and the first words of the Clause are:
Where the value from which deductions are made for the purpose of arriving at the site value of land on any occasion for the collection of increment value duty does not exceed £500." etc.—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st August, 1913; col. 1003, Vol. 56.]
That shows quite clearly that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was mistaken in saying that that speech was delivered on an occasion when land values were not in question. I do not know if the Solicitor-General will feel it necessary to defend his right hon. Friend on this occasion, but it is at any rate quite clear that the Chancellor is mistaken in his recollection; that, in fact, the occasion on which he made this speech was precisely parallel with the present occasion, and that the words which he used then are as applicable to this occasion as they were to that occasion. What did the Chancellor of the Exchequer say then? He said:
The First Lord of the Admiralty said we were beginning in these land taxes to adopt a new principle of British taxation, and that the tax gatherer was going to say not How much have you got?' but 'Where did you get it?' I think there is something to be said for that principle of taxation "—
Apparently the right hon. Gentleman still thinks so. He went on to say:
Now he proposes to abandon that principle altogether and he practically says that it is wrong for a rich man to take something
which is the creation of the community but it is not wrong for the poor man to do so. I remember when I was a lad at school a couplet which ran:
'It is a sin to steal a pin,
Much more to steal a greater thing.'
The morality which is now to be embodied in our taxation is even much more immoral than that couplet. What we are going to say is that it is not wrong for a man to steal from the community, provided his income is not more than £3 a week but the moment he gets beyond that point he is a thief."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st August, 1913; col. 1008, Vol. 56.]
§ These words express in better language than I can hope to command the sort of feeling that we have about the provision to which this Amendment is offered.
After the exhaustive discussion which we have had, I do not know if the President of the Board of Trade is going to offer any reply, but certainly we should have some further and better reasons than we have yet had as to why we should not accept this Amendment, if indeed he still maintains that position.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
The right hon. Gentleman has gone back into history to dig up a statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer which he thinks had some relevance to this Debate. I am afraid the statement which he has just quoted has no relevance whatever. There are two points which make it wholly irrelevant. In the first place, the question then being discussed was not the taxation of land values but the question of Increment Value Duty, which is an entirely different subject, and depends upon completely different principles. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] If hon. Members look at some of their speeches made at an earlier stage in this Debate they will see very good arguments which they themselves put forward to that effect. It was assented to on this side that the principles in this Bill were widely different from the 1909–10 legislation, and that it was no good arguing by analogy from one to the other. That has been said on every side of the Committee, and was said with great force by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon). The second point is 1665 that the exemption which was there being dealt with, as far as I can gather from the passage which the right hon. Gentleman read out, was an exemption on an income basis which, again, of course, is a completely different proposition from the present one.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
May I point out to the hon. and learned Gentleman that the Clause which was then under discussion begins with the words:Where the value from which deductions are made for the purpose of arriving at the site value of land on any occasion does not exceed £500.Therefore, it did refer to site values.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I think the hon. Member does not quite appreciate the point at issue here, otherwise I am sure he would not have made that interruption.
§ Sir JOHN SIMON
As the hon. and learned Gentleman understands the question so well, will he tell us whether it is his view that the increment tax in the Budget of 1909–10 was on an Income Tax basis?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I never suggested such a thing and I would be vary foolish if I had done so. The argument was on an entirely different point. As far as I caught the passage which was read out by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain) it was a statement to the effect that the question of the income of the persons who had to pay tax ought not to be the determining factor, I may have misunderstood it, and I have not seen the passage for myself, but I think there were words about it being wrong for a rich man to steal but not for a poor man. What I want to point out, however, is that this exemption here is not an exemption on the basis of the wealth of the individual exempted. It is not intended to be on that basis.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I am explaining it if the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to proceed. The exemption is an exemption not upon the basis of the wealth of the persons, but upon the basis of the amount of land 1666 and land value which they own. The reason, as has been explained several times, for the exemption is one of convenience. It will, in fact, probably result, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, in a large number of people who own only one small property being exempted. That is the inevitable effect of it. The reason for it is the inconvenience of attempting to collect small sums of money. [Laughter.] Right hon. Gentleman opposite laugh, but I can assure them that it has been appreciated by a number of those who have spoken from those benches that that is a real difficulty, and they believe quite wrongly, that you can cure the difficulty just as well by making it a flat exemption of 10s. for everybody. That is a complete and absolute fallacy. You cannot in the least cure the trouble which we desire to cure if you make the exemption universal for all persons; that does not help you any more than the present position, because if everybody were entitled to get off the first 10s. of tax, you would get exactly the same position between 10s. and 20s. as you would have with the first 10s. I see that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Croydon (Sir W. Mitchell-Thomson) agrees with me on that point. If it be right that this is a device in order to avoid the trouble and the expense of collecting small sums of money, then he will agree that this is the right way to do it.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
The right hon. Gentleman appreciates that the collection is not done for nothing.
§ Sir B. PETO
Will the Solicitor-General consider the point that he will have exactly the same number of items of tax to collect under my Amendment as under the Government's proposal, for he will be collecting all amounts above 10s. Where he would collect 15s. under the Government's proposal, he would collect 5s. under my Amendment, and other figures in proportion. Will he tell us how he makes out that the cost of collection will be so enormously increased when the number of items collected will be exactly the same?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
The hon. Baronet will appreciate that when one talks about the cost of collection, one relates it to the subject matter collected. If you talked about the cost of collecting 100 different taxes of one penny each, you would say that the cost is out of proportion to anything you get from it, and the net result in the case of the Amendment of the hon. Baronet is that, whereas under the present scheme it would be worth collecting 10s. 6d., it would not be worth collecting what that sum would become under his Amendment, that is, only 6d. That is why we have devised this scheme for cutting out the sixpences, but the hon. Baronet's suggestion will not only put them all back again, but deprive the revenue of a flat rate of 10s. from every owner in the country. One or two hon. Members opposite said that I did not mention what the financial results would be. I hesitated to point out anything so perfectly obvious to hon. Gentlemen opposite. If you say that everybody who is an owner has not to pay 10s., the effect will be that we shall lose a great number of sums of 10s. It depends upon the number of owners. There will be more than 1,000,000, but taking it at only 1,000,000, we should lose £500,000.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
That is a question which I should have thought the right hon. Gentleman would not have thought worth asking at this stage. Let me reply to one or two points put by the hon. and gallant Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan). He stated that if there were a 10s. deduction, it would not create any difficulties as regards assessment if it were made universal for every person, but, in putting forward that argument, he assumed that the 10s. deduction was to be made in the case of every unit. Of course, if 10s. deduction were made in the case of every unit, it would be a comparatively simple thing to do, because as the assessment was made out on every unit, 10s. would be taken off. In that event, taking the estimated number of 12,000,000 units, that would mean a substantial sum. If on the other hand, you had to aggregate all the units 1668 in each ownership, and from that number took 10s. off, you would enter on a very difficult, complicated and expensive task. Therefore, that difficulty alone is enough to show that this Amendment would not assist either the revenue or anyone else.
The hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Ramsbotham) put forward an argument which seems to be the most complete fallacy. He said he wanted me to explain why, because we did not collect small sums from an owner, we thereupon charged him some 200 or 300 per cent. more. I do not quite understand what was his argument, but, as far as I can appreciate it, the hon. Member seems to think that those people who would normally pay 6d. on their valuation would be made to pay 10s. 6d. That is not the result of the Bill as it stands, and therefore I think he must be under some misapprehension. A great number of hon. Members have put forward the case of £121. That is an argument which can always be put forward wherever there is a limiting figure. Everybody above the limit will come in, and everybody below the limit will come out, and that is a necessity if you have a limited figure of any sort.
What hon. Members do not realise is that it is no disadvantage on the man with a valuation of £121 to pay his share of the taxation. It is an extra concession to the man under £121 not to pay his share of the taxation, but there is no hardship. [Laughter.] Really hon. Members seem very amused, but there is no hardship on one person if another person is exempt. I am surprised at the uncharitable mind of the right hon. Member for Edgbaston who laughs, and who thinks that everybody who is exempted gloats over the fact that other people have to bear the burden. As far as I can see, in this case, for the convenience of the collection of taxation the people under £121, to whatever class they belong and whatever the amount of money they may have, will simply, as a matter of practical expediency, be excluded from this tax, and that is not an exemption that can make anybody who has a unit of land over £121 complain.
§ Sir BOYD MERRIMAN
On this question of hardship, is it not a fact 1669 that the owners assessed as £121 and upwards will pay more because of the exemption of other people?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I do not say that all hon. Members opposite are in that position. This is a fixed amount of tax, and it will not make the slightest difference, because the exemptions will not put up the rate on the man who is above £120. If the hon. and learned Member means that there will be less yield from the tax, and that therefore the money will have to be found from some other source, that, of course, is true in every case. In this Bill, however, it will not make any difference, once you have a fixed incidence of tax, whether there is exemption or not, any more than the taking out of a charity will increase the tax on anybody else.
§ Sir ARTHUR STEEL-MAITLAND
After hearing that admirable exposition from the Solicitor-General on the true motives of the Government in putting on this tax, I rise only to point out two small items which he has omitted. He has told us that the whole motive of the Government in giving this exemption of 10s. is the expense of collection that it would involve. Of course, it was not for one moment because it meant that the owners of smaller dwellings would for a large part get off scot free! If the expense of collection is so great and so determining a factor, why is it that when it comes to recoupment from other people, which in many oases is done in quite small sums, the people from whom there is any recoupment and from whom the tax has to be collected are not to be excused? The expense of collection will be quite as great in their case, and probably greater. In England that is certainly true. In Scotland it is true for a very large number of cases. The Government will be collecting these small sums in cases where recoupment can be made, and if there be any consistency in Government policy, they will extend to them the exemption that they have given to those who pay the tax in the first instance. The other small point is this. The Solicitor-General convicts the Chancellor of the Exchequer of great 1670 irrelevancy in his speeches. In his original speech, the Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to the fact that the working classes would largely get off scatheless. On a second occasion, when he introduced the Resolution on 4th May, he said:As hon. Members opposite appear to be much interested in the matter, I will add the further information that this relief will relieve practically the whole of the dwellings owned by the working classes."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th May, 1931; col. 56, Vol. 252.]Why introduce that irrelevancy? From the point of view of principle, he would have been sorry that such a chance effect should have been brought about by giving this 10s.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Surely the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have been sorry. He regarded it as most undesirable 17 or 18 years ago. Ho said nothing to show that he does not regard it as undesirable to-day, and if that is not the object of the Government, why should he introduce this irrelevancy on more than one occasion? I am sure that a more disingenuous explanation has rarely been offered to the House of Commons.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate the point that there is no question under the recoupment Clauses of the tax being collected from anyone but the owner. The tax is always collected from the owner. There is no question of collecting the tax from the reversioner.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Does not that just point exactly to the case that has been made from this side, that the cost of the collection will be the same in all these cases?
§ Mr. PHILIP OLIVER
I have listened to the Solicitor-General speaking twice, and to innumerable other Members, but I have not heard a single argument against this most reasonable Amendment, and if the Government desire a number of us on these benches to support them against this Amendment, they will have to produce some much stronger arguments than we have had so far. I agree with the Solicitor-General that for the sake of convenience we should exempt people 1671 whose tax would not amount to more than 10s., but if for the sake of convenience we exempt them, then, for the sake of justice, we must make an abatement to others, and justice is not to be ruled out simply because of inconvenience. Wherever there is an abatement or a limitation it must be general, otherwise we are bound to get grave injustice in the border-line cases, and such cases are not a mere figment of the imagination. Let us consider how this will affect new housing estates, where there are a number of small owner-occupiers, with exactly similar houses on exactly similar plots. The ordinary plot may be worth £120, but next to that may be another plot of exactly the same size and with exactly the same type of house upon it which happens to be a corner plot with a road frontage on two sides. Anyone who knows anything about land values knows that simply because it is a corner plot its land value will be higher than that of the adjoining plot—it may be £180. The man who occupies the corner plot is at present labouring under a tremendous injustice because of the oppressive charges made for street paving in those two roads. I know a man at present who has had to find £390 for street paving alone—almost the value of the house itself; and now we are going to tax that man while giving a complete abatement to the man next door with an exactly similar house on an exactly similar plot. That is totally and utterly unjust. It is the kind of injustice which always arises when we make these limitations and abatements without making them general. I beg the Government to reconsider their position, not only in the interests of convenience but, what is more, of justice.
§ Mr. BENSON
There is something to be said for this Amendment—if it is carried far enough. The position is that the first 10s. is not being collected because it is not worth while to collect it. The Amendment asks that an abatement should be given to every other payer of tax, but the Solicitor-General has pointed out that that would leave a number of remnants of tax to be collected—sums of 6d. and 1s. where the tax had amounted to 10s. 6d. or 11s. It is quite obvious that the next step would be to give another abatement of 10s.—not to collect the next 10s.; and in equity there would have to be a further abatement of 1672 10s. and we should get the same trouble all over again—still get remnants of 6d. or 1s. to be collected. We could go on adding abatements and limitations, and in a short time the Government would be in the position of owing money to every owner of property instead of the owner of property owing it to the Government.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
The excellent speech we have had from the hon. Member for Blackley (Mr. P. Oliver) was an interesting contrast with the extraordinary confusion which the Solicitor-General found himself in when he was interrupted by the right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon). It was clear that his mind was in a state of confusion between income and increment duty. He was pulled up and corrected. [HON. MEMBERS: "Not corrected!"] At any rate he was not very clear on the point. May I ask him another question, which is not a very difficult one? Supposing there are two individuals, a man and a woman, each owning land worth £100. Under the Bill as it stands they will both get exemption from this tax, just as they are exempt from Income Tax with incomes of £100 each if they are not married, but, if they marry, become liable to Income Tax because the total of the joint income would be above the Income Tax limit. What I wish to know is whether the two units of land belonging to two married people which singly are below the limit at which this tax is imposed are to be added together for taxation purposes under this Bill?
I think the proposal of the Amendment is better than the scheme in the Bill, because if once we grant exemptions they ought to be based on principle and not regulated by considerations of the difficulty of collecting the tax. There cannot be any real difficulty in collecting 5s. or 6s. The cost of collection will be very small in proportion to the cost of making the estimate of the value of the land unit. That is where the real cost lies. Once that has been done the value is registered, and then the tax can be collected. Whether the tax is 5s. or 10s. makes very little difference to the cost of collection; it is only a question of sending a notification. It is a pity the Government have not put up the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to tell us 1673 what these exemptions will actually cost. It is all very well for the hon. and learned Gentleman to say that it will depend on how many units of land there are. Obviously, the Government will have made some estimate; if they have not, they are taking a novel course in proposing a new tax without having worked out its incidence or what its yield is likely to be. I will support the Amendment because it will make the Bill slightly less bad than it is.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I had hoped we should have a reply from the Government Bench in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley (Mr. P. Oliver). The hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) presented an analogy which, I think, is quite fallacious. In the case of the Income Tax there is a flat rate of tax and a flat rate of abatement, and surely the abatement should also apply all round in the case of this tax. I cannot think why the Solicitor-General should pretend, in his specious way, that it is merely an arbitrary line which the Government have drawn. The point is not that it is merely an arbitrary line but that there is an arbitrary distinction between one particular taxpayer and another, and since there is to be an abatement of a uniform sum surely there is great force in the argument of my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley that the abatement should apply all round in the case of those to whom the tax is chargeable.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I wish to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) upon his speech this afternoon, because I have seldom heard the case for the justice of an imposition of this kind put more clearly than he put it. When he came to deal with the Amendment, however, he seemed to depart from that clarity. The clear gospel would tolerate no exemptions whatever: whether a man were rich or poor, he would contribute to the State in proportion to the land values he had under his control; but I want to ask the Opposition why there should be all this protest against this exemption?
§ Mr. MacLAREN
Then the protest is that the exemption is not going far 1674 enough, that the exemption up to the amount of 10s. should be extended to every rich and poor landowner alike. The protest is that a distinction is being made between what is termed the poor man and the rather wealthier man. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I want to find out what is in the minds of the Opposition and I am going through the process of winnowing it to ascertain, exactly what they do want. Then the objection to the exemption is that the Government are bringing it in to save poor people from having to contribute towards the tax. So far as I have been able to gather, the protest is that the Government are making a distinction between the wealthier people and the poorer people.
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The objection is that the millionaire who happens to have land to the value of only £119 pays nothing, and another man with land worth £121 has to pay 10s. 1d.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I will assume the picture of the millionaire who owns only a cabbage plot! In the Debate this afternoon the main burden of the criticism against the Government has been that by this exemption they are trying to gain votes from the poorer sections of the community. Surely that has been reiterated time and time again. It has been said that by this exemption the Government are resorting to a form of bribery to capture votes in the country, and that has been the main part of the argument. Why should the House of Commons become indignant about an exemption in favour of getting votes? As long as I have known anything about the canons of taxation in this House it has consistently gone along that line. Take, for example, right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite. Do they wish to tell me that for the seven years I have been in this House the same thing has not been going on? Surely they will not deny that the same thing went on under the De-rating Bill? Time and time again politicians have resorted to this process of capturing votes outside by making remissions of taxation. If that is so, why all the hypocrisy we have had this afternoon?
If the Labour Government say they are making this exemption because they 1675 are having regard to the poorer sections of the community, and if in turn they are charged with resorting to a form of bribery it would not disturb me in the least, because all parties have been guilty of that crime, if it is a crime. I think the Solicitor-General's argument stands unchallenged when he says that the cost of collection of a small sum of this kind would be a mere bagatelle. A vast number of the people who own a email amount of land are living under different economic circumstances than they have ever lived under before. The economic pressure is such that it would be far better to give them exemption than resort to the other methods which Parliament has had to pursue of reverting to heavy taxation in order to hand out doles to the poor. I cannot understand the righteous indignation of hon. Gentlemen opposite if they think that they have discovered some form of favours being granted to certain sections of the community. I cannot understand that indignation in face of their own record.
§ Mr. LOCKWOOD
I wish to deal with the point of the inconvenience alleged in regard to the collection of this particular tax. I think the Solicitor-General, in making that statement, did what he has been doing in most of his explanations in regard to this Bill, and that is ignoring the practical considerations which apply to this particular matter. I would like to draw the attention of the Solicitor-General to the fact that it is within the knowledge of most hon. Members that it is no inconvenience to the Inland Revenue to collect small sums by way of the present Land Tax, because in some instances they collect sums as small as 3d. That is well known. When the Solicitor-General bears that in mind, perhaps he will be able to give a different explanation from that which he gave in his reply this afternoon.
§ With regard to the inconvenience of collection, surely the Solicitor-General will have in mind that what is applicable to other forms of taxation can be applied in this particular case. I think the hon. Member for Burslem (Mr. MacLaren) showed an entire ignorance of what is proposed by this Amendment, the object of which is to make the application of the tax more fair. One of our principles is to arrange things for the general convenience of the community, and not give any advantage to one section over the other. In view of the desire of the Committee to divide on this Amendment, perhaps it would be well to leave further discussion of this question to another occasion.
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
I should like to ask the Solicitor-General whether he could give any estimate of the loss involved if this Amendment were carried. The Amendment seems a very simple one, and it is a simple idea.
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
A discussion on Schedule A taxation would be out of order. It is a very simple idea that, irrespective of a man's politics, his wealth, or anything else, he must have a general exemption, and I hope the Government will not stick to their inverted means test. They are perpetuating a means test in this Clause, and I hope they will give some indication of the cost of this concession. If it is a small cost, I hope that the Government will accede to the opinion which has been expressed in every quarter of the Committee.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 287; Noes, 244.1679
|Division No. 312.]||AYES.||[6.9 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Barr, James||Bromfield, William|
|Adamson, W. M. (Stan., Cannock)||Batey, Joseph||Bromley, J.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Brooke, W.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgle M.||Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Brothers, M.|
|Alaxander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Benson, G.||Buchanan, G.|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Burgess, F. G.|
|Arnott, John||Bondfied, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Bowen, J. W.||Calne, Derwent Hall-|
|Ayles, Walter||Bowerman, At. Hon. Charles W.||Cameron, A. G.|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Broad, Francis Alfred||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Brockway, A. Fenner||Chater, Daniel|
|Church, Major A. G.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Raynes, W. R.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Kinley, J.||Richards, R.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kirkwood, D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Knight, Holford||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lang, Gordon||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Ritson, J.|
|Cove, William G.||Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Romerll, H. G.|
|Daggar, George||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Dallas, George||Lawrence, Susan||Rowson, Guy|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Lawson, John James||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)|
|Day, Harry||Leach, W.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Sandham, E.|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lees, J.||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Leonard, W.||Scott, James|
|Dukes, C.||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Sexton, Sir James|
|Duncan, Charles||Lindley, Fred W.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Ede, James Chuter||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Edge, Sir William||Logan, David Gilbert||Shield, George William|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Longbottom, A. W.||Shlliaker, J. F.|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Longden, F.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Egan, W. H.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Eimley, Viscount||Lunn, William||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Evans, Herbert (Gateshead)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Sinkinson, George|
|Foot, Isaac||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Sitch, Charles H|
|Freeman, Peter||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||McElwce, A.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||McEntee, V. L.||Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B.(Keighley)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettletton)||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||McKinlay, A.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||MacLaren, Andrew||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Gill, T. H.||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Gillett, George M.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Glassey, A. E.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Sorensen, R.|
|Gossling, A. G.||McShane, John James||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Gould, F.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Manning, E. L.||Sullivan, J.|
|Gray, M liner||Mansfield, W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||March, S.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Marcus, M.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Markham, S. F.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Marley, J.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Marshall, Fred||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Mathers, George||Tillett, Ben|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Matters, L. W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Maxton, James||Tout, W. J.|
|Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Messer, Fred||Townend, A. E.|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Middleton, G.||Turner, Sir Ben|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Mills, J. E.||Vaughan, David|
|Harbord, A.||Milner, Major J.||Viant, S. P.|
|Hardie, David (Rutherglen)||Montague, Frederick||Walkden, A. G.|
|Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Walker, J.|
|Harris, Percy A.||Morley, Ralph||Wallace, H. W.|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor|
|Haycock, A. W.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline).|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Mort, D. L.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Muff, G.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Muggeridge, H. T.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Murnin, Hugh||West, F. R.|
|Herrlotts, J.||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, Joseph|
|Hicks, Ernest George||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||White, H. G.|
|Hirst, G. H. (York, W. R., Wentworth)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N,)||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Hoffman, P. C.||Oldfield, J. R.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hollins, A.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Willams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Palin, John Henry.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Isaacs, George||Paling, Wilfrid||Wilson C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Jenkins, Sir William||Palmer, E. T.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Perry, S. F.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Jones, Liewellyn-, F.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Wise, E. F.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Phillips, Dr. Marlon||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Potts, John S.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)||Price, M. P.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Charleton.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Ramsay, T. B. Wilton|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Nicholson, O, (Westminster)|
|Albery, Irving James||Ferguson, Sir John||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Fermoy, Lord||O'Connor, T. J.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Fielden, E. B.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Allan, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Fison, F. G. Clavering||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Atkinson, C.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Baillie-Hamliton. Hon. Charles W.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gower, Sir Robert||Pybus, Percy John|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bellalrs, Commander Carlyon||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Remer, John R.|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Blinded, James||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Boyce, Leslie||Hanbury, C.||Rothschild, J. de|
|Bracken, B.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hartington, Marquess of||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Haslam, Henry C.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(oxf'd, Henley)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Buchan, John||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Savery, S. S.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Butler, R. A.||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hurd, Percy A.||Sketlon, A. N.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Inskip, Sir Thomas||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Iveagh, Countess of||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth, S.)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Knox, Sir Alfred||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm., W.)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Christie, J. A.||Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Thompson, Luke|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Lleweilln, Major J. J.||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Train, J.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Long, Major Hon. Eric||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lymington, Viscount||Turton, Rohert Hugh|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Vaughan-Morqan, Sir Kenyon|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness)||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Macquisten, F. A.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Marjoribanks, Edward||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Meller, R. J.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Millar, J. D.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavist'k)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|England, Colonel A.||Muirhead, A. J.||Captain Margesson and Sir George Penny.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I beg to move, in page 21, line 14, to leave out the words "as to recovery of tax by mortgagees."
The effect of this Amendment and of the next Amendment—In line 15, after the word "lessors," to insert the words "as to tax paid by mortgagees being charged on the mortgaged estate "—will be that this provision in Clause 20 will be stated in exactly similar words to chose of the previous provision in Clause 16.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: In page 21, line 15, after the word "lessors," insert the words:
as to tax paid by mortgagees being charged on the mortgaged estates."—[The Solicitor-Oeneral.]
§ Major MUIRHEAD
I beg to move, in page 21, line 19, at the end, to insert the words:(4) If any person chargeable with tax in respect of a unit proves to the satisfaction of the Commissioners that the value of the unit is less than the value as ascertained under the provisions of Section eight, by reason of the fact that a Resolution has been passed under any Act relating to town or country planning for the preparation or adoption of a scheme of development by which there would be, when the scheme comes into operation, a restriction on the user of the unit, he shall be entitled to relief from the tax proportionate to the diminution so caused in the value of the unit.I move this Amendment because I am not certain whether the provisions of the First Schedule with regard to restrictions on user cover the case of land to which a resolution to apply a town planning scheme applies. Paragraph (1, g) relates to:Restrictions on user which have become operative imposed by or in pursuance of any Act or by any agreement.As the Committee will be aware, a town and country planning scheme is divided into three stages. There is the approved scheme, which is the final stage, where the provisions are set down in detail, so that their application is exactly known. There is the earlier stage of the preliminary statement, where a fair amount of detail is indicated, although the details have not yet the full force of the final approved scheme; while in the first stage the area of country covered by the resolution is indicated, but the actual provisions of the resolution, 1682 and the actual restrictions which it may impose, are of a very nebulous and indeterminate character.
The restrictions under the first resolution have one peculiar characteristic. They are not actual restrictions in the sense that certain things are forbidden. What happens is that, if an owner wishes to build a house, he has to apply to the town planning authority, and the town planning authority can refuse to give him leave, but that does not actually stop him from building the house; it merely means that, when the scheme, perhaps 15 years later, comes to fruition, the house may be pulled down without any compensation being given him. It is not at all certain whether the house will be pulled down; it may be allowed to stand; but there will always be that threat hanging over the owner, if he has built on that particular piece of land without first getting leave, that several years afterwards he may have to pull down the house without getting any compensation for it. I am not quite certain whether that particular kind of restriction is covered by the First Schedule to this Bill.
I agree that it is very difficult to decide, in the early stages of a resolution as to the exact extent of the restrictions which are put upon a particular piece of land, because, until the owner asks for permission to build, it might be argued that no very definite restriction is put upon him; and it might even be argued that, if he had asked permission and it had been refused, the restriction was then only partial, because he could put up his house, and would merely be under the threat of having it removed at some future date. Undoubtedly, however, the restriction is a very real one. There is no doubt that the selling value of land covered by a resolution would be less unless it was very clearly determined whether a man might build upon the land or not, and it is with the object of clearing up the situation that I move this Amendment. I had hoped that both this Amendment and the next Amendment which stands in my name—In page 21, line 19, at the end, to insert the words:Where at any time between the valuation date and the next subsequent valuation date in respect of a unit which is included in the scope of a development scheme, made under any Act relating to town or country planning, the value of such unit is 1683 diminished by reason of the operation of such scheme, the owner thereof shall be entitled to a rebate of the tax paid by him in proportion to such diminution of the value."—might have been considered as complementary. Although they do not cover exactly the same point, they deal to all intents and purposes with the same set of circumstances, but I am not quite certain whether it would be in, order to move the second Amendment or not. A valuer will be placed in this difficulty, that, when he comes to value land which is covered by a first resoluton, he will not know the exact extent of the restrictions imposed on the land, and he will not know the exact amount of consideration to give to those restrictions. The object of my Amendment is that he should certainly give some consideration to the restrictions, and as much consideration as it is possible for him to give. I feel that that consideration should be given in the sense most favourable to the owner, that is to say, in the sense that a general restriction does exist—that it is quite possible for the owner to be prohibited from building, or only to be allowed to build under the threat that he will get no compensation—and, even although the land is only covered by a first resolution, and there is no preliminary statement or final scheme, the valuer should take into consideration the restrictions from the point of view most favourable to the owner.
I do not know if I am in order in referring now to my second Amendment, but the two seem to me to hang together. The second Amendment would enable a valuer and an owner to adjust any discrepancy which might occur between the value which the valuer originally placed on the land and the value which actually attaches to the land after the owner has applied for permission to build and has been refused. I should be grateful if I could have a clear understanding from the Government as to whether restrictions imposed by a first resolution are considered to be adequately covered by the First Schedule, or whether this Amendment is required to cover them.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
The answer to the questions of the hon. and gallant Member is that the resolution itself would not impose a restriction. He himself suggested that it was doubtful whether there would be any actual 1684 restriction under the resolution, and I think the answer is that there would not be any actual restriction, coming in as an incumbrance on the land, under a mere town planning resolution. The difficulty of doing anything in this matter is shown by the form of the Amendment. If the hon. and gallant Member looks at his own Amendment, he will see that he is asking someone to take into account, at the time when a resolution is passed, the case in which,by reason of the fact that a resolution has been passed under any Act relating to town or country planning for the preparation or adoption of a scheme of development by which there would be, when the scheme comes into operation, a restriction on the user of the unit.Valuers may be prophetic in some ways, but it is very difficult for them to prophesy what is going to be contained in a town planning scheme which is not in existence, and it is really because of that uncertainty, which exists at the time when the resolution is passed, that it is impossible to say that any actual piece of property within a town planning area is subject to any restriction. It is merely subject to the general necessity, which the hon. and gallant Gentleman has pointed out, of getting permission to develop. That permission is hedged round with various statutory provisions as regards contributions, compensation, appeals to the Minister and so on. The real remedy as regards any restriction that is put upon land is that there are means under the Town and Country Planning Bill by which to adjust the rights of the party who is unduly or improperly restricted by the general resolution. The selling price of all land in every area is not made less by the mere passing of the resolution. It would only be in some very special case, or where the scheme under the resolution had gone a long way towards becoming actually a scheme, that that could ever arise, or upon the refusal of a local authority to allow development in a particular area.
§ Viscount CRANBORNE
I have listened with great interest to what the Solicitor-General has said, but it does not seem to me that he has quite answered the question or realised the justice behind the Amendment. It only seeks to bring the Bill into harmony with the Town and Country Planning Bill. It is a very unfortunate situation in which 1685 we are placed that the two Bills should be running at the same time, because no one knows where he stands with regard to either of them. As far as it can be done, we ought to try to harmonise the schemes as they go through the House. It is obvious that, under town planning schemes, enormous tracts of country are going to be planned. That will take a considerable time to do. I have taken part in an enormous amount of negotiations between local authorities and private individuals, and it takes many weeks and months to carry them through. Simultaneously with these negotiations there will be running the assessments for this Finance Bill, and it is very likely that the assessment will be carried through before the town planning scheme is published. It is very likely that the assessor under the Finance Act may say that a piece of land will be suitable for development of six or eight houses to the acre and, later on, when the town planning scheme comes out, it is limited to four, or even treated as an open space. That situation might easily arise, and it it obvious that the assessment would have been too high for the Land Tax. The owner would be required to pay too much, and there ought to be some machinery by which that can be adjusted. The owner would be suffering immensely if the value of his land was reduced in the interim period. It is all very well to say it will not happen in very many cases. We do not want it to happen in any cases. I hope the hon. and learned Gentleman will see his way to accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
The CHAIRMAN (Sir Robert Young)
The next Amendment that I call is that in the name of the hon. Member for Finchley (Mr. Cadogan).
§ Mr. CADOGAN
I beg to move, in page 21, line 19, at the end, to insert the words: 1686(4) If the owner of a land unit in respect of which a tax for any year has been charged proves to the satisfaction of the Commissioners that the land unit has been or is being used during that year solely for agricultural purposes, or for purposes of allotments under the Small Holdings and Allotments Acts, 1908 to 1926, he shall be entitled to relief from the tax for that year.The object of this Amendment is to ensure that, even although land has been valued for the purposes of the tax in any year, as long as it is used solely for agricultural purposes during that year, tax shall not be chargeable. If the Government are not favourable to the Amendment and we press it to a Division and it is carried—in view of what happened yesterday a not altogether fantastic assumption—I hope the Prime Minister will not say it is merely a drafting Amendment. I think the Committee will agree that it has more substance in it than a mere drafting Amendment. It concerns, incidentally, a section of the community which, I think, should certainly have the favourable consideration of the Government. I am championing the case of small allotment holders. There is an impression very widely spread outside the House that agricultural land is going to be exempt and, although we now know that that is to a large extent a false impression, it is due in a large measure to what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in his introductory remarks some weeks ago. I am sure it is the intention of the Government to include in the exemptions all bona fide agricultural land. We on this side are as anxious as the Government that we should not open the door to evasion of the tax.
I rather believe the Solicitor-General may reply that, if the Amendment were accepted, it would provide opportunities for unscrupulous persons to obtain immunity by some subterfuge which would bring land which was not strictly agricultural within the exemption Clause. There is probably some substance in that objection, but surely it cannot pass the ingenuity of the Solicitor-General to accept the principle of the Amendment and at the same time obviate the undesirable result of anyone obtaining exemption under false pretences. I think the smallholders and allotment holders form a section of the community which is thoroughly deserving of our support and consideration. We generally measure 1687 favourable consideration by the amount of votes involved in any particular proposal. Do allotment holders come within the interpretation of the phrase "The people"? Are they the working classes in the interpretation of the Government? If the Amendment were carried, it would be a great relief to a very large number who at present think they are facing ruin if the Measure is placed upon the Statute Book.
§ Mr. J. JONES
May I ask if it is possible for me to put down a Motion for another crisis to-morrow?
§ Major GEORGE DAVIES
I should like to reinforce my hon. Friend's appeal. Broadly speaking, the principle of the exemption of agricultural land has been discussed on a previous Amendment. On this Amendment we approach it from a slightly different angle. The appeal, however, is the same in both cases and it is to protect cases which, though probably not numerous, will undoubtedly suffer great hardship. I should like to bring to the attention of the Solicitor-General some cases which have recently come under my notice in Somerset. They are specifically covered by the terms of the Amendment with regard to agricultural land, and the question of smallholdings and allotments. This is a question of land, not in expanding urban areas, but right in the heart of the village. I know of a village in which a certain rather public-spirited individual acquired an area of land in complete juxtaposition to the village in order to provide some of the cottages, whose gardens were limited in size, with allotments. He divided the land into allotments. They adjoined the village and are by the side of a good tarmac second-class road. He lets them at a rent based on the purchase price of the land. There must be a development value, because if the village is to expand at all, that area is the obvious place where cottages will be erected. It is there that a tax will pretty surely be placed upon the land by the valuers. We cannot know, nor can the learned Solicitor-General know, what the valuer is going to say under the terms of the Act, but, as I read the Bill, it is almost certain cultivation value will be placed upon such an area. If that should be the case, the rental of every allotment holder will have to be put up, 1688 because the present rental has been cut down to the absolute minimum so as to give the allotment holder the full benefit. This is not the only example even in my solitary experience in the West. The question arises in many small villages.
We know that there have been certain developments with regard to house building in this country, and that matters have slowed down of late. There has been a development in the countryside of the building of council cottages, not all of which are for the purpose of housing the agricultural workers. I know of several cases in Somerset villages where application has been made and approval given for the erection of, say, eight or 12 council cottages. Those cottages are very often occupied by those who do not find work in the village, but are engaged elsewhere. Before the decision is made as to the area where council cottages are to be erected, all the agricultural land in the vicinity of a particular village is a potential site for the cottages, and therefore has a site value. The moment a decision is made, and site A is chosen in preference to B, C, D or E and the cottages are put up, it may be true to say that there is no new site value on the rest of the land, because there is no immediate prospect of additional council houses being put up, and no one except public authorities will be likely to build there. Under a situation like that, immediately a decision has been made in one particular place, there will be no building value or additional site value upon the other additional pieces of land. Before such a decision is made all have a potential value. Cases like that will be covered if the Government accept the Amendment.
As long as those areas are actually being used for agricultural purposes they are exempt from the tax, although there is some kind of potential building value. The moment the local authority decides the area to be used, there is obviously a site value. I submit that those are very adequate reasons why the Solicitor-General should accept the Amendment. He speaks of people trying to wangle the Act and pretending an area is being used for agricultural purposes in order to avoid the payment of the land tax. My opinion of the learned Solicitor-General is such that I believe he can devise means for checking that 1689 sort of thing. If he does not accept an Amendment such as this he will not be able to devise means for avoiding the very serious unfairness which is liable to operate on a much larger scale than he contemplates.
§ Sir JOSEPH LAMB
I support the Amendment on the ground that we ought to exempt agricultural land and allotments from the tax during the time the land is being used for such purposes. It might be said that the land is ripening for development, but it cannot be contended that during the period when it is actually being used for agricultural purposes or for allotments that it has completely ripened. The very fact that the owner of the land had not received any increased benefit up to that time would exempt him, for, as long as the land was used for agricultural purposes or allotments, he would not have received any increased emoluments in respect of the land. I object emphatically to taxation during the period of ripening. I can give an analogy to show that I am just in making this contention. With the exception of the Law Officers who are now sitting on the Government Front Bench, almost every Member opposite has sat in the House during a period of Opposition, and doubtless during that time there was in their minds the possibility, and the hope probably, of accepting office at some future date. And no doubt when they accepted office they would expect the emoluments due in respect of the office. Those emoluments were ripening during that period. Although Members in office are now paying Income Tax upon their emoluments, would they have considered it just, if, during the whole period they were in opposition, they had been called upon to pay Income Tax upon emoluments that were said to be ripening? I consider that that is a complete argument against the unmoral act of trying to place a tax upon something during the period of its ripening.
§ Colonel RUGGLES-BRISE
I wish to support the Amendment. It is well known that the general level of agricultural wages in rural parts of the country is lower than that ruling ordinarily in urban occupations and in the industries of the towns. The agricultural worker, therefore, starts at a disadvantage in regard to his wage level, 1690 but against that he enjoys one or two advantages which do a little to narrow the gap between the wages he receives and those received by his counterpart who works in the towns. The agricultural worker in general is able to house himself at a lower rent than the man who lives and works in the towns. The second slight advantage that he gains is the fact that, either attached to the cottage which he hires there is a garden, or, failing that, he is often able to hire, at a very reasonable rent, a piece of allotment ground. That advantage is now in part to be taken from him because there is no doubt that the proposed new penal tax upon land, including allotment ground, is going to be very detrimental in the long run to the production of allotments. We have, on the one hand, the Government introducing a land utilisation Bill, a large portion of which is devoted to the greater provision of allotments, and a few weeks later we have a Finance Bill introduced which deliberately puts a new penal burden upon allotment ground, and must in the long run tend to reduce facilities for allotments generally. It is an amazing spectacle that a Socialist Government, who call themselves a Labour Government, should be capable of doing anything which can worsen, as this undoubtedly will, the position of the agricultural labourer.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us in his speech a short time ago that one of the benefits of this new burden of tax on land would be that it would force land into the market and also make it cheaper. If his contention is true that land would be more readily brought into the market as a result of this particular tax, it will, of course, apply to allotment ground as well as to all other ground. The owner of allotment ground will say, "I have a new burden of taxation to pay every year, and I find it impossible to ask allotment holders to pay a higher rent, and, therefore, the best thing for me to do, is to sell the allotment ground for building purposes." Allotment ground generally is rather a choice spot on the edge of a village and is usually situated on a road for the sake of convenience, and if the contention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is right, such ground will now be offered for sale for building purposes, 1691 and will no longer be available for allotment holders. In this way the Government are directly discouraging the provision of land for allotments, and yet, on the other hand, in another of their Bills at present on the stocks, they are pretending that they have great anxiety for the extension of allotment holdings. We are in the midst of the greatest agricultural depression which has ever existed in this country. This is the moment which has been chosen by the Socialist Government to place a new and heavy burden upon the shoulders of industry and agriculture generally. I should have thought that any Government, whatever its political complexion, would have borne in mind the fact that our favourable trade balance has vanished, and that we are now faced with an adverse trade balance.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Gentleman must confine his remarks to the objects of the Amendment.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Colonel RUGGLES-BRISE
If I may be allowed to add only one sentence, I think that I can show that this point is very closely allied to my argument. Nothing should be done at this moment to discourage production. Every basket full of vegetables we can grow on our own allotments means one basket full of vegetables less to be imported from some foreign country. That will help to correct, in however small a way, our adverse trade balance. My argument is that nothing should be done which would tend to discourage agricultural production, not only in the interests of agriculture, but in the wider national interest. The Chancellor of the Exchequer bases this tax on his dislike for the landlords, but, of the agricultural land of this country, no less than 36 per cent. is owner occupied. Does he realise how fast the old class of landlord, for whom he has such contempt, is disappearing? Does he realise he is going to hit a very large class of owner occupiers by this new penal device? Where does he think the money is to come from to pay this new tax on agricultural land? It already pays under Schedule A and, if there is a profit, under Schedule B. Those taxes purport to come from profits, but this tax—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Member is asking in his Amendment for relief for special purposes and he ought to keep to that point.
§ Colonel RUGGLES-BRISE
May I submit that the Amendment asks that, when a unit is used for agricultural purposes, that land should be exempt. I have confined myself to that point to the best of my ability.
§ Colonel RUGGLES-BRISE
I shall leave the question of the Schedules, and repeat my question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Where does he think this money is coming from? It is a hypothetical sum coming from a hypothetical value which may never be realised. I can only come to the conclusion that the present Government, bankrupt in ideas and unable to keep their pledges to make farming pay, wish to make the whole agricultural industry bankrupt with it.
§ Mr. WISE
I suggest that this Amendment has been drawn so as to cover both agricultural purposes and allotments, in the hope that the second purpose may cover the first. Most of the arguments have been directed to agricultural purposes. I can well understand the Government may be prepared to consider the exemption of land for allotment purposes, whereas to exempt all land used for agricultural purposes in this manner would completely upset the scheme. I cannot support the Amendment, because this is not a proper way to deal with agricultural land, but I would appeal to the Solicitor-General with regard to land used for allotment purposes. In another Bill before the House, all parties have agreed that it is very desirable to encourage allotments, and have given special facilities for their extension and their easy and cheap provision. That particular purpose is even accepted in another place. It would, therefore, be very undesirable if, while that Bill were going through, anything, however small, was done to discourage or to put an additional charge on allotments. Of the 750,000 allotments, which are at present under cultivation in this country, a considerable proportion will already be exempt under the Bill. About 200,000 of 1693 them are owned by local authorities and will not be taxed, while of the remainder a proportion are owned by societies under the Small Holdings and Allotments Acts, and a considerable number of those societies would be regarded as charities, and would not be taxed in respect of their land under the concession made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last night.
We are left then with the case of allotments, numbering perhaps 250,000, a minority of the whole, which are run and managed by allotment associations who hire them from private individuals. I hope the Government will be able—if not this evening at any rate at a later stage—to give some consideration to those cases. They cover land, mostly in the vicinity of great towns and villages, which has a considerable site value. I do not suggest that the owner of the land should be exempt from paying site value to some extent. I do not know if I would be in order in referring the Solicitor-General to an Amendment on page 2038, which was not called, but I would suggest that, while there may be no case for exempting owners of land which has a high building value and which is temporarily, pending development, let to an allotment association, there is a case for encouraging owners, whose land at present is not in use and may not be required for building for a period of years, to let the land to an allotment association by giving them some exemption in regard to that portion of the tax which might be regarded as being covered by the cultivation value, leaving the owner assessable to tax in respect of the value of the land above the cultivation value. That will put the land on all fours with land owned by the local authorities or the allotment associations. It would prevent this tax putting an additional charge on allotment associations at the present moment, and would encourage owners, who have land close to working class districts to let it temporarily pending development on reasonably cheap terms to allotment associations. I appeal to the Solicitor-General to give consideration to this substantial point, which will carry out the main purpose of the Bill of bringing land into use, and will also achieve the purpose of the Government in their other Bill.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
No one will be unmindful of the case of allotment holders or will seek to put anything in the way of an increase in the number of allotments in this country. If I may first deal with the point as to village allotments, no question can possibly arise under this Bill as regards rural allotments. There never will be a case where the difference between the allotment value and the building value will exceed £120, or there might be one case in a thousand, and hon. Members who suggest such cases do not realise that it is a false criterion of the valuation to suggest that the valuer will come round and say, "This site might be a site for six cottages, and I put that value upon it." The whole of the land round the village is considered as available for building unless there is some restriction on it. The usual demand in the village is one house a year, and one presumes that amount of land will be taken up annually. One does not assume that one particular site is to be the site to be taken. I have had recent experience of this, because a local authority made a valuation of a piece of land of mine which they purchased for cottages, and the valuation does not come out at much more than the agricultural value, although it is right in the middle of the village. The idea that in rural districts these high figures of £200 or £300 an acre are quite common is fallacious. Occasionally such a price is paid where an owner will not part with his land. It will be very rare where the difference between the cultivation value and the building value will be anything considerable.
With regard to the districts round towns, where the building value is in excess of the cultivation value in some cases, that position is a very difficult one. The hon. Member behind me has stated accurately the cases already dealt with under the Bill. There remains the vacant land hired for allotments pending developments. The difficulty in that case is that, if one exempts such land as that, everyone having land of a high value will immediately use that land in that way, and there will be no developing land near towns which is used for anything else, even though it is only scratched with a rake once a year. On the other hand, the present Bill will induce owners to let 1695 it for allotments, because the alternative to letting it for allotments is to let it for grazing or to leave it without getting any receipts from it at all. If it used for allotments, it becomes agricultural land used for agricultural purposes, and probably the best cultivation value that can be obtained for it will be allotment value. Therefore, a higher deduction from the land value will be obtained if it is used for allotments. The owner will, therefore, be doing the best for his own pocket if he has land, which is not ready to be built upon but which is getting ready to be built upon, if be uses it for allotments. The position at the moment under the Bill is the most favourable position possible for allotment holders. They will not suffer in the least by reason of this.
§ Sir DENNIS HERBERT
I have in mind a piece of land in my constituency which is let as allotments. It may be that the land may be developed, but circumstances are not very propitious at the moment. The Solicitor-General says that the owner of that land will make the best use of it meanwhile by leting it as allotments. The hon. and learned Gentleman does not seem to realise that under the Bill as it stands the advantage which the owner will get will be very slight. There is a further point of importance which the Solicitor-General knows, and I have only to remind him of it, and that is that, for practical purposes, the land is no use for allotments unless you can ensure that it will be let for allotments for at least three or four years. Take a case where the land is practically or very nearly ripe for development, although it is extremely useful for allotments, because it is near the middle of a town. I do not know whether I am saying something that is stupid. If the Solicitor-General wants to interrupt me, let him do so. I think I am putting a perfectly sound point. Unless the landowner is going to get a substantial advantage, he will not be debarred from keeping the land idle by the slight exemption that he will get under the Bill as it stands, but he will be quite prepared to bind himself to keep the land as allotment land and not to develop it for a period of, say, 10 years, if he got the full advantage of being free from the tax. Otherwise, he will say to himself that it is not worth his while to let it for allotments.
§ Sir B. PETO
We welcome any support from hon. Members opposite, and I welcome the support of the hon. Member for East Leicester (Mr. Wise). The Solicitor-General devoted practically the whole of his speech to answering, but it was not a complete answer, the hon. Member for East Leicester. The hon. Member's support of the Amendment was rather divided. He said that he did not support the exemption of land so long as it was used for agricultural purposes, but only if it was used for the: special purpose of allotments. I want to call the attention of the Committee to the broader question of land used for agricultural purposes which, so long as it is so used, this Amendment proposes to exempt from Land Tax. Let us get down to the fundamental question of what is the purpose of the Land Tax. Clearly the object of the Government is to force land as rapidly as possible into full development for building. Anyone who goes from the centre of London and sees what is happening in any direction, particularly in the southerly direction, which I have in mind, will notice large areas of land which are being developed and covered with houses, and other areas where customary farming operations are going on, generally of the dairying kind. Whether the land is ripe and is being covered with buildings, or whether it continues to be used for producing food nearest to the people, and producing most valuable supplies of milk and other things of that kind, it is equally being used for the benefit of the community.
When we consider the operation of the tax I cannot believe that the exemption from a land tax of 1d. annually charged upon the capital site value of the land is going to have any great weight with the owner of land which is practically ripe for development. What is to happen if he hands it over to the speculative builder? The speculative builder is at once charged with an annual tax upon the land, but the man who has held the land perhaps for 20 years while it has grown enormously in value escapes entirely. I do not believe that the vendor of land for building purposes will be materially affected, whether we have this exemption or not, but what I do say is that if we impose the tax upon land fully used for, its customary agricultural purposes, as it has been in the past, and used for the benefit of the community, 1697 the effect will be that the farmer who is occupying and using that land will in nine cases out of ten be charged with a higher rent for the land in proportion to the incidence of this land tax. That will increase the cost of the production of food upon that land and it will be an additional handicap to the industry of agriculture, although it will not affect to any material extent the profits of the landlord, at whom the Chancellor of the Exchequer wants to get. Such a tax on agricultural land would he disastrous. We have only to look at what is going to happen if we artificially try to force, slightly in advance of natural building development, more and more land into a position in which it will be spoiled for agricultural purposes by being cut up and covered with sign boards stating that it is eligible building land.
§ Sir B. PETO
I will endeavour to keep very close to it. I do not believe that it will be of any benefit that land should be taken from its use and kept waiting by a process of premature development in the hope that building will follow. I believe that the Amendment would be a means of promoting the ordinary development of land in the neighbourhood of big towns and would secure the best possible use of the land, namely, for agricultural purposes, until it is actually needed for building purposes. That being so, I am convinced, without interfering to any material extent with the revenue that is some day going to be collected from this tax, that it will be in the interests of the community as a whole when land is properly used for the valuable purpose of producing food that it should be exempt from any additional tax. No additional tax should be placed or should be proposed to be placed at the present time upon any agricultural land and, above all, upon agricultural land in the immediate neighbourhood of our towns. For that reason, I hold that the arguments in favour of the Amendment are far wider than the narrow arguments put forward by the hon. Member for East Leicester, although I feel grateful to him for his support as far as allotments go. It is always easy to be more sympathetic towards the small man who cultivates an allotment than towards the 1698 larger dairy or cow keeping farmer who farms a larger part of an area of land in the neighbourhood of towns, but if you compare the relative value to the community of both you have to consider that they are equally valuable, and that it is unwise to place any fresh burdens upon land used by either class. For that reason, I support the Amendment which I consider is vital to the equable and even development of land in the neighbourhood of towns.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
I was astonished at two statements made by the Solicitor-General. The first statement was that this tax cannot affect allotment land around villages. He said that that would normally be under the value of £120 a year.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I said that the difference between the land value and the cultivation and allotment value would not be as much as £120 a year.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
What I think the Solicitor-General has missed is this, that in a very large proportion of cases the allotments are owned privately. They are part and parcel of a very much larger land unit where, quite clearly, no such distinction will arise. They will be lumped together with the main land unit. Therefore, the Solicitor-General's argument does not apply to them.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I was referring more particularly to the case where the Allotment Holders' Association in a rural district took a field.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
May I make the case very much wider. If the Solicitor-General is confining his case to a particular Allotment Holders' Association, let me give an, instance, the facts of which I know perfectly well. Let me quote the case of a piece of land on a main road, a first class road. This land is adjacent to houses in a village and the allotments are used by the villagers. This particular field has been let hitherto for a considerable number of years at a nominal rent of £l a year to the local parish council, who have let it out to the allotment holders, who live in the village. One of three things will probably happen to that land if Land Tax is imposed upon it. It is quite clear that there is a considerable building value in that land, because it is within 2½ miles of a large town on the south coast. It 1699 is pretty certain that there will be a tax falling upon the landlord for that particular field. He may say: "No longer will I bother to let this field for allotments," because the tax will come well above the more or less nominal rent that he is at present getting for it. The present income is not the income of any purchase price that he could expect. He may, therefore, decide to throw the land open for building operations. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Hon. Members opposite say "Hear, hear," but what is to happen to the people who have cultivated allotments on that land?
The second thing that may happen to that land may be that the parish council will be given a year's notice to quit, or be told that they can pay the extra amount which the Government are going to take from that particular land in respect of Land Values Tax, over and above what they pay at present. In that case the extra cost will fall upon the allotment holders. There is a third alternative, but I am not certain whether the parish council have the power to do it, and that is that they may be given the opportunity of purchasing the land at the value which the Government valuer puts upon it. Even if they are going to get a proper return on the money that they have to pay, the allotment holders between them will have to find a considerably larger sum than the amount which they have to pay at present. Therefore, it is clear that that is going to be a direct burden on the allotments holders in that place.
The second statement of the Solicitor-General which astonished me was when he said that you may take any piece of land near a town and so long as it is scratched over with a rake it may be called an allotment.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
It does not matter in the least for the purposes of this Amendment what the owner calls it. Perhaps the Solicitor-General will read the Amendment. It is a question 1700 of what will be considered by the Commissioners to be allotments, and if they are going to take it that any piece of land which is only scraped over with a rake once a year is an allotment it does not say very much for the Commissioners. The Solicitor-General, speaking the other day, used words to the effect that the added building value which would be attributed to land because it was in the neighbourhood of London would obviously extend as far as Uxbridge.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
At any rate, it was in his mind that it would extend as far as Uxbridge, which is the extreme western boundary of my constituency. It is clear that in the opinion of the Solicitor-General, the oracle of the Government on this Bill whom I can quote as the authority in my constituency, that every farmer in my constituency, and there are many, every market gardener, and there are many of them, and every allotment holder, every owner—[Interruption]—will have to pay something additional for the land which they now use for agricultural purposes. Whenever anyone mentions the word "owner" hon. Members opposite are inclined to sneer, but the owner is not precluded from giving these people a year's notice to quit and putting up the price of the land in order to get an economic return from it, which must include the tax which will have to be paid upon it. It is quite clear that the tendency of this tax in my constituency will be in every case to put an added burden on each one of these cultivators of the soil. There can be no dispute on that point. This is penalising all these men because they happen to cultivate farms, and have been doing so for years before London spread out so far, and those men who are cultivating market gardens, which are very extensive in that neighbourhood, not only against foreign competition, but against the produce of every agriculturist whose farm happens to be situate farther away from a large town. If any hon. Member opposite can dispute these facts I hope he will do so here and now. I certainly hold the view that this will be the case, and it is the view I am going to express in my constituency 1701 as well as in this House. On behalf of my constituents I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make some concession to these men who are carrying on one of the great primary industries of the country.
§ Mr. BUTLER
I will not detain the Committee for more than a few moments. I was surprised to hear that the Solicitor-General himself was a thief and robber, that he had stolen land from the people. We have heard of a transaction with a local authority which must have made the Chancellor of the Exchequer blush. His colleague sitting beside him ought to have given the land to the local authority, for he himself stole it from the people. The Chancellor of the Exchequer should be shocked that his principal protagonist in defending this Bill in this House is a thief and a robber, who has stolen land from the people.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This is a rather long and somewhat peculiar introduction to the hon. Member's speech. He must deal with the Amendment.
§ Mr. BUTLER
I will only say that it is refreshing to hear that the main defender of this Bill is in the same category as we are ourselves. Whenever agricultural interests are before the House I lose no opportunity of complaining at the treatment of the Government of the agricultural interest, and I maintain that this
§ Amendment gives them an opportunity of treating the industry as it should be treated. It gives them an opportunity of relieving the farmers of a great anxiety. There is a feeling of consternation in agricultural districts as to what may be the outcome of this tax. I have no time to go into the technical details because the Committee is desirous of coming to a decision, but from the psychological point of view the imposition of a new tax upon the land at this time is terrifying the agriculturists, and is a very wrong thing for any Government to do. Whenever the word "owner" is used it is scoffed at by hon. Members opposite, but it is now taking on a new significance in agricultural districts because so much of the land is already mortgaged, largely due to the incompetent handling of the agricultural situation by the Government. I do not regret having intervened on the patience of the Committee because I believe this is an occasion upon which the Government might have done some good for the agricultural community. If they have not sufficient sense to take advantage of the opportunity then let them go to their doom; as I am convinced they will do shortly.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 199; Noes, 280.1705
|Division No. 313.]||AYES.||[7.40 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.||Buchan, John||Culverwall, C. T. (Bristol, West)|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Albery, Irving James||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Butler, R. A.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Butt, Sir Alfred||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Campbell, E. T.||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Carver, Major W. H.||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Atkinson, C.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth, S.)||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm-, W.)||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)|
|Balfour, George (Hempstead)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Belniel, Lord||Chapman, Sir S.||Ferguson, Sir John|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Christie, J. A.||Fison, F. G. Clavering|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Clydesdale, Marquess of||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Colfox, Major William Philip||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Colman, N. C. D.||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Colville, Major D. J.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Cooper, A. Duff||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Boyce, Leslie||Courtauld, Major I. S.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Cranborne, Viscount||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Llndsey, Galnsbro)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffleid, Hallam)|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Meller, R. J.||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Henderson, Capt. ft. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Heneage, Lieut-Colonel Arthur P.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Muirhead, A. J.||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmrrland)|
|Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld)||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||O'Neill, Sir H.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Thompson, Luke|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt., Gen. Sir Aylmer||Perkins, W. R. D.||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Ramsbotham, H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wallace, Capt. D. E, (Hornsey)|
|Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Raid, David D. (County Down)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Remer, John R.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Ross, Ronald D.||Windsor-Clive. Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Liewellin, Major J. J.||Salmon, Major I.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wright, Brig.-Gen. W. D. (Tavist'k)|
|Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Long, Major Hon. Eric||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Lymington, Viscount||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Sir George Penny and Major the|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Skelton, A. N.||Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Compton, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cove, William G.||Harbord, A.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Hardie, David (Rutherglen)|
|Aitchlson, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Daggar, George||Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Dallas, George||Harris, Percy A.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Dalton, Hugh||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Haycock, A. W.|
|Arnott, John||Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Hayes, John Henry|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Healy, Cahir|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Ayles, Walter||Devlin, Joseph||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Dukes, C.||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Barr, James.||Duncan, Charles||Herriotts, J.|
|Batey, Joseph||Ede, James Chuter||Hicks, Ernest George|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Edge, Sir William||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Edmunds, J. E.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Benson, G.||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Hollins, A.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Egan, W. H.||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Blindell, James||Elmley, Viscount||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Freeman, Peter||Hunter, Dr. Joseph|
|Bowen, J. W.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Isaacs, George|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Jenkins, Sir William|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Bromfield, William||Gibbins, Joseph||Jones, Llewellyn-, F.|
|Brooke, W.||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Brothers, M.||Gill, T. H.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Gillett, George M.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Gossling, A. G.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Buchanan, G.||Gould, F.||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Caine, Hall-, Derwent||Gray, Mliner||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Kinley, J.|
|Cape, Thomas||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Kirkwocd, D.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Midlesbro' W.)||Knight, Holford|
|Charleton, H. C.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lang, Gordon|
|Chater, Daniel||Groves, Thomas E.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Church, Major A. G.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)|
|Clarke, J. S.||Hall, G. H. (Marthyr Tydvil)||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Law, A. (Rossendale)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Muggeridge, H. T.||Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B.(Keighley)|
|Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Murnin, Hugh||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Leach, W.||Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Lees, J.||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Leonard, W.||Oldfield, J. R.||Sorensen, R.|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Palin, John Henry||Strauss, G. R.|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Palmer, E. T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Longden, F.||Perry, S. F.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoin)|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Lunn, William||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Thurtle, Ernest|
|MacDonald, Malcoim (Bassetlaw)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Tillett, Ben|
|McElwee, A.||Pole, Major D. G.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|McEntee, V. L.||Potts, John S.||Toole, Joseph|
|McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)||Price, M. P.||Tout, W. J.|
|McKinlay, A.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Townend, A. E.|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Turner, Sir Ben|
|Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Raynes, W. R.||Vaughan, David|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Richards, R.||Viant, S. P.|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Walkden, A. G.|
|McShane, John James||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Walker, J.|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Ritson, J.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Manning, E. L.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Mansfield, W.||Romeril, H. G.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|March, S.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Marcus, M.||Rowson, Guy||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Markham, S. F.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Marley, J.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||West, F. R.|
|Marshall, Fred||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Mathers, George||Sanders, W. S.||White, H. G.|
|Matters, L. W.||Sandham, E.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Maxton, James||Sawyer, G. F.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Messer, Fred||Sexton, Sir James||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Middleton, G.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Mills, J. E.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Milner, Major J.||Sherwood, G. H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Montague, Frederick||Shield, George William||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Shillaker, J. F.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Morley, Ralph||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Simmons, C. J.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Sinkinon, George||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Mort, D. L.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Muff, G.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Paling.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
It will be remembered that when the proceedings of the Committee started this afternoon a point of Order arose in connection with an Amendment which stands on the Amendment Paper in the name of an hon. and learned Friend of mine and myself. Owing to the Ruling of the Chair, it was impossible to proceed with that Amendment. I thought it would be as well to let the Committee know that that Amendment has now been put on the Paper in the form of a new Clause, and that it will come up for discussion, I suppose, on Tuesday next. I think it would tend to shorten the Debate when that Clause is reached—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman intends to say 1706 about the new Clause. In any case, the matter does not arise now.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
With the indulgence of the Chair, I wanted to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to indicate what will be the attitude of the Government towards that new Clause.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The subject on which the right hon. Gentleman is now asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make a statement has been ruled out of order on Clause 20. Is it in order that a statement should be made on a matter which has been ruled out of order?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
Do I understand that I cannot give any reply to the question that has been put to me?
§ Mr. STANLEY BALDWIN
I understand that the Chancellor of the Exchequer desires to explain, under conditions which you have ruled out of order, the latest result of the latest deal between the Government and the Liberal party. I suggest that the proper course is to make that explanation, if it is thought desirable, on the Motion for the Adjournment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
On the Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," we are bound to deal with the Clause as it is. I do not know what statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to make, but it must be relevant to Clause 20.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
When the Committee obviously wants to hear the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, are two or three disgruntled Members opposite to be allowed to stop it?
§ Committee accordingly report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.