HC Deb 31 July 1940 vol 363 cc1291-306

Fifteenth Resolution read a Second time.

5.18 p.m.

Sir K. Wood

I beg to move, in line 6, to leave out: (subject as mentioned in paragraph (c) of this Resolution.)". With permission, I will explain this Amendment together with the other Amendments to this Resolution, which stand in my name. I put down this Amendment in order to meet the important points which were made by my right hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) when the Budget was discussed. He made two requests. One was that sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (c) of the Resolution should be deleted. I propose to meet him on that. It is a very vital alteration in the procedure. As the House knows, there are two rates of tax proposed. It was originally proposed that if any variation in the tax on any class of articles were made by this or any other Government it would be made by the Treasury bringing forward an Order, which would, of course, be the subject of an affirmative Resolution of this House. My right hon. Friend objected to that course, and said, with great force, as I thought, that a proposal of that kind should not be initiated by the Treasury by Order and should not be subject merely to an affirmative Resolution of the House, but should be brought forward by special legislation or under the Finance Bill, as we are now doing in connection with this tax. I meet him quite cheerfully on that, appreciating the point that he has made, and I hope that in doing so I shall remove the fears of those who feel that some new rate of tax might be sprung upon them under this procedure. My right hon. Friend also said, as regards sub-paragraph (iii) of paragraph (c), that he would wish me to give an explanation of what changes would be contemplated by the use of this power. The Resolution gives power to remove any class of goods from one schedule to another, where that means subjecting it to a higher rate of tax, or for rendering the tax chargeable in the case of any goods at the basic rate in lieu of at the reduced rate or vice versa. He said he did not think anyone would wish to pin the Treasury down to one schedule for all time, and that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer wanted to make only some technical change, while retaining the whole principle of differentiation, he would not object. I give an assurance at once that no radical change is contemplated under this provision. What we desire within that limitation is to have power to present an Order making changes which would relate only to goods in the same class, so that Parliament would not be confronted with an omnibus Order, of which they might approve in some respects and disapprove in others. In other words, changes of the nature proposed would be taken in a series of Orders, each of which would be subject to Parliamentary approval. These changes would not be put into force without an affirmative Resolution.

This, I suggest, is a convenient method of bringing about such minor changes as may be necessary, and while it retains for the Treasury full administrative convenience, Parliamentary authority is to be obtained before any substantive action is taken. We have taken care that nothing shall be put into operation as a result of such an Order until Parliament has given a definite affirmation by Resolution to the proposals. Moreover, this requirement will apply not only to any change which would involve the incorporation of any article or group of articles in the higher schedule, but to any change which would mean bringing articles into a lower schedule or providing for their complete exemption. It may be said that that is unnecessary when you are moving articles down. I do not take that view myself. In all those cases it is right that Parliament should approve the action proposed by the Treasury. I hope that my right hon. Friend will feel that I have met him fully.

5.26 p.m.

Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

Following the line of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I shall, with the approval of the Chair, cover the whole range of Amendments, which, of course, are part of one scheme, concerning which the Chancellor has told us his plan. I should like to say, straight away, that I am most grateful to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has not at all quarrelled over my proposal but has, quite frankly, and, as I believe, quite sincerely, met us in what we propose. I accept his assurance with regard to the second of my proposals, and I wholeheartedly welcome his acceptance of the first. I believe that in these times, above all others, it is of supreme importance that the Executive should carry the House of Commons with them in any action they are taking. I do not believe that the Executive will lose anything in that process. If the House of Commons begins to feel at any time that the Executive are trying to score a point off them there will be friction, disagreement and trouble, and in the long run it will not inure to the swift conduct of business by the Executive.

These times are very different from ordinary times. The whole House and the whole country are determined to win the war. I am reminded that he who wills the end wills the means, and, in spite of the fact that we may not see eye to eye as to the precise way of doing this, we are all anxious to pull together to achieve the ultimate purpose. Therefore, I believe that the Chancellor, in meeting the proposals which I put forward, with the approval of my hon. Friends, is really not only working in the best interests of the country, but helping to solve his own troubles. He is making the House of Commons responsible for this tax, for its inception and for its alteration. I do not believe that any Government can hoodwink or wheedle the House of Commons into parting with its own power. Any Chancellor of the Exchequer who did succeed in rushing the House of Commons on such a point would lose by the reaction. I congratulate, as well as thank, the right hon. Gentleman for what he has done, and I certainly accept his assurance that paragraph (c) (iii), in its amended form, will not be used improperly. I take it that his assurance is binding upon him and his successors with regard to this matter.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Denman (Leeds, Central)

The two right hon. Gentlemen are to be congratulated upon the high measure of harmony that they have achieved in the amendment of this Resolution, and I suggest that the whole House will join in the satisfaction that the powers of the House are undoubtedly more efficiently retained by this series of Amendments. At the same time there is some loss. There is the loss of speed of the imposition, and that may be serious in permitting a certain amount of forestalling. It is all very well for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to assert that he can discourage forestalling, but, in point of fact, if at some future time it is known that there is to be an increase of, say, 10 per cent. in the volume of this tax, you cannot prevent the public from increasing their purchases from retailers, and you cannot then prevent retailers from going to wholesalers and asking for rather larger quantities than normally.

Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

Does the hon. Gentleman really quite understand how this will work? The effect of the Amendment which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has accepted, and to which he has put his name, will put an increase of the Purchase Tax on precisely the same footing as an increase of the Tobacco Duty.

Mr. Denman


Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

It is precisely the same position. The hon. Gentleman says, "No." The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in some future Budget, can propose an increase in the Purchase Tax. I hope that he will not, but he could do so. If he did that, then the House of Commons, by Resolution, could put it on immediately subject to the proposal being carried through the Finance Bill.

Mr. Denman

The right hon. Gentleman has anticipated my argument and compels me to differ from him completely on a pure point of fact. I was going to assert that he could not deal with the Purchase Tax as he could with the Tobacco Duty, and similar taxes, by making it operative under the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, because that Act is specifically confined to certain definite taxes—those of Customs and Excise and Income Tax. The Purchase Tax does not come into it, and I was going to suggest to my right hon. Friend, as a way out of that difficulty, that he should introduce a Clause that would apply the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act to the Purchase Tax, or rather would include the Purchase Tax among the taxes which can be dealt with under that Act. That, I think, would be the proper method of securing a prompt levying of a revised tax and of avoiding the delays otherwise entailed in the lengthy procedure of a Finance Bill, which would enable a regrettable amount of forestalling to take place. I have made this suggestion to my right hon. Friend as a simple way of getting over the difficulty.

Sir K. Wood

I will certainly consider that point.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In line 13, leave out sub-paragraph (ii).—[Sir K. Wood.]

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Dennis Herbert)

Does the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) wish to move the next Amendment on the Order Paper in his name—in line 15, to leave out subparagraph (iii)?

Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

In view of the promise of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I do not propose to move it.

Further Amendments made:

In line 20, leave out "for increasing the rate of the tax."

In line 21, after "chargeable," insert: or directing that the tax shall cease to be chargeable in respect of goods of any class.

In line 22, after the second word "rate," insert "or vice versa."—[Sir K. Wood.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, as amended."

5.36 p.m.

Mr. Isaacs (Southwark, North)

I want to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give early consideration to the proposal for taxing printed matter? And there are one or two points that I would like to put to him. I am not concerned so much with books as with the question of newspapers, periodicals and commercial printing. I do not intend to make an emotional or educational appeal, but to submit to him an economic and practical view. The printing industry is going through an unprecedented state of unemployment. The number of people unemployed in the industry is very considerable. Very famous firms have had to close down, and many others are on the point of closing down. We are not only suffering from the general depression of trade, but there is also the paper shortage, and the paper supply question which is injuring us vitally. We have not yet felt the full effect of that, as many firms still have supplies of paper. In spite of the calling-up of our people for war service, and the numbers who are going on to munitions, the figures of unemployment in the trade union are mounting rapidly.

I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider that newspapers are essential in spite of the B.B.C. announcement of news. In fact, we are a little anxious that if people go without their newspapers now and listen to news on the B.B.C., they might lose the newspaper habit, which would become very serious for those people who have invested themselves and their industry in this trade. Magazines and periodicals were a blessing last winter in the blackout and they will be so again. We have heard something about taxing the living theatre—I do not know the difference between the living and the dead theatre—and if people have to stop at home they will want reading matter. I ask therefore that consideration be given to the position of magazines and periodicals. General and commercial printing is suffering also because the industry has to pay a tax on the paper it purchases and on the ink which it puts upon the paper. It also pays a tax on type, which perhaps is not so very important because type can be used over and over again. There is also the question of the effect of the Purchase Tax generally upon advertising. Magazines and newspapers can be produced at present prices only because of the income derived from advertising, and if there is to be an attempt—which no one is grumbling about—to reduce the purchases of the people there will not be any encouragement to advertisers.

Then comes the practical side. Newspapers are a penny each. How is the tax to be levied on that penny? The wholesale price is about ¾d., which means that about one-eighth of a penny will be the tax, and probably the newspaper will be sold at 1½d. The newspapers with large resources may say that they will not pass the tax on to the consumer and will pay it themselves, but other papers—

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The hon. Member is now getting outside the terms of this Resolution. This is rather a matter of machinery, and the hon. Member will have his chance of talking on the Finance Bill. I might call his attention to the fact that he is only assuming that it is intended to tax newspapers, but the Resolution does not say so.

Mr. Isaacs

I am not fully acquainted with the rules and procedure of the House, and I will not pursue this matter further except to say that a tax on this commodity will hit a certain section of the community very hard. By Government order, no returns of newspapers are permitted. Therefore a newsagent or street seller has to buy as many newspapers as he can sell, and I am afraid that many of these people are their own best customers in that they have to buy newspapers which they cannot send back. In that case they will have not only to pay the tax but to buy the papers as well. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer earnestly to consider the question of this tax because of the hardship it will impose upon these people.

Mr. Denville (Newcastle-on-Tyne, Central)

I do not know whether I shall he in order at this stage in referring to the Entertainments Duty? If I am not, I have nothing further to say.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Most certainly not.

Mr. Denville

Then I will leave it to a future day.

5.41 p.m.

Mr. Lewis

I should like to take the opportunity of congratulating the Chancellor of the Exchequer in first dealing with this tax in face of considerable discouragement in certain quarters. I regard the tax as of the greatest importance because it gives the Chancellor of the Exchequer a weapon against the in- creasing danger of inflation. I do not think that it is commonly realised how great that danger is, and that partly because of the Government's own policy. For example, we were told yesterday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that a sum of £53,000,000 a year has been spent in artificially keeping down the price of those articles of food that come within the cost-of-living index. I am not for a moment objecting to that process, but merely pointing out that it has the effect to a great extent of concealing from the public the inflationary tendency which is actually taking place to-day. I believe that in this tax the Chancellor of the Exchequer has a very useful weapon in reply to this tendency. The effect of the tax must be twofold. First, it will, I believe and hope, result in diverting a good deal of fresh purchasing power into the form of loans to the Government instead of that power being exercised in the markets to buy goods. In so far as it fails to do that it will, in respect of the purchases, bring in, by taxation, a very useful sum for the Exchequer. It seems to me that on these grounds, and in regard to the situation in which we find ourselves to-day, greatly increased purchasing power is being manufactured by the Government, and this tax is one which might whole-heartedly be commended.

5.44 p.m.

Mr. Naylor

I have just heard your decision, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, with regard to the purpose of this Resolution and the extent to which Members may be allowed to speak upon it. You mentioned that there would be a further opportunity to speak on the question of the tax on newspapers and books when the question of machinery came under consideration. I am subject to your Ruling, but I would like to make this statement because it seems to me to be within the terms of your prescription. I want to mention a remark used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this question when introducing the Budget. I am aware that he has these matters under consideration, and I do not want to anticipate any future discussion that may take place in this House on this question. Having made that statement, I would like to take the opportunity, if I am within your Ruling, Sir, to appeal from Caesar unto Caesar. He mentioned, in introducing the Budget, in respect of this particular part of it, that he was prepared to make exceptions, and one of the exceptions that he mentioned was agricultural machinery, the reason for the exception being that such machinery was used in the production of food, and therefore it was undesirable to impose a tax that would be likely to increase the price of food.

May I suggest to him that when he comes to consider the further stages of the Bill he will also remember that whereas the production of food for the body is most important, especially to the working population, food for the mind is no less important and ought to have equal consideration? The Chancellor also mentioned medicine, and the argument he used for excepting it was that it was a recurring charge. One cannot buy a bottle of medicine and expect to be cured the next day. The Chancellor assumed that an invalid would be constantly spending money on remedies of one kind or another and, therefore, that it would be unfair to expect an invalid in these circumstances to continue paying this tax because he would be continually buying medicine. May I draw a moral from that argument in respect to newspapers? Newspapers are now a necessity—I hope the Chancellor will not disagree with that statement—and a recurring necessity. When a newspaper is bought it does not serve its purpose for the one and only time. Men and women buy newspapers every day, sometimes two newspapers. In view of what the Chancellor has said about the recurring charges in respect of medicine, he ought to count recurring charges in respect of newspapers. I feel that I have sailed very close to the wind in saying this, but at the same time I think I have given the Chancellor an opportunity of making good where it is necessary.

5.47 p.m.

Mr. Woods (Finsbury)

I would like to make an appeal to the Chancellor on the ground that commodities used week after week should be taken into special consideration. I do not know what will happen to soap; I am naturally interested in cleanliness as coming next to Godliness, and there is a number of cleaning materials of that kind and other commodities which are vital to a well-kept home, whether it is a palace or a working-class tenement. An hon. Gentleman opposite referred to inflation, and I am not very happy, nor, I think, can the Chancellor be happy, with regard to this question. It will definitely cause a substantial increase in the cost of living, which will mean that a considerable percentage of the population, because their wage rates are adjusted by the cost of living, will demand a further increase in wages. As the Government are by far the largest employers of labour, directly or indirectly, it seems to me that unless there is discrimination with regard to the materials vital to a decent home, they will be in the position of having to increase their own wages bill, because they have raised so much taxation as the result of this tax. That is inflation, or the vicious spiral. The Chancellor has already, in a modification of the past Bill, recognised children's clothing. There is a considerable drain on the Exchequer for the pegging down of prices of essential foods, but man does not live by bread alone. There are other items which are vital to working-class and other homes and which increase the cost of living.

I would like the Chancellor to consider the position of the old age pensioner who, having been given an increase, responds to it by being patriotic and gives away his aluminium frying pan, only to find he will have to pay double the price for another. The old age pensioner and anybody with a very limited fixed income would have the legitimate grievance that they have been deceived. They would feel that they had been given something with one hand and that something else had been taken away from them with another. We all appreciate that there is a genuine desire, throughout the length and breadth of the land, that the war should be paid for. so far as possible, out of current revenue. I believe the majority of people are prepared to do their bit, but while that is so, I also think that there is an overwhelming desire that those who are in a position to pay should pay. We feel that there is a big margin on luxuries. Food, at the present time, is being pegged down, and if there is to be any loss to the Exchequer through recognition of the votal necessity of pegging down the cost of living, then those in a position to pay 5s. 6d.., 7s. 6d. or 10s. 6d. for a meal should pay. That is definitely a wasteful luxury. I appeal to the Chancellor to consider the mass of the people who are in no position to increase their standard of living. Many are living at rock bottom, and many are earning wages of £3 per week in the Civil Defence services. There should be full recognition of these people, many of whom could get a far higher rate if they transferred to other services. It would be an injustice to them to increase the cost of living, because it would mean they would have to reduce their standard of life.

5.49 p.m.

Mr. David Adams (Consett)

I should like to add my protest against the commodities tax. The Budget has undoubtedly presented several novel features, but this is a novel feature of the worst possible character. I am satisfied that a luxury tax is, of course, desirable from every point of view, but a commodity tax is a novel method of indirect taxation which will largely fall on the poorer section of the community. When one observes what it covers it is worth mentioning to the House. It covers clothing, boots and shoes other than children's. Kettles, cups and saucers, earthenware, domestic brooms and brushes, certain medicines and drugs, newspapers, periodicals and books. These items represent over 12 per cent. of the cost-of-living index. Surely when there were other directions in which the Chancellor could have turned, this direction should not have been approached. I have always held that we should be in a better position to fight our enemies if, at the beginning of the war, we had deliberately raised the standard of life of the lower paid section of the community. It is the height of folly for a great nation at any time to be maintaining its population by adopting methods of charity. Here, in the face of this, we have the Chancellor of the Exchequer adopting a tax which will add to the burdens of the already indirectly heavily-taxed section of the community.

The burden of the new tax will also fall on municipalities. They are large spenders, and to find a tax of 12 per cent. suddenly imposed upon retail, not wholesale, prices will mean an added burden. The Chancellor has advised us that this year the tax will bring in £40,000,000 and in a full year £110,000,000. What proportion of the tax is borne by luxuries and what proportion by necessities? It would be interesting if the Chancellor could give us that information. One can easily see that the luxury trades will diminish in the process of time, probably very substantially, but the commodity tax cannot diminish, because it is based on the imperious necessities of the workers of the country. The Chancellor, I know, is large-hearted, and the Government have pinned down the cost of foodstuffs in order not to add to the disabilities of the industrial workers. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman can take this into still further consideration. It is quite obvious that this principle has been introduced specifically for taxation at the source and that it gives an opportunity to the Chancellor to turn his attention in the direction from which all taxation ought to come, namely, Income Tax. Money could have been raised by a graduated tax upon incomes. In certain American States there is a Stamp Duty, and such a tax would have been better than this general tax on commodities. The Stamp Duty is applied only in certain directions, but if properly applied and graduated, it would bring in a substantial sum from year to year—well in excess of £110,000,000 in a full year, and not add to the burdens of the lower-paid citizens.

The tax on newspapers is obviously a reactionary tax. One may ridicule talk about a tax on knowledge, but to-day the average newspaper does convey a great deal of knowledge. How well the Chancellor will work this tax and how newspapers will be able to meet the additional burden will be difficult to tell. To a newspaper costing a penny it will add one-ninth of a penny, and to one costing three-halfpence it will add three-sixteenths of a penny. The retail trade will have to bear the burden unless there is added an additional halfpenny or more in every case, which excess the Chancellor states will be illegal. Under the "no returns" scheme which has been introduced since the war, the retailer will have to shoulder the burden of the tax upon unsold newspapers due to the late running of trains, air raids and a diversity of other reasons. No doubt this tax and the tax upon books will have a tendency to curtail a vital service which is helping to main- tain the morale of our people, and we ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to look into the commodity side of this Purchase Tax to see whether it is not possible to mitigate it, and to increase taxes in other directions in order that the yield may not be diminished. There will be an opportunity on the Finance Bill to consider the Stamp Duty Tax just referred to and in other fields find the requisite supplies without injustice to any special class.

6.2 p.m.

Mr. W. H. Green (Deptford)

I feel certain that in opposing this tax and in supporting the Amendment—

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The hon. Member may be under some misapprehension; we are not discussing any Amendment. The Question is, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in this (the 15th) Resolution."

Mr. Green

I am sorry. I feel that I am voicing the views of very many millions of co-operators in opposing this tax and the Resolution embodying it. I believe it is the one part of the Budget to which millions of working people take serious exception. The bulk of the people are prepared to pay to the point of sacrifice in order that the war may be successfully prosecuted, but millions of people will feel that this tax is just the wrong way of doing it. Many of us object altogether to an increase in indirect taxation in any form. We think it a most objectionable form of taxation. Some of us would much prefer to see a graduated Income Tax under which the smallest wage earner and the very richest would pay proportionately. Everyone would know exactly what he would pay and would know the contribution that he was making towards the war effort. This sales tax was advocated originally as something which many of our Colonies and other countries had accepted, but those who speak for the workers in those countries are not so enamoured of it as we were led to suppose. I rather prefer to think that the words of Professor Dewey are nearer the truth when he said, The Sales Tax is Governmental blackmail on hunger and small earned incomes. That is the point of view which many of us take. We believe it to be a tax which increases as income decreases, at least in its effect upon the people who pay it.

We have had a great appeal made recently for the sacrifice of aluminium pots and pans. I wonder whether we have not, viewing it in the light of this tax, been exploiting the people's generosity, because obviously it means that people who have sacrificed them will have to replace them, and the Chancellor says, "As you were generous enough to surrender what you had, and you have to replace it, I will put on a sales tax." That is really exploiting in a very unworthy way the generosity of an enormous number of our people. The tax will hit the poorer sections of the community as well as the others on every article which is usable, in the household, and the contribution of the poorest households will be incalculable. I am wondering what is to happen to those who are thinking of getting married. I have read to-day that there is a rush to the altar in order to escape this tax. It will fall very heavily on those who have to purchase homes. Anyone buying a piano, for instance, will be making a heavy contribution to the national effort. The same thing applies to bedroom and living-room suites. Further, a great many people have evacuated, and it has been found necessary, and will become increasingly necessary, for those founding new homes to purchase a number of things which otherwise they would not have to buy. The very fact of evacuation has been a serious strain on them and you are going to penalise them further. Every article that they will need has to bear this tax. I am not sure that that has been taken into account.

We are all expecting a mighty bombardment, and incendiary bombs will play a pretty big part. Many homes will lose a good deal of their furniture by fire. That is not a fancy picture. It might reasonably happen to-night, and thousands of homes might be denuded of the main articles of their furniture. They will have to be replaced, and I am not sure that the victims will be too generous in their blessings of the Chancellor for imposing the tax. Some of us object to the method of collection. I should much prefer to see every customer who went into a shop pay, on a stamp which the man or woman behind the counter would furnish, the actual amount of the tax. That would be much more satisfactory than making the wholesaler pay. I should like to ask what is to happen to the man, not in a big way, who has to purchase his stock wholesale and may have it on his hands for months or even a year or more? He has paid the tax on it, has not sold the goods and has lost his interest for 12 months. That is very unfair. I have great sympathy, too, with the poorer housewife who has to buy cotton, needles, buttons and odds and ends. They appear trivial to us, but they are far from trivial to the housewife, who has a job, even on her husband's war money, to make ends meet, and the wife whose husband is fighting will have increasing difficulty in finding the money to purchase these odds and ends which will have the tax placed upon them. The working-class mother often makes clothes for herself and her children; she finds it more economical than purchasing ready-made goods. if she buys the cloth to make up a garment, she pays the full tax. it she purchases the ready-made article, she is subject to only half the tax. You are striking a blow at a very admirable feature of working-class home life.

One could go on instancing cases in which the tax bears hardly upon working people. I have not great hopes at this late hour that we shall convert the Chancellor. I thought that public opinion had killed the Purchase Tax, but it came forward again under another cloak. Some people who may not know the ins and outs of the working of the tax may think that the Chancellor discarded the old tax and brought in a new one, but it is exactly the same except for the exclusion of children's boots and certain articles of clothing. It is a paltry way of dealing with the immense question of raising money for the war. It is not worthy of a great nation. We have to find the money, but a Chancellor of resource and vision and new ideas, not absolutely shackled to the old conventional methods of Budget making, would in this stage of our extremity have found some more worthy method of taxation than going down into the homes of the people and taxing every commodity they use. I would far rather go to the working man at the end of the week and say, "You have earned £3 and I am going to claim 3s." He would know what he was paying. In this case he will pay more and will feel very dissatisfied in paying it.

6.13 p.m.

Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West)

I should like to draw attention to something which has not so far been mentioned. The first casualty in the war was education. Schools closed down, and all kinds of education were affected. Surely everything shorild be done to encourage books, magazines and reading. I would also ask the House to remember that when the Nazis came into power they burnt the books. I should like to make an offer to the Chancellor, an offer which I am very reluctant to make. If he will agree to exclude books, magazines, newspapers, furniture, household utensils, boots, shoes and clothing from the tax, I will seriously consider supporting it.

Question, "That this House cloth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, as amended," put, and agreed to.

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Resolutions agreed to.