§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
I beg to move, in page 20, line 18, at the end, to insert the words:(l) is used for the purpose of a wharf, pier, or jetty for the shipping and unshipping of merchandise not belonging to or intended for the use of the owner or occupier.This Amendment raises in a more direct and concise form the principle of the Amendment which I moved in the Committee stage. At that time, I endeavoured to explain to the learned Solicitor-General that the parties mainly affected by the Clause as it stands were wharfingers, as compared with public concerns, such as the Port of London Authority, carrying on the same business. It is to the same point that I now wish to direct the attention of the House. I endeavoured to persuade the Solicitor-General that the Port of London Authority, and those who are carrying on the work of the wharves, piers and jetties for shipping and unshipping merchandise, were carrying on the same kind of work, and that no differentiation could, in justice, be made between them. I think the learned Solicitor-General will agree with me that the wharfingers and the Port of London. Authority cannot be compared, in regard to the amount of work which they do. It is fair to say that the wharfingers employ more employés. The argument of the learned Solicitor-General, in resisting that Amendment, was to point out that the charges of the Port of London Authority were regulated by Statute.
It was pointed out in reply to that that the wharfingers had arrangements and agreements with the Port of London Authority, by which their charges are regulated in accordance with the charges of the Port of London Authority. I believe they are on the same scale. He said that the case of the Port of London Authority was clearly one where a company had submitted to statutory regulation, as being run for the public bene- 1488 fit, and was one of the forms of nationalisation. On that he appears to base his case for distinguishing the Port of London Authority from the wharfingers, although they are carrying on the same business. He continued by saying that the profits of the Port of London Authority can only be applied to reducing the charge to the consumer. There is no reason why the land tax should not be applied to those profits, which are exempted from tax by the Bill. This is a very simple proposition. It comes to this, that unless you are devoting your profits to the community, you are, there and then, a fit object of a special tax. There may be reasons, but it is a very astonishing proposition to hear in the House of Commons. If it is to be basis of the policy of taxation of the Government in the future, the co-operative societies may have a genuine grievance, as they are not exempted in this Bill from taxation.
The main test of the Solicitor-General's case was put by the right hon. Member for Hendon (Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister), who said that the claim was put forward not because of the interests of the man who owns the property, but in the interests of the man who uses the property. That, I think, is the main test we should apply in considering this Amendment. If the Amendment is not carried, the obvious result will be a further impost upon the sites of the wharves, the jetties and so on. Somebody has to pay for it. The Solicitor-General said, let the wharfowners pay for it. If the wharfingers are to pay this tax, they have either to pass it on to those who use the wharves and jetties, and who have the use of steamers, barges and wharves of the Port of London, or they have got to bear it themselves, and obtain less profit than is legitimately granted by Statute to the Port of London Authority. It cannot be doubted that the disability will be passed on to the users of the wharves.
The learned Solicitor-General, in his attempt to kill the crow, shoots a whole flock of pigeons. The principle underlying the rejection of the Amendment is clear; the learned Gentleman makes it obvious that it is one of the results of nationalisation. Although the Liberal party are not present in great numbers, it is worth their while considering 1489 whether to continue to subscribe to the principles of nationalisation, which, in the whole of this Bill, has been causing so much trouble.
§ Sir PHILIP CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I beg to second the Amendment.
I hope the Solicitor-General will be a little more favourable to it than he was last time. On the last occasion, he devoted a good deal of his argument to a discussion of the position of railway hotels. We were taking a number of Amendments together, but now we are considering exclusively the case of the wharves. Last time the Solicitor-General maintained only one defence against the attack on the wharves; he felt the need to be consistent. I have not noticed quite such a devotion to consistency, in the days that have intervened since he made that speech. We are, for example, to have one law in Scotland and another law in England. I venture to suggest that the real consistency here is, to treat dock and dock alike.
The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment quoted something that I said last time about this Amendment being not exclusively in the interests of the owner. What I actually said was that the claim was put forward from this side of the House entirely in the interest of the man who uses a dock. The way in which this Amendment is framed, is that it will give relief where the wharf, pier or jetty is used for theshipping and unshipping of merchandise, not belonging to or intended for the use of the owner or occupier.I am concerned with the people who use the wharf. The Port of London has been cited. It is much the biggest case, but it is not an exclusive case. The same practice and method would apply in other parts of the country. In Middlesbrough, Dundee, I think Leith, and Liverpool, and probably also Manchester, there are privately-owned wharves which are used by people conducting the ordinary trade in the ports. In London 40 per cent. has been cited as the amount of trade coming into the Port of London which is handled at the wharves. They use those wharves, not because they want to give a preference to a privately-owned wharf over one owned by the 1490 Port of London, but because it is the best for their trade. If the Solicitor-General will go back into the whole history of the Port of London, he will find that there is no case for saying that here is private enterprise on the one hand and public enterprise on the other.
The whole question of whether wharves should be maintained as privately-owned or publicly-owned was fully gone into when the Port of London Authority was created They were not amalgamated into a single amalgamation with the dock companies, because that was not in the interests of the people using the Port of London. The hon. and learned Gentleman can argue nationalisation against individualism at other times on much broader issues than the issue we are concerned with here, which is, simply and solely, what is best for the Port of London, and for the general trade going into that port? There is no question about excess charges being made; these are covered by the agreement. Nobody has suggested that there is going to be any change. An agreement exists under which a charge is made in the Port of London area and the same charge is made by the wharfingers. There is no question of a change, but if this proposal goes through I think it likely that there will be a change, and a higher charge may be made at the wharves, not because they are profiteering, but because they will inevitably pass this on, and the only result of the action of the Solicitor-General and the Government will be that a higher charge will be made at the wharves, and the people who use them will not have the opportunity of going elsewhere. They cannot do their work in one of the larger docks used for ocean liners: they will have to go on using these wharves, and very likely will have to pay a higher charge.
I am told that a very great deal of the trade that comes to these privately-owned wharves of London is coasting trade. That is a trade which has been suffering a great deal. The Port of London, of course, has a trade consisting of all nationalities. In the coasting trade it is almost exclusively British ships which are used. Therefore, if you are going to put on any burden, do not select the kind of dock into which exclusively British shipping goes. The coasting trade is a 1491 competitor of the railways. The railways and their terminals are exempt from this tax under this Bill. In the name of consistency, to which the Solicitor-General has appealed, may we not claim that if you are going to exempt the terminals and property and docks of the railway companies, you ought equally to exempt the terminals of the coasting trade, which is carrying on a business in competition with the railways? If we are to base ourselves on consistency, the whole case is made out for giving this exemption. I do not think I need say more; there is a real case, in fairness, to be met here. The trade covers, I believe, as much as 40 per cent. of the shipping of the port. The case has been put by the traders using the port, and it has been put-equally strongly by the labour employed there. I understand that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been notified of this.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Philip Snowden) signified dissent.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
If the re presentations have not reached the Chancellor, then I do not base myself upon that, but I am informed that there was strong support for these proposals on the part of people employed in the docks. I put my claim simply on the grounds of justice and convenience. I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the sacred name of Free Trade. He has been the champion of Free Trade and has said that the success of the country depends upon maintaining our shipping, and of putting no burdens upon the shipping coming into our ports, or on the shipping trade of this country. I hope that one of his last acts towards the close of this Bill, as the champion of Free Trade, will be to see that this burden is not placed upon 40 per cent. of the shipping coming into the Port of London.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Stafford Cripps)
The argument of the right hon. Gentleman might have been applicable if he had been asking that the Port of London should be exempted. I agree that it may be said it is illogical to make any exemptions, but I can picture his indignation if the Port of London Authority had not been exempted. He would then have said, "Here you have a statutory body, under the control of Par- 1492 liament, limited in its powers, not able to make profits, which is devoting the whole of its resources to the community; what right have you to tax it?" If the argument addressed to the House had been intended to remove the Port of London from the exemption to equalise matters, I could have understood it. But if one looks at the argument as presented, it is an argument which, if one is to have consistency and logic, will inevitably lead to exemptions of every unit in the country. For if the wharves, why not factories? And if factories, why not living houses? Where you have a direct statutory control, and where the profits are not devoted to any private individual but are devoted to the consumers of the enterprise, there is a line which can legitimately be drawn, and although it is true to say that, by giving this exemption to statutory undertakings, we have departed from the strict and logical sequence of land taxation, yet I think the exemption of statutory undertakings would have been difficult to escape in this House. I think that, really, is the defence of the position as it stands in the Bill.
The Mover of the Amendment suggested that I had said that this was a step towards nationalisation. I think he will find that that was not the sense in which I was speaking. I said that the Port of London Authority was one form of nationalisation, and just as you exempt Crown property, which is nationalised property, and local authorities' property, which is also nationalised property, then the Port of London Authority is exempted on the same principle. If he reads the passage, I think he will find that that was the sense in which I was using the word "nationalisation"; that it was because substantially the Port of London Authority's property was already in the hands of the community in a particular form that it should be treated as other land, like Crown lands and the property of local authorities, which are in the hands of the community. For that reason, I am afraid we cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Sir DENNIS HERBERT
I hope the Solicitor-General will pardon me if I say that his argument was not altogether sound. The Port of London Authority and the ownership of the Port of London Authority and the funds employed therein is a different thing from that of Crown 1493 property and the ownership of Crown property. Having disposed of that part of the argument, I should like to go on with a word or two in favour of the wharfingers' claim. I am speaking particularly of the wharfingers of London. It may be that there are others in other places similarly situated. The wharfingers of London are not in the same position as those concerned in a firm conducted by private enterprise. They can only conduct their business to some extent in competition, but more strictly in conjunction with the Port of London.
I hope the Solicitor-General will follow this, because I am not sure that he is fully aware of these facts. The wharfingers do business which the Port of London Authority does not want. At the same time they do a certain amount of the same business as that done by the Port of London Authority. That being so, the only way in which the wharfingers can serve the community is by a joint working agreement. This joint working agreement exists, and without it the wharfingers could not carry on their business, and the Port of London Authority would be put in a position of considerable difficulty. The Port of London Authority does not want these wharfingers to have to close down, and in these circumstances surely you cannot say that the wharfingers of the Port of London are in the same position as men who carry on business where they are not obliged to do it in conjunction with such a body as the Port of London Authority.
I am very disappointed with what the Solicitor-General said, because I have reason to suppose that the wharfingers received a certain amount of encouragement. I am not sure who made the representations to or communications with them, but they certainly got a certain amount of encouragement, and the impression was that they would receive favourable consideration. Apparently, the favourable consideration of this matter has not yet got as far as those who are in charge of this Bill. If the Solicitor-General had known the whole position of the wharfingers of London he could have put up a very different case in regard to this Amendment. He did not deal with the real claims of the wharfingers. Therefore, I think I am justified in saying that he really does not understand the peculiar 1494 position in which they are placed, and their enforced action with the Port of London Authority in the carrying on of their work.
As I said when the matter was in Committee, the wharfingers in London and in other cities as well have received special treatment in matters of this kind in the past, because it was found to be necessary that they should be treated in that way. If the Solicitor-General has said his last word, I can only express my great regret that the Government have failed to realise that this was a case where in the interests of the community—it is no party matter whatever—this particular type of people, carrying on this particular business, ought to have been put in a position which would have guarded them against one of two alternatives; either being of less service, or giving a more expensive service; or else having to injure the community by going out of business altogether.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Sir J. SANDEMAN ALLEN
I do not think that the shipping and trading part of the community will appreciate the explanation which the hon. and learned Member the Solicitor-General has given for not acceding to this reasonable request, which has been made on their behalf. It is not a request which is made merely by the owners of the property; it is a request by those who are interested in the trade and shipping of this country. The more one sees of this Bill, the more completely one ceases to look for consistency, except in one respect, and that is in its attack on private enterprise and private interests. That appears to be the kernel of the Bill. It is true that in one or two cases there have been compromises. Here is one case, and there are other cases, where trade and industry and shipping, which are in great need of care and attention by the Government, are hopelessly ignored. The line taken in regard to this matter is very disappointing, and it is one which will only shake more the confidence of the business men of the country in the intention behind this Bill. As the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General will not answer again, and as the Chancellor of the Exchequer is silent, I think we may take it that the Government are offering a definite "No." I can, therefore, only protest, and I can 1495 say that the country will realise the spirit which underlies this Bill.
§ Lord ERSKINE
I listened to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hendon (Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister), when he put up what I thought was an extremely strong case for this Amendment, and I think the Solicitor-General really resorted to the old game of setting up ninepins to knock them down, because he made no real effort to answer the case which was put forward from this Front Bench. He said that the arguments of my right hon. Friend would have been all right if they had been bent towards exempting the Port of London Authority, but my right hon. Friend did not put that forward at all. He argued, I think rightly, that the wharfingers should be placed in the same position in regard to exemption as the Port of London Authority. The Solicitor-General said that those statutory bodies were exempted because they are statutory bodies and are not conducted for private profit. What about the railways, which are exempted? Does he say they are not conducted for private profit? I do not see any difference between them and the wharfingers. They both supply services to the traders of this country, and yet, merely because the wharfingers are private people, they are to be put in a worse position than the Port of London Authority.
I am very glad to see three or four hon. Members belonging to the Liberal party now in the House, because I regard this Amendment as a test. This particular part of the Bill is Socialism and nothing less. The wharfingers are to be penalised because they are private property owners, while the Port of London Authority is to escape because it is a public authority. There seems to be no valid reason why the wharfingers should not be exempted. Would a great deal of money be involved to the Government if this exemption were granted? Surely the land occupied by the wharfingers, compared with the whole of England, is extremely small. The Government have never once informed us, when anybody has asked for exemption, how much the exemption would cost. It may be that their excellent experts have not been able to calculate this extremely complicated tax. But I think we might be told how much 1496 it would cost to exempt the wharfingers. Hon. Members of the Liberal party are always supposed to be very sincere in their individualistic feeling. I think the voting on this Amendment will show whether the Liberal party still maintain that view or whether they have adopted the inevitability of gradualness and are gradually going to sink into Socialism themselves. The Government have made no adequate reply whatever to the case put before them, and I do hope we shall press the question to a Division.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Without this exemption of the wharfingers, there is going to be an increase in the cost of living, because the wharves are part of the method of transport. The coast steamers keep the railway companies somewhat in check, and they are being harshly treated compared with the railways. The railways get the benefit of the De-rating Act. I was one of those who received the deputation from the coasting steamers complaining about derating and the extra burden placed upon them. Here is another burden to be placed upon them. I wonder we do not hear about it from the Transport Workers' and Dockers' Union. The Solicitor-General says that the wharfingers are not statutory bodies, and that the wharves are carried on for private profit. That is a disease which is rapidly disappearing in this country. There is no profit anywhere, and there is not much likely to be made on the docks. If this special taxation is pat on them, that private profit which causes so much objection to the Government is likely to disappear, and when it disappears how are the dockers and wharfingers to be kept alive? [An HON. MEMBER: "Protection."] If we had Protection we might have something done—[Interruption].
Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Sir Robert Young)
Hon. Members who have interrupted will have an opportunity to reply.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
I am not complaining of the interruptions. They are just as intelligent as interruptions usually are. I think this tax will be a great hardship on this industry, and will make it more difficult to carry it on and to employ labour. It will add still further to unemployment. It is a great hardship to the wharfingers as contrasted 1497 with their competitors, who are being relieved of many burdens and who are being relieved under this Act. This burden on a well conducted non-profiteering part of our industry and transport will be a great injustice. I see no justice or logic, or what I might call legal convenience, in the argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General.
§ Mr. ARTHUR MICHAEL SAMUEL
We have been talking about the Port of London Authority. I hope some of the North Country Members will tell us what cost this tax will impose, if any—and I think it will impose a burden—on the already harassed coal industry which emanates from the Tyne. I am well aware that the Tyne Commission owns most of the dock equipment, but there are on the Tyne wharves, buildings, jetties and warehouses which are privately owned. This tax is going to add to the cost of the merchandise dealt with on the Tyne. Those wharves, piers' and jetties are ancillary to the organisation of those public utilities on the Tyne. I think hon. Members from that part ought to tell us how this impost is going to affect their constituents.
§ Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS
It is rather hard that the Chancellor should give us so little of his time and should leave the House without giving a proper answer. We all know the advocacy or otherwise of the learned Solicitor-General in dealing with technical questions, but this is a matter of trade and employment, and it would affect the livelihood and welfare of a large number of people engaged in industry, not only in the wharves, but in the industries connected with them. One of the great industries of this country is the transhipment of goods, and anything that adds to the expense of handling the goods is of vital consequence to trade and industry generally. Hon. Members below the Gangway and some hon. Members on the other side, who at the present time are supporting an obsolete cause, maintain that shipping is bound up with free imports. Those who believe in that system ought to be certain before they put on the wharves and places of that kind any burden which may simply act as an indirect form of taxation. I am suspicious 1498 that that is the real reason for this tax. The Government are not absolutely pure in this matter, and this may be a means of indirectly putting a revenue duty on imports. I will leave the question of imports at that stage lest I should stir up a mutiny against the Front Bench opposite.
Is there any particular reason, apart from any technical legal question, why a wharf or pier or jetty for the shipping and unshipping of merchandise should be taxed, while later in the Bill certain harbours and railways are let off tax? It is not any argument to say that the type of ownership is different. That is not an argument, but a quibble. The only question is the effect of the tax on trade; you cannot distinguish between two sets of individuals dealing with the same trade because they come under different heads. That is a quibble, and the House of Commons prefers to have solid arguments rather than quibbles which do duty for arguments in the law courts. Are there any fishing piers or wharves or jetties which will have to pay the duty unless this arrangement is brought in? I am connected as a Parliamentary representative with one or two harbours of that kind. I do not think that it will apply to them, and I hope that we shall have an answer from the Government that they are not in any way burdened under the Bill. I must speak for another section of the fishing industry in Cornwall, because the Members who represent it never attend. Will the Financial Secretary say how the small harbours in Devon and Cornwall come out under the Bill? Knowing this Government and the difficulty we have had in this Bill in looking after the interests of industry, I view their position with grave doubt, particularly in view of the obstinacy the Government has shown on this occasion in surrendering, not on a matter of principle, but on a matter of common sense.
This Amendment has been put down by hon. Members almost all of whom have knowledge of the various ports in the country. Is it not rather curious that in a Debate which affects employment so much, none of those Members who have always professed the need of a cure of unemployment have taken part? It is left, as usual, when something practical has to be done for the sake of 1499 the workers, for the Conservative party to take their part and do the only thing that is possible. In all legislation of this kind the first thing a Government ought to ask is, "Will this particular Clause possibly stop any man from going on with his job?" If it does, it should not be put in the Bill. There is grave doubt whether this proposal may not have the effect of seriously handicapping industry, and I am seriously disturbed at the levity with which hon. Members opposite have treated this serious and important Amendment.
Lieut. - Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
I am rather surprised at the action which has been taken by the Solicitor-General. I wonder whether he recognises the hardship that shipowners have to bear. There is practically no part of the world where a shipowner can trade and make a return on his money or even on his expenditure. It looks as though the proposal is that the Port of London is to be more handicapped in the future than it has even been in the past. What is the idea? Goods are shipped to London from abroad; they are placed in warehouses, taken out again, put into lighters, and shipped to various destinations. Every penny of the cost of that has to be most carefully scrutinised, because they have to compete with the stuff that comes to this country and is transhipped either round the coast or to Continental places. We hear so much lately with regard to the cost of living and with regard to the report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service that is to come out and the hopeful anti cipations that have been roused——
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER rose——
Sir F. HALL
I was getting a little wide of the question, but I was about to bring out the important effect on the cost of living of this additional charge on the articles that are handled in our ports. I cannot think that the Solicitor-General has considered to the full extent the effect of the imposition of an additional duty on these wharfingers. I wonder whether the hon. and learned Gentleman or other Members of the Government have looked into the question of the profits, and in many cases the losses, of wharfingers in this great city; and whether they have considered the 1500 effect that this tax may eventually have on the dock industry? If we exclude from this country a considerable amount of freightage, which in the ordinary course of events would flow into this country, we shall have to take into consideration the additional cost that will be imposed in consequence of the tax, and that can only have the one effect of reducing the number of dock labourers. The tax does not touch only the actual owners of the wharves, but eventually all those in the industry.
I hope that the Government will consider the representations that have been put forward and will see whether they cannot give some reasonable consideration to the burdens which the wharfingers are bearing and which will affect not only the wharfingers, but the large number of lightermen and dock labourers who have to rely on the commerce of this great city for their living.
§ Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
This discussion has shown what an absurd and unreasonable tax this is, and no case has been made out why the Amendment should not be accepted. On all sides it is agreed that the work done by these wharfingers is exactly the same as is done by the Port of London Authority, and that the port of London could not carry on without the aid of the wharfingers, yet although the Port of London Authority are exempted from this tax any unfortunate wharfinger with a jetty or wharf has to pay. These wharfingers are a necessary cog in the machinery by which the port of London is operated. The hon. Member who intervened just now will agree that it would be difficult for some of the London, Midland and Scottish trains to get about the country if the flywheel or one of the cranks of the engine were removed. It would be no good to say that the engine was perfect as regards five-sixths or three-quarters of it, if a vital part, had been removed. In the same way, if we do anything to harm one part of the port of London the whole trade of the port will be affected. Only the other day another inconsistency was pointed out. A great luxury hotel with golf links, the Gleneagles Hotel, is to be exempted from the tax because it belongs to a railway company, whereas a small inn with a few acres of land will be liable to the tax.
§ Commander BELLAIRS
I have always understood that the most mischievous taxes in the world are those on transport and power. I have to make up my mind how to vote and I ask the Solicitor-General or the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to explain why the Government are discriminating against the wharfingers and in favour of the Port of London Authority. It seems to me that a tax on the wharfingers will increase the cost both of our exports and of our imports, and therefore it will be more mischievous than any import tax could be, even in the view of the party opposite. Further, this will be a tax on labour, because the wharfingers, as far as I can make out, employ more labour than do the, Port of London Authority. Perhaps the Solicitor-General will occupy the time of the House for two or three minutes in telling us why this distinction has been drawn between the wharfingers and the Port of London Authority, or, if he cannot enlighten me, perhaps someone on the crowded benches behind him will tell me.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
As one who has been for many years in business, and more especially in the shipping business, I consider that unless these wharves are exempted from the tax we shall be putting more difficulties in the way of trade and commerce than they already have to contend with. At is it, there are too many people unemployed, and we know that many firms are having to go slow or to close down altogether on account of lack of business. Why should the Port of London Authority be exempted because it has a charter and the other wharves be taxed? This taxation will increase overhead expenses, and thus jeopardise still further our opportunities of doing business overseas. As an office boy I went down to the dock district of London every day. I do not know why an hon. Member opposite should laugh. Perhaps he was never an office boy. I believe he was a school teacher, and in that position probably has a great deal to learn. I used to go down to these wharves every day, and I remember the amount of trade which used to be done there. Now 30 or 40 years after, many of these wharves are to a great extent idle because of the trading difficulties arising from competition abroad, and if this extra taxation is put on there will be still greater difficulties in the way of extending our commerce.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
Will the hon. Member make it clear how it is that we are suffering intense competition from abroad if the wharves are empty?
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
We are suffering very intense competition from abroad, and therefore many of our wharfingers are finding it difficult to get business, and this extra taxation will mean that our business with foreign countries will be still smaller than it is. I have great pleasure in supporting the Amendment, and I hope that the Solicitor-General will accept it. He has been friendly disposed to most of our Amendments, although he has not accepted some of them, because, I suppose, what I might call his "bosses" will not allow him, but now that the cat is away the mice may play.
The condition of the House at this moment is a melancholy comment upon Guillotine procedure. I look opposite and see present five Members of the Socialist party. One is a Parliamentary Private Secretary, and one is the hon. Member for Burslem (Mr. MacLaren), who no doubt is a host in himself, seeing that it is his special subject that we are discussing. Under this Guillotine procedure the House as a whole loses all interest in discussions, and it is extremely difficult to get any serious attention paid even to serious points. There is a serious point in this Amendment. We regard this taxation as being a burden on all industry, and we put down an Amendment to try to relieve all industry, but we were baffled in that attempt, and have to accept the decision of the majority; but the point in this particular Amendment is an entirely different one. I wish to direct the attention of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to it if he is going to reply. He has not, up to the present, given us very much light on this Bill, and I would suggest to him that here is an opportunity for him to make his maiden speech and to show that he has a mind of his own. Like other speakers on this side, I have no personal interest in or any particular knowledge of the special facilities which are provided by this industry, but what I want to know is on what principle the Government refuse to give relief to private wharfingers while giving it to undertakings which are in direct competition with them?
1503 It is common knowledge that at nearly all our ports there are docks and wharves which are owned by local authorities, dock authorities or railway companies, all of which will be exempted from this tax, and that in competition with them are a certain number of private wharfingers, also rendering services to the community, engaged on the same work, who are to be taxed under the Bill. I had this very question before me in the time of the late Government. It was a question then of the definition of various kinds of hereditaments. In Section 5 of the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act of 1928 there is a definition of freight transport hereditaments as follows:A hereditament occupied and used wholly or partly for dock purposes as part of a dock undertaking being an undertaking whereof a substantial proportion of the volume of business is concerned with the shipping and unshipping of merchandise not belonging to or intended for the use of the undertaking.It will be seen that that is substantially the same as the description in the Amendment now before us. If I recollect aright the original form of the definition was not nearly so wide as that, and it was only when our attention was called to the new handicap which would be imposed upon these people if they were not given the same privileges as their direct competitors that we widened the definition to include them. Why should not the Government do the same here? There is no principle involved. There is no question of losing any large amount of revenue. The abstract principles of Socialism will not suffer. We should not be putting money into the pockets of these people. All that we should be doing would be to redress an inequality, in fact, an injustice which we shall be committing unless we accept this Amendment. We are not asking for a general exemption for private enterprise. We only want to redress an inequality.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
I wish to carry a little further the point brought out by the right hon. Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain). It is an extraordinary proposition on the part of the Government to exempt those who are carrying on the trade of wharfinger provided it is part of the business of a public 1504 authority such as the Port of London Authority. In the Grand Committee which is considering the Government proposals for a London Passengers Transport Authority the Port of London Authority is constantly held up to us as the model to copy in constituting the new authority. Here we have a great Authority which has been set up to compete with private enterprise, and it is to be specially exempted from this tax, while the smaller people struggling to make a living, who have to compete with these authorities set up by charter or Act of Parliament, are to be exempt from this tax. It is not a question of a Government Department or land owned by the Crown being exempted. These authorities are half-way between private enterprises and Government Departments, and they are just a new form of carrying on industry which hon. Members opposite consider to be a stepping stone towards the complete nationalisation of industry.
That is why I object to this proposal. If there is any advantage to be given to anyone, surely it should be the private wharfinger as against the great corporations set up by this House. It is the little man who needs protection from the tax collector, and not the big man. That is a doctrine which has often been preached from the Liberal benches, and by hon. Members opposite, who never tire of telling us that it is the great, the powerful and rich who should bear the burden of taxation in this country. Here we have precisely the reverse, and the proposal of the Government is that the poor, struggling people, burdened with all the handicaps of special competition set up by the authority of this House, are to be the only people to be taxed by this proposal, which is obviously one to tax industry. The new principle which is now being enunciated by the Government is that it is only the little industry that has to bear the tax. It is only the poor man who is to be taxed under a Socialist Government, but the great corporations set up in the past, such as the Port of London Authority, and the great corporations which are being set up now, are to escape the tax, with the result that the burden of this tax will fall most heavily on the shoulders of those who are least able to bear it.
1505 The new tendency is, not only that the Government want to socialise industry, whatever that may mean, but they want to leave the smallest residuum of the poor struggling people to bear all the burden of taxation, with which they are going to relieve the special organisations which are being set up. These proposals are a complete reversal of the canon of taxation that has hitherto been accepted by the Liberal party in countless speeches throughout the country and in this House.
§ and a canon of taxation which I thought was still believed in by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. This is really a new tax and a new method of carrying on industry by the Socialist Government, and under it the burdens of the poor will become heavier and heavier.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 190; Noes, 276.1509
|Division No. 371.]||AYES.||[5.50 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Nail-Cain, A. R. N.|
|Albery, Irving James||Everard, W. Lindsay||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Ferguson, Sir John||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Fielden, E. B.||O'Connor, T. J.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Flson, F. G. Clavering||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Astor, Viscountess||Ford, Sir P. J.||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thahet)||Frece, Sir Walter de||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Balniel, Lord||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Purbrick, R.|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gower, Sir Robert||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Remer, John R.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vensittart||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Boyce, Leslie||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bracken, B.||Hammersley, S. S.||Samuel, A. M, (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hanbury, C.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Savery, S. S.|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Hartington, Marquess of||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Haslam, Henry C.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)|
|Buchan, John||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Smith-Carington, Neville W|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Butler, R. A.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney. N.)||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Steel-Maltland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Hurd, Percy A.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm, W.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Thompson, Luke|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Christie, J. A.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Moiton)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Train, J.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Locker-Lampion, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macquisten, F. A.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Marjorlbanks, Edward||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavlst'k)|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Millar, J. D.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Moore, Sir Newton J, (Richmond)||Sir George Penny and Sir Victor Warrender|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife. West)||Groves, Thomas E.||Mills, J. E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Milner, Major J.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Montague, Frederick|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Money, Ralph|
|Alpass, J. H.||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Hardie, David (Rutherglen)||Mort, D. L.|
|Arnott, John||Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)||Muff, G.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Harris, Percy A.||Muggeridge, H. T.|
|Ayles, Walter||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Murnin, Hugh|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Haycock, A. W.||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Hayday, Arthur||Naylor, T. E.|
|Barnet, Alfred John||Hayes, John Henry||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)|
|Barr, James||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Owen, H. F. (Hereford)|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Herriotts, J.||Palin, John Henry|
|Benson, G.||Hicks, Ernest George||Paling, Wilfrid|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hirst, G. H. (York, W. R., Wentworth)||Palmer, E. T|
|Blinded, James||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Hoffman, P. C||Perry, S. F.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Hollins, A.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hopkin, Daniel||Phillips, Dr. Marlon|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Isaacs, George||Potts, John S.|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Price, M. P.|
|Bromley, J.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Pybus, Percy John|
|Brooke, W.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Brothers, M.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Raynes, W. R.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)||Richards, R.|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Kelly, W. T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Kenworthy Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Kinley, J.||Ritson, J.|
|Calne, Hall-, Derwent||Kirkwood, D.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Cameron, A. G.||Knight, Holford||Romeril, H. G.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lang, Gordon||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Rowson, Guy|
|Chater, Daniel||Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Clarke, J. S.||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cluse, W. S.||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Sanders, W. S.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawrence, Susan||Sandham, E.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Scott, James|
|Cove, William G.||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Scurr, John|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Leach, W.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Daggar, Gorge||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Dallas, George||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Shield, George William|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Lees, J.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Leonard, W.||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Shinwell, E.|
|Day, Harry||Lindley, Fred W.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Logan, David Gilbert||Simmons, C. J.|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Longbottom, A. W.||Simon, E. D (Manch'ter, Withington)|
|Dukes, C.||Longden, F.||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Duncan, Charles||Lunn, William||Sinkinson, George|
|Ede, James Chuter||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Edmunds, J. E.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B. (Keighley)|
|Egan, W. H.||McElwee, A.||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)|
|Foot, Isaac||McEntee, V. L.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||McKinlay, A.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||MacLaren, Andrew||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Sorensen, R.|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||McShane, John James||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Gill, T. H.||Manning, E. L.||Sullivan, J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Mansfield, W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Glassey, A. E.||March, S.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Gossling, A. G.||Marcus, M.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Gould, F.||Markham, S. F.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Marley, J.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Marshall, Fred||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Gray, Milner||Mathers, George||Tillett, Ben|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Matters, L. W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Maxton, James||Toole, Joseph|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Messer, Fred||Tout, W. J.|
|Townend, A. E.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Vaughan, David||West, F. R.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Viant, S. P.||Westwood, Joseph||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Walkden, A. G.||White, H. G.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Walker, J.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)||Wise, E. F.|
|Wallace, H. W.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Watkins, F. C.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Wellock, Wilfred||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Welsh, James (Paisley)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)||Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Charleton.|
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I beg to move, in page 20, line 24, at the end, to insert the words:(e) is owned by a body of persons carrying on as its principal business the provision of houses for the working classes and prohibited by its constitution or rules from issuing any share or loan capital with interest or dividend at a rate exceeding five per cent. per annum or such higher rate as may for the time being be prescribed by the Treasury as respects that body under the enactments relating to housing or town planning.This Amendment was put down by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the result of a discussion which took place in Committee, when a number of Amendments dealing with this class of property were dealt with. On that occasion I promised that we would give an exemption to certain classes of associations, with a limit placed upon the amount that they could pay as interest on the money which they had either loaned or which formed their capital. I stated at that time that we were prepared to limit it to 5 per cent., but, when I came to look into the matter, it appeared that some of these societies had borrowed money from bodies like the Public Works Loans Board at higher percentages during the peak period, and, therefore, we have not limited the amount to 5 per cent., but have extended it to any percentage higher than five which might for the time being be prescribed by the Treasury in respect of the body concerned under an Act which related to housing or town planning. That is to say, if any of these bodies have borrowed money at higher rates, provided that they have done it in accordance with the provisions of a Housing or Town Planning Act, and the Treasury has prescribed the amount of interest which they can pay, they will fall within the exemption. The exemption is limited, as I stated in Committee, to associations whose principal business is the provision of houses for the working classes; that is to say, the main business of the body must be to provide houses for 1510 the working classes. It may be that they might happen to have built some other house or two, and that would not necessarily stop them from coming within the Clause; but their main and principal business must be limited to providing houses for the working classes.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
Would the hon. and learned Gentleman tell the House exactly the legal meaning in this Clause of the expression. "working classes"?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
As the hon. Member knows, the expression "houses for the working classes" has been used in a number of Statutes before, and its meaning has never been laid down precisely. It is a question of fact which has to be determined in a particular case. In one case where there were special provisions as regards large flat dwellings in London—some of those which were known as Addison dwellings in Maida Vale—there was a long inquiry as to whether one of the blocks of flats was housing for the working classes, and the evidence had to be taken of the various people who resided there, and upon that the determination had to be arrived at as to whether they were properly called houses for the working classes. There is no exact legal definition. It is a term which has a significance which is understood by most people, but it is not precisely capable of legal definition.
The flats to which I was referring were largely occupied by professional women. The women were examined and cross-examined, and I think about half of them said that they belonged to the working classes, and about half said that they were not of the working classes. It is a question of fact which will have to be decided in any particular case. The other limitation is that there must be some prohibition, by constitution or 1511 rules, from issuing any share or loan capital with interest or dividend at a rate exceeding 5 per cent., or such higher rate as may for the time being be prescribed by the Treasury with respect to that body.
§ Sir ERNEST SHEPPERSON
I understand that the dividend paid by these societies is always free of Income Tax. They pay Income Tax usually under Schedule A. May I ask if the 5 per cent. mentioned in this Amendment is 5 per cent. free of Income Tax, or including Income Tax?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
If the dividend is limited to 5 per cent., it cannot be 5 per cent. free of Income Tax. That was definitely decided by the House of Lords in the Ashton Gas Company's case a long time ago. The gross payment which they make must not amount to more than 5 per cent. If they like to pay the Income Tax of their shareholders, they must deduct that; it must be less than 5 per cent. net. I do not think the hon. Member will find that in fact any society which is prohibited from paying more than 5 per cent. ever pays free of Income Tax now. If they do, they reduce the percentage accordingly.
§ Sir E. SHEPPERSON
Is it not rather different with building societies'? Their property is in land and buildings, and they pay automatically under Schedule A; and, having once paid under Schedule A, it is not necessary for them to pay any further Income Tax.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
That is rather a different point. It is not that they pay their dividends free of Income Tax, but that no Income Tax is payable. That would only apply to certain classes of societies, whose members are people with small incomes, and, of course, this provision does not deal with building societies, but with associations, companies and bodies such as, I think, are generally known as housing associations, for the particular purpose of providing houses for the working classes on a nonprofit-making basis. I think that this Amendment carries out fully the understanding which was come to in Committee, and on the strength of which Amendments were withdrawn.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
The Solicitor-General will remember that in Commit- 1512 tee I raised the case of industrial dwellings companies which are not carried on as philanthropic institutions, but are carried on at a profit to their share holders. Many such companies, as I ventured to point out, will be very adversely affected if this proposed tax is carried into law and if they do not receive exemption from it. I have always thought it was a curious trait in the outlook of Socialists on life that they never seem to like any body of persons making a profit, and, as soon as they make a profit, or make their business pay, they are at once to have that profit taken away from them. The companies of which I am now speaking have done a splendid philanthropic work in this country, and at the same time have made a profit for their shareholders, many of whom are people of very moderate means. Such companies are the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, of which I my self am the chair man, the Metropolitan Industrial Dwellings Company——[Interruption.] An ounce of fact is worth a pound of theory, and I am giving chapter and verse for what I am going to say. I am not saying it for the sake of any personal advantage to myself, but am representing the facts of this company and of other companies, like the East End Dwellings Company and the Artisans' and Labourers' Dwellings Company.
My own company has provided accommodation for about 20,000 working people throughout London. Some question was raised the other day because I said that we also provided accommodation for what are known as black-coated workers, but black-coated workers want houses to live in quite as much as those who are popularly described as the working classes, although as a matter of fact this company provides, as to between 80 and 90 per cent. of its undertaking, housing accommodation for the ordinary artisan class. The exemption which is on the Paper will not relieve us from the tax, because we are not prohibited by our constitution from issuing share or loan capital, and there are no Treasury regulations affecting our company. It may be asked, "Why should you make a profit out of the working people?" I may tell the House that the rents we charge are rather less than 4s. per room, and considerably less than that in the East End. I do not think that that can 1513 be considered exorbitant. Flats are let at about 12s. a week for three rooms and a scullery. I (hope, however, that people will not apply for them, for there are no vacancies and there are very long waiting lists.
So far as our East End flats are concerned, this will not affect them very much, but we have a considerable number of flats in the West End of London, where we house about 5,000 people altogether. I told the Committee, but, as there are now more Members present, perhaps I may repeat it, that when we were building flats 40 or 50 years ago the first Duke of Westminster offered us seven sites in Mayfair on which to put up industrial dwellings. He thought it was not desirable that only rich people should have accommodation in Mayfair, but that workers, who, perhaps, had to work there or in the vicinity, should also be provided with workmen's dwellings in Mayfair. We put up seven blocks of flats there, between Grosvenor Square and Selfridge's.
I would put this to the House. If you clear those industrial dwellings off their sites and leave the sites vacant—one or two of them close to Selfridges, and the others close to Grosvenor Square—what is their value? It is immense—hundreds of thousands of pounds. Hon. Members know the value of the Dorchester House site, which was recently sold. The Solicitor-General smiles, but I venture to say that the Value of some of the sites of our dwellings may approximate to that. I must not, however, make too much of it, or it will be quoted against me, but, nevertheless, I say that they are very valuable sites, and may run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. In addition we have flats in the neighbourhood of Sloane Square and Victoria Street. We have 716 flats there, housing some 2,500 workers.
The principle of valuation under this Bill is that you take the particular building away, and assume that all the other mansions are left around it. If you cleared away the buildings of these workmen's dwellings, and left the palaces and luxury flats and expensive business premises still standing, the sites on which these dwellings are erected would be of a very high value indeed. We have also 259 flats in the neighbourhood of Leicester Square, housing approximately 1514 1,000 people. Altogether my one company, in its flats in the West End, houses about 5,000 people. Even at 1d. in the £ a very large sum of money will be required to pay the tax on those flats. It would be quite impossible to do it. There are only two things that can be done. One is to reconstitute the flats, and put up the rent and let them to an entirely different class of person. I do not think the company will be affected. If we were only thinking of the finances of the company, it would not be a bad thing, although it is contrary to our principles to do it. I hope that if these 5,000 workers get notice to quit in order that these flats may be turned into luxury flats, they will remember that it is the action of a Socialist Government that has turned them into the streets and not a capitalist company. As I have said, the ground was given for the flats that we have in Mayfair by a duke at a very small rental. Well may the people who may be evicted, if this Bill goes through, cry out, "Long live the dukes: God save the land from the Socialists."
§ Sir THOMAS INSKIP
I wish to make a few observations about the scope of the Amendment and the argument that it contains in support of the view that this new tax is a burden wherever it is imposed. We welcome every addition to the list of exemptions. We welcome the steady retreat of the Government as they are driven from point to point by bodies or associations which are able to press home their case. Every time the Government adds one exemption to those which have already been admitted, they are forced to confess that this tax is a burden from which certain classes of the community ought to be, and must be, exempt. They prove the case against themselves every time they yield to pressure exerted by powerful associations to be exempted from this new burden. Although the Government have yielded, rightly, to the pressure of associations which provide houses for the working classes, they are fettered and hemmed in by their own proposals, and they are unable to afford exemption, equally deserved and equally valuable, to private persons who have erected houses for the working classes on terms which do not even require the builders to earn money for the purpose of paying even so low a dividend as 5 per cent. Many of us know persons who, 1515 from motives not in the least connected with gain, have built houses for the working classes in some of the most crowded and valuable portions of our cities.
The exemption which the Government has conferred upon societies does not apply to them. I call attention to that fact in order to point my observation that this tax is a burden, that those places upon which it falls will feel the burden, and that, when the Government give relief to private houses for the working classes, they are to that extent preventing the burden from falling on the working classes, but they are still leaving unmitigated the burden which will rest upon those members of the working classes for whom houses have been provided, not by associations or societies paying a dividend of 5 per cent., but by private persons. We resent the infliction of this burden upon the working classes. Hon. Members opposite may say, if they like, that we have an interest in resenting it. That is absolutely untrue. We resent what the Government is doing in placing a burden—for it is a burden, as they admit by their exemptions—upon the working classes and those who provide for them. These houses privately provided are generally let at rents much below those insisted upon by local authorities or by societies which earn dividends. I wish it were possible, before the Bill becomes law, for people interested in the provision of houses for the working classes to realise that, although the Government may yield to powerful associations which are able to press home their interests, they still intend to insist upon their plan of placing additional burdens upon houses for the working classes provided by persons who may have philanthropic or other reasons at the back of the provision of the houses upon which this burden will fall.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 2, after the word "classes," to insert the words:or by an authorised association within the meaning of Section sixteen of the Town Planning Act, 1925, or by a body of persons developing a garden city or garden suburb under special Act of Parliament.The actual phrasing of the Amendment is taken from the Town Planning Act, 1925, as being official and authoritative. The definition is as follows: 1516In this Section 'authorised association' means any society, company or body of persons approved by the Minister whose object include the promotion, formation or management of garden cities (including garden suburbs and garden villages) and the erection, improvement or management of buildings for the working classes and others, which does not trade for profit or whose constitution forbids the issue of any share or loan capital with interest or dividend exceeding the rate for the time being prescribed by the Treasury.I believe there was some misapprehension on the part of one body which is extremely well known and popular with Members of the House, namely the Hampstead Garden Suburb, as to whether it was included. That was incorporated under a special Act of Parliament, and that is the meaning of the second part of my Amendment. My words are really the logical conclusion of all housing progress, because the Chancellor has admitted that he will exempt all these bodies that carry on as their principal business the provision of houses for the working classes, and, therefore, presumably he wants to help on this philanthropic work as, of course, all parties in the House do. But, if he imposes a Land Tax of this sort upon garden cities which are developing their business, because they do not confine their work to mere housing or merely to the working classes, and if he relieves the ordinary building of houses in straight roads, he is definitely encouraging the housing of people in straight roads in districts devoted to mean streets—that is what it comes to after a few years—instead of giving a chance to philanthropic bodies to develop housing on modern lines.
This is no fanciful picture. I have been associated with these developments and can speak quite clearly as to the actual facts. The actual facts with regard to Letchworth and Welwyn are known to the Chancellor. He has had a deputation before him and has had the facts put before him clearly and definitely. This new idea of housing was started by the late Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1899, and up to 1918, with one exception, he and others who put their money into that business had not received any dividend at all. In 1918 they started to pay a small dividend. Now they are paying 5 per cent. and by degrees are helping to pay off the arrears, but it will be many years before they pay them off. It is very difficult at present to 1517 collect the money that has been put into this business and which has received very little return. The actual incidence of the ordinary pressure of the present time is such that every extra penny counts. It has to fall on someone, and it falls on the business. The essence of the Garden City business is that the whole of the return—one hardly likes to call it profit—is devoted to the interest of the inhabitants themselves. It all goes into the further development of the business, and an extra tax means that there is so much less progress and less development. It is the people of the place themselves on whom this falls. It means less development and less housing progress. It certainly means a definite retardation of this development.
It seems to be still more illogical in the case of Welwyn Garden City. Use was made there of a Clause introduced into successive Acts of Parliament from 1922 onwards enabling the State, through the Public Works Loans Board, to come to the assistance of these organisations and to help them with loans. In the case of the Welwyn Garden City, something like two-thirds of its capital had been raised in advance by the Public Works Loans Board and the rest from private sources. Now the private sources are dried up and we have a chance of having a further loan from the Public Works Loans Board, cut down to the minimum, for development. But even so, the interest on the loan cannot be repaid from the business. Therefore, although we are improving our financial position every year, the extra tax, which will probably amount to £2,000 a year, has to be met by fresh borrowing. The tax in this case will entail an extra application to borrow money from the Public Works Loans Board. It will mean a tremendous hardship, as everyone will realise, to organisations carrying on this work. It is almost heartrending to see them carrying on year after year with the greatest difficulty, but still keeping their heads above water and still going on with developments. It will mean the prospect of having an annual burden of £2,000 in Welwyn and £4,000 in Letch-worth.
It is not only our own body which is interested in this matter. All the bodies concerned with the preservation of the countryside went on a deputation to the 1518 Chancellor of the Exchequer especially to raise this point. The deputation consisted of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Town Planning Institute, the National Housing and Town Planning Council, the Chartered Surveyors' Institute, the Garden Cities and Town Planning Association, the National Trust, the Metropolitan Public Gardens' Association, the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society, the National Playing Fields' Association, and the Boy Scouts' Association. I do not think that anyone can imagine a more complete set of bodies for the preservation of the countryside in the interests of the people than that combination. They have made common cause, and intend to stand together. They definitely stated to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, in its present form, the tax must tend to force into the market for building purposes much land which would better serve the public welfare by remaining open land. It will tend to promote the erection on urban lands of the largest possible number of buildings, thus increasing congestion and mitigating against the essential and cardinal features of the movement started by the late Sir Ebenezer Howard. Anyone who has read Sir Ebenezer Howard's book cannot help being appalled at the proposals of the tax. They are almost inconceivable. Even in the origin of the garden city movement, Sir Ebenezer Howard definitely laid it down that the idea was that the land should belong to the people and that the profits should go to the people, and yet, next year, the Government are going to levy a further tax upon such movements.
I imagine that the reason why the Government have not included my proposal in their proposed exemption is, that it is not entirely a question of housing for the working classes. I was puzzled by the reply of the learned Solicitor-General to the speech of my hon. Friend who asked whether he included the black-coated workers. He said, "Yes." They are all black-coated workers in Welwyn Garden City. They do not wear corduroys and dungarees. Everyone has to work there, man, woman and child. Some of them work locally, and others have to come to London. I think that some of them wear 1519 coloured and checked coats. Do the Socialist party limit themselves to those who wear black coats? If so, I am afraid that one hon. Member on the opposite side of the House will not be included, although I observe that the hon. Member is rather less lightly attired to-day than he was earlier in the week.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
I believe that the real difficulty is to be found in the difference between garden cities and ordinary housing developments. Garden cities include industries, and because they include industries the Government are frightened to give them relief from taxation. What is the reason for making the distinction between garden cities and towns on that "core? It is the idea that industries in the towns will feel that they are being unfairly dealt with if they have to pay Land Tax and the industries in the garden cities have not to do so. The establishment of industries in garden cities is all in favour of the general housing movement, and, "surely, the Government do not desire to give an extra favour to the industries in the towns. They should encourage the idea of industries moving out of the towns and taking the people with them. The problem since Charles Kingsley's days has been how to get people out of London and to establish them, conveniently and economically, in the country. There can be no adequate reason for refusing to give this exemption. If it is refused, the tax will handicap most unfairly and critically, if not ruinously, a movement and a set of enterprises and experiments which are needed more than anything else in housing development. The Government will be throwing upon the garden city movement a tremendous burden which that movement may not be able to support, and they will show themselves the greatest enemies of the garden city movement instead of being its helpers and supporters, as I am sure they would wish to be.
§ Captain GUNSTON
I beg to second the Amendment to the proposed Amendment.
The House is well aware that my hon. and gallant Friend has devoted a con- 1520 siderable part of his life in furthering the garden city movement, and that there is no one who speaks with greater authority on the subject. I would remind the learned Solicitor-General that in the Debate yesterday many of us pointed out that the garden city movement would be very severely hit because that was the movement which, in order to beautify property, had built many circular roads. I think that he was very much impressed by the arguments from these benches. If the Government accept the Amendment as far as the garden city movement is concerned they will get over many of the difficulties caused by the refusal of the hon. and learned Gentleman to accept our Amendment yesterday. I hope that, he may be able to secure the acquiescence of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury—I do not think that he need get the permission of the hon. Member for Burslem (Mr. MacLaren)—in accepting the Amendment. The Amendment moved by the hon. and learned Gentleman says:is owned by a body of persons carrying on as its principal business the provision of houses for the working classes.My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Fareham (Sir T. Inskip) raised the point of the private individual who builds houses and very often only receives a rent of considerably less than 5 per cent., and said that he would not benefit under the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I would ask the learned Solicitor-General whether a private individual could not get the benefit by forming himself into a limited liability company? I rather imagine that that might meet the point. I am sorry that the Rules of Order will prevent us from having an explanation from the hon. Gentleman, who has just left the House. He is the only person entitled to wear a certain dress, and I can only infer from what he has said that the privilege was conferred upon him by Mr. Gandhi. I think that the Solicitor-General will realise that the argument with regard to a valuer not being able to distinguish between one house and another owing to road frontage, would entirely disappear under the Amendment in regard to garden cities. I am sure that he does not wish to discourage the erection of this new kind of city in the country, and I hope 1521 that we shall have the support of hon. Members opposite in favour of this most reasonable Amendment.
§ Mr. E. D. SIMON
It is not necessary for me to say many words in support of the Amendment to the proposed Amendment moved by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for St. Albans (Lieut.-Colonel Fremantle), who is such an authority upon, and has done so much work in, the garden city movement. I am sure that hon. Members on these benches are just as anxious to encourage the development of garden cities as hon. Members in any other part of the House. The Bill as it stands does not, unfortunately, reflect that anxiety. I think that I am correct in saying that all land owned by local authorities is exempt under the Bill. As an example, land owned at Welwyn is not exempt, but land owned by the London County Council at Becontree is exempt. I have great admiration for the work of the London County Council in housing, but no one would pretend that their lay-out at Becontree compares with the pioneer work done under the inspiration of Sir Ebenezer Howard at Welwyn. Welwyn is a great invention, a real step in progress for the better building of cities. It is the kind of service which private enterprise, under the inspiration of geniuses like Sir Ebenezer Howard, sometimes does and does very much better than local authorities. It is certainly done very much better in the particular cases of Letchworth and Welwyn, and, in these circumstances, I cannot believe that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite really want to do anything to delay the development of Welwyn and other similar towns.
I confess that during the last two years I have felt that the Government have not shown that enthusiasm in helping forward the garden city movement which we hoped they would show when they came into office. They lent money from the Public Works Loans Board in rather a grudging spirit, and only after the very highest form of security had been obtained. They have not done as much in that direction as one might have expected. Surely the Government are not going to add to the burden on these garden cities while exempting the developments of municipalities. I cannot think that there is any such intention, 1522 and I sincerely hope that Welwyn Garden City and similar undertakings will be exempted either by this Amendment or by some other form of words more suitable for the purpose.
On the last occasion when I addressed an appeal to the Solicitor-General and the Financial Secretary, they did not deign to give me any answer, although I thought I put a point which had not been submitted before. It may be that the Financial Secretary had no permission to speak, or that he had no discretion of his own. I hope that the Solicitor-General has a discretion and will exercise it in favour of the Amendment of my hon. and gallant Friend. The hon. Member for Withington (Mr. Simon), who is well known as an authority on the subject of housing, has added his plea to that of my hon. and gallant Friend. The case of garden cities comes very close to the Amendment put down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to exempt from the operation of the tax bodies of persons who are engaged in providing dwellings for the working classes, and making that their principal business. They are to be limited as to the dividends they can pay. This also applies to garden cities.
What is the distinction between the work done by the Garden Cities Association and those bodies of persons who are covered by the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer? The distinction is simple. The Garden Cities Association not only provide dwellings for the working classes, but also provide the means of occupation for working classes when they occupy the dwellings. Is that what the Government quarrel with? Do they wish to discourage people from making arrangements which will enable the working classes in such places as Letchworth and Welwyn to find occupation in the neighbourhood in which they live? Surely that is not the reason put forward for the exceptional treatment of these associations. Is the Solicitor-General going to say that they ought not to provide houses for other kinds of people who are not of the working class? Surely these people who are provided for in other houses are assisting to pay the rates for the working classes, and I cannot imagine that the Solicitor-General objects to garden cities being 1523 designed on a plan which brings all classes of the community into such close contact.
Do the Government desire to encourage garden cities or not? Do they recognise that if we could only get a multiplication of garden cities we should go a long way towards solving the difficult problem confronting us in the congested areas of our large towns? If they recognise the value of garden cities in this respect, why are they going to put a new burden upon them which is going to reduce materially the value of their property and make it more difficult for them to raise fresh capital? Anyone who has followed the development of garden cities knows that they have been hampered by the difficulty of raising the large amount of capital that is required to develop them economically and rapidly, and to put an additional burden upon them now makes it even more difficult for them to raise capital in order to expand. It seems to be an anti-social proceeding on the part of the Government. I hope the Solicitor-General will give a favourable reply.
§ Mr. COVE
I want to say a few words on this Amendment because I happen to live in Welwyn Garden City. My general impression is that the Welwyn Garden City Company has always been exceedingly well treated by the Treasury. As I understand it, the Welwyn Garden City Company has had loan upon loan on favourable terms; they have had subsidies; and it is by no means a public body. The whole of that property which has been built by subsidies from the Government, by loans, will, I understand, revert to private ownership and control, not with dividends limited by an Act of Parliament, but with profits that are not limited, because of the network of subsidiary companies which exist in Welwyn Garden City.
§ Mr. COVE
On the housing side they have had the usual subsidies—[Interruption]—and the whole of the property reverts back to private ownership, to Welwyn Garden City, Limited. What else is there to say about this? In addition to the privileges which have been enjoyed 1524 by Welwyn Garden City Company as far as finances are concerned, it exercises a monopoly, a complete and effective monopoly, in Welwyn Garden City. It is a monopoly to this extent that no trader can come in.
§ Mr. COVE
The hon. and gallant Member knows that what I am saying is perfectly true. The Welwyn Garden City Company exercises a monopoly to the extent that no one else can compete, although within the last few months they have allowed one or two exceptions. You have the Welwyn Stores, Limited, the Welwyn Transport Company, Limited, the Welwyn Gravel Works, Limited, and a whole list of subsidiary companies. They exercise complete monopoly and can get the usual returns on the investments made. That is the great and fundamental difference between the position of Welwyn Garden City, Limited, and an ordinary municipal body. There is not an atom of public control in Welwyn Garden City. The citizens have no control. I have no voice whatever in the control of Welwyn Garden City, nor have the general body of citizens. The fact of the matter is that Welwyn Garden City has been extremely well treated, and it is asking too much to exempt it. If it is true that factories will be exempt, then we have in Welwyn Garden City the Shredded Wheat Factory, paying immense profits, and I do not see why the Shredded Wheat Company should come within the exemptions. £2,000 a year will not break the Welwyn Garden City Company. The Public Works Loans Board have come to their aid over and over again. The next time they come I hope that the Government will see that we get the co-operative stores for which we have been asking for a long time. We have been absolutely refused, in spite of the fact that we have 300 to 400 co-operators in Welwyn Garden City. We cannot get a co-operative stores because the monopoly is so complete. I think the Government are doing the right thing.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
At any rate, there is one thing that the Welwyn Garden City Company cannot do; it has 1525 not the power to exclude an undesirable citizen. The attack that has been made on it is quite inconsistent. We have heard that it is always getting grants and subsidies. In that case it is evidently not making much profit, otherwise it would not require all these subsidies. Evidently it is having a struggle. I submit that in the Welwyn Garden City movement we have the germ of the form of our future social structure, and no person can be against this Amendment except a body like the London Transport Company. There is nothing harder than for a working man to have to spend 20 to 30 minutes in a tube or omnibus going to or from his work. If we want to see domestic happiness increased, we must make it possible that people who have to work in warehouses and factories are able to get home to a mid-day meal. One of the main reasons for the struggle at the present time is that people with small wages have to go to some cheap restaurant and get something which is relatively expensive.
On the Continent things are managed much better. A man gets an interval of two hours and goes home to his meal. It means really far less toil for the head of the house—I mean the wife—and far greater happiness and economy, and domestic harmony. Our system is to make the people live outside and pay a heavy charge for a season ticket, and generally as soon as an area is built up, the season ticket rate rises. I would like to see the garden city movement encouraged by this Finance Bill, even factories like the Shredded Wheat Factory at Welwyn Garden City, because they would then be able to carry on with less overhead charges, and we should not see the huge masses of population crowded together in solid masses. This is a most beneficent Amendment, and if the Government are really anxious for the housing and better working conditions of the people of the country, they will accept it.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
Everyone is extremely sympathetic towards the case of garden cities, and the object of the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to which reference has been made by the right hon. Member for 1526 Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain), is to carry out the sense of the argument put before the Committee when it was considering this matter; and that was that, owing to the known shortage of working class houses at the present time, nothing should be put in the way of building working class houses. That was the line upon which the argument proceeded. It was in order to accomplish that end that this Amendment was put down.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
Will the Solicitor-General remember that the question was particularly raised on a previous occasion, and on that particular occasion his last words were that he would take that into consideration?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
The hon. and gallant Member is quite right: the matter was raised. The statement by the right hon. Member for Camborne (Mr. Leif Jones), who raised it, was that under the terms I stated, which were narrower, Letchworth, in which he was interested, would be covered. The object of the present Amendment is in order to include what are known as garden cities. At the present moment, as I understand, the position of those garden cities consists of several different types of buildings. They have houses for the working classes, other types of houses, industrial buildings and factories. In some of them—I do not know if it is so in all of them—there is a subsidiary company dealing with industrial buildings housing of the working classes and so on. Those subsidiary companies dealing with the housing of the working classes would be exempt under this provision if there is some rule limiting the amount of interest they pay on their share capital. If there is no limit, there is nothing to prevent a rule being made and their interest being regulated, in which event they would fall within the ambit of this provision.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
Surely the Solicitor-General does not mean that the subsidiary companies of a garden city would be included under this Amendment, which included the management of garden cities and so on? I do not think the subsidiaries would be included
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I was not saying that, I did not make it clear 1527 to the hon. and gallant Gentleman. What I did say was that, if there is a subsidiary dealing with working class houses and limiting its dividends, it would be included. While I am on the point of working class houses, may I also deal with the question of industrial dwellings and of industrial dwellings companies? I have got particulars of the finance of only one of them, the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, which is an extremely prosperous company paying the equivalent of 16 per cent. on the original capital, which was doubled by an increase of capital some years ago. In addition to that, they have accumulated a sum in reserve equal to the whole of that capital.
§ Mr. MAITLAND
Can the hon. and learned Gentleman say what the proportion of the capital of this association is to the total funds of the association? The House should have some information as to the relation between the capital and the total funds.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I am afraid I have not got full details. All I can say is that the capital is just about £1,000,000, of which about £500,000 was subscribed originally or at different times, and about £400,000 of which was capitalised reserves, and that the reserves now are about £500,000.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
In stating the case the other day, I said that the directors and the founder of the company, Sir Sydney Waterlow, always believed in philanthropy and 5 per cent. If they can do good work and house 20,000 people, and at the same time pay 5 or 6 per cent., surely it is better than people getting houses on the dole.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I am not complaining about the prosperity of the company. All I am pointing out is that they do not come within the Amendment proposed, because they are not limited in their dividend. But, if they desire to come within the Amendment, they can always do it by making a rule limiting the 1528 amount they pay in dividend. There is no hardship in that. They can get out of the Land Tax by limiting their dividends either to the 5 per cent. or the higher sum for the time being prescribed by the Treasury. That is a satisfactory answer to the hon. Gentleman in regard to his particular set of companies. Everybody will agree that, clearly, you could not put any unlimited companies in this Amendment, because you would bring in every commercial company. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] The House will appreciate that we are not discussing the exemption of every company. We are discussing whether there should be included, in addition to those already there, several other bodies such as garden cities and industrial dwellings, and I was answering the point about industrial dwellings. The difficulty as regards garden cities is that they do cover industrial dwellings as well as others. Concessions, once they are given, necessarily lead to a demand to go one step further. It is always the great difficulty in which anybody finds himself who is good-natured enough to make a concession when pressed from the other side. [Interruption.] If hon. Members object to the words "good-natured," I will use the words "foolish enough." The hon. Member whom I am particularly addressing will appreciate that, having gone as far as we have gone—which is a very long way—in exempting this class of associations, we feel we cannot go to the extent of exempting those bodies which deal in industrial buildings, for the reasons he has already stated in his speech to the House. Much though we sympathise with the garden city movement, we do not feel we should be justified, as regards their industrial sites, in giving this special exemption to industrial sites in garden cities as against industrial sites in other places.
§ Mr. PHILIP OLIVER
The sympathy of the Government is not of much avail if they are going to burden us with taxes. The sympathy we desire is more practical sympathy than the speeches we have heard from the front and back benches opposite in this Debate. I am a little surprised at the attitude they have taken. I understand that the suggestion is that Letchworth and Welwyn should establish subsidiary companies to be known as the Letchworth and Welwyn Working Class 1529 Houses Companies, which would house the working classes in Welwyn and Letch-worth, while the rest of the development of the estates could be carried on by other companies. That is a strange doctrine to be heard from any party in these days, because the centre of the garden city movement is that all classes should, as far as possible, live together in the garden cities. The East End and the West End should live together as in the mediaeval days when it led to a social conscience in the villages and towns. The curse of the Industrial Revolution is that it has separated them not only in their habits and their desires but in their habitations. You have the slum, from which, we have heard, these pests creep out, with its long dank streets, then the semi-detached villa, and the respectable individuals who are given a carriage drive and rhododendrons. The garden city is against all that, and the desire is to see all classes dwell together, and not separated by subsidiary companies.
§ Mr. OLIVER
In so far as that is so, Welwyn has there sinned against the idea. I am not pleading for Letchworth, or Welwyn or Hampstead, but for the whole idea, which one hopes will develop. It is of importance that we should try to link up the Finance Bill with the other Bill which the House is considering in Committee—the Town and Country Planning Bill. We have heard from the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove), who lives in a garden city and thinks little of it, that there is not much to be said for garden cities. Yet the Government in the Town and Country Planning Bill are taking extraordinary powers, compulsory powers to purchase land to hand it over to associations for the formation of garden cities and villages. They are only taking those powers because they realise that, whatever the Solicitor-General may think, whatever the Chancellor of the Exchequer may think, and whatever the hon. Member for Aberavon may think, this is a great movement. They are taking these compulsory powers to purchase land and vest it in these associations in order that 1530 these cities may be created. Why, having taken these powers, are you going to detract from them? Either you are in favour of garden cities or against them. If you are in favour of them, I suggest that you must give garden cities the same exemption as that already given to other housing associations.
§ Mr. DALLAS
I sympathise with the development of garden cities but I am afraid that hon. Members opposite who have been talking about them, with the exception perhaps of the hon. and gallant Member for St. Albans (Lieut.-Colonel Fremantle), do not know anything about the practical operation of the movement. Otherwise there would not be a single supporter on that side for exemption in this case. I know this land very well. I lived there for nearly 10 years. I saw the beginning of it. I was one of the first 200 inhabitants of the garden city and took an active part in public life there for a number of years. It was an active part in demanding public control, and we had to fight every inch of the way in getting control, for the citizens and the inhabitants of the garden city, over the town in which they lived. [HON. MEMBERS: "Which garden city?"] I refer to Welwyn and let me show hon. Members how things worked out there. When it was finally made into an urban district, the clerk to the urban district council was the secretary to the company. The surveyor to the council was the chief engineer of the company. The overseer of rates was the accountant of the company, and this thing went on for some time, until we finally compelled some slight alteration.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
Does the hon. Member suggest that there was any nepotism or anything disgraceful about this, when the whole of the engineering work, the surveying work, and the clerical work had previously been conducted by the company. When exactly the same work was handed over to the district council, was it not economical that the same people should be employed for a period of years at any rate, instead of duplicating offices?
§ Mr. DALLAS
I am not making any suggestion of that kind, but let me show how;t worked out. The interests of a private company at some time or other must conflict with the public interest. 1531 [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] I will show hon. Members why. The engineer who made the roads for the private company became the surveyor to the council. As surveyor to the council he had to certify that the roads made by the private company were fit and proper roads to be taken over by the public authority and paid for by the public. After they had been taken over, within six months in some instances, the roads had to be widened, and altered at the expense of the ratepayers and the public. This land was bought at £30 an acre, on the average. The hon. and gallant Member for St. Albans will not deny the fact, that it is let to-day, including roads and sewers, at £2,000 an acre.
§ Mr. DALLAS
Let me give another instance and I think that hon. Gentlemen opposite will agree that this is right. A number of subsidiary companies were formed. A subsidiary company borrowed £300,000 from the Public Works Loans Commissioners. It got a subsidy for building houses, and if any hon. Member or any member of the general public wanted to live in any of these houses at that particular time, they had to deposit £50 and sign an agreement that they would reside there for three years, and they would get the £50 on leaving. The loan, the subsidy, and the deposit by the tenant, covered the total cost of the house. The capital of this private company was £120, and the whole of the £300,000 worth of property belongs to these people with a capital of £120 who have borrowed from the public and the nation.
§ Mr. DALLAS
I say that if ever there was a case for the taxation of land values—and I advocated it all the years when I was living there—it is the garden city movement. There are many other points arising out of this Amendment which are not quite germane to this particular argument but at any rate, on the fundamental question of the taxation of land values, I hold that this is a fit and proper case for the application of the tax.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
This Debate has been remarkable for the fact that we 1532 have had two speeches from the back benches behind the Government, and illuminating speeches they have been. One of them at any rate has shown how absolutely ignorant are some hon. Members opposite of the meaning and effect of the Bill and the Clause with which we are dealing. I am not making that statement carelessly. I am going to prove it. The hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) threw up his hands in horror when he referred to the fact that there was a shredded wheat factory run by private enterprise which was going to benefit if this Amendment were carried, and the Solicitor-General seemed almost to be following the same argument, particularly in the closing part of his speech, when he referred to industrial factories within the borders of these garden cities. Let me explain to the hon. Member for Aberavon who knows so much about this place, that if he will look into the Bill and learn a little more about its provisions, he will see that this Clause as amended by our proposal would exempt from the tax a land unit owned by a certain body. Perhaps he can tell me, with his knowledge of the district, if this shredded wheat factory is owned by the particular body which we are trying to exempt. Apparently the hon. Gentleman does not know.
§ Mr. DALLAS
No land can be bought outright from the company. It is all on lease. You can get a long lease of 999 years but the houses which people buy are not freehold.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
Then do I understand that the factory is held on a long lease by the shredded wheat company? [HON. MEMBERS: "Go on with your speech!"] Let me assume that it is held by this industrial profit-making private enterprise company under a long lease of 999 years. Then it will not be exempted under the Amendment and that is why I say that hon. Members who talk in the way I have indicated just now, talk nonsense. It is an example of the kind of support which this Bill gets from people who do not in the least understand what it means. I only regret that the Solicitor-General should not have dealt with that point instead of apparently trying to trade upon these mis-statements by referring to the position of industrial buildings within the borders of garden 1533 cities. I know something about Welwyn Garden City although I have not lived there, and I have no hesitation in saying to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Dallas) that in his impressions as to the general work and the general method of forming and carrying on the Welwyn Garden City, he is just about as much at sea as the other hon. Member opposite is in his understanding of this particular Clause. At any rate, the Welwyn Garden City has done this much. As it was developing into an administrative unit it gave the hon. Member an opportunity of practising his particular method of taking part in public affairs.
That is one of the things for which the garden city movement may claim some credit. It has tried to get all classes, including those holding the views of the hon. Member opposite, into the country out of the great cities, so that they might all work together. Let the hon. Member understand this—that no one, up to the present, has made any personal profit out of the Welwyn Garden City and no one is likely to do so in his lifetime or in mine. When he talks about a subsidiary company with a capital of £100 owning property worth £300,000 I would only ask him whether he thinks he could manage to live upon it if he owned that property. He does not give us all the facts. He does not tell us what the company has to pay, what its income is, and what is the margin of income over expenditure. I think if he went into the concerns of the Welwyn Garden City he would find that one could not talk greater nonsense than to say that any subsidiary company with a capital of £100 had property of that value, except in so far as a company of that kind can be the nominal holder of property the actual value of which is produced by borrowed money on which interest has to be paid.
§ Mr. DALLAS
The interest and the loan charges are all paid out of the rents paid by the tenants who live there. [HON. MEMBERS: "Of course."] As far as I am concerned I wish to make it quite clear that I regard the ideal of the garden city as a splendid one, and I am only complaining of its operation in this particular instance.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
I am much obliged to the hon. Member. I think there is 1534 proof for what I said to him just now that if he owned this subsidiary company he would not be able to live upon it. If he owned this subsidiary company and nothing else, he would be a good deal worse off than he is with his £400 a year as a Member of Parliament; and if the hon. Member knows that to be so then it is grossly misleading the House to talk about these concerns as examples of greedy private enterprise, because a company with a capital such as he has described owns property worth thousands. We have this satisfaction at any rate from the discussion of this Amendment—we now know the type of support which there is for this Bill.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
May I with the permission of the House make one statement with regard to something which the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert) has said as regards the ownership of industrial property? I am sure that he does not wish the House to get the impression from his speech that the tax will not be to a great extent relieved if this Amendment is passed upon all industrial property in Welwyn, because he knows that there is a provision by which the owner if it is an industrial concern passes back the tax on the ground rent and that means that the greater part of the tax would ordinarily be exempted under this provision; and where the owner of the industrial property has less than a 50 years lease, then the whole of the tax will be exempted because in the sense of the Bill the ownership will be in the garden city itself.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
I am much obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman. I quite admit that, but it is no answer whatever. If somebody who has a factory in Southwark gets rid of that factory and builds another factory, not in a garden city, but, let us say, on the outskirts of Watford in my division, he might pay a good deal less. It would cost him less, because it is cheaper to go to a garden city, and we want to encourage him to do it. The hon. and learned Gentleman will remember what he told me the other day in the discussion on this Clause with regard to exemptions. He will understand that what I have said is perfectly true, that if this Amendment be carried, the effect on the Bill as amended, will be only to 1535 exempt a unit which is owned by this particular type of association, and it will not exempt a unit which is owned by an industrial concern carried on for profit. I hear the learned Solicitor-General say, "Will it!" I can only say that if that is so, the explanation he gave me as to the general effect——
§ Sir D. HERBERT
If the hon. Member will listen instead of jeering, he will see that I am trying to explain that I do know the Bill, although I admit that
§ it is sometimes difficult to understand it. What I do not know, is the Solicitor-General's interpretation of it. If the interpretation which he gave to me on the discussion of this Clause in the Committee stage is correct, what he says now is not correct. I still maintain that, under this Clause, as it is proposed to be amended, no benefit will be given to any industrial concern.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 260; Noes, 265.1539
|Division No. 372.]||AYES.||[7.32 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Colfox, Major William Philip||Harris, Percy A.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Colman, N. C. D.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Albery, Irving James||Calville, Major D. J.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Cooper, A. Duff||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Asks, Sir Robert||Cowan, D. M.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Cranborne, Viscount||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Astor, Viscountess||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Croom-Johnson. R. P.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godlrey||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Balniel, Lord||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Dawson, Sir Philip||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Dixey, A. C.||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Blinded, James||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Eden, Captain Anthony||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Moiton)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George S. W.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Boyce, Leslie||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)|
|Bracken, B.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Ferguson, Sir John||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Fermoy, Lord||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Fielden, E. B.||Llewellin, Major J. J.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Flson, F. G. Clavering||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Buchan, John||Ford, Sir P. J.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lockwood, Captain J. H.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Frece, Sir Walter de||Long, Major Hon. Eric|
|Butler, R. A.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lymington, Viscount|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Gower, Sir Robert||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Margesson, Captain H. D.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Marjoribanks, Edward|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Millar, J. D.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hammersley, S. S.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hanbury, C.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Nail-Cain, A. R. N.||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Nathan, Major H. L.||Salmon, Major I.||Thompson, Luke|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|O'Connor, T. J.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Train, J.|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Savery, S. S.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|O'Neill, Sir H.||Scott, James||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Peake, Capt. Osbert||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor|
|Penny, Sir George||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Perkins, W. R. D.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Skelton, A. N.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Pilditch, Sir Philip||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Purbrick, R.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Ramsbotham, H.||Smithers, Waldron||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Rawson, Sir Cooper||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Reid, David D. (County Down)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Remer, John R.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavist'k)|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)|
|Ross, Ronald D.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. P.||Captain Wallace and Major the Marquess of Titchfield|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Day, Harry||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Dukes, C.||Jones, Llewellyn., F.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Duncan, Charles||Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Ede, James Chuter||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Edmunds, J. E.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Egan, W. H.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Arnott, John||Foot, Isaac||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham. Upton)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Ayles, Walter||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lang, Gordon|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Gibbins, Joseph||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Barr, James||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Gill, T. H.||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Gillett, George M.||Law, A. (Rossendale)|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Glassey, A. E||Lawrence, Susan|
|Benson, G.||Gossling, A. G.||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Gould, F.||Lawson, John James|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Leach, W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gray, Milner||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lees, J.|
|Bromfield, William||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Leonard, W.|
|Bromley, J.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Brooke, W.||Groves, Thomas E.||Lindley, Fred W.|
|Brothers, M.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Longden, F.|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Lunn, William|
|Buchanan, G.||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Hardie, David (Rutherglen)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Calne, Hall-, Derwent||Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)||McElwee, A.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||McEntee, V. L.|
|Cape, Thomas||Haycock, A. W.||McKinlay, A.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Hayday, Arthur||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Charleton, H. C.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Chater, Daniel||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||McShane, John James|
|Clarke, J. S.||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thamptoh)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Manning, E. L.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Herriotts, J.||Mansfield, W.|
|Compton, Joseph||Hicks, Ernest George||March, S|
|Cove, William G.||Hirst, G. H. (York, W. R., Wentworth)||Marcus, M.|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Markham, S. F.|
|Daggar, George||Hoffman, P. C.||Marley, J.|
|Dallas, George||Hollins, A.||Marshall, Fred|
|Dalton, Hugh||Hopkin, Daniel||Mathers, George|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Matters, L. W.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Isaacs, George||Maxton, James|
|Messer, Fred||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Middleton, G.||Romeril, H. G.||Tillett, Ben|
|Mills, J. E.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Milner, Major J.||Rowson, Guy||Toole, Joseph|
|Montague, Frederick||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Tout, W. J.|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Townend, A. E.|
|Morley, Ralph||Sanders, W. S.||Vaughan, David|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Sandham, E||Viant, S. P.|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Sawyer, G. F.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Mort, D. L.||Scurr, John||Walker, J.|
|Muff, G.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Watkins, F. C.|
|Murnin, Hugh||Sherwood, G. H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Shield, George William||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Noel Baker, P. J.||Shillaker, J. F.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Shinwell, E.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Oldfield, J. R.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||West, F. R.|
|Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Simmons, C. J.||Westwood, Joseph|
|Palin, John Henry||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Paling, Wilfrid||Sinkinson, George||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Palmer, E. T.||Sitch, Charles H.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Perry, S. F.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B. (Keighley)||Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Phillips, Dr. Marlon||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Williams, T. (York. Don Valley)|
|Pole, Major D. G.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Potts, John S.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Price, M. P.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Pybus, Percy John||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Quibell, D. J. K.||Sorensen, R.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Stamford, Thomas W.||Wise, E. F.|
|Raynes, W. R.||Stephen, Campbell||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Richards, R.||Strauss, G. R.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Richardson, R, (Houghton-le-Spring)||Sullivan, J.|
|Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Sutton, J. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Thurtle.|
|Ritson, J.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
§ Proposed words there inserted in the Bill.
Sir F. HALL
I beg to move, in page 20, line 24, after the words last inserted, to insert the words:() is owned by a body of persons (corporate or unincorporate) carrying on as their principal business the operating of public service vehicles for the conveyance of passengers, and is occupied and used by the owners thereof for purposes of or connected with that principal business (including the purposes of constructing, repairing, and maintaining vehicles, machinery, and plant used in connection with such principal business) and not being a land unit primarily occupied and used as offices for, or purposes ancillary to, the general direction and management of such business.After the Division that has taken place, I venture to hope that we may receive a little more consideration at the hands of the Government than we have during the whole discussion that has taken place this afternoon. I have yet to learn that the Government will accede in any degree to any proposals suggested from this side of the House. The effect of the Amendment I am moving is that the land owned by omnibus companies will be exempt from the tax imposed in this Bill, in respect of their actual business of the conveyance of passengers by means of public vehicles I find that according to the 1540 Road Traffic Act public vehicles comprise motor omnibuses, ordinary motor coaches and private coaches. Compared with a few years ago, the coaches on the roads at the present time have increased and multiplied out of all knowledge. By this development the industry has given a very great advantage to travelling people. There is now scarcely any road along which motor omnibuses or coaches do not wend their way, with the resulting improvement of many of the outside areas. Surely this great advantage has been conferred by the motor omnibus proprietors. But they are unfortunately in the position that they are handicapped against statutory concerns, and even against the railway companies.
If you look at Clause 20, paragraphs (b) and (d), you will find that the municipal undertakings and the railway companies are exempt from tax in respect of the land on which their garages are built. I know that there are certain omnibus companies which work under a special Act and have the advantage of exclusion from taxation because of that, and in my opinion the whole of the motor omnibus industries should be placed in the same category. I have referred to the great developments there have been in the motor omnibus business, and their 1541 great value to those who are desirous of getting out of the town and living in the outer suburbs. They are conveyed backwards and forwards at very cheap rates. That surely is an advantage. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has always laid great stress on conferring advantages on those who are of the working classes. I do not think anyone would deny the great advantage there has been in consequence of the development of this industry. I think it is harsh and unfair that one class of industry should be handicapped against another.
The right hon. Gentleman may say, as far as London is concerned, that it might be that if the Bill under discussion at the present time comes into operation, then in the ordinary course of events the omnibuses that come under it would fall within the category in which I am desirous of seeing them, namely, that they would be placed in the same category as those included in Clause 20, paragraph (d). On the other hand, that will only deal with London. But omnibuses are trading in all parts of the country, and if, assuming that the Bill does go through, you are going to give an advantage to some of the omnibus concerns which will come under the statutory obligations, I say it is only fair that all those owning omnibuses and private motor vehicles should be placed in exactly the same position as the large combines. That is the position that I am desirous of putting before the Government. I hope they will not only consider it, but will say that we have made out; a case that they should be treated on exactly the same lines as municipally-owned vehicles. I am not asking for their general exclusion, or that their offices should receive consideration, but I am asking that they should be placed in the same position as undertakings that come under paragraph (d), by which railway companies' omnibus services, in relation to their garages, etc., are exempt. These are large places built in many cases for the benefit of the travelling public. They have naturally been constructed where the traffic is the heaviest, and where the result has been that it has improved the value of the amenities in the suburbs.
Where you have improved the value of the land in the outlying districts to which they trade, you are going to get a dis- 1542 tinct advantage on your Land Tax for the improved value that has been obtained owing to the operation of these concerns. It is only a reasonable proposal that I am submitting in this Amendment, and hope that the learned Solicitor-General will relax in this case and say that it is only fair that this advantage should be given. If the additional tax is put on these places, the private owner will not be able to run his concern as cheaply as those governed by statutory undertakings. I can understand the Solicitor-General saying that the amount will be exceedingly small, and that it would be difficult to impose it. I will not say that in £ s. d. you will be able to impose it, because I have some knowledge of the tramways of London and I know the difficulties, but it will mean that you will not be able, owing to the expenses incurred, to convey a passengers as long a distance if you impose an additional penalty on the privately-owned concerns. I submit this Amendment with the hopeful anticipation that for once to-day it will receive favourable consideration at the hands of the Government.
§ The SOLICITOR- GENERAL
I do not propose to address the House at any great length on this problem. We have already dealt this afternoon, and in Committee as well, with the question of statutory companies and with private enterprise, contrasting the two. I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman has selected probably the least deserving case of all in his attempt to get special exemption. Whatever may be said about the case of the wharfingers, the road transport companies in this country are probably among the most prosperous of all the companies there are at the present day. Anybody who has seen the profits which these companies are making would not have any very great sympathy with them as regards the very small sums they may have to pay in respect of Land Tax. If one looks at the wording of the Amendment, one sees to what lengths it would lead, because it deals with premises used for constructing vehicles. If these factories for constructing motor cars are exempt, why not any other factories, and 1543 then they would all be let out. This may fitly be described as the thin end of the wedge, and as we do not want any thin end in the Bill we cannot accept it.
§ Sir ARTHUR STEEL-MAITLAND
I am afraid the argument of the thin end of the wedge does not seem wholly unfamiliar. It seems to be an answer which could be adduced on any Amendment, however much right that Amendment might have behind it. I remember reading some time ago one of Sydney Smith's Essays in which there was a collection of all the fallacies which could possibly be gathered together in support of one argument. They were summed up in what the author was pleased to call "Mr. Noodle's Oration," and one of the pet arguments was, "It may be the particular proposal in front of us is thoroughly justified, but see what is behind." I would be the last to compare the Solicitor-General with the supposed speaker of that celebrated oration, but at the same time the argument he has given is a pet argument of Mr. Noodle's, together with some others with which we have not been entirely unfamiliar during the course of these Debates.
This is not a question of destroying the tax, either by overloading the administration or by impinging on principles. We are here at a very late stage of the discussion on Report. What happens now
§ cannot be brought up against the Solicitor-General for further concessions later. It is just a question whether this by itself is a just thing to ask for. Everyone in familiar with the spectacle of privately-owned omnibuses on the roads, carrying often a large number of passengers. I am not concerned with denying that some of them are prosperous. But what always happens in a case of that kind is that fresh omnibuses which are privately owned enter into competition, or, what is still more likely, the municipalities or the statutory companies proceed to enlarge the services which they themselves control. Therefore, prosperity for a short time is really no answer. The whole question is, are you going to subsidise statutory companies and municipalities at the expense of private enterprise? It is quite a simple principle. It is not a case in which we are asking that any favour should be given to private enterprise. We are asking only that a competition which is likely to increase, with both statutory companies and municipalities, shall be put on an equal footing. We think it just. If the principle was urged once before, that does not impair the justice of it, and we do ask that consideration should be given. Unless that consideration is given, we shall, of course, divide the House as a protest.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 181; Noes, 276.1547
|Division No. 373.]||AYES.||[8.0 p.m.|
|Acland Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Campbell, E. T.||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Albery, Irving James||Carver, Major W. H.||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Dixey, A. C.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm-, W.)||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Chapman, Sir S.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Christie, J. A.||Ferguson, Sir John|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Clydesdale, Marquess of||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Hands E.|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Colfox, Major William Philip||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Colville, Major D. J.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Cooper, A. Duff||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Cowan, D. M.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Boyce, Leslie||Cranborne, Viscount||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Bracken, B.||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Dalrymple-White. Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Buchan, John||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Butler, R. A.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd,Henley)||Nail-Cain, A. R. N.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||O'Connor, T. J.||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)|
|Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon John Waller||Peake, Captain Osbert||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Penny, Sir George||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Thompson, Luke|
|Hunter Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Ramsbotham, H.||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Remer, John R.||Train, J.|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Ross, Ronald D.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.||Water-house. Captain Charles|
|Llewellin, Major J. J.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Waylana, Sir William A.|
|Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Salmon, Major I.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Long, Major Hon. Eric||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey. Farnham)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Withers, Sir John James|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Womersley, W. J.|
|Margesson, Captain H. D.||Sinclair, Cot. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Skelton, A. N.||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavlst'k)|
|Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Smithers, Waldron||Major the Marquess of Titchfield and Captain Austin Hudson.|
|Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Compton, Joseph||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cove, William G.||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Daggar, George||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Dallas, George||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Dalton, Hugh||Herriotts, J.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Hicks, Ernest George|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Arnott, John||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Dukes, C.||Hollins, A.|
|Ayles, Walter||Duncan, Charles||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Ede, James Chuter||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Edmunds, J. E.||Isaacs, George|
|Barr, James||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Batey, Joseph||Egan, W. H.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Foot, Isaac||Jones, Llewellyn-, F.|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Benson, G.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Gibbins, Joseph||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Blindell, James||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Gill, T. H.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Bowen, J. W.||Gillett, George M.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Glassey, A. E.||Kinley, J.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Gossling, A. G.||Kirkwood, D.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Gould, F.||Lang, Gordon|
|Bromfield, William||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Bromley, J.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)|
|Brooke, W.||Gray, Milner||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Brothers, M.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne).||Law, A. (Rossendale)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Lawrle, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)|
|Buchanan, G.||Groves, Thomas E.||Leach, W.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)|
|Calne, Hall-, Derwent||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Lees, J.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Leonard, W.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Lindley, Fred W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hardie, David (Rutherglen)||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Chater, Daniel||Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Karris, Percy A.||Longden, F.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Lunn, William|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Haycock, A. W.||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hayday, Arthur||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|McElwee, A.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sorensen, R.|
|McEntee, V. L.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|McKinlay, A.||Pole, Major D. G.||Stephen, Campbell|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Potts, John S.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Price, M. P.||Sullivan, J.|
|MscNeill-Weir, L.||Pybus, Percy John||Sutton, J. E.|
|McShane, John James||Quibell, D. J. K.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Raynes, W. R.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Manning, E. L.||Richards, R.||Tillett, Ben|
|Mansfield, W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|March, S.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Toole, Joseph|
|Marcus, M.||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Tout, W. J.|
|Markham, S. F.||Ritson, J.||Townend, A. E.|
|Marley, J.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Vaughan, David|
|Marshall, Fred||Romeril, H. G.||Viant, S. P.|
|Mathers, George||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Matters, L. W.||Rowson, Guy||Walker, J.|
|Maxton, James||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Messer, Fred||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor|
|Middleton, G.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Mills, J. E.||Sanders, W. S.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Milner, Major J.||Sandham, E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Montague, Frederick||Sawyer, G. F.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Morgan, Dr H. B.||Scott, James||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Morley, Ralph||Scurr, John||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Mort, D. L.||Sherwood, G. H.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Muff, G.||Shield, George William||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wiliams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Murnin, Hugh||Shillaker, J. F.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Shinwell, E.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Noel Baker, P. J.||Simmons, C. J.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Oldfield, J. R.||Sinkinson, George||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Sitch, Charles H.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wise, E. F.|
|Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Palin, John Henry||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Palmer, E. T.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Paling.|
|Perry, S. F.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
§ The following Amendment stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Sir D. HERBERT:
In page 20, line 34, at the end, to insert the words:
() is property which or the income or profits of which is legally appropriated for any ecclesiastical or religious use or purpose.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
I believe I am right in saying that the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to move his Amendment which appears later on the Paper.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I beg to move, in page 20, line 41, at the end, to insert the words:(a) is used as a playing field under some agreement with the owner which as originally made or as subsisting at the date of the commencement of this Act could not be determined 1548 for a period of at least five years, or if there is evidence that other circumstances render it probable that the land will continue to be so used for a period of one year or more.I may, perhaps, say that this Amendment is followed by two others, and it is necessary to take the three Amendments together to understand the full import of the Amendment which I am now moving. This Amendment has been put down in fulfilment of a pledge which I gave on two or three occasions during the Committee stage of the Bill, that I would, between then and the Report stage, see if it were possible to amalgamate a number of Amendments which were on the Paper to the extent to which I considered they were representative of a sort of average of the opinion in the House of Commons upon this question. I had, perhaps, better explain what I said on each of these occasions, because that will help the Committee to understand the character of the Amendment which I am now moving. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall 1549 (Sir D. Maclean) has taken a rather prominent part in the discussion of this question of the exemption of playing fields. I said upon one occasion when he intervened and tried to elicit from me an expression of any views:It has boon truly said by many speakers on this subject that there is a general feeling in the House, and it is certainly shared on this side, that we should do nothing which will penalise genuine cases. We are anxious to do whatever we can to encourage and help the extension of such sport and recreation.I went on a little later to say:But I believe if words can be devised which will exempt every genuine playing-field, I am quite prepared to incorporate those words in the Bill. The Amendment of the right hon. Member for North Cornwall (Sir D. Maclean) offers a more promising opening for attaining the object that most Members of the Committee desire to achieve, and I should be quite prepared to give an undertaking between new and Report that we will work upon the idea of that Amendment, and see whether it is possible to draft an Amendment which will meet the conditions which I have mentioned."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd June, 1931; cols. 381 and 382, Vol. 254.]I may add that that interpolation took place at the end of a Debate upon a very wide Amendment for the exemption of sports grounds and playing fields, an Amendment on which the Government escaped defeat by a very narrow majority. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall explained the following evening that the result of that Division was perhaps due in some measure to a state of confusion which existed at the time the vote was taken. I should hope that his conclusion was right, because I am sure that the terms of the Amendment on which the Committee voted on that occasion were such as many Members who did vote would not have supported had they realised the full implications and import of them. When it was later pointed out that it would include the exemption of racecourses, dog-racing, dirt-track racing and the like, hon. Members below the Gangway literally held up their hands an horror at the proposal to exempt these forms of sport. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall put his Amendment on the Paper, and I was advised, and the Solicitor-General stated in the course of the Debate, that even his Amendment as drafted would have given exemption to those forms of sport to which I have referred. Later we revised 1550 the Amendment to exclude racecourses, dog-racing and similar forms of sport.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The right hon. Gentleman made a statement on both occasions, and I have read from the report of 23rd June. A further intervention followed next evening in reply to the right hon. Gentleman, when I made what I think he described as a very conciliatory statement. I said in reply to him on that occasion:I said I was quite prepared to give an undertaking that between then and the Report stage we would hammer away at the germ of an idea which is in the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment, and see if we could arrive at a form which would be generally satisfactory,"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th; June, 1931; col. 531, Vol. 2,54.]I went on to refer to the suggestion which he had made for a conference. Then the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal party, who followed me, said:What the right hon. Gentleman has now said is quite clear, and I think that my right hon. Friend and the rest of us will consider it satisfactory."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th June, 1931; col. 532, Vol. 254.]I have said that this Amendment, which has been put down in my name and which I am now moving, is the best effort that I could make to express the views of what I believe is not only the great majority of the House of Commons, but practically the whole of the House of Commons. It is what I might describe, not so much as a Government Amendment as an Amendment by the whole House of Commons. I tried in my efforts to frame such an Amendment to find out the views of those who had Amendments on the Paper, and this Amendment is the result. I tried to embody what appeared to me to be the aim of those who had Amendments on the Paper, and I have, as far as I can, incorporated their words in the Amendment, except where it was necessary to make some verbal alterations in order to improve the draftsmanship. The first Amendment put down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall would, I think—he explained that it was not his intention—have exempted some of those forms of sport which are now expressly excluded from exemption in terms by one of the Amendments that I am proposing. He had a second Amendment which provided for back 1551 payments of tax where land ceased to be exempt because it was no longer devoted to the purposes of sport. The form of this Amendment, I was advised, would probably have resulted in its being ruled out of order. So my legal advisers and draftsmen set to work, and they have devised the Amendment which appears on the Paper, and which I am further advised is likely to meet the object of the right hon. Gentleman's original Amendment.
That is an explanation of the reasons why these Amendments appear on the Paper. I said, when I proposed the Land Tax Resolution, that I should be willing on Committee stage to give consideration to any Amendment that was brought forward that seemed to be a reasonable and just one and consistent with the general purposes and objects of the Bill. That is the attitude I have taken all through. I believe that the Amendment which I am moving will express the almost unanimous views of the House of Commons, but I must confess that I am a little uneasy whether in practice loopholes may not be created by which exemptions will be claimed for organisations and forms of sport which the House of Commons does not intend to exempt. However, that is a risk that we have always to take. The ingenuity of lawyers never rests, and if it be possible to find some means of evading these provisions here and there, it will be for the House of Commons in future to stop such loopholes by amending legislation.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
The House will have been interested and gratified, as I have been, by the closeness of reasoning by which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has arrived at the Amendment which is now on the Paper, and which, as he truly says, is not the wish of any particular party in the House, but is the wish of the House as a whole. He has expressed the fear that as time goes on, there may be some loopholes. If there are, it is a very much better policy for this House to run the risk of loopholes rather than damage in any way a great and progressive national movement. I am glad that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has seen that it was wise to run that risk. In his conciliatory speech to-night I think he has adopted the Amendment not only substantially but more than substantially: as a whole he 1552 has adopted the proposals which came from both parties on this side of the House. For my own part, I tender my appreciation to hon. Members above the Gangway on this side who have rendered us assistance in endeavouring to place this thing fairly and fully before the House of Commons. We are all agreed, and as somebody once said, "When they are agreed their unanimity is wonderful." I express pleasure, as I am sure the country as a whole does, at the decision which the right hon. Gentleman has come to, and I am certain the House of Commons will endorse it unanimously and heartily.
I, too, would like to make my acknowledgements to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the completeness with which he has covered the Amendments put down by hon. Members of our party as well as of the Liberal party. I examined his latest form of exemption for playing fields with scrupulous care, and although I racked my brains for some time I really could not think of anything else which I could ask him for on this point. That applies to the main Amendment. There is another Amendment which the Chancellor mentioned, and on which I should now like to say a word, because I may not have another opportunity. That is the Amendment which deals with the back payments which are to be made when the land unit ceases to be exempt by reason of no longer being used as a playing field. I do not quite appreciate the logic of the provision which says that when a man develops his land, which in theory it is the object of the tax to make him do, he is to be punished by having to pay the cumulative tax, but I am not going to argue that point. What I want to put is this: It is quite conceivable that there may be an alteration in the rate of the tax in the period immediately preceding that at which the land unit ceases to be exempt, and it would appear that the owner might be made to pay the tax for five years at the increased rate, although that increased rate had not actually been in operation for more than a fraction of that time. I think, perhaps, it is sufficient to state the point and draw the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to it for it to receive consideration.
§ Major GLYN
I am sure the whole House will agree with the right hon. 1553 Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain) in expressing gratitude to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but, unlike my right hon. Friend, I feel there is one more request which I have to make, and that concerns the question of polo playing fields. Polo is indulged in only by the very rich, and I do not play it, and I am not speaking for myself, but I would point out that polo gives a great deal of employment and leads to the breeding of ponies for that particular purpose. It is not a selfish game in that sense of the word, because it does provide employment for a great many people. A polo ground is usually in the neighbourhood of a great city, and it is extremely difficult to see how polo grounds like Hurlingham and Ranelagh can possibly continue if this taxis to be imposed. As the Chancellor of the Exchequer knows, it is a formidable business to be asked to consume all the pudding at one sitting; it is a different thing if one can cut it up and eat it by degrees. To try to pay the tax on a large area all at once is like trying to eat the whole of a pudding—it is liable to produce indigestion.
For polo a large area of ground is necessary, and one cannot sell that area at one moment for development purposes. It may have to be sold by degrees. I feel there is a Case to be put forward for polo. It is true that it is not one of our national games, that we introduced it from India, but we have adopted it, and though I do not wish to appear to be ungrateful to the right hon. Gentleman for what he has done already, I would appeal to him to consider whether ho cannot include polo grounds with playing fields. There are a great many people who play polo, and it is a manly sport, employing a great deal of labour both in the towns and in the country.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
In moving his Amendment the Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to the persuasion, of which perhaps it is the result, of my right hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall (Sir D. Maclean). He entirely omitted the fact that many of us on these benches have all along uttered practically the same words as my right hon. Friend: the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not take them into consideration in the slightest degree—at least according to his 1554 speech to-night. Perhaps he has a special reason for mentioning the right hon. Member for North Cornwall, but hon. Members in my party have just as much reason to be cheerful or disappointed as any Member on the Liberal benches.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I hope the hon. Member will not think that I was unappreciative of his own efforts. I know that he has been working very keenly on behalf of this movement.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
It was not for my self that I was speaking, but in addition to being a sportsman I am also a member of the Conservative party, and in this instance I was speaking more for my party than for myself. I did use my very best endeavours, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer will know, long before this question came up in the House of Commons, to get the National Playing Fields' Association, as a non-party body, to se- sure as many exemptions as possible from the Chancellor of the Exchequer in order to avoid having to discuss them on the Floor of the House. Unfortunately, we did not have any very great success then, but eventually an Amendment was brought forward by the right hon. Member for North Cornwall to which I had the honour of attaching my name, and had not members of his party run away from their own Amendment on that particular evening of the 23rd June we should not have had this Debate to-night, because——
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I am sorry to interrupt my hon. Friend. I hoped we should keep clear of this kind of party controversy, and I avoided it myself of set purpose, but as my hon. Friend has mentioned the point I must say that the Amendment on which the Division took place was not the party Amendment at all but quite a different one.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I agree that the wording of it was not precisely similar, but I am of the opinion that it was a pity that on that particular evening the Liberal Amendment was not carried to complete success. I am very pleased with the Amendment now submitted, and am very grateful on behalf of all the various associations for whom I spoke a few nights ago. Already I have received telephone messages from various bodies 1555 saying how pleased they are to see this Amendment brought forward by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I shall admit that the wording of the Amendment is the original wording of the Amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall. The very words which he put on the Order Paper, and to which I put my name, under his, are the very words which have been taken up by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is satisfactory to note that practically all the Amendments which we put down have been embodied in this Amendment by the Chancellor. I agree with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Abingdon (Major Glyn) that it is a pity that polo has not been exempted, because it will be difficult for those people who are interested at Hurlingham and Ranelagh to differentiate in regard to the land that is being used for golf, lawn tennis and polo. I do not take any particular interest in polo, but I think that such a small matter in a big Bill of this kind might just as well have been agreed to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
I want to say again how extremely grateful I am to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and other right hon. and hon. Gentlemen sitting on the Front Bench for giving this exemption of playing fields, because I am sure that the whole country will not only appreciate this concession, but benefit by it. I think that it was a great mistake that playing fields were not exempted from the first. As soon as I saw this Bill the first question I asked myself was how would playing fields be affected? I have been asking that question ever since, and I am glad that we have at last succeeded in getting this concession.
§ Mr. CLEMENT DAVIES
I wish to pay my tribute to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the learned Solicitor-General who have been so generous in meeting the general wishes of the House by putting down the Amendment which we are now discussing. But while I accept the generosity which has been exhibited by the Government, may I point out that there seems to have been a little misapprehension? The hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Campbell) has told us that on the very afternoon when the Bill was 1556 introduced he set to work trying to find out how playing fields would be affected. Unfortunately the result of his work did not appear on the Amendment Paper for a long time after an Amendment had been put down by my right hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall (Sir D. Maclean). How the name of the hon. Member for Bromley got in front of mine on the Amendment Paper I do not know, but I do not think it was a question of getting up early, because the words of the Amendment happen to be mine. We have been accused on these benches of not framing Amendments in a proper way, but I am glad to know that the words which I put down were adopted by the hon. Member for Bromley. How it happened that his name, and the name of another hon. Member below the Gangway, appeared in front of mine I do not know, but as the hon. Member for Bromley has said, we are all sportsmen. I wish to repeat my thanks to the Solicitor-General and the Chancellor of the Exchequer for meeting our wishes in regard to this question.
§ Mr. HALL-CAINE
Although I cannot agree with the hon. and gallant Member for Abingdon (Major Glyn) that polo should be exempted, I want to point out that there is one particular field which is not going to be exempted. I think it will be generally accepted that one of the bright spots in industry is the motor Industry, and it is one of the few bright spots. The only place that is left for the motor industry to test their machines is a track very close to London. They are not allowed, according to the Road Traffic Act, to use their cars in races upon the public road. I do not say that that is not quite right, but at the same time it is the law that they are not to do so, and the only place where they can really test their machines for endurance and speed is at Brook lands.
According to this Bill Brooklands is going to come into the same category as horse-racing, polo, and dog-racing. I submit that motoring should not come into that class. I know there is a certain type of mind that only looks upon Brooklands Park as a kind of round saucer on which people endeavour to kill themselves, but those who hold that view know very little about what the Brooklands track is really used for. The long 1557 endurance races and the 500 mile race are not arranged just to amuse people and see what speed they can attain. I go so far as to say that those races and those trials have been very largely responsible for the very excellent cars that Great Britain is able to turn out to-day. We heard a short time ago of a particular make of car which is now world renowned, and I submit that it was very largely those particular trials and races that tested the engine and made such a success possible.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Dunnico)
I am afraid that if we allow a long discussion on the merits of the subject which the hon. Member is now discussing we might have other forms of sport discussed at length in detail also.
§ Mr. HALL-CAINE
I bow to your ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, but am I not in order in stating that the places for testing motor cars in this country are so few that this particular track ought to be exempted, In Italy Signor Mussolini and the Government of Italy actually finance the people who come over to this country and to Ireland to try to win motor races, and this country does nothing of that sort. Cricket and football grounds are all very well in their way, but may I point out that they employ professional men who are paid, and why should they be exempt and not Brooklands, which is of real use to this country? Is it because the Liberals have put down an Amendment that we have to bow to this proposal? When trade is so bad, we should do everything we can to help it, and I do not think it is helping, but trying to throttle trade, to prevent the ordinary means by which these motor manufacturers better their engines and cars in order to sell them to other countries. I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not look upon this track as a mere race-track. If he feels any uncertainty on the matter I would only suggest that he should go down there on any morning or afternoon and see the maufacturers testing their engines on the track. I hope he will give consideration to this point.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
There is one kind of place of recreation that I should be glad to be assured by the Solicitor-General in the absence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is intended to be included in 1558 this Amendment, namely, the squares of London, of which we are all so proud and which are such a feature——
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member appears to be referring to the wrong Amendment. He himself has an Amendment down on that subject on the Order Paper.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
I understood that that Amendment would not be reached and that my only opportunity——
§ Sir W. DAVISON
I thought it might save the time of the House if I asked the Government now whether the London squares were included, and pointed out that their case appeared to be germane to the Amendment on the Paper. I am not clear whether I ought to move it or not.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
There is really no point of Order. The hon. Member's Amendment will be called if reached.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Then am I not entitled to speak on the main Question, and to refer to the London squares?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member is not entitled to put down an Amendment raising a specific subject and then to anticipate it by making his speech on a previous Amendment dealing with a different subject.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I also would like to add a word of congratulation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the gesture he has made, but I cannot help feeling impressed by the eloquent speech of his colleague below the Gangway. It seems to me very unfair that the Government should exclude certain and particular sports, which are very useful to the community, from the very generous gesture he has made. Perhaps I might refer to the Amendment with respect to polo. 1559 The Solicitor-General shakes his head, but surely he does not want to legislate in any class way——
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I shook my head because there is not an Amendment on the Paper. It is a manuscript Amendment.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I am much obliged to my hon. and learned Friend. At all events, the Solicitor-General has made a gesture to the Liberal party. That is the feeling in the House. It is perfectly true that the whole germ of the Amendment was raised equally from these benches, but, so far as I gather from the attitude of the Solicitor-General, he is not prepared to make any gesture at all except to certain specific classes. However many people may be employed in connection with polo, because it is supposed to be a game played by the rich he will not, because he represents a Socialist Government, do anything for it. That is most unfair to a large number of people who are employed in connection with that sport. The Solicitor-General knows quite well that probably there are far more deserving people employed in connection with polo than there are in connection with some other sports and pastimes that he proposes to exempt. I always understood that a Socialist Government, with the support of Radical colleagues, would stand for no class distinction, but for fair treatment; for all classes in the community. Everyone knows the position of Hurlingham—that it is very difficult to carry it on, that it is not a big profit-making concern, and that it is questionable whether it will be able to go on at all; and, surely, the Solicitor-General is not going to be scared by a tiny criticism, possibly from a certain section of his party, that he is yielding on the question of a pastime of the rich. Again, I am sure that hon. and right hon. Members below the Gangway know that it would 1560 be a proper thing to include, but they, too, are scared at the class idea that they may be taken to be supporting the rich, and they are afraid to support the perfectly clear principle that these people are usefully employed in a clean and healthy game.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
Is the hon. Member aware that the champion polo player of the world is a Liberal, and a supporter of the Liberal party?
§ Mr. DIXEY
Unfortunately, my hon. Friend does not appear to appreciate that this is not a question of personalities, but I know that some of my hon. Friends opposite always like to be fair and unbiased, and I think that a tiny little matter of this sort might well have been included in the generous gesture which has been made. I appeal to the Solicitor-General. He is a man of great strength. It is very unfortunate that his right hon. colleague has left the House, but even now it is not too late, when he knows the feeling of the whole House. For instance, I am sure that the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) is quite willing to support this suggestion. It is quite a fair suggestion, and it is sheer hypocrisy to exclude one game from the benefit of this concession. Because the party opposite so love the expressions "democracy" and "working people," they will exclude the polo groom simply because they cannot face the criticisms which will possibly be levelled at them by their extreme back-benchers. If this House is of any use at all, it should conduct its business impartially, and not by class legislation.
§ Mr. KELLY
I rise rather to ask a question than to make a speech, but I am glad to have been in the House to hear that the hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. Dixey) has at last realised the fairness of Members who sit on this side of the House. I can assure him that they always desire to be impartial, and that, whenever they depart from impartiality, it is to the advantage of hon. Members opposite. I am not going to follow the plea for polo players, because I do not look upon this question from the point of view of whether the game is one played by the rich man or by the poor man, but I want to ask this question. The hon. Member for Everton (Mr. Hall- 1561 Caine) referred to certain other sides of sport. I am concerned with one part of this country—some people may doubt whether it is a part of this country—where such sports are engaged in. The hon. Gentleman may have a guarantee that it will be reserved for that purpose for the next five years. Those sports do not take place in any particular enclosure, but pretty well the whole of the roads on one side of the island are used for that purpose. Certain parts of the Finance Rill apply to the Isle of Man, and I am anxious to know whether or not it is the intention of the Solicitor-General, if he is thinking in terms of Brooklands and places of that character, to exclude all the roads in the Isle of Man, because it will have to exclude the whole of them, as they use the whole of them for the purpose of that sport and those races.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
I congratulate the Government on their prudence and their intelligence, because the electors are interested in sport more than anything else. I do not think it will affect horse-racing much, or dog racing, because those are commercial pursuits in which there is such a large accretion of wealth, which I believe is sometimes lost, that they do not feel the burden. But there is something to be said as to Brook-lands and also in regard to the polo places. They are very valuable sites. We should all raise our hands to Heaven and thank God that there are some people who can use a valuable site for a sport and do not try to draw money out of it. We ought to encourage anyone to keep an open space like Ranelagh or Brooklands and not allow it to be cluttered up with buildings. The mere fact that they have these open spaces which are used by members of the public generally is a reasonable excuse—polo is a splendid training for cavalry and for military men generally—for not imposing this heavy burden, because the burden will be very heavy. In fact it will extinguish these places. The owner of a garden in the middle of a town is a benefactor to the whole neighbourhood, even if they cannot see over the wall, because there is a greater expanse of air which might have been poisoned by petrol. I suggest that the Government should not make two bites at a cherry, but should let Brooklands in, and let 1562 the polo grounds in, and do the whole thing graciously and generously.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Brigadier-General MAKINS
I have an Amendment later to leave out the word "polo" in the Chancellor's Amendment to Clause 28. It is a most extraordinary thing that every game has been excluded from the Bill with the exception of polo. It looks to me as if it had been overlooked that polo is a game. We have in the Chancellor's Amendment,'Playing field' moans land used mainly or exclusively for the purposes of open air games or recreation other than horse racing, polo, coursing, dog racing, motor racing, or motor-cycle racing.Why sandwich a game in between these various types of races? I cannot understand why this one game should have been selected to be interlarded and jumbled up with other things which are not games, but are more in the nature of sports. Polo is a genuine game. It is the king of games. It trains the nerve and the eye and takes a great deal of the best horsemanship. Polo, combined with hunting, has made the cavalry officer what he is and always has been. Foreign countries have realised what polo has done for the officers of this country and have done their best to introduce it and encourage it in every way in their own country. I cannot understand why, if you exclude every other game, polo should not be put in the same Clause with all the others. Surely it cannot be said it has been put in purely because this is a class Measure, because there are not sufficient votes among people interested in polo or because they have not realised that it is a game and not a race. It means that various polo clubs, especially round the Metropolis, will go out of business and close down, and the great open spaces will be built on. When the Amendment is reached, I feel sure the Solicitor-General will accept it. It is the only logical course the Government could possibly pursue.
§ Mr. MANDER
I should like to express my appreciation of the action of the Government in accepting the views of the Liberal party, and other parties in the House, too. They have done so generously, and it will be to the benefit of people all over the country that agreement has been reached on the matter. The hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Campbell) made a remark which. I think, 1563 should be dealt with at once. He tried to make some party capital out of what he alleged was the action of the Liberal party as a whole in failing to support the Amendment on playing fields which was put down the other night. It cannot be too clearly stated that it was not an official Amendment of the Liberal party [Interruption.] What I am saying is perfectly accurate, and I do not think that my hon. Friend will dispute it for a moment. It is open for any hon. Members in any party in this House to put down Amendments on any subject, but they do not always get the backing of their party. On that occasion, we did not support the Amendment because the Liberal party did not officially think that is was one to which they could give their backing. That ought to be clearly understood, and I hope that in future no attack will be made upon the party as a whole in regard to that matter.
I rather think that the two points to which I am going to refer are met under the terms of the Bill, but I am going to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury for a definite assurance. Are playing fields and recreation grounds provided by employers in different parts of the country for their employés exempted under the provisions of the Bill? There is a very large number of such welfare recreation grounds, and I am sure that everybody would desire to support them in every possible way. I think that they are exempt, but I should be glad to have an assurance upon the point. There is the question of bowling greens. A large number of people in my constituency and in the Midlands generally who are not in the position, unfortunately, to play polo, spend their Saturday afternoons during the summer in playing the very agreeable game of bowls. It will be a matter of great concern to them to know whether bowling greens are exempt. I think they are clearly exempt, but I should like a definite assurance from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on that point.
§ Lieut.-Colonel SPENDER - CLAY
I want to re-enforce the speech which was made by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford (Brigadier-General Makins) with regard to the game of polo. I should like to know from the Financial Secretary how he differentiates between a polo club and a golf club such as Addington or Walton Heath, or any club 1564 near London. What is the difference? They are both games, and are played by more or less the same class. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman knows that it is a notorious fact that one of the polo clubs is in an extremely difficult financial position, and that in adding this burden to clubs of such a character, some of the difficulties of which, no doubt, are due to the action of the Government in regard to taxation, he is going to strike a vital blow at such clubs. I should like an explanation as to how he draws the line between a golf club and a polo club which is in rather deep water. I should not have spoken if there had been the slightest chance of my Amendment on the matter being reached.
§ Major BRAITHWAITE
I want to congratulate the Government on their very good sense in having produced this Amendment. As chairman of one of the League football clubs in the country, I can assure the Government that if they had persisted in their attitude to tax football grounds, they would have lost many of their supporters. I rise mainly for the purpose of obtaining a definition of the word "polo." It is unfair to put an imposition of this kind upon the game of polo. There are several kinds of polo. In my constituency they are thinking of constructing an open-air swimming bath where they can play water-polo? Does water-polo come within the definition of this Amendment? I want to know whether they are going to be taxed or not. The Minister in charge should make plain the intention of the Government in this matter before the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.
This is another attempt to muzzle one of the great sports of this country, namely, horse racing. It is absurd to continue making a martyr of this sport which is enjoyed by so many, and which employs a great many people in the country. There are a great many small racecourses which to-day can barely carry on, and this tax will be a severe imposition upon them and do a great deal of harm to the sport of horse racing. The sport encourages the production of live stock and encourages our agriculturists, and the proposal of the Government means that the Socialist party are going to drive another nail into the coffin of agriculture. Agriculture is an industry which has received 1565 many blows, and this is another attempt to saddle it with further charges and impositions to make it more difficult for the farmer to carry on his business. In my constituency we hold annual coursing meetings where we pursue the hare, and I should like to know whether those lands are going to be the subject of taxation. The words of the Amendment are "mainly or exclusively," and lend themselves to a wide interpretation. Three or four meetings are held in connection with this particular form of sport, and I should like to know whether they will come within the definition of this Amendment.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)
I am not quite sure what is the hon. and gallant Member's question. Is the suggestion that certain grounds are used for other recreations during the year and that on four occasions in the year they are used for coursing, or is the suggestion that the grounds to which he refers are grounds which are used for no recreations except that on four occasions a year they are used for coursing?
§ Major BRAITHWAITE
They are used for agricultural purposes, with the exception of the four coursing meetings a year. I think that the Amendment of the Minister covers the point, but it is one upon which we ought to be satisfied. The Government have been wise in withdrawing a great many of the sports of the country from the imposition of an iniquitous and most unjust tax, and I hope that the Minister will see whether it is within his power to exclude some of the other sports which are likely to be severely jeopardised by actions of this kind.
§ Mr. DUNCAN MILLAR
I regret that I cannot join in the general chorus of congratulation which I have heard from so many hon. Members in the House tonight. The question of playing fields should have been one of the first questions to have received the consideration of the Government before they introduced their Bill. No regard whatever was shown for the interests of the great number of associations and sports clubs throughout the country, and when the Bill was introduced in its original form, 1566 its shortcomings in this respect were very noticeable. When I consider what has taken place subsequently I do not feel that I owe the slightest degree of gratitude to the Government for the action they took. A whole series of Amendments dealing with this matter was on the Order Paper for a considerable time, and it was perfectly competent for them to have placed a reasoned Amendment on the Order Paper during the Committee stage.
Reference has been made to the fact that the Amendment I moved from these benches was not an official Liberal Amendment. I have yet to learn that Liberal Members are not entitled to put down Amendments they receive from their own constituencies, and support them, if necessary, in the Lobby. The Amendment I had the honour to move the other day was taken word for word from the Finance Act of 1910, giving the exemptions which were given under that Act, and the arguments of the Solicitor-General were therefore entirely unfounded. That Amendment would have given an opportunity to include some objects which, I think, might yet be properly included in the exemptions. It was supported in the Lobby by some of my colleagues and by hon. Members above the Gangway, I wish there had been a few more when we might have been in a stronger position to secure our objects.
When the Chancellor of the Exchequer talks about the confusion which that Amendment created, may I say that there was no confusion whatever except in the mind of the Government? As far as the House was concerned, it was a perfectly clear and straightforward vote expressing the views of the great majority in this House, and if we had not used that occasion in the way we did in order to enforce this point upon the Government, we would not have been in such a strong position to-day. The Government have come into line with public opinion very late and they will not get much credit in the country for doing so. They certainly do not deserve any credit. So far as the negotiations which have passed are concerned, I have no knowledge of them. It appears clear, however, that there has only been a reluctant concession to the views held in all quarters of the House, and while I am glad to know that this 1567 Amendment has been moved, I still think that the Government might have acted in a much more generous spirit.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I welcome the expression of opinion which has come from all sections of the House with the exception of the hon. and learned Member for East Fife (Mr. Millar) in recognition of the action of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I am referring to the speeches that I have heard. There may have been other hon. Members who took a different view, but, as far as the speeches I have heard are concerned, I welcome the expression of opinion which has come from different parts of the House. My right hon. Friend has endeavoured to meet the wishes of the House, and it has been recognised by hon. Members who have spoken that in so doing he has enabled playing fields as a whole to escape the tax, which they might have been called upon to pay as the Bill originally stood. I have been asked certain specific questions. The hon. and gallant Member for Buckrose (Major Braithwaite) asked me whether water polo would be excluded by the Amendment. It is a very technical point as to whether a swimming bath is a playing field, and I am afraid that I cannot give him an answer. He also asked me to give a definition of polo. There, again, I cannot give the hon. and gallant Member an answer. Obviously, the intention of the Amendment is to deal with polo as played on polo grounds, and on the main issue it is a matter of argument as to whether this particular form of sport should or should not be included in the exemptions. The position of the Government is that this particular sport should not have the benefit of the exemptions. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not? It is a game."] As to those sports which are played by the great bulk of the people, they stand on a different footing.
The same hon. and gallant Member asked me whether a field used for the purposes of agriculture, but used four times during the year for the purposes of coursing would be subject to the tax. First of all it is land used for the purposes of agriculture, and, therefore, it would be subject to the provision which 1568 deducts from the land value the cultivation value of the site. If the cultivation value of the site exceeds or is up to the land value no tax will be paid. Then the question comes, suppose the site value is greater than the cultivation value, would it be excluded from the tax because coursing takes place upon it four times during the year? If the hon. Member will address his attention to the Order Paper he will see that coursing is expressly one of those sports which does not provide exemption under this Amendment, and, therefore, the fact that coursing takes place will not enable that site, assuming that the land value is in excess of the cultivation value, to escape the burden of this tax. The hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) wanted to be perfectly clear whether under the Amendment a playing field provided by an employer for his employés would be excluded from the tax. I can give him that assurance. It is perfectly clear that these playing fields are included in the exemptions, as long as they are used as playing fields. He also asked a question with regard to the position of bowling clubs. There, again, it is quite clear that they are not ruled out by the Amendment.
§ Mr. ANNESLEY SOMERVILLE
I rise to express deep satisfaction at the way in which playing fields of schools, included as they are in the provisions laid down, will be exempted. That satisfaction is tinged with regret that the sites of schools are not exempted. It may be said that this result has been arrived at by effective co-operation between two parties, and let us hope it will continue. It was remarked last night by a well-known journalist that a Chancellor of the Exchequer had lost his Waterloo on the playing fields of England. Like many epigrams that is only partly true, but we can say that he has shown a wise discretion in yielding to the national feeling.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I want to reply to the statement made by the hon. Member for East Fife (Mr. D. Millar), who said he felt no debt of gratitude for the Government's compromise with regard to 1569 playing fields. I have been thinking, while listening to this Debate, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has received as much gratitude for his exemptions as he would have received if he had made none at all. The hon. Member for East Fife says that he lacks any feeling of gratitude or thankfulness towards the Government, because it has been a belated concession. I want to say in fairness that I protested against any form of exemption at all where private interests were making profits, but all the time there was in the minds of the framers of the Bill and those of us who are supporting it the possibility of drawing up a Clause which would exempt really genuine playing fields. [HON. MEMBERS: "Tell it to the marines!"] I can assure hon. Members opposite that it is quite true, and if it will strengthen their faith in my veracity, let me toll them that I devoted two or three days to trying to draw up a Clause to such a purpose.
The exemption has been made to-night, and I want to say now that it is far too wide in my opinion. I understand the only things which are not exempt now are dogs, horses, mechanical mice or something of that kind. Everything else is exempt—even professional football grounds. There is a football ground at Chelsea which is a positive harassment to the whole neighbourhood when the howling mobs let loose cheers at each goal which is scored. When they get going for acres around people cannot sleep. [Interruption.] It is going on during certain seasons of the year, and it begins somewhere about seven o'clock and lasts until eleven at night. The cheering and the noise of the machines is a positive disturbance to the area. I never look at a crowd coming out of a
§ football ground without getting afraid of democracy. If the same zest and enthusiasm were exhibited by hon. Members opposite regarding things that really matter——
§ It being half-past Nine of the Clock, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders of the House of 4th and 29th June, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
then proceeded successively to put forthwith the Questions on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice, had been given to that part of the Bill to be concluded at half-past Nine of the Clock at this day's Sitting.
Amendment made: In page 20, line 43, at the end, insert the words:
(b) is used, wholly or mainly for the purpose of public religious worship."—[Mr. Pethick-Lawrence.]
Another Amendment proposed to the Bill, in page 21, line 5, at the end, to insert the words:
Provided that, where any land unit which has been exempt from tax by reason of paragraph (a) of this Sub-section ceases to be so exempt, the tax chargeable in respect of the unit for the first complete year of charge for which the tax becomes chargeable in respect thereof shall be multiplied by five or by the number of complete years of charge, during which the unit has been so exempt as aforesaid whichever is the less."—[Mr. Pethick-Lawrence.]
§ Question put, "That the Amendment be made."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 281; Noes, 217.1573
|Division No. 374.]||AYES.||[9.30 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Burgess, F. G.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Benson, G.||Burgin, Dr. E. L.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Birkett, W. Norman||Cameron, A. G.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Blindell, James||Cape, Thomas|
|Ammon, Charles George||Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Bowen, J. W.||Chater, Daniel|
|Arnott, John||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Clarke, J. S.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Broad, Francis Alfred||Cluse, W. S.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Bromfield, William||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.|
|Ayles, Walter||Bromley, J.||Cocks, Frederick Seymour|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Brooke, W.||Campton, Joseph|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Brothers, M.||Cove, William G.|
|Barr, James||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Cowan, D. M.|
|Batey, Joseph||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Cripps, Sir Stafford|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Daggar, George|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Buchanan, G.||Dallas, George|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lawrence, Susan||Ritson, J.|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Lawson, John James||Romeril, H. G.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Day, Harry||Leach, W.||Rowson, Guy|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Dukes, C.||Lees, J.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Duncan, Charles||Leonard, W.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Sandham, E.|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Lindley, Fred W.||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Logan, David Gilbert||Scott, James|
|Egan, W. H.||Longbottom, A. W.||Scurr, John|
|Foot, Isaac||Longden, F.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Lunn, William||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Sherwood, G. H.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Shield, George William|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||McElwee, A.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Gibbins, Joseph||McEntee, V. L.||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||McKinlay, A.||Shinwell, E.|
|Gill, T. H.||MacLaren, Andrew||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Gillett, George M.||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Simmons, C. J.|
|Glassey, A. E.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)|
|Gossling, A. G.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Sinkinson, George|
|Gould, F.||McShane, John James||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B. (Keighley)|
|Gray, Milner||Manning, E. L.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Mansfield, W.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||March, S.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Marcus, M.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Markham, S. F.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Marley, J.||Sorensen, R.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Marshall, Fred||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mathers, George||Stephen, Campbell|
|Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Matters, L. W.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||Maxton, James||Sullivan, J.|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Messer, Fred||Sutton, J. E.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Middleton, G.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Hardie, David (Rutherglen)||Millar, J. D.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)||Mills, J. E.||Thorne, W. (West Ham. Plalstow)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Milner, Major J.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Montague, Frederick||Tillett, Ben|
|Haycock, A. W.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hayday, Arthur||Morley, Ralph||Toole, Joseph|
|Hayes, John Henry||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Tout, W. J.|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Townend, A. E.|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Mort, D. L.||Vaughan, David|
|Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Muff, G.||Viant, S. P.|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Muggeridge, H. T.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Murnin, Hugh||Walker, J.|
|Herriotts, J.||Naylor, T. E.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Hicks, Ernest George||Noel Baker, P. J.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Oldfield, J. R.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Hoffman, P. C.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Hollins, A.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Welsh, James C (Coatbridge)|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||West, F. R.|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Isaacs, George||Palin, John Henry||White, H. G.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Paling, Wilfrid||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Palmer, E. T.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Jones, Llewellyn-, F.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)||Perry, S. F.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Pole, Major D. G.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Potts, John S.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Price, M. P.||Wilson R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Pybus, Percy John||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Kinley, J.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Wise, E. F.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Lang, Gordon||Raynes, W. R.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Richards, R.|
|Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)||Richardson, R. (Houghton, le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Charleton.|
|Law, A. (Rossendale)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W. J||Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)|
|Albery, Irving James||Astor, Viscountess||Balfour, George (Hampstead)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Atholl, Duchess of||Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)|
|Balniel, Lord||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H||Frece, Sir Walter de||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Beaumont, Mr. W.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Peake, Captain Osbert|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Gower, Sir Robert||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Remer, John R.|
|Boyce, Leslie||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Bracken, B.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Buchan, John||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hammersley, S. S.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Butler, R. A.||Harmon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hartington, Marquess of||Savery, S. S.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Haslam, Henry C.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dino. C.)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. H. (Prtsmth, S.)||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Kills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord K. (Ox. Univ.)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Chadwick, Capt. Sir Robert Burton||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Hurd, Percy A.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Iveagh, Countess of||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Nortor)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Thompson, Luke|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Train, J.|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lymington, Viscount||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Macquisten, F. A.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Dixey, A. C.||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Marjorlbanks, Edward||Windsor-Clive. Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Withers, Sir John James|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavlst'k)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Ferguson, Sir John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Fermoy, Lord||Muirhead, A. J.||Sir George Penny and Captain Euan Wallace.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Nail-Cain, A. R. N.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
Question, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill," put, and agreed to.
Further Amendment made: In page 21, line 5, at the end, insert the words:
(3) No tax shall be chargeable in respect of any land unit for any period during which there is neither a person who would be chargeable to the tax in respect thereof nor a person from whom any part of the tax would he recoverable under the provisions of this Part of this Act relating to the re-coupment of tax to leaseholders by lessors, except a person who would be entitled to
relief from the tax, or from the part so recoverable under the provisions of Sub-section (1) or (2) of the Section of this Act next following."—[The Solicitor-General.]