Order read, for resuming adjourned debate on Amendment proposed [10th July] on consideration of the Bill, as amended; and which Amendment was—
In page 2, line 40, to leave out Clause 3."—(Mr. Rea).
§ Question again proposed, "That the words of Clause 3 to the second word 'the,' in line 43, stand part of the Bill."
§ Debate resumed.
§ MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)
said he had listened very carefully to the speech of his hon. friend the Member for Bolton the other evening, as he was anxious to hear what defense a Radical free-trader would be able to make for such an imposition as the coal tax. After following the arguments of the hon. Member very carefully he confessed that he was very much disappointed with them. Coal, said the hon. Member for Bolton, not being a natural product like cotton or wool, but a free gift of nature, was therefore a proper article of taxation. But on that argument it would be possible to support a tax upon all other minerals as well as coal produced in this country and sent abroad. It would apply to china-clay, copper, granite, lead ore, limestone, salt, and tin—which were all produced in this country and exported to foreign countries. His hon. friend also told the House that the opposition to the coal 124 tax was a selfish opposition. He admitted it was selfish; but it would be equally true to say that the support of the tax was selfish, for if the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not get the two millions from coal these millions would have to be levied in some other way, and in all probability that would effect the hon. Gentlemen who support the coal tax and their cons ituents. His hon. friend went on to justify his argument by asking where was his share, where did he come in? He would ask the hon. Member what would be the value of the coal to anybody were it not for the labor of the miner? Coal was not worth a single sixpence until. the labor of the miner was applied to it. There was a way in which the hon. Member might have his share—he might follow his own example, enter a mine and give his labor in exchange for wages. He ventured to say that if the 669 Members of this House obtained their share of the products of the mines by working for it in the mines we should not have had this tax imposed.
He wished to say a very few words, upon what he considered the deplorable lack of information on the part of the officials who had had to deal with this matter. There was a great deal to be said in excuse for the lack of information displayed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he was rather inclined to commiserate than to censure the right hon. Gentleman. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was not as other men. He was not permitted to look upon the wine when it sparkled in the cup, or as many others were, to. Enter the portals of the goddess Lady Nicotine. He might not look upon any of these things without being suspected of having some malevolent intentions towards some of our comforts and enjoyments. But that was all the more reason why those responsible for advising the right hon. Gentleman as to the effect which was likely to be produced by this tax should have been more vigilant in their endeavors to get information for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The whole history of the tax from the day it was introduced till now showed that the authorities had been woefully negligent in obtaining information as to its probable effects. The Chancellor of the 125 Exchequer had already made what were described as concessions so far as the inferior qualities of coal were concerned. He would like to call attention to two probable effects which these concessions were likely to have. First of all, there would be a considerable loss of revenue, because when the price of coal fell to the lower regions, there would be no coal sold between 6s. and 7s. per ton. In order to avoid the tax a less figure would be taken. In the second place, these concessions would very seriously affect wages. He was not ashamed to confess that he looked at this question from the point of view of the laboring miners rather than of the coal owners. The Chancellor of the Exchequer took it for granted that the coal owners had made very considerable profit, and his anxiety was to get at that profit. But the right hon. Gentleman had gone in a very clumsy way about it. Instead of taxing them directly, the right hon. Gentleman had introduced a proposal which would have a very injurious effect on the wages of working miners. In Northumberland and Durham the wages of the miners were regulated by the average selling price of coal, and if the price fell to a point between 6s. and 7s. the lower price would be taken in order to avoid the tax. That would reduce the quarterly average price, and so the miners' wages would be reduced.
The Colonial Secretary in a speech delivered at Birmingham in May said that there were two sets of people on whom the tax would fall—either upon the foreigner who bought our coal or upon the coal owner who produced it. He could well fancy that he saw the right hon. Gentleman striking a sort of devil-may-care attitude and saying, "I don't care which." But the coal industry did care, because it was a matter of vital importance to them. The right hon. Gentleman flattered the coal owners in his own district on their patriotism, and said that they did not murmur or complain of the tax. The men, he said, who complained were the men who taxed every householder, every manufacturer, and every working man last year from 5s. to 10s. a ton on his coal. But it was not the men who produced coal for the foreign market that were responsible for the increased 126 price that the consumer at home had to pay for his coal. It was the men who produced for the home market that were responsible, and they were let off free as far as the tax was concerned, although they were the men who made the greatest profit in the coal trade during the last few years. The Colonial Secretary also went on to say that the miners ought to pay their share of the war expenses just the same as any other working man. The miner did not object to pay his fair share of the war expenses; it was the unfair share he objected to. Was there a manufacturer in Birmingham engaged in the manufacture of small arms and ammunition who had not profited more through this war than manufacturers in any other town or city in the kingdom? The factories and workshops engaged in producing these things had been running night and day, and huge profits had been made by the manufacturers. But they were not touched by this taxation, nor were the workmen except by the tax imposed on, the sugar. The Government, however, not only touched the miner's sugar, but also taxed his industry. That, in his. Judgment was very unfair. If the Government wanted to tax the profits of those who had made large sums of money they ought to have introduced a measure which would have established a graduated income tax. In the most profitable year that there had been for a long time the average wage of the miner was only 35s. a week. Having regard to the fact that the miner every day he entered a mine carried his life in his hand, and was surrounded by innumerable dangers when toiling far from the light of day, could it really be said that was an excessive wage? And yet the effect of the coal tax would be the reduction of the wage he had been in a position to earn. It was because he believed that the tax was unfair, affecting as it did only one industry, and only a portion of that industry, and because he believed it to be unjust in principle and contrary to the great policy of free trade, by means of which our national prosperity had been built up, that he should take every opportunity of protesting in the House against it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in proposing the tax, was taking them back to the days of exploded ideas. 127 Over a hundred years ago Sir John Sinclair stated that the idea that, when an exported commodity was taxed, the foreigner would have to pay it was exploded. Now a free trade Chancellor of the Exchequer had revived that idea. But the foreigner was just as widea wake in commercial matters as they were, and depend on it he would not pay an extra 1s. a ton when he could get coal of equal value nearer home at a lower price. He would take every possible opportunity afforded to him by the rules of procedure to protest against the tax as unjust and unfair.
§ MR. CHARLES WILSON (Hull, W.)
said the House had just listened to a speech on the coal tax from a practical Member, who spoke with great authority. He wished to speak more especially from the shipowners' point of view. He knew that this country was entirely dependent on its mercantile marine, and, as one who had been intimately connected with the mercantile marine of this country for fifty years, he declared that the tax was looked upon as most deplorable. In their commerce now almost every bulky article had disappeared. In his time their vessels were loaded with general cargo, but not now, as coals had to be taken in large quantities to complete their loading. The iron trade, which was a large one, had disappeared. The textile trade was not in a good condition, and he was told by manufacturers that they, too, were suffering from over legislation—from the interference of the Factory Acts and other legislation which they thought to a great extent unnecessary. He would take his own case as connected with shipping. His firm despatched weekly over twenty steamers to foreign ports. Excepting to America every one of those ships was dependent upon coal to enable it to continue in that trade. Several trades without free export coal would cease to exist. What were they seeing? The big Atlantic steamers had such difficulty in getting cargo from England that, in addition to water ballast, nearly all of them were being fitted with tank-holds to contain additional water, to enable them to make their voyages with safety across the Atlantic. That was because the cargoes had to a great extent dis- 128 appeared, and partly also as the outcome of the competition of other countries which were beginning to take their place. At the present time this country was living a sort of spendthrift existence, and, as was usual under those circumstances, the Government had to look about to get the money in order to carry on the enormous, wasteful expenditure which now went on. For the first time in their history what might almost be called the life-blood of the country—coal—was attacked. And what would be the result? At the present moment they were supposed to be able to bear that tax through the prosperity which the country was—he was almost going to say—suffering from, because in the end it would produce suffering. But in ordinary times what would be the effect when the export of coal began to lessen, as it must lessen? The tax not only affected the coalowner and the coal producer, but it affected almost every branch of industry in this country. He believed that the east coast of England would probably be more affected than any other part of the country. He had had no opportunity until now of protesting against this tax. His two colleagues in the representation of Hull sat on the other side of the House, and would no doubt vote in favor of that tax, which would have a disastrous effect upon the port they represented. He knew that anything he said here was perfectly hopeless. Shipowners had no power to resist this tax, but it would only be a matter of time when the country would begin to feel its disastrous effects. In his day it had not been a matter of 1s. a ton that they had had to consider when they received any orders for the export of coal to Russia, to Norway, to Sweden, and to Germany. Then it had been a matter of one or two pence per ton, the margin had been so small. Already orders coming into the port of Hull had fallen off to the extent of 21 per cent. For six months of the present year. What did that mean? Why, it affected every industry connected with the port. The two railway companies at Hull were talking of building new docks for Hull, but, if the diminution of trade continued, they would at once begin to consider whether it was 129 wise to extend their liabilities in that direction, when it must be in the end disastrous to the two companies. This tax went through almost every ramification of trade. If Northern Russia had to pay too dear, they could use their own wood, and in Southern Russia they could use petroleum. We had not the control of the markets of the world. Only in the previous day's paper he saw a notification from Knoxville, Tennessee, that an order had been given to American coal owners for 100,000 tans of coals to be exported within the next six months to Venice, in the Adriatic. This was one of the ports to which his firm sent steamers, and if they could not get coals for those steamers they would not be able to run them at all. They were already suffering, from the action of the Government, the tramps to Germany, who run out with coals and home with sugar, and would have their trade ruined if those articles were interfered with. But what was the use of talking. The Government had got into this terrible mess through spending money on a disastrous war, which would prove a terrible strain upon the resources of the country, but he could not imagine that the Government could have made a greater mistake than to have raised the money for that expenditure by a tax upon coal. He considered it his duty to make a protest against it.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Falkirk Burghs)
emphasized the remarks he made when the coal tax was introduced into the Budget, when he pointed out the entire unfairness of the incidence of the tax, the necessity for an ad valorem duty, and the effect the tax would have on the carrying trade. He was glad to see that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had seen fit, as the result of the arguments brought to bear upon the question of contracts, to meet them as fairly and freely as could be expected. As far as contracts were concerned, he thought the right hon. Gentleman had gone to a very great length. In the month of June no less than 455,000 tons had fallen off in the exports of coal; that was more than 10 per cent. upon the whole of the export trade of the country.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
What about May?
§ MR. JOHN WILSON
said he had given the right hon. Gentleman June; he gave the right hon. Gentleman the benefit of May. There was still a falling tendency; but most material of all, and this was the question he would like the House to consider, as they had heard a great deal about the profits on coal, the fall of 25 per cent. which he had mentioned showed how rapidly the price was falling. They could notice what a disastrous effect this tax would have on the carrying trade of the country when they found an hon. Member, who was a ship owner and whose firm was one of the largest engaged in the shipping trade, rising in his place and strongly protesting against this tax. Forty-six million tons of coal, to the value of thirty-seven millions sterling, was exported last year, and if that amount of money were put out at 3 per cent. compound interest in one hundred years it would be as large as the National Debt. Instead of endeavoring to kill the export trade, the right hon. Gentleman should do all he could to encourage and favor the export trade of this country. He again protested against the tax.
§ MR. ATHERLEY JONES (Durham, N.W.)
I am afraid that this subject has been discussed very much at large, and I only rise because, representing a mining constituency, I feel that I could not allow the Bill to pass without as shortly as possible emphasizing my views upon the coal tax. Though not a coal owner, I am bound to repudiate the imputation which has been cast upon the coal owners by the right hon. Gentleman, who said they lacked public spirit. There is no ground for such an imputation; the coal owners and the miners of this country were perfectly willing to contribute their share of the expenditure of this war if it had been asked of them through proper channels. They object to this tax because; they believe it strikes at a particular industry—a staple industry of the country-—and that the effect is not transient but permanent. Therefore the taunt of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is as ill-conceived as it is unmerited.
§ MR. ATHERLEY JONES
I distinctly remember that the right hon. Gentleman expressed the utmost abhorrence of the whining applications addressed to him by the coal owners of this country, and he dwelt upon the fact that they had derived immense profits and had been somewhat ungenerous in not conceding this tax. The right hon. Gentleman has, however, been touched by the legitimate appeal of the coal owners, and he has given away about one-third of the tax which he at first regarded as essential to impose. But let me point out that the right hon. Gentleman, in giving away one-third of this tax, has also cast to the winds every principle for which he contended in his Budget speech when he introduced this tax. What he said then was that it would not be an unmitigated misfortune to the country if the effect of this tax were to be that it hampered the exportation of coal. The very class of coal in which there was no monopoly, the very class which the incidence of this tax presses so hardly upon—that class of coal the right hon. Gentleman has relieved. What remains? This remains—a tax has been imposed permanently which is contrary to the accepted principles of every political economist. Sir Robert Peel in 1845 abandoned the coal tax. Why? The tax produced only £118,000 in 1845, and Sir Robert Peel stated that he abandoned it because it was opposed to every sound principle of finance If you consult any political economist, theoretical or practical, you will find that the only ground upon which an export tax can be justified is that it relates to an article in which the country imposing the tax possesses an absolute monopoly. There is no condition or circumstance which entitles us to claim that coal is a monopoly. I admit that in the present condition of freights certain classes of British coal practically have a monopoly in certain parts of the world, but that is a partial monopoly which may at any time be overthrown by the growing competition of America or countries in the Far East. I do not wish to put the case in the slightest degree higher than it ought to be. I agree that, in so far as our coal trade with the Mediterranean, the north of France, and possibly Russia is concerned, this tax 132 will not, under existing circumstances, operate largely to its detriment. ["Yes."] I think not under present circumstances. ["Yes."] I bow to the superior knowledge of my hon. friends behind me, but that is the conclusion at which I had arrived from the no doubt imperfect investigation I had made. But there is a zone in which English coal comes into sharp competition with German coal—namely, north Germany. By this tax you are widening the zone within which German coal can successfully compete with English coal to the extent of about twenty-five miles, taking the railway carriage at ½d. per ton; and by reference to the map it will be seen that this covers an area which is a large coal-consuming district. Therefore, you must inevitably injure to that extent the coal trade of Northumberland, and, to some extent, that of Durham.
Why has the right hon. Gentleman imposed this tax in such a way that it affects only two classes—the coal owner and the coal miner? A very interesting report was published some years ago showing that the royalty owners of this country derived nearly £5,000,000 per annum for royalties and way leaves. Why they are not included in this tax? It may be said that they are already taxed. But so also are coal owners. This is a special tax imposed upon the coal industry, and I want to know why the right hon. Gentleman did not devise some system of adjustment by which it would have been competent for the coal owner—and, consequently, for the miner—to make in respect of the amount of this tax some deduction for the royalty he has to pay. I have it, on authority which I cannot question, that to devise such a process would not have been difficult. The royalty owner is permitted to draw an average of about 6d. per ton without in the smallest degree contributing to this tax. In continental countries, beyond the ordinary permanent charges attaching to works and maintenance, and so forth, there is no permanent charge upon the mine owner such as there has been from time immemorial in this country. The royalties in Germany are about 2d. per ton, and in France they are practically nonexistent, while in this country they average 6d. per ton. The right hon. 133 Gentleman is now imposing a permanent tax of 1s. a ton, so that the coal trade of this country will be under a permanent disability or handicap of 1s. 6d. per ton in its competition with other coal-producing countries. "Oh," said the Chancellor of the Exchequer, "that is a matter of no importance whatever." But such is the absence of consideration which has been given to this question that at a later stage he recognized that the tax would strike a fatal blow at the trade in the comparatively less expensive coal from Northumberland and Monmouth shire, and therefore made a concession. This is a tax, not upon ascertained profits, but upon an industry. Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to impose a permanent handicap of 1s. 6d. per ton on British coal? He told us the other day that France had a tariff of 11¾d. upon English coal going to that country. If that is the case, so far as England against France is concerned, on every ton of coal we send to France there will be a permanent disability of 2s. 5¾d. This is not wise finance. It is admitted to have been ill-considered, because if it had been otherwise the right hon. Gentleman would not have thrown away one-third, or possibly more, of it for the first year. In these times of inflation the coal trade may be able to bear the tax without serious suffering, under the limitations which the right hon. Gentleman has imposed, but it is no less certain that it will come to be a very serious blow at one of our greatest industries. I will close my observations by referring to the speech of Sir Robert Peel in 1845, when in striking off the coal tax, he said that any tax upon exports is contrary to the best interests of commerce, and is calculated to inflict injury upon British industry.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid)
I fully sympathies with the arduous task the Chancellor of the Exchequer has had since he first proposed this tax, and I do not look upon the changes and exemptions he has made as having been conceded to mollify those who were opposed to him. I believe they have been made because on further inquiry the right hon. Gentleman has found that the course he had adopted was the wrong one. We, therefore, return to the subject to-night hoping that, even at the eleventh hour, 134 we may induce the right hon. Gentleman to forego the tax altogether. He will forgive us if, so far as we are concerned, we put ourselves into the position of the importunate widow of the New Testament—not that he is the unjust judge.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON
No, no. The right hon. Gentleman is wrong in his Biblical knowledge. The widow got everything she wanted and went away satisfied, and if the right hon. Gentleman will give us all we want I will at once sit down. My hon. friend the Member for Bolton said he would be satisfied if he got his share, and I was going to suggest a method by which he might get it. If every ton of coal exported produced a shilling there would be something like 44,000,000 or 45,000,000 shillings. The total population according to the last census was about 45,000,000, so that the hon. Member's share would be one shilling, and I have not the least doubt that the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street, or even one of us who have been miners, would gladly give him that amount if he would then be satisfied.
The test of this subject may be very fairly stated in a homely proverb to the effect that even in a matter of taxation it can only be tested truly by its weakest point. If you test a chain, you do not test it by its strongest part. The strongest part so far as the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman is concerned is that the foreigner will pay the shilling per ton. It is said that the coal-owners made very large profits last year. I do not know what profits they made, but I should think that a very high estimate has been placed upon them. Would it not have been better if the profits of the coal owner had been taxed? You might ascertain the profits in some way, and then you might tax the coal-owners upon the profits they had made. But if the coal owner had to pay a portion of his profits, and the miner had to risk his employment, why should the royalty owner not pay some portion of this tax? Without the slightest conceit or egotism, I do say that I do not believe an answer has been given to this question. I attempted the other night to put before 135 the House my idea that this question can only be tested by its weakest part. The general taxation of this Finance Bill can only be tested in the same way. We should be wrong in testing the incidence of the sugar tax by its relationship to a well-paid artisan, but we must look at the question as to how it bears upon the man earning 14s. or 15s. a week. My idea as to the proper principle of taxation is that in a nation where the wealth of the country is derived from the joint action of capital and labor, and where the wages as well as the income of the capitalist come from that joint co-operation, the man who receives the largest income and has the greatest share in the wealth produced ought to bear the largest share in a time of stress and strain. I grant to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he may be right in asserting that to some part of the coal trade will be given a monopoly. I will leave out South Wales, although I might have taken it as an illustration, and I will take the northern counties. If two-thirds of the present exportation of coal holds the market, then there is one-third with regard to the production of which the men would not be required. That is in my opinion the proper view of the question which, I think, the Chancellor of the. Exchequer should take. We have recently seen a very sorrowful sight in our mining villages; for we have seen men begging for employment, and leaving their homes in order to get a chance of work, and, in the sentiments of Burns, begging leave to toil of some lordly fellow-worm. This arose from the fact that the work could not be given because the coal owner could not sell his coal, and consequently he did not require the men. That is the position we dread. That is the specter which will arise out of the depression in trade, and if one-third of the coal required now is not required in consequence oft his tax because only the superior quality holds a monopoly, those who produce the one-third which is not required will have to go elsewhere. I have seen some of the most profound—if the word can be applied to ignorance—and the grossest ignorance shown in this House upon this question. It has been said from the Government Bench, in order to court favor with the men in the Midlands, that they would not feel this tax. The 136 man who uses this argument does not know of the migratory tendency of labor, and if there should be 4,000, 5,000, or 6,000 men in Durham and the same number in Northumberland affected. in this way, where will they go to? Where will they have to seek for labor to earn bread for themselves and their wives and families? They will have to seek employment in the Midlands. If there is an over abundant labor market we know that labor is cheapened, and therefore the Midland men will be bound to feel the effects of this taxation, because they will be overcrowded by the unemployed who will be thrown out of work by the dislocating and the destruction of trade by a tax which ought never to have been imposed. We were told that it did not apply to Ireland, in order to get the Irish Members to vote for the Government. I took the opportunity upon a former occasion of interjecting: a remark that in the north of England and the constituency which I represent there are thousands who have come from Ireland because they could not get employment in their own country, and they have come to Durham and North-umber land and other centers of industry; and if we limit the chances of employment in Durham and Northumberland, and in consequence these men are not wanted in the coal mining centers, surely they will be hurt by this tax. I think that is a logical argument.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has congratulated himself upon the fact that the foreigner will pay this tax, and if not the foreigner the employer, and if not either, then there would be an advantage by the coal remaining in the country to be sold more cheaply to the home consumer, or it could be husbanded for future consumption. I am going to show the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he makes two attacks upon the position of the workmen. A reduction in wages is not the worst thing the workman will have to fear. If this coal is not exported, the workmen's labor will not be required, and the very result which we dread and fear the most will fall upon us. There are others besides the miners who will be affected. There are villages in Durham and Northumberland where the whole community depends upon the labor of the miner, and if the miners are not at work, and pits 137 are stopped, then the traders and everybody else in those villages will suffer. The right hon. Gentleman makes out that if the coal is not exported at all it will be a benefit. I believe when the Chancellor of the Exchequer made that remark that he was ignorant of the relations of the employers with their men on this question. I could not look upon the deprivation of thousands of men of their work, because of our coal not being required by the foreigner, who will go to his own market, as a matter for congratulation. It is to me a terror of the blackest and direst character—the throwing of men out of work on account of this policy. When you quote the figures for May you show that the exports are greater. But how about June? This thing is not to be settled by the platitudes of economics formed in the study. It is to be settled by the stern facts of everyday life, by the stern facts of our industrial occupations. These are "chiels that winna ding," and these we will have to meet as the years roll on, but I cannot, and I am confident that my colleagues cannot, look upon this policy with the smallest assurance and hope.
We are told coal will be cheaper to the people of the country. That means that the miner will have to work for fewer wages. One might think that The Times newspaper was a centre of economic truth. That journal in, I think, May this year said that the coal-owners had kept up profits, and that the miners had kept up wages. Well, it would not do for me to impugn the wisdom of a paper like The Times, but I must say that I never saw greater ignorance of how wages are managed in this country. The hon. Member for the Wansbeck Division has said that wages in the north of England are kept up by the price in the market. In South Wales, the Midland Federation, Durham and Northumberland and the Scotch Conciliation Board—in every case the miner has not forced wages. He follows the market. When prices went up last year we followed the prices every quarter. We have followed them down now. Wages are not merely being reduced—they are rushing down. I am reminded by my hon. friend near me that in Northumberland they have suffered a reduction of 22½ per cent. in wages this year, and 138 this is the trade the Chancellor of the Exchequer is smiting. I shall be surprised if there is not another reduction with us in three weeks. In every mining district in this country there is a tendency towards a reduction in wages. I have seen the statement that during the last twenty years, including 1900, when there was a great rush of prosperity, the selling price of coal at the pit mouth realized 5s. 7d. and some points. That would be, according to our arrangement of wages, 18¾ per cent. above the standard. I hope hon. Gentlemen will excuse me discussing this, for it is to me a very interesting and important point. What were miners' wages on the average during those twenty years? I will take the average wage of 1879, and I will put 18f per cent. to it. There are three classes of men down the pit working eight hours a day, and their average wages during the whole twenty years was 3s. 5¼d. in one class, 3s. 6¾d. in another, and 4s. 3¾d. in the third. There are other two classes working ten hours a day, and they receive 4s. 1¾d. and 4s. 4¼d. Taking the average over the whole twenty years by the same process the wage of the coal hewer would be 5s. 1¾d. per day. I repeat the question put by the hon. Member for the Wansbeck Division. Is there any man who thinks that too much of a wage for a miner? I do not think there is any man here who would say so. This is not a political question. It is a question of life to hundreds of people. But we have been told that this is a case where we are on the wrong side of politics, that we are rather a stiff-necked and perverse generation, and that, therefore, we ought to be punished. If we had been on the right side of politics we might have been allowed to go Scot free. We are told that the miners are adherents of the Radical party. I agree that we are. I do not think, for all that, that we should be taxed in this way. We have been told that there is no fear of a reduction of wages, because we can resist any attack the employers may make. We are told that it would be very much better to husband our resources in order to meet the employers rather than threaten to strike against the Government proposal. The Government said, "Oh! don't strike against; us strike 139 against other people." Words like these were unbecoming a statesman. They may do for a demagogue on a platform, they may do for a man who wishes to stir up the feelings of the people against the powers that be, but certainly they ought not to come from a man whose position demands that his words should be words of light and leading and clear of everything containing the very suggestion of conflict and contention with regard to the industry of this country. I could quote the words of the President of the Board of Trade and the Secretary for the Colonies, who said that we are in these matter cats paws for the employers. I deny it. I say here that we have never been made cats paws for any person yet. We wish in the discussion of our wage questions to introduce amicable and friendly feeling. We want reason to rule, and not brute force. I conclude by saying that we miners have no objection to pay a fair share of the taxation of the country. It is not a question of money with us, and never has been. We believe it is our bread. If anyone denies what I say I would point to the number of young miners who went into the field in South Africa never to return. I would point to the relief societies started in Durham to keep the wives and the children and the parents of the men who went to the front. Therefore that is proof positive that we are willing, much as we may hate the war, much as we feel that it could be settled by negotiation if properly conducted, and much as we abhor the epithet "pro-Boer," to bear our share and to regard the honor of the country rather more than the putting a feather in any statesman's cap. We object to this tax because we see behind it, as the result of its imposition, thousands of men begging for work.
§ MR. JOSEPH WALTON (Yorkshire, W. R, Barnsley)
said this was a tax which handicapped British coal producers to the extent of 1s. per ton in favor of the foreign producer. The hon. Member for Bolton in a speech the other night rejoiced that by the operation of this tax our exports of coal would be reduced and the coal resources of the country preserved for our future requirements. Did the country gain no benefit from 140 free trade in coal? Had the country gained no benefit during the past year from the export of 45,000,000 tons of coal? There were 800,000 men employed in this industry, and their buying power had been substantially increased with regard to food, clothing, and other articles. He did not deny that so far as Welsh smokeless steam coal was concerned the foreign consumer might be made to pay in ordinary times, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been compelled to acknowledge that in times of depression, so far as the coal of Durham and Northumberland were concerned, there was force in the contention that we would be unable to compel the consumer in the north of Europe to pay an additional 1s. per ton. One great objection to the tax was its sectional application. He said it would have been better to apply it to the whole of the coal produced in the country, whether for export or home consumption, and that 1d. per ton should have been levied upon the colliery owner and 1d. per ton on the royalty owner. The tax was popular with certain consumers of coal in this country, who thought that the coal owners had. Been fleecing them, and who desired that they also should be hit by the tax; but, unfortunately for that view, it was the owners of export collieries who would be affected, while the others would go Scot free. He thought the great blot in connection with the incidence of the tax was that it was not equitably distributed all round. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had agreed not to impose the tax on coal sold at a less price than 6s. per ton free on board. He was sorry to say that, so far as Durham was concerned, this inflicted a further inequality on the coal trade. In normal times ordinary unscreened coal from the county of Durham was sold at 6s. 6d. to 6s. 9d. per ton free on board. It was obvious that if coal above 6s. was to pay 1s. Duty it would pay the colliery owner better to sell at 6s. per ton, than with the tax charged upon it at 6s. 11d. per ton. Durham unscreened coal, which was. Largely exported for bunker and manufacturing purposes, in normal times was sold at 6s. 6d. free on board in competition with small coal from Northumberland at 4s. per ton free on board. Small coals were now being used to a much 141 greater extent for bunkering purposes. That was a nominal difference of 2s. 6d. per ton. Under the new arrangement Northumberland small coal would pay no tax whatever, while Durham unscreened coal would be subject to a duty of 1s. per ton. He thought it was somewhat unfair to the Durham unscreened coal exporters that they should be thus handicapped. With regard to the tax being permanent, he asked if they were to believe that, when the time came that many collieries were being worked at an actual out of pocket loss, the impost of the 1s. per ton duty could possibly be maintained? The tax was a fiscal departure absolutely unsound in character. It would be a serious hindrance and interference with one of the greatest industries of the colliery owners, and it would also inflict serious hardship on the miners, especially in times of depression.
§ MR. RANDLES (Cumberland, Cockermouth)
said he thought that, so far as 75 per cent of the coal tax was concerned, it would come out of the pockets of the foreigners. We ought to look at the incidence of the tax and the effect it would have upon our own industries. There were large industrial populations in this country other than those employed in coal-mining, such as the iron and steel trades, which were very materially affected by a tax or otherwise on coal. The iron and steel trades at the present time were enduring very severe competition from across the Atlantic, and that was a point which should command very careful consideration. If he thought that the heavy mineral manufacturing trades were going to be affected by this tax, he should be very much opposed to it. But, on the contrary, if it had any effect at all, he thought it would be for the advantage of the manufacturing iron and steel trades of this country. These industries were largely affected by the question of transit. Advantageous shipping freights had enabled them to compete against the protective duties of the United States, but that advantage had been disappearing, and now unless they could have the advantage of a plentiful supply of cheap coal at home they would be unable to compete. They were going to see their railway rates increased during 142 the coming year. He congratulated the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he had imposed a tax on an article which was of the first necessity and importance to us as a manufacturing nation, and which would have a beneficial effect if it had any effect at all in the way of preserving our coal and bringing the home manufacturer into a position of being able to compete with the manufacturer abroad who, with the co-operation of the railways, was overcoming questions affecting the conveyance of materials in a way they were not being overcome in this country. He believed that in the United States materials could be carried at a farthing per ton per mile, but in this country the railway companies charged seven-eighths of a penny per ton per mile. The tendency would be to give us a compensatory balance in our competition with foreign countries by reason of the fact that the coal instead of being exported as coal would be exported in the form of manufactured articles, such as steel and iron. He congratulated the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the form in which he had placed this tax. If by legislation we could retain the manufacturing industries of this country, the hon. Member opposite would find that the miners in the North would not be wanting in wages, while other industries would have cheap coal, which would enable them to exist.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
said he did not propose to go over the whole field of operation of this tax. He was the less disposed to take up the time of the House because, so far as the "manufactured fuel" trade of his constituents was concerned, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been good enough to place Amendments on the Paper which carried out the undertaking which he had given a few nights ago in regard to the matter of small coal. He did not think it would be necessary for him to dilate at any length on behalf of the western portion of Glamorganshire on the very grave objections they had to this tax, but there were one or two points not touched upon by preceding speakers which ought to be brought to the notice of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and even at this eleventh hour he was not without hope that, so far as manufactured fuel was concerned, the right 143 hon. Gentleman might see his way to make further concessions. The defenders of the tax alleged that in substance coal was something entirely different from other commodities, and especially that the coal of South Wales was a kind of monopoly. It had been conceded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other speakers that of all forms of indirect taxation a tax on exports was the most objectionable, unless the duty was placed on an article which formed practically a monopoly. It was absolutely untrue to say that coal was a monopoly in any sense of the term as used by political economists. He quite admitted that the coal in certain areas in the Rhondda Valley, of a special kind, adapted for a certain class of steamers, commanded a very high price; but that did not make it a monopoly. It appeared to be assumed that because that special class of coal was held in high esteem abroad that same appreciation applied to all kinds of coal exported from South Wales. He maintained that the western Glamorganshire coal trade was always of a very precarious character. It would command a fair price for use on locomotives and stationary engines; but if the tax was imposed, it must not be assumed for a moment that they were likely to keep the export trade from Swansea to the north of France and the Mediterranean ports. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman that if this tax was persevered in a very great blow would be struck at the export trade from Western Glamorganshire.
It had been urged that coal was a gift of nature, not a commodity in the ordinary sense of the word. That was a fallacy. It meant that by exporting the coal the nation was wasting its resources, and that it ought to be preserved in anticipation of an attack on this country by a foreign enemy; his answer was that the Government should acquire an area in the Rhondda Valley, which would provide all the smokeless steam coal required for the Navy. Coal was as much a commodity as any other substance found under the surface of the earth. Till brought to the surface it had no more value than any other substance. It was only made valuable by the expenditure of human labour on it; and it was as truly a manufactured article as anything 144 made in Lancashire or Yorkshire. No justification whatever had been given for choosing this particular commodity on which to put an export duty. The hon. Member for Bolton had said that this was an asset of the nation in a special sense, and that we ought to use it for ourselves. But the hon. Member had entirely forgotten that we got something for the coal, and that we were thus using it for ourselves. In return for the coal we were getting money, manufactured articles, and raw materials for our own manufactures. If the observations he had made in regard to coal had any weight they had ten-fold weight in regard to manufactured fuel. He had appealed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give some consideration to patent fuel, and to a certain extent the right hon. Gentleman had given him a concession. But he wished to call the Chancellor of the Exchequer's attention to certain figures about the patent fuel trade which would prove that the effect of this tax upon patent fuel would be disastrous, and very likely remove the industry from Glamorganshire to the north of France. Patent fuel was composed of 90 per cent. of coal and 10 per cent. of pitch, and was sold at 12s. per ton. The price of the pitch was 35s. per ton, and the 10 per cent. in the patent fuel represented 3s. 6d. per ton. The price of the 90 per cent. of coal was 6s. 3d. per ton—or a total value of 9s. 9d. The rest of the 12s. represented the cost of carrying on the industry, labour, and waste of machinery. As he understood the Amendment placed on the paper, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was prepared to—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member cannot discuss the Amendment until it comes before the House.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said that then the right hon. Gentleman was going to destroy the industry. The whole thing was entirely unequal. There was certainly a coal ingredient in this commodity, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer put the same tax on the Glamorgan coal as on the Rhondda coal, and surely he was in order in making a protest on behalf of the industry in which 145 those who had sent him there were greatly interested, Nobody had yet analysed the question, "Upon whom this tax was ultimately to fall?" The Chancellor of the Exchequer told them that this was going to be a permanent tax, but when the contracts were well worked out who would pay the tax? He did not wish to lecture the House of Commons on political economy, but if anyone would follow him out he was prepared to prove that the incidence of the tax would fall on the miners. He would point out to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that once the contracts were performed the price of coal f.o.b. at Cardiff would depend on the ordinary rules of supply and demand. They could not get away from that fact. Everybody concerned would take notice of it in making their calculations to offer to buy or to sell. So long as the conditions at Cardiff were such that the cost of production still allowed some profit, the coal produced in East Glamorganshire would still be sent to Cardiff. But if the cost of production exceeded the price obtainable by the law of demand and supply, colliery after colliery would be shut up. But before that happened the producer would say he would try to lower the cost of production. Now, what were the elements in the cost of production? The first was wages, the second was the cost of transport to the harbour rand other charges, the third was the expense of running the mine and paying the royalties and taxes connected with the industry; but the largest item was wages. The coal producer could not say to the landowner he could not pay his rent. The rent must be paid. Then as to the reducing the cost of transport, it was a long process indeed to induce the railway companies to lower their rates. The result would then be that, as wages formed the most flexible element in the cost of production, as soon as it was known that this tax was to be made permanent there would be a lowering of the rate of wages. He opposed the clause. The impatience of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was hardly justifiable.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
The hon. Member has no reason for saying that there has been impatience on my part at his little political economy lecture 146 He has not expressed a single new opinion or argument. They have been repeated over and over again and pressed particularly on myself. I do not think that it can be said that my conduct in these debates has been characterised by impatience. The principle of the coal duty was discussed on the Report of the resolution, again on the Second Reading of the Budget Bill, and again at great length on the coal duty clause in Committee on the Bill. Now the House is listening to a fourth discussion on precisely the same subject. I do not complain. I am not surprised that hon. Members opposed to the tax should think it necessary to make these continued protests. I have listened very carefully to these protests, but I have heard not one single argument advanced this evening against the tax which I have not heard many times before. The most exaggerated statements have been repeated. The hon. Member thinks that the manufacture of patent fuel will be ruined. I have carefully investigated the matter, and have listened both in public and in private to statements on the subject, and I believe that the industry will under the Bill be just as able to compete with similar industries abroad as it has been in the past. The House has heard most doleful prophecies as to the effect of this duty from three gentlemen rejoicing in the same name—members, presumably, of the same clan—the hon. Members for Hull, Falkirk, and Durham. They belong to a powerful clan, but their arguments really answer one another. I have often heard while I was President of the Board of Trade the hon. Member for Hull represent his views on questions connected with shipping; and I have rarely found the hon. Gentleman in accordance with the general body of shipowners. Now the hon. Member asserts that the shipowning industry will be ruined, and he talks about "draining the life-blood of the country." It might have been supposed that a rapid increase in our export of coal is more a "draining of the life-blood of the country" than the imposition of this tax. Then the hon. Member dwelt on the danger of American competition in the Mediterranean. Now, though we may see in the newspapers a great deal about what American 147 millionaires and trusts are going to do, those statements must be very largely discounted before they are believed. As to the probability of anything like real American competition with us in the Mediterranean and European markets for coal, the best opinion of the trade is that in existing circumstances American competition is impracticable. The hon. Member gave it as a terrible fact that a contract for 100,000 tons of coal for Venice had been given to America. Last year equally America supplied coal of a certain quality to Venice, and why should it not do so again? No argument can be drawn irom single contracts as to the prosperity or otherwise of the whole trade. The hon. Member for Hull believes that the tax will be borne by the shipowner. The hon. Member for Falkirk believes that it will be borne by the coalowner. They cannot both be right.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
If that is not the basis of the hon. Member's argument, why does he oppose the tax?
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
That contention is scarcely consistent with the hon. Member's attitude on former occasions. The hon. Member has pointed with alarm to the decrease of the export of coal in June as compared with the same month last year. But no argument as to the incidence or effect of the tax can be drawn from a mere comparative statement of the exports month by month. No one can tell at present or for many months to come what the effect of this tax will be upon the coal industry or trade generally. The exports of British coal to Germany in June last were larger than those of June in last year; and in May the total exports were very much larger than in May last year.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the export from Scotland has largely decreased during the last two months?
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I admit that the exports from Scotland have 148 not been so flourishing as those from South Wales and certain North of England coalfields, but it is for that very reason that I accepted the Amendment exempting the cheaper class of coal in which Scotland is very much interested from the duty. The third member of the clan, the hon. Member for Mid Durham, believes that the tax will fall, not upon the shipowner or the coalowner, but upon the miner; and that as the result of a shilling duty wages will be diminished, men thrown out of employment, and whole villages ruined. The statements which have been made seem to me to be simply absurd when we look at the history of the growth of the export trade in coal, in spite of the enormous fluctuations in the price of coal, and in the cost of freight to foreign countries. I have been told in the course of this debate by the hon. Member for Mid Durham that the coal duty was an ill-considered measure, because after hearing many deputations and considering many arguments put before me by hon. Members in the House and in other ways, I made certain modifications in the duty, and with regard to existing contracts, which have been accepted with gratitude by those on whose behalf they were made, but which I am afraid I must also say have only been made an excuse for asking for more. Hon. Members in effect say we are obliged to you, but yet we will continue to oppose you unless you take this duty off altogether.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
I expressly told the right hon. Gentleman that I was altogether opposed to the tax, and that I would reserve my right to continue to oppose it.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
All I have to say in regard to the matter now is that, while I do not wish to complain of the debates on this clause, if hon. Gentlemen were to talk for the rest of the session I would still adhere to it. It is impossible for me to satisfy hon. Members. I have never contended that the effect of this duty will be to prohibit or seriously to lessen the export of coal. I have said that it was not my desire to obtain revenue at the cost of our trade, and no argument which has been placed before me, carefully as I have considered 149 them all, has led me to believe—that the duty will have anything of the effect which hon. Members suggest. On one point I was satisfied that there might be danger, namely, with regard to the cheapest kinds of coal. That I have endeavoured to meet, and, having done that, I commend the duty to the favourable consideration of the House, and I trust that, bearing in mind how thoroughly the whole subject has been discussed, we may now come to a decision on the clause.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
Many old arguments have been used during this debate, and I do not wish to repeat them We have had a great deal of debate on this subject, and it does seem to me that in the course of it there have been certain new arguments or new suggestions, and new developments of old arguments, which possess a great deal of force. Grateful as we are to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for certain concessions, our objections to the tax have not diminished, but have rather strengthened the more the tax has been considered. The right hon. Gentleman said that there had been some exaggeration as to the probable effect of this tax. If there has been exaggeration it has not been confined to this side of the House. The greatest exaggeration was the right hon. Gentleman's own statement in introducing the tax, in which he exaggerated the benefits likely to accrue from it. The more we have heard of it the more it seems to me that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had realised how very small the revenue would be, he would not have inflicted upon the country the controversy which has arisen. The tax might have two objects which would justify a great deal of inconvenience, but it failed in both of them. It might have the prospect of large permanent gain to the revenue. It would fail in that. If might have some effect—
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
Not for the first year. As far as we can forecast the course of trade for the next four or five years, it is likely that £2,000,000, even without exemptions, will be the maximum estimate in the present state 150 of things. But even if it brought in £2,000,000, that would be no compensation for the disturbance and injury it will inflict. Another effect with which I would have some sympathy would be if the tax would tend to delay or retard the waste of some of that coal which is admitted to be a monopoly—coal which is essential to ourselves, and to foreign nations as well, for very important purposes. If this tax restricts the export of coal at all, that coal, of which we might wish to delay the rapid consumption, will be coal the export of which will be least affected. Therefore, the tax will fail in that object also. Much as we object to the tax, we object even more to some of the arguments which have been used to justify it. An hon. Member in this debate made a very frank speech, in which he admitted that, if this tax injuriously affected the trade in which he was concerned, he would oppose it; but as it would benefit that trade he thanked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for it. Why, then, should people who think that the tax will injuriously affect their trade not oppose it? What did the hon. Member's argument come to? In his opinion he stated that perhaps 75 per cent. of the tax would fall on the foreigner, but as regards the remaining 25 per cent. some advantage might accrue to the iron and other trades of that kind; but that would be merely transferring money out of the pockets of one class for the benefit of other trades. That is the kind of argument which is used to justify this tax.
Other arguments have been used outside this House. For instance, the Secretary of State for the Colonies in a speech outside this House, which has been dealt with with great force by the hon. Member for Mid Durham, made an attack on the colliery owners, and, what was far more important, gave advice to the miners for the future. I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman has uttered words which will never be forgotten in the trade, and never remembered except for mischief. As to the incidence of this tax, the Chancellor of the Exchequer says that people differ. People always differ about the incidence of a new tax, and it is very difficult to forecast it. With regard to the incidence of this tax 151 certain things are assured. Some of it, I admit, will fall on the foreigner in the case of certain classes of coal. In so far is the foreigner pays, I have no objection to raise, but even there the foreigner will not be content to pay it quietly, and if he has to pay on coal he will get it back on timber or something else he sends to this country. We have not got to the end of the matter by proving that a certain amount of the tax will come out of the pockets of the foreigner. A certain amount will also fall on the colliery owners, the ship owners, and the exporters under contracts which are not covered. A very large amount will fall on those classes, especially at first. But the tendency of the tax will be to sink lower and lower, and the ultimate incidence will be felt, I believe, by the miners. The colliery owners will suffer much more at first. The men with long contracts will also suffer at first, but in the future it is on the miner that the incidence of this tax will fall.
Then we have been told by the Secretary for the Colonies that if the miners found that this tax was descending on them they would be justified in using their funds for their protection—that is to say, the right hon. Gentleman invited the miners to embark on an industrial war. That is where the sting comes in in the arguments used to support this tax. There is one other person about whom I am not sure, and that is the royalty owner. The tax will fall on the persons I have named, but the person about whom I am least certain that any part of it will fall on is the royalty owner Even from the point of view of the Government his existence might have been remembered whn they were proposing this tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us that he will not give up the tax or make any further concessions, and he deprecated being pressed for any more concessions. As long as we object to this tax we shall not confiine ourselves to asking for concessions this year only; that demand will also be made in subsequent years. I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in all frankness, to watch very carefully what the effect of this tax will be. After all the arguments which have been used, it is facts that will in the long run decide as to who was right or wrong. We on 152 this side of the House are convinced that our case against the tax is a good one. We shall watch in the years which are near the return of the quantities of coal exported from this country, the price of coal, and the rise and fall in miners' wages; and I trust, at any rate, that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not going to yield any more this year, he will keep an open mind; that he will with us watch those things, and if they prove that our contentions are true—if we have depression of trade, and a reduction in the quantity of coal exported—then I trust the right hon. Gentleman will be one of the first—and I think we may expect it from the openness of mind that he has shown—to admit the force of the facts. I am sure that if the right hon. Gentleman admits hereafter the force of the tax, and finds himself compelled to repeal it in future years, he will find a good deal of compensation in the fact that the loss to the revenue will be so small.
§ SIR CHRISTOPHER FURNESS (Hartlepool)
said that on the first occasion on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had announced his intention of making that new departure he ventured to state that he was satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman had not given sufficient attention or consideration to the matter. What had transpired since clearly proved that if the right hon. Gentleman had known as much of the matter then as he did now he would not have included it in his Budget statement. Several hon. Members had spoken on the matter from their own knowledge. They had had a speech from the hon. Member for Hull, a gentleman who possessed probably more experience as a shipowner than any other gentleman in the country; they had had the views of the hon. Member for Fife, who was a large colliery owner; and a very able speech from the hon. Member for Mid Durham with regard to the tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his speech made a reference to what took place when he was President of the Board of Trade, which would be in the recollection of the House. He had inquired of the hon. Member for Hull, and was informed that the hon. Member did not remember one single occasion which would justify the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman. He was afraid 153 that it was very difficult for hon. Members to discuss the tax from a practical standpoint without bringing on themselves therebukes of the right hon. Gentleman. He would remind the right hon. Gentleman, however, and it was within his own knowledge that when he was President of the Board of Trade he never attempted to interfere with any particular trade without taking the gentlemen connected with it into his confidence. He fully recognised that when it was proposed to introduce a tax it was impossible to let the cat out of the bag; but yet a practical knowledge of the effect of the tax on coal would have shown the right hon. Gentleman that the Revenue could not possibly suffer by disclosing his intention of taxing an article which in consequence of its weight and bulk must go from the pit's mouth to the seaportdaily.
On a previous occasion when the tax was discussed the President of the Board of Trade expressed surprise that shipowners on that side of the House did not take part in the discussion, and he said that if the tax were injurious at all, it would be injurious to shipowners. But why should the shipowners take any part in the discussion, if the foreigner were going to pay the tax? Shipping was the greatest industry that Great Britain possessed, and the question of coal in connection with it was a very serious one. Professor Jevons had stated that it was the Alpha and Omega of our trade. The question of foreign competition in coal divided itself into three parts. It had been admitted during the debate that they had practically lost the trade in the ports east of Suez owing to the development of coal in Bengal, Japan, and other places. Therefore they might dismiss that part of the trade from their consideration. Then as to European countries, Germany, Sweden, France, Norway, and Russia, it was admitted that the competition was very keen, but it was claimed that they could continue that trade even though their exports were taxed. Then there was the trade with the Mediterranean ports. The Chancellor of the Exchequer disregarded altogether the question of American competition in that part of the world. Since the Budget had been introduced, he had made it his business to look into the question of the 154 possibility of American competition in the Mediterranean ports. It was claimed in America that coal could be carried from an American seaport to a Mediterranean port for 5s. or 6s. a ton; but from a practical business point of view he did not regard that as possible. It should, however, be remembered that coal could now be produced in Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and other States at the pit's mouth cheaper than in England, but when the question of an export was considered, the price at the point of consumption, not at the point of production, should be taken into consideration. With reference to American coal, it should not be forgotten that the distance from the collieries to the seaports varied from 220 to 410 miles. The determination of the American people to enter into foreign competitions was, however, such that they had built special cars for coal, carrying from forty to fifty tons each, as against the three or five ton cars used in England. The consequence was that, although the collieries were a considerable distance from the seaports, coal was carried to the sea at a cost of ⅛d. per ton per mile, whereas, in England it cost in many cases eight or nine times that. Coal could be delivered at Philadephia, Baltimore, or Newport at 7s. 5d. per ton. The Americans had also coal steamers which carried very much larger cargoes of coal than English colliers. He claimed that America was producing more coal at present than England, and was increasing her facilities to such am extent that Americans were now capable of dealing with 175,000 tons per day, and on that basis they would be able to export 50,000,000 tons as soon as they had sufficiently increased their mercantile fleet. America was also determined to compete with the only strong trade left to England, namely, the shipping trade. If the Bounty Bill, by which 9,000,000 dollars a year was to be given to assist the American mercantile fleet, became law, then the coal trade in the Mediterranean would be very seriously interfered with indeed. He found that American coal could be delivered at Mediterranean ports at 15s. 11d. a ton. The export of coal from America in 1885 was 650,000 tons; in 1889 it was 2,854,000 tons; and last year it was practically 8,000,000 tons; and it 155 would continue to increase. Then, again, it seemed to him that sufficient consideration had not been given to the question of bunkering British ships abroad. At Antwerp British shipowners had the option of being supplied with Belgian steam coal; at Rotterdam and Amsterdam they had the option of being supplied with Westphalian coal; but at Naples, Genoa, and other Mediterranean ports there was no option until recently, when American coal was imported.
The hon. Member for the Cockermouth Division had stated that he was going to support the Bill because he believed the industries in which he was engaged would benefit by cheaper coal. Surely when these matters were discussed in the House of Commons a higher standpoint than private gain should be taken; but even looking at the matter from that point of view, he could not see how, if the Government put a duty on export coal, coal would be cheaper. Personally he should have thought it would have been much better to place a tax on all coal at the pits' mouth throughout the country than to select particular pits to be taxed. It appeared to him that in this matter the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been unable to keep his eye off the Member for Chester-le-Street—that he had determined to tax him, and he had been unable to strike at the hon. Member without striking many others. In his opinion this tax would strike a serious blow at the mercantile fleet. He remembered as a boy going down to the docks on north-east coast, which was exporting coal to America. He had seen the development of that trade, and he could trace the large shipyards that had been built and the employment of so many thousands of men as being clearly due to the service cargo steamers, which was of in itself directly traceable to the export of coal from that district. He could only hope that the right hon. Gentleman would not impose this as a permanent tax. He predicted that it would take a long time to recover from its evil effects if the tax was only imposed for a year.
§ MR. BLACK (Banffshire),
who spoke amid continued cries of "Divide," was understood to say that the right hon. Gentleman, not content with taxing the women and children in this country by 156 his duty on sugar, now proposed to endeavour to get the foreigner to share our taxation. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the foreigners would pay this tax, and if the foreigners did pay, well and good; but the question he wanted answered was whether this was not the commencement of a new fiscal policy. Either the idea of getting the foreigner to pay our taxes was sound or it was unsound. If sound, then the right hon. Gentleman was bound to go on and tax hardware, textile fabrics, and all other articles which we were able to make cheaper than our neighbours, and particularly those articles produced by the industries into which coal entered as a necessary article for the production of the goods. Coal was not only exported in the form of coal, but to a certain extent in every article in which coal was used in the process of production, and the argument in favour of the export duty on coal would therefore apply equally in favour of an export duty upon everything else of the kind he had indicated. He asked therefore, was this duty to stop at coal, or was it the commencement of a new fiscal policy? If, on the other hand, the idea that the foreigner could be got to share our taxation was unsound, the tax stood self-condemned, for it then meant a tax upon industry. One argument in favour of the tax was that the export of coal was a waste of the capital of the country. That argument was 300 years old, and was used by Queen Mary of Scotland, who, however, took the right way, having regard to that view, to deal with the matter. She prohibited the export altogether. How did the Chancellor propose to deal with the matter? Even supposing that in exporting coal we were wasting the capital of the country, it was not the labourer who produced or the man who exported, but the man who sold the coal—the royalty owner—who should be taxed. If the fertile soil of the country were being sold, and we wished to stop the sale, we should tax the person who was selling it, not the labourer who dug it, nor the contractor. It was true that on a rising market they would obtain the 1s. a ton from the foreigner in the first instance, but the 1s. thus obtained would, but for the tax, have gone into the pocket of the labourer and coalowner. But if it be 157 true that in a rising market we can get this tax from the foreigner without actually lowering the labourers' wages (although at the expense of keeping them stationary) it is manifest that the converse is true that in a falling market the collier and the coalowner must pay the duty. But let us suppose that honours are easy with regard to the incidence of the duty, and that the 1s. a ton would be divided—one-third would fall upon the foreigner, one-third on the coalowner and one third on the collier, this meant that out of an average wage of 3s. 4d. a ton which the collier earned, he would have to pay 4d., which implied, so far as he was concerned, an income tax of 2s. in the pound; and on a falling market that amount would be proportion-
§ ately increased at a period when the unfortunate man could least afford it. Another point against the tax was that it was easily evaded. The right hon. Gentleman proposed to exempt coal of a less price than 6s. a ton; and what was to prevent somebody setting up a house on the opposite side under another name to which they might consign all their coal at a less price than 6s., and so evade the tax altogether. That in itself was an illustration of the difficulty of making this tax effectual, and he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to pause before he embarked on so disastrous a fiscal policy.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 199; Noes, 154. (Division List No. 323.)161
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Hoult, Joseph|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham|
|Arkwright,—John Stanhope||Cranborne, Viscount||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Crossley, Sir Savile||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cust, Henry John C.||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Denny, Colonel||Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Dewar, T. R. (T'rHaml'ts, S Geo.||Keswick, William|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Knowles, Lees|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lawson, John Grant|
|Balfour, Maj K. R. (Christchurch||Fergusson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. (M'nc'r)||Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H.|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Finch, George H.||Legge, Col. Hn. Heneage|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. W. W. B. (Hants.||Flower, Ernest||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Garfit, William||Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bigwood, James||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Bill, Charles||Gordon, J. (L'ndonderry, South||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gordon, Maj-Evan (T'rHamlets||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Gore, Hon. S.F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Goschen, Hn. George Joachim||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire|
|Bull, William James||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Greene, Sir E. W (B'rySEdm'nds||Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Groves, James Grimble||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hall, Edward Marshall||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hambro, Charles Eric||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Chapman, Edward||Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashford||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Charrington, Spencer||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Mount, William Arthur|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Henderson, Alexander||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Coddington, Sir William||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Myers, William Henry|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Parker, Gilbert|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Saasoon, Sir Edward Albert||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)||Webb, Col. William George|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Purvis, Robert||Smith, H. C. (NorthmbTyneside||Whitmore, Chas. Algernon|
|Randles, John S.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Rankin, Sir James||Spear, John Ward||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Ratcliff, R. F.||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E. R. (Bath|
|Renshaw, Charles Bine||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Renwick, George||Stock, James Henry||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Ridley, S. Forde (BethnalGreen)||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wylie, Alexander|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Strutt, Hon. Chas. Hedley||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Sturt, Hn. Humphry Napier||Younger, William|
|Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Round, James||Thorburn, Sir Walter||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Hayes-Fisher.|
|Russell, T. W.||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Fuller, J. M. F.||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary Mid)|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Bell, Richard||Hammond, John||O'Dowd, John|
|Black, Alexander William||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Boland, John||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon N.|
|Brigg, John||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Malley, William|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Mara, James|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||O'Shee, James John|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Holland, William Henry||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham|
|Burt, Thomas||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Horniman, Frederick John||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)|
|Caine, William Sproston||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden|
|Caldwell, James||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)|
|Cameron, Robert||Jacoby, James Alfred||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Joicey, Sir James||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cawley, Frederick||Joyce, Michael||Price, Robert John|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Kearley, Hudson E.||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lambert, George||Reddy, M.|
|Colville, John||Leamy, Edmund||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)>|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Leng, Sir John||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Crean, Eugene||Levy, Maurice||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Crombie, John William||Lewis, John Herbert||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Cullinan, J.||Lundon, W.||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Roche, John|
|Delany, William||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||M'Dermott, Patrick||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Dillon, John||M'Kenna, Reginald||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark)||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire|
|Duffy, William J.||Minch, Matthew||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Mooney, John J.||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants|
|Dunn, Sir William||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Strachey, Edward|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Murnaghan, George||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Murphy, John||Thomas, J. A. (Glamorgan, G'wer|
|Fenwick, Charles||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Trevelyan, Chas. Philips|
|Ferguson, R. C. (Monro, Leith)||Newnes, Sir George||Tully, Jasper|
|Ffrench, Peter||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Wallace, Robert|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Norman, Henry||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Weir, James Galloway|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. D. A. Thomas and Mr. John Wilson (Durham).|
|Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||Young, Samuel|
|Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
§ MR. SEELY (Lincoln) moved, in Clause 3, page 2, to leave out "free on board" and insert "at the colliery." He said that his proposal was that, instead of giving a rebate on coal at a price less than 6s. a ton f.o.b., the quality of the coal should be settled by its price at the pit's mouth. A smaller price would have to be taken at the port in order to allow for the railway rates from inland collieries, and he would recommend that 4s. 6d. should be taken as the price at the port. This he thought was a reasonable price to carry out what he believed to be the intention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As he understood, the right hon. Gentleman did not intend to charge this duty on inferior and small coal, which would be exposed to a very severe competition from fine coal, and he thought that purpose would be carried out more fairly, as between distant districts and districts near the port of embarkation, if the right hon. Gentleman made his exemption on the price at the colliery instead of at the port. There was considerable difference in the railway rates, and if the exemption was given on the price of coal at the ports, it would not give any benefit to inland collieries, between whom and Germany a considerable trade had sprung up. If the right hon. Gentleman could see his way to accept this suggestion he would advance the interests of a very considerable trade. If the right hon. Gentleman could not do it this year, he would appeal to him to consider this matter, and see whether he could not do something in this direction next year.
In page 2, line 44, to leave out the words 'free on board,' and insert the words 'at the colliery,' instead thereof."—(Mr. Seely.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'free on board' stand part of the Bill."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said there would be a great practical difficulty in the acceptance of this Amendment, because the moment of shipment was the moment when the coal came in touch with the Customs officers, by whom the duty must be levied. It followed there- 162 fore that the tax should be levied at the price "free on board." because the Customs House officer would not be acquainted with the price at the pit's mouth. It would be impossible to do what was desired—namely, to equalise the position of the different colliery districts in England and Scotland as to the cost of transport to the port of shipment. The effect of the Amendment would be to deprive those districts in which the railway rates were very low of part of the exemption which he had undertaken to give them. But he promised that he would watch the working of this exemption very carefully, and if he saw any injustice he would try to remedy it.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Another Amendment made.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid)
I do not know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer will accept my Amendment on the Paper. He has exempted coal at 6s. a ton, and I asked him whether he would not exempt coke made with that kind of coal. That class of coal when transformed into coke is represented by coke at about 11s. per ton, and I want to know whether he will exempt that. I am not sure whether coke would come under "manufactured fuel," but it would be simpler to have it stated at a price f.o.b., and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment.
In page 3, line 1, after the last Amendment, to insert the words 'and on any coke the value of which free on board is so proved not to exceed eleven shillings per ton.'"—(Mr. John Wilson, Durham Mid)
§ Question proposed, "That those words, be there inserted."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I expressed my wish to deal with coke, if possible, in the manner stated by the hon. Member, but I think I said also that the price was the greatest difficulty in the way of doing so, and that the great bulk of coke was made from coal of a far greater value than 6s. I agree 163 with the hon. Member so far as to say that, if anything is to be done with coke, it must be done on the lines of his Amendment, but I do not feel able to accept the Amendment at present for two reasons. I have been quite unable to ascertain in the short time at my disposal, since I saw his proposal on the Paper, how much coke would be likely in an ordinary year to come under the exemption, or how it would work. Further, I am advised that the export trade in coke of this quality is so very small that practically the matter can hardly be said to be of urgent importance, and that it might fairly be allowed to rest until we can ascertain precisely how the matter stands. I should be glad if the hon. Member would postpone the matter—I do not think any important interest would be materially affected—and then we shall be able to see exactly how the duty works in regard to coke.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON
After the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
I desire to move the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Merthyr in order to give an opportunity to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to state to the House what are the rules which he proposes to lay down in the exemption of contracts. This does not touch the question of the date of the contracts; that will arise on the next Amendment. What I am particularly anxious about is that the right hon. Gentleman should give some assurance that certain, at any rate, of the uncovered contracts should also be allowed exemption. I understand that the present position of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is that bona fide covered contracts should in every case up to the date named be exempted from the tax; but with regard to uncovered contracts the Chancellor of the Exchequer is unwilling to give any exemption except in cases of special hardship. There are a great many cases in which it was quite impossible for the merchant to cover all his contracts. In the first place a merchant may make a number of large sales abroad. He does not immediately buy against each of those 164 sales at all; he buys generally, and from a number of collieries. He could not in every case state exactly that a foreign contract is covered by a particular purchase which he had made. Therefore the first exemption one would ask for is, that where there have been sales abroad and general purchases at home those general purchases should in every case be put to covering the foreign sales. The next point is that in the case of small coal it is quite impossible for the merchant immediately to cover his contracts. When I say immediately I do not mean a question of a day or two. It is often a matter of months. A merchant has to go round picking up small coal as he can get it. Sometimes he may be able to get a large amount, while at other times he can get only a small quantity—he must wait for it. Therefore not to allow the exemption on uncovered contracts in respect of small coal would inflict a very great hardship on the merchant. There is also another difficulty. Prices go up in fine weather in south Wales when the miners are not working—or in the case of agricultural shows, or Eisteddfod, or other public amusements of that character. Then, also, some delay ought to be allowed to enable the merchant to cover his contracts at a reasonable price. There are also cases in which a merchant may be concerned in a colliery company. He does not in that case immediately cover his contracts, because he knows that he can always get his coal at the current price of the day. In all these cases uncovered contracts are not in any sense speculative transactions. A merchant must often sell before he has bought the coal, and it would be only reasonable that the same exemption should be given to uncovered as to covered contracts up to the end of the year. This is the only way in which I could bring the matter forward, and I beg formally to move the Amendment.
In page 3, line 4, to leave out the words 'may if they think fit in any case,' and insert the word 'shall,' instead thereof"—(Mr. M'Kenna.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."165
§ MR. LAW (Glasgow, Blackfriars)
I would not have taken any further part in this discussion if I did not feel very strongly that in the case of the exception which the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to make in the exemption from the tax he is doing a great injustice. It means very little to the Treasury, but it will inflict a considerable hardship upon individuals; and, so far as I understand the question, cannot be defended on any general principles whatever. The ground upon which the right hon. Gentleman exempted contracts at all was simply that the coal tax was novel, that no amount of prudence or foresight would have enabled those interested to guard against it. If that is the principle, it applies to all bona fide contracts which have been made with the foreigner—just as much to contracts made by the coal merchants as to contracts made directly by the coal masters. As I understand it, the ground on which the right hon. Gentleman refuses to make exemptions in the former class of contracts is that he considers such transactions are gambling transactions—
§ MR. LAW
That they are speculative transactions in regard to which the coal merchants should not be protected. It seems to me that this House has a perfect right to pass laws making it illegal to sell particular commodities for future delivery. That has been attempted by other countries, but never successfully; but the House has no right to inflict hardship upon individuals for conducting their business in a way which is at least legal. On that ground of principle I think all contracts made before the 19th April should be exempted from the tax. The House of Commons, like other bodies, is not influenced solely by general principles; it is influenced by sentiment, and I am afraid that even my right hon. friend is not entirely free from that influence. Let us, therefore, look at the matter from his own point of view. Are these transactions speculative in the sense 166 that they are not perfectly legitimate? What is their nature? A coal merchant devotes his thought to the consideration of the trade in which he is engaged, and when he has done so, with an informed judgment, he goes into the market and buys coal, not because he expects to sell it immediately to a particular customer, but because he hopes later on, when the rise which he expects has taken place, to make a profit out of the transaction. Is not that perfectly legitimate? In the same way the coal merchant, under exactly the same considerations, sells coal in advance because he thinks there is likely to be a fall in price, and he hopes later on to make a profit in that way. Surely that transaction is perfectly legitimate so long as it is not on a scale out of proportion to the merchant's capital—so long, that is, as he runs no risk of being unable to fulfil his obligations. It will be said that such transactions are speculative. But all business is more or less speculative. The coal master who sells his coal for six or twelve months in advance is speculating; he cannot possibly know how much it will cost him to extract that coal from the earth. He sells it because he thinks that by selling it now he will get a better price than later on. The coal merchant, who is influenced by exactly the same considerations, and has exactly the same knowledge to guide him, is punished, while the coal master is allowed to go free. That is most unfair, and it inflicts a great injustice on a particular class. Everyone must recognise that one of the strongest qualities of the right hon. Gentleman is determination; we all admire him for it, and we have never seen a better example of it than on this question. When the right hon. Gentleman first considered the question of exempting contracts, he said, "I will only exempt contracts where loss is proved." On further consideration, however, he thought that was unjust, and waived it. But here we have exactly the same principle in a modified, but far more unfair, form. As originally proposed, the coal masters would have had to pay their share, and they were much better able to pay it than the coal exporters. They made large profits from the high prices of coal in the last two years, while probably many—to my 167 certain knowledge some—coal exporters made a loss last year through selling in advance, and having to buy at the exorbitant prices then current. These men thought that this year they would get back some of the loss of last year, but now the Chancellor of the Exchequer steps in and says to them, "I am not going to tax the coal masters, because their way of doing business is perfectly legitimate; but I am going to tax you, because I do not think you do your business in a legitimate way."
§ MR. LAW
That may not be the right hon. Gentleman's motive, but it is the effect. Coal exporters are a very poor class. There are rich firms engaged in the trade, but the majority of those engaged are poor men. There is no trade with which I am acquainted in which it is more difficult to make a living, and in which there is more competition. This class is poor, small, and uninfluential, and they have not a single representative in this House. The coal masters, who are well represented here, and who had made their views so distinctly felt, are most of them indifferent on this question. Why is that? Because, like my right hon. friend, they do not like the way in which these gentlemen conduct their business. But they dislike it on different grounds, not because they think it is an improper way of doing business, but because, like other people, they are influenced by self-interest, and they think that this selling in advance prevents them getting as high a price as they otherwise would obtain. They are, therefore, quite willing to see the coal exporter suffer. The very fact that this class is so uninfluential and defenceless is the greater reason why this House should be specially careful to see that no injustice is done. There is a remarkable anomaly in this matter. If a coal merchant had sold coal on the 1st January, and bought it on the 15th April, he would have been running this risk for three and a half months, would have made a good profit, and would not have had to pay the tax. But if a competitor had sold coal on the 10th April, and bought on the 10th May, he would have been speculating for a much shorter period, would not have made a profit, 168 and would have had to pay the tax. I shall be told that anomalies of this kind are inevitable when a new tax is imposed. There is something in that, but this anomaly is not due to that fact. The cause of the injustice is that the right hon. Gentleman has decided this matter in a purely arbitrary way, and without reference to any guiding principle whatever.
I have put the case as briefly and as clearly as I could. I have no personal interest in the subject; I have taken it up reluctantly, because I thought I understood the question and that a great injustice was being done. I do not ask my right hon. friend to give any promise now, or to make any alteration in the Bill itself. It is simply a question of the interpretation of the Bill. But I do ask him again to give this matter his consideration, to look at it with the impartiality of a judge and without any reference to moral considerations, which really have no bearing whatever on the question. If he will do that, and in so doing finds there is the slightest doubt as to the fairness of this mode of dealing with exemptions, I ask him to give these unfortunate men the benefit of the doubt. I ask him to do this because, although the amount gained to the country is small, the amount of loss and hardship to these men is very great, and will, I am informed, in some cases, be just the difference between solvency and bankruptcy.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
My hon. friend has pleaded his case with great ability, and I shall endeavour to show that, although I have some feeling as to the nature of these contracts, my proposed method of dealing with them is not so harsh as the hon. Member supposes, and is guided by a reasonable consideration of the facts. When this question of exempting contracts was first brought before me, this case was put to me. The middle-man—the class for whom my hon. friend is pleading—contracts with the colliery owner for the purchase of coal. He at the same time, or before, or shortly afterwards, sells the coal he has agreed to buy to a foreign purchaser. He is therefore bound on both sides; he is bound by the price he has to pay the colliery owner, and by the 169 price the foreign purchaser has agreed to pay him. The margin between the two prices is apt to be very small—sometimes no more than 4d. per ton. It was pointed out to me that it would be a very grave hardship on the part of the State to exact a duty of 1s. per ton from such a contractor, seeing that he could not have anticipated such a tax, and that his profit on the contract could be no more than perhaps 4d. per ton. I therefore agreed to exempt to a certain date what are called covered "contracts"—that is, contracts for sale covered by contracts for purchase. By that exemption I have deprived the Revenue of more than £650,000 this year. I think my hon. friend, therefore, will admit that, as far as the Revenue is concerned, I have not been illiberal in the matter. But now my hon. friend asks me to go further, and to extend the exemption to the middle-man's contracts for sale to purchasers abroad, which are not covered by contracts for the purchase of coal here—cases, in fact, where a person has sold coal which he has not got, and which, therefore, he can only speculate as to his power to deliver. Those are speculative contracts pure and simple. I am not saying that they are illegitimate or wrong; all I say is that they are speculative. What is the speculation? It is not a question of a difference of 4d. per ton, as in the case of covered contracts. The person making such a contract does so in the hope that he may be able to buy at a much lower price than that for which he has contracted to sell, and he deliberately postpones covering his contract in that hope. I should say that a very small proportion of the ordinary f.o.b. and c.f.i. contracts are uncovered.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I mean cases where the contract for sale has been of a definite quantity at a fixed price. What happens in such a case as this, where the contract for sale is not covered? We have seen a falling market for the last year. Take a contract for sale made a year ago, when prices were at their maximum, or even as lately as last October, when also prices were very high. I do not say that the contractor for sale to a foreign purchaser got a contract for a year's delivery 170 of coal at the full market rate of that time, but he must have got a high price. He waits to purchase, we will say, until now, or until January, February, or March, with a falling market all the time. If a person made a contract last October for a year's delivery of coal in instalments up to next October, he might now be buying coal at from 9s. to 5s. per ton cheaper, according to the different kinds, than he could have bought it last October, and he would have been coining money out of his speculation. What claim has such a person for exemption? None at all. I have declined, and I must decline, to give it. I must decline to treat contracts which are uncovered on the same footing as contracts which are covered, for the reason that those who make them have speculated on risks far larger than the 1s. duty, and must have succeeded in many cases. But that is not all. There is another class of contracts which I have described as gambling contracts—contracts in which a person not possessing any coal deliberately undertakes to sell an indefinite quantity of coal for a year, or perhaps longer, at a certain price to a purchaser abroad. The purchaser abroad under such a contract may take as much coal as he likes. Supposing prices rise, where is the man who has made the contract? He is half ruined. He has to supply an indefinite quantity of coal—any quantity that may be demanded of him by the purchaser abroad—at a price which perhaps is many shillings a ton less than he has to pay for it. That is a pure gambling transaction, which ought not to be exempted at all, and I do not propose that it should be. But this much I will undertake to do in answer to the hon. Member for North Monmouth. I shall carefully consider all individual cases, such as the hon. Member has referred to—ordinary f.o.b. and c.f.i. contracts for a definite quantity at a definite price which are not covered—in which there appears to be any real hardship. There may be cases in which there are elements of harshness. Take such a case as this, a case in which a man made a contract for sale on April 18. Of course, I should be willing to make some allowance of time to enable him to cover it. Take another case. Supposing that, although a man has contracted to sell a certain amount 171 of coal, he cannot show that that certain amount is covered by a particular buying contract, but still he has the coal If he has the coal, of course that would be taken into consideration. And there may be other cases. Hon. Members have no idea how various these cases are. I can assure them that I should consider all these cases in the spirit I have indicated to the House, and I hope hon. Members will feel that I am prepared to meet them wherever possible.
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)
I have always done my best in the course of my business experience to thwart those gentlemen who speculate in coal, and I assure the House that they have not much sympathy from me. I cannot, however take quite the same view as the right hon. Gentleman upon this point. If the right hon. Gentleman is going to exempt all contracts for exported coal up to the end of the year, I cannot see how, in reason or justice, he can consistently refuse to exempt those contracts which have been not covered. In this case the coal has been sold for export and the contractors have become liable for duty, and I fail entirely to see how the right hon. Gentleman can refuse to give to them what he has given to the contractors who have covered. It is an injustice not to treat those who have not covered in the same way as those who have covered their contracts. The middleman who desires to sell coal abroad sends out his agent, and very often the coal is bought beforehand. Supposing the coal was bought before the 18th of April, and he came back a month afterwards, he would feel very hardly dealt with if the right hon. Gentleman refused to exempt him under those conditions. I have been annoyed myself when I have given a quotation for a contract in a falling market, when the man has not actually bought his coal for three or four months, and he has been able to purchase on better terms. I think the right hon. Gentleman is losing sight of what is the real position to take up in this matter. I cannot think that he is wise in exercising his discretion in this way. If a man is entitled to exemption, I fail to see why he is not entitled to it even if his contracts are not covered. I have been informed that there have been 172 communications with the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the position of these contracts, and there was a meeting on the 3rd of May between the exporters and the Board of Customs. Many gentlemen whose contracts were not covered have been under the impression that the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not intend to reserve uncovered contracts; they have telegraphed to customers abroad that all contracts would be exempted, and the customers abroad will hold them to that position. I am afraid that unless the right hon. Gentleman meets the demands which are put forward upon this subject those gentlemen will be obliged to bear the burden of the tax themselves, because there is no chance of getting it from the foreigner. Having had access to the contracts, the right hon. Gentleman may say that there are cases where they have made large profits. I am not going to deal with that question, because profit and loss should not enter into the matter at all. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman understands where this proposal will lead him to. It would be much wiser and more just to deal with all contracts alike, making no reservations of this kind. I know that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is fair-minded, and he is anxious to deal with this question in a just and proper manner. I take a wider view, and I say that in my opinion all contracts entered into before the 19th of April ought to be exempted, for unless that is done, it gives this tax a retrospective operation which has never existed with regard to any tax before. Upon these grounds, I do hope the right hon. Gentleman will consider what we have said upon this point, and I trust he will see his way to put all contracts on the same footing and thus remove this injustice.
§ MR. M'KENNA
After the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. M'KENNA moved an Amendment for the purpose of extending the discretion of the Treasury as to the exemption of contracts beyond 1st January, 1902, and making that discretion unlimited. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had admitted that, in the 173 case of covered contracts, there was a reasonable claim for exemption from the duty. What reason could be urged for limiting the date to the end of this year? He knew that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had a rooted objection to speculation in business, and it might be said that contracts for a longer period were of a speculative character. He suspected that might be the objection of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but certainly, so far as south Wales was concerned, that argument had no validity. In south Wales there was the system of the sliding scale. If the price of coal went up, wages went up, and if the price went down, wages went down. The rise and fall were quite automatic. The colliery proprietor who had sold for a longer time than the end of the year had not made a speculative sale at all. If the price of coal went up he would make less on the individual contract, but that would be recouped from the fact that on other contracts he would sell at the higher price. The real question behind this point, to his mind, was the effect the tax would have upon labour.
§ Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present. House counted, and forty Members being found present—
§ MR. M'KENNA
(continuing) said it had been asserted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Members of the Government that the tax would not and should not affect wages. If this Amendment was not accepted what would be the effect of the tax so far as South Wales was concerned? As the Bill now stood the duty on existing contracts beyond the end of the year would be put upon the colliery proprietor, and it would be held that it should come off the selling price of the coal, which was entered for the audit which took place every two months, and which settled the scale of wages. Therefore any duty on existing contracts which could not be recovered from the foreigner, and which fell upon the colliery owner, must directly affect wages. It reduced the selling price of the coal for audit, and on account of the fall in the selling price there would be a reduction made on the miners' wages. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Members of the Government 174 had declared that this was not to be a tax on labour. He should say, therefore, that all existing covered contracts must be exempted. With regard to the future the Chancellor of the Exchequer held that the duty would not fall upon this country but upon the foreigner. While disagreeing with the right hon. Gentleman on that point he admitted that it was a question for argument, debate, and dispute. But upon existing covered contracts beyond the end of the year there could be no doubt that the duty must fall upon the colliery proprietor or exporter, and if, as the Bill now stood, it was allowed to fall on the colliery proprietor it must fall as to two-thirds on the wages of the miner. Therefore, in order to carry out the intention of the Government with regard to this tax, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was bound to make no distinction as to the duty on covered contracts. There was another reason why the right hon. Gentleman should accept the Amendment. He had down on the Paper an Amendment to carry out a distinct and definite pledge, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave that, if a form of words could be found which could carry out more appropriately the principle contained in Section 20 of the Customs Consolidation Act, he would accept those words. Section 20 of the Customs Consolidation Act was incorporated in the schedule referring to the coal duty when the Finance Bill was originally introduced, but it was struck out as a consequence of an Amendment moved by the hon. Member for West Islington.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said he had carefully considered the words of the Amendment, and he could not accept them. He did not think he had given a pledge as to the acceptance of the principle of Section 20 of the Customs Consolidation Act.
§ MR. M'KENNA
said he did not say that. He begged the Chancellors' pardon if he had misunderstood him. When Section 20 of the Customs Consolidation Act was dropped out of the schedule the right hon. Gentleman agreed that if more appropriate words could be introduced into the schedule he would accept those words. He submitted that the words of the Amendment were sufficient and appropriate.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said the hon. Member's remarks were not relevant to the Amendment now under consideration.
§ MR. M'KENNA
said he only referred to the other Amendment because the Amendment he was now moving, if accepted, would render it quite unnecessary to move the Amendment on the schedule. He asked the right hon. Gentleman to remove all difficulties, disputes, and discussions by accepting the Amendment which was at present under discussion. There could be no question in principle why in the case of bona fide covered contracts any distinction should be made between 31st December, 1901, and any period subsequent to that date. He knew a case where an exporter had sold for a period of three years 250,000 tons of coal under a covering contract, which gave him a profit of 1½d. per ton How could such a man pay a duty of 1s. per ton? It would cause him a loss of £10,000 or £12,000 on this single contract. He would not mention the name of the gentleman, but he believed he was correct in saying that the sum which the tax collector would compel him to pay was altogether beyond his means of meeting. He submitted there was no possible answer to the claim that such contracts should be exempted from the tax.
In page 3, line 5, to leave out the words 'before the first day of January nineteen hundred and two.'"—(Mr. M'Kenna.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'before the first day of' stand part of the Bill."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
When this matter was first brought under my notice the date which I subsequently adopted, 1st January, 1902, was the latest date suggested by those who argued the question on behalf of the exporters. It was because the customer abroad did not come under British law, and because Section 20 of the Customs Consolidation Act was not applicable to him, that the exemption was granted at all. I had great hesitation in adopting so forward a date. It seems to me a concession of great magnitude, because it will cost the Revenue more than £650,000—perhaps 176 £700,000—this year. It is, therefore, in comparison with the amount of the tax, a much greater concession than that which was given by Sir Robert Peel in 1842, when he allowed no more than four months to elapse from the date of the passing of his resolution till his tax came into effect. I have in this clause proposed to allow something like eight months. That seems to me to be quite as far as we ought to go, and I will tell the hon. Member why. He does not name any date at all. He limits his proposal no doubt to covered contracts, and I can conceive that there may be cases of hardship coming under covered contracts, but I do not think we ought to allow what the proposal of the hon. Member would do—namely, to permit the colliery owner who has contracted to sell his own coal for three years to escape free from the duty all that time, long after the coal produced by everybody else in the country had to pay the tax. The proposal would act unfairly, for the great bulk of long contracts were made with colliery owners rather than with merchants. I admit that the colliery owners may have to bear some part of the tax, but then they can well afford it. I am not prepared to accept the Amendment.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said the right hon. Gentleman had hardly grasped at least from the point of view of those in the trade, the force of the observations made by the hon. Member for North Monmouth. At Swansea there were middlemen who were carrying on business, but not in the speculative sense, such as might be described as gambling in futures. They had certain relations with shipowners and with the coal owners in Monmouthshire, and they had friends abroad. Now, if they had made contracts last January or October with two or three colliers with whom they had relations, and if they had made other contracts which only covered half the whole amount they had contracted to supply to the Mediterranean ports, they might be ruined unless their contracts were exempted. He understood that the Chancellor of the Exchequer stood firm about the question of covered and uncovered contracts, and that the right hon. Gentleman adhered to the exact 177 terms of the clause in the Bill as now amended.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
But with the addition that when they came to executive action the right hon. Gentleman was going to give favourable consideration to any case in which it was made clear that it was not a gambling transaction?
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I have said I was prepared to consider cases in which there would be great hardship.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said if they were going to trust the Treasury at all to exercise discretion, let them trust the Treasury absolutely. If the Customs authorities said that a certain case was a case for remission, how was that to be dealt with? Were they going to call evidence and hear counsel?
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said the right hon. Gentleman was afraid to hear counsel and have the matter argued out soundly. He had not heard one single word that would stand the test of any logical analysis in answer to the proposition of his hon. friend.
§ MR. JOSEPH WALTON
said that in addition to middlemen who made contracts for export abroad, the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to consider the case of the colliery owners who had been in the habit of making direct contracts abroad for certain fixed periods. These contracts might be for one or two years, and the custom was to renew them from time to time over many years. Only in that way had the colliery owners a hope of getting a fairly reasonable average price owing to the fluctuations in the market. Contracts were in existence on the 19th April for delivery at the end of June next year, and also for the whole of next year; and it seemed only fair and reasonable that in the case of these bona fide contracts, entered into without the slightest idea that an export duty would be imposed, there should be no time limit. It would remove complications, hardships, and a great deal of the sense of injustice if the Chancellor of the Exchequer could see his way to settle the whole matter by exempting all 178 bona fide contracts for export entered into before 19th April last. The loss to the Exchequer would not be of a very serious character, and it would really allay a great deal of feeling against the tax.
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY
said he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman not on grounds of generosity, but on grounds of justice to reconsider his decision. Parliament had always recognised that it was unfair to put a tax on a contract of this kind unless there was some method of charging the Customs dues on the consumer. He could not understand how the right hon. Gentleman could exempt one contract without exempting all contracts. Surely the colliery owner was as much entitled to justice as any one else; and he maintained that the position in which the right hon. Gentleman had placed himself, was that he was not prepared to give justice in the case of particular contracts. This duty would fall heavily on a few individuals. He admitted that the bulk of the contracts had been made with the colliery owners direct, but there were others which had been made by merchants, and he knew of cases where serious injustice would be inflicted. He maintained that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had no right to have the discretion of saying that he would exempt certain contracts and not others. By adopting such a course the House would be creating a precedent which he felt sure they would regret hereafter.
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY
said he felt sure, that, when the whole facts of the case came to be known in the districts which dealt with these matters, a strong sense of injustice would rankle in the mind of every man who understood the business. Undoubtedly this was a most unjust impost.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)
said he desired to enforce the arguments used by his hon. friend the Member for North Monmouth. The effect of the Amendment was to shut out entirely from the discretion of the Treasury exemption in cases of hardship after the 1st January, 1902. The answer of 179 the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that they must draw the line somewhere. After all they only asked for the application of the ordinary equitable principle of taxation, that the burden should fall equally on all. Surely it was not unreasonable that the Treasury should have the same discretion in regard to contracts after 1st January as up to that date. Was it fair that one man, because he entered into an ordinary business contract before the imposition of this tax was dreamt of, should, by its operation, lose £10,000 and be driven into the bankruptcy court?
§ MR. SEELY
said that, although he saw the point which induced the Chancellor of the Exchequer to fix a date for exemption, he thought the right hon. Gentleman had fixed it a little too early. He put it to the right hon. Gentleman that a year's contract was a reasonable one, and contracts for such a period were not speculative, but made on purely business lines.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 172; Noes, 121. (Division List No. 324.)181
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Flower, Ernest||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick S. W.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Galloway, William Johnson||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow|
|Arrol, Sir William||Garfit, William||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||Mount, William Arthur|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Balfour, Maj. K. R. (Christch.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Myers, William Henry|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Groves, James Grimble||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Hall-Edward Marshall||Parker, Gilbert|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Hambro, Charles Eric||Pease, Herbert Pike (D'rlingt'n|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. W. W. B. (Hants||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midd'x||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'rry||Percy, Earl|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bigwood, James||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Blundell, Col. Henry||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bousfield, Wm. Robert||Heath, Jas (Stattords, N. W.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Brassey, Albert||Helder, Augustus||Purvis, Robert|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Henderson, Alexander||Randles, John S.|
|Brookfield, Col. Montagu||Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter||Rasch, Maj. Frederic Carne|
|Bull, William James||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampst'd)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Carlile, Wm. Walter||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Renwick, George|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Horner, Frederick Wm.||Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hoult, Joseph||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Round, James|
|Chamberlain J. Ansten (Worc'r||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Russell, T. W.|
|Chapman, Edward||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Charrington, Spencer||Kenyon, Jas. (Lancs., Bury)||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Knowles, Lees||Seely, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Laurie, Lieut. General||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Lawson, John Grant||Smith, H. C. (N'rth'mb., T'neside|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lecky, Rt. Hon. Wm. Edw. H.||Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S.||Spear, John Ward|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Chas.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Denny, Colonel||Lowe, Francis William||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Stock, James Henry|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Maconochie, A. W.||Strutt, Hon. Chas. Hedley|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J. (Manc'r.||M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.)||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Finch, George H.||Majendie, James A. H.||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Malcolm, Ian||Valentia, Viscount|
|Warde, Col. C. E.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)||Younger, William|
|Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Warr, Augustus Frederick||Wolf, Gustav Wilhelm||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Hayes Fisher.|
|Webb, Colonel Wm. George||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-||Wylie, Alexander|
|Willox, Sir John Archibald||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.|
|Allan, Wm. (Gateshead)||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Malley, William|
|Allen, Charles P (Glouc., Stroud||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||O'Mara, James|
|Ambrose, Robert||Holland, William Henry||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Shee, James John|
|Bell, Richard||Horniman, Frederick John||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)|
|Black, Alexander Wm.||Jacoby, James Alfred||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Boland, John||Joicey, Sir James||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a||Price, Robert John|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Joyce, Michael||Reddy, M.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Kearley, Hudson E.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Burt, Thomas||Kitson, Sir James||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Caldwell, James||Lambert, George||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Langley, Batty||Roche, John|
|Cawley, Frederick||Leamy, Edmund||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Levy, Maurice||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Colville, John||Lundon, W.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.)|
|Crean, Eugene||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Killop W. (Sligo, North)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants|
|Delany, William||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Strachey, Edward|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Minch, Matthew||Sullivan, Donal|
|Dillon, John||Mooney, John J.||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Thomas, J. A. (Glamorgan, Gow'r|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Murnaghan, George||Tully, Jasper|
|Fenwick, Charles||Murphy, John||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Ffrench, Peter||Newnes, Sir George||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Young, Samuel|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Haldane, Richard Burdon||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. M'Kenna and Mr. Samuel Evans.|
|Hammond, John||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Dowd, John|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)
said the object of the Amendment he now moved was to extend to the end of the financial year the exemption of the duty. The right hon. Gentleman had been good enough in Committee to extend the date of the exemption up to the 31st of December, and his object in so doing was that all contracts entered into for the year should be exempt. But the right hon. Gentleman was perhaps not aware when he made that concession that it was the practice of the trade in cases where balances were left over—where the contract had not been taken in the period arranged—to still carry out the contracts as if the coal had been delivered in contract time. There was another point to be considered. 182 In almost all contracts entered into there was what was known as a strike clause under which in case of a lock out, strike, or dispute at the collieries, the period of the contract was extended for the period during which the stoppage took place. It was for those reasons that he asked for the extension of the exemption to the end of the financial year. He did not think it would have much effect upon the revenue if his Amendment were accepted, whereas, if it were not, it would inflict great hardship in some cases.
In page 3, line 5, to leave out the word 'January,' and insert the word 'April,' instead thereof."—(Mr. D. A. Thomas.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word January stand part of the Bill."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I think, so far as I can tell offhand, the quantity of coal affected by the Amendment of the hon. Member is 1,500,000 tons. But I cannot accept his Amendment. I do not think it would be reasonable to grant exemption to coal owners after the date of the 31st of December. If there were a case of a middleman who had made a cover contract, and who might suffer serious loss through the cover contract not being carried out, the House would have an opportunity of having it brought before them, and it might then be considered. At present I could not accept the Amendment.
§ SIR CHRISTOPHER FURNESS
said that all that was asked for in the Amendment he rose to move was that the coal in the bunkers for consumption on the outward and homeward voyage should be free from the duty. It was an Amendment which the right hon. Gentleman would see the reasonableness of, and he hoped be ready to accept. Assuming that a steamer was leaving a British port with a mixed cargo for Spain or Italy, or some other foreign port, from which they wished to bring a cargo in return of iron ore or some other raw material, it would be the general custom to place on board that ship a sufficient amount of bunker coal to steam the vessel out and home. If the 1s. a ton was put on the coal to be used for the homeward voyage it must be placed upon the cost of the raw material, and to that extent the price of the raw material would be increased.
In page 3, line 8, after the word 'coal' to insert the words 'required for consumption and use during the outward and homeward voyage.'"—(Sir Christopher Furness.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
The practice of the Customs at present is to allow what I understand the hon. Member desires to effect by this Amendment, but it has to be subject to precautions against the landing of bunker coal or its transference to another ship. The whole matter is governed by regulations which 184 are administered by the Customs, and which have a material bearing on one another, and I do not think it would be well to insert this particular regulation into the section which gives general powers. I think it might lead to difficulties in the interpretation of the law.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Other Amendments made.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES,
in moving to leave out the sub-section which included culm, coke, and manufactured fuel in the definition of "coal," said that he objected to the extension given to the meaning of the term coal. He had on previous occasions given his reasons for that objection, and he proposed now to divide the House unless he obtained from the right hon. Gentleman an assurance which would satisfy him upon the matter. Why should culm be included? The definition of culm was that it was an impure shaley kind of coal. Why should a duty be imposed upon that? What revenue would the right hon. Gentleman derive from a 1s. duty upon such an article? Again, nobody would deny that coke was a manufactured article, but how much was exported? Was it worth while to extend the meaning of the word coal to coke? As to cinders, his knowledge was of a purely domestic character, but he would ask the same question with regard to cinders. Then he came to the most important item, "manufactured fuel," the manufacture of which was a really important industry. In the year 1899 the average sale price of manufactured fuel was 10s. 6d.; in that year the margin of profit, after the cost of manufacture, was duly 6¾d. a ton. If the right hon. Gentleman insisted upon this manufactured fuel being put under the obligation of paying the tax, he would enforce serious loss on the trade, and the result would be that, while patent fuel would still be required by France, which was the greatest consumer, the small coal now used in its manufacture at Swansea and the neighbourhood would be shipped to Dieppe, where the manufacture would be carried on instead of in this country, and in all probability the manufacturers of this country would transfer their capital to another where the taxation was imposed on wiser lines than in this.
In page 3, line 15, to leave out Sub-clause (5) of Clause 3."—(Mr. Brynmor Jones.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'For the purposes of this Act "coal" includes culm, coke,' stand part of the Bill."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said it appeared to him that the hon. and learned Member had patent fuel on the brain.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said if the hon. Member resented that he withdrew it, but he had heard rather too much of patent fuel. As the hon. Gentleman said, culm was an article composed of coal dust and clay, and very little of that article was exported, but there was another kind of culm than that to which the hon. Member referred, a great deal of which was exported from this country; most of it would be under the value of 6s., but some of it was of a higher class. Culm last year went up to 12s. a ton, and therefore ought to be classed as coal. Then came coke and cinders. Cinders were exported at 18s. 6d. to 16s. 9d., and manufactured fuel was exported last year at 24s. per ton. For these reasons they had been included in the clause. He did not think the hon. Member need fear the danger to the manufactured fuel industry which he anticipated. Under Clause 7 pitch used in the manufacture of patent fuel would not be taxed at all.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
pointed out that that would be a very small concession if the value of coal used in the manufacture of patent fuel happened to be above 6s.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said that the, value of a good deal of coal used for making patent fuel was below 6s. He had cases where 70 per cent. of the coal was below that value, and that would be exempted from duty. If it was above the value of 6s. it would not be exempted.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
asked where the price of 31s. was obtained; he knew of no such price. He was informed the ordinary price was about 14s. 10d.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
said that that was the particular point upon which he had risen to correct the right hon. Gentleman, who, although he had been assiduous in getting up his facts, rarely addressed the House without exposing his lack of knowledge of the subject with what he was dealing. When the right hon. Gentleman had spoken of the price of patent fuel as being higher than that of the best coal he had talked nonsense.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said he had the figures of patent fuel. The only mistake he had made was that he had misquoted the price and had given the price of coke instead of patent fuel. The price of coke went up to 31s., and patent fuel to 24s. 6d. If the hon. Gentleman had had to go through this matter as he had, no doubt he might have made some mistakes.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
thought that had he been in the right hon. Gentleman's place there would have been no coal duty. He knew of no culm being exported from Cardiff, and he could not congratulate the right hon. Gentleman or thank him greatly for the concession he had made, which was very meagre. With regard to patent fuel, he hoped his hon. friend would withdraw the Amendment, because the concessions the right hon. Gentleman had made left the relative positions in this country and abroad very much as they were before the duty was imposed. He understood that the concessions the right hon. Gentleman had made were that he proposed to exempt pitch used in the manufacture of patent fuel, and that whenever the coal ingredient was below 6s. a ton, patent fuel would be exempt from duty.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Falkirk Burghs)
said they had a large industry in Scotland which had arisen out of the manufacture of this class of coal, which was called there "dross." They had succeeded, after ten years trial and the institution of a great deal of expensive plant for 187 screening this "dross," in forming a large permanent market for this fuel in Germany and other parts, but owing to their having to pay 2s. 6d. a ton carriage to the port of embarkation, it could not be exported at 6s. a ton, and therefore would not get the rebate which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had conceded. He asked that the industry of Scotland should, therefore, be put on a level with that of Wales. If the right hon. Gentleman insisted upon the 1s. a ton upon this fuel he would check a large growing industry in Scotland, and the result would be, as in the case of Wales, this "dross" would be sent out of the country and the industry carried on elsewhere. He would ask the right hon. Gentleman's favourable consideration of this matter. It was a most reasonable demand, and if the right hon. Gentleman did not concede it he would cause a great deal of dissatisfaction in Scotland, where a great loss of wages would result, and where a large amount of capital would be compelled to remain idle.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said that what the hon. Gentleman was speaking of was simply screened coal and nothing else. He was asking him to exempt coal which was now of the value of 8s. 6d. a ton, screened out of dross.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON
said it was not a case of screening only, but washing and screening, and taking the shale and dirt out of the dross.
§ MR. DAVID MACIVER
appealed to the right hon. Gentleman whether he could not see his way to make this concession with regard to manufactured fuel.
§ There was no question in this case of taxing the foreigner; it was a question of taxing a manufactured article, and therefore it seemed to him that it might be left out of the Bill; otherwise they would be taxing one of their own industries.
§ MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
disclaimed any intention to add to the embarrassment of the right hon. Gentleman in this matter, because he had shown a desire to meet everybody fairly; but he wished to point out that this matter deserved a little more consideration than the right hon. Gentleman could be expected to give at present. He thought that the right hon. Gentleman might reserve to himself the right to give consideration to this particular matter, and if it was necessary make a reduction in the price of 6s. Two items had been referred to where 6s. was not the cost of the raw material, but of a manufactured article, with regard to which an exhaustive process had to be gone through before it was given the price value. It was obvious that where the price of a raw material was 6s. and the price of a manufactured article was 6s. they were two different things. He should have thought the right hon. Gentleman would, in a case of this kind, have reserved his right to look more fully into the matter from that particular point of view.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 211; Noes, 125. (Division List No. 325.)191
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bignold, Arthur||Chapman, Edward|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bigwood, James||Charrington, Spencer|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bill, Charles||Churchill, Winston Spencer|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Clare, Octavius Leigh|
|Arrol, Sir William||Bousfield, William Robert||Coghill, Douglas Harry|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Brassey, Albert||Cohen, Benjamin Louis|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Bull, William James||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manc'r)||Bullard, Sir Harry||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds)||Butcher, John George||Crossley, Sir Savile|
|Balfour, Major K. R. (Christch.)||Carlile, William Walter||Dalrymple, Sir Charles|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cautley, Henry Strother||Denny, Colonel|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. W. W. B. (Hants.||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Doxford, Sir William Theodore|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edw.|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Finch, George H.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Round, James|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Russell, T. W.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Lowe, Francis William||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Flower, Ernest||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Forster, Henry William||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Seely, Capt. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight|
|Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Garfit, William||Majendie, James A. H.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Malcolm, Ian||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Gordon, Hn.J.E. (Elgin&Nairn||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Smith, H. C. (Northum., Tyneside|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, South)||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfries-sh.||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Gore, Hon. GRC Ormsby-(Salop||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Spear, John Ward|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow||Stock, James Henry|
|Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S. Edm'nds||Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Groves, James Grimble||Morrell, George Herbert||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Hall, Edward Marshall||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||Morrison, James Archibald||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Mount, William Arthur||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashford||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Myers, William Henry||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Nicholson, William Graham||Vincent, Col. Sir CEH. (Sheffield|
|Heath, James (Staffords., N. W.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Helder, Augustus||Parkes, Ebenezer||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Henderson, Alexander||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Pemberton, John S. G.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead||Penn, John||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Pierpoint, Robert||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Horner, Frederick William||Plummer, Walter R.||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Hoult, Joseph||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.)|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Purvis, Robert||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Randles, John S.||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Rankin, Sir James||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Kenyon, James (Lancs, Bury)||Rasch, Major Frederic Carn||Wylie, Alexander|
|Keswick, William||Ratcliff, R. F.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Knowles, Lees||Reid, James (Greenock)||Younger, William|
|Langley, Batty||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Renshaw, Charles Bine||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Hayes Fisher.|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Renwick, George|
|Lawson, John Grant||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Cawley, Frederick||Fenwick, Charles|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Channing, Francis Allston||Ffrench, Peter|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Clancy, John Joseph||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Ambrose, Robert||Colville, John||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Cullinan, J.||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Black, Alexander William||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Boland, John||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Gilhooly, James|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Delany, William||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.|
|Brigg, John||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Dillon, John||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Donelan, Captain A.||Haldane, Richard Burdon|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Doogan, P. C.||Hammond, John|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Burt, Thomas||Dunn, Sir William||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.|
|Caine, William Sproston||Edwards, Frank||Healy, Timothy Michael|
|Caldwell, James||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Holland, William Henry|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Joicey, Sir James||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants|
|Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'ns'a||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Strachey, Edward|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Kitson, Sir James||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Lambert, George||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Thomas, J. A. (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Leamy, Edmund||O'Dowd, John||Tomkinson, James|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accringt'n||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Levy, Maurice||O'Malley, William||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Lundon, W.||O'Mara, James||Weir, James Galloway|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||O'Shee, James John||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|M'Kenna, Reginald||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Philipps, John Wynford||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Power, Patrick Joseph||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Mooney, John J.||Price, Robert John||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.|
|Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Reddy, M.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Murnaghan, George||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Young, Samuel|
|Murphy, John||Redmond, William (Clare)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Roche, John|
|Newnes, Sir George||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Crean and Mr. Tully.|
|Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
§ MR. JOSEPH WALTON,
in moving an Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for South Shields, said that its object was to deal with questions where royalty rates were paid by coal owners upon a sliding scale. The Amendment merely provided that where coalowners exported coal at a price inclusive of the export duty, they should be entitled to deduct the 1s. tax, which they had parted with to the revenue for the purpose of arriving at the actual price received for the coal, upon which the royalty rate payable should be based. This provision was to make clear beyond all doubt that the coal owner should not have to pay 1s. tax and an extra royalty upon that shilling tax. All this was so desirable and equitable that it did not require any prolonged argument.
In page 3, line 16, at end, to add, '(6) In any case where the person paving the duty shall be the tenant of the mines from which the coal shall have been produced, subject to the payment of a rent or royalty, varying with the selling price of such coal, and the coal shall have been sold at a price inclusive of the duty, then the amount of such duty so paid shall be deducted in ascertaining the amount of such selling price for the purpose of determining the amount of the said rent or royalty."—(Mr. Joseph Walton.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
So far as I understand it, all that this Amendment proposes to do is that where the royalty 192 consists of a variable amount depending upon the price of coal, and the colliery owner exporting the coal contracts with the foreign purchaser that he, the colliery owner, shall pay the duty as part of the price, then the duty should not be calculated as part of the price which goes into the pocket of the colliery owner for the purpose of determining the amount of royalty he should pay. I think that is a fair proposal, and I see no reason for objecting to it. I may say that I have done what I could in the short time at my disposal since I saw the Amendment on the Paper to communicate with the best authorities on the subject, and I am advised by them that the Amendment may safely be accepted.
§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
regretted that the right hon. Gentleman had been in such a hurry to accept the Amendment, as it really opened up a very much larger question, and would form a dangerous precedent to deducting the duty under the sliding scale that regulated wages in South Wales, and in that case labour as well as the royalty owner would have to bear a portion of the tax. The Government had repeatedly stated that under no circumstances were the workmen to bear any portion of this tax, and therefore the right hon. Gentleman should be very careful in accepting any such Amendment.
§ COLONEL BLUNDELL (Lancashire, Ince)
having made two or three remarks 193 which were inaudible in the Press Gallery,
§ SIR JAMES JOICEY
pointed out that in the North of England and in other parts of the country there were a large number of leases the rents of which were fixed according to a sliding scale based on the price f.o.b. The Amendment simply provided that the export duty should not be added to the f.o.b. price. If that were not done, the 1s. would be added to the f.o.b. price, and the royalty owner would practically get an increase of his royalty rent.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
said that this matter seemed not to touch the revenue at all, but to be simply a matter of principle between the royalty owner and the tenant. In view of the conflicting statements which had been made he thought the Attorney General
§ should give the House some guidance in the matter.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.) moved to omit the word "tobacco" from line 17, clause 4. Having already fully stated his reasons in Committee, he did not desire to repeat them, and he would content himself by taking a division on the matter.
In page 3, line 17, to leave out the word 'tobacco.'"—(Mr. William Redmond).
§ Question put, "That the word 'tobacco stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 280; Noes, 54. (Division List No. 326)197
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Burt, Thomas||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Butcher, John George||Edwards, Frank|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc, Stroud||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Caldwell, James||Elibank, Master of|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Carlile, William Walter||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)|
|Arnold Forster, Hugh O.||Cautley, Henry Strother||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward|
|Arroll, Sir William||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Fergusson, Rt Hn.SirJ. (Manc'r|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Cawley, Frederick||Finch, George H.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Fletcher, Sir Henry|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worcr'||Flower, Ernest|
|Balfour, Rt, Hn. Gerald W (Leeds||Channing, Francis Allston||Forster, Henry William|
|Balfour, Maj. KR (Christchurch||Chapman, Edward||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Charrington, Spencer||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H. (Bristol)||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. W.W.B. (Hants.||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Garfit, William|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Colston, Charles Edward H. A.||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick|
|Bignold, Arthur||Colville, John||Gordon, Hn.J. E (Elgin & Nairn)|
|Bigwood, James||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Bill, Charles||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets|
|Black, Alexander William||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cranborne, Viscount||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Crossley, Sir Savile||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Brassey, Albert||Denny, Colonel||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Brigg, John||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Greene, Sir E.W(B'rySEdm'nds|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Groves, James Grimble|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Hain, Edward|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hall, Edward Marshall|
|Bull, William James||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Dunn, Sir William||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. L'dG(Middl'x|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Morgan, Hn. Fred.(Monm'thsh.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Morrell, George Herbert||Smith, H.C.(North'mb, Tyneside|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Morrison, James Archibald||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand|
|Hayter, Rt.Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Morton, Arthur H.A. (Deptford)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Heath, James (Staffords, N.W.)||Morton, Edw. J.C. (Devonport)||Spear, John Ward|
|Helder, Augustus||Mount, William Arthur||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C R (Northants|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Murray RtHnA.Graham(Bute||Stanley,Hn.Arthur(Ormskirk|
|Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Hoare, Edw Brodie (Hampstead||Myers, William Henry||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Newnes, Sir George||Stock, James Henry|
|Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Nicholson, William Graham||Strachey, Edward|
|Holland, William Henry||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Hope, J.F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Horner, Frederick William||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Parkes, Ebenezer||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings)|
|Hoult, Joseph||Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington||Thomas, J.A. (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Peel, Hn. Wm. Rbt. Wellesley||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Pemberton, John S. G.||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a||Penn, John||Tomkinson, James|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Kenyon, Hn. G. T. (Denbigh)||Plummer, Walter R.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Valentia, Viscount|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Pretyman, Ernest George||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Keswick, William||Price, Robert John||Warde, Colouel C. E.|
|Knowles, Lees||Purvis, Robert||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Lambton, Hon. Frederick W.||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Randles, John S.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Rankin, Sir James||Weir, James Galloway|
|Lawson, John Grant||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H.||Ratcliff, R. F.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham||Reckitt, Harold James||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Reed, Sir Edw. James (Cardiff||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Reid, James (Greenock)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Remnant, James Farquharson||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S.||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Levy, Maurice||Renwick, George||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)||Rickett, J. Compton||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Lowe, Francis William||Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E.R.(Bath|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Round, James||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Russell, T. W.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Wylie, Alexander|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Younger, William|
|Maxwell, W.J.H. (Dumfriessh.||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Haves Fisher.|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Doogan, P. C.||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Ffrench, Peter||Mooney, John J.|
|Boland, John||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Murnaghan, George|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Flynn, James Christopher||Murphy, John|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Gilhooly, James||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Carew, James Laurence||Hammond, John||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Crean, Eugene||Joyce, Michael||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cullinan, J.||Leamy, Edmund||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Lundon, W.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Delany, William||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Dillon, John||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|O'Dowd, John||Power, Patrick Joseph||Sullivan, Donal|
|O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Reddy, M.||Tully, Jasper|
|O'Malley, William||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Mara, James||Redmond, William (Clare)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Donelan.|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Roche, John|
|O'Shee, James John||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange) moved an Amendment to Clause 6, the net effect of which he said would be to increase the percentage of moisture allowed in the manufacture of tobacco from 30 to 32 per cent. Previous to 1898 the percentage allowed was 35, and it was then reduced to 30. That 30 per cent. was not all added moisture, as there was 14 per cent. of natural moisture in the leaf tobacco. The manufacturers, however, could not work up to the full limit of the percentage, as the moisture could not be equally distributed; they had to be prepared for an inspector pouncing upon them, and if in any part of the tobacco more than 30 per cent. of moisture was found they were liable to heavy penalties. They had, therefore, to work up to about 28 per cent. only. This fact, taken in connection with the alteration in the scale of duty, put the trade in a worse position to the extent of a penny per pound than they were in before 1898. The intention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was doubtless that they should be in the same position as before, but that result had not been obtained. Experience had shown that under these conditions the trade could not produce a proper article for the price. The retail price of the commoner kinds of tobacco had been fixed by long usage at 3d. per ounce, but owing to the circumstances to which he referred it was impossible to produce a proper article to sell at that price. He had in his hand memorials signed by 123 firms, representing the entire trade over the whole of the United Kingdom, setting forth these facts for the consideration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That was the opinion of the trade, and this Amendment expressed that opinion. In his view it would be a reasonable alteration to make in the scale, and the effect of the Amendment would be to restore the manufacturers to the position they were in in the year 1898, and it would also make it better for the public 198 at large by giving them a better article at the same price.
In page 3, line 24, after the word 'one,' to insert the words 'During the continuance of the siad additional duty on tobacco, section two of The Finance Act, 1898, shall be read as if thirty-two per centum were substituted for thirty per centum."—(Mr. Charles M'Arthur.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
said that surely they ought to have had a serious Amendment of this character upon the Committee stage. At first blush it seemed to him to be an Amendment entirely in favour of the manufacturers, and he thought it would be a very considerable disadvantage to the consumer. The manufacturer would be able to put more water into his tobacco, and if anybody lost by that it would be the consumer. It was highly inconvenient to bring forward an Amendment of this kind upon the Report stage, for it was never referred to in Committee, and they were now only hearing one side of the question. He hoped that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not accept the Amendment unless he was able to give some very strong reasons for doing so.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman before he accepts this Amendment will consider it very carefully. If it is accepted it will effect a very considerable alteration in the tobacco trade. I do not know enough about the technicalities of the trade to say whether this Amendment is a good one or not, but it is very inconvenient that this Amendment should be introduced on the Report stage, and also without appearing on the Paper at all. If the right hon. Gentleman finds that there is some justice in the Amendment, perhaps next 199 year it would be advisable for him to consider the question upon its merits. I enter my protest against an Amendment of this kind being introduced upon the Report stage, and without being printed, for the Report stage is usually devoted to the consideration of matters which are unimportant and not controversial. I never heard before of a substantial Amendment of this kind being introduced upon the Report stage.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
It is not my hon. friend's fault that he finds himself in a position in which he is not able to give the usual notice of his Amendment. I think, however, that there is much force in the remarks of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, and also in the objections of the hon. Member below the gangway. Under these circumstances I think it would be the best course if my hon. friend will not press his Amendment now.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. O'MARA (Kilkenny, S.) moved to leave out Clause 6, as a protest against the duty upon Irish whisky. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had made no concessions at all in response to the appeals made to him from the Irish Benches.
In page 4, line 7, to leave out Clause 6."—(Mr. O'Mara.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ was well known that they would never get anything from the Chancellor of the Exchequer unless they kept pegging away. They were being taxed upon spirits out of all proportion to the value of the article. During a recent debate he had proved that spirits in Ireland were taxed to the extent of between two-thirds and three-fourths of the entire value of the article, while beer was only taxed to the extent of between one-fifth and one-sixth. Under these circumstances they had no alternative but to move the rejection of the clause. It was a matter of common knowledge that this enormous duty upon spirits placed a new, fiery, and immature spirit on the market, because it would take a large quantity of water, and there was a temptation to keep whisky under twelve months in bond, which was most deleterious to the consumer and profitable to the distiller. Whisky which was properly distilled from good malt was a wholesome beverage, but its production and sale were being severely crushed by this heavy tax. Within the last half century the tax on whisky had increased by some 400 per cent., and he protested against this tax upon whisky as being most excessive and burdensome.
§ MR. TULLY (Leitrim, S.)
said it was evidently the idea of hon. Gentlemen opposite that beer and spirits should be taxed out of existence, although they were the national drinks of this country before foreign beverages were introduced. When the people in olden times used to live on beer and spirits and home-made bread they were a far better race of people than the race which existed at the present time, which was being fed on tea from China and food supplies from other parts of the world.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 273; Noes, 55. (Division List No. 327.)203
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bailey, James (Walworth)|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Arrol, Sir William||Bain, Colonel James Robert|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Ashton, Thomas Gair||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds||Fuller, J. M. F.||M'Calmont, Col. H.L.B. (Cambs|
|Balfour, Maj K R. (Christchurch||Furness, Sir Christopher||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Galloway, William Johnson||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Garfit, William||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Beach, Rt.Hn. Sir M.H. (Bristol)||Gladstone, RtHn. Herbert John||Malcolm, Ian|
|Beach, Rt.Hn. W.W.B. (Hants.)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Maxwell, W.J.H.(Dumfrieshire|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Gordon, Hn. J.E. (Elgin & Nairn||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Bigwood, James||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Bill, Charles||Gore, Hn G.R.C. Ormsby-(Salop||Morgan, David J. (Walthm'w|
|Black, Alexander William||Gore, Hon. S.F.Ormsby-(Linc.)||Morgan, Hn. Fred.(Monm'thsh|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Brassey, Albert||Greene, SirEW(B'ryS.Edm'nds||Morton, ArthurH.A.(Deptford|
|Brigg, John||Grenfell, William Henry||Morton, Edw.J.C.(Devonport)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Mount, Wm. Arthur|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Groves, James Grimble||Murray, Rt. Hn A Graham(Bute|
|Brown, George M.(Edinburgh)||Hain, Edward||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hambro, Charles Eric||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Bull, William James||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld G.(Midd'x||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'rry||Newnes, Sir George|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Butcher, John George||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Norton, Capt. William Cecil|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Caldwell, James||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Carlile, William Walter||Heath, Jas. (Staffords., N.W.)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Helder, Augustus||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Helme, Norval Watson||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Cavendish, W. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Peel, Hn.Wm.Robert Wellesley|
|Cawley, Frederick||Hoare, Edw, Brodie (Hampstead||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hobhouse, Henry(Somerset, E.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Holland, William Henry||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Hope,J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Price, Robert John|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hope John Deams (Fife, W.)||Purvis, Robert|
|Chapman, Edward||Horniman, Frederick John||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hoult, Joseph||Randles, John S.|
|Churchill, Winston S pencer||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Rankin, Sir James|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Colston, Chas. Ewd. H. Athole||Joicey, Sir James||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Colville, John||Jones, David B. (Swansea)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh||Renwick, George|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.)||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Keswick, William||Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Knowles, Lees||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas Thomson|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Lambert, George||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick W.||Robinson, Brooke|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Round, James|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Lawson, John Grant||Russell, T. W.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareh'm||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark.)||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Seely, Capt. J.E.B. (Isle of Wight|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Edwards, Frank||Levy, Maurice||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Egerton, Hon. R. de Tatton||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Fergusson, Rt.Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Lough, Thomas||Smith, H. C. (North'mb. Tyneside|
|Fieldon, Edward Brocklehurst||Lowe, Francis William||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Finch, George H.||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Spear, John Ward|
|Forster, Henry William||Maconochie, A. W.||Spencer, Rt. Hn. CR (Northants|
|Foster, Phillips S. (Warwick, SW||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Warde, Colonel C. E.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Stock, James Henry||Warr, Augustus Frederick||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Webb, Colonel William George||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Weir, James Galloway||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-||Wylie, Alexander|
|Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings)||White, George (Norfolk)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Thorburn, Sir Walter||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Younger, William|
|Thornton, Percy M.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Tollemache, Henry James||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Tomkinson, James||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
|Valentia, Viscount||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Dowd, John|
|Ambrose, Robert||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Boland, John||Joyce, Michael||O'Malley, William|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Leamy, Edmund||O'Mara, James|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Lundon, W.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Carew, James Laurence||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||O'Shee, James John|
|Clancy, John Joseph||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Reddy, M.|
|Crean, Eugene||Mooney, John J.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cullinan, J.||Murnaghan, George||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Murphy, John||Roche, John|
|Delany, William||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Dillon, John||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Doogan, P. C.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Tully, Jasper|
|Duffy, William J.||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid||White,Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Ffrench, Peter||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Donelan.|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Hammond, John||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
§ Other Amendments made on Clause 12—
*MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.) moved the Amendment of which he had given notice. His desire was to give a moderate relief to all the smaller classes of income-tax payers, who, it seemed to him, had a claim on the attention of the House, as well as those other classes whose interests had been so strongly and reasonably advocated in the course of the debate upon the coal and the sugar taxes. In 1894, in his Budget speech, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth put the reasons for the present Amendment in the strongest possible way. He then said—
I have always felt, and it is a universal sentiment, that if the income tax is to be maintained at a high figure, and the present rate of expenditure holds out little hope of reduction, we should make some attempt to adjust its pressure so as to make it less intolerable to those who are less able to bear it. Everybody must agree that the pressure of the income tax is most severe upon the class of men of small means and very moderate incomes.
At that time the income tax stood at 7d., and was increased to 8d., and out of the yield of that extra penny no less than £840,000 were given back to the smaller income-tax payers in the extension of the abatements. The principle of abatements was further extended in 1898 by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, so that this was no new principle. The principle had already been twice adopted by the House, and it was the only method by which relief could be given to this particular class. But when the remissions to which he had referred were made, the tax stood at only 7d. or 8d., whereas it had now reached 1s. 2d., with a possibility of it going to 1s. 4d. or even 1s. 6d., and a certainty that it would remain for a number of years at this high rate. If therefore the arguments held good when the tax stood at the lower figure, they were greatly strengthened now that the tax was nearly twice the amount. Every penny added to the income tax meant a greater pressure on the small man,
and a relatively increasing pressure on the small man as compared with the wealthier taxpayers. He admitted that it was impossible to arrive at any equitable and exact adjustment of the burdens of taxation, but the further graduations of incomes which he now proposed would afford a fair opportunity of giving some small relief. Doubtless some classes of small income-tax payers had benefited to some extent by the great expenditure in connection with the war, but at the same time they had to meet heavy expenditure in other directions, and in a short time their position would be as disastrous as that of others. For ordinary cases of small professional and trading incomes dependent upon personal effort, and endurance of health and mental powers, the sudden and vast increase had become a tremendous burden. The increase fell on these small incomes under £1,000 a year in almost geometric proportion as compared with the effect on large incomes. Then, again, there were a vast number of persons with small incomes—ladies, retired officers, professional men, and others—for whom a feeling of consideration ought to be shown, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by accepting this Amendment, would be doing to them a just and kindly action. The change would not be of an exceedingly costly character. The alterations of 1894, which were of a much more extensive nature, cost £840,000, but those of 1898 cost the revenue only £100,000. He did not adopt the theory that people should be taxed according to their opinions. Some of his hon. friends were anxious to tax everyone who had expressed opinions in favour of the war. Such opinions, however, had nothing whatever to do with the question of taxation. If the burdens of the country increased, it was the duty of the House to consider the incidence of taxation absolutely on its merits, and to have a considerate regard for those on whom the taxation fell with the greatest severity. He had not the official figures before him as to the loss which the Revenue would sustain by the abatements he suggested. He hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be able to regard the suggestions he had made with favour. If the right hon. Gentleman was unable to do anything in this direction at the
present moment he trusted that he would consider his suggestions favourably in the coming session.
In page 6, line 31, after the word 'two-pence,' to insert the words—
'(2) Any individual who having been assessed or charged to income tax or having paid income tax either by deduction or otherwise claims and proves in manner prescribed by the Income Tax Acts that his total income from all sources, although exceeding two hundred pounds, does not exceed eight hundred and seventy-five pounds, shall be entitled to relief from income tax equal—
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
When this clause was in Committee we discussed fully the proposals made by the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire, and I expressed my views upon the general question, and I will not repeat them to-night. I find it quite impossible to attempt any dealing with the income tax in this direction in the present year. It may be that in future consideration would have to be given to the position of the poorer persons who were subject to the income tax, but I do not care to enter into that matter to-night. There is, however, one point in the proposed Amendment which I trust the House of Commons will never agree to. The hon. Member proposes to extend the limit of total exemption from £160 to £200. If I 207 had my way I would much sooner lower the limit of exemption than increase it, for taxation is far harder on the persons who are just above the limit than upon those who are just below it. The hon. Member proposes to raise the amount of abatement upon smaller incomes by twenty-five per cent. throughout until he reaches £870. I can only say in regard to this proposal that I do not think the hon. Member has worked out a scheme which is even theoretically perfect, and I cannot agree to the Amendment.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
I do not intend to discuss the general question, which was fully considered in Committee, but I think this proposal is one simply to extend the principle of abatements, which this House has on many occasions assented to. The original abatement was allowed upon incomes of £100 and £150. But that has been extended to incomes of £700, and it is perfectly clear that there is no reason why the incomes of £700 should be assisted, while larger amounts have to pay the full tax. Upon the general principle of abatements I agree with my hon. friend. As a general principle, I am in favour of the increase of these abatements, because it appears to anybody who has
§ given the matter any consideration that it is the small class of income-tax payers who suffer the most. I agree with what the Chancellor has said in regard to the extension of the limit of exemption.
§ MR. FLYNN
thought that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not accept this Amendment he might at least give them some indication that he would take into account an increase in the income tax. As regarded abatements, he did not think the hon. Member had gone far enough. It was much to be regretted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not promised to do something in this direction, if not this year at any rate in future years. The income tax was a great burden upon small traders and struggling, professional men, who had to maintain their families and keep up a good appearance, and if the income tax was increased it would be intolerable to those people with small incomes. If his hon. friend went to a division he should support his Amendment.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 90; Noes, 184. (Division List No. 328.)209
|Abraham, William (Cork,N.E.)||Fuller, J. M. F.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Black, Alexander William||Hammond, John||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Boland, John||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Brigg, John||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)>|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hope, John Deans (Fife, W.)||O'Dowd, John|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, David B. (Swansea)||O'Malley, William|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Jones, William Carnarvonshire||O'Mara, James|
|Carew, James Laurence||Joyce, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lambert, George||O'Shee, James John|
|Colville, John||Leamy, Edmund||Pease, J. A. (Saflron Walden)>|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Crean, Eugene||Levy, Maurice||Price, Robert John|
|Cullinan, J.||Lough, Thomas||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Delany, William||Lundon, W.||Reddy, M.|
|Dewar, John A.(Inverness-sh.||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)>|
|Dillon, John||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Rigg, Richard|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Duffy, William J.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Edwards, Frank||Mooney, John J.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Murnaghan, George||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Murphy, J.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Ffrench, Peter||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.)||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Tully, Jasper|
|Weir, James Galloway||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Channing and Mr. Edward Morton.|
|White, George (Norfolk)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gordon, Maj Evans. (T'rH'mlets||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gore, Hn. G.R.C. Ormsby-(Salop||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gore, Hon. S.F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Arroll Sir William||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S. Edm'nds||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Grenfell, William Henry||Purvis, Robert|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Randles, John S.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Groves, James Grimble||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Hain, Edward||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manc'r)||Hambro, Charles Eric||Renwick, George|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Hamilton, RtHnLordG(Midd'x||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Ridley, S. Forde (BethnalGreen)|
|Balfour, Maj. K. R. (Christch.)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Heath, James (Staffords, N.W.)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin||Helder, Augustus||Robinson, Brooke|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Round, James|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. W.W. B. (Hants.)||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Russell, T. W.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hoult, Joseph||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Brassey, Albert||Joicey, Sir James||Seely, Capt. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Bull, William James||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh.||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Butcher, John George||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Keswick, William||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Knowles, Lees||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Smith, H. C. (Northumb., Tynesd|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Lawson, John Grant||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Smith, Hon. W.F.D. (Strand)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Spear, John Ward|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Leveson Gower, Frederick N. S||Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)|
|Chamberlain, Rt.Hn. J. (Birm.)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r)||Long, Rt.Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Chapman, Edward||Lowe, Francis William||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Stock, James Henry|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'th)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Maconochie, A. W.||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Cranborne, Viscount||M'Calmont, Col. H.L. B. (Cambs.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Majendie, James A. E.||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Malcolm, Ian||Webb, Colonel Wiliiam George|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Morgan, David J.(Walthamstow||Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E. R. (Bath|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Morrison, James Archibald||Wylie, Alexander|
|Finch, George H.||Mount, William Arthur||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Forster, Henry William|
|Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.)||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Fred.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Gordon, Hn. J.E. (Elgin & Nairn||Parker, Gilbert|
§ MR. O'MARA moved to omit Clause 14. He believed that the suspension of the Sinking Fund was little short of a national calamity. When a similar Amendment was moved on a previous occasion the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that Consols fell in value for two reasons. One was that all other securities had also fallen in value. That, however, was not the case, because a reference to the financial columns of any newspaper would have shown that American railway securities, for instance, had not fallen in value, and that the securities of such doubtful States as Brazil, the Argentine, and others had actually risen. The French and English securities had not fallen to any such extent as English Consols. That was a very important thing to Ireland, because when the Irish land question came to be settled next year the value of Consols would have a great deal to do with it. It made the settlement of the land question much more difficult if Consols were at 80 instead of at 114. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that the fall in Consols was due to the fact that the public had begun to appreciate that they would only pay 2½ per cent. interest. The Chancellor of the Exchequer showed a very poor appreciation of those who invested in Consols. The real reason for the fall was because the suspension of the Sinking Fund had depreciated the price of Consols. By suspending the Sinking Fund the Chancellor of the Exchequer had departed from a well-established practice. During the French war at the beginning of the century whilst this country was piling up hundreds of millions of debt the Sinking Fund was kept in constant operation for thirty-five years. During the Crimean War the Sinking Fund was suspended for only two years. He could not understand how it was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had departed from the traditional methods of finance in this country in time of war. It was stated the other night that it was a fallacy not to suspend the Sinking.212
§ Fund whilst the country was borrowing money. All he had to ask in regard to this fallacy was that it had been tried successfully for thirty-five years. While the Chancellor was borrowing the operation of the Sinking Fund was of momentous importance, because it showed that the country was prepared to meet its indebtedness. If the Sinking Fund had not been suspended it would have added greatly to the credit of this country, and it would have produced a feeling of security in the public mind, and it would have prevented Consols falling to their present low price. He trusted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would put the Sinking Fund into operation again as soon as possible.
In page 7, line 24, to leave out Clause 14." (Mr. O'Mara.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
When the subject was considered in the Committee stage of the Bill the hon. Member opposite addressed the Committee at considerable length upon this question, and he used precisely the same arguments as he has placed before the House to night. Those hon. Members who sit below the gangway have confined their objections at this stage to my proposals in very short speeches and to divisions. I hope, therefore, that we shall not now be asked to debate this matter again, and I trust that if hon. Members opposite object to the suspension of the Sinking Fund they will content themselves by allowing us now to proceed to a division.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 174; Noes, 68. (Division List No. 329.)215
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bain, Col. James Robert|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Arrol, Sir William||Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds|
|Balfour, Maj K R (Christchurch)||Hambro, Charles Eric||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Mid'x.||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. Wm.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Blundell, Col. Henry||Heath, Jas.(Staffords., N.W.)||Purvis, Robert|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Helder, Augustus|
|Brassey, Albert||Helme, Norval Watson||Randles, John S.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hobhouse, Hy. (Somerset, E.)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheflield, Brightsd.||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Carlile, William Walter||Hoult, Joseph||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Renwick, George|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Ridley, Hn.M.W.(Stalybridge)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop.||Rigg, Richard|
|Cecil, Lord H. (Greenwich)||Keswick, William||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Charles T.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Knowles, Lees||Robertson, Herb. (Hackney)|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Round, James|
|Chapman, Edward||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Russell, T. W.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lawson, John Grant|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. A.||Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.||Seely, Capt. J.E.B.(I. of Wight)|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Long, Col. Chas. W.(Evesham)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.)||Smith, AbelH.(Hertford, East)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lowe, Francis William||Smith, H. C. (North'mb., Tynes.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lucas, Col.Francis(Lowestoft)||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks)|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Soares, Ernest J.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Spear John Ward|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Maconochie, A. W.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||M'Calmont, Col. H.L.B (Cambs||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Kenna, Reginald||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. H.||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Malcolm, Ian||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Edwards, Frank||Maxwell, WJH (Dumfriesshire||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Morgan, David J.(Walthams'w|
|Finch, George H.||Morgan, Hn. Fred(Monmth'sh.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Warde, Col. C. E.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Morrison, James Archibald||Webb, Col. William George|
|Forster, Henry William||Morton, Edw. J.C. (Devonport)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.||Mount, Wm. Arthur||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wilson, A. S. (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Gordon, Hn. J.E. (Elgin & Nairn||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath|
|Gordon, J.(Londonderry, South||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-|
|Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||Newdigate, Francis Alex.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Gore, Hn GRC Ormsby-(Salop)||Nicholson, William Graham||Wylie, Alexander|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc.||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Goschen, Hon. George J.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Greene, Sir EW(B'rySEdm'nds|
|Groves, James Grimble||Parker, Gilbert|
|Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)|
|Hain, Edward||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Allen, C. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Crean, Eugene|
|Caldwell, James||Cullinan, J.|
|Black, Alexander William||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.|
|Boland, John||Channing, Francis Allston||Delany, William|
|Brigg, John||Clancy, John Joseph||Dillon, John|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Colville, John||Doogan, P. C.|
|Duffy, William J.||Levy, Maurice||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Reddy, M.|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Murnaghan, George||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Murphy, J.||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Gilhooly, James||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Hammond, John||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||Tully, Jasper|
|Hope, John Deans(Fife, West)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Joicey, Sir James||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Jones, David Brynmor(Swan'sa||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvons.)||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Dowd, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Douelan.|
|O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Lambert, George||O'Malley, William|
|Leamy, Edmund||O'Mara, James|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||O'Shee, James John|
§ MR. M'KENNA
said he desired to move the Amendment of which he had given notice in an altered form in order to meet the views of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Through the addition of the last proviso the Amendment did not go quite so far as he would have wished, but at that late hour of the sitting he would not detain the House by going further into the matter. He begged formally to move.
In page 10, line 16, to add the words, '6. In the event of coal duty being paid by a colliery proprietor upon coal sold by him free on board to a purchaser in pursuance of a contract made before the nineteenth day of April, nineteen hundred and one, the seller may, in the absence of agreement to the contrary, recover as an addition to the contract price of the coal a sum equal to the amount of duty so paid, unless the purchaser shows that the coal has been applied for the purpose of fulfilling a contract made by him before the nineteenth day of April, nineteen hundred and one, for the sale of the coal at a specified price.'"—Mr. M'Kenna.
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said that the objections which at an earlier stage he had urged against the whole of the fourth schedule had not been met. The schedule incorporated clauses of an Act 216 of Parliament obviously directed to the question of import duties, whereas the House was now dealing with export duties. The right hon. Gentleman very fairly said that if he (the hon. Member) would bring up certain words in regard to the clauses in question he would consider them. The matter, however, had been so hurriedly pushed forward that he had had really no opportunity for consideration. At that late hour he could only enter his protest against the manner in which this schedule was being rushed through by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As he had already pointed out, the schedule gave the Treasury power to say that no coal should be exported from Leith or Port Talbot, under Section 16 of the Customs Consolidation Act, 1876. The responsibility, however was not his, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer's.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said the clauses were perfectly capable of being worked. In fact, they were being worked at the present moment. As the hon. Member knew, the export from Neath or Port Talbot had not been stopped, and was not likely to be.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Bill to be read the third time upon Monday next.
§ Adjourned at twenty minutes after One of the clock.