§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £5,400, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1911, for the Salaries and Expenses of the General and Boundary Survey of Ireland, and for the Expenses of Valuation under The Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910."
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I should like to ask for an explanation of this Vote. I understood that the expenses of valuation in Ireland for the purposes of the Finance Act of 1909–1910 were to be of the slightest 891 possible character. We were told in a former Parliament that the information was all in the hands of the Government. Mr. T. M. Healy, who was then a Member of this House, was corrected by the Chief Secretary for Ireland and other Ministers for saying that the business of valuation in Ireland would be a very big one, and was told that the information was already in the possession of the Government. He was told they had Griffith's Valuation, and another Valuation were actually in the hands of the Government, and therefore that the matter would be of the simplest character. It makes it all the more surprising, therefore, that there is a special Vote for valuation in Ireland, and no special Vote for valuation in England. We were also encouraged to hope that there was a difference in that respect between Ireland and England under the Finance Act of 1909–1910, and that Ireland was better off because the valuation of England and Scotland would be a very elaborate one. We might now have an explanation as to how the valuation of Ireland was actually done, and why it is that there should be this additional sum since the original Estimate was framed. I do not know whether the Government will say upon this Vote as they did upon another that they did not anticipate the consequences until the Budget had actually passed, and therefore they did not put any Estimate for expenditure on Valuation until after the passing of the Budget, and unless that be the explanation, which, I think, is one that would hardly be seriously put forward I do not see why there should be any Supplementary Estimate at all. We were told first of all that the Irish valuation would not cost anything in particular, and that it would be perfectly simple because the necessary documents were in the hands of the Government already. In the second place, I noticed there is no additional charge for this purpose in Great Britain, but there is in Ireland. This is altogether a mysterious matter which calls for explanation. I am sorry the Chief Secretary has left the House, and I do not know whether he intends to return to give an answer. I should have thought that this really was an Irish matter. We were told that the Irish land valuation would not cost anything in particular, but so far from that being the case it has turned out to be a more difficult matter in Ireland than the valuation in Great Britain, and there is no 892 supplementary sum for this purpose for Great Britain. This seems to me a very unaccountable thing, and perhaps the Financial Secretary to the Treasury will tell us what the process of valuation under this Vote really is.
§ Colonel GRIFFITH - BOSCAWEN
There seems to be some misunderstanding as regards this Vote. In the first place, no Estimate was put down at all for valuation in Ireland, and the original Estimate was nil. Obviously the Government did not expect any land valuation at all. They have put down an extraordinary note declaring that since the original Estimate was framed the carrying out of land valuation in Ireland has necessitated additional expenditure. As the original Estimate was nothing at all, it seems to imply that there has been a change of policy since the Government brought in their original Estimate. I have always understood that there was to be no land valuation in Ireland, and that accounts for the fact that when these Estimates were framed the Government did not ask for any money at all. Since then they have apparently changed their mind and additional expenditure had been incurred to the extent of £7,000. It is our duty in looking through these Estimates, and in endeavouring to check this expenditure, to ascertain what has caused this change of policy. Have the Government entirely changed their minds after having promised hon. Members below the Gangway that the valuation clauses of the Finance Act would not apply to Ireland. Since the General Election have the Government changed their policy, instituted a land valuation in Ireland, and put down this new charge of £7,000? I hope the Financial Secretary for the Treasury will be able to explain whether this means a complete change of policy.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
We were assured last year that the cost of land valuation in Ireland would be exceedingly small, inasmuch as hardly any valuation would be necessary. Some interest was felt by the outside public as to how it came about that such a large number of valuation forms were issued in England and so few in Ireland. Curiosity was expressed as to the reason why there was this extraordinary discrepancy between the malignant distribution of these forms in England and the sparing distribution of them that took place in Ireland. We were told that the Government had all the information in 893 their hands to effect the valuation necessary in Ireland. I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what materials he had for getting at the site value of the land. The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave an answer in the summer of last year, and he told me there was ample information. I could not quite gather what the exact nature of that information was or whether it was recorded. Perhaps the Financial Secretary will tell us in what documentary records he has the information which will enable him to get at the site value. If, on the other hand, there is not that information, then I can understand why this Supplementary Estimate is now brought forward. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell us how much of this £7,000 has gone in ascertaining the site value. I do not suppose that Griffith's valuation tells us anything about site value, because I understand it is founded upon the price of agricultural commodities. Site value is only to be got at by assuming the land is stripped of everything, including the crops and everything growing on it. Consequently Griffith's valuation cannot be much good to ascertain the value of the land with nothing upon it. Am I to be told that the site value of land can be obtained from the record of prices paid by the tenants. The prices paid by the tenants to the landlords are not the real total value of the land, but the value excluding the value of the tenant's interest in the land. What good is that for ascertaining the total value, much less the site value? I do not know whether I shall be told that the schedule of tenant's improvements will give any information about site value, but I think that is hardly likely. If these sources of information are not open to us I want to know how we are to get at total value and site value. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will also tell us how many of Form IV. have been distributed in Ireland. We know that in England Form IV. was scattered all over the agricultural land of England, and we were told that this was absolutely necessary to effect the valuation of land. Why was Form IV. not supplied to the owners of agricultural land in Ireland? That is a question many of us are anxious to have some information upon. It is just conceivable there may have been some arrangement made in the course of last Session which might explain it. I notice that in November I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention had been called to Section 26 of the Finance Act, which stated nothing about 894 the valuation of land for the purpose of paying revenue, but stated that the Commissioners should, as soon as might be after the passing of the Act, cause a valuation to be made of all land in the United Kingdom including agricultural land. The Chancellor of the Exchequer's answer was:—I frequently explained that we have already two, three or four valuations of land in Ireland, and we do not think it desirable in the public interest that an enormous sum of public money should be spent in making another valuation.What has necessitated this expense? If those valuations are already there, so much the better for Ireland. If they are-not there the question arises why was it not mentioned before? What means are-there for valuing land in Ireland? The hon. Member for Ayr Burghs asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in the valuations hitherto made, he had got sufficient information to enable him to value all urban property in Ireland and the right hon. Gentleman answered "Certainly." What are the materials in Ireland which enable the Government, apart from these valuations, to tell what the total value and site value of urban property in Ireland is? Griffith's Valuation will not do for this purpose. I find that this matter was referred to in April last year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said he had got all the materials necessary as far as agricultural land is concerned for valuation. The right hon. Gentleman further stated:—We have two valuations for Ireland, and they are both official and national valuations, and it will only be necessary to consult official documents.Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will now tell us what materials he has for fixing the total value and the site value of agricultural land, and also for arriving at the value of urban land in Ireland. We should also like to know what has led to this great increase in the Supplementary Estimate for this purpose? I can quite understand, if he was wrong in the-summer in thinking no valuation was necessary, why we have this Supplementary Estimate, but, if he was right in the-summer when he said these valuations were unnecessary because he had the material, I should very much like to know why we have this large sum of money.
§ Dr. HILLIER
I think all sections of the House will agree that there has been a considerable degree of mystery surrounding this question of the valuation of land in Ireland. I have observed with some astonishment that whenever this 895 subject has been brought up either at Question Time or in the course of Debate the explanations offered have been of an extremely unsatisfactory character. I entirely agree with the hon. Member for Dudley (Colonel Griffith-Boscawen) in thinking that in this and in other circumstances with which the House is familiar there is extremely good ground for supposing that some change of policy has occurred. No sum whatever was put down for this purpose in the original Estimate, and we are informed by a footnote that, since the original Estimate was framed, the duty of carrying out the Finance Act in Ireland has necessitated additional expense. Surely, at the time the Estimate was framed it was perfectly well known that this duty would devolve upon the Government, and it does seem extraordinary that we should have such a large sum as £7,000 put into this Vote. With regard to the issue of Form IV's in Ireland, we have been informed at different times that they were extremely limited in number. I think this is a good opportunity for the right hon. Gentleman to make it clear to the House, once and for all, what methods were adopted in this matter, and in what way this large expenditure has been incurred. I also hope he will explain why a change in the general procedure of valuation was made. If he will explain the points that have been raised, we shall all be very much obliged to him for the information.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I think the right hon. Gentleman is aware that there is hardly any point which has attracted more attention throughout the country with regard to this question of valuation for the new duties than the different treatment meted out to England and Ireland. The point has attracted very general notice, and, as one or two of my hon. Friends have remarked, at present we have had very inadequate explanations from the Government. We really do not know where we stand on the matter. Several questions have been asked from this side of the House, but we do not desire to take up unnecessary time, and I think we should be in a far better position to debate the matter if the right hon. Gentleman would kindly give us an explanation on the points already raised. When we have heard his explanation we shall know whether it is necessary to take the matter further or not.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hobhouse)
I very willingly respond to the appeal of the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite. The only reason I delayed was that I saw several hon. Members rise. The first point raised by the hon. Member for Dudley (Colonel Griffith-Boscawen) is a very familiar one. It took up a good deal of time on Friday last. The hon. Gentleman asked why this particular Estimate varies from the original Estimate. He pointed out that no amount was taken in the original Estimate, which he said was the proper course for the Government to have taken. I would remind the hon. Gentleman that no amount could have been taken and no amount was taken in the Stationery Estimate which we discussed on Friday, because the Finance Bill had not been passed. It was made the cause of a good deal of objection in this House in the early months of last summer that we were spending money on valuations which the House had not authorised us to spend. When these Supplementary Estimates come to be considered, and it is found we are not spending money which the House had given us no authority to spend, then complaint is made that no sum is put in the Estimate for this purpose. If money had been entered in the original Estimates for purposes unauthorised by Parliament, there would have been no end of complaint, but as money was not entered there is complaint again. Hon. Gentlemen cannot have it both ways, and I would hope, after the explanation I gave on Friday and have given again to-day, we shall not at all events have that particular complaint reiterated in Committee.
I come now to the more specific question and, if I may say so, the more pertinent question put to me by various Members as to the cause of delay in issuing Form D7.'s in Ireland. The hon. and learned Gentleman who sits for York (Mr. Butcher) told the House quite inaccurately that only 600 Form IV.'s had been issued in Ireland.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to explain that I was quoting the figure given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer some months ago in answer to a question. Of course, I have no further figures up to date.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
That only shows how little attention the hon. and learned Gentleman has given to a subject on which he 897 professes a profound interest, because on four occasions within the last fortnight, in answer to hon. Gentlemen on his own side of the House and to hon. Gentlemen from Ireland, I have told the House that only 3,000 of these forms were issued in Ireland.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
No; if the hon. Gentleman will only allow me to give the explanation I will tell him. The reason, in the first place, why no more Form IV.'s than have already gone out have been issued in Ireland is, as my right hon. Friend said, and as Gentlemen connected with the Government of Ireland know, that there is a considerable amount of information at the disposal of the Irish Government in the General Valuation Department, which was constituted more particularly for the purpose of arriving at rateable values, but which enables the Irish Valuation Department to anticipate a considerable amount of the information required. They have not got, however, the whole of the information; in particular, they do not know who are the owners of property. It is apparent that for the purpose of rating the persons concerned in the valuations are the occupiers. Form IV.'s are addressed to the owners and not to the occupiers. It is, therefore, necessary before issuing Form 1V. to ascertain the owners. That has been the cause of the delay. In a comparatively small number of cases—3,000 odd—where the owner is known, I am informed, Forms have been issued and answers have been sent back. There is in Ireland what is called a Field Book. I do not know whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman has seen one of these books, but I can show him one if he would like to see it. Particulars ascertained by the agents of the Department all over Ireland are entered into this book. They are then entered upon the Valuation Roll as cases are completed, and from the Valuation Roll the information is again as far as it goes entered upon Form IV. which will be sent out to the various owners themselves. The hon. and learned Gentleman spoke of agricultural and urban land. He was quite right. There is a clear distinction between the two for purposes of valuation. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, both in reference to this 898 country and to Ireland, pointed out that it would be necessary, from the point of view of revenue, to ascertain the value, first of all, of that part of the country which would be more profitable. That clearly, whether in England or in Ireland, is urban land from which a return is expected. No such return is expected from agricultural land. Therefore, in Ireland as in England, inquiries have been directed to urban land.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
Inquiries have been made as much as to urban as to agricultural land. They were simultaneously sent out.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I think the attention of valuers has been more particularly directed to the valuation of urban land. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] I think so. I say more, particularly; not exclusively.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Surely the right hon. Gentleman does not mean to suggest that the issue of Form IV. in England has been mainly confined to urban land, or that they have been issued earlier in respect of urban land than in respect of rural land? Surely it is a matter of common knowledge that Form IV.'s have been indiscriminately issued in regard to all property in England, whether agricultural or urban. There is no difference whatever between them. It is a matter of common knowledge.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The hon. Gentleman did not catch exactly what I said. I did not say anything about the issue of Form IV.'s. What I said was that the intention of the valuers had been directed rather to urban than to agricultural land. I think that is unquestionable. I gave the reason why, in the case of Ireland, it was not necessary to issue, as in the case of England, Form IV's immediately. A great deal of the information was, in part, available. I pointed out, however, that the identity of the owner had to be discovered before Form IV. was issued. That, and that alone, is the reason of the delay in the issue of Form IV. so far as Ireland is concerned. It is natural in ascertaining the identity of owners to turn attention to that part from which you will get revenue 899 —namely, the urban district. As soon as that is completely ascertained by the methods to which I have briefly alluded these Form IV.'s will go out as in England, and eventually the value of the whole of the land in the country, not only urban but agricultural will be ascertained. I do not know whether there was any other point the hon. Gentleman raised.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I asked what information there is in the possession of the Irish Government which will enable you to take site value, either in the case of agricultural or urban land?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
In some cases, if my recollection serves me right, and particularly in the case of Dublin and Belfast there have been extensive valuations—practically of the whole of those two towns; certainly, I think, in Belfast.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I would like to make my point clear. I quite agree there are extensive valuations in Ireland, Griffith's and others, for the purpose of total value of agricultural and urban land, but is there any information in possession of the Government which will enable them to ascertain the site value of either agricultural or urban land without a fresh valuation? If not, why was not Form IV. issued before in order to assist the Commissioners in making the valuation?
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I am afraid I did not make myself clear. Form IV. has to be issued to the owner, and in Ireland only the name of the occupier is in the possession of the central authority. The name of the owner is not known. It is therefore necessary to ascertain the name of the owner. The local authorities pay attention to the occupier. The Central Valuation Department gets its information from the local authorities, and the local authorities are not acquainted with the name of the owner, but with that of the occupier. The delay has taken place in ascertaining the name of the owner. As that information is collected and collated in the central department it will be utilised, and as quickly as possible, for the purpose of issuing Form IV.'s to the owners. With regard to the two places to which I have referred, I am informed that the Valuation Department have got the information as to site value. But else 900 where that value is not known any more than in England. It has to be ascertained from the owner in relation to the site value. That is the explanation of the delay. There is no concealment, no unjust or unfair dealing in that respect, the explanation is, that in Ireland as in England, certain information is not available, and it is in order that that information may be collected that the delay has taken place.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I understand 3,600 copies of Form IV. have been issued. Have these gone to owners of property?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
Yes, I have explained that in answer to questions which I have given to hon. Gentlemen opposite.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I understand the process is only, as it were, beginning and these forms will go to every owner of property in Ireland. They have already gone to 3,600; are we to take it it will go to every owner of property?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The form will go wherever it is necessary for the, purpose of ascertaining value. I must not be taken literally, because, even in this country, it may not go to every possible owner.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
There are 3,600 forms issued, and the issue is not nearly completed in Ireland. There are a vast number more to go out. That points to the fact that this £7,000 is only part of a much larger expenditure which is about to be incurred. The right hon. Gentleman says that the questions to be asked in the form will be issued when necessary, but he does not tell us the distinction between one sort of property and another. He does not tell us what sort of owner the form will go to, and what sort of owner it will not go to. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us the other day, it would not be necessary to incur the expenditure at all in Ireland, as the required information was already in the possession of the Government. But now I understand there is going to be a valuation of all land in Ireland, a valuation which has only just been commenced, and that ultimately all owners of property will become amenable to this process—even those who purchased their land under the Land Purchase Act. If this is going to be done it is surprising that greater progress has 901 not been made than has been actually achieved. The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well the Government are under grave suspicion of intending to treat Ireland differently from other parts of the United Kingdom for purely political and election purposes. The statement of the right hon. Gentleman goes to show that there is some ground for that suspicion, seeing that while in England the forms have gone out broadcast, in Ireland only 3,600 have been issued.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
As an Irish landowner, I naturally take a great interest in this matter, and I welcome these Estimates as affording an opportunity for getting some information from the Government as to why Ireland is being treated differently from England. In July last, I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why we in Ireland were not going to have the Forms IV. The answer I then got was that there was to be a partial issue of Forms IV., and subsequently the impression got abroad in Ireland that there was to be an issue of the form in three batches, the first, dealing with those living in towns, the second with those in semi-urban districts, and lastly, with the ordinary holders of agricultural land, including the 500,000 Irish farmers. That was the impression in Ireland last September. As I told the House early this Session, I spent an afternoon in Dublin, hunting up the Irish Form IV. I have now two copies of the Irish Form IV., and, although the right hon. Gentleman told me that only one was to be issued, the two copies I hold in my hand are different. Certain questions included in the first issue are omitted from the second. The hon. and learned Member for York (Mr. Butcher) told us he tried to cross-examine the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this subject, but did not meet with very great success. I had an opportunity, not long ago, of reading a speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his own Division in Carnarvonshire, on 7th December, when he was dealing with this very subject, and trying to allay the fears of small holders in his division, who were afraid that their small property would be damaged. He told them that they need not entertain any fears at all, and he added that in Ireland they had certain valuations, such as Griffith's, and they were not going to issue Form IV. there at all. But, as a matter of fact, some 3,600 Forms IV. have been issued in Ireland, and in order to pierce the mystery 902 I put another question to the right hon. Gentleman the other day. I asked him how many Forms IV. have been issued in the United Kingdom and how many in Ireland? The answer was that the total for England was just about ten millions, which roughly corresponded to the number of tenancies in England, but in Ireland only just over 3,000 of these forms have gone out. If that is to be the only issue, then this Irish Form IV. will prove a pretty expensive little gentleman, seeing that he has already cost £5,400 for an issue of only 3,000. I should like to make one or two remarks on this form. In the first place, the right hon. Gentleman the Financial Secretary to the Treasury said the difficulty was that in Ireland they could not get at the owner of the property. But this Form IV. is addressed to the occupier and not to the owner at all. Then, coming to the abbreviated Form IV., I would point out that all the difficult questions which the ordinary individual in England was called upon to fill up are to be found in the Irish Form IV. But I notice one curious point, minerals are left out altogether. On my property in Ireland I have iron, and if I had coal I might work the iron. If coal be found there one day I shall want to work the iron; then what about Form IV.? Then there is the number of questions. In the English Form IV. they run from A to W. In the Irish No. 2 Form IV. they go only from A to J, so that it will be seen that the process is very much abbreviated.
I want to ask what is to be done in Ireland? Are we to have this general valuation, this Irish Domesday Book, and is it to be made up from Griffith's valuation, or, as in England, is the form to be sent to the Irish owner to fill in as best he can? The general impression in Ireland is that the valuation has to be made by the Valuation Office in Ireland under Sir John Barton and that the ordinary Irish owner and occupier of land is to have no trouble whatsoever. I confess I never received Form IV., and I was under the same impression until the other day I received some correspondence from Ireland, which I should like to give to the House. My first correspondent writes:—I am acting at the present, time for the owners of some land in Ireland, and have recently prepared the conveyance from the trustees of a will to one of the beneficiaries, and have just received from the solicitors in Dublin a letter in which they write as follows:—'The Inland Revenue Authorities before registering the deed require for the purposes of the Increment Stamp that we should supply them with particulars of the tenement valuation of each holding, and of the rated occupier's name. This we can only procure by applying to the Ordnance Tenement Valuation Office here and paying 903 for the certificate of valuation. They also require to be furnished with a copy of the deed of conveyance and of the map. It is a very serious tax on owners. The official who is to look after the ascertainment of the Increment Value is the tenement valuation officer, and the Inland Revenue Authorities want the information for the purpose of supplying the Commissioner of Valuations with it.'There is not much about Griffith's Valuation, because one of the simplest things in the English Form IV. the Irish office has not got, and they have to ask the solicitors to obtain it for them at the cost of their clients. Take the next letter:—I incidently heard to-day of a rather good demonstration of another absurdity of the Finance Act, 1909–10. One of the largest Corporations in Belfast, whose name, for obvious reasons at the moment. I am not in a position to state, have a mortgage on some houses, and, as such, have realised the property. There is a substantial surplus after discharging all their claims, but Sir John Barton has intimated to them that, until they can clearly prove to him that no increment has accrued since the passing of this Act, he will not give them a discharge. Consequently they cannot hand over the balance to the mortgagor, otherwise they would be liable perhaps, at some future date, for an unascertained tax.Is this not a contradiction to the statement that there is already a proper valuation in existence for Ireland? Further, if this procedure is followed out, you can understand that it will absolutely freeze up the banks, who are not going to advance money on securities of this class, when they can lend out all their money and receive a collateral, the realising of which can be effected without such endless worry and trouble.In England these people would have had Form IV. served upon them, and also their provisional valuations, and they would have been able to calculate the Increment Duty, but in Ireland that has not been done, and in consequence everything is hung up to the inconvenience of the mortgagor and this gentleman's clients. The writer adds a postscript to the effect that there has been no Form IV. sent out in respect to the property. These are two small instances of the trouble which is being caused in Ireland by the action of the Government in hanging up Form IV. for certain reasons of their own. Surely this question is one of great importance to Ireland, where all the land is agricultural. We are told that all the land in England, Ireland, and Scotland has to be valued, whether urban or rural, and we are told furthermore that on the site value all further taxation is to be based. There were 143 Gentlemen in the last Parliament who were pledged to the taxation of land values and the placing of all the taxes at present raised on tea, sugar, coffee, and other things on land, and when the Irish land comes to be valued the Irish farmer will be told, I hope, that it is of importance to him that he should have this valuation for site value made accurately, because at some future day, when the party to which I have referred get into 904 power, they are going to make the Irish farmer pay all the taxes which to-day are levied on tea, sugar, coffee, and other things. As I said the other day, of course if we have Home Rule in Ireland I do not think these taxes will foe brought forward but supposing we do not have Home Rule—
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN (Mr. Whitley)
It will not be in order to discuss that question on this Vote.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
I bow to your ruling, Sir; but I wish to point out the importance of having a true valuation made of all the agricultural land in Ireland, and that we should be given in Ireland an opportunity of ascertaining the proper way of dealing with Form IV. in the same way as those dwelling in England have had.
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
Two points are clear from the explanation which the right hon. Gentleman gave the Committee just now, namely that 3,600 valuation forms—Form IV.—have been sent out in Ireland, and that £7,000 is required as an additional amount of expense being incurred in Ireland in consequence of the valuation required under the Finance Act. If I understood the right hon. Gentleman correctly, he pointed out that in the original Estimates there was nothing put in for doing this particular duty under the Finance Act in Ireland, and therefore that is the total amount required for the present financial year. I also understood him to say that all that has been done in Ireland up to date with regard to this valuation is to issue 3,600 notices, and the cost is £7,000. I think it will be admitted that £2 each as an expenditure to send out these notices in Ireland is rather a heavy amount, and may I point out to the right hon. Gentleman that some of us on this side are anxious to know precisely what the £7,000 is proposed to be spent upon. I submit to you that this Committee is entitled to be informed by the right hon. Gentleman what the £7,000 is going to be spent upon before the end of the financial year. We are also entitled to know where this £1,300 of savings is going to be effected, because at the present moment we are without the necessary information. May I also say this that when we are trying to get at the bottom of the expenditure of money like this, where the question is very complicated, we can only have proper explanations given to us if they are given with great patience and some little amount of courtesy, and I am bound to say that, dealing with the 905 hon. Member for York I, at all events, and I think my hon. Friend, thought the right hon. Gentleman was somewhat failing both in patience and courtesy. It is not enough to give a short, snappy reply to someone who has tried to elicit some details in regard to a public question. We are entitled to have details, and to have them given to us in a reasonable manner in which we can understand them. If I understand the right hon. Gentleman correctly he also said that the reason why only 3,600 forms had gone out in Ireland is that they had not got the information as to who the owners were, and they could only send these forms out to the owners. I have got some of these Irish forms, and if it is not known to the right hon. Gentleman I can tell him that the Irish Department are sending them out not to the owners, but to the occupiers to whom they have been addressed. Therefore his explanation with regard to the spending of this amount in sending out 3,600 forms and only sending out this number, is utterly fallacious and unfounded in fact.
There is a further point about it also. If this information is to be got from owners or occupiers in Ireland why have they only sent out 3,600 forms? It is not 1 per cent—indeed, it is a very small fraction if a per centage of the different valuations and calculations which have to be made. The Committee are entitled to be treated fairly. This is a financial matter in regard to which we are entitled to ask for details, and we have not got them. We very respectfully submit, therefore, that before we deal with this Vote we should be told what this £7,000 is really being spent upon, because I do not know, and I say at once I find it difficult to believe that it has been spent upon sending out 3,600 printed forms. I cannot believe that, and the right hon. Gentleman's explanation is eminently insufficient. There must have been some other explanation which he has not told us anything about. It is for an explanation as to that that we are very respectfully, and I hope courteously and with great patience, asking. I am not going to comment upon the general principle, because that is not before us. We had no Vote at all in the original Estimates devoted to this particular subject, and this is the first time that any idea is given with regard to this new departure in Ireland, and we are entitled, before the close of this discussion, to get to the bottom of the arrangement and know what provision will be made at all events to the close of the financial year. We are entitled to be informed 906 as to the expenditure of this £7,000, and where it is that the £1,300 is coming from which is going to be saved under other heads. How can it be found? It is a new item altogether, because according to what the right hon. Gentleman said this expenditure under the Finance act has never been in any Estimates before. How-can the right hon. Gentleman therefore be saving some money in connection with it when there has been no Vote for it whatever. It shows on that point the greatest possible confusion of accounts, and one asks where the £1,300 is to be obtained from. We do not get any proper explanation now about it, and I submit that we are entitled to a full, complete, and accurate statement as to how this £7,000 is made up. We have not had a full statement. We have not had any explanation, and all the attempts which the right hon. Gentleman has made to explain the matter have turned out to be without foundation. If he does not know the facts himself perhaps there is a permanent official from whom he can get them, because we feel inclined on this Vote to try and get to the bottom of it.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
This Debate has had one very remarkable result. It has brought out the most extraordinary divergence of statement between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary to the Treasury. The question has been asked why are these millions of Form IV. being issued in England, and why has this wholly insignificant number of Form IV. been issued in Ireland. To that question the right hon. Gentleman has given this answer. He says Form IV. has been issued in such small numbers because they did not know the owners. That is the only explanation he gave. The answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was absolutely contradictory of that. He said they did not issue Form IV. in Ireland, because it was wholly unnecessary, and would have been a waste of money. Perhaps he will tell me whether his explanation or the Chancellor's is the true one, or whether there is some other explanation which we have not heard yet. The Chancellor's answer was given in November last:—Mr. Gretton: How many forms have been issued in Ireland?Mr. Lloyd George: That is what I am going to answer. There are about 600 occasions which have arisen in Ireland. (Opposition laughter.) In all these cases, forms have been issued, but, as I have already explained, we have already got particulars and there is no need to spend public money on forms to elicit information which we already have in our possession. (Ministerial cheers.)907Viscount Castlereagh: Has the right hon. Gentleman all the information which can be gathered on Form IV. in his possession at this moment in respect to Ireland?Mr. Lloyd George: I am informed by those competent to form an opinion, that they have information to enable them to make a valuation. (Several Opposition Members: 'Site Values.')Mr. Austen Chamberlain: I must press for a direct answer Have the Government, in the case of Ireland, all the information they require from the landowners?Mr. Lloyd George: That is exactly the question which I have answered.So that the position is this. The Chancellor of the Exchequer alleged then that the only reason why Form IV. had not been issued in Ireland was because they had all the information which was necessary and it would have been a waste of money. That he repeated over and ever again in answer to questions. Now the Secretary to the Treasury gives a totally new and inconsistent explanation and says the reason is "that we did not know the owners. It is absolutely necessary to serve these forms, but we did not know the owners. We are getting to know them, and we shall serve the owners when we know their names." Both these explanations cannot be correct, though possibly both are incorrect. It is an important question to owners of land in Ireland, as it is to owners of England, that they should be treated in the same way. Does the right hon. Gentleman adhere to his own explanation and throw over the Chancellor, or does he adhere to the Chancellor and throw over himself?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The position is indeed a very serious one. We members of the Opposition are dependent upon the right hon. Gntleman who represents the Government for the correctness of the answers which he gives to our queries. It is impossible for us, not being behind the scenes, to know whether or not certain things occur, and it has always been the custom of Parliament, and I hope it always will be, to take as correct the answers which are given by the Minister in charge. When I came into the House I heard the right hon. Gentleman say it was incorrect to say that two sorts of Form IV. had been issued in Ireland. I heard him say that Form IV. could not be issued in Ireland because it was only issued to owners, and they could not tell the names of the owners. Then I heard the statement of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Butcher). All three statements of the right hon. Gentleman are incorrect, and I say that knowing all the responsibility that I take upon myself in making that statement. The hon. Member (Mr. Newman) held in 908 his hand two different sorts of Form IV. That proved beyond any question whatever that the right hon. Gentleman's statement that there was only one form of Form IV. was incorrect. The hon. Member had a form which was addressed not to the owner, but to the occupier. That proved beyond doubt that the next statement of the right hon. Gentleman was also incorrect. Then we have the statement of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Butcher), which does not need any corroboration, because, first of all, he is always correct in everything he says, and, secondly, we have the authority of the OFFICIAL REPORT. This is what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said:—That is what I am going to answer. There are about 600 occasions which have arisen in Ireland, in all these cases forms have been issued, but as I have already explained, we have already got particulars, and there is no need to spend public money on forms to elicit information which we already have in our possession."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th November. 1910, col. 69.]How does the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to my hon. and learned Friend agree with the statement of the Secretary of the Treasury that the forms could not be issued because they could not find the owners. There is nothing about owners in the Chancellor's answer. All that he says is that there were only 600 occasions that these cases had already been dealt with and that there was no occasion to deal with any further cases. Then we are brought down here to discuss a proposition which provides that £7,000 is to be provided to deal with 3,600 cases, when only last November the Chancellor of the Exchequer said the 600 cases had already been dealt with. That brings me to a further point. There have been ten million of these forms issued in England, and I believe in the last Autumn Session a Supplementary Estimate was issued for Form IV. in England. I mention this because another excuse of the right hon. Gentleman was that he was obliged to bring forward this Supplementary Estimate because he could not have taken provision in the original Estimate because the Budget had not passed. I think that is correct, provided that he had no further opportunity of doing it. I say he had a further opportunity of doing it, or rather the Government had. When the Estimate was brought before the Committee for the forms to be issued in England, why did they not bring forward an Estimate for the forms to be issued in Ireland? It was because there had been a change of policy—because they did not know whether they were going 909 to be allowed to issue Form IV. in Ireland. They thought the motto for the Prime Minister, "Wait and see," was a good one to act upon. I have made a statement which requires some answer, but I do not believe it is going to have an answer. There have been other statements made by the right hon. Gentleman. He tells us that they have a valuation in Ireland, but that does not entirely correspond with his reason for not issuing more of Form IV. He said there is a valuation in Ireland, whereas we have not one in England. I say we have one in England. We have not only the rateable valuation, but also one for Income Tax. Last autumn, when I was not filling up Form IV., I was filling up another form for Income Tax. In fact, the whole of my time is spent in filling up forms for the Government of one kind or another. Why should it have been necessary to send out Form IV. in England and not in Ireland? We are told that there is Griffith's valuation in Ireland. That valuation was made in 1846, and it was dependent upon the prices of agricultural products at that particular time. No one will pretend that the prices of agricultural products are the same now as in 1846. Therefore, the statement as to Griffith's valuation falls to the ground. The right hon. Gentleman said that in England greater attention had been given to Form IV. for urban properties than for rural properties.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I said that the attention of valuers had been directed more to urban properties. I said nothing about Form IV. The hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) was under the same misunderstanding, and I corrected him.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I understand from the right hon. Gentleman that the valuation officers have given more attention to urban property than to agricultural property. That is not my own experience. I happen, unfortunately, to own a little land in the country, and I have filled up the form sent by the valuation officer. I did not get any rebate. I also own some urban property. The valuation officer sent me some forms and I sent them back, stating that I did not think he had studied the Act. I do not think I need to go into the reasons for sending back the forms, but I am willing to do so if hon. Members desire it. I called the valuation officer's attention to the definition in Clause 40, and he replied that I had better send in the form filled up or I would know the reason why if I did not comply with the request. I 910 still declined, and thereupon I got an answer from a superior official, who said that I was correct about Clause 40, but that Clause 26 existed, and that I must fill up the form. I wrote to him stating that I always understood that the later clause overrode the earlier clause. I got a very polite answer to that, saying that the Government did not wish to put anybody to any inconvenience, and that if, instead of filling up all these forms, I put in one schedule with one statement, showing the rent I received and the rent the houses were let at, that would be sufficient. I wrote: "Do I understand that one bit of paper showing the rent I receive and the extent of the leases would be sufficient?" and I received a letter that that was so. Instead of filling up these forms, I pinned a piece of paper in the corner and gave this information. Therefore, I venture to say that, at any rate in that instance, the valuation officers did not attach so much importance to urban land as to agricultural land. We are dependent upon Ministers for the accuracy of their information. If we cannot trust a Minister to make a statement that is accurate, I do not know how long we will have to sit here before we get any further. This is a serious state of affairs at which we have arrived. Members of the Opposition have asked certain definite questions upon a very important matter, and instead of being met with a desire to give us full information we have been met with a desire to give incorrect information and a desire to stifle discussion. In these circumstances, I beg to move "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
being of opinion that the Motion was an abuse of the Rules of the House, declined to propose the Question thereupon to the Committee.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I would be glad to receive from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury an answer to the direct specific questions arising out of this Supplementary Estimate which were put by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool. The questions were these: On the face of the Estimate two items appear: "Savings anticipated under other subheads, £1,300," and "deduct Appropriations-in-Aid, £300." I think the right hon. Gentleman ought to tell us how these items are arrived at. He is responsible for these Estimates. His name appears on the introductory statement. He should be 911 able to satisfy the Committee as to these special Estimates. Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to give an answer on these points?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I do think that the matter is really a serious one. There are two questions involved in this which go beyond the ordinary area covered by an Estimate for £7,000. In regard to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's original explanation that it was only necessary to issue these forms on an occasion, because the information was already all in the hands of the valuation officer from other sources, if you have got all the information why do you want it on an occasion any more than at any other time? That, to begin with, is in a state of fog. The explanation of the right hon. Gentleman simply fogs the issue still more. The reason that it is a serious matter is because both in Ireland and England everybody concerned is in a general fog as to how this Act is being administered and what is going to be the effect of the information he gives, and the action the Government is going to take upon it. Nobody really knows how he stands. The first explanation given obviously was not accurate. Then there was another, which obviously was not accurate. I do not wish for one moment to accuse the right hon. Gentleman of intentional inaccuracy, but this is only a little bit of a very big muddle. There is complete confusion. It is absolutely impossible to cover the whole area of confusion when we arrive at a particular point here, namely, about the issue of Form IV. in Ireland, which is merely symptomatic of the general muddle. The right hon. Gentleman distinctly says that the only reason that these forms could not be issued in Ireland was that they could not find out who the owners were, and that these forms were only issued to owners. Then my hon. Friend behind and my hon. Friend below me produced specimens of two forms issued to occupiers and not to owners, and the right hon. Gentleman interrupted and said what the explanation was. But on the face of it the right hon. Gentleman must admit that the production of these forms issued to occupiers proved the inaccuracy of the statement that they were only issued to owners. No explanation is given, and until an explanation is given we are obviously entitled to say that the statement to which I have referred was inaccurate. The importance of the point is this. It is the bounden duty of the Government in imposing taxation of 912 this kind to make clear to those who are liable for the taxes, what they are and how they are going to be levied. But nobody knows as to these points, and every Debate here, whether it be long or short, simply increases the confusion. The Debate this evening appears to me to increase it still more. There has been absolutely no light thrown on the situation.
Another very serious matter is the position of people in Ireland who are taking part in the ordinary transactions of property. When anybody dies or transfers his property on sale there is immediate liability to Increment Value Duty, and the transaction cannot be completed. Here you have a mortgagor, presumably a poor man. The mortgagees foreclosed and sold the property over his head. It is the greatest possible interest to that man that he should receive at the earliest possible moment the balance of the money which the property has fetched over and above the mortgage. Here we have a case of great hardship. Hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway may laugh. They laugh at everything under this Act. They seem to think that because the general principle which is supposed to underlie this Act is supposed to hit only rich people therefore they can afford to laugh at the case of anybody, however poor, who is grievously injured by the operation of this Act. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] Then I ask for their sympathy for a real grievance. There is plenty of delay as it is in carrying through a sale or getting an estate cleared, however small, from Estate Duty. Here you have many cases of poor people where the mortgagees foreclose on sale, and it is necessary that the Death Duty should be cleared, and in Ierland the transactions cannot be completed because these valuations have not been made and the law has been passed by this House applying to Ireland as well as to England, and this duty is necessary to be levied in all those cases, and the estate cannot be cleared until full particulars are in the hands of the taxing authority. Here we have all this delay and trouble, and we are told that the whole information is in the hands of the valuation authorities. If so, why the delay, and why the issue of Form IV.? Is it not quite obvious that the original statement was perfectly inaccurate, that the information is not in the hands of the valuer, and has to be obtained at the last moment from hand to mouth when the actual transaction takes place upon which the duty is levied? Then 913 you have all this delay and trouble, and confusion worse confounded. The matter is a serious one, and while in the discussion of a small Estimate like £7,000 we usually discuss something which has been many times discussed before we are simply concerned with how this £7,000 is applied, and minor details of that sort which take up more time than is necessary. That is not the case here. These are points of general information which are really desired by the country. When the Estimate of £480,000 as to this valuation was produced last autumn we had no opportunity of discussing it. There was no Debate on it, and no information whatever was given on the point. This is the only opportunity we have had in this House on the side issue of a Vote for £7,000 to raise this important point which affects thousands of people. I hope we shall get more information from the right hon. Gentleman which will really clear up some points so that people may know a little better where they stand.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down suggested a course of conducting discussions in this House which I venture to think is somewhat inconvenient. He has suggested that every time a statement is made by a speaker on one or other side of the House the Minister in charge of a discussion should interrupt with an explanation or denial. That has its inconvenience. A discussion which is nothing more than a conversation prevents anybody from making any considered and uninterrupted statement of the facts as, at all events, they appear to him from the information which he has at his command. Therefore I have delayed in answering any point which is put to me until I had collected what appeared to be the charge I was asked to answer. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Pretyman) said that in the Autumn Session, in October, the discussion on valuations in England was silenced and brought to a conclusion.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
My recollection is not that at all. There was a Supplementary Estimate which was brought up in June, if my memory serves me rightly. The hon. Gentleman attacks me on details of this sort, while he is himself actually wrong as to details upon which he prides himself for his accuracy. Not only is he mistaken, I think, on this point, but I know that he is mistaken on the other point. The hon. Gentleman has asserted, on the information supplied to him by his friends, 914 that this Form IV. in Ireland has been issued to occupiers as well as to owners. My information is that where the owner is the occupier, and except where changes of interest have taken place, none of these Forms IV. have been issued to occupiers. The case stated by the hon. Member is covered by the information which I have from the officials, in whom I have every confidence. Where the owner is also the occupier, or where a change of interest has taken place by the transfer of land from one person to another, then the Form was issued, as it was desirable to get the information as complete as possible from anyone who could give it. I think that a very unjust charge of inaccuracy has been brought against me, not against me, of course, but against the Department which I represent here, and I assert that the information which the Department gives to me is accurate. A case of great hardship was mentioned by an hon. Member, a case where delay had occurred which inflicted hardship on those concerned in the transaction, and it was said that the law either in this country or in Ireland should be administered in such a way as to prevent hardship in the case of any person, whether the interest concerned was small or great, or the person rich or poor. Cases have been brought to the notice of the Irish Land Department of the kind indicated, and I am informed that in those cases other work has been put on one side in order to ascertain as speedily as possible the values which were concerned in the transaction, and to give immediate relief by providing the proper valuations. All other business was put on one side in order to give relief and conclude the transactions so far as the Department was concerned. I think no other course could be taken or ought to be taken by the Department under the circumstances.
The hon. Gentleman opposite has again drawn attention to what is, in his judgment, an apparent discrepancy between the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and that which I have made myself. He again rather emphasised the case between the number stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the larger number I have put before the House. Of course, there is a discrepancy. As the months pass by the number of cases increase, and the figures which I have given to-night will be equally inaccurate in the course of a few months, when a still greater number of cases will have been dealt with by the Department. The hon. Gentleman said it is not merely 915 the details and figures of our statements which are inaccurate, but it is the principles underlying the answers which are irreconcilable. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said all the details were in the hands of the Irish Department; still you have to ascertain who the owners of the property are. You may have all the information at your command, but you must know to whom the property belongs. The only person who can deal with the Department in the first place is the person who has to ascertain the site value; he alone is the person who is concerned in the value to be derived, and who will subsequently have to pay. It is necessary in order to get at the name of the owner, to trace the owner, so that you may subsequently deal with him on the matter of increment duty on site value. Therefore, there is no discrepancy between the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and that given by myself in any particular. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was not dealing as I have been dealing with the actual issue of these forms; he was dealing with the in-information upon which Form IV. was subsequently to be based. You may have in your power all the information upon which Form IV. can be built up, but you may not know to whom to send Form IV. That is the only difference between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and myself. I am very sorry if I have not made myself clear to hon. Gentlemen. I confess, myself, though it may have appeared a little obscure, that I see no discrepancy between the statement of my right hon. Friend and my own statement. I do not know whether there is any other matter of detail that I have not dealt with.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
The point on which I was really anxious to have an explanation was as to how an enormous number of Forms IV. could be issued in England, and a very small number in Ireland. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that Form IV. was not issued in Ireland because it was not necessary and in certain cases they did not know the owners.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
There is no difference between the two. In Ireland you have got a Valuation Department which has made valuations for the purpose of rating. In England we have no such valuation department. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh."] Where?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I beg the hon. Baronet's pardon, I have been for many years a member of the Assessment Committee of a County Council, and it is notorious that there is the greatest possible difference between two adjacent parishes. More than that, I have known in England the county authority take a county borough into its area, and put up the assessment of that town by very large sums indeed against the town authority. I will not give the name of the town, but it was a town where they deliberately kept the valuation down. There was no common denominator of value. In Ireland you have got a common denominator of value. The Valuation Department, be the basis good or bad, arrives at a denomination which is common to the whole country. There is no such thing in this country. It is because there is that difference of valuation information between one country and the other that there is the difference between them as regards Form IV.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I beg to move that Item I be reduced by a sum of £1,000. I am sure that everybody on this side must take notice of the extremely inadequate and insufficient answer which the right hon. Gentleman gave. He has taken no notice of the instance that the hon. Gentleman gave or of the question put to him as to why the issue of these 3,600 forms cost £7,000. He has not told us or explained to the satisfaction of anybody in the House why it was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer said they had only issued 600 forms, because, as he said, they had all the necessary information, whilst he afterwards issued 3,600 forms, evidently showing he had not the information. This is one of the greatest occasions since I have been a Member of this House when a Minister rises and makes statements with a great show of accuracy, but which prove to be demonstrably wrong, and for which occasion he does not apologise to the House. I must say I think he has mistaken the temper of the House if he thinks we shall forget that kind of explanation. It is not the first time he has done it. He has misled us, I do not say intentionally, on these two points as to Form IV. being issued, and at another moment telling us that it was issued to find out the owners.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I submit that the hon. Member is not entitled to say that I misled the House upon the question to which he has alluded. I have explained perfectly definitely and categorically on the point. I do not know whether he did 917 me the honour of paying any attention to my statement, but he has no right to make a statement such as that which he has made.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I withdraw that as to the second occasion, but I say his explanation is profoundly unsatisfactory. I do say that we ought to have far more satisfactory information if the right hon. Gentleman had really been in possession of the facts.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I must say I do not think that the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman is at all satisfactory. He has not replied, or even attempted to reply, as to the differences in the issues of Form IV. He said that there was no difference between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and himself, but there is every difference in the world. I tried to show that to the right hon. Gentleman, and I offered him the OFFICIAL REPORT if he would accept it. What did the Chancellor of the Exchequer say:—In Ireland where the necessary particulars are in general already available the number is 647."—OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th November, 1910, col. 69.]Was that accurate or not?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
But the Budget was passed a long time, certainly six months, before this took place, and it is to be supposed that in that six months the Department did not know how many forms were available in Ireland. That was not the first excuse of the right hon. Gentleman, as he said they were sent out because they did not know the owners. The excuse of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that the information was already available. He did not want to know the owners. The Chancellor of the Exchequer went on to say:—There are about 600 occasions which have arisen in Ireland. In all those cases forms have been issued, but, as I have already explained, we have already got the particulars."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th November, 1910 col. 60–70.]What did he mean by that? Had he got the particulars, or had he not got them? If he had what becomes of the right hon. Gentleman's answer? The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, further:—There is no need to spend public money on forms to elicit information which we already have in our possession."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th November, 1910, col. 70."]918 If the right hon. Gentleman doubts the accuracy of that statement, here is the OFFICIAL REPORT. I say in face of that that the explanation that they did not know the owners or that circumstances have changed is absolutely idle. The right hon. Gentleman had much better confess what is the real state of affairs, that he did not know what to answer, and that therefore he said the first thing that came into his head, and if he did so we should be quite willing to excuse him, as we know the difficulties of his position in attempting to administer such an Act. To come down and endeavour to give us information which is contrary to the information given us by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and then to repeat his error, is something which even such a very humble and meek person as a reactionary Tory cannot stand.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I do not complain of either the inadequacy or the inaccuracy of the right hon. Gentleman's answer, but of the absence of any answer at all. My hon. Friend the Member for the West Derby Division of Liverpool (Mr. Watson Rutherford) asked as to a saving of £1,300 and also how a sum of £300 was arrived at for Appropriations-in-Aid. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would give an answer on those points.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
As to the sum of £300 that is paid for valuations to the Valuation Department made for private purposes, and this is the Appropriation-in-Aid. The savings have been effected under several heads.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his answer. I desire to direct the attention of the Committee to an expression which the right hon. Gentleman used in an earlier speech. He said that forms would be sent out where it was necessary. Where, may I ask, is it not necessary? I refer him to Section 26 of the Finance Act, 1910, which provides: "The Commissioners shall, as soon as may be, after the passing of this Act, cause a valuation to be made of all land in the United Kingdom, showing separately the total value and the site value respectively of the land." As to site value and total value and those other items of assessable site value and gross value referred to in the Act, how could he possibly have particulars of those unless he sent out 919 the forms. It has been said that Griffith's valuation affords all that is necessary. Griffith's valuation is the total value of land in the year 1846 arrived at by taking the average of different staple products of the land in that year. How can the right hon. Gentleman possibly arrive at the total value of land at the present day, and still more at the site value, from the particulars of Griffith's valuation? The Committee is entitled to know whether the Government mean to carry out this valuation of land in Ireland or not. The essence of the valuation of land is to get at the assessable site value. What particulars has he for ascertaining the assessable site value? If he has not got the particulars, how does he propose to get them? Does he propose to send out the remaining forms at once or not? If the right hon. Gentleman cannot answer these points the Committee will understand that from motives of their own the Government are pursuing a very different policy in carrying out the valuation of land in Ireland from that which they followed in England, and the country will draw its own deduction.
§ Colonel GRIFFITH - BOSCAWEN
I wish to support the proposed reduction in consequence of the complete change of front made by the right hon. Gentleman. At a much earlier stage of the Debate I called his attention to the fact that there has been a complete change of policy, because originally nothing whatever was put down on the Estimates for the valuation of land in Ireland, while now they are asking for £7,000. The right hon. Gentleman, in very courteously replying to my question, said, "Surely the hon. Member knows that we could not put down anything, because when this Estimate was prepared, before 31st March last, the Budget had not been passed." I do not see that that is any real answer. The Budget might have been passed then, but the Government, for their own reasons, did not choose to bring it in. Apart from that, as the Government always said they intended to pass the Budget, and proclaimed that they had a majority in its favour, they might have foreseen that a certain amount of money would be necessary for land valuation in Ireland. However, the right hon. Gentleman chose to say that it was because the Budget was not passed. Now, however, it has come out perfectly clearly in the Debate that that is not the 920 real reason. The real reason, as I suggested some time ago, is that there has been a complete change of policy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer never anticipated, or, at all events, never said that there was to be this extensive valuation in Ireland. He said that Ireland had been valued, that there was no necessity for it, and that Form IV. would only be issued to the extent of about 600 copies. Now we find exactly what I said at the commencement, that since the General Election, I suppose, there has been a complete change of policy on the part of the Government. Having originally said that they were only going to issue about 600 forms, I suppose to placate their allies of the coalition—the Irish Nationalists, they now change their policy, and they have issued 3,600, and are demanding an additional vote of £7,000. "Additional" is hardly the correct word; I should say "a" Vote, because there was no Vote at all originally. Where is this policy going to lead us? You begin by saying 600 forms; within a few months it is increased to 3,600; I suppose, when we come to the Estimates for next year, the forms will have multiplied into the millions which have been issued in England. It is only right that we should protest against a change of policy for which no explanation whatever has been offered. The least we can expect is that the Minister in charge of an Estimate like this should be in a position to state what the facts really are, otherwise it is perfectly illusory for us to endeavour to criticise fairly the Estimates before the House.
§ Dr. HILLIER
This question of the reluctance of the Government to issue Form IV. in Ireland previous to the last General Election has come before the House in various forms on several occasions, and I had hoped that this evening we might have been vouchsafed a satisfactory explanation. We have been given a reason which is entirely irreconcilable with the reason previously given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman stated that these forms would be issued in due course when the names of the landowners were known, whereas we were informed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the Government were in possession, through the Valuation Office in Ireland, of so many particulars that the issue of these forms was unnecessary. On the irreconcilable character of these two explanations I do not propose to say anything further; but I wish to ask one or two 921 questions with reference to the explanation given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman relied upon the information obtainable from the Valuation Office in Ireland, and put on record in the annual roll for rating purposes. Does that annual roll contain all the information demanded from English landowners by Form IV. Might not the information obtainable from that annual roll equally be obtained from the local valuations for rating purposes in England? Further, why has this distinction between the two countries been made? The real explanation is only too obvious, and the irreconcilable explanations which have been given will increase the justice with which that view is held in the country, namely, that there was a reluctance to issue Form IV. in Ireland previous to the last election on account of the well known unpopularity with which it would have been received. The least the right hon. Gentleman can do is not only to explain his own explanation, but also to give us reasons why this attitude with regard to the valuation for rating purposes in Ireland has been taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
§ Mr. GRETTON
The whole difficulty has arisen because the valuation of land in Ireland has not been proceeded with according to the terms of the Budget. Is it not a fact that the Land Purchase Acts have set up a large number of new landowners in Ireland? Is it because the right hon. Gentleman has not taken the trouble to trace who these new owners are that he has not issued the forms, or is it because he is afraid to issue them to these owners? I am going to ask him a definite question: Are the Government going to issue Form IV. and the other forms necessary for the valuation of the land in Ireland, for the ascertainment of the site values, and those other fantastic values which the Budget makes necessary—and which were unknown previous to the Budget—is he going to issue these forms to half a million small holders in Ireland who have been established under the Land Purchase Act? If the right hon. Gentleman is not prepared to answer that straight and definite question, the only conclusion which the House and the country can come to is that for some political reason the right hon. Gentleman is afraid to issue these forms; that this is the price which is being paid by the Government for the support of the Parliament Bill to the political party which calls itself the Irish Nationalist party. The business of the Government 922 is to administer the law impartially. Why is the law not administered impartially, under the terms of the Finance Act, in Ireland as it is in other parts of Great Britain? It appears to me to be a most disgraceful and unprecedented transaction. It is the Government in distress angling for votes. If the right hon. Gentleman is not able to answer this question, I am quite sure—and the House will be with me in my contention—that the only reason is that he is tied by a political bargain to the heels of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Water-ford, and he has to pay this price, amongst other prices, for a transaction disgraceful in the history of our Parliamentary Government and for the support which his political chiefs desire for their Parliament Bill.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
It does seem to me rather peculiar that we should not have an answer to this definite question, which is one of far greater importance than a good many of those which are inevitably raised by Supplementary Estimates. The Government have been doing nothing else but shilly-shally with this Form IV. question in Ireland. I rise for the purpose, as we have not yet had an answer, of repeating the question of my hon. Friend. Do the Government propose or not to issue these forms to the 500,000 small holders of land in Ireland? We all know that on the opposite side of the House a man who owns 100 acres or thereabouts of land is a persona grata; but a man who owns 1,000 acres is a man who cannot be described by hon. Members opposite in language sufficiently purple. At the same time, we do think it is carrying the distinction of quantity rather far when we find the Government refusing to issue this form—which has caused such considerable purturbation and trouble in the mind of landowners throughout the United Kingdom. It is carrying this distinction rather far when, for political purposes, the Government refuse to issue these forms to the small owners of land. We think they ought to be issued to small owners.
§ Mr. FLAVIN
A man who was a small tenant is now a small owner. Mr. Deputy-Chairman, these are the gentlemen who were appealing for the verdict of the 923 tenants last year against the Irish party! Now they want to force the taxation on the small owners.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
I would like to point out to the hon. Member in response to his courteous interruption that they are no longer tenants but owners. It is most remote from our intention that we should wish that the small owner should have fresh taxation, but we do think that they ought to be fully acquainted with the whole of the Government plans and schemes. They ought to know thoroughly well by receiving Form IV. through the post that all the Government's protestations of friendship to the small owner are really mere protestations, and that the Government do not carry those protestations so far as to excuse him from this valuation. At all events they do not do it in England, and we do not see why, for political purposes, because they get the support of these hon. Members below the Gangway, they should do it in Ireland. If there is to be any fairness in the matter at all, we say, seeing that small owners in England have been forced to pay solicitors, and have been driven to other expenses in order to fill up these forms the same thing ought to happen to the constituents of hon. Members in Ireland! The question put by my hon. Friend deals with a very important point. It is the crux of this whole Debate, and I venture, as a protest, to move: "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
being of opinion that the Motion was an abuse of the Rules of the House, declined to propose the Question thereupon to the Committee.
§ Mr. KEBTY-FLETCHER
I should like to put another point of view before the Committee—that of economy. As a commercial man I have worked this matter out, and find that the forms will cost 10s. each if they are to be issued as suggested. If 1,300,000 are to be issued then this Vote is inadequate. We hear a lot from the hustings, from Liberal Members, and from the Labour party about retrenchment and reform, but the commercial world is getting tired of pouring their money out like water. We shall have a £200,000,000 Budget soon. In times past the Government have been recklessly extravagant. It has been "a rake's progress." They have led us in for all sorts of extravagant 924 expenditure. I am not suggesting that this sum at present under consideration will make much difference to anyone in the country, but I do ask the Treasury Bench to take the matter into consideration from the point of view of the commercial world.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
You, Sir, have refused to accept the motion to report progress, and perfectly rightly so; but I think the right hon. Gentleman now ought to give us the satisfaction for which we have in courteous terms repeatedly asked him. The question which we are debating is with regard to the issue in Ireland of Form IV. It has been put before the right hon. Gentleman very clearly that, possibly to satisfy a bargain with hon. Members who sit behind me, Form IV. has not been circulated in Ireland. It is for the right hon. Gentleman now to tell us that there is no foundation whatever for that charge, and that there are other reasons why this Form IV. has not been circulated beyond the number of 3,600. The right hon. Gentleman, in the earlier part of this Debate, told us that it was impossible to discover the owners in Ireland.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
Order, order. May I remind the Noble Lord that this question has been several times asked, and has been answered. It is my duty to see that the same question is not unnecessarily repeated. The Noble Lord was not in the House, but I cannot, therefore, allow repetition.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
May I say respectfully that I cannot see how the right hon. Gentleman has answered the question with regard to Form IV. 3,600 Forms have been issued to owners in Ireland. I think that with regard to the extra number over and above the 3,600 we are entitled to receive some answer as to why they have not been issued. Of course, Sir, I bow to your ruling.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I am not going to transgress your ruling, Mr. Whitley, as I have already had the question put to me on more than one occasion, and on more than one occasion I have answered it. The Noble Lord and hon. Members opposite may not agree with the answer I have given, but the questions have been answered and answered fully. The Noble Lord (Viscount Helmsley) has suggested that there is some illicit traffic or bargaining for votes, and that that accounts for the difference between Great Britain and 925 Ireland. There is no such difference. As I endeavoured to explain to the Committee; the land system in Ireland is entirely different from that of Great Britain, and a great deal of that difference is due to the change effected by the legislation of the party opposite.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Gentleman is now repeating himself, and I must apply the same rule to him that I did to hon. Gentlemen.
§ Mr. MOORE
I do not certainly wish to fall foul of your ruling, Mr. Whitley, and I do not think I should have intervened at all but for a remark of the hon. Member for North Kerry (Mr. Flavin). I quite agree with the hon. Gentleman that hon. Members sitting on these benches do not desire to see the small holder taxed, but the hon. Member voted against the Second Reading of the measure which contained these particular proposals to put a tax upon the small holders, and he walked out on the Third Reading.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Gentleman is not entitled to discuss the Budget. The question before the Committee is to reduce Item A by £100, and the question is whether that item should be so reduced or not.
§ Mr. MOORE
I will not pursue that further. I heard in the course of this Debate the representatives of the Government say that the reason this form was not issued to tenant occupiers in Ireland is that they could not find out the owners. I remember very well Mr. Healy stating in the House that no matter what happened it would be found that valuers never would come upon the holdings of these people before the General Election. That prediction has absolutely been carried out. There are valuers making inspections and valuations all over England. I know a good many tenant purchasers in Ireland whose land was recently valued, and it cannot be said that the Government do not know the owners' names, which was the reason given by the Secretary to the Treasury, because of all the people in Ireland there is less doubt about those who have recently received vesting orders from the Estates Commissioners, which have been made at the rate of 60,000 or 70,000 a year. I quite understand, if the people of Ireland found valuers going over their land they would soon wake up to the real situation.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I really must remind hon. Members and the Committee 926 of Standing Order 19, which is directed against repetition by an hon. Member either of his own arguments or of the arguments used by other Members which have been addressed to the Committee. These arguments have already been used more than once.
§ Mr. MOORE
Then I would deal with the other aspect of the matter with regard to people who are not tenant purchasers, and we have a good illustration of how absolutely ridiculous this operation is as regards valuation. There was a gentleman in the King's County who had 14,000 acres in his own hands six months ago to sell. After the papers came into his hands he was favoured by the Revenue authorities with a form in which he was directed to fill up all the particulars of value, and he got notice to say that unless he put such value upon the items of his property the Government would do it for him. One of the items was an area of 400 acres of red bog; it was twelve miles from the nearest town, Firbane, with 500 inhabitants. It was never suggested these lands were town parks or demesne lands. This gentleman was asked to put a site value on 400 acres of red bog by the Inland Revenue authorities. He thought this was so monstrous that he wrote a correspondence which appeared in the Irish papers, in which he asked the Government was it really necessary he should go to the expense of putting a site value upon 400 acres of red bog. I do not see how it was to be done. Are you to put a site value upon the surface of the bog, or are you to probe it to unknown depths?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is persisting in discussing the merits of the Finance Act, which is not open to discussion upon this Vote.
§ Mr. MOORE
I was not in when you made your ruling, Mr. Whitley, but I can assure you I am not intentionally traversing your ruling, but surely I am-entitled to argue that in a case like this that the money is absolutely wasted, and that under these valuation proposals it is unfair that the owners should be put to the expense in a case like that of something like £50 in the valuation or that the Government money should be spent in making it. If you rule that I am out of order in that I shall drop it at once. It seems to me this is the only chance we have of raising a question of that sort upon the Estimates. Of course, I am not allowed to suggest there should be amending legislation, and 927 I only say that until there is amending legislation no further moneys should be spent upon this valuation. Valuation of that sort, whether at the expense of the Revenue or of the owner, can produce nothing. That, I take it, is what the Committee is concerned with. I suggest that the proper course the Government should adopt is to say, "we will make a nominal valuation ourselves," instead of calling upon the owner to go to all the expense of employing experts and professional men. That is the course that ought to be adopted in the interests of ordinary economy, instead of sending out notices to owners in a case where they are absolutely useless. I hope the right hon. Gentleman opposite will look into this matter, which is too absurd to stand criticism.
§ Mr. REMNANT
May I point out that in England it was the custom, in fact, I believe it was an instruction from the Treasury, that valuation officers should be paid 2d. each for every form they sent out, no matter how many forms they did send. I want to know whether the same instructions were sent to Ireland when it was first intended that the proper amount should be sent out. The understanding was when this 2d. per form was allowed in England it was to be by way of extra remuneration, or compensation, for the enormous amount of work thrown upon the valuation officers in recent years. It was decided by the Treasury, out of their generous disposition, that 2d. should be paid for every one of those 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 forms which were sent out. The officers in England were perfectly satisfied with it, and considered that they were well paid, and, therefore, they did not hesitate to send out the forms. In Ireland I do not know whether they did the same thing, or whether they were promised the same sum. If not, I should like to know whether the Treasury propose that any part of this increased cost is going to be paid by way of extra remuneration to the valuation officers in Ireland.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I have not looked up the point, but I understand that in England in the case of the overseers, there was a payment such as the hon. Member has described. So far as I am aware, no such charge has been made in Ireland, where the method of distribution has been rather different from that in England. I will make an inquiry into this point, and in due course I will inform the hon. Gentleman.
I have sat throughout this Debate on the question of valuation, and I have not been able to gather whether this expenditure will be incurred again in the future. I wish to know whether by voting this money it will lead to a vast increase in the expenditure. To me it is a most important question whether we should on this occasion vote this money towards the valuation of land in Ireland if we are going to find this expenditure will increase in the future. We do not wish to tax the small holder in this way, and I do not think we ought to vote this money unless we have a definite answer to the effect that this increased cost is not going to be allowed to go on.
§ Mr. CARLILE
I rise to support my hon. Friend's Motion to reduce this Vote by £1,000. The right hon. Gentleman has just made a very important admission. He was asked a moment ago whether that 2d. paid in the localities in this country for the issue of Form IV. also applied to Ireland? Why is this 2d. given to the local people to distribute Form IV.? Anybody can see it is given in order that the form should be issued broadcast in order that every owner of a little plot of land in this country should have the form served upon him. If it does not mean that it means nothing, and the right hon. Gentleman is perfectly well aware of it. When it comes to Ireland—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is transgressing my ruling that this matter has already been discussed and repeated several times.
§ Mr. CARLILE
The question of this special issue of Form IV. I submit has not been put before the House until a moment ago, and I think it is a perfectly new-point. I submit that it is one that we are entitled to raise because there is lying behind it that great interest to the persons of the locality that they should have no encouragement in Ireland to issue those forms, whilst in this country they have the most substantial interest that can be given to anyone—namely, a financial interest. So far as I know this is a perfectly new point. If there is all that difference of policy between the treatment of landowners in this country and those in Ireland, then, clearly, we are justified in moving the reduction of this Vote, because the legislation is the same. The law is supposed to run alike in every portion of the United Kingdom, and why should it run here and not be allowed to run in the country of hon. Members below the Gangway. The omission to give this great inducement 929 to the officers in Ireland concerned in the distribution of Form IV. brands the whole conduct of the Government with reference to this matter. We need no more explanations from the right hon. Gentleman. I do not think hon. Members from Ireland are likely to ask for any further information on this point. In reply
§ to other questions the right hon. Gentleman has answered them with a frankness that condemns his attitude.
§ Question put, "That Item I be reduced by £1,000."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 122; Noes, 212.931
|Division No. 36.]||AYES.||[9.53 p.m.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Forster, Henry William||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baird, J. L.||Foster, Philip Staveley||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Gardner, Ernest||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gibbs, G. A.||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gilmour, Captain J||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Goldsmith, Frank||Rawlinson, John Frederick Pool|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gordon, John||Rawson, Col. R. H.|
|Barnston, H.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)||Greens, W. R.||Rice, Hon. Walter F.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilton)||Gretton, John||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Royds, Edmund|
|Benn, I. H. (Greenwich)||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Salter, Arthur Claveil|
|Bird, A.||Helmsley, Viscount||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Boscawen, Sackville T. Griffith-||Hillier, Dr. A. P.||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid)||Hills, J. W.||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Boyton, J.||Hoare, S. J. G.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hohler, G. F.||Spear, John Ward|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stanier, Beville|
|Bull, Sir William James||Horns, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Stewart, Gershom|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Campion, W. R.||Ingleby, Holcombe||Sykes, Alan John|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cassel, Felix||Knight, Capt. E. A.||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Lewisham, Viscount||Thomson, W. Mitchell (Down, North)|
|Cave, George||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Magnus, Sir Philip||Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Moore, William||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Morpeth, Viscount||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Mount, William Arthur||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent)||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Newman, John R. P.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Younger, George|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Nield, Herbert|
|Fell, Arthur||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Malcolm and Mr. Butcher.|
|Fleming, Valentine||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Byles, William Pollard||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Adamson, William||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Chancellor, H. G.||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Chapple, Dr. W. A.||Esmonds, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Clancy, John Joseph||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Clough, William||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Barnes, G. N.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Fenwick, Charles|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.)||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Ffrench, Peter|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Beale, W. P.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Crumley, Patrick||Furness, Stephen W.|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Gill, Alfred Henry|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Glanville, H. J.|
|Boland, John Pius||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Dawes, J. A.||Goldstone, Frank|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Delany, William||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)|
|Brigg, Sir John||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Greig, Colonel J. W.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Dewar, Sir J. A, (Inverness)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Dillon, John||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Doris, W.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Edwards, Allen C. (Glamorgan, E.)||Harmsworth, R. L.|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Martin, J.||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Harlam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Masterman, C. F. G.||Rowlands, James|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Mathias, Richard||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Hayward, Evan||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Samuel, J. (Stockton)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Molley, M.||Seely, Col. Right Hon. J. E. B.|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Sheehy, David|
|Higham, John Sharp||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Hinds, John||Morgan, George Hay||Shortt, Edward|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Ctitheroe)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Munro, R.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Snowden, P.|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Neilson, Francis||Scares, Ernest J.|
|Hudson, Walter||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Hughes, S. L.||Nolan, Joseph||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Hunter, W. (Govan)||Norman, Sir Henry||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel||O'Doherty, Philip||Summers, James Woolley|
|Johnson, W.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Shaughnessey, P. J.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T'w'r H'mts, Stepney)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Jewett, F. W.||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Joyce, Michael||Parker, James (Halifax)||Toulmin, George|
|Keating, M.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A, (Rotherham)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Lansbury, George||Pirle, Duncan V.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld-, Cockerm'th)||Power, Patrick Joseph||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Leach, Charles||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Logan, John William||Pringle, William M. R.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Radford, G. H.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Lundon, T.||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wilson, Hon. G G. (Hull, W.)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Reddy, M.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Maclean, Donald||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Winfrey, Richard|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)|
|M'Callum, John M.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|M'Curdy, C. A.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|M'Laren, F. W. S. (Linc., Spalding)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robinson, Sydney|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
Original Question put, and agreed to.