§ MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is the case that for the current financial year ending 31st March, 1890, England is in full receipt of the Probate Duties and Licenses, whilst under the Local Government (Scotland) Bill for the same financial year Scotland is to receive only the Probate Duty, and that instead of the Licence Duty (amounting in the case of Scotland to £323,341), 1101 Scotland is only to receive £265,500 in name of Grants; and, if so, how the Government propose to give to Scotland the £57,841 to which according to the above arrangement Scotland is being deprived?
§ * MR. GOSCHEN
I must demur to the statement of the hon. Member that Scotland is being deprived of something due to her. She has received her proportion of the relief from Probate Duty pari passu with England, and that relief amounted to about £155,000 last year, and will be about £230,000 this year—all clear gain. No doubt there is further relief in store for her next year, the equivalent of which England and Wales are already receiving in the present year. But the relief in question, which consists in the receipt of the proceeds of licences in lieu of certain grants surrendered, is inseparable from the reconstruction of Local Government which was effected in England and Wales last year, and is being carried out. as regards Scotland, now. The hon. Member's grievance simply amounts to this—that Local Government in England was dealt with a year sooner than it was in Scotland; and, in view of the impossibility of undertaking two such large measures simultaneously, I do not think that grievance is a substantial one.
§ MR. CALDWELL
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that Scotland ought to suffer to the extent mentioned in the question?
§ * MR. GOSCHEN
I deny that Scotland is suffering; but it is not necessary that I should enter into a controversy with the hon. Gentleman as to whether Scotland has its share or not. I may add that the money granted in England is granted for the relief of the ratepayers, and it would appear that the people of Scotland have certainly not shown that they were suffering under the same grievances as England.