HC Deb 20 May 1909 vol 5 cc692-703

Motion made and Question proposed: "That it is expedient to amend the law relating to National Debt, Customs, and Inland Revenue (including Excise)."—[Mr. Lloyd-George.]


I desire to move the omission of the words "National Debt" in order to raise a question with regard to the right hon. Gentleman's proposals for dealing with the Old Sinking Fund.


This Resolution has nothing to do with the Old Sinking Fund. I do not propose to deal with that in the Finance Bill; it will be dealt with entirely separately. This is purely the ordinary formal Motion which is necessary before the Finance Bill can be brought in. The only difference this year will be that I propose to reduce the New Sinking Fund from £10,000,000 to £7,000,000. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Old Sinking Fund.


On the point of order. I do not myself propose to oppose this Resolution, but I wish to ask whether it will not cover both Sinking Funds, and whether, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman could not introduce both Bills upon this Resolution. These Resolutions are necessary for the founding of the Bill to carry out their purposes, but there is nothing in them to cause the right hon. Gentleman to put all the substantive enacting clauses in one Bill. You may found as many Bills as you like upon the clauses, provided they are covered thereby. I think there will be no new Resolution on the Sinking Fund for the other Bill, which the right hon Gentleman will introduce.


I do not know that a Resolution will be necessary at all for the other Bill; I am not sure about that. But the mere fact of this Resolution having been carried will make no difference at all in that respect. This has reference purely to the Finance Bill, and it is the formal Resolution which has been moved for 12 years at least without the slightest discussion.


The Resolution as habitually moved makes no reference to the Sinking Fund; it makes no reference to either Sinking Fund. This Resolution has a reference to the Sinking Fund because the right hon. Gentleman proposes to deal both with the new and the old Sinking Funds. He now tells us that his proposals relative to the Old Sinking Fund will not appear in the Finance Bill. What I should like your ruling upon, Mr. Emmott, is as to whether this Resolution will not be sufficient to authorise both Bills dealing with the old and the new Sinking Funds?


I think I can answer that question. This Resolution will not authorise the second Bill being brought in unless the Bill is brought in immediately. If it is not the intention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer so to do, this Resolution will not then authorise the second Bill. At the same time, the words of the Resolution would authorise the Old Sinking Fund being dealt with in the Finance Bill, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer chose to do so. If he is bringing in a second Bill, but not bringing it in immediately, then this Resolution will not authorise it.


I may also point out that the second Bill would require a Resolution of the Committee of the Whole House, and not merely a Resolution of the Committee of Ways and Means.


I propose to say a few words upon the new Sinking Fund. I look back to the Debate of 1899, when the Party on this side of the House was in power. The position as it stood then was this: The present Lord St. Aldwyn moved to reduce the Sinking Fund by £2,000,000. The annual expenditure for which he was then budgetting was £110,000,000. The annual expenditure for which the right hon. Gentleman is now budgetting is £164,000,000. That is an increase of £54,000,000 in nine years. I think, in fairness, I ought to say that I believe a certain portion of the local expenditure is now credited to the National Account, so that the difference is not so great as it seems. It is perhaps really £146,000,000, against £110,000,000. Well, that is a very large increase in expenditure. Ten years ago the National Debt stood at £627,000,000. It now stands at £702,000,000. In addition to all that, we have an expenditure incurred for Ireland for the purchase of land of something like £80,000,000, which, it is said, will be increased by another £100,000,000. That is charged upon the Consolidated Fund, and it is practically a part of the debt, and, therefore, I am quite right in saying, without exaggeration, that the real increase in indebtedness is something like £250,000,000. I mention this to show how very much greater the argument is against making any reduction in the Sinking Fund now than in 1899. I will just content myself with making one or two quotations from the speeches made in the Debate at that time by right hon. Gentlemen, who are either Members of the Government in another place, or are sitting upon the Treasury Bench opposite. Sir Henry Fowler, as he was then, the present Viscount Wolverhampton, followed Lord St. Aldwyn, and could hardly restrain his indignation at the suggestion for the reduction of the Sinking Fund. He said: At a time of unexampled prosperity—I venture to say that in the whole history of this kingdom there never has been such commercial financial prosperity as there is at the present moment"— I do not think we could say that now— the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes we should diminish by two millions per annum the liquidation of the National Debt. I do not wish to forestall what may be hereafter said upon that question, but I have this to say. I feel strongly upon the question, and we should lose no time in expressing our opinion that at all events any tampering with the Sinking Fund is an operation which is disastrous and unwise. I know the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not like answering questions, and generally says we must wait until the Finance Bill is introduced. The question I wish to ask cannot be answered in the Bill. What does Lord Wolverhampton say now to the suggestion that the Sinking Fund should be diminished? He said in 1899:— Any tampering with the Sinking Fund would be disastrous and unwise. How has the Chancellor of the Exchequer succeeded in getting his colleague to change his opinions? Or has he changed them? That is a question which, I think, the right hon. Gentleman might answer. Then we come to Sir William Harcourt. He said:— That a time of the largest revenue and greatest prosperity"— Now we are at a time of the largest expenditure— from the fiscal point of view, which this country has probably ever known, should be the occasion chosen for what I can only call a repudiation of the obligations under which this country is placed with regard to the extinction of the Debt is, I confess, one of the most serious, and I will call it one of the most disastrous proposals which has ever been made. That was the view of Sir William Harcourt, a man of no mean capacity when finance questions were at stake. Then there was the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Devonport (Sir Hudson Kearley); he also objected to this alteration of the Sinking Fund. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is in his place. He said:— I rise to protest against tampering with the Sinking Fund which the Government propose. It seems to me that the supporters of the Government are driven to desperate straits when the hon. member for Central Sheffield has to rise in his place and contrast the bilking of the Bill with the worst things that have happened in the past. I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman is not in his place, but perhaps his colleague will ask him how he now comes to support the "bilking of the Bill." Then the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire acknowledges the very high reputation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and says it was only reasonable to expect that something better might be brought forward than this tampering with the Sinking Fund. He further said:— I think, further, it is a very dangerous innovation indeed to reduce the amount set apart for this particular task in proportion as the debt itself is reduced. On that principle how can you ever extinguish a debt? Then there, is the Noble Lord who was once Sir Samuel Montagu. I have seen in the paper a letter from Lord Swathling, in which he said that this was the best Democratic Budget he had ever seen, and he ventured to disagree with the eminent bankers in the City. Lord Swathling said:— I am absolutely astonished that so eminent a financier as the right hon. gentleman should have taken refuge in such means as these, which can only be justified in times of war or when we have incurred a very heavy permanent expenditure. I have already pointed out that the condition of our National Debt at the present moment is far worse than it was then, and the result, which was so strongly objected to by every hon. Member whose opinion I have quoted, is very much worse now. The reduction of the Sinking Fund, which was proposed by Lord St. Aldwyn, was to reduce it from £25,000,000 to £23,000,000, and that left £5,816,000 as a balance available for the extinction of the debt. At the present moment, supposing the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman are acquiesced in, the balance left for the cancellation of debt will be £6,886,000, that is to say, in round figures £1,000,000 higher than it was then. When Lord St. Aldwyn reduced this sum to £23,000,000, within three years of that time the interest on Consols was going to be reduced from 2¾ to 2½ per cent., and that brought a further increase to the Sinking Fund of £1,300,000, so that the reduction left the same amount available for the reduction of debt as will be available under the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his friends hailed that opportunity to express their abhorrence of the proposal made by Lord St. Aldwyn. There was no word strong enough to express their astonishment at the bad finance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who proposed the reduction of the Sinking Fund on that occasion. Now, when the national finances are far worse than they were then, when the National Debt is larger, when the National expenditure is larger, when the country is not so prosperous as it was then, the Chancellor of the Exchequer takes this opportunity to reduce the Sinking Fund. Moreover, we do not know what the extent of new expenditure may be, and that at a time when the old Sinking Fund is to be abolished. The right hon. Gentleman says—[A cry of "Divide" from the Ministerial benches] I quite understand the right hon. Gentleman does not like the mistakes of his party being exposed.


on the Ministerial Side: Will the hon. Baronet say how he voted on that occasion?


I voted in favour of Lord St. Aldwyn's proposal. I do not know why hon. Gentlemen laugh. I will go further, and say that I made a speech in favour of it, and I have got the speech here. I voted for Lord St. Aldwyn's reduction because the National Debt was £80,000,000 smaller than it is now, the National expenditure £50,000,000 less than now, while we were not in the position of having to find £80,000,000 for the purchase of Irish land. Therefore, I say that the circumstances on that occasion were totally different from what they are now. I said then, and I say now, that the National Debt should be reduced. We had then an economical Chancellor of the Exchequer, who did not dream dreams or thought of making roads and forests. I do not want to go into the question of the old Sinking Fund. We shall have an opportunity of doing that later on. But may I say that while we are reducing the new Sinking Fund in this way to abolish the old Sinking Fund, is, to my mind, the worst financial project ever put forward by any Finance Minister in recent years. I think that is the view held by every responsible financial authority in the City of London and elsewhere, and when the time comes I shall be prepared to justify it. We must not put temptation in the way of right hon. Gentlemen opposite; if you give them a chance of getting money you may be quite certain they will spend it. I read with great interest Lord St. Aldwyn's speech, in which he advocated economy, and ever since that time I have not known one Chancellor of the Exchequer who has not advocated economy, except the right hon. Gentleman opposite. I do say that when we have arrived at so enormous an expenditure as obtains to-day it is absolutely suicidal to suspend or decrease in any way the provision for the redemption of debt.


I will not detain the Committee for more than a few moments. I am not surprised that my hon. Friend was unable to resist the temptation of recalling to the memory of right hon. Gentlemen opposite words uttered a few short years ago on this very question. Though, as my hon. Friend said, there have been many alterations for the worse in our circumstances since the time when Lord St. Aldwyn carried out his operation, I am precluded from adopting the attitude of my hon. Friend and from taking up the position that under no circumstances should the Sinking Fund be touched at the present time by the support I then gave to Lord St. Aldwyn's scheme. As to the right hon. Gentleman's proposal regarding the old Sinking Fund, I take it that that is not before us at the present moment. We are now dealing only with the new Sinking Fund. I am, however, sorry that the right hon. Gentleman should have touched it at all, as there are many reasons in the circumstances of to-day which make it highly desirable and opportune that we should reduce our debt as rapidly as possible. But I am not surprised, in view of his financial necessities, that the right hon. Gentleman should have done it. Indeed, so far from being surprised, I am rather astonished that he has limited the operation as he has done. I say no more now. I have merely expressed my personal opinion, which, of course, is not binding on my hon. and right hon. Friends. But I want to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question. In his Budget statement he incidentally mentioned that he had carried forward from last year to this year something like seven millions of Sinking Fund money. We have had no explanation from the right hon. Gentleman of this very, unusual proceeding. It may be perfectly proper, of course, and I accept the passing phrase of the right hon. Gentleman, in which he said that the condition of affairs did not make it expedient to expend money in the reduction of debt in the last half of last year. That is a statement I am unable to understand. A year ago I think something less than, or about, a million was unexpended at the close of the financial year, and I can well understand that in any year it may be possibly proper and economical not to spend the whole of it within the year, and that there should be a latitude allowed. But Consols last year—last autumn—surely were low enough, the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not have expected that he was going to drive them lower still. Why did he think he would have the opportunity of laying out his money this year better than he had in the closing months of last year? He has declined to tell us, on grounds which may be good, at what price he has been purchasing Consols since the close of the last financial year, but I will say that he cannot be buying, on the average, cheaper after the last financial year than he could have bought during the last financial year. Therefore, the question I wish to put to him is: What was the reason for carrying forward this very unusual sum, and what were the circumstances which rendered it inexpedient to expend the money last year?


I cannot let this occasion pass without some protest as to this interference with the Sinking Fund, and I must say I am surprised that not a single Member during the day has risen from the other side to protest against it. We have the hon. Member for Brighton who speaks with regard to the Sinking Fund, and we have the Chairman of the Police and Sanitary Committee, but I do not see him here, although he has very strong views about the Sinking Fund with regard to municipal enterprise. When it comes to national finance we do not hear a word from those benches opposite with regard to purity of finance and non-interference with the Sinking Fund. The first question we have to ask with regard to the Sinking Fund is, what are the assets of the nation to represent 700 millions of debt? If there are assets, productive assets, real assets to represent that amount, there is something to be said for the interference with the Sinking Fund. In municipal matters we live under the strictest surveillance of the President of the Local Government Board, and I am sorry he is not here to offer his opinion.

If we wish to prolong the period of the Sinking Fund from 20 to 40 years, or from 40 to 80 years, the right hon. Gentleman stands up and strenuously objects to any interference with the sacred character of that fund, and he overrides his colleagues. I heartily approve of his action, and I wish they had the same stamina. In municipal matters we have assets which represent our debts—water, gas, electric supply, and tramway works, but the debt of the nation is represented by nothing. There are a certain amount of ships. What do they represent? There are offices in Whitehall, but what do they represent in reference to the 700 millions? Little or nothing. It will take us 50 years at compound interest to wipe off the debt by means of this reduced Sinking Fund, and for that period we shall have it hanging round our necks. No one in his own private business would adopt this extraordinarily foolish proposal of dealing with this Sinking Fund. We have £700,000,000 of debt with no assets to represent it, and yet we are reducing our Sinking Fund from ten to seven millions. We were told to-day that our capital is the additional efficiency produced by our education and sanitary arrangements. I suppose that is the capital which now represents £700,000,000 of debt. This trifling with Imperial Sinking Funds and Imperial Debt is a most serious matter. We have no right to stand up and tell our municipal brothers that they are to be strict in writing off their debt when we, for the sake of saving our pockets, do this which is most injurious to the credit of the nation. It is necessary to make a protest against the action of the Government, and we ought most certainly to divide against it. It is not only the debt, but the guarantees which make that £700,000,000 so much more—guarantees for Irish land, for local land stocks, and all the moral guarantees which relate to other branches of the nation.


Anyone listening to the hon. Member might imagine that we were responsible for increasing the National Debt, and that it had gone up by £80,000,000 since the last time the Sinking Fund was reduced, because we had been piling up debt. No one listening to him would have imagined that during the last three years we have been paying off £40,000,000 of the debt. The ferocity of the hon. Member's denunciation is five or six years out of date, and it is directed to the wrong party. All that we can be held responsible for is that we are doing our best to pay off the debt contracted by others. When you come to the actual proposal before the House I would ask what is it? The hon. Baronet in the course of his lengthy observations really only came to the point of comparison with the present proposal, and that of Lord St. Aldwyn, when it was reluctantly extracted from him by my hon. Friend below the Gangway. His proposal was to reduce the amount from £25,000,000 to £23,000,000. My proposal is to reduce it from £28,000,000 to £25,000,000.


The amount which will be left in the end under the right hon. Gentleman's scheme for the redemption of debt is practically the same as was left under Lord St. Aldwyn's proposal.


The hon. Baronet knows perfectly well that the purchasing power of the £7,000,000 which I am setting aside is considerably more than the purchasing power of £5,500,000. By means of this £7,000,000, which I am setting aside, a greater reduction of debt will be arranged than by Lord St. Aldwyn's proposal, and yet that is a proposal which the hon. Baronet supported not merely by his vote, but by the great power of his speech, speaking as a very great financial authority.


No, I did not say so.


Well, he supported it. The proposal I am making here is very much better than Lord St. Aldwyn's, so far as the reduction of debt is concerned, and yet the hon. Baronet opposes it with all the power of his invective. In addition to what I have pointed out, he forgets to show that when Lord St. Aldwyn made his proposal there was no increase in the general taxation of the country. Here there is an increase amounting to £16,000,000 to the general charges, and the whole point is this—do hon. Gentlemen opposite prefer an additional £3,000,000 of taxes, for that is what it really means? (An HON. MEMBER: "Tariff Reform.") At least there is one Gentleman courageous enough, having fixed himself in the remotest corner of the benches opposite, and far enough removed from all the discipline of the party, to state what he and his friends want. He has suggested what we have been asking them to state all along. At any rate, it is perfectly clear that we are not going to make this reduction of £3,000,000 without high authority. Lord Cromer is a great financial authority. I suppose the hon. Baronet will acknowledge that. He made a speech some time ago to a Chamber of Commerce, in which he suggested, not that £3,000,000 but £4,000,000 is the proper sum for the reduction of debt. That is the authority I have for £4,000,000. We, on the other hand, take the lower figure, and hon. Gentlemen opposite profess to be astonished that we are only reducing the fund by £3,000,000. I think that was the general feeling of the City, with due respect to the hon. Baronet. We rather disappointed them on the right side, and I think that that was responsible, in spite of all the suggestions to the contrary, very largely for the fact that Consols did go up; because the City expected a much larger reduction of the Sinking Fund than we proposed, and I think that no hon. Gentleman or right hon. Gentleman opposite, if placed in my position and obliged to raise £16,000,000 of money, would have dreamt under those conditions of imposing an additional taxation of £3,000,000 rather than taking this £3,000,000 off the Sinking Fund. I am putting it with all sincerity to hon. Members opposite. I think in their hearts they will say that we have acted very moderately as far as this particular proposition is concerned. I do not think we would be justified in coming in and asking for an additional taxation of two or three millions. I agree that the taxes seem to be heavy as they are, and if I was to put on this additional sum they would seem much larger. As everyone who has had

experience of raising new taxation knows, even an additional £1,000,000 very often means the difference between what appears to be fairly reasonable and what appears to be an oppressive tax. I would like the Noble Lord to suggest to me what tax he would propose to put the million on, that would be a much better way of getting out of the difficulty than the proposed reduction of the Sinking Fund? The right hon. Gentleman has asked me about the retention of this money. The real reason is we. were buying war loan. It is to be redeemed next year at par. We were paying 101 or 102 for what we could get at par, and what we would have to buy at par in 1910. Therefore, as we get nearer 1910, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, these things drop to something nearer par because everyone knows perfectly well that they can be bought out in 1910 at par, and, therefore, they would not be prepared to put the same figure on it as at an earlier period. That is the real explanation. There is no change in the buying. In spite of what has been said about rigging the market, the right hon. Gentleman will find when he gets the real figures that there has been no change in the method of buying at all. He knows perfectly well, in considering things of that sort, when buying you make your money go as far as you possibly can.

Motion made and Question put: "That it is expedient to amend the law relating to National Debt, Customs, and Inland Revenue (including Excise)."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 203; Noes, 50.

Hedges, A. Paget Mond, A. Sears, J. E.
Hemmerde, Edward George Montgomery, H. G Seddon, J.
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Morse, L. L. Shackleton, David James
Henry, Charles S. Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Silcock, Thomas Ball
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Simon, John Alisebrook
Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Nannetti, Joseph P. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Hogan, Michael Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Soares, Ernest J.
Holt, Richard Durning Nicholls, George Spicer, Sir Albert
Hooper, A. G. Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)
Horniman, Emslie John Nuttall, Harry Stead man, W. C.
Horridge, Thomas Gardner O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid) Strachey, Sir Edward
Hudson, Walter O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Idris, T. H. W. O'Doherty, Philip Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Jones, Leit (Appleby) Parker, Jamas (Halifax) Summerbell, T.
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Laldlaw, Robert Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster) Pickersgill, Edward Hare Tomkinson, James
Lambert, George Pointer, Joseph Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Lamont, Norman Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Verncy, F. W.
Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Walsh, Stephen
Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Walters, John Tudor
Lehmann, R. C. Radford, G. H. Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Raphael, Herbert H. Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Levy, Sir Maurice Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton) Waring, Walter
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Ridsdale, E. A. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Waterlow, D. S.
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.) Watt, Henry A.
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Maclean, Donald Robinson, S. White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Macnaman, Dr. Thomas J. Robson, Sir William Snowdon White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Whitehead, Rowland
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Roe, Sir Thomas Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Rogers, F. E. Newman Wiles, Thomas
M'Callum, John M. Rose, Charles Day Wilkie, Alexander
M'Laren, Rt. Hon. Sir C. B. (Leices.) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
M'Micking, Major G. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Marnham, F. J. Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Massie, J. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Micklem, Nathaniel Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Joseph Pease and Mr. Herbert Lewis.
Middlebrook, William Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Division No. 125.] AYES. [11.45 P.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Chance, Frederick William Duncan, c. (Barrow-in-Furness)
Agnew, George William Channing, Sir Francis Allston Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)
Alnsworth, John Stirllng Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall).
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Cleland, J. W. Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)
Atherley-Jones, L. Clough, William Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Cobbold, Felix Thornley Erskine, David C.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Fancras, W.) Evans, Sir Samuel T.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cooper, G. J. Everett, R. Lacey
Barnes, G. N. Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Ferens, T. R.
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace
Beale, W. P. Cory, Sir Clifford John Fullerton, Hugh
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.) Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Gill, A. H.
Bennett, E. N. Cowan, W. H. Glendinning, R. G.
Berridge, T. H. D. Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Glover, Thomas
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Crean, Eugene Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford
Boland, John Crooks, William Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)
Bowerman, C. W. Crosfield, A. H. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Crossley, William J. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh) Davies, Ellis William (Elfion) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)
Bryce, J. Annan Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Dickinson, W. H (St. Pancras, N.) Harvey, A. G C. (Rochdale)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Dobson, Thomas W. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.).
Byles, William Pollard Duckworth, Sir James Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight Duffy, William J. Haworth, Arthur A.
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Craik, Sir Henry Mcore, William
Arkwright, John Stanhope Dairymple, Viscount Morpeth, Viscount
Ashley, W. W. Du Cros, Arthur Philip Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Balcarres, Lord Faber, George Denison (York) Oddy, John James
Banner, John S. Harmood Fell, Arthur Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester) Fletcher, J. S. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Forster, Henry William Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Gordon, J. Stanier, Beville
Bignold, Sir Arthur Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Starkey, John R.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hamilton, Marquess of Staveley-Hill, Henry (Stafi'sh.)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Valentia, Viscount
Carille, E. Hildred Helmsley, Viscount Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Cave, George Hill, Sir Clement Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Kerry, Earl of Younger. George
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Keswick, William
Clive, Percy Archer Lane-Fox, G. R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Mason, James F. (Windsor) Frederick Banbury and Mr. Leverton
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Harris.

Bill read a second time, and committed to a Standing Committee.