§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 2:—
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
who, owing to the noise and disturbance caused by Members leaving the House, was almost inaudible, was understood to say that the object of the Amendment which he proposed to move was to bring the second class of duties under the category of an annual tax. It was an Amendment which would not require a prolonged discussion, but one upon which the Committee might come to a decision without much argument. The principle had been argued on the first class of duties the previous day and, therefore, there would probably be no difficulty in accepting the Amendment. He begged to move.
In page 2, line 1, after the word "four," to insert the words "until the first day of May, 1905."—(Mr. Whitley.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN, Worcestershire, E.)
said he had had some difficulty in hearing the hon. Member, owing to the movement in the House, but if he had correctly understood him he would deal with the point that had been raised; if he had failed to understand him the hon. Member would attribute that not to any want of attention on his (Mr. Austen Chamberlain's) part but to the disturbance in the House, which had rendered it impossible to hear the hon. Member. He understood that one object of the hon. Member was to pursue the line of argument and policy pursued on the previous day by the hon. Member for King's Lynn, and to retain for the House the control of the finance of the year. The hon. Member was afraid that by the clause, as it stood, undue resources were placed in the hands of the Government, and conceivably it might be possible for the Government to carry on the business of the country out of the taxes voted in perpetuity, and not for one 842 year only, without having recourse to an annual appeal to Parliament. It was an extravagant proposition. The duty on tea was an annual duty although it was true that it did not conclude with the financial year, and the income-tax was an annual duty, and, if there was nothing else, those two resources alone formed so large a part of the national finances that no Government could possibly continue their administration of the country with those taxes withheld. Therefore the control of the House over the finance of the country was absolutely secure. The position with regard to the tobacco duties was this. There were certain duties on tobacco which were imposed as permanent duties, and which were always intended to be a part of the permanent financial resources of the country. Superimposed on those duties was an additional tax upon tobacco, first raised by the right hon. Member for West Bristol during the course of the late war. Those additional duties had always been kept distinct from the duties first voted, so that the sum of money at the disposal of the Government without renewal by the House of Commons was not larger than it was before those duties were superimposed.
§ MR. WHITLEY,
interposing, said that his Amendment referred to the increases being limited to one year, not to the permanent duties at all.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said to find what the exact effect of the Amendment would be it was necessary to see how far these taxes were permanent and how far they had to be renewed. The duties imposed before the war were permanent duties, subject to the power of Parliament to revise them; the duties added during the war were for one year only, and had to be renewed each year, and then came the duties which he had had to impose. Those were special duties on cigars, cigarettes, and stripped tobacco. He ventured to say that if the proposals which he had made were to be accepted at all, they should be accepted as part of the permanent system. It would be disastrous to the trade that alterations of this kind should be made for a year, and a year only, and he would not have submitted these proposals to the Committee 843 if he had not thought that they might very properly become a portion of the permanent taxation of the House. It would be excessively unjust to have these duties for one year, and to leave the matter in complete doubt as to whether the duties would be renewed in the next year or not. It would not be in the interest of any section of the trade, either importers, merchants, or distributers, to be left in doubt whether these taxes would be permanent. He imposed these duties as part of the permanent system. The duty on cigars might be reduced, when a reduction became possible, in the same proportion as the duty on other tobacco was reduced, but the addition now proposed to be charged by this clause should be charged as part of the permanent system of taxation of the country. That was the only possible way.
§ SIR EDGAR VINCENT (Exeter)
said that the Amendment raised a matter of considerable interest. If it were adopted the result would be that in the present year they would first of all suffer by diminished imports, and then at the end of the year, the trade, looking forward to a probable reduction of the tax in the next financial period, would withdraw nothing from bond during the last four months. That appeared to him to be a most undesirable state of things. If a tax was proposed it ought to continue for a full year's working and that full year's working could not be obtained unless the tax was imposed up to at least 1st July of the year following. He would urge on the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, in this matter of imposition and reduction of taxes, he should adhere as strictly as possible to the old rule that a tax should be imposed on all goods cleared after the date of the original Motion.
§ MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)
asked if the hon. Member was not now dealing with a matter which was raised by a subsequent matter.
said that, as far as he understood the Amendment, it was designed to make the tax of a temporary and not of a permanent character.
§ SIR EDGAR VINCENT
said his point was that all increases should be made on the 844 same basis as the original tax. And in no case should any exemption be allowed.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said he thought his hon. friend did not apprehend the intention of the Amendment. He proposed certain alterations in the scale, and he proposed to make those-alterations permanent. If they were to-make alterations in the scale, then, in the interests of the trade itself, it was important that those alterations should be enacted once and for all.
§ MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
asked whether it was in order to discuss the scale of the tobacco duty on this Amendment.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
expressed the opinion that it was not only relevant to, but of the essence of, the Amendment. It was because these alterations which arose in the scale concerned particular classes of tobacco, and were not a general percentage of addition on the whole scale, that he laid particular stress, in the interest of trade itself, upon the necessity of making them permanent rather than merely an annual charge.
MR.PARKER SMITH (Lanarkshire, Par-tick)
said that, if hon. Gentlemen opposite accepted the explanation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and withdrew the Amendment, he would sit down at once. But if with any ulterior objects he proposed to go to a division.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
asked whether it was in order for the hon. Gentleman to attribute motives to hon. Member on that side. It would be in the recollection of the Chairman that he had declined to allow motives to be attributed to hon. Gentleman sitting on the Unionist side of the House by those sitting on the Liberal side.
said he did not, as a matter of fact, catch the end of the sentence that fell from the hon. Member, as his voice dropped. But if he was imputing any motives to hon. Members opposite in moving this Amendment, or 845 in not debating it, of course the hon. Member would not be in order.
§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL (Oldham)
asked whether the hon. Gentleman was entitled to convey, as he did, that there was an intention to obstruct the business of the House.
said he was afraid he had heard that observation made not on one side only. He could only repeat that it was not in order to attribute motives to anybody, and if the hon. Member was imputing motives to anybody he hoped he would withdraw the expression.
MR. PARKER SMITH
said he would not attribute motives; he would only describe conduct. The Amendment, which raised an important point, was moved from the opposite side very shortly, it was then answered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer pretty fully, but no notice was taken of that reply on the other side, either by the tirailleurs on the Back Benches or by those who, in the past, had been responsible for the finance of the nation. He had asked whether, since no notice was taken of the reply, it was intended to withdraw the Amendment, in which case he should be happy to sit down at once. He had added that, if a reply was not made to the speech of the Minister, he did not consider that the matter was being fairly debated. He regarded the proposal in the Bill as a permanent increase, and as a wholesome indication of the trend of opinion, which the Budget, to a certain extent, recognised. So far as it had any effect at all, it would undoubtedly increase employment in the cigar and cigarette trade.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITELEY (Yorkshire, W.R., Pudsey)
said this was a most important Amendment, and one which was capable of being applied to other duties. Up to the beginning of the war there were certain tobacco duties which were permanent, and which the House did not deal with annually. During the war additional duties of a temporary character were imposed, for which the sanction of the House had to be asked annually. The question was whether those duties should remain in the category of duties 846 to be levied annually. There was a kind of in and out running in connection with them. It might be that the tax was larger on one kind of tobacco than on another; but still there was an increase all round; and, therefore, he would suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that this was a class of duty which ought to be levied annually. An hon. Gentleman opposite stated that those duties would increase the trade of the country; but he doubted very much whether they would have that result. But whether that result would ensue or not would not be affected by the fact that the duties would be levied annually. It might be said that there would in that case be some uncertainty; and that manufacturers of tobacco who spent money in enlarging their works and engaging hands might be placed in a difficulty. But they would be in exactly the same position if those duties were annual instead of being permanent. The Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day might any year propose an alteration in the tobacco duties. They were not stereotyped for all time. He thought it was not desirable on principle that the taxation of the country should be removed from the control of the House of Commons. A great principle was behind the Amendment. It was all very well for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to say that as the tea duty and the income-tax would be levied annually, the House would have control over the Government and could stop any scheme they might have in contemplation. But he ventured to submit that all taxation should be subject to the annual revision of this House. From time immemorial this House had had full control over taxation, and the annual distribution of that taxation; and he thought it would be more desirable, instead of the House diminishing that control, that it should increase it. He hoped his hon. friend the Member for Halifax, who was an expert in these matters, and who constantly supervised the operations of the Treasury, would insist on taking a division on this Motion. It was not a Motion to be laughed out of court in the airy manner attempted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; but was a matter which went to the root of the entire fiscal arrangements of the country.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
said that last evening they had speeches from the hon. Member for the Brightside Division, the hon. Member for the Peckham Division, and the hon. Member for Finsbury, who after an hour and a half had elapsed, allowed the discussion to pursue its regular course. That was sometimes called obstruction, and the result was that there appeared to be a competition in obstruction between both sides of the House which was certainly not to the advantage of the House of Commons. He did not know whether the Committee realised that the scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the tobacco duties was cut into two parts. One portion was to be a perpetual tax, and the other an annual tax. If hon. Members would refer to Clause 4 they would find that certain additional duties on tobacco were to be paid until the 1st August, 1905, but the duties dealt with in the clause under consideration were to be perpetual duties. That appeared very strange. He was a very strong advocate of the annualty of duties. The annual revision of taxation was the basis of the control of the House of Commons. It was the power of the House of Commons; and if it w7ere taken away the House would for all useful purposes cease to exist. He knew very well the reasons which would be advanced in support of the proposals in the Bill. It would be said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not want to add to the amount of the perpetual duties; and that consequently the portion of the tobacco duty hitherto annual should be kept annual, whereas the portion which was perpetual should be kept perpetual. The proper way to deal with this matter would be to make all the tobacco duties annual, and make them cease not on the 1st August but on the 1st July, for reasons which he had given in the preceding day's debate. That would give ample opportunity to the Government to pass their Finance Bill; and it would get rid of the extraordinary anomaly of having two methods of dealing with duties on one article. He did not suppose that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would adopt that view, but it certainly was a sound view.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said the Government being 848 now in possession of a majority could proceed to discuss the Amendment on its merits. The question at issue was whether the additional duties on tobacco should be annual or permanent. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, and he himself thought there was a good deal in it, that there was a great distinction between a tax which might be temporary and a new tax. There was some force in that. It did not, however, apply to the tax on cigars, because there was an existing duty on cigars, and the new tax was only an addition to it. He confessed he could not see the logic of proposing that an addition which was enacted in 1900 should be temporary, whereas the addition now proposed should be permanent. Further the duties on cigarettes and stripped tobacco were new duties; and that fact alone was a very strong argument for their being temporary. He believed that they would be able to show that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would practically derive no revenue from the duty proposed on stripped tobacco. In that case it was a revenue which ought not to be permanent, and the House of Commons ought to have annually an opportunity of discussing it. There was a great deal in what had been said by the hon. Member for King's Lynn that the House of Commons ought not to consent to diminish its control over the taxation of the country. For some years past taxes which used to be temporary had been placed in the category of permanent taxes; and the result was that the House of Commons had now only control over the tea duty and the income-tax. He thought that the House of Commons ought to exert every effort to maintain control over taxation; and on that ground, and also on the ground that the tax on stripped tobacco would be ineffective, he thought the House of Commons ought to have an opportunity of reviewing those taxes annually.
§ MR. AUSTIN TAYLOR (Liverpool, East Toxteth)
said he was sure the last thing the tobacco trade would wish was an annual review of the differential duty which the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to levy. Already it had been thrown into a state of turmoil by the imposition of the duty. The hon. Member for the Partick Division, he 849 thought, placed the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a somewhat embarrassing position when he said he desired the differential duty to be permanent because it was more or less of a protective character, possibly opening up new sources of employment in this country, and in that sense indicative of the trend of thought in the community. He did not know where the hon. Member gathered his indications of the trend of thought in the community, but if it was to be gathered from the recent by-elections he did not think it could be said to support the hon. Member's view. The Chancellor of the Exchequer might, he thought, very well rise and repudiate the false position in which the hon. Member for
§ the Partick Division had sought to place him. In his opinion there was nothing whatever of a protective character in this differential duty, and some other argument must, therefore, be advanced in favour of making it permanent. He was quite sure the trade did not desire that there should be a series of experiments in the levying of a differential duty, and that if there was to be a difference made between leaf and stripped tobacco it should, in the interests of stability of trade, be made once for all.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 164; Noes, 216. (Division List No. 168.)853
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Flynn, James Christopher||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)|
|Allen, Charles P.||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Asher, Alexander||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Fuller, J. M. F.||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Austin, Sir John||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Grant, Corrie||O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary, Mid|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hammond, John||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W)|
|Black, Alexander William||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Blake, Edward||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Boland, John||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Dowd, John|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Malley, William|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Shee, James John|
|Burt, Thomas||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Palmer, Sir Chaless M. (Durh'm|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles. Fred.||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Caldwell, James||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Cameron, Robert||Jacoby, James Alfred||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Joicey, Sir James||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire)||Price, Robert John|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Joyce, Michael||Priestley, Arrthur|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kennedy, Vincent P.(Cavan, W.||Rea, Russell|
|Crean, Eugene||Kitson, Sir James||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)|
|Crombie, John William||Labouchere, Henry||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries)|
|Cullinan, J.||Lambert, George||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Langley, Batty.||Rigg, Richard|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal W.)||Roberts, John H. (Donbighs)|
|Delany, William||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Devlin, Charles R. (Galway)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Roche, John|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leng, Sir John||Russell, T. W.|
|Doogan, P C.||Levy, Maurice||Samuel, Herbert L.(Cleveland)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lewis, John Herbert||Seely, Maj. J. E. B.(Isle of Wight)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Lloyd-George, David||Shackleton, David James|
|Edwards, Frank||Lough, Thomas||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Elibank, Master of||Lundon, W.||Sheehy, David|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Slack, John Bamford|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||M'Crae, George||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Kenna, Reginald||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Killop, W (Sligo, North)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Murphy, John||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Straehey, Sir Edward|
|Sullivan, Donal||Wallace, Robert||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan||Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersf'd|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.||Wason, John C. (Orkney)||Young, Samuel|
|Tomkinson, James||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Toulmin, George||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||J. H. Whitley and Mr.|
|Ure, Alexander||Wilson, Fred. W. (NorfolkMid.)||Dalziel.|
|Agg-Gardner James Tynte||Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||M'Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh, W.|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Malcolm, Ian|
|Arrol, Sir William||Flower, Sir Ernest||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Forster, Henry William||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Foster, Philip S.(Warwick, S. W.||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Galloway, William Johnson||Milvain, Thomas|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Gardner, Ernest||Mitchell, William (Burnley)|
|Balcarres Lord||Garfit, William||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby- (Salop||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc.)||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Balfour, Kenneth R.(Christch.)||Graham, Henry Robert||Mount, William Arthur|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, Sir EW (B'ryS Edm'nds)||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Gunter, Sir Robert||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Bill, Charles||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)||Myers, William Henry|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Harris, F. L. (Tynemouth)||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Harris, Dr. Fredk. R. (Dulwich||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F (Middlesex||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Brassey, Albert||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bull, William James||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside)||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Percy, Earl|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.||Horner, Frederick William||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A (Worc.)||Hoult, Joseph||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Houston, Robert Paterson||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Chapman, Edward||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Charrington, Spencer||Howard, J. (Midd. Tottenham)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Glive, Captain Percy A.||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Pym, C. Guy|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Randles, John S.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hunt, Rowland||Rankin, Sir James|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Lawson, John G. (Yorks. N. R.)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Denny, Colonel||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Legge, Col. Hon. Henage||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Loder, Gerald Walter (Erskine||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Doughty, George||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lowe, Francis William||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsm'th)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Smith, H. C. (North'mb Tyneside|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Macdona, John Gumming||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Spear, John Ward|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Maconochie, A. W.||Stanley, Edward J (Somerset)|
|Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs.)||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H (Sheffield||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Stock, James Henry||Walker, Col. William Hall||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Stone, Sir Benjamin||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Stroyan, John||Wanklyn, James Leslie||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Warde, Colonel C. E.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Welby, Lt.-Col, A. C. E. (Taunt'n|
|Thorburn, Sir Walter||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Thornton, Percy M.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd||Alexander Acland-Hood|
|Tomlinson, Sir Win. Edw. M.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne||and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Tritton, Charles Ernest||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Valentia, Viscount||Wills, Sir Frederick|
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
moved to omit the proposed increase of duty on cigars on the ground that the tax was purely protective in its character, and, therefore, a breach of the pledge given by the Government in reference to the fiscal policy. The duty on cigars was 5s. 6d. per lb., and on raw tobacco 3s. or 3s. 3d., so that there was a considerable balance of a protective character, and the present was not a time at which duties of that nature should be increased. The reasons given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in support of the proposed increase were just those that would lead the Committee to regard it with suspicion. The right hon. Gentleman stated that the duty had lasted for a long time, and that when the tobacco duties were dealt with in 1865 the duty on cigars was left alone. It had to be remembered, however, that when Mr. Gladstone dealt with the tobacco duties the whole scale was avowedly protective in its character; he left one or two small items of little importance, and the question for the Committee to decide was whether they would go forward with the free-trade principles of Mr. Gladstone, and sweep away any remnants of protection, or whether they would increase duties which had a protective effect. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had admitted that the tax contained a good deal of "compensation for the home manufacturer," which was simply another way of saying that the home manufacturer was protected by the tax. The right hon. Gentleman had urged some curious reasons in favour of his proposal. One was that it was a luxury tax. But a protective luxury tax could not be accepted any more than a protective tax on articles of necessity. Luxury taxes, like all others, should be imposed in accordance with the principles of free trade. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that it was one of a series of taxes 854 on a process of manufacture. That, however, was no argument why the Committee should accept it, as the principle was altogether hostile to free trade. The duty imposed in 1889 on sparkling wines had been cited as an illustration, but the comparison was absurd, because, inasmuch as sparkling wines were not produced in this country, no matter how high the duty was raised it could not become protective. He suggested that a proper illustration to take would be the sugar duty. The most delicately manufactured articles made out of sugar were imported, such, for instance, as artificial flowers. If it was a sound principle that additional taxation ought to be imposed on luxuries, surely a much heavier duty should be placed on these artificial flowers than on the raw sugar, and yet the amount in each case was exactly the same. When the corn tax existed the same principle was followed. Those were very important considerations for the House to consider before accepting this proposal. He did not think that anything the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said ought to commend this proposal to the acceptance of the Committee. If they passed this clause the money advantage would be extremely small, because the tax was only expected to realise about £50,000.
What would the cost of this tax be to the consumer? That raised the whole question of protection. This clause would raise cigars by 6d. a pound, and the manufacturer would raise his prices and the community would have to pay at least £250,000 or £300,000, and the Exchequer would only get about £50,000. Considering that fact this tax ought not to be accepted. But apart from the payment by the community, which was always the result of protection, there would be another difficulty. This tax was aimed at foreign cigars and the 855 object of this was that home-made cigars, which were very inferior to foreign, should be used instead of foreign. Look at the effect that would have. He had never smoked a cigar and consequently did not know the difference, but friends of his who had smoked both kinds told him that there was a great deal of difference. Why should the people have to smoke these inferior articles? Anything which tended to diminish the stocks of foreign cigars would not, in the long run, help trade with the Colonies or anywhere else. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that this tax would help the cigar trade with our Colonies.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said his remarks did not refer to this point in any way. What he stated was in reference to the drawbacks.
§ MR. LOUGH
apologised for his mistake. He wished to remind the Committee that Indian cigars were entering strongly into competition with foreign cigars and they would also have to pay the increased duty. Really he thought they were dealing hardly enough with India in regard to the tea tax without giving her another blow by taxing cigars and tobacco. He wanted the Committee to look at this question in a different light from the amount of money involved. The greatest danger to free-trade institutions arose from the acceptance by this House in a time of slackness of principles with regard to sugar one day, the next day in regard to tobacco, and then in regard to shipping, which undermined the whole fabric of free trade. The House accepted hurriedly the sugar duty, and look at the trouble they were now in in consequence. Those engaged in the sugar industry could not get on with their business because of the great difficulties caused by this protective tariff and the wretched Sugar Convention which was set up last year. A year hence there would be difficulties quite as serious which they would have to consider in the same way. A distinguished Member of the Free Food Party objected to his suggestion that these were protective duties, and described them as a mere whiff of protection. The sum of £45,000 was only a small amount, and why should they disturb 856 the harmony of the Party opposite by such a trifle. He cautioned the Committee against accepting the beginnings of a bad principle. When an outbreak of smallpox occurred, the sanitary authorities did not say, "Oh! it is only a whiff of smallpox, and we won't pay any attention to it." On the contrary, sanitary authorities took the most urgent steps to prevent the disease spreading. On the same principle the Committee ought not to excuse this tax as a whiff of protection, but they ought to take steps to prevent if from spreading. The further they went into this clause the worse they got. They were asked now to impose 6d. on cigars and 1s. on cigarettes, and, in fact, the whole clause was steeped in protection. The right hon. Gentleman ought to give some concession to his opponents in order I to smooth matters over, and he would remember that last night the first clause was got through by making a concession. The right hon. Gentleman had pledged himself repeatedly not to introduce in this Budget any principle of protection in view of the divergence of opinion in the House and the country, and he challenged him now to carry out that pledge by accepting this Amendment.
In page 2, line 2, to leave out all the words from the beginning to the word 'in.'"—(Mr. Lough.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words, 'in the case of cigars by,' stand part of the clause."
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
assured the hon. Member for Islington, that it had always been his desire to meet any serious criticisms addressed to the House in a reasonable spirit when he could do so without a loss to the revenue or without upsetting the financial arrangements of the Bill. He always tried to meet the suggestions of hon. Members with courtesy and consideration. The hon. Member for Islington was altogether opposed to this clause, but the only question before them was whether there should be any increase in the duty upon imported cigars. In his concluding remarks the hon. Member said that in opposing this Amendment he would be forgetting the pledge which had been given to the House by the Government in regard 857 to fiscal questions during the present Parliament. That pledge was that they would not invite the House to depart from the accepted fiscal principles of the nation until the country had had an opportunity of deciding the question. Though hon. Members would hardly gather it from the speech of the hon. Member, his arguments were not addressed merely to some new proposal made for the first time in this Budget, but they were arguments against the whole scheme of tobacco duties and a good deal of their Customs duties as well. He did not see why there should not be a sufficient allowance made to compensate the home manufacturer for the expense of working under Excise restrictions on account of the additional cost involved. That argument was directed not against his proposal, but against the whole scheme of the Customs duty on tobacco. The proposal which was now the subject of debate in Committee was to raise an additional sum on tobacco imported in the form of cigars. From the speech of the hon. Member, and one or two remarks made on other occasions, he would like it to be supposed that this was a dangerous innovation springing from ideas which he himself entertained, or rather was supposed to entertain, on fiscal questions generally. He said "was supposed to entertain," because a good many ideas which were attributed to him in the course of the debate were ideas which he should be sorry to adopt any responsibility for. It appeared to the hon. Member that this was a novel proposal which had no precedent in our existing arrangements. All that he proposed to do was to follow the example set by his right hon. friend the Member for West Bristol. It was twice applied by him with regard to this particular tax on foreign cigars, and, as far as he himself knew, it was received by the House and the country with perfect equanimity, without a word of criticism, and without any suggestion that the disastrous consequences which were expected to flow from the extension of it now were at all likely to happen.
While he had been Chancellor of the Exchequer he had had considerable difficulty in finding means of raising revenue, and he had been severely criticised during the last two days for imposing increased 858 taxation on an article of necessity. In the particular case they had now reached they had an article which was not a necessity. However high they might put tobacco, they could not put it as an article of necessity. However high they might put tobacco, the urgency for a supply of cigars must be less than for tobacco in other forms. He could not conceive anything which was more an article of luxury than a cigar, and above all an imported cigar. Accordingly he had taken that article, following the footsteps of his right hon. friend the Member for West Bristol, and he proposed to raise the duty on these imported cigars without putting any corresponding Excise upon the cigars manufactured in this country. Of course the Committee would understand how great would be the difficulty and the interference with trade, and how much agitation there would be produced if anyone attempted to put an Excise on cigars made in this country. They were not to be debarred from raising revenue on an article of pure luxury because they could not exactly adjust their Excise and Customs duties. That never had been the principle on which they had proceeded, and he could not believe that seriously, or at least he was 10th to believe, any Member, however much he might be attached to free trade as we had practised it for the past forty, fifty, or sixty years, should desire that it should be embodied in that rigid and absolute form. After all, the imported cigar and the home-made cigar were two different things. The hon. Member for West Islington seemed to have some doubt about that, but then he confessed that he had never smoked a cigar. He yielded to the hon. Member in regard to tea, but having smoked a good many cigars he could express a distinct opinion on that subject. The foreign cigar was a distinct article, and a person who wanted a foreign cigar would not take a home-made one in its place. They did not run the risk of giving protection to a home product when they increased the tax on an article of luxury which was imported as such, and paid for as such. The hon. Member two or three times over in the course of his speech said his own object in making this proposal was to protect a home industry. He never said so. He 859 had said the exact contrary. He had said that his object was to obtain revenue when he set out, and from that point of view, having found a tax that appeared to him to be easily collected, which inflicted no hardship on anyone, and which was paid only by those who indulged in a luxury and who could well afford to pay, it would be absurd to debar himself from taking advantage of that source of revenue, because, incidentally or theoretically, there might be some infinitesimal possibility of protection to a small home industry.
§ MR. LOUGH
What I said was that the right hon. Gentleman stated that the duties as they stood before he touched them provided a larger measure of compensation—I quote his exact words—than Mr. Gladstone intended or the home producer actually needed. My argument is that he has increased that compensation, and therefore he has done it deliberately, and must be willing to give a larger measure of what he himself described as protection.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said the hon. Member referred to the scale fixed by Mr. Gladstone which included the other rates not specially applicable to cigars. That was not the only passage in his speech. He spoke of the object of protecting the home industry. That was not his object in now proposing the duty. His object, as he had said, was to obtain revenue. It appeared to him it would be absurd that they should debar themselves from obtaining this revenue not very large, but still not to be neglected in days when it was so difficult so obtain it from anything which could be obtained in perfect harmony with the fiscal system they had had in force in the past. It was only a development of the precedent twice set in the taxing of tobacco by his right hon. friend which gave revenue on an article of luxury, and which was in no sense a necessity of the poor. They should not be deprived of revenue from that source by the fear, which he believed to be wholly illusory, that any substantial protection would be given to a home industry in this matter. It had been suggested that there was a certain amount of wine produced in this country which the Exchequer should turn its 860 attention to. [An HON. MEMBER: You do not call it wine?] Well, it was so called. They justified an extra duty on sparkling wines because they were as distinct from other wines as imported cigars were from home-made cigars. Sparkling wines were more articles of luxury than the other cheaper wines, just as cigars were a greater luxury than the smoking of ordinary pipe tobacco. It seemed to him that that illustration was not an inapplicable one in the present case. It strengthened his argument that the course he was now proposing was one in harmony with that which had been sanctioned by the House on many previous occasions.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that some of the fiscal views which were attributed to him had not always been accurately ascribed to him. It would be a matter of interest to the House if the right hon. Gentleman would give them his views on fiscal questions about which, except in regard to the celebrated postscript, they were somewhat ignorant. The right hon. Gentleman based his proposal on two grounds—in the first place that this was a tax on what was admittedly a luxury, and in the second place that he had to look about to find revenue, the state of the finances being such as they were. He had no fault to find with the tax on the ground that it was a tax on a I luxury if it were one that would really I produce revenue. If it were a tax which was not merely put on one portion of a particular trade or industry he for one would have no special objection to it. If this were a tax on cigars he did not think anyone would object to it being a very high tax indeed. But the drawback of the tax as now proposed was that it appeared to have at all events a strongly protective flavour about it, and merely to call it a luxury tax was not to prevent it being protective. The question was whether the tax on its merits was protective or not. The right hon. Gentleman had told them with great truth that taking the Budget as a whole it was a free-trade one. But there was this particular clause which many of them contended had a considerable flavour of protection in it, both in regard to cigars and cigarettes, and more 861 especially with regard to the question of stripped and unstripped tobacco. The right hon. Gentleman said he was really following up the action of his predecessors, but when this mattter was under discussion before he admitted that there was a slight protective element in this tax. Those who wished to act on freetrade lines did not say that they ought to have exactly the same duty on imported articles as they might have in the shape of Excise on articles made in this country. Obviously in regard to Excise they must give certain allowances, but the whole question was whether the Excise and the Customs duties were on a fair level. In this case there was no Excise duty at all, and obviously any duty put on the imported article must be of a protective character. The Committee should remember that this was not the first addition to the duty on manufactured cigars. There was a start made to enable the home manufacturer to compete on the same level with the manufacturer of imported cigars. At the present moment there was a duty of 2s. 6d., which was largely protective. The right hon. Gentleman now proposed to increase that to 3s. He remembered when the Committee was discussing the corn duty of 1s., which was protective in its character but not protective in practice, he asked the Prime Minister if a 1s. duty would be regarded as protective. The right hon. Gentleman replied in the negative. He then asked the right hon. Gentlemen if a 2s. duty would be protective, and he gave a similar reply; but when he was asked what about 4s. the right hon. Gentleman declined to be catechised further. The position was exactly similar in connection with these duties. He thought the particular duty under discussion was to a certain extent protective. The real point to his mind was, was it worth while raising the question of protection for the amount of revenue that would be received? The Chancellor of the Exchequer said in his original speech in introducing the tax that his object was to get revenue; and he talked to-day a great deal on the question of revenue. Did the Committee know what was the amount of the revenue that would be obtained from this tax which had this protective tendency? The total amount was £45,000 a year, which was a paltry 862 sum out of a total amount of additional taxation of nearly £5,000,000. He thought that there would be a greater loss to the trade and to the consumer than the amount which the revenue would gain An addition of this kind involved the alteration of prices, the providing of new price lists, and a general disturbance in the trade, which would be a great loss to the trade and to consumers generally. Under existing conditions, it was their duty to protest against any step in the direction of protection; and he also protested against the tax because it would result in such a small amount of revenue as would not justify the disturbance in the trade that would ensue.
§ MR. KEARLEY (Devonport)
said the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made a very extraordinary statement. He said that there was no competition between imported cigars and home-made cigars. That showed that the right hon. Gentleman had no knowledge of the commercial interests involved in this question. Anyone who knew anything of the trade knew that cigars from Holland, Belgium, Borneo, and India entered into the closest competition with home-made cigars. He wished to know how the right hon. Gentleman could justify his statement. When he was a member of the Kitchen Committee of the House he remembered perfectly well there was great competition between home-made cigars and foreign cigars. As business men they did not want the Chancellor of the Exchequer to pick and choose for them; they wanted to be left alone. Now apparently those foreign cigars were to be excluded by putting on what was more or less a protective duty. Further, the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that there was no competition between home-made and foreign cigars was erroneous, and must have been made because of lack of information on the subject.
§ MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland)
said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer complained that they regarded this taxation as a novel proposal, whereas it had been adopted and enlarged by previous Chancellors of the Exchequer. It was perfectly true that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol raised the duty on cigars, and that it was 863 not suggested then that any disastrous consequences would ensue; but the simple reason was that, at that time, no one suspected that the Government were tending in the direction of protection. The situation now was entirely different. They had before them the experience of the bread tax. When that was introduced it was justified on the ground that it was supported by Mr. Gladstone in the sixties; and that was put forward as a reason why free-traders should support it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the Committee to act similarly in connection with this tax, but the situation was now different. The bread tax was brought in as a little innocent free-trade measure; but after a year they found it was made a handle for a great protectionist campaign. He feared exactly the same thing in connection with this tax. They were bound to regard it as a protective tax because they knew it would be so used. Already the cigar manufacturers of Leicester and Nottingham were memorialising the Chancellor of the Exchequer for a greater increase; and, just as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Sleaford Division talked of a duty of 4s. or 6s. on corn, the cigar manufacturers, with the little incitement given by the tax, were asking for an additional duty of 4s. on cigars. He was, therefore, justified in regarding the tax as a protective tax. Another reason why they should be suspicious of it was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer emphasised the fact that it was purely a revenue tax. It had been already pointed out how small was the amount of revenue that would be derived from it; and the returns showed that the result of the additional duty imposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol was to reduce instead of increase the revenue. That did not look as if the present proposed increase would be of any value to the revenue. He should like to ask the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Bristol, who had so much experience, whether he anticipated that, if the tax were imposed, the Government would be able to realise the increased duty they expected. The figures showed that the last increase did not bring in any additional revenue. The duty was in the main a protective duty; and he could not regard it as being of any other character.
§ MR. BARRAN (Leeds, N.)
said he had heard it asserted so often that this was a free-trade Budget that he began to wonder whether there was not some meaning in the repetition of the phrase. This tax needed careful scrutiny because it was particularly significant in its relation to protection. They would not be giving the Chancellor of the Exchequer credit for even ordinary ability if they did not understand that he appreciated the use of which this particular part of the Budget was going to be made in the future. The hon. Member for Cambridge University dissipated the theory of a free-trade Budget on the clause that was under consideration on the previous day, and showed that the added tax possessed the possibility of great use in some future campaign. This clause, he ventured to say, was expected to be more useful to the Government in the future politically than financially. The argument would be used that by putting on this further duty it would tend to give further employment to our own people instead of to those of other countries. On this question of employment it might be that the amount at issue was quite insignificant, but there was much in it that might be used as illustrations from which other deductions might be made; and they would be quite as effective as illustrations which had been taken in relation to "jewellery from Morocco," or "pearl buttons." Another point was the imminent danger they had to face in this, as in every other form of protection in which they embarked, i.e., the possibility of strengthening the power of the trusts of the country. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer would look at the figures and make any calculation as to what amount of this duty would be paid by certain firms, and what amount of additional money would go into the hands of certain syndicates, he would see that he would add great strength to some of the most powerful syndicates which had grown up in England in recent years, syndicates which to-day almost monopolised the trade. So much as the duty was increased, by so much would the syndicates hold that monopoly against all comers. Other countries had had to face this question of trusts. He did not propose 865 to leave the narrow limits of this Amendment to touch upon other items of duty, but he would say that if it were not the actual object of this added duty, at any rate the use to which it would certainly be put would be the argument that it would create greater trade in this country. On the other hand it would be an example to be avoided, in that if they were to put duties on any articles, whether luxuries or necessities, and if they excluded the labour as well as the products of other countries, they were enabling a limited number of manufacturers in this country to make a strong trust that could practically control the whole trade. He hoped those who voted in favour of this increased duty would feel that they gave a vote to a system which, if carried further, would add additional cost to the consumer without giving additional revenue to the Government, and would put the cost on the consumer out of all proportion to the amount going into the Treasury. He opposed every item of this clause on those two principles. It was brought forward with the absolute knowledge that the arguments of increased labour were going to be used unfairly in the future, because, this being an article on which taxation had always been placed, the injury would not be so apparent as if it had been put upon some item which they historically considered as an unsuitable subject for taxation.
§ SIR ROBEET REID (Dumfries Burghs)
was sorry to see the House so listless and exhausted in regard to this subject, because its importance could not be measured by the amount of money involved. This was the first item upon which of late years a duty had been proposed that had an avowedly protective effect, although to only a limited degree. The Chancellor of the Exchequer did not dispute that the effect of this tax would be protective, and one could not help regarding it as
§ the basis of some propaganda which the country would in due time be asked to accept. Then, again, it came in under the guise of a luxury. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had very judiciously based his argument that luxuries ought to be taxed. Luxuries could not be taxed to produce a large revenue and yet people would go about the country and say that the luxuries of the rich man ought to be taxed in order to relieve the burden from the poorer classes. He agreed that if they could tax luxuries without doing any harm that course should be taken. He had no feeling whatever from either an economic or personal point of view against putting a tax upon this or that luxury in itself, but it was very dangerous to use the argument of luxury as the first step to protection. It was an argument introduced under most insidious aspects, and was likely to captivate many persons who would not have accepted it on its real merits. The consequences of it were apparent. It was not an argument to be confined merely to tobacco or to this increased duty, but related to all taxes of the same kind. If they applied protection to this trade other trades would claim the same privilege. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that he did not intend to interfere with the principles of free trade in any proposal to the present Parliament. He ought not to have imposed this tax, as they would see this instance and this clause quoted in support of protection. Whether the right hon. Gentleman was in favour of protection he (Sir Robert Reid) had not been able to gather, but he thought they ought to take this opportunity of protesting against the introduction of this principle.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 242 Noes, 183. (Division List No. 169.)869
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Bignold, Arthur|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Balcarres, Lord||Bill, Charles|
|Aird, Sir John||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r)||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Boulnois, Edmund|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O||Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Banbury, Sir Fredk. George||Brassey, Albert|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Burdett-Coutts, W.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.||Percy, Earl|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Heaton, John Henniker||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Helder, Augustus||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A (Worc.)||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Chamberlayne, T.(S'thampton)||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Pym, C. Guy|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon Henry||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Randles, John S.|
|Chapman, Edward||Horner, Frederick William||Rankin, Sir James|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hoult, Joseph||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham)||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Coddington, Sir William||Hozier, Hon. James H. Cecil||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hunt, Rowland||Robinson, Brooke|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred.||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Davenport, William Bromley||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Denny, Colonel||Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Lawson, John G. (Yorks., N. R.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Dinisdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph C.||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Doughty, George||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Douglas, Bt. Hon. A. Akers||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Smith, H. C (North'mb Tyneside|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Smith, J. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Spear, John Ward|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Lowe, Francis William||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lucas, R. J. (Portsmouth)||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Stock, James Henry|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Macdona, John Cumming||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Stroyan, John|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Malcolm, Ian||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Flower, Sir Ernest||Manners, Lord Cecil||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Forster, Henry William||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.)||Middlemore, J. Thorgmorton||Valentia, Viscount|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Milncr, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Milvain, Thomas||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Garfit, William||Mitchell, William (Burnley)||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn)||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc.)||Morpeth, Viscount||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunt'n|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Morrison, James Archibald||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Greene, Sir EW (B'ryS Edm'nds||Mount, William Arthur||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Gretton, John||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Hall, Edward Marshall||Myers, William Henry||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)||Nicholson, William Graham||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Harwood, George||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Parker, Sir Gilbert||Younger, William|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Alexander Acland-Hood|
|Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Pemberton, John S. G.||and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E||Fuller, J. M. F.||O'Dowd, John|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gilhooly, James||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John||O'Malley, William|
|Allen, Charles P.||Grant, Corrie||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick||O'Shee, James John|
|Asher, Alexander||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hammond, John||Parrott, William|
|Austin, Sir John||Harcourt, Rt Hn Sir W (Monm'th||Partington, Oswald|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hayden, John Patrick||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Helme, Norval Watson||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Price, Robert John|
|Bell, Richard||Holland, Sir William Henry||Priestley, Arthur|
|Black, Alexander William||Horniman, Frederick John||Rea, Russell|
|Blake, Edward||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Boland, John||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries)|
|Brigg, John||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jacoby, James Alfred||Rigg, Richard|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Joicey, Sir James||Roche, John|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||Russell, T. W.|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Joyce, Michael||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Burt, Thomas||Kennedy, V. P. (Cavan, W.)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Kitson, Sir James||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight|
|Caldwell, James||Labouchere, Henry||Shackleton, David James|
|Cameron, Robert||Lambert, George||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Langley, Batty||Sheehy, David|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Loamy, Edmund||Slack, John Bamford|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leng, Sir John||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Crean, Eugene||Levy, Maurice||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants|
|Crombie, John William||Lewis, John Herbert||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Cullinan, J.||Lloyd-George, David||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Lundon, W.||Sulivan, Donal|
|Davies Alfred (Carmarthen)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Devlin, Charles R. (Galway)||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||M'Crae, George||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Fadden, Edward||Tomkinson, James|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Toulmin, George|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Ure, Alexander|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wallace, Robert|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Morley, Charles (Breeonshire)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Edwards, Frank||Moss, Samuel||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Elibank Master of||Murphy, John||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Ellice, Capt EC (S. Andrw's Bghs||Nannetti, Joseph P.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Newnes, Sir George||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wilson, Fred W. (Norfolk, Mid.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Field, William||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Woodhouse, Sir JT (Huddersf'd|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Young, Samuel|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Kearley and Mr. Trevelyan.|
§ MR. DUNCAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Otley)
moved to reduce the proposed increase of duty on cigars from 6d. to 3d. He said he did not intend to pursue the arguments as to the protective character of the tax—although recognising its pro- 870 tective character he believed a reduction of the tax would be an advantage—nor did he propose to refer to the opportunities which such a tax afforded to the advocates of preferential duties. The object of the Amendment was to place 871 the levying of the tax on a more just basis. Many cigars were sold at a very low price, and the additional duty on each cigar could not be reckoned in a coin of the realm. Consequently, the duty would have to be paid by the manufacturer or retailer, unless it were placed in a grossly aggravated form upon the consumer. But if former increases of duty were taken into account, it would be found that the total tax worked out at nearly Id. on each cigar, and this was met by the use of inferior material. Manufacturers aimed at producing the best quality cigars possible at a given price; consequently, when they had established any particular commodity on the market, such a tax as that now proposed seriously interfered with the conduct of their business for very inadequate results. The Amendment would leave it open to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to levy a higher duty on the better quality cigars, And to allow the cheaper cigars to be sold at the standard of price which the manufacturers had had in view. If the right hon. Gentleman would accept the principle of an ad valorem duty, a sufficiently high duty could be placed on the better cigars to compensate for the loss of revenue on the cheaper article. He begged to move.
In page 2, line 2, to leave out the words 'six pence' and insert the words 'three pence.'"—(Mr. Duncan.)
§ Question, "That the words 'six pence' stand part of the clause"872
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said the Amendment as moved would not effect the object the hon. Member had in view. It was perfectly true that small alterations of duty were always an inconvenience to the trade concerned, that they rendered necessary adjustments of prices and so forth, but the mere reduction of the additional duty from 6d. to 3d. would not do away with any of the inconveniences involved. The object behind the Amendment, however, was really to raise the question of an ad valorem duty upon cigars. Regarded merely as a question of theoretical justice, ad valorem duties were very attractive; but the difficulties in the way were very great. Ad valorem duties always provided opportunities for fraud, and made it difficult to check the true amount of duty that should be paid; and though he did not say that under no circumstances ought they to be enforced, he thought it desirable wherever possible to have a specific rather than an ad valorem duty. If he undertook to bring up a scale of ad valorem duties on cigars, he would probably find that he had merely jumped out of the frying-pan into the fire, and that the new proposals would be even more fiercely attacked than those now before the Committee. He was unable, therefore, to accept either the Amendment or the proposal which he understood to be behind it.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 239; Noes, 179. (Division List No. 170.)875
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bill, Charles||Coates, Edward Feetham|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Boseawen, Arthur Griffith||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. K.|
|And, Sir John||Boulnois, Edmund||Coddington, Sir William|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F.(Middles'x||Coghill, Douglas Harry|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt Hn. Hugh O.||Brassey, Albert||Cohen, Benjamin Louis|
|Arrol, Sir William||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bull, William James||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy||Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow||Cripps, Charles Alfred|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r.||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Balfour, Capt, C. B. (Hornsey)||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Davenport, William Bromley|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J (Birm.||Denny, Colonel|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc||Dickinson, Robert Edmond|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Dickson, Charles Scott|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Chapman, Edward||Dimsdale, Bt. Hon. Sir Joseph C.|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Charrington, Spencer||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph|
|Bignold, Arthur||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Randles, John S.|
|Doughty, George||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex||Rankin, Sir James|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Dyke, Rt Hn. Sir William Hart||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon Chas Thomson|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Roberts Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Faber, Edmund B. (Hants., W||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lawson, John Grant (York, N R)||Robinson, Brooke|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Eareham||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Long Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Long, Ht. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Flower, Sir Ernest||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Forster, Henry William||Lowe, Francis William||Samuel, Sir Harry S (Limehouse|
|Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Gardner, Ernest||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Garlit, William||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop||Macdona, John Gumming||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Graham, Henry Robert||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Smith, HC. (N'orth'mb. Tyneside|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Spear, John Ward|
|Greene, Sir E. W (B'ryS Edm'nds||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)|
|Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury||Majendie, James A. H.||Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset)|
|Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Malcolm, Ian||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Gretton, John||Manners, Lord Cecil||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Stock, James Henry|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Hall, Edward Marshall||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.||Stroyan, John|
|Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Milvain, Thomas||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G.(Midd'x||Mitchell, William (Burnley)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Harwood, George||Morrison, James Archibald||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Mount, William Arthur||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hatch, Ernest Frederick G||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley||Murray, Rt Hn. A. Graham (Bute||Walrond, Rt. Hn Sir William H.|
|Heath, James (Staffords, N.W.||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Murray, Col Wyndham (Bath)||Welby Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Helder, Augustus||Myers, William Henry||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)|
|Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.||Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Nicholson, William Graham||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R)|
|Hornby, Sir William Henry||Parkes, Ebenezer||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Horner, Frederick William||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H (Yorks.)|
|Hoult, Joseph||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Pemberton, John S. G.||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Howard, John (Kent, Faversham||Percy, Earl||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Pilkington, Colonel Richard||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Platt-Riggins, Frederick||Younger, William|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Hunt, Rowland||Pretyman, Ernest George||TELLERS for the Ayes—Sir|
|Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Alexander Acland-Hood, and|
|Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Pym, C. Guy||Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Burke, E. Haviland|
|Ambrose, Robert||Bell, Richard||Burt, Thomas|
|Asher, Alexander||Black, Alexander William||Buxton, Sydney Charles|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Blake, Edward||Caldwell, James|
|Austin, Sir John||Boland, John||Cameron, Robert|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Broadhurst, Henry||Causton, Richard Knight|
|Barron, Rowland Hirst||Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Cawley, Frederick|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Joicey, Sir James||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Joyce, Michael||Price, Robert John|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W||Priestley, Arthur|
|Crean, Eugene||Kitson, Sir James||Rea, Russell|
|Crombie, John William||Labouchere, Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford>|
|Cullinan, J.||Lambert, George||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Langley, Batty||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Rigg, Richard|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.|
|Delany, William||Leamy, Edmund||Roche, John|
|Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Leng, Sir John||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Levy, Maurice||Seely, Maj. J. E. B.(Isle of Wight|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lewis, John Herbert||Shackleton, David James|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lloyd-George, David||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lundon, W.||Sheehy, David|
|Dunn, Sir William||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas R.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Edwards, Frank||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Elibank, Master of||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Slack, John Bamford|
|Ellice, Capt E C (S. Andrw's Bghs||M'Crae, George||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts,)||M'Fadden, Edward||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||M'Kenna, Reginald||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R. (Northants|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Sullivan, Donal|
|Field William||Markham, Arthur Basil||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Moulton, John Fletcher||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Murphy, John||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Tomkinson, James|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Newnes, Sir George||Toulmin, George|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Gilhooly, James||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Ure, Alexander|
|Gladstone Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wallace, Robert|
|Grant, Corrie||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick)||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Hammond, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Harcourt, Rt Hn Sir W (Monm'th||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Dowd, John||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Malley, William||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd|
|Horniman, Frederick John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Young, Samuel|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C||O'Shee, James John||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk||Parrott, William|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Partington, Oswald||Tellers for the Noes—Mr.|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Paulton, James Mellor||Hastings Duncan and Mr.|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Charles Allen.|
SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
said he desired to move the Amendment standing in his name. He did not think there was any proposal in the Bill so serious as the one he asked the Committee by this Amendment to eliminate. This tax would be unproductive to the Exchequer and there was no justification for putting on a tax of this kind when the revenue was not going to benefit by it to any appreciable extent. They might get a paltry sum of £20,000 a year by this proposal, and therefore as regarded productiveness the tax was hardly worth considering. 876 Only a small amount of foreign cigarettes were manufactured in this country, amounting to about 500,000 lbs., and that would bring in about £20,000 a year. If the full amount continued to be imported the tax would bring in about £25,000, and even that was a very small sum in the Budget. There was reason to believe that this would be a diminishingly productive tax as regarded revenue. The impression was that this tax would keep out foreign cigarettes. The Chairman of the United Kingdom Association of Cigarette Makers had said that sooner or later it would keep out foreign cigarettes 877 altogether, and it would protect the home manufacturers to such an extent that there would be no foreign competition. Any measure which brought about a condition of things of that kind was not likely to benefit the consumer. The amount raised by this tax was so small that it was not worth the disturbance it would create in the trade and the expense of collecting it. While it would be unproductive to the revenue it would be unjust to the public and to the consumer, upon whom it would fall very heavily. It would take out of the pockets of public a much larger amount than it would put into the Exchequer. That was a great fault in any tax. No tax could be justified which did not give an adequate return to the revenue, and at the same time fairly tax the consuming public. To be fair and just a tax ought to bring money to the revenue and at the same time ought not to oppress the people, but this proposal had the opposite effect and it was likely to prove very oppressive. When he spoke upon the Second Reading, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that he had produced an ingenious argument on orthodox lines to show that this tax would have a protective effect, and replied by referring him to the cigarette manufacturers. That was a very ingenuous reference, because they were the last people he should ever think of appealing to because they were the people most likely to benefit by it. It had been stated that 10 per cent., or more probably 5 per cent., of the total consumption of cigarettes came from abroad. If the effect of this tax was to raise the price of home-made cigarettes, what would be the effect on the consumer and the trade? Taking the low estimate of 10 per cent. that left 90 per cent. or 4.500,0001bs. manufactured at home. In that case the Chancellor of the Exchequer would receive some £20,000 or £25,000 a year, and the trade by raising the price of the home-manufactured article would put into their pockets £225,000 a year. If they took the percentage at 5 per cent. they got a still more serious state of things. for raising the price by the amount of the duty on 95 per cent. or on 19,500,000lbs. would put £475,000 per annum into the pockets of the trade while the Chancellor of the Exchequer 878 would get on the 500,000lbs. of foreign cigarettes only some £20,000 a year. It ought not to be allowed in the interest of trade morality, and in the interest of consumers.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that he, in his speech on the Second Reading of the Bill, had conjured up these dangers, and that such a condition of things was not likely to arise. The right hon. Gentleman said then that cigarettes were not likely to be increased in price. His answer was that already they were increased in price. If the right hon. Gentleman would apply to various retailers for information on the subject he would find that in many instances the price of home-made cigarettes had gone up ls. per lb., which proved that the effect of the duty was already being anticipated by the trade. It was perfectly true that it was difficult to get increased profit on penny packets of cigarettes, but it had already been pointed out that the trade was intelligent enough to lower the quality, and in that way put a profit into their pockets. In this direction, he understood, something had already been attempted, and it had been suggested that more cigarettes should be made out of an ounce of tobacco. The contention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that the price of the cigarettes would not go up. Since that statement was made a good many meetings had been held of tobacco sellers in various parts of the country. The price of the foreign-made cigarettes —Egyptian and Turkish—had gone up by ls. in the £. That was the natural result of the duty'. In some instances the increase was more. The price of homemade cigarettes had gone up about 3d. a tin of 100 in some cases, and fifty in others. In these instances the additional price was already equivalent to the duty. At a meeting of the Dublin retail trade in connection with this matter it was suggested that ½d. should be put on the half ounce and the one ounce packet of cigarettes. That would bring about ls. in the pound. which was the duty the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to levy. At Leicester the tobacco people held a meeting and agreed that it was necessary to add ½d. to the 3d. packets; at Swansea a resolution was passed that ½d. to ld. per ounce was the amount they 879 would require to add to the price of the article vended to the public; at Liverpool the United Kingdom Alliance of Tobacconists had determined that the 2½d. packets should be raised to 3d. That would bring something more than the duty to the trade. Afterwards they suggested that another device should be entered upon, namely, that the number of cigarettes should he increased to twenty-eight or thirty per ounce so that they might still be sold at five a penny. At Walsall the increase was ½d per ounce, and 3d. on the tin of fifty cigarettes; and at Nottingham it was ½d. per ounce, which would bring in 8d. per pound. It was also suggested that at the last mentioned town ½d. should be added to the price of the smaller packets. He knew the Chancellor of the Exchequer would suggest that these alterations in prices were due not so much to the cigarette duty as to the duty he proposed to put upon the tobacco leaf when stripped. If so the duty on the tobacco leaf stripped was altogether condemned by the fact that it had already produced so great a change of price in the trade.
If the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the competition in this country was too great between the cigarette manufacturers to admit of any alteration in price then he would say that the competition in this country was by no means as free as many people would like to see it, and that there was nothing more calculated to benefit the tobacco manufacturers than this tax, which would put half a million of money into the hands of successful monopolists. Half the tobacco trade was in the hands of a single company. It could be seen, therefore, what possibilities were open when half a million was to be scrambled for. It showed the danger of dabbling with protective duties in the face of a big monopoly growing up in the country. This system of taxation would do great harm to the retail dealer, because he would be cut out by monopolists who would go into the retail trade and take the profits that could be made out of the retail custom. The United Kingdom Alliance of Tobacconists, speaking through the Chairman, Mr. Parry, said that one of the objections to this particular form of taxation of cigarettes was that it would play 880 into the hands of the Imperial Tobacco Company and encourage monopoly. On that account the proposal now before the Committee was one which would be injurious to the retail dealer. It was estimated that 100,000,000 of cheap cigarettes were sold every week.. They were sold mostly in ld. packets.. There were, as could be seen, enormous chances for large manipulators of the market to make out of these sales the profits which were at present derived by the small retailers. No small manufacturer or retail trader could stand against such a monopoly. The proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer would play into the hands of the great trusts and do harm to the retailers. He pressed the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the interest of these retailers, to reconsider this tax. It was not a tax which could be defended very keenly for it would bring in such a small sum to the Imperial revenue. Some people said that it was a part or an. example of a protective tax. If so, he did not think they could desire a better object lesson as to the evil which would result from protection. He believed it would work harm to the retail trade of the country, that it would play into the hands of the monopolists, bring in little to the revenue, that in ten years time it would yield no more than £10,000, per annum and that in the meantime it wou'd do irremediable mischief.
Lastly, this tax was put on in a, gratuitous frame of mind by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The tax was wholly unnecessary for the protection of British trade. British cigarette manufacturers were perfectly safe from foreign competition. That was proved by the fact that when the American Tobacco Trust attempted to capture the British market it was found that the then existing duty of 10d. was sufficient to prevent the flooding of the market with American cigarettes. There was, therefore, no need for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to put this additional shilling duty on. It might be inferred that he was in favour of anything that would contribute to the consumption of cigarettes. That would be a mistake. He believed the consumption of cigarettes was working much harm to the juvenile population, and he would be very glad 881 to see the pernicious habit of cigarette smoking among the young checked. He did not think it was likely to have any very bad influence on his hon. friend the senior Member for Northampton', who seemed to be immune from the influence of tobacco in the shape of cigarettes, but the growing youth of the country were by no means likely to escape, and he should be very glad if any method could be devised by which this growing habit of consuming cigarettes by the younger members of the population could be checked. He did not believe the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposal would check it, because the increased duty only applied to foreign cigarettes. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer would add to the tax and would consent to put on an Excise duty equivalent to the Customs duty so that the increased tax was levied on home-made as well as on foreign-made cigarettes, he would support his proposal, because it would do something to diminish the use of this form of tobacco. That suggestion was not his own; it came from the Economist newspaper, the highest financial authority in the country. On the grounds he had set forth he commended the Amendment to the favourable consideration of the Committee.
In page 2, line 2, to leave out from the word 'pound' to the word 'and' in line 3."—(Sir 1Valter Foster.)
Question proposed, "That the words ' and in the case of cigarettes by' stand part of the clause."
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that in substance the proposal now before the Committee was very similar in principle to the one which had just been discussed; and it was, therefore, open to the same criticism. He perfectly admitted that the objection which the hon. Gentleman took to the additional duty on cigars applied to the additional duty on cigarettes. The first objection was that it would bring in very little to the revenue. That, of course, was the case. There was not a very great weight of cigarettes imported into this country, and accordingly an increased duty of Is. per lb. would not bring in a large 882 revenue. It was a question whether it was worth while to impose any new duty or raise an old one when the return to the revenue would be small. The temptation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer was to avoid any adjustment of an existing tax, however fair, equitable, and justifiable it might be in itself, because when the revenue to be derived from it was small he felt that that was hardly compensation for the Parliamentary struggle in which he might be engaged in proposing it. But that objection might be carried too far; and Finance Ministers had been prone to carry it too far, if they refrained from doing things which were highly desirable in themselves because they would be opposed in Committee. He did not think that because the revenue to be derived from a tax was small that that was in itself sufficient for its rejection. But the hon. Gentleman went on to say what would be a more serious thing if it were true—that the revenue to be derived would bear no sort of proportion to the amount which the consumer would have to pay. At the last discussion the hon. Gentleman made an estimate as to the cost to the consumer which he thought so extravagant that he did not suppose that the hon. Gentleman would have repeated it on this occasion; but instead of that the hon. Gentleman had gone one better and had doubled his estimate that the new tax would bring in only £25,000 and that it would cost the consumer £450,000.
Sin WALTER FOSTER
said that he had given two sets of figures. If the estimate of the consumption of foreign cigarettes was 10 per cent. of the total consumption, then the new duty would bring some £20,000 to the revenue, and the I public would pay to the trade £225,000 more; but if the estimate of the consumption of foreign cigarettes was 5 per cent. of the total, then, while the revenue would still only obtain £20,000 or £25,000, the public would be mulcted to the extent of over £450,000.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that he thought the estimate of £225,000 was extravagant. But the hon. Gentleman now seemed to think that that was entirely an understatement by one-half as to the cost of the new tax to the public. That was not the view 883 placed before him by the foreign cigarette importers. He had had a very interesting interview with a deputation of these foreign cigarette importers in regard to this Budget proposal. They said that the article which they imported was an entirely different article from anything which could be made in this country; and it became perfectly clear from what they said that the public would demand these imported cigarettes and that they would pay the increased duty upon them. What the deputation were afraid of was that fraudulent imitations of the foreign article would induce the public to purchase English-made cigarettes under the impression that they were getting the foreign cigarettes. He was convinced that there was no real competition between the genuine imported cigarette and the home-made cigarette—each under its own proper description. The imported article was admitted to be an article of luxury, and it seemed to him to be the very article to tax. The hon. and learned Member for Dumfries, speaking on a previous Amendment, said that, on principle, he did not object to a tax on luxuries, but that it was difficult to obtain a large revenue from them, and that to tax them would be a prelude to protection. The hon. and learned Member did his ingenuity great honour.
The hon. Gentleman's arguments were not consistent. The hon. Gentleman said that this tax would be ruinous to the manufacturers; but then he also said that it would be a highly protective tax which would have the effect of raising the price of the article without increasing the cost to the manufacturer. Further, the hon. Gentleman defended himself against any suspicion that he was an advocate of cigarette smoking among the youth of the country; but he also said that hon. Gentlemen had arrived at such an age that they might smoke cigarettes without injuring their constitution. He also stated that the tax would have the effect of checking consumption, which he would be glad to see checked; but later the hon. Gentleman said it would not check consumption. He himself never pretended that it would. He thought the hon. Gentleman was more correct when he said that consumption would not be effected and that the price would 884 not be raised. He did not think it possible in a trade like this that because they placed an additional duty on an imported article, distinct in character from a home-made article, therefore it would be possible for the home-manufacturers to raise their price to an equivalent extent. The hon. Member for Ilkeston had refuted his own arguments. If the tax was unfair to the retailer because he could not recover from the consumer the additional cost thrown on him, then that destroyed the argument that the consumer would pay. The hon. Gentleman could not have it both ways. He could not say that the consumer would have to pay ten times or twenty times the amount of the tax, and that the retailer could not recover from the consumer a tenth or a twentieth part of the increase. He thought the hon. Gentleman's arguments taken as a whole answered themselves very well and dispensed him from the necessity of making an elaborate reply. The hon. Gentleman said that the effect of the tax would be to play into the hands of the great combine which had been formed in the trade; but if the effect of the tax would be to cause a great combine to invade to a greater extent the retail trade, it could not be that the retailer's business would be rendered unprofitable by the tax, because in that case it would not attract the combine. The hon. Gentleman's arguments were mutually destructive. His last observation was that the tax was needless, because it was not required for the protection of the tobacco trade. He had never himself presented this tax to the House as a protective tax or sought any support for it on that ground. But he could not but be struck by the suggestion of the hon. Member that the trade needed no protection because the taxes already in force had enabled our tobacco trade to defeat a great American combination which tried to acquire it. Did the hon. Member mean the Committee to understand that we should be unable to maintain our own tobacco trade without a duty which he considered protective? He did not put the tax forward on protective grounds, he did not argue for it on those lines at all; but he thought the hon. Gentleman's desire to attack the tax had led him to advance arguments which were dangerous from the hon. 885 Gentleman's point of view. He would not pursue that; this was, he thought, almost the first time that, under many temptations in that discussion, he had allowed himself for a moment to depart from the questions which were immediately before the House. He submitted that the tax was one which would certainly not have the injurious effect on the import trade in these foreign-made cigarettes which the hon. Gentleman feared, that it was a tax which would give them some revenue, though not a large amount, and that it was raised wholly from an article of foreign production, and would be levied without unfairness and harshness.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
said he could not understand why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should talk of a tax on foreign tobacco as a luxury tax. It was all nonsense. Why was it supposed that a person should pay more for a foreign cigarette than an English cigarette as a matter of luxury? Did the right hon. Gentleman understand where and how cigarettes were made? Cigarettes came from Russia and were called Odessa cigarettes, but the tobacco of which they were made was raised, not in Russia, but in Turkey, and was sent to Odessa to be worked up, precisely as it was sent to England at the present time. Hon. Members thought that what they called Egyptian cigarettes were made from tobacco grown in Egypt, but as a matter of fact it was grown in Turkey. The question as to whether a cigarette was good or bad depended to a certain extent on how the water was thrown on the tobacco before rolling, secondly on the rolling itself. A cigarette rolled in this country was a better cigarette-a better rolled cigarette—than one rolled in Turkey, Egypt, or in any other part of the world. Another mistake made was that there was something injurious to the constitution in smoking. That was the biggest mistake ever made. His hon. friend the Member for the Ilkeston Division of Derbyshire had told them that the rising generation would be absolutely ruined unless it was weaned from the habit of smoking cigarettes. He looked round at the rising generation in that House, including even the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he 886 saw no cause for such a statement. If they went all over the world, to Spain or to South America, they would see children smoking cigarettes. And what was the result of smoking? His belief was that all that system of microbes which was so injurious to health was done away with in childhood. In the course of his life he had been unwell, and had sent for a doctor, who shook his head and told him he must stop smoking, upon being informed that he indulged in the habit. Upon asking him later to have a cigarette he found his sage smoking like a chimney. No one had ever yet found that a cigarette did harm to man, woman, or child. Almost all those who had reached a ripe old age were strong smokers, and he did not believe in the theory put forward by the hon. Gentleman. Did his hon. friend smoke?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said it was his hon. friend's precept and not his practice that they were invited to follow. But let them leave the matter to the people and not ask them to believe that the rising generation would be ruined if they did not refrain from smoking cigarettes. The hon. Member should not, after making such a statement, suggest a reduction in the duty on cigarettes. He expected to hear the hon. Gentleman propose a heavy Excise or Customs duty, but instead of that he wanted the Committee to reduce the duty on foreign cigarettes. Why should the poor cigarette and tobacco smoker be regarded as a fair beast of burden for the purposes of the Chancellor of the Exchequer? This was a poor man's tax. He believed that crime was lessened in proportion to the number of cigarettes smoked. He was not in favour, of the consumption of alcohol because under excitement people did foolish things, but the cigarette, on the contrary, calmed one's nerves. If an hon. Member felt indignant he had only to retire and smoke a cigarette and he became as calm as possible. He was glad to see in any town or village a poor man or child smoking, because he thought that not only was that person preparing himself for a ripe old age, but also that he was not likely to swell the list of the criminal classes, and instead of being guilty of some crime his xcitement would 887 evaporate. It was almost like reading the Bible in its physical effect in reducing all species of excitement. Under all the circumstances he did not know which way to vote. He gathered that his hon. friend at one moment wanted something, but the next moment he was arguing against it. Then a moment later he wanted something else, but followed that up with arguments in opposition. Under the circumstances he should not vote at all, but should go out of the House and smoke a cigarette.
§ MR. SPEAR (Devonshire, Tavistock)
hoped that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not yield to the arguments put forward in support of the Amendment. They all felt that the imposition of this tax was generally welcomed, and it was accepted on all hands as an exemplary duty from every point of view. Members of the Opposition were constantly bringing forward schemes involving increased expenditure, but whatever proposals were made for meeting that extra expenditure they opposed. He had supported the increased duty on tea with considerable reluctance, but how any hon. Members could object to the tax on cigarettes or on tobacco in any form he could not understand. Tobacco and cigarettes were luxuries, and it was surely more desirable to raise money for the public service from luxuries than from necessaries of life. But while hon. Members opposite had opposed every suggestion of the Government for raising money, they were perfectly ready to cause the imposition of fresh taxation upon agriculturists by discontinuing the Agricultural Rates Act. He earnestly hoped the Committee would reject the Amendment. Those who indulged in smoking ought to be able to pay the tax; if they could not they should give up the habit. The proposal to increase the taxation on cigarettes was popular in the country; he regretted the proposed increase was not larger, hut, such as it was, he accepted it with gratitude, and hoped the right hon. Gentleman would resist any proposal for its reduction.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
said it was perfectly true that Members on that side of the House had opposed all the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer; they had consistently opposed the scheme of expenditure of the 888 Government, and consequently were justified in objecting to the various proposals for raising the extra money rendered necessary by extravagant expenditure. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had argued that the foreign cigarette was a totally different thing from the home-made cigarette, but to that the hon. Member for Northampton, an authority on cigarettes, had given an absolute denial. If his hon. friend was correct, the arguments of the mover of the Amendment held good, and the hon. Member for Northampton might fairly have decided to support the Amendment. From the financial point of view the present proposal afforded the strongest case against one line of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's policy. It was true that the right hon. Gentleman was on the look out for money, but it was hardly worth while to introduce an alteration of taxation which would yield only about £25,000. The present additions would alter substantially the scheme of tobacco taxation. Hitherto cigarettes had not been specifically assessed for duty; they had been included under the general heading of "other sorts of manufactured tobacco." Tobacco taxation had always been difficult to follow, but it would now be even more confused. On cigars there was a duty of 5s. under the Act of 1898; the Act of 1900 imposed another 6d.; and the clause under discussion proposed the addition of 6d. more; hence the cigar duty would be distributed over three Acts of Parliament. With regard to "other sorts of manufactured tobacco," the duty under the Act of 1898 was 3s. 5d.; 5d. was added by the Act of 1900; and now an additional ls. was proposed with regard only to a part of the tobacco thus described. Therefore, there would be a duty of 4s. 10d., with a small residue of "other sorts of manufactured tobacco "upon which the duty would continue at 3s. 10d. These variations, coupled with the new scheme of drawbacks would render the plan of tobacco taxation more complicated than it had ever been. On the face of it this proposal was unreasonable, unwise, and impolitic, and the Opposition were not to blame if in regard to this duty some of them gave expression to the belief that, after all, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in making 889 so unprofitable and small an alteration of this duty, rendering it still more complicated, must have had some other object in view. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that these suggestions were never made against former proposals of the kind. The Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to recognise that they could not shut their eyes and their ears to events which had been going on and the position which the right hon. Gentleman occupied in the present Government. It was impossible on the general grounds of good financial administration and the general reasons which had actuated Chancellors of the Exchequer in the past to justify this alteration, which combined all the worst faults and brought in a very small sum to the national till.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
The hon. Member opposite stated that he supported this proposal because it was a tax on luxury. That was not so, but that was not the point. If this was a tax all round on a luxury nobody would oppose it. It was not merely a tax for revenue purposes, but also for protective purposes. It was estimated to produce £25,000 a year. The right hon. Gentleman said the fact that it raised only a small amount was no condemnation of the tax. It was, however, a condemnation if the tax was simply imposed for the purposes of revenue, because it was one of the axioms of taxation that you should not impose a vexatious little tax which would dislocate trade unless it was justified by the amount of revenue derived from it. This tax was not imposed for revenue but simply as an object lesson in protection, and it was not a bad object lesson at all, for while it brought only £25,000 to the Exchequer it produced £250,000 for the manufacturers. That was the object lesson the Chancellor of the Exchequer was giving them. This proposal had been made as the result of the inquiries made by a Departmental Committee before which evidence was given.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said this strongly protective tax was the result of 890 evidence given before that Committee by people in the trade. [" No, no! "] That evidence at any rate must have influenced the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and why should the House of Commons not have the same opportunity of judging as the Chancellor of the Exchequer? That evidence ought not to be kept from the Committee. His hon. friend had given instances showing that the trade had already taken advantage of this protective tax in order to raise the price of the home-made article by something like three-quarters of the amount of the duty. The duty was one shilling, and the trade had already imposed 9d. as an addition to the cost of the article. That was exactly what they might expect if protective duties were applied to any other industry. Supposing they put a similar tax upon ron and steel. The result would be that the Exchequer would get by a 10 percent ad valorem duty £130,000, but £3,000,000 would be imposed as an additional cost upon steel, which was the raw material for many of the important industries of this country. He trusted that the Committee Would take into account what had happened already as a. complete proof of what protection really meant. It did not mean additional wages for the employees but more money for the huge tobacco trusts and manufacturers.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that if the Committee desired to have the Report of the Departmental Committee they could have it. He was anxious to publish the whole of the evidence, but he would first like to inquire as to the conditions under which the inquiry was held. He thought the Committee would see that this was only fair, because it was dealing with trade processes, and he had first to ascertain from the witnesses whether the evidence they gave referring to their particular businesses was private or not.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said it would be a great convenience to hon Members if a copy of the evidence could be left in the Library where it could be referred to.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said he was not quite certain whether that could be done. He could not say more at present than that it was his desire to meet the convenience of the House.
§ MR. LOUGH
said the argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, both in regard to cigars and cigarettes, was that he was following precedents, and that he was making no violent alteration in the scheme of the tobacco duties of this country. His hon. friend had shown that it was impossible to take up that stand with regard to the proposed cigarette duty. It had been said that this was a very small duty, but that was a great mistake. It was a very large duty. The amount of money to be obtained from it might be small, but it was a big burden. The duty at present was 3s. 10d., and it was proposed to make it 4s. 10d. That was an increase of 25 per cent., and surely that was a very great experiment to make. It was an astonishing thing that the tax was now producing revenue extremely well. The revenue of the cigarette tax for the year ending 31st March, 1903, was £10,000 more than in the previous year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer could not plead any precedent for the present proposal. He was acting on his own account, and altering the whole scheme with regard to cigarettes. The increase in the tax would bring very little money. Why was he doing this at the present time? They would not object to it as a luxury tax if put on fairly. Let an Excise duty be put on, and the whole objection to the proposal would disappear in an instant. The right hon. Gentleman calculated that he would get £20,000 out of this increase in the duty. His motives for proposing the change had not been fully explained to the Committee, and he should state his full mind on the matter. He was making a great change, and they had a right to ask —" Why is not an Excise duty put on to correspond with the Customs duty? As the proposal stood, it was a protective tax of a very bad kind. When the tax on manufactured tobacco was increased not long ago there was a falling off in the revenue got from it, and it was possible that a similar result might happen in the case of cigarettes. He believed' great principles were raised in connection with this matter, and he hoped a further answer would be given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ MR. J. A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)
said he should like to ask certain 892 hon. Members opposite who held free trade views whether they would support the Amendment. The point which had been raised in connection with cigars was not nearly so indefensible as this proposal in regard to cigarettes. As had already been pointed out, this proposal, if carried out, would only produce £20,000 to the revenue, while as the result of the imposition of the increase the manufacturers would pocket £225,000. The consumer would be called upon to pay not for the purpose of revenue but in order to help certain classes of manufacturers in this country. Those who held free-trade views believed that a great impetus had been given to trusts and organisations on the other side of the Atlantic by the protective system there. If the proposal now before the Committee were carried into effect that system would be accentuated in this country. Already the manufacture of cigarettes in this country was largely in the hands of one combination—the Imperial Tobacco Company—who produced about 50 per cent. of the total cigarettes made in this country. That company would benefit to the extent of £115,000 a year, while the Exchequer would only obtain £20,000. Surely free-traders ought to recognise what an important step this was in connection with the fiscal system. It seemed to him that, as the Government had claimed that they were not adopting the system advocated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, free-traders ought to object to any alteration in the fiscal system, which the Government were pledged not to make. There was no doubt that the effect of the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be that in future the penny packet of cigarettes would be limited in number, that their quality would be depreciated, or their size decreased. In any case the consumer would be hit in no uncertain way—not for the benefit of the Treasury but for the benefit of a particular section of the tobacco industry. It would encourage those combines and trusts which had done so much harm in other countries. He would vote for the Amendment.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that if this extra duty proposed to be levied on 893 foreign cigarettes was of a protective character, it was really so small as to be quite a negligible quantity. Therefore, although he was as much opposed to protection as hon. Members opposite, he would not oppose it when it was taken in this homoeopathic dose. But when they came to discuss the matter of stripped tobacco, that was a very different matter. He thought that hon. Members opposite ought to have reserved their forces in order to object to that proposal. If there was to be a division on this question he would support the Government.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said that he was strongly in favour of taxing cigarettes, but the question he wanted to ask was, why had not the Chancellor of the Exchequer placed this tax on all cigarettes? If the right hon. Gentleman wanted revenue his obvious course was to turn into the Treasury the £225,000 a year which would now go into the pockets of the manufacturers of the home-made cigarettes. He was surprised that that question had not been answered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He would have been prepared to support an even larger increase in the duty on all cigarettes. When the Government had to raise money for the expenses of the South African War why did they not choose cigarettes for increased taxation? His impression was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might have put a stamp duty on every packet of home-made cigarettes, and that would have brought in a larger revenue and would have equalised the duty all round. He could not see any great difficulty in the way of imposing a stamp tax on cigarettes. The trade was now so largely a monopoly that the cost of collection would not interfere with the amount of the revenue that would be brought in. As to what had been said by the hon. Member for Lynn Regis, if the free-traders on the other side were prepared to take protection in small doses they would find that it would be a poison which accumulated in the system. There were some poisons which could be got rid of, but there were others which accumulated in the system, and this particular poison was not of the class which could safely be taken in small doses.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITELEY
said he did not think this was a homoeopathic Amendment; it was of a more drastic character, and therefore he would support it. The hon. Member for the Tavistock Division had protested against the conduct of the Opposition in moving Amendments to the Finance Bill. The hon. Member seemed to think that the opposition of the Opposition was of a reprehensible character and ought not to be pursued. But it was not the business of the members of the Opposition to fall into the trap so cunningly laid for them by hon. Gentlemen opposite. They were not responsible for the enormous expenditure of the Government, and the supporters of the Government ought not to blame Members on that side of the House for opposing that increased expenditure, and the necessary increase of taxation, as unjustifiable. In regard to the Amendment, he thought that his hon. friend had pressed home the case for it with remarkable success. They, on that side of the House, had two objections to the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the first place it was a peddling, nibbling tax which would bring in a very small sum to the Exchequer, it would cost the community a large sum to collect, and it was protective in its character. The objection to it as a protective measure had been referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. What was a protective tax? It was a tax which protected the home manufacturer by the imposition of an import duty on foreign goods. The Committee would remember that when a duty was laid on cotton goods entering India with no corresponding Excise duty, the Lancashire manufacturers and the House of Commons protested so strongly against the proposal that the Indian Government were compelled to levy a corresponding Excise duty on the Indian-manufactured cotton goods.
And, it being half-past Seven of the Clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress. to sit again this evening.