Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £4,763,080 (including a Supplementary Sum of £290,000), be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1932, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Inland Revenue Department."—[Note: £2,250,000 has been voted on account.]
§ Sir WILLIAM MITCHELL-THOMSON
I would make a suggestion for your consideration, Mr. Dunnico. There 2191 are three Supplementary Estimates, which deal with the same subject, namely, the staff required in order to put into operation the decision of Parliament in regard to the imposition of land taxation. The first Estimate deals with the staff, the second with buildings for housing the staff and the third with the provision of maps with which the staff is to work. In these circumstances, I suggest that we might follow the precedent which is to a certain extent adopted in regard to Service Estimates and that is that on the first of the Votes we should have a more or less general discussion covering the whole question, on the understanding that we do not discuss the subsequent Votes.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)
So far as I and those on this side are concerned we have no objection to that course.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think that that would be by far the better plan. It will be quite in order to have a general discussion.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
These Supplementary Estimates are concerned with matters that raised a considerable amount of interest and controversy in this Chamber earlier in the present Session. I have no doubt that some of the right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite who took part in those earlier Debates will again raise this issue. But it is now very close to the end of the Session before the Adjournment, and I hardly anticipate that the vehemence of the Debates which took place earlier on will be repeated on this occasion. Whereas then we were discussing ab initio the whole principle, we are now discussing only the implementing of that principle in one particular, howbeit an essential particular required for the fulfilment. The three Supplementary Estimates stand together. They are rendered necessary by the additional work thrown upon the Inland Revenue Department under the provisions of the Finance Bill. The valuation of land for the purpose of land value tax will have to be undertaken during the next two years, and because the existing staff is closely proportioned to its present duties there is no marginal staff available for the new work connected with land valuation.
2192 The additional staff will be mainly concerned with the technical and clerical work connected with the valuation. The valuation office will also have to be equipped with up-to-date maps, and there will be need for additional accommodation and furniture. The Board of Inland Revenue have already a staff of 475 qualified valuers under a chief valuer, and this permanent establishment will be augmented by the recruitment, on a temporary basis, of an additional staff of valuers, valuation assistants and draughtsmen. The intention is to attract into the service as soon as possible a small number of valuers, roughly up to the number of about 200, and a larger number of valuation assistants, perhaps up to about 600, who will in each case have had suitable experience in land valuation work, particularly in urban areas. The Committee will remember that so far as purely agricultural land is concerned, where there is no site value over and above the purely agricultural value, it is not proposed to insist upon the valuation. Therefore it will be mainly in urban and extra urban districts where the experience and knowledge of valuers will be specially required. About 200 daughtsmen will be required at once, and they must be competent land surveyors. Their duties will lie mainly in the preparation and correction of plans and maps.
As for the rates of pay I would not like to be too definite and precise, because naturally what will be offered to these temporary technical officers will depend upon age, experience and qualifications and other matters, but, speaking broadly and generally, I should say that the pay of the valuers will not exceed about £550 per annum, and the valuation assistants will not exceed about £7 and the draughtsmen about £5 a week respectively, and all these rates will, of course, be inclusive. I am sure the Committee would like me to say that in making these appointments a preference will be given to ex-service men. Shortly an announcement of the terms of appointment will be ready and will be sent to the Press as soon as the Finance Bill receives the Royal Assent. Of course the numbers which I have mentioned for each particular grade are not precise and definite, though the estimate 2193 is probably round about what is required. As time goes on and as the work progresses these figures will have to be reviewed to make sure that exactly the right number are being employed, but in all probability the numbers which I have indicated are the numbers roughly which will be required.
With regard to clerical staff, the need will arise at an early date, and it is anticipated that a considerable number, probably from 600 to 800 temporary clerks, Grade III, will have to be appointed at the valuation office during some portion of the current financial year. I may mention that there are at present about 1,700 such temporary clerks, who have been engaged for a few weeks in the office of the Inspectors of Taxes in transcribing into land valuation records particulars of Schedule A Income Tax assessments for the purposes of valuation. This work is now practically completed, and no doubt some of the temporary clerks will be among those who will find employment in the Valuation Office. That is to satisfy the need of some 600 to 800 temporary clerks. Under Clause 28 of the Finance Bill all instruments transferring land will have to be presented to the Commissioners as from 1st September next, and in order to record the particulars contained in those instruments a small additional staff will be required in London, Edinburgh and provincial stamp offices. The total number concerned will probably be about 40.
A slight increase in the administrative establishment of Somerset House is also necessitated by the increase of work thrown on the Department generally. The financial effect of that will be very small. Provision is also made for such travelling and subsistence allowances and other miscellaneous expenses as are likely to be involved. These are referred to on pages 12 and 13 of the White Paper. Additional office accommodation is required for the increased valuation and other staff throughout the country. Particulars are found on pages 10 and 11 of the White Paper. If the Committee desire further information with regard to the various heads H to N, which will be found there, I will do my best to supply them with it.
Finally, as has been mentioned, in order that the Valuation Office shall have 2194 the most up-to-date information n the form of ordnance maps it will be necessary to increase temporarily the staff of the Ordnance Survey. Particulars of that are found on pages 8 and 9 of the White Paper. We also provide for equipment, stores, and the incidental expenditure necessary to meet the requirements. The work which will be performed by this additional survey staff will not be lost to the Ordnance Survey, because, quite apart from the use to which it will be put by the Valuation Office, it will represent to some extent preliminary work for the normal survey which will be performed out of the ordinary routine. That is the general explanation that I have to give in defence of these Supplementary Estimates. I am sure that from what I have said the Committee will see that in order to implement the Clauses of the Finance Bill, to which this House has already assented, it is necessary to take these steps. The figures that I have given are probably quite close to what will be the actual figures during the current year. I feel sure that the Committee will be satisfied that it is necessary to proceed in the way that I have suggested. In so far as any further information is desired, I shall be happy, as far as I can, to supply it later in the Debate.
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.
The hon. Gentleman may be disappointed, in view of what he has said, out he can hardly be surprised, if I say at once that I propose to ask him to accept a reduction of £100 on this Vote. Rather less than four weeks have elapsed since the Finance Bill was parted with by this House. We are now presented with another kind of bill, a consequential bill, or a portion of it. The Financial Secretary has introduced it. If I dared to make a classical quotation I would say:
§ "Quantum mutatus ab illo Hectore,"
§ 8.0 p.m.
which very freely translated might be read as, "The morning after the night before." What a change from the rather robustious attitude of the hon. Gentleman, of which we heard too little on the Finance Bill, is this apologetic, almost bedside manner, in which ho brings forward these Supplementary Estimates to-night! The hon. Gentleman has been good enough to give us some figures regarding
the staff which it is proposed to employ, but he must not blame me if I find them a little difficult to reconcile with some of the figures given to us in the course of the Debate on the Finance Bill. It was not until the concluding sentence of the hon. Gentleman that I conceived what I fancy is the explanation of an apparent discrepancy between the two sets of figures. The hon. Gentleman spoke in the earlier part of his speech as if the number of people to be employed on this valuation in the capacity of valuers, head men with real expert knowledge, was something in the neighbourhood of 200, whereas at an earlier stage of the Debates on the Finance Bill the figure was given by the learned Solicitor-General as 1,000, which seems to me a much more reasonable figure, having regard to the experience we had in the case of the land taxes of 1910. We know then that this figure of 1,000 was very considerably exceeded. It was not until later in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman that he called the Committee's attention to the fact that this Estimate only deals with the remainder of this year, and in consequence, when he says that there are 200 valuers to be employed, 600 valuation assistants, 200 draughtsmen and 800 temporary clerks, he is only dealing with the extra staff to be employed during the concluding months of this year:
If they do these things in the green tree, what shall he done in the dry?
§ Basing myself on the Solicitor-General's figure of 1,000 for the quantity of the valuers altogether to be employed, I can see at once that what the hon. Gentleman is envisaging is a staff, not of the comparatively modest dimensions which he has set out here, but a staff of 1,000 valuers, 3,000 valuation assistants, 1,000 draughtsmen and 4,000 clerks. That seems to me to be very much more like the probable out-turn from the staff point of view than the figures with which the Committee is confronted to-night. But I have for the moment to take the figures before us, and I would observe again that this is only the beginning of the Bill. This is not the Bill itself. This is not the main body of the Bill, but only the beginning of it, and it is a very respectable beginning. These three 2196 Votes between them account for very nearly £400,000, which the taxpayer has to find. Surely, that is a very respectable beginning.
§ Let me ask the hon. Gentleman one or two questions about the staff. The hon. Gentleman has stated that the sort of salary which is to he paid to the expert valuer who is to be in charge is about £550. Is not that so?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I am bound to say that it seems to me to be very doubtful whether you will get the class of expert man whom you want for a figure of that kind. I believe it will be found as time goes on that either you will have to take less expert men, with consequent difficulties in your valuation and consequent injustices either to the revenue, on the one hand, or the taxpayer on the other, or it will be found that you will have to pay more, because what happened on the last occasion is, I am almost certain, to repeat itself on this occasion. You may well call this a surveyors' indulgence Bill, because it is going to provide employment for the surveying fraternity in the country. Every surveyor in the country is going to be engaged in advising his private clients to the best of his capacity how best they can resist the demands made on them by the Inland Revenue. That is what occurred last time. Every surveyor is going to be able to make a far more profitable living in that capacity than he would be able to make by engaging himself as a temporary valuer or surveyor to the Inland Revenue. I fancy the Government will find out, as was found out before, that they will have the utmost difficulty in getting really the best class of expert assistance which they ought to have for the staff which they are proposing to engage. But I am grateful for their assurance that it is their desire to have really expert assistance, because I cannot put it better than was put in the evidence given before the Land Values Committee of 1920 by one of the highest experts, a Mr. Edwin Savill, a member of the Council of Surveyors, and if I may I will read one sentence from his evidence, because it really expressed the sort of difficulty with which valuers are confronted. He said: 2197Valuations are not made by rule, but by experience, and by experience only. Every valuation made presents its own special difficulty, great or small; the best method of overcoming each difficulty is a matter of opinion, and the result of the whole deliberation is an estimate of value, the approximate accuracy of which depends entirely upon the knowledge and experience of the man making the estimates.This is a point I desire to stress, that it is upon men of knowledge and experience that the Government will have to rely, and it is precisely in the finding of those men that I think they are going to have their greatest difficulty to start wih.
I am a little surprised that, even on the figures given by the hon. Gentleman, the amount of £245,000 is as low as it is, and I do not quite see how it squares with the other figures he has given, and still less do I see how the discrepancy between £245,000 for salaries and only £14,000 for travelling and subsistence allowances is to be explained, and I should like the hon. Gentleman if he would, when he replies, to devote himself to explaining that discrepancy. It seems to me, whether the amount of salaries be reasonable or not, that the amount for travelling and subsistence allowances is abnormally low, and if the Government propose to make a serious beginning of the work it will be found to be a gross underestimate because, if there is one thing more certain than anything else, judging from the experience of previous years, it is that a large quantity of this work has got to be done, and can only be done, on the spot. Here, again, I appeal to experience. I do not ask the Committee to take this statement from me. Here is what Mr. Edgar Harper, then the chief valuer of the Inland Revenue, said before the Land Values Committee. He was pointing out the difficulty of the task which confronted the district valuer, and on page 43 he said:District Valuers and their staff had far more to do than is ordinarily implied in the phrase 'making a valuation.' A valuer called in by a client usually has all the necessary particulars of the property, its boundaries, area, rents reserved, etc., supplied to him. But it was far otherwise with the work of the Valuation Office. Before the work of valuing could commence it was necessary to identify and define each unit to be valued.That is why we have this amount, because account has to be taken not only of the situation of each unit but of the situation of hedges and trees and all the rest 2198 of it, and a complete survey has to be made. Mr. Edgar Harper went on:For this purpose local rate-books and valuation lists were utilised, as well as owners' returns. But no satisfactory definition of the unit could be obtained without ascertaining the boundaries and other conditions on the spot, and laying them down on the working plans.Then he goes on to speak of the difficulty of the diversity and sub-divisions of interests, and he gives an interesting commentary upon the case sometimes made that this work could be easily performed by others. He says:Freeholds, customary freeholds, freeholds subject to perpetual ground rents, copyholds, 999-year leases, building leases, occupation leases, etc., presented a mixture beside which land tenure in new countries is simplicity itself.In those circumstances, I want to ask how it is that the amount which the Government are proposing to take for travelling expenses and subsistence allowances for their valuers who will have to do their work largely on the spot is so comparatively low? How is it that we have only got a figure of £14,000 I do not know what the ordinary rate of subsistence allowance for this class of Civil Servant is, but I think probably about £1 a day. On the basis of £1 a day for six months, that only appears to make provision for 70 gentlemen going about the country, and 70 gentlemen going about the country cannot begin to scratch the first hole in the surface of the problem. In those circumstances, I think the hon. Gentleman will find that he is not really going to make an effective start on 31st March and that the figure of £14,000 is much too low.
I said a moment ago that the survey would have to be a cadastral survey; it would have to be a complete survey, and, so far as I know, it will have to be a survey of all the land of the country because, after all, the surveyor is not concerned with whether the land is or is not to be exempt from taxation. The surveyor has no information on the subject. It is his task to draw on his map the limits of the physical peculiarities—trees and hedges, and so on—of the area in which he is compiling his survey. Therefore, I think it will be found that, in truth and in fact, the survey has to be a survey of all the land. I am not talking about the valuation. I can find nothing myself which avoids that description. I have always been very doubtful 2199 myself whether in truth and in fact the courts will not subsequently hold that there devolves upon the Inland Revenue the duty of valuing all the land of the country, but that is neither here nor there. I have to accept what the hon. Gentleman says, that there is this m easure of discretion which resides in the valuer to decide whether or not a valuation is to be applied to a particular bit of land or not.
I want to point out, because this affects vitally the amount of money the House is being asked to vote, that the compilation of this new Domesday Book must necessarily depend upon the temper or the mood of the valuer at the moment who happens to be making this particular valuation. If this were a proposal to have a really complete valuation, a really new Domesday Book such a book as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Burslem (Mr. MacLaren) has always been clamouring for, there might be something more to be said for it than there is at present. But it is not. Consider how this is going to work. Consider the valuer in his progress through a purely agricultural area. It happens possibly to be a fine morning. He will find himself on a bit of rising ground, commanding a view over the valley. He stops his car, and he says: "I perceive a piece of eligible building land. I should not mind having a house there, I will go down and value it." And then he turns to his chauffeur and he says: "It is true that to the naked eye that piece of land may appear like plain plough land, but my experienced eye, stimulated by the amount which the hon. Gentleman has asked the Committee to vote as my share of this Vote, enables me to see that in the somewhat unpromising area of that plough land there resides a good piece of building land." Then he makes a valuation. But supposing it is a wet day and the valuer comes home tired and passes through the same place. He does not say then: "What a nice place," but he says: "What a beastly hole. Nobody out of Hanwell would like to live here." Does that plot of land get into the new Domesday Book? It does not. This estimate, which is presented to the House seriously, purporting to ask that a particular sum of money should be voted for a particular purpose, is a purely illusory estimate.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves the point about the valuer may I make this statement? He has said that I said that the valuers would decide as to whether they should value a piece of land or not. I only rise to say that if I did make that statement—I do not think I did—I did not intend to make it. What I intended to say was that every piece of land would not be valued, because agricultural land with no value in excess of its cultivation value would not come under the valuation, but I did not intend to make the definite statement that the decision of the individual valuer would determine the matter.
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
Far be it from me to say that the Financial Secretary said what he did not actually say but what he has said now confirms the point I was making. Agricultural land, as such, is not to be valued, but who is to decide whether the land is agricultural land or not—the valuer.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
It is the decision of the Commissioners. If the right hon. Gentleman will refer to Subsection (6) of Clause 11 he will find that it is the Commissioners who are to decide whether a piece of land is exempt or not, and the opinion of the individual valuer will not be the deciding factor in that issue.
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
But surely the Commissioners must base their conclusion on the decision of the individual valuer. The Commissioners cannot possibly know whether a piece of land at the bottom of Farmer Hayseed's yard has any value beyond its agricultural value. The only person who can tell the value of that particular piece of land is the man who made the valuation on the spot, and it is his decision which will govern the case. The Financial Secretary is only now waking up to perceive for the first time matters about which we have protested again and again. The Commissioners will have to rely on the judgment of the individual man who makes the valuation, because, manifestly, they cannot spend the rest of their official lives in going up and down England, looking at every plot of land in order to decide for themselves whether it has any value in excess of its agricultural value.
2201 The only other point on which I want to ask a question is whether the forms to be filled up by the taxpayer have already been drawn. If they have not, then I hope the Financial Secretary will give us an undertaking—it was done in 1910—that they will be laid before Parliament, and that at the same time the instructions to valuers will also be laid before Parliament. It is desirable that Parliament should see the sort of questions with which the subject is going to be confronted, as soon as possible. I have no doubt that other hon. Members desire to raise other points and, therefore, I do not propose to protract my observations further than to say that I hope the Committee and the country generally will realise that this is only the first and a small instalment of the bill which the taxpayer will be ultimately compelled to pay.
§ Captain BOURNE
I also want to put a few questions to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. I was rather surprised when he said that agricultural land will not have to be valued. To the best of my recollection agricultural land will not be liable to taxation if, and only if, the cultivation is equal to the site value as ascertained in accordance with Clause 9. If that is right, I cannot see how anybody can say, or how anybody can know, whether or not any given piece of land is or is not liable to taxation unless a valuation has been made of it. If my memory serves me right again, the Sub-section to which the Financial Secretary referred when he was replying to my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon South (Sir W. Mitchell-Thomson) provides that the Commissioners, as the hon. Member says, may decide that a piece of land which is exempt from taxation does not require to be valued, but if he will look into the Clause a little closer he will see that it only applies where exemption is specifically given under the Act itsef, that is, land belonging to a charitable institution or land which is used for certain purposes of sport. Whether the land may or may not be taxed will depend upon the valuation, and, therefore, a great many valuations will have to be carried out up and down the country.
In the second place, there is no doubt that the valuations are going to prove extremely difficult and very technical. 2202 You are going to value the site on the assumption that the building is not there. It is to be a site which was once covered by a building, but some genii such as we read of in the Arabian Nights has spirited away the building in the night and left a hole in the earth where the building once stood. One thing, which is most important, is this, that if these valuations are to be equitable to the taxpayer and to the revenue there must be some uniformity. The buildings in which we are now are not subject to valuation. But suppose they were suddenly removed and we were left with the bare site. These buildings have very deep basements; and that is a very important matter from the point of view of valuation. They may be of value to one person but distinctly detrimental to another. In this matter it is very essential that the Department should have the services of the most skilled people possible, and with the salaries suggested to be paid it is highly unlikely that they will get skilled people who understand this highly technical work. The Financial Secretary said that he proposed to get 200 people. I should like to know the fees that are to be paid to the valuers, and what are to be their professional qualifications. I am certain that this work is not going to be easy. It is technical, complicated, and it requires great accuracy and fairness, because on this will depend whether or not you get a large group of law suits, and also whether the taxpayers generally will be more or less reconciled to this new taxation. On its accuracy and fairness will also depend the amount of ill-feeling and friction. I want to ask what professional qualifications will be required as essential for a valuer, and what lesser professional qualifications will be regarded as necessary for the assistants. Then, also, will the assistants be allowed to make valuations on their own.
This brings me to the point which is perhaps the most important on the particular Estimate with which we are now dealing. This Estimate covers, approximately, six months during the current financial year. A Clause in the Finance Bill introduced comparatively late in the Report stage is to the effect that the valuation should not commence before January and I ask the hon. Gentleman, first, when he hopes to approve of these 200 valuers and 600 assistants and, 2203 secondly, are any steps to be taken to train these people in the new and unprecedented and somewhat difficult tasks which they will have to undertake? It seems highly desirable that some instruction should be given to these men, in order to ensure that in dealing with these difficult problems there shall be uniformity in the valuations, as between one part of the country and another.
I have spoken just now on the point as to whether a site is to be valued as it would have been before any building was erected upon it, that is to say as a level piece of land ready for building, but as yet having no excavations made in it for foundations, or whether it is to be regarded as if the building had been bodily taken away and the site left with the excavations in the ground. That makes a considerable difference to the value. It might make a considerable difference to a willing purchaser. In many cases he might be glad to have the site with this hole in the ground where a building had been, whereas in other cases he would not. The mere expense of filling up such an excavation might detract considerably from the value in some cases while that might not apply in other cases. It seems to me that uniformity is necessary. If you are to have a valuer in London, for instance, treating the site as if the excavation still existed and a valuer in Sheffield, valuing the site as if the excavations had been filled up, then you will get a contradictory set of valuations as between different parts of the Kingdom. Unless the Inland Revenue authorities give some form of instruction or training in this matter, there will be conflicting decisions.
In the case of agricultural land the estimation of the cultivation value is not going to be easy, and I do not gather from reading the Bill on what basis the cultivation value is going to be assessed. Presumably it is to be on the capitalised value of what a willing tenant would give as rent, in the open market, for the farm as it stands, allowing for outgoings of different sorts. There, again, it will be necessary to see that the valuations are uniform. Are the deductions to be made, if any—say as regards landlords' expenses—to be the deductions allowed under Schedule A. All this will make a 2204 considerable difference. Again, there ought to be uniformity of practice in all parts of the country from Northumberland to Cornwall, and the valuations should not be influenced by divergencies of view as between different valuers.
Divergent views may be quite honestly and legitimately held as to what should or should not be included in these complicated valuations. A man who has prejudices in one direction may make a series of valuations in one district and a man who puts a different interpretation on these provisions—and Heaven help those who will have to interpret them—may take quite another view of the same circumstances in another part of the country and apply a completely different system. These are matters on which we shall expect a definite answer from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and I hope that he will be able to assure the Committee that the gentlemen who are going to carry out this difficult operation are to receive the training necessary to ensure uniformity of working before they commence their duties.
I turn to two other Estimates which we are considering. There is an estimate for £78,000 for new Inland Revenue buildings. I realise that if this large work of valuation is to be carried out, it will be necessary, at least for the time being, to have premises in which to house the staff. In the Debate on the Finance Bill, and, at a later date on the Financial Resolution relating to the valuation Clauses, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said he hoped to get the first valuation finished by 1934; that the subsequent valuations would be quinquennial, and that he did not think they would entail a very large cost. Is it proposed to purchase or erect all the new buildings required out of this £78,000 or is it the Department's intention to supply as much of this accommodation as possible in temporarily hired premises? Once this first Domesday Book has been completed, if the view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is correct, there will not be the same necessity for this staff as there was in the beginning. A smaller staff will be able to carry on thereafter, and that smaller staff will require much less accommodation than will be needed in the first instance. What is the idea of the Inland Revenue or the Office of Works or whatever Department 2205 has to deal with this matter? I hope for the sake of economy that it is intended to hire as much accommodation as possible, and to hire it temporarily for the purposes of the first valuation.
Then as regards the survey I would like to know what type of map it is proposed to use in connection with this valuation. We have already a very good series of ordnance maps. We have the one-inch map which I conclude would be too small for most of this work. We have a very good and U3eful six-inch map which I think would be good enough for most of the work except in towns. Beyond that we have the 25-inch ordnance map, a very valuable one in the country though somewhat cumbersome, and finally we have the large-scale ordnance map for work in the cities. I agree that in parts of the country a more recent survey is desirable, and I wish to know on what particular sections of the survey it is intended to concentrate if this Estimate is passed. Is it intended to concentrate on the town? As it happens in my constituency and I dare say in a good many other urban constituencies, we have recently carried out new building programmes and there are quire large areas on the outskirts of our cities which a year or two ago were open fields but are now covered with houses. These, as far as I know, are not marked on any map whatever. There is a complete absence of any record on the maps of these building programmes and I suggest that one of the things which will be necessary before this valuation comes into operation, is to get accurate maps showing recent developments.
The hon. Gentleman may reply that these housing estates have been largely built up by local authorities and are therefore exempt from this taxation, but in many cases, my own constituency included, a large number of these houses, though not all, have been sold either to the individual occupiers or to other persons. In these conditions there will be cases in which individuals will be liable to the tax and other cases of individuals who will not be liable. The houses will not be uniform in this respect and it will not be possible to value one of these estates simply by walking along the streets, taking house 2206 A as a sample and valuing all the rest accordingly. A very careful survey will be required in order that the differences between the houses may be ascertained and a considerable number of large-scale maps will be required, while it will also be necessary to have a considerable number of 25-inch maps of agricultural land as well as a considerable number of the six-inch maps of land not likely to be taxed. I shall be glad if the hon. Gentleman will tell us what map it is proposed to use and where the survey is to be started, because I feel certain that there is a great deal of leeway to be made up in various parts of the country, and if the work is to be done in time it will be necessary to make a start where the survey at present is least up-to-date.
§ Mr. BENSON
We have discussed the subject of valuation quite recently under the Finance Bill at such length that I make no apology for taking the Committee away from the question of land values to something which has not been discussed for a considerable time. Under Class VI, Vote 10, the survey of the whole of Great Britain is included, and I see that that essentially civil work is, so far as the heads of the Department are concerned, entirely in the hands of the military. It is highly undesirable that a civil Department should be staffed entirely by military heads. There are 17 military officers who stand, judging by the salaries they receive, very much above any of their civil assistants. The excuse is frequently given that it is essential in the interests of military efficiency that there should be a considerable amount of survey and typographical knowledge in the Army, and that in order that we may have a staff of competent and trained men in the Army capable of dealing with this matter, the Survey Department should to a certain extent be staffed by men who are seconded from the Army.
The point which strikes me is that the people who are in the Survey Department apparently for the purpose of being trained are the people who are in charge of the Department. Under Subhead B, we have non-commissioned officers, warrant officers and staff officers. These men no doubt require training from the point of view of their military efficiency, 2207 and they change whenever they have received the requisite amount of training, but what of the director, the colonel, the majors and the other military staff who are in charge of this Department? Are they changed regularly? How long has the present director been in charge? Is he there as a permanent director, or merely for training so that he may be useful to the Army? The same applies to the colonel and the two majors. Further down mention is made of the officer in charge of map sales and issues. Here is an officer in charge of the considerable sales that take place of the survey maps. What military value can there be in putting a man in charge of a sale department? Here is a purely commercial occupation in the hands of a military man. Then there is the archaeology officer. Archaeology is an important factor in our surveys. Anyone interested in the ordnance maps issued by the Government, and who is a walker or tramper or hiker, knows how important it is that we should have the objects of archaeological interest marked clearly upon the maps, but I would like to know why the archaeological expert in charge of the Survey Department need be one of the military staff.
The issue of the ordinary Ordnance maps is purely a civil job, and the military have no right in that Department except in so far as they require training for their military purposes. Here we have the military encroaching upon a civil Department to the extent that they are entirely in possession of the highly paid positions, and this I regard as distinctly bad.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
How does the hon. Gentleman gather the fact that these are military officers? The archaeology officer is connected with the survey of national monuments. How does the hon. Member get the idea that he is a military officer?
§ Mr. BENSON
Why should they be called officers? In the Estimates of the other Departments there is no reference to officers. In this Estimate the civil assistants and the military officers are separated.
§ Mr. BENSON
If I am incorrect—and I hope I am—I have no doubt that the Minister will correct me, but upon the face of it, it is a natural deduction that the officer in charge of maps is military and that the archaeology officer is also military. At any rate, these are only two out of 17, and the officers who, judging from their salaries are in charge, are all military men. Do these military officers draw double pensions? Do they draw their Army pensions and at the same time Civil Service pensions?
On page 110, under Sub-head H, the most important Appropriation-in-Aid is "sale of maps." We are familiar with the most common type of map which is sold, that is, the half-inch and one-inch map which is used by motorists and walkers. Of late years, the Government Survey Maps have spread considerably in sales, and have grown considerably in popularity owing to their excellent quality. There arc, however, a very large number of privately printed maps on the market. The survey of Great Britain is a large undertaking, and I am pretty well convinced that the only body that does any serious surveying of Great Britain is the Government. The bulk of maps issued by private individuals are based upon the Government survey. That survey is copyright, and no one is entitled to reproduce a reap which is less than 50 years old without paying a royalty to the Survey Department. The Appropriations-in-Aid include a certain amount of money received for royalties. There is a payment for royalties among the miscellaneous receipts.
Evasion of the royalty goes on to a very large extent. The difficulty is to prove that any map issued by a private firm has been based upon the ordnance survey. If the map is correct, as it ought to be, there is nothing to prove that it is based upon the Government survey and has escaped royalty; but it is known that there is an enormous amount of evasion. The amount in royalties received by the Survey Department is nothing like what it ought to be, judging by the number of maps sold to the public, because one knows perfectly well that there is no department or body doing serious surveying except the Survey Department. Furthermore, I am fully convinced that it would be almost impossible to check this evasion of royalties, because of the difficulty of proving that any map 2209 is based upon the survey. One thing that could be done would be to push the sale of Government maps far more energetically.
Although our Government maps are far and away the best of any maps issued to the public, there is not very much energy displayed in pushing the sale of them. We sell nothing like the number of maps that might he sold. What is required from the gentleman mentioned on page 108 who is in charge of the Map Sales and Issue Department is far more energy and far more initiative; if necessary there should be power to advertise and to push the sale of these maps to the utmost extent. If that be done not only will the public get a far better map than they usually buy, but by swelling the Appropriations-in-Aid we shall materially bring down the amount of money paid out on this account.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT-WARD
I think the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) rather jumped to false conclusions when he stated that everybody who appears in the Estimate under the name of an officer is necessarily of military rank. Originally the ordnance survey was entirely in the hands of the military authorities, and I am not at all sure that it was not right that it should have been; but I very much doubt whether at the present time a very high percentage of the people employed there really are military officers in or attached to the Army. On the other hand, there is no doubt that surveying is a most useful training for the Engineers' branch of the Army, and it is only right that a certain number of officers, non-commissioned officers and men should be given the opportunity of acquiring a very valuable branch of military knowledge by doing survey work in this country. I do not think the hon. Member is correct, however, in saying that the civilian branch is entirely subordinate to the military, because if we look at the Estimates and compare the pay under paragraph B and paragraph C we find that 25 noncommissioned officers and 90 sappers of the Royal Engineers, 115 in all, are drawing pay to the extent of £13,500.
§ Mr. BENSON
I was taking the main Estimate. On page 108 the hon. and gallant Member will find that the director draws £1,600; and then there are a colonel, two majors, six captains, 2210 two lieutenants and also quartermasters. The 13 head members—for the director is a brigadier-general—are definitely military men.
§ Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
I was referring to the Supplementary Estimate and to the more subordinate staff. As I said, we have 115 military staff drawing pay totalling £13,500, and we have 75 men of civilian rank, probably more or less in the same position, drawing pay to the amount of £13,740. As far as salaries are concerned, therefore, it does not look as though the civilian branch were subordinated to the military. If, as the hon. Member said—and I have not the information—the manager of the Sales Department is an officer on the active list, or an officer lent from the military side, that certainly does seem absurd. As to the sale of ordnance maps, whether more could be one in that way if the head of the department were definitely a civilian is open to question. Regarding what the hon. Member said about the pirating of these ordnance survey maps, it is obvious that at is a very simple thing to do it. By making certain additions or alterations to the ordnance maps, such as delimitating new roads or by-pass roads, you deprive the Government of any right to royalties, because then the map, although it is more or less based on the ordnance survey, is not sufficiently like the survey map to be liable to pay royalties. Whether anything can be done about that is, I should imagine, a matter for the legal advisers of the Crown.
What I rose to speak upon principally on this Vote is the Supplementary Estimate for the valuation staff of the Valuation Office, this comparatively new Department. I would ask this Committee generally whether they really think this is a suitable time for increasing expenditure of that nature. Of course the provisions as to land valuation are now law, and steps must be taken to give effect to the law, but at the same time I think it is possible to go rather more quietly, and not to spend quite so large a sum as is being asked for in this Supplementary Estimate. The Chancellor of the Exchequer himself has more than once urged the necessity for economy, and has said that unless trade improved during the past year an increase of taxation would be necessary. As far as one can see, up to the present time, trade has not improved, 2211 and it seems to me that an increase of taxation in the future is almost inevitable. As it is, the last Budget only just balanced—well, it balanced as nearly as possible. Since then we have incurred a very large additional commitment by sacrificing £11,000,000 of reparation payments. In addition to that, vast sums of money are being borrowed in order to finance unemployment insurance. Then, on the top, we have Supplementary Estimates of this character, asking for large sums to be granted.
What is to be done with regard to the training of the valuers? This valuation is going to be a most difficult and technical undertaking. If I may refer to another Bill which is before the House, the Public Works (Loans) Bill, we see there a valuation that has been done by the staff of the hon. Gentleman the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and when lands which they valued came up for sale, they realised only a half, or less than half, of what they were valued at. If land valuation under the Finance Act is to be carried out on those lines, it will lead not only to very intense feeling and great dissatisfaction, but also to an immense amount of litigation. It is necessary that the valuers should be very carefully trained, and I wish to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what steps are being taken to train them. Nothing is mentioned in this Supplementary Estimate, although a gross sum is down for salaries, wages and allowances. There is nothing with regard to training. In my constituency, for example, where plots of land with houses, building and factories on them have to be valued, the work is going to be most technical and complicated, and unless the valuers are given the necessary training, their efforts are certain to lead to dissatisfaction and litigation in the future. I would suggest that, while the staff of valuers is being trained, they should not indulge in the more difficult and ambitious schemes of valuation.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, in his opening speech, when he introduced his Estimates, surpassed himself in what I should almost call impertinence to the Committee. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Yes, he talked about the vehemence of 2212 the Debates during the passage of the land valuation Clauses of the Finance Bill. How much vehemence came from him? He sat there all the time and let the Solicitor-General do all the vehemence. He carried the land Clauses, under which this Estimate arises, by means of the Guillotine, and though we had not the time to debate those Clauses properly and adequately, he now twits us with using vehemence. It was the only thing we could use, in the limited time at our disposal. It is pitiful of him to use arguments of that kind, in bringing forward these Estimates.
I want to refer to one other remark of the Financial Secretary. He said—I am not quoting his exact words—that where there was no site value, it was not proposed that the valuers should trouble, I think he said, to value all the land. I want to know, because this is a most important point, under what powers a valuer, when he comes to value a certain piece of land, shall be able to say that he shall or shall not value it? If one of the valuers appointed by the Government can go round the country, and look at a piece of land and say, "I will value this piece of land," or "I will not value this piece of land," you are giving to those valuers the powers of a taxation authority, without statutory backing. I ask the Financial Secretary if he will say under what provision of Part 3 of the Finance Bill the valuers, for whom we are voting this money to-night, are able to get out of valuing the whole of the land of this country? Suppose, for instance, that a landowner insisted that his land should be valued. I do not suppose there are many who will do that, but suppose this landowner did; under what provision of the Act can the valuer refuse to value that piece of land? I want to know under what statutory powers the values-has the choice.
So much for the Financial Secretary's opening remarks. Now I want—[Interruption]—I have a perfect right to reply to the Financial Secretary. The Deputy-Chairman has not called me to order. I do not want to be interrupted by rude remarks from the other side. I want to address myself—[Interruption]. I would appeal to you, Mr. Dunnico, to keep the hon. Colonel from somewhere in Wales quiet.
I do. I want your protection, because I never said a word at all. My province in Wales has been insulted, and I ask the hon. Member to make an apology.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
Further to that point of Order. I would point out that the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just addressed you keeps up a constant murmur in a bass voice which is most annoying. It is a form of mental discourtesy which is very much resented, and we ask you to protect us.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I always deprecate these continuous interruptions, especially if the voice is not musical.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
I should like to thank you for giving a decision in my favour. I apologise for anything I might have said to the hon. and gallant Gentleman and I withdraw it. I would ask him to keep his voice quiet.
Lieut.-Colonel WATTS - MORGAN
Once again I appeal to you, Mr. Dunuico, to protect me, because I never said a word. I never uttered any exclamation at all. Somebody from the Front Bench opposite appealed to the Chair, to say that an unmusical voice from Wales had said something, but it had never said anything at all.
§ Sir DENNIS HERBERT
I do not know whether I can be helpful on this point of Order. I understood my hon. Friend to refer to a colonel from somewhere in Wales, and the hon. and gallant Gentleman thereupon complained to the Chair that he had been insulted. He has not yet explained whether the insult was in calling him a colonel, or in saying that he came from Wales.
Lieut.-Colonel WATTS - MORGAN
Unfortunately, I happen to be the only hon. Member who is a colonel from Wales or anywhere else, and I assumed that I was called upon to protect the honour of Wales, especially as I was the only colonel present. Moreover, I had not said a word.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
I did not say that the hon. and gallant Gentleman said anything, but he kept on making incoherent noises which are very disturbing.
I bitterly protest against that continued insult to me. I never said a word before, and the hon. Member now repeats that statement, after I have said that I did not intend any insult to him at all.
I am sure that the hon. Member does not mean to attribute anything to the hon. and gallant Gentleman.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will only allow me to proceed with my speech, I will apologise, or withdraw, or do anything he likes. I want to address a few words to the Financial Secretary—
§ Mr. SMITHERS
I want to address a few words, through you, Sir Robert, to the Financial Secretary, on a rather wider aspect of these Estimates, and to ask him in all seriousness if it is not possible, even at this late stage, to withdraw the Estimates, because, since the introduction of the Budget on the 23rd April, the whole financial situation has changed fundamentally. The condition of this country's credit is not the same as it was six months ago. The Budget was not a balanced Budget, and the whole world is looking to this country to see in what way we shall meet the very serious international situation which has arisen, accentuated, of course, by the difficulties in which Germany finds herself at the present moment. I think that the whole financial situation must be reviewed, and, even if it is only a question of £400,000, it would be a gesture to the rest of the world if the Government would say, even at this late date, two or three days before the end of the Session, that they would ask Parliament for no more money until the negotiations between France, Germany, and the rest of the seven Powers have come to some fruition. Our Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary are in Germany 2215 to-day, and, if that statement could be made, it would show that we at least were sticking to sound principles of finance.
The Government have set up many Royal Commissions since they came into office, and I want to quote two short sentences from the Macmillan report. The first is from the beginning of paragraph 6, of which I should like to alter one word. Paragraph 6 begins:In view of the generally uninstructed state of the public on matters of finance"—I would like to substitute the word "Government" for "public"—we have from the outset recognised that not the least important service we might render would be to act as interpreters of the working of the monetary system, and to make its main principles intelligible to the ordinary mind.The other sentence that I should like to quote is from the Memorandum of Dissent by Lord Bradbury. He says that part of our difficulties are due to over-lavish expenditure by the State and local authorities, and he proceeds:If currency 'management' is to be U6ed to facilitate manoeuvres of this type, the sooner we return to an 'automatic' system the better.He puts the word "management" in inverted commas, by which he means that it comprises devices and expedients to overcome the difficulties of our time, and I would add to those difficulties the Supplementary Estimates which are being introduced to-night. He adds these words:Honesty, even if stupid, is a better foundation for credit than the most adroit finesse.In view of the difficulty of maintaining the pound sterling at its parity with the other currencies of the world, the serious and unprecedented financial stringency, and the way in which credit has been strained almost to breaking point, it is of the utmost importance that no further expenditure should be countenanced by the Government of this country until we have put our house into better order.
My hon. and gallant Friend the Membed for Oxford (Captain Bourne) rightly stressed the importance of uniformity of valuation. I do not know whether it would be possible to do something on the lines of the Bating and Valuation Act, 1925, in which an attempt 2216 was made to secure uniformity in rating and valuation. My hon. and gallant Friend pointed out a case which may easily arise. Is the land to be valued as a level site, or as in the case of a vacant site of some big factory in the City of London? This is a case which was put to me by an eminent land valuer. Supposing that you take up one of these big bank buildings, like a tooth out of a man's head, you leave a great cavity. That cavity may be of great value to the intending purchaser, because, if he wants to use the site for a bank, the excavations for the vaults and strong rooms are already there. I would ask what steps are being taken to see that, in the valuation of these different types of land, the same principles shall apply to the levelling of excavations in London or in other parts of England.
Will any general instructions be issued to the gentlemen who are to be taken on by the Inland Revenue Department? Will there be any kind of regulations or orders with the object of ensuring as far as possible that these newly enlisted men shall work on a uniform basis throughout the country? I also want to ask, on behalf of some of my friends who are members of the valuing, auctioneering and land surveying profession, whether these gentlemen who are taken on will be whole-time servants of the Government, or whether any of them will be part-time servants, like existing local surveyors throughout the country, who will do some work for the Government and at the same time be able to continue their own practice? I want to know to what extent there is existing information which will obviate work being done by these newly appointed valuers. It is of great importance that we should be told to what extent the work of the valuation of the land is already done. Can the hon. Gentleman tell us, when it is completed, how much money the State expects to get as the result of the work of these valuers? Can he give any estimate at all of what a penny in the £ will produce for the 10,000,000 or 12,000,000 hereditaments of the country?
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
I notice that there is a fresh demand for £29,700. That follows on a decrease in the original Estimate of £9,033. Is that decrease in the Estimate an overhead cut or is it simply a decrease through 2217 the various items and the Treasury has now found that the items will require greater expenditure than was estimated and that, further, the increased expenditure is due to the valuation under the land Clauses of the Finance Bill? The hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) raised a point which is very interesting on Subhead A, "Pay and Allowances to Staff." It has been increased by a small sum. I was wondering, in view of what the hon. Member asked, whether that is due to increased operations on the ground of archaeological surveys, on Hadrian's Wall for instance, or the national monuments which are in charge of the Office of Works. I should take no exception to a small sum towards the preservation of such things as Hadrian's Wall and the other national monuments which come under the right hon. Gentleman's notice. If it is not that, what is the work which occasions the extra cost under Subhead A where the original Estimate is increased?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
I shall be equally pleased if the Financial Secretary can tell me whether any of the expenditure in connection with surveys has any relation, for example, to Hadrian's Wall.
§ Mr. SAMUEL
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell me if there is any extra expenditure connected with archaeological surveys?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
The hon. Gentleman is asking now solely with regard to the increases mentioned on page 8?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
Yes, and under Subhead A the additional sum required is £340. Is any of that money due to extra exertions for archaeological surveys, which appear in the original Estimate at £13,380.
§ Mr. SAMUEL
That is right, but what is it for? What is the work done that 2218 requires this money? I should also like to ask if there has been any further appropriation from the Sales Department at Manchester, where fresh arrangements were made to bring some sort of contribution to these expenses from maps sold in the provinces. Then I want to know how it is that there are 115 officers under Subhead B in addition to 75 more technical officers under Subhead C, the two subheads together coming to £13,500 and £13,740. At the bottom of the page the 115 is dissected. Is that body of 115 plus the 75 under Subhead C—190 altogether—all due to the fact that we require their services for the survey of the land under the land Clauses of the Finance Bill? I wish to know, further, if any credit has been taken in the Estimate for the possibility of a reduction of the cost of living bonus. We have not apparently received much benefit from the fall in the bonus which must come into operation soon.
§ Captain EDEN
I wish to enter a somewhat more emphatic protest than my hon. Friend who had just spoken has done in regard to these Votes. We have a confession by the Government of an unbalanced Budget. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer left himself with such a narrow margin in his financial statement, he was warned from this side that it would prove inadequate, and this Vote is already sufficient justification for that warning. We are asked here to vote sums which are in excess of the margin which the Chancellor has allowed. They are sums calculated not by any means to benefit industry, but to be spent for the benefit of a particular section of the community, such as lawyers, valuers and so on, who seem to be the particular friends of the Government. If the Government have failed to find any work for those tramping the streets, at least they have provided plenty in these Estimates for valuers and lawyers. This additional sum in itself is sufficient to overbalance the small margin which the Chancellor allowed himself on the Budget. I should like to enter a protest against the habit of the Government of asking for these sums of money in piecemeal fashion and declining to place a definite limitation on the total of their expenditure. We have a right to ask the Government how far they propose to proceed with this piecemeal asking for money.
2219 It would be out of order to discuss what the limits are to be, but I think it is right we should protest against the Government's habit of declining to limit their financial commitments and then asking for these recurrent Supplementary Estimates. In days like these this Committee would be better occupied than in dispensing these very large sums for purely academic purposes. Whether any good will result from this vast expenditure on valuation is doubtful enough, but that this country at present cannot afford it should hardly need saying. It would be wrong if we allowed this to pass, simply devoting ourselves to individual details of the items of which we have complained. We should rather register at such a time, a most emphatic protest against expenditure of this kind, which is of no constructive benefit to British industries and no assistance in finding work for another man among those who seek work in industry, but which will multiply work for a section of black-coated industry and which is the sole type of constructive effort which this Government can add to all their failures.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
Two or three Members on this side have questioned the advisability of spending money in the present financial condition of the country, but the Government, the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Financial Secretary know the very grave and serious position which we are in. It is a position which it is difficult for ordinary men and women in the country to understand, but those who are concerned with, and responsible for, the finances of the country must be aware of it. In these circumstances, I venture to hope that even if the Government do intend to go on and press for this Vote, they have got it in their minds possibly to refrain from spending some of this money in present circumstances. They know that if things go ill, the time will come when all these things will have to he upset and revised. There can be no question of desiring it or of it being a matter of policy, for it will be sheer and absolute financial necessity which will oblige them to cut these things down.
There is another matter I want to bring to the attention of the Government in regard to embarking on this policy at the present time. To attempt to value land is difficult enough at any time, but it is 2220 more than ever difficult, and it is going to be more than ever unsatisfactory, in the circumstances of the present day. In fact, I do not think it is putting it too high to say that if a valuation of land were made at once, it would be a valuation that would be absolutely worthless. Nobody knows whether in a few weeks' time, or it may be in a few months' time, the land of this country will be worth two or three times what it is saleable for today or only one-third or one-fourth of what it is saleable for to-day. The Financial Secretary can easily find out, if he does not already know, that within the last few months and, indeed, within the last few weeks to a greater extent than ever, large landed estates in this country have been and are being offered for sale. They are being offered all over the country to-day, and there are no buyers for them. In these absolutely abnormal conditions, no valuer of responsibility—and many of us concerned in business know it—dares with any confidence to set any definite value upon a large landed estate as, for instance, what it is worth for the purpose of a mortgage loan.
If that is the state of affairs, and so long as it continues, what can be the, use of a valuation made at the present time? Not only is it difficult, however well it may be done and however expert and experienced the valuers may be—and they cannot all of them be first-rate—but it is perfectly certain that a valuation taken in present circumstances would one way or another be hopelessly out-of-date, perfectly useless and totally unfair for the purpose of a tax to be levied two years hence. I sincerely hope—even if it is too much to ask the Government to withdraw this Supplementary Estimate—that they will realise that this is not a party question at all, and that in the interests of the nation they should keep it in mind to refrain from expending this money as far as they can until the financial position and outlook gets a little more settled and a little clearer than it is at the present time.
§ Mr. EDE
I am bound to say that if I shared the views of the hon. Member for. Watford (Sir D. Herbert) with regard to the present plight of this country, I should welcome this Vote all the more heartily than I do now, because if it is a fact that we have so nearly reached the 2221 end of our financial resources, we ought to welcome the provision for a valuation that will open up to us fresh sources of revenue that we can tap when our existing sources have reached the melancholy end that the hon. Member foresees for them in the very near future. It seems to me that hon. Members on the other side have forgotten the exciting evenings we had here a few weeks ago when this House, by deliberate policy, decided it would set up this particular form of valuation and proceed with it as from a certain date. Nothing has happened since.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
May I ask the hon. Member whether he has read the daily papers and whether he knows the great anxieties his own leaders have been going through with regard to financial matters and the great conference held in London last week? Does he know anything as to what they mean?
§ Mr. EDE
I have read selected daily papers. One's duties here prevent one reading all the columns of the paper that a man born in Epsom usually reads, but I have followed that particular form of gambling to which the hon. Member made allusion just now. I repeat that the more I read, the more I welcome the opportunities that this valuation will afford us of spreading the burden of taxation elsewhere. When he asks me if I know anything, I would say that when I listen to him I am always reminded of what was once said in this House of the late Lord Macaulay. A person having listened to him deliver a speech very much like that of the hon. Member said:I wish I could be as sure of anything as Tom Macualay is of everything.I do at least know that serious as is the plight of this country, its credit to-day is better than it was when the hon. Gentleman's Friends left office, and that we can face the future with far more confidence with my hon. Friend sitting there as Financial Secretary to the Treasury than when the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel) occupied the same post. I welcome this earnest of the Government that they intend to implement immediately the policy that this House voted in the Finance Bill of this year. I hope that the valuation will be carried through with expedition and with that strict regard for thoroughness which has characterised 2222 all the actions of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am sure that the result of this valuation will be that both for national and local purposes, and particularly in the near future for local purposes, we shall have available the means of raising the public revenues of this country that will inflict far less injury upon industry than the present system. I hope that in this work every effort will be made to secure the benefit of the accumulated experience that is now available in the offices of county valuation committees. They are, at any rate, beginning to find out, even in the most Tory counties, some of the advantages that would have been derived if this system of valuation had been in vogue for some time past. I am sure if they are associated in consultation with the Revenue Department and the survey that is to be carried out, a very great deal of advantage to the public good will result.
I regret to notice that so perturbed are the Opposition with regard to these taxes that they have forgotten one thing about which they usually inquire on these occasions. I notice that some of this Vote is required for furniture for the Revenue buildings, and no one has yet inquired whether any Russian timber is to be used. I can only say, as representing a port in this House through which the Russian timber has to enter this country, that unpopular as Russian timber may be in some parts of the country, the people who live on the Tyneside and who find opportunity for employment in taking Russian timber out of ships and putting it on the quayside, will not be disappointed if they find that some of the furniture here is to be made from Russian timber. I have no doubt that there are certain other parts of the eastern side of the this country. [An HON. MEMBER: "And Scotland!"] Scotland conquered us at the battle of Bannockburn, so I do not draw distinctions like that. I am sure they will equally welcome similar action on the part of the Department. We on this side of the Committee desire to congratulate the Financial Secretary upon bringing this Supplementary Estimate before us before the House rises, so that we can go away for the Recess assured that the work we have done on the Finance Bill this year will not be wasted, and that during the 2223 Recess the necessary machinery will be erected to carry out the valuation in favour of which we have declared.
Sir HILTON YOUNG
I wish that I could fall into the same humorous vein as the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede), and deal with the question of voting £400,000 of public money under present conditions for no useful purpose as a subject for jest before this Committee. Unfortunately, my spirits are not of the resilient character of those of the hon. Member, and I cannot but take a more grave view of situation. I think that the Committee should be able to take a grave view of the situation when it is asked to find so big a sum in circumstances of grave national difficulty, and it has no explanation whatever from the Front Treasury Bench as to how that money is to be found. This is not, of course, the time to argue, and it would not be in order to argue as to the purposes for which this money is to be found. That has been decided by the votes of the House in the circumstances of the Guillotine, with such consideration as the House was able to give to it under those conditions. There is a sense of grave dissatisfaction not only upon these benches but in the House at large, and also further than in the House at large, in the country as a whole, as to the manner in which public money is being spent.
There are two circumstances in connection with this particular Vote with which it is right for the Committee to deal. The Budget of the country for this year does not balance; admittedly it does not balance. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer scarcely even pretends that it balances. I think that the only Member of the Government who continues to believe that the Budget balances is the Financial Secretary to the Treasury with his undefeated optimism. In circumstances of an unbalanced Budget we are asked to find £400,000, for what purpose? For no immediate purposes of the year; not at all. But for purposes which cannot be fulfilled until two years hence. It is the very essence of unsound, nay, of ruinous, finance, that you should pay so little regard to the actual conditions in the year in which you are living and that in view 2224 of the financial condition of this country you should accumulate burdens in a year which can serve no useful purpose for the year itself. That is the first serious criticism against the Committee being asked to vote this money to-night.
The second criticism appears to be this. We have to grant for the purposes of this discussion, that the revenue to be found by the land taxes is required. That proposition has been challenged, and I should think it could be proved, but I should be called to order were I to attempt to argue the point to-night. Let it then be granted that the revenue is required and that this expenditure in order to raise the revenue is consequently necessary. Nevertheless, the criticism remains that in the present financial circumstances of the country, if revenue is required, it ought to be raised in the most economical manner possible. An expensive tax can never be anything but a luxury. I should have said that it can never be a legitimate luxury, but with conditions of great national prosperity it might be a luxury less illegitimate than at other times. In the condition in which the country finds itself, a tax which it is expensive to raise is the most illegitimate of luxuries in which the country can indulge. Can any reasonable man doubt that this Land Tax will be one of the most expensive taxes to raise? It is not a matter of argument from theory but it is a matter of argument from the Supplementary Estimate now presented to the Committee. Two years before any money can be found, we are asked to provide a sum for the mechanical process of raising a tax which is grossly excessive on any standpoint of a tax which is economical to raise. For these two reasons, which are strictly relevant to the consideration whether we should pass this Vote or not to-night, I suggest that the Vote should not be passed. It may be said that the House has come to a decision. That is the argument advanced by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. The House came to a decision when it voted the land taxes, with the assistance of the Guillotine, and the present provision is merely consequential.
Even in the short period which has elapsed since the Land Tax was passed, has nothing happened in this country? Is the horizon any more clear of clouds than it was a month or two months ago? 2225 Are the Government incapable ever of paying any attention to the circumstances of the country as they arise? Can they never perceive that a process is going on which makes it more and more foolish of us to indulge in this extravagant and wasteful expenditure? If for no other reasons than the changes that have come and the gathering of the clouds since the Land Taxes were passed, one would ask that, even at the eleventh hour, the Government should see a glimmering of reason and withdraw this wasteful Estimate.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I am not sure whether I should be in order if I went at length into the matter brought forward by the right hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Sir H. Young). In the comparatively short time at my disposal I am afraid that I could not follow him into the question as to whether the Budget balances, and the criticisms that he made of the finance of my right hon. Friend and its ramifications. On the other aspect of the matter, it is true that this Estimate is to implement the policy which the House has already carried into the Finance Bill. What we are doing tonight is passing a Supplementary Estimate for the purpose of carrying out in detail the proposals to which the House has already given its consent. If we failed to pass this Estimate we should be breaking faith with the decision which the House has already made.
I propose to deal with the principal points put to me by hon. Members. The right hon. Member for South Croydon (Sir W. Mitchell-Thomson) seemed to be in some confusion with regard to the number of valuers proposed to be appointed. He was right when he said that the figures that I had put forward were for the valuers, assistants and clerks who are to be employed during the current year, but he was not correct in thinking that this was only a very small fraction of the total number who are likely to be employed. The total number that it is estimated will be employed in carrying out the valuation during the whole term for which it runs are, roughly, 1,000 technical staff and 1,000 clerical staff. What we are asking the Committee to sanction is a staff of approximately 200 valuers and 600 assistants, that is, 800 technical staff, and 2226 somewhere about the same number of clerical staff.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
That is practically the whole of the staff that it is anticipated will be employed. The right hon. Gentleman was mistaken when he said that it is only a fraction. I think he based that on a quotation from a speech of my hon. Friend, which I have not had the opportunity to verify. He misunderstood the intention set forth in the speech to which he refers. The right hon. Gentleman further said that there seemed to be a discrepancy between the sum which was being spent on salaries', about £245,000, and the small sum which was proposed to be expended on travelling. He asked how this could be accounted for. The answer is, that we are concentrating on the urban areas. Most of the valuations that will be done first will consist of the urban and suburban valuations. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman will realise that in those cases the travelling expenses will be comparatively small. He also asked me whether the survey as distinct from the valuation has to cover the whole country. That is true, but the right hon. Gentleman must remember that the maps are largely there already, and in so far as they are not complete they will be completed by an acceleration of the ordnance survey that is being provided for in Class VI of the Estimate, on page 8, of this Supplementary Estimate. He also asked me whether I could promise that the forms will be laid before the House. I cannot give an undertaking.
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
Do I understand the Financial Secretary to tell a Committee of the House of Commons that he is not prepared to lay before the House the forms which it is proposed to submit to the taxpayer?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I cannot give an undertaking to-night that all the forms that are going to be used will be laid before the House, before they are printed. With regard to the question of the exemption of certain agricultural land from valuation, I have already dealt with that point by way of an interruption in the right hon. Gentleman's speech. 2227 The decision in these matters does not rest with the individual valuers but with the Commissioners, who will have the benefit of expert advice. The Inland Revenue have at the present time a very large staff of valuers who have intimate knowledge of the country as a whole. On the technical point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne), I am advised that the Subsection to which I referred does cover the case of the exemption of agricultural land and does not refer only to the exemptions in later Clauses of the Measure. Another point was raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford. He asked what were the qualifications required in making these appointments. That is a detailed point into which I cannot go to-night, but I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that the Inland Revenue, with their very wide experience of valuing and with the 475 valuers whom they have at present, will be able to judge of the technical qualifications of the valuers who present themselves.
The hon. Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Smithers) asked whether these officers would be whole-time officers, and the answer is in the affirmative. The hon. and gallant Member for Oxford asked further, as the valuation will not commence until January, what steps will be taken to train the men in the meantime? The same point was put by another hon. Member opposite. It is true that the valuation does not commence until January, but there is a great deal of preliminary work that has to be done, and it will be done with the help of the existing valuation staff of the Inland Revenue. In those circumstances no fear need be entertained that when the valuation staff get to work they will fail to carry out their work properly. I was asked what steps will be taken to get uniform
§ decisions with regard to the cultivation value and other matters. The Committee will understand that the chief valuer will first of all give instructions, and to him will be referred all questions that seem to raise large issues which require uniformity of decisions. I do not think there need be any fear of divergent views being taken as to the principle on which the valuation is to be adopted.
§ Then I have been asked whether we intend to purchase or hire premises. Premises will be hired in the majority of cases. Some huts will be purchased and made available for immediate purposes. Then I was asked what kind of maps will be required. They will be the best maps that we have available, and the largest scale maps, and every opportunity will be taken to bring them up to date. We have already a very large staff who are acquainted with what is going on. The hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel) asked whether in the Supplementary Estimate any account was taken of the archaeological question. There is nothing in the Supplementary question relating to archaeology; all that it deals with relates to land valuation. I have been asked to postpone or delay the work of this valuation office, because right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite dislike and distrust the work that is being clone. Quite naturally that appeal is made, but it does not represent the view of the House as a whole.
§ It being Ten of the Clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15, to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the Vote under consideration.
§ Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £4,762,980, be granted for the said Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 165; Noes, 252.2231
|Division No. 459.]||AYES.||[10.0 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Campbell, E. T.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Bird, Ernest Roy||Carver, Major W. H.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Boothby, R. J. G.||Castle Stewart, Earl of|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)|
|Atkinson, C.||Bracken, B.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Briscoe, Richard George||Christie, J. A.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Broadbent, Colonel J.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Cohen, Major I. Brunel|
|Balniel, Lord||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Colfox, Major William Philip|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Butler, R. A.||Colman, N. C. D.|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Conway, Sir W. Martin|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hurd, Percy A.||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Hunt, Sir Gerald B.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Iveagh, Countess of||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Savery, S. S.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Dixoy, A. C.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Smithers, Waldron|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Macquisten, F. A.||Somerset, Thomas|
|Fermoy, Lord||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Meller, R. J.||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Thompson, Luke|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Nall-Cain, A. R. N.||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Train, J.|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||O'Connor, T. J.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Peake, Capt. Osbert||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Penny, Sir George||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Perkins, W. R. D.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon. Barnstaple)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Womersley, W. J.|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Remer, John R.||Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain Wallace.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Hardie, David (Rutherglen)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Daggar, George||Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Harris, Percy A.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Alpass, J. H.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Haycock, A. W.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Day, Harry||Hayday, Arthur|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Arnott, John||Dukes, C.||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Duncan, Charles||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Ede, James Chuter||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Ayles, Walter||Edge, Sir William||Herriotts, J.|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Edmunds, J. E.||Hicks, Ernest George|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hirst, G. H. (York W. H. Wentworth)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Egan, W. H.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Batey, Joseph||Elmley, Viscount||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Evans, Major Herbert (Gateshead)||Hollins, A.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Foot, Isaac||Hore-Beilsha, Leslie|
|Benson, G.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Horrabin, J. F.|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Isaacs, George|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Gibbins, Joseph||Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Jones, Llewellyn-, F.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Gill, T. H.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Bromley, J.||Gillett, George M.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)|
|Brooke, W.||Glassey, A. E.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Brothers, M.||Gossling, A. G.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Gould, F.||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Buchanan, G.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Granville, E.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Gray, Milner||Kenworthy, Lt. Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Knight, Hollord|
|Cameron, A. G.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lang, Gordon|
|Cape, Thomas||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Chater, Daniel||Groves, Thomas E.||Law, A. (Rossendale)|
|Clarke, J. S.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lawrence, Susan|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Lawson, John James|
|Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Leach, W.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Palin, John Henry||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Lees, J.||Paling, Wilfrid||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Leonard, W.||Palmer, E. T.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Sorensen, R.|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Perry, S. F.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Sullivan, J.|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Pole, Major D. G.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Longden, F.||Potts, John S.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Price, M. P.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Lunn, William||Pybus, Percy John||Tillett, Ben|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Quibell, D. J. K.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Tout, W. J.|
|McKinlay, A.||Rathbone, Eleanor||Townend, A. E.|
|Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Raynes, W. R.||Vaughan, David|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Richards, R.||Viant, S. P.|
|McShane, John James||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Walker, J.|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Manning, E. L.||Ritson, J.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|March, S.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Marcus, M.||Romeril, H. G.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Marley, J.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Marshall, Fred||Rowson, Guy||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Mathers, George||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Westwood, Joseph|
|Matters, L. W.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||White, H. G.|
|Messer, Fred||Sanders, W. S.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Middleton, G.||Sawyer, G. F.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Mills, J. E.||Scurr, John||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Milner, Major J.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Montague, Frederick||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Sherwood, G. H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Morley, Ralph||Shield, George William||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Shillaker, J. F.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Shinwell, E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Mort, D. L.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Muff, G.||Simmons, C. J.||Wise, E. F.|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Sinkinson, George||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Murnin, Hugh||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Charleton.|
|Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B. (Keighley)|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ The CHAIRMAN then proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15, to put severally the Questions, That the total amounts of the Votes outstanding in the several classes of the Civil Estimates, including Supplementary Estimates, and the total amounts of the Votes outstanding in the Estimates for the Navy, Army, Air, and Revenue Departments, be granted for the Services defined in those Classes and Estimates.