§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
I beg to move, in page 16, line 40, to leave out the words "appears to the special commissioners not to be," and to insert instead thereof the words "is not."
The special commissioners, as hon. Members know, are the body who will consider the taxpayer's case. The Finance Bill proposes that they shall say how much of the assessment against which a taxpayer appeals is not in dispute. This would lead to the inspector of taxes approaching the special commissioners with regard to settling the matter before the taxpayer's case is actually heard by the special commissioners, but the taxpayer would not have similar rights. This is a most undesirable position, and I am moving this Amendment with the object of removing the difficulty. I have no doubt that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be prepared to accept this Amendment, and therefore I need not waste the time of the Committee. If I hear from him that he is not going to do so, I hope I shall have an opportunity later of further arguing the merits of the Amendment. May I have an answer from the right hon. Gentleman?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Philip Snowden)
I am unable to accept this Amendment. The purpose of this Clause is to assimilate the practice of the special commissioners to that of the general commissioners. In the Finance Act of 1926 a Section was incorporated which dealt with the payment of that part of the assessment for Income Tax which was not in dispute. Up to that time Income Tax payers and also Super-taxpayers, if there was any part of the assessment in dispute, could withhold payment of the whole amount until an appeal had been determined. That led to the postponement of the payment 602 of a very considerable amount of Income Tax, and, under the Finance Act of 1926, which was passed by the late Tory Government, it was provided that that part of the Income Tax assessment which was not in dispute could not be withheld, but should be paid. The purpose of this Clause is to assimilate the law in regard to assessments for Surtax to the law in regard to the assessments for Income Tax, and I do not think any objection can be raised to it. As a matter of fact, the number of cases may not be so large as the number of cases dealt with by the 1926 Act of the late Government, but in the case of Surtax it often means a larger sum and the amount of revenue postponed payment is very considerable. It is also provided that if after the amount in dispute has been settled, and it is found necessary, there is to be a readjustment. The whole purpose of the Clause is not to allow a person assessed for Surtax to withhold for an indefinite period payment of the amount which is admittedly due. I am quite sure the proposal will commend itself to the Committee as did a similar proposal with regard to Income Tax which commended itself to the late Government.
§ Mr. ARTHUR MICHAEL SAMUEL
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has said nothing whatever about the Amendment. With great respect, I submit that he has misread his brief. In the last lines of this Clause he will find the words:or any tax overpaid shall be repaid.I submit that the right hon. Gentleman has entirely overlooked the fact that this Clause presupposes that tax has been already overpaid and that the Special Commissioners were wrong in their assessment. We Shall require some explanation of this matter. Earlier in the Clause we have the words:as appears to the special commissioners not to be in dispute shall be collected.It appears that we are going to have an interim decision in favour of the special commissioners—a decision fixed by themselves. They may be wrong, in which case they will repay what has been overpaid. What position are we in as regards the Income Tax payer? Why should the taxpayer be out of money which later on it is found he is not due to pay? In the case of a Super-tax payer, he may be put to some consider- 603 able expense to find the money he has paid in. If you put a man to that expense by arbitrarily demanding him to pay something which later on it is found he is not liable to pay, there is no provision made to repay him the interest on the money or refund him for the trouble he has been put to in getting money which has been wrongfully taken from him. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to explain these points, and also to deal with the Amendment before the Committee.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I did not suppose that my reply would be satisfactory to the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. Samuel). The other day he told us that he had spent the whole afternoon trying to understand a very simple proposal in the Finance Bill which was perfectly obvious to every other hon. Member of the Committee.
§ Mr. SAMUEL
I do not mind. The right hon. Gentleman can be as rude as he likes; he does not trouble me.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
This Clause follows precisely the provision in the Finance Act of 1926, and any objection which the hon. Member for Farnham has would apply equally to the provision passed by the last Conservative Government. If he will compare this Clause with Section 25 of the Finance Act of 1926, he will find that the words are identical with the exception of "special commissioners" in this Clause and "general commissioners" in the Act of 1926. The hon. Member says why should Income Tax payers be called upon to pay something which later on may be decided ought not to have been paid? The answer to that is the converse. Why should Income Tax payers be able to withhold payment of practically the whole amount when only a small proportion of it has been left over for decision? After an appeal has been heard and determined, and it is found that a small alteration is necessary which will involve the refunding of some part of the tax which has been paid, the Clause provides that repayment shall be made.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
I refrained from arguing the case for my Amendment because I am anxious that the work of the Committee should proceed. As far as I am personally concerned, the Section in the Act of 1926 does not trouble me at all, and if the Conservative Government 604 had been in office now I should have moved this Amendment just the same and argued just as strongly for its acceptance. I listened with interest to the remarks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his explanation about money which should be paid to the Treasury and which is withheld. I want to put the other side of the question. I have in mind the case of one of my constituents, where something more than the proper amount was paid. When it came to a question of readjustment there was a considerable amount of trouble in getting repayment. To get money out of the Treasury is like trying to get butter out of a dog's mouth. Where there is a dispute and the money is not paid in the Treasury can settle the matter very quickly. They are not at all backward in making their demands and in pressing the taxpayer to pay whatever amount has been settled as the correct amount. We here are the custodians for the taxpayer, and we cannot always accept the Treasury officials' point of view. I am certain that if the right hon. Gentleman were in Opposition, he would take the same line as we are taking now. This was inserted in the 1926 Act simply for the purposes of the officials who have to handle these things at the Treasury. As I said before, we are here to safeguard the interests of the taxpayer, and from the experience I have had in the case mentioned and many others, I am satisfied that it is A very unwise thing, indeed, to pay money over to the Treasury when some time or other we may have to ask for it back. The trouble sometimes to get it back is not worth while. I want to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether there is any other form of payment where you have to pay in advance with the object, after the adjustment, of receiving something back? Is there also any other section of the community which is allowed to exact payment by deduction? There are cases in my mind where over-payment was proved, and the Treasury kept the money as a set-off against any other account. That may seem a simple way of dealing with the matter, but it is not the British legal way, and it is because of the enormous trouble in getting repayment when these cases are settled that I appeal to the Committee to support the Amendment.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
The person concerned will only pay that part which has been settled by the special commissioners. [Interruption.] It has already been settled by the special commissioners. If it were not so, there would be no amount remaining in dispute, and the case which the hon. Member mentioned, I am quite sure, would not be covered by this Clause. It is quite evident that the case the hon. Member had in mind was an ordinary repayment case, and not a question where some part of an assessment was under appeal to the general commissioners or special commissioners. The hon. Member said, "Why should a man be called upon to pay something that is not due?" This question does not arise as regards the undisputed amount of the assessment. As hon. Members are aware, there is always a very considerable amount of arrears, and there is no doubt—I have not the exact figures—that a considerable part represents tax on the undisputed parts of assessments under appeal.
§ Sir WILLIAM MITCHELL-THOMSON
With great respect, I submit that the Chancellor of the Exchequer discussed the Clause and did not address himself to the Amendment. I agree with a great deal of what he said about the Clause, though I think there is some objection to it which we may have to urge later on. He did not, however, address himself to this particular Amendment, which deals with the question of what is the amount which is to be paid over. The Clause says that the amount which is to be paid over is such amountas appears to the special commissioners not to be in dispute.The Amendment says that the amount which is to be paid over is the amount which "is not in dispute." The difference is that the second proposition is a question of simple fact, whereas the first is a matter of the opinion of one party which is to be held to be conclusive. Of these two propositions, the second appears to be more reasonable. Will the right hon. Gentleman deal with that?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I have already dealt with it, not merely generally but specifically. As it appears in the Clause, the amount is that which "appears to the special commissioners not to be in dispute." The hon. Member's Amendment deals with the amount which 606 "is not in dispute." Supposing we put in these words, who is going to determine what is the amount in dispute? Is it to be determined by the taxpayer himself or by the special commissioners? It can only be determined by the special commissioners. There is no other practical way of dealing with it.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
Is that not exactly the point I made clear? Here you are allowing the special commissioners to fix the amount as it appears to them. Why? Very well, if the Chancellor will not accept the words of my hon. Friend, let us put in some words to this effect:as has been agreed between the taxpayer and the special commissioners.The special commissioners can have no grievance, because if they do not agree with the taxpayer as to the amount that is already due, then they are in no worse position than they were before the dispute took place. Here you are faced with this position, that the special commissioners are to be judges in their own case, and to say that a certain amount is not in dispute and is due to them, and they are going by force and violence to say, "You must pay that, and any reparation will be made good in the end." If the Chancellor will pause for a moment and think over the matter, he will find that it is a case with the Revenue of, "Heads I win, tails you lose," which is not fair to the taxpayer.
§ Mr. GRANVILLE GIBSON
I quite agree with my hon. Friend that the special commissioners are to be judges in their own case. They assess the amount which they consider not in dispute, and the taxpayer has to accept their decision, whether right or wrong. Why should not the taxpayer have some share or say in the matter as to what is the amount in dispute? Let us assume, for instance, that the special commissioners say that £950 of a certain sum is not in dispute, and later it is found that only £500 ought to have been considered not in dispute, and in the meantime the taxpayer has been kept from money which he ought to have. When the money comes back to him, he ought to be credited with interest on the money which has been laid aside in the Treasury. On the other hand, if it so happens that no sum of money has been set aside in any dispute, there is no objection to the tax- 607 payer being debited at the rate of 5 per cent., say, for the use of the money.
This presses more hardly on people in industrial enterprises, because the money may not be in gold but in machinery, and, at the present time, when we have depression in industry, the taxpayer cannot afford to find more money for taxes than he should be called upon to find up to the limit. Only yesterday the Prime Minister made the plea that there was a world depression. In the West Riding of Yorkshire we are realising that to the very full. There they are finding the greatest difficulty in meeting the demands of the tax collector, and it is wrong that the Treasury should have the power of saying to the taxpayer, "No matter what you say, a certain amount shall be assessed and paid immediately," and he has no right of appeal against it. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer realises that that in many cases would create real hardship in the case of many industrial concerns who are having hard times. It is unfair to call upon them to pay out money which later on might have to be refunded. In some cases the special commissioners might say that out of £1,000 a sum of £950 was not in dispute. Then the taxpayer might go to his bank, where he might already have a heavy overdraft, and quite conceivably his bankers might not grant any further accommodation. I hope that the Chancellor will take these difficulties of the taxpayer into account. There should be some give-and-take in this matter. In my opinion, the heavy hand of officialdom should not be allowed to have its own way in this matter. Therefore, I hope that the Committee will vote for the Amendment.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
It seems to me that the Mover of the Amendment and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are attaching undue importance to the wording of this Clause. As I understand, the dispute has not taken place with regard to Super-tax or Surtax but with regard to Income Tax assessment. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] In any case, there is no dispute as to the assessment on part of the income. If there is any Super-tax due on that part of the income, it is a known quantity. That being so, the change proposed is that in future that part of the Super-tax which is based 608 upon the part of the income accepted both by the taxpayer and by the special commissioners, shall be paid. I see no objection to that. It seems to be quite a right course, and I submit that both the Mover of the Amendment and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are attaching undue importance to these words.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Camborne (Mr. Leif Jones) has not taken into account that in many of the cases the Income Tax has already been paid. There is no dispute about the Income Tax in this case. A man might have £20,000 a year or £5,000 a year of income entirely from invested securities, and in that case the Income Tax has been taken before he receives the income. Therefore the question of Income Tax to which the right hon. Gentleman attaches such importance does not arise.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)
The whole of the case put forward by the Opposition on this Clause is a mare's nest and shows a complete misunderstanding of the position. The Clause is perfectly simple. In certain cases the taxpayer disputes an assessment and puts in a claim. In some cases it may be an assessment for Income Tax and in other cases an assessment for Super-tax or Surtax. When he disputes the assessment he makes a statement showing the particular part of the assessment with which he disagrees. The bulk of the Income Tax cases come before the general commissioners, who have before them the statement of the taxpayer that he disputes the claim in one particular. It was decided in the Finance Act of 1926 that that dispute as to one particular in the assessment should not invalidate the whole of the claim to Income Tax. The general commissioners were in possession of the statement by the taxpayer that he disputed such and such a matter, and what the Finance Act of 1926 properly provided was that where there was such a dispute the general commissioners, having before them the facts as represented by the taxpayer, should decide which part was in dispute and which part was not. The Act of 1926 quite properly said that the taxpayer should be called upon to pay that part of the Income Tax which did not appear to the commissioners to be in dispute. If 609 you said, "That part of the assessment which was not in dispute," I myself think that it would amount to the same thing, but I will show hon. Members why I think it is better to put it as it is put in the Clause.
The general commissioners, as I have already said, have the statement of the taxpayer before them, and they surely are in a position to say what part appears to them not to be in dispute. That is what the Act of 1926 said and that is what hon. Members opposite, when they were on this side of the Committee, thought was a reasonable and proper position. It is a perfectly simple matter, and I cannot see the smallest objection to applying the same method in this instance. The Government are now merely proposing to do with regard to the special commissioners what was done in the Act of 1926 with regard to the general commissioners and to apply it, first of all, to cases of ordinary Income Tax where the assessment has been by the election of the taxpayer removed from the general commissioners to the special commissioners in cases of ordinary Income Tax, and also to those cases of Super-tax or Surtax which come before the special commissioners. The Clause provides that in those cases the special commissioners, having before them the statement of the taxpayer, saying what part of the assessment he disagrees with, and where he finds fault with the assessment, shall decide on the parts which are not in dispute. It provides for the collection of such part of the tax as appears to them not to be in dispute. [HON. MEMBERS: "AS appears to them!"] Well, someone must make a decision. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not the taxpayer?"] But, as I have already pointed out, the special commissioners have the application of the taxpayer before them showing what he regards as being in dispute.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
How can a dispute continue if both parties agree? The Financial Secretary has said that the amount which is to be demanded is the amount arising from that portion of the assessment about which the taxpayer has no grievance, and if he has no grievance it is not in dispute. But why should it be left to one side to say what they think is in dispute?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
It must in the last resort be left to some person to put down what is the amount and the special commissioners have the statement of the taxpayer before them. They are not people who are going to act in a manner quite contrary to all commonsense. If they did, there would probably be some machinery to pull them up, but it will be clear from the taxpayer's statement that part of the assessment is not in dispute and I cannot see how you can introduce any more comprehensive machinery for dealing with the matter. The commissioners make an assessment and the taxpayer says, "As far as certain things are concerned I dispute this assessment." From that it will appear to the special commissioners that, say, items "A," "B" and "C" are not in dispute but that "D" is the one thing to which the taxpayer objects. That is the point which it is proposed to deal with in this Clause, and it is exactly the same position as that dealt with in the Act of 1926. It is perfectly clear that someone must make a final statement. What we are doing here is precisely what was done in the previous Act, and I submit that to do it otherwise would leave the question in doubt.
§ Mr. G. GIBSON
If you have a case in which there are items "A," "B," "C" and "D" and the special commissioners say that "A," "B" and "C" are not in dispute but that "D" is in dispute, it follows that the man must pay his tax upon "A," "B" and "C" and that there is no appeal. Where is the fair treatment to the man?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
No, the assessment has been made and the man has already said, "As far as 'D' is concerned, I dispute your assessment." Then the special commissioners can say that it appears to them that "A," "B" and "C" are not in dispute.
§ Sir KINGSLEY WOOD
I do not think that the Financial Secretary's explanation has helped the Committee in coming to a conclusion. In the first place it differs from the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Chancellor 611 of the Exchequer said that there would be no difficulty about this Clause because as regards the particular item for which immediate application to the taxpayer could be made, it would relate to those cases in which the taxpayer had agreed and settled the matter with the commissioners. Anyone with experience of Income Tax cases knows that these words "agreed and settled" have a very serious significance in this connection. Directly you come to an agreement under certain conditions, the amount is immediately due and if it is not forthcoming, proceedings for recovery can be taken. What was the statement of the Financial Secretary? It was not at all to the effect that the commissioners and taxpayer had come to an agreement and settlement in these cases. The hon. Gentleman made reference to the statement which the taxpayer himself puts forward when he makes an appeal. Anyone familiar with these cases knows that there is a great difference between the case of a man filling in a form and making an appeal and a case of what is called agreement and settlement. There is an entirely different set of circumstances.
I submit that there is a serious misunderstanding as to the meaning of this Clause between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary. The Financial Secretary in the end was, I think, forced to rely upon the only point which he thought would convince the Committee when he gave as his principal reason for this Clause the fact that some such words, are in a previous enactment. In the first place, that previous enactment dealt only with much smaller cases and much smaller amounts than those affected by this Clause. The Chancellor of the Exchequer himself I think made that admission. But even if it were not so, the Committee are entitled on this occasion to discuss this matter on its merits and I do not think that the Financial Secretary has yet seen the main objection which we put forward from the point of view of the taxpayer to this Clause. The main objection to the Clause lies in these words: "as appears to the special commissioners." I do not say that I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Camborne (Mr. Leif Jones), but if we 612 said simply that the amount which is not in dispute shall then become recoverable, even that would be a much better proposition than the proposition in the Clause.
These words, "as appears to the special commissioners," prevent the taxpayer from going to the court or anywhere else and challenging what the commissioners say as to what is or is not in dispute. Once the commissioners say that it appears to them that there is no dispute over a particular item, the taxpayer is finished. He cannot move in the courts to say that a, mistake has been made or that there has been some unfortunate oversight in his case. He is precluded, because the Legislature has definitely laid it down that as long as it "appears to the special commissioners" he cannot interfere. I do not want to argue the Amendment dealing with the question of an appeal, except to say that that there is no appeal, and, therefore, when you once have these fatal words "as appears to the special commissioners," you put the taxpayer, so to speak, "in the cart." If there is no question of a dispute on a particular item, it is justice to say, as regards that particular item, that the money shall be payable immediately, but it is very unfair to say that the commissioners shall be the sole judge as to whether or not there is a dispute.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
I want to put a particular case. Take the case of an income of a man who last year was taxed on £5,000, plus X. He agrees that £5,000 was his income, but about X there is a dispute. He pays Income Tax on £5,000. When Surtax has to be assessed on an income of £5,000 plus X, it is known that the Surtax is due on 26,000, but what is not known is how much Surtax is due on X, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer claims the right to collect the Surtax on the £5,000. I understand that that is the meaning of the Clause, and I think he has a right to collect it, but if that is so, the words "as appears to the special commissioners not to be in dispute" mean exactly the same as the words "is not in dispute." If my interpretation is right, we are dealing with a known figure, on which the individual has probably paid Income Tax, and is prepared to pay Surtax, and I submit that that is the correct interpretation.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Camborne 613 (Mr. Leif Jones) takes the case of a man assessed at £5,000. Formerly a taxpayer could not be required to pay any tax unless his appeal against the assessment had been determined. His notice of appeal will now show the extent to which he disputes the assessment, and the amount not in dispute will be that part of the income which is not included in the terms of the appeal. In this way, therefore, it will be apparent to the special commissioners or the general commissioners, as the case may be, what is the amount of tax now to be paid on the undisputed amount.
The discussion on this Amendment really raises the whole Clause, and in view of that fact, I do not propose to call subsequent Amendments on this Clause for discussion. We might have a discussion on this Amendment, and then I should be prepared to put subsequent Amendments raising special points, if desired, in order that they may be divided upon, but a full discussion on this Amendment raises the same principle as all the Amendments to this Clause.
§ Sir LAMING WORTHINGTON-EVANS
I imagine that that is a convenient way of dealing with it, Mr. Dunnico, if you allow those who are moving the Amendments on which they wish to have a Division to make a short statement of the meaning of their Amendments.
The whole of the Amendments raise the same principle. I am quite prepared to put the Amendment now before the Committee, the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson)—in line 40, after the word "to," to insert the words "the person assessed and'—and one in the name of the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne)—in page 17, line 6, to add a proviso.
§ Sir ASSHETON POWNALL
I want to move an Amendment to an Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne).
§ Sir A. POWNALL
I was going to move an Amendment to the Amendment to the effect that it should be the general commissioners rather than the special commissioners to whom the matter in dispute should be referred. I hope I shall have an opportunity of moving it.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
The explanation of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury seemed to be based on the Clause as amended, and to ignore the words which have caused all the trouble, namely, "as appears to the special commissioners." These words raise a very important question of principle. Would the Chancellor of the Exchequer approve of the application of a principle of that sort to the ordinary law of the land as affecting creditor and debtor? Take the case of "A" suing "B" for a sum of money, a portion of which "B" knew he would be compelled to pay. Would the right hon. Gentleman allow "A" to fix the sum that "B" had eventually got to pay at so much as appeared to "A" to be the right sum? That surely would not be sound. That would be a remarkable state of affairs, and there is no reason why the Crown should be in a better position than the ordinary creditor in the courts of law.
The difference between the general and the special commissioners is quite an appreciable difference, particularly in view of the large sum of money that would be involved, and I cannot see why, after all this discussion, the word "is" should not be equally satisfactory as the words "as appears." If there is a doubt about the amount due, it is possible for a third party to settle it. It is not a question of what appears, but of what is, and there are various ways of settling the difference rather than relying upon the tender mercies of the commissioners. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will prove slightly more elastic, because the principle involved is very important, and it is our duty to safeguard the taxpayer from any unfairness.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
The case made by the right hon. Member for Cambourne (Mr. Leif Jones), that there is very little difference between the Amendment and the Clause as it stands, could only be supported by his giving a hypothetical case of tax on an undisputed income of £5,000, with a certain additional income 615 in dispute. When you state a special case of that sort, it becomes quite clear that in such a case there would be no dispute between the special commissioners and the taxpayer, because from his own hypothesis the right hon. Gentleman assumes that the greater part of the income was not in dispute at all. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury took exactly the same case. He asked us not to press the Amendment, because, he said, there was nothing in it, and because the taxpayer would have made his statement, and his statement would all be agreed with the special commissioners, and therefore everyone would be living happily together and the lion lying down together with the lamb, with no possibility of any injustice being done. But the whole hypothesis of this Clause is that there may be cases in which there is liable to be a dispute as to what is the amount that is in dispute.
§ Sir B. PETO
I agree that an appeal is pending, but the special commissioners may say that the appeal is limited and can only affect a certain small part of the income, which the right hon. Gentleman calls X, whereas the taxpayer may think the appeal may cover a much larger part of his income.
§ Sir B. PETO
The whole point is that the right hon. Gentleman assumes that a hard and fast line in every case is agreed between the taxpayer and the special commissioners as a thing which is not in dispute, and that it is only what is beyond that line that can possibly be in dispute. If so, the Clause is wrongly conceived altogether, because it refers to "Income Tax under Schedule D, to Super-tax, or to Surtax," and the right hon. Member seems to be under the impression that we are dealing only with a claim for Income Tax. It is clear that the words of the Clause mean that there is doubt and room for argument in the matter.
Let us then consider what is the difference between putting in the simple words "is not in dispute" and the 616 complicated words "as appears to the special commissioners not to be in dispute." There is this fundamental difference, that a thing cannot either be or not be unless there is someone to settle whether it is or is not, and those words therefore imply agreement between the taxpayer and the commissioners as to what is or is not in dispute. That raises the further question of whether there should or should not be an appeal, but, quite apart from that, we want words put in here which will show clearly that the taxpayer is only liable for the immediate payment of such part of the tax as is not in dispute, that implies the part that is agreed between the taxpayer and the special commissioners not to be in dispute, and that is an entirely different proposition.
Far from agreeing that this is a small matter of words, I think it is a vital matter, and the only argument that the Chancellor of the Exchequer put before us, but which he thought was an absolutely crushing one—I agree that, from the political point of view, it had great weight—was that he said he had copied the words from a Clause which the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) put into a Bill relating to Income Tax in 1926. That only proves one thing, and that is that we in Opposition are better watchdogs of the interests of the Income Tax payers than the right hon. Gentleman was when he sat on this side of the House. He ought to be crying "Peccavi! I was an unwatchful and unmindful protector of the interests of the taxpayers when the right hon. Member for Epping was Chancellor of the Exchequer. I did not see the danger of these words, but now I am going to do better. I am not going to accept the vicious Clause that appeared in the Act of 1926 and to insert any words of that kind in any Measure that I bring forward, being a fair, just and honourable Chancellor of the Exchequer, holding even-handed the scales of justice between the taxpayers and the Treasury." On the contrary, the right hon. Gentleman says: "Because the right hon. Member for Epping made a grave and, I think, a heinous offence in the Act of 1926, I am going to copy his bad example. If I leave the matter entirely to the decision of the special commissioners it means that in some 617 cases I may get sums into the Treasury which I could not possibly get if I confined my Clause to matters which are actually not in, dispute between the taxpayers and the special commissioners." Far from this being a trivial matter and one which we ought not to press, we feel that the taxpayers will realise that we in Opposition to-day are mindful of their interests and that we are not going to hand them over, if we can help it, without the chance of having any question raised other than is covered by the words,appears to the special commissioners not to be.
§ Captain BOURNE
I have listened with great care to the speeches of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and I cannot understand what objection there can be to the acceptance of the Amendment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to think that we are contending against the whole of this Clause. That is not so. No one has any objection to taxation being levied where the amount is not in dispute between the commissioners and the taxpayer.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
It is not a question of a dispute between the commissioners and the taxpayer, but a dispute between the Inland Revenue and the taxpayer. If we were to have said, as the Royal Commission suggested, that the Inland Revenue should make the decision, there might be a complaint. The commissioners are the tribunal which arbitrates betwen the taxpayer and the tax collector and this Clause gives to this tribunal the decision in the matter.
§ Captain BOURNE
I think the Financial Secretary is making his own case worse. He says that the commissioners are the tribunal who are to give the decision and he is seeking to give them power to make a decision at their own option as to how much is in dispute. The whole point is, that if the commissioners are to give the decision the taxpayer should have an opportunity of appearing before them to argue as to the amount in dispute. We think that the Clause in itself is reasonable but we desire the Amendment to be made, and we cannot see why there should be objection to the Amendment. If the taxpayer sends in a return under Schedule "D" and certain 618 items are in dispute, and the commissioners are to abide by that and to say that such and such an amount of the tax is in dispute, that is a matter of fact.
Why not have the matter stated quite distinctly in the Clause? I dislike intensely the habit of using words that are vague, when a perfectly straightforward statement of fact would meet the case. I cannot think why this Government of all Governments should wish to put phrases into the Finance Bill which ultimately are interpreted in the Law Courts in a way different from what the Chancellor of the Exchequer says was their intention. We have had case after case in the courts where decisions have been given which were totally contrary to the opinions given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-day, and I think it is our duty to protest every time when one of these vague phrases is used in a Finance Bill, especially when the representatives of the Government cannot produce one sensible argument in favour of their own case. The only argument that has been used in favour of the Government case is that the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) put in these words in the Act of 1926. I would remind the Committee that when the Finance Bill of 1926 went through the mind of the House was very much occupied with other and more serious matters that were happening outside; even so, I blame myself and other members of my party who were in the House at that time that we did not spot this evil Clause in the Finance Bill and protest against it.
§ Mr. LOUIS SMITH
I should hesitate to take up the time of the Committee did I not think that we are now discussing a matter which is of great importance to us as custodians of the interests of the taxpayers, on whose behalf we desire to make an equitable arrangement. In this case the special commissioners are, as it were, to be the arbitrators between two men having a dispute, and one of the two parties is to be able to communicate with the arbitrators and discuss the matter with them, while the other party is not to have that opportunity.
§ Mr. GODFREY LOCKER-LAMPSON
You have stated, Mr. Dunnico, that my Amendment—in page 16, line 40, after the word "to," to insert the words "the person assessed and"—covers a good deal of the discussion which has already taken place. The object of my Amendment is to give the assessed person an opportunity of deciding what really the dispute is about. The taxpayer is more and more coming under the purview of the Treasury. It is important that the Treasury should have the good will of the taxpayers, but if we make the taxpayers feel that they are subject to harshness or injustice it will be far more difficult and expensive to collect taxes. What makes my Amendment more important is that taxation is gradually increasing and there seems to be little prospect of any diminution in the near future. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury gave the Committee to understand that there was practically no change proposed. There must be some change, or this Clause would not have been introduced. If new machinery is required for the purpose of collecting these taxes, the new machinery ought to give the taxpayer fair play. The whole of this Clause turns on the case of a dispute arising. Why should you leave the taxpayer out in the final decision as to what the dispute is about? The taxpayer may have stated what deduction he wants to come out of the claim. The commissioners are not the people who initiate the dispute. The taxpayer is the person who initiates the dispute, and consequently he is the party who ought to know what the dispute is about. Why should he be left out of the question when the commissioners come to the final decision as to what part of the claim is concerned in the dispute. As the Clause stands, there is no provision to safeguard the assessed person.
Coming to the argument used by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the commissioners may not agree that the dispute covers the scope believed to be 620 covered by the assessed person. They may say that the dispute covers very much less than is believed by the assessed person. The assessed person has not the technical knowledge and is not able to use technical language, and it is likely that he may use words which may have double meanings and double constructions. I do not ask that the taxpayers should have any say in the final determination of the appeal—that is not in question—I merely ask that the taxpayer should be able to decide with the commissioners what the dispute is about. If my Amendment is not to be accepted, disputes will arise not as to whether any particular payment is just, but what the dispute is about. The case for the Amendment is all the stronger because ender the Clause the commissioners are entitled to take that part of the tax which appears not to be in dispute. They need not be certain as to what the disput is about. They may think that the dispute is about one part of the tax, although it may be about a different part of the claim. The taxpayer may be claiming a great deal more or a great deal less than the commissioners imagine. Therefore, unless we allow the taxpayer and the commissioners to agree in the first place as to what the dispute is about, the Clause is bound to lead to a great deal of recrimination and confusion.
If the Chancellor of the Exchequer accepted my Amendment., giving the taxpayer an equal right with the commissioners to say what the dispute is about, I do not believe that it would lead to evasion. The Exchequer could not possibly lose any money permanently by the acceptance of my Amendment. The commissioners are evenually going to decide what amount of tax is payable. The Amendment merely would have the effect of leaving upon the mind of the taxpayer a sense of fair play, and I believe that with a sense of fair play a great deal of the smooth working of our Income Tax law depends, and that without a sense of fair play the difficulties of the Treasury will be increased a hundred fold. I do not understand why this Clause has been inserted in a Finance Bill. I do not think that it has anything to do with a Finance Bill.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
It is apparent, Mr. Dunnico, that you were right when you said that this simple Amendment strikes at the root of the whole Clause. The whole quarrel that we have with the Chancellor of the Exchequer is that we want to put in the words "is not," and to leave out the words "appears to the special commissioners not to be." We have heard arguments in support of the longer phrase, and I think the fundamental one and the one with which we quarrel most was given by the Financial Secretary when he stated that the tribunal had to make the decision, that it was not the taxpayer or the Inland Revenue, but the tribunal. To my mind, as a lawyer of a few years' experience, that contains the most vicious principle of all. I suppose it is contended that these special commissioners form a court and base their procedure on fair rules of evidence and fair listening to both sides of the question. But, if they first form an interim decision without hearing evidence, I can only say that it is a very bad beginning to their procedure and is bound to lead to a great deal of dissatisfaction. I would call the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the very wide power that is given to the special commissioners. The Financial Secretary said it means merely that they are accepting the statement of the Income Tax payer. If it does, then surely the words is not" would do just as well, because both sides would agree, and it would he a question of fact. If they made a mistake, the Income Tax payer might be able to call attention to the mistake. The words in the Clause,appears to the special commissioners not to be",makes the opinion of the special commissioners absolutely conclusive. The special commissioners, or the Revenue authorities, wish to have these words in, because it gives absolute conclusiveness to their opinion. We do not want the decision of the special commissioners to be prejudged in any way. It is grossly unfair and unconstitutional if we are going to place any weight on the judicial decision of this court.
I confess I cannot follow the narrow meaning put on the Clause by the right hon. Member for Camborne (Mr. Leif Jones). It seems to me to be expressed in the widest terms. The right hon. 622 Gentleman produced as an argument that the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), in his 1926 Act, had used exactly this language and this form. But there is a considerable difference, in degree if not in principle, between Income Tax and Super-tax, because Super-tax involves much larger incomes and more complicated considerations.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
Every assessment for Surtax or Super-tax is based on a previous assessment for Income Tax.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
I have not overlooked that fact, but when Income Tax rises to the Surtax stage then it is more complicated. That is what I wished to say. Take the case of a taxpayer who receives a royalty income from America. There most complicated issues arise, and it is very difficult to say what is in dispute and what is not in dispute. I think it is unfair and unwise to give the special commissioners this power. The taxpayer, if he is loyal and patriotic, will wish to bring that income into this country; but, if he is to have every difficulty put in his way and his position pre-judged, it will not encourage him to do the right thing in the matter. Another difficulty arises because Super-tax no longer exists. Surtax is a new name given to Super-tax. That proves that this is really a retrospective Clause, because it is dealing with old cases of Super-tax now in dispute. I put this matter before a lawyer who has perhaps the most experience of all lawyers with regard to Income Tax matters. When he read the wordssuch part of the tax, as appears to the special commissionershe said that it must mean there had been a previous hearing. I pointed out that it probably might not mean that, and be said then it meant prejudging the issue without hearing the taxpayer. I do appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accept this very simple Amendment, which would produce general agreement in support of this Clause. If he accepts it, it is a good Clause, but, if he does not, it is a most oppressive and unjust Clause.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
I would like to say a few words in support of the argument of the hon. Member who has just sat down. It seems to me the Committee would be satisfied if it could accept the language of the Financial 623 Secretary as representing not only the intentions of the Government but also what would be the working of this Bill. If we could be assured that it was the claim which was put in by the taxpayer himself which was to decide what the scope of the dispute was afterwards to be, and therefore what money was to be paid, that would be all well and good. But, if that be so, there can be no possible objection to accepting the Amendment. If these words mean anything at all, they contemplate that, first, this document may be put in making certain objections to the assessment. Then an interim assessment supposed not to be in dispute is laid upon the taxpayer which he is required to pay at once. Then the taxpayer says, "No, this is in dispute," but the commissioners say, "It does not matter, because it does not appear to us to be in dispute." That is a most Gilbertian situation. It raises the question whether what the taxpayer says is to be considered. The taxpayer who makes the objection should be allowed to have his objection heard. It may appear to the commissioners on a cursory examination not to be a serious dispute, but, after all, he has the right to be heard. What appears at first sight not to be a serious dispute may, when it comes before a higher tribunal, be something very serious. These words are not merely making the special commissioners judges, but preliminary judges on some matter which needs further consideration. I ask the Government to accept this Amendment, and thereby to put our doubts at rest.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has saved me a great deal of trouble, because he has to some extent put the point which I particularly wished to bring to the Chancellor's attention. The Financial Secretary illustrated what happened. I entirely agree with his illustration, and I speak with some knowledge of the facts. There are, as a rule, three or four different parts of an assessment which come up for discussion. Perhaps three would be agreed, and the dispute rest on the fourth. The Financial Secretary pointed out that in that case it was quite clear the commissioners would say that the tax must be paid on the three parts not in dispute. If that be so, what is the objection to the words of the Amendment, 624 which make it perfectly clear that if there be no dispute the amount of the tax should be paid? There cannot be an amount not in dispute which the commissioners have to depend on their own judgment to decide. The amount either is not in dispute or it is in dispute, and, if the words in the Clause "appears to the special commissioners" mean anything at all, they manifestly mean that the special commissioners are to override the opinion of the taxpayer as to the question in dispute. The Financial Secretary shakes his head, but I put it to him: If the words are not intended to give the special commissioners the power to override what the taxpayer has stated he disputes, then what do they mean If they do not mean that, surely the words "is not in dispute" quite clearly meet the point. It seems to me, therefore, that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will reconsider this matter he will see that the Committee are more than anxious to meet him in his effort to ensure that all tax not in dispute will be collected, but equally the Committee want to be assured that the dispute shall be confined to the part which the taxpayer has stated, and these words will not give the special commissioners the same power to override what the taxpayer has said.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
As you have permitted a general discussion to take place on this Amendment, I would like to put a somewhat wider issue to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This Clause applies to Surtax the same principle which it is said was applied to Income Tax in 1926. Is this a time to carry a change of this character? Is this overloaded Budget the vehicle which should be burdened with the additional tidying-up of the procedure against the direct taxpayer? It is not sufficiently realised, and cannot be too frequently emphasised, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, partly by the necessities of his office, partly by his own personal inclinations, and partly by the political forces which actuate him, is making a more direct and invidious attack on the Surtax payer than has ever been made before. He isolates this class as if they were criminals and proceeds against them by every method and from every side simultaneously. This Budget, an enormous document which falls with a clap on the table, he rams through—no Autumn Session is good enough for 625 the Chancellor, he must have it through within four months from the passing of the Resolutions—and the right hon. Gentleman is advancing against forces which will resist him with determination and without any compunction.
Is he really wise to try to put in all these dodges and means of tightening up, which the Board of Inland Revenue very rightly, in the course of their elaborate administration of the Income Tax Acts, consider from time to time will facilitate their work? Is he really wise to incorporate them in a Budget which, in any case, is a Bill of pains and penalties to a very large class of His Majesty's subjects I Let him take the substance, and leave these petty irritations of the Somerset Rouse torture chamber to some other occasion when he is less pressed for time, when, instead of having to impose pains and penalties, he may have some mitigation to offer. When this principle was applied to the income Tax, it was the year after we had made a reduction of 6d. in the standard rate and it was in the year when we were imposing no new burdens. The right hon. Gentleman must realise that it is easy for him to stand up and say, "I will take £20,000,000 from that class, £12,000,000 from this, and £5,000,000 from the other class of taxpayer." [An HON. MEMBER: "You did that!"] No, on the contrary, I made remissions, and the right hon. Gentleman has accused me of doing it. It is easy for the Chancellor to say that, but make no mistake, it inflicts wounds. They may be necessary wounds; the balance of the Budget must be maintained, the finance of the country must be met, the expenditure must be paid, and the Government of the day are entitled in the main to put the burden upon those classes or the population which they regard as most suited to bear the burden.
I agree to all that, but do not add to that a whole set of minor provisions of an irritating character, which are not necessary to the finance of the year. Above all, do not do it at a time when you are advancing steadily into a no-thoroughfare street. The days are limited, and the wall at the end of the street will be found to be very tough and unyielding. We are not afraid of the right hon. Gentleman or of the machinery which he could bring to bear. In my 626 view, he cannot possibly get this Budget through in the statutory time unless he imposes the Guillotine closure——
The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Robert Young)
The right hon. Gentleman is straying a little from the Question before the Committee.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I was anxious to abridge our labours by pointing out the easy course to the right hon. Gentleman. The easy course is not the Closure. It is not sitting up all night. The easy course is to drag out of the Bill the minor and needless provisions which have been stuck in by the Department, and which are so very agreeable to the taste of the right hon. Gentleman that he does not hesitate to fight for them as if they were substantial revenue yielding propositions. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman what he is getting out of this. How much money is there in this Clause? We have to find £50,000,000 odd to balance the Budget, according to him; I say no, but that is the figure, according to him. Accepting his hypothesis, what is the contribution towards that which comes out of this Clause? Is it worth the four or five hours discussion which it will probably take? The right hon. Gentleman need not withdraw in any way from the view which he has expressed, not abate at all in his desire to tighten up the administration in this respect, but surely he will be well advised to postpone it to some period when there is much more time and to a time when he is not irritating this large body of taxpayers; to a time when, if the taxpayers are not getting relief, they are not being worsened in their plight. Then it would be a reasonable and proper course to follow.
My suggestion is that he drop this Clause, and probably 15 or 20 other Clauses in this Bill. Then he will get the £50,000,000 to balance his Budget. The Socialist party ought to be satisfied with that. Why drag in all these little annoyances at a time like this? I am not contesting the principle—I applied it to the Income Tax—but I am contesting the propriety and expediency of doing it at a moment when you are already proceeding with so much necessary vigour and so much unnecessary animus against this same class. The right hon. Gentleman sits there with a wry face, but I will help him out of his 627 difficulty, while enabling him to carry the provisions for the year which he requires——
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
Has the right hon. Gentleman forgotten that he proposed an Amendment to this Bill which would deprive me of £30,000,000 of revenue?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
That is quite true, for when each particular tax is produced, it is the duty of the Opposition to raise the whole question of each tax, and to show the resistance which is incited by its imposition, which resistance is the representative expression of the injury done to a large class of people by the tax. At that moment, we are not concerned with balancing the Budget. The responsibility rests with the Government of the day, and the Opposition are entitled to raise any number of inconsistent propositions which in their aggregate would destroy the Revenue and the balancing of the Budget, in order that these matters may receive the attention of Parliament. That is always done, and by nobody more than the party opposite, who have raised many points affecting the Revenue, and who have made promises which, taken in the aggregate, would amount to hundreds of millions sterling a year.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
This practice of interruption is much to be regretted, but when the right hon. Gentleman showed himself so anxious to intervene, and when he was bubbling and simmering with a desire to intervene, I thought it only right to offer him an opportunity of making a full outpouring of what he had in his mind. It is only to that that I am making an answer. My objection to this Clause is not one of principle at all; it is one of time and of expediency. The right hon. Gentleman runs a great risk in offending the whole body of Income Tax and Surtax payers. He may have to run some part of that risk, and say that he has a responsibility in facing the necessity of an increase in taxation. In part that may be true, but all the more I counsel him to proceed with some tact and discretion. [An HON. MEMBER: "You have not shown an abundance of 628 it!"] I have had the tact to maintain a continuous opposition without having lost the good humour of hon. Gentlemen opposite. The right hon. Gentleman should, as a matter of political discretion, not burden his Bill with a whole host of points of minor tightenings up of the screw against this particular class at this time. If he loses the good will of the Income Tax and Surtax payers, he will not get the revenue that he requires in time.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am not encouraging anybody, but warning the right hon. Gentleman of the consequences which may follow from the course which he is adopting. Whatever we may consider about the expediency of these things, we have not the time to carry all these masses of minor provisions, these frillings which have been attached to this Finance Bill. They have got to go. The right hon. Gentleman must throw out all the lumber from his Budget, or he will not get the Budget in statutory time. I warn him of that. I warned him the other night, and I warn him now.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am warning the right hon. Gentleman on this Clause, and I adduce as my credentials——
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The hon. Gentleman will admit that if there were a rule like that it would be a warning three times in respect of different offences. I ask the Chancellor frankly why he will not consider dropping this Clause for another year, and bringing it up in the Budget next year. He will be there, for he has told us so again and again; or why cannot he bring it up in any of the four years which he is going to use to put the finances of the country in order? If you 629 go to any great class of people in this country, and tell them that there is something to be done, if you show them the necessity, they will put up with it, but do not annoy them with a lot of harassing trifles flung in at the same time, but put them in when you have some easements to show, and it will make the collection of taxes all the easier.
§ Sir DENNIS HERBERT
I hope that we may be able to persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary that some alteration regarding this Clause is desirable. The speech of the Financial Secretary makes me think that I can put the case to him in a way which will convince him that an alteration is wanted. I know of no tribunal which is more praiseworthy and reputable than that of the special commissioners; but let us suppose the hon. Member himself were being prosecuted—of course, that is an impossible assumption—on a criminal indictment containing 10 counts, and that he had no defence whatever to some of those counts. Would the hon. Member be satisfied if the Judge decided to try only those counts which he (the Judge) considered were in dispute? Let me give what is, perhaps, a better example. Suppose the hon. Member disputes a number of items in his grocer's bill, saying that he is being charged for goods which he never ordered. Is the Judge before whom that case comes to decide, before hearing the hon. Gentleman, and without his consent, that certain of the goods were in the Judge's opinion ordered and therefore the hon. Member has no right to dispute them?
If there are items which are not in dispute we want the Revenue authorities to be able to recover the money, but we must have regard to the fact that the special commissioners are the tribunal who have to try the case and that they are a very special kind of tribunal. In spite of their fairness and their excellent behaviour, they are a tribunal who are, technically at least, tainted by their connection with the Inland Revenue. It ought not to be for them to decide, without the consent of, or without hearing, the parties, whether one party has a right to dispute a particular item or whether he has not. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot consent to any amendment now, I hope he will consider introducing on the 630 Report stage some other language which will get rid of the objection which has been raised to the Clause in its present form. A lawyer, reading the Clause alone, and not considering the general custom, would regard it as giving the tribunal the right to decide certain points of a case against a party to that case without that party having been heard. The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head, and I quite realise that that is not his intention, but if he will read the Clause he will see that it might happen. At any rate, that is an opinion which has been expressed with great confidence by great lawyers whose business it is to interpret these Acts of Parliament. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will be well advised to consider whether he cannot alter the wording of the Clause so as to get rid of the objection without destroying the Clause or losing the advantages which he hopes to secure under it.
§ Sir ASSHETON POWNALL
I suggest to the Chancellor that a solution of the difficulty might be found on the lines of an Amendment I have put down providing that there should be an appeal to the general commissioners rather than to the special commissioners. I think the difference between them is not very widely known. The special commissioners are specially identified with the collection of Surtax. The general commissioners, I understand, are a nonprofessional body whose job it is to deal with general cases of appeal. Under the Finance Act of 1926 an appeal was allowed to the general commissioners, and I suggest that is a way of getting round this difficulty. It is as unfair that the appeal from the special commissioners should lie to the special commissioners as it would be if the appeal from a decision of Mr. Justice Brown in the High Court should lie to Mr. Justice Brown and not to a higher court. Although from recent personal acquaintance I have the very highest regard for the work being done by the special commissioners, yet when there is a matter in dispute it is impossible for them not to take the view which they have already put forward that the sum of money in dispute ought to be paid. Obviously in such a case there ought to be an appeal to the outside tribunal. 631 In this case we have one already in existence and there would be no extra expenditure whatever. This tribunal is sitting for Income Tax appeals and what possible objection could there be to these appeals being referred to it? If something could be done on these lines I think this Clause could be agreed to pretty quickly.
§ Mr. W. S. MORRISON
May I make an appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to meet us, in the interests of preserving the logical consistency of the Clause? Whatever our political opinions may be, we are all agreed about the necessity of making the language of Bills as clear and free from logical absurdity as possible, whether we are seeking to safeguard the interests of the taxpayer or trying to sharpen the weapons of tax collection, and to my mind there is something illogical in the language which we are here seeking to amend. The whole Clause centres upon a sum which is in dispute. It takes two persons to make a dispute, but we are going to give one party to the dispute the right to say that there is no dispute at all, even though the other party strenuously contends that there is. The Financial Secretary shakes his head. As I followed his observations I understand that he contends that in reality the special commissioners are a tribunal and are not identified with the ordinary tax collector with whom the dispute has arisen in the first place; but I submit that they are a tribunal of a special sort, an administrative tribunal and not in any sense on the same plane as a Law Courts tribunal which deals with all matters affecting the subject.
With the greatest fairness of mind in the world, a tribunal which is identified with the work of tax collecting cannot prevent a certain infiltration of the tax-collecting spirit. However fair and balanced the special commissioners may be in their decisions, there still remains the absurdity that when the taxpayer says, "I dispute that item," they have the power to say that there is no dispute about it. Surely if the taxpayer says that he has been wrongly assessed there is at least a dispute, and the words we are seeking to put in are, I respectfully submit, much more logical and free from absurdity than those at present in the 632 Clause. The special commissioners are not regarded by the ordinary taxpayers as occupying that impartial judicial position which the Financial Secretary ascribed to them. The ordinary man associates them with the Income Tax collecting machinery. In his eyes they are a part of that machinery, and I am certain it will arouse a sense of grievance amongst taxpayers if we give a body which is regarded as part of the tax-collecting machinery the power to say there is no dispute about an item which the taxpayer is strenuously disputing.
In these days, when the burden upon the direct taxpayer is becoming increasingly onerous, we must be careful to preserve that sense of fairness to which allusion has been made. We are creating in our tax-collecting machinery a body of highly efficient persons who give loyal and industrious service to the State, and in this sporting nation of ours it is impossible for any body of persons to enter in a service without becoming imbued with a sporting effort to try to do their job as well as possible. I have not the least doubt that when the tax gatherers of this country relax, if ever they do, in their clubs and canteens and places like that, that they tell each other stories of their activities. One man will say how he has just succeeded in screwing £5 out of a grocer, and another will cap that with some greater triumph. You have there a spirit which is very laudable from the revenue side, but which is a danger to the taxpayer unless we are careful to make sure that no undue weapon is placed in the tax gatherer's hands. If the Chancellor will not accept the words we propose, I appeal to him to secure, before the Report stage, some form of words which will avoid the main grievance, that a taxpayer who is strenuously contending against a certain imposition of taxation is to be told that there is no dispute at all about it, and to be told that by a body which he regards as part of the tax-collecting machinery.
Recently we have heard from the highest judicial tribunal in the land severe criticism of the extent to which the ordinary taxpayer is sometimes taken up the whole ladder of litigation by the tax-collecting authorities, put to very heavy costs, and put also to immense anxiety as to his financial posi- 633 tion and to great inconvenience and trouble. There is a feeling abroad that the Inland Revenue Department is becoming too efficient and too tyrannical in that way, that they do use their power, no doubt very properly and very patriotically, in the interests of the country, but that they are apt to neglect and ignore the anxiety and the pain which their action inflicts upon the ordinary citizens, to whom alone we have to look for the revenue which pays the salaries of these gentlemen.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been pleading Clause 25 of the Act of 1926 in support of this Clause, but I suggest that he should put that Clause aside. No particular principle is involved in the Clause before us, and if he makes a concession he will be conceding no principle. It is merely a question of machinery. If the words proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley) or my right hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) were included, they would not alter the
§ whole effect of the Clause, and there would be no diminution of the power of the Inland Revenue to collect that which is due. Therefore, I think the Chancellor might show a little graciousness here, and meet us by adopting some other form of words, forgetting the words of Clause 25 of the Act of 1926. That would wipe away what is regarded as a grievance, upon which the taxpayer's fear is founded. I suggest that if you put in the words "is not" instead of the words "appears to the special commissioners not to be," you would not weaken the Clause. In that case the Chancellor of the Exchequer would get the powers which he seeks, and the concession would satisfy those who sit on the Opposition side of the Committee.
§ 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, 271; Noes, 128.637
|Division No. 376.]||AYES.||[5.48 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Compton, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cove, William G.||Harbord, A.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cowan, D. M.||Hardie, George D.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Daggar, George||Harris, Percy A.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Dallas, George||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Alpass, J. H.||Dalton, Hugh||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Arnott, John||Day, Harry||Haycock, A. W.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Dickson, T.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Ayles, Walter||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Dukes, C.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Ede, James Chuter||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Edmunds, J. E.||Herriotts, J.|
|Barr, James||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Batey, Joseph||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Egan, W. H.||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Bellamy, Albert||Elmley, Viscount||Hollins, A.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||England, Colonel A.||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Foot, Isaac||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Benson, G.||Forgan, Dr. Robert||Horrabin, J. F.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Isaacs, George|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Bowen, J. W.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Johnston, Thomas|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Gibbins, Joseph||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Bromfield, William||Gill, T. H.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)|
|Brothers, M.||Glassey, A. E.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Gossling, A. G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gould, F.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Buchanan, G.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Granville, E.||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Gray, Milner||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Kinley, J.|
|Cape, Thomas||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Knight, Holford|
|Charleton, H. C.||Groves, Thomas E.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)|
|Chater, Daniel||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lang, Gordon|
|Clarke, J. S.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lathan, G.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Oldfield, J. R.||Snell, Harry|
|Lawrence, Susan||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Lawson, John James||Palin, John Henry.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Lawther W. (Barnard Castle)||Paling, Wilfrid||Sorensen, R.|
|Leach, W.||Palmer, E. T.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Perry, S. F.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Lees, J.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Sullivan, J.|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Sutton, J. E.|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Potts, John S.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Price, M. P.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Longden, F.||Pybus, Percy John||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Lowth, Thomas||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Tillett, Ben|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Rathbone, Eleanor||Tinker, John Joseph|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Raynes, W. R.||Tout, W. J.|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Richards, R.||Townend, A. E.|
|McElwee, A.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|McEntee, V. L.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Viant, S. P.|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Ritson, J.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Walker, J.|
|McShane, John James||Romeril, H. G.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Rowson, Guy||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor|
|Mansfield, W.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Watkins, F. C.|
|Marley, J.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Marshall, Fred||Sanders, W. S.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Mathers, George||Sandham, E.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Messer, Fred||Sawyer, G. F.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Middleton, G.||Scurr, John||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Millar, J. D.||Sexton, James||West, F. R.|
|Milner, Major J.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Montague, Frederick||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||White, H. G.|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Sherwood, G. H.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Morley, Ralph||Shield, George William||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Shillaker, J. F.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Simmons, C. J.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Mort, D. L.||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Moses, J. J. H.||Sinkinson, George||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Sitch, Charles H.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Muff, G.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Murnin, Hugh||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Nathan, Major H. L.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Mr. Hayes and Mr. William|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Whiteley.|
|Noel Baker, P. J.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Davies, Dr. Vernon||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.|
|Atkinson, C.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Lamb, Sir J. O.|
|Balniel, Lord||Dawson, Sir Philip||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Berry, Sir George||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Llewellin, Major J. J.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Everard, W. Lindsay||Long, Major Eric|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Fermoy, Lord||Margesson, Captain H. D.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Fielden, E. B.||Marjoribanks, E. C.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Meller, R. J.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Ford, Sir P. J.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Buchan, John||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Mond, Hon. Henry|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Christle, J. A.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Penny, Sir George|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hartington, Marquess of||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Haslam, Henry C.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Heneaqe, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hurd, Percy A.||Remer, John R.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Iveagh, Countess of||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Smithers, Waldron||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Ross, Major Ronald D.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Salmon, Major I.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Tinne, J. A.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Todd, Capt. A. J.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Savery, S. S.||Train, J.|
|Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert||Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wardlaw-Mllne, J. S.||Wallace.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."638
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 260; Noes, 145.639
|Division No. 377.]||AYES.||[5.57 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Gibbins, Joseph||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Gill, T. H.||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Glassey, A. E.||Longden, F.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Gossling, A. G.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Gould, F.||Lowth, Thomas|
|Arnott, John||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Ayles, Walter||Granville, E.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||McElwee, A.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McEntee, V. L.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Groves, Thomas E.||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Barr, James||Grundy, Thomas W.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||McShane, John James|
|Bellamy, Albert||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Harbord, A.||Mansfield, W.|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Hardle, George D.||Marley, J.|
|Benson, G.||Harris, Percy A.||Marshall, F.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Mathers, George|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Messer, Fred|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Haycock, A. W.||Middleton, G.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Hayday, Arthur||Millar, J. D.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Milner, Major J.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Montague, Frederick|
|Bromfield, William||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Brooke, W.||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Morley, Ralph|
|Brothers, M.||Herriotts, J.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Buchanan, G.||Hoffman, P. C.||Mort, D. L.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Hollins, A.||Moses, J. J. H.|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Hopkin, Daniel||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)|
|Cameron, A. G.||Horrabin, J. F.||Muff, G.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Muggeridge, H. T.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Isaacs, George||Murnin, Hugh|
|Charleton, H. C.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Chater, Daniel||Johnston, Thomas||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Church, Major A. G.||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Palin, John Henry|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Paling, Wilfrid|
|Cove, William G.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Palmer, E. T.|
|Daggar, George||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Dallas, George||Kelly, W. T.||Perry, S. F.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kennedy, Thomas||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Day, Harry||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Picton-Turbervill, Edith|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Kinley, J.||Potts, John S.|
|Dickson, T.||Kirkwood, D.||Price, M. P.|
|Dukes, C.||Knight, Holford||Pybus, Percy John|
|Ede, James Chuter||Lang, Gordon||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lathan, G.||Raynes, W. R.|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Richards, R.|
|Egan, W. H.||Law, A. (Rosendale)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Elmley, Viscount||Lawrence, Susan||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Foot, Isaac||Lawson, John James||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Forgan, Dr. Robert||Lawther W. (Barnard Castle)||Ritson, J.|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Leach, W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Romeril, H. G.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Lees, J.||Rowson, Guy|
|Salter, Dr. Alfred||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Samuel Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Sanders, W. S.||Snell, Harry||Watkins, F. C.|
|Sandham, E.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Sawyer, G. F.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Scurr, John||Sorensen, R.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Sexton, James||Stamford, Thomas W.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Stephen, Campbell||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Strauss, G. R.||Westwood, Joseph|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Sullivan, J.||White, H. G.|
|Sherwood, G. H.||Sutton, J. E.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Shield, George William||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Shillaker, J. F.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Thurtle, Ernest||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Simmons, C. J.||Tillett, Ben||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Tinker, John Joseph||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Sinkinson, George||Tout, W. J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Sitch, Charles H.||Townend, A. E.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Vaughan, D. J.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Viant, S. P.|
|Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Walkden, A. G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Walker, J.||Mr. Hayes and Mr. William Whiteley|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Ford, Sir P. J.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Atkinson, C.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Balniel, Lord||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Remer, John R.|
|Berry, Sir George||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gray, Milner||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hartington, Marquess of||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Buchan, John||Haslam, Henry C.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Savery, S. S.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hurd, Percy A.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Chapman, Sir S.||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Christie, J. A.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Locker-Lampson, Com, O. (Handsw'th)||Train, J.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Long, Major Eric||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Lymington, Viscount||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Wardlaw-Milne. J. S.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Meller, R. J.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Mond, Hon. Henry||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Womersley, W. J.|
|England, Colonel A.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Fermoy, Lord||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Captain Sir George Bowyer and|
|Fielden, E. B.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Sir George Penny.|
|Fison, F. G. Clavering||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understand that the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) 640 —in page 16, line 40, after the word "to," to insert the words "the person assessed and"—and the Amendment in the name of the hon. Mem- 641 ber for Kidderminster (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne)—in page 17, line 6, at the end, to add the words:Provided that, before such payment is demanded, the taxpayer shall have the right if he questions the decision of the commissioners as to their determination of the amount not in dispute, to put his case before them at a personal hearing"—were to have been moved formally. I apologise to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wood Green, but, unfortunately, owing to the way in which I put the Question on the Amendment that we have just decided, his Amendment is ruled out.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
May I say, with great respect, that this is rather an awkward situation 2 Such a situation often arises, with perfect good will and good faith on either side, per incuriam. Something takes place, or a Clause is put in a particular way, and a Division is taken. Let me, however, recall to you, Sir, and to the Committee, exactly how our business so far has been running this afternoon——
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not know if the right hon. Gentleman wants to put a point of Order to me, but the responsibility rests upon me.
§ Mr, CHURCHILL
It is to you, Sir, that I am addressing myself exclusively, if I may say so, not only in the purely Parliamentary sense, as is my duty, but also personally, in regard to this matter. It was understood that, if a general debate on the whole Clause took place on the first Amendment, the other two Amendments would be moved with short speeches and disposed of very rapidly—[HON. MEMBERS: "Formally!"] There is a difference of opinion as to whether it was to be formally or with short speeches. There is not much difference between the one and the other. "Formally" would not exclude short speeches.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am reciting what has happened, because there must not be any misunderstandings; we do not want to get any bad blood into our discussions. These two Amendments were to have been moved, as the Government contend, formally, and, as we say, with short speeches——
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understood that the right hon. Gentleman was raising a point of Order with me, and not with the Government, with regard to the way in which I put the Question.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The way in which you put the Question founds itself upon the events which preceded the putting of the Question, namely, that these two Amendments were to be moved formally, as the Government contend, or, as we say, with short speeches—there is no difference between the two—[Interruption.] If we say we will do it, we will do it; and let that be remembered, by the way. There was no clear——
§ The CHAIRMAN
There must have been some mistake at the very beginning. The Question originally was put in the way that I put it, and evidently nobody on the Opposition side of the Committee drew the attention of the Chairman to it at the time.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
However it may be, the fact remains that we are not in a position to move these two Amendments——
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
We can only move two out of the three. We have lost one of them. We can neither move it formally and divide upon it for the purpose of expressing our opinion upon it, nor can we move it by short speeches. I agree that it is, therefore, irrevocable. "The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on." We cannot recall it, even with all your good will or ours. Therefore, we must regard that Amendment as having gone. But I submit to you, Sir, that the fact that this has happened completely disposes of the slightest understanding on the rest of the Clause. I am putting it to the sense of fair play of the Committee——
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is the view of the right hon. Gentleman, but it does not arise on the point of Order as to the way in which I put the Question.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
With very great respect, the point of Order that I am putting is not a point of Order purely affecting a technical matter. It governs the important aspect of the general relations between the parties in the House and the Chair during the progress of 643 these protracted discussions, and I suggest that, as we have lost altogether the opportunity of moving and voting upon this Amendment, it is quite clear that, on the remaining Amendments which are saved, we shall revive our right to have the ordinary free and untramelled discussion, and to have a full discussion on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
On the point of Order. I would like to get clearly from you, Mr. Young, exactly what the position is.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I will state it. All that has happened is that the Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wood Green has not been saved, and, therefore, cannot now be put from the Chair. That is all that has happened. The blame for that should not be cast upon the Government Front Bench because a mistake was made by the Chairman for the time being, at the time when the agreement was made.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I do not understand that there was an agreement between the parties and the Deputy-Chairman, but my right hon. Friend will take up that point and enlarge upon it further. I understand that a suggestion was made by the Deputy-Chairman, and my right hon. Friend acquiesced in it, but it must not be considered on the same basis as a Parliamentary bargain reached with the Government. It was an understanding for the good conduct of the debate, reached between my right hon. Friend and the Chair. Since, as you have said, though I would never venture to say it, the Chair made a mistake, I suggest to you that it is for the Chair to release us from the slightest obligation in the matter.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This is really not a point of Order. The discussion is taking place over something the Committee has done, perhaps by an error on the part of the Chair, in not having saved an Amendment, and the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) unfortunately cannot be formally moved. The only thing left for the Committee is to proceed with the Amendment in the name of the hon. 644 Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne), which I also understood was to be formally moved.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
Would it be possible to save it, in a sense, by putting in a manuscript Amendment, a proviso, containing the words which have been left out?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I was going to make some such suggestion myself. If you could see your way, Mr. Young, to accept a manuscript Amendment, which again would be moved formally, and we divide without discussion, that would be a reasonable way out, which would observe what was an understanding between the Chair and both sides of the Committee, and would preserve the hon. Member's right to have a formal vote taken, and it would not take up time.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
I want to get it clear. I have no objection to what has been proposed regarding my hon. Friend's Amendment, but you, Sir, have twice stated that it was understood that my Amendment would be put without discussion.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member must raise that point when he comes to his Amendment. If the right hon. Member for Wood Green can find a suitable place, I shall be pleased to put his Amendment. It is one of those things that will happen.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
It is really most important that we should not begin what may be a very protracted sitting with any misunderstanding. I understand it is settled that this Amendment which was cut out is now to be restored. That being so, our grievance disappears. We will take these three issues in the briefest possible Parliamentary time, but I must make it clear that we must have a reasonable Parliamentary opportunity of discussion on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is not a point of Order, but this is the first time I have heard it said that Members do not hear me.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
On the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), I certainly understood that we were taking a discussion of the Clause on the first Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman himself made a speech which not only covered the Clause but almost covered the Budget. He went so far beyond the Clause as to be interrupted by the Chair. Those who want to get on with the Bill are entitled to ask that we shall not have that discussion repeated on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am in the hands of the Committee in the matter. I can give no ruling in regard to that.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I do not want there to be an accusation of bad faith. I contend that a reasonable and brief discussion on the Question "That the Clause stand part" is not barred out by any arrangement. If the Financial Secretary will say that is so, he will be no sufferer by it.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I certainly understood we were having a discussion at the time on the Amendment, but if the right hon. Gentleman says a brief discussion is not ruled out, and that it will facilitate business, I will accept that.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
These things are being discussed without my having an opportunity of saying what has been settled as far as I am concerned.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am sorry. I did not call on the hon. Member before, because this is all out of order at this stage. I am waiting on the Amendment.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
The point I want to put is this. Your predecessor made it clear that he wanted to have the Amendments that were germane to the Amendment we were then discussing disposed of as far as possible together, and that was afterwards agreed to between 646 the two parties when I was not present. My Amendment cannot be discussed until the previous Amendment is disposed of, and I do not think it would be fair that I should be bound as to the range of discussion that can arise on this Amendment.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Might I perhaps say for your information, Mr. Young, that while your predecessor was in the Chair and the right hon. Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) was speaking, he was ruled out of order, the Chairman stating that it would be in order when we came to discuss the Question, "That the Clause stand part," so there can be no doubt about it.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
I beg to move, in page 17, line 6, at the end, to add the words:Provided that the person assessed shall be entitled to be heard by the commissioners before their decision is given as to the amount upon which tax is to be paid.I have already made my speech on another occasion. It is simply to enable a person to be heard before the commissioners before they finally determine the amount in dispute.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
On a point of Order. Is it your intention, Mr. Young, that no other Amendments on this Clause shall be selected? Otherwise, this is not the place for my right hon. Friend's Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This is another case of the hon. Gentleman not knowing the arrangement that has been come to. It is very unfortunate. The Deputy-Chairman told me, when I took the Chair, that a general discussion on all the Amendments was taking place, and only the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) and the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne) would be put formally. This is perfectly in order now.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
Do I understand that this new Amendment will rule out my Amendment, which seems to be the same thing?
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 146; Noes, 265.649
|Division No. 378.]||AYES.||[6.29 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Atkinson, C.||Fermoy, Lord||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Fielden, E. B.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Berry, Sir George||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Remer, John R.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bracken, B.||Hammersley, S. S.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hartington, Marquess of||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Haslam, Henry C.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Buchan, John||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Savery, S. S.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hurd, Percy A.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Christie, J. A.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Sueter Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Train, J.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Cowan, D. M.||Long, Major Eric||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lymington, Viscount||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Meller, R. J.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Millar, J. D.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Mond, Hon. Henry||Womersley, W. J.|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Captain Sir George Bowyer and|
|England, Colonel A.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)||Sir Frederick Thomson.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Bowen, J. W.||Daggar, George|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Broad, Francis Alfred||Dallas, George|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Brockway, A. Fenner||Dalton, Hugh|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Bromfield, William||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hllisbro')||Brooke, W.||Day, Harry|
|Alpass, J. H.||Brothers, M.||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Dickson, T.|
|Arnott, John||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dukes, C.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Buchanan, G.||Ede, James Chuter|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Burgess, F. G.||Edmunds, J. E.|
|Ayles, Walter||Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Caine, Derwent Hall-||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)|
|Barr, James||Cameron, A. G.||Egan, W. H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Cape, Thomas||Elmley, Viscount|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Foot, Isaac|
|Bellamy, Albert||Charleton, H. C.||Forgan, Dr. Robert|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Chater, Daniel||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Church, Major A. G.||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)|
|Benson, G.||Clarke, J. S.||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Gill, T. H.|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Compton, Joseph||Glassey, A. E.|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Cove, William G.||Gossling, A. G.|
|Gould, F.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||McElwee, A.||Shield, George William|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||McEntee, V. L.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Granville, E.||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McShane, John James||Simmons, C. J.|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Sinkinson, George|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Mansfield, W.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Marley, J.||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Marshall, Fred||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Mathers, George||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Harbord, A.||Messer, Fred||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Hardle, George D.||Middleton, G.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Milner, Major J.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Montague, Frederick||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Snell, Harry|
|Haycock, A. W.||Morley, Ralph||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Hayday, Arthur||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Sorensen, R.|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Mort, D. L.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Moses, J. J. H.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Herriotts, J.||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Strauss, G. R.|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Sullivan, J.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Muff, G.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Hoffman, P. C.||Muggeridge, H. T.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Hollins, A.||Murnin, Hugh||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Nathan, Major H. L.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Horrabin, J. F.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Tillett, Ben|
|Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Oldfield, J. R.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Isaacs, George||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Tout, W. J.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Palin, John Henry||Townend, A. E.|
|Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Paling, Wilfrid||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Palmer, E. T.||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Viant, S. P.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Perry, S. F.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Walker, J.|
|Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Wallace, H. W.|
|Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.||Potts, John S.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Price, M. P.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Pybus, Percy John||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Kennedy, Thomas||Quibell, D. J. K.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Kinley, J.||Rathbone, Eleanor||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Kirkwood, D.||Raynes, W. R.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Lang, Gordon||Richards, R.||West, F. R.|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Lathan, G.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||White, H. G.|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Ritson, J.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Lawther W. (Barnard Castle)||Romeril, H. G.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Leach, W.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Rowson, Guy||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Lees, J.||Samuel Rt. Ron. Sir H. (Darwen)||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Sanders, W. S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Sandham, E.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Sawyer, G. F.||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Longden, F.||Scrymgeour, E.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Scurr, John|
|Lowth, Thomas||Sexton, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Hayes.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
I beg to move, in page 17, line 6, at the end, to add the words:Provided that, before such payment is demanded, the taxpayer shall have the right, if he questions the decision of the commissioners as to their determination of the amount not in dispute, to put his case before them at a personal hearing.I wish to say why I am so anxious to preserve this Amendment. The previous Amendments which we discussed, particularly the Amendment in the name of 650 my hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley), referred to the desirability of the special commissioners not having the right of deciding the amount in dispute except in agreement with the taxpayer. The object of those Amendments was to make the taxpayer and the special commissioners in agreement as to the amount in dispute and not to give the special commissioners any over-riding right in the matter. It was clear, therefore, that this Amendment 651 could not suitably be discussed at the same time, because it deals only with the position which will arise if and when the commissioners give a decision. If the Committee had not decided to support the Clause in the Bill it would not have been necessary to move this Amendment. The terms of this Amendment come into force now that it has been decided that it shall lie within the power of the commissioners to decide what appears to them to be the amount not in dispute. My Amendment makes it clear that if that takes place and the commissioners decide upon an amount to which the taxpayer does not agree, at least the taxpayer shall have the right of a personal hearing by the commissioners before a final decision is arrived at.
From what the Financial Secretary to the Treasury said earlier in the debate to-day, I think that this Amendment must appeal to him. He first of all said that in these cases there really was no dispute. I am paraphrasing his actual words. In effect he said that there is no dispute. The assessment is made, perhaps, in two or three parts. The bulk of it may not be in dispute and only one part may remain in dispute, and, therefore, he said that there is no question of a dispute really arising. If that be the case, and his reading of the Clause is correct and the taxpayer does not, unfortunately, always agree and thinks that he has a grievance, surely there is no objection to his being allowed to put his case before the special commissioners at a personal hearing. If there is no further meaning of the words in the Clause adopted by the Committee than that put before the Committee by the Financial Secretary, there can be no possible objection to the acceptance of this addition to the Clause. If the Government object—I hope that they are not going to do so—it will be because they read into the Clause something more than they have told the Committee.
§ I should have liked to develop the matter at considerable length, because I feel very strongly that it is most essential that we in this country should not take up an attitude of distrusting the taxpayer. No greater tribute has been paid to the honesty of the taxpayers of this country than has been paid by those who have to collect the Revenue. It would be a great pity to do anything which appears to suspect people or to give the impression that the House of Commons thinks that the taxpayer desires to be dishonest. That is not the case. There is no country in the world where tax is collected in the way it is in this country, and anything which gives suspicion that we think there is a likelihood of dishonesty will do a great deal of harm. However, I am not going to develop that argument. If this Clause means nothing more than the Government say it means there can be no possible objection to the addition of these words.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I thought the answer had been given during the debate on the previous Amendment. The Government cannot accept this proposal. They consider the form of words recommended by the Royal Commission and adopted in the previous Act quite sufficient, and they do not see any reason to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. REMER
I must strongly protest against the very inadequate reply of the Financial Secretary to the very admirable speech of the hon. Member for Kidder-minister (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne). In the case of a dispute, it is quite obvious that the taxpayer will have to pay without being heard. Once more the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given no answer to what I regard as a very important proposal.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 156; Noes, 267.655
|Division No. 379.]||AYES.||[6.50 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Bird, Ernest Roy|
|Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.)||Balniel, Lord||Boothby, R. J. G.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Beaumont, M. W.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Berry, Sir George||Bracken, B.|
|Atkinson, C.||Betteston, Sir Henry B.||Brass, Captain Sir William|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Briscoe, Richard George|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Remer, John R.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hall, Lieut-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hammersley, S. S.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hartington, Marquess of||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Haslam, Henry C.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Christie, J. A.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hurd, Percy A.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Iveagh, Countess of||Savery, S. S.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cowan, D. M.||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Crookshank, cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Long, Major Eric||Tinne, J. A.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Train, J.|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Meller, R. J.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Millar, J. D.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Mond, Hon. Henry||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Water house, Captain Charles|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||O'Neill, Sir H.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Penny, Sir George||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Captain Sir George Bowyer and|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Charleton, H. C.||Granville, E.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Chater, Daniel||Gray, Milner|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Church, Major A. G.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Clarke, J. S.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Groves, Thomas E.|
|Arnott, John||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Compton, Joseph||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Ayles, Walter||Cove, William G.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Daggar, George||Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)|
|Barr, James||Dallas, George||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)|
|Batey, Joseph||Dalton, Hugh||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)|
|Bellamy, Albert||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Harbord, A.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Day, Harry||Hardle, George D.|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Harris, Percy A.|
|Benson, G.||Dickson, T.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Dukes, C.||Haycock, A. W.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Ede, James Chuter||Hayday, Arthur|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Edmunds, J. E.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Egan, W. H.||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Elmley, Viscount||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Foot, Isaac||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Bromfield, William||Forgan, Dr. Robert||Herriotts, J.|
|Brooke, W.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Brothers, M.||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Hollins, A.|
|Buchanan, G.||Gibbins, Joseph||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Burgess, F. G.||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Horrabin, J. F.|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Gill, T. H.||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Glassey, A. E.||Hutchison, Maj-Gen, Sir R.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Gossling, A. G.||Isaacs, George|
|Cameron, A. G.||Gould, F.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Cape, Thomas||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Johnston, Thomas|
|Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Moses, J. J. H.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Muff, G.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Muggeridge, H. T.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Murnin, Hugh||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.||Nathan, Major H. L.||Snell, Harry|
|Kedward R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Kelly, W. T.||Noel Baker, P. J.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Kennedy, Thomas||Oldfield, J. R.||Sorensen, B.|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Kinley, J.||Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Kirkwood, D.||Palin, John Henry||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Lang, Gordon||Paling, Wilfrid||Strauss, G. R.|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Palmer, E. T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Lathan, G.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Perry, S. F.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Lawther W. (Barnard Castle)||Potts, John S.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Leach, W.||Price, M. P.||Tillett, Ben|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Pybus, Percy John||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Quibell, D. J. K.||Tout, W. J.|
|Lees, J.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Townend, A. E.|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Rathbone, Eleanor||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Raynes, W. R.||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Richards, R.||Viant, S. P.|
|Longden, F.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Walkden, A. G.|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Walker, J.|
|Lowth, Thomas||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Ritson, J.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Watkins, F. C.|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Romeril, H. G.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|McElwee, A.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|McEntee, V. L.||Rowson, Guy||Wellock, Wilfred|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Sanders, W. S.||West, F. R.|
|McShane, John James||Sandham, E.||Westwood, Joseph|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Sawyer, G. F.||White, H. G.|
|Mansfield, W.||Scrymgeour, E.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Lady wood)|
|Marley, J.||Scurr, John||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Marshall, F.||Sexton, James||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Mathers, George||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Matters, L. W.||Sherwood, G. H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Messer, Fred||Shield, George William||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Middleton, G.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Milner, Major J.||Shillaker, J. F.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Montague, Frederick||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Simmons, C. J.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Morley, Ralph||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Sinkinson, George|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Sitch, Charles H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mort, D. L.||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A.|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Sir K. WOOD
I propose to make some observations on this Clause, but, in accordance with the suggestion of the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), I shall compress them as far as possible. The first observation that must be made on what is contained in the Clause is that no one has put forward a sufficiency of facts to substantiate the necessity for this Clause at all. I have heard nothing in the statements of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary to show the need for this Clause being introduced in this Bill. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer 656 is endeavouring to obtain some further powers for the special commissioners, the first thing the Committee is entitled to is a full statement of the facts which have led him to introduce this Clause. Up to the present we have had no statement which justifies him in asking for this provision. If you assume, as he has asked us to do, that there is some necessity for proposals of this kind, the actual terms of the Clause itself go much further than the necessities as they have been stated by the representatives of the Treasury. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that, in cases where there was an agreement and a settlement between the taxpayer and the commissioners, it was obviously right that the payment of the amount in question 657 should not be held up because there was a dispute relating to some matters outside the sum which had been settled between the commissioners and the taxpayers.
That is a perfectly reasonable suggestion, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman this question. Is it not a fact that, if the commissioners do come to an agreement and a settlement with the taxpayer in respect to any item, then there is no need for the provisions of a Clause of this character, because immediately the agreement and settlement are made, the money becomes a debt which can be recovered immediately? I ask my two right hon. Friends representing Cornish Divisions who are in the legal profession if they do not accept that proposition. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that that is a view to which he cannot assent and I think we are entitled on this to the views of the Attorney-General. Of course, I accept the statement of the Chancellor that he has been advised that in such a case he wants still further legal protection so that payment can be enforced of any sum which has been agreed and settled between the special commissioners and the taxpayer. If that is so, the terms of this Clause go much beyond the necessity of that particular case. If all the Chancellor wants is some power to enable the special commissioners to recover immediately sums agreed and settled between the taxpayer and the special commissioners, that is not what is contained in this Clause. It is a, very different Clause and gives very much wider powers than anything the Chancellor has stated he will require. I object particularly to that part which gives to the commissioners the right to say that the amount which is to be recovered is the amount they have determined. The wording of the Clause puts the taxpayer in this unfortunate position, that it is not a question of the amount agreed upon between him and the special commissioners but these provisions put out of court any possible contention or dispute that the individual taxpayer can have with the special commissioners, because it says that the amount in question, which must be immediately paid and on which he can have no appeal at all, is such amount as maybe appear to them to be due. That goes beyond the reason and necessity of this Clause.
658 While I am prepared to concede that there may be a necessity for a Clause of a different character, this Clause goes much beyond it. It would be a scandal if, because a taxpayer has a dispute with the special commissioners on a particular item, he should avoid paying his just dues. That would be a monstrous thing, but, on the other hand, as so often appears in these Finance Bills, on the merits of a good case, you find creeping into these Clauses extraordinary powers far beyond what was needed. If one wants to see an example of a good case being used to obtain extraordinary powers, there is a very good example in this Clause. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will give us some undertaking that between now and other stages of the Bill he will consider whether, in fact, this Clause does not go far beyond what was necessary and put in some words, which will give him the powers which he states are necessary from the point of view of proper collection of Income Tax and Sur-tax and which at the same time will not impose unfairness and hardship on the individual taxpayer and also will not give dangerous powers to the special commissioners.
§ Major GEORGE DAVIES
The terms of this Clause and its inclusion in the Finance Bill prove something I have always held since I came into the House, that the occupants on the Front Bench on both sides of the House are divided into two classes, those who have a Civil Service mind and those who have not. It is no monopoly of the right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite. I was surprised to hear the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) confiding to his successor in office that it was a good Clause, that a thumbscrew was a very useful thing, but would it be wise to apply it at the moment? It was like torturer No. 1 suggesting to torturer No. 2 the wisdom of using the thumbscrew. I am in the position of the thumb, and the thumb does not always agree with the two torturers as to the most desirable time to use the instrument. Whatever side of the House you take, you get the Civil Service mind and Civil Service approach. We are in this House largely to protect the rights of the individual taxpayer and citizen. In the provisions of this Clause we seem to be going far beyond the proper provisions for looking after the interests 659 for which we are responsible. I cannot help being reminded of those words in Alice in Wonderland:I'll be judge, I'll be jury, said cunning old Fury.I'll try the whole case, and condemn you to death.It would ill become me to speak of the present occupant of the torturer's chair as a cunning old Fury, but the idea of one person being judge and jury and condemning the prisoner to death is implicit in this Clause. If a matter is not in dispute, it does not lie with anyone to decide whether it is in dispute or not. There is nobody who will submit for a moment that, if you got a claim for tax amounting to £15,000 or £20,000—I wish I could have such a claim made against me—and then there was a dispute over a couple of hundred pounds, you could hold up payment over an item of that sort. No one would support that, and we might still consider the desirability of including in our legislation what is done in the United States of America. There you pay Income Tax on a certain day and, if subsequently it is proved you have overpaid, you are allowed 5 per cent. on the money, while, if you do not pay, you are charged 5 per cent. on the money. That, however, could not be brought in to-day.
I only say that to disabuse the minds of hon. Members opposite of the idea that anyone on this side of the Committee wants to support unjust claims by a taxpayer against the Treasury. That is not our idea at all, but to protect the taxpayer from what may possibly develop into a hardship. To make parties judge and jury in their own case is contrary to the tenets of fair play. We are suspicious that there are some cases which the Treasury have brought forward and on which they have found a willing ear in the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and where they feel they could put on the screw and facilitate what has hitherto not been too easy to them, and risk trampling on the legitimate rights of the taxpayer. The various Amendments which have been turned down without any adequate reason are so innocuous in themselves, and so completely protect the rights of the Treasury while at the same time preventing the possibility of wrong to the taxpayer, that I cannot understand why the Chancellor 660 of the Exchequer has not at least consented to say, "I see that your idea is fair; it is possible that the Clause as it stands may inflict hardship, and therefore I undertake to introduce something which will place it beyond peradventure that what I want will be obtained, and what you want to be guarded against will be guarded against." While one can understand that on the vital provisions of this Measure the Chancellor will not give way by one jot or tittle, yet, in this matter which is not vital to the balance of the Bill, and which may, arguably, involve a possible unfairness, we are a little disappointed that the right hon. Gentleman has not been more gracious and that he has persisted in his unyielding attitude on this as well as on other Clauses of the Bill.
§ Sir SAMUEL ROBERTS
During the earlier part of this discussion I felt that possibly there was not so much objection to this Clause as some of my hon. Friends made out, because the special commissioners, as far as I know, are a body of gentlemen who do their work very thoroughly and who do not, I think, attempt to take undue advantage of the taxpayer. They are not, I understand, a branch of the Inland Revenue, but an independent body and they bring independent minds to bear upon these matters. But my suspicions have been aroused by the fact that the Government have flatly refused to accept even a very minor Amendment to the Clause providing that the taxpayer, if he has a grievance, can go and see the commissioners. It is outrageous to say that the taxpayer, if he has a grievance, cannot go and see the commissioners and I am certain that the commissioners themselves would have no objection to such a provision. I put this point to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Assuming that the taxpayer, in filling up the form of objection, makes some error or expresses himself ambiguously. He may, for instance, have known in his own mind exactly what he wanted to say, but he may have said something different. That happens over and over again. The commissioners look at the man's own words; they certify as to what is disputed and what is not, and that is the end of it, and the man receives notification that he must pay. Surely 661 it is reasonable that, if he has made a mistake, he should be allowed to explain it. Surely it is wrong that there should be a flat refusal to allow him to give any explanation to the commissioners. That makes me very suspicious. The refusal to accept that reasonable little Amendment which would not have involved a delay of a fortnight in getting the money, seems to show that the Government have something sinister at the backs of their minds in connection with this matter.
Marquess of HARTINGTON
I wish to know whether this Clause will operate both ways. The discussion up to now has been confined to the question of whether the taxpayers will be compelled to pay. I wish to know whether the Treasury will also be compelled to receive. The reason why I put that question is that, in the past, cases have arisen in which the financial balance of the year has been perceptibly affected by the fact that certain amounts have still been in dispute. More than one case has come within my personal knowledge in which, although a large majority of claims had already been settled and agreed upon, there was still a small amount in dispute, and in those cases the Revenue authorities refused to receive so much of the amount as was agreed upon and to leave the rest of the amount until afterwards. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has definitely told the Committee that quite unintentionally the effect of that particular operation was to increase substantially the deficit of his predecessor, and that the revenue in his own year of office was quite substantially diminished in the same way. We accept, of course, the right hon. Gentleman's assurance that these have been merely accidental results, but it is obviously undesirable that the Treasury or the Revenue authorities should have it in their power to defer revenue from one year to another, and that is why I ask whether this Clause will operate equally with regard to receiving and with regard to paying.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I wish to make a few brief observations in reply to some of the points which have been raised in this discussion. Three or four of the speeches delivered recently do not, I think, raise any material points which have not already been before the Committee, but the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. 662 Wood) threw some doubt upon a statement which I made that there were no legal powers at the present time to compel payment of any duty which was not in dispute in these cases. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that what I said is perfectly correct. If there had been such powers, a Clause of this kind would not have been necessary and would not have been introduced. As a matter of fact the only power which, under the existing law, the Inland Revenue has is to appeal to the taxpayer to make payment of that part of the assessment which is not in dispute. There have been, I understand, cases in which the taxpayer has generously responded to that appeal, but there have been a great many more cases in which he has refused to do so, relying upon his legal position in the matter. The hon. and gallant Member for Yeovil (Major Davies) said that the taxpayer under the operation of this Clause would be called upon to pay at once the amount which was not in dispute, and that if, later on, it appeared that he had made some overpayment he would have no redress. I am afraid that the hon. and gallant Member must not have read the Clause carefully because there is a provision that if any such circumstance as that should arise, the taxpayer would be entitled to repayment.
Over and over again in the course of the debate this proposal has been described as an addition to the tortures to which the Income Tax payer is subjected. I venture to submit that that statement is an abuse of words. There is nothing in the nature of torture in this proposal. It has also been said once or twice that it is the duty of the House of Commons to protect the rights of the taxpayer. That I unhesitatingly concede, but the House of Commons has another duty and it is to see that one taxpayer does not take advantage of any loophole in the law at the expense of the other taxpayers, and that taxpayers should not be able, by withholding a large amount from the Revenue in this way to inflict injustice upon the taxpayers who pay promptly. The hon. and gallant Member for Yeovil put forward the point that if there had been overpayment by the taxpayer then, as in the United States, the taxpayer should be entitled to interest on the amount of the overpayment. I wonder if the hon. and gallant Member is willing to extend that reference to the 663 Revenue, and if he would call upon the taxpayer to pay interest at the rate of 5 per cent., upon sums which had not been paid when they were legally due.
The hon. Baronet the Member for Ecclesall (Sir S. Roberts could not have been present during the earlier part of the debate upon this Clause or he would not have been led into the assumption that the taxpayer has some reason to suspect that he would be debarred from approaching the special commissioners. That is not the case. As a matter of ordinary administration the taxpayer is always entitled, in the case of an ordinary assessment, to approach the local inspector of taxes and to approach the general commissioners and surely it is only a matter of common sense to assume that he can approach the special commissioners. The hon. Baronet himself admitted that the special commissioners are reasonable men and business men who carry on their duties on business lines, and it is only reasonable to assume that, when a taxpayer receives an intimation that he will be called upon to pay an amount which is regarded as not being in dispute, if he were dissatisfied he certainly would have the opportunity of going to the special commissioners with his claim. It is also to be assumed that if they thought he had a case they would hear it and that they would adjust the matter amicably between them.
I think those are all the new points which have been introduced in the speeches recently delivered. There has been no objection to the purpose of the Clause. I believe that most of the speakers have agreed that it is quite reasonable that when there is an amount which is undisputed the taxpayer should be called upon to pay it and not to leave it as arrears over a considerable time. The only ground of criticism has been as to whether the special commissioners themselves should decide what that amount is to be. We have discussed that matter very fully. I have spoken, I believe, six times in the first hour of this debate. I have made the best explanation that I could make and then my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury made the best effort that he could—and from my point of view a very successful effort—to explain what 664 is involved in the Clause. We have done our best to make the matter clear, and I do not think I can add anything to what has already been said. There is an understanding that the discussion of this Clause should not be prolonged. We have spent now nearly four hours in discussing a matter upon the principle of which the Committee is unanimously agreed and I submit that we ought now to come to a decision.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
With the general principles of this Clause I entirely agree, because we all want to see the Treasury protected, but we object to the Chancellor of the Exchequer not giving way on the slightest possible point. It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman, but he cannot be both judge and jury. Opinions have to be decided in the courts of law, and we are not here to accept the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman. If the Amendment of the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne) had been accepted, I should support the Clause, but the right hon. Gentleman takes away any support that I would like to give him, because he is adamant and says, "I do not care whether a taxpayer wants to see the commissioners, but in my opinion he can do it." Surely, if he can do it, there is no reason why the right hon. Gentleman should not have accepted the Amendment to which I have referred. The right hon. Gentleman must excuse me saying, in reference to his attitude—I do not want to refer to the night before last, when he said, "I will have up to Clause 27"—that that is not the way to help the discussions that are going to take place, and if we find that the right hon. Gentleman will not give way——
Sir F. HALL
I am giving my reasons why I cannot support this Clause, because the right hon. Gentleman would not give protection to the taxpayer by giving him the right, in the Clause itself, to appeal personally to the special commissioners in case of need. Unfortunately, the right hon. Gentleman would not concede the slightest point, and I tell him at once that he has taken away any support that I might have given to him. I want to protect the Treasury, but I want also, 665 and it is my duty, to see that the taxpayer himself is protected. If the right hon. Gentleman is going to adopt the same attitude with regard to all these Amendments, he cannot expect either sympathy or help from this side of the Committee.
§ Sir B. PETO
The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that his parallel for this Clause was Section 25 of the Act of 1926. I find, on looking at that Section, that it deals with provisions in connection with appeals. It is a Section of considerable length, and the particular words copied in this Clause merely come in the proviso in the end of that Section, which deals with Income Tax appeals under Schedule D. Why does the Treasury want to extend this machinery to appeals in connection with Sur-tax and Super-tax? The right hon. Gentleman told us they would be few in number compared with the great number of questions that arise under Income Tax Schedule D, but though few in number, they might be greater in amount than the whole aggregate—the right hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but he ought to have told us the kind of cases where there would be a dispute with the Treasury as to part of the Surtax income of a taxpayer. There is Clause 12 of this Bill which deals with insurance policies, the interest on premiums on which is not to be liable in future to deduction from Sur-tax. Such a case makes all the difference between the total of a Sur-tax payer's income on one scale and another, and therefore the whole basis on which the income of that taxpayer would be taxed would be different.
In the case of Income Tax, there are so many small exemptions, for children, parents, and so on, that there is a number of different cases in which the taxpayer may think that a part of his income ought not to be taxed or in respect of which he ought to have some allowance, but in the case of Sur-tax it is very much simpler, and I should have thought that was a reason, not for copying the exact words of the proviso in the Act of 1926, but for making it perfectly clear that there must be some measure of agreement between the Surtax payer and the special commissioners as to what part of the income is not in dispute and what part is in dispute. We are now asked to vote on the Clause as 666 a whole, but before we can do that we ought to have some idea as to what good it will do to the Treasury and what hardships it will impose on the Sur-tax payer.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
When you were in the Chair, Mr. Dunnico, at the beginning of the discussion of this Clause, it was suggested that there should be a general discussion on the first Amendment, and you said that you would select certain Amendments, of which there might be an explanation, and you also intimated that there might be a brief discussion on the Clause standing part.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
We have had four hours' discussion of this Clause, which the right hon. Gentleman opposite described as a very minor Clause, and I venture respectfully to suggest, in view of what you said, Mr. Dunnico, and of what was, I believe, repeated by Mr. Young, that the discussion might now be brought to a conclusion.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
I think the arrangement originally made was suggested by you from the Chair, Mr. Dunnico, and I acquiesced in it. I do not want the discussion to go on now, and I should be content to take a Division at once on the Clause, but I do not want any misunderstanding to arise as to what was stated from the Chair. There was no statement at all, I believe, about a discussion on the Clause standing part. We did not discuss whether or not there should be a discussion on the Clause standing part, but we agreed that there should be a general discussion on the first Amendment and that certain other Amendments should be moved with a short statement and divided upon, and that was the extent of the agreement.
Sir F. HALL
On a point of Order. I am desirous, if there is any arrangement made, of carrying it out, but I want to make it plain, and I am sure that you, Mr. Dunnico, would be one of the last to say that you, as Chairman, should decide that we should only have short discussions on certain Amendments. During all the time that I have been in the House I have never heard any Chairman give any such decision, and I cannot think that 667 you, in your position, have given, or would ever dream of giving, a decision that Members of this House were not within their rights in reasonably discussing Amendments.
My suggestion at the beginning was that the first Amendment and certain other Amendments raised the whole issue of the Clause and it might be preferable to have a general discussion on the first Amendment, and that, if hon. Members wished to divide on one or two points raised, in certain specified subsequent Amendments the divisions could take place after a brief statement by the movers of the Amendments. I do not think we raised the question of a discussion on the Clause standing part, though one assumes that when a general discussion of the Clause has taken place upon an Amendment, the discussion on the Question "That the Clause stand part" will be reduced to a minimum. With regard to the point of Order raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall), it is quite a common practice in the Committee for the Chairman to agree to a certain procedure on certain Amendments, on a distinct understanding that there will be no debate on subsequent Amendments. That is frequently done in the Committee and is a common practice. The Chairman could never meet the wishes of the Committee unless he had power to say, "I am prepared to allow a
§ general discussion on this Amendment providing that subsequent Amendments are not discussed."
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
We had some conversation across the Floor with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and it was understood that the Government, would make no charge of any breach of faith if the discussion on the Clause was brief and reasonable. I am certainly of opinion that it has been reasonable, and to determine it now I would consider also to be reasonable.
Marquess of HARTINGTON
Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer answer the straightforward question that I put to him?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
It occurred to me when I sat down just now that I had forgotten to deal with the point which the Noble Lord had raised. I am not familiar with the particular case which he mentioned, but I can hardly believe that the Inland Revenue authorities would refuse to accept a large payment that was offered to them. That hardly bears out the allegations of torture which have been made. I think there must have been some special circumstance in the case which the Noble Lord raised.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 156.671
|Division No. 380.]||AYES.||[7.46 p.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Brothers, M.||Edmunds, J. E.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Buchanan, G.||Egan, W. H.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Burgess, F. G.||Elmley, Viscount|
|Ammon, Charles George||Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Foot, Isaac|
|Arnott, John||Baxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Forgan, Dr. Robert|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Caine, Dorwent Hall-||Freeman, Peter|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cameron, A. G.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)|
|Ayles, Walter||Cape, Thomas||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Charleton, H. C.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Chater, Daniel||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Barr, James||Church, Major A. G.||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)|
|Batey, Joseph||Clarke, J. S.||Gill, T. H.|
|Bellamy, Albert||Cluse, W. S.||Gillett, George M.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Glassey, A. E.|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Gossling, A. G.|
|Benson, G.||Compton, Joseph||Gould, F.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Cove, William G.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Daggar, George||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Dallas, George||Granville, E.|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Dalton, Hugh||Gray, Milner|
|Bowen, J. W.||Day, Harry||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro'W.)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Dickson, T.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Bromfield, William||Dukes, C.||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Brooke, W.||Ede, James Chuter||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||McEntee, V. L.||Scurr, John|
|Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||MacLaren, Andrew||Sexton, James|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Shield, George William|
|Harbord, A.||McShane, John James||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Hardie, George D.||Malone, C. L. Estrange (N'thampton)||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Markham, S. F.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Haycock, A. W.||Marley, J.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Marshall, Fred||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Mathers, George||Sinkinson, George|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Matters, L. W.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Messer, Fred||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Middleton, G.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Millar, J. D.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Herriotts, J.||Mills, J. E.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Milner, Major J.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Montague, Frederick||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Hoffman, P. C.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Snell, Harry|
|Hollins, A.||Morley, Ralph||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Horrabin, J. F.||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Sorensen, R.|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Mort, D. L.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Moses, J. J. H.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Isaacs, George||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Strauss, G. R.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)||Sullivan, J.|
|Johnston, Thomas||Muff, G.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Muggeridge, H. T.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Murnin, Hugh||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Nathan, Major H. L.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Tillett, Ben|
|Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Oldfield, J. R.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Toole, Joseph|
|Kelly, W. T.||Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Tout, W. J.|
|Kennedy, Thomas||Palin, John Henry||Townend, A. E.|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Paling, Wilfrid||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Kinley, J.||Palmer, E. T.||Viant, S. P.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Perry, S. F.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Knight, Holford||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Walker, J.|
|Lang, Gordon||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Wallace, H. W.|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Potts, John S.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Lathan, G.||Price, M. P.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Pybus, Percy John||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Quibell, D. J. K.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Lawrence, Susan||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Lawson, John James||Rathbone, Eleanor||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Lawther W. (Barnard Castle)||Raynes, W. R.||Westwood, Joseph|
|Leach, W.||Richards, R.||White, H. G.|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Lees, J.||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Ritson, J.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Romeril, H. G.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Longden, F.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Rothschild, J. de||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lowth, Thomas||Rowson, Guy||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Lunn, William||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Sanders, W. S.|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Sandham, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness)||Sawyer, G. F.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. William|
|McElwee, A.||Scrymgeour, E.||Whiteley.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.)||Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Cowan, D. M.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Atkinson, C.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Carver, Major W. H.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Balniel, Lord||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Berry, Sir George||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Davies, Dr Vernon|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Chapman, Sir S.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Christie, J. A.||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Dudgeon, Major C. R.|
|Bracken, B.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Colfox, Major William Philip||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Colville, Major D. J.||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|England, Colonel A.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Fermoy, Lord||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Savery, S. S.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Skelton, A. N.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kine'dine, C.)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Meller, R. J.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Muirhead, A. J.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)||Train, J.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||O'Neill, Sir H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Penny, Sir George||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Ramsbotham, H.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Remer, John R.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Womersley, W. J.|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Ross, Major Ronald D.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Captain Margesson and Sir Victor|
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
It may possibly—I cannot say certainly—expedite the course of our discussion if at this stage I interrogate the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the views which he may have formed as to the progress of our business to-night. In order to do that and to put myself in order, I have moved that we report Progress. The right hon. Gentleman has, no doubt, got in his mind a fairly clear idea of the course that he would like us to pursue this evening, and for fear that I should do anything that might sway the calm flow of his reason by some obstructive ebullition of irritation, I will sit down and invite him to tell us exactly what it is that he would like us to do, and in what manner we can, in his opinion, serve him best.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
The Motion, Mr. Dunnico, is that you do report Progress. If that Motion were carried, I think you would have very little progress to report. We have only got through one very minor Clause. I do not wish to have an all-night sitting, and I think that I shall be able to release the Committee by about 12 o'clock. Of course, I would like to get on as far as possible. As a matter of fact, 672 I would like to get to the end of the Bill, but, in view of the speech which was delivered by the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), I should hardly be justified in entertaining that rather sanguine expectation. The next Clause, Clause 20, is in the category of minor importance. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It is of minor importance, although it is introduced for the protection of the taxpayer, in order to reduce the legal costs and expenses in case of summary proceedings being taken against him for the payment of tax. Clause 21, I think, was described by the right hon. Member for Epping on Tuesday as a Clause that he would support. That, again, is in the interests of the taxpayer.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL indicated dissent.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The right hon. Gentleman must have altered his mind. At any rate, that Clause ought not to keep the Committee very long. Clause 22 and the two succeeding Clauses deal with the quinquennial valuation. That is not a matter which should divide the Committee on principle, whatever differences of opinion there may be on detail. Clauses 23 and 24 are connected and deal with the same point. It is a question of the rearrangement of Income Tax provisions. That matter ought not to be contro- 673 versial; it is a matter of machinery. The arrangements have been upset by the Local Government Act, and it is proposed that the Income Tax provisions should be rearranged in order to conform with the new divisions and parishes. I should like to get to the end of Clause 25. I do not want to keep the Committee late, and I hope that in view of the very reasonable attitude that I am taking, we shall get as far as I have indicated.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Naturally, the right hon. Gentleman, from his point of view, regards the importance of these Clauses differently from us, but there are a great many points concerning them which we are bound to raise. That applies particularly to Clauses 20 and 21. Clause 22 is a most complicated matter to which some of my hon. Friends have given an immense amount of study, and I am sorry to say that they are not united in the view they take of it. Some of my friends move in one direction and some in another, but both, in spite of their varied views, find no agreement with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That is a Clause, therefore, of importance and substance. I agree that Clauses 23 and 24 rather follow from it. So far as Clause 25 is concerned, that, of course, is a matter not likely to be disposed of in a brief period. Nevertheless, I am bound to say that we shall go into these matters with the hope that the differences between us will not be so great as they have been, and that by 12 o'clock we may not find there is so much difference between us as there was the other night. While I cannot make any agreement, I must express my satisfaction that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken us into his confidence at so early a stage and has indicated the procedure which, if we cannot promise to accept, we cannot consider entirely divorced from what we regard to be reasonable.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
I only wish to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for one slight concession. I had intended speaking on the last Clause on the Motion, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," as I had several matters which I wished to raise.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I was simply pointing out that, so far as I am concerned, I have been willing to forgo the making of some speeches, and, in return, I wish to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to meet me on one point. I have an important Amendment down on Clause 25, and I think it is a little hard that we should have to raise it late at night. If he could oblige us by not taking Clause 25 to-night, I should be grateful. It would be a suitable matter on which to start off the discussion on the next occasion. It is a matter which I should like to put forward on a proper occasion and not round about midnight when we should probably not wish to extend the discussion.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
In view of the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I beg to ask leave to withdraw my Motion to report Progress and ask leave to sit again. I put that Motion forward only with a view to getting a statement of the Government's intention, and, while repudiating that we are under any obligation or tie, I beg leave to withdraw my Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.