly confess I do not understand the intended meaning of a specified class of entry. Does it mean going through 1,000 names and selecting a particular class? I remember very well when I was a young man I wrote to the custodian of a certain registry of births or deaths—I am not quite sure which it was—to search within a certain period of time, and I gave the years, to find an entry of a certain birth or death. He looked it up for me, and sent me a certificate. I proposed to send him 3s. 6d. for his certificate, but he said, "No, 3s. 6d. is all right for the certificate, but I am entitled to 1s. for every page I have to turn over to find that particular entry."—[Interruption]—I do not think that any hon. Member would wish to select 100 holders of £1,000 of stock out of a total of some 20,000 or 30,000 names for the niggardly remuneration of 5s. I suggest this wants some kind of alteration. There are such people as law stationers and agents who search registers who have a regular scale of fees. I think that if the Attorney-General will look into it, he will come to the conclusion that some alteration ought to be made in this. I am not prepared at the moment to suggest what it should be. Before the Report stage, something might be done to deal with the question.

Mr. MacROBERT

I was going to ask if this 5s. in respect of 100 entries applies also in respect of 400 entries. Entry means, in relation to any register, so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. I understand that the person may hold at least four types of shares, and, therefore, the total remuneration in respect of 400 entries is 5s., which is totally inadequate.

Major NATHAN

I should like to reinforce the point that has already been made, and to direct the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to this matter as one of practical every-day importance in the conduct of business in the City of London. There should not be much ambiguity here. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Attorney-General will turn to the sixth Schedule of the Companies Act, 1929, he will see exactly what is contained in a register. The contents of the register are a number of columns. The first column is for the folio; then there is a separate column for surname, another column for Christian names, another for address, and another for occupation. Thus, there are five columns before we even approach the subject matter of the inquiry. Then there are columns for the number of shares held by existing members at date of return, two columns relating to particulars of shares transferred since the date of the last return by persons who are still members, and two more columns relating to particulars of shares transferred since the date of the last return by persons who have ceased to be members. Then there is another column for remarks. The real subject matter to be dealt with requires therefore an additional six columns.

Let me try to deal with this in terms of number of words. I am thinking not of a single entry, but of the power given by this Bill to call on, say, the Midland Railway with 280,000 shareholders. [An HON. MEMBER,: "Terrible"!] An hon. Member says "Terrible". If he will contemplate the figures, they are astronomical. What does this represent in terms of clerical work and paper? Merely to get down the extract as to the surname, Christian name, address and occupation, will not take less than eight words. The particulars required, if they are referable merely to one particular class of share, as ordinarily understood and not in terms of this Bill, will mean at least a further eight words. That is, 16 words for a single entry relating to a single person. There are to be 100 entries. That is 1,600 words at 6d. for 100 words, or 8s. under the Amendment, but, according to this Bill, 5s.

It goes very much further. There are ordinary shares, deferred shares, preference shares, first debenture stock, second debenture stock, preferred ordinary shares, and all the rest of it. They appear in reference to the register of a single company and to a single Member. That is bad enough. These matters have got to be investigated. It is skilled work, and, if not done skilfully, it imposes on the officials of the company heavy penalties. I am not suggesting that the work cannot be done, but that it can only be done at a very considerable dislocation of the day-to-day business of the company and at a wage which hon. Members opposite, if ascribed to themselves, would rightly describe as sweated wages. Hon. Members opposite were inclined to jeer when I said that the figures were astronomical. Let me take a company with 250,000 shareholders. All those members with one entry for all those shareholders, even if you have only one class of share, will come to 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 words. Has any hon. Member ever thought what it means to set on paper 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 words? I wonder if hon. Members realise the comparable length in a book or a newspaper of that number of words. Unless the rights under this Bill are exercised with so scrupulous a care as to make these powers nugatory, they will involve many companies in keeping a special staff for the purpose of nothing else but making these entries. [An HON. MEMBER: "Never"!] Let me test it. Take a company with 250,000 shareholders; there may well be 30 words in reference to each of them, and that is about 7,500,000 words on an ordinary average number of entries. Say you get 200 words on a page, that will be, say, 35,000 pages of copying. And what is produced at the end? A list for the Special Commissioners. 35,000 pages, and nothing produced at the end of it: How long would it take at trade union hours to produce 35,000 pages copied from a register? I ask the hon. Gentlemen on the front Bench if they have ever seen a company register. If they would look at a company register in one of our great companies, they would see it is not such a simple task for an ordinary clerk to make a copy of the entries one after another, still less if they have to be isolated and selected.

What are the Government doing by this Clause? They are dislocating the business of the company, putting the register out of the use to which it would be put in the ordinary way, putting the company to enormous expense and thereby reducing the profits on which Income Tax will be assessable for the purpose of the revenue. The more this Clause is investigated the more it will be found to be serving no useful purpose to the special commissioners, to be doing a disservice to the Revenue, and involving such a feeling of irritation, annoyance and waste in the ordinary every-day business of life by making people who ought to be producing something, waste their time with making entries, that these offences will not easily be forgotten against this Government.

Mr. CHURCHILL

The Labour party must be feeling pretty well ashamed of themselves for keeping the Committee sitting up all through the night in order that they may sweat and grind down the clerks of this country. We thought that they were angling for the support of the black-coated workingman, but it is now clear what ideas they have of the hours that clerks should work and the wages they should receive. I could hardly follow all the figures given from the Liberal benches, but it is clear that the remuneration proposed by the Government is an insulting pittance compared with the labours that will be imposed on these clerical staffs and the companies engaged on this work. We know the ideas the Labour party has of work. The President of the Board of Education said he must keep the children at school to save the drudgery of minding machines, and the First Commissioner of Works spoke against manual labour. Therefore, machines and manual work are to be avoided, but the clerk is to work all day for this miserable sum. Could anything more clearly reveal the cynicism that has actuated the Government in their treatment of these clerks in this particular way? Of course, they regard no labour as respectable except the labour that votes for them. That is the frank, naked position. It is because these clerks are not among their political supporters that this miserable remuneration is to be paid to them.

That is one hypothesis. The other is more flattering to the Labour party and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is supposed to take charge of the commercial interests of this country. If the clerks are to be paid properly, and are not to have this brutish, blood-sucking blow, then the burden has to be borne by these companies. At the darkest moment in our economic history, this dreary period of dark misfortune over which the right hon. Gentleman presides with such seraphic glee, he has struck another blow at the companies because, if the clerks are to be properly paid, it is quite clear that a burden must be placed on our commercial and limited liability institutions which will add to their difficulties. Which of the two courses should be followed? What are we to say when we give an account of your actions to the electors of the country? Are we to say that you are desirous that the burden should be thrown upon the companies or sweated out of the clerks? You can take your choice. Whichever it is, I am sure that to keep the Committee up to such a time on such a point is trying to screw the last ounce of work out of the clerical staff. I will not say it is an act unworthy of a Labour Government, but there could be no more revealing act of the utter humbug and hypocrisy characterising their whole policy.

Mr. LOUIS SMITH

It was astonishing to me to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer say that this was quite a trifling matter. I wonder if he realises there is more work in connection with the obtaining of these entries than he imagines. There are not only all these various classes of shares which require the dates as well as the names, but in the case of sales the names of the transferror and transferee. From what one can gather, and from looking into the big registers, it would quite well take an ordinary clerk an hour. If one considers the number of these entries, hon. Members will see what he would get if he were paid on piece-rates when one entry might take an hour. It would be very much more adequate payment to pay by the hundred words than by the entry.

Mr. T. J. O'CONNOR

I doubt whether the right hon. Gentleman, after insisting on this Clause standing as it is, can give any enthusiastic support to the work of the Labour Office at Geneva. This is work of a very onerous, difficult and skilled character. My right hon. Friend has pointed out that the word "entry" means, according to the definition Clause, in relation to any register, so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. That may include debentures, debenture stock, preference shares, ordinary shares, or preference stock.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

This is the fourth or fifth time that that has been repeated.

Mr. O'CONNOR

I bow to your ruling, but I would like to point out that there is yet another reason for apprehending that the work to be done in connection with the compiling of these registers is of alarming proportions. The shares may very well be split holdings, allottee holdings or nominee holdings and so would only be remunerated at the rate of one person. There is reason to fear that the amount of work that will be necessary in order to compile a copy of the register may reach the astronomical proportions that have been referred to. But when this work is done what is the value of it to be? In the case of a company whose shares are constantly and freely changing hands on the Stock Exchange, the whole face of the register will have undergone transformation by the time the copy is completed, and, therefore, the task will have to be repeated again and again if the inquisition is to be of any value whatever. It will be necessary for companies to employ permanent staffs of underpaid, sweated clerks. The Government may fairly be told that they are aiding and abetting the commission of a crime by encouraging companies either to employ sweated labour, or by going outside the memorandum of association, by employing men they are not empowered to employ by the memorandum. The course upon which the Government are embarking by refusing ordinary humanitarian remuneration to the gentlemen engaged on this difficult task passes my comprehension. That the work will be clerical work of no possible value to the Revenue increases the exasperation that we feel, and intensifies our determination to do what we can for a body of workers who deserve well.

Sir. A. STEEL-MAITLAND

I will put only one perfectly practical point which has not yet been put to the Attorney-General or the Financial Sectretary, and I do not know if they themselves have been through an actual register of a company in order to see the work involved. Let me take a simple, practical case. Supposing they wanted to get a specific class of entry of the type that the Attorney-General mentioned as a possible case, of people having 500 shares or over, and I am not dealing with the question of an entry being possibly in four or five classes of shares; I am taking it of the same class of shares, ordinary shares, preference shares, or whatever category it may be. Some companies in their register amalgamate the holdings that any particular person has got, and, therefore, it will be comparatively easy in cases like that to see whether a person has got 500 shares. Even so you have to turn over an immense amount of leaves in order to see how many people there are of that character who would own 500 shares. The case becomes much more complicated when you come to the case of companies who do not amalgamate their different holdings. They keep an index of the names of the people who possess shares, but the actual entries are very often separated into a large number of different items.

In order, therefore, to try to get at the sort of class desired the person, who is under a penalty of £50 to produce the list of the people who have got 500 shares, has got to go to the index and refer to the individual items. On speculation, so to speak, he has to go through the different items in order to see whether the person comes into the class owning 500 shares or not. That is a very complicated piece of work, and, what is more, it may mean that when he has done it he finds that the person, according to the catalogue, does not come into that category and from that point of view the whole of the work done in that particular case is wasted, and it is not paid for. The thing obviously entails a very large amount of work indeed, and you may not get what you want. If anybody wanted to get round a regulation of this kind, suposing it was a person who owned 500 shares, he could put 300 in his own name and 200 in his wife's and obviously, the information ought to be got at in a different way. Even if you try to get it by this method, it is quite clear that the possible mass of work involved is so great that a payment of 5s. for 100 entries, involving a great deal of work which may be entirely wasted in the process and therefore not renumerated at all, is likely to be grossly insufficient and I would ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he has, in fact, communicated with the public companies, and whether they are of opinion that 5s. for 100 entries is what they consider sufficient.

Marquess of HARTINGTON

This is a point of very real substance. The object of this Clause undoubtedly is to enable the Commissioners to track down any evader. But a shareholders' register contains at least the following particulars: the name of the shareholder, his occupation, the amount of his holding, and the date of the acquisition of the holding. Supposing the Special Commissioners form the opinion that a particular individual was evading taxation in respect of some particular interest on shares which he held. This Clause will not give the Special Commissioners power to go to the company and say, "We want to know——

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The only question under discussion at the moment is the amount of remuneration and not merits or de-merits of the method of obtaining information.

Marquess of HARTINGTON

I was just coming to what the Special Commissioners would do in pursuit of their duty and how they would be enabled to save money. If they come to the conclusion that a particular individual is evading taxation, this Clause does not give them power to go to the company and ask for the holding. It does give them power to ask the company to give a list of shareholders in a particular class. The Special Commissioners might ask for one particular class who held not more than 500 shares. They might narrow dawn their demand to shareholders who had residence in a certain district, or had acquired shares after a certain date. I believe the Clause would give the Special Commissioners power to ask for any particular individual. A company might be asked to furnish one name and would be paid at the rate of ½d. There is a serious risk of allowing the Special Commissioners to impose an intolerable burden if the Clause goes through in its present form.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The hon. Gentleman is entirely out of Order in the whole of his speech. The Amendment is whether the remuneration is sufficient or not.

Marquess of HARTINGTON

The Clause as drafted will allow a payment for a particular entry of ½d. That is not sufficient remuneration.

Major HARVEY

The Committee is entitled to some kind of explanation. I have listened for the last hour to demands from this side of the Committee, but we have had little from the other side. We have had a good deal of discussion as to the sweated labour of clerks. The Committee must be clear on this point. The payment would not be made direct to the clerks, who would be drawing their ordinary wages whether they were doing that kind of work or not. I think the money would be paid to the company, and they should receive a higher rate in accordance with the Amendment. These higher rates should be paid for more reasons than one. The higher rates would be a distinct deterrent to officials in regard to demanding these long and involved lists and large numbers of returns. In some cases the Government are anxious to pour out people's money, but in this case they are very niggardly in paying for what they intend to obtain.

Mr. W. S. MORRISON

I am reluctant to intervene, but there is a point which has puzzled me in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Chancellor of the Exchequer indicated in a somewhat dark and allusive manner that it would be better for the companies if they allowed the words in the Bill to remain; that, in fact, the remuneration in the Bill was more valuable than that proposed by the Amendment. Are there any figures in support of that view? An hon. Member below the gangway referred to the figures of shareholders as "astronomical." What is the number of words in each of the entries in a register? Without that knowledge, we cannot come to a decision. I should be exceedingly grateful if that point could be cleared up. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposal in the Bill is the more generous, it would be futile to try to impose an alteration which would mean less remuneration. If it be the case that the remuneration in the Amendment is more generous—

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member is simply repeating himself.

Mr. MORRISON

I am sorry if I have been repeating myself. I have tried to put the point, and it is clear that you at least, Mr. Dunnico, have understood what I have tried to say. If it is inadequate remuneration, we should not sanction a scale which might inflict hardship upon people.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

rose in, his place, and claimed to move "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 198; Noes, 73.

Division No. 359.] AYES. [3.12 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Middleton, G.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Mills, J. E.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Milner, Major J.
Alpass, J. H. Harris, Percy A. Montague, Frederick
Ammon, Charles George Haycock, A. W. Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Arnott, John Hayday, Arthur Morley, Ralph
Aske, Sir Robert Hayes, John Henry Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Mort, D. L.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Moses, J. J. H.
Bellamy, Albert Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Benson, G. Herriotts, J. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Muff, G.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Murnin, Hugh
Bowen, J. W. Hollins, A. Nathan, Major H. L.
Broad, Francis Alfred Hopkin, Daniel Noel Baker, P. J.
Brockway, A. Fenner Horrabin, J. F. Oldfield, J. R.
Bromfield, William Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Brothers, M. Isaacs, George Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) John, William (Rhondda, West) Palin, John Henry
Buchanan, G. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Palmer, E. T.
Burgess, F. G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Caine, Derwent Hall- Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Phillips, Dr. Marion
Charleton, H. C. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Church, Major A. G. Kelly, W. T. Potts, John S.
Clarke, J. S. Kennedy, Thomas Price, M. P.
Cluse, W. S. Kinley, J. Quibell, D. J. K.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour. Kirkwood, D. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Cove, William G. Lathan, G. Raynes, W. R.
Daggar, George Law, Albert (Bolton) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Dallas, George Law, A. (Rosendale) Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Dalton, Hugh Lawrence, Susan Ritson, J.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Dukes, C. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Romeril, H. G.
Ede, James Chuter Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Edmunds, J. E. Lees, J. Rowson, Guy
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lindley, Fred W. Sanders, W. S.
Egan, W. H. Lloyd, C. Ellis Sawyer, G. F.
Freeman, Peter Logan, David Gilbert Scurr, John
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Longbottom, A. W. Shield, George William
Gibbins, Joseph Longden, F. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Gibson H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Shillaker, J. F.
Gill, T. H. Lunn, William Simmons, C. J.
Glassey, A. E. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Sinkinson, George
Gossling, A. G. MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Sitch, Charles H.
Gould, F. McElwee, A. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) McEntee, V. L. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Granville, E. McShane, John James Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Gray, Milner Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Mansfield, W. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Marley, J. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Groves, Thomas E. Marshall, Fred Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Grundy, Thomas W. Mathers, George Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Messer, Fred Sorensen, R.
Stamford, Thomas W. Wallace, H. W. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Stephen, Campbell Watkins, F. C. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline) Wilson C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Strauss, G. R. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) Wellock, Wilfred Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Thurtle, Ernest Westwood, Joseph Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Tinker, John Joseph White, H. G.
Tout, W. J. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.-
Townend, A. E. Wilkinson, Ellen C. Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Paling.
Vaughan, D. J. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Beaumont, M. W. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bird, Ernest Roy Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Brass, Captain Sir William Lamb, Sir J. O. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Briscoe, Richard George Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Llewellin, Major J. J. Smithers, Waldron
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Long, Major Eric Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Lymington, Viscount Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Colfox, Major William Philip Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Colville, Major D. J. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Marjoribanks, E. C. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Davies, Dr. Vernon Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Dawson, Sir Philip Muirhead, A. J. Warrender, Sir Victor
Duckworth, G. A. V. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Edmondson, Major A. J. O'Connor, T. J. Wells, Sydney R.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Womersley, W. J.
Ganzoni, Sir John Ramsbotham, H. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Greene, W. P. Crawford Ross, Major Ronald D. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Salmon, Major I. Sir George Penny.
Hartington, Marquess of Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)

Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 190; Noes, 78.

Division No. 360.] AYES. [3.20 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Egan, W. H. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Alpass, J. H. Freeman, Peter Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Ammon, Charles George Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.
Arnott, John Gibbins, Joseph Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Kelly, W. T.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Gill, T. H. Kennedy, Thomas
Bellamy, Albert Gossling, A. G. Kinley, J.
Benson, G. Gould, F. Kirkwood, D.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lathan, G.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Granville, E. Law, Albert (Bolton)
Bowen, J. W. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Law, A. (Rosendale)
Broad, Francis Alfred Groves, Thomas E. Lawrence, Susan
Brockway, A. Fenner Grundy, Thomas W. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Bromfield, William Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Brothers, M. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lees, J.
Buchanan, G. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Burgess, F. G. Harris, Percy A. Lindley, Fred W.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Haycock, A. W. Lloyd, C. Ellis
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Hayday, Arthur Logan, David Gilbert
Charleton, H. C. Hayes, John Henry Longbottom, A. W.
Church, Major A. G. Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Longden, F.
Clarke, J. S. Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Lovat-Fraser, J. A.
Cluse, W. S. Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Lunn, William
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Herriotts, J. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Compton, Joseph Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Cove, William G. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) McElwee, A.
Daggar, George Hollins, A. McEntee, V. L.
Dallas, George Hopkin, Daniel McShane, John James
Dalton, Hugh Horrabin, J. F. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Mansfield, W.
Dukes, C. Isaacs, George Marley, J.
Ede, James Chuter Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Marshall, F.
Edmunds, J. E. John, William (Rhondda, West) Mathers, George
Messer, Fred Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Middleton, G. Ritson, J. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Mills, J. E. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Thurtle, Ernest
Milner, Major J. Romeril, H. G. Tinker, John Joseph
Montague, Frederick Rosbotham, D. S. T. Tout, W. J.
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Rowson, Guy Townend, A. E.
Morley, Ralph Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Vaughan, D. J.
Morris, Rhys Hopkins Sanders, W. S. Wallace, H. W.
Mort, D. L. Sawyer, G. F. Watkins, F. C.
Moses, J. J. H. Scurr, John Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline).
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Shield, George William Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Shiels, Dr. Drummond Wellock, Wilfred
Muff, G. Shillaker, J. F. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Murnin, Hugh Simmons, C. J. Westwood, Joseph
Noel Baker, P. J. Sinkinson, George White, H. G.
Oldfield, J. R. Sitch, Charles H. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Palin, John Henry Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Palmer, E. T. Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Wilson C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Phillips, Dr. Marion Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Picton-Turbervill, Edith Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Potts, John S. Sorensen, R. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Price, M. P. Stamford, Thomas W.
Quibell, D. J. K. Stephen, Campbell TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Raynes, W. R. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Paling.
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Strauss, G. R.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Aske, Sir Robert Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ross, Major Ronald D.
Beaumont, M. W. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Bird, Ernest Roy Hartington, Marquess of Salmon, Major I.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Brass, Captain Sir William Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Briscoe, Richard George King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Lamb, Sir J. Q. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Llewellin, Major J. J. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Long, Major Eric Smithers, Waldron
Colfox, Major William Philip Lymington, Viscount Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Colville, Major D. J. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Courtauld, Major J. S. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Dawson, Sir Philip Muirhead, A. J. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Duckworth, G. A. V. Nathan, Major H. L. Wells, Sydney R.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Womersley, W. J.
Elliot, Major Walter E. O'Connor, T. J. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Ganzoni, Sir John Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Glassey, A. E. Penny, Sir George TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Captain Wallace and Sir Victor
Gray, Milner Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Warrender.
Greene, W. P. Crawford Ramsbotham, H.
Mr. CHURCHILL

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

I really must ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is not now satisfied that it is quite beyond the compass and power of the Committee to achieve anything like the task which he has prescribed for us? He has placed before us a programme that is quite impossible. I hope he now sees that these Clauses which he has so unnecessarily introduced into the Finance Bill and works of supererogation in which he so delights, are such that, if they are to be examined as they must be, must necessarily lend themselves to protracted debate. These debates have been conducted not only by the Conservative Opposition, but representatives of the Liberal party also have taken a most distinguished part. Consequently we claim that the Opposition on this side of the House, constituting a majority of this assembly, although they may not be able to achieve an actual majority, yet have a moral superiority over the Socialist party which ought to be taken into consideration.

The right hon. Gentleman is really not going the right way about getting this Budget. When he shows an intention to carry by main force what ought to be a matter of tactful persuasion and shows himself ready to brush aside his political opponents and ram down their throats any amount of work he chooses to set before them, then I think it is still the duty of those who have the guardianship of the traditions of this House in their keeping to allow no scamping of the work, tired though we may be of our labours. Even at this stage, I ask whether he cannot make some concession that would enable us to abridge these discussions. Three hours ago it was suggested that we might have wound up the discusion on Clause 18 within an hour. That would have meant that we should not have done full justice to our clerks whose treatment is such a black spot on the labour of this country. If the right hon. Gentleman feels now that he has seen how bleak is the prospect before him and is willing to make a new proposal, I would suggest to him that we should agree to bring Clause 18 to a close before half past four and terminate our proceedings at that. If met in a similar spirit, we should be bound to be at least as good as our word in the matter. I shall no doubt have an opportunity of dealing further with the matter after we have had the reply of the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

The right hon. Gentleman is apparently in a state of physical exhaustion, and I can quite understand his anxiety to get through, as he did after having boasted of what he was going to do, before the rest of the Committee a few weeks ago. If he had shown the same anxiety to facilitate business 12 hours ago, I might have been more inclined to listen favourably to the appeal which he has made. I shall certainly not accept the offer he has made. The Committee will search the records of this House in vain for a parallel to the slow progress which we have made to-day Not one Clause of importance has been passed. I was justified at the beginning of the sitting in expecting, allowing for reasonable debate, that we should get to the end of Part II. I am not prepared to accept the Motion to report Progress. We shall go on, and if the right hon. Gentleman will make a similar proposal, say, about 12 or one o'clock, then I will consider it.

Mr. CHURCHILL

I think the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer well repays my effort. He began by boasting exultingly and triumphantly that I, personally, and some other of my hon. Friends, were in a state of exhaustion. Even if we do feel tired, we shall not fail to exert ourselves. Really, the right hon. Gentleman would be wise to accept the Motion or to make some concession. He has got heavy work to-morrow—a Cabinet meeting to attend at 11 o'clock at which he is to make a general survey of the great progress made by the Labour Government in dealing with our general economic affairs and also the congestion of Parliamentary burliness. Surely, he ought to be reserving himself for that and have some time for slumber and reflection. As far as we are concerned, we have not the least intention of being led into scamping our public duties merely because of the unsuitable hour at which we are compelled to discuss these matters. The right hon. Gentleman has taunted me with having left the last debate two hours before its conclusion. I did so because I had to wind up the debate on unemployment on that very day, and I say quite frankly that I am not capable of giving my attention to such a matter without having two or three hours' sleep. But the work which the right hon. Gentleman has to do is far more important than that which falls to any private Member in winding up a debate. He has the whole finances of the country in his hand. Even if he himself is ready to be carried away by partisanship and to exhaust himself in the struggle, it is really from our point of view desirable that he should be urged to abate something of his ardour and rancour. As nothing I can say will make any impression, it is really not much use my proceeding any further. If I do so, it is not because I have a real expectation of softening his heart, but because I desire to place clearly on record the reasons why we object to this procedure.

It is our duty as representatives of the Opposition to show that this mood and temper, this procedure, these late hours, will not benefit the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but will lead him at every stage deeper and deeper into the mire. The right hon. Gentleman, if he had acted in a reasonable manner, might have been much farther on in his Budget Bill than he is to-day. In the first place, I do not understand why he does not make some friendly gesture on the merits of this Bill. Why does he insist on carrying all these Clauses through? Why not say, "This Clause will cause a lot of trouble, and so we shall drop it." Why have fifty Clauses in this Bill, many of them trumpery, and insist on all of them? We have a right to be consulted on the merits of the Bill and to help in moulding legislation before Parliament. We are going to insist on our right. The right hon. Gentleman is only the head of a minority. Why does he not treat properly those with almost as many votes behind them as his own party? We recognise that he has to carry on the business of the country and get the money, but subject to that, there is a wide field for give and take and compromise. If he were to adopt that attitude, he would make much more rapid progress. If he imagines that he is going to carry this through by plodding on all the night into the next day and then having another all night sitting on Thursday, he is mistaken. Tomorrow the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be considering the position of business in the House of Commons. A shocking condition of congestion lies before us. There is no greater culprit from the Cabinet point of view—

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

Than you.

Mr. CHURCHILL

I am not in the right hon. Gentleman's Cabinet. I say there is no greater culprit than the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I cannot understand why he has deliberately caused this great political failure and deadlock of business. He may imagine that by refusing our Motion to report Progress and carrying on our debate a little longer he will be successful and will make a case for a guillotine or time table Resolution, but I am convinced that the Liberal party will not take a hand in that respect. They will know perfectly well that once a precedent has been set—[Interruption.] If I am dwelling in too much detail on the danger of the guillotine procedure, then I shall leave that point. I have given the right hon. gentleman a very fair chance of reconsidering his attitude before we reach the hour of noon which he mentioned so inconsiderately. I shall give him a further chance in the course of the next two or three hours in order to see whether we cannot reach some more satisfactory conclusion than that which he puts before us.

Sir W. BRASS

I would like to make an appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and ask him if he will consider what the country will think of this evening. I would remind him that the Financial Secretary quite recently spent at least an hour of the time of the Committee over an Amendment moved by my hon. Friend behind me and, after the discussion had gone on for over an hour or an hour and a half—[Interruption]—over an hour anyway—the Financial Secretary accepted the gist of the Amendment in slightly altered words. Therefore, the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot possibly blame us for keeping the debate going, when his own Financial Secretary might have shortened it by an hour by accepting the Amendment which he eventually had to accept. How can we get on with this legislation? We have to do from Clause 19 onwards. They are very important Clauses which we have to make better than they are at the present time. They require a great deal of amendment and thought. How can the country get the best out of Parliament if Parliament is going to sit up all night discussing all sorts of things better discussed by day. Take Clause 22 as an example. [Interruption.] There is nothing out of Order in referring to it at not undue length. Under Clause 22 we are going to bring about a quinquennial valuation of the whole property in Great Britain. That is an important subject which we shall have to deal with at great length. Another important Clause is Clause 26 in which we are going to do away with the whole of the Valuation (Metropolis) Act of 1869, the valuation in London, the assessments in the metropolitan area——

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The hon. Gentleman is entitled to refer to the important Clauses put down for consideration, but he must not discuss the merits of the Clauses.

Sir W. BRASS

I am not going to do that, but it is very important, because it affects the whole question of valuation—[Interruption]—I can refer to it in that way—[Interruption.]—How can I explain the Clause unless I refer to it, not in great detail, but to state what the Clause states, if I cannot say that this is going to alter the Valuation of the Metropolis Act of 1869, how can I discuss this question? I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer has treated us very badly indeed. He has tried to force this Budget through the House without discussion. He has moved the Closure on many occasions and prevented us from having a free opportunity of discussion.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I have stated more than once that acceptance of the Closure is in the custody of the Chair, and there must be no reflection on the Chair.

Sir W. BRASS

I apologise; that was not my intention. I meant to say, not that the Closure was accepted, but that

the Closure was moved by the right hon. Gentleman. If I have cast any reflection upon you, I humbly apologise, because that it the last thing that I should have wished. I say that we should now report Progress in order that we may have an opportunity of discussing these important Clauses at a time of day when we feel that we are able to discuss them.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 191; Noes, 69.

Division No. 361.] AYES. [3.54 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Grundy, Thomas W. Mills, J. E.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Milner, Major J.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Montague, Frederick
Alpass, J. H. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Morgan Dr. H. B.
Ammon, Charles George Haycock, A. W. Morley, Ralph
Arnott, John Hayday, Arthur Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Aske, Sir Robert Hayes, John Henry Mort, D. L.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Moses, J. J. H.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Bellamy, Albert Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Benson, G. Herriotts, J. Muff, G.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Murnin, Hugh
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hollins, A. Nathan, Major H. L.
Bowen, J. W. Hopkin, Daniel Noel Baker, P. J.
Broad, Francis Alfred Horrabin, J. F. Oldfield, J. R.
Brockway, A. Fenner Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Bromfield, William Isaacs, George Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Brothers, M. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) John, William (Rhondda, West) Palin, John Henry.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Palmer, E. T.
Buchanan, G. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Burgess, F. G. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Phillips, Dr. Marion
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Kelly, W. T. Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Charleton, H. C. Kennedy, Thomas Potts, John S.
Church, Major A. G. Kinley, J. Price, M. P.
Clarke, J. S. Kirkwood, D. Quibell, D. J. K.
Cluse, W. S. Lathan, G. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Law, Albert (Bolton) Raynes, W. R.
Compton, Joseph Law, A. (Rosendale) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Cove, William G. Lawrence, Susan Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Daggar, George Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Ritson, J.
Dallas, George Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Romeril, H. G.
Dalton, Hugh Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lees, J. Rowson, Guy
Dukes, C. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Ede, James Chuter Lindley, Fred W. Sanders, W. S.
Edmunds, J. E. Lloyd, C. Ellis Sawyer, G. F.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Logan, David Gilbert Scurr, John
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Longbottom, A. W. Shield, George William
Egan, W. H. Longden, F. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Freeman, Peter Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Shillaker, J. F.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Lunn, William Simmons, C. J.
Gibbins, Joseph Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Sinkinson, George
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Sitch, Charles H.
Gill, T. H. McElwee, A. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Glassey, A. E. McEntee, V. L. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Gossling, A. G. McShane, John James Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Gould, F. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mansfield, W. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Granville, E. Marley, J. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Gray, Milner Marshall, Fred Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Mathers, George Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Messer, Fred Sorensen, R.
Groves, Thomas E. Middleton, G. Stamford, Thomas W.
Stephen, Campbell Watkins, F. C. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Strauss, G. R. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) Wellock, Wilfred Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Tinker, John Joseph Westwood, Joseph Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Tout, W. J. White, H. G.
Townend, A. E. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Vaughan, D. J. Williams, David (Swansea, East) Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Paling.
Wallace, H. W. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Hartington, Marquess of Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Beaumont, M. W. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Salmon, Major I.
Bird, Ernest Roy Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Brass, Captain Sir William King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Briscoe, Richard George Lamb, Sir J. O. Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Llewellin, Major J. J. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Long, Major Eric Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Colfox, Major William Philip Lymington, Viscount Smithers, Waldron
Colville, Major D. J. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Courtauld, Major J. S. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Stanley Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Marjoribanks, E. C. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Davies, Dr. Vernon Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Dawson, Sir Philip Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Duckworth, G. A. V. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Warrender, Sir Victor
Edmondson, Major A. J. Muirhead, A. J. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Elliot, Major Walter E. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Wells, Sydney R.
Ganzoni, Sir John O'Connor, T. J. Womersley, W. J.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Greene, W. P. Crawford Ramsbotham, H.
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Ross, Major Ronald D. Captain Sir George Bowyer and Sir
Sir George Penny.

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 68; Noes, 191.

Division No. 362.] AYES. [4.2 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Beaumont, M. W. Hartington, Marquess of Salmon, Major I.
Bird, Ernest Roy Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxt'd, Henley) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Brass, Captain Sir William King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Briscoe, Richard George Lamb, Sir J. Q. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smith, R. W. (Aherd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Llewellin, Major J. J. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Long, Major Eric Smithers, Waldron
Colfox, Major William Philip Lymington, Viscount Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Colville, Major D. J. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Courtauld, Major J. S. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Marjoribanks, E. C. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Dawson, Sir Philip Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Duckworth, G. A. V. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Wells, Sydney R.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Muirhead, A. J. Womersley, W. J.
Elliot, Major Waiter E. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Ganzoni, Sir John O'Connor, T. J.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Greene, W. P. Crawford Ramsbotham, H. Sir George Penny and Sir Victor
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ross, Major Ronald D. Warrender.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Benson, G. Burgess, F. G.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Bentham, Dr. Ethel Caine, Derwent Hall-
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)
Alpass, J. H. Bowen, J. W. Charleton, H. C.
Ammon, Charles George Broad, Francis Alfred Church, Major A. G.
Arnott, John Brockway, A. Fenner Clarke, J. S.
Aske, Sir Robert Bromfield, William Cluse, W. S.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Brothers, M. Cocks, Frederick Seymour
Barnes, Alfred John Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Compton, Joseph
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Brown, Ernest (Leith) Cove, William G.
Bellamy, Albert Buchanan, G. Daggar, George
Dallas, George Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Ritson, J.
Dalton, Hugh Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Romeril, H. G.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Dukes, C. Lees, J. Rowson, Guy
Ede, James Chuter Lewis, T. (Southampton) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Edmunds, J. E. Lindley, Fred W. Sanders, W. S.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lloyd, C. Ellis Sawyer, G. F.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Logan, David Gilbert Scurr, John
Egan, W. H. Longbottom, A. W. Shield, George William
Freeman, Peter Longden, F. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Shillaker, J. F.
Gibbins, Joseph Lunn, William Simmons, C. J.
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Sinkinson, George
Gill, T. H. MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Sitch, Charles H.
Glassey, A. E. McElwee, A. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Gossling, A. G. McEntee, V. L. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Gould, F. McShane, John James Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Granville, E. Mansfield, W. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Gray, Milner Marley, J. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Marshall, F. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Mathers, George Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Groves, Thomas E. Messer, Fred Sorensen, R.
Grundy, Thomas W. Middleton, G. Stamford, Thomas W.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Mills, J. E. Stephen, Campbell
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Milner, Major J. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Montague, Frederick Strauss, G. R.
Haycock, A. W. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hayday, Arthur Morley, Ralph Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Hayes, John Henry Morris, Rhys Hopkins Tinker, John Joseph
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Mart, D. L. Tout, W. J.
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Moses, J. J. H. Townend, A. E.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Vaughan, D. J.
Herriotts, J. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Wallace, H. W.
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Muff, G. Watkins, F. C.
Hollins, A. Murnin, Hugh Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Hopkin, Daniel Nathan, Major H. L. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Horrabin, J. F. Noel Baker, P. J. Wellock, Wilfred
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Oldfield, J. R. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Isaacs, George Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Westwood, Joseph
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) White, H. G.
John, William (Rhondda, West) Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Palin, John Henry. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Palmer, E. T. Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Phillips, Dr. Marion Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Kelly, W. T. Picton-Turbervill, Edith Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Kennedy, Thomas Potts, John S. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Kinley, J. Price, M. P. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Kirkwood, D. Quibell, D. J. K. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Lathan, G. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Law, Albert (Bolton) Raynes, W. R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Law, A. (Rosendale) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Paling.
Lawrence, Susan Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)

Question, "That those words, as amended, be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

Sir D. HERBERT

I beg to move, in page 16, line 23, to leave out from the word "with" to the word "shall" in line 25 and to insert instead thereof the words: the body of persons in question jointly and severally. Owing to the sweet reasonableness of the Financial Secretary, my task in moving this Amendment will not be such a difficult one, because I understand he is prepared to meet me again, if not to accept the Amendment in the exact words in consequence of the Amendments which have been made in the earlier part of the Clause. In order to introduce it to the Committee, I will just state the intention of my Amendment with which I understand, the Financial Secretary agrees. Sub-section 4 of Clause 18 provides that where the notices, served under this Clause are not complied with, certain heavy penalties are to be inflicted and where the notice served under this Clause is not complied with the clerk or secretary of the body in question, or if there is no clerk or secretary, the person who performs the duties of clerk or secretary, shall be subject to very heavy penalties. There has been some careless drafting. If the clerk or secretary is subject to a penalty, why not the principal? We should not wish to inflict a penalty upon a wretched employé and not upon the principal, and the Amendment is to leave out the words the clerk or secretary of the body in question, or, if there is no clerk or secretary, the person who performs the duties of clerk or secretary and to insert instead words which would include the principal interested in the corporate body or whatever it was, corporate or not.—[Interruption]. One would almost think that this was a matter upon which the rank and file of the party opposite could take the interest which we take in the Finance Bills brought forward by our Chancellors of the Exchequer, and that this was an occasion when Members of the Socialist party and those who call themselves representatives of Labour would for once have stood up for the employed class, and have seen that a penalty should be borne by the employer and not by the unfortunate employé who is simply acting under his master's orders. After the Financial Secretary has stated his case, I should be prepared to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment provided that the Amendment which the hon. Gentleman proposes to move in its place appears to be satisfactory.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is willing to accept the substance of this Amendment, but, as the hon. Gentleman who has moved it has already told the Committee, owing partly to the form of words which have been accepted, not exactly in the form in which he has moved it. The actual form will therefore be slightly different, but I am sure that it will commend itself both to him and to the members of the Committee. I think the best thing to do is to read out the Clause as it would read if the Amendment and the consequential Amendments were adopted. The principal point is to leave out the words "clerk or secretary" and to leave "the body in question" as the one that bears the burden. It would read as follows: Where a notice served under this section is not complied with, the body in question shall, unless it is proved that it was not reasonably possible to comply with the notice, be liable to a penalty not exceeding fifty pounds, and if after judgment has been given for that penalty the copy still remaining undelivered shall be liable to a further penalty of fifty pounds for every day during which the, default continues. No words have really been altered in the Sub-section except those necessary to bring about the change.

Sir D. HERBERT

Will the hon. Gentleman tell me whether he is not getting far beyond my Amendment?

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

No.

Sir D. HERBERT

Yes, if the hon. Gentleman will forgive me. I shall be quite prepared to agree with the active portion of it in the first two lines, but I cannot for the moment say that I could stand by the rest of the Clause.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I do not know whether there are any Amendments on the paper that cover this, but I read the Amendment which corresponds to the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman and such consequential Amendments required to change "he" into "they" etc.

Sir D. HERBERT

It may be that we want a little guidance from you, Mr. Young, if we are making a sort of bargain across the floor of the House to deal in a friendly spirit and to meet on a point in this Clause. The point which now arises is this: there are certain penalties. I will not go into the merits of the case, but I am not quite satisfied with what the hon. Gentleman is proposing. The latter part of this Clause proposes certain penalties. The hon. Gentleman tells us that he is not attempting to alter in any way the latter part of this Subsection. But there are Amendments at any rate down on the paper—of course we are in your hands Mr. Chairman—there are several Amendments down on the Paper. [Interruption]——

The CHAIRMAN

If hon. Members have no regard to the speaker, they may have some regard for the Chairman.

Sir D. HERBERT

I was going to say that we are in your hands as to what Amendments are called. The hon. Gentleman has proposed, not intentionally—but he appears to have asked us to consent to this Sub-section in the form in which he has read it. That involves our consenting to its remaining in its present state in regard to penalties. There are several Amendments down on the paper in regard to penalties, and, if I may respectfully say so, in all probability one Clause at any rate dealing in some way with the question of penalty will be called so as to allow a discussion on that point. So far as I am concerned, while I quite agree with the first part of the Clause, I cannot agree necessarily to the whole of the Sub-section as the Hon. Gentleman has read it. Perhaps it may be convenient if the hon. Gentleman, or yourself, Sir, would now read to the Committee the Amendment which the hon. Gentleman proposes to move.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I propose, if the hon. Member withdraws his Amendment, to move, in line 23 to omit the words "clerk or secretary of"; and, later, to move as consequential Amendments, to leave out from the word "question," in line 23, to the word "shall," in line 25; to leave out from the word "unless," in line 25, to the word "with," in line 27, and to insert instead thereof the words "it is proved that it was not reasonably possible to comply"; in line 29 to leave out the words "against him"; and in line 30, to leave out the word "he." The actual Amendment which I am proposing to move now is to omit the words "clerk or secretary of."

Sir K. WOOD

I do not think anyone in the Committee will object for a moment to the alteration which the Financial Secretary has just made.

The CHAIRMAN

Will the hon. Gentleman leave it to me, please? I want to ask if the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert) is withdrawing his Amendment?

Sir D. HERBERT

On the understanding that there is so much discussion as is necessary to clarify the position on the Amendment that the hon. Gentleman is now proposing, I may withdraw my Amendment.

The CHAIRMAN

I think I shall help the Committee if I suggest that I should accept the Amendments with the safeguard that the hon. Member may move his Amendment. If that will suit the hon. Gentleman, I think we can get on.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

I am not certain if the hon. Gentleman really realises what is suggested. There is raised the question as to the amount of the fine to be imposed.

The CHAIRMAN

I was indicating the Amendment that I intended to call.

Sir K. WOOD

I was venturing to express the opinion to the Committee that I think the change which my hon. Friend has suggested is very valuable. If anyone looks at it for a moment, he will see the serious position in which various clerks and secretaries would be put according to the intention of the Government. How it is possible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to bring forward a Clause which would have put the whole of the penalty for default, not upon the company or a municipal corporation, but upon some clerk or secretary and leave him to bear the burden of the penalty is certainly a matter I do not understand and one upon which the Financial Secretary might have had something more to say. If a Conservative Government had brought forward such a proposal of allowing a company or municipal corporation to escape, hon. Gentlemen opposite would have been unceasingly reviling the Government. It is a most extraordinary instance of the mentality of this Government that either through oversight or design—I presume the former—that they should have brought such a proposal. The Labour Government who talked so much and did so little have seized upon the clerk or secretary as the individual who is to bear the penalty. It is no good hon. Gentlemen muttering in different parts of the House unless it means dissent and dissatisfaction with their own Government, because this is a proposal which no one can really countenance for a moment. Even with this alteration, it does, as the Clause is now drafted, inflict a very severe penalty of £50 for every day, which is now to be shifted from the clerk or the secretary on to the body—the municipality, corporation or company. There is no mitigation, although it is true that the alteration is an improvement, because it puts the penalty on the wrongdoer. But, even so, it is an extraordinary penalty to put on a company or a corporation. I think, really, the best course would be to postpone this Clause so that the Financial Secretary, in conjunction with the Attorney-General, can see if it can be re-drafted.

Major G. DAVIES

It is always difficult for the Committee to follow the proceedings when we get into the labyrinth of manuscript Amendments.

Captain GUNSTON

On a point of Order. Are we discussing the Amendment of the Financial Secretary?

The CHAIRMAN

There is no point of Order. We are discussing the Amendment on the Paper.

Major DAVIES

That proves conclusively what I was saying, that it is confusing to know what we are discussing when we get into the realm of manuscript Amendments. The intention of both the Amendments is similar, and I quite agree that we should congratulate the Government on appreciating the importance of the matter brought to the attention of the Committee by the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert). It is clear that, as the Clause was drafted, we were going to do a distinct injustice to employes carrying out instructions when the responsibility should obviously fall on those who gave the instructions. It is perfectly clear that the provision, as it stands, is one that this Committee would not be justified in approving. When we begin to wend our way towards the exit from this labyrinth of Amendments, I trust that it will be clear that the aim of the Commissioners in getting this information, if frustrated by any public corporation—I distrust the word "body" which sounds like graded products in Birmingham—will be stated as satisfactorily to the hon. Member for Watford as if his original words had been accepted.

Commander SOUTHBY

As I understand the Financial Secretary's Amendment——

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

Am I entitled to ask whether the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert) withdraws his Amendment?

The CHAIRMAN

There is no point of Order. I have indicated that the Amendment has not been withdrawn.

Sir D. HERBERT

The Financial Secretary knows that I cannot withdraw my Amendment, but can only ask leave to withdraw it. Another hon. Member has risen to speak.

Commander SOUTHBY

As I understand the Financial Secretary's Amendment—[Interruption].

The CHAIRMAN

The Financial Secretary has not, up to the moment, moved any Amendment.

Commander SOUTHBY

It is difficult to follow what will be put in the place of the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert), and, before he asks leave to withdraw, might we not get a more clear knowledge of what the Financial Secretary is going to put in its place? It seems to me that the word "proved" is left in the air. To whose satisfaction will it be proved—to the Commissioners' or to the court's? The position is very muddled, and we are, in a way, discussing an Amendment that is not actually before the Committee but has been put forward by the Financial Secretary. I would like to know whether the words, as he read them out, are going to be further elaborated by him when the hon. Member for Watford has withdrawn his Amendment.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

Sir D. HERBERT

Will it not be necessary to preserve the first Amendment by the Financial Secretary?

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member for Watford has not withdrawn his Amendment. I am taking no notice of the Financial Secretary's Amendment.

Sir D. HERBERT

I am very sorry. I am trying to meet the convenience of the Committee. [Interruption.] I thought the best way was to have it negatived, but, if the Committee will allow me, I will withdraw my Amendment.

The CHAIRMAN

Is it the pleasure of the Committee that the Amendment be withdrawn. [HON. MEMBERS: No.]

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

May I put this point? In order to safeguard a further Amendment I have handed in, would you only put a certain number of words? So far as the words "clerk or secretary" are concerned, both Amendments are on all fours, and I suggest that the question should be put concerning them.

Question, "That the words 'the clerk or secretary of' stand part of the Clause", put, and negatived.

Further Amendment made: In page 16, line 23, leave out from the word "question" to the word "shall" in line 25.—[Mr. Pethick-Lawrence.]

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I beg to move, in page 16, line 25, to leave out from the word "unless" to the word "with", in line 27, and to insert instead thereof the words "it is proved that it was not reasonably possible to comply."

Sir D. HERBERT

Would it not be better to make it read "proved to the satisfaction of the court" in order to make it clearer to the laymen, although I doubt whether it makes any difference to mention the court. Perhaps the Attorney-General would give an opinion?

The ATTORNEY - GENERAL

My opinion is that it would not make any difference to the Clause. I have not considered it, but that is my opinion.

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

Sir D. HERBERT

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, after the word "proved", to insert the words "to the satisfaction of the court."

These words cannot do any harm and they make a difference when a layman comes to read the Clause.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I am willing to accept the Amendment to the Amendment.

Amendment to proposed Amendment agreed to.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I beg to move in page 16, line 29, to leave out the words "against him."

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

As this is a consequential Amendment could it not be kept until later so that we can deal with an Amendment relating to penalties?

The CHAIRMAN

The next Amendment which I shall accept will be in line 30.

Captain CAZALET

Can we have the Clause read?

The CHAIRMAN

We cannot do that.

Mr. OLIVER STANLEY

Would it not be much more convenient to raise the point of penalties where it first occurs—on the first offence?

The CHAIRMAN

I propose to allow it to be raised on the second offence.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 16, line 30, leave out the word "he."—[Mr. Pethick-Lawrence.]

Sir D. HERBERT

I beg to move in page 16, line 30, to leave out the words "of fifty" and to insert instead thereof the words "not exceeding five."

This is the Amendment on which we can raise the question of penalties. This is a penalty of £50 a day which follows on the original penalty of not exceeding £50 when the offence is first proved and punished. We cannot, of course, discuss that first penalty of £50, except in so far as it bears on the second penalty. It will be clear that there has been some kind of error in drafting. The original penalty is a sum about which there is a discretion. It is not exceeding £50; yet, if there is a day's delay after that, there is this penalty of £50 without any discretion. There may be cases where the magistrates consider that the offence should not be met with a heavy penalty and may wish to inflict a nominal fine of £1, but if there is a day's delay, the offender at once becomes liable to a further fine of £50. It seems obviously a matter of drafting which requires attention. Personally, I am inclined to think that the £50 as the original penalty is heavy, but I will not go into that now. But there is all the more reason for there being a discretion to make the penalty for a subsequent default somewhat more reasonable. Therefore, my suggestion is that if up to £50 is the penalty for the original default, the subsequent penalty of £50 a day should be reduced to a penalty of not exceeding £5 a day.

May I, by way of comparison, refer to a penalty in an Act passed only last year, the Companies Act, 1929? There is a Section there which bears some kind of similarity to this Clause, the Section which obliges a company to keep a register of its shareholders. There is Section 98 which makes it necessary for every company which is a company under the Act to keep a proper register of members which is to be open to inspection, and also the company is bound to provide copies of certain parts of the register if they are required. You have the same thing here. Here you have a Clause which provides, at any rate, for copies being supplied of certain parts of the register, and you have penalties for default. Now you have got penalties in the Companies Act. You have got in the Companies Act provisions for copies of the register or parts being supplied, and the penalties if it is not done. It is, therefore, material to see what those particular penalties are. If any inspection required under the Section is refused, or if any copy required is not sent within the proper period, the company which is in default is liable in respect of each offence to a fine not exceeding £2, and for further default not exceeding £2. That seems to me much more reasonable. For the moment we have passed the original penalty which may be £50, and I suggest that the subsequent daily penalty for continued default might well be put at a sum not exceeding £5 so that the magistrate could have discretion to make it as much less as he thought the circumstances deserved.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

I regret that I cannot accept the Amendment in the form in which the hon. Gentleman has moved it, but I am prepared to accept an Amendment which will remove the difficulty that he has pointed out, that the original penalty might be less than £50, while, as the Clause stands, the recurring penalty would be £50 and not less. There is a Section in the Finance Act, 1927, and the words in the Clause here follow the words of that Section except in one respect, and if hon. Members will look at the words of Sub-section (4) they will see that they say be liable to a penalty not exceeding fifty pounds, and if after judgment has been given against him for that penalty, the copy still remains undelivered, he shall be liable to a further penalty of fifty pounds for every day during which the default continues". Section 44 of the Finance Act, 1927, reads like this. It follows exactly the words of this Sub-section except after judgment has been given for that penalty, to a further penalty of the like amount instead of the £50 as in the Bill for every day during which the default continues. I will be prepared to alter Subsection (4) to make it conform to the words of Section 44 of the Finance Act, 1927.

The CHAIRMAN

I am sorry, but several Amendments have been made which alter that.

Mr. CHURCHILL

Would it not be simpler for the right hon. Gentleman to say what he would do, and there would be a later opportunity of inserting it according to his wishes.

Mr. SNOWDEN

What I want to do is to alter the words from a further penalty of £50 to a further penalty of a like amount.

5 a.m.

Sir K. WOOD

I doubt whether that is a very satisfactory proposal. I should have thought that you ought on the second occasion to have given the Court the same latitude which you gave it on the first occasion. Why should not you, so far as the further penalty is concerned, say "not exceeding" a certain sum. That gives the Court an opportunity to take into account any extenuating circumstances that there may be. If you adopt the precedent of a "like amount," you are making the Court a sort of registering machine so far as the penalty is concerned. I suggest that it would be better to give the Court discretion in the second case as in the first.

Sir W. BRASS

I should like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if I am right in assuming that if a penalty of £30 is made in the original case—and this Amendment is not accepted—the amount of the penalty per day is £30? The maximum in each case can be £50, or £30, or £20, as the Court may decide. Really, these penalties are too high. It very much better to accept the Amendment. We are trying to prevent people from defrauding the Commissioners of Income Tax. The company is the innocent person. It is merely the instrument through which the Commissioners of Income Tax are trying to find out something. It is unfair to bring forward these heavy penalties upon these companies. The words at the beginning of line 13 require that this information should be delivered within a "specified time." It does not say what the specified time is, but later on it states the penalty for the copy still remaining undelivered.

What is to happen if this copy gets lost in the post? Is this copy to be sent by hand to the Commissioners? If the copy is delayed in the post, the unfortunate company which is being merely asked for information by the Commissioners is going to be fined anything up to £50 a day. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer studies the matter more carefully he will come to the conclusion that this is rather too severe a penalty, and that it would be better to accept the Amendment.

Captain CAZALET

I do not understand the phraseology. unless he proves that it was not reasonably possible for him to secure compliance. Does that apply to the second case as well? It may be that a case is decided in London and the company is in Scotland. It may be four or five days before the fine is paid. I presume the fine would not be increased if there was reasonable excuse for the copies not being developed within the statutory time. I wish to ask if that is understood and accepted.

Sir D. HERBERT

The proposal of the right hon. Gentleman meets my view to a great extent, but I pointed out that I thought that the penalty "not exceeding £50" was rather high. The penalties under the Companies Act for very similar offences are very much less. He refers us to the Finance Act, 1927. The offences under that Act are not comparable to the offences we are dealing with now. The offences under the 1927 Act are the offences of a contumaceous taxpayer. These are only offences due to negligence or over-work of office staff. I respectfully suggest to the Committee that if we accept the right hon. Gentleman's proposal we should leave the matter open for further discussion as to the amount of penalties when the Report stage is reached.

Mr. W. S. MORRISON

In an answer, the Chancellor of the Exchequer indicated what he meant by the further penalty being the same as that for the first offence. But when the second offence comes for trial it is really a new offence. There should be complete discretion for the court to deal with the offence on its merits. It might easily be the case that the first offence was a gross and bad offence—an absolute refusal on the part of the company to provide the information. The second offence might be the merest negligence of an over-worked staff. On the other hand, it might be that the first refusal was very trivial and venial and might be met by a penalty of £2 or £3. But the persistent refusal to produce the document might be a very bad offence, savouring of contempt or of wilful resistance to the Treasury. So I do urge that when these second or further offences are being considered, the Court should have as unfettered a voice as it can.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

May I ask your guidance, Mr. Young, on a point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert)?

An HON. MEMBER

Wake up that Member beside you.

The CHAIRMAN

Hon. Members are going to sleep on both sides of the Committee.

Major COLFOX

Is it in order for Members to lie at full length on the benches, and does it add to the dignity and efficiency of the Committee? I can see no fewer than four members lying at full length, sound asleep.

The CHAIRMAN

Two of the hon. Members referred to are outside the House, being under the Gallery.

Major COLFOX

There is one over there.

The CHAIRMAN

There are two hon. Members on this side who are both out of order, and they will kindly sit up. Will Members kindly refrain from lying on the seat?

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

My hon. Friend the Member for Watford said that he had very largely been met by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the proposal to insert the words "a further penalty of the like amount." I wish to ask for your guidance, Mr. Young, whether, if this be accepted now, we retain the opportunity on the Report stage of dealing not only with the question of the magnitude of the penalty as a whole, but with the question of the first offence and the later offence of the copies still remaining undelivered? It may shorten our proceedings, because it is quite clear that the two are separate points. The first, under your selection we are not allowed to deal with at the moment, but we may, upon the Report stage. On the other hand, that being so, on this side of the Committee we do not wish to deprive ourselves of the possibility of dealing with it on the Report stage, having signed away our freedom.

The CHAIRMAN

I do not think you will have signed away your freedom by any Amendments that have been accepted, but I cannot say what Amendments may be called.

Sir D. HERBERT

We do not want the right hon. Gentleman to complain if we raise the question again on the Report stage.

Captain CROOKSHANK

If an offence takes place, there is a penalty, and then there is a further penalty after the judgment if the documents remain undelivered. But there might be very good reasons. There are not only the postal reasons, but something might happen to the company. It is not certain at all. It might not be possible, for reasons outside control, for the company to comply just at that particular moment, and yet they are said to be contumacious. They may not be at all. I think the Committee would be much better advised to have a £5 maximum.

Mr. CHURCHILL

This matter of penalties is very characteristic of Socialist government in every country. First they provide a great number of new offences. Here is an offence taking a whole Clause to describe it, which, before this Finance Bill, had no existence. Now we have been all this time discussing how the penalty is to be inflicted.

Mr. FRANK SMITH

Cannot we have a penalty for obstruction?

Mr. CHURCHILL

That is a very unparliamentary interruption.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Gentleman should not make remarks of that sort.

An HON. MEMBER

He only asked a question.

The CHAIRMAN

There was an inference in the question. [Interruption.] Questions can be asked in an unparliamentary way; hon. Members ought not to ask questions in that way. It is out of order to impute motives.

Mr. BECKETT

I would like to ask if accusations of the sort were not often thrown when the other people were on this side?

Major COLFOX

Is it in Order to say in a loud voice that something that may be said is "Nonsense!"?

The CHAIRMAN

If done in a Parliamentary way it is not regarded as out of Order in the House.

Mr. CHURCHILL

What has just occurred illustrates very forcibly the evils of these protracted sittings. All tempers tend to be frayed, unparliamentary expressions are flung across the House, and no one can suggest that all the blame is on one side. It is perfectly clear that we have now reached the point where feelings are liable to excitement, and arouse——

Mr. BECKETT

On a point of Order. May I ask whether we are now discussing the feelings of the Committee or an Amendment?

Mr. CHURCHILL

On that point of Order. Might I say that, as you have no doubt inferred, I had intended immediately, in almost the next sentence, to move to report Progress.

The CHAIRMAN

I did expect that the right hon. Gentleman was going to move to report Progress.

Mr. BUCHANAN

Further to that point of Order. Is it not customary for hon. Members to move to report Progress first, and then make their speeches?

The CHAIRMAN

I have seen it done both ways.

Mr. CHURCHILL

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

I have thus put myself in order. Now, I want to say a serious word to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He invited me to raise this matter again at an earlier period. Let me point out to him where we now stand. We have not yet finished Clause 18, and there are still three important Amendments, one in the name of Members of the Liberal party. Then there is the debate on the Clause itself. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that we are to pass nine more Clauses. What is the use of talking like that? It is perfectly absurd. Each of these Clauses would give occasion for at least four or five divisions, and five nines are 45. It might well be that there would be further troubles in between, but 45 divisions alone would take nearly eight hours without another word being spoken in debate. Even if we simply divide upon the Amendments and the Clauses now before us, we shall be proceeding at half-past one o'clock. So far as we are concerned, we have no intention of being converted into mere automatons, tramping through the Division Lobbies in resistance to the Government. We have every intention of combating their policy not only by our votes but by discussion. Is not the Chancellor of the Exchequer making a great mistake by forcing us to continue at these labours when there is not the slightest chance of his getting even one-third of the way he proposes to go? The only possible consequence can be that the new day which has now dawned, and whose light will soon replace the artificial light from above, will be killed.

Mr. LOGAN

Why do you not go home and have a sleep?

Mr. CHURCHILL

I was the subject of reproach for having gone home last time, and, indeed, it was almost the only joke the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made—almost the only time that we saw the slightest relaxation of his countenance. I would love to go home, but I cannot expose myself to such taunts and mockeries, and, therefore, I am bound to stay here. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer can set us all at liberty. He will remember the story of the Sibylline Books, and this is the third time we come back offering our books. We offer him the whole of Clause 18 by half-past seven o'clock if he is willing to report Progress then. It may be the last time that this offer will be made, because in these all-night sittings there are two critical periods. The first is at half-past 12, when the last train leaves for the West End. The second critical period is about seven o'clock, when the first reinforcements begin to arrive with the morning light and relieve those who have borne the vigil of the night. We are at present between those two periods, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer tarries much longer I shall not be able to repeat my offer.

Mr. F. SMITH

We do not want your offers.

Mr. CHURCHILL

The responsibility rests with those who reject the offers. But, anyway, why should the hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. F. Smith) take the words out of the mouth of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and say the "No" which the right hon. Gentleman is longing to say himself? It is almost his only pleasure, to say "No." He is, in fact, a walking body of negation and now, when he has been kept up all night and rendered totally unfit for the Cabinet meeting, the hon. Member for Nuneaton wishes to rob him of his only consolation. I will now give the Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity to reply.

The CHAIRMAN

proceeded to put the Question.

Mr. CHURCHILL

Are we not to have any answer?—[Interruption].

The CHAIRMAN

A question has been put to me, and I must be allowed to answer. I cannot make the Chancellor of the Exchequer reply. I rose to put the Question.

Mr. CHURCHILL

On a point of Order. I am quite sure that you would wish to treat with your usual scrupulous fairness Members of the Opposition in this Debate. Out of courtesy I interrupted my remarks to allow the Chancellor of the Exchequer to say whether he would accept the Motion to report Progress or not. Surely, it is without precedent for the Government to make no reply to such a motion, be it only by a grunt.

I sat down to allow the right hon. Gentleman to reply, and almost before a second passed I realised he was not going to reply. My right hon. Friend rose to continue the discussion and it would be very hard if because of the Chancellor's action in not rising to say whether he would accept this Motion or not, we should be deprived of our right to state our case for ten minutes or so. I submit that we should be allowed to do so all the more as no answer has been made from the Government Benches.

The CHAIRMAN

As I was proceeding to put the Question nobody was on his feet. I was putting the Question, and the right hon. Gentleman rose at the same time.

Sir K. WOOD

I join in making one further appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at any rate, to have the courtesy to reply to the question put to him. The matter rests with the Govern- ment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is in charge of these proceedings, questions have been put to him and a proposition has been made to him, and the very least courtesy he could have shown at this time in this debate would have been to rise and say whether he would accept the Motion which my right hon. Friend made. It is true we have reached Clause 18. My right hon. Friend made him a generous offer. He suggested we should complete Clause 18 by six o'clock. The Committee showed audibly that to the great majority that was a good proposal. There have already been four Amendments forced upon the Government, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself delayed proceedings for two hours by refusing to produce a Treasury Minute, while the Financial Secretary to the Treasury also delayed proceedings by an hour. In considering this Motion, therefore, we must remember that both the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary have themselves considerably delayed proceedings. We might have finished Clause 18 by now had it not been for the action of the two representatives of the Government. I omit the Attorney-General, because I feel that if he had been conducting this Bill we should have had a very different Bill. Nothing could have been more surprising to him than Clause 18 when he read it for the first time this afternoon. Let me make one further appeal to the right hon. Gentleman. There may be other Members of the House here shortly. Naturally we do not wish to disappoint them. I can understand that if hon. Members arrive here about half-past seven, having had breakfast and having had a good rest, it will be difficult to say when we shall finish Clause 18. I invite the right hon. Gentleman to reply, and then let us get on with our business. I suggest that, in view of the heavy burdens upon us and in his own interest.

Sir W. BRASS

I support this Motion on the ground that there has been no delay at all on this Clause. If the right hon. Gentleman and the Financial Secretary will read their Clause as drafted, and as now amended, they will find that it is almost a different Clause. There has been no obstruction, and the time expended on it was perfectly justifiable. We have spent a great deal of time and not finished the Clause, which is a very serious and important one. The time has come when we should report Progress. I do think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been treating the Committee with considerable contempt in sitting there and not answering my right hon. Friend. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is in charge of the Bill, should certainly indicate what he proposes to do.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN rose in his place, and claimed to move: "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee proceeded to a Division.

Mr. CHURCHILL (seated and covered)

May I, as a point of Order, point out to you, Mr. Young, that when you allowed the Motion to report Progress to be debated, to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made no answer, I said that it was not our intention to prolong the debate in any way. May I assure you that in pursuance of that undertaking I would suggest to my hon. Friends that at a quarter to six o'clock we should allow the debate to come to a close and take the Division upon the Motion. Therefore the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by moving the Closure, is only prolonging the discussion.

The CHAIRMAN

That is not the point of Order. [Interruption.] Will the hon. Member who is whistling kindly stop.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 188; Noes, 67.

Division No. 363.] AYES. [15.42 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Bellamy, Albert Brown, Ernest (Leith)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Benson, G. Buchanan, G.
Alpass, J. H. Bentham, Dr. Ethel Burgess, F. G.
Ammon, Charles George Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Caine, Derwent Hall-
Arnott, John Bowen, J. W. Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)
Aske, Sir Robert Broad, Francis Alfred Charleton, H. C.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Brockway, A. Fenner Church, Major A. G.
Barnes, Alfred John Brothers, M. Clarke, J. S.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Cluse, W. S.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lawrence, Susan Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Compton, Joseph Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Cove, William G. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Ritson, J.
Daggar, George Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Romeril, H. G.
Dallas, George Lees, J. Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Dalton, Hugh Lewis, T. (Southampton) Rowson, Guy
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lindley, Fred W. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Dukes, C. Lloyd, C. Ellis Sanders, W. S.
Ede, James Chuter Logan, David Gilbert Sawyer, G. F.
Edmunds, J. E. Longbottom, A. W. Scurr, John
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Longden, F. Shield, George William
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Shillaker, J. F.
Egan, W. H. Lunn, William Simmons, C. J.
Freeman, Peter Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Sinkinson, George
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Sitch, Charles H.
Gibbins, Joseph McElwee, A. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) McEntee, V. L. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Gill, T. H. McShane, John James Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Glassey, A. E. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Gossling, A. G. Mansfield, W. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Gould, F. Marley, J. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Marshall, F. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Granville, E. Mathers, George Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Gray, Milner Messer, Fred Sorensen, R.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Middleton, G. Stamford, Thomas W.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Mills, J. E. Stephen, Campbell
Groves, Thomas E. Milner, Major J. Strauss, G. R.
Grundy, Thomas W. Montague, Frederick Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Morley, Ralph Tinker, John Joseph
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Morris, Rhys Hopkins Tout, W. J.
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Mort, D. L. Townend, A. E.
Haycock, A. W. Moses, J. J. H. Vaughan, D. J.
Hayday, Arthur Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Wallace, H. W.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Watkins, F. C.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Muff, G. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline).
Herriotts, J. Murnin, Hugh Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Hirst, G. H. (York W. B. Wentworth) Nathan, Major H. L. Wellock, Wilfred
Hollins, A. Noel Baker, P. J. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Hopkin, Daniel Oldfield, J. R. Westwood, Joseph
Horrabin, J. F. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) White, H. G.
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Isaacs, George Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Palin, John Henry Williams, David (Swansea, East)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Paling, Wilfrid Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Palmer, E. T. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Kelly, W. T. Phillips, Dr. Marion Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Kennedy, Thomas Picton-Turbervill, Edith Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Kinley, J. Potts, John S. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Kirkwood, D. Price, M. P.
Lathan, G. Quibell, D. J. K. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Law, Albert (Bolton) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Mr. Hayes and Mr. T. Henderson.
Law, A. (Rossendale) Raynes, W. R.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Beaumont, M. W. Hartington, Marquess of Salmon, Major I.
Bird, Ernest Roy Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Brass, Captain Sir William Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Briscoe, Richard George King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Lamb, Sir J. Q. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smithers, Waldron
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Llewellin, Major J. J. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Colfox, Major William Philip Long, Major Eric Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colville, Major D. J. Lymington, Viscount Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Courtauld, Major J. S. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Marjoribanks, E. C. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Davies, Dr. Vernon Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Warrender, Sir Victor
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Dawson, Sir Philip Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Wells, Sydney R.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Muirhead, A. J. Womersley, W. J.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Elliot, Major Walter E. O'Connor, T. J.
Ganzoni, Sir John Penny, Sir George TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Greene, W. P. Crawford Ramsbotham, H. Captain Lord Stanley.
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ross, Major Ronald D.

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 68; Noes, 187.

Division No. 364.] AYES. [5.51 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Beaumont, M. W. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Salmon, Major I.
Bird, Ernest Roy Hartington, Marquess of Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Brass, Captain Sir William Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Briscoe, Richard George King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Lamb, Sir J. Q. Smithers, Waldron
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Llewellin, Major J. J. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colfox, Major William Philip Long, Major Eric Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Colville, Major D. J. Lymington, Viscount Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Marjoribanks, E. C. Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Davies, Dr. Vernon Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Wells, Sydney R.
Dawson, Sir Philip Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Duckworth, G. A. V. Muirhead, A. J. Womersley, W. J.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Elliot, Major Walter E. O'Connor, T. J.
Ganzoni, Sir John Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ramsbotham, H. Sir George Penny and Sir Victor
Greene, W. P. Crawford Ross, Major Ronald D. Warrender.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Gray, Milner McShane, John James
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Alpass, J. H. Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Mansfield, W.
Ammon, Charles George Groves, Thomas E. Marley, J.
Arnott, John Grundy, Thomas W. Marshall, F.
Aske, Sir Robert Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Mathers, George
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Messer, Fred
Barnes, Alfred John Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Middleton, G.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Mills, J. E.
Bellamy, Albert Haycock, A. W. Milner, Major J.
Benson, G. Hayday, Arthur Montague, Frederick
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Morley, Ralph
Bowen, J. W. Herriotts, J. Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Broad, Francis Alfred Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Mort, D. L.
Brockway, A. Fenner Hollins, A. Moses, J. J. H.
Brothers, M. Hopkin, Daniel Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Horrabin, J. F. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Muff, G.
Buchanan, G. Isaacs, George Murnin, Hugh
Burgess, F. G. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Nathan, Major H. L.
Caine, Derwent Hall- John, William (Rhondda, West) Noel Baker, P. J.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Oldfield, J. R.
Charleton, H. C. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Church, Major A. G. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Clarke, J. S. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Cluse, W. S. Kelly, W. T. Palin, John Henry.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Kennedy, Thomas Paling, Wilfrid
Compton, Joseph Kinley, J. Palmer, E. T.
Cove, William G. Kirkwood, D. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Daggar, George Lathan, G. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Dallas, George Law, Albert (Bolton) Phillips, Dr. Marion
Dalton, Hugh Law, A. (Rosendale) Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lawrence, Susan Potts, John S.
Dukes, C. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Quibell, D. J. K.
Ede, James Chuter Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Edmunds, J. E. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Raynes, W. R.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lees, J. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Ritson, J.
Egan, W. H. Lindley, Fred W. Romeril, H. G.
Freeman, Peter Lloyd, C. Ellis Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Logan, David Gilbert Rowson, Guy
Gibbins, Joseph Longbottom, A. W. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Longden, F. Sanders, W. S.
Gill, T. H. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Sawyer, G. F.
Glassey, A. E. Lunn, William Scurr, John
Gossling, A. G. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Shield, George William
Gould, F. MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Shillaker, J. F.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) McElwee, A. Simmons, C. J.
Granville, E. McEntee, V. L. Sinkinson, George
Sitch, Charles H. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) White, H. G.
Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Tinker, John Joseph Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Tout, W. J. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Townend, A. E. Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Vaughan, D. J. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Wallace, H. W. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Watkins, F. C. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Sorensen, R. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Stamford, Thomas W. Wellock, Wilfred Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Stephen, Campbell Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Strauss, G. R. Westwood, Joseph TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Hayes and Mr. T. Henderson.

Question again proposed, "That the words 'of fifty' stand part of the Clause."

Mr. SMITHERS

On a point of Order, may I ask, if the Committee are agreeable, whether we might not have the windows opened?

The CHAIRMAN

I will take note of the hon. Member's remark.

Mr. CHURCHILL

On a point of Order, surely the question is revived which was previously under discussion before the Motion to report Progress was moved?

The CHAIRMAN

The right hon. Gentleman rises to continue the discussion?

Mr. CHURCHILL

Certainly. I am under the impression that I was in possession of the Committee, and while I was speaking an hon. Gentleman made an unparliamentary observation.

The CHAIRMAN

The right hon. Gentleman was not speaking to the Amendment. He rose to move to report Progress.

Mr. CHURCHILL

With great respect that is not so. I rose to speak on the Amendment, and then I was interrupted by some remark on which I do not wish to dwell any more. When that happened I felt that the temper of the Committee was getting into such a state that it would be better to report Progress. I availed myself of that technical procedure. I broke off my speech on the Amendment. Such is the plain narrative of the facts as they will undoubtedly appear recorded for ever in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The Chancellor of the Exchequer having been pressed at all our proceedings, and the Motion to report Progress having been negatived, I was entitled to continue my interrupted speech upon the Amendment. If the Committee will re-collect we were at that moment speaking of these penalties. I said that in every country the Socialist party, almost immediately they obtained power, created a large number of new offences, a long catalogue of offences. This Clause, which we have discussed for so long, invents a new offence not hitherto known to the world—that people are to be subjected to penalties of £50, and then further penalties, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been considering in what way he can lay his penalties, or mitigate them, or make them more severe. Respectable people are to be subjected to these penalties. [Interruption.] Now I am being interrupted. We are not sitting here for our pleasure.

Mr. BECKETT

I would like to put it to the right hon. Gentleman that the interruption was not directed at him, but was our greeting to the change of Chairmen.

Mr. CHURCHILL

A most disrespectful observation about the Chair. The hon. Member said that his interruption was made to greet the change of Chairmen. Unless the hon. Gentleman can offer an explanation to the House, it shows that his remark had an implication that only attaches to it. So that I must draw your attention, Sir, to a reflection that has been made upon your predecessor in the Chair.

Mr. BECKETT

The interruption was because we thought it was quite time that the Chairman of Committees had a rest, because he has been in the Chair a very long time.

Mr. CHURCHILL

It is customary to accept a statement which an hon. Member makes about his own intentions and actions, and therefore I should not press my point of Order any further. It remains to me only to continue my remarks upon the Amendment, and upon this policy of imposing penalties and creating new crimes. This has been carried to great excess in the United States, and there, as we know, they have a whole list of misdemeanours and offences placed upon the Statute Book of the various States. I have heard it said that there are 13,000 penalties. Laxity in the enforcement of law follows inevitably in its train. That is what you are creating by legislation of this kind, with all sorts of needless offences each involving penalties upon the subject. It is one of the worst features of modern democracy as handled by a Socialist Administration. We are now reaching the full daylight of another day and very soon we shall be in the full scrutiny of the public; and then I hope that we shall not fail to press home upon the Government the vices of this multiplication of petty offences and the attaching to them of objectionable pecuniary fines.

Sir K. WOOD

May I—[Interruption.]

Major COLFOX

Is it within your competence to discover who it is that is constantly whistling and bleating? It is impossible for any Member of this side to present any connected argument.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

Whistling and noises of that kind are distinctly out of order and most improper. Will the right hon. Member now resume?

Sir K. WOOD

We are now getting to a very important part of this Clause, and several questions have been put to the Attorney-General following the suggestions that came from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If I may I will recall to the Committee the facts concerning the proposals of the Government as to the first penalty to be imposed. If after judgment has been given against him for that penalty, and he still remains in default, he is liable to a further penalty of £50 for every day in which he remains in default. The Chancellor has suggested that, instead of that further penalty of £50 for every day, a previous Statute should be applied in which there occur the words "of a like penalty". We have been endeavouring to obtain the guidance of the Attorney-General as to which is the better course to adopt. For the first time a new offence is created and new penalties will be inflicted on people who offend against this Clause. Owing to the fact that the first Amendment has not been called, we have been unable to discuss the particular amount suggested there. Will the Attorney-General advise the Committee whether the suggestion of "a like sum" instead of £50 is an advisable thing for the Committee to do? Obviously, if you have the words "of like amount," you practically leave no discretion to the Court at all. Where the first penalty is made, it gives a discretion to the Court. I suggest that the Attorney-General might perhaps advise the Committee which is the better course to adopt—to substitute a smaller penalty for £50, or, by some means, leave a discretion with the Court. It does appear to me that there should be a discretion with the Court.

Sir D. HERBERT

The words were "not exceeding £5."

Sir K. WOOD

In that event it might possibly be urged that in certain cases where there was a direct affront to the Court, and a refusal by a company to produce the certified copy, £5 was too small a penalty. I am not in favour of this Clause at all, but once we place it on the Statute Book the penalty of £5 in repeated cases is, I think, too small. Therefore, I hope the Attorney-General will tell us what he thinks the better course to take in these circumstances. I think he will agree that we have done valuable work in connection with this Clause, and this will be the fourth time that it has been amended.

Captain CAZALET

If hon. Members opposite had been here some hours ago they would realise that there has been no obstruction on this Clause at all. Every Amendment has been discussed with goodwill on both sides of the Committee, and with the desire to find the best possible way to interpret the wishes of the Government. Some hours ago I asked the Attorney-General for an answer on one or two points. A fine is imposed by a court on a company on a certain date, and, as long as the default continues—that is, until the document which is demanded is forthcoming—a further penalty is inflicted on the company for every day until that document is produced. There may be a variety of legitimate reasons why that document cannot be produced for several days. The point we ask is whether the leniency allowed in the first case is also extended to the later case. The form may be lost in the post or otherwise delayed, and with the best will in the world it may take three or four days, or even a week, before the actual document arrives in London. What we ask is whether the leniency allowed in the primary cases is also allowed during those days in which the default continues.

Major G. DAVIES

If modern legislation has taught us anything it is the great danger of legislating ahead of public opinion. We have seen that in the case of prohibition legislation in the United States. The people as a whole should feel the same confidence in these matters as they feel in regard to the police force; they should feel that they are fairly treated and not that they are unfairly harried. Those of us who have had an official connection with the collection of taxes realise that, they often bear an unmerited burden of criticism. The career of tax gatherer is anything but one calculated to spread the popularity of the individual earning his living in that career. The reason why we have always been able to collect so cheaply and with so little friction such a large proportion of our revenue from Income Tax is that it was felt that the taxpayer was treated fairly. Under this Clause, however, there is a new burden to be placed upon a certain class of the community. It may be that it is not put upon the direct taxpayer, but it is in connection with a further burden and it is a nuisance arising from a widening of our taxing law. It is going to annoy people and to that extent the Treasury is assuming an additional burden of unpopularity and is running the risk of reaching a point, often reached when tariff laws are too high and smuggling develops, at which intensified taxation develops tax evasion. In this Clause we have provisions of a particularly irritating kind.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

This is not a question of tax evasion at all but of disobeying the order of the court.

Major DAVIES

If you had allowed me just the extra quarter of a minute you would have seen how I was linking that up with the remarks I was making. It is intimately connected with the tax laws. We are not only antagonising people by making a new offence, but the penalty for those who do not carry out the provisions of this particular Clause are in themselves savage—a fine of £50 per diem without any provision for some of those excuses or reasons that may properly be given. In addition to the excessive nature of the punishment for the crime, you are also manufacturing a new and irritating crime which will have a bad effect on the collection of Income Tax. I hope that the Attorney General will give us his views on this matter.

The ATTORNEY - GENERAL

This really is not a question of constituting any new offence. That, no doubt, is raised by the Clause, but the particular point that we are discussing is what the penalty should be—that and that alone. I propose to address my remarks entirely to that question.

I am asked by the right hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) to advise the Committee on their course. I shall give them the same advice as was given by my predecessors in 1922 and 1927, when they were confronted with a precisely similar point. In the former case it was a question of failure to furnish particulars of income, and in the latter of failure to make Surtax returns, and the procedure then adopted was to have the same words exactly that we have in this Clause, "a penalty not exceeding £50," but, instead of "a further penalty of £50," "a further penalty of the like amount." If I am asked to advise the Committee I should advise them to adopt that wording, "a further penalty of the like amount." In many cases £5 might be quite inadequate. You are dealing with something in the nature of contumacy. The first penalty would not be incurred if there was a genuine mistake, and the Committee would be well advised to adopt the Chancellor's suggestion and put in the words "of the like amount."

Sir D. HERBERT

There is a distinction between the cases cited and the present case. In those two cases it was the taxpayer who was concerned; in this case it is not.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

Here again we have a case where the Chancellor is departing altogether from the regulations that applied as a whole to the company laws passed by this House. Under the Companies Acts the penalty for failure to supply a shareholder with an entry similar to this is fixed at £2. There is a great difference between £2 and £50. When you get the question of a recurring amount of £50 a day for the failure of an officer of the company to furnish the necessary particulars, you are going far beyond what you ought to do. I have been struck by the fact that in this Clause introducing this heavy penalty we have not had a word from the Chancellor of the Exchequer either in justification of the Clause or of the heavy penalty. The Chancellor would be well advised to take this Clause back again, to reconsider it, and let us deal with it after we have seen the many manuscript Amendments handed in from the Government side of the House, before we put on the Statute Book a Clause——

Mr. BROCKWAY

On a point of Order. Are the remarks of the hon. Gentleman in order?

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN

I was following the hon. Gentleman who was discussing

cussing the Clause. We must confine ourselves to the point before the Committee.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

I was only giving an explanation, because I wanted to point out the heavy penalties inflicted. I submit that there is nothing out of order in that—[Interruption.] I am perfectly satisfied that when the hon. Members who are now protesting go back to their constituencies and consult the people there who have to conduct business, they will find that this is going to be a boomerang which will hit them jolly hard. But I am not worrying about that. I submit that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be a very wise man if he allowed us to finish at this moment and let us reconsider the whole thing.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN rose in his place and claimed to move "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 183; Noes, 68.

Division No. 365.] AYES [6.34 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Gill, T. H. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Glassey, A. E. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Alpass, J. H. Gossling, A. G. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Ammon, Charles George Gould, F. Lees, J.
Arnott, John Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Aske, Sir Robert Granville, E. Lindley, Fred W.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Gray, Milner Lloyd, C. Ellis
Barnes, Alfred John Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Logan, David Gilbert
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Longbottom, A. W.
Bellamy, Albert Groves, Thomas E. Longden, F.
Benson, G. Grundy, Thomas W. Lovat-Fraser, J. A.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Lunn, William
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hall, G. H. Merthyr Tydvil) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Bowen, J. W. Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Broad, Francis Alfred Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) McElwee, A.
Brockway, A. Fenner Haycock, A. W. McEntee, V. L.
Brothers, M. Hayday, Arthur McShane, John James
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Hayes, John Henry Mansfield, W.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Marley, J.
Buchanan, G. Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Marshall, F.
Burgess, F. G. Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mathers, George
Caine, Derwent Hall- Herriotts, J. Messer, Fred
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Middleton, G.
Church, Major A. G. Hollins, A. Mills, J. E.
Clarke, J. S. Hopkin, Daniel Milner, Major J.
Cluse, W. S. Horrabin, J. F. Montague, Frederick
Cocks, Frederick Seymour. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Compton, Joseph Isaacs, George Morley, Ralph
Cove, William G. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Daggar, George John, William (Rhondda, West) Mort, D. L.
Dallas, George Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Moses, J. J. H.
Dalton, Hugh Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Muff, G.
Dukes, C. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Murnin, Hugh
Ede, James Chuter Kelly, W. T. Nathan, Major H. L.
Edmunds, J. E. Kennedy, Thomas Noel Baker, P. J.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Kinley, J. Oldfield, J. R.
Egan, W. H. Kirkwood, D. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Freeman, Peter Lathan, G. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Law, Albert (Bolton) Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Gibbins, Joseph Law, A. (Resendale) Palin, John Henry
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley) Lawrence, Susan Paling, Wilfrid
Palmer, E. T. Simmons, C. J. Watkins, F. C.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Sinkinson, George Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Phillips, Dr. Marion Sitch, Charles H. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Picton-Turbervill, Edith Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Wellock, Wilfred
Potts, John S. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Price, M. P. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Westwood, Joseph
Quibell, D. J. K. Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Raynes, W. R. Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Ritson, J. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Romeril, H. G. Sorensen, R. Wilson C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Stamford, Thomas W. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Rowson, Guy Stephen, Campbell Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Sanders, W. S. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.) Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Sawyer, G. F. Tinker, John Joseph
Scurr, John Tout, W. J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Shield, George William Townend, A. E. Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Vaughan, D. J. Charles Edwards.
Shillaker, J. F. Wallace, H. W.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Greene, W. P. Crawford Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Albery, Irving James Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Salmon, Major I.
Beaumont, M. W. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bird, Ernest Roy Hartington, Marquess of Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Brass, Captain Sir William Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Briscoe, Richard George Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Smithers, Waldron
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Leighton, Major B. E. P. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colfox, Major William Philip Llewellin, Major J. J. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Colville, Major D. J. Long, Major Eric Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lymington, Viscount Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Marjoribanks, E. C. Warrender, Sir Victor
Davies, Dr. Vernon Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wells, Sydney R.
Dawson, Sir Philip Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Duckworth, G. A. V. Muirhead, A. J. Womersley, W. J.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Elliot, Major Walter E. O'Connor, T. J.
Ganzoni, Sir John Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Ramsbotham, H. Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ross, Major Ronald D. Sir George Penny.

Question put accordingly, "That the words 'of fifty' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 177; Noes, 77.

Division No. 366.] AYES. [6.42 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Daggar, George Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Dallas, George Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)
Alpass, J. H. Dalton, Hugh Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)
Ammon, Charles George Denman, Hon. R. D. Herriotts, J.
Arnott, John Dukes, C. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Ede, James Chuter Hollins, A.
Barnes, Alfred John Edmunds, J. E. Hopkin, Daniel
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Horrabin, J. F.
Bellamy, Albert Egan, W. H. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)
Benson, G. Freeman, Peter Isaacs, George
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Gibbins, Joseph John, William (Rhondda, West)
Bowen, J. W. Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Broad, Francis Alfred Gill, T. H. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Brockway, A. Fenner Gossling, A. G. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Brothers, M. Gould, F. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Kelly, W. T.
Buchanan, G. Granville, E. Kennedy, Thomas
Burgess, F. G. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Kinley, J.
Caine, Derwert Hall Groves, Thomas E. Kirkwood, D.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Grundy, Thomas W. Lathan, G.
Charleton, H. C. Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Law, Albert (Bolton)
Church, Major A. G. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Law, A. (Rosendale)
Clarke, J. S. Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lawrence, Susan
Cluse, W. S. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Haycock, A. W. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Compton, Joseph Hayday, Arthur Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Cove, William G. Hayes, John Henry Lees, J.
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Lindley, Fred W. Palin, John Henry Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Lloyd, C. Ellis Paling, Wilfrid Sorensen, R.
Logan, David Gilbert Palmer, E. T. Stamford, Thomas W.
Longbottom, A. W. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Stephen, Campbell
Longden, F. Phillips, Dr. Marion Strauss, G. R.
Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Picton-Turbervill, Edith Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Lunn, William Potts, John S. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Price, M. P. Tinker, John Joseph
MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Quibell, D. J. K. Tout, W. J.
McElwee, A. Raynes, W. R. Townend, A. E.
McEntee, V. L. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Vaughan, D. J.
McShane, John James Ritson, J. Wallace, H. W.
Mansfield, W. Romeril, H. G. Watkins, F. C.
Marley, J. Rosbotham, D. S. T. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Marshall, Fred Rowson, Guy Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Mathers, George Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Wellock, Wilfred
Messer, Fred Sanders, W. S. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Middleton, G. Sawyer, G. F. Westwood, Joseph
Mills, J. E. Scurr, John Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Milner, Major J. Shield, George William Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Montague, Frederick Shiels, Dr, Drummond Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Shillaker, J. F. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Morley, Ralph Simmons, C. J. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Mort, D. L. Sinkinson, George Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Moses, J. J. H. Sitch, Charles H. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Muff, G. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Murnin, Hugh Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Noel Baker, P. J. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Oldfield, J. R. Smith, Tom (Pontefract) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Charles Edwards.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Penny, Sir George
Albery, Irving James Gray, Milner Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Aske, Sir Robert Greene, W. P. Crawford Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Beaumont, M. W. Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Ramsbotham, H.
Bird, Ernest Roy Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ross, Major Ronald D.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Hartington, Marquess of Salmon, Major I.
Brass, Captain Sir William Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Briscoe, Richard George Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smithers, Waldron
Colfox, Major William Philip Llewellin, Major J. J. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Colville, Major D. J. Long, Major Eric Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lymington, Viscount Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Marjoribanks, E. C. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Davies, Dr. Vernon Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morris, Rhys Hopkins Wells, Sydney R.
Dawson, Sir Philip Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Duckworth, G. A. V. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Womersley, W. J.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Muirhead, A. J. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Elliot, Major Walter E. Nathan, Major H. L.
Ganzoni, Sir John Nicholson, O. (Westminster) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) O'Connor, T. J. Captain Lord Stanley and Sir
Glassey, A. E. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Victor Warrender.
Captain CAZALET

On a point of Order. May I ask if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will read the whole of Sub-section (4). I asked some time ago if this could be done, and I was told to ask as soon as this Amendment was over. I think it would be very helpful to the members of the Committee on this side of the House.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

It is not the business of the Chancellor to read a Clause. Major Nathan.

Mr. CHURCHILL

On a point of Order. May I draw your attention to the important Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. Ramsbotham)—in page 16, line 33, to leave out from the second word "stock" to the end of the Sub-section? Some of us have been waiting a long time for your approval. It was understood that this Amendment was one of those which was going to be taken.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

In the exercise of my powers I must make certain selections, and the particular point raised in this Amendment is one that has been discussed at considerable length. Therefore, the exercise of my discretion, I did not select it.

Major NATHAN

I beg to move, in page 16, line 36, at the end, to add the words: (6) A notice shall not be served by the special commissioners under this section unless they have, not less than twenty-eight days before such service, served upon the person to whom such notice relates written notice of their intention so to do, accompanied by a statement, signed by not less than two of the special commissioners, stating that in their belief he has failed, omitted, or neglected to disclose to them material details affecting the extent of his liability to Income Tax or Sur-tax which inspection of the register concerned would reveal and setting out their reasons for holding such belief. If the person to whom such notice relates shall within the said period of twenty-eight days institute proceedings in the High Court, calling upon the special commissioners to prove that they have reasonable grounds for believing that he is guilty of such concealment as aforesaid or else to be restrained from the service of such notice, the special commissioners shall not serve the said notice unless and until it has been determined by the order of a judge of the High Court (from which there shall be no appeal) that the special commissioners have reasonable grounds for such belief. (7) Provision shall be made by rules of court for regulating the procedure under sub-section (6) of this section. Whatever else may be said about the Clause that we have spent about 10 hours in discussing, at least this may be said, that it is not free from ambiguity, and to that proposition I think I shall obtain the assent of the Committee as a whole. It may be that the Attorney General is correct in the view that he takes that Clause 18 as it stands in the Bill does not refer to a particular person, but to a class of security. I hold myself at liberty to raise the matter, fortified afresh by consideration of the opinions which have been expressed. Upon Report I am sure the Attorney-General will agree that it is a point of substance. I only mention it now for the purpose of reserving my right in regard to it. Whether his interpretation of the Clause be correct or not, the restriction of encroachment by the Executive which this Amendment is designed to effect is equally necessary. Of what is the Amendment the natural corollary? Of the suggestion that the Special Commissioners should have a roving commission, to make a fishing inquiry into each and every shareholder's affairs amongst every company registered in this country. That is a very wide extension of the powers that have been entrusted to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue in the whole course of our legislation. It is tantamount to saying that there will be maintained and created at York House a card index which shall bear, in relation to the taxpayer, very much the same sort of relationship that the finger-print bears to the criminal. They are establishing a file of the finger-prints of taxpayers at York House. The right to take a finger-print from a criminal has been vigorously and strenuously restricted by legislation by this House. The object of this Amendment is to prevent the tyrannical use of the power conferred by the Clause. The Government have not been able to make out anything like an effective case for this Clause. They have not even attempted to do so. All that we have is the statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer early in the Debate, and the suggestion was that the object was to check up the returns of Sur-tax. But every Sur-tax payer makes the return under full responsibility of the penalty for perjury, and other liabilities.

Mr. CHURCHILL

Will the Financial Secretary give us a reply?

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is entitled to a short rest.

Mr. CHURCHILL

I reserve my right to speak on this matter later.

7.0 a.m.

Major NATHAN

The object of this Amendment is to restrict the possibility of capricious and tyrannical use by officials of the powers reposed in them by this Clause. It will be within the recollection of the Committee that the framework of the Clause is that a notice shall be served by the Special Commissioners on the company, requiring certain returns. In the whole of the Clause there is not one word to say for what purpose that return is required, or in respect of what persons it may be asked for. It is a return that the Special Commissioners are entitled to ask for entirely at large. Were it not that this Clause is included in a part of the Bill headed "Income Tax," there would be no indication as to the object in view. It is a very wide power. It may certainly cause irretrievable harm to the credit of perfectly innocent full-taxpaying citizens. I am suggesting by this Amendment that the Special Commissioners should give objective evidence of a sense of responsibility by making a statement that they have reason to believe that the taxpayer has failed, omitted, or neglected to disclose material details affecting the extent of his liability to Income Tax or Surtax. I ask the Attorney-General whether the Government, in this Clause, have any object over and above that of ascertaining whether a taxpayer has failed, omitted, or neglected to disclose material details affecting the extent of his liability to Income Tax or Surtax.

If the Government have a further hidden object, let us know what it is. If there is no further object, then this Amendment suggests that it should be stated in terms that that is the object—to ascertain whether a taxpayer has failed, omitted, or neglected to disclose material details affecting the extent of his liability to Income Tax or Surtax—and that it shall not be permissible for the Special Commissioners to enter on these fishing inquiries, or establish their finger-print index, unless they have on their own responsibility made a statement that they have reason to believe that there has been some such omission, and that statement is to be signed by two of the Special Commissioners. That seems to me a safeguard singularly needful for the protection of the taxpayer as against the Revenue. The notice is not to be given to the company in the first instance, but to the person to whom it relates. When that notice has been served, on the responsibility and under the signature of the Special Commissioners personally, the person on whom it is served is to have an opportunity of instituting proceedings in the High Court calling on the Special Commissioners to show that they have reasonable grounds for believing that he is guilty of an offence of omission, failure, or neglect to give particulars required by statute. If the judge should find that there is reasonable ground for that belief on the part of the Special Commissioners, the matter goes forward as in this Bill, and everything will have been done to protect the taxpayer against illegitimate invasions of his private rights. It is obvious that if a taxpayer, having been served with such a notice, takes no steps, it is a reasonable assumption that there are some grounds for further investigation, which would then proceed as contemplated in the Bill as at present drafted. Without such a provision as this, the taxpayer is exposed to investigations into his private affairs and to a risk to reputation and fame against which it is the duty of the House of Commons to protect him.

Commander SOUTHBY

The Committee will have heard with great interest the clear and reasonable explanation of this Amendment by the hon. and gallant Member. He aptly referred to the finger-print system, and likened this Clause to the adoption of a finger-print system by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his efforts to detect those evading their proper tax. But there is this difference. Only a convicted criminal can have his finger-prints taken, but in this Bill the Chancellor of the Exchequer is bringing a case against the taxpayer behind his back, and making him a convicted criminal without giving him an opportunity of defending himself. I support this Amendment because it is a protection for the taxpayer. It may be that there are a certain number of taxpayers who endeavour to evade their taxation, but that is no reason why the main body of taxpayers should be subjected by Act of Parliament to gross injustice. This very reasonable Amendment affords protection to these people, and I hope the Government will accept it. I am sorry that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not here to hear the very reasonable exposition of the case for the taxpayer, but it must be obvious to the Committee that the strain of this long Session to-night has been very heavy, and doubtless it is necessary for him to take some rest. I am sure the Committee are anxious that the Chancellor should not over tax his strength. We are here as a Committee, not only to frame legislation which is going to protect the Treasury in the collection of taxes, but, at the same time, to do so without introducing a Star Chamber method which is going to press heavily on the British taxpayer. If the protection of the taxpayer can be obtained by inserting a new provision like this, it is the duty of the Committee to press it on the Government, and it is the duty of the Government, if a reasonable Amendment is put forward, to accept it. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment as it stands, because it does nothing more than put in a reasonable protection for the taxpayer. This whole of Clause 18 is a most monstrous invasion of the rights of the citizen, who is held to be doing something illegal without even proof that he contemplated anything of the kind.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

I should like first to refer to what has been said about my right hon. Friend. It is the common practice to recognise that Ministers are not compelled to be here all the time. My right hon. Friend has been exemplary. Of the 14 or 15 hours that we have been discussing the Finance Bill, he has not missed an hour at a time. I am sure hon. Members recognise the right of a Minister in charge to leave a subordinate Minister in charge of a Bill and to repose himself for a short interval. I have listened to everything that fell from the lips of the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) and have studied the text of the Amendment on the Paper, and I am forced to the conclusion that the whole basis on which this Amendment rests is an entire misunderstanding. This talk about finger-prints and dictatorial methods is absolutely remote from the facts of the case. Let us understand what the position is. We have already lists at Somerset House of certain shareholders of certain companies. Those are open to public inspection, and the Special Commissioners of Income Tax deal with them. They instruct people to make lists in order that they may compare them with the Super-tax returns. All that is proposed in this Clause is that they shall be enabled to have similar facilities in regard to other classes of securities not now available to them at Somerset House.

Mr. E. BROWN

But at present the law requires the lists to be placed in Somerset House, while in this case the law requires the copies to be served, and it is giving the Inland Revenue powers they have never had before.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

The hon. Member was slightly premature in interrupting, and his interruption is not justified by the facts. As far as the records at Somerset House are concerned, the staff have power to make excerpts, and they do send people to make excerpts. The object of this is to have the same powers in regard to other classes of securities which are not available at Somerset House. That can be done in two ways. Either other classes of securities must be registered at Somerset House, which is not proposed, or the Special Commissioners must be given power to obtain the information they require from the companies concerned. That is what is proposed in this Clause. If the proposal were that they should simply ask for the list, the whole list, then no misunderstanding from the Liberal party could arise.

Major NATHAN

That would meet my point, although I prefer the method of making all securities registrable, which I think is the correct way of dealing with this matter.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

The Special Commissioners do not have the whole list of shareholders; they only have a small proportion which seems likely to be of use to them, and it is proposed that they should have the same kind of inquiry of the companies that they already have with regard to those securities which are set out in full at Somerset House. Instead of taking the whole list, they are empowered by this Clause to take a certain class of shareholders. It will probably be the class of persons holding more than £1,000, or something of that kind. Really this Amendment, which talks about service upon the person to whom such notice relates, has no relation to the facts at all. There is no question whatever of a particular search being made relating to one person and one person alone. It will be generally a special class of person having more than a certain holding in the company. Therefore, the words in the Amendment have no meaning. The fact is that there is no question of an investigation being made about a particular person. The idea is to obtain from the general list a large proportion of a class representing the larger holders, and to use that precisely in the same manner in which the list prepared at Somerset House is used at present. With the greatest wish in the world not to treat individuals unfairly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer feels compelled to resist this Amendment, because it is not really applicable to the state of affairs contemplated in Clause 18, but to an entirely different state of affairs.

Mr. CHURCHILL

Is this to be the only answer that the Government are going to make to the Amendment and to the speech which the Mover has delivered? Is this halting, pathetic statement which has come from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to be the only apology which the Government can make for refusing this carefully prepared Amendment? For my part I heartily agree with the Amendment, and, on behalf of the Conservative Opposition, I can proffer the Mover our energetic assistance. I think it is an Amendment which does great credit to its authors, and is conceived in the very finest traditions of Liberalism, which for many years played a most important and invaluable part in moulding and shaping the expanding liberties of this country. That the hon. and gallant Member and his learned Friend who is associated with him should have drafted this Amendment and placed it upon the Paper constitutes a service which will be deeply appreciated by all those who wish to see a proper relationship maintained between the dignity of the taxpayer and the tax collector.

In the first place the Government are armed with the proper procedure to detect offenders. Do not let us have any talk in the future about the Government being denied means of dealing with the tax evader. Here is proposed a complete method by which any person who is suspected of not having fully discharged his duty to the Revenue, can be proceeded against, and proceeded against effectively and swiftly, but according to the proper standard and regular traditions of accepted British jurisprudence and British decency and fair-play.

No doubt it will astonish the Financial Secretary even to hear this, because there never was a man so swiftly converted into a bureaucrat than he. He simply flung himself into the surroundings of the Treasury, and emerged after a very brief space of time as one of the most complete, self-satisfied bureaucratic officials that we have ever had representing the Government department of the Treasury in this House. No doubt it will surprise the hon. Gentleman very much if I should mention some of the principles upon which this Amendment is founded. First of all, there is the suggestion that, if a man as to be proceeded against, there shall at any rate be a prima facie case established, and that this prima facie case shall be established against him by reasonable persons—that two of the Special Commissioners shall make an allegation, and that due notice shall be given to the person affected. What is wrong with that? Has the hon. Gentleman already forgotten those principles which he used to profess in by-gone days about the rights of individuals? Why should a man be placed, without his knowledge, under a slur? If allegations are made against him, he ought to be the first person to be informed, and he ought to have due notice. The Mover of the Amendment proposes that the matter shall be referred to a judge of the High Court; that the person against whom an allegation is preferred, whose affairs are to undergo a new and special subterranean examination not known to the Income Tax law, is to have notice, and, after notice, he is to have the right of rebutting the charge made against him. That is the ordinary, normal procedure of British justice and fair-play.

If he can prove to the satisfaction of the court that there is no prima facie case, or rather, unless the special commissioners are able to prove that they have a prima facie case—the case of a man is not to be rummaged in this way. You would not search a man's house, if you had cause to suspect him, without a warrant. Why treat the whole class of Income Tax payers as if they were criminals?

It has been the one idea of the Socialist Government since they got into power to use that power to hunt and pillage the direct taxpayers of this country. In the whole world there is not a class like the British taxpayer, but if the Government establishes the relationship with them of pitting their brains against the brains of the authorities, it will be a duel instead of a high duty discharged by the taxpayer to render to the State what Parliament has required. If you put it on the footing of a duel, then your devices, dodges and instruments of torture, with which you are filling this Bill, will not be worth the paper on which they are written. You will alter the whole relationship between the Income-Tax payers and the Exchequer. There was a great speech by Mr. Gladstone in which he said this was purely voluntary. If you lose that confidence and goodwill which still exists between the Government of the day—[Interruption]. If you once lose that, it will be impossible to re-establish it. Taxation has risen to a high point, and now at this moment you inflict this unwarranted slur on the whole of the Income Tax payers under this inquiry.

The hon. Member who moved this Amendment comes here with the means of preventing evasion. But what do the Government care? They will not look at it. All they want is a general power undermining the whole confidential relationship which has hitherto been preserved as far as Income Tax is concerned. The hon. Gentleman said that there would be no procedure against individuals and that therefore this Amendment was not valid. The Attorney-General became almost metaphysical in endeavouring to explain the relationship between the individual and the class. The Attorney-General has explained that classes alone are concerned. That is not what is intended by the Government. What the Government are going to ask for is particular information about certain persons whom they have reason to suspect.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

indicated dissent.

Mr. CHURCHILL

I am glad to see they are waking up. There will be a suggestion that this or that wealthy taxpayer is not making a return adequate to the revenues he enjoys. The Commissioners of Inland Revenue will, under the power in this Clause, have a private inquiry and find out what are the securities he holds. I do not complain a bit of that procedure if you inform the man of the charge made against him, if you give him an opportunity to defend himself, and if the matter be adjudicated by an impartial judge.

Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE

The right hon. Gentleman has said that what the Government are going to do is to proceed against one or two individuals. That is not correct. It has been distinctly brought out that the Clause does not enable that to be done. The Chancellor of the Exchequer definitely stated that the procedure which the right hon. Gentleman and the Mover of the Amendment envisaged was not possible under this Clause.

Mr. CHURCHILL

The hon. Gentleman has not added to the strength of his position by the interruption, but, however much we may differ from him, the courtesy and good nature we always meet from him is very agreeable. I put to the hon. Gentleman this very plain question: What is there that you legitimately require for the purpose of preventing evasion and securing the necessary information that cannot be given by this Amendment of the hon. Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan)? If that does not give you your powers, what do you want? The House has examined this matter for 10 hours with great attention. Is the hon. Gentleman's desire to have a roving commission given to him to make inquiries here and there under penalties, and so forth? We will give you the powers for which you ask, but in return give to His Majesty's liege, whose affairs you are investigating, the information that his affairs are under special scrutiny, and an opportunity to justify himself if he can. If he fails to take advantage of the 28 days' delay, you are absolutely justified in proceeding and making any inquiries you desire.

This is a procedure which will limit the obligations to those cases to which it relates, instead of making it applicable over the whole area. If this Amendment were adopted, all the objections entertained on the ground of the clerical labour thrust upon the companies and the expenses to which they will be put, or the alternative of the shameful sweating of the poor clerk who is receiving a pitiful remuneration just because his firm is not likely to have voted for the party opposite—all these arguments drop to the ground because the number of cases in which it would be necessary to proceed would not be very numerous. The number of returns which it would be necessary to require would not be very numerous nor the returns very lengthy. They would not be the vague, general, fishing and roaming returns. They would be precise returns prepared and proposed for the purpose of establishing a definite charge, and there would be neither great difficulty nor expense in the matter.

The right hon. Gentleman has shown quite clearly that it is not evasion of taxes that the Government are seeking to prevent in this Clause. The Opposition and the Liberal Party have given them the fullest means for dealing with the matter. What they want to do is to lay their predatory, inquisitive and prying fingers on the whole distribution of wealth and securities throughout the country, under the cloak, in the first instance, of preventing the evasion of income tax, and ultimately, no doubt, for some sinister purpose.

Mr. E. BROWN

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) has spoken of the malignity of the Government. They really suffer from innocence, otherwise they would not have put Clauses into a Finance Bill when their real place was a Revenue Bill. The whole argument of the Government is that the Debate is the result of suspicion. If that be so, it is all the more necessary to remove the suspicion that this Clause is meant to do what the Financial Secretary to the Treasury says it does not and cannot do. There is a difference of opinion about it, and the hon. Gentleman is not the first Financial Secretary to make a statement that has been null and void when it came to a court of law. The electors and taxpayers are getting very suspicious about the forms of words which the ordinary Member of Parliament cannot understand. He has to take things on trust from the Treasury or from legal authorities.

I agree with the hon. Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). The Government have chosen the wrong method, and is applying the Clause in the wrong way. If they want the information let them take the simple straightforward course of making company securities registerable, as the other classes of shares are, at Somerset House. The Inland Revenue Commissioners and the companies would be under strict secrecy and the taxpayer would have complete security against the invasion of his rights by the authorities. There is growing in the country a great feeling against these obscure Clauses being brought into Bills and discussed at all-night sittings by a Committee which is either weary or indifferent, and not willing to apply its mind to understand either its learned lawyer's or its intelligent laymen as to what is being done by the Department to the ordinary citizen. The protest is long overdue, and the Committee will remember the hon. Member for North-East Bethnal Green with gratitude for raising the issue.

Lord E. PERCY

This Clause becomes more and more curious, and I want to ask the Committee to consider for a moment what was the argument of the Financial Secretary. In the first place he said this Amendment is wholly unnecessary because it relates to something which cannot be done under the Clause as it stands. The Special Commissioners will have no power and no right to ask for the record of individuals in the books of a company. I am quite sure that this is a great surprise to nearly all the hon. Members who sit behind him. It is quite clear that it is the intention of the Government to get at he wicked, evasive Super-taxpayer. But is the Financial Secretary right? Anyone who reads the Clause can see perfectly well that it is capable of being used by the Special Commissioners to go into an individual's record and the books of a company. It is absurd that this Clause is not capable of being used for the purpose of looking into individual accounts. It becomes curious when the Financial Secretary tells us what the reason for this Clause really is that we are only trying to get out of companies who do not lodge a list of shareholders at Somerset House the same information as we now get from lists open to inspection at Somerset House. That is all we want to do. Then why in this Clause do you take far wider powers than is necessary? If the Special Commissioners want to consult a list of a company lodged at Somerset House, they send their own servants down at their own expense to look at the information. From the moment this Clause is passed, they are going to have power to go to the company and say, "Send your own servant."

Mr. E. BROWN

Under no oath.

Lord E. PERCY

If the Financial Secretary has rightly described the real object of this Clause, why does he take wider powers than he needs? For that reason I hope the Government will accept a manuscript Amendment which I will hand in which will exempt from this Clause the companies which clearly issue their list of shareholders and which are already open for public inspection. I have shown that this Clause goes far beyond what the Financial Secretary says it does, but also that on the face of this Clause, whether it be the intention of the Government or not, it is quite possible for the Special Commissioners to hunt individuals and get information. If it were not so, the Financial Secretary would not have all the support from behind him. For that reason we must demand the safeguards that are given by this Amendment.

Mr. C. WILLIAMS

I am not quite sure that this actual Amendment is as perfect as some of my right hon. Friends in front think. But I will come to that presently. In the first place, I would like to say one or two things about the excellent speech which was delivered by my hon. Friend the Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown). He appeared to think that the Government in all this matter were innocent. I know that my hon. Friend is a very honest man, and he never likes to think nasty things about anyone. But even he, with his extraordinary kindness of character, is apparently beginning to have a gradual suspicion of the Government, and all I can say is that, knowing my hon. Friend the Member for Leith as I do, when once the Government arouses a Westcountryman to get on their tracks I believe they have a very dangerous opponent, and that they will bitterly regret it if they do not accept the Amendment which has been moved.

May I say something about the actual Amendment as, apart from the discussion of the Amendment, the praise of which, I think, has been a little overdone, I think it is a good Amendment, though one of the worst things in it is the provision at the end: Provision shall be made by rules of court for regulating the procedure under subsection (6) of this section. I have never been able to understand how these rules of court are made. The Attorney-General has had one or two tries at explaining it; but I do not think that it was his fault that he cannot explain how these rules of court are made.

The ATTORNEY GENERAL

I have never had to explain the point in this House.

Mr. WILLIAMS

Well, if it was not the Attorney-General, it must have been somebody else. I am almost sure that I have heard him give some account of them.

HON. MEMBERS

Withdraw!

8.0 a.m.

Mr. C. WILLIAMS

Of course, I willingly withdraw if I have accused the Attorney-General of doing something he has never done. I would not like to put any money on his opinion of a particular Amendment. As he has not explained the rules of court, of course, he will now be able to do so, and I am so glad that I have been fortunate enough to give him an opportunity of intervening in the debate on this matter. I wish to know precisely how these rules of court are made, who makes them, how they are applied, and what course they actually have, and also, in the event of their being broken, what powers of procedure there are for enforcing them.

Major NATHAN

There is obviously a complete misapprehension in the hon. Member's mind as to what are and what are not rules of court. The arguments he is addressing to the Committee are not relevant to rules of court but to other matters on which he and I probably see eye to eye.

Mr. C. WILLIAMS

I am sorry that they are not relevant, but I have very great difficulty in finding how they are irrelevant and yet have found their way into this Amendment.

Major NATHAN

I do not desire to stand between the hon. Member and the Attorney-General, but "rules of court" is a perfectly well recognised legal phrase applicable to the procedure of the High Court of Justice, and I understand that the Attorney-General is about to explain the procedure for the making of these rules by a judge of the High Court. My only point is that they are nothing to do with the House of Commons at all.

Mr. C. WILLIAMS

These are just the points the House of Commons ought to deal with. I have heard a great deal of discussion from time to time about these rules of procedure, and every lawyer seems to get more muddled than the last one about them. I have heard people try to explain them in Committee upstairs, but they have never been able to say how they are applied or laid down or how they are broken. As far as the Amendment is concerned, there are bits of it that I think are a considerable improvement on the Clause as it stands. The first part, I think, is good because it sets out in a rather fairer and better notice the procedure regarding the person who is being dealt with. That, it would be to the advantage of the Committee to accept. As far as the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself is concerned, I am quite sure that he would not wish needlessly to injure the taxpayer. The whole objection to this Clause is that, unless you accept this Amendment, you are bound to place more and more burdens on the trading community of this country. The Financial Secretary shakes his head, but that only shows what a very long time it takes to get a simple thing into some heads. In the Clause as it now stands, you may at any time, through your officials, cause a needless and wanton waste of time. Why should these companies, with all the burdens they have already got to put up with, have to go through their files and their lists? [Interruption.]

I am glad to see that the Attorney-General has gone to collect some information. It is perfectly clear that the only reason for placing these additional burdens on companies is that, as a good Socialist, the Chancellor of the Exchequer wishes to make private enterprise as difficult as possible and to save the very capable and efficient officials the trouble of going to Somerset House to look through lists for themselves. When you weigh up the reasons in favour of the Amendment and those against it, the greatest asset is the second part of Sub-section (6), because there you are definitely doing something which will make it difficult to lay increased burdens on the taxpayers. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to get up now and tell us that he can accept the Amendment with some slight alterations between now and another stage, it would help to shorten the proceedings this morning, but unless he can see his way to accept this Amendment or make some promise to us——

Major COLFOX

He is going to move the Closure.

Mr. WILLIAMS

I wish my hon. and gallant Friend behind me would not interrupt. I am trying to get something into the head of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and it is a very difficult operation, as anyone knows. I am simply asking him, with the spirit of kindness that I have tried to show towards him during the whole of these proceedings, whether he could not accept this Amendment. I know it may cause him some trouble, and he may have to reorganise it in some way between now and the Report stage, but at the same time it would meet the great feeling throughout the whole country that this particular Clause is a bad one and that, unless you can put something on the lines of this Amendment into the Bill, you are creating an injustice and in addition placing a burden on certain trades, industries and companies at a time when our industries cannot stand further burdens and when we want foreign companies to come in and help us in this country. The right hon. Gentleman has omitted in the Clause to look after his own friends so far as the employés of these companies are concerned. He has omitted entirely to look after the foreign employés of these companies. That is an omission of which I would not have suspected him, because he has always looked after the foreigner. This time, however, he has failed to do so. Although I cannot agree with all the great eulogies of this Amendment, I feel there is a great deal of good in it, and, though not absolutely perfect, I beg the Chancellor once again to try to accept the Amendment.

Mr. SNOWDEN rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 182; Noes, 71.

Division No. 367.] AYES. [8.16 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Paling, Wilfrid
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Herriotts, J. Palmer, E. T.
Alpass, J. H. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Ammon, Charles George Hopkin, Daniel Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Arnott, John Horrabin, J. F. Phillips, Dr. Marion
Aske, Sir Robert Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Picton-Tubervill, Edith
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Isaacs, George Potts, John S.
Barnes, Alfred John Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Price, M. P.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) John, William (Rhondda, West) Quibell, D. J. K.
Bellamy, Albert Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Benson, G. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Raynes, W. R.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Ritson, J.
Bowen, J. W. Kelly, W. T. Romeril, H. G.
Broad, Francis Alfred Kennedy, Thomas Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Brockway, A. Fenner Kinley, J. Rowson, Guy
Brothers, M. Kirkwood, D. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield Lathan, G. Sanders, W. S.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Law, Albert (Bolton) Sawyer, G. F.
Buchanan, G. Law, A. (Rosendale) Scurr, John
Burgees, F. G. Lawrence, Susan Shield, George William
Caine, Derwent Hall- Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Shillaker, J. F.
Charleton, H. C. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Simmons, C. J.
Church, Major A. G. Lees, J. Sitch, Charles H.
Clarke, J. S. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Cluse, W. S. Lindley, Fred W. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour- Lloyd, C. Ellis Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Compton, Joseph Logan, David Gilbert Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Cove, William G. Longbottom, A. W. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Daggar, George Longden, F. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Dallas, George Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Dalton, Hugh Lunn, William Sorensen, R.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Stamford, Thomas W.
Dukes, C. MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Stephen, Campbell
Ede, James Chuter McElwee, A. Strauss, G. R.
Edmunds, J. E. McEntee, V. L. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) McShane, John James Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Mansfield, W. Tinker, John Joseph
Egan, W. H. Marley, J. Tout, W. J.
Freeman, Peter Marshall, Fred Townend, A. E.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Mathers, George Vaughan, D. J.
Gibbins, Joseph Messer, Fred Wallace, H. W.
Gibson H. M. (Lancs. Mossley) Middleton, G. Watkins, F. C.
Gill, T. H. Mills, J. E. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Glassey, A. E. Milner, Major J. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gossling, A. G. Montague, Frederick Wellock, Wilfred
Gould, F. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Morley, Ralph Westwood, Joseph
Granville, E. Morris, Rhys Hopkins Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Gray, Milner Mort, D. L. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Moses, J. J. H. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Groves, Thomas E. Muff, G. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Grundy, Thomas W. Murnin, Hugh Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Nathan, Major H. L. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Noel Baker, P. J. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Oldfield, J. R. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Haycock, A. W. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Hayday, Arthur Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Mr. T. Henderson and Mr. Hayes.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Palin, John Henry
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Davies, Dr. Vernon Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)
Albery, Irving James Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Iveagh, Countess of
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Duckworth, G. A. V. King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.
Beaumont, M. W. Edmondson, Major A. J. Lamb, Sir J. Q.
Bird, Ernest Roy Elliot, Major Walter E. Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Fielden, E. B. Llewellin, Major J. J.
Brass, Captain Sir William Fison, F. G. Clavering Long, Major Eric
Briscoe, Richard George Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Lymington, Viscount
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Marjoribanks, E. C.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Greene, W. P. Crawford Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Gunston, Captain D. W. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Colfox, Major William Philip Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Muirhead, A. J.
Colville, Major D. J. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Hartington, Marquess of O'Connor, T. J.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Peake, Capt. Osbert
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Penny, Sir George
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Smithers, Waldron Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Power, Sir John Cecil Southby, Commander A. R. J. Wells, Sydney R.
Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesail) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey) Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Smith-Carington, Neville W. Warrender, Sir Victor Major the Marquess of Titchfield.

Question put accordingly, "That those words be there added."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 80; Noes, 175.

Division No. 368.] AYES. [8.25 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Albery, Irving James Granville, E. Peake, Captain Osbert
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Gray, Milner Penny, Sir George
Beaumont, M. W. Greene, W. P. Crawford Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Bird, Ernest Roy Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Power, Sir John Cecil
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Gunston, Captain D. W. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Brass, Captain Sir William Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Briscoe, Richard George Hartington, Marquess of Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Smithers, Waldron
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Iveagh, Countess of Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colfox, Major William Philip King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Colville, Major D. J. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Llewellin, Major J. J. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Long, Major Eric Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lymington, viscount Warrender, Sir Victor
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Marjoribanks, E. C. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Duckworth, G. A. V. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Wells, Sydney R.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Fielden, E. B. Muirhead, A. J.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Nathan, Major H. L. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Mr. Glassey and Mr. F. Owen.
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) O'Connor, T. J.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lathan, G.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Egan, W. H. Law, Albert (Bolton)
Alpass, J. H. Freeman, Peter Law, A. (Rosendale)
Ammon, Charles George Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Lawrence, Susan
Arnott, John Gibbins, Joseph Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Aske, Sir Robert Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Gill, T. H. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Barnes, Alfred John Gossling, A. G. Lees, J.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Gould, F. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Bellamy, Albert Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lindley, Fred W.
Benson, G. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lloyd, C. Ellis
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Groves, Thomas E. Logan, David Gilbert
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Grundy, Thomas W. Longbottom, A. W.
Bowen, J. W. Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Longden, F.
Broad, Francis Alfred Hall, G. H. Merthyr Tydvil) Lovat-Fraser, J. A.
Brockway, A. Fenner Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lunn, William
Brothers, M. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Macdonald, Gerdon (Ince)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Haycock, A. W. MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Buchanan, G. Hayday, Arthur McElwee, A.
Burgess, F. G. Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) McEntee, V. L.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) McShane, John James
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Herriotts, J. Mansfield, W.
Charleton, H. C. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Marley, J.
Church, Major A. G. Hopkin, Daniel Marshall, Fred
Clarke, J. S. Horrabin, J. F. Mathers, George
Cluse, W. S. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Messer, Fred
Cocks, Frederick Seymour. Isaacs, George Middleton, G.
Compton, Joseph Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Mills, J. E.
Cove, William G. John, William (Rhondda, West) Milner, Major J.
Daggar, George Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Montague, Frederick
Dallas, George Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Dalton, Hugh Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Morley, Ralph
Denman, Hon. R. D. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Dukes, C. Kelly, W. T. Mort, D. L.
Ede, James Chuter Kennedy, Thomas Moses, J. J. H.
Edmunds, J. E. Kinley, J. Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Kirkwood, D. Muff, G.
Murnin, Hugh Sawyer, G. F. Tout, W. J.
Noel Baker, P. J. Scurr, John Townend, A. E.
Oldfield, J. R. Shield, George William Vaughan, D. J.
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Shiels, Dr. Drummond Wallace, H. W.
Palin, John Henry. Shillaker, J. F. Watkins, F. C.
Paling, Wilfrid Simmons, C. J. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Palmer, E. T. Sitch, Charles H. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Wellock, Wilfred
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Phillips, Dr. Marion Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Westwood, Joseph
Picton-Turbervill, Edith Smith, Rennie (Penlstone) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Potts, John S. Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Price, M. P. Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Quibell, D. J. K. Snowden, Ht. Hon. Philip Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Raynes, W. R. Sorensen, R. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Stamford, Thomas W. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Ritson, J. Stephen, Campbell Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Romeril, H. G. Strauss, G. R. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Rowson, Guy Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Tinker, John Joseph Mr. T. Henderson and Mr. Hayes.
Sanders, W. S.
Mr. CHURCHILL

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

I do so in order to invite the Chancellor of the Exchequer to state what the intentions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer are. On this occasion I shall not make any further offer. The right hon. Gentleman has subjected us to the fullest rigour a majority can apply to a minority in Opposition. He has treated the arguments and representations made to him with supreme, and even insolent, contempt. [Interruption.] His only intervention in debate in the last five hours has been that on three occasions he has moved the Closure. Not for the world would I comment upon that because it is, as it were, Mr. Chairman, sanctified by your acceptance and hallowed by the endorsement of the Committee. That has been the sole guidance on important financial issues which we have received from the high officer of State entrusted with the conduct of the Treasury. [Interruption.] We have been treated with severity. The right hon. Gentleman may continue to ride roughshod over the Committee; we cannot prevent him doing so, but he has little enough to show for all the ill-usage. We offered him this very Clause, which now we are to debate in its final form, 11 hours ago in one hour from that time. [Interruption.] He brushed that aside.

Anyone who has listened to the points adduced know they are points of real substance. In fact, I have rarely heard an all-night sitting in which so many intricate points were put forward in serious debate. It detracts from the debate that practically no answer is given from the Government benches. Hour after hour Ministers sit glum, glowering, and scowling on the bench as if, forsooth, they were masters of the House of Commons and no one else is to wink or breathe. On this occasion I am not going to make any suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman to give him Clause 18, but he takes it from us by his arbitrary methods. I invite him to declare his intentions, not because I expect to get anything but a prolongation of what we have suffered in the past, but because it is only right and proper that from time to time the Government should be given an opportunity and be asked to state what its views are as to the course of public business. Are we not going to have an answer?

The CHAIRMAN

The Question is——

Mr. CHURCHILL

Are we not to have an answer? [Interruption.] No answer? If this is to be the treatment that the Opposition is to receive, the Opposition that has been going the whole of this night, and which comprises both the non-Socialist political parties, together aggregating about 13,000,000 votes in this country, I shall give the right hon. Gentleman warning that we shall use all our powers to procure respectful treatment from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. After all, he is the servant of the House. What right has he to refuse to give the Committee proper guidance in the matter? [Interruption.] We know well how they would trample on minorities if they had control. The tyranny of the Socialists—[Interrup- tion.]The right hon. Gentleman is a fitting representative of the intolerant spirit—[HON. MEMBERS: "Divide!"] There will be plenty of time to divide. We shall no doubt divide a great deal before we finish! For the right hon. Gentleman to insult the House of Commons by refusing to tell us what his intentions are is an unprecedented act with absolutely no warrant for it, and I will use the whole of the reserves at our command—[Interruption.]

Sir K. WOOD

I desire to add my protest—[Interruption]—to the Chancellor of the Exchequer——

Mr. CHURCHILL

Sir, I rise to a point of Order, to direct your attention to the repeated disorderly interruptions which have already been censured and stigmatised in the course of this debate.

The CHAIRMAN

I do not notice anything out of the way.

Sir K. WOOD

You will remember—[Interruption.]

Mr. CHURCHILL

The proceedings are grossly unparliamentary !

The CHAIRMAN

Order! I really did not notice anything the last time, but I must say that this is out of order. This swishing noise all over the place must cease.

Mr. MUFF

Is the word "swishing" a Parliamentary expression?

Sir K. WOOD

I hope you will not find it necessary to intervene on my behalf. I am accustomed to this noise from a village green—[Interruption.]—and, therefore, I am prepared to excuse the hon. Gentlemen opposite. I was endeavouring to point out, in support of this Motion, how the Chancellor of the Exchequer got up in this Committee a few hours ago and stated that he was going to get Clause 27. I suppose the reason he has not risen in his seat now is that he is not prepared to make that assertion again. It is very evident that we have now reached that stage in our proceedings where at any rate the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to make a full statement to the Committee. I should have thought the simplest, commonest courtesy that the Chancellor could pay to the Committee would be to indicate his intentions and the intentions of the Government. [An HON. MEMBER: "He gave way to you out of courtesy"] I am looking at the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I am sure he has not given way to me. He has shown no courtesy to any Member of the Opposition. I suppose the best reason that can be given in support of the Motion is that the whole of the proceedings have been distinguished by two things—the numerous corrections that the Opposition have had to make in the Bill, and, secondly, the studied discourtesy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I most strongly protest. I am glad now that the public representatives are here that they will be able once again to indicate to the public the methods of the present Government and in particular of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Major HARVEY

I should not like it to go out to the people of this country that it is only the Members of the Front Bench on this side who support this Motion. I can assure the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on behalf of all my hon. Friends, that they endorse every single word said by my hon. Friends. They deeply resent the discourtesy which has been shown by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to every single Member of this Committee. I am speaking for the Members below the Gangway, and others will speak for the Members of their party. I think that absolute neglect has been shown by the Chancellor of the Exchequer who did not explain any of the intricate points that have been put to him, except by rising three or four times to move the Closure. His conduct is comparable to things which it would be un-parliamentary to mention in this House. For these reasons, I certainly hope that every effort will be made to prevent any further progress than is reasonable.

Mr. E. BROWN

I have been asked to express my opinion on this Motion. I will do so in a story that I commend to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill). There was once a very vigorous sergeant-major with some recruits on parade. He looked at them very fiercely, and he said, "Now, if you answer me back, I will run you in. If you do not answer me, I will run you in for contempt."

Captain CAZALET

I feel I must say one word. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is withholding information from us because he believes that his attitude will tend to make progress in the debate on the Bill, I think he makes a very great mistake. It is quite certain that no one on these benches has any desire to go home or to speak at the present moment. We are only anxious to devote ourselves to our duties, to continue to criticise and to offer constructive suggestions to the Bill which is under discussion at the present moment. The debate which has taken place, and through which I have sat the whole night and morning, has shown that the situation which has arisen is entirely due to the action of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. [Interruption.] There has never been one single Amendment moved on this last Clause which has not met with some kind of sympathy from Members on both sides of the House, which means that this Bill was extremely badly drafted, and it is necessary that

it should be amended in almost every Clause, and the Amendments that we have put down are all in the direction of helping to make it a better Bill than it was when introduced. If we had had some slight response to the suggestions that we made, we should have gone far beyond Clause 18 at the present moment. I am certain that if the Chancellor will only change his methods, and if the Attorney-General will answer a few of the questions put to him, we are much more likely to make progress than we are under the present methods.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 180; Noes, 73.

Division No. 369.] AYES. [8.56 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Marley, J.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Marshall, Fred
Alpass, J. H. Groves, Thomas E. Mathers, George
Ammon, Charles George Grundy, Thomas W. Messer, Fred
Arnott, John Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Middleton, G.
Aske, Sir Robert Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mills, J. E.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Milner, Major J.
Barnes, Alfred John Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Montague, Frederick
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Haycock, A. W. Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Bellamy, Albert Henderson, Arthur, Junr, (Cardiff, S.) Morley, Ralph
Benson, G. Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mort, D. L.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Herriotts, J. Moses, J. J. H.
Bowen, J. W. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Broad, Francis Alfred Hopkin, Daniel Muff, G.
Brockway, A. Fenner Horrabin, J. F. Murnin, Hugh
Brothers, M. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Nathan, Major H. L.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Isaacs, George Noel Baker, P. J.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) John, William (Rhondda, West) Oldfield, J. R.
Buchanan, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Burgess, F. G. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Caine, Derwent Hall- Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Palin, John Henry
Charleton, H. C. Kelly, W. T. Paling, Wilfrid
Clarke, J. S. Kennedy, Thomas Palmer, E. T.
Cluse, W. S. Kinley, J. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Kirkwood, D. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Compton, Joseph Lathan, G. Phillips, Dr. Marion
Cove, William G. Law, Albert (Bolton) Potts, John S.
Daggar, George Law, A. (Rosendale) Price, M. P.
Dallas, George Lawrence, Susan Quibell, D. F. K.
Dalton, Hugh Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Dukes, C. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Raynes, W. R.
Ede, James Chuter Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Edmunds, J. E. Lees, J. Ritson, J.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Romeril, H. G.
Egan, W. H. Lindley, Fred W. Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Foot, Isaac Lloyd, C. Ellis Rowson, Guy
Freeman, Peter Logan, David Gilbert Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Longbottom, A. W. Sanders, W. S.
Gibbins, Joseph Longden, F. Sawyer, G. F.
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Scurr, John
Gill, T. H. Lunn, William Shield, George William
Glassey, A. E. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Gossling, A. G. MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Shillaker, J. F.
Gould, F. McElwee, A. Simmons, C. J.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) McEntee, V. L. Sinkinson, George
Granville, E. McShane, John James Sitch, Charles H.
Gray, Milner Mansfield, W. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Tinker, John Joseph Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Tout, W. J. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Townend, A. E. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Vaughan, D. J. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Wallace, H. W. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Watkins, F. C. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Sorensen, R. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline) Wilson R. J. (Jarrow)
Stamford, Thomas W. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Stephen, Campbell Wellock, Wilfred
Strauss, G. R. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) Westwood, Joseph Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Hayes.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Peake, Captain Osbert
Albery, Irving James Greene, W. P. Crawford Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Power, Sir John Cecil
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Gunston, Captain D. W. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Bird, Ernest Roy Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Hartington, Marquess of Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Brass, Captain Sir William Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Briscoe, Richard George Haslam, Henry C. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Smithers, Waldron
Cayzer, Maj. Sir, Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Iveagh, Countess of Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colfox, Major William Philip King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Colville, Major D. J. Lamb, Sir J. O. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Llewellin, Major J. J. Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Long, Major Eric Warrender, Sir Victor
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Lymington, Viscount Wells, Sydney R.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Marjoribanks, E. C. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Elliot, Major Walter E. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Fielden, E. B. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive TELLERS FOR THE NOES.-
Fison, F. G. Clavering Muirhead, A. J. Sir George Penny and Major The
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Marquess of Titchfield.
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) O'Connor, T. J.

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 75; Noes, 183.

Division No. 370.] AYES. [9.4 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) O'Connor, T. J.
Albery, Irving James Greene, W. P. Crawford Peake, Capt. Osbert
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Penny, Sir George
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Gunston, Captain D. W. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Bird, Ernest Roy Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Power, Sir John Cecil
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Brass, Captain Sir William Hartington, Marquess of Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Briscoe, Richard George Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Haslam, Henry C. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Smithers, Waldron
Colfox, Major William Philip Iveagh, Countess of Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Colville, Major D. J. King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Davies, Dr. Vernon Leighton, Major B. E. P. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Llewellin, Major J. J. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Duckworth, G. A. V. Long, Major Eric Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Edmondson, Major A. J. Lymington, Viscount Warrender, Sir Victor
Elliot, Major Walter E. Marjoribanks, E. C. Wells, Sydney R.
Ferguson, Sir John Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Fielden, E. B. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Fison, F. G. Clavering Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Muirhead, A. J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Captain Wallace.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Aske, Sir Robert Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Benson, G.
Alpass, J. H. Barnes, Alfred John Bentham, Dr. Ethel
Ammon, Charles George Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)
Arnott, John Bellamy, Albert Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret
Bowen, J. W. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Potts, John S.
Broad, Francis Alfred Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Price, M. P.
Brockway, A. Fenner Kelly, W. T. Quibell, D. J. K.
Brothers, M. Kennedy, Thomas Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Kinley, J. Raynes, W. R.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Kirkwood, D. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Buchanan, G. Lathan, G. Ritson, J.
Burgess, F. G. Law, Albert (Bolton) Romeril, H. G.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Law, A. (Rosendale) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Lawrence, Susan Rowson, Guy
Charleton, H. C. Lawther, W. (Barnard Cattle) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Clarke, J. S. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Sanders, W. S.
Cluse, W. S. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Sawyer, G. F.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lees, J. Scurr, John
Compton, Joseph Lewis, T. (Southampton) Shield, George William
Cove, William G. Lindley, Fred W. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Daggar, George Lloyd, C. Ellis Shillaker, J. F.
Dallas, George Logan, David Gilbert Simmons, C. J.
Dalton, Hugh Longbottom, A. W. Sinkinson, George
Dukes, C. Longden, F. Sitch, Charles H.
Ede, James Chuter Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Edmunds, J. E. Lunn, William Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Egan, W. H. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Foot, Isaac MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Freeman, Peter McElwee, A. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) McEntee, V. L. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Gibbins, Joseph McShane, John James Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Mansfield, W. Sorensen, R.
Gill, T. H. Marley, J. Stamford, Thomas W.
Glassey, A. E. Marshall, Fred Stephen, Campbell
Gossling, A. G. Mathers, George Strauss, G. R.
Gould, F. Messer, Fred Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Middleton, G. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Granville, E. Mills, J. E. Tinker, John Joseph
Gray, Milner Milner, Major J. Tout, W. J.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Montague, Frederick Townend, A. E.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Groves, Thomas E. Morley, Ralph Wallace, H. W.
Grundy, Thomas W. Morris, Rhys Hopkins Watkins, F. C.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Mort, D. L. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Hall, G. H. Merthyr Tydvil) Moses, J. J. H. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Wellock, Wilfred
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Muff, G. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Haycock, A. W. Murnin, Hugh Westwood, Joseph
Henderson, Arthur, Junr, (Cardiff, S.) Nathan, Major H. L. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Noel Baker, P. J. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Oldfield, J. R. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Harriotts, J. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Hopkin, Daniel Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Horrabin, J. F. Palin, John Henry Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Paling, Wilfrid Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Isaacs, George Palmer, E. T. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Phillips, Dr. Marion Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Hayes.
Mr. CHURCHILL

I beg to move, "That the Chairman do leave the Chair."

In view of the unprecedented event which has just taken place, namely, an entire debate upon the Question put by you from the Chair with an obvious conspiracy of silence maintained on the Ministerial Benches, I feel bound to move under Rule 68 that you do now leave the Chair and I make this Motion for the express purpose of inviting the Prime Minister, who is we believe, in the House, to come to the aid of the Committee in the difficult situation in which it now finds itself. This long and strenuous debate has been conducted with decorum and without ill temper, but I warn the Government that I am bound to draw the attention of the occupant of the Chair to the fact that very strong feelings are excited by the continuous refusal of the Government to take part in the discussion in any way. Their only part in these discussions is simply to remain there, refusing to debate or even to indicate to the House what its future course of business is to be. Such a proceeding is unprecedented.

Mr. BECKETT

On a point of Order. In moving the Motion which the right hon. Gentleman is now moving, is he entitled to discuss what the Government are doing? I submit that in a speech on this Motion he is entitled only to discuss the merits or demerits of your action.

The CHAIRMAN

The merits or demerits of my action do not come in at all. In moving this Motion the right hon. Gentleman should only state the reasons why he is moving it.

Mr. CHURCHILL

The reasons, as I have stated, are the conspiracy of silence on the Government Benches, the unprecedented fact of a debate with an absolute refusal to answer, the fact that the Committee have no knowledge of how far the Government intend to go, the fact that they contumaciously withheld——

Mr. R. A. TAYLOR

On a point of Order. Is not this Motion moved by the right hon. Gentleman a Motion on which you yourself have a discretion as to whether it may be discussed?

The CHAIRMAN

That is not a point of Order.

Mr. CHURCHILL

I ask that the Prime Minister as Leader of the House should come to our aid at this time, and I ask specifically that he should know that that is the wish of those who sit on this side of the Committee, that the Prime Minister himself should come as Leader of the House and perhaps prevent matters assuming a very different complexion.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

I rise to support this Motion. I do so for the strongest possible reason. The reason is that we wish to have the Prime Minister here because he is the Leader of the House and is primarily responsible for seeing not merely that the Bill is got through but that the legislation passed in this House is good legislation, and anyone who has been present during the long hours which we have been sitting must realise that by now it is perfectly impossible for an intricate Bill like this Finance Bill to—[HON. MEMBERS: "You were wasting time!"] I am in your hands when I am told I have been wasting time.

The CHAIRMAN

The right hon. Gentleman takes that too personally. It is applied to the whole Committee.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

Then hon. Members come under their own condemnation. We need to have the Prime Minister here because this is an extremely intricate Bill, and the country wants it to have proper consideration and to emerge from this Committee in as good a form as it possibly can emerge, and that cannot be secured unless we have some relaxation in order to concentrate our thoughts on all the new subjects to be brought up in the Clauses that are to follow. We have immediately in front of us Clause 19, with an entirely different subject, with provisions dealing with the collection of taxes. Then we come to the valuation Clauses, where there are a whole series of entirely different considerations to be gone into. That has now to be disposed of. It is not a question of getting so many Clauses of this Bill as of seeing that the Bill as it passes from this Committee is in proper shape. The strongest argument that could be put forward is that the very Amendments you yourself have selected for debate have shown the great need for the Amendments suggested from this side of the House. I give Clause 18 as a reason for having the Prime Minister here to consider what further progress should be made. As Clause 18 has emerged, and before we begin its general discussion, hardly half the lines in it are the same as they were.

That is what comes of having a Clause in this imperfect form brought before the Committee. [Interruption.] If hon. Members think that time has been wasted, they can at any rate see that the Government themselves, little as they have responded to our requests, have been compelled by force of argument on the demerits of their own Clause, to alter pretty well half the lines. Hon. Members opposite have been saying, "Why has time been wasted?" They know their own Chancellor of the Exchequer and the way in which he treats them in their own party. They know quite well the way in which he can treat the considerations they lay before him, and they know quite well, too, that when anybody is treated in the way that they have been treated in their turn, it naturally does not lead to things going smoothly. As hon. Members opposite know quite well in their hearts, if we had been reasonably treated at a quite early stage of the proceedings, the whole of the events of this night would have taken a different turn.

Mr. R. A. TAYLOR

May I ask your Ruling, Mr. Chairman, as to whether the right hon. Gentleman is entitled to re view the whole of the happenings throughout the whole of the night?

The CHAIRMAN

The right hon. Gentleman must be allowed to give his reasons for supporting the Motion.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

On a point of Order. This Motion has been moved under Standing Order 68. I venture to suggest this point for your consideration: Proceedings in Committee of the Whole House may at any time be discontinued by an Order to report Progress or by an Order that the Chairman do leave the Chair. I submit that it is not within the meaning of this Standing Order that a second Order that you do leave the Chair can be exercised after the first has been used; that they are alternatives, but that one is not supplementary to the other, and that as the Committee have just decided that we do not report Progress the right hon. Gentleman cannot use this second alternative. The only difference between the two is this, and this, I think, supports the contention that they are alternative; if the first alternative were adopted and carried the result would be that the Committee could sit again. It would simply adjourn the debate. But in the second case, if the Motion now before the Committee were carried, it would mean the end of the Bill under consideration. I do submit to you, therefore, that it is not in accordance either with the spirit or the letter of the Manual of Procedure that after a Motion to report Progress has been defeated the second alternative should immediately be proposed.

Mr. CHURCHILL

On that point of Order. May I submit the historical reasons which have led to these two procedures being incorporated in Standing Order 68?

The CHAIRMAN

It is in the Manual of Procedure; therefore it is not a Standing Order that is referred to.

Mr. CHURCHILL

I made a mistake, but if I may be permitted to proceed with the point of Order. The process is quite clear, and everyone knows quite well why there are these alternatives. These two are presented for the purpose, as the right hon. Gentleman ought to know, for which they are now used. It has always been impossible, when the Committee have decided not to report Progress, to repeat that Motion, and for that very purpose those who have safeguarded the procedure have introduced an alternative, to move that the Chairman do leave the Chair. It is intended that when one of these procedures has been used and the minority of the Committee are still not satisfied that the debate is proceeding under proper conditions, it shall be open to them to put the second Motion. There is really no doubt whatever about that.

Proof of this is inherent in the procedure. It has been inserted in the procedure that the Chairman shall have the discretion to disallow either of these Motions if he considers it an abuse of the Rules of the House. I well remember, from my study of the proceedings of the Irish Nationalist party in the years from 1880 to 1885, before the reformed procedure came in, that it was the custom of the Irish Parliamentary party, when dissatisfied with the treatment they received from the Government, to move to report Progress, and to move in succession that the Chairman do leave the Chair, and to continue that process ad infinitum until they brought the proceedings of the Committee to a standstill. It was to guard against that abuse of the Rules that discretion was given to the Chairman to refuse a Motion if he thinks there is an abuse of procedure. So far from the right hon. Gentleman's point being correct, he is totally misconceived as to the whole purpose and character of this particular procedure, and I invite from you, Mr. Chairman, a ruling which will make perfectly clear the liberties of the House of Commons. You may not always be in the place of power, or we in the place of Opposition.

The CHAIRMAN

The question put to me is whether I can accept a Motion to leave the Chair after a Motion to report Progress has been defeated. It is properly within the competence of any Member to move that I do leave the Chair after the previous Motion has been moved and defeated. It is also within my competence to determine whether I should accept it or not. I need not go further for a precedent than the debate on the Finance Bill which began on the 27th May last, when the Question was put in the same way and accepted. The Question was, "That the Question be now put," and that was put and divided upon. Then the Question was, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again." That was divided upon, and the Motion was then made by the right hon. Gentleman himself "That the Chairman do leave the Chair," and after discussion it was, by leave, withdrawn.

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Ammon)

Was not the precedent you quoted, Sir, on an entirely different question, and concerned with the conduct of the Chair in allowing Closure Motions?

The CHAIRMAN

No.

Mr. CHURCHILL

The conduct of the Chair can only be discussed after full notice given.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

I will proceed with the remarks that I was making. The reason we moved this particular Motion and asked for the Leader of the House——

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Morgan Jones)

On a point of Order. I desire to draw your attention to Standing Order No. 22, which, I submit, precludes the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) from moving this Motion by reason of the fact that he himself was the one who previously had moved, "That the Chairman do report Progress."

The CHAIRMAN

This does not preclude the Motion. The first Motion was to report Progress, and the other was that I should leave the Chair. It is not the same Motion.

Mr. MORGAN JONES

The point is not that it is the same Motion, but that it is the same debate.

Mr. E. BROWN

Surely the point is that there are two different forms of a dilatory Motion.

The CHAIRMAN

I accepted the second Motion.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

I will proceed with my remarks. I was——

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

On a point of Order. I venture to submit to you, with great respect, that Standing Order No. 22, on page 282 of the "Manual of Procedure," states: When a Motion is made for the adjournment of a debate, or of the house during any debate, or that the chairman of a committee do report progress, or do leave the chair, the debate thereupon shall be confined to the matter of such motion; and no member, having moved or seconded any such motion"— that is, either to report Progress or that you do leave the Chair— shall be entitled to move, or second, any similar motion during the same debate.

The CHAIRMAN

I do not dispute that there was a Motion to report Progress before, but this is a different question, and may I point out that it and the Motion to report Progress have been made as substantive Motions and not during a debate to which the Standing Order in terms applies?

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

It is now apparent to most hon. Members how many minutes have recently been lost through points of Order being raised by the opposite side which have no substance in them, and that now that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has broken his long silence he has wasted his own time and that of the Committee. I think we are entitled to say, under these circumstances, that any complaints made by hon. Members opposite are less pertinent than they would be if they would only take care as to their own methods and their own careful use of time. Now that I am able to continue my point, I will repeat it once more. My right hon. Friend has asked that we should have the presence of the Prime Minister, and I have adduced reasons why it is eminently desirable that he should be here. He peculiarly, of all people, is responsible for the conduct of the House and the nature of its legislation, in so far as it rests upon any one individual. I want to emphasise the last point particularly, that the course of affairs would have been very different if they had been conducted in as conciliatory a manner as their conduct during the past few hours has been controversial, menacing, and unfavourable to progress. If we had been met in the way that we suggest that the Leader of the House might meet us if he were here, we might find it possible to get reasonable Amendments considered and reasonably met, and we might have it pointed out what progress is really intended to be made under these entirely changed conditions. If we were met in that way, I am sure the party opposite, whatever might be the feelings of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would at any rate be satisfied with the greater chance of material progress being made, and that this Bill, when it emerges from the Committee stage, would be infinitely better than it is likely to be if we had the Committee led with the same, to use an old phrase, wantonness and stubbornness as we have witnessed during the last few hours.

Captain CROOKSHANK

The Motion has the cordial support of everyone on the Back Benches. On an occasion like this the Back Benches have got their rights as much as the Front Benches. We have had to put up with a great deal during the course of this long sitting, and there is ample reason why we should ask for guidance from the Prime Minister in this matter. It is perhaps strange to hear that wish expressed by Members on this side of the Committee—that the Committee should clamour for the return of the Prime Minister. We do it because he is Leader of the House. Everybody opposite appears to be in a good mood and to have had a good breakfast. Yet the Government Benches were not so full earlier in the morning as they are now, nor was the Front Bench. Many of the hon. Members opposite were not here to see what it was like when we had present only the three Graces—the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Financial Secretary, and the Attorney-General. We had the deep silence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Financial Secretary accepted Amendment after Amendment.

The CHAIRMAN

There seems to be a disposition to discuss what we have done instead of why I should leave the Chair.

Captain CROOKSHANK

As a good Conservative I have always believed that the roots of the future are to be found in the past. Let us look at where we find ourselves now. What is the Chancellor of the Exchequer going to do to us? If he would only answer the question put at repeated intervals it would not be necessary to make this clamant demand for the presence of the Prime Minister. It is just because he so stubbornly refuses to answer that question that we desire the presence of the Prime Minister who, there is reason to believe, is not far away. We know his official residence is near enough to allow him to come, and for that we have allowed him ample opportunity even after having a long morning in bed. [Interruption.]

The CHAIRMAN

I wish hon. Members would allow the hon. Member to proceed.

Captain CROOKSHANK

They inform us that the Prime Minister is in the precincts. What is he keeping away for? Why doesn't he come?

The CHAIRMAN

I really must ask Members on both sides to confine themselves to the reason why I should leave the Chair.

HON. MEMBERS

Where is Baldwin?

Captain CROOKSHANK

When aspersions are made on the leader of my party, I would say that it is not his job to be here, because he is not the Leader of the House. Circumstances being such as they are, it is for the Prime Minister to be here. The Chairman has, unfortunately, no right of habeas corpus to send for him. We can only plead that one of his party should go out and tell him how much he is required. At this moment, when one sees the Prime Minister appealing for non-party ventures with regard to agriculture——

The CHAIRMAN

I must ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman, for the last time, to address himself to the Motion.

Captain CROOKSHANK

I apologise. It was merely an illustration. May I use "Council of State."

The CHAIRMAN

The question is that I should leave the Chair.

Captain CROOOKSHANK

How can we get an amicable conduct of business when we are treated as we have been treated during this debate? When we make an appeal we are met with a blank wall of indifference. Let us accept this Motion as a protest against the conduct of affairs when the Committee is under the leadership of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided Ayes,: 188; Noes, 78.

Division No. 371.] AYES. [9.50 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Herriotts, J. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Hirst, G. H. (York W. B. Wentworth) Phillips, Dr. Marion
Alpass, J. H. Hollins, A. Potts, John S.
Ammon, Charles George Hopkin, Daniel Price, M. P.
Arnott, John Horrabin, J. F. Quibell, D. J. K.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Isaacs, George Raynes, W. R.
Bellamy, Albert John, William (Rhondda, West) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Ritson, J.
Benson, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Romeril, H. G.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Rowson, Guy
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Bowen, J. W. Kelly, W. T. Sanders, W. S.
Broad, Francis Alfred Kennedy, Thomas Sawyer, G. F.
Brockway, A. Fenner Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Scurr, John
Brothers, M. Kinley, J. Shield, George William
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Kirkwood, D. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Lathan, G. Shillaker, J. F.
Buchanan, G. Law, Albert (Bolton) Simmons, C. J.
Burgess, F. G. Law, A. (Rosendale) Sinkinson, George
Caine, Derwent Hall- Lawrence, Susan Sitch, Charles H.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Church, Major A. G. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Clarke, J. S. Lees, J. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Cluse, W. S. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lindley, Fred W. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Compton, Joseph Lloyd, C. Ellis Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Cove, William G. Logan, David Gilbert Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Daggar, George Longbottom, A. W. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Dallas, George Longden, F. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Dalton, Hugh Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Sorensen, R.
Dukes, C. Lunn, William Stamford, Thomas W.
Ede, James Chuter Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Stephen, Campbell
Edmunds, J. E. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Strauss, G. R.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) McElwee, A. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Egan, W. H. McEntee, V. L. Tinker, John Joseph
Foot, Isaac. McShane, John James Tout, W. J.
Freeman, Peter Mansfield, W. Townend, A. E.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Marley, J. Vaughan, D. J.
Gibbins, Joseph Marshall, Fred Wallace, H. W.
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Mathers, George Watkins, F. C.
Gill, T. H. Messer, Fred Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Glassey, A. E. Middleton, G. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gossling, A. G. Mills, J. E. Wellock, Wilfred
Gould, F. Montague, Frederick Welsh, James (Paisley)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Granville, E. Morley, Ralph West, F. R.
Gray, Milner Morris, Rhys Hopkins Westwood, Joseph
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Mort, D. L. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Moses, J. J. H. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Groves, Thomas E. Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Grundy, Thomas W. Muff, G. Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Murnin, Hugh Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Nathan, Major H. L. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Noel Baker, P. J. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Oldfield, J. R. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Haycock, A. W. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Hayes, John Henry Owen, H. F. (Hereford) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Palin, John Henry Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Paling.
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Palmer, E. T.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Colville, Major D. J.
Albery, Irving James Brass, Captain Sir William Courtauld, Major J. S.
Atholl, Duchess of Briscoe, Richard George Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Davies, Dr. Vernon
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Bullock, Captain Malcolm Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Beaumont, M. W. Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Duckworth, G. A. V.
Bird, Ernest Roy Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Edmondson, Major A. J.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft. Colfox, Major William Philip Elliot, Major Walter E.
Ferguson, Sir John Leighton, Major B. E. P. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Fielden, E. B. Llewellin, Major J. J. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Fison, F. G. Clavering Long, Major Eric Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Margesson, Captain H. D. Smithers, Waldron
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Marjoribanks, E. C. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir D. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Greene, W. P. Crawford Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Clrencester) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Gunston, Captain D. W. Muirhead, A. J. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Hartington, Marquess of Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) O'Connor, T. J. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Haslam, Henry C. Peake, Capt. Osbert Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Wells, Sydney R.
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Power, Sir John Cecil Womersley, W. J.
Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Ramsbotham, H. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Iveagh, Countess of Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Lamb, Sir J. Q. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Sir George Penny and Captain
Wallace.

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do leave the Chair."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 79; Noes, 194.

Division No. 372.] AYES. [9.58 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Power, Sir John Cecil
Albery, Irving James Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ramsbotham, H.
Atholl, Duchess of Greene, W. P. Crawford Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Gunston, Captain D. W. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Beaumont, Mr. W. Hartington, Marquess of Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Bird, Ernest Roy Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Haslam, Henry C. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Brass, Captain Sir William Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Smithers, Waldron
Briscoe, Richard George Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Iveagh, Countess of Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.) Lamb, Sir J. Q. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Colfox, Major William Philip Leighton, Major B. E. P. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Colville, Major D. J. Llewellin, Major J. J. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Courtauld, Major J. S. Long, Major Eric Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. Margesson, Captain H. D. Wells, Sydney R.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Marjoribanks, E. C. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Womersley, W. J.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Edmondson, Major A. J. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Muirhead, A. J.
Ferguson, Sir John Nicholson, O. (Westminster) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Fielden, E. B. O'Connor, T. J. Sir George Penny and Captain
Fison, F. G. Clavering Peake, Capt. Osbert Wallace.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Gossling, A. G.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Church, Major A. G. Gould, F.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Clarke, J. S. Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Cluse, W. S. Granville, E.
Alpass, J. H. Cocks, Frederick Seymour. Gray, Milner
Ammon, Charles George Compton, Joseph Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)
Arnott, John Cove, William G. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Daggar, George Groves, Thomas E.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Dallas, George Grundy, Thomas W.
Bellamy, Albert Dalton, Hugh Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Day, Harry Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Benson, G. Dukes, C. Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Ede, James Chuter Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Edmunds, J. E. Harris, Percy A.
Blindell, James Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Haycock, A. W.
Bowen, J. W. Egan, W. H. Hayes, John Henry
Broad, Francis Alfred Foot, Isaac Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)
Brockway, A. Fenner Freeman, Peter Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)
Brothers, M. Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Herriotts, J.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Gibbins, Joseph Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Buchanan, G. Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Hollins, A.
Burgess, F. G. Gill, T. H. Hopkin, Daniel
Caine, Derwent Hall- Glassey, A. E. Horrabin, J. F.
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Montague, Frederick Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Isaacs, George Morgan, Dr. H. B. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Morley, Ralph Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Morris, Rhys Hopkins Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Mort, D. L. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Moses, J. J. H. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Muff, G. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Kelly, W. T. Murnin, Hugh Sorensen, R.
Kennedy, Thomas Nathan, Major H. L. Stamford, Thomas W.
Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Noel Baker, P. J. Stephen, Campbell
Kinley, J. Oldfield, J. R. Strauss, G. R.
Kirkwood, D. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Taylor R. A. (Lincoln)
Lathan, G. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Law, Albert (Bolton) Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Tinker, John Joseph
Law, A. (Rosendale) Palin, John Henry Tout, W. J.
Lawrence, Susan Palmer, E. T. Townend, A. E.
Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Vaughan, D. J.
Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wallace, H. W.
Lees, J. Phillips, Dr. Marion Watkins, F. C.
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Potts, John S. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Lindley, Fred W. Price, M. P. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Lloyd, C. Ellis Quibell, D. J. K. Wellock, Wilfred
Logan, David Gilbert Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Welsh, James (Paisley)
Longbottom, A. W. Raynes, W. R. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Longden, F. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) West, F. R.
Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Ritson, J. Westwood, Joseph
Lunn, William Romeril, H. G. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Rosbotham, D. S. T. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Rowson, Guy Williams, David (Swansea, East)
MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
McElwee, A. Sanders, W. S. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
McEntee, V. L. Sawyer, G. F. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
McShane, John James Scurr, John Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Mansfield, W. Shield, George William Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Marley, J. Shiels, Dr. Drummond Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Marshall, Fred Shillaker, J. F. Wise, E. F.
Mathers, George Simmons, C. J.
Messer, Fred Sinkinson, George TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Middleton, G. Sitch, Charles H. Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Paling.
Mills, J. E. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Sir K. WOOD

The opportunity should be taken to discuss this particular Clause which, as everyone will agree, has been considerably altered by the Amendments made to it, and in no less than four important particulars. The opportunity has now come, and it is important to review the Clause in the light of the alterations that have been made, of the criticisms which have been directed to the Clause, and in view of the failure of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to deal with them. Most unprejudiced hearers of the discussion will agree that the proposals in the Clause strike a very serious blow at the liberty of a good many subjects of this country. There is no doubt that the Clause proposes, for the first time, to fasten on the Commissioners a special duty which very gravely affects the liberty of the subject. That was very well exemplified when we came to discuss the Amendment moved from the Liberal benches.

I hope that either the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, when they come to reply to this debate, will re-state, if they can, the objections of the Government, if they are valid, to the proposals which were made to safeguard the liberty of the subject. These proposals were to provide that before a blow is aimed at the individual affected by this Clause, he should have due notice served on him of the intentions of the Commissioners so to proceed, that they should show that there was a prima facie case, and that, in any event, the individual affected should have the right of appeal to the Courts. I am perfectly aware—I think the Attorney-General or the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has stated it—that they have no intention so to affect the liberty of the subject. If that is their view and their intention, I cannot see how there can be any objection to some safeguards being incorporated in the Clause to carry out the intention which I believe animates the majority of Members. I do not think, at any rate, that the majority of the Members of this Committee desire this particular weapon to be used unfairly, and there may be many Members who think that some sort of provision of this sort should be included. I think they will agree that there should be some protection given to the citizen affected, and that before the Commissioners concerned put into operation a provision of this kind the person affected should have due notice and full rights to go before the courts of the country and dispute and challenge the attitude of the Commissioners, if he thinks fit.

I see there are now present one or two hon. Members who have not shared the evening and morning with us. I hope they will appreciate, coming as they do with fresh minds and vigour to this discussion, that for the first time in this country special Commissioners can, by delivering a notice, demand from either a corporation or a company a certified copy of certain entries in various registers affecting the financial interests of various classes, but which many hon. Members apprehend may be used against the individual as well. I am appealing to the Government, if they do not adopt the words proposed from the Liberal Benches, to insert some safeguarding terms which will prevent this Clause being used against individuals. That is my first argument. Then I desire to emphasise what was said in debate, that the operation of the Clause itself, so far as the companies and corporations are concerned, is likely to work with a certain amount of hardship, because unlike the position existing at present, when if the special Commissioners desire information as to the holdings of particular individuals they have to seek it themselves either from Somerset House or from some other source, for the first time they can now demand it from the corporation or company concerned who may be called upon to provide certified copies.

The provision that is made in respect of the expense to which the company or corporation may be put, is totally inadequate, as has been shown in the general debate. The Financial Secretary, who dealt with this particular aspect of the matter, certainly did not tell us whether the Government had made any inquiries of the companies or corporations concerned as to whether the financial proposals for the expense to which they are to be put are adequate. He did not tell us whether they had been consulted or had given their views. Many Members who have special experience of companies have cited from their own commercial experience the considerable likelihood that the provision made in this Clause for the payment of the certified copies of various entries is totally inadequate. I do suggest to the Government that between now and the further stages of the Bill they should reconsider that particular aspect of the matter. I think it would be in the interests of those who believe in the principles of the Clause itself, if the Government believe it is a necessary and desirable Clause, that this should be done.

If the machinery is to work easily and smoothly and if the Commissioners are to take the line indicated in a new principle of this kind, they would to a very large extent, I am sure, themselves desire to have the co-operation of the companies and other bodies concerned, and would not desire that constant demands should be made upon these companies and corporations for certified copies of entries at a rate of remuneration which the bodies concerned regard as inadequate and which most people outside may also regard as inadequate. I think it is in the interests of the Clause itself that this matter should be re-examined and attention given to the question whether there should not be some increase in the rate of remuneration.

There is only one other matter to which I want to refer. I am glad to see the President of the Board of Trade is now with us. We hope he brings good humour and light and help to these proceedings, for it is very badly needed on that particular bench. I would direct the attention of the President of the Board of Trade to this point, because no doubt he will be more able to deal with it. We are discussing, curiously enough, the same Clause as that which we were discussing when he left the Chamber—or almost the same Clause. He has no doubt thought about it in the night, and I want to direct his attention to this matter because it comes more within his jurisdiction than that of any other Minister. The point is the penalties which are likely to be imposed under this Clause upon what we may call defaulting companies or corporations. It will be remembered that the Government made the extraordinary suggestion that the person who should bear the penalty for any default under this Clause should be the un- fortunate clerk or secretary. That was a very strange proposal which either was due to great carelessness in the drafting or complete misapprehension as to the legal position and a great deal of ignorance as to who should really suffer in the event of non-compliance on the part of the bodies concerned.

We have now altered that. The President of the Board of Trade may be glad to know that no longer will the penalty be imposed upon the clerk or secretary, at any rate in the first instance. It may be the body or the company or the corporation who, if they default, will have to pay the penalty. We had a long discussion—not too long, because in the end we succeeded in compelling the Government to make some necessary alterations in the Clause—upon what may be called the subject matter of penalties. Unfortunately—no doubt perfectly properly, and I am making no criticism of any kind in this respect—we were unable to discuss by means of the Amendment the first penalty which would be inflicted in the case of a defaulting company or corporation. It is fixed for the first offence, at a sum not exceeding £50. I think that does call for some comment, as we are unable to discuss this matter owing to the Amendment not having been called. It does seem to me, and I know it has occurred to many other hon. Members, that that penalty is rather a heavy one. I dare say the President of the Board of Trade, in his researches into the Companies Acts and other Statutes, is familiar with the usual penalties which are imposed in cases of this kind.

I cannot recollect a similar case where such a heavy penalty is allowed to be imposed in the first instance. I can understand that on a second or third offence heavier penalties might be imposed. If a corporation or company repeatedly flouted the law of the land, which it is their duty to obey, although they might not like the law, and were guilty of contempt of court, then I can understand a heavier penalty being imposed. The strange thing is that, when we come to the continuing penalties, at the instance of the Attorney-General there has been inserted, not a further penalty of £50 for every day, but a like penalty for every day. That seems to me a rather extraordinary situation. I can understand that on the second or third offence a court should be permitted to increase the penalty, but in this provision which the Attorney-General has seen fit to insert in the Bill a court has no option and no discretion. The result is that under this Clause the default of a corporation or a company may lead to the court imposing a penalty of £50 and then a recurring penalty of a like amount. That is not a very useful provision.

What I am urging on the Chancellor of the Exchequer is that he should reconsider this question of penalties, particularly so far as the further penalties are concerned. This is, indeed, a very important Clause. It brings about a considerable alteration in the law of the country. Many of us on the Opposition side have certainly subjected to this Clause what I might call devastating criticism. I desire to pay a special tribute to the hon. and gallant Member for North-east Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) who, at three or four o'clock in the morning, delivered one of the most powerful speeches I have ever heard in this Parliament, and I am sorry to think that it was delivered at such an hour that the Press of this country and hon. Members of this Committee were not able to take full advantage of it. Neither the Chancellor of the Exchequer nor the Financial Secretary has made any adequate reply, and, indeed, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made no reply at all. The conduct of the proceedings, such as they were, has been in the hands of the Attorney-General and the Financial Secretary. The Attorney-General has done his best under great difficulties. I suspected that he had not seen this Clause, except very cursorily, until he entered the Chamber.

Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being present——

Sir K. WOOD

I have only a few more words to say. In my judgment the Government have not justified their reasons for the inclusion of this Clause in this Bill at all. One of the most powerful points was made by the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) who, with his usual sagacity, asked a question that has never been answered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer—why is this Clause in the Bill at all? That is, indeed, a question that might very well be answered. I am puzzled to know why many Clauses are included in the Bill.

Mr. DALLAS

Why this Bill at all?

Sir K. WOOD

I can understand the hon. Member thinking that. Large numbers of people in this country are asking, "Why this Bill at all?" I suppose, however, that I must not enter into that matter at this stage, tempted though I am by hon. Members on the other side. The Bill has not been justified. It is a Bill that imposes on the liberty of the subject, and this particular provision of the Bill, even if one were able to justify its inclusion, could not now be justified, having regard to the proposals before the House. I hope the Opposition will divide against it.

Mr. HASLAM

This is an important and far-reaching Clause. It threatens the individual taxpayer as he has never been threatened before. I am pleased that this discussion is being conducted in the presence of the public Press and at a time when the country as a whole can be made aware of the objections we take to it.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

May I say that, while I do not desire to prevent hon. Members stating their objections to this Clause, we have had a very prolonged discussion on every phase of it and I must rule that we cannot have a mere repetition of arguments which have been used. I am more than anxious to protect the rights of minorities but I must also safeguard the rights of the majority. I want to be quite fair, and I must rule that needless repetition must not take place.

Sir SAMUEL ROBERTS

May I respectfully point out that your ruling is very drastic, and one which I have never heard before. On any new question—and this is entirely a new question—I have always understood that when I have been in the Chair in Committee I have always ruled, that an argument was not repetition because it had been used on a previous Amendment, and that it was not repetition to use an argument on the Question, "That the Clause stand part" which has been used on a previous Amendment. Your ruling is so serious, that I do not think it should pass without comment or protest.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

It is quite in order for hon. Members to give their reasons why the Clause should not stand part, but every latitude has been given for going into a detailed discussion on various Amendments and the Standing Orders hold good, that it is out of order for arguments to be repeated unnecessarily. I am simply warning hon. Members that as long as they keep to reasons why the Clause should not stand part they are in order, but I cannot allow needless repetition.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Are we to understand your ruling to mean that because Amendments have been discussed it is out of order for hon. Members to discuss them on the Clause standing part?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I did not rule that. I ruled that needless repetition is not in order.

Mr. HASLAM

I trust that your Ruling against needless repetition did not apply to any remarks I had made. All I was doing was to comment on the fact that this discussion was taking place in the presence of the Press. Earlier in the debate the hon. and learned Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett) decribed this Clause as revolutionary. That is a strong word, and a significant word when used by an eminent lawyer. Gentleman of the legal profession do not use such words lightly. Why did the hon. and learned Member use that word? He did so because the Clause introduces a procedure on the part of the Inland Revenue authorities which has never been used before. The Attorney-General justified the Clause on the ground that it was necessary to fill up certain gaps. He did not say that it was a new procedure. Let me read the words which the Attorney-General used in order to justify the Clause: Broadly speaking, the returns of public companies registered at Somerset House can be inspected and the inland Revenue authorities exercise their powers under Section 22 of the Finance Act, 1922, by getting the taxpayer to return a full and detailed list of securities while, at the same time, having a staff whose duty is to investigate from time to time at Somerset House and very often finding a discrepancy between the returns at Somerset House and the returns shown by the taxpayer on his list. At the present moment there is this inadequacy which we want to remedy. The difficulty is, first, that the registers at Somerset House do not extend to debentures, and there is no means of finding out from Somerset House the details in regard to debentures or debenture stocks. Secondly—and perhaps more seriously—with regard to statutory companies, these are not required to keep registers at Somerset House at all. Consequently with regard to them there is a very big gap, and the Inland Revenue authorities therefore desire, in regard to debentures in all companies and with regard to holdings in statutory companies, to be armed with exactly the same powers as they possess to-day in regard to the ordinary taxpayers whose holdings are registered at Somerset House."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th June, 1930; col. 179, Vol. 240.] The Attorney-General says they want exactly the same powers as they possess to-day. Many eminent lawyers in this House have said that the powers given in this Clause extend considerably beyond the existing powers and that they may be used for the pursuit of the individual. That is a state of things against which we are fully justified in protesting to the utmost of our ability. What does the Clause do to fill up the gaps referred to by the Attorney-General? Sub-section (5) of this Clause says: In this section the expression 'security' includes shares, stock, debentures and debenture stock and the expression 'entry' means, in relation to any register, so much thereof as relates to the securities held by any one person. It says shares and stocks, in addition to debentures. It applies to public companies. If it is only intended to fill a gap, why does the Chancellor of the Exchequer go beyond what is necessary to fill the gap and require all these additional returns to be made? Why is power taken beyond what is necessary for the purposes of the Clause? In the Sub-section the expression "security" is to include securities held by any one person, and it has been stated that one entry might cover the entries of one individual shareholder in all the various classes of stock and that the fee of 5s. will only be payable in respect of one entry. That entry might relate to four or five different kinds of stock. It would probably relate to considerably more, as in many railway companies there are 10 or 12 different stocks and shares, and therefore the fee of 5s. might be held to include quite a considerable number. It means that these companies will have to go to considerable expense and trouble to provide these "specified class of entries." Let the Government take the full entry and be content with that. It is a concession which would give them immensely greater powers than they already possess and it would lift the fear of the pursuit of the individual taxpayer, behind his back and without his knowledge; which is a most un-English way of procedure.

Major G. DAVIES

Now that we have reached the stage of a general discussion of this Clause, when our minds are filled with many of the details of the Amendments which have been debated during the last hour or two, I should like to touch upon one or two general considerations which this Clause brings very vividly to the minds of those who have studied it carefully. It is one of a class of Clause in the Bill upon which many of us look with a good deal of sympathy for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who appears to have been used as a kind of dumping ground by his colleagues in the Treasury in order to get on to the Statute Book some old friends which they have often tried to trot out in previous years but for which they have failed hitherto to find a purchaser.

I should be out of Order if I went into the details of any of the other Measures but those who have followed these debates probably remember similar occasions previously on which either the Treasury or Somerset House has found a Chancellor of the Exchequer willing to incorporate in his Finance Bill certain provisions designed solely to assist the Department concerned in what should be its own proper job. There was, for instance, the question of rebate on improperly deducted Income Tax—though that was not part of a Finance Bill—and here is another proposal brought forward as a convenience to the Revenue authorities, without any regard to the inconvenience or injustice which is being perpetrated on the community as a whole. Many different Amendments have been adopted and many different points of view put forward, but, stripped of verbiage, and coming down to the real sense of the Clause, what is its intention, as far as we have been able to ascertain it? It has not, I may say, been easy to get from the successive occupants of the Front Bench during this Debate answers as to what is intended by the Clause. But it would appear that the Inland Revenue have occasion sometimes to suspect that whether by malice prepense or by neglect, there is a certain amount of evasion of taxable income and they want to get hold of it. That is a laudable desire on their part and one about which there is no difference of opinion but how are they setting about it? They are taking power, without notifying the individual concerned that he is under suspicion, to go to different incorporated companies and to demand—with the possibility of very savage penalties behind them—that certain information shall be given to them.

The onus of ascertaining that information is placed upon the company concerned, and if there is any error, then ft is within the province of the courts or the Revenue authorities to decide if and to what extent, that error is pardonable. The amount of the penalty will depend on their opinion in that matter. As a result, the enormous task is placed upon the companies concerned of digging out and collating information which it is the duty of the Revenue authorities themselves to ascertain, and not to pass on to industrial organisations in the country. Those of us who have had a more or less close connection with the complications of the present-day developments of incorporated companies, realise what a difficult matter it can be to find out exactly the amount of capital held by one individual, whether in his individual capacity or as a co-trustee or as a part-holder of a joint interest. It is a very difficult matter to discover all this kind of information, accurately, in view of all the aggregations of capital, and the various aspects of capital in different undertakings, but that work, by this Clause, is being placed upon the company concerned.

The individual shareholder all this time has no idea that he is under suspicion. He is not notified by the authorities that they think he has made a mistake, and, at the same time, there is no limit to the number of times they can go to one company with regard to a certain individual, or to a number of companies with regard to a number of individuals. I protest strongly against putting such a Clause on the Statute Book purely in the interests of the convenience of certain outside servants of the public. It creates a manifest injustice and imposes a burden which will be resented by the taxpayers of this country, not by those who are trying to avoid paying their just share of the cost of running the country, but by those who have been regularly, as far as they know, making proper returns, and who suddenly find that the Inland Revenue—I was going to say Scotland Yard—have them under suspicion, and that a sort of Bertillon system of thumb marks is being applied to find out whether they are liable to a penalty of £50 a day or not. That is to be done without giving them the opportunity of saving the authorities all this trouble, which could be done if the authorities went to bona fide citizens and said, "Are you satisfied that your return is complete, because we have a suspicion that it is not?" In this Clause as in many other similar provisions we are simply doing the work for somebody else and putting the onus on entirely innocent people in the interests of the Inland Revenue.

Before we part from this Clause may I point out that there seems to be an inadequate appreciation on the part of those responsible for the Finance Bill of the amount of work, not only theoretical but actual, which they are seeking to place on the company and the inadequate remuneration which is being provided for it. On the face of it, the amount provided for in the Measure would not seem to be out of the way, but we must realise the amount of work involved in finding out the actual holdings of one individual person. There are innumerable complexities because, as I have pointed out, in many cases there are joint holdings and trustee holdings and so forth, and an enormous amount of what may be called original research will be involved in providing this information. Furthermore, unless the information is accurate and full, the whole point of the Inland Revenue's efforts is gone. Their idea is to check the accuracy of the returns, and to do so they must rely on the accuracy of this information. That, of course, is the reason for these heavy and staggering fines. It is essential, if the Clause is to be of any use at all, that this information should be perfectly reliable. The possibility of error, however, is considerable and the amount of work involved in securing even an approximate measure of accuracy is great. In view of these circumstances the remuneration suggested is absurd. I take this last opportunity of entering an emphatic protest against placing on the Statute Book a Clause which violates all the rights of the individual and exceeds the just claims of the State.

Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND

There are some general considerations which I wish to advance before saying au revoir to this Clause, hoping to see it in a changed condition on the Report stage, and I will endeavour to obey the Ruling of the Chair and not to indulge in vain repetitions such as the heathen use. [Interruption.] Throughout this discussion, I may point out to hon. Members opposite, we have strenuously avoided doing anything except bringing forward points of substance. We regard this Clause as mistaken in intention. A handful of people are guilty of evading their proper obligations to the Revenue, and it is right and proper that steps which are worth while from the point of view of the tax-paying community should be devised in order to bring those obligations home to them. As far as such a provision could be devised, it would have the support of everyone in this Committee. Yet I think it will be agreed that the moment you begin to devise elaborate machinery for dealing with a comparatively small percentage of cases, the desire of the administration to have a beautiful, big, perfect machine, runs away with the Government, and produces a Measure which may have the effect of catching the tax evader—though that is not admitted in the case of this Clause—but which imposes hardship on those who are not trying to evade taxation and on the business community by whose co-operation taxes have to be collected. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) with great skill introduced a Latin quotation earlier in this debate, and I wish to give one which seems to me to typify this Clause:

Saepe Diespiter neglectus incesto addidit integrum.

That quotation, I quite understand, will be readily appreciated by hon. Members, but I venture to give as a rendering of it; that the Inland Revenue, being cheated by one or two people, puts a burden on a lot of innocent people as well. That may be taken as an almost exact translation provided that we regard the Inland Revenue as an all-embracing Providence which makes us do things whether we like to do them or not. The Clause has already been altered a great deal. Out of 26 lines, 10 or 11 have been altered, and in many respects it has been made better, but, even as it stands it is an improper Clause. In the first place, it does not really affect the person who means to get round the Revenue. He can still do so, and not only is that the case, but in endeavouring to get at him, by means of this elaborate machinery, the Clause goes far beyond the object for which we were told it was introduced. It would have been simple to have accomplished what was said to be the object of the Clause by the extension to debentures and statutory companies of those powers at present possessed with regard to other bodies. Instead of doing so, the Clause introduces something which is quite inquisitorial and, at the same time, it is framed in language which is liable to lead to litigation.

There are points in regard to which, admittedly, the Clause needs to be amended and some of those points have not even been discussed. There was an Amendment which was not moved, because when we reached it the hon. Member in whose name it stood was not here. The Amendment was, in page 16, line 16, at the end, to add the words: Provided always such notice shall not be served in any case where the information sought can be obtained by any member of the public. That was a good and reasonable Amendment, which might be considered on the Report stage. The next point about which the President of the Board of Trade would agree if he were here—as he is now about and in the waking world—is in regard to the question of the banks where they have issued certificates. That point has not been properly considered, and it is not clear whether they will be brought within the ambit of this Clause. They should be excluded from it. Then we have had no answer from the Chancellor or the Financial Secretary as to how far the proposed payment is a reasonable one. It has been made abundantly clear in the criticisms directed to that part of the Clause that the intricacy of the work and the amount of labour which may be involved in producing a great deal of the information will not be adequately paid for, and that five shillings is a ludicrous sum as a decent quid pro quo for some of the information which may be required.

Another point which has not been discussed is the way in which the Clause has the tendency of some Clauses which emanate from the opposite side, of making things extraordinarily easy for administration by a public department, and making them extraordinarily difficult for the ordinary company. A notice under this Clause may be sent by post, when it is obvious that it ought to be sent by registered post. I ask the Committee to mark that, whereas the dropping of a notice into the ordinary post is considered to be enough by a department, which thereby may impose an onerous duty on a public company, yet if the company in return does not actually deliver with all formality the information required in return, it is to be subjected to a succession of possible pains and penalties. That is the nature of the

Clause which we have been discussing through these long hours. It is one of those mistaken kinds of legislation which are only too apt to creep in. It would not have taken so long had it not been such a faulty and bad Clause from the beginning, and points that have been brought before the Chancellor have been points of substance which the Chair naturally felt could not be passed over in the selection of proper Amendments to be discussed. The Clause has been half amended, but nothing probably could cure its intrinsic faults. We trust, however, that when it comes back on Report, some of the glaring mistakes may be rectified.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 222; Noes, 80.

Division No. 373.] AYES. [11.6 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Dickson, T. Johnston, Thomas
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Dukes, C. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Ede, James Chuter Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Edmunds, J. E. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty Kelly, W. T.
Alpass, J. H. Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Kennedy, Thomas
Ammon, Charles George Elmley, Viscount Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.
Arnott, John Foot, Isaac Kinley, J.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Forgan, Dr. Robert Kirkwood, D.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Freeman, Peter Knight, Holford
Barnes, Alfred John Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Lang, Gordon
Batey, Joseph Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Gibbins, Joseph Lathan, G.
Bellamy, Albert Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Law, Albert (Bolton)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Gill, T. H. Law, A. (Rosendale)
Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.) Glassey, A. E. Lawrence, Susan
Benson, G. Gossling, A. G. Lawson, John James
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Gould, F. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Blindell, James Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Gray, Milner Lees, J.
Bowen, J. W. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Broad, Francis Alfred Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lindley, Fred W.
Brockway, A. Fenner Groves, Thomas E. Lloyd, C. Ellis
Brooke, W. Grundy, Thomas W. Logan, David Gilbert
Brothers, M. Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Longbottom, A. W.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Longden, F.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lovat-Fraser, J. A.
Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Lunn, William
Buchanan, G. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Burgess, F. G. Harris, Percy A. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Haycock, A. W. McElwee, A.
Chater, Daniel Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) McEntee, V. L.
Church, Major A. G. Henderson, Arthur, Junr, (Cardiff, S.) McShane, John James
Clarke, J. S. Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Mansfield, W.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) March, S.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Herriotts, J. Marcus, M.
Compton, Joseph Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Marley, J.
Cove, William G. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Marshall, Fred
Daggar, George Hollins, A. Mathers, George
Dallas, George Hopkin, Daniel Messer, Fred
Dalton, Hugh Horrabin, J. F. Middleton, G.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Mills, J. E.
Day, Harry Isaacs, George Montague, Frederick
Denman, Hon. R. D. John, William (Rhondda, West) Morley, Ralph
Morris, Rhys Hopkins Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Salter, Dr. Alfred Thorne, W. (West Ham Plaistow)
Mort, D. L. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Tillett, Ben
Moses, J. J. H. Sanders, W. S. Tinker, John Joseph
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Sawyer, G. F. Tout, W. J.
Muff, G. Scurr, John Townend, A. E.
Murnin, Hugh Sexton, James Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Shield, George William Vaughan, D. J.
Noel Baker, P. J. Shiels, Dr. Drummond Wallace, H. W.
Oldfield, J. R. Shillaker, J. F. Watkins, F. C.
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Simmons, C. J. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Sinkinson, George Wellock, Wilfred
Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Sitch, Charles H. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Palin, John Henry Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Palmer, E. T. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) West, F. R.
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Westwood, Joseph
Perry, S. F. Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) White, H. G.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Phillips, Dr. Marion Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Potts, John S. Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Price, M. P. Snell, Harry Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Quibell, D. J. K. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Raynes, W. R. Sorensen, R. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Stamford, Thomas W. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Ritson, J. Stephen, Campbell Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Romeril, H. G. Strauss, G. R. Wise, E. F.
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Rowson, Guy Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Mr. Hayes and Mr. Paling.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Purbrick, R.
Albery, Irving James Greene, W. P. Crawford Ramsbotham, H.
Atholl, Duchess of Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Gunston, Captain D. W. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Beaumont, M. W. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Berry, Sir George Haslam, Henry C. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Bird, Ernest Roy Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Iveagh, Countess of Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Bracken, B. King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Skelton, A. N.
Brass, Captain Sir William Lamb, Sir J. Q. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Briscoe, Richard George Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Smithers, Waldron
Buchan, John Leighton, Major B. E. P. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Llewellin, Major J. J. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.) Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colfox, Major William Philip Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th) Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Colville, Major D. J. Long, Major Eric Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Margesson, Captain H. D. Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Marjoribanks, E. C. Tinne, J. A.
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Edmondson, Major A. J. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Ferguson, Sir John Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Fielden, E. B. Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. O'Connor, T. J.
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Peake, Capt. Osbert TELLERS FOR THE NOES.-
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Glyn, Major R. G. C. Power, Sir John Cecil Major the Marquess of Titchfield.

Question put accordingly, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 222; Noes, 90.

Division No. 374.] AYES. [11.15 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.) Caine, Derwent Hall-
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Benson, G. Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Bentham, Dr. Ethel Chater, Daniel
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Church, Major A. G.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Clarke, J. S.
Alpass, J. H. Bowen, J. W. Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.
Ammon, Charles George Broad, Francis Alfred Cocks, Frederick Seymour
Arnott, John Brockway, A. Fenner Compton, Joseph
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Brooke, W. Cove, William G.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Brothers, M. Daggar, George
Barnes, Alfred John Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Dallas, George
Batey, Joseph Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Dalton, Hugh
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Buchanan, G. Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)
Bellamy, Albert Burgess, F. G. Day, Harry
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland) Denman, Hon. R. D.
Dickson, T. Law, Albert (Bolton) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Dukes, C. Law, A. (Rosendale) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Ede, James Chuter Lawrence, Susan Sanders, W. S.
Edmunds, J. E. Lawson, John James Sawyer, G. F.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Scurr, John
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Sexton, James
Egan, W. H. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Elmley, Viscount Lees, J. Shield, George William
Foot, Isaac Lindley, Fred W. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Forgan, Dr. Robert Lloyd, C. Ellis Shillaker, J. F.
Freeman, Peter Logan, David Gilbert Simmons, C. J.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Longbottom, A. W. Sinkinson, George
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Longden, F. Sitch, Charles H.
Gibbins, Joseph Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Lunn, William Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Gill, T. H. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Glassey, A. E. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Gossling, A. G. MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Gould, F. McElwee, A. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) McEntee, V. L. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) McShane, John James Snell, Harry
Gray, Milner Mansfield, W. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) March, S. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Marcus, M. Sorensen, R.
Groves, Thomas E. Marley, J. Stamford, Thomas W.
Grundy, Thomas W. Marshall, Fred Stephen, Campbell
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Mathers, George Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Messer, Fred Strauss, G. R.
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Middleton, G. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Mills, J. E. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Milner, Major J. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Harris, Percy A. Montague, Frederick Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Morley, Ralph Tillett, Ben
Haycock, A. W. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Tinker, John Joseph
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Mort, D. L. Tout, W. J.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr, (Cardiff, S.) Moses, J. J. H. Townend, A. E.
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Muff, G. Vaughan, D. J.
Herriotts, J. Murnin, Hugh Wallace, H. W.
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Watkins, F. C.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Noel Baker, P. J. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Hollins, A. Oldfield, J. R. Wellock, Wilfred
Hopkin, Daniel Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Horrabin, J. F. Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Palin, John Henry West, F. R.
Isaacs, George Palmer, E. T. Westwood, Joseph
John, William (Rhondda, West) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) White, H. G.
Johnston, Thomas Perry, S. F. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Phillips, Dr. Marion Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Potts, John S. Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Kelly, W. T. Price, M. P. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Kennedy, Thomas Quibell, D. J. K. Wilson C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Kenworthy Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Raynes, W. R. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Kinley, J. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Kirkwood, D. Ritson, J. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Knight, Holford Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Wise, E. F.
Lang, Gordon Romeril, H. G.
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Rosbotham, D. S. T. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.-
Lathan, G. Rowson, Guy Mr. Hayes and Mr. Paling.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Edmondson, Major A. J. Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Albery, Irving James Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.) Llewellin, Major J. J.
Atholl, Duchess of Falle, Sir Bertram G. Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Ferguson, Sir John Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)
Beaumont, M. W. Fielden, E. B. Long, Major Eric
Berry, Sir George Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Margesson, Captain H. D.
Bird, Ernest Roy Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Blindell, James Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Glyn, Major R. G. C. Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Bracken, B. Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Brass, Captain Sir William Greene, W. P. Crawford Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Briscoe, Richard George Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Gunston, Captain D. W. O'Connor, T. J.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Buchan, John Haslam, Henry C. Peake, Capt. Osbert
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Power, Sir John Cecil
Colfox, Major William Philip Iveagh, Countess of Purbrick, R.
Colville, Major D. J. King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lamb, Sir J. Q. Ramsbotham, H.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Smithers, Waldron Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Southby, Commander A. R. J. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Spender-Clay, Colonel H. Wells, Sydney R.
Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Skelton, A. N. Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam) Tinne, J. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Smith-Carington, Neville W. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Major The Marquess of Titchfield.
Mr. CHURCHILL

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

Once more I invite the Chancellor of the Exchequer to state on behalf of the Government what course they wish to pursue. The right hon. Gentleman has had his way. He has held the Committee strictly to business for one of the longest sittings that I can remember in recent times and I do not think that he can feel altogether satisfied with the result. There are much better ways of dealing with a powerful Opposition, almost equal numerically to the Government in power. The right hon. Gentleman ought to jettison without hesitation a large number of the Clauses which have been thrust into the Bill on Departmental grounds and which add to our burden at a time when the congestion of Parliament is increasing with extraordinary rapidity, and he ought at the same time, not merely on small matters but on large matters, so long as they do not imperil the general structure of the Budget, to respect the wishes, even if he does not share them, of those who are his fellow Members. The Government in its position as a minority Government, the remonstrances which have been addressed to him from the Liberal party—all these matters should induce the right hon. Gentleman to desire to come to an arrangement. It is really dreadful to go on wearing the Committee out by a species of physical torment. Obviously this is not the way in which to treat the grave problems of the State. The right hon. Gentleman has not been fighting for any money at all. The last Clause undoubtedly raised a great many disagreeable points of controversy, but one thing we offered as soon as we realised exactly what the character of the Clause was, and that was to make it perfectly certain that he could find out and hunt down the tax evader. We were ready to give him all that power in the Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Birkett) which in his absence was so admirably presented by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). All this has taken place because the right hon. Gentleman has been fighting, not for revenue, not for the purpose of detecting and putting a stop to improper tax evasion, but simply in order that what he chooses to put into the Finance Bill shall be rammed through ipso facto, whatever the cost to the convenience of the Committee or to the convenience of the party and to the Government of which he is a prominent feature, if not indeed on all occasions a bright ornament. [Interruption.] I am not quite as bright as I should have been if I had had a proper night's sleep. Far worse than a private matter in Opposition is the spectacle of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, already late for his Cabinet meeting, if that has not been put off, simply because he has kept us up all through the night, trying to show that he is the master. He is not the master. This House is a difficult place for any man to try to rule by the use of a majority and the Closure and stern and harsh measures. No doubt Oppositions are sometimes very provoking, but it often happens that, if they are met in a reasonable spirit, and if parts of the Bill which are not really necessary for the finance of the year are freely discarded, and parts which are not necessary for the prevention of evasion are stated in a form acceptable to the Committee, much more rapid progress is made. I make the Motion in order to enable the right hon. Gentleman to inform us what the Government proposes.

Mr. P. SNOWDEN

The party opposite might have had the pleasure, which they appear to be anticipating with a great deal of glee., of hearing me four hours ago if the right hon. Gentleman had on that occasion addressed his question to me in terms as courteous as those he has now used. I had intended, when he last moved a Motion of this character, to reply at once and respond to his appeal, if it had not been for the last two or three concluding sentences, which were characterised by the insolence and offensiveness of which the right hon. Gentleman is an incomparable master. It was quite impossible for me, after what he said, to take any other course than the one I adopted, and that was to refuse to comply with a request so insolently made. I was charged by the right hon. Gentleman repeatedly, and by other members of his party, with treating the House of Commons with contempt. I have neither treated the House of Commons with contempt nor have I consciously treated the Opposition with contempt. On the contrary, I have done my very best to hide it. The right hon. Gentleman may rest assured that while I recognise that the Opposition has certain rights—rights which should be respected so long as they are not abused—it is no part of the rights of the Opposition to try to dictate to the Government, as the right hon. Gentleman attempted to do just now, as to what we should put into a Bill, or at their dictation be called upon to take out Clauses in a Bill which do not meet with their approval. The right hon. Gentleman definitely demanded that certain Clauses should be taken out. They would be open to debate in the House, and I should be, as I have been during this long sitting, always open to consider favourably the case that is put up. Members of the Front Bench opposite have stated repeatedly during the last two or three hours that the Clause which has been occupying us for the last 12 hours has been in a large measure transformed, and, mark you, transformed by words and Amendments which were proposed by myself or my colleagues.

Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS

After pressure.

Mr. SNOWDEN

Not at all. The right hon. Gentleman has not been present. I suppose he runs away so that he may live to fight later in the day. What are we going to do now? [HON. MEMBERS: "Go on!"] If the right hon. Gentleman opposite will address the same question to me in an hour I will tell him, and my reply then will be largely determined by the progress made within the hour.

Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN

We have listened to a speech from the Chancellor of the Exchequer which I think, in its tone and temper, stands alone in the records of Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman has been good enough to tell us that he has tried—and I have to add, unsuccessfully—to hide his contempt for the Opposition. He cannot treat the Opposition with contempt without reflecting on the House of Commons, of which he is a Member, and which, for its misfortune and the slower progress of public business, he has been leading for the last 20 hours. I think it is time that the Chancellor of the Exchequer invited the Prime Minister, who is Leader of the House, to come and take charge of the debate. He is, after all, Leader of the House, and on him rests the heaviest responsibility for the maintenance of its dignity and the preservation of those good feelings between side and side, which are generally observed, even in the midst of the warmest controversies, and upon the maintenance of which the smooth and successful working of our Parliamentary institutions depends. The right hon. Gentleman, in his first sentence, explained that he had kept the House sitting for the last four hours out of temper. My right hon. Friend, it appears, after a prolonged sitting, used some language which offended the delicate susceptibilities of the right hon. Gentleman, who is not himself accustomed to be so careful of the susceptibilities of others. He has always been ready to impugn the motives of others and to condemn their procedure, their conduct and their character, but because, forsooth, same phrase of my right hon. Friend stuck in his throat, therefore 300 gentlemen of this House of Commons are to be kept sitting all night, not to do business, but to give satisfaction to the injured susceptibilities of the Chancellor of the Exchequer! The right hon. Gentleman is not serving the interests of the House or of the Government or of the Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where were you?"] Hon. Gentlemen inquire where I was. I am ready to tell them. I was where they would all have wished to have been and where they would have been comfortably but for the temper displayed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. [Interruption.] All these interruptions are but the echo of another pretention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He is not only to say how long this House as a whole is to be kept sitting in order that he may recover his temper and find a moment when he can forget the phrase to which he had taken exception, but he is to dictate to the Opposition which of them shall sit up with him and to reproach any of them who choose to seek refreshment in their own homes. The right hon. Gentleman entirely misconceives his position. No Minister, however powerful or autocratically disposed, will ever succeed in driving this House. You have got to persuade it, and that is what the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not try to do. He thinks that having a majority he can override the Opposition and that it is for him to decide what information the House shall ask for, what information it shall receive, what subjects are worthy of discussion, what phrases are permissible in debate., and what is fair comment and what is not. The right hon. Gentleman is making himself and the Committee altogether ridiculous, and I ask that he shall send for the Leader of the House, to whose services, in the face of the scandalous position the right hon. Gentleman has taken up, we are entitled.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I should like to add from the back benches a few arguments in favour of sending for the Leader of the House. We, in the agricultural districts, are very anxious, indeed, about unemployment, and if the House continues to sit until 3 o'clock we shall be deprived of this afternoon's discussions and of any opportunity this week of debating unemployment in this House. Does the Government wish to shirk the unemployment issue? If it does, the action of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a very sure indication of what is working in the minds of the Government. It shows that they cannot face an unemployment debate this afternoon. I have studied the action of the Government, and to my mind they are doing all they can to shirk another unemployment debate. If the Government force us to go on sitting until 3 o'clock, it will create a situation which will react against the Government because we shall be able to go down and say that the Government have shirked another unemployment debate. [Interruption.] The Leader of the House would to-day have the first opportunity, as representing the Government, of——

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The Question is that I do report Progress and ask leave to sit again. The hon. and gallant Member must give reasons for that.

Earl WINTERTON

On a point of Order. Might I ask if it would not be easier for my hon. and gallant Friend to conduct the debate if he was not subjected to constant and impertinent interruptions? And will you give me an answer to my point of Order?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The Noble Lord will permit me to rule the Committee.

Earl WINTERTON

On a point of Order. Might I respectfully ask if you will proceed to do it?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

It is not the first time that the Noble Lord has been deliberately offensive to the Chair. While I am always willing to do my best for every Member of this House, I cannot allow the Noble Lord or any other Member to treat the Chair with disrespect.

HON. MEMBERS

Withdraw !

Earl WINTERTON

If I said anything which you thought improper, I should be very glad to withdraw it, but might I appeal to you, as an old Member of the House, to keep some order for my hon. and gallant Friend?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The House has behaved much more disorderly than during the present moment on many occasions. As to the imputation of the Noble Lord that I am not doing my duty, I will not allow him or anyone else to impute any such thing.

Earl WINTERTON

I unreservedly withdraw any imputation which, in the heat of the moment, I may have made on the Chair. May I once again appeal to you, as an old Member of the House, to keep order?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The Noble Lord is adding insult to injury.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I was suggesting, when the interruption took place, that the Leader of the House should be sent for, because it is not fair that he should be deprived of the oppor- tunity of placing his unemployment policy before the House. I beg the Government to accept the Motion to report Progress, because to-day is the first opportunity that the Prime Minister has, as the man responsible for the Government's unemployment programme, of placing it before the House.

Mr. MARJORIBANKS

I do not address the Committee, I hope, in any controversial spirit. I shall not refer in any way to the behaviour, good or bad, of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Many of us on this side must at any rate have admired his endurance through the whole of this night, but I have a real grievance to put before him. Whoever has caused this long sitting, I put it to the right hon. Gentleman that it is an absolute scandal that the Committee, in its present tired state, should be called upon to discuss these complicated Clauses relating to land valuation in London. The whole of the system of Income Tax valuation in London is going to be changed. There are going to be new valuations throughout, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as is well known, is going to raise enormous revenue by these new valuations. We have, therefore, a perfect right to discuss the matter from beginning to end, and to discuss it with minds that are fresh. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider what those who really know what is at stake in this matter will think, when they realise that one of the most lucrative parts of his whole Budget is being discussed at this hour.

I appeal to him, whoever is right, however many words of insult he may have received form the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer—personally, I was not here when any such remarks were made, but if they were, I would ask him to put that on one side, for once to be magnanimous, and to see that this very difficult question is discussed when the mind of the Committee is fresh. I have tried to make this speech ever since 4 o'clock in the morning, and I thank you, Mr. Dunnico, for calling me now. I think the whole country will agree that it is a scandal to discuss such a complex matter at this hour, and, as a new Member and a back bencher, I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reconsider his decision.

Mr. ALBERY

As one of those who have sat here for the best part of 20 hours, I think I have some right to say a few words on this Motion to report Progress, which I support as a private back bench Member. Throughout this debate we have been treated without the slightest consideration of any kind. None of us can make any complaint, and I personally make no complaint, as to any hours during which we may be asked to sit. We have to put the business of this House before any other business, and it is my duty, and I am willing, to remain here as long as the Chancellor of the Exchequer or any other Leader of the House may decide; but, on the other hand, there is some consideration which a Leader of the House can show to private Members. Many of us have other affairs to attend to, and it would be a matter of great convenience if we could know what the Chancellor's intentions are. It would have been a matter of great convenience to us earlier in the debate if he had told us what his intentions were and given us some idea as to how long this debate was to continue. Even now, at this late hour, it would be a matter of some convenience to many of us to know how long he desires the debate to continue, as many of us have appointments and other relationships to consider.

Commander SOUTHBY

As a back bench Member who has been present during the whole time of the sitting, perhaps I might be allowed to add my voice to those which have been raised on this side in support of the Motion to report Progress. The whole night through, the sitting has been marked by very great good humour and friendliness on all sides, and my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Albery) is hardly fair to the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he says that it would have been convenient if we had known what his intentions were, because it is my recollection that the right hon. Gentleman was quite plain in stating his intentions at an early hour yesterday evening, when he said that the Committee would sit until Clause 27 had been taken.

Mr. ALBERY

My hon. and gallant Friend says that the Chancellor said that he would sit until Clause 27 had been taken, but judging by the progress which has been made up to the present——[Interruption].

12 noon.

Commander SOUTHBY

I understood that it was the right hon. Gentleman's intention to sit until Clause 27 had been taken. It is obvious that the debate has not been marked by any deliberate obstruction. We have asked on this side for information from the right hon. Gentleman, from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and from the Attorney-General, and I submit that the progress of the debate would have been expedited considerably if we had received, I will not say courteous information, but any information at all from those Ministers. Although the Chancellor of the Exchequer may wish to go on until Clause 27 has been taken, he must see that the experience of the debate during the night has proved the impossibility of doing so if proper justice is to be done to the Bill. Therefore, I join my voice to that of my right hon. Friend who proposed the Motion in asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he would state whether it is still his intention to go on until Clause 27 has been taken, or whether he does not now realise that the interests of the country and of this Committee would be best served by adjourning now. It is obvious that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has himself suffered considerable inconvenience, and I am sure that he would be the first to admit that this long sitting has tried him very highly. It is a pity that the only remarks we have heard from the Chancellor of the Exchequer have been to move, "That the Question be now put," or to make a speech which only added oil to the flames.

Major COLVILLE

There is one point I desire to raise. If we pass from this Clause and get on to Clauses 19 and 20 we open up the question of the collection of Income Tax, which involves matters of great importance and upon which we shall no doubt have a prolonged discussion. The Chancellor should remember that there is a debate of the first magnitude in the House this afternoon. If the Government desire to have a debate on the subject of unemployment it would be for the convenience of all concerned to accept the Motion to report Progress and allow hon. Members two or three hours interval before the House assembles. If the Motion is not accepted it will be quite clear that the Government wish to avoid a debate on the question of their lamentable failure to deal with the unemployment problem.

HON. MEMBERS

Divide !

Mr. C. WILLIAMS

I have listened to a considerable part of the debate during the last few hours and I confess that I was rather amazed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer's recent utterance. He appealed to us to give him an hour in which to consider whether we should go on or not. About 40 minutes of that hour has passed—[HON. MEMBERS: "Wasted."] I may not have timed myself exactly, and if so I hope the right hon. Gentleman will excuse me. I do not mean any discourtesy to him. It is one of those lapses to which human beings are always liable. On the matter that the Committee report Progress, we have heard two admirable speeches from right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Opposition Bench giving excellent reasons why the debate should be adjourned. Indeed, the whole of the debate yesterday and last evening, and during the night and this morning, has been really excellent on this side of the Committee, but, unfortunately, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been amazingly weak in his replies and I am almost tempted to give reasons on his behalf why we should not report Progress.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member would not be in order.

Mr. WILLIAMS

Do I understand that it would be perfectly in order for me to give reasons why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should report Progress?

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member must give reasons why the Chairman should report Progress, not reasons why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should not report Progress.

Mr. CHURCHILL

Is it not in order for any hon. Member of any party to argue for or against the Motion to report Progress?

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member must give reasons why I should or should not report Progress and not reasons for the conduct of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN

I submit with great respect, that when a question is put from the Chair it is within the right of any hon. Member who is called by you to speak for or against the proposition, and that the attitude which be shall take on any question put from the Chair cannot be dictated by the place he happens to occupy in the House. It sometimes happens that hon. Members sitting on the same side of the House take a different view of a particular Motion. There may be occasions on which, for instance, my right hon. Friend the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer would argue in favour of a proposition which I should oppose. I feel confident that you do not intend to lay it down that if a Motion is made from this side of the House that no Member may speak from this side of the House unless he is prepared to support it.