§ (1) If an application to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue is made for the purpose in such manner and form as may be prescribed by those Commissioners, either by a husband or wife, within six months before the commencement of any Income Tax year—
- (a) Income Tax (including Super-tax) for that year shall be assessed, charged, and recovered on the income of the husband and on the income of the wife as if they were not married, and all the provisions of the Income Tax Acts with respect to the assessment, charge, and recovery of Income Tax (including Super-tax), and the penalties for failure to make a return, shall apply as if they were not married; and
- (b) All the provisions of the Income Tax Acts which relate to claims for exemption, relief, or abatement, and the proof to be given with respect to those claims, shall also apply as if they were not married; and
- (c) The income of the husband and wife shall be treated as one in estimating the amount to be repaid or allowed in respect of any exemption, relief, or abatement which depends wholly or partially on total income, and the total amount of any exemption, relief, or abatement given in respect of the incomes of the husband and wife shall not exceed that which would have been given if an application had not been made under this Section; and
- (d) The benefit of any such exemption, relief, or abatement may be given either by way of reduction of assessment, or by repayment of any excess of tax which has been paid, or by both of those means, as the case requires, and shall, in the case of relief given in respect of earned income, be given in proportion to the income earned respectively by the
2138 husband and the wife, in the case of relief given in respect of insurance premiums, to be given to the husband or wife, as the case may be, by whom the premium is paid, and in any other case be given in proportion to the respective incomes of the husband and wife; and
- (e) For the purpose of any exemption, relief, or abatement, a return may be made by the husband or the wife of the total income of the husband and wife, but if the Commissioners of Inland Revenue are not satisfied with such return they may obtain a return from the wife or husband, as the case may be; and
- (f) The income of the husband and wife shall be treated as one in estimating total income for the purpose of Super-tax. and the amount of Super-tax payable in respect of the total income shall be divided between the husband and wife in proportion to their respective incomes, and the total amount payable shall not be less than it would have been if an application had not been made under this Section.
§ (2) The Commissioners of Inland Revenue may require returns for the purposes of this Section to be made at any time, and Section fifty-five of the Income Tax Act, 1842, shall, with the necessary modifications, apply in the case of the refusal or neglect to make or wilful delay in making any such return.
§ (3) Where Income Tax (including Super-tax) is charged on the profits or income of a married woman, whether in the name of her husband or separately in pursuance of this Section, the power to distrain in the case of non-payment of any Income Tax payable either by the husband or the wife shall extend both to the goods and chattels of the wife and to the goods and chattles of the husband.
§ (4) Section eleven of the Revenue Act, 1911 (which relates to the assessment and recovery of part of the Super-tax from the wife in certain cases) shall cease to have effect; and Section five of the Finance Act, 1897 (which relates to the exemption of the income of a married woman in certain cases), shall not have effect in a case where an application has been made under this Section,—read a second time:—
§ Mr. GODFREY LOCKER-LAMPSON
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "the Commissioners of 2139 Inland Revenue," and to insert instead thereof the words "a surveyor of taxes."
This is not a drafting Amendment, although I dare say at first sight it appears to be such an Amendment. I submit to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that this Amendment clearly involves a question of principle. As the Clause stands, an application has to be made to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue if a separate assessment is required, just as in Clause 3 in the matter of the Super-tax and Clause 5 in regard to income accruing abroad. This seems to be another attempt to give the central body powers over the taxpayer which ought really to be exercised locally. If this introduction of the Inland Revenue officials is going to take place in every simple Bill amending the Income Tax law, the whole theory of the administration of the Income Tax is going to be upset. Hitherto, the rule has been that the taxpayer should always apply for relief to the local surveyor of taxes. They are the persons who know the local conditions and circumstances, and up to now the local surveyor of taxes has always acted on his own initiative according to what he believes to be a fair and equitable attitude in dealing with the special circumstances of the person who applies for relief.
Hitherto, the taxpayer has been able to go direct to the surveyor of taxes and put his ease before him. As he possesses local knowledge and local experience, he is able to give full consideration to any representations which may be made by the taxpayer. What I really want to know from the Government is why in this Clause they should go behind the local surveyor of taxes and make every individual taxpayer come under the control of the central authority sitting in London, who do not know local conditions. I should like to point out that these words are going directly contrary to what has been the custom in the past. In the first place, the new procedure is going about in a very roundabout way, because when an application is made under this Clause, the matter must be referred to the local surveyor of taxes for information. But there is a very much stronger argument than that. Every notice of a similar character—that is to say, every application for relief or abatement has to go in the first instance, not to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, but to the local surveyor of taxes, who knows the special circumstances. Such matters do not now come before the Commissioners 2140 of Inland Revenue at all. The surveyor of taxes is the medium, and the only medium, between the taxpayer and the local Commissioners, or the general Commissioners, whoever they may be. I should like to quote precedents. Take the case of a farmer who wishes to be assessed on his farming profits under Schedule D instead of Schedule B. In the ordinary way if he wishes to get that advantage he is obliged to apply, not to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, but to the local surveyor of taxes, who happens to know the local circumstances. Take the case of a person giving notice to set off a loss under the Customs and Inland Revenue Act of 1890—that is to say, the loss he may have incurred in carrying on his trade or profession, or in the occupation of land. He also has to apply in writing, not to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, but to the local surveyor of taxes. Take another case. Take appeals against the assessment under the Taxes Management Act of 1880. They also have got to be made in writing, not to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, but to the local surveyor of taxes. Again, I would point out that Super-tax payers have to give notice, not to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, but to the special Commissioners who make the asessment, and, of course, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue do not make the assessment at all.
I have got other cases of a very similar nature where application has to be made to the local Commissioners, and I could quote them if necessary. Practically, in every single case application is made, not to the central administrative body in London, but to the man on the spot, who knows the special conditions and circumstances. I do submit that the matter of the form of notice ought not to be left to the Central Department in London at all. This is merely once again for the third time in the one Bill an encroachment upon the rights of the taxpayer by the central official administration sitting in London who are completely out of touch with the local taxpayer, and who do not in the least know the special circumstances and conditions, and probably have never seen them. Surely it is better to revert to the old practice of going to the local surveyor of taxes who should receive the application from the taxpayer. Everybody in the district knows where the local surveyor's office is, and the taxpayer can easily go to him and make his application. The form issued by the local surveyor 2141 of taxes is much more likely to be simple and intelligible than the form issued by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue whose forms are often quite unintelligible to the ordinary taxpayer. In view of all this, I do very much hope that the Government will see their way to accept this Amendment, which I believe contains a very important principle of administration, and refrain from introducing a new and very objectionable principle in the administration of the Income Tax laws.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Montagu)
I do not think that the fears of the hon. Member are well founded. There is no intention on the part of the Government in proposing this Clause to centralise the Income Tax administration. As the Clause stands it will give the option, and is intended to give the option, to make the return to the local surveyor of taxes, but there are certain taxpayers who even now object to making their return to the local surveyor of taxes and prefer to make it to the special Commissioners of Income Tax. I think I can meet what the hon. Member requires. I would suggest to him that we give an undertaking that the Regulations to be made by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue shall provide that the application may be sent either to the surveyor of taxes or straight to the Commissioners, and then, in order to allay any misapprehensions he may have about the centralisation of the machinery, I would suggest that we leave out the words, "To the Commissioners of Inland Revenue," and make some consequential Amendments lower down, so that it would read, "If an application is made for the purpose in such manner and form as may be prescribed by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue," etc. It will not then definitely provide that the return must be made to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, but it will leave the necessary elasticity to give the taxpayer the option of making the return either to the surveyor of taxes or to headquarters.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
It is no doubt a common practice, and it certainly has always been my practice, to make the return to the special Commissioners, and I hope that there will be no interference with that practice.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
It is precisely for that reason I prefer the Amendment I suggest to the Amendment of the hon. Member.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.
§ Amendments made: In Sub-section (1) leave out the word "those," and after the word "Commissioners" ["by those Com missioners"] insert the words "of Inland Revenue."
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the word "before" ["within six months before the commencement of any Income Tax year"], and to insert instead thereof the word "after."
This new Clause makes it obligatory on a marreid woman to apply for separate assessment within six months of the commencement of the Income Tax year. Quite apart from the intrinsic demerits of the proposal, it is an entirely new departure from existing practice, and I cannot really understand why it should have been introduced in this new Clause, unless it is for the purpose of benefiting the revenue by diminishing the very small amount of relief which is actually being given by the Clause. What are the precedents in regard to this question of application and time limit? Under the present system, in not a single case where the Income Tax Acts provide for notice to be given for any reason whatsoever, is it necessary to give notice before the year of assessment; it is always after the year of assessment. I will give three cases. In the case, for instance, of a farmer giving notice to be assessed on his profits under Schedule D instead of under Schedule B, as in the ordinary case, he has to give notice within two months after the commencement of the Income Tax year. I have got all the quotations from the Statute Books if the right hon. Gentleman wants them. Notice of Super-tax liability has to be given to the special Commissioners before 30th September in the tax year, or not till very nearly six months after the commencement of the tax year. Thirdly, notice to claim a reduced rate of duty on earned income has also got to be given before 30th September in the tax year—that is to say, the notice has not to be given until very nearly six months after the commencement of the tax year. Therefore, all these precedents that I have given, which are more or less on all fours because they 2143 are all applications for relief, are against the proposal which the right hon. Gentleman makes in his new Clause.
This new Clause makes no provision in the case of persons marrying some time after the period within which notice has got to be given. Therefore, in such a case, no separate assessments can be obtained by married persons until the second year of their marriage. Surely it is very unreasonable to suppose that people are going to look forward six months. The proposal of the new Clause makes it quite impossible for the Section to have any effect whatever until the Income Tax year, 1915–16, because, if you have got to give notice within six months of the commencement of the Income Tax year, it cannot possibly affect this year, for, of course, the present year is well on its way. I submit that this time limit is also very unreasonable on another ground. Before the year of assessment a wife may have no income at all, and, indeed, she may not only have no income at all before the tax year, but she may not in the least know that she is going to have any income. During the year of assessment she may take up some employment or profession and suddenly make an income, but, owing to this time limit and not having known that she was going to make any income, she will be quite unable to get a separate assessment until the following year. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will take into consideration that all the precedents for application are against him in this matter. All the applications for relief are allowed to be made in the tax year and have not to be made before the tax year. I hope that ho will take into consideration that it is very hard on persons who marry during the tax year, and in the case of the wife who happens to have had no income during the previous year, but who makes an income which she did not know she was going to make during the tax year.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir J. Simon)
I am sorry that it does not seem to us possible to accept this proposal. It was thought by some yesterday that we were requiring this choice to be exercised by the husband or the wife six months before the beginning of the Income Tax year, but that is a mistake.
§ Sir J. SIMON
If we had made so harsh a provision as that, I say quite frankly that I think the criticism would have been well founded, but that is not the proposal. The proposal is that for six months, which would begin in October and end on 4th April—any time within those six months, and right up to the beginning of the Income Tax year—this claim may be made by any husband or wife who desires to make it. The hon. Gentleman says that they ought to have six months longer, but he will see that this result would follow: Under the ordinary practice, returns are made, say, in May, and assessments come to be made and delivered, say, in July, and, if you are going to say, "That is all very fine, but right up to the following October any husband or wife may delay before she or he claims to be treated separately," you throw the whole machinery, I will not say into confusion, but into this degree of embarrassment, that there is bound to be further delay before the machinery can be brought up to date. The Commissioners must know beforehand approximately the number of separate assessments which they will be called upon to make. It would be wholly unreasonable for them to have to set to work to make an assessment, say, in the summer in the case of a husband and a wife who have given no indication that they wanted to be separately assessed, and then, after they have done so, it may be in September or October, for the whole of their work to be wasted by one of the parties coming forward and saying, "I want to be separately assessed." That really is not possible. The cases to which the hon. Member referred as precedents are cases where the relief that is asked for does not destroy the assessment, but enables adjustments afterwards to be made on the basis of the assessment. It is quite a different thing if your object is to have relief, not on the basis of the assessment, but by beginning again and tearing up the assessment, and that is what the Amendment of the hon. Member would involve.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
Can the right hon. Gentleman give one single instance under our present Income Tax law where an application has to be made before the commencement of the tax year?
§ Sir J. SIMON
I think the hon. Gentleman will see that you may carry analogies too far. Can he show me any case which 2145 is really parallel to this case in which the existing law is to be set on one side and what is at present regarded as one assessment is to be split into two and called two? There is no such case, and cases about relief and abatement are really not analogies at all.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
That is the law. The assessment has to be based on the return which has to be made by the taxpayer. Would it not be sufficient if within the time that the return has to be made he or she stated, with the return, whether he or she desired to be separately assessed or not?
§ Sir J. SIMON
That is not the proposal that is made. The proposal made is that any time up to 5th October the husband or wife may say, "I want to be separately assessed." The Amendment suggests that it should run on for another six months. If you leave people that option you get into confusion. The hon. Gentleman asks why we should not leave people to exercise the option when they make their returns. The answer is twofold. First of all, some people never do make a return, and, if they do not, they have an assessment delivered to them without a declaration having been made. In the second place, you make a return because you have had papers delivered to you on which to make it. Unless you give notice to the authorities that the husband or wife want a separate paper for assessment, all the records of the Department as to how many assessments are expected are thrown out, because at a later stage, an unreasonably late stage, somebody comes forward and says, "Set on one side all you have done, and please now make separate assessments." I am sure I want to do anything reasonably possible, but I hope the hon. Gentleman will see there is some substance in the difficulties raised by the revenue authorities
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
If the application is made either within six months before or with the returns, then I think the right hon. Gentleman might agree.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
It appears to me the difficulty might be relieved if you gave the power within a month of the date of the Schedule. People are generally very 2146 careless in these matters. They forget the date of the commencement of the Income Tax year, and though they may have made up their mind to ask for a separate assessment, it is quite easily forgotten. They never attack Schedules on the spot. As a rule they delay filling them in as long as possible. I do not think it would be unduly interfering with the machinery of the Department if it were provided that within a month of the date of the Schedule the husband or wife should be entitled to make application. Personally, I see no difficulty about it.
§ Mr. CASSEL
And may I point out that the course suggested by the hon. Baronet who has just spoken has this further advantage: it will give the party notice. It will take some time before people realise their position. After all, this is an obscure Section of the Finance Act which people generally will not be aware of, and if this is set out in the original notice, it will tell them what their rights are. Some reasonable time should be allowed from that date in which to make the claim.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept this suggestion. I was somewhat convinced by his argument that six months was rather too long, but I do think that a month would not prove to be too long, and it will give people who, as the right hon. and learned Member admits, very often do not know their rights an opportunity of securing them under this concession. At the same time I do not think it would cause any real additional trouble to the revenue authorities.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
In view of the proposal made by my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs, I am quite prepared to withdraw my Amendment if the Government can see their way to adopt his suggestion. Although it does not go quite so far as I should like to see, it does meet my point to a very great extent.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I cannot possibly promise that now. However well founded the suggestion may be, it is a new suggestion, and it is not a prudent thing, when a new suggestion is made, from whatever quarter it comes, to commit oneself to it. I see no difficulty at the moment, but I dare say I am rather too anxious to meet hon. Gentlemen. I remember a case which arose in actual litigation where one of 2147 the parties concerned denied the receipt of this unpleasant buff reminder, and I cannot help thinking that one might have to encounter somewhat similar difficulties here. But if the hon. Gentleman likes to withdraw his Amendment, or to have it negatived, I will undertake to have inquiries made into the point.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that, in inquiries of this nature, the Inland Revenue officials are always too prone to create difficulties? I hope he will not attach too much weight to their representations in this respect.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Of course it would not be possible to fix the date within one month of the delivery, but that might easily be got over by saying within one month of the date of the notice. I would ask my hon. Friend to withdraw his Amendment on the understanding that this matter will be considered, and that we may have a little opportunity of again discussing it on the Report stage.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
It is very difficult to know what to do in these cases, as one is not certain how far the right hon. Gentleman's disposition to meet us may carry him, but I will ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move, at the beginning of Sub-section (c), to insert the words "in any case where the total joint income of husband and wife exceeds £500."
The effect of the Amendment would be this: Sub-section (b) of the Clause provides that
"all the provisions of the Income Tax Acts which relate to claims for exemption, relief or abatement, and the proof to be given with respect to those claims shall also apply as if they were not married."
That Sub-section standing by itself would, but for a later Sub-section for the purpose of abatement, exemption or relief, place the husband and wife in a position as if they were unmarried persons, but a later Sub-section introduces the penal provision, as I call it, with regard to marriage, and I want to limit it to cases where the joint income exceeds £500. The right hon. Gentleman the 2148 Chancellor of the Exchequer hardly did justice to my argument yesterday—no doubt unintentionally. The opinion I put forward was that logically this provision should apply to all cases under the Married Women's Property Act. I admitted it would be impossible to apply it to the case of incomes which would involve a large change and too large a loss of revenue. The right hon. Gentleman pounced on that weak spot, and to-day I find I am even accused of a sinister design, by means of this Amendment, to shuffle my own obligations on to the working classes, but that would be negatived by the limiting effect of my Amendment to the case where the joint income does not exceed £500. It would involve a comparatively small loss of revenue—indeed, no loss this year at all—and that might be a consolation to the right hon. Gentleman, although, perhaps, it would not be so much consolation to my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham. The loss of revenue involved is certainly only very small if you limit it to the cases of joint incomes under £500.
There is this point, to which I should like particularly to call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman. By the Clause as it stands you are depriving people whose joint incomes are under £500 of the benefit which they already enjoy under the existing law. If they make application under this Sub-section, if they relieve themselves of what the right hon. Gentleman admitted to be humiliation under the existing law by applying under this Section, they are actually worse off than they would be under the existing law, because Section 5 of the Act of 1897 provides that where the joint income is less than £500 they are to be treated as separate persons in so far as the income is earned. I quite agree with what the Attorney-General said, that you must at the end of the Clause do away with the effect of Section 5 of the Act of 1897 in cases where the application is made under this Sub-section, but if you do away with that you must introduce words somewhere else which will give people who apply under the Sub-section the benefit of the relief which Section 5 of the Act of 1897 provides. Let me call the right hon. Gentleman's attention to what would be the result of this. Suppose a schoolmaster and schoolmistress, respectively, earn £250 and £150. Under Section 5 of the Act of 1897 at present they would be assessed 2149 separately, the wife would pay no Income Tax at all and the husband would pay 9d. on £90, or £3 7s. 6d. If, however, the wife, in order to relieve herself of what the right hon. Gentleman admits to be a legal humiliation, applied for a separate assessment, the result of the Sub-section would be that she could no longer claim for purposes of abatement to have her income stated separately, and instead of £3 7s. 6d. now paid, the Income Tax on the same income would be £9. In the first place, unless this Amendment is accepted—and this is my view of it, although I do not want to be too dogmatic—you actually place the husband and wife with an income below £500 in a worse position.
I quite agree that my Amendment would extend the relief further, and I intend it to have that effect, because I think, so far as incomes under £500 are concerned, we might very well make this concession. It would be following out the principle which Sir William Harcourt himself recognised in 1894 as being just. The Act of 1897 really replaced a similar Section in the Act of 1894 which Sir William Harcourt introduced, so far as these small incomes are concerned. Take the case of a schoolmaster with an income of £250 whose wife enjoys an income of £50 under her father's will. I think cases of this kind might get the same benefit as is given under similar circumstances to cases where the incomes of both parties are earned, and I am quite sure that by this concession the right hon. Gentleman would be conferring a great benefit upon a great many middle-class homes throughout the country. There is the case of the husband who is a schoolmaster, whose wife perhaps earns a little money as a teacher of music, or as a governess; or we have the case of a husband, an elderly man, who has retired from business, and whose income, derived from his savings while in business, is £200 a year, which is, of course, treated as unearned income. There are thousands of middle-class homes throughout the country where people consider that they are labouring under a serious injustice, and it is to these cases I want the right hon. Gentleman to give his attention. I have put the case of a man who has been working all his life and who has saved sufficient to provide an income of £200 a year for his old age. This is unearned income His wife, we will say, is a schoolmistress earning £120. In cases of that kind it 2150 would only be fair to treat them in the same way as they would be treated if they were brother and sister.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I do not wish to interrupt the hon. and learned Gentleman, but will he take the difficult case I put last night and tell me how he proposes to deal with it, namely, the case where the wife has some small unearned income as well. That really is the difficulty.
§ Mr. CASSEL
My Amendment meets that case. I say that in every case where the income is under £500 he ought to accept the principle of treating the two as if they were separate. I quite recognise the difficulty the Attorney-General has put to me. I urge that as a reason for accepting my Amendment, because unless my Amendment is accepted you will be actually depriving persons of the benefit who are enjoying it at present. I think the Attorney-General admits that. I ask him, in order not to bring about that result, which I am sure he does not desire to bring about, to extend the principle of Section 5 of the Act of 1897 to every case where the joint income is under £500. That is a case in which I cannot be accused of any nefarious intentions of the kind which has been suggested with regard to my speech of yesterday. I do not know whether the Attorney-General or the Chancellor of the Exchequer has followed the particular case which I have put of an elderly couple, where the income of one of them is unearned in name, but represents income from previous earnings they have been provident enough to save. The wife earns a little extra money by teaching music, or as a schoolmistress, or whatever else it may be. In cases of that kind do not treat the two persons for the purposes of Income Tax as if they were one person. They require more food—as I said yesterday and I think the right hon. Gentleman sympathised with my argument—and more money for clothes; they pay more rates, and make a larger contribution to the State in the shape of food taxes, and in the shape of duties on tea and sugar. A very small loss to the revenue is involved. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman in such cases to go so far as he can to make them a concession which would not cost him very much. There would not be much opportunity for evasion in these cases. The money can be made up without putting any additional burden on any married coupler with small incomes if some tax can be devised which 2151 will have that effect. I venture to submit the Amendment to the consideration of the right hon. Gentleman, in view of the fact that, unless he grants it, the husband and wife can only, so to speak, purchase their exemption from the existing humiliation, as the right hon. Gentleman described it, in certain cases at the expense of having to incur higher taxation than they do at present.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd George)
If I understand the Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman, his proposal now is that in cases where the joint incomes of husband and wife do not exceed £500 a year they should be assessed separately. He raises two points. One is a general point, which he raised yesterday, with regard to the £500 limitation, and the other is a point in reference to Section 5 of the Act of 1897, as to whether the effect of the whole of our Clause would be to deprive those who have a special privilege under that Section of the advantages they are now enjoying if they claim also the privileges we propose to extend to other married couples by this new Clause. They are separate points, and I should like to deal with them separately. With regard to the latter, I should like to consider that point. The reason why we have treated the matter in this way has already been given by my right hon. Friend the Attorney-General. The difficulty is in the case which the hon. and learned Gentleman gave—the simple case of the husband with an income of £200, earned or unearned, as the case may be, and the wife with an income of £120 which is all earned. That is a very simple case. In that case the Act of 1897 is a complete protection. The wife is assessed separately and gets the full benefit.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
There is nothing she could gain under this Clause, because she is assessed separately already.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The case which the hon. and learned Gentleman pressed upon the Government was another case. Supposing the income of the wife were a composite one.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I cannot agree with the right hon. Gentleman on that point, that 2152 she is under the old law assessed separately. She is not assessable. It is the husband who is assessed, and if the husband puts in a claim—it is only he who can do it—the humiliation still exists under the old law, and she can only get out of that by making an application to come under this Clause.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Substantially it is a separate assessment. I agree that, perhaps, in form it is not. I also agree that the hon. and learned Gentleman is entitled to say on the general principle, which we ourselves have admitted here, that you are entitled in form as well as in substance to a separate assessment, and I agree that that is a point that is worthy of consideration before we part with this Clause. But that is quite a different thing. The other case is one where the wife's income is of a composite character, where, say, £100 is earned and £120 unearned. I agree that in that case the £120 unearned will still be treated as the husband's income. Therefore her alternative might conceivably be to lose the whole benefit of the Section in the Act of 1897 if she claims the full advantage of the present Clause. Those are two cases I should like to consider before we come to that part of the Clause which deals with Section 5 of the Act of 1897. It is a very different thing from the substance of the Amendment. The hon. and learned Gentleman proposes that there should be a separate assessment of all joint incomes of £500 and under. I entered into the reasons why the Government could not accept even the principle of separate assessment last night. But apart from the principle, there is also the fact that if we did so we should lose revenue. The hon. and learned Gentleman has treated the matter as if it were a trivial thing. It is very difficult to arrive at an accurate estimate, and we can only give him an approximate one. Our view is that it would involve a loss of £500,000, even on the assumption that there is no collusion or arrangement between husband and wife.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I have not seen the figure for £500. In that case it must be something substantially under £500,000, but even then it must be something between £300,000 and £400,000—that is, if the £500,000 had reference to the £700. That does not cover the whole of the loss, 2153 as I pointed out yesterday. There will be a direct incitement to the husband and wife to make arrangements to distribute their investments in such a way as to secure exemption under the Income Tax law. It would be almost impossible to prevent it. The husband might transfer his shares into his wife's name, and the wife might do the same thing for her husband. The result would be that we should lose considerably more than £300,000 or £400,000, which we should lose supposing there were no change at all in the returns. That loss has to be made up by somebody. I do not see why it should be the household where the husband is the sole recipient of an income, which may be entirely earned. The hon. and learned Gentleman has taken the case of a schoolmaster's household in which he has income of £300 or £400. That is dependent entirely upon the health of the husband, and upon all sorts of accidents that happen to a man in that profession. He may be receiving £300 or £400 this year and practically nothing next year. He would still have to pay the full Income Tax.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
But somebody will have to pay it. That household would bear the whole burden. In the case of an income of £400 the burden would be £10 16s. 8d. if it were £200 earned and £200 unearned. That is a very substantial reduction from the income of a man earning only £400.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The hon. and learned Gentleman has said that twice, and I fully understand it. I want to point out that in the other household he proposes to bring it down to £3 10s. What possible reason can there be for a household which has an assured income from investments to the same amount contributing less by £7 than the other household where the income is very precarious? There is no justification for it. The hon. and learned Gentleman might tell me there are more mouths to feed, but there might be more mouths to feed in the first case than in the second. There might be more children in the first case than in the second. There might be no children at all in the second case. When I say we should lose £300,000 or £400,000, it might easily mount up to £750,000 by reason of arrangements. That 2154 £750,000 would have to be paid by somebody. Who is going to be taxed for that? Is the hon. and learned Member going to make the unfortunate husband who has not the good fortune to have a wife who brings £200 a year towards the household expenses bear, not merely his own contribution to the State, but his share of the contribution which up to the present has been made by the other household. Take the case of two neighbours living side by side. This year, on the same income, they are contributing £10 towards the expenses of the State. Next year, on the same income, one will contribute £10 and the other only £3. If you are going to levy your taxation and the Income Tax in proportion to the means of these households, it is a gross outrage upon every principle of fair play as between one household and another. It is carried too far. They are to have separate interests, separate institutions, and separate establishments. There is no justification for that theory at all. I am amazed at the hon. and learned Gentleman, and still more amazed at the Noble Lord who gave his sanction to a doctrine of that kind. It is grossly unfair to the other members of the community.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I rise to protest against the last part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, because I think he has placed the whole matter on an entirely false basis. We do not tax households, we tax individuals. If our taxation were based upon a tax upon households, the argument would have very great force, but we do nothing of the kind. I can give a very much harder case than the right hon. Gentleman has given under the existing law. Take the case of a house where the whole income, let us say the income of the husband is £400 a year. There may be a considerable household living on that £400 a year. You have another household of three sisters having a similar income divided between them. They will not pay a penny Income Tax, and yet you levy an Income Tax of £10 upon the first household. We should have to remodel our entire law if we were going to start on a basis of taxing households instead of taxing individuals.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Inhabited House Duty is not Income Tax. I am talking of the whole Income Tax. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer bases his argument 2155 as if he were taxing households, I say his argument is entirely beside the point, and though he may draw a very harrowing comparison between the two cases, they are entirely beside the argument of my hon. and learned Friend, and do not touch the issue. But though we tax individuals and not households, we have to remember that our national life is based upon households and upon family life, and where we can, without departing from the principle of taxing individuals, do something to relieve the burdens which fall upon small households with small incomes, we desire to do it. That, I think, is the principle upon which this Amendment is proposed. But when we come to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement that he cannot afford the money, although I do not think from what he said that he has made any calculation as to what the Amendment would really cost him—
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I made a calculation on the Amendment on the Paper. That has been changed. I had to send to the Department to make as rapid a calculation as they possibly could.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I entirely accept that. But if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that, and that he would ask what the cost would be, instead of saying it would be £500, which was the figure applied to the income of £700, I think it would have been a little fairer to my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment. I quite see the practical difficulty. These things sometimes have to be discussed one year and actually carried another, but I am inclined to think that the other suggestion of my hon. Friend—of giving some small allowance to married households—would be a better way of approaching this. The Amendment is a good one and the Chancellor of the Exchequer's argument does not meet it at all; but, approaching the whole subject from the point of view of households, it would be better to cover the whole ground by giving some small allowance, as my hon. Friend suggested, than to do it in this way.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
I do not wish in the least to oppose the suggestion of the hon. Member (Mr. Pretyman) that some relief should be given to married households. I think it is a very good suggestion, but it is a grievance of an entirely different character from that which has been made under the Amendment which we are now 2156 considering. What we are really considering is whether you are going to treat the married woman as an individual, or whether she is to be regarded merely as part of the household. Our claim is that the woman is just as much an individual in the house as the man, and unless that is frankly recognised by the Government I do not really see why they put down the Clause at all. It seems to me that a great many of the arguments of my right hon. Friend are really directed against the principle of the Clause which he has put down, which is the separate treatment of the income of the wife and the income of the husband, and I agree entirely with hon. Members opposite that that principle ought sooner or later, in our Income Tax Acts, to be carried to its logical conclusion, and we ought to treat quite separately the income of the husband and the income of the wife. I, of course, accept the practical difficulty of doing that now. Our financial scheme is established for the year. If this concession were to be made this year it would cost a great and an unknown sum of money, and naturally the Government cannot do it this year. The particular Amendment which we are considering does not involve any large sum of money. It involves this year, if the Clause stands as drafted, no expenditure at all, and it would involve a prospective expenditure perhaps of something like £400.
Then we are told there will be collusive arrangements, and husband and wife will escape the tax. I think that idea of collusive arrangements is very much exaggerated. They are rather difficult to carry out. I speak with total inexperience, but I do not see amongst my acquaintance any marvellous generosity of character in husbands handing over half of their income to their wives to do what they like with. These arrangements involve a complete giving up of the control of the money, which in my observation is pretty dear generally to people who have money. I do not very much believe in all these collusive arrangements, which involve the real giving up of control of capital by the people who have it. My right hon. Friend while urging this collusive arrangement on the one hand, on the other hand draws a piteous picture of the state of the man who has got all the income while the wife has none. He does not then say this man will make over to the wife a part of his income, which he might do if it was capitalised income. The argument has 2157 disappeared. You have a man with £500 a year whose wife has nothing, and the household is going to pay very much more than an exactly similar household in which the husband has £250 and the wife has £250. On the first line of argument, if it is capitalised, that hardship will not occur. It is only in the case of unearned income. That particular grievance which he points out is entirely due to the fact that he still regards the two incomes as if they were the same, and if the Amendment means anything, it is that the man who marries a wife with nothing is not in the same position as a man who marries a wife with an income. While accepting the principle of dividing the two incomes the Clause does not really deal with it at all, because the moment the wife has an income he proceeds to reckon on it and dispose of it for the purpose of the family. The real difficulty that the Government have to face is that we are asking that the woman should be recognised as an individual in control of her own income, and treated accordingly. But we are asking for nothing this year. It does not involve any money. It is a simple instalment towards that separate treatment of the husband's and wife's income, which must be the ultimate fair position to take up. I really think, seeing that it costs no money, that the Government might make this concession to the justice of the principle.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
If the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been here last night he would hardly have repeated the argument he has used to-day. The household argument has been demolished by my hon. Friend (Mr. Pretyman), and was pretty well demolished last night. The suggestion that you are taxing households is absolutely incorrect, and once it is incorrect you can easily give instances of hard cases in two households adjoining, according to whether people are married or single at any particular time. The second point which has been put forward, the point of a collusive arrangement, was dealt with pretty strongly last night by the hon. Member (Mr. Worthington Evans), and it was pointed out that if people did this to any great extent they would be continually hit by the Death Duties when the wife dies before the husband. If the husband handed over half of his property to his wife and she predeceased him, he would have to pay rather more heavily in Death Duties. But to seriously suggest that that would happen to any large extent to incomes 2158 under £500 a year, is playing with the real facts of the case. Look at the position we are in if the Government do not accept this Amendment. This is a matter which has been brought before the House for the last ten years, and hopes have been held out this year that something will be done to remedy this grievance A Clause is brought in by the Government which does not in the very least meet the grievance, and as regards the people who are dealt with by the Amendment, with incomes under £500, it certainly makes the position worse, because it simply takes away such rights as they have under Section 5 of the Finance Act, 1897. If a married woman, in the case of a joint income under £500, wishes to make use of the Section she can only do it by giving up the monetary advantage which she gets at present under the Act of 1897. Far from it being a concession this concession goes no way at all. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to put the simple case which has been urged on one or two occasions really to practical effect. Surely it could easily be done to give some sort of financial assistance to people who are in this position, and who are living under what until yesterday I always understood was an admitted grievance. I never till yesterday heard any Chancellor of the Exchequer suggest that it was not a grievance. The only answer ever given has been that it is too expensive to remedy. I submit that the Government are merely playing with the question in offering us this Clause. I do not wish to dissociate myself in any way from my Noble Friend. He is in favour of Woman Suffrage, while I am a strongly anti-suffrage person, but long before this question came up I regarded it simply as a long deferred act of justice. I press the Government very strongly to make some sort of concession.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir J. SIMON
It seems to me that the speech to which we have just listened, and some other speeches in this Debate, do not make quite sufficient allowance for this. Our existing Income Tax law contains a scheme of provisions for exemptions and abatements, and it includes also provisions for amalgamating and making one the incomes of husband and wife. These two sets of provisions occur in one code of law, and although I do not in the least wish to exaggerate the connection, I do not think it is unreasonable to say that the scale of abatements, and the limit of 2159 exemptions are fixed, and that they have been fixed, having regard to the general scheme of the tax. One of the things essentially involved in the Income Tax law was that you would amalgamate the incomes of husband and wife. I would ask the Committee to bear that in mind. I rather sympathise with the view of those who say it is not the best and fairest provision to make if you say that the fact that a lady with an income marries a man with an income, results for Income Tax purposes in regarding the two incomes as the undivided income of one person. There is much more than that to be considered in what the hon. and learned Gentleman said. It ought to be approached along a different avenue altogether by considering whether there should be some system of allowances in those cases. That might be right, but when dealing with the Income Tax code itself, which has the system of exemptions and abatements, and also the system of amalgamating the incomes of husband and wife, you do not reach a solution of the matter by dealing with the system of amalgamation without touching the system of exemptions and abatements.
I think if you say that under the Income Tax law nobody who has not more than £160 a year is to be liable to pay Income Tax, and if you now superimpose on that a regulation that, even although a woman who marries has an income, she and her husband are to be treated as quite separate for Income Tax purposes, it is obvious that every man with £300 a year will be disposed to make an arrangement by which the wife is to be regarded as having £150 a year and the husband another £150 a year. If that were to be the law, it would add another attraction to the lady, who would be able to say, "If you only marry me, you will have to pay no more Income Tax for the rest of your life." I think that in fairness hon. Members ought to remember that the existing code contains these two things side by side, and it does not follow that there is not substance in the objection to the way in which the amalgamation is made to operate at present. But is it right to say, "Leave these exemptions and abatements as they stand. Do not revise the machinery in the light of this proposal at all, but make this change by itself and in itself, and let everything else take care of itself." I suggest to the Committee that that is a consideration which we ought 2160 not altogether to overlook, for it is a consideration which has a practical bearing on the question we are discussing. My hon. Friend behind me urged the Government to accept this proposal, because, he said, it would not cost you anything this year. Well, one must look forward a little bit beyond twelve months, and the mere circumstance that it is not going to cost anybody anything this year is not a reason for imposing on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whoever he may be next year, this provision, unless the provision can be justified by a re-arrangement of the abatements and exemptions. I hope it will not be thought that those who feel it to be their business to resist the proposal—and I confess I do—are to be treated as people who will not consider that there is anything at all to be dealt with in regard to this matter. If you are going to change the provisions and arrangements with respect to the incomes of husband and wife, you should remember that they have a relation to the whole principle of the tax, and that other conditions which now apply in connection with the Income Tax would have to be elaborately considered in relation to those provisions, and that is the reason why, apart from anything else, it is necessary to resist this proposal now. For my part, I think a strong case may be made out for special consideration, and for not treating a man and a woman for Income Tax purposes as one and the same. The hon. and gallant Gentleman repeated in another form an argument which was used several times last night. He said, "Surely it is a monstrous thing to treat man and wife as one, while two sisters or two brothers who are living together are not treated as one for Income Tax purposes."
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
That is not quite what I said. I pointed out that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer's logic was good, there was a case for treating the incomes of husband and wife separately.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I beg pardon. I think that point was raised many times in the Debate yesterday. There is some force in that argument, but do not let us give it more force than it deserves. There is some substance in the point, but there is also a difference. It is not a good reason to say that because two persons are living together in the same house they are in the same relation to each other as husband and wife. Two sisters have no obligation to 2161 support one another. There are hundreds of reasons which differentiate the two cases. There, again, although the argument is well worth weighing, I do ask hon. Members not to allow it to carry them beyond what is fair and reasonable. We cannot accept the proposal in the Amendment without having many other changes.
§ Mr. CASSEL
What do the Government propose to do under the Act of 1897? Unless you accept this Amendment, you are going to put married people in a worse position than they are in now.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I have some difficulty in seeing how it can be said that people will be placed in a worse position. I think the real point is—and it is quite true—that under the Act of 1897, though the total income is under £500, the wife earns something. She does not claim exemption or abatement in her own name. The claim is made in the name of her husband, and the
§ position is exactly the same as before, but that is a thing which, perhaps, may be considered, so that we might relieve the wife of what some persons regard as the stigma of being obliged to have the claim made through her husband.
§ Mr. CASSEL
Has the hon. and learned Gentleman considered this point? If they claim the benefit of this Section, they would, I think, in some cases be placed in a worse position.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I cannot see how they would be placed in a worse position at all. I quite see the point which the hon. and learned Gentleman makes, and if he will put himself in communication with me, I will see what he has to suggest.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 139; Noes, 2672165
|Division No. 175.]||AYES.||[5.10 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Foster, Philip Staveley||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Ganzoni, Francis John C.||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Gardner, Ernest||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Gibbs, G. A||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gilmour, Captain John||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Grant, J. A.||Prothero, Rowland Edmund|
|Barnston, Harry||Greene, Walter Raymond||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wiiton)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwn)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Helmsley, Viscount||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Blgland, Alfred||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Bird, Alfred||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Blair, Reginald||Hills, John Waller||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Sharman-Crawford, Colonel R. G.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Bowden, G. R. Harland||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Boyton, James||Horne, Wm. E.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Horner, Andrew Long||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hunt, Rowland||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Ingleby, Holcombe||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Butcher, John George||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Thomas-Stanford, Charles|
|Campion, W. R.||Kerry, Earl of||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Keswick, Henry||Tickler, T. G.|
|Cave, George||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Watson, Hon. W.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C.||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Macmaster, Donald||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Croft, Henry Page||Magnus, Sir Philip||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Currie, George W.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honton)||Wilson, Maj. Sir M. (Bethnal Green, S.W.)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Mount, William Arthur||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Worthington Evans, L.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Newdegate, F. A.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Newman, John R. P.||Younger, Sir George|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Mr. Cassel and Mr. Rawlinson.|
|Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Griffith, Rt. Hon. Ellis Jones||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Gulland, John William||Neilson, Francis|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Hackett, John||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Alden, Percy||Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Hancock, John George||Nuttall, Harry|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Hardie, J. Keir||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||O'Dowd, John|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Malley, William|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Hayward, Evan||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Helme, Sir Norvai Watson||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Henry, Sir Charles||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Herbert, General Sir Ivon (Mon. S.)||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hewart, Gordon||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Boland, John Pius||Higham, John Sharp||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Phillips, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Hodge, John||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Hogge, James Myles||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Bryce, John Annan||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Pratt, J. W.|
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Hudson, Walter||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Illingworth, Percy H.||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||John, Edward Thomas||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Radford, G. H.|
|Carr-Gomm. H. W.||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Reddy, Michael|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Joyce, Michael||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Clough, William||Kellaway, Frederick George||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Clynes, John R.||Kelly, Edward||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Kenyon, Barnet||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Kilbride, Denis||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Cotton, William Francis||King, Joseph||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Cowan, William Henry||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Crooks, William||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Cullinan, John||Leach, Charles||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Rowlands, James|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|De Forest, Baron||Lundon, Thomas||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Delany, William||Lyell, Charles Henry||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lynch Arthur Alfred||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Dillon, John||Macdonald, J. M (Falkirk Burghs)||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||McGhee, Richard||Sheehy, David|
|Doris, William||Maclean, Donald||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Duffy, William J.||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Duncan, Sir J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamergan, Mid)||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Esmonds, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Spicer. Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Esmonds, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Manfield, Harry||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Sutherland, John E.|
|Falconer, James||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Sutton, John E.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Meagher, Michael||Tennant, Rt. Hon. Harold John|
|Field, William||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Thomas, James Henry|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Millar, James Duncan||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||Molloy, Michael||Toulmin, Sir George|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Molteno, Percy Aiport||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Mond, Rt. Hon. Robert||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Glanville, Harold James||Morgan, George Hay||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Morrell, Philip||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Morison, Hector||Wardle, George J.|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Muldoon, John||Waring, Walter|
|Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.||Whyte, Alexander F, (Perth)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Wiles, Thomas||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wilkie, Alexander||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Watt, Henry A.||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Mid)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)||Yoxall, Sir Jamas Henry|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Whitehouse, John Howard||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)||Mr. G. Howard and Mr. Webb.|
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (c), to leave out the word "and," and to insert instead thereof the words "Provided that from the duty thus ascertained to be payable by husband and wife, respectively, there shall be deducted by way of special allowance to married persons a sum equal to twenty-five per cent. of the duty."
This Amendment embodies the alternative suggestion which I made yesterday. I put forward several alternatives with a view to learning the general opinion, and I think that this is the best method of dealing with what is felt to be a serious problem. If the right hon. Gentleman will give me any sort of assurance that it is a matter to which he will give favourable consideration, I shall not trouble the House further.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I indicated yesterday to the hon. and learned Gentleman that this is a much more equitable method of meeting the grievance outlined in his speech, and for the reasons which I gave this afternoon I think that the Amendment of which I disapproved was unfair as between a household where the whole income was earned by the husband, and a household where the income was a composite one. This treats them quite fairly in that respect. I would prefer that we should approach this question on the line on which we have approached it up to the present—the line of making allowances in respect of children, because, after all there is a great deal of difference in the matter of expense between a childless household and a household which has children. I would infinitely prefer to see the matter dealt with on the line of increasing the allowances in respect of children rather on that of making these percentage deductions in the case of married households. I agree, however, with the hon. and learned Gentleman that there ought to be a distinction between the case of married households and the case of incomes enjoyed by single persons. The Committee to inquire into the question will be set up at once, and we shall specially invite their consideration of this question, and see that this suggestion is before them. We will make 2166 sure that they will, of course, consider the method which has been indicated by the Budget of 1909–10 and the present Budget, and that they will consider the respective merits of these various proposals for what is an admitted grievance. Beyond that I should not like to go at present, and I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will see his way to accept that.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I agree with what the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said. I believe that that is the line to take. Should I be in order here in urging upon the right hon. Gentleman, in pursuance of the policy of which he has himself just said that he approves, to consider whether in Clause 7 of this Bill the words "a thousand pounds" shall be inserted instead of "five hundred pounds," so that the relief given in Section 68 of the Finance Act of 1909 in respect of Income Tax will be given to persons in receipt of incomes of from £500 to £1,000, instead of only to persons in receipt of incomes of under £500 a year. There are very large numbers of people in this country, particularly public servants who have retired whose total resources might be about this amount, who are particularly hardly hit by this provision, and who have very considerable difficulty in giving their children the education which their parents had. I have a suggestion down as to a new Clause in substitution for an Amendment which was closured, but it is not likely to be reached, and I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take the suggestion into consideration. It would meet a hardship which is very much felt by a very large and very deserving class. I am not on this occasion speaking for myself, but for a great many others. I am expresing their views, which I hope will find acceptance.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I can promise this to the hon. Gentleman, that we shall submit to this Committee the question whether, if a Chancellor of the Exchequer is in a position of extending this 2167 relief, it ought to be given in the first instance in the form of increasing the relief given to persons whose incomes are under £500, or in the form of extending the area of relief so as to take in a class with larger incomes.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move, to leave out Sub-section (3).
This Sub-section inflicts a real injustice. If you leave it out the thing will work quite fairly. It provides that where there is a separate assessment under the Clause the husband is liable to have his goods distrained for the wife's tax, and the wife is liable to have her goods distrained for the husband's tax. In some cases where no application is made under the Section under the law as it stands, the husband becomes responsible for the whole thing and becomes liable to have his goods distrained for the whole thing. That is perfectly reasonable. This Subsection proposes, for the first time in our law, that the wife's goods can be distrained for the husband's tax and the husband's goods can be distrained for the wife's tax. If application is made under this Clause and the Sub-section applies, the tax would be assessed on the wife and the husband would have no opportunity of taking part in the assessment. It would be done without his knowledge, and the first notice which he would have of it might be that his goods would be distrained for that assessment. That is utterly inequitable from every point of view. It is a monstrous proposition, that where the wife's tax is assessed without the knowledge of the husband a distress should be levied on the husband's goods. And from another point of view in cases where no application is made under the Section, this provides where a tax is assessed on the husband without any opportunity of interference on the part of the wife, without any opportunity for the wife to say that the assessment ought to be less, that then you should have the right to levy the distress on the wife's goods. I think that the right hon. Gentleman, when he realises the effect of this Sub-section, will come to the conclusion that it should be left out.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I find myself in general agreement with the objects of the hon. Gentleman, and if he can see his way to withdraw the Amendment I propose to leave out the words "either by" ["either 2168 by the husband or"] and also in the line following the word "both ["both to the goods and chattels"], so that the Subsection would read as follows:—
"Where Income Tax (including Super-tax) is charged on the profits or income of a married woman, whether in the name of her husband or separately in pursuance of this Section, the power to distrain in the case of non-payment of any Income Tax payable by the husband or the wife shall extend to the goods and chattels of the wife, goods and chattels of the husband as well."
I leave out the words "and to," and substitute the words "as well." The wife's goods in that case would not be liable to pay for the husband's debt.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
The husband's goods would be liable to distraint in respect of the wife's debt for Income Tax.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I think that is reasonable. I go to the extent of accepting that the wife's goods are free of liability for the husband's debts. The difficulty in these cases is that arrangements are made between husband and wife in which, in many instances, the goods of the wife are in the name of the husband, and the goods of the husband in the name of the wife, so that the officials become utterly unable to get the tax. As regards fine or imprisonment, that is regarded as a very unsatisfactory method of recovering the tax. We wish to make the wife liable for the debt where it is hers, and unless we do so the ends of justice, we find, are defeated. We do not want to put further difficulties in the way of the Inland Revenue.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer has met the subject of the Amendment at all. He called attention to the instance of married couples, the husband's income being separate from the wife's. It is the custom of the Treasury to assess their incomes together, but I understand that under the Amendment suggested by the right hon. Gentleman, where the husband is living separate from the wife, and the wife is separately assessed—the wife living away from the husband, and there being possibly hostile relations between them—if she incurs a debt in respect of Income Tax, and does not pay, the goods of the husband are liable to distraint in respect of that debt. That is the Amendment which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has 2169 submitted to the House. I think it is quite sufficient to state it to show that it is absolutely indefensible. The Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday mentioned the case of a dentist and an actress, where a distraint was put into the professional man's rooms in Harley Street, or wherever they may be. What is the defence the Chancellor of the Exchequer put forward? He said that if they did not do that, and if they did not make the husband's furniture liable for the wife's debt, then there would be fraud as to who owned the goods on which distraint was levied. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer now proposes an Amendment which makes the wife's goods not liable for the husband's debt.
If there are these fraudulent arrangements to which the right hon. Gentleman referred—I know that they exist in certain parts of the country—it is just as easy to evade the husband's debt as it is to evade the wife's debt. As the resources of the Exchequer are apparently not sufficient to prevent that form of evasion, you are therefore making the husband's furniture liable for the wife's debt. Surely, there is no possible reason for putting this Amendment in. Why should not the wife remain liable for the husband's debt as well? Surely, if there is any strength in the argument which the right hon. Gentleman puts forward as to opportunities for fraud by arrangements between husband and wife it is equally strong in the one case as in the other. I venture to suggest that this is an official Sub-section, with the object of making the collection of the tax easy and without difficulty. As a matter of fact, imprisonment is bad, and distress is a very dangerous remedy; but the Chancellor of the Exchequer knows that there are other ways of recovering debts that are perfectly well known to lawyers. I submit that this Sub-section should be struck out entirely.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
I am bound to say that I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Amendment by no means meets the case. Surely, if the wife declines or neglects to pay Income Tax on her own income, at any rate, the distress ought to be levied primarily on her goods and chattels. Under the Amendment the Chancellor of the Exchequer now proposes the husband's goods can be distrained, although the wife is the person who has been remiss in not paying the Income Tax on her own income. It seems to me that such a provision is likely 2170 to cause considerable domestic disquietude. I can picture a lady of means spending a considerable part of her large income upon her back and allowing distraint upon the extremely modest wardrobe of her husband for the Income Tax which she ought herself to have paid. Surely the law can be expressed, without any possible loss to the Exchequer, in such a way that, if the wife is herself remiss, the distraint should be primarily on her goods, and only secondarily on the goods of her husband.
§ Mr. CAVE
I want to put this further consideration. This Clause, even as it is proposed to be amended, seems to take away a great part of the effect of paragraph (a) at the beginning of the Clause. See the position that is produced. Under the present law the husband has a voice in returning the income of his wife as part of his own income. Under this provision a return may be made by the wife herself, the assessment may be made upon her, and the husband may know nothing whatever of it, and, what is even more important, the demand may be made upon her without his knowing anything of it. He might be liable for the payment, but he likes to have a demand, and a chance of meeting it. It seems to me—and I do not think I am putting it at all too high—that it is really very burdensome that the man should be liable to have a distress upon his goods without his receiving any warning beforehand, without even knowing that he is liable or able or competent to pay. Surely that is not just. It makes the matter very much worse than it is now, for of course people consider it a disgrace to have a distraint put upon their goods. Under the present proposal the wife may have quarrelled with her husband and be living apart from him, and she may make her return to Income Tax, and without warning, the husband's goods may become liable for her failure to pay the tax. I do not think that can be intended, for it would be a very great hardship upon the husband. It seems to me that the simple course is either to leave out this Sub-section—which is probably the better way—or to make some other provision by which, at all events, the husband may get some notice that he has to pay his wife's Income Tax or his goods will be subject to distraint.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
(whose remarks were to a large extent inaudible): The hon. and learned Gentleman is perfectly right, but 2171 arrangements have to be made in regard to those who are anxious to avoid payment. Though it might be perfectly legitimate to resort to imprisonment to effect collection, yet we do not want to do that, because, in respect to those persons, the difficulty is that once the bailiff seizes an article of furniture it is immediately said that it does not belong to the particular person whose goods are being distrained upon, but to the other, and the Inland Revenue are perfectly helpless in such circumstances. In these discussions the Inland Revenue are regarded as a sort of enemy to be guarded against; but the Department acts in the interests of the public, and the more difficulties that are created in the collection of the tax the more complex must be the machinery and the greater the number of officials. The suggestion made by the hon. Gentleman opposite is a very valuable one, and I will give it my consideration. It is that in the first instance the distraint should be levied upon the wife's goods. The answer to that is that you never know whose goods they are; still, the suggestion seems to me to be a practical one, and I shall consider it. I was very much surprised that the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Rawlinson) said that the husband should not be responsible for the wife's debt.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
They may live apart, but it cannot be known that they have quarrelled, unless they have taken legal steps for a separation. The only case we take is the case where the husband and wife are living separately and trading separately. We are recognising a sentimental grievance which has been presented and are doing our very best to meet it. We ought at the same time to be protected.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has done absolutely right in putting before the Committee the view of the Inland Revenue. But even recognising that and the possibility of somebody desiring to go to prison for ulterior purposes, I submit that a greater mischief and a greater evil would be done by passing this Clause. Surely the Chancellor must recognise that this particular Sub-section goes, quite outside the general area of the whole Clause, the object of which purports to be to remove certain special disabilities from which joint house- 2172 holds suffer. It appears to me that this Sub-section goes outside of those who make special application and deals with every married household in the country. That is a very important point. Under the guise of conferring a voluntary privilege upon a certain number of married people, you are putting a permanent and very severe disability upon every married household in the country.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Does the hon. Gentleman suggest that I am making a provision to which the person is not subject now? His goods are liable now to be distrained for Income Tax, and I am not extending that in the least. I do not propose the slightest extension. The only proposal I make is that the wife should be liable to distraint in respect of her debt, and that this separate treatment shall not deprive us of the right we have got now of seizing the husband's goods for the wife's debts.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman cannot deny that this Sub-section covers the whole ground.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I will say this, though I do not wish to express an opinion on legal matters, that in the case which he indicates we have the right now, and we are not seeking to take any fresh powers.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I am bound to say the right hon. Gentleman puts the matter on a different ground, but I do think when the whole tone of this Clause is taken into consideration, and its object that he would be perfectly justified in altering the law as it stands now. It would be in consonance with the whole Clause where the application is made by the woman to separate her income from that of her husband to provide that the husband should not then be distrained upon for Income Tax for which the wife has a wholly separate income. I admit that the point is one of some difficulty; but I should greatly prefer that the Amendment should be accepted. I really think it is a worse evil from the point of view of the community that the husband should be distrained upon for the wife's debts, than that there should be some difficulty in the matter.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made a very important statement. He said he does not intend by this Clause to extend the existing liability of the husband in any way. If 2173 that is so, what is the good of the Clause? He has got his liability already, and it is not intended by the Clause to impose any further liability. What then do we want the Clause for? I cannot conceive, if the law imposes this liability on the husband, why you should have a useless Clause. I do, however, think that there is a new liability imposed on the husband by the Clause. As the Clause stands, the effect of it as a whole is this, that for the first time you have a separate assessment on the one side of the husband's income, and on the other of the wife's. Having done that, you go on to provide that the husband's furniture shall be liable to be distrained for the wife's Income Tax, and that the wife's furniture shall be liable for distraint for the husband's Income Tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admits that it is unjust that the wife's furniture should be liable for distraint for the husband's Income Tax. I say it is at least as unjust from the point of view of equality of the sexes, and we have got very near that point, that you should make the husband's furniture liable for his wife's taxes as to make the wife's furniture liable for the husband's taxes.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer's real opposition to the Amendment is that it would injure the collection of taxes. I have great sympathy with that objection. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that some people regard the Inland Revenue as an enemy. If there is an enemy in the case of an unjust law the enemy is not the Inland Revenue, who administer it, but some other person. I might suggest that it was the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I should have thought that that was a pretty obvious inference. I do not want to injure the collection of taxes once they are imposed in a reasonable way, but distraint is by no means the only way of getting the taxes. The very fact that this is a tax on the wife's income shows that she has an income to be taxed. If you want to get the tax, you can impound her income. There are a great many very excellent ways of getting the tax. Since she has the capital or income on which the tax is placed, why do you not go for the capital or income. In the same way, if the husband is liable for a tax he has got capital or income on which the tax arises. Therefore, if you have got no furniture to distrain you can impound the capital or income. Distraint is not only not the only way but it is not the best way. If the Chancellor leaves out this Clause as a whole he will be removing 2174 the injustice, in the first place, and, in the second place, he will be leaving himself with a perfectly excellent and adequate way of getting the tax.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer has met our argument. Our point is this: Under this Bill the Chancellor for the first time is going to empower a married woman to make a separate return, and we think that the husband should not be liable for that return, about which he knows absolutely nothing, and which has been made without his knowledge or without his connivance. The Married Women's Property Act gives to the woman her property in her sole discretion. She can use it as she likes, and now for the first time, instead of the husband having to make the return the wife has the option of making a return. The wife may refuse to tell the husband what her income is, or where the securities are, and yet, under this Clause, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is able to distrain on the husband's goods. The only answer the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given to that is that there might be fraud, and that the payment of the tax might be avoided if he had not this power.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I have already pointed out the fact that whereas the husband is liable for the wife's debts, the wife is not liable for the husband's debts.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has altered the situation in that he has given to the wife for the first time the power to return her income separately, without any reference whatever to the husband. Under those circumstances, it does seem to me that it is very hard and unjust upon the husband to say that he has got to pay a tax upon something about which he knows absolutely nothing at all, and to say that the chief reason is that unless that is done the revenue may be defrauded. That, to my mind, is a quite inadequate reason. There are any quantity of frauds going on against the Inland Revenue by all sorts of people. You do not in those cases pass an Act which says that you may distrain on the goods of somebody else, because it is less trouble to do so than to send the person to prison. You say at once that the person who does the wrong shall be answerable. You do not make answerable somebody else who has nothing whatever to do with it. I do not 2175 know that the matter is before the Committee, but personally I think that the provision which makes the husband liable to make his wife's return, and also for the payment, is absolutely wrong. But this Clause goes much further than that, and makes a grievance already serious very much worse. Under these circumstances I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will accept the Amendment.
§ Sir FREDERICK LOW
There is a matter here that requires to be dealt with. I am not sure, on the construction of the Sub-section, whether it applies to the case of a married couple living separately. I think it certainly ought to be made clear that it does not. I suggest that on Report words should be introduced, making it clear that the Sub-section applies only to the cases of married people living together. Where a man and his wife are living separately I believe that under the existing law the wife's income can be assessed for Income Tax. If that is so, it would be an outrageous thing if, where a married woman was living separately from her husband, and assessed under a former Income Tax Act altogether separately, the husband who had nothing in the world to do with the matter should wake up one morning and find a bailiff in his house, distraining in respect of his wife's debts. I am sure that that cannot be intended. I suggest that some such words as "living together" should be inserted to make the matter quite clear. We are told that the proviso is intended to deal with a set of circumstances which all who are engaged at all in the administration of the common law know is continually arising—the claim, where an execution is levied upon the husband, that the goods belong to the wife. That cannot arise in the ease where husband and wife are living separately.
§ Mr. HOHLER
The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that under the present law the husband's goods are liable to be distrained upon for the wife's debts. I know of no such provision in any Statute, and I do not believe that any such provision exists. It is far too wide a proposition to say that the husband's goods are liable to distraint for his wife's debts. That is only the case if the debt has been incurred by the wife upon the husband's authority. Therefore it is only in a very limited sense that the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is true. The right hon. Gentleman spoke with such 2176 confidence that I thought he was referring to some Section of an Act of Parliament of which I was ignorant but I do not believe that any such Section exists. The position is that for the first time you are making the goods of the husband liable for the wife's debts in a matter in which they would not be liable at common law or by Statute at the present moment. My hon. land learned Friend (Mr. Butcher) has already pointed out that there is no reason for it in this case, because if the wife is liable for Income Tax she has property against which you can recover the debt. The Crown can take action in the High Court or the County Court, and there is nothing to prevent them from getting the money by appointing a Receiver.
The other argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that there was so much collusion and fraud. I do not admit it, but for the moment I will assume it to be true. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to suggest that it had something to do with the question of votes for women. Whether there is anything in that or not I do not know. The answer is that you have to deal with this difficulty in every walk of life. Take a case of bankruptcy. There are no assets—at any rate, not sufficient to pay the debts in full. Who ever suggested in such a case that, for the benefit of the creditors, and to prevent any of the transactions to which objection is taken, you should make the wife's property liable for the debts of the husband or vice versa? These things are tried on every day, and there is not the least difficulty in dealing with them. Why should the Crown be particularly favoured in this respect? If the Financial Secretary has any authority for the Chancellor's statement, I hope he will quote it. It is a great hardship that you should be imposing a disability upon this honourable relation in life and giving no advantage whatsoever.
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
I think it would be very unfortunate if this important point were left without some further attention on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I do not desire to minimise the knowledge or ability of the Financial Secretary, but this is a very important subject. We have had a sort of half-assurance that it will be looked into. I entirely agree with my hon. Friend that you cannot recover against the husband's property for the wife's debts. You must 2177 go to Court and get a judgment against the husband before you can touch the husband's effects in respect of the wife's debts, and in order to get a judgment you must satisfy the Court that the husband is really liable. There are plenty of cases where the wife incurs debts for which the husband is not liable. The same thing applies to the wife in an even greater degree. There are some isolated cases in which the wife is responsible for the debts of the husband, but they are very few. It would be very difficult to give a concrete instance where the wife's property could be made responsible for debts independently incurred by the husband. But we have in this Clause a new and extraneous power, absolutely outside the whole spirit of the Clause, under which, without a judgment and summarily, a bailiff can be sent in to distrain upon the goods of a husband for a debt about which he knows nothing, for which he has not been made liable by a judgment, and in regard to which he has had no chance of putting forward his view at all. The same thing applies to the property of the wife. Having regard to the observations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which show that he did not really appreciate the difficulty or the extent of the new liability that he was seeking to create, unless we get an assurance that the whole subject will be thoroughly looked into with a view to providing that no further liability shall be thrown upon husband or wife, there will be nothing for it but that my hon. Friend should press his Amendment. We should then be able to record our votes against a proposition so novel and unjust, and I think that everybody who has heard the discussion would feel bound to support my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
Most of the arguments which have been addressed to this bench lately have dealt with legal points, and whereas I see a whole bevy of hon. and learned Gentlemen opposite, I cannot at the moment reinforce myself with the assistance of the learned Attorney-General, although I have received some valuable assistance and advice from my hon. and learned Friend behind me (Sir F. Low). All I can say is that I have had legal advice and have been advised by all those who took part in the deliberations preceding this Bill, that this Clause as drawn does not apply to married women living separately from their husbands; and that that is due to Section 45 of the Income Tax Act, 1842. The Chancellor of the Ex- 2178 chequer has already promised, and I repeat that promise, that if the legal position is not as I have described it, the matter shall be dealt with before Report, because it is not intended to impose any new liability upon the husband. I cannot accept the hon. Member's suggestion that there is no new liability on the wife. There is. When she is separately assessed for her own income, it is right that we should be able to distrain upon her goods.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I was talking about the legal liability of the wife. In regard to the husband, I am informed that when a husband and wife are living together the husband has always been liable for his Wife's income, as the two have been lumped. I do not think there will be any new liability, although the circumstances will be different. The wife's income has been charged as his. If hon. Members will read Section 45 of the Act of 1842 they will see that it provides:—That the profits of any married woman living with her husband shall be deemed the profits of the husband.The husband, therefore, was always liable for distraint for the Income Tax if his wife was living with him. This Section makes the wife liable as well in respect of her own income. In regard to the suggestion of the hon. and gallant Gentleman that this Sub-section goes beyond necessity, I think that also ought to be considered before the Report stage. The situation that arises now, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman will see, arises from the fact that there are words now left in the Sub-section which were necessary in the Sub-section as it stood, but which now, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has foreshadowed the Amendment which he proposes to move to relieve the wife of this distraint on her husband's income, are not now necessary. The words are: "In the name of her husband or separately," and the Clause might now read, "Where the Income Tax is charged on the profit or income of a married woman in pursuance of this Section." By this means the Section would not be open to the criticism that it fell outside the Clause. That is, I think, all I need say. We must consider this question before the Report, and in view of the very distinguished legal advice—differing from the legal advice which I have received this 2179 afternoon—I promise to consult my legal advisers again before we reach the Report stage.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
I think the hon. Gentleman in charge has given us very good reason for really leaving out this Clause. I am not prepared to accept undertakings of a vague nature—although, I am sure, given in perfectly good faith—that we hereafter are to have some sort of Clause in which the criticisms which have been offered may be avoided. That is not enough. The whole time-table under this Section is subject to the guillotine, and we do not know that we will have an opportunity of discussing what are the alterations which are going to be brought in to make this Sub-section a suitable Subsection, having regard to the new situation which has been created. I am not prepared to excuse the right hon. Gentleman himself from a knowledge of the law. I believe he learned some law in days gone by. Under those circumstances I think he ought to be able to answer some of the questions which have been put to him. The hon. Member for Norwich has given us a most important and incisive criticism which really riddles this Clause, and makes it imperative that we shall vote—and I hope he will join us—in excluding this from the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
What is the new situation? It is really no good to begin talking of Section 45 of the Act of 1842. That does not govern the matter now. We are dealing with this Clause, Sub-section (1), paragraph (a). It will be observed that the income is to be assessed, charged, and recovered on the income of the husband and wife as though they were not married. The paragraph goes on: all the provisions of the Income Tax Act with respect to the assessment charge, and recovery of Income Tax (including Super-tax) and the penalties for failure to make a return are to be recoverable both from husband and from wife as though they were not married. Hon. Members will find that Section 55 of the Income Tax of 1842 is specially imposed in this new Clause in order to bring in the husband and the wife severally. Under it every pain and penalty which is enforced by Section 55 applies. We are told that the Government will put in some Amendment to meet the difficulty of the hon. Member for Norwich. He sits on the same side of the House as the Government—and that is enough! We are told that there are not any Law 2180 Officers to advise hon. Gentlemen opposite. There ought to be. The Committee ought not to be left in the position in which no answer can be made with authority from the Front Government Bench. Under those circumstances, the Committee ought not to be ready to pass this Clause creating an entirely new burden upon the husband and the wife; and under those circumstances the Committee ought to insist on behalf of the persons who may be affected by this Bill that the Clause shall be seen and considered by those competent to judge on both sides of the House, and only then, and not till then, should the Committee be prepared to allow this Clause to pass as part of the Bill.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
The whole discussion upon this Amendment, on both sides of the House, has clearly shown that, in fairness to both husband and wife, this paragraph ought to be cut out. However that may be, the Chancellor of the Exchequer expressed considerable sympathy with what I put forward just now, on the principle that half a loaf is better than no-bread, on the subject of priority of distraint where the wife declines or neglects to pay Income Tax in respect of her own property. I do not quite see why that sympathy should not be translated into words and incorporated in this paragraph:—if the Chancellor of the Exchequer has any real sympathy with it. May I tell the House how it is possible to do what I suggest? It should be done thus—taking the last three lines of the Clause:—The power to distrain in the case of non-payment of any Income Tax payable … by the wife shall be exercised primarily upon the goods and chattels of the wife, and failing such distraint upon the goods and chattels of the husband.In any case, whether those are apt words or not—and I do not care what the words may be—the right hon. Gentleman expressed some sympathy with this priority of distraint, failing the elimination of the Clause altogether. He has pointed out—although I think he has over-emphasised it—the danger of conflict between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Income Tax payer. He has not sufficiently recognised the equal danger of conflict, and sometimes considerable domestic discomfort, resulting from such conflict as between husband and wife, particularly if the wife happens to be a lady of some means. This often results in considerable feminine self-will and obstinacy which 2181 does not promote sympathy and confidence in money matters as between husband and wife. The right hon. Gentleman said that he could not accept my suggestion as it would be difficult to distinguish between the goods of husband and wife. I venture to say that where a wife is separated from her husband there would be no difficulty. Where she is not separated there are some goods which are so obviously and in their very nature feminine belongings—I am not going into the niceties and delicacies of domestic differentiation, but I suggest there are certain obviously feminine belongings—upon which distraint could be made before attempting to levy distraint upon the goods of the husband. I do not quite see why distraint should be the remedy resorted to in such cases where you have Income Tax payable. In nine cases out of ten there is a separate bank-
§ ing account in the name of the wife. Why not levy a Writ of Distringas upon the wife's account at the bank. [An HON. MEMBER: "She may have no money there."] If she has not got any at the moment, she will have some ultimately. A Writ of Distringas would be a far more effective remedy than distraint.
§ Question put, "That the words of the Sub-section down to the word 'either'—['where Income Tax (including Super-tax) is charged on the profits or income of a married woman, whether in the name of her husband or separately in pursuance of this Section, the power to distrain in the case of non-payment of any Income Tax payable ']—stand part of the proposed Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 166.2185
|Division No. 176.]||AYES.||[6.24 p.m.|
|Abraham. Wiliiam (Dublin, Harbour)||Cullinan, John||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Hewart, Gordon|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Adkins. Sir W. Ryland D.||Dawes, James Arthur||Hothouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||De Forest, Baron||Hodgs, John|
|Alden, Percy||Delany, William||Hogge, James Myles|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Dewar, Sir J. A.||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Dillon, John||Hudson, Walter|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Donelan, Captain A.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Doris, William||lilingworth, Percy H.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Duffy, William J.||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Duncan, C (Barrow-in-Furness)||John, Edward Thomas|
|Barnes, George N.||Duncan, Sir J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlet, St. George)||Falconer, James||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Farrell, James Patrick||Joyce, Michael|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Birreil, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Ffrench, Peter||Kelly, Edward|
|Black, Arthur W.||Field, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Boland, John Plus||Fitzgibbon, John||Kilbride, Denis|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Flavin, Michael Joseph||King, Joseph|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Ginnell, Laurence||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Brocklchurst, William B.||Gladstone, W. G. C||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Glanville, Harold James||Leach, Charles|
|Bryce, John Annan||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Goldstone, Frank||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Griffith, Rt. Hon. Ellis Jones||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Buxton, Noel||Gulland, John William||Lundon, Thomas|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hackett, John||Lynch, A. A.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lanes., Heywood)||Hancock, John George||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||McGhee, Richard|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Maclean, Donald|
|Ciancy, John Joseph||Hardie, J. Keir||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Clough, William||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Clynes, John R.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||M'Curdy, Charles Albert|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Cornwall. Sir Edwin A.||Hayden, John Patrick||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Hayward, Evan||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Cowan, William Henry||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Manfield, Harry|
|Crooks, William||Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Crumley, Patrick||Henry, Sir Charles||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Meagher, Michael||Pratt, J. W.||Sutton, John E.|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Millar, James Duncan||Pringle, William M. R.||Tennant, Rt. Hon. Harold John|
|Molloy, Michael||Radford, George Heynes||Thomas, James Henry|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Morgan, George Hay||Reddy, Michael||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Morrell, Philip||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Morison, Hector||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Muldoon, John||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wardle, G. J.|
|Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||Waring, Walter|
|Neilson, Francis||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Wason, John Cathead (Orkney)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Robinson, Sidney||Watt, Henry A.|
|Nuttall, Harry||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Rowlands, James||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|O'Dowd, John||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Wiles, Thomas|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|O'Malley, William||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Scanlan, Thomas||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.||Wilson, Hon G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Outhwaite, R. L.||Sheehy, David||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Parry, Thomas H.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Pollard, Sir George H.||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Sutherland, John E.||Mr. G. Howard and Mr. Webb.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dalrymple, Viscount||Horner, A. L.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Hume-Williams, William Ellis|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Denison-Pender, J. C.||Hunt, Rowland|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Hunter, Sir Charles Rock.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Duke, Henry Edward||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Duncannon, Viscount||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Faber, Cant. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Kerry, Earl of|
|Barnston, Harry||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Keswick, Henry|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Fletcher, John Samuel||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Forster, Henry William||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Foster, Philip Staveley||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Ganzoni, Francis John C.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Gardner, Ernest||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C.|
|Bird, Alfred||Gibbs, George Abraham||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Blair, Reginald||Gilmour, Captain John||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Macmaster, Donald|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Goldman, C. S.||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Bowden, G. R. Harland||Grant, J. A.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Boyton, James||Gretton, John||Mount, William Arthur|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Haddock, George Bahr||Newman, John R. P.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Butcher, John George||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Nield, Herbert|
|Campion, W. R.||Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Harris, Henry Percy||Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.|
|Cave, George||Helmsley, Viscount||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Hills, John Waller||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Clyde, James Avon||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Prothero, Roland Edmund|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Currie, George W||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Rolleston, Sir John||Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Rutherford, John (Lanes., Darwen)||Talbot, Lord Edmund||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)||Thomas-Stanford, Charles||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Sanders, Robert Arthur||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Sandys, G. J.||Tickler, T. G.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Sharman-Crawford, Colonel R. G.||Touche, George Alexander||Worthington Evans, L.|
|Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pool, Walton)||Tryon, Captain George Clement||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Spear, Sir John Ward||Valentia, Viscount||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Walker, Colonel William Hall||Younger, Sir George|
|Starkey, John Ralph||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Steel-Maitland, A. D.||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Stewart, Gershom||Watson, Hon. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Swift, Rigby||Weigall, Captain A. G.||Mr. Cassel and Sir F. Banbury|
|Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
Question, "That the Clause, as amended, be added to the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Amendments made:
§ In Sub-section (3) leave out the words "either by the husband or" ["Income Tax payable either by the husband or the wife shall extend both to the goods and chattels of the wife."], and insert instead thereof the word "by."
§ Leave out the word "both," and insert instead thereof the words "by her."
§ Leave out the word "both."
§ Leave out the word "and," and insert instead thereof the words "as well as."