Orders of the Day — Tea (Customs).

– in the House of Commons on 7th May 1919.

Alert me about debates like this

1. "That on and after the second day of June, nineteen hundred and nineteen, in lieu of the existing duty of Customs the following duties of Customs shall, until the first day of August, nineteen hundred and twenty, be charged upon all tea imported into Great Britain or Ireland, that is to say:—

s.d.
upon all tea shown to be the growth of a British Possessionthe pound010
upon all other teathe pound10

And it is declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1913."

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

I beg to move to leave out the words upon all tea shown to be the growth of a British possession—the pound, ten pence. I have always understood that Imperial Preference was for the purpose of helping our Colonies, Dominions, and Protectorates, if help were needed, but in the case of tea, surely the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot claim that any preference is needed. In 1913, 87 per cent. of our total supplies of tea came from our own Colonies, Dominions, or Dependencies. There is absolutely no evidence produced to the House that India or Ceylon, who supply us with tea, have any necessity for a preference of this kind. The only country that can be injured in connection with this preference is China. China supplies us with pretty well all the tea we import from countries outside our own Dominions. If China is injured by the preference, China has a direct method of reprisal that can injure Lancashire—and Lancashire is in the Empire—far more than we have the power to injure China. Whilst we imported tea to the value of £608,000 from China in 1913, China imported from us in cotton goods, manufactured piece goods, and yarns, no less than £9,500,000 worth in the same year. Therefore, we are going to give a preference against a country on one article when we are exporting in a normal year to the same country from one county alone, to all intents and purposes, roughly fifteen times as much as we import from her. I put it to the House as a sensible proposition that it is inadvisable to give a preference to people who do not need it against a neutral country which can injure our trade far more than there is any benefit that can be derived from the preference.

4.0 P.M.

To whom is the preference to go? India of course has borne her part in the War, and one can understand the natural feeling that India should have a preference. But take again the county of Lancashire. Is the House aware that we are being asked to give a preference to a country which during the War has actually put a protective tariff against our goods in spite of the deliberately expressed idea that controversial politics should not enter into the Coalition Government? When the righthon. Gentleman who is now the Chancellor of the Exchequer and who is proposing this preferential duty for India was Secretary of State for India he broke the understanding that controversial measures should not form part of the political life of the country, and he himself imposed a protective tariff in India against Lancashire goods, although at that time the Indian manufacturers were making fabulous profits, and, in spite of protests, we were faced with the fait accompli and had either to raise a disturbance about the matter in time of War or to sink our feelings and let the thing go.

This is what the peculiar commercial fiscal policy of the present Government is leading us to. India has no necessity whatever for these taxes. We can only gain from it a confusion of feeling in other countries. There is nothing financial that India can gain except at the expense of China. There is nothing that China can lose as a result of this tariff that will not return on us with tenfold force. I ask as a purely business proposal, apart altogether from views about Free Trade and tariffs, that a common-sense view be taken of the matter and careful attention given as to whether we are going to be losers or gainers by this policy. We look on the introduction of this policy as a very great mistake. It cannot end at tea; it cannot end in preference for the Colonies. Let China retort with a protective duty which defeats us from having our favourite nation rights, and we are in a tariff war with China at once. In my opinion that is the true intention of this proposal, and it is not the intention to help India because India needs help. The true intention of this proposal is to bring about a tariff war, and, just at a time when in peace every effort is being made to get nations to live in perfect harmony, to get freedom of intercourse between nations and understandings whereby old tariff walls and the old discords will be broken down, just at this instant we have the beginnings of a policy in this country which is likely to lead no to peace in the world but to discontent, misapprehension, and misconstruction. I ask the house to decline to vote for the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as it now stands, and to accept the Amendment moved to delete the words I have already referred to.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

In seconding the Amendment I shall not go into many details, and shall confine myself to matters of general interest and importance, but it does appear to me that it may be thought of the benches on this side that we are in some sense lacking appreciation of patriotism, or that we are not anxious to see the dependencies of our Empire well knit together. But what we are aiming at is to make the British Empire the centre and generator of what may be termed international good will, and this international good will, so essential and desirable, is not only generated by diplomacy but is dependent largely on the part played by commerce in international relations. The proposal of the right hon. Gentleman is going to interfere with that free and unfettered international trade, and to such an extent as not to facilitate or assist in the recovery of the normal state of commerce and to endanger that equipoise of trade which is necessary and essential. If the proposal is carried to its logical conclusion, if it is extended in all its ramifications to our commercial interests at home and abroad, it will not be a restraint upon the causes and the possibilities of war. There appears no indication that the proposal will increase the supply or cheapen the price of the commodity to the consumer. If experience is anything to go by, it is more likely to add to the present burdens on the poorer classes. The proposal, in my opinion, aims really at shifting the source of supply. If that is the aim and the policy of the country it will not go unnoticed by other countries who will simply retaliate in their spheres of commercial activity. We shall once again see, as the result of the application of this preference duty, a keen struggle for world markets. There is always a possibility in such a struggle of our international relationships becoming estranged. I have no hesitation in asserting that on the rebound of this fiscal boomerang we as a country, and our commercial interests will materially suffer. It may be suggested that the imposition of this duty would not increase prices. In that very eminent paper, the "Manchester Guardian" of to-day, I find a letter which indicates a movement already following upon the proposal and the imposition of this duty on tea. The writer of the letter says: I have just been approached by a tea agent who has advised me to buy tea at once as it is likely to get much dearer owing, he says, to the fact that now British-grown teas, being partially excluded from our markets by the preferential duty of 2d. per lb., cannot seriously compete in price with India and Ceylon tea. I am not surprised at this, the first result of the preference duties. It was only to be expected that practical advantage would at once be taken by the importer and merchant, while the consumer pays. It has already been pointed out that the 2d. will largely pass into the pockets of the merchants and the traders of this country and elsewhere.

The introduction of the policy of Imperial Preference will lead largely to corruption. We shall see one interest seeking to gain some pecuniary advantage over another to the detriment of all concerned, and I understand the Committee which was set up in the course of the War on commercial and industrial policy after the War admitted this grave danger and warned the country and the Government against the adoption of proposals of this character. Further, I suggest that in the retaliation that is likely to follow the application of these duties, in view of the attempt that China in particular will make to secure control over the markets and to find a home for her manufactures and to secure some satisfaction of her own requirements in markets other than our own, the loss of trade following the imposition of this duty will have a serious consequence for the labouring classes of this country. Statistical evidence goes to prove that unemployment and industrial depression are more prolonged and more acute under a system of Protection than under a policy of Free Trade. I do not suggest that the Labour party stands for the policy of Free Trade as a recognised panacea to solve poverty and unemployment, but I maintain that a universal system of Free Trade contributes more largely to our material success than the application and imposition of tariffs and of duties of the character under notice. I beg to second the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

My colleague the Financial Secretary is detained in Committee upstairs, and, of course, I have only the right to speak once on the Motion, and if I speak now I exhaust that right except by the indulgence of the House. On the other hand, I do not want the hon. Members who have spoken briefly and to the point to think that on that account I am discourteous to them by not speaking now. I will, therefore, make my speech at once, without waiting for the Debate to develop. I was waiting to see whether anyone rose on the Front Opposition Bench opposite, but I gather that, though more than one of them had the same Amendment down on the Paper, they all preferred to defer their observations till I could make mine. I should have thought that one of them might have taken his courage in both his hands and spoken on this Amendment. It is directed against the policy of Preference in general and the policy of Preference on tea in particular. In so far as the Amendment is a general attack on Preference, it is, of course, a challenge to the declared policy of His Majesty's Government. His Majesty's Government accepted two years ago the principle that on duties now or hereafter existing a preference should be given on Imperial produce. That is the policy which we are pursuing. We initiate no new duties in order to create Preference, but where, for our own purposes, we find it necessary or in our interest to impose a customs duty, then there shall be a preference to the British Dominions. That was decided in 1917, and, therefore, a date which leaves, I think, the right hon. Gentleman on the bench opposite unaffected, but a date which has an interest for the hon. Gentlemen who moved and seconded the Amendment, because the Leader of the Labour party, who was the ex-chairman, and who had only temporarily given up the chairmanship in order to join His Majesty's Government, Mr. Arthur Henderson, who was a member of the Government at that time, concurred in the Resolution which was approved by the Imperial War Cabinet and by every member of the Home Government, and was passed by the Imperial War Conference with unanimity. After that solemn de- claration to which we were parties, the proposal that we should go back on our word and withdraw from the principle of Imperial Preference, I can offer, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, nothing but the strongest resistance. Our existence is incompatible with the repudiation by the House of Commons of the policy to which we have assented for two years.

Let me take this opportunity of saying how grateful I am to the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir D. Maclean), personally, for the courtesy which he showed me on the first night of the Budget in waiving his right to prolong the discussion. I observed that in the short discussion which we have had on tea, any stick is good enough to beat this dog with, and the most inconsistent arguments come equally handy to the opponents of Preference. If the article be an article, like tea, of which the great bulk comes from our own Empire, they say that Preference is unnecessary, that it is useless. If the article be one, like coffee, of which little is produced at presentin the Dominions, they say, "What is the good of Preference for a two penny-halfpenny import?" Preference is of use in both cases. In the latter case it may lead to a vast extension of production within the Empire, and to great new trade developments. In the other case, which is the case immediately before us, the result will take effect in a different way. Here we are confronted with the case in which 90 per cent. of the tea consumed in this country is already the product of His Majesty's Possessions overseas, the great Empire of India and Ceylon. What is the result of reducing the duty on that proportion of the import by two pence. Remember that of the remaining part of the import a great deal, I cannot pretend to say how much, is a speciality—high-class China teas which are an article of luxury or taste as much as champagne, and for which a special demand will remain. But the effect of reducing the duty by two pence on the Empire product, when the Empire product makes up so large a part of the ordinary consumption of the country, must be to increase the consumption. Nobody will doubt that if you reduce the tea duty by two pence it increases the consumption of tea, and if you reduce the duty by two pence on 90 per cent. of the tea the result would be the same—an increase in the amount consumed. In the estimate of loss which I made I estimated to recoup part of the definite loss on the fall of duty by increased consumption on the larger amount of Indian tea imported.

The hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Short) with a simplicity which will wear off when he has had a longer experience of, shall I say, public life, read to this House a letter from a tea merchant who urged his clients to buy tea in a hurry to avoid a rise in price, in consequence of the reduction in duty. His clients might be fools enough to be taken in by that, but it is a little bit of trade advertisement and nothing more. It is making an opportunity to try to get rid of a little stock. The effect will be shown either in an improved quality in the blended teas, which are sold or in a reduced price of the tea per lb. The effect in India and Ceylon will be shown by a reaction of the increased consumption here on the development and prosperity of the tea industry there. Instead of being, as the hon. Member endeavoured to show, of no use to that country and harmful to this, it will be a benefit to the consumer here and of great hope and promise to the producers there. The hon. Gentlemen are very much afraid of the effect that such an alteration of our duties may have on foreign countries. So alarmed was the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment that he could not refrain from pointing out that I had been Secretary of State for India at the time the Cotton Duties were last raised. Therefore my record was very black, and I was the subject of great suspicion whenever I approached questions of this kind. So deeply did he feel my iniquities that he forgot altogether the history of the Indian Import Duty. I did not introduce it. That was the work of a pure undiluted Liberal Government, who maintained for years that these, being revenue duties, raised no question of Protection, and in respect of certain of those duties, imposed no excise or an excise admittedly markedly lower than the duties themselves. The whole of my offence, such as it was, was to proceed upon the precedent of a Liberal Government, and India being a poor country, and having the necessity of raising increased revenue and proposing to raise part of it by increased Customs Duty, I as Secretary of State, with the approval of the Government at home, sanctioned the course which the Indian Government proposed to take.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

This question had been before repeated governments, and the right hon. Gentleman was the first to introduce on cotton goods to India a duty without a countervailing Excise Duty, in India itself.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

I do not know how far I ought to pursue this. It is going a little wide of the Amendment, but I may say this that the Cotton Duty with its countervailing excise was part of the system of duties which I explained, which in other cases carried no countervailing excise. Cotton was put in a privileged position. I left the excise where it was, with the consent of the Government at home, and I sanctioned the proposal of the Indian Government. The hon. Member represents the Labour party on this matter. Does he for the Labour party say that he or his party are going to ignore absolutely Indian opinion on matters of this kind. I was not prepared to do so as Secretary of State. I am not prepared to do so now that I have ceased to hold that office. If the hon. Member and his party are going to take up that position they are going to incur very serious responsibility and raise very grave issues.

The only other point raised by the hon. Members was the question of retaliation by foreign governments. The Mover in particular dwelt on the case of China. He was anxious lest we should lose the Chinese market owing to retaliatary action by the Chinese government. I venture to say that it would not occur to any foreign government to think that the internal arrangements of another nation or empire was their affair at all, if so many Members of the House of Commons and publicists outside did not studiously apply themselves to teaching foreign nations that it was. Now let me put the reverse case. Have we any right to complain because goods can pass from one province of the Chinese Empire to another without paying the charges which English goods must pay when they enter China? We have no right to complain. We have not thought of complaining, yet many parts of the British Empire are hardly more widely separated than many parts of the Chinese Empire, and the diversities of language and thought are as great as in the British Empire. What we choose to do within the British Empire is the concern of the British Empire. It gives no right for any foreign nation to take offence. No foreign nation invites or would tolerate our interference in their internal Customs arrangements, and I see no reason, but for the suggestions coming from the hon. Gentleman, why any foreign nation should take any offence at our doing what other foreign nations have done for years without complaint from us or anybody else. If that be the issue, if a foreign nation chooses to raise that issue, and to say, when one portion of the British Empire treats another portion of the British Empire as kinsmen, as parts of one whole, as partners in one great commonwealth, that that is an offence to the foreign nation, then the whole British Empire would be ready to meet that and to stand shoulder 10 shoulder to combat it.

It was raised by Germany when Canada gave us a preference. I am sorry to say we did not all stand shoulder to shoulder at that time, but Canada, standing alone, put that contention down and beat them. We are ready to face that again. This is a big question, and it has got to be discussed at some time, and while I do not wish to repeat myself on every Amendment on which it is raised, the one question is a question of principle. Are we entitled to treat different parts of the Empire as parts of one whole, and as distinct from nations outside the Empire not owning the sovereignty of the King? If we are so entitled, are we prepared to do it? For this Government there is but one answer. At Conference after Conference, first the Colonial Conference, then the Imperial Conference, this principle has been proposed and pressed upon our acceptance by all the self-governing Dominions. Sometimes the representative of one has been the protagonist, sometimes that of another, but they have always been agreed. They have never sought to interfere in our domestic affairs. They have never sought to dictate to us what Customs Duties we should have, or whether we should have any, but they have pleaded again and again that where Customs Duties did exist or were imposed, the principle of Imperial unity should be recognised by the establishment of Imperial Preference. At Conference after Conference the Ministers of the Home Government alone refrained from voting. At last, two years ago, the Home Government, in the midst of a great war and of the emotions stirred by that war, looking at the way in which the Empire had sprung together when the call to arms came, thinking of what a reality the Imperial spirit had shown itself to be, and what a force in the world's history this Imperial kinship was, then, for the first time, British Ministers ranged themselves with the Ministers from overseas in the acceptance of the principle for which they had so long contended. I do not know whether the House will forgive me, but they know the emotion which this question stirs in me, and I hope they will forgive me for telling them that a little time ago, a year or two ago, a gentleman who was at one time a Member of this House wrote me a letter saying that he was at a certain meeting which my father addressed upon this subject in the year 1905, I think, or early in 1906, and that, going to stay at the same house with him after the meeting, he, in the course of conversation, said to my father, "The case you make seems to me so plain and so strong that I cannot understand how people fail to accept it." My father said, "They will accept it one day, but it may be at the cost of much blood and treasure." That day has come, Sir.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

If it might be permitted to so junior a Member to the right hon. Gentleman as myself to say so, I should like to say that we very much admire, and always have admired, the great courage and single-mindedness with which he has promoted the cause of Imperial Preference, and perhaps he will understand better than some of our own colleagues the feelings of those of us who sit here, a small minority, in defence of our principles. This Amendment is to reduce the Tea Duty from 1s. to 10d. throughout. At least, that would be the result of it with one consequential Amendment, and apart from the larger issues which the right hon. Gentleman has raised, there are reasons germane to the Amendment itself which should commend it, I think, to the favourable consideration of the House. The right hon. Gentleman says that he wishes to see, and believes, that the result of the Budget will be to reduce the price of tea. If the reduction of the duty from 1s. to 10d. in the case of 87 per cent. of the import will tend to reduce the price of tea, it is quite obvious that to take the 2d. off the China and Java tea will make certain of that reduction, so that we may say that the Amendment has as one of its objects a reduction in the price of tea, and those who know the conditions of the working classes and the cost of living at the present time and the very hard task that many families have in budgeting, families belonging not to what I may call the aristocracy of labour, will see that to them this Amendment has some merit. As regards the second point, it is this. One of our most important foreign markets is China. The recent figures of trade are not available, because the publications have ceased during the War, but we may say that £10,000,000 a year of cotton goods go to China. I understand that it is a question of a treaty with China that we are to enjoy the Most-Favoured-Nation treatment in that country. It is perfectly obvious that if we deprive China of the consideration in respect of which we enjoy the Most-Favoured-Nation treatment they are perfectly entitled by treaty to deprive us of the most-favoured-nation treatment and to hand over their market, say, to America.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

They are entitled to do nothing of the kind. Any Government may denounce a treaty, but there is no infringement of the treaty, in the proposed Preference, of the principle of the most-favoured-nation treatment; none whatever. Many of the Colonies have that, I think, already, and the United States have it. The United States have given a Preference to Cuba, which is no part of the United States, and is still contained in the privileges given under the Most-Favoured-Nation treatment.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

Despite what the right hon. Gentleman says, there is a material point, and it is that China has here a large market for her tea, and we are going to deprive her of that market. That is the intention. The intention is to supplant China and Java tea in our market by tea grown in the British Empire, and, if that is not the intention, what is the good of the Preference? If you intend to deprive China of her market in tea, I say that she is entitled to say, "Very well, we prefer to give a Preference in our market for cotton goods to some other country than Lancashire."

Photo of Mr Edward Carson Mr Edward Carson , Belfast Duncairn

When Canada or any of the Colonies give us a Preference, does that affect the Most-Favoured-Nation Clause?

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

I am speaking about the most-favoured-nation treatment of other countries in British markets. If we say we will cut out China tea, it is obvious we are not giving China the most-favoured-nation treatment.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

It is plain that what China wants to send here is tea, and we are going to stop her sending tea.

Captain STANLEY WILSON:

If I want my China tea I shall still drink it.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

The hon. and gallant Member has a pretty taste in beverages, and he will still drink tea, but there can be no question that, whether for good or for bad reasons, we are risking the China market for Lancashire goods by this Preference. The third reason in favour of the Amendment is this. We are the world market for tea. We import, I believe, or did import, according to the last figures from China, £600,000 worth of tea. A certain quantity of that goes to gentlemen like the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite, who insists on drinking China tea, but it is a very small quantity. The great bulk of it—about five-sixths of the import, I believe—is redistributed by this country to other markets of the world. That employs labour and capital, and that is a British industry which will be utterly destroyed by the Preference now proposed to be given. Whereas the tea was sent here and distributed from here to the Continent, it will be very much simpler for the China or Java merchant to seek to get direct to his market instead of going through the entrepot, such as this country has hitherto provided.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

Why does giving a Preference on Indian tea interfere with the entrepot trade in China tea? That entrepot trade is carried on in bond and is unaffected by the Customs.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

Of course, I am well aware that in so far as the entrepot trade is carried on in bond it is unaffected, but I am informed—I am not a tea merchant myself—that the greater part of the trade is not carried on in bond. It is obvious that for an entrepot trade it is a great deal more convenient to have a free market.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

If they do not keep the tea in bond, they have to pay the duty, and they still have to pay the duty under the Amendment which is now proposed.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

Yes; but they are paying a duty at a higher rate than they are for the Indian tea. That is the point. I suppose that there are merits in the Preference case, but I do not understand how on the one hand the right hon. Gentleman explains that in response to the demands of India we are going to preserve our market for Indian tea and exclude China tea, and then that he is not doing anything to interfere with the market for China tea and the basis of the entrepot trade. You cannot have it both ways, and you must decide on which horse you are going to ride. So much for the direct question of the duty on tea; but a much more important question is raised by what the righthon. Gentleman said as regards the whole question of Preference.

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

We cannot discuss that now. The proper place to discuss that is on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

I shall, of course, follow your ruling, Sir, but I understood the right hon. Gentleman, in opening this Debate, dealt widely with the question of Preference and its advantages, and he illustrated it by the Import Duties in India on cotton goods.

Photo of Mr James Lowther Mr James Lowther , Penrith and Cockermouth

That was drawn from him by the hon. Member behind the hon. and gallant Member (Air. Shaw), who rose andspecifically put it. He was therefore bound to answer it, but he did not initiate the Debate. The Debate was initiated from the Labour Benches.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

In that case I think I have given, without touching the general question, which is highly debatable, and on which I should very much like to have the opportunity of saying something at the proper moment, three good reasons in favour of the Amendment, and I defer anything I have to say on the general subject of Preference to a more orderly and convenient occasion.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Resolution."

The House divided: Ayes, 262; Noes, 63.

Division No. 27.]AYES.[4.49 p.m.
Adair, Rear-AdmiralChadwick, R. BurtonGreame, Major P. Lloyd-
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherChamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Birm.,W.)Green, J. F. (Leicester)
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteChamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)Greig, Colonel James William
Allen, Major W. J. (Armagh, N.)Cheyne, Sir William WatsonGretton, Col. John
Archdale, Edward M.Clough, R.Griggs, Sir Peter
Astbury, Lt.-Com. F. W.Coats, Sir StuartGuinness, Capt. Hon. R. (Southend)
Atkey, A. R.Cockerill, Brig.-Gen. G. K.Gwynne, R. S.
Bagley, Captain E. A.Cohen, Major J. B. B.Hacking, Captain D. H.
Baldwin, StanleyColvin, Brigadier-General R. B.Hailwood, A.
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Conway, Sir W. MartinHall, Lieut.-Col. Sir Fred (Dulwich)
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir F. G.Cooper, Sir Richard AshmoleHall, R. Adml. Sir W. R. (Lpl.W. Derby)
Barnston, Major HarryCope, Major W. (Glamorgan)Hallas, E.
Barrand, A. R.Cory, J. H. (Cardiff)Hambro, Angus Valdemar
Beauchamp, Sir EdwardCourthope, Major George LoydHamilton, Major C. G. C. (Altrincham)
Beck, Arthur CecilCowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)Harris, Sir Henry P. (Paddington, S.)
Beckett, Hon. GervaseCraig, Capt. C. (Antrim)Haslam, Lewis
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryHenderson, Major V. L.
Bentinck. Lt.-Col. Lord H. Cavendish-Curzon, Commander ViscountHenry, Sir Charles S. (Salop)
Betterton, H. B.Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)Higham, C. F. (Islington, S.)
Bird, AlfredDavies, Sir D. S. (Denbigh)Hilder, Lieut.-Col. F.
Blades, Sir George R.Davies, T. (Cirencester)Hoare, Lt.-Col. Sir Samuel J. G.
Blair, Major ReginaldDavies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)Hood, Joseph
Blake, Sir Francis DouglasDavison, Sir W. H. (Kensington)Hope, Harry (Stirling)
Blane, T. A.Dawes, J. A.Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Berwick, Major G. O.Dean, Com. P. T.Hopkins, J. W. W.
Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith-Dennis, J. W.Hopkinson, Dr. E. (Clayton)
Bowles, Col. H. F.Dockrell, Sir M.Horne, Edgar (Guildford)
Bowyer, Capt. G. W. E.Donald, T.Horne, Sir Robert (Hillhead)
Breese, Major C. E.Doyle, N. GrattanHughes, Spencer Leigh
Briggs, HaroldDu Pre, Colonel W. B.Hunter, Gen. Sir A. (Lancaster)
Britton, G. B.Eyres-Monsell, Com.Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.
Brown, Captain D. C. (Hexham)Falcon, Captain M.Illingworth, Rt. Hon. Albert H.
Bruton, Sir J.Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayInskip, T. W. H.
Buchanan, Lieut.-Col. A. L. H.Fell, Sir ArthurJackson, Lieut.-Col. Hon. F. S. (York)
Buckley, Lt.-Col. A.FitzRoy, Capt. Hon. Edward A.Jameson, Major J. G.
Burdon, Col. RowlandFraser, Major Sir KeithJesson, C.
Burn, Col. C. R. (Torquay)Ganzoni, Captain F. C.Jodrell, N. P.
Butcher, Sir J. G.Gardiner, J. (Perth)Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Campbell, J. G. D.Gardner, E. (Berks., Windsor)Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)
Campion, Col. W. R.Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamJones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)
Carr, W. T.Gilbert, James DaniesJoynson-Hicks, William
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.Glyn, Major R.Kelly, Major Fred (Rotherham)
Cayzer, Major H. R.Goff, Sir R. ParkKidd, James
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Oxford Univ.)Gould, J. C.King, Com. Douglas
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Knights, Capt. H.Parker, JamesStewart, Gershom
Lane-Fox, Major G. R.Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)Strauss, Edward Anthony
Law, A. J. (Rochdale)Parry, Major Thomas HenrySugden, Lieut. W. H.
Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ. Wales)Pearco, Sir WilliamSurtees, Brig.-Gen. H. C.
Lindsay, William ArthurPease, Rt. Hon. Herbert PikeTalbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)
Lister, Sir R. AshtonPercy, CharlesTaylor, J. (Dumbarton)
Lloyd, George ButlerPerkins, Walter FrankTerrell, G. (Chippenham, Wilts.)
Locker-Lampson G. (Wood Green)Philipps, Sir O. C. (Chester)Terrell, Capt. R. (Henley, Oxford)
Locker Lampson, Com. O. (Hunt'don)Pollock, Sir Ernest MurrayThomas, Sir R. (Wrexham, Denb.)
Lort-Williams, J.Pownall, Lt.-Col. AsshetonThomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)
Loseby, Captain C. E.Preston, W. R.Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, W)
Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)Pulley, Charles ThorntonTickler, Thomas George
Lowther, Col. Claude (Lancs., Lons.)Purchase, H. G.Townley, Maximillian G.
Lynn, R. J.Rae, H. NormanTryon, Major George Clement
Lyon, L.Raeburn, Sir WilliamTurton, Edmund Russborough
M'Donald, D. H. (Bothwell, Lanark)Randies, Sir John ScurrahWaddington, R.
M'Laren, R. (Lanark, N.)Ratcliffe, Henry ButlerWalters, Sir John Tudor
M'Lean, Lt.-Col. C. W. W. (Brigg)Raw, Lt.-Col. Dr. N.Walton, J. (York, Don Valley)
Macmaster, DonaldReid, D. D.Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.
Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.Renwick, G.Wardle, George J.
McNeill, Ronald (Canterbury)Richardson, Albion (Peckham)Waring, Major Walter
Malone, Col. C. L. (Leyton, E.)Richardson, Alex. (Gravesend)Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Malone, Major P. (Tottenham, S.)Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)Warren, Sir Alfred H.
Marriott, John Arthur R.Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)Watson, Captain John Bertrand
Mason, RobertRodger, A. K.Weston, Col. John W.
Middlebrook, Sir WilliamRoundell, Lt.-Col. R. F.Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Mitchell, William Lane-Rowlands, JamesWhite, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Moles, ThomasRoyds, Lt.-Col. EdmundWilliams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough)
Molson, Major John ElsdaleRutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)
Moore, Maj.-Gen. Sir Newton J.Samuel, A, M. (Farnham, Surrey)Wilson, Capt. A. Stanley (Hold' ness)
Moreing, Captain Algernon H.Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Norwood)Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, W.)
Morrison, H. (Salisbury)Samuels, Rt. Hon. A. W. (Dublin Univ.)Wilson, Col. M. (Richmond, Yorks.)
Mount, William ArthurScott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)Wilson-Fox, Henry
Murray, Lt.-Col. Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)Seager, Sir WilliamWood, Major Hon. E. (Ripon)
Murray, Major C. D. (Edinburgh, S.)Shaw, Capt. W. T. (For far)Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, W.)
Murray, Hon. G. (St. Rollox)Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T., W.)Wood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)
Nall, Major JosephSimm, Col. M. T.Yate, Col. Charles Edward
Nicholson, W. (Petersfield)Smithers, Alfred W.Yen, Sir Alfred William
Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.Sprot, Col. Sir AlexanderYoung, Sir F. W. (Swindon)
Norton-Griffiths, Lt.-Col. Sir J.Stanier, Capt. Sir BevilleYounger, Sir George
Oman, C. W. C.Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. WilliamStarkey, Capt. John RalphTELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Pratt and Lieut.-Col. Gilmour.
Palmer, Major G. M. (Jarrow)Steel, Major S. Strang
Palmer, Brig.-Gen. G, (Westbury)Stevens, Marshall
NOES
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamGriffiths, T. (Pontypool)Redmond, Captain William A.
Arnold, SydneyGrundy, T. W.Richards, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Bell, James (Ormskirk)Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)Roberts, F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Benn, Capt. W. (Leith)Hancock, John GeorgeRose, Frank H.
Brace, Rt. Hon. WilliamHarbison, T. J. S.Royce, William Stapleton
Bramsdon, Sir T.Hartshorn, V.Sexton, James
Briant, F.Hayday, A.Shaw, Tom (Preston)
Bread, Thomas TuckerHayward, Major EvanShort, A. (Wednesbury)
Brown, J. (Ayr and Bute)Hinds, JohnSitch, C. H.
Cairns, JohnHirst, G. H.Smith, W. (Wellingborough)
Carter, W. (Mansfield)Hogge, J. M.Spencer, George A.
Casey, T. W.Irving, DanSwan, J. E. C.
Coote, Colin R. (Isle of Ely)Johnstone, J.Taylor, J. W. (Chester-le-Street)
Crooks, Rt. Hon. WilliamJones, J. (Silvertown)Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe)Kenyon, BarnetTillett, Benjamin
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)Kenworthy, Lieut-CommanderWalsh, S. (Ince, Lancs.)
Devlin, JosephLunn, WilliamWhite, Charles F. (Derby, W.)
Edwards, C. (Bedwellty)Lyle-Samuel, A. (Eye, E. Suffolk)Wood, Major M.
Finney, SamuelM'Callum, Sir John M.Young, Robert (Newton, Lancs.)
Galbraith, SamuelMaclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)
Glanville, Harold JamesMorgan, Major D WattsTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)O'Grady, JamesTyson Wilson and Mr. Neil M'Lean.
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)

Photo of Mr Frank Rose Mr Frank Rose , Aberdeen North

I beg to move, to leave out the word "ten" [ten pence"], and to insert instead thereof the word "three."

5.0 P.M.

I am not approaching this matter from a party point of view at all. I am aware that this Motion to reduce the Tea Tax is a sort of hardy annual, which has been introduced almost every year, certainly every year since the Labour party has been an element in Parliamentary life. I am not very much concerned, at least so far as this Amendment extends, with the difference between Protection and Free Trade, Colonial Preference or any other sort of preference, except the preference for the very poor consumers, and I think we have always been—at least, to the best of my recollection—in favour of reducing this tax as far as possible. We propose by this Amendment to reduce it very considerably; at all events, we propose to reduce it from 10d. to 3d. I am quite aware that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to raise the money. We may be met, indeed shall be met, by the suggestion that this is one of the prime sources of revenue, and one which he could by no possibility modify or depreciate. I am not at this juncture going to attempt to anticipate the arguments that will be put forward by my hon. Friends on these benches when they come to discuss some of the larger problems involved in the Budget Resolutions; but I think I am speaking in the name of all, or nearly all, of my colleagues here when I say that the principle that seems to us to be involved is a principle of differentiating or balancing—or finding a better balance—between direct and indirect taxation. We want indirect taxation brought down to its lowest possible limit, and the burdens of national upkeep thrown on the direct sources of taxation.

The difference between Protection and Free Trade, or of any of the phases of either, are, speaking for myself, matters of comparatively small importance. I have never regarded either of them as a principle. I have never regarded them as embodying, or even inferring, a principle. Both seem to me to be expedients to be adopted or not to be adopted. There is nothing sacrosanct about either of them. Therefore it is not from that point of view that I am introducing this Amendment. It is because we believe there are ample sources of direct taxation open to the Chancellor, and that he ought not to impose greater taxes on articles which, in our opinion, are already over-taxed and which might be relieved in the interests of most of the poor people of this country. So far as the well-to-do are concerned I do not suppose it matters much, but we have to consider a vast number of people who have not profited by the War. Everybody has not made money out of the War. Some people have been bitterly impoverished by it. If any of the necessities of their life are taxed for the purpose of raising Revenue, much of which has gone, and is still going in profits, which, however legal they may be, are hopelessly immoral, it seems to me to be the wrong principle. It is against this principle of increasing indirect taxation, and on the principle of throwing all the burdens we possibly can on the direct sources of taxation that I have introduced this Amendment on behalf of my hon. and right hon. colleagues.

I quite realise the great difficulties of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. One has to have regard, if I may be permitted a general remark, to the general slip-shod character of this Budget from beginning to end. It seems to us a very perfunctory expedient for getting over a difficult time somehow, anyhow! If I may be pardoned, such a vulgarity as alliteration, I would refer to the right hon. Gentleman as "the manipulator of mythical millions." I do feel, seeing he has an hereditary gift for magic, that he might have offered us something better than this. To pile taxes on any of the articles consumed by the poorest of our people seems to me to be not only perfunctory, but, I think, scarcely in accordance with what we have a right to expect from right hon. Gentlemen who are ruling us, the members of His Majesty's Government.

Photo of Mr Sydney Arnold Mr Sydney Arnold , Penistone

As one who has consistently and persistently opposed the Tea Duty in time of war as well as in time of peace I desire to second this Amendment. In discussing it I should like to get down to the first principles of taxation and see how the Tea Duty stands in regard to them. All taxation should be equitable, economically sound, and productive. These are really the three governing principles of sound taxation. The Tea Duty is productive, but in so far as it is productive it is inequitable in its incidence, and economically unsound. It is inequitable in its incidence because everybody knows that indirect taxation of this kind imposes a much heavier burden upon the poor than it does upon the richer classes. But this Tea Duty is not only inequitable as between rich and poor, it is also inequitable in respect to its incidence between poor and poor, because the amount of the duty which a man pays depends not only upon his ability to bear it, but upon the size of his family. This is quite a wrong criterion on which to estimate the amount of taxation that one ought to pay. Further, the Tea Duty is economically unsound because it presses with peculiar severity on those who are near, or below, the level of subsistence.

The simple truth is that tea is a necessity for the poorer classes. It is an academic and armchair view to say that tea is a luxury. For the poorer classes tea is a necessity because at most meals there is nothing else cheaper that they can drink. To argue that tea is a luxury is opposed to the real facts of life as they are to-day. Anything that tends to increase the price of tea tends, in many cases, to reduce the miserable pittance of those who have already not got sufficient to live upon. A rough calculation shows that this duty, on its present level, is taking out of the pockets of the poorer classes of the country £11,000,000 per year. That means a great hardship on poor people who have to pay it. It does not really mean much in revenue to the Chancellor as things go today; £11,000,000 is, in fact, only about 1 per cent. of the total revenue which the Chancellor expects to obtain this year. It would be much better and much more in accordance with the principles of sound taxation to get this money by increasing the rates of Income Tax upon bigger incomes by a copper or two, and by some slight changes in the Super-tax scale. In this way the money would be got without any real hardship, and between the two methods this would be much better. If the Chancellor will not do what is really the only proper thing to do to solve our present difficulties, there are other alternatives; but, as between the two methods, this is the better—as between Income Tax and Tea Duty—because the Tea Duty does involve a very real hardship, and is enormous upon the poor at any time, especially at the present time, because of the very high prices.

It is a great mistake to suppose, as so many people seem to do, that the rises which have taken place in wages have been generally commensurate with the rises in prices. That is a complete delusion. As a matter of fact, nothing could be more untrue of a large number of the poorer classes which, despite increased wages and so forth, are much worse off than before the War. Amongst these are old age pensioners—who number nearly 1,000,000—many industrial workers—particularly in the printing, building, and textile trades—agricultural labourers, many postal employés, and police employés, hundreds of thousands of clerks, and shop assistants, lodging-house keepers; many injured workers and the families of many of our men who are still fighting. There are tens of thousands of people, widows and spinsters, with small fixed incomes. Owing to the great rise in the cost of living many of these people have been driven near to, or below, the level of subsistence, and the Tea Duty inflicts a great hardship upon them. It trenches upon the margin for bare necessities. It tends to reduce the efficiency of millions of the people. It does this at a critical time in our history, when it is most important in the national interest that the health and physique of the people should be maintained as far as possible. There is another vital objection to all taxation of this kind. It is this: in the case of direct taxation when the income falls the rate of taxation is reduced. If it falls below a certain level, the tax ceases altogether. That is not true of the Tea Duty. It goes on all the time. A man's income may fall well below the level of subsistence, but it makes no difference. There is no abatement; no remission of duty. The Tea Duty is always there whatever the man's wages fall to. It surely does not require much imagination to realise that the Tea Duty is a serious burden in the homes of tens of thousands of the poorer classes, and that it means that in innumerable cases the insufficient margin for buying nourishing food is being still further reduced.

I expect the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he gets up to reply, will bring forward, as his counter argument, or as part of it, the bread subsidy. Ever since the bread subsidy has been in existence it has been used on these occasions to refute, or attempt to refute, the arguments that have been urged against the Tea Duty. I quite expect that this contention will be brought forward to-day. I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman shall only use the bread subsidy on one condition. It is this, that he should undertake, when the bread subsidy ceases, to repeal the Tea Duty. Of course, he will not do anything of the kind! The point is this: The bread subsidy will be temporary, and the right hon. Gentleman wants the Tea Duty to be permanent. Apart from other things, it is part and parcel of his Preference proposals that the Tea Duty should be permanent. No doubt these arguments will be brought forward again. Personally, I should like to see the duty abolished altogether. That would have the double advantage of relieving the poorer classes still further from this tax and it would also destroy Preference so far as tea is concerned. This Amendment does go a long way in the direction of abolishing the Tea Duty, and therefore I beg to second the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

The House has already accepted and affirmed the principle that there should be a Preference in respect of this duty on teas produced in the British Empire. The effect of the acceptance of this Amendment would be that the Preference would be very largely increased, and instead of being 2d. in the £ would be 9d. in the £, and, strong Preferentialist as I am, I think that is an exaggerated Preference, and more than is necessary for any useful purpose. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment expressly disclaimed any desire to raise that issue, and I am not going to argue it further now. His demand is, of course, for a general reduction as regards the Tea Duty. If his proposal were carried it would reduce the yield of the Tea Duty from something like £14,000,000, which it is at present, to about £6,000,000, and the loss of £8,000,000 of revenue is a loss which I cannot face. Both hon. Members, the Mover and Seconder, are concerned as to the proportion between direct and indirect taxation. The hon. Member who seconded wants, I think, no indirect taxes.

Photo of Mr Sydney Arnold Mr Sydney Arnold , Penistone

No indirect taxation execpt on luxuries.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

I should say that tea is one of the common necessities of life. I have always contended so, especially among the poorer classes. But the real question is not whether this tax standing by itself is fair. I venture to say that none of our taxes taken individually are fair, but they must be regarded in combination, because one balances and completes the other, and where one raises the scale unduly on one section of the population another restores the balance. Therefore it is only by regarding the question as a whole that we can arrive at an appreciation of the justice of our system of taxation. We cannot consider one tax in complete isolation by itself and condemn it as if it were the only tax. Both hon. Members spoke as if we were piling up new duties on articles of food of primary necessity. I am not doing anything of the kind, and as far as I have made any change in the duties it has not been to increase, but to reduce them. Is it, therefore, quite fair for hon. Members to speak of the piling up of taxation? The hon. Member who moved said he wanted to cut down indirect taxation and get revenue by direct taxation. I observe that the Leader of his party has got an Amendment down to exclude a large por- tion of the population from Income Tax. If we are to have no indirect taxation and no direct taxation, how is the revenue to be obtained? I should be rather glad if the hon. Member would state what proportion he thought was fair or reasonable at the present time as between direct and indirect taxation.

Photo of Mr Frank Rose Mr Frank Rose , Aberdeen North

I think the whole of it should be borne by direct taxation, and that there should be no indirect taxation at all. That is my object. I cannot answer for what the Leader of my party is going to say, and I do not think that is quite a fair argument against me.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

The hon. Member's point is not that there should be some different proportion between direct and indirect taxation, but that there should be no indirect taxation at all. That would mean, for instance, that there would be no taxation on beer or spirits. Then we come to the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Adamson) that a large portion of the population should pay no direct taxation. Let me just say what is the proportion between direct and indirect taxation. According to the Estimates which I have laid before the House direct taxation comes to rather more than 75 per cent. of the whole tax revenue for the year, or 75.08. Sumptuary taxes—that is to say, taxes on alcohol, tobacco and entertainments—contribute 17.91 per cent., and the total contribution to tax revenue of all other indirect taxes is 7.01, which I think is not an unreasonable proportion of the whole amount. I believe it is a smaller proportion than any that has been reached in quite recent years.

Photo of Mr Alfred Waterson Mr Alfred Waterson , Kettering

May I ask if the Excess Profits Tax is treated as direct or indirect?

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

Because it is so. I admit we may dispute a great deal as to what is direct or indirect.

Photo of Mr David Irving Mr David Irving , Burnley

Could the right hon. Gentleman say how much of the tax is borne by each family?

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

It would be impossible in a tax like tea to get a return as to the individual amount of duty paid on the tea consumed. I could not contemplate any reduction of the Tea Duty to the figure proposed by the hon. Members.

Photo of Mr William Adamson Mr William Adamson , Fife Western

The right hon. Gentleman referred to a difference between the Mover of the Amendment and myself as regards the question of taxation, but there is no difference between us or, for that matter, between the party and myself on the question of being against the taxation of the food of the people. As has been stated, tea is a very important article of diet, and this tax which we are seeking to reduce from 10d. to 2d. bears heavily on the poorest of the poor, and especially on those households where tea is a necessary article of life. During the Second Reading Debate I gave my personal views in favour of indirect taxation so far as they applied to luxuries, but the article now under discussion cannot be included in the category of luxuries. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reply, asked what would be the effect of this Motion if it were accepted or carried, and said that it would be to increase the Preference on Colonial-grown teas. Our object in moving this Amendment, I desire to say frankly, is to reduce the tax on tea to the lowest possible figure to which we can reduce it. If it had been permissible to move the complete abolition of the Tea Tax, we would have taken that line, but we understood that there would be certain difficulties in the way of moving for its complete abolition. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the course of his replies, has pointed out that he cannot afford to lose the money that would be brought into the Exchequer by the tax that we are now discussing. He also pointed out that it did not amount to a very large sum, but that he could not afford to lose the sum that it would bring in. In view of the manner in which it will press against the very poorest of the people, it would be well worth the trouble of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to try and find some other source for raising the amount of money involved in this Tea Tax.

During the course of the Second Reading Debate, the right hon. Baronet the Member for Spen Valley (Sir T. Whittaker) tried to show to the House that the working classes of this country had profited to a far greater extent than the money section of our people. He went on to point out that the wages of the workers had increased somewhere between £800,000,000 and £1,000,000,000, but he omitted to take notice of this very important fact, that whilst the wages of the working classes had possibly increased by the amount which he stated, which he said was pretty nearly double the wages they received before the War, he omitted to note that, although that might be true, at the same time the cost of living had more than doubled. [Mr. CHAMBERLAIN indicated dissent] The Chancellor of the Exchequer shakes his head, but I took my information from the figures supplied by the Government itself, which shows that the cost of living three months ago had risen by no less than 130 per cent.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

The right hon. Gentleman is referring to the Board of Trade figures, which give not the cost of living, but the cost of certain articles.

Photo of Mr Sydney Arnold Mr Sydney Arnold , Penistone

Is it not the fact that, according to the Labour Gazette," the increase in the cost of living is 110 per cent., or 103 per cent. if you leave out the taxation, and by making further adjustments it cannot be brought below 95 per cent.

Photo of Mr William Adamson Mr William Adamson , Fife Western

Evidently we are getting into a very warm discussion as to the exact amount. The broad fact remains that the cost of living increased to as great an amount as the increase that took place in the wages of the working classes, or, in other words, the class on which the tax we are now discussing bears most heavily are in a worse position now than they were in August, 1914.

Photo of Mr William Adamson Mr William Adamson , Fife Western

That is what I was leading up to. Another thing which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley and the Chancellor of the Exchequer failed to note is that during the same period of time the wealth of the working classes of this country has increased by no less than £5,000,000. If that is true, here is a source from which the Chancellor of the Exchequer could very easily make up the small sum of money that he would lose by agreeing to our Amendment, and reducing the tax from 7d. to 3d., as has been suggested by the Mover and Seconder of this Motion. Not only could he find this additional revenue in the direction which I have already pointed out, in the increased wealth, but those who are earning incomes of over £l,000, and in some cases £100,000 a year, could well afford to pay a few coppers of an increase and so relieve this very excessive burden from the shoulders of the poorest portion of the population of this country. I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, notwithstanding the very emphatic way in which he has refused this concession, will

see his way to agree to the Amendment which has been moved, and so relieve the poorest of the poor of this excessive burden that bears so heavily upon them.

Question put, "That the word 'ten' stand part of the Resolution."

The House divided: Ayes, 285; Noes, 63.

Division No. 28.]AYES.[5.40 p.m.
Adair, Rear-AdmiralDavison, Sir W. H. (Kensington)Joynson-Hicks, William
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteDawes, J. A.Kelly, Major Fred (Rotherham)
Allen, Col. W. J. (Armagh, N.)Dean, Com. P. T.Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr
Archdale, Edward M.Dennis, J. W.King, Com. Douglae
Atkey, A. R.Dewhurst, Lieut.-Com. H.Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Baldwin, StanleyDockrell, Sir M.Knights, Capt. H.
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Doyle, N. GrattanLane-Fox, Major G. R.
Barnston, Major HarryDu Cros, Sir Arthur PhilipLaw, A. J. (Rochdale)
Barrand, A. R.Du Pre, Colonel W. B.Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ. Wales)
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)Edge, Captain WilliamLindsay, William Arthur
Barton, Sir William (Oldham)Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)Lister, Sir R. Ashton
Beauchamp, Sir EdwardEyres-Monsell, Com.Lloyd, George Butler
Beck, Arthur CecilFalcon, Captain M.Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Beckett, Hon. GervaseFalle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayLocker-Lampson, Com. O. (Hunt'don)
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)Farquharson, Major A. C.Lort-Williams, J.
Benn, Sir Arthur S. (Plymouth)Fell, Sir ArthurLowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)
Bentinck, Lt.-Col. Lord H. CavendishFitzRoy, Capt. Hon. Edward A.Lowther, Col. Claude (Lancs., Lons.)
Bird, AlfredFlannery, Sir J. FortescueLynn, R. J.
Blades, Sir George R.Fraser, Major Sir KeithLyon, L.
Blair, Major ReginaldGange, E. S.M'Donald, Dr. B. F. P. (Wallasey)
Blake, Sir Francis DouglasGanzoni, Captain F. C.M'Donald, D. H. (Bothwell, Lanark)
Blane, T. A.Gardiner, J. (Perth)Mackinder, Halford J.
Boles, Lieut.-Col. D. F.Gardner, E. (Berks., Windsor)M'Laren, R. (Lanark, N.)
Borwick, Major G. O.Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamM'Lean, Lt.-Col. C. W. W. (Brigg)
Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith-Gilbert, James DanielMacmaster, Donald
Bowles, Col. H. F.Gilmour, Lt.-Col. JohnMcMicking, Major Gilbert
Bowyer, Capt. G. W. E.Goff, Sir R. ParkMacnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.
Breese, Major C. E.Gould, J. C.McNeill, Ronald (Canterbury)
Briggs, HaroldGoulding, Rt. Hon. Sir E. A.Malone, Major P. (Tottenham, S.)
Britton, G. B.Green, J. F. (Leicester)Marks, Sir George Croydon
Brotherton, Col. Sir E. A.Green, HarryMason, Robert
Brown, Captain D. C. (Hexham)Greig, Colonel James WilliamMiddlebrook, Sir William
Bruton, Sir J.Griggs, Sir PeterMitchell, William Lane-
Buchanan, Lieut.-Col. A. L. H.Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (Leic, Loughboro')Moles, Thomas
Buckley, Lt.-Col. A.Guinness, Capt. Hon. R. (Southend)Molson, Major John Elsdale
Burdon, Col. RowlandGuinness, Lt.-Col. Hon. W. E. (B. St. E.)Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz
Burn, Col. C. R. (Torquay)Hacking, Captain D. H.Moore, Maj.-Gen. Sir Newton J.
Butcher, Sir J. G.Hailwood, A.Moreing, Captain Algernon H.
Campbell, J. G. D.Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir Fred (Dulwich)Morrison, H. (Salisbury)
Campion, Col. W. R.Hall, R.-Adml. Sir W. R. (Lpt, W. Derby)Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.
Carlile, Sir Edward HildredHallas, E.Mosley, Oswald
Carr, W. T.Hambro, Angus ValdemarMount, William Arthur
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.Hanson, Sir CharlesMurray, Lt.-Col. Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)
Cayzer, Major H. R.Harris, Sir Henry P. (Paddington, S.)Murray, Major C. D. (Edinburgh, S.)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Oxford Univ.)Henderson, Major V. L.Neal, Arthur
Chadwick, R. BurtonHerbert, Dennis (Hertford)Nelson, R. F. W. R.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Birm.,W.)Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir GordonNewman, Sir R. H. S. D. (Exeter)
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)Hilder, Lieut.-Col. F.Newton, Major Harry Kottingham
Cheyne, Sir William WatsonHoare, Lt.-Col. Sir Samuel J. G.Nicholson, W. (Petersfield)
Clough, R.Hood, JosephNield, Sir Herbert
Coats, Sir StuartHope, Harry (Stirling)Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.
Cockerill, Brig.-Gen. G. K.Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)Oman, C. W. C.
Cohen, Major J. B. B.Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. (Midlothian)Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William
Colfox, Major W. P.Hopkins, J. W. W.Palmer, Major G. M. (Jarrow)
Colvin, Brigadier-General R. B.Hopkinson, Austin (Mossley)Palmer, Brig.-Gen. G. (Westbury)
Cooper, Sir Richard AshmoleHopkinson, Dr. E. (Clayton)Parker, James
Coote, William (Tyrone, S.)Horne, Edgar (Guildford)Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)
Cope, Major W. (Glamorgan)Horne, Sir Robert (Hillhead)Parry, Major Thomas Henry
Cory, Sir Clifford John (St. Ives)Hughes, Spencer LeighPearce, Sir William
Cory, J. H. (Cardiff)Hunter, Gen Sir A. (Lancaster)Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike
Courthope, Major George LoydHunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.Percy, Charles
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Univ.)Hurd, P. A.Perkins, Walter Frank
Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)Inskip, T. W. H.Philipps, Sir O. C. (Chester)
Craig, Capt. C. (Antrim)Jameson, Major J. G.Pinkham, Lieut.-Col. Charles
Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryJesson, C.Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray
Curzon, Commander ViscountJodrell, N. P.Pownall, Lt.-Col. Assheton
Davidson, Major-Gen. Sir John H.Johnstone, J.Preston, W. R.
Davies, Sir D. S. (Denbigh)Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)Pulley, Charles Thornton
Davies, T. (Cirencester)Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Purchase, H. G.
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)Rae, R. Norman
Raeburn, Sir WilliamStanier, Capt. Sir BevilleWaring, Major Walter
Randles, Sir John ScurrahStanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Preston)Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Rankin, Capt. James S.Starkey, Capt. John RalphWarren, Sir Alfred H.
Ratcliffe, Henry ButlerSteel, Major S. StrangWatson, Captain John Bertrand
Raw, Lt.-Col. Dr. N.Stevens, MarshallWelgall, Lt.-Col. W. E. G. A.
Remer, J. B.Stewart, GorshomWeston, col. John W.
Renwick, G.Strauss, Edward AnthonyWheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Richardson, Albion (Peckham)Sugden, Lieut. W. H.White, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Richardson, Alex. (Gravesend)Surtees, Brig.-Gen. H. C.Whitla, Sir William
Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)Taylor, J. (Dumbarton)Wigan, Brig.-Gen. John Tyson
Rodger, A. K.Terrell, G. (Chippenham, Wilts.)Wills, Lt.-Col Sir Gilbert Alan H.
Roundell, Lt.-Col. R. F.Terrell, Capt. R. (Henley, Oxford)Wilson, Capt. A. Stanley (Hold' ness)
Royds, Lt.-Cot. EdmundThomas, Sir R. (Wrexham, Denb.)Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, W.)
Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)Wilson, Col. M. (Richmond, Yorks.)
Samuel, A. M. (Farnham, Surrey)Tickler, Thomas GeorgeWinterton, Major Earl
Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Norwood)Townley, Maximillian G.Wood, Major Hon. E. (Ripon)
Samuels, Rt. Hon. A. W. (Dublin Univ.)Tryon, Major George ClementWood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)
Sanders, Colonel Robert ArthurTurton, Edmund RussboroughWood, Major M.
Seager, Sir WilliamVickers, D.Yate, Col. Charles Edward
Shaw, Hon. A. (Kilmarnock)Waddington, R.Young, Sir F. W. (Swindon)
Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar)Walker, Col. William HallYoung, William (Perth and Kinross)
Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T., W.)Walters, Sir John TudorYounger, Sir George
Simm, Col. M. T.Walton, J. (York, Don Valley)
Smithers, Alfred W.Walton, Sir Joseph (Barnsley)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Lord Edmund Talbot and Mr. Pratt.
Sprot, Col. Sir AlexanderWard-Jackson, Major C. L.
NOES.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis DykeHancock, John GeorgeRose, Frank H.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamHarbison, T. J. S.Royce, William Stapleton
Arnold, SydneyHartshorn, V.Sexton, James
Bell, James (Ormskirk)Hayday, A.Shaw, Tom (Preston)
Brace, Rt. Hon. WilliamHayward, Major EvanShort, A. (Wednesbury)
Briant, F.Hinds, JohnSitch, C. H.
Bromfield, W.Hirst, G. H.Smith, W. (Wellingborough)
Cairns, JohnHogge, J. M.Spencer, George A.
Carter, W. (Mansfield)Holmes, J. S.Swan, J. E. C.
Casey, T. W.Irving, DanTaylor, J. W. (Chester-le-Street)
Crooks, Rt. Hon. WilliamJones, J. (Silvertown)Thomas, Brig-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)
Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe)Kenyon, BarnetThomson, T. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)Kenworthy, Lieut.-CommanderThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Devlin, JosephLunn, WilliamWallace, J.
Edwards, C. (Bedwellty)Lyle-Samuel, A. (Eye, E. Suffolk)Walsh, S. (Ince, Lancs.)
Finney, SamuelM'Callum, Sir John M.Wedgwood, Col. Josiah C.
Galbraith, SamuelM'Lean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)White, Charles F. (Derby, W.)
Glanville, Harold JamesMorgan, Major D. WattsWignall, James
Graham, W. (Edinburgh)O'Grady, JamesYoung, Robert (Newton, Lancs.)
Griffiths, T. (Pontypool)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Grundy, T. W.Richards, Rt. Hon. ThomasTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)Roberts, F. O. (W. Bromwich)T. Wilson and Captain A. Smith.

Resolution agreed to.

Resolution reported,