§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."1128
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
I think that this Clause is an inopportune Clause, and I desire to oppose it. It will be seen that the marginal note is:Annual value of premises in London for purposes of duty on excise licences.Hon. Members on these benches have found some difficulty in understanding where this Clause leads and what its purpose is, and, after some research, I was led to examine Clause 26, which has the following marginal note:Annual value of property in London for purposes of income tax.I therefore suppose—and I put this point to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, not in any spirit of opposition, but in order to get an elucidation of the meaning of the Clause—that Clause 3 and Clause 26 in some way dovetail into each other. While I was on the Government Bench, I was addressed on several occasions by hon. Members who asked me whether there had been any alteration in the system of assessment under Schedule A in the country, and I think that, since the present Financial Secretary has been in office, questions have also been put to him on the same lines. A considerable amount of confusion is running in the minds of hon. Members on both sides of the House and in the country as to what is being done in regard to assessments under Schedule A. I have traced back to what this particular Clause refers to, and I find that the Finance Act, 1924, Sub-section (2) of Section 12, by which this Clause needs to be tested, runs as follows:In the case of premises to which the Valuation (Metropolis) Act, 1869, does not apply, the person applying for any such excise license as aforesaid may, if the income tax value applicable to the premises is the amount of a rent paid for the premises, require the commissioners of Customs and Excise to assess the annual value of the premises for the purpose of the duty to be charged on the licence as if there were no income tax value applicable.I suppose that Clause 3 is put in at this place, and not aggregated with Clause 26, which deals with assessments, because we are now in the region of the discussion of beer and of Excise provisions. The Clause is very inconvenient here, and I think it contributes very considerably to confusion of thought. If I am right in thinking that this Clause is complementary to Clause 26, and is necessary in order to bring London 1129 licensed premises into line with Clause 26, perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer can give me some information on the matter in due course. If I am right, let me see what Clause 26 of the Bill does. Clause 26, if I may paraphrase it in my own words, means that assessments under Schedule A in London are in future—and this, I believe, was outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech—to be based on the valuation to be made by the Inland Revenue, as is the case elsewhere in England, and this, therefore, is to apply to Clause 3 as it now stands in the Bill; that is to say, after April, 1931, the Sub-section of the Act of 1924 which I have just read, and which is now stated in Clause 3, will apply to London as it applies to the rest of England, and the Commissioners of Customs and Excise will assess licensed premises for the duty. That is how I read the Clause. I hope I am correct, though I do not wish to dogmatise on my opinion.
There is another reason why I want to protest against the inclusion of this Clause in the Bill. I object to these temporary alterations in the licensing basis while the Royal Commission is looking into licensing arrangements. As I have said, I think that the Clause is inopportune, and it ought not to have been proposed until the Licensing Commission had reported. I do not like this tinkering with the conditions under which licences are to be granted. There is still another reason why I object to the Clause. I remember that three or four years ago, when I was at the Department of Overseas Trade, it was my duty to take the lead in what was known as the "Come to Britain" movement. The question of licensing and the re-arrangement of licences came up in a very drastic form, and I had a considerable amount of correspondence with the then Home Secretary, and he asked me not to press the point until the whole question of licensing had been gone into by a Commission. I am disappointed, therefore, that steps have been taken to tinker with the position.
We wanted to get the "Come to Britain" movement going. One of the main reasons why we cannot invigorate our tourist trade is the difficulty of hotel arrangements. We need more hotels. Everyone to whom I applied for better accommodation to fit in with the move- 1130 ment to attract tourists said, "We can never get the hotels built while the system of licensing is as it is now." Here you are going to have a system of assessing licences in London and the provinces which will apply equally to hotels, restaurants, and bars, and you put on the hotels, which make their living by the sale of food and by the letting of lodgings, and in a very small degree by the sale of alcohol, a burden which discourages people from building hotels. I think, therefore, it is very inopportune to start tinkering with the licensing laws without some differentiation between hotels, restaurants, and bars. I could quite understand the Chancellor putting this Clause in to rearrange the basis of assessment for London provided he also put in some powers to differentiate between hotels and bars and restaurants. If he had done so, he would have made a move which we could have supported. His action will postpone our opportunity to erect fine hotels, which are needed in London and the provinces in order to attract the very valuable traffic of tourists, and we must oppose the Clause as a protest against his action in doing a very inopportune thing in taking this occasion to rearrange the system upon which licences are based.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Not only the Chancellor of the Exchequer but the Attorney-General ought to be present, because this is a very intricate and difficult legal question which, though it has been passed by the House for regions outside London, has never been discussed. It is extraordinarily undesirable that difficult and complicated Clauses should be smuggled through the House without anyone understanding them. In certain research that I made when the Clause was put into effect for regions outside London in 1924 not one single person, except perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer, really understood what a vital change was being made for the whole country. I will quote from the debate in 1924. I regret to say that the accomplice of the Chancellor in this matter was my hon. Friend the Member for Ecclesall (Sir S. Roberts). I do not know whether he will be able to throw any light on the matter. I hope he will. What he said on that occasion was:I beg to move, 'That the Clause be read a Second time.'1131It is rather a complicated Amendment and, in order to save time, perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be good enough to indicate if it is one he can accept.THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER: The Amendment concerns Inhabited House Duty, and is a necessary one. I hope the Committee will accept it. It deals with the basis of assessment.Question put and agreed to."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th July, 1924; col. 2210, Vol. 175.]This is a difficult and complicated Clause which, I think, no one could understand until he had studied the statutes of England for about six hours, but it was put through without any further discussion than that which I have indicated. When I read the Section, I was determined that there should be some more complicated and more technical examination before it was extended to the metropolitan area. This is really a question in regard to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not be able to fall back upon the gossip columns of daily newspapers in order to find a rhetorical reply. I think rather he will have to have a very great knowledge of the Statutes of the last 100 years. I would have preferred on this matter to see the Attorney-General present.
The first thing that strikes one about the Clause, as my hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel) said, is that it is extending the provisions of the Finance Act of 1924. One wonders why. One at first was likely to be a little suspicious—because the first occasion was the right hon. Gentleman's first Budget and this is the second Budget—that he was trying, by a process of penetration, to get into the provinces and then to come to London, but I think that that would be doing the right hon. Gentleman a great injustice, because in 1924 it would have been impossible for him to extend this proposal to London as under the Valuation (Metropolis) Act, 1869, the rating valuation of the Poor Law authority was conclusive. Therefore, he could not have brought it under the provisions of that Act. He produces Clause 26 and says that the valuation list for the time being in force shall cease to be conclusive evidence of values, and then produces Clause 3, which is really consequential on Clause 26. In order to explain the position one has 1132 to go very considerably into the various rating assessments, Income Tax law assessment and Excise assessment, from which the Committee will realise what a tremendously complicated issue we are engaged upon. Sub-section (2) of Section 12 of the Finance Act, 1924, refers us back to the Valuation (Metropolis) Act, 1869. That Sub-section is entirely meaningless unless you read the whole of the Section. It is absolutely necessary to describe the whole of the Section. In Sub-section (1) it says:The annual value of any premises for the purposes of the duty on any Excise licence charged by reference to the annual value shall be in Great Britain—(a) the Income Tax value, if there is such a value applicable.In the Metropolis Income Tax value has been fixed by the rating authorities until this year. Under the Valuation Act of 1869 a very convenient arrangement was come to. Local authorities fixed the assessment of property and it was conclusive for Income Tax purposes and for Excise purposes. That was a simple arrangement which worked well. It suited the revenue and the taxpayer, and it saved an infinite variety of Income Tax officials a tremendous amount of work. All this the right hon. Gentleman proposes to sweep away. He wishes to bring London into line with the provinces, where there are two or three assessments. There is the rating assessment, the Income Tax assessment, and now there will be this subsidiary Excise assessment, and the simple Metropolitan method is to be brought up to date by complicating it in this manner! There was a suggestion that the whole country should follow the Metropolitan method and that the rating authority's assessment should be conclusive for all purposes. That raised a considerable outcry in the agricultural districts, and it was not adopted; but why London, in which there is no agricultural land—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, yes!"]—or very little indeed, should have to come up to the standard in the provinces I do not know. Under this Bill the value of licensed premises, the Income Tax value is the first which is to be complicated. Under paragraph (b), Section 12, of the 1925 Act,If there is no Income Tax applicable, such amount as, in the opininion of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, represents the annual rent which a free tenant 1133 might reasonably be expected, taking one year with another, to pay for the premises,And so on. This is something which leads us still further into legal difficulties. It is really a matter of great importance which I can explain to the Committee:For the purpose of this provision, the income Tax value means the value adopted for the purpose of Income Tax under Schedule A of the Income Tax Act, 1918, and the Income Tax value shall be deemed to be applicable if the premises to which a value is attached for the purpose of the tax correspond with the premises the annual value of which is required for the purposes of the charge of duty on the licence.When I first read that Section I was completely bewildered, but with a moderate degree of determination I tried to find out what it meant, and, when I discovered what it meant, I thought it was my duty to tell the Committee. The meaning of that provision is this, that certain licensed premises do not exactly correspond with the premises which are taxed for Income Tax purposes, and it is therefore necessary to refer to the definition of "licensed premises" in the Finance Act, 1911. The expression is there defined thus:The expression 'premises' in relation to the annual value of licensed premises includes any offices, courts, yards and gardens which are occupied together with and are within the curtilage, or in the immediate vicinity, of the house or place where the liquor is sold, except any such offices, courts, yards or gardens as are proved to the satisfaction of the commissioners to be used either altogether, or with occasional exceptions only, for any trade or business which is entirely distinct from the trade or business carried on in the house or place by the licence holder as such, and also includes any building or place which, though not within the curtilage, or in the immediate vicinity, of the house or place where the liquor is sold, is used by the licence holder for receiving or storing liquor, or which, in the opinion of the commissioners, is used by him, otherwise than occasionally, for any purpose in connection with the sale of liquor.The Committee will clearly understand now the reason for this provision in the 1924 Act, and will see that "premises," for the purposes of Excise Duty, means something quite different from premises in the case of Inhabited House Duty. They will see, on the one hand, that premises for the purpose of Excise Duty may include a part which is not used for the purpose of the business at all. On the other hand, there may be a large business in a tiny part of which there is a 1134 licence to someone to sell liquor. So some provision had to be made in the 1924 Act to deal with that position. I do not know whether the Committee will be interested if I go back to the whole history of the Liquor Licence Duties. At first they were raised as Inhabited House Duty, but it was found that sometimes a licence holder lived on the premises, and sometimes premises of this kind were not inhabited in the ordinary sense, and so this special duty came to be instituted. We now realise that the Income Tax value of licensed premises must be considered to apply if there is a stated value applicable, that is, if the licensed premises correspond with the premises for Income Tax purposes, and correspond with inhabited houses. In the case in which there is no Income Tax value applicable at all, the Commissioners of Customs and Excise may apply the ordinary method of rating. Then we have the third eventuality, which is the provision with which we are now dealing, for the purposes of the 1924 Act and the present Bill. I will read to the Committee that provision:In the case of premises to which the Valuation (Metropolis) Act, 1869, does not apply, the persons applying for any such Excise licence as aforesaid may, if the Income Tax value applicable to the premises is the amount of a rent paid for the premises, require the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to assess the annual value of the premises for the purpose of the duty to be charged on the licence as if there was no Income Tax value applicable.I think I have explained to the Committee this very complicated situation which was never discussed before. I want, in return, to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he or his hon. Friend would explain what is the exact meaning of these words. After considerable research, I have been unable to find any judicial definition of them. The operative words of this Section are:If the Income Tax value applicable to the premises is the amount of a rent paid for the premises.If that condition is fulfilled the tenant himself may require the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to assess the annual value of the premises for the purpose of the duties upon that licence and so on. The Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to explain to the Committee what is the meaning and the purpose of that provision. I think he did not explain it in 1924 and he ought to do so now. It 1135 is often said that representatives of various interests approach hon. Members of the House of Commons, and that those hon. Members with perfectly innocent intent put forward Amendments which sometimes are smuggled through. Is there any substance in this provision? If not, why is it brought forward? To whom is it an advantage; to whom is it a gift, and what does it all mean? How does the licensee benefit if he makes this application? What is the use of sweeping away the simple method of valuation which exists under the Valuation Act of 1859 and substituting this very complicated method on which we now have to fall back? The real indictment against this Clause is the fact that the old system is being swept away but that point arises on a later Clause. The Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to explain to us first what this Clause means and why it is necessary to bring it forward at all for London. If lie does so, I, at any rate, shall be far more enlightened than I am now.
I deplore the custom of bringing forward these complicated changes in our law without adequate explanation. The right hon. Gentleman knows as well as anybody the tremendous trouble which is caused both to the taxpayers and the Government by introducing Clauses of this unintelligible nature. I defy any reasonable publican or any reasonable man interested in this trade, to understand the meaning of the Sub-section I have quoted, without access to a legal library and perhaps a legal training. If the right hon. Gentleman is unable to explain it, let him frankly say so and send for the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General caused considerable comment by saying the other day that certain Acts of Parliament, especially Income Tax Acts, were drafted in such a way that it was difficult if not impossible to understand them. Here is an opportunity for the Attorney-General to display his very considerable legal acumen—for which he deserves quite the salary which he is paid by the Government, if not more. He has come to the assistance of the Government again and again and got them out of difficult situations. Here is a matter in which his subtle mind could be used to explain this whole matter from beginning to 1136 end but without his considered opinion I feel we shall not get very far with the consideration of this question.
§ 11.0 p.m.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
The hon. Member spoke for a long time upon a very small point—because this Clause deals only with a small point, and does not, at any rate directly or at this stage, raise any of the complicated valuation matters on which he has dilated at such length. He rightly associated this Clause with Clause 26. The two are complementary and indeed, although this comes first, it might be said that it is consequential on Clause 26. The method of assessment for Income Tax purposes under Schedule A in London is at the present time different from the method in the Provinces. In London the local assessment is taken as the basis of assessment for Income Tax purposes, and Clause 26 proposes to assimilate the provincial method and the London method. In the Provinces Schedule A is taken as the basis of assessment for Licence Duty purposes. This Clause will in that respect assimilate London and the Provinces.
I have been asked what benefit this Clause will confer. At the present time, in London there is no appeal. I suppose there is an appeal for a person assessed in regard to a local assessment, but that is taken as the basis for Licence Duties, and the Customs and Excise must take that as a basis. Now it is different in the Provinces. If there is no dispute, the assessment for Income Tax purposes is taken as the basis for the assessment of Licence Duty, but the licence-holder has this additional advantage over the licence-holder in London, that if he is dissatisfied with the Income Tax assessment as the basis for his Licence Duty, he can appeal to the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, and if they consider it a just claim, they can base the assessment for Licence Duty upon what they regard as a fairer valuation. That is the simple and, so far as this Clause is concerned, the whole explanation. All the matters raised by the last speaker would be more appropriately discussed on Clause 26.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the fundamental question which I asked him, and if he cannot answer it, I will be glad 1137 to have an answer from the Attorney-General.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
On a point of Order. On what grounds is the hon. Gentleman entitled to interrupt the debate by shouting across the House that an hon. Member, who has already addressed the Committee with every evidence of careful study of the subject, does not know what he is talking about? I ask for your Ruling whether that is a Parliamentary intervention in the debate.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
These interruptions across the Floor are never in order, but unfortunately they are far too common on both sides. I would rather they did not occur at all.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
I confessed ignorance and perplexity with regard to these words myself, and I did not expect the right hon. Gentleman to be able to answer my question, because it is one of great technical difficulty, and I intended no kind of insult to him by suggesting that he does not know how to answer it. The only opinion that I really value on it is the considered opinion of the Attorney-General himself. I want to know what the meaning of these words, the operative condition which puts this particular Sub-section into effect, is:If the Income Tax value applicable to the premises is the amount of a rent paid for the premises.I assure the right hon. Gentleman that I have searched for a judicial comment or explanation of these words. Do they mean that the Income Tax value is exactly the amount of the rent payable for the premises? If so, it must be a very rare condition and must hardly, if ever, come into effect, because these two things are very seldom the same. Does it mean that the income value is equal to or more than the rent paid for the premises? These questions are very technical and difficult, and the right hon. Gentleman has completely failed to explain what they mean. The only real answer that was given to my speech upon this matter was that the right hon. Gentleman wishes to bring London into line with the provinces. I do not see why we should do that. Why should we 1138 not reverse the process and simplify the whole procedure for the whole country, rather than complicate things in London because they are complicated in the country?
§ Mr. ATKINSON
I hope that we shall not be led away into discussing Clause 26 until we come to it. There is a great deal to be said about that, but on this Clause I do not see any difficulty. With great respect to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I think he overstated the intended advantage of the Clause. The point can be quite simply put. When you come to settle the Excise Duty to be paid, you get a value on which to work. Section 12 says that you have to take the Income Tax value, if there is one. If there is not an Income Tax value then the Commissioners of Customs and Excise have to fix for themselves a fair value, which is based in the usual way on the rent that a hypothetical tenant would pay. Very often that rent is too high, because it has been fixed wider certain conditions. The value of the premises may have deteriorated and the Income Tax value may be based upon a rent figure which is too high to do justice. Sub-section (2) of the Act of 1924 is not imposing any disadvantage upon the tenant. It is giving him an option, but it does not go as far as the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, namely, that whenever the tenant was not satisfied with the Income Tax valuation he could require the commissioners to make a fresh assessment. It would be a very valuable Section if it did that. It is only where the value is based upon an Income Tax value which is the amount of rent paid, that the person concerned is given the benefit of this option. The person who has to pay the duty is always bound by the Income Tax value unless that Income Tax value happens to be based upon the rent. If he thinks that is unfair and too high, and that the value of the premises has come down, he has the option to ask for a fresh assessment. That is the meaning of the Sub-section and that is the only application of it. It would be better if it were extended as the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, so that wherever the person concerned was dissatisfied with the Income Tax valuation he could get a new one. When we come to Clause 26 we are making a tremendous innovation in London values, but we will 1139 leave that Clause until we come to it. As to the present Clause, I do not see anything to object to.
§ Sir AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I am impressed by what my hon. and learned Friend has said, and I do not desire to carry further the discussion upon the point raised in the speech of the hon. Member behind me. I want to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he thinks it convenient to take this Clause in this position in the Bill? When invited to give an explanation, he said Clause 3 was consequential on Clause 26. It is putting the cart before the horse if you consider consequences first and Clauses afterwards. I see, as a matter of arrangement, this section of the Bill is headed "Valuation," and more specifically "Values in London," but the only Clause which deals with values in London is Clause 26. Yet, instead of being put to the Clause to which it is related and on which it is consequential, the Committee is asked to decide as if it stood apart, and with the admission that the Clause to which it is consequential raises wider issues, and that it is our decision on that Clause which must cover our decision on this. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman if he would not defer this until Clause 26 has been discussed, so that we may take it in its proper place and in due relation to all the issues raised.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I suppose the Parliamentary draftsman must have had very good reasons for inserting this Clause here, but I confess that what those reasons are I do not know. I do not think that it is necessary that we should postpone the Clause until we reach Clause 26. No harm can be done by passing this Clause now, and, when we come to Clause 26, should there be some material alteration which would necessitate some change, that can be dealt with on the Report stage. In reply to the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Altrincham (Mr. Atkinson), the position he put is absolutely correct, and, if I made the observation which he stated, then I am afraid I did not quite express myself clearly. The cases will only be those of a very high Income Tax assessment.
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
May I suggest that the reason that the Clause has 1140 been put in this position is a fairly obvious one, but not a sufficient one. The Part in which this Clause appears deals with Customs and Excise, and the Clause deals with an Excise Duty, but in its essence, it is not an Excise Duty, but the method of valuation for the levy of the Excise Duty; and valuation in all other respects, and particularly valuation in London, is reserved for the Part which contains Clause 26. I have come to the assistance of the right hon. Gentleman to Supply the reason, which I think is the correct one, for the action of the draftsman, but it is not a sufficient reason for putting it in what the right hon. Gentleman admits is not its natural place. It cannot be natural to put a Clause which is consequential to a later one before that later one. The only logical place for it is in the Part which contains Clause 26.
I have not had an opportunity of communicating with my hon. Friend who proposed the rejection of the Clause, but what I suggest would be a convenient course would be that he should withdraw his proposal in order to enable the Chancellor of the Exchequer to move the postponement of the Clause, so that it could be considered after we have dealt with Clause 26. That would be logical, and for the convenience of the Committee.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
The right hon. Gentleman has answered his own question and the fact that the Commissioners of Customs and Excise have to do the assessing makes it necessary for this Clause to come into this Part of the Finance Bill.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
My right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) put what I felt when I proposed the rejection of this Clause, and, with the leave of the Committee, I should like to withdraw my proposal, in order to enable the Chancellor of the Exchequer to withdraw the Clause, and move it after Clause 26.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
My right hon Friend has made a definite offer to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We are now discussing a proposal for the rejection of this Clause, but we should be quite ready to withdraw that on the understanding that the right hon. Gentleman will move the postponement of the Clause to its proper place in the Bill We have not had any answer to that, 1141 and before we go any further, perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer will tell us where we stand.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I will certainly make no such Motion as that, and my justification is the speech of the right hon Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain), who gave a reason, which was amply sufficient, and which was not within my knowledge when I spoke before. I am very much obliged to him, with his long experience in these matters, for coming to my rescue. Although it may be true that this deals with a matter of valuation, it also deals with the Licence Duty, and the fact that it deals with the Licence Duty, makes its place appropriate in the Part which deals with Customs.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The fact that it deals with Licence Duty is not in itself decisive. It deals with Licence Duty, but quâ Licence Duty it is not more akin to the content of the Clauses which come immediately before than it is to the Clauses 26 and 27.
§ Sir DENNIS HERBERT
Though this may be the proper place in the Bill at which this Clause should be inserted it by no means follows that this is the proper time for the Committee to consider it. The ultimate form of this Clause must depend on what is done hereafter with Clause 26; if there is any substantial alteration to that Clause there will have to be some alteration in this Clause. I believe I am right in saying the time has passed when this Clause can be withdrawn from the Committee, because it has already been considered, but there have been other occasions within my experience when, after considerable discussion on a Clause, it has been found advisable to consider it at a later period, and all that need be done is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should agree that the Clause should be negatived now and move a new Clause after Clause 26 has been dealt with. If we are to get a really homogeneous Bill, properly arranged and to settle the matter, as far as we can on the Committee stage, I suggest that we ought to have an opportunity of reconsidering this Clause after we have dealt with Clause 26. If the Chancellor would agree to negative the Clause now it would make it very much easier for the Committee to consider matters in that spirit of good- 1142 will in which we have been carrying on the discussion.
§ Captain CAZALET
After having listened to this debate, there are still many points which our lay minds cannot fully appreciate. I think it is quite clear that the Chancellor himself did not expect the very learned and well-informed speech we had from my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Marjoribanks), who raised very many points which will be shown to be very relevant to the matter under discussion when we come to Clauses 26 and 27, and must deserve a fuller answer than we have been given. Therefore, I hope the Chancellor will agree to the suggestion to allow this Clause to be negatived. There is not the slightest doubt that after we have discussed Clauses 26 and 27 it will be necessary to make some alterations in this Clause 3, and therefore it is obvious that it must be for the convenience of the Committee and the benefit of the Finance Bill in its final form that we should have a further opportunity of discussing this Clause when, perhaps, the Attorney-General is present and there are more facts before the Committee than the Government can produce at the moment.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I think that it will facilitate the discussion of this part of the Measure if the Chancellor of the Exchequer accepts the suggestion which has been made from this side of the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman will find as we go along that he will make better progress if he does not try to push this Bill down our throats in chunks. We have been asked to discuss this very important Clause under circumstances of great disadvantage. Hon. Members who are learned in the law may find that this Clause is simple to understand, but it is not so easy for those who have not the necessary technical knowledge of the subject. I think I am entitled to ask for an explanation of a technical proposal of this kind. I wish to ask two specific questions. In the first place, I wish to know why it is necessary to make this change. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that he is only bringing London into line with the provinces, but he did not say what moved him to do that.
My second question is how much is this concession going to cost the Exchequer? An hon. Member on this side of the 1143 Committee asked if this was a concession to the licence holders and the right hon. Gentleman replied that it was a concession. I gather from that statement that the licence holders if this Clause is passed will have to pay on an average a considerably less sum than they are now paying otherwise the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not have been justified in saying that this was a very appreciable concession. Have the advisers of the right hon. Gentleman calculated what this concession is going to cost? I am sure that nobody wishes to put an unfair burden on the licence holders who carry on a trade which is just as respectable as any other trade in the country. We do not wish to oppose any measure of justice to the London licence holders but we should like to know the value of this concession.
§ Sir B. PETO
My right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) has suggested that the reason for putting this Clause here is that it is one of the Clauses which deal with Excise licence duties, but I would like to put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer a plea from the point of view of the people who are taxed, rather than from the point of view of the taxing authority. I am sure that hon. Members who have had to consider questions in this Committee on the Finance Bill as far as it has gone must have realised the extraordinary complication of the different Finance Bills to which they have had to refer, and, when you find a Clause such as this, the marginal note of which commences:Annual value of premises in London,and when at Clause 26 you find the marginal note also commencing with the words:Annual value of property in London,the only difference being that in the one case the Clause deals with excise duties and in the other case with Income Tax, the taxpayer, if he is one of those who are subject to Excise Duties as well as to Income Tax, and are more hardly taxed than any other section of the population, namely, the holders of licensed premises, when he consults this Bill and finds a Clause like Clause 3, he will think that he has got to the bottom of the matter.
1144 I suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, from the point of view of the taxpayer, that it would be infinitely more convenient if two Clauses such as Clauses 3 and 26, both dealing with the same class of premises and both dealing with the question of premises in London, came somewhere nearer together than 23 Clauses apart in this long and complicated Bill. Whatever may be the merits of placing this Clause early in the Bill because it has something to do with Excise Duties, and the other Clause at the end because it has some remote connection with Income Tax, it would be, from the taxpayer's point of view, infinitely more convenient if the one Clause immediately succeeded the other, and if Clause 3 followed Clause 26 instead of preceding it.
I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer may be sufficiently mollified to give way on this small point. It would be a convenience, not only for the present House of Commons, which has to consider this Bill, but for future Houses of Parliament who will have to consider the Bill when it is an Act, and who would never suspect that, 20 Clauses or more away from this one, there is another Clause which is really the major Clause of the two, buried away in that place because it has something to do with Income Tax. I beg the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider this matter from a common-sense point of view, and not from the point of view of the draftsman, which he had to admit to the Committee, 10 minutes ago, he did not understand before my right hon. Friend enlightened him. I think he would be well advised, not only to take instruction from my right hon. Friend, but also to follow the advice that my right hon. Friend has tendered to him in regard to this small point of the placing of this Clause.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
It has emerged during the debate that the annual value of licensed premises may be taken under those heads, that for the local authority, that for the purpose of Income Tax, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to extend the provincial system to the Metropolis, so that if the licence holder is not satisfied with the valuation under the Income Tax provisions, he can claim to be valued for Excise purposes. The hon. Member 1145 for Eastbourne (Mr. Marjoribanks) pointed out in his long and carefully thought out speech that Clause 7 refers to Sub-section (2) of the Finance Act, 1924, and I gather from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he has extended these provisions to the Metropolis to give some kind of benefit to the licence holder. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. SMITHERS
If the holder of licensed premises has them valued under one of those three heads and he is dissatisfied, has he any appeal? I want to ask why Section 3 of the Finance Act, 1924, is not included in Clause 3 of the Bill. Section 3 gives a form of appeal.Any person dissatisfied with the annual value of any premises fixed by the said commissioners under this Section may appeal to the general Commissioners of Income Tax for the division in which the premises are situated, who shall hear the appeal and determine the annual value in accordance with the provisions of Sub-section (1) of this section.Is it a fact that these Commissioners act in the double capacity of making the assessment and sitting in judgment on the appeal that is made on their assessment? Further, if the Commissioners make an assessment which is a subject of dissatisfaction for the tenant, do the same Commissioners who make the assessment hear the complaint of the tenant? It seems to me that, even with the benefit given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of a third form of annual valuation, there is no provision whereby an appeal can be made after the valuation has been made.
§ Mr. ATKINSON
I rise to emphasise the point my hon. Friend has made and to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider it. I rather think it has been an oversight. Section 12 (2) of the Finance Act, 1924, is incorporated in the Bill and Sub-section (3) is really part and parcel of Sub-section (2). Sub-section (2) enables him to appeal to the Commissioners of Customs and Excise where he is dissatisfied and then, if he is dissatisfied with the value fixed by the Commissioners, he may appeal to the General Commissioners of Income Tax. Honestly, if the whole idea is to get the two systems working in harmony, the same right of appeal should be given in the Bill. If the right hon. Gentleman would consider the matter before the Report stage, it would only mean adding Sub-section (3) as well as Sub-section (2). I do not think that it would have any effect whatever if Clause 26 was to be taken out. The wisdom of passing this Clause before Clause 26 is dealt with is another matter.
§ Mr. REID
I should like to call the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the inadequacy of the reasons he has given for not postponing this Clause. My right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) suggested a reason that might have been in the mind of the draftsman for putting the Clause in its present position. The Chancellor of the Exchequer adopted that reason as being the reason why he insisted on taking it now. I would point out that the problem before the draftsman and that before the Committee are different matters. Anyone who has had any experience in drafting documents must be aware that it is often a question of opinion whether a proposal should be divided into two Clauses or incorporated in one Clause. The draftsman in this House who has to consider this question has the whole matter before him; it is not a matter of principle, but of convenience. This Committee can only consider matters as they come before it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, having said that this Clause is complementary to the later Clause, has given no relevant reason whatever why we should not take these two Clauses, which are part of the same matter, together and deal with the whole question.
I do not want to delay the Committee in coming to a decision, but I am the first London Member who has spoken on this Amendment, and this Clause, as well as Clauses 26 and 27, particularly affects London. I want to appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to delete this Clause in order that we may discuss it when we reach the other two Clauses. We are rather nervous as to the effect of this provision. If Clause 3 was in its proper place in the Bill, that is, after Clause 26, there is no doubt that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would ask for a general discussion upon the three Clauses, and the right hon. Gentleman has already said that the speech of my hon. and learned
§ Friend would have been more appropriate on Clause 26. They all deal with the same subject.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
I hope we shall have a reply to the substantial point which has been put by the hon. and learned Member for Altrincham (Mr. Atkinson) and myself. The right hon. Gentleman, apparently, considered it was a matter which should be dealt with on Report stage.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 254; Noes, 145.1149
|Division No. 310.]||AYES.||[11.47 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Edmunds, J. E.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Egan, W. H.||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Elmley, Viscount||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Ammon, Charles George||Foot, Isaac||Kinley, J.|
|Arnott, John||Forgan, Dr. Robert||Kirkwood, D.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Freeman, Peter||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Lang, Gordon|
|Ayles, Walter||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lathan, G.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Law, Albert (Bolton)|
|Barr, James||Gibbins, Joseph||Law, A. (Rosendale)|
|Batey, Joseph||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Gill, T. H.||Lawson, John James|
|Bellamy, Albert||Gillett, George M.||Leach, W.|
|Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Glassey, A. E.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)|
|Benson, G.||Gossling, A. G.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Gould, F.||Lees, J.|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Blindell, James||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lindley, Fred W.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Gray, Milner||Lloyd, C. Ellis|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Longden, F.|
|Bromley, J.||Groves, Thomas E.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.|
|Brooke, W.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lunn, William|
|Brothers, M.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||McElwee, A.|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Harbord, A.||McEntee, V. L.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hardie, George D.||McKinlay, A.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Harris, Percy A.||McShane, John James|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Mansfield, W.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Haycock, A. W.||Marcus, M.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Hayday, Arthur||Markham, S. F.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hayes, John Henry||Marley, J.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr, (Cardiff, S.)||Marshall, Fred|
|Charieton, H. C.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Mathers, George|
|Chater, Daniel||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Matters, L. W.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Herriotts, J.||Melville, Sir James|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Messer, Fred|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Middleton, G.|
|Compton, Joseph||Hoffman, P. C.||Mills, J. E.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Hollins, A.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Daggar, George||Hopkin, Daniel||Morley, Ralph|
|Dalton, Hugh||Horrabin, J. F.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Davies, E. C, (Montgomery)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Mort, D. L.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Moses, J. J. H.|
|Dickson, T.||Isaacs, George||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Muff, G.|
|Dukes, C.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Duncan, Charles||Johnston, Thomas||Naylor, T. E.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Edge, Sir William||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Oldfield, J. R.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Toole, Joseph|
|Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Sherwood, G. H.||Townend, A. E.|
|Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Shield, George William||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Viant, S. P.|
|Palin, John Henry.||Shillaker, J. F.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Palmer, E. T.||Shinwell, E.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Parkinson, John Allan (Wigan)||Simmons, C. J.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sinkinson, George||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Sitch, Charles H.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Potts, John S.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Price, M. P.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Quibell, D. J. K.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||West, F. R.|
|Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||White, H. G.|
|Richards, R.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Sorensen, R.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Stamford, Thomas W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Ritson, J.||Stephen, Campbell||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Romeril, H. G.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Strauss, G. R.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Rowson, Guy||Sullivan, J.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Salter, Dr. Alfred||Sutton, J. E.||Wise, E. F.|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Sanders, W. S.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Sawyer, G. F.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Scurr, John||Thurtle, Ernest||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Tinker, John Joseph||Wilfrid Paling.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Peake, Captain Osbert|
|Albery, Irving James||Everard, W. Lindsay||Penny, Sir George|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Atkinson, C.||Fielden, E. B.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Ford, Sir P. J.||Purbrick, R.|
|Balniel, Lord||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Remer, John R.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Gower, Sir Robert||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Salmon, Major J.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Boyce, H. L.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bracken, B.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Savery, S. S.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Butler, R. A.||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hammersley, S. S.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Hanbury, C.||Somerset, Thomas|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Haslam, Henry C.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Heneage, Lieut. Colonel Arthur P.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Long, Major Eric||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Lymington, Viscount||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Mond, Hon. Henry||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Duckworth, G. A. V.||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||O'Neill, Sir H.||Sir George Hennessy and Captain|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Euan Wallace.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will treat this mater, as it has been the custom of his predecessors, I think, to treat it, and that, whatever pressure the Committee may be under at a later stage—and we all know that as the Bill proceeds the pressure becomes greater—he will not ask us to sit any longer on this, the first day of the Committee discussions. We have disposed of three Clauses; there are important Clauses immediately in front of us, and, as it is now midnight, I think we might be content with what we have accomplished and adjourn the remaining Clauses to a later day. I am encouraged to hope for a favourable response from the right hon. Gentleman because a Committee of the House of Commons has, I see, unanimously found that these late sittings are undesirable and to be discouraged. While the Committee in some of its findings differed from the Prime Minister and from the leaders of the other two parties whom they asked to give evidence before them, their unanimous finding in this matter is in agreement with the views of the leaders of all parties. In the face of such evidence of general opinion I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will feel that he has made a sufficient demand on the Committee by asking them to sit until midnight and that he will agree to my Motion.
§ 12 m.
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
The right hon. Gentleman has put his request in a perfectly courteous way and I have no desire at all to keep the Committee unduly late. But I must confess that I am grievously disappointed with the rate of progress to-day. I had hoped to get, at least, to the end of Clause 6 and in my more sanguine moments I had hoped that we might get to Clause 9. I am afraid, therefore, I cannot accede to the right hon. Gentleman's request. As regards the question of late sittings, the right hon. Gentleman quoted the recommendation of the Committee which has been considering the Sittings of the House. May I say that the question of whether we sit late or not is always in the hands of the Opposition. They determine the rate of progress of our debates and I do 1152 not think that it is altogether reasonable for them to expect that we should now make the concession which has been asked in view of the very great length of time occupied to-day by debates upon questions which had already been discussed at great length on the Budget Resolutions. I do not say so in any offensive sense at all but it is the case that, in one respect, a late sitting is a matter of less concern to hon. Members opposite than to my hon. Friends on this side. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] I suppose there are very few hon. Members opposite who have not motor cars. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It is an inconvenience to many hon. Members if a sitting lasts, until after the trains have stopped running—say, until one o'clock or two o'clock—and in such a case I think we might as well continue until the trains have begun to run again about half-past five o'clock or so. If, then, we are going to continue, I hope we shall continue until five o'clock or six o'clock in the morning.
It is not without precedent for the Committee to sit until the small hours of the morning on the first day of the Committee stage of the Finance Bill. I find that on the first Finance Bill of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) in 1925, the first day of the Committee proceedings lasted until 3.16 a.m. and the next day's proceedings until 3.52 a.m. and on two other occasions there were sittings which lasted until 5.45 a.m. and 6.20 a.m. respectively. [HON. MEMBERS: "The Opposition!"] That is my opinion—that the question of late sittings rests mainly with the Opposition. We have a very small Amendment next on the Paper dealing with the abolition of entry certificates for bookmakers. I do not know whether or not the Committee wishes to discuss that matter very fully, but I understand that the Clause which follows, dealing with the abolition of certain Safeguarding Duties, is one to which the Opposition attach a great deal of importance, and which they would like to debate at length. It is now twelve o'clock and, if they occupy two hours on that Clause it will bring us to what I have already said is a most inconvenient hour for rising. Taking all these things into consideration, I think we had better go on. I regret that I 1153 cannot accept, at the moment, the very courteous request which the right hon. Gentleman has made.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The right hon. Gentleman has been on the horns of a dilemma. He has been weighing and balancing things, and has been advancing with great caution: like an elephant trying a doubtful bridge. Until the last moment I was in ignorance as to the course he intended to adopt. [An HON. MEMBER: "Surely, you know him."] Yes, one ought to have given him the benefit of the doubt and to have realised that of two positions he would take the more disagreeable one. My right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) was well advised to choose the most opportune moment for raising the question that we should report Progress and ask leave to sit again. This matter touches the convenience of many hon. Members. Undoubtedly, if our proceedings become protracted, they will become very protracted. The appetite will grow with eating. Whether the progress of the Bill will become more marked I cannot say. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the next Clause as being a small and subsidiary Clause. It raises a large question and must be discussed at length. It deals with the Betting Duty. The right hon. Gentleman is throwing away revenue with both hands: just because he cannot touch the unclean thing. But he gets revenue from liquor, and then laps it up.
I had hopes that the right hon. Gentleman would have considered our suggestion favourably. We are willing to conform to any arrangement to meet the general convenience. As my right hon. Friend pointed out, the Committee which has been considering the hours of the House has reported against all-night sittings. Undoubtedly, the class and character of our business tends to deteriorate as the night advances, although important questions arise. A point for consideration is the work which Ministers have to perform in the early morning of the next day. To-morrow is a very important day. There is to be a Division to-morrow night, I believe. It is very important that we should have a full explanation from the Government tomorrow—we are all waiting for it—and also an explanation of the policy of the hon. Member for Smethwick (Sir Oswald 1154 Mosley). I believe the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to reply.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Well, no doubt the right hon. Gentleman will have to be in constant attendance, and he will have important work to do in the morning. From every point of view, especially his own, it is not worth our while continuing the debate at this late hour. However, the matter rests with the right hon. Gentleman. I cannot pretend to have any influence with him. I have no more influence with him than had his late colleague, the ex-Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The right hon. Gentleman brushes people aside, or tries to crush them as would a juggernaut car. He told us earlier in the evening that he did not care either for my praise or my criticism. He adheres to that. A man of greater importance than the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the great lexicographer, Dr. Johnson, told us that the applause of a single individual is of great consequence. The right hon. Gentleman so easily waves people on one side. One day it is one of his colleagues who is waved out of the administration, another day it is a member of the Opposition who is endeavouring to examine the legislation he brings before the House. When one gets into an important situation like that of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, one has continuously to say to oneself "Modesty." The right hon. Gentleman runs a great risk of creating a spirit of opposition where little exists to-day.
It may well be that the result of a very protracted sitting will have the consequence of developing these all-night sittings into a regular habit, sittings which a Committee has reported so much against, and he cannot blame us if we meet that in a similar spirit. I put it to the right hon. Gentleman whether, having regard to all the circumstances, he would not do well to be content with the three important Clauses he has already got and let us now conclude our proceedings and resume our discussion on the betting law when the Committee will be fresh and invigorated to address itself to a new topic, and when our newspaper Press will be able to record our proceedings.
§ Sir HERBERT SAMUEL
It was refreshing for all of us to hear the right hon. Gentleman speak to the Chancellor of the Exchequer so sweetly and kindly. The latter part of his remarks, however, were not quite in the same key. We were all greatly interested to observe his maxim that a Chancellor of the Exchequer should, above all others, remember that he should be modest. It called to my mind the Eastern proverb: "'Fly pride' says the peacock." The present situation, however pleasantly the two right hon. Gentlemen may be speaking to one another, seems likely to lead to another all-night sitting, which a great number of Members deplore both for themselves and for the sake of Parliament. It is an abominable way of doing the business and ought to be deprecated and avoided whenever possible. What is the situation at this moment? No one can say there has been any rapid acceleration of the business of the Committee during the first three Clauses of this Bill. If the Government were to propose to take the Income Tax Clauses to-night, in the middle of the night, that would naturally arouse legitimate opposition both above and below the Gangway.
These Clauses ought certainly to be very seriously considered at a time of day when the Committee can give their full attention to them. Clause 5 is a short Clause, which raises a single issue of a simple character; it needs debate and a clear decision of the Committee, and it need not involve prolonged discussion. The Amendments to Clause 6 will not require long discussion either, and if the Committee give the Government these two Clauses at a reasonable hour, perhaps the Government would not ask the Committee to proceed with the Income Tax Clauses to-night.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I should be happy to fall in with any suggestion to avoid a long sitting, but I would ask the Committee to remember what I said about the possibility of rising at 1.30. It is quite impossible, I gather, to complete Clauses 5 and 6 before 1.30. In these circumstances, I do not see any alternative to going on until 5 or 6 o'clock in the morning. I very much regret it, but even if we do get through Clauses 5 and 6 before 5 o'clock, I give no pledge that I shall not ask the Committee to go on.
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) will see the position to which his friendly suggestion has brought the Committee. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has really altered his attitude since he spoke earlier. Like my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), I was in doubt as to what his exact conclusion was until almost the last moment. Until the last moment, I thought that he had fixed a point to which it was reasonable to go, and beyond which he would not ask the Committee to go, provided that that moment was reached before the mystic hour of 1.30. He himself referred to Clause 5 as raising an issue which it was hardly reasonable to expect the Committee to debate and finish within the short time available to-night. If he is still of that opinion, we might be able to avoid an all-night sitting, but if, encouraged by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen, he prefers a fight, we will fight to the finish.
§ Sir H. CROFT
In an earlier part of the discussion I asked the Committee to remember that the industry we are dealing with in this Clause is the only industry upon which new taxation is being imposed. Notwithstanding this fact I think I am right in saying that in the course of about three and a-half hours' discussion on the Clauses dealing with this great industry the Closure was moved twice. If hon. Members look into the history of this House I do not think that they will be able to find any instance where questions of this importance have been rushed through this House in a quicker period of time and the Committee ought to consider that point.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel), who spoke for the Liberal party, waived aside Clause 5 as being of very little importance. Whatever views hon. Members may hold in regard to the questions raised on the earlier Clauses of this Bill, I think they will agree with me when I say that those questions have created a good deal of interest at the present time and I suggest that to discuss questions of this magnitude at this hour of the morning is not treating those questions fairly, and I beg the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for the honour of the House, not to rush these 1157 important questions through without any possibility of adequate debate.
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
A short time ago I appealed to the Chair, in similar circumstances, to rule that interruptions to prevent an hon. Member from speaking were disorderly.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I appeal to hon. Members to allow the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) to proceed with his speech.
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
Will you, Mr. Dunnico, give to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gainsborough, who has attempted to address the Committee, the same protection which you say is his right, and call to order those who are persistently interrupting the debate?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I do not understand the implication of the right hon. Gentleman. If he suggests that I am partial, giving protection to one side and not to the other, that is an improper suggestion to make. My desire is to keep order. As the right hon. Gentleman is an old Parliamentarian he knows that cries of "Divide" are continued again and again in this House until Mr. Speaker
§ appeals to hon. Members, and then he can prevent them. I did not feel that they had reached the point of disorder. When they do, I shall act.
§ Sir A. CHAMBERLAIN
I wish to make it perfectly clear that I made no implication, and I am quite sure, Mr. Dunnico, that if you refer to my words as recorded in the OFFICIAL REPORT you will see that I made no such implication as you have suggested. All that I did was to recall a Ruling you had given earlier in the evening in which you had censured interruptions from whichever side of the Committee they came. I think that the circumstances of the moment were such that it was not inopportune to recall that Ruling and I asked you to endorse it.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
May I appeal to hon. Members to remain quiet, because this is not in keeping with the dignity of the House. I hope that hon. Members will remain quiet and orderly.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 216; Noes, 131.1161
|Division No. 311.]||AYES.||[12.28 a.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Caine, Derwent Hall-||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cameron, A. G.||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cape, Thomas||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Gill, T. H.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Charieton, H. C.||Glassey, A. E.|
|Arnott, John||Chater, Daniel||Gossling, A. G.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Clarke, J. S.||Gould, F.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cluse, W. S.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Compton, Joseph||Gray, Milner|
|Barr, James||Cowan, D. M.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Batey, Joseph||Daggar, George||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Dalton, Hugh||Groves, Thomas E.|
|Bellamy, Albert||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Benson, G.||Dickson, T.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Dukes, C.||Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Duncan, Charles||Harbord, A.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Ede, James Chuter||Hardie, George D.|
|Bromfield, William||Edge, Sir William||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Brooke, W.||Edmunds, J. E.||Haycock, A. W.|
|Brothers, M.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bodwellty)||Hayes, John Henry|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr, (Cardiff, S.)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Egan, W. H.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Elmley, Viscount||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Buchanan, G.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Herriotts, J.|
|Burgess, F. G.||Foot, Isaac||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Freeman, Peter||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Hoffman, P. C.||Marley, J.||Shinwell, E.|
|Hollins, A.||Marshall, Fred||Simmons, C. J.|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Mathers, George||Sinkinson, George|
|Horrabin, J. F.||Matters, L. W.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Messer, Fred||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)|
|Isaacs, George||Middleton, G.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Mills, J. E.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Johnston, Thomas||Morley, Ralph||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Mort, D. L.||Sorensen, R.|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Moses, J. J. H.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Muff, G.||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Kennedy, Thomas||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Strauss, G. R.|
|Kinley, J.||Noel Baker, P. J.||Sullivan, J.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Oldfield, J. R.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Lang, Gordon||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Lathan, G.||Palin, John Henry.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Lawrence, Susan||Potts, John S.||Toole, Joseph|
|Lawson, John James||Price, M. P.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Leach, W.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Watkins, F. C.|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Richards, R.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Lees, J.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Ritson, J.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Romeril, H. G.||Westwood, Joseph|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||White, H. G.|
|Longden, F.||Rowson, Guy||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Samuel Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Lunn, William||Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Sanders, W. S.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Sandham, E.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Sawyer, G. F.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|McElwee, A.||Scurr, John||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|McEntee, V. L.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|McKinlay, A.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Wise, E. F.|
|McShane, John James||Shield, George William|
|Marcus, M.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Markham, S. F.||Shillaker, J. F.||Mr. Benjamin Smith and Mr. Wilfrid|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Albery, Irving James||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Atkinson, C.||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Llewellin, Major J. J.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Balniel, Lord||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Long, Major Eric|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Lymington, Viscount|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Margesson, Captain H. D.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Marjoribanks, E. C.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Mond, Hon. Henry|
|Boyce, H. L.||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.|
|Bracken, B.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Gower, Sir Robert||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Butler, R. A.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Peake, Captain Osbert|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Purbrick, R.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Remer, John R.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hammersley, S. S.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Haslam, Henry C.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Savery, S. S.|
|Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Skelton, A. N.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Thomson, Sir F.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Smithers, Waldron||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Womersley, W. J.|
|Somerset, Thomas||Todd, Capt. A. J.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Warrender, Sir Victor||Sir George Penny and Captain Euan|
|Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Wallace.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."1162
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 129; Noes 221.1163
|Division No. 312.]||AYES.||[12.42 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Penny, Sir George|
|Albery, Irving James||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Atkinson, C.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Purbrick, R.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Ford, Sir P. J.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Remer, John R.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Gower, Sir Robert||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Bracken, B.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Savery, S. S.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Butler, R. A.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Haslam, Henry C.||Somerset, Thomas|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Long, Major Eric||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lymington, Viscount||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Mond, Hon. Henry||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Muirhead, A. J.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Duckworth, G. A. V.||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Peake, Captain Osbert||Captain Margesson and Captain|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Brockway, A. Fenner||Cocks, Frederick Seymour|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Bromfield, William||Compton, Joseph|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Brooke, W.||Cowan, D. M.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Brothers, M.||Daggar, George|
|Alpass, J. H.||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Dalton, Hugh|
|Arnott, John||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Dickson, T.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Buchanan, G.||Dudgeon, Major C. R.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Burgess, F. G.||Dukes, C.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Duncan, Charles|
|Barr, James||Caine, Derwent Hall||Ede, James Chuter|
|Batey, Joseph||Cameron, A. G.||Edge, Sir William|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Cape, Thomas||Edmunds, J. E.|
|Bellamy, Albert||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Benson, G.||Charieton, H. C.||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Chater, Daniel||Egan, W. H.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Clarke, J. S.||Elmley, Viscount|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Cluse, W. S.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)|
|Foot, Isaac||Lawrence, Susan||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Freeman, Peter||Lawson, John James||Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Leach, W.||Sanders, W. S.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Sandham, E.|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lees, J.||Scurr, John|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Gill, T. H.||Lindley, Fred W.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Glassey, A. E.||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Shield, George William|
|Gossling, A. G.||Logan, David Gilbert||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Gould, F.||Longbottom, A. W.||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Longden, F.||Shinwell, E.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Gray, Milner||Lunn, William||Sinkinson, George|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||McElwee, A.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||McEntee, V. L.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||McKinlay, A.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Hall Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||McShane, John James||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Harbord, A.||Marcus, M.||Sorensen, R.|
|Hardie, George D.||Markham, S. F.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Harris, Percy A.||Marley, J.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Marshall, Fred||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|Haycock, A. W.||Mathers, George||Strauss, G. R.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Matters, L. W.||Sullivan, J.|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr, (Cardiff, S.)||Messer, Fred||Sutton, J. E.|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Middleton, G.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Mills, J. E.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Herriotts, J.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Morley, Ralph||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hoffman, P. C.||Mort, D. L.||Toole, Joseph|
|Hollins, A.||Moses, J. J. H.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Horrabin, J. F.||Muff, G.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Noel Baker, P. J.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Oldfield, J. R.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Isaacs, George||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Palin, John Henry||Westwood, Joseph|
|Johnston, Thomas||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||White, H. G.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Potts, John S.||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Price, M. P.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Kennedy, Thomas||Richards, R.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Kinley, J.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Kirkwood, D.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Lang, Gordon||Ritson, J.||Wise, E. F.|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Lathan, G.||Romeril, H. G.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Paling.|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Rowson, Guy|
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do leave the Chair."
I rise to a point of Order. I wish to ask from you at this stage some further guidance as to the conditions under which we are to be permitted to conduct our debate and under what conditions Members of this House are to be permitted to deliver their speeches and criticisms, if at all. In order to put myself in Order, I propose to conclude by moving, under Rule 68 of the Manual of Procedure, "That the Chairman do now leave the Chair," and, in support of that motion I should like to ask for your guidance, bearing in mind that my hon. Friend behind me was addressing the House and that we found great difficulty in hearing him owing to the organised 1164 opposition from the Government benches. [HON. MEMBERS: "And Lord Winterton."] The noble lord did not interrupt my hon. Friend. There was organised opposition from the Government benches. Then the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain) appealed to you to secure to the hon. Member the protection of the Chair, and you replied, if my memory serves me correctly, that that was certainly your first care and that you intended to discharge that task, but that it was quite usual from time to time when disorder broke out for the chairman to wait for an opportunity to enforce respect for the speakers on the Opposition side. On that, my right hon. Friend ceased to press his point of Order. We endeavoured 1165 to continue the debate, and my hon. Friend below the gangway rose in his place and proceeded with his speech. Thereafter, for two or three minutes, as you will perhaps remember, he was quite inaudible owing to a chorus of interruptions raised from the Government benches every time he attempted to address the Committee.
I must point out to you, in asking for your ruling, that this debate is being continued at the wish of the Government. After we have suggested that all advantages would be served by its curtailment, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has decided that we shall go on with the debate, and therefore it seems very wounding and grievous to my right hon. Friends and hon. Friends on this side of the House that, when directed by the Government to sustain and take part in the discussion, we should not even be allowed to be heard. That is very hard indeed. After this had continued for some time, you rose in your place and made a strong personal and formal appeal to the hon. Gentlemen on the Government side that they should give a fair hearing. That appeal, I need scarcely say, was treated with complete contempt. Not the slightest attention was paid to it by them, and there followed immediately from it your acceptance, in virtue of your plenary authority—which I in no way reflect upon—of the motion for the termination of the debate. That is a frank statement of what has occurred.
I want to ask where, in these conditions, is the protection for the minority, which you were so good as to promise us, when these events occur? What guarantee have we, if we continue the debate, that the moment hon. Gentlemen opposite are anxious to terminate the discussion they will not merely raise this organised clamour, and that the Chair will not then find it necessary to accept the Closure in order to terminate the disorder, in which case the opportunities of debate are denied? This is a very grave matter on which we are most anxious to receive your guidance, because it is perfectly clear that it will be impossible even for a far greater majority than the Prime Minister has now in the House, even for a far greater majority than he commands, to bear down and silence an opposition and prevent them from discharging their Parliamentary duties. Therefore, in 1166 order that we may receive your guidance on the subject, and, with the very greatest respect, I move, under Rule 68, "That the Chairman do now leave the Chair."
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Gentleman has raised his point of Order in a perfectly Parliamentary way, but I wish to make two things clear. He does not question the right of any hon. Member of the House on the Front benches or on the back benches to move the Closure. Nor does he question the right of the Chair to accept the Closure if, in the opinion of the Chair, the Closure should be applied. These two principles being quite clearly accepted, I do not think I should be lowering the dignity of the Chair if I gave my reasons to the Committee why I acted as I did. The debate on the motion to report Progress had proceeded for some time, and three front bench members had spoken and a number of back benchers had also spoken. [HON. MEMBERS: "One."]
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
A number of front benchers had spoken and some Members on the back benches. The Government had made it clear on three occasions that they intended to proceed. The Chair is not infallible, but I thought I had interpreted the wishes of the Committee in following the course I did. Let me say, quite frankly, that I accepted the Closure because I felt that I was interpreting the general wish of the Committee to get back to business. In respect to the point of order that has been raised, I wish to give all Members an assurance, if such an assurance is required, that the rights of minorities will always be safe in my hands and that I shall not allow them to be overridden. If I made a mistake, I take full responsibility for it. When I say, "If I made a mistake"—[Interruption.]
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
When I say, "If I made a mistake" I mean if I mistakenly interpreted what I conceived to be the wish of the overwhelming 1167 majority of the Members of the Committee. I accept full responsibility for my action.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
It was not without deep feeling, which is shared by a great many of those who sit on this side of the House, that I made the Motion which you have allowed me to put, and I cannot feel that it was needlessly moved, in consequence of the statement you have just made from the Chair to the Committee of the House. In view of the statement which you have made, that in the full extent of your indisputable authority you considered that the Committee had by an overwhelming majority arrived at the moment when it was ripe for decision, it appears to me that I ought not to proceed with my Motion. We all have a common interest in maintaining the dignity of the Chair. We wish our debates to have the greatest freedom, but it is vital for those debates that we should show the utmost respect, and enforce by every power, the authority of the Chair, if only because it is the sole protection that minorities have for their rights and duties. In these circumstances, I ask your leave to withdraw the Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
On a point of Order. I desire to ask your protection from an interruption made by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). He made a most serious accusation against me. He accused me of having led the interruptions that have occurred. I never interrupted in any form. All I did was to avail myself of the right that every hon. Member has to call "Order" when the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) was being shouted down. We on this side of the House claim to be protected from the kind of insulting interruptions that have come from hon. Members opposite. In view of what I have said, may I ask that the hon. Member should be requested to withdraw his remark?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I did not hear any interruption such as the Noble Lord has referred to, but I am perfectly certain that, if the Noble Lord was accused of doing something that he had not done, the hon. Member who made the 1168 accusation would withdraw it. [Interruption.] I call on the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne).
§ Sir H. CROFT
On a point of Order. May I ask for your ruling on a point that appears to be one of very great importance. The whole Committee will realise the spirit in which you have just addressed us. My hon. and gallant Friend the member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) was in possession of the House and had not commenced his speech beyond a very few words. Then you were asked to give him protection, and the moment after you had asked him to resume his speech hon. Members on the opposite side of the House got up to move "That the Question be now put." I quite understand the difficulty of the situation in the turmoil that arose, but I want to know whether it is to be regarded as a precedent that when a Member is in possession of the House and has not been permitted to resume his speech and another hon. Member gets up and moves "That the Question be now put"—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I have already stated that I accepted the Motion, because I thought that I was interpreting the wishes of the majority of the Committee. I shall only accept Motions of that kind when I am so satisfied.