§ As from the first day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, Entertainments Duty within the meaning of the Finance (New Duties) Act, 1916, shall in Great Britain be charged at the rate set out in the Schedule (Rate of Entertainments Duty) to this Act, and not at the rate set out in the Second Schedule to the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1931.—[Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 6.37 p.m.
§ Sir J. WARDLAW-MILNE
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
We have spent the greater part of the afternoon in the consideration of questions involving large sums of money, such as the Equalisation Fund Account, Death Duties, and so on, and I now desire to ask the attention of the Committee to a smaller matter in money, but one which, I think they will agree, is of almost more immediate importance to a very large number of people in this country. The present rates of duty in connection with the entrance into cinemas, and particularly in connection with the cheaper seats therein, are a very real hardship to a large section of the population. If hon. Members will turn to page 1194 of the Order Paper, they will find there the Schedule referred to in my Clause, and they will see that my proposals reduce the rates of duty at present imposed on all cinema seats under 1s. 3d. by exactly half, while leaving the duty upon all seats over 1s. 3d. as they are at present. It is not particularly material to me whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer accepts the proposal in this form or in a modified form. There are other Amendments on the Paper which have not been called, but which will no doubt be referred to, proposing to abolish the tax altogether on seats of 6d. and lower, and that is another form of giving relief to the poorer section of the people who go to the cinema. PersoNaily, and perhaps naturally, I prefer my own solution, as it 2133 grades the tax and makes everybody pay something, however small—only a halfpenny on the lowest priced seats—and it would have the effect of relieving those who at present feel this hardship, while at the same time I do not believe it would add in any way to the difficulty of collecting the tax.
It will be within the recollection of some hon. Members that the tax on the cheapest seats, of 6d. and under, was re-imposed by Mr. Snowden, as he then was, in 1931, and there have been various representations made to him and to subsequent Chancellors of the Exchequer as to the necessity for doing away with this burdensome tax on the very cheap seats. In looking into this matter, I was very struck by some figures that were given by the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) in 1931, when he was speaking about the effect of the tax on the sixpenny seats in the cinema in the northern parts of this country. He said that between May, 1931, and May, 1932, there had been a falling off of no less than 44 per cent. in the receipts. I believe that is the case elsewhere also.
It is impossible to get any figures which are absolutely authentic as to the effect of the duty on the smaller priced seats. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is in the same difficulty, and can only make a rough estimate, but I would like to give some figures which appear, at any rate, to show that in reality the Exchequer has not benefited to any great extent by the imposition of this tax on the cheapest seats. It can only be got at in a roundabout way, and I do not give the figures as definitely accurate or final, but they are the best that I can find, because the Treasury, I am told, are not in a position to give us the exact figures. The whole of the Entertainments Duty brought in, in 1930, £6,952,000, and in 1931, £7,868,000. That increase was immediately after the tax on the sixpenny seats was reimposed. It would at first sight appear that that large increase had something to do with that particular tax, but I would point out that actually it had very little to do with it, because the increase in the previous year, over that of the one preceding it, in the total amount of revenue derived from the tax was no less than £700,000, and in this period of comparison the tax on 6d. seats was not in opera- 2134 tion. Assuming, therefore, that the increase in the tax in the previous year was at all regular, that it was anything like £700,000 or even half of that, it is clear that the revenue did not derive any large benefit from the imposition of the duty on the cheapest seats, as the increase in the total revenue was only £900,000.
I do not stress the point of the un-desirability of collecting the money in this way, because representations have been made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and probably to his predecessors, on that point, and the right hon. Gentleman, I think, himself said not long ago that he was prepared to consider, when he had an opportunity, the question of a percentage tax on the total takings of the cinema instead of on the present basis. I have not got the reference to that suggestion beside me, and it may be that nothing has been done about it, but whether this is desirable or not at the moment, the point that I wish to make is that this tax on the cheapest seats in the cinema is undoubtedly a very heavy burden on the poorest classes of the community. The whole of the Entertainments Duty yields only £7,000,000. Assuming for the sake of argument that the whole cinema tax yields £3,000,000 or £4,000,000 out of this, you have the position that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is asked by my proposal to reduce the tax by one-half only on seats sold at less than Is. 3d. If he accepted my proposal in its entirety, that is, to halve the tax on all seats sold up to Is. 3d., I do not believe that the total amount involved would be more than a very few hundred thousand pounds, even if it amounted to as much as that.
If, again, he chose to accept only one portion of it and eliminated the duty on all seats under 6d., probably the loss of revenue would be smaller still. There is no doubt that the cinema industry feels the imposition of this duty very seriously. Illustrations have been given to me of cases in which cinemas are paying away in taxation far more than the profits that they are earning and indeed paying large sums to the revenue while making losses; and although I do not want to enter into details of particular cases here I do not think that there is 2135 any doubt that throughout the cinema industry there has been a strong and increasing demand for relief on the cheaper seats. That is supported by almost all classes of people throughout the country. I suggest that the Chancellor might make this concession without any great sacrifice to the revenue. It would be popular in a time when popularity is hard to get, especially from the Treasury point of view. It is a concession that will be supported, I feel sure, in many quarters of the Committee.
§ 6.47 p.m.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I should like to supplement the observations of the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Ward-law-Milne). The Chancellor will recall that when I moved an Amendment on this subject last year, I brought before him figures relating to the attendances at a large number of cinemas in exclusively working-class areas. They were produced by the same chartered accountant who was responsible for the Income Tax returns for these various small places, so that there was no doubt about their accuracy. Amazing though it may seem, in some of these isolated or exclusively working-class places, with populations of from 7,000 to 10,000, the attendances were actually reduced by from 44 per cent. to 50 per cent. taking the comparable periods of six months before and six months after the imposition of the duty on seats down to 1d. I can quote the districts with all the figures if that be necessary, but I am sure that the Chancellor has sufficient information at his disposal to satisfy him that the statement which was made 12 months ago and the statements made by the hon. Member for Kidderminster are correct. Before the duty was imposed on the cheaper seats many of these small cinemas between October and April made a slight profit, but during the following six summer months they actually made losses, and they required the profits of the winter months to tide them over the whole of the 12 months. On the whole therefore the profit was very small indeed. As a result of this duty on the cheaper seats, the winter profit vanished. Therefore, instead of having profits to tide them over the 12 months, they have been actually working in many places for the Treasury and not for themselves.
2136 That is likely to have a tendency which, I am sure, the Chancellor will consider undesirable. Instead of people who attend the cinemas being privileged to view the best films, they have had to be fobbed off, through circumstances over which the manager has no control, with second-rate films which are not educational, elevating or even restful. I wish the Chancellor of the Exchequer could get rid of the West End complex, for the kind of films that are seen in the West End are totally different from those seen in many working-class districts. Financially, this concession would not be a great strain on the Treasury. I should have preferred the Chancellor to accept our Amendment to do away with the duty on the lower priced seats. Our suggestion was that no seat of a less price than 6d. should pay any duty. If the cinema-goer cannot afford to pay for a seat in excess of 6d., he ought not to be taxed on that very modest fee. In my division cinemas have seats as low as 3d.; the 1d. duty makes it 4d., and that addition very often makes all the difference to the person who wants to go to the cinema, and also to the cinema proprietor. If the Chancellor can see his way to make some concession—and it would be a very small concession—to the poor cinema proprietors, it would be welcomed in all parts of industrial Great Britain. Because of the burden that people are carrying in their daily lives, the small miserable wages and the sordid conditions in many districts, he ought to concede this very small request, and at least let it be understood that he has a desire to help those who are unable to help themselves.
§ 6.52 p.m.
§ Captain DOWER
The effect of the duty in my own constituency has been very deleterious, not upon the more luxurious kind of entertainment, but upon the smaller entertainments in the industrial areas which cater almost entirely to working-class people and provide seats between 21d. and 6d. An increase of 1d. may not seem a very serious matter, but I can assure the Chancellor that it means all the difference between whether or not these people can go to the cinema and take their families once a week. The effect of the duty has been that the attendances have declined, profits have disappeared, and, in many cases, which 2137 I know in my own area, it is all that cinema proprietors can do to keep their doors open. I should like to give my right hon. Friend three instances in that particular district. If you compare the net takings for the 12 months before the duty was put on with the 12 months after, the following results are seen. In the first instance the takings were £18,000, and after the duty £12,000; in the second instance the takings were £14,000, and after the duty £10,000; in the third instance the takings were £7,000, and after the tax £5,000. I can give the names of those particular places to my right hon. Friend, and I assure him that they are not exceptions but the rule.
I should like to hear my right hon. Friend reply to the criticism of the unfairness of the incidence of the duty. The duty on the 3d. seats, which is a very favourite seat in my constituency, is 1d., which is 33⅓ per cent. The duty on the luxury seats of 3s. 6d. or 5s. 9d. varies between 16 per cent. and 20 per cent. That is a vast difference. I feel convInced that when Lord Snowden imposed these duties he did not realise the disastrous effects that they would have on this particular type of entertainment. It is not a question of putting money into the pockets of the cinema proprietors, because they have promised to pass on to the public any benefits that they receive. For these and the other reasons which were so admirably put by my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne), I hope that the Chancellor will see his way to inquire into the unfair incidence of the duty.
§ 6.55 p.m.
§ Sir ROBERT HORNE
In intervening in a Debate such as this on a proposal for a reduction of a duty which would mean a diminution of revenue, I naturally start with a, strong prejudice in favour of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I confess that, in looking at the project which is before us, it seems to me that there is a great deal to be said for some remission in this duty. I imagine, although I have no figures before me which would corroborate or confirm my view, that the proposal in this proposed new Clause would cost a great deal more money than my hon. Friend who moved it suggested. My impression is that when the Chan- 2138 cellor comes to reply he will not accept the kind of figure which was given by the Mover of the Clause.
§ Sir J. WARDLAW-MILNE
I made it clear that I had no official figures, but as the total revenue is only £7,000,000, including all the theatres, the amount I gave cannot be far wrong.
§ Sir R. HORNE
I do not reproach my hon. Friend for not having the necessary information. I was making the statement I did only for the purpose of explaining why I am in favour of something smaller being done. I am rather inclined to the suggestion which was made from the Front Opposition Bench, that all taxation upon cinema seats under 6d. should be remitted. That, I imagine, would not mean anything like the sum that would be involved in the proposed new Clause. The reason I say that there is a very strong case for a remission of this duty is not merely because of its effect on a large portion of our population, but because I think that in the interests of the Exchequer itself this remission is worth making at the present time. I have had before me, for example, the figures of a typical cinema in a working-class area where the people who are catered for are the simplest and those who are least well off in life, and who live in an area where there exists great depression. It is a well-doing and well-managed house, but the figures for 1932–33 reveal the fact that while the loss in the year was £82 10s., the amount paid in taxation was £1,421 13s. 11d. Of course, it is a false analogy, but I present it to show the Committee what the incidence of such a tax means. In any business firm they would have to make a profit of £4,000 before they paid a tax of £1,421, yet this particular cinema made a loss of £62 on the year's working instead of a profit.
That I believe to be a position of things which cannot go on, and I am informed, I think on very reliable authority, that there is a large number of these cinema houses catering for people in working-class districts which will have to shut down. It cannot benefit the Exchequer if these places should be closed. I venture to suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that by keeping on this heavy taxation he may decrease the actual yield to the Ex- 2139 chequer and that is a result which he cannot look upon with equanimity. In the case of the Beer Duty, he found that the yield was reduced by the height of the tax, and I believe that something like the same action as was taken in the case of beer will have to be taken in the case of these little cinema houses which are situated for the most part in working-class districts. I accordingly present my argument on purely Exchequer grounds, and I venture to hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will find it possible to remit taxation on all seats that cost less than 6d.
I would be false to my own point of view if I did not say something more before I sat down. I have referred to cinema performances as the most common diversion of the people. Even when times are bad, people require some kind of diversion. In times when people are worse off, and when heavy depression is hanging over the whole of these industrial districts, it is still more worth while to give people this simple diversion at very low cost. It is quite possible that the effect of such entertainments is to save the State much money which might have to be spent in more perturbed circumstances. I accordingly would venture to renew my request that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should meet in some shape or form the design of the Clause presented to the Committee.
§ 7.1 p.m.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I would prefer to see this tax in the form in which it is in the proposed Schedule to which I have attached my name. I believe that would be the best means of meeting the needs of the cinema industry, and of those who attend cinemas. At the same time, it would give a greater possibility of an actual increase in the revenue the Chancellor of the Exchequer would get. I remember the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech on the Beer Duty. He gave as one of the reasons for the reduction of the Beer Duty that he was satisfied that, as a consequence of the higher duty, he was getting diminishing returns. I venture to put it to the right hon. Gentleman that he is probably now getting diminishing returns as a result of the tax we are discussing now. I do not want to quote figures, although I have had many given to me as a result of 2140 my inquiries from those who own cinemas, particularly in the poorer areas. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has, no doubt, the knowledge that a large number of these cinemas have been compelled to close down. I have an assurance that in fact there is a great number of cinemas at the present time in these poorer districts—as has been stated by the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken—which are in such a position that they will be compelled to close down because they are actually losing money. It is only through the hope that some remission will be given to them, as a consequence of this Debate, that they have kept going until they see what the Chancellor's decision is.
Like many of my hon. Friends in the House, I represent a very poor district. The people in that poor district are more heavily taxed for amusement than others are. There is no justice behind that. Consequently, I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider the remission of the tax, and to give to these people some little hope of cheaper amusement. PersoNaily, I feel certain that an actual increase in attendances would result, and the takings of the cinemas would give to the Chancellor possibly more than he has got now. As a result of the increase of attendances he would get more Income Tax, as there would be an increase of profit to the owners of the cinemas. There has already been a considerable number of people put out of work, as a number of cinemas have already been closed. To my personal knowledge there is a great number of people to-day who are in fear of being discharged any day in the week. I think it is almost a certainty that if some remission is not given to the cinemas many of them will be compelled to close down.
Taking all these considerations together, I think it would probably be proved, if figures were available, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would gain as a consequence of a reduction in the duty such as that which has been asked for in the proposed Clause, or in one of the many other Amendments on the Paper which deal with the reductions of the tax. I think it is probable that, if a free vote of the Committee were taken, there is scarcely, an, hon. Member, or an hon. Lady, who would not vote for a reduction in the taxation on these lower-priced 2141 seats. I am not asking the right hon. Gentleman for that free vote, but I am using it as an argument, and I hope he will be able to make some concession.
§ 7.7 p.m.
§ Mr. CURRY
The plea put forward is for the total remission of the tax upon the lower-priced seats of the cinemas. I am not concerned with the general range of these duties. I have had brought to my notice figures of the industry in my own constituency which show that they are in a parlous condition—losing attendances and turnover because of the incidence of the tax upon the lower-priced seats. But that is not the point of view I want to press upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer, serious although it is. I want to press the view, so ably expressed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne), on behalf of the persons who desire to attend these cinemas and to occupy these cheap seats. After all, if a person can only afford 6d. or less than 6d., which is very often the case in my division, or if they can only afford 3d. to see a picture, it is unfair that the State should take a toll upon that small amount which they require in order to get reasonable relaxation.
We must consider the times in which we live. Times are difficult. Depression is great, and employment is uncertain. The only relaxation these people can get from their worries and anxieties is an occasional attendance at the cinema. The least we can do in these days, when the incomes of all people have been reduced, is to accede to this request and remit the tax upon the lower priced seats. I would appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to look very carefully at the case, because the argument has great force. If he does so, he may ever be brought to see that this tax is now subject to the law of diminishing returns. We have, I think, a complete argument for the remission of this tax, or any tax: First, the contraction and the destruction of trade and business; secondly, hardship of incidence on he taxpayer; and, thirdly, diminishing returns to the Exchequer. If these three things are proved, as I think they are in this case, then the case for remission is unanswerable.
§ 7.10 p.m.
A large number of hon. Members apparently desire to 2142 speak, but something tells me that they all wish to say the same thing If we were to decide this question solely on the ground of whether this would be a popular move, I think the hon. Member opposite, who desires to have a free vote, would be quite right. A great many Members who have not my responsibilities wish it. I got up early in the discussion to say that I cannot see my way to accept this Clause, or any of the other Amendments.
I cannot go half roads. If I were to do anything at all, I should be inclined to do something more drastic than these particular Amendments. Let me for a moment put to hon. Members one or two considerations on the other side. First of all, I am told that the law of diminishing returns is coming into operation in the case of this tax, and that that is a reason why I should now reduce the tax in the hope that I might get a larger income from it, this year or next year. Surely hon. Members have forgotten that exactly the same thing has been said of Income Tax, Surtax and Death Duties. I do not say whether it may be true or not.
What I am saying is that I will not argue that it is not true that a reduction would bring in more money. That is a matter on which one may have verying opinions according to the particular tax which is under consideration. I do want, however, to point out that the difference between the Entertainments Duty and the Beer Duty, to which the hon. Member has referred, is one of magnitude. In the case of the Beer Duty I was considering what is a main source of income—a duty which brought in nearly £75,000,000. In the case of the Entertainments Duty the whole of the tax yielded under £10,000,000. There is not the same case for immediate urgency of alteration in the case of a tax which is only bringing in, as a whole, a comparatively small sum as there is in the case of the larger one of the Beer Duty.
Two grounds have been put forward as to why this tax should be reduced. 2143 The first ground is that it is very hard on poor people that they should be deprived of amusement which has become almost a necessity for them, by reason of increase in price. Secondly, it is argued that it is ruining the small cinema proprietor because he cannot increase his prices to the public, and has to bear the whole charge. Both these grounds cannot be valid. Either the price has been increased or it has not. If the price has been increased, the public is paying. If the cinema proprietors are bEarlng the charge, then it cannot be borne by the public. It may be that in a good many cases cinema proprietors have felt they could not pass on this charge, and have had to maintain the old prices and recoup themselves by some rearrangement of seats. But let us remember for what purpose this duty was imposed on the tickets for the cheaper seats. It was part of the emergency Budget of 1931, and we must all recognise that that Budget, which was concerned with a number of ways of reducing expenditure or increasing taxation, was a complete project, a whole, for dealing with a serious state in the national finances. If we are going to break into that Budget anywhere at once you raise the question whether you ought not to break into it in some other direction.
I agree, but there was a special reason for that which I have explained to the Committee, and could a reason comparable to that in weight be adduced in the case of any other of the projects which were included in the emergency Budget of 1931, I should certainly be prepared to justify a further breach of it; but I say that the case for an alteration in this particular instance is not comparable with the Beer Duty, and that being so I do not think it is possible for me either on the ground of hardship, or that the revenue is diminishing, or any other grounds which have been put forward—grounds which may be quite good in themselves—to accept this proposal to break into an arrangement which was based upon the understanding that every sec- 2144 tion of the community must make its contribution to the national emergency. That was the specific reason given by Lord Snowden for putting the tax on the cheaper seats, and that being so I regret—I regret it very much—that in present circumstances I cannot see my way to upset the whole project embodied in that Budget. I quite realise how pleased hon. Members would have been if I could have said that I would agree to this new Clause, and they could have taken home the good news that the cheaper seats were to be free from tax, but I am afraid that I must ask them to support me in this refusal.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Can the right hon. Gentleman give the Committee any idea of what it would cost the Treasury if he were to remit all tax upon seats not in excess of 6d.?
It has been explained on various occasions that it is impossible to give an accurate estimate, that one can make only a sort of guess, and the best guess I can make is that it would cost something over £2,000,000.
§ 7.19 p.m.
I am sure the Committee will agree that we are very much disappointed with the reply from the Chancellor. He has told us that this duty was put on the low-priced seats to deal with the emergency for which the emergency Budget of 1931 was brought in, and that if that Budget is to be dealt with it must be as a whole. He then admits that he himself has broken into it in one direction, but he fails to realise that the Budget of 1931, which he assumed spread the burden fairly over the backs of the community as a whole, did not really do so. The Budget of 1931 put a tremendous burden, more than their share, on the poorest people of the nation. Our appeal is for the people who occupy the lowest-priced seats in cinemas. All of us in the industrial districts, without having that special interest in cinemas which the directors of them have, have noted the falling off among those who occupy the lower-priced seats. With the other sacrifices they had to make under the Budget of 1931 they cannot now afford to attend cinemas.
Last winter thousands of people who used to attend cinemas when things were 2145 better—unemployed, men on short time and men with low wages—could not go to these entertainments, which to my mind do more good than harm. It is very disappointing that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with a balance of £19,500,000, should say that it is not possible when we appeal to him to use that balance in alleviating the lot of the poorest people. I am not satisfied that this concession could not be made, and I am perfectly certain that it is a concession which would be very much appreciated by poor people. To rob them of this modest form of entertainment is to take away from millions of poor people the only entertainment they have in the winter months. The Chancellor has made the reply which some of us expected, because the Budget—not only the 1931 Budget, but this present one—has been framed so as not to give any concessions to the poor people but to put further burdens on their backs. Therefore, it appears that the best thing we can do is to let the poorer people whom we represent understand that they are not likely to get any concessions at all until the National Government are turned out and a Government with more sympathy put in.
§ 7.23 p.m.
§ Major COLFOX
If I may say so, the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not sound entirely convincing to me. The statement has been made more than once that if this tax were reduced it would increase the revenue from the tax. The Chancellor said he was not going to address himself to that point, but it seems to me that that really is the one point which arises. I am not moved at all by those who say that this tax should be reduced because it falls heavily upon poor people. After all, this is not like the Income Tax or Death Duties, it is not a compulsory tax. No one need pay it who does not wish to do so, and therefore the argument that it must be reduced because it falls so heavily upon poor people leaves me quite cold. It does not fall heavily upon anyone who does not wish it to fall heavily upon him. But if I am told, and it is proved, that a reduction in this tax would increase the revenue, that is a consideration which would influence me very considerably. We want to get from this tax as much revenue as is possible, in order to help 2146 the national finances and the social services, and therefore if by reducing the tax—I say "if," because I have no figures to prove whether it would or would not—we could increase its yield, I think we certainly ought to do so, even though that would break into the structure of the 1931 Budget.
The Chancellor said that that Budget was framed in order to make sure that all sections of the community bore their share in providing revenue. No doubt that is so, but if, in fact, the high level of this tax has reduced its yield, I submit that this particular section of the community, the cinema-going section, is not really bEarlng its fair share of the tax and that it might be made to do so if the tax were reduced. Naturally a private Member has not got access to figures which can either prove or disprove the statements which have been made, and I for one am certainly not going to state, or to believe, without proof, that a reduction of this tax would, in fact, increase its yield. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and his advisers may be in possession of figures which will prove or disprove that point, and to my mind the whole argument should rest on that consideration and on no other. I believe the statement which has been made several times in the course of the Debate is a false one, I think it would be very unwise to reduce this tax, as I believe that by reducing it we should further reduce the yield from it.
§ 7.28 p.m.
§ Mr. TOM SMITH
I should not have intervened but for the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for West Dorset (Major Colfox). He said he did not make any suggestion with regard to this tax because, in his opinion, it did not fall hardly upon the poorest of the community. He said, further, there was no need for anybody to pay the tax who did not want to. That applies to more things than to cinemas. No one need pay any Beer Duty, no one need pay any Tobacco Duty, or pay motor car licences or dog licences. There are a hundred and one things which people need not have or do if they feel so disposed. The logic of his argument would be that if everybody ceased to buy or to do things there would be a considerable decrease in revenue. As a matter of fact, this Entertainment Duty does fall very heavily indeed on the 2147 poorest in the community. The Chancellor sought to justify the duty on the ground that in 1931 Mr. Snowden wanted to make the sacrifices equal. People suffered cuts in salaries, the allowances to the unemployed were cut by 10 per cent. and this additional Entertainment Duty was put on. Of course, if Members believe that a working man or working woman has no right to entertainment one can understand their being indifferent to this appeal. I hope the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne) will press this Clause to a Division. Members of Parliament have three loyalties to bear in mind. They have a loyalty to the constituency, a loyalty to the party, and a loyalty to their own consciences, and, if I may say so, a loyalty to the promises they made to the cinema people and to the electors as to what they would do if returned. We hear much about independent thought and independent action among Members and supporters of the Government and I hope they will to-night quit themselves like men and go into the Lobby and vote for this proposed new Clause. If they do so their action will be applauded, not merely by the cinema people but by many of those whom they represent in this House. When they get back to their constituencies they will at least be able to say that they have carried out one of the promises that they made when they were appealing to the electors for support.
§ 7.30 p.m.
§ Mr. PIKE
I would like to put one point before the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the hope that, prior to next year's Budget, he will have changed his mind on this question. He tried to show a parallel between the Entertainments Duty and the diminishing power of the people to pay it, and the position of the Income Tax, Surtax and other taxes, that are generally paid throughout the country. I respectfully suggest that the position is entirely different from that. One pays Income Tax and Surtax when one earns, but, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Home) pointed out, one pays Entertainment Duty without earning. That condition of affairs cannot continue. On the Second Reading of the Finance Bill I produced figures to show conclusively that the number of people attending the cinemas in the cheaper seats was slowly 2148 but surely diminishing, although the return of Entertainments Duty was increasing. There can only be one result, as was produced by the excessive beer duty, that has ultimately meant further taxation upon the people for at least one year, to the extent of £14,000,000, until the position irons itself out.
It is unfair to suggest reductions continuously to the Chancellor without submitting to him some means whereby he can find the money to compensate him for what he would lose temporarily by remitting the taxation. I therefore submit that vast money is earned as the result of showing in this country films produced in America, and that cinema proprietors pay rent for the films to a total of about £30,000,000 per year. This money is going out of the country. A tax of 8 per cent. or 10 per cent. upon that money would provide far more than the Chancellor can ever lose by the remission of taxation sought by the proposed new Clause. I hope that before the next Budget the Chancellor will give consideration to that point.
In my own division more than 30,000 men and women are unemployed. Prior to the introduction of the Entertainments Duty, proprietors of the cinemas entertained them at various times in the year at half price. The moment this duty was introduced, it became financially impossible for the proprietors of the cinemas to continue that humane and desirable concession to the unemployed. It was a concession very pleasing to those who were able to enjoy it, and the imposition of the duty has denied the right to a large number of people in my part of the country to enjoy the little pleasure that they occasioNaily got. I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will look into these points, and that he will do what he can next year to give us what we are asking for.
§ 7.34 p.m.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made the fullest reply that I have yet heard from him, either on the Finance Bill or any other. He rejected the appeal that has been made by hon. Members not only on these benches but on his own benches, and by no less a personage than an ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is bound to be acquainted with all the difficulties that might arise from a situation such as the 2149 present. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that it was impossible for him to give any remission now. The duty is one that is imposed on all seats, and we desire the duty to be entirely eliminated from the sixpenny seats downwards. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that Lord Snowden in 1931 had imposed this duty in an emergency Budget, and that that emergency Budget was part of a scheme of things with which the present Chancellor could not interfere without damaging all the arrangements that were then made. My contention is that that reply is the greatest lot of nonsense that has ever been put across that Table.
Circumstances have entirely changed, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has changed his Budget, Since 1931. Since then we have gone off the Gold Standard. That was supposed to be the end of all Budgets. We were to start a new era. The Budget for which the present Chancellor is responsible is not an emergency Budget. He has a surplus. Surely we are justified in coming to him, seeing that he has a surplus of about £19,000,000. He has had the hardihood to give £14,000,000 of that surplus to the brewers. [An HON. MEMBER: "Shame !"] Of course it is a shame. It is a shame and a disgrace. He is supported to-day by men who are comfortable, who do not know what it is to be up against it, and who do not know what a penny really means. We appeal to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to bear these things in mind and to convey them to the Chancellor.
We realise quite well that the Chancellor has given certain concessions to some sections of the community. He has given £14,000,000 to the brewers. He knew that nearly 400 Members of this House were pledged to the concession for which we are now appealing. That pledge was given to the cinema operators of this country. The reason why the individuals who own cinemas are not standing to their guns is that they are not as solid as the brewers, who are behind one another. Why is that? I would have every man and woman of good will listen to what I am now going to state: The cinema operators are not like the brewers, because there are certain cinemas that pay well and whose owners are not interested in the duty. The cinemas in the main streets of Glasgow, such, as in 2150 Sauchiehall Street, are all right, but the cinemas in the working-class districts and in the West of Scotland and elsewhere, where poverty is rampant, are not doing well.
In Britain, this duty hits heaviest the poorest cinema operators. Those who own the poorest cinemas are up against it. This House, as usual, rides off by putting the burden on to the poor. That is what the Chancellor of the Exchequer has done here. All that we are asking is that he should abolish the duty up to the sixpenny seats. It is becoming more and more recognised that the cinema is the cheapest form of entertainment available to the people. It has become an important element in the social life of the people. It is no longer a luxury, but, in the drab and dreary circumstances of life in the depressed areas, it is the only means of bringing a little colour into the lives of the people.
I have before me the names of some of the cinemas in my own district. Other hon. Members may have similar information. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir B. Home) has been approached. He has gone into the working-class sections of Hillhead, and has seen the terrible situation that is arising. Let me give three outstanding examples of these cinemas. First, the Lorne Cinema decreased its takings by £l,874, while there was an increase in Entertainments Duty of £926. In the Elder Cinema, there has been a decrease in takings of £1,183 and an increase in Entertainments Duty of £1,660. At the Lyceum—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh !"]— This is the last. I must give this information to the Committee. I can go on for an hour. You must remember that in working-class districts this is one of the vital items, and that we have discussed it under an hour. It is the case of the poor that is being stated, and because it is the case of the poor you find rich individuals like the hon. Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison) interrupting. The Lyceum decreased its takings by £2,724, and the increase of the duty was £336.
I do not want to talk unnecessarily, but I want to do what I possibly can to bring before the Committee what is really meant by depriving the poor folk of the opportunity of going into a cinema. It only costs them, in the cheapest places, 2151 3d. or 4d., and in some places it is 2½d. I would like the Committee to remember that, as a result of the impoverishment that is taking place, the poorer cinema operators have not been able to spend the necessary money to keep these cinemas in a proper condition. Many of them require cleaning and overhauling, but the proprietors cannot afford to spend the money. I emphasise this point because, particularly in the winter nights, these poor people are not only entertained in the cinemas, but they can go there and spend three hours in comfort, in heat, when they have no means of heating at home—no coal and no fire. They can go to the cinema and have a fine, comfortable seat for three or four hours for those few coppers, and another penny will make all the difference as to whether or not they get that little bit of entertainment in life.
An hon. Member opposite—I forget where he comes from—made the coldest statement that I have ever heard made in the House. He said that they did not need to go. Of course they do not need to go. He does not need to take his food, but he requires it. He will not want to die, but, die he will. It is good that there is such a thing as a grave. I want the Financial Secretary to use his influence and try to convey to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the sentiments that have been expressed in this House, and the feeling that there is in the House, because I am perfectly satisfied that, if I could take hon. Members, even those who are most against me in the House, into these cinemas in working-class districts, they would not hesitate for a moment, but would even defy their Whips and go into the Lobby just as we are going to do, because we are going to see that the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne) divides the House, or, if he does not, we will.
§ 7.48 p.m.
§ Mr. ORMISTON
I speak with considerable knowledge of the cinematograph trade, as I happen to be the honorary treasurer of the National Association of Cinematograph Exhibitors, and this afternoon I was exceedingly disappointed when the Chancellor of the Exchequer informed us that he could not see his way to remove the tax on the cheaper seats in cinemas. He told us that it would cost 2152 him approximately £2,000,000 to remit the tax on the seats up to 6d., but he ovErieoked the amount of Income Tax that he has lost through the imposition of the additional tax on the cheap seats. When Mr. Philip Snowden, in 1924, remitted the tax on seats up to 6d., it gave a tremendous impetus to the attendance at cinemas, and the figures grew at a very large rate; but Since, in the emergency Budget of 1931, Mr. Snowden reimposed the tax on seats up to 6d., there has been a considerable diminution in the attendance at cinemas. On behalf of the trade, we issued a referendum to oar members, and we have ascertained, by comparison of figures prior to and after the increase of tax, that the amount of admission money paid at the cinemas has decreased by no less than £4,000,000; and the Chancellor has lost Income Tax on that £4,000,000, because we have not been able to reduce our expenses to an extent corresponding with the reduction in our receipts. Therefore, the net loss to the Chancellor would be something under £1,000,000.
Hon. Members must not think that the cinema is the entertainment that they see in the West End of London. In many of the smaller towns and villages of this country the cinema is the only entertainment that the people have. It is the cheapest entertainment that has ever come before the public, and the least harmful; in fact, in many ways it is the most beneficial form of entertainment that the people have ever had. Therefore, I would appeal to the Financial Secretary to impress upon the Chancellor that, if he reduced the tax on seats up to 6d., he would be doing good, not only to the trade—the trade may or may not be deserving of his sympathy—but to the large Majority of the working people of this country. I again express the hope that he will be able to give this matter his further and sympathetic consideration.
§ 7.52 p.m.
§ Mr. LOGAN
Having made definite promises in regard to this great industry, I feel that I owe it to those who want this form of entertainment in the neighbourhood from which I come to endeavour, in the House of Commons, to get some improvement in the conditions, so that, out of the little money that they have, they may be able to get, if they 2153 want it, a little entertainment to relieve their drab existence and break the monotony of their lives. A tax of 1d. on a seat costing 3d., is a tax of 33⅓ per cent., and I would ask any reasonable Member of the House whether a tax of that kind is fair and reasonable? I am not obsessed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and am not going to make any apology for wanting to know why he is absent when this Bill is being discussed. It may be said that he has been here. So have I, and I am not the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have been waiting here to put these points to him.
I want to put some points in addition to those which have been already presented. It has been stated that this tax brings in a certain amount of revenue, but even a Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot put taxes upon the people if the people are not anxious that those taxes should be put on. There are other ways of getting revenue, and I do not think that oppression of the poor by taxation of this kind ought to be supported in a British House of Commons. Why are Members here? Have they not made promises, and are they not here to carry out their promises? It is no use the Chancellor of the Exchequer saying that "No" is his answer to most of the Members in the House. Even Chancellors of the Exchequer have to be taught that the voice of Members of the House of Commons has to be heard in regard to the constituencies from which they come. I have listened to concessions being made in various directions, and have not grumbled because, I felt that better times were coming; indeed, it is time; that is going to solve the riddle, not the National Government.
Let me put to the Committee an aspect of the matter that has not been dealt with. I may say that I have no interest whatever in cinemas, except that I know that the people in the district from which I come go to the cinemas in their drab hours. I am speaking now of the smaller cinema. I maintain that, if those people think they can afford to spend the money, they have a right to the entertainment, and they know best whether they can afford to spend the money or not. If they spend it, I maintain that the British House of Commons has no right to tax them excessively simply and 2154 solely in order to bring in a small revenue. There are many of these small cinemas which, if this tax continues, will not be able to carry on, and I know that many men who are working in them are likely to lose their jobs. It will be small consolation to me to know that they will have to go before public assistance committees because these small cinemas cannot be carried on.
Again, will it be said that the proprietors of the great cinemas in our large cities are anxious to protect these smaller ones? No; they do not want the poor, and they do not cater for them as regards entertainment. Certainly, these poor people are not catered for in the big places which have been built at a cost of, perhaps, £80,000, or £120,000, or, in some cases, nearly £200,000, and, if it is not to be possible to provide this form of entertainment at small cost for the masses of the industrial workers of the country, it will simply mean giving a monopoly to the great multiple cinema owners. I have had occasion to know how these people work in the case of some of the big cinemas. In one case, when the licensing bench, on which I sat, insisted that the organ was not to be brought in, and that the violins and so on in the orchestra were not to be dispensed with, they came to an agreement to keep an orchestra of 24 musicians. Immediately, however, they established their huge cinema, and got a monopoly in the centre of the city, they discharged 14 members of the orchestra, who have been walking about the streets Since, some of them playing outside public houses.
That is a kind of thing that I do not want to see continued. I do not want to see a great monopoly given; I want to see the people able to get a reasonable form of entertainment, and I say that this step of the Chancellor's is in the direction of giving a monopoly to these large syndicates, most of them not British, so that the money of bur people is being spent in a wrong direction in these cases. I know the poverty of the people in many of these areas, and the poverty of the cinema proprietors who are trying to keep a roof over their heads, while providing this cheap form of entertainment; and I trust that Members of the House, no matter what the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Sir 2155 J. Wardlaw-Milne) meant when he brought forward this proposal, will not agree to it being withdrawn. [Interruption.] I believe that your proper place to-night is in that Lobby. If you have regard to your pledges to the people you represent, Chancellor or no Chancellor, you will vote for the Clause. It is time there was some independence of opinion in the House. Supporters of the National Government should have a conscience sometimes and not be part of a machine. They know that frequently when they go into the Lobby they give a vote that they do not wish to give.
Am I not right in thinking it is one of the Standing Orders of the Labour party that a Member should not vote against the party?
§ Mr. LOGAN
I have sometimes voted as I was inclined to vote, and I trust that on an occasion such as this you will show that you have a conscience just as I have. There is not a Member present who, if he were allowed a free vote, would not vote for a reduction of this duty. It is ridiculous that 4d. or 3d. should carry a tax of 1d. Those who can afford to pay 2s. or 7s. 6d. for a seat can well afford a little additional tax. It is quite possible for the Chancellor, with the staff at his disposal, to make an adjustment which would be fair and equitable. This is most unfair and I ask the Committee not to agree. Let us put it to the test of a Division and not withdraw the Amendment.
§ 8.3 p.m.
§ Sir WILFRID SUGDEN
I wish to adduce three arguments in support of this Clause which have not so far been mentioned. The first is the question of health. We once had a respected colleague here named Sir Watson Cheyne, who was a very great authority on medical matters, especially on eyesight, and he told us more than once that the exhibition of cinematograph films, unless perfected in respect of their use and material, would have results on the eyesight not of this generation, maybe, but of the two following generations. Even if the Chancellor feels that this £8,000,000 or £10,000,000 is vital, he ought to sacrifice some of it for the sake of the children who will follow us. Cinema 2156 proprietors, because of the stringent times and smaller attendance of patrons, have to use films which have been in continuous use, because they get them cheaper, and scratched or varnished films have a detrimental effect on the eyesight. Then there is the question of educational films. Some of us have been called puritanical, especially in the matter of Sunday opening of cinemas, but I do not apologise for my views. Those who wish to present useful educational films will be handicapped by this high taxation on the lower-priced seats. I wish the representative of the Board of Education were here to hear what we have to say. To my mind, there is an opportunity in the matter of general and technical education which has never yet been taken advantage of. In these times, when children are growing into manhood and womanhood without being able to obtain work, if they could get technical instruction in cinemas, at the very lowest price entrance, which would give them knowledge of new trades and make them more efficient, the money would be well spent. Then there is the moral argument. Some of us who are Sabbatarians hold the view that such films as the "Mystery of the Blood Stained Putty Knife" are not helpful to morals. But the argument of the cinema owner is that he sometimes cannot make his cinema pay with the heavy Entertainments Duty and he must open on Sunday. If we are going to cut right across the moral views of a certain class of the community, that again must rest on the shoulders of the Chancellor himself.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the connection between Sabbath observance and the Entertainments Duty is rather filmy.
§ Sir W. SUGDEN
I am content for my colleagues to form their own conclusion. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to note the arguments that I have adduced which warrant us in voting against the Government if they are not prepared to alter the rates of duty.
§ 8.11 p.m.
§ Mr. LECKIE
I should like to join in the appeal that has been made to the Chancellor. I know something about the conditions in Walsall. I have been waited upon by the managers of various cinemas there and I have had irrefutable evidence of the great damage that has 2157 been done to the takings in the cinemas owing to the increased tax. I feel that nothing would be more popular than some concession in this matter, and I do not believe it would mean a reduction in the revenue. I believe a reduction would inevitably increase the yield of the tax. It is the tax, and not the depression, that is responsible for the great reduction in attendance in working-class constituencies. It is sometimes said that the unemployed spend their money in the cinema. If they feel that they can afford 2d. or 4d. for an afternoon or evening's entertainment, they are doing very well for themselves. They get warmth and brightness, and they are taken out of themselves. I do not think that argument holds water. I hope that the Chancellor, if he cannot accept the Amendment, will do something to meet the demands that undoubtedly exist in all working-class constituencies.
§ 8.13 p.m.
§ Mr. J. JONES
We have a number of cinemas in my constituency in the dock area where men are never certain of a day's work. They have to muster every morning and every afternoon on the off-chance of getting a few hours employment. When the call is over, thousands of them have to trudge back to houses where there is not enough to provide the ordinary necessities of life. They are glad to get the cheapest kind of entertainment they can to kill the hours before they have to muster again for the call on. I do not appeal to anyone's sentiments, because I believe, "Blessed he is who expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed." Some of us on these benches believe that taxation should be completely revolutionised and that men and women should not be taxed on the things that they use, but on what they have. This system of taxation is the reverse. The lightest tax is put upon the people who are best able to pay and the heaviest tax upon those least able to pay. The percentage between the two forms of taxation works out to the disadvantage of the poorest section of the community. It does not merely touch the man who pays for admission to the cinema, but helps to diminish employment. In my constituency, men who used to work as cleaners and who were employed in looking after the establishments have been discharged, and women have been taken 2158 on in their places because their labour is cheaper. We are indirectly adding to unemployment by this kind of taxation. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is only interested in the amount of money which he can get from the taxpayer in order to meet the charges upon the State. At the same time, I would remind him that it is no good taxing the people if the consequence of the taxation is to increase the poverty of the people he is taxing.
I am not vindictive in these matters. We discussed the question of relief for landlords only a few hours ago, and all the poor landlords in the House were shedding crocodile tears over their miseries. We who live in London know how hard they have been hit. We have seen the empty houses in the West End, and we have also seen the luxury flats in the West End which have been built to supersede the houses where they used to keep a lot of servants. I know that I am possibly infringing the rules of debate and I am looking forward to the possibility of being pulled up, but we believe that in the Entertainments Duty the Government are doing their best to make things more difficult for those least able to stand the strain. Take a wet day at the docks when men looking for employ-men are turned away after the one o'clock call. The cinemas have just opened. Those men have to pay a 1d. tax upon a 2d. seat. Two pence is as much as they can afford to pay. They find that the 3d. seat has become a 4d. one. Though 4d. is not much to some people, some of the men who have to walk to the docks have only 4d. in their pockets to last them the day until they get home at night. To those men 4d. is a lot of money. It may be very nice to talk about the figures in the books, but I want the Committee to realise the figures in the street—the people who have to find the money. If they cannot afford to have reasonable entertainment, what are they to do? If they cannot pay the price of admission into these entertainment places, what are they to do? They will become disgruntled, disappointed and quarrelsome. What you gain on the swings financially you lose on the roundabouts socially. We support the Clause, which does not ask for as much as we should like, though I expect that it is more than we shall get, as usual. We shall vote for the Clause, because it is a step in the right direction, 2159 and we believe that it would help the people most deserving of help in existing circumstances.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 57; Noes, 192.2161
|Division No. 221.]||AYES.||[8.19 p.m.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Grundy, Thomas W.||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Banfield, John William||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Ormiton, Thomas|
|Batey, Joseph||Hepworth, Joseph||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hirst, George Henry||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Cape, Thomas||Holdsworth, Herbert||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Janner, Barnett||Potter, John|
|Cove, William G.||John, William||Price, Gabriel|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Curry, A. C.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Daggar, George||Kirkwood, David||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Denville, Alfred||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Sugden, Sir vilfrid Hart|
|Dickie, John P.||Lawson, John James||Thorne, William James|
|Dobble, William||Leckie, J. A.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, Charles||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Wallace, John (DunferMilne)|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Logan, David Gilbert||White, Henry Graham|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Macdonald. Gordon (Ince)||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McGovern, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Mainwaring, William Henry||Mr. Groves and Mr, D. Graham.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Mabane, William|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds,W.)||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J.Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Erskine-Boist, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K,||Essenhigh, -Reginald Clare||MeKle, John Hamilton|
|Aske. Sir Robert William||Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||McLean, Major Sir Alan|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Everard, W. Lindsay||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Fox, Sir Gilford||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gledhill, Gilbert||Meller, Richard James|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Goff, Sir Park||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Gower, Sir Robert||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale|
|Boyce, H. Lesile||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Graves, Marjorie||Natlon, Brigadler-General J. J. H.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)|
|Brown.Col. D. C. (N'th'ld., Hexham)||Grimston, R. V.||North, Edward T.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks.,Newb'y)||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||O'Connor, Terence James|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Lesile||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Hanbury, Cecil||Penny, Sir George|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hanley, Dennis A.||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n.Bliston)|
|Cayzer, Ma|. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Hartland, George A.||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Harvey, George (Lambeth,Kenn'gt'n)||Ramsbotham, Herwald|
|Chapman, Col.R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Rankin, Robert|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Ratcliffe, Arthur|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ray, Sir William|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hore-Belisha, Lesile||Remer, John R.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hornby, Frank||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Howard, Tom Forrest||Robinson, John Roland|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N.)||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Crookshank. Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Russell, Alexander West (Tynamouth)|
|Cross, R. H.||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)||Salt, Edward W.|
|Davies, Maj.Geo. F. (Somerset.Yeovil)||Jamisson, Douglas||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Donner, P. W.||Ker, J. Campbell||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Doran, Edward||Kimball, Lawrence||Scone, Lord|
|Drewe, Cedric||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Duckworth, George A. V,||Law, Sir Alfred||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Levy, Thomas||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Liddall. Walter s.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Smith, R. W.(Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Strickland, Captain W. F.||Weymouth, Viscount|
|SmithCarington, Neville W.||Tate, Mavis Constance||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Smithers, Waldron||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Somervell, Donald Bradley||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)||Wills, Wilfrid O.|
|Somerville, Annelley A. (Windsor)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Soper, Richard||Tryon, Rt, Hon. George Clement||Windsor-Clive, Lieut-Colonel George|
|Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Spent, William Patrick||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Stanley, Hon. 0. F. G. (Westmorland)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.-|
|Strauss, Edward A.||Wells, Sydney Richard||Mr. Blindell and Mr. Womersley.|