Orders of the Day — Continuation of Duties (Customs).

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

Alert me about debates like this

"That the following duties of Customs, imposed by Part I. of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, and continued by Section one of the Finance Act, 1918, until the first day of August, nineteen hundred and nineteen, shall continue to be charged as from that data until the first day of August, nineteen hundred and twenty, that is to say:—

Duty.Section of Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915.
Additional duties on dried fruit8
Additional duty on motor spirit10(1)
New import duties12

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 Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

I beg to move, to leave out the words new import duties…12 This is an Amendment to strike out one of the lines of the Schedule of the Finance Act of 1915, which imposes special duties upon motor-cars and parts, watches, clocks, and musical-boxes, and I propose, without going into the whole question of Preference, which is out of older in this Debate, to give some reasons germane to this particular Section imposing the continuance of these duties. In the first place, we have to ask why duties are imposed. Hon. Members who were in the House in 1915, or who have read the Debate, will know that these duties were imposed for a specific purpose, partly as what were called "sumptuary duties" for the purpose of preventing the unnecessary consumption of luxuries, and partly to save shipping, which at that time was beginning to suffer severely on account of the German submarines. I put it to hon. Gentlemen who may be convinced Tariff Reformers that this is not a suitable basis on which to build a tariff for this country. We have always been told that Free Traders were clumsy and vague-thinking people, and that, Tariff Reformers were scientific people.

Colonel BURN:

Hear, hear!

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

The hon. and gallant Gentleman is of that opinion. I appeal to him, therefore, as a scientist and an expert in these matters. We are told that a system of tariffs is a matter of a gently adjusted balance between this interest and that interest and between this country and that country. Is it, therefore, suitable for such a tariff to take as its basis these fortuitous, accidental duties that were imposed during the War for one purpose and to establish them permanently in the fiscal system of this country? It seems to me that the proposition is so obvious that it does not need anything more to enforce it than the mere statement. I would point out that when the duties were imposed statements were made in the House which were tantamount to a pledge that they would not be continued after the cessation of hostilities. I do not want to labour this point, because, of course, circumstances change, and things have to be done which were not contemplated, but at the same time, those who supported these duties are entitled to insist that the pledges that were made when they were imposed shall be kept. I will not read many extracts from the Debate, but I will read this one: The only ground on which I can conceive any question of opposition to these duties from the point of view of the fiscal controversy is the idea that they will lead to something else. Duties of this kind would never be continued under any circumstances when the War was over.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

The present Leader of the House of Commons. That is a pledge, and one is entitled to say, firstly, that as a scientific basis of any tariff, even supposing one were a Tariff Reformer, this is a gross conception, and, secondly, that it is in flat defiance of the promise made to the House of Commons when it consented to the imposition of these duties. The object of the continuance of these duties is to enable us to give Colonial manufacturers a preference in these matters. An examination of the schemes of Preference shows that the most important Colonies will get no benefit whatever, and I confess that it seems to me an insult to the true Imperial spirit to suggest that such a thing as the giving of a preference of 1d. on musical boxes or 1s. 6d. on motor cars somehow rewards the Colonies for their part in the War or binds together the Empire. It seems to me to be a total misconception of the real Imperial spirit to assume that is so. Are these duties going to have that effect? What about New Zealand? An interview was accorded to a newspaper by the High Commissioner of New Zealand, and he stated that New Zealand was unaffected. Why should you pick out an Australian trader and give him this monetary advantage and exclude all those traders in New Zealand who sent their sons to fight alongside the Australians. Is that going to unite the Empire or create that warm feeling of gratitude? I think this 2d. or 3d. gratitude, according to these nicely-graded variations, is an absurdity.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

Hear, hear.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

If you are going to attempt this financial bargain, are you really getting the sort of spirit that you want by picking out half-a-dozen industries and excluding New Zealand entirely and the great industries of wool and meat that exist in Australia, and the great industry of timber that exists in Canada. I cannot conceive that it will possibly have that result. My third point, therefore, is that these duties, even assuming that this sort of thing makes a great empire, are utterly uncalculated to do anything but create irritation in the Colonies. My next point is that this can only be a beginning. If there is something in the conception of an empire with a barrier round it trading freely within its own members and including the products of other countries, then something else is bound to follow. The right hon. Gentleman's distinguished father said quite clearly and frankly sixteen years ago that if you give a Preference to the Colonies you must put a tax on food. It is obvious that you must do so because food and raw materials are the principal articles in which the Colonies deal. The Under-Secretary for the Colonies (Lieutenant-Colonel Amery) in the very interesting and sincere speech which he made the other day said, "Ah, but circumstances have changed. That statement was made in Glasgow in 1903, and now we have totally different circumstances." This determination to put a tax on food has by no means perished in the programme of Tariff Reformers. Just prior to the War Lord Chaplin, who has always been a consistent supporter of this policy, said: There can be no effective preference without duties on food. And Lord Lansdowne said: Why are we so tenacious on the subject of the 2s. duty on wheat? Because we believe it to be indispensable if we are to have reciprocal commercial relations with our Dominions overseas. 6.0 P.M.

And the "Morning Post," which is the special organ of Imperial Preference, said two years before the War— Let there be no mistake; if we drop food taxes we drop Imperial Preference. The next objection I have to these duties is that they cannot be made to achieve the end which the Government have in view, unless they are followed by other duties on the food of the people. I may go further and say that these duties alone are quite inadequate, without a general tariff for this country. This is the official doctrine of the Tariff Reform party: it is quite useless to attempt to give Preference to the Colonies unless you have a general tariff against foreign manufactures. The Leader of the House said there are two proposals, a preferential trade and taxation on foreign manufactures. The one is concomitant of the other, and the adoption of the one would inevitably lead to the adoption of the other. Hon. Members are fighting logically for the adoption of a general tariff against foreign imports into this country. What is the condition to-day? This Budget is the first plunge towards Imperial Preference, and the Imperial Preference is composed of a scratch collection of taxes imposed during the War for the purpose of discouraging the consumption of luxuries. It is a Budget supported by all sections of the people—by the people who say "it is quite inadequate and clumsy, but it is only part of the real thing we intend to get, and it is also supported by people who say, "This is the ultimate concession that we, as Free Traders can possibly make. Is it surprising that the country does not believe in the sincerity of this sort of thing? The people cannot understand how a party can consist of two constituent parts, each animated by different convictions but each preaching the same policy. I make bold to say that is the sort of thing which checks popular confidence in the House of Commons and leads to the gibes which one hears uttered against politicians by people who do not believe that we are sincere. They believe, in fact, that we are prepared to make arrangements we do not sincerely believe in with a view to securing a party majority.

What is going to be the effect on our foreign relations of the continuance of these duties? I am not ashamed to say I hope we shall retain friendship with foreign countries more than ever. But when I heard the right hon. Gentleman making his speech on the Tea Duty I thought we were back in 1914. He said that Canada was tampered with by Germany, but made her reply, and if we are tampered with by China we shall know what reply to make. Here is the beginning of the League of Nations, and that is the sort of speech we shall often hear in this House if we have this sort of tariff. It is the sort of speech which the Chancellor of the Exchequer makes when he is commencing a tariff war. But we do not want a tariff war. We do not want any war at all. We are placed by the Government in this position, that we have pretended to be supporters of the League of Nations, and we have made a peace on the basis of the fourteen points put forward by President Wilson, yet we are the first country to take administrative action in defiance of at least two of those points. We are the first country to continue, by enactment, Conscription, and we are also the first country by legislative enactment to defy Point 3 of President Wilson's aims and to destroy economic barriers. We are in fact creating them. We are hoping we are coming to an era of world peace where we shall have an understanding with other countries such as never before existed, when we shall have some clear approach to the brotherhood of man. I do not consider that a fantastic idea. But we are the first country by the act of this House to defy at least two of President Wilson's points. With America's withdrawal of her own tariff we have nothing whatever to do, but at any rate she has not taken the initiative, and that I submit is a perfectly good point. What are we doing? In this Budget we are chafing the susceptibilities of two of our greatest Allies; we are doing a great deal to destroy the French wine trade and the American tobacco trade. The friendship between this country and the United States of America is the rock upon which civilisation is in future to be built. What is the real basis of the British Empire? I need only select from the speeches made by Members—and I could select many extracts—words which would well describe that basis. I might take extracts from the utterances of the First Commissioner of Works, but I will content myself with quoting some noble words of the Secretary of State for War, who declared that the British Empire is held together by moral and not by material forces; that it has grown up in liberty; that it is not preserved by restrictions; and that the great triumphs of our race have been won not for Britain but for mankind.

Photo of Mr Gerald France Mr Gerald France , Batley and Morley

I have much pleasure in seconding the Amendment, and I propose to support it upon two lines of argument which I think will appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I say that quite sincerely. In the first place, I wish to emphasiso the argument addressed to us in the early part of the hon. and gallant Member's speech, and in this I am sure I shall have the right hon. Gentleman's sympathy and approval—the suggestion that, above everything else at this time in politics, we want to have the keeping of promises and pledges. We want, in fact, honesty of purpose. I have myself one or two extracts from the Debate which took place under war conditions in 1915 with references to the taxes on motor cars. Not only were those taxes put on—and put onavowedly—by the Coalition Ministry under the pledge which has been quoted, that they were to be of a temporary character, but the Chancellor of that day (Mr. McKenna), when challenged with regard to their possible permanent character, stated that the taxes were temporary taxes, intended purely for war purposes and to discourage expenditure on extravagant things, as well as to limit the amount of tonnage being used for such purposes at that time. I venture to think that the subsequent method of import restrictions was a much sounder policy for securing that end. However, that was at the time the avowed object of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who went on to say that there was no intention to continue the taxes, and they had no desire to protect trade without beginning a new Tariff Reform movement. The declared purpose of these particular taxes was to avoid extravagant expenditure in unnecessary things and to prevent the transport across the Atlantic of heavy machinery, such as motor cars, and soon. That is my first point, which, I think, will appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and there is no one but will feel that whatever else he may stand for, and whatever he may in future be distinguished for, one of the things we shall always remember him by will be his steadfast honesty of purpose in public life. I appeal to him to help us in securing that no temporary advantage shall be taken of this matter, and that we shall not allow ourselves to slide upon the slope of future entanglement which will make it far worse than if it were merely for this year one change in the fiscal programme for the year, because in so far as regards renewing them now, when it was promised they should only be temporary, we ought not to create hopes in the minds of those who make these articles in this country, or in the minds of people in the Colonies, that in future years we are going to continue this policy of Preference. That would not only break a distinct understanding, but it would make it worse by cementing it by a new arrangement of the preferential taxes which you are now reimposing.

I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer is aware of the Debate that took place in that year, although he took no part in it. I think at the time he held another very distinguished post. But he will be interested to remember that an Amendment was proposed by a well-known Liberal Free Trader, and supported by Mr. Hewins, to give Preference to the Colonies, by not imposing these taxes upon Colonial imports, and subsequently a further Amendment was proposed not to impose them upon Allies. The reason given by Mr. McKenna and by the right hon. Gentleman the present Secretary for India (Mr. Montagu), who was then Financial Secretary to the Treasury, was interesting. It was that they could not give a Preference to the Colonies and thereby encourage hopes in their mind, because these taxes were of a temporary character. That is the point we have got to this year. We do not want to encourage the Colonies to believe the taxes are of a permanent character. The Government of that day resisted the proposal. To-day they are supporting it. I do not think further need be said to remind those who were not in the House at that time that these taxes were of a temporary character. Let me say a word or two about the tax itself. Perhaps the principal item in the Resolution is the tax upon motor cars and accessories, on parts of motor cars, and on motor-cycles, and that branch of the trade.

I am not very well acquainted with the trade in musical-boxes and the other trades referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend, and I do not know how important the matter is so far as they are concerned. I would ask the House to remember, with regard to the motor-car industry—I speak with bated breath in the presence of those who know the subject inside out—that if ever there was a trade in this country which demonstrated beyond doubt that it is not absolutely necessary to have tariffs to foster and protect a new or an infant industry, it is the motor-car industry. For years in this country every kind of legislation prevented us from advancing in regard to motor-car traffic. We had the old and foolish expedient of never allowing self-propelled traffic to pursue its way without an aged gentleman in front with a red flag. If it exceeded its limits, I suppose he ceased to exist. That was the best means we adopted for protecting the public from danger. Other countries did not have that foolish legislation. They started and developed the motor-car industry. When we in this country began, for the first time, to understand that there was a future for self-propelled traffic we were behind other countries, and if we had a protective tariff or anything like this protection I am not sure that we should not be still far behind. We imported cars, we learned all there was to be known about them and the industry, and we imported parts and whatever we wanted in regard to them. What has been the result? Not that the motor-car industry in this country did not succeed but that it flourished immensely. The use of British-made motor-cars developed, and instead of the imports of foreign-made cars increasing, the imports decreased and the exports increased. At the time of the outbreak of war, I would go so far as to say that the finest car in the world was made in England, and the general standard of excellence in regard to engines applied to road traffic placed us at the top of the tree. That was an infant industry which started and grew under a system without a tariff. If at this critical time the House allows this tax to be continued, it will be done in defiance of the pledges and promises given that it was to be a temporary tax. It is admitted that it is a clumsy and most foolish tax, but at the same time it is a very formidable tax from the point of view of the protection of the trade of this country. As was said by the then Secretary of the Treasury at the time, and I have no doubt it was thought by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, these were never duties and could not be duties that a Tariff Reformer would suggest if he were starting a scheme of Tariff Reform. These are admittedly clumsy duties, they are unnecessary, and they are being imposed in defiance and breach of a definite pledge to the contrary. For these reasons I heartily support the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Stanley Holmes Mr Stanley Holmes , Derbyshire North Eastern

Lord Rosebery, in his book on "Pitt," said: Time and circumstances and opportunity paint with heedless hands and garish colours on the canvas of a man's life, so that the result is less frequently a finished picture than a palette of squeezed tints. I venture to suggest that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because of the time and circumstance and opportunity, instead of presenting his first Budget really to provide the necessary revenue to meet the necessary expenditure, has produced a Budget of "squeezed tints," because he has felt he has had an opportunity of bringing forward two matters which one can understand are very dear to him, namely, Colonial Preference and Protection itself. This particular Amendment deals with what are frankly protective duties. It deals with the duties we are going to continue on cinematograph films, watches and clocks, motor cars and cycles, and musical instruments. Previous speakers have already quoted from the Debate of 1915. If the House will forgive me, I will give one more quotation from the then Chancellor of the Exchequer as showing that it was not intended that these duties should be continued in the time of peace. Mr. McKenna said: When once again we have peace, and once again the taxes must come up to be reconsidered, then will be the time for us to argue upon the basis of fiscal theory. I hope that those of us who are opposing these Import Duties, will have the co-operation and assistance of the First Commissioner of Works, because he was not satisfied with these duties when they were introduced in 1915 by Mr. McKenna. He described it as, This absolute folly, this amateur tariff, wrong in incidence, and impracticable in execution. He finished up by saying something which was in the nature of bathos after what he had previously said— I hope he will give some kind of pledge on behalf of the Government that in any case this is not to be taken as representing any normal state of things, but is an emergency measure of which no one is to take advantage after the War is over. Tennyson once wrote The jingle of the guinea heals the hurt which honour feels. I hope that, so far as the First Commissioner of Works is concerned, that the glamour of office is not going to heal the hurt which principle feels. The original object of the Import Duties no longer obtains. Clearly they are now intended to be protective duties. Otherwise, if they were only intended to be Revenue Duties, a corresponding Excise Duty would be put on similar goods of home manufacture. It is a rather curious thing that a prophecy which Mr. Asquith made in this House in 1904, when this controversy first started, that a duty which is temporarily put on for a provisional purpose, ends by being protective and permanent, is apparently to become true concerning the duties put on by Mr. McKenna when Mr. Asquith himself was Premier. The hon. Member for Batley (Mr. France) said these duties were intended to be permanent. That is perfectly clear from the speech which the Under-Secretary for the Colonies made last week. Referring to these duties, he said: We are establishing the duties in order to emphasise a certain principle which we believe to be of incalculable future value. He went on to say: It is true that the importation of many of these goods into this country from different parts of the Empire is very small, but the standard we have to take is not the standard of what is imported now. Clearly it is impossible for us to say to the Colonies, "We are going to give you preference on motor cars. Go ahead and put up your Preference," and, when we have done that, say that we shall take off these duties. If these duties give a Preference to the Colonies, they must be permanent duties. Therefore, these duties, which were put on temporarily for the purposes of the War, will become permanent protective duties. Let me take the case of cinemas. Foreign cinema films are to be taxed. Foreign cinema films are desired by the cinema-going public. I hardly like to refer to Mr. Charles Chaplin in this House, but every hon. Member knows that his films are demanded by the cinema-going people all over the country. They are the most popular films that can be seen. They will come in. The cinema proprietors will have to pay more for those films. They are not philanthropists. They are not going to pay for the extra cost. They are going to put it on the entrance money; therefore the people who attend cinemas, practically every man, woman, and child in the land, will have to pay more for their cinematograph entertainments because of the Import Duties. The same will apply to watches and clocks. The price of English watches will go up to the level of the foreign watches plus the tax. We may be quite sure of that. So one can go on through the list of cycles and motor cars, etc. The consumer has got to pay and the producer in this country is going to gain by these duties, and not merely the producers, but the producers in particular areas. The people who will gain from these particular duties are the manufacturers, particularly of Birmingham and Coventry. One wonders why these particular parts of the country should have an advantage over other parts of the country where there are also manufacturers. During the last two years we have had Protection in its various forms by the restriction and prohibition of imports subject to licence. What have we seen? May I take one case, that of gloves. Foreign gloves were absolutely prohibited from import into this country except under licence. The result has been that everybody has had to pay enormous prices for their gloves compared with pre-war times. The glove manufacturers of this country have made great profits. I venture to make the statement that every glove manufacturer in this country has paid Excess Profits Duty to a large extent. The result of that prohibition has been to give an opportunity for profiteering and to give great cause for discontent. It is the same with regard to all the articles that have been prohibited. That was Protection in its most naked form and the public have had an opportunity of seeing what it means. The late Mr. George Wyndham, in that flowery language of which he was a master, said in 1904 or 1905: Great Britain, after sixty years of unmitigated free imports, is a good place for drones. Let us not mistake the contented lullaby of the surfeited consumer for the busy murmur of the working hive. Now, after two years of prohibited imports we do not hear any contented lullaby from the surfeited consumer. On the contrary, we hear the protests and groans from the consumer against the prices he has had to pay for all kinds of goods. If there is a contented lullaby at all, it is the lullaby of the contented producer, who has made great profits out of this prohibition. One does not want to regard by-elections as a perfect barometer of the political weather, but every Member of the House will agree that there is something in the opinion which has been obtained from the three by-elections which have taken place one after another. If they mean anything, they mean a protest against two things: first, against the continuance of Conscription; and, secondly, against high prices. The effect of the right hon. Gentleman's Budget is to keep up high prices in those particular trades where he is giving these protective duties. Why, I ask, are the film-producers and the motor-car manufacturers and the watchmakers to be the only people to receive protection in this country? Why should they be a specially privileged class? What is going to happen? The Board of Trade has now got a special Committee sitting and deciding upon the future of our different industries. We may be sure, having regard to the composition of those committees, that we shall have recommendations that all these industries shall be protected, and how are we going to resist the claims of the other industries if we have allowed these particular industries—film-producers, watchmakers, and motor manufacturers—to be protected? The effect of this Budget is that we are laying the foundation for a complete system of Protection, and it is being done in defiance of a pledge which was given by both sides of the Coalition Government. I believe a policy like this, which can only mean the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many, is one which the country is not prepared to accept.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Captain Wedgwood Benn) made a special appeal to me in complimentary language which has been repeated without the complimentary language by the hon Member who has just spoken. The suggestion in both cases is that there is something like a breach of faith in proposing to continue these duties. I do not accept that position. I do not entirely accept the explanation of the hon. and gallant Gentleman or of the hon. Member (Mr. Holmes) for the reasons which impelled the late Government to impose these duties. I think it probable that in that Government, if you could get behind the curtains of Downing Street, you would find there was not complete harmony of opinion among its members on all subjects, and on this, amongst others; and not all its members, if they had had occasion to speak upon the subject, would have given exactly the same account of their reason as was given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day. But whatever you may think of Mr. McKenna's fiscal views, whether you agree with him or not, you will not think Mr. McKenna was a foolish man or that he said foolish things. I do not think at any time he could have defended a duty on the importation of watches or cinema films on the ground that it was necessary to save tonnage. He did propose the duty as a war measure, and both he and the Leader of the House, in speeches which have been quoted, contemplated that they would not be retained in this form when we got back to normal times. What the Government would have done with them when normal times returned, if that Government had still been in existence, I do not know, and I think anyone would be rash to prophesy. While we sat together we seemed to be coming nearer in opinion on these subjects, and it is only since we parted on other issues or for different reasons that our differences on this particular issue have assumed their old irreconcilable character. Both the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Captain Benn) and the hon. Member who moved the Amendment misrepresented my attitude and suggested that I imposed these duties in order to provide a Preference. That is historically untrue and it is inaccurate as a picture of my mind. I did not impose them: they were already in existence. I do not continue them in order to create a Preference. They are being continued in pursuance of a principle which I have expressed on behalf of His Majesty's Government, and we embody the principle of Preference in them.

Photo of Mr Gerald France Mr Gerald France , Batley and Morley

Would the right hon. Gentleman, in his mind, make any distinction between an existing tax which was a permanent tax, and an existing tax which his predecessor had promised should be removed directly the War was over?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I do not think my predecessor went quite so far as to promise that it should be removed directly the War was over, and if it comes to that, the War is not over. I simply apply the principle of Preference to the existing duties. I agree that no Tariff Reformer setting out to initiate a scheme of Tariff Reform would have chosen these particular duties at these particular rates and no others in order to establish his case by practical exemplification. I am not entitled to speak for Mr McKenna, but I should not be surprised if the duties commended themselves to him because he thought they had inherent defects which would prevent their being an example of anything beneficial which the Tariff Reformers could claim hereafter.

I am bound to take note of the observations of the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Captain Benn) on the subject of Preference. He said the great bond of Empire was a moral one. I agree with him. Then he goes on to say, "A penny or a two penny, or a three penny Preference on this or that article is not going to increase that bond." That is such a bagman's view of the whole question. We never put it forward on that ground. We agree that the bond of Empire is a moral bond, and a recognition of unity embodied in Preference is another moral bond. It is strengthening the bonds which exist—a Preference on these three or four duties that we have. It is a recognition of the fact that the Empire is one and its interests are common. It is that which we think of real value in our relations with the Dominions Overseas. Then the hon. and gallant Gentleman seemed to revert to a pre-war attitude of mind or a pre-war form of expression. He stands at this Table oppressed and ashamed by the despicable position occupied by his country. He says, "We are the first after accepting President Wilson's fourteen points to repudiate them in legislation, and that in two respects." We have repudiated them in neither. I am not going to argue the first because it has no connection with this Amendment, and is really out of order. But he suggests that the establishment of Preference in the British Empire is an infringement of President Wilson's economic point. If he had read President Wilson's explanation of his own economic point to his own people he would have understood that it was nothing of the kind, and after all, when it comes to interpretation of the utterances of President Wilson, I think the President is a greater authority than even the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and I regret that he should hold his country up to odium on a charge which is utterly false and absurd. Why do I continue the duties? For revenue in the first instance. They brought in £500,000 last year, and they will bring in, I should think, something over £1,750,000 this year. They are duties brought into existence under the circumstances of the War and standing alone in our present fiscal system. They must be reconsidered in the light of the review of our trade policy which the Government has undertaken to make, and I do not commit myself, and I do not ask anyone else to commit himself, to continue these duties at this figure beyond the year for which I am now asking authority. They must come into the general review of the trade policy of the country. That I think is legitimate, but it is equally legitimate that, confronted with a deficit and an immense need for money, with the position of the foreign exchanges, which is a matter of constant care and watchfulness, I should continue duties put on with the avowed intention of checking unnecessary and luxurious expenditure abroad. The hon. Member (Mr. Holmes) revived even more strongly than anyone, else the memories of our old contentions over Imperial Preference, but he has not yet rivalled the masters of the art of finding a good political cry. I think "Your films will cost you more!" will be less effective on the platform than the older cry, "Your food will cost you more!"

Photo of Mr Donald Maclean Mr Donald Maclean , Peebles and Southern

I am in some difficulty in regard to the two speeches which have been made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In his first speech, as I understood it, he regarded that Resolution at any rate, and I presume this Resolution also, as the first step in the great scheme of Preference to which his illustrious, father devoted so much of his Parliamentary and public life. We were all touched at the end of the right hon. Gentleman's speech when he recounted the incident in which Mr. Joseph Chamberlain took part, when, at the close of one of his meetings, one of his hearers said to him that he could not understand why anyone had refused to support the scheme, and Mr. Chamberlain said in reply that the day would come, although through blood and sacrifice, and then the right hon. Gentleman said, "The day has come. Here it is." I refer to that as evidence of what. the right hon. Gentleman meant by these Resolutions—that already passed and the one now before the House. I listened with great astonishment to the speech he has just delivered, because he said, unless my ears deceived me, that these proposals were not intended as a Preference, but were simply carrying on these taxes as levied with the consent of Parliament on the argument adduced by Mr. McKenna when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. Which is it? Let me read what Mr. McKenna said: The Government put these taxes forward as taxes on luxuries which they wish to discourage in the national interest, and so far from desiring or seeking to develop the motor car industry, they desire to discourage it, and they think it will be a most unpatriotic use of capital to invest it in a new motor car industry. Then he goes on to say: They are introduced by me as war taxes, and my hon. Friend— He was replying to some hon. Member who had been saying that these taxes were liable to be permanent— will be able to quote the introduction of these taxes if such a proposal is made and say that they were introduced under the conditions in which we now stand. Further on he said: The taxes are not introduced as permanent taxes. They are introduced as temporary taxes. Which is it? If they are sumptuary taxes, then I say at once, in the present condition of the country, I am all for them. If in the conditions existing this year, which are financially as serious as ever they were, and are becoming daily more serious, you are going to introduce sumptuary taxes. I am with you, and if that is the sole reason for this tax, I say without any consultation with my colleagues that I will not go into the Lobby against it. But I want to know which it is. A statement has been made by my right hon. Friend this afternoon which seems to me to be inconsistent with the proposal of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. My point is that if this is a sumptuary tax I will not vote against it, but it is a different matter if it is a preference tax, as has been said most clearly. There is not a single Member who has spoken in support of these taxes who has not welcomed them as part of a preference scheme. If we get a very clear explanation that the whole of this Resolution before the House is based exactly upon the declaration made by Mr. McKenna when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and also by the Leader of the House in the quotations which my hon. and gallant Friend read, we know where we are. There is no reason why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should not tell us which it is. I want to know and the country wants to know. Hon. Members in this House are entitled to know. Those with whom I have the honour to be associated, and also the Members of the Labour party, are perfectly clear so far as we are concerned, but there are a large number of hon Members who are in a rather difficult position. They have stood by Free Trade all these years and they are entitled to know from the Government whether these are sumptuary taxes, or whether they are—and up to this moment I have had it fully and clearly in my mind that they are—put on as part of a scheme of Imperial Preference. I feel they are, because my right hon. Friend said in one of his speeches this afternoon, that they were the outcome of the Imperial Conference.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

Not these taxes.

Photo of Mr Donald Maclean Mr Donald Maclean , Peebles and Southern

Then what was the outcome? There was no relevance in talking about the Conference unless it meant this Resolution. What was the object in referring to the Conference? The impression left clearly on my mind was that this is part of the scheme adopted by the Imperial Conference in 1917. Unless I get a very clear statement that these are sumptuary taxes and nothing else, I shall, of course, vote against this and the other Resolutions.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I can only speak again by the courtesy of the Committee, but the right hon. Gentleman almost challenges me to speak. I will endeavour to make myself clear, very briefly. The principle adopted by the Imperial Conference, and accepted by His Majesty's Government, is that where there is a duty there is to be a preference, but each self-governing member of His Majesty's Dominions is autonomous in its own sphere, and is not to be called upon to put on duties for any purpose but its own, or to take them off for any purpose but its own. We, therefore, do not put on duties, these or any other, in order to promote preference, but when we have duties in existence we intend to make them subject to preference. I think I have answered the straight question which the right hon. Gentleman put to me.

Photo of Mr Donald Maclean Mr Donald Maclean , Peebles and Southern

Then it is not a sumptuary Resolution but part of the preference scheme which was adumbrated by the Imperial Conference?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

My right hon. Friend and I do not mean the same thing.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I do not accept the right hon. Gentleman's form of putting it. That is not what I said and I do not accept the right hon. Gentleman's description. They are sumptuary taxes. That is one of their features, but wherever these taxes are, wherever these Customs Duties are, our principle is to give a tax preference upon them.

Photo of Mr Alfred Bigland Mr Alfred Bigland , Birkenhead East

To us it seems perfectly clear that this question of an Imperial Preference rate on motor cars will be reconsidered, when the promise of the Leader of the House is fulfilled, and before the 1st September a thoroughly considered scheme of Fiscal Reform is put before the House. It is perfectly evident to us that the Imperial Preference rates that may be put on may be changed, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is quite clear when he says that he puts this tax in the Budget for this year only, and if by the 1st September a new range of duties, say, at 30 per cent., is fixed on manufactured and partly manufactured goods, then the preferential Colonial rate will be changed according to the rate which is then fixed in a general tariff. I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer should not be put in the position of saying positively whether this is a sumptuary tax or part of Imperial Preference. The Mover of this Amendment seems to have forgotten that since Mr. McKenna spoke in this House we have had a General Election, and the Prime Minister gave a pledge to the electors of this country that on all duties put on by this Parliament in future an Imperial Preference should be given in everything that was charged duty in our Custom House. Therefore, the intense weight that has been put upon the pledges that were given by a Chancellor of the Exchequer in a previous Parliament do not hold when we look round the benches opposite and see how many of those who hold the views that he upheld are now absent from their places. The country clearly understood when it voted at the last General Election that Imperial Preference would be given on certain articles, and the nation having voted by enormous majorities on that question, no Chancellor of the Exchequer can go back upon it, and I do not see how any hon. or right hon. Member who supported the Government at the last General Election can now vote against the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposals.

7.0 P.M.

Photo of Mr Alexander Lyle-Samuel Mr Alexander Lyle-Samuel , Eye

As one who had the coupon and was pledged to support the Government, I shall be glad to give some reason for voting against this proposal. In the first place, the letter of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House which was read at the Coalition meeting on the Saturday after the Armistice, laid it down that Imperial Preference would be limited to such a form as should not include taxes on food or raw material. These Preference proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer clearly have violated that pledge, because Preference has been given on cocoa, sugar, and tea, which from every human point of view of interpretation amount to taxes on food. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us that he is continuing the policy of giving Preference upon articles which he has admitted were first taxed as sumptuary taxes. The real objection that one has to these proposals embodied in the present Bill is the nature of the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, both in introducing his Budget and in the discussions which have taken place since. I do not know whether it is possible for those who take an opposite view to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in these matters to be at any time in contact with his mind, but I find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has laid it down that, while these taxes in themselves interest him very little, it is his special pride to have introduced a Budget which lays the foundation upon which he can continue to build such a structure as will fully represent the policy for which his late father stood. I hope I do him no injustice, but, as I understand him, his sole interest in these Preference proposals in the Budget, whether in the articles I have named or in manufactured articles, was that they would inevitably lead to a policy of full Preference. When my hon. and gallant Friend said he objected to a 1d., 2d., or 3d. being offered to the Colonies, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, "So do I," and he added, "That is a bagman's point of view." Who raised the bagman's point of view? Every speech that has been made in favour of Imperial Preference from the time the issue was put before the country was an appeal to the people of England to sacrifice, if need be—and they were frankly told that it would involve sacrifice—their traditional fiscal policy, because otherwise we should lose the Empire. Unless we made this concession the Colonies would leave the Mother Country. After the Boer War we were told that we ought to do it because of the sacrifices of the Dominions during the Boer War. After this War we are told we must do it because of the sacrifices of the Dominions in this War. The Dominions made their sacrifices for reasons very much better than that.

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

The hon. Member is not addressing himself to the Resolution which is now before the House.

Photo of Mr Alexander Lyle-Samuel Mr Alexander Lyle-Samuel , Eye

If I may say so, I thought I was dealing with arguments which had been used many times by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in answering various objections relating to Imperial Preference.

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

There is no question, as I understand it, of Imperial Preference in this Resolution. This is a matter as between foreign countries and our own.

Photo of Mr Alexander Lyle-Samuel Mr Alexander Lyle-Samuel , Eye

As I understand it, it is a matter between foreign countries and different parts of the Empire. Preference is to be granted in favour of the Dominions as against foreign countries in regard to the particular articles to which this Resolution refers. I am further encouraged to believe that the policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is merely a beginning of the general policy which we know by the name of Imperial Preference, or Tariff Reform, because the Chancellor said, with reference to these taxes, that he wishd to raise a sum—it was £1,000,000 last year and it may be £1,750,000 during the coming year—from these taxes which are now under review. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has so far made a loss of £3,000,000, and having made that loss—which, indeed, in this coming year may be larger, namely, some £4,000,000 or £5,000,000—he is making the best of it by securing £1,000,000 or £1,750,000. Clearly, since his duty as Chancellor of the Exchequer is to raise every penny he can, he is not doing that for reasons of revenue. He is doing it, as we well know, for reasons which commend themselves to those with whom he has been habitually associated, and which do not commend themselves to, but which rouse violent opposition in, those with whom he has been in opposition during the last fifteen years since this question was first raised. It is clearly not a fair position for any of us to be put into when we are invited to say that, because we are pledged to support the Government to secure the objects of the War, we are pledged now to support a form of taxation against which if we do not protest now, we shall not be able to protest, as it is extended from Budget to Budget. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said this afternoon that what we choose to do within the British Empire is only the concern of the British Empire. With great respect to him I cannot imagine a more ridiculous or absurd remark. Of course, there is a sense in which it is perfectly true, but there is also a sense in which the nation has made up its mind, that there is to be a degree of comity between nations such as has never before existed, as one of the fruits of this War to all the world. If we are proposing now in this country to establish a fiscal policy by giving a preference such as is given by a reduction of these sumptuary taxes which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is continuing, or by any other means, the hon. and gallant Member for Leith is perfectly entitled to say that it is a very hopeless and dreary outlook as regards the League of Nations. The country, I am perfectly sure, never realised during the election that those whom it returned would find themselves in a position where they would have to make a decision upon this issue, which was never clearly put before them. Despite the result of the election, the country is capable of great political discernment, and despite the overwhelming degree of representation of a certain form, the country will always take a view diametrically opposite to that which is being expressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-day. I do not think that he, or those who think with him, have succeeded in converting the country from the views which it has held now for over seventy years, and which it has three times recently condemned. If this issue is to be raised again, it is clear to us all that it is to be raised in the old form. It is the old issue. It is no use pretending that it is not. The country has three times given its opinion on it, and if I were the right hon. Gentleman, and wished as an act of filial piety to raise a memorial to my father by establishing this form of fiscal policy in this country, I would rather do it on a square issue, on an appeal to the country. I should consider it very little honour or credit if it were secured by a side wind and by putting Members pledged to support the Government in the embarrassing position of seeming to be false to that pledge or to the convictions they have held for so long and in which they so strongly believe.

Photo of Sir Francis Acland Sir Francis Acland , Camborne

I rise for the purpose of taking up the last remark which the Chancellor of the Exchequer made in reply to the hon. Member for North-East Derbyshire (Mr. Stanley Holmes). He said that these taxes upon foreign watches, clocks, and motor cars are intended to be sumptuary taxes. I cannot accept that as really the basis of the reason for this tax. It would have been perfectly natural and, in our opinion, perfectly right to adopt a proper method of sumptuary legislation as one of the objects of this Budget. There was machinery ready at the hand of the Chancellor of the Exchequer if that had been his object. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in the last Parliament appointed a Committee last Session to try and draw up for him, which we did, a system of Luxury Duties. It was a Select Committee of this House. The last Chancellor of the Exchequer told me that if he had remained in that office this year he would have put that Committee's recommendations into force, being convinced of their practicability and soundness. That argues, at any rate, that the scheme was carefully and seriously considered as a fiscal instrument, and it is a proper, recognised way of dealing with expenditure on sumptuary lines. If people are buying things of a class which are luxuries they are taxed, if they are buying ordinary things at an abnormally high price they are taxed. But that proposal, worked out as it was by a Select Committee of the House of Commons, has been dropped, almost without a word, by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer. That being so, I think it is really not fair to the House to say that there is a sumptuary object in these duties when he has abandoned altogether the sumptuary instrument which was fashioned to his hand under the instructions of his predecessor. It is really impossible seriously to argue that you want to have a sumptuary effect against the cheap Ford motor car when you take no steps whatever to prevent people buying the £2,000 Rolls Royce car. It is equally impossible to persuade people that you really want to discourage expenditure on luxuries when you put a heavy duty on a cheap Waterbury watch and take no measures against the fifty-guinea or hundred-guinea jewelled wrist watch for a lady. If the Government is doing nothing whatever to discourage expenditure on luxuries at home, of which there is a great deal too much, it is extremely difficult to ask us as serious people to believe that these duties are put on as sumptuary duties against these cheaper and more ordinary things of everyday consumption, which are not luxuries, if they come in from abroad.

Photo of Mr Evan Hayward Mr Evan Hayward , Seaham

I intervene merely for the purpose of asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question. I see that he is not in his place at the moment, but perhaps the Financial Secretary will answer it. This Amendment merely proposes to abandon a series of taxes which were imposed for war purposes only, and in resisting that Amendment the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as I understood, said that he could not abandon these taxes for two reasons. The first was that he could not afford to do so, as he wanted the money which they would yield. The second was, that they were luxury taxes. Those are both very excellent reasons. If they are his only reasons they can be subjected to a very simple test. In the first place, would he abandon the Preference proposal with respect to these taxes; and, secondly, will he impose a corresponding Excise Duty on similar articles manufactured in this country? If he will do that we shall clearly understand that his object is merely to get the additional revenue, and that they are sumptuary taxes; and it will assist him to get more money and give further effect to his desire to keep down luxurious expenditure If the Financial Secretary could satisfy me on that particular point I, for one, certainly should not vote for this Amendment.

Photo of Hon. Alexander Shaw Hon. Alexander Shaw , Kilmarnock

I rise because of a challenge which was thrown out with a smile in this direction by my right hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian. He seems to be under the misapprehension that because a man is a supporter of the Government he has ceased to hold all the principles that he has ever professed, and is floundering in a morass. I must decline to flounder in any morass conjured up by the imagination of the right hon. Gentleman. The position at the General Election was that the duties which are the subject of this Resolution each and all stood condemned to death by the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer. Therefore it was only as duties condemned to death that they could affect the issue of the election at all. We have now been told that, when a Preference on the existing duties was spoken of, that involved the supposition that the duties now in existence for a fortuitous purpose, although they have been condemned to death, were intended to exist for ever. I think that is entirely a misreading of the whole situation. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was perfectly correct when he said that if a duty was imposed there would be a Preference, and that on duties still remaining there would be a Preference. Before you have a Preference you must have a duty, and we are now considering whether we should have a duty or not. On both those grounds I feel very strongly that Coalition Liberals who are supporters of the Government have on this matter a perfectly free hand. We refuse to follow in the direction in which the Government are leading because we think that it is fraught with the gravest possible consequences to this country. For these reasons, though I do not follow my right hon. Friend in all things, I intend to follow him into the Lobby this evening.

Photo of Mr William Adamson Mr William Adamson , Fife Western

The hon. Member for Birkenhead, in his short speech, pointed out that my hon. Friends who moved this Resolution seemed to have forgotten that since those taxes were imposed there has been a General Election, that the Prime Minister put clearly before the country as one of the principal issues the question of Preference, and that the country had by a very substantial vote agreed to it. I would suggest that the electorate paid very little attention at the last General Election to the question of Imperial Preference. In my opinion they voted for the Coalition Government with the idea that the Prime Minister, as head of the Government, had been successful in winning the War, and that they believed he was the proper person to deal with the grave questions that would be involved during the period

of reconstruction. The Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to come out into the open and tell us exactly what he means, because, in reply to a definite question by my right hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Sir D. Maclean), he said he did not mean what my right hon. Friend meant. In the course of the speech he mentioned the name of a former Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. McKenna), and pointed out that Mr. McKenna imposed this purely and simply as a war measure. I understood him to say that he was continuing it only for another year, and that it would not be continued in its present form. I would like him to be quite frank with the House, and to tell us what he means by a statement of that kind. In his speech earlier in the evening he said that Mr. Henderson was also in favour of Imperial Preference. I should like him to inform us in what Resolution Mr. Henderson agreed to the principle of Imperial Preference?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

In the Resolution approved of by the Cabinet, of which he was a member, and passed by the Imperial War Conference.

Photo of Mr William Adamson Mr William Adamson , Fife Western

I have not been in consultation with Mr. Henderson since the statement was made, but I understand that others have, and that he cannot remember any Resolution in which he agreed to the principle of Imperial Preference.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I do not want to quote Mr. Henderson unfairly, especially as he is not here. I hope that my right hon. Friend will refer to him, and he may remind Mr. Henderson that he helped to draft the Resolution which was passed by the Imperial War Conference.

Photo of Mr William Adamson Mr William Adamson , Fife Western

I have put the points which I wished to submit. I hope that the Chancellor will come out into the open and tell us exactly what he means by a continuance of the taxes. So far as we are concerned, we cannot assent to the imposition of taxes of this character, and if the Mover of the Resolution is going into the Lobby we will join him there.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 275; Noes, 87.

Division No. 29.]AYES.[7.20 p.m.
Adair, Rear-AdmiralAmery, Lieut.-Col. L. C. M. S.Bagley, Captain E. A.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherArchdale, Edward M.Baldwin, Stanley
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteAstbury, Lt.-Com. F. W.Balfour, George (Hampstead)
Allen, Col. W. J. (Armagh, N.)Atkey, A. R.Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir F. G.
Banner, Sir J. S. Harmood-Gould, J. C.Morris, Richard
Barnston, Major Harry|Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir E. A.Morrison, H. (Salisbury)
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)Gray, Major E.Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.
Beauchamp, Sir EdwardGreame, Major P. Lloyd-Mount, William Arthur
Beck, Arthur CecilGreen, J. F. (Leicester)Murray, Major C. D. (Edinburgh, S.)
Beckett, Hon. GervaseGreer, HarryMurray, Hon. G. (St. Rollox)
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)Gretton, Col. JohnNall, Major Joseph
Benn, Sir Arthur S. (Plymouth)Griggs, Sir PeterNelson, R. F. W. R.
Benn, Com. Ian Hamilton (G'nwich)Guinness, Lt.-Col. Hon. W. E. (B. St. E.)Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. (Exeter)
Bentinck, Lt.-Col. Lord H. Cavendish-Gwynne, R. S.Newton, Major Harry Kottingham
Bigland, AlfredHacking, Captain D. H.Nicholson, W. (Petersfield)
Birchall, Major J. D.Hailwood, A.Nield, Sir Herbert
Bird, AlfredHall, Lieut.-Col. Sir Fred (Dulwich)Oman, C. W. C.
Blades, Sir George R.Hall, R.-Adml. Sir W. R. (Lpl,W. Derby)O'Neill, Capt. Hon. Robert W. H.
Blair, Major ReginaldHallas, E.Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William
Blane, T. A.Hambro, Angus ValdemarParker, James
Boles, Lieut.-Col. D. F.Hamilton, Major C. G. C. (Altrincham)Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)
Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith-Hanson, Sir CharlesParry, Major Thomas Henry
Bowyer, Capt. G. W. E.Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Luton, Beds.)Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.Harris, Sir Henry P. (Paddington, S.)Peel, Lt.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge)
Breese, Major C. E.Haslam, LewisPercy, Charles
Bridgeman, William CliveHenderson, Major V. L.Perkins, Walter Frank
Briggs, HaroldHenry, Sir Charles S. (Salop)Pinkham, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles.
Brittain, Sir Harry E.Herbert, Dennis (Hertford)Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray
Britten, G. B.Higham, C. F. (Islington, S.)Pownall, Lt.-Col. Assheton
Brown, Captain D. C. (Hexham)Hilder, Lieut.-Col. F.Preston, W. R.
Bruton, Sir J.Hoare, Lt.-Col. Sir Samuel J. G.Pulley, Charles Thornton
Buchanan, Lieut.-Col. A. L. H.Hood, JosephRaeburn, Sir William
Buckley, Lt.-Col. A.Hope, Harry (Stirling)Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Burdon, Col. RowlandHope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)Rankin, Capt. James S.
Burn, Col. C. R. (Torquay)Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. (Midlothian)Ratcliffe, Henry Butler
Campbell, J. G. D,Hopkins, J. W. W.Reid, D. D.
Campion, Col. W. R.Hopkinson, Austin (Mossley)Remer, J. B.
Carew, Charles R. S. (Tiverton)Hopkinson, Dr. E. (Clayton)Renwick, G.
Carr, W. T.Home, Edgar (Guildford)Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.Hughes, Spencer LeighRichardson, Alex. (Gravesend)
Cayzer, Major H. R.Hunter, Gen. Sir A. (Lancaster)Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Oxford Univ.)Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.Roundell, Lt.-Col. R. F.
Chadwick, R. BurtonHurd, P. A.Rowlands, James
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Birm.,W.)Jesson, C.Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Lady wood)Jodrell, Neville PaulSamuel, A. M. (Farnham, Surrey)
Cheyne, Sir William WatsonJohnson, L. S.Samuel, S. (Wandsworth, Putney)
Clough, R.Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)Samuels, Rt. Hon. A. W. (Dublin Univ.)
Coates, Major Sir Edward F.Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Sanders, Colonel Robert Arthur
Cobb, Sir CyrilJones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen)Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar)
Cockerill, Brig.-Gen. G. K.Jones, Wm. Kennedy (Hornsey)Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T., W.)
Cohen, Major J. B. B.Kelly, Major Fred (Rotherham)Simm, Col. M. T.
Colfox, Major W. P.Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter KerrSmithers, Alfred W.
Colvin, Brig.-Gen. R. B.Kidd, JamesSprot, Col. Sir Alexander
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.King, Com. DouglasStanier, Capt. Sir Beville
Conway, Sir W. MartinLane-Fox, Major G. R.Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Coote, William (Tyrone. S.)Larmor, Sir J.Starkey, Capt. John Ralph
Cope, Major W. (Glamorgan)Law, A. J. (Rochdale)Steel, Major S. Strang
Cory, J. H. (Cardiff)Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ. Wales)Stephenson, Col. H. K.
Courthope, Major George LoydLindsay, William ArthurStevens, Marshall
Craig, Capt. C. (Antrim)Lister, Sir R. AshtonStewart, Gershom
Craig, Col. Sir James (Down, Mid.)Lloyd, George ButlerStrauss, Edward Anthony
Craig, Lt.-Com. N. (Isle of Thanet)Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Hunt'don)Sugden, Lieut. W. H.
Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryLoseby, Captain C. E.Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)
Curzon, Commander ViscountLowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)Taylor, J. (Dumbarton)
Davies, T. (Cirencester)Lowther, Col. C. (Lonsdale, Lancs.)Terrell, G. (Chippenham, Wilts.)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)Lyle, C. E. Leonard (Stratford)Terrell, Capt. R. (Henley, Oxford)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington)Lynn, R. J.Thomas, Sir R. (Wrexham, Denb.)
Dean, Com. P. T.Lyon, L.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)
Denison-Pender, John C.M'Donald, Dr. B. F. P. (Wallasey)Tickler, Thomas George
Dennis, J. W.M'Donald, D. H. (Bothwell, Lanark)Townley, Maximillian G.
Dewhurst, Lieut.-Com. H.Mackinder, Halford J.Tryon, Major George Clement
Dockrell, Sir M.M'Laren, R. (Lanark, N.)Vickers, D.
Du Pre, Colonel W. B.M'Lean, Lt.-Col. C. W. W. (Brigg)Waddington, R.
Elliot, Capt. W. E. (Lanark)McNeill, Ronald (Canterbury)Walker, Col. William Hall
Eyres-Monsell, Com.Malone, Major P. (Tottenham, S.)Walton, J. (York, Don Valley)
Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayManville, EdwardWard-Jackson, Major C. L.
Farquharson, Major A. C.Marks, Sir George CroydonWaring, Major Walter
Fell, Sir ArthurMarriott, John Arthur R.Warren, Sir Alfred H.
FitzRoy, Capt. Hon. Edward A.Martin, A. E.Weston, Col. John W.
Forestier-Walker, L.Mason, RobertWheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Fraser, Major Sir KeithMeysey-Thompson, Lt.-Col. E. C.White, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Ganzoni, Captain F. C.Mildmay, Col. Rt. Hon. Francis B.Whitla, Sir William
Gardner, E. (Berks., Windsor)Mitchell, William Lane-Wigan, Brig.-Gen. John Tysen
Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamMoles, ThomasWild, Sir Ernest Edward
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. JohnMolson, Major John ElsdaleWilliams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)
Glyn, Major R.Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred MoritzWilliams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)
Goff, Sir R. ParkMoore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Wills, Lt.-Col. Sir Gilbert Alan H.
Moreing, Captain Algernon H.Wilson, Capt. A. Stanley (Hold'ness)
Wilson, Col. Leslie (Reading)Wood, Major Hon. E. (Ripon)Young, Sir F. W. (Swidon)
Wilson, Col. M. (Richmond, Yorks.)Wood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)Younger, Sir George
Wilson-Fox, HenryWorsfold, T. Cato
Winterton, Major EarlWorthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Lord Talbort and Mr. Pratt.
Wolmer, ViscountYate, Col. Charles Edward
NOES.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis DykeGrundy, T. W.Roberts, F. O.(W. Bromwich)
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamHancock, John GeorgeRose, Frank H.
Arnold, SydneyHarbison, T. J. S.Royce, William Stapleton
Barton, Sir William (Oldham)Hartshorn, V.Seager, Sir William
Bell, James (Ormskirk)Hayday, A.Sexton, James
Benn, Capt. W. (Leith)Hayward, Major EvanShaw, Hon. A. (Kilmarnock)
Blake, Sir Francis DouglasHinds, JohnShaw, Tom (Preston)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. C. W.Hogge, J. M.Short, A. (Wednesbury)
Brace, Rt. Hon. WilliamHolmes, J. S.Sitch, C. H.
Bramsdon, Sir T.Irving, DanSmith, W. (Wellingborough)
Briant, F.Johnstone, J.Spencer, George A.
Broad, Thomas TuckerJones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)Swan, J. E. C.
Bromfield, W.Jones, J. (Silvertown)Sykes, Sir C. (Huddersfield)
Brown, J. (Ayr and Bute)Kenworthy, Lieut.-CommanderTaylor, J. W. (Chester-le-Street)
Cairns, JohnKenyon, BarnetThomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)
Carter, W. (Mansfield)Lambert, Rt. Hon. GeorgeThomson, T. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Casey, T. W.Lunn, WilliamTillett, Benjamin
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Lyle-Samuel, A. (Eye, E. Suffolk)Wallace, J.
Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe)M'Callum, Sir John M.Walsh, S. (Ince, Lancs.)
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)M'Lean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)White, Charles F. (Derby, W.)
Devlin, JosephMaclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)Wignall, James
Edge, Captain WilliamMorgan, Major D. WattsWilliams, A. (Consett, Durham)
Edwards, C. (Bedwellty)Neal, ArthurWilliams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough)
Entwistle, Major C. F.O'Connor, T. P.Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)
Finney, SamuelO'Grady, JamesWilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Galbraith, SamuelOnions, AlfredWood, Major M.
Glanville, Harold JamesParkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Young, Robert (Newton, Lancs.)
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)Rae, H. Norman
Graham, W. (Edinburgh)Redmond, Captain William A.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Griffiths, T. (Pontypool)Richards, Rt. Hon. Thomas.G. Thorne and Mr. France.

Resolutions agreed to.

Resolution reported: