"That the Customs Duty charged on tea until the first day of July, nineteen hundred and thirteen, shall be charged as from that date until the first day of July, nineteen hundred and fourteen, that is to say:—
Tea, the pound … … five pence,
and it is declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1913."
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. FELL
Although this Resolution stood first on the Committee Stage and we have been nominally discussing it on several days, I believe that beyond a few passing remarks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he introduced the Budget the question of tea has not really been discussed at all. There have been one or two questions addressed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer with regard to his statement when introducing the Budget, but beyond those questions and the replies thereto, there has been no discussion whatever upon the subject. On the Committee stage I had on the Paper an Amendment, which has often been before the House, proposing to reduce the duty upon tea grown in the Dependencies of the Empire. I withdrew that Amendment because of an intimation from the Chairman that in his opinion it would come better when the Finance Bill was before the House, and that in any case he could not allow the matter to be discussed twice. Therefore, on his advice, the Amendment was withdrawn, and I do not propose to move any reduction on the present occasion. Whatever we may think on this question of the Tea Duty, it is impossible for us to vote against it; we should be immediately met with the statement that it would upset the whole Budget, and we should be asked how we proposed to raise the money that would be lost to the Exchequer. Next to tobacco, tea is the heaviest item in the way of taxation collected by the Customs officials. The taxation on tea amounts to over £6,000,000 a year; it is an item without which the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not balance his Budget. 2081 There is no article of which the consumption is more widespread than tea. The consumption of tea amounts to over 300,000,000 lbs. per annum, which represents about six and a half pounds per head of the whole population of the United Kingdom. The Chancellor of the Exchequer estimates that this consumption will materially increase during the present year. He has budgeted for an increase of about £300,000 to be brought about by the Tea Tax. That is a very large increase. I must do the right hon. Gentleman the justice to say that he does not say exactly that the people of this country are going to drink 14,000,000 lbs. weight more tea this year than last year, but that there will be that quantity of tea more withdrawn from the bonded warehouses than in the previous year. That is somewhat of a distinction, because we have tea withdrawn before it is wanted if there is an anticipation that an extra duty will be put on, and I believe also that tea is not withdrawn if, on the other hand, the merchants think there is to be a reduction in the duty. The Chancellor considers that last year probably as much tea was not withdrawn from the Customs as would have been because there was some anticipation that there might be a reduction in the Tea Duty. That anticipation could not have been at all well founded. I do not, indeed, think it was really anticipated by the tea trade. Anyhow, there was not quite the amount of tea withdrawn from bond this year. The anticipation of the Chancellor this year may or may not be realised. However all this may be, it is perfectly clear now that the Tea Duty, I will not say is going to stay only, but it is going to stay at the high rate at which it is now. No Chancellor of the Exchequer can do without the £6,000,000 which the Tea Duty at present brings in. Although there are manifest disadvantages in this tax—they have often been mentioned in this House—the fact that low-priced teas bear the same duty as high-priced teas must be taken into account; for there is no ad valorem duty, as there is in many countries where taxes on imported articles are the rule and not the exception, as in this country.
In this country we have this fixed duty upon tea whatever the quality may be, whether it, is worth 6d. or 7d. per lb., or whether it is worth 1s. 6d. or 2s. or 3s. per lb. That makes the Tea Duty a more oppressive tax upon low-priced teas. Although some people think that that necessarily falls upon the very poor, I do 2082 not believe that that is quite the fact. I am not sure that it is the very poor who drink the cheapest tea. I am not at all sure that it is not the lower middle classes who look out for and try to obtain the cheaper sorts of tea, and they are the people who are as much affected by this tax as are often the very poor themselves. Because of the position they have to keep up, taxes of this kind fall just as heavily upon them as upon people of smaller income who have not to keep up such a pretentious position; so that I do not think on the whole that you would find that the very poorest classes do buy the cheapest tea. But, whoever the class that buys these teas, there is no doubt about it that a tax of 5d. in the pound falling as a level tax is an extremely hard one upon the cheaper kinds of tea. I will not enlarge upon that fact, nor upon the fact that tea in many of the poorer parts of the country is an absolute necessity of life. On many occasions below the Gangway I have heard it mentioned as to what an absolute necessity tea is amongst certain Irish classes, and how desirable it was that tea should be plentiful and, as they would say, cheap. I am sorry to say that those who desire to cheapen it have not yet achieved that desire. Some of these hon. Members have on numerous occasions supported me and other hon. Members when we have discussed this Tea Tax, and have moved a reduction; but while they have supported us in debate, they somehow or other have not the courage to vote with us in the Lobby. There have been exceptions, but the bulk of those to whom I refer have not felt it possible to follow us into the Lobby when we voted upon this question. Some years ago, when parties were not so evenly balanced as at the present time, I believe that on several occasions we had the benefit of the Irish Members with us in the Lobby when we moved the reduction of the Tea Duty.
The Tea Duty is the principal ingredient of the taxes on what we call "a free breakfast table"—that free breakfast table which, I believe, has been the Liberal ideal ever since I was a boy. The tax upon sugar is so very much smaller: it only brings in about a half of the Tea Tax; therefore it is very much less oppressive than the Tea Tax on the free breakfast table. It appears to me that when we saw this Budget brought in it removed any expectation of getting a free breakfast table—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—unless a total change takes place in the fiscal system of 2083 this country. With the present financial position and the present theory of taxation which is embodied in what is termed the People's Budget, which theory of taxation comprises a tax on tea to a certainty and very possibly taxation on sugar for all time, I cannot believe that any Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the increasing liabilities which the present one has thrown upon the country will feel himself in a position to substantially reduce the taxation either of tea or sugar. We had tea taxed an additional penny as a war tax, and it was taken down again at the end of the Boer war; but the tax has remained for the last nine or ten years following the end of the war at 5d. in the pound, and I am perfectly confident on the present theory of taxation that prevails that the tax will never be reduced. That is a thing we have to face, a thing which the people of the country will have to face. They will have to realise that they cannot have the benefit of the old age pensions, the benefits of the Insurance Act, and so on, unless they retain this heavy tax which is universally felt, because it is a heavy tax upon one of the prime necessities of life. [An HON. MEMBER: "Question."] It is something we have to pay for our appreciation of our duties towards old age, and of the duties which we owe the poorer classes. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has often asked us on this side when we have moved reductions to suggest some other tax. I do not wish to do so on the present occasion. I am only making these remarks for the purpose of showing that we will have this hung round our necks as a tax in the future and shall not be able to throw it off.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer anticipates an increase, a withdrawal from bond—I will not say consumption—of 14,000,000 pounds, but whether that will be realised is a totally different question. Tea merchants can arrange to withdraw the tea exactly as it is wanted. Some of the tea experts that I see before me may be able to tell us what expectation there is of the Chancellor's anticipations being realised. The right hon. Gentleman has budgeted for a large increase in the consumption of alcoholic drinks. He expects a sunny year. Another prophet I noticed the other day, prophesied that we were going to have an extremely wet year. I hope the Chancellor may be right and that the other prophet may be wrong, but, if a sunny year, will that promote, or otherwise, 2084 a consumption of alcoholic drink? Has the matter been discussed? I should say that a very sunny year would get people out of doors, and would be more likely to have the effect of inducing a less consumption of tea, so that instead of getting a large increase in the consumption of tea, possibly we may see a larger consumption in alcohol and a decrease in the drinking of tea. How is it considered that these two go together? I do not think you can budget for an increase of both. While I am not suggesting that we are going to vote against this, I do say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer may be rash in basing his figures upon the fact that there will be such a large withdrawal of tea as he suggests. It is a matter of only 300,000 pounds, but the Budget is made up of these items of 300,000 or 400,000 pound increases! We must only hope that the right hon. Gentleman's anticipations will be realised, but with regard to tea I have very great doubt; I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he budgets for this great increase, is running a great risk. He is incurring a responsibility which the future may show to be justified, but which I am afraid we have no ground for expecting, and therefore, although I raise my protest as to these figures, I will not vote against this Resolution now.
§ Sir J. D. REES
On a former occasion I deplored the enormous expenditure for which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to provide, thoroughly unjustifiable, as I think, and which he has forced upon the country without counting the cost, or counting it on such calculations as had no relation whatever to the actual cost. Nevertheless, I cannot honestly say that I think the reduction of the Tea Duty was expected this year. I do not really think the trade expected it. I believe the trade was prepared for the continuation of the Tea Tax of fivepence. Now if a high tax upon tea is necessary, and under the existing system it probably is, then, as I think, the avoidance of change which has been accomplished this year is an important consideration for the tea trade. A change is considered as almost as disastrous as an increase, and a very small reduction is of such a character that it brings very small relief to the poor who are chiefly concerned. I ventured already to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury how he justified the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Estimate of an increase from the Tea Duty of £298,000, and he very kindly replied, but 2085 I was unfortunately absent on duty, not unconnected with tea. The right hon. Gentleman was kind enough to explain that at some length, but I still feel some little doubt. I do not understand what his ground is for thinking that there will be 14,000,000 lbs. more tea withdrawn this year. I confess upon that point the explanation of the Secretary to the Treasury did not seem to me to be convincing. I do not know whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to refer to this matter, but I should be glad if he would explain or reaffirm what his right hon. Friend has stated. The Secretary to the Treasury knows there has been no such increase for many years, and that an increase of 14,000,000 lbs. is almost unprecedented. It seems to me, speaking from recollection that there has not been an increase of anything like 14,000,000 lbs. in the last five years. In the last five years I think 11,000,000 lbs. in one year was the largest increase we had, and I should like to know what special reason there is for anticipating that 14,000,000 lbs. extra will be taken out of bond this year. There must be some reason for believing that this extra amount will be withdrawn. If the duty remains the same, primâ facie I believe there must be some ground for believing that the consumption would remain the same.
I cannot follow my hon. Friend in his calculation that this is likely to be a sunny year. I do not know what special information he has on the point that a sunny year is likely to lead to a decrease in the consumption of tea. If my hon. Friend was in the habit of hunting big game in tropical climates he would know that weak tea was one of the most thirst-quenching and palatable drinks in the sun which any human being ever invented. Even if we have a good summer I confess I do not see what is the ground for anticipating so large an increase in the consumption. Since the right hon. Gentleman's Budget was introduced I have tried to find out from such quarters as I think are most likely to possess the information where this large increase is to be obtained from. I think it is hardly justifiable to enter into a discussion now as to reducing the rates of the duty, because that duty has been in force for some time and it is now continued. I think everybody will agree it is most unfortunate that tea which comes to us from British Possessions, which is grown by British capital, produced by British labour, and is in 2086 every respect a British Empire product, should be subject to a higher duty than any other product except tobacco. Tobacco is on a very different footing, because, with all due respect to hon. Members from Ireland, the United Kingdom can hardly be regarded as a tobacco-producing country, and therefore I think tea should have a preference over tobacco from the point of view of taxation. To most people tea is a far more important necessity of life than tobacco. I endorse the remarks made by my hon. Friend that the Tea Tax hits the poor people more than any other tax, and the fact that there is a flat rate of fivepence per pound ruthlessly levied upon all tea, on the poorest class of tea as well as on the highest class, is certainly, to my mind, a most regrettable circumstance.
I do hope that the fact will in time get beaten into the minds of the people of this country that in the Tea Tax and other taxes of this character they are paying for old age pensions and National Insurance and every one of those so-called benefits which the Chancellor of the Exchequer hands over to them, and for which they, even more than other people, are taxed. If the people would only realise that, it would be an enormous step towards the real understanding of some of the economic conditions which seem to me are only mentioned to be obscured and misrepresented on every possible occasion. I do not understand the cant about a free breakfast table. I do not see why the breakfast table is to be free any more than the dinner table or the tea table, but I do know tea is drunk at the table of the poor at breakfast, dinner, and supper more than anything else. The poor drink it, and they ought to know that every time they take it they are paying through the nose for all those measures which are lumped together under the question-begging and comprehensive title of "Social Reform," that glorious-sounding expression used to cloak any amount of excessive taxation, any amount of grinding tyranny, such as is exercised by the imposition of Insurance taxes. I do not intend to trouble the House any further, but I should be glad if the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Secretary to the Treasury would kindly do something to further resolve the doubts on these matters which still remain in my mind.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I should like to say one word upon the question of procedure 2087 in the situation in which we find ourselves. The Chairman of Committees, on the submission of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the first night of the Budget, when the right hon. Gentleman moved the Adjournment of the Debate, suggested that we should have an opportunity of raising every subject touched upon in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the Budget, but I gather from your ruling, Sir, that a different rule would prevail upon the Report stage of the Resolution. If that be the true view, and I am sure it is, on your high authority, I think it may be necessary for us in another year to maintain that the same rule should prevail in Committee as would be enforced by the Chairman upon the Report stage. The position is this: We made our statement which we had to submit to the House in Committee as to the effect of the Budget upon our country, and we put our views before the Committee, but the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for reasons best known to himself, did not consider it necessary to reply to our arguments, and these arguments, therefore, of ours remain unanswered. We were very desirous of raising this question again in some manner in which it could be effectively brought before the House. We did not desire to do it in a piecemeal form. Of course, the special Resolution dealing with tea is not one which would enable us to raise the whole of our case on, neither would the Income Tax Resolution afford a favourable opportunity for raising the entire case which we have to make as regards the thoroughly false system of budgeting which was presented to the House three years ago in the famous Budget of the right hon. Gentleman. We are prepared to show that every figure presented by the Treasury three years ago, on which the votes of Irish Members were obtained, was not only false but hideously false, and that every Estimate presented was an Estimate not merely doubling but in some cases almost trebling the real figures, and we want to arraign the Government on the head of presenting a flagitious case, and almost I might say a fraudulent case, as regards Ireland, and getting Irish votes for the Budget, practically by a Treasury fund, because every figure relied upon by successive officials, as presented to the House, is a false one, and has proved to be a false one.
2088 That is a serious allegation for a humble Member to make against a great Department like the British Treasury. Its effect is far-reaching, because it shows that the Estimate upon which the right hon. Gentleman is able to make up a deficit of £7,000,000 as regards the future is based upon figures supplied to him by the same officials as the officials who befooled Ireland and the Irish Members in the matter of Budget some three or four years ago. We do not desire in any way to conflict with the ruling of the Chair, but when we raised this matter on the occasion which the Chairman of Committees said was a proper occasion, we got no reply from the Government, and we desire to have some opportunity, whether upon this Bill or upon the Adjournment to-morrow, to show the falsity of the Treasury figures as regards our country. Therefore, while bowing respectfully to the ruling of the Chair which was given at an earlier stage of the proceedings to-day, I shall make "an Act of Presence." I shall show that I am present in the Debate and what the position is which we occupy, and that we have only refrained from raising the question afresh in deference to the authority of the Chair.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd George)
The hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken realises of course that I am guided by the same rules of debate as he is. I can only make a very limited reply to what he said. I very much regret that in the previous debate I did not reply to some of the statements which have been made by him and his colleague. As I have stated already, I had looked up one or two of those questions and I had got the material for the reply on my notes, and I proposed to deal with them, but as I did not see the hon. and learned Gentleman in his place, I passed on to some other subject. I understand that he proposes to raise some of these questions on another opportunity, and therefore it would be of no avail to go into them now, even if we had not in view the decision of the Chair. I will therefore pass on to questions which are more strictly relevant to the Motion before the House, which have been raised by hon. Gentlemen sitting on the other side. Both of them were disposed, I will not say to cavil at, but to challenge the accuracy of the Customs Estimate with regard to the quantity of tea which is likely to pass through the Customs this year. They say it is a quite abnormal quantity, and that it 2089 is quite abnormal to anticipate an increase of 14,000,000 lbs. It is an abnormal Estimate. I have explained that the circumstances are abnormal. You have, first of all, the coal strike last year, which was actually proceeding in the very weeks that the Budget was submitted. That had, of course, a depressing effect upon the quantity of tea withdrawn from the Customs. It was not so much that consumption had diminished, but no one knew what was going to happen, and every trader realised that if the strike lasted very long, although consumption had not diminished at that moment, it would have the effect of reducing the consumption of many commodities in the course of a few weeks. Therefore, traders were not withdrawing goods from bond at anything like the rate which would be normal during a period of prosperity and active trade. Now I hope we shall not have that to contend with this year. The withdrawals at the present moment by comparison with last year are considerably more than is usual. Then there was the second condition that there was an anticipation of a probable reduction in the Tea Duties, which checked the withdrawals from bond. Why anyone should think that any Chancellor of the Exchequer would be in a position to reduce any tax this year I do not know, but there was that anticipation of a probable reduction in the Tea Duty, and stocks were held in bond. These two things taken together—there were one or two other matters which also affected it, but these were the two main considerations—make an enormous difference between the quantity last year and the quantity which is anticipated to pass this year. So far as the normal increase is concerned we are only budgeting for an increase of 1 per cent., that is under 3,000,000 lbs. of tea. That is really a small increase in good times, but it is all that I am anticipating so far as the normal increase is concerned. The rest is purely due to the abnormal conditions I have described.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Does the fact not count that there were two Easters in the last financial year, and that there are no Easters in this year?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I shall have to go into that a little. I did not mean to go into it just now. I went into it before my Budget Statement, but I may as well say now that I am not at all sure that it affects withdrawals from Customs as 2090 much as people imagine. I shall make a few comments upon it, but I shall not dwell upon it. The chief reasons are these: First, consumption is no less. People drink tea on Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Bank Holidays, and traders will draw in anticipation of the holidays There are certain taxes which are undoubtedly affected by the two Easters and Good Friday. For instance, Income Tax is affected, but I doubt very much whether the Customs and Excise are affected so much as people imagine. I went very carefully into the matter before I made my Budget Statement, and I came to the conclusion that I could not rely much upon it as to the effect this year, when I had not two Easters as I had in the preceding year. Therefore I am not allowing very much. I am really allowing nothing except in Income Tax, where it does really make a difference. My right hon. Friend behind me (Mr. Thomas Lough) reminds me that it also makes a difference because people do not send in their accounts. Going back to the speeches of the two hon. Gentlemen opposite, the Member for Nottingham (Sir John Rees), who has a special acquaintance with this subject, will realise, I think, that there is a good, sound basis for my Estimate, as I am only budgeting for a normal increase of under 3,000,000 lbs., and that that is a moderate estimate. The whole point turns upon the question whether I am right in anticipating an abnormal increase in consequence of the strike last year, and the postponement of clearances in anticipation of a change in the duty. Let us see what has actually happened this year. In this year, although we have only had one month since the 31st of March, there has been an increase already of the quantity of tea withdrawn from Customs of 3,250,000 lbs., so that there goes 3,250,000 lbs. out of the 14,300,000 lbs. which I anticipate. That would go to show that the estimate of the increase of the whole year formed by the Customs and Excise officials will prove to be a reasonable anticipation. The total increase I expect is £298,000, and I have every reason to believe that sum will be reached. It is quite impossible to say, but I may advise the hon. Gentlemen not to stake their reputation upon predictions that this sum will not be realised. I think the hon. Gentlemen will see that there is some ground for our having made this Estimate, although I agree that on the face of it that it appears to be a sanguine 2091 one. In an answer which I have already given, I reminded the hon. Gentleman that in 1907–8 the clearances rose thirteen and a half million lbs.; in 1908–9 they rose eleven and a half millions; in 1910–11 they rose twelve millions; and in 1911–12 they rose eleven millions. This year I think they will be much more. The clearances of 1912–13, we have good reason to believe, were postponed to the extent of 4,800,000 lbs. in consequence of the impression among those who are engaged in the trade that there was going to be an alteration in the duty. In the ordinary course that amount of tea would have been withdrawn from bond in 1912–13. In the ordinary course in this year we will get not merely that 4,800,000 lbs. odd, but we will get the corresponding 4,800,000 lbs. which will be withdrawn at the end of the year. I cannot imagine that anyone will expect this year that any Chancellor of the Exchequer will be in a position to reduce the Tea Duties.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The hon. Gentleman complains that I have underestimated it. I did not realise that. If we take the criticisms upon my Estimate both ways I think it will be found that I have struck a middle course. It seems now that there are conflicting criticisms of hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House. I think I have dealt with the criticisms which the hon. Gentlemen have passed upon the soundness of the Estimate. I do not know if I should be quite in order if I went beyond that to make some reply to the animadversions passed by the hon. Member for Nottingham (Sir John Bees) upon the social reform programme which has necessitated all this expenditure. This is not an occasion upon which I could defend it. He was very scornful about what he called the grinding tyranny of social reform.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I referred to certain taxation, and said that it threw a flood of light on the effect on the people.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I understood that he was specially severe in regard to old age pensions, the Insurance Act, and 2092 what he contemptuously called the grinding tyranny of social reform. I believe the people of this country could do with a great deal more of this grinding tyranny of provision for sickness, for infirmity, and for old age, but if I go into that I shall be travelling outside the limits which are permitted by the ruling of the Chair. I agree with the Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell). I am afraid that no Chancellor of the Exchequer can reasonably hope to look forward to a time when expenditure will be reduced. To-day some of his Friends who sit near him got into an argument with the Prime Minister at Question Time about the expenditure upon another branch of social reform, and the only difference between them was as to the method by which that expenditure ought to be incurred. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dudley (Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen) wanted to have expenditure on housing reform and the Prime Minister in reply never challenged the need for housing reform, he never challenged the proposition that we ought to find money for it. The only disagreement was as to the method by which the money should be raised and the way in which it should be expended. Therefore, whatever Government is in power, I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for the time being, can hope to look forward to a time when the strain upon the Exchequer will be eased by reduction of expenditure. Certainly not, I hope, on social reform. I regret all this heavy expenditure which makes it necessary to keep up taxes of this kind. I agree with what was said, and I have always said at this table that it would be very much more desirable if you could raise taxation as you do upon the working classes, as you do upon the middle classes by direct means, but it is a practical difficulty. It has been attempted in Germany, and I do not think it has been a great success. They have levied Income Tax upon people with £45 a year, and I do not know that it has been a great success. It is a very expensive process, and I am told that it does not give satisfaction to the workmen themselves and does not give very much satisfaction to the State. If we had a cheap and effective way of raising taxation by direct means as a substitute for these indirect taxes, I agree it would be much more desirable, very much more desirable, than the present system. I cannot see my way to the imposition of any direct tax as a substitute for these 2093 indirect taxes. I have always maintained, though I have not always carried my hon. Friends with me, that you cannot confine the taxation of the country to one class of the country whilst political power is distributed over all classes. My hon. Friend threw out the suggestion that somehow or other a direct tax might be imposed. He did not give any figures, and he did not embark on any details, but when you consider a question of that kind, you must consider it in some practical form.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
That illustrates the difficulty. The moment you get a suggestion coming from a direct representative of labour that there should be direct taxation it is instantly repudiated by another hon. Member sitting in the same quarter. Therefore, until there is some sort of acceptance of a direct method of taxation, I am afraid we shall have to adhere to the indirect method which now finds a place in the Budgets of this country. At any rate, for the present year no Chancellor of the Exchequer could see his way certainly to abolish and probably not even to reduce the Tea Duty. It does undoubtedly press hardly upon some people, and I wish it were possible to find some substitute, but at the present time I am afraid it is necessary to continue to impose it.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
The hon. Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell) takes the pessimistic view that these breakfast-table duties, in view of the large expenditure disclosed in the Budget, are going to continue for all time. I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer has very much modified that view, although we heard from him that he would be glad to substitute a direct tax for these indirect taxes. It is impossible, I think, for a Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer to go on for all time levying these breakfast-table duties. We heard last night a great deal about mandates, but, if there is one mandate which the Government have in the matter of finance, it is to get rid of these breakfast-table duties. If these taxes are not going to be got rid of, it is mere hypocrisy for the Liberal party to permit the kind of propaganda that is going on in the constituencies. We are told by hon. Gentlemen opposite that we should tax foreign imports and thus get rid of these breakfast-table duties, but Liberals are saying, "We will get rid of them without taxing other commodities to make good the loss." The speeches of 2094 the Chancellor of the Exchequer have for the first time opened up to us a real hope of getting rid of these taxes, because through the valuation of the land of the United Kingdom, which we are to get in 1915, he is opening up a fruitful source of taxation and a method of direct taxation that will meet his requirement that all sections of the community should be called upon to pay any tax which is to be levied in substitution of these duties.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
I, of course, bow to your ruling, but perhaps I may be permitted to point out, as the hon. Member far Yarmouth said, the Budget showed no hope whatever of the abolition of these taxes because there was no possibility of raising the revenue by any other means, that, if the growing revenue from Land Tax valuation were further permitted, we should be able to get the revenue required.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
I accept the statement of the hon. Member, and I do not wish to pursue the matter any further, except to say that an obligation rests upon a Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer to get rid of these duties, more particularly having regard to the fact that other commodities are rising in price. When we are on all hands hearing of the increased cost of living, it becomes all the more necessary that these taxes which raise the cost of living should be abolished.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. Gentleman has told us that in his opinion it is impossible that a Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer should continue this particular tax. It is now seven years since the Liberal party were returned to power, and during the whole of those seven years they have done that which the hon. Gentleman says it is impossible for them to do.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Yes, one penny, but that was not what the hon. Gentleman said. It was open to him to move to reduce the tax another penny, but he has not done that. He has stated that the tax ought not to be kept on at all. I venture to prophesy that, if, unfortunately for the 2095 country, the Liberal party remain in power for another seven years, there will still be a tax upon tea. When Amendments have been moved to reduce this tax, I have always voted for the Government in favour of continuing it, and I have done so for two reasons. When my party were in power, and demands were made by hon. Gentlemen opposite to reduce the duty, I always voted in support of my Government. Therefore, when, unfortunately, I was transferred to this side of the House, I continued to support the Radical Government as long as they carried out the policy of the Conservative party. I think that is the proper line to take. It is not the line that hon. Gentlemen opposite have taken. When we were in power they were always telling us that this duty should be abolished altogether, but when any proposal is made either to reduce the duty or to abolish it altogether, the vast majority of those hon. Gentlemen, who were returned to power on the understanding that they would vote for the abolition of this duty, cheerfuly go into the Lobby with me and vote for its continuance. Therefore, the hon. Member for Hanley (Mr. Outhwaite) is justified in saying that, if this policy is continued, it is nothing but hypocrisy on the part of the Liberal party. That does not make the imposition of the Tea Duty wrong. It only shows that the Liberal party, when they are in Opposition, will stick at no methods in order to gain votes and will make any number of pledges, knowing perfectly well when they are returned that they will be able to break those pledges, as in fact they have done.
I was very glad to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer enunciating very strict Tory principles and very right principles. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that as long as a large number of people in this country had the franchise so long must they continue to contribute something towards the expenses of the country, a truly wise and statesmanlike doctrine, one with which I am in perfect accord, and one which I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will always carry out. It is undoubtedly true that at the present time this Tea Duty, and one or two other indirect taxes of the same sort, are practically the only form of taxation which is paid by the working classes. The working classes claim to have a due share in the power of returning Members to this House, and it is surely not right at this time of day for them to come down and 2096 say, "We are going to send Members to Parliament, but we ourselves will contribute nothing, or practically nothing, towards the expenditure of the nation. I therefore regret very much that this Tea Duty is tending to diminish. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that indirect taxation now only amounts to 41 or 42 per cent. of the total revenue of the country. Under these circumstances, if there is any Division upon this duty, I shall certainly support the Government, and I shall be curious to see how many hon. Gentlemen opposite, who undertook to vote for a free breakfast table, are going to take steps to carry out that pledge.
§ Mr. BARNES
I am not going to associate myself with the hon. Gentleman opposite who has spoken of the "grinding tyranny of social reform," whatever that may be. He seemed to associate the "grinding tyranny of social reform" with this 5d. Tea Tax. I think we have had scarcely enough "grinding tyranny of social reform" of the sort that was mentioned by the hon. Gentleman, namely, old age pensions, Insurance Act, and so on; and for my part, apart altogether from the question of where the cost is to come from, I rejoice in the fact that the nation has at last begun to deal with some of these social evils amongst us. The twin social evils are unemployment and sickness, and both of them have been more or less dealt with in the Insurance Act. We want not less, but more social reform. It comes with rather a bad grace from the hon. Baronet to twit the Government with retaining this Tea Tax or any other tax, having regard to the reason assigned by the Government, and I believe the right reason, for retaining them. The reason is largely, if not entirely, expenditure on armaments, and the Government, at all events, have never been restrained in that particular form of expenditure by hon. Gentlemen opposite. On the contrary, the more money they have spent on armaments the more they have been applauded by the hon. Baronet and his colleagues. I remember a year or two ago, when there was a disposition on the part of the Government to reduce armaments, or at all events to arrest the growth of armaments, hon. Gentlemen and right hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House went about the country protesting, and one of them, like Silas Wegg, dropped into poetry, and said:—We want eight, and we won't wait.2097 That is the reason why we have still this retention of the 5d. Tea Tax.
The hon. Gentleman would not be entitled to discuss those topics. We are here for the purpose of imposing taxation, and not for the purpose of discussing the manner in which the money is expended.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BARNES
I thought, Sir, you would rule that out, and I shall content myself with entering my protest against a continuance of the tax. I am not disposed to assent to any of the reasons assigned for its continuance. Like my hon. Friend behind me, I look back on the last few years during which we have been promised the abolition of these indirect taxes, and I think the time has come to put some of these professions into practice. There is no reason to cast around for new methods of taxation whereby that can be done, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer told us only the other day that £184,000,000 had during the last year been left by 4,000 persons, and it seems to me that, when we have a vast sum of money like this available, we might very well draw upon it a little more than we have hitherto done, so as to relieve the people from these obnoxious taxes. This is one of the most iniquitous and unjust forms of indirect taxation, because this particular tax bears particularly hard on the poorest of the poor. I believe that at the present time £6,500,000 is raised by this tax, and the right hon. Gentleman has predicted that he will be enabled to get £298,000 more from it this year. I hope he may be right in his Estimate. It seems to be based mainly on the supposition that industrial peace will obtain. I certainly trust it will prevail, and, if it does, the Estimate may not be very far wrong. I object to this tax not only because it is an indirect tax but for another reason, and that is that it presses more than any other tax upon the very poorest of the people. Large numbers buy tea in very small quantities, and the smaller the quantity purchased the heavier is the tax they have to pay. For that, and for other reasons, I submit it is time that the Government made much more energetic attempts to redeem some of those promises and professions which they have so often indulged in for many years. I said last year that I would never again vote for the Tea Tax and I am going to stand by that statement. I know at different periods there have been Amend- 2098 ments proposed to this House either for a reduction of the tax directly or for a preferential reduction on tea coming front other places than inside the Empire.
§ Mr. BARNES
Yes, it was. But for me the scheme of preferential reduction has no attraction at all. It would only tend to confuse people, and, instead of putting anything into the pockets of the consumer, would benefit the tea merchant. I am not disposed to support proposals of that nature. If anyone proposed to-day a straight reduction from 5d., I should have not the slightest hesitation in supporting him and following him into the Lobby.
§ Mr. JONATHAN SAMUEL
One observation which fell from the, hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London is calculated to mislead the outside public, and, to my mind, there is no doubt that it has been made with such an intention. I saw last week in some of the newspapers particulars of a Return presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in which reference was made to "Liberal taxes upon food," and the inference it was evidently wished to be drawn was that these taxes are really Liberal taxes.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
At any rate, I understood the hon. Baronet to infer that. But the Tea Duty is a very old tax; it dates back to 1660, when it was levied at the rate of 8d. per gallon by the then House of Commons. In 1698 it was converted into a 5s. duty upon every pound of tea consumed. That was in the good old Tory days. The duty came down from time to time until, in 1851, Mr. Gladstone found it at 2s. 1d. per pound. It was really Mr. Gladstone who, between 1851 and 1887, reduced it from that figure down to 6d. In 1890 it was reduced to 4d. by the then Conservative Government, but it was again raised to 6d. by the late Government in consequence of the South African war—it was, in fact, a war tax. It is really a very old tax. But it is more or less a very unfair tax, and it is unfair in this sense, that the cheaper the tea is the heavier proportionately is the tax, because exactly the same duty is charged on the higher classes of tea, and consequently, the consumers of the poorer classes of tea pay more than those who buy tea at rates varying from 2s. to 5s. per pound. I would like to point out that the Chancellor of the 2099 Exchequer, with all the increased burdens which have been placed on the revenue during the last few years, in order to meet additional expenditure on the Navy and for social reform, could have abolished the Tea Duty, and I will give my reasons for that. During last year, if it had not been for the Supplementary Estimate of no less than £4,621,000 we raised in surpluses above what was required no less than £26,414,000. The hon. Baronet knows quite well that the surplus each year has gone to the repayment of the National Debt. He has, in fact, been very keen in looking after that. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer has budgeted according to what was required to meet the expenditure, a reduction in the Tea Duty, although we have spent this large sum on the Navy and on social reforms, such as old age pensions, etc., could have been made, and still the expenditure of the last five years provided for. I contend that had it not been for the extraordinary expenditure this year, there is a probability that owing to the productiveness of the revenue, especially from direct taxes, a reduction of the Tea Duty could have been made. I protest against the allegations which are made from time to time on the other side of the House, and in the Press, and the inferences which have been drawn, that the Tea and Sugar Duties, and other duties on food, are Liberal taxes when, in fact, they date back for centuries. At least 250 years have elapsed since both were first imposed. It is only right for hon. Members to say distinctly that these are ancient duties, and that they have been continued by each Government in turn. We, on this side, however, take credit in regard to tea, and especially in regard to sugar—because the Sugar Duty was practically abolished by Mr. Gladstone in 1874—
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
I am sorry I am out of order. I should have liked to have given hon. Gentlemen opposite a little history of both the Tea and Sugar Duties, but as you have ruled that I cannot to-day apply the sugar to the tea, I must drop that idea. I do, however, hope that next time the hon. Baronet and his Friends speak, they will not infer that these are Liberal taxes. We all ought to state what are the actual facts, and should not ignore the fact that Liberal Governments have been 2100 the Governments which in the past have reduced these duties.
We all listened to the Chancellor of the Exchequer with very great regret when he told us he could hold out no prospect of reducing the taxes on tea and sugar. Speaking for many hon. Members on this side, I can assure him that there is no tax which we vote for with greater reluctance than that on tea, because it specially affects poor people. The average price of tea runs from 6d. to 7d. per pound. If you put a tax of 5d. upon it, it represents a duty of 80 per cent., and it is simply infamous that such a burden should be placed upon an article of food so largely consumed by the poor. We were told when discussing another proposal that the State could not take a penny a week from persons who were earning but 9s. weekly. Surely that applies with much stronger force to this Tea Duty, because people who earn that small sum are called upon to contribute much more than a penny weekly in the form of the tax upon tea. The party sitting on these benches is pledged to the hilt to take the duty off tea and sugar—particularly off tea. In my own country, at any rate, we have for thirty years been preaching the doctrine of a free breakfast table, and it has been constantly held out by speakers on this side, particularly when the Free Trade controversy was at its height, that any tax upon food is a danger to the country. Therefore, in my opinion, the maintenance of this tax is extremely unfair. I could quote a great many speeches delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Members against the tax. It was the present Secretary of State for War who, when in Opposition, said he would not again vote for this tax, while the late Sir Henry Fowler described the tax as falling with extreme severity on the poor. I have other quotations from men on our side holding the highest positions, which show that we, as a party, are absolutely pledged to abolish these taxes. If we make a reduction in the Tea Tax it will have the effect of increasing the consumption of sugar. Mr. Gladstone pointed that out in a speech he made forty or fifty years ago, when the question was whether a reduction should be made in regard to tea or sugar. He said:—If we reduce the duty upon sugar we bring about an increased consumption in tea, and if we reduce the duty upon tea we shall excite a larger demand for sugar.I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will keep that in mind. We quite recog- 2101 nise it is impossible to make any reduction in tea or sugar this year, but I hope he will bear the fact in mind because it is a subject upon which we feel very strongly indeed. I vote for this tax with the greatest reluctance, and if something can be done next year to reduce it the right hon. Gentleman will give the greatest satisfaction to many hon. Members sitting on this side of the House. Another point referred to by the last speaker was that there has been a surplus under the Budgets for the last three or four years. Each of those surpluses was big enough to enable him to take off the whole tax upon sugar. These surpluses have gone to reduce the National Debt. Whereas it would have given infinitely more satisfaction to the country if they had been used for reducing the duties upon food.
§ Mr. HUNT
The hon. Member who has just sat down complained that we on this side of the House called attention to the fact that the Liberals taxed tea. Whatever be the origin of the Tea Tax there is no doubt it is a Liberal tax now, because the Liberals are the people who put on the tax. I believe it was the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division (Mr. Barnes) who said that for a great number of years Liberals had always been talking of a free breakfast table, and had said that they were going to take the tax off tea. I remember thirty-five years ago seeing in Leicestershire a great placard saying:—Vote for the Liberals and a free breakfast table.We have certainly not got it. Our people at the present moment are more heavily taxed per head upon their necessities or small luxuries than any other people in the world. Hon. Gentlemen opposite admit that the tax on tea is exceptionally heavy. The very poor have to pay at least from £75 to £100 on every £100 worth of tea imported into this country. That is Liberal taxation, and we are perfectly justified in pointing it out to the country. It is one of the things I very seldom forget to tell the people, and I certainly intend to go on doing so. How hon. Gentlemen opposite can complain about it when they belong to the party which puts on this taxation, is more than I can understand. The hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division told us that the very poor were more heavily taxed than the rich. In proportion to value the very poor are taxed about three times as much; they pay about three times as much on their tea as do the rich. With regard to 2102 tobacco, the cost is multiplied about ten times. That is another thing I am very partial to telling the people when I go down to the country. For a party that is always running the dear food bogey, it is a very strange thing that after all these years they should continue to put such heavy taxation upon what is admitted to be one of the greatest necessities of the poor, while there are millions of things which are the luxuries of the rich upon which there is no import taxation at all. That is a part of the Liberal policy I have never been able to understand. They go shouting about the country that they are the free food party, who do not put taxation on the very poor. It is a very extraordinary thing in itself, and it is extraordinary that the people should believe it. How much longer they will believe it, it is impossible to say. I freely confess that I was mistaken in the Chancellor of the Exchequer this time. I thought that after the pressure put upon him from both sides of the House he would have taken off some of the taxation upon tea, or at all events something off sugar. As it is, we shall feel compelled, when we visit our constituents, to point out to them that with all the cleverness of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and all his wonderful land taxation, he still has to keep up this tremendous taxation upon what is admittedly one of the great necessities of the poor. I only hope that when the Unionist party are fortunate enough to get into power that a Unionist Chancellor of the Exchequer will be able, if not entirely to remove it, at any rate to considerably reduce the taxation on tea. I might remind the right hon. Gentleman that in highly protected America there is no tax at all upon tea, nor is there any such tax in our great Dominions, except, perhaps, in Australia. Even there they do not tax it in the bulk, but they put a tax upon the packets, because the Labour people there think that if tea is to be put up in packets, they might as well make the packets as allow other people to do it for them. In America there is no tax upon raw tea or cocoa. If they can do without a tax on tea in tariff-ridden America, surely we in this country ought to be able to do without a heavy tax on tea!
§ Colonel GREIG
The hon. Member who has just sat down has a remarkable power of exposition, especially when he goes on his crusades in the country and denounces this party for their system of taxation. 2103 May I suggest to him that the next time he goes upon one of his expeditions he should carry his illustration and exposition a little further. On both sides of the House we agree that the Tea Duty is one we would gladly get rid of, but will he explain to his hearers the fact that so long as we are obliged to raise revenue we have to raise it in the way most convenient to the people, and in such a way that the whole proceeds of the tax shall go into the public exchequer? That is the fact with regard to the Tea Duty. It has no protective operation whatever. We do not produce it in this country; therefore, when the Tea Duty is imposed on the tea coming in, substantially the whole of the tax, less the cost of collection, goes into the Exchequer and helps to pay the expenses of government. What do the hon. Member and his party suggest in place of that? A duty on corn, which is a protective tax, which would raise the cost of the article coming from abroad as well as of the home-grown article to the consumer, and not one penny of the latter would go to the public Exchequer. That is the difference between the two parties as to methods of taxation.
It is very undesirable to raise the question of Free Trade and Protection in this Debate; it is quite a side issue.
§ Colonel GREIG
I bow to your ruling, Sir. I only wish to point out with regard to the Tea Tax that it is a proper and fair tax so long as it is necessary to impose it, and we have not heard any suggestion made to put a tax in its place which would have the effect I have mentioned.
§ Colonel WALKER
It is a question whether this tax is rightly called a food tax. For my part, I do not consider it is a food tax. There must be some compensation to the State in regard to the large amount which is expended by the people upon this commodity. I believe it is something like £6,000,000 or £7,000,000 that is spent, even by the very poorest people, upon this common article, tea. It would be a very great waste of money to the country if there were no benefit derived from that purchase. I have often been struck by the fact that no one has ever asked whether the State derives any benefit from that expenditure. Whether I am right or wrong, I have a suggestion to make, that tea is of very great value to the State as an article of luxury, because it is not a 2104 food. It is commonly used merely to keep us awake; that is the only use tea has. Whether or not that is an advantage to the State can be proved when we come to think of the number of women who have to do their work in confined rooms, heated atmospheres, and how they would be unable to keep themselves from nodding if it were not for their cup of tea. Therefore it is of some benefit to the State. When a man is called in the morning he has a cup of tea. Very often he would turn over and go to sleep again if he did not have it. I have done it myself. When some people desire to make themselves very much awake they take coffee. If you take coffee every day it loses its effect, but tea never does. It always keeps you awake. Therefore it is an advantage to the State. Now I know why the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not remove the tax. If he did there would be a larger consumption of tea among the poorer people and they would be more awake than ever.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I approach the subject from rather a different point of view because I think an extra amount of somnolence might not be a bad thing for the country in general. I will not particularise whom I mean, for, if I did, offence might be given. I look upon tea as a very active source of dyspepsia and neurosis, and I do not, therefore, specially welcome it. I wish to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has further considered the question of graduation and differentiation and putting the duties on ad valorem. He voted for it some years ago, and certainly he must have had the advantages of it in his mind, because it is unfair that the cheaper kinds of tea should pay duty at a fixed rate. Some of us raised the question last year, and I do not think the right hon. Gentleman spoke. The Chancellor of the Duchy said a few words, but the whole of his argument was that it had been refused by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Austen Chamberlain). I suppose there are some administrative difficulties, but the justice and merits of it are surely plain, and, considering the complicated scale of Sugar Duties that it is possible to adopt and the other complicated provisions with regard to spirits and beer and the rest, I cannot see why the difficulty in the case of tea should be greater, and undoubtedly, if he were prepared to have same graduation, which might, of course, be an upward graduation, in the very ex- 2105 pensive teas, he would be able to let off the common beverage of the poor at a very much lower rate than it now pays. The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel Greig) would maintain that, so long as a tax cannot benefit any producer in England, that is the only thing you have to look at, and, however much it may directly increase the burdens of the people, that may be cast aside so long as no producer is benefited thereby.
§ Mr. LARDNER
The hon. Member can hardly be aware of the fact that the most expensive classes of tea are those which are in most common use in Ireland. The best teas in the whole world go to Russia and Ireland, and tea is not classed as a luxury but as a food. There has been
§ talk of a free breakfast table. That would mean for the average Irish working man a free meal, because he takes tea for breakfast, dinner, and the afternoon meal, and sometimes in the fields. If the right hon. Gentleman is considering the question of differentiation, the heavier tax should go on the cheaper tea in order to induce people to use better tea and to give those people who pay a high price for tea the opportunity of continuing to get good value for their money.
§ Question put, "That the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 228; Noes, 62.2107
|Division No. 86.]||AYES.||[5.35 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lardner, James C. R.|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Elverston, Sir Harold||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Alden, Percy||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Leach, Charles|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Falconer, James||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Farrell, James Patrick||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lundon, Thomas|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Ffrench, Peter||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Field, William||Lynch, Arthur Alfred|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Fitzgibbon, John||Maclean, Donald|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmot (Somerset)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||France, Gerald Ashburner||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Bentham, G. J.||Gladstone, W. G. C.||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Glanville, H. J.||M'Curdy, Charles Albert|
|Boland, John Pius||Goldstone, Frank||M'Kean, John|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Greig, Colonel James William||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Manfield, Harry|
|Brady, P. J.||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galay)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hackett, John||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Middlebrook, William|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Molloy, Michael|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Money, L. G. Chlozza|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Mooney, John J.|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Hazleton, Richard||Morison, Hector|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Hemmerde, Edward George||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Muldoon, John|
|Clough, William||Higham, John Sharp||Murphy, Martin J.|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Hinds, John||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Hogge, James Myles||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Crooks, William||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Cullinan, J.||John, Edward Thomas||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Dowd, John|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Malley, William|
|Dawes, J. A.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Delany, William||Joyce, Michael||O'Shea, James John|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Keating, Matthew||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kelly, Edward||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Doris, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Kilbride, Denis||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||King, Joseph||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Radford, G. H.||Scanlan, Thomas||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Raffan, Peter Wilson||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Sheehy, David||Watt, Henry A.|
|Reddy, Michael||Sherwell, Arthur James||Webb, H.|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Shortt, Edward||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sr John Allsebrook||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Robinson, Sidney||Sutherland, John E.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Sutton, John E.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||Wing, Thomas|
|Rowlands, James||Tennant, Harold John||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wadsworth, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Walters, Sir John Tudor||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Barnston, Harry||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Stanier, Beville|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Bird, Alfred||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Stewart, Gershom|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Jewett, Frederick William||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Butcher, John George||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Cassel, Felix||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Crean, Eugene||Magnus, Sir Philip||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Malcolm, Ian||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Falle, Bertram Godfrey||Newman, John R. P.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fell, Arthur||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Wood. John (Stalybridge)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, William (Cork)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Gilmour, Captain J.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Rees, Sir J. D.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Remnant, James Farquharson||James Hope and Mr. Rowland Hunt.|
|Hancock, J. G.||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
Resolution agreed to.
§ Resolution reported.